Archive for libraries

magical manuscripts & spellbinding sources

Posted in Library Science stuff with tags , , , , , , on July 14, 2017 by phanteana

transcribing manuscripts is only one facet of an archival role. depending on the subject matter of what needs to be translated, the work involved can either make you look forward to setting your alarm early, or cause you to count down the minutes until lunch. in other words, work isn’t always meant to be fun (it is called work, after all)…but it can be, if you invoke the right frame of mind. the Newberry Library in Chicago has opened up a portion of its roughly 80,000 documents pertaining to religion for the public to transcribe, including a number of manuscripts dealing with the occult, bizarre healing remedies, witchcraft, and spell casting. the Newberry would love any assistance with this otherworldly project, so while you might want to brush up on how to call the corners, you don’t need a Ph.D to translate the materials. just be careful not to summon any demons; they’re known for not returning books on time.

 

 

NBD…it’s National Bookmobile Day!

Posted in Library Science stuff with tags , , , , , , on April 12, 2017 by phanteana

spring has sprung, and with it comes one of the best times of the year. no, not Tax Day (unless, of course you actually enjoy filing those)…National Library Week! today in particular, however is a special day: National Bookmobile Day. on this day, we celebrate libraries-on-wheels and the library professionals who provide these on-the-go services to their communities. these are especially crucial to areas where libraries are sparse or non-existent. so if you love your Bookmobile, let it be known!

 

a lending library of coziness

Posted in Library Science stuff with tags , , , , , , on March 29, 2017 by phanteana

ever go to the library in the summertime to escape the heat and cool off with a good book, only to be frozen by the air-conditioning? or maybe you’ve ducked in during the winter, but are still shivering from the outside elements. some libraries offer coffee (just don’t drink it near the computers) to perk up their chilly patrons, while others provide free lunches to kids during summer vacation. then there’s the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC, whose staff have taken to lending hand-knitted shawls to researchers spending hours in the library’s reading room. since temperatures have to be kept at a certain level in the reading room to protect the rare books, patrons are prone to feel a bit cold. but the shawls, designed by the room’s Head of Circulation, will help keep them nice and cozy.

the end of overdue fines?

Posted in Library Science stuff with tags , , , , on February 24, 2017 by phanteana

come on, admit it…at some point in your life, you’ve forgotten to return a library item (or several) and were issued a late fee. when i was in elementary school, i borrowed a book from the school library and totally forgot to bring it back. after awhile, they said i could keep it and thankfully didn’t charge me. the book in question was this classic piece of childhood nostalgia, which has made appearances on eBay or Amazon from time to time (as other overdue library books have been known to do). i was lucky, but others weren’t and their library privileges were revoked until they redeemed themselves.

the idea of overdue fees began in the US during the early 20th Century, and seems to have stuck among public libraries. the drama of failure to return books still unfolds today, but librarians are beginning to have a change of heart. several states have already done away with overdue fines, because they were counterintuitive to their library’s mission and purpose. not everyone has the money to fork over if they or their kids misplace or lose a book. as a result, circulation within the children’s and young adult sections rose and staff members no longer engage in awkward conflicts with patrons who forget to bring everything back. the executive director of a library district in Colorado even went so far as to announce to patrons: “we trust you.” this is the message all libraries should send to their users.

 

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keep it as long as you like, Bart

 

 

 

is this the book that i’ve been searchin’ for?

Posted in Library Science stuff, Popular Culture with tags , , , , on December 23, 2016 by phanteana

how does a library boost morale for its staff and foot traffic among its patrons? by interjecting a little humor into its social media presence. such is the case of the Orkney Library, located in the Orkney Islands of Scotland (citizens of Orkney can take a ferry to Aberdeen if they want to go to the mainland, or vice versa), who decided to have a little fun with its Twitter account. not only does it attract a wider audience through the internet (including library-loving tourists), but it also encourages people to come to the library dressed up like their favorite member of Whitesnake! in short, everybody wins.

 

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READ

 

diagnosis: Bibliomania

Posted in Library Science stuff with tags , , , , on December 8, 2016 by phanteana

a bibliophile is someone who collects books. you don’t have to be a librarian to have a huge collection, you just need to love reading. but what happens when your fondness for books gets out of hand, and is effecting more than just the space in your home?

such is the case of Dr. Alois Pichler, who took a position at the Imperial Public Library in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1869. he was constantly surrounded by books, as is common when working in an archive. but Pichler’s colleagues noticed strange behavior among their co-worker, as well as a large number of materials that had gone missing since he joined the staff. two years later, it was noted that Pichler had pilfered over 4500 books- the largest library crime on record! he was eventually let go, and put on trial for his crimes of (reading) passion. Pichler’s lawyer claimed his client suffered from Bibliomania, described as “a mental condition where an individual displays an overzealous passion for book collecting.” although it was never actually classified as a medical condition, Bibliomania, which swept through Europe during the 19th Century, sent folks into a panic. Alois Pichler was eventually found guilty and exiled to Siberia for his book coveting.

today, Bibliomania might be akin to hoarding behavior. but owning a ton of books doesn’t necessarily translate into hoarding. if there is ample space to walk through the living room (or wherever you keep your library), then that’s a positive sign.

 

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protecting your library, Medieval-style

Posted in Library Science stuff with tags , , , , on November 11, 2016 by phanteana

librarians and archivists go through great lengths to ensure the assets of their organization are protected from damage and theft, not to mention returned on time. they carefully explain the rules of borrowing materials to patrons and internal employees, allowing them to understand that these records are for a specific purpose only. pretty simple, right? well, if you lived during Medieval Times, there were far worse reprimands than forking over late fees. if you stole or defaced a book, you could be hit with a demon sword, excommunicated from the church, or even killed. ouch! those Medieval scribes spent years creating books and manuscripts and took their craft very seriously, so keep that in mind next time you visit the library and that copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child catches your eye.

 

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