August 2004

Dog Days @ the Library

The dog days of summer took on a whole new meaning at the David and Joyce Milne Public Library (Williamstown MA)Monday as a dalmatian, a husky, a pomeranian and several yellow Labrador retrievers were among the four-footed patrons that stopped by. The dogs and their owners participated in the library’s “Foto Mutt” event, as children’s author Elizabeth Winthrop took pictures of them for a “dog and owner look-alike contest.” North Adams Transcript has the story.

The photos will be submitted to Henry Holt Books for Young Readers for a fall release promotion of Winthrop’s latest children’s book, “Dog Show.”

Wives, Daughters, Granddaughter of the Candidates

Day Two of the Republican Convention, and this Toledo Blade article has more on the extended families of the President and Vice-President.

Showing how the women have changed since the 2000 convention, reporter Ann McFeatters tells us “Laura Bush’s hair is now red; their two daughters, Jenna and Barbara, are no longer off limits to the media but are often photographed partying late into the night in Manhattan or working the campaign trail.

The Cheneys now speak openly about their gay daughter, Mary. Both wives and all four daughters now feel comfortable speaking out about policy”.

Tune in tonight to see Laura speak!

The Loneliness of the Straight Wife

Sandra Vitale’s book “True Desires”is based on her experiences of being married to a gay man, but not knowing about his sexual preference until many years into the marriage. Vitale, who penned the book one year ago as “Sandra B. Drosian” works in a library in Suffolk County NY.

Since her book was written, The Straight Spouse Network has evolved, with branches throughout the country offering support to ‘straight’ spouses. “There were lots of books for gay people but not for straight spouses. I felt alone,” said Vitale.

Members of the Mahwah chapter of the Straight Spouse Network say they would welcome Dina McGreevey (wife of NJ Governor) if she wants to join them. Report from the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Gadgets Get in the Way

Here from the Marin (CA) Independent Journal is a story about how to keep students listening to the teacher when the temptations of technology are beeping, buzzing and beckoning all around.

With cell phones and laptops vying for attention, teachers are fighting back. Teachers who were interviewed for this article are finding that what used to work (i.e., strong teaching), still does, but that there are newer alternatives as well, such as games based on “Jeopardy” and even one based on “Magic: The Gathering.”

Another teacher showed her students film strips from the 1950s…which the students found fascinating, never having before seen that particular type of “technology”.

Laura is the Better Bush

The AP reports today that First Lady and librarian Laura Bush is more popular than the President.

Last week in Albuquerque, NM, before the welcoming cheers had subsided, Bush told supporters he was sorry that his wife was not there.

“Today I’m going to give you some reasons why I think you ought put me back in there, but perhaps the most important one of all is so that Laura will be first lady for four more years,” Bush said to applause.

Laura Bush’s prominence and popularity in Bush’s re-election effort will be on display Tuesday night, when the first lady addresses the Republican convention in prime time, her topic Tuesday night, “the compassion of the American people,” reflects the understated tone.

Note to the AP editors: no specific poll was cited to back up the claim “Two-thirds of voters have a favorable view of Laura Bush and 12 percent have an unfavorable view.”

Firebombed Montreal School Reopens

With new security measures in place, the United Talmud Torah school in Montreal that was attacked by a firebomb last April, has now reopened for the school year.

The library which suffered the brunt of the attack is continuing to be re-built and is expected to be re-opened at the end of October, said school director Sidney Benudiz. Thousands of books, mostly English fiction, were donated after the incident. The library, which also offered books in French and Hebrew, is still in the process of ordering books in those languages.

Sympathy messages and donations of cash and books poured in from across Canada and around the world following news of the firebombing at the school.

Story from the Globe and Mail.

Roof Leak in Arkansas Library Makes a Moldy Mess

Here from the Jacksonville Herald is a report of how the small Nixon Library is dealing with repercussions from a roof leak due to a clogged drain. Workers removed more than 1,000 gallons of water from the drain.

The leak was the latest breakdown of the 30-year-old building. Eariler this year, the air conditioning system, which was installed within the last two years, broke.

“With as old as this building is, things like this are going to continue to happen,� assistant librarian Amy Miller said. “We need a new building.�

Cool Find for Librarian in Michigan

As most librarians probably have wished at one time or another, Librarian Susan Berryman of Blissfield MI made a fantastic discovery in an unused storage room in her tiny library–four volumes on ancient Egypt, a 1887 first edition by Samuel Augustus Binion, “Ancient Egypt or Mizrai”.

The folio has an estimated value of as much as $6,000, according to Katharine Kyes Leab, editor-in-chief of American Book Prices Current, a Connecticut-based organization that tracks the value of old and rare books.

Mrs. Berryman said the library board had considered selling the volumes to pay for items that might be pulled out a bit more frequently than once every five decades. But she said the board has instead decided to keep the volumes and display some of the images on the library walls. Right now it has an image of a mummy there.

Story from the Toledo Blade

Human Chain Moves Last Book to New Library

About 650 people lined up on a two-mile route for a ceremonial move of the last book from the old Tinley Park (IL) Public Library to the new one. The book that made the journey was “The Library,” a children’s story. Retired Tinley Park librarian Mary Lou Seery who had the honor of being the first in the chain commented

If you think about what a library costs in taxes, it’s minimal in comparison to the resources that you get for it. The people who work here are dedicated and work for less money than they could make in the private world. On the whole, I think that libraries are the most important resource we have.

More here from the Daily Southtown.