People N Patrons

Maine librarian receives Sierra Club's John Muir Award

Mock Turtle writes "For 24 years, armed with documents and a vast network of contacts within government agencies and the scientific community, Vivian Newman has quietly worked behind the scenes on behalf of the nation's coasts, waters, and wetlands. Shying away from overt acts of protest, Newman prefers what she calls the "more wonky" aspects of environmentalism. "Once a reference librarian, always a reference librarian," she says. This weekend, the Sierra Club recognized her distinguished record of achievement with the organization's highest honor, the John Muir Award. The Press Herald profiles Newman and her work."

Johnny Cash, the reader

An Anonymous Patron writes ""You know that book?" he says, his face lighting up.

"I love that book," I say. "And you know that book!" Why am I surprised that Johnny Cash has read Steinbeck?

"Know that book?" he says. "I was that book." He smiles at me. It's kind of like being smiled at by Monument Valley, or the Hoover Dam. He pronounces it "Grapesawrath", like Rose of Sharon is pronounced Rosasharn.

"You like that song?" he says, and he pulls over his guitar.
More at

A prisoner's fight to read ends with library

A Neat Story From India on Sudhir Sharma, who fought for and won his right to read inside prison, the 39-year-old is out and running a library in Jokehra, a remote village of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh.
Since he took over the Jokehra library job three months ago_for a pay of Rs 1,000 plus free accommodation it has seen a three-fold jump in visitors. From eight to 10 people every day, the Sri Ramananda Saraswati Pustakalaya now gets 30-40 daily.

Nashville volunteer transforms nonprofit agency library

Mock Turtle writes "The Tennessean has a nice write-up recognizing the efforts of volunteer Elaine Hackerman, who has logged over 800 hours bringing order to chaos in the public-access libraries of Nashville CARES (an AIDS service agency) and the local Rape & Sexual Abuse Center."

Obituary: Mary, Viscountess Eccles, Collector of Samuel Johnson and Oscar Wilde

Charles Davis writes ""Bounty always receives part of its value from the manner in which it is bestowed": so
wrote Samuel Johnson to the Earl of Bute, grateful for the pension awarded him. It was
a gift that came naturally to Mary Hyde, as she was known for half her life, much of
which was devoted to preserving the memorials of Johnson's life. The collection at Four
Oaks Farm, in New Jersey, encompassed the letters and books that he wrote, portraits
of him, even his teapot, as well as an almost equally comprehensive James Boswell
collection, and as much again of matter relating to the family and friends of both men.
Full obituary at

Sex offender banned from Oregon library

In case they didn't have enough to worry about, librarians at The Salem OR public library twice caught "notorious" sex offender Larry Lee Edwards looking at Internet pornography.
Librarians first caught Edwards using public computers to look up pornography sites Thursday and ordered him out of the building. Such activity is prohibited under library rules.

Edwards returned the next day and again began viewing Internet pornography. The librarians saw him and called police.

He was not charged with a crime, Salem Detective Craig Stoelk said. Edwards has no probation to violate; he served all of his time for his sex offenses and no longer is under any sort of post-prison supervision.

However, the infraction did result in a ban from the library, city parks and city parking structures.

Follow That Story in Denver

Bob Cox spotted a Denver Westword Story on the Friends of Denver Public Library.
Members of the Denver Library Commission got an earful from Denver Public Library volunteers last week, when twenty of them showed up at a commission meeting to express their anger over the way they have been treated by library management.

One former volunteer of the year, Rose Keating, was in tears as she described the hostile environment many of the volunteer docents face. "It's hard to walk in when you're growled at and not appreciated," Keating told the commissioners. "Treat us like human beings; you're not giving us any money. This is too good an establishment to let it go to hell."

Library official admits stealing painting

An Odd Little Story out of Syracuse, NY, on Thomas Dydyk.
He has reached an agreement with prosecutors that allowed him to plead guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge of petit larceny after selling a century-old painting by John Dodgson Barrow for $200 at a garage sale. He had stolen the valuable painting from a library storage room. Dydyk sold the painting to the owner of a Skaneateles antiques shop, who recognized it as a valuable Barrow work.

My granny was a book thief

Charles Davis writes "Full article from the London Review of Books reprinted in
The Guardian

They were hidden in cupboards, drawers and
crannies - 300 books stolen from the public library.
But why did she take them? And could she really read
tea leaves?"

Sir Wilfred Thesiger leaves vast photographic record to Oxford

Charles Davis writes:"from
The Telegraph:

Sir Wilfred Thesiger, who died on Sunday aged 93,
was the quintessential English explorer, and the last and greatest of that small band of travellers who sought out the secrets of the desert in the years before Arabia was transformed forever by the oil beneath her sands.
Paradoxically, one modern invention gave Thesiger
an edge over predecessors such as Richard Burton
and Wilfrid Scawen Blunt - the camera. Thesiger
taught himself to become an excellent photographer
and perhaps his most enduring legacy will prove to
be his vast photographic record (willed to the
Pitt-Rivers Museum in Oxford) of ancient races and
ways of life since extinguished within a generation"
[I heard Paul Theroux eulogizing Thesiger on All Things Considered yesterday. -Karl]


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