November 2009

Book Calls Jewish People an ‘Invention’

Story in the NYT

Despite the fragmented and incomplete historical record, experts pretty much agree that some popular beliefs about Jewish history simply don’t hold up: there was no sudden expulsion of all Jews from Jerusalem in A.D. 70, for instance. What’s more, modern Jews owe their ancestry as much to converts from the first millennium and early Middle Ages as to the Jews of antiquity.

Other theories, like the notion that many of today’s Palestinians can legitimately claim to be descended from the ancient Jews, are familiar and serious subjects of study, even if no definitive answer yet exists.

Full story here.

What Will Become of the Book Club When Oprah’s Show Ends?

The “Oprah effect” is national, so it’s no surprise some local fans are sad to see the media mogul’s show come to an end.

The Oprah Winfrey Show’s last episode will air Sept. 9, 2011 to mark its 25th anniversary. Local fans have been featured on the show, like the ladies who work the cafeteria at North Laurel (MD) Elementary School.

“She’s got really good topics,” said Oprah makeover recipient Eisele Couch. “I try to pay attention to what she influences the viewers. She’s just made women stronger in their field.” But women aren’t the only fans. Men in Delmarva (Delaware/Maryland/Virginia area) say Oprah has impacted them in a positive way, too.

“She introduced to me a lot of books,” said Earl Thomas. “They’re inspirational to me.” Ellen Dunn of the Wicomico Public Library has seen high demand for selections from Oprah’s Book Club…she makes sure to have her recommended titles available. Video from WBOC.

From Magazine Editor to Librarian

The Whitman (MA) Public Library has a new adult services librarian and she is thrilled to be in her new position. Jessi Finnie decided to change directions in her career, and after being an editor of a magazine, wanted to continue to work with words. She felt becoming a librarian was what she ultimately wanted to do. Here’s a portion of an interview from The Whitman & Hanson Express:

How did you decide to become a librarian? I was working as an editor for a trade magazine until 2002 and I didn’t see a big future in it. I really liked working with words; I was an English major. I felt becoming a librarian was perfect, because I would get a chance to work with words and books for the rest of my life. That’s when I decided to get my masters in Library Science from the University of Mississippi. I also worked as a medical librarian at Children’s Hospital.

How Much Traffic Can A Link From LISNews Bring?

Allow me to brag just a little (again). I asked over the the LSW Friendfeed Group about LISNews and Iris posted a neat graphic and comment:

“Here’s what happened to my stats when you linked to one of my posts recently:”

LISNews Brings The Rain

I had previously bragged about our “Blogs To Read In…” list, it’s usually one of the most read stories of the year. It produced a similar spike in traffic for a blog, but I’m actually surprised how much of a jump The Pegasus Librarian saw from our link last month.

U.S. Pop-Up Book Entrepreneur Has Died

The man behind the modern pop-up book, Waldo “Wally” Hunt, has died at age 88. Hunt, a Los Angeles advertising executive, sold his company and traveled to New York, where he became disenchanted. He was charmed by a pop-up book imported from Czechoslovakia. “I knew I’d found the magic key,” he told the L.A. Times in 2002. “No one was doing pop-ups in this country.” Hunt’s first pop-up company was so successful that Hallmark purchased it. Then Hunt returned west and started another company — making pop-up books, of course.

Check out this LA Times blog, and particularly the wonderful video of “ABC3D,” a design favorite of 2008–wonderful book (maybe not the best for libraries, but a unique book for sure).

CO woman accused in librarian’s traffic deaths freed in related allegation

There is insufficient evidence to prove a woman was driving in violation of the conditions of her bail, and a Denver District Court judge ordered her released from jail on Monday.

She posted $250,000 bond pending trial on charges that she was driving drunk and caused a crash that killed two librarians on their way from ALA Midwinter to catch a flight at Denver International Airport in January.

Away From the Canon, Teen Books Hit Home

“Bitch.” “Pimp.” “Candy Licker.” “Snitch.” A few of the more lurid titles offered up by Mission High School students when asked what they were reading outside of class. The librarian explained that such books gain popularity through word-of-mouth. While some pegged as street lit or ghetto fiction are read mostly by African-American females, darker subject matters resonate across ethnic and gender lines.