Friday Time Killers

Benjamin Franklin, a Sage Man

Benjamin Franklin’s Philadelphia printing shop made plaster molds from pressed sage leaves to create metal stamps for marking foliage patterns on Colonial currency. The distinctive contours of leaf spines, stems and veins were meant to thwart counterfeiters, and Franklin’s workers managed to keep the casting technique a secret that has puzzled modern scholars, too.

James N. Green, the librarian at the Library Company of Philadelphia (founded by Franklin in 1731), had wondered for the last two decades if any of Franklin’s actual metal leaf-printing blocks for the bills survived. He had concluded that if one of these castings ever did emerge, it would be “a really sensational discovery,” he said in an interview last month. And since that time...

...such a discovery has been made in a vault at the Delaware County Institute of Science in Media, PA.

Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian's Design Museum Reopens

From The New York Times:

On Friday, Dec. 12, 1902, Andrew Carnegie moved into his just-finished home at 91st Street and Fifth Avenue, with his wife, Louise, and his 5-year-old daughter, Margaret, to whom he handed the key. Carnegie lived there until his death in 1919; Louise until hers in 1946. Margaret was married there but moved next door. When she died in 1990, her childhood home had long since become headquarters for the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

Lovely slideshow on the renovation by Gluckman Mayner Architects which include a new, wide-open gallery space, a cafe and a raft of be-your-own-designer digital enhancements.

Harsh Children's Book Reviews

From Quartz.

"One hundred years before post-millennial parents were deeming Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs inappropriate for young vegans, the children’s librarians of the New York Public Library kept a card catalog of hand-typed kids’ book reviews.

“There’s about a billion card catalogs in the library,” says Lynn Lobash, who oversees reader services at the NYPL. “But these are special in that they were used as a tool for collection development, for the staff to evaluate the children’s collection.”

Fave comment written in 1975 on an index card is "Just what we've been waiting for. A DIRTY TEENAGE NOVEL" about Judy Blume's Forever.

How Much Will Elvis Presley's Library Card Bring This Time?

From the New York Times Arts Beat:

Elvis Presley’s earliest known signature – on a library card he signed as a 13-year-old student in Tupelo, Miss. – is one of the main draws in an auction of Elvis memorabilia to be held at Graceland, the singer’s palatial headquarters, in Memphis on Aug. 14.

In 2012, the card was sold for $7500 – a bargain, you would think .

Sci-Fi & Fantasy's Best Librarians

Via Tor.com:

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!

Video Parody: "So Read It Maybe" New York State Reading Association

Are you Happy? These Port Washington NY Librarians Are!

A Few Cities Favorite Jokes

If you can believe the New York Times:

Portland, OR “A man is in the library and goes up to the desk. He asks for a burger and fries. The librarian says, ‘Sir this is a library.’ The man replies, ‘Oh, I’m sorry,’ and leans over and whispers, ‘Can I get a burger and fries?’

The NYC joke is based on an outdated characterization of New Yorkers:

New York, NY “I was at the library today. The guy at the desk was very rude. I said, ‘I’d like a card.’ He said, ‘You have to prove you’re a citizen of New York.’ So I stabbed him.”

Have a great weekend!

Yum? It's Edible Books Day

Books 2 Eat reminds us that the International Edible Book Festival is held annually "around April 1st". To our knowledge, the following countries have held this festival: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxemburg, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, United States of America, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Sweden.

April 1st is the birthday of French gastronome Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826), famous for his book Physiologie du goût, a witty meditation on food. April fools' day is also the perfect day to eat your words and play with them as the "books" are consumed on the day of the event. This ephemeral global banquet, in which anyone can participate, is shared by all on the internet and allows everyone to preserve and discover unique bookish nourishments.

Also, the website needs a webmaster. Anyone game? (or beefy or fishy) enough to sign up?

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