How Living in a Library Gave One Man the Thirst of Learning

Via NPR’s Story Corps a reminiscence of a youth spent in the library when his father was employed there as a custodian. The boy’s name was Ronald Clark, and he became the first in his family to attend college, and later became a college professor.

The Desk Setup: A Look At Librarian Computers

The Desk Setup

Like many technologists, I may have had some vague notion that librarians had something to contribute to discussions about information and metadata and standards and access, but my concept of what librarians did and what they knew probably had more to do with stereotypes and anecdote than on an understanding of reality. Which is a shame. Although in the last few years I think we’ve done a really good job of making clearer connections between libraries and technology, I don’t think anyone is surprised when librarians are omitted from discussions about and between prominent technologists, such as the one facilitated by the Setup. (Note: by “librarians” I mean anyone who works in, with, or for libraries. Hat tip to Eli Neiburger for saying what I’d been thinking, only less clearly, for some time before he said those words out loud.)

The Story Lady Turns 100

Marguerite Goss spent half a lifetime at the Tutt Branch library, helping patrons find good books and reading stories to children.

Goss, who will turn 100 years old Thursday, returned to the St. Joseph County Public Library's Tutt Branch on Monday to be honored and to hang a newly framed photograph of Virginia M. Tutt.

Goss worked as a librarian in the South Bend system for 47 1/2 years. She came to be known as "The Story Lady," eventually leading some story-time sessions on the radio. Over the years, she also wrote news releases for the library and sometimes appeared on TV to promote library events.

Goss started in the South Bend library system in 1928, working a year as an unpaid apprentice. She retired in 1976 from the Tutt Branch, where she spent her entire career and was acting head librarian for more than a decade. [ed- they couldn't take away the 'acting' part?]

The Non-Sedentary Librarian

Nice profile of University of San Francisco librarian Vicki Rosen, who wears her workout gear under her work clothes, just like Superman. Three times a week, Rosen, 60, goes directly to Fitness for Women Over 45.

Her mantra? "Showing up is half the battle." More from the SF Gate.

RIP: Lillian Moore Bradshaw, Librarian and Trailblazer

The news came in late last night that former Dallas Public Library director Lillian Moore Bradshaw had died at 95. Jerome Weeks, in his blog Art & Seek memorializes the woman who more or less made the downtown library what it is, not just the building but its remarkable collections in first editions and art books, and who also significantly expanded the city’s library system.

And from The Dallas Morning News: According to City Manager Mary Suhm, herself a former librarian, Bradshaw, 95, was the first woman in the United States to direct a major library system. She directed the system from 1962 to 1984. "She was an amazing woman and set an example for all of us in government," Suhm said this morning. Bradshaw was key to the raising of $40 million for the construction of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library.

And Who Will Be the Next Lexington KY Library Director?

Following up on yesterday's story about a public forum on the candidates for Director of the Lexington Library, here's an opportunity to view the three candidates in actionon youTube. Who made the best impression (as if it's up to you...)?

A Life of Dedication to the Library

After sixty-two years of service, and now as head of the Newark NJ Public Library’s Special Collections Division, Bill Dane has amassed one of the finest public collections of prints in the country, including works by Rembrandt, Matisse, Picasso, Miró, and Warhol. But today, he is curating his own departure.

The 86-year-old Dane is retiring, and his final act as Keeper of the Prints — a title he appropriated himself and snuck past a civil service clerk by insisting he had passed the (nonexistent) exam — is to give the biennial John Cotton Dana lecture at the library tonight.

"It’s a good time for the institution and for me, because things in this particular division are very positive," Dane said. "It seems to be just a fine time to pursue other things, like perhaps going to back to school and traveling a bit more. Cleaning house."

Dane wanted to slip out the door after a cup of coffee with his colleagues but, said Patricia Bender, president of the Friends of the Library, "We wanted one more opportunity to celebrate the phenomenon that is Bill Dane." reports.

Baltimore Area Children's Librarian, Robert Hallett, Will Be Missed

Robert Hallett, a longtime Baltimore County school librarian who invented a spandex-clad superhero named Red Reader to motivate children to read, died Monday of a rare form of leukemia. The Reisterstown resident was 60.

