Archive for libraries

a rush and a push and the land is ours (to drive a bookmobile)

Posted in Library Science stuff, Popular Culture with tags , , , on October 25, 2017 by phanteana

the bookmobile is both loved and ridiculed. it brings the joys of reading to people who may not otherwise have access to a library, but it also is prone to parodies. regardless of opinion, it is an invention that has helped libraries gain wider appeal.

while bookmobiles are more commonly associated with suburban and rural areas where libraries are either few and far between, major urban areas are also embracing them. one such city is Los Angeles and if you’re familiar with the layout of L.A., then you know commuting relies heavily on driving…sure, you can get around on the bus or rail (or by bike) but the trips will take far longer (and the L.A. highways are notorious for their congestion, frequently dubbed “Carmageddon“). so why spend 45 minutes driving to a bookstore, when the books can come to you? that’s the idea behind Twenty Stories, an independent bookmobile operating out of a 1987 Chevy van. the founders are a millennial couple from New York who relocated to L.A. last year in search of a literary community. while both cities have a rich amount of writers and bookstores, New York is the polar opposite of Los Angeles when it comes to getting around: despite a round-the-clock public transit system (good), it’s unfortunately prone to overcrowding and intense delays (bad)…so while getting around without a car may be easier, it isn’t always faster. so perhaps Twenty Stories might consider expanding its services in the future, especially since the creators once dwelt in The City That Never Has A Train Running On Time.

 

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time to ban some books (again)

Posted in Library Science stuff with tags , , , , , on September 27, 2017 by phanteana

are you still recovering from Banned Books Week 2016? well, get ready for yet another crop of frequently challenged books. and if there’s any literary pieces you think should be included in the list, please post them in the comments!

 

Banned Books Week: Our right to read, September 24-30, 2017

the greatest goths in literary history

Posted in Library Science stuff, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , on August 31, 2017 by phanteana

even with Labor Day and the end of summer vacation approaching, the season doesn’t officially end until late September. so while the layers don’t have to be pulled out of storage just yet (especially if you’re in L.A. where September is chock full of heatwaves), the summer reading lists are wrapping up just in time for the school year (or the beginning of the fiscal year for some working folks). reading trends have changed over time, but one genre that has maintained consistency on teachers’ syllabuses is that of Gothic Literature (or, Goth Lit for short). you don’t necessarily have to be Goth to enjoy classics such as Frankenstein or Wuthering Heights, as these publications are universally acclaimed by a variety of readers.

where Goth Lit is concerned, most people often think of Mary Shelley or Edgar Allan Poe. yet there are plenty of other Great Goths in literary history, many of whom you wouldn’t expect to be even remotely linked to the term (save for Nick Cave, who is the only actual Goth on the list)…until you delve a little deeper into their works. you don’t have to wait until Halloween to read these authors, as their works can be accessed year-round. but if you feel the need to get into the spirit (even though it’s still shorts weather), grab a book and put on a classic Goth album of your choosing to enhance the experience.

 

Image result for goth lit meme

 

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.

 

Image result for library overdue

keep it as long as you like, Bart