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Special to USA Today: Librarian of the year, man of RWA, aspiring cover model … these were just some of the names Sean Gilmartin was called while attending this year's Romance Writers of America conference in San Antonio.
"I (Gilmartin) was very close to adding car thief" to the list but luckily I can leave that out. Apparently, when a driver is holding a sign that clearly states Barbara Samuel, who just happens to be a seven-time RITA winner and RWA Hall of Famer, that vehicle is not for you. Needless to say, I didn't steal her ride from the airport but ironically was only a few hotel rooms down from her. Barbara, if you're reading this, I promise I wasn't stalking you at the conference; we really just kept running into each other. By coincidence. A lot.
That was the start of my RWA and the launch into my hashtag on Twitter: #SeanDoesRWA. I intended for it to be a way for family and friends to easily follow my escapades, but it actually turned into my best communication tool. People all over the conference were saying hello and despite not having met in person, we were chatting daily. I would then run into someone, standing in line for a book signing or whatnot, and we would actually meet. It was a surreal and incredible experience that lessened the fear deep inside of me that fueled my preconceived notion that as a librarian I would not fit in. It didn't matter that RWA has a special award for librarians — no, I was certain that I would feel isolated in the midst of 2,000 romance authors. I could not have been more wrong, and people could not have been more friendly, kind, and gracious to me every single day of RWA.
It is very common for librarians to serve as liaisons to academic departments. They teach classes, purchase materials, answer reference questions, assist with research endeavors, and generally get involved with the odds-and-ends of those units. Some librarians also liaise with defined user communities such as first-year students, international students, or students associated with particular residence halls.
This classic approach enables librarians to connect their expertise with different user segments that likely share similar needs, interests, or perspectives. In short, these librarians serve as the human interface of the library.
Chances are the Doctor won’t be showing up at your local library anytime soon—unless, of course, you have an infestation of Vashta Nerada (in which case, don’t forget to count the shadows!). But whether in fantasy or science fiction, there are any number of amazing fictional libraries we’d love to visit, especially to meet up with the guardians of the stacks. So we turned to Twitter to find out where your SFF librarian loyalties lie. Here are your favorites, as well as a few of our own!
Top fictional librarians are from Buffy, Discworld, Star Wars-The Clone Wars, Sandman and others. Check 'em out!
From The New York Times:
The two-day event, called the MTA Zine Residency, had been organized by a librarian and an archivist at the Barnard College library, which they said has the largest circulating collection of zines in an academic library. After producing zines on the F train, the group was planning to reconvene Monday on the Staten Island Ferry to put the finishing touches on their creations. The organizers of the residency said they hoped that the participants would sell or donate copies of their completed zines to the Barnard collection.
Jenna Freedman, the zine librarian at Barnard, said that the relative quiet and lack of phone and Internet connections made the subway a natural place to compose zines.
“There really is a pleasure to writing while you’re in motion,” she said. “I’ve always felt that time is most my own.”
Here's the story from the Lehigh Valley Times.
NHS Human Services' Bushkill Township office provides regular mental health sensitivity training at Recovery Partnership but last week was the first time the group ever worked with librarians, said Andrew Grossman, a program director. Most of the people who receive the group's training work directly in the mental health field, he said. Grossman said he thought it was a good idea for librarians to receive the training, as many local mental health group homes send their residents to libraries on a regular basis for socialization.
"I think it's great they'll get a better understanding of the folks who are coming into their facility," he said. "I think a lot of times they don't fully understand the people in the library." The training Grossman provided the librarians is the same NHS provides for mental health workers. Grossman talked about the stigma of mental health and explained many different diagnoses.
Did you receive any training regarding this issue as a LIS student?
If you like your summer reading to take you beyond the beaten path, librarian Nancy Pearl is here to help. NPR's go-to books guru joins us once again to share "under the radar" reads — books she thinks deserve more attention than they've been getting. Pearl talks with NPR's Steve Inskeep about some of the titles she picked out for the summer reading season — several of which will make you reconsider the way you think about maps.