Mr. Hallett, who was called Bob when not assuming one of his alter egos, spent much of his more than 30-year career as a library-media specialist at Riderwood Elementary in Towson, where staff, parents and students described him as central to the school's spirit and culture.
Baltimore Sun reports.

Meet Beth Hollis, aka MegaBeth

By day, she's Beth Hollis, a 53-year-old reference librarian in Akron, Ohio. By night, she's MegaBeth, an ageless dynamo on the roller derby rink.

Before discovering roller derby, Hollis had been casting about for a hobby. "I tried knitting and literally got kicked out of the knitting class for just not being able to get the hang of it," she chortled. "I guess it was just too soon for me to try knitting. I needed something that maybe was a little bit more physical for a hobby."

Video and story From CNN.

Where I Write

I don't know about the rest of you, but I wonder about what a given writer's studio looks like. Do they have a studio? An office? Do they just bang away at a laptop sitting on the dining room table? The way an author lays out their workspace is really intriguing to me.

Where I Write is a project by Kyle Cassidy. It's a collection of photographs and interviews with authors about where they do their job. It's a fantastic and intimate look into the places that our favourite books first happen. He's planning a compilation book of his own, including the workspaces of Neil Gaiman and Lois McMaster Bujold.

A Retired Teacher Shares Her Life-Long Love of Libraries

From Public Broadcasting wbfo, Mildred Blaisdell remembers spending afternoons in the late 50's and 60's at the B.F. Jones Memorial Library, particularly in the summertime.

There wasn't much air conditioning in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania in the late 50's and early 60's. But the library was a haven of coolness on hot, humid afternoons.

The B.F. Jones Memorial Library was a classy robber baron equivalent of "My parents went to the beach and all I got was this tee shirt." While my grandfathers were working in the Jones and Laughlin Steel MIll for low wages, the Jones and the Laughlins built lovely granite public libraries for the use of the families of their underpaid workers. The library was the most beautiful edifice in town.

Kay Ryan, Poet Laureate

For the past year, Kay Ryan has been serving as America's 16th poet laureate, tapped by the librarian of Congress to be ambassador for American poetry. Profile, with poems written and spoken, from Voice of America.

The august marble-and-gilt halls of the Library of Congress, where Ryan has her official headquarters, seem an unlikely place for someone raised in what she calls the "glamour-free, ocean-free, hot, stinky, oil-rich, potato-rich" San Joaquin Valley of California. But then, growing up, Ryan didn't want to be poet.

"It [to declare oneself a poet] seemed like putting on airs," she says. "It seemed self-absorbed. It seemed like something that my oil well driller father wouldn't understand at all and that my mother would disapprove of, because it was just showing off."

Ryan nearly turned down the offer to become U.S. poet laureate. She says she wanted to protect her privacy and keep writing without being distracted by the job's many public duties.

"I think poetry is indestructible, and I don't worry about it, and I don't think it needs the protection of me or the advocacy of me or anyone."
Ryan likens poetry to gold coins: "You can lose it in the couch, or in the ground, or anywhere and when it's dug up its going to be valuable, so that real poetry utterly protects itself, [and] takes care of itself."

Retired LOC Spokeswoman Helen Dalrymple Dead at 68

The Washington Post reports on the recent death of Helen W. Dalrymple, a Library of Congress researcher and spokeswoman. She was the co-author of several books about the library and was a leading authority on its holdings, history and mission She died Feb. 13 in Arlington VA of brain cancer.

"She was quite simply one of the nicest and noblest public servants I have had the privilege of working with," Librarian of Congress James Billington said. "I learned about the Library of Congress from her books before I was librarian." Throughout the 1970s, Mrs. Dalrymple worked closely with Charles A. Goodrum, who was assistant director of the Congressional Research Service and later became director of planning and development for the library as a whole. When Goodrum was asked by the Harry N. Abrams publishing company to write a history of the library, Mrs. Dalrymple became his chief assistant. "Without her," Goodrum said yesterday, "the book couldn't have been written."

New Librarian has Vast Experience, New Ideas and Salt Water in Her Veins

A Cape Codder of course.

Osterville’s new librarian Lee Ann Amend cut her teeth in library science as a 14-year-old volunteer in a medical library. She shelved volumes, typed catalog cards, and read “as many of the materials as I could understand,” she wrote in an e-mail interview with the Barnstable Patriot.

