November 2004

Beatles Records on Display

Liverpuddlians are invited to the library to see records of the Fab Four; i.e., that is baptismal and school records of John, Paul, George and Ringo, the Beatles.

The fascinating documents form part of the millions of archives held by the city council’s Record Office. These include parish registers of baptisms, marriages and burials, street and trade directories, voters’ registers, school records and copies of census returns (Liverpool News).

A selection is being displayed as part of a Family History Day being held from 10am-4pm this Saturday (4th December 2004).

Another weekend activity is a bran tub for youngsters. Thanks to Scott Brandt of Purdue for helping to clarify that term; I would hate to think that British kids were off diving into a tub of bran for fun…

Plath’s Daughter Pleads: Let Her Rest in Peace

An Anonymous Patron writes “Sylvia Plath’s daughter hopes people will lose interest in analyzing her mother’s life and denigrating her father.

Ms. Hughes is also unhappy with how Hollywood has portrayed her mother, according to Yahoo News :

Hughes refuses to see the biopic “Sylvia” in which Gwyneth Paltrow played her mother. And her disdain for the film was rammed home in her own caustic poem “My Mother” in which she wrote:

“The peanut eaters, entertained at my mother’s death,

Will go home, each carrying their memory of her.

Lifeless — a souvenir. Maybe they’ll buy the video.”

Oregon’s ‘attic’ is a treasure-trove of history

From the News –

‘If you were to compress it into a more-or-less manageable form, you might get a 100,000-square-foot, nondescript, pale blue warehouse in an industrial district of Gresham, which nonetheless holds the heart and soul of the Oregon Historical Society.

The mantra of the Portland-based society is that its collection of artifacts includes more than 85,000 items. The truth is no one really knows for sure.

…The collection, some of which filters into exhibits such as the current “Oregon My Oregon” at the downtown museum, includes ancient objects from the earliest settlements and objects that illustrate exploration in the Oregon Country, the growth of business and industry, the development of artwork, crafts and maritime history, among many topics.

The society doesn’t go to eBay, estate sales or auctions for any of this. Most items come from people who sense they have value.

…But the general public will find the warehouse off-limits. There are precious few people to look after the valuables, let alone shepherd visitors through the stacks of stuff.’

The OHS does have a standard museum in Portland, open to the public.

Libraries could use some noise and crumbs

From San Luis Obispo (CA) Tribune

‘Am I actually suggesting that grand old libraries, guardians of silence and of free public access, should follow in the footsteps of greedy corporations? That we should sacrifice shelf space for espresso machines? That the “No Food or Drink!” signs, beaten with age, should be stripped from the doors?

In a word: Yes.

In fact, the concept is already being used by a handful of public libraries around the country to attract patrons and make extra cash.’

The article contends that a ‘handful’ (?) of libraries across the country have taken the Starbucks/Barnes & Noble route and that ‘The rise of branded third places like the coffee shop and the literary superstores has directly coincided with the fall of libraries.’ No data is cited.

Thousands of books pile up in Michigan collector’s home

Thousands of books pile up in Michigan collector’s home: It has taken Free Soil woman between 25 and 30 years to collect 20,000 volumes.

Buss estimates that she has about 1,000 books she hasn’t read yet, in part because she had some vision problems while she was in the middle of acquiring some books and had to store them. “I plan on retiring next year, so I’ll have plenty of time to read,” she said. “I’ll bring all the boxes down and get them done in two weeks.”

Dieters Calling Libraries Requesting Non-Existent Books

Mary Ellen writes

LIBRARIANS in the United Kingdom were troubled recently by requests from customers for diet books that don’t exist.

Dieters in the area were asking for books such as ‘Now You Can Eat All The Pies and Lose Your Bum while Sitting On It’.

The mystery deepened as more and more customers requested equally strange titles.

Librarians could not understand why so many customers were asking for books that have never been published.

But a sharp-eyed staff member found a clue when she spotted an advert in a woman’s magazine.”

Privacy Advocates to Fight Electronic Tags at SF Library

Anonymous Patron writes – Privacy Advocates Promise to Fight Electronic Tags in Library Books A plan to put radio frequency identification (RFID) tags into San Francisco public library books has drawn sharp criticism on grounds ranging from privacy for library patrons to the health and safety of library workers.

A provision in the San Francisco city budget approved last June allocated $300,000 to begin a pilot RFID program at the San Francisco public library. However the plan has been placed on hold according to San Francisco supervisor Jake McGoldrick, who expects the Board of Supervisors to revisit the RFID issue in January.”

New library has empty shelves

Anonymous Patron writes Sad News From Bellignham, MA When the town prepared to open its renovated middle school, the School Building Committee found only four boxes of books to stock its new library.

“We had no library books at all. We had some fiction to start (with), but not that much,” Elaine D’Alfonso, principal of Bellingham Memorial Middle School, said this week.

As the fiscal 2006 budget season begins, D’Alfonso and other school officials hope additional cash and a full-time library/media director will improve the library.”