Listen on NPR.
Ricardo Thornton to Join President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
Yesterday, President Obama announced his intent to appoint DC Public Library employee Ricardo Thornton Sr. to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities, PCPID.
Thornton has worked at the DC Public Library since 1978. He is a Member of Project ACTION!, a coalition of adults with disabilities. He is also a Member of the D.C. Developmental Disabilities Council, an actor with the theatre group Players Unlimited, and an international ambassador with the Special Olympics. Thornton and his wife Donna were the subjects of Profoundly Normal, a made-for-TV movie. In 1997, The Washingtonian magazine named Thornton a “Washingtonian of the Year.”
The PCPID is comprised of 34 members, including 19 citizen members and thirteen ex officio (Federal Government) members. Citizen members of the PCPID are appointed to serve for a maximum of two years.
To learn more about Ricardo, click here.
From USA Today, an interview with Romance Writers of America's Librarian of 2014, Sean Gilmartin.
Interviewer: From your bio on RWA's website: Growing up, (Sean) would read his mother's romance novels, partially for the juicy parts, and knew that one day he would write a romance himself.
Why romance novels? What about them appeals to you personally?
Sean: Love is a complicated and strange thing. I have always been drawn to the bond that love creates between people, whether that is romantic or not. I am fascinated by love that blossoms unexpectedly. To have a rough and tough character who vows to never open his or her heart, only to have it stolen by the last person they expected … ah, it gets me every time!
As a teen librarian I keep up-to-date with YA novels and many of them have some form of romance in them. If you think about popular songs or movies, there is usually some aspect of a loving relationship between two characters. It's almost inescapable. When I read romance I get hopeful and happy because two people are finding a love that completes them. I find it so satisfying when I finish a novel and everybody lives happily ever after.
From Marketplace.org: I was at a dinner table about a year ago, right after the first Edward Snowden leaks, when I heard for the first time an argument I've heard many times since.
"Why should I care? I'm not doing anything wrong." This appears to be the opinion of the majority when it comes to the idea of the government using surveillance to fight terrorism. By Pew Research's estimates, 56 percent of Americans support the government listening in while it fights the "bad guys." And it has been this way for something like 12 years -- right after the September 11th attacks and the beginning of the war on terror.
All of this thinking about surveillance, government, and legislation has also reminded me of a chapter in my own history that I haven't thought of in a while. During my junior year of college in 2003, I worked in the D.C. office of a moderate Republican Congressman. My main job was to answer constituent correspondence with letters that represented the Congressman's policy positions, which he would then sign. One day near the end of my spring semester, I had an assignment I couldn't complete: I was supposed to answer a constituent letter about a proposed expansion of the Patriot Act. The letter had been sent, and signed, by librarians throughout the Congressman's home state who were opposed to the Patriot Act's allowance of officials to access library records. They were asking the Congressman to oppose any extension or expansion of the legislation, and really to roll it back entirely. As I was preparing to tell the librarians that the congressman fully supported the legislation, I made a discovery. One of the librarian signatures on the constituent letter was familiar to me. It belonged to my mother.
Laurence Copel, youth outreach librarian and founder of the Lower Ninth Ward Street Library in New Orleans, is the inaugural recipient of the Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity. On June 29, Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) will present her with a $3,000 check, $1,000 travel expenses, a certificate and "an odd object from Handler's private collection" during the American Library Association's Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas.
"Copel is recognized for her extraordinary efforts to provide books to young readers of the Ninth Ward," said ALA president Barbara Stripling, adding that she "is a brilliant example of how librarians can serve as change agents. Her leadership and commitment show the vital role that librarians and libraries play in energizing and engaging the communities that they serve."
Known to the children in the Lower Ninth Ward as the Book Lady, Copel moved to New Orleans from New York City in 2010 and opened a library in her home through self-funding and small donations while living on $350 a week. She also converted her bicycle to a mobile book carrier allowing her to reach children and families that could not travel to her home. Story via Shelf-Awareness.com.