Amend vacationed on land her grandfather owned in West Yarmouth, “reading under the kerosene lanterns that used to light his home…and spending countless hours at Seagull Beach.”

Salt water seems to have gotten into her veins, for she served eight years in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves security forces, and then in the Merchant Marine as an assistant purser on ocean liners.

Since Oct. 23, Amend has directed Osterville’s library. “The staff in this library are top-rate, hardworking and wonderful people,” she wrote, using e-mail because, after only one month on the job, she had so many appointments the Monday after Thanksgiving she couldn’t schedule a visit by a reporter.

Adventures of a Restless Librarian in Iraq

One woman's quest, profiled in the Sunday New York Times. She's Shelby Monroe, from Chappaqua NY, and this is her blog. To go to Iraq, she quit three part-time jobs — in libraries in Chappaqua and Peekskill and in the Village Bookstore in Pleasantville. When she told her bookstore boss, Roy Solomon, where she was heading, he bluntly replied, “What are you, nuts?”

From the article: "Her explanation for why she chose to become a latter-day Ernie Pyle doesn’t quite add up as a reason someone would want to risk her life — but that’s the wonderful Rosebud mystery of her life. She says, for example, that she returned to Iraq last December after being there six months in 2006 “mainly because I felt an attachment to the soldiers, who were very good to me during my first trip, and I wanted to keep an eye on them.”

“There is something to be said for stepping out of your comfort zone,” she finally admitted. “I like to test myself once in a while. I like to see what I am really made of and what I can endure.” She adds that “growing up with four brothers helped prepare me for this. Riding around with boys is something I’m familiar with. And it is a nice contrast to the deafening silence of the library.”

Current Information For Dr. Gonzo!

Dr. Daniel Messer
Circulation Supervisor
Queen Creek Public Library - A branch of the Maricopa County Library District
21802 S Ellsworth Rd
Queen Creek, AZ 85242
(602) 652-3362

Your very own Dr. Gonzo.

E-mail: greatwesterndragon (at) gmail (dot) com

A note to so-called

You're projecting your shadow and misrepresenting reality.

No, I am not imposing my morals anywhere, although that's what the ALA does

No, you are not imposing your self-righteous lunacy on others, you are merely attempting to seduce them into taking your para-schizophrenic world view onto themselves. The ALA, on the other hand, is, generally, encouraging people to hold onto the authority over and responsibility for themselves that they already have.

I am not telling people what to do.

Only, I'm sure, because you have no legal authority to do so. I have no doubt whatsoever that you would take great joy in usurping the authority free persons have over themselves if you thought for two seconds that you could get away with it. However, the statement is factual as it stands, because what you are doing, in reality, is simply screaming hysterically against the underlying foundation of freedom and liberty.


Hyphens are not letters, they are punctuation. And if you are not emotionally mature enough to write a word out because you are embarrassed by it, then you are not emotionally mature enough to be let out on your own.

That aside, however, it is not the ALA, writers, publishers or booksellers, or any country's supreme court that is sexualizing children, it is people like you. It is people like yourself that see them as sexual objects as much as preferential child molesters do.

children are being s-x-alized by the ALA, in my opinion,

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Librarian Rides a New Wave

At age 58, librarianship is Allan Pollchik's third career, and he's loving every minute of it. Former 'surfer dude', he likes to remind you that he was 18 in 1967, the "Summer of Love" -- in California, no less.

Ohio University students walking in and out of Pollchik's glassed-in office on the Chillicothe campus don't blink an eye at their library director's surfing simulations, an attempt to explain the rush he got when he surfed professionally more than 20 years ago during his previous lives as a psychologist and a high-powered fundraiser. Profile of this third-year academic librarian from the Columbus Dispatch.


Another Hattiesburg Librarian

Anonymous Patron writes "yes, Nancy Kaul is not the only one in town, there's also Yvonne Arnold."

Librarian keeps an eye on the trends

An attractive woman, but not exactly sporting l'haute couture.

However in Hattiesburg, librarian Nancy Kaul, collection development coordinator for University Libraries at the University of Southern Mississippi, is considered to be at the height of fashion.

Here's her regimen, from the Hattiesburg American.



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