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(AP – Chicago, IL)
While reading comic Unshelved the other day, reference librarian Aaron Schmidt burst into tears. Library patrons may have been confused by his outpour, but his coworkers were undaunted. “As librarians, we’re accustomed to seeing the misery of our own,” responded Circulation clerk Brent Lipinski.
When asked about his reaction to the comic, Schmidt squeaked, “There are a variety of reasons the comic elicited such emotion. I was at first overwhelmed by the fact that there were two people [Barnes and Ambaum, the strip’s creators] that understood my situation. Then I got confused and started crying more, because I was scared that they were spying on me to get material. I then realized that there are librarians across the planet dealing with surly patrons and other malcontents. The frustration of all librarians in the world came out of me.”
Schmidt was given the day off after the incident. He chose to spend it in the library, reading Oscar Wilde and listening to the Smiths on his iPod.
Michael McGrorty writes: "Ten reasons the war is good for public libraries:
1. The war provides an excuse for under-funding. Previously the holes in the roof were the result of governmental neglect; now we can blame the Iraqis.
2. The federal government is at long last taking a role in the operation of public libraries. The Department of Homeland Security has become our link to the administration.
"Apr. 1, 2003 -- For several years now, historical preservationists have been stepping up efforts to transfer millions of hours of precious, perishable sound recordings to a single, stable format. Sound archive experts at the Library of Congress are worried that time is running out.
So for the past two years, technicians have been fighting time and technology to save America's audio heritage. NPR's Rick Karr reports on the effort to transfer the sound from all tapes, CDs, LPs, eight-track tapes and other audio materials onto a single, easy-to-access format that is absolutely stable. Even more importantly, the format needs to be reliably re-created and understood by civilizations 50, 100 or even 1,000 years from now."
Somone pointed to Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology for March 19th, 2003, that features some of our Librarian Pick Up Lines.
Scroll down to "AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): It's one of those blessed times when you'll heighten your attractiveness by thinking more deeply; when pursuing higher education will help you create conditions in which you can better satisfy your desires..."
"Edna took home the coveted "Shushy", the award given to
the librarian that best exemplifies the traditional qualities of
libraritarianism. Edna, 59, has been keeping the peace at her
school's library for the past thirty-six years, without once raising her
voice during that tenure.
...1894, that is.
A scholar at the University of Iowa's Obermann Center for Advanced Studies has digitized an article from the July-December 1894 issue of Scribner's Magazine Illustrated. It's actually a broad set of predictions of what life will be like in the 21st Century, but the author's predictions about books and reading are of most interest to us:
"My friend James Whittemore interrupted me. "And what will become of the libraries, dear friend, and of the books?"
"Libraries will be transformed into phonographotecks, or rather, phonostereoteks; they will contain the works of human genius on properly labelled cylinders, methodically arranged in little cases, rows upon rows, on shelves. The favorite editions will be the autophonographs of artists most in vogue; for example, every one will be asking for Coquelin's 'Molière,' Irving's 'Shakespeare,' Salvini's 'Dante,' Eleonora Duse's 'Dumas fils,' Sara Bern- hardt's ' Hugo,' Mounet Sully's 'Balzac;' while Goethe, Milton, Byron, Dickens, Emerson, Tennyson, Musset, and others will have been 'vibrated upon cylinders by favorite Tellers.' "
Interesting that something like this really does happen with audiobooks. Think of the people who ask for titles read by C.J. Critt and Frank Muller.
The BBC has a Story on a 13-year-old Scottish girl handed in an essay written in text message shorthand. She explained to her flabbergasted teacher that it was easier than standard English.
So they wondered, Could txt take over more of our expression because addicts simply find it easier than normal writing? And could this mean the liberation of our use of language?
The Lord's Prayer, for instance, could be thought of as somewhat stuffy even in its updated version. "dad@hvn, ur spshl. we want wot u want &urth2b like hvn. giv us food & 4giv r sins lyk we 4giv uvaz. don't test us! save us! bcos we kno ur boss, ur tuf & ur cool 4 eva! ok?"
"4scr + 7a ugo r 4fthrs brt 4th on this cn10nt a nu nAshn cnCvd in lbRT + ddc8d 2 th prop tht (evRE1) r crE8d = ", is much easier than, "Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."
A character in the comic strip User Friendly calls the decision by Bear Pond Books of Montpelier, Vermont to purge their records lest they fall under the auspices of the Patriot Act heroic.