Posted in Library Science stuff, Art & Photography with tags , , on March 14, 2018 by phanteana

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me(n)tal health

Posted in Music, Popular Culture with tags , , on February 25, 2018 by phanteana

oh, the irony: back in the 80’s, Metal was deemed as a corrupting influence on young people. parents literally viewed it as the devil and claimed kids were doing drugs, having sex, or worse…committing heinous crimes and killing themselves because they believed there were hidden messages in the lyrics. fans of Metal were labeled as outcasts with few friends who did poorly in school, had trouble at home, or were just plain angry and depressed all the time.

today, there are still those parents who try to shield their kids from Metal. but its influence has taken a dramatic turn, and is now revered in some circles. one such is the mental health community, as more musicians and fans are sharing their stories of overcoming anxiety, depression, and mental illness. so the music that was once considered evil is actually a force of good in this world by helping people deal with stress and even saving lives. in other words, never judge an album by its cover.

“…cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home”

Posted in Music, Popular Culture with tags , on February 8, 2018 by phanteana

if you’re a celebrity, it’s an honor to have a day named for you. it’s an even bigger deal if you’re a celebrity that’s not only largely unknown to the mainstream, but also deceased. such an individual is Cliff Burton, whose brief-yet-illustrious career has always been overshadowed by his early passing over 30 years ago. even so, volumes have been written about his playing technique, his songwriting ability, and his devotion to his family, notably his father Ray (who is just as beloved as his famous son). Papa Ray has kept his son’s memory alive numerous times in the past, but now the late bassist’s hometown of Castro Valley, CA has declared “Cliff Burton Day” to take place on February 10 (which would be his 56th birthday had he lived). first, the Library of Congress inducts Master Of Puppets. now, this…further proof that even though he is gone, Cliff Burton is very much still with us.

the house that Helen built

Posted in Film, Popular Culture with tags , , on February 1, 2018 by phanteana

everyone loves a good “the following is based on actual events” film (ok, not everyone…but lots of folks do). we’ve seen countless historical dramas & war films, or feel-good inspirational stories of underdogs rising above adversity (ahem, Rudy…which is still a classic). each one has a unique story to share with its audience, whether they are familiar with the events depicted or not. horror is no stranger to taking its cues from real-life, even if some of the moments are embellished for Hollywood’s sake. thanks to these movies, we are now better acquainted with people like the Warrens and places like a certain town in Long Island, NY. the latest in this trope combines both historical drama and spookiness, and hails from San Jose, CA’s most notorious mansion. oh, and did i mention everyone’s favorite dame, Helen Mirren, is portraying the infamous owner of said mansion? let’s see…Helen Mirren + haunted house = ALL IN.


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Bangorian Horror Story

Posted in Library Science stuff with tags , , , on January 18, 2018 by phanteana

talk about a horror story: a burst pipe destroyed tens of thousands of dollars worth of rare Stephen King manuscripts at a specialty bookstore in Bangor, ME (King’s hometown). the owner had moved part of his inventory to the basement temporarily to rearrange the shop (which is a huge no-no when it comes to preservation and conservation) when a pipe had burst outside, resulting in the flooding of several downtown Bangor businesses. roughly 2000 books had been damaged in the incident, though the owner managed to recover some that he thought were lost. water damage is a nuisance for librarians/archivists, and now it’s become the stuff of nightmares for Stephen King fans. Mr. King, if you’re out there reading this…how about writing a novel about all the scary stuff us librarians go through to preserve your work!


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there may be an app for that, but there’s also a librarian

Posted in Library Science stuff with tags , , on January 8, 2018 by phanteana

it may be a new year, but those doomsday prophecies about the disappearance of libraries remain the same. as someone who has worked in the private library sector for over a decade, i’ve heard countless reports about how libraries and librarians are a dying breed, similar to that of brick-and-mortar movie rental hubs (believe it or not, they still exist). it’s assumed that people no longer depend on libraries for leisure and education, because they have such easy access to it on the internet. these days, if there’s a question to be answered the immediate action to take is to refer to Google (while it may be faster, it doesn’t replace the satisfaction of speaking to a live human being).

the latest attempt to debunk the “libraries aren’t relevant anymore” myth comes courtesy of Inside Higher Ed, who noted that a previously published article had exaggerated the demise of the librarian as a profession. libraries and archives are still heavily populated by university students (especially during finals week) & public libraries provide a haven for introverts who just want to read in peace and quiet, refuge for the elderly and less fortunate, and they’ll keep your kids out of trouble by providing them with endless hours of video games (sure, they can do that at home but sometimes a change of scenery is necessary for the sake of both parents and offspring). the only possible reason naysayers would continually view libraries as “past their prime” is due to financial constraints. but even with smaller budget plans, there’s still plenty of books to read (or in my case, media to catalog).

youth gone wild

Posted in Library Science stuff, Music with tags , , , , on January 2, 2018 by phanteana

if you’re a parent, you want to impress your kids with all the cool stuff you were into when you were their age. as a librarian, you want to do the same for your youthful audience. sure, libraries have an abundance of video games & YA novels…but what about music? if your branch’s audio selection is lacking in coolness, perhaps it’s time to crank things up a bit…and if you really want to win the award for Librarian (or Parent) Of The Year, you can even tell the kids that the number 1 pick on the list is in the Library of Congress!