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When 103-Year Old Dies, Her Reading Circle Mourns

When Elizabeth Goodyear died late last month, at 103, a handful of friends, all more than two generations younger, sat vigil. They toasted her over dark chocolate, the elixir Ms. Goodyear had savored daily since she was 3 years old, and Champagne, a more recent favorite.

Two years ago, a front-page article in The New York Times featured Ms. Goodyear, a lifelong lover of books, and the small group of people who would stop by her apartment, in Murray Hill, to read to her after she lost her sight. Those readers became a family to Ms. Goodyear, who had outlived her relatives and loved ones.

It all began about seven years ago, after Alison West, a yoga instructor who lives in Ms. Goodyear’s building, posted a sign seeking readers in yoga studios downtown and sent an e-mail that was forwarded again and again.

“Liz has no family at all, and all her old friends have died, but she remains eternally positive and cheerful and loves to have people come by to read to her or talk about life, politics, travel — or anything else,” the message read. “She also loves good chocolate!”

Young women in their 20s, many of them Ms. West’s students, started to visit. Read more in the NYTimes blogs.

Another Kind of Ephemera...Bookplates

The latest posting on <a href="Http://bookplatejunkie.blogspot.com">Confessions Of A Bookplate Junkie</a> (Lewis Jaffe, who has been a collector for thirty years).

LISTen: An LISNews.org Podcast -- Episode #123

More Thoughts on Banned Books Week

Harry Potter and Huck Finn never met in their adventures, but they'll share a shelf at libraries across America during Banned Books Week, Sept. 25 to Oct. 2. The weeklong celebration of our freedom to read began in 1982 in response to an increase in the number of books being challenged in the nation's libraries and schools.

From DePauw University, Greencastle, IN: Banned Books Week has continued annually, and its need has not diminished. According to the American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom, there were 460 recorded attempts to remove materials from libraries last year and many thousands more since the organization began counting in 1990.

Three books by Lauren Myracle -- ttyl, ttfn, and l8r, g8r -- topped the ALA's Top Ten List of the Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2009 (see article below). Written entirely in texting shorthand, Myracle's books were challenged for sexual content and drug references. Stephenie Meyer's popular Twilight series was challenged on religious grounds, evoking opposition to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels for promoting witchcraft. And it's not just new books that are being challenged. Classics such as Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird and J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye are perennial contenders for the distinction of being the most challenged book.

On Committing a Literary Sacrilege...Not Reading Franzen's Freedom

From The Bookslut, Jessa Crispin:

I try to get away from the damn thing, but it keeps coming at me. A friend visiting announced he had finished it on the airplane — did I want a look? There were emails, blog posts, multiple reviews in the same venue. And then, on vacation, in another country and in another language, there it was, in the Viennese bookstore window where I stopped to tie my shoe: FREIHEIT von Jonathan Franzen. It appears that everyone in the world is being stalked by Jonathan Franzen right now.

My proclamation that I was not going to read Freedom was beginning to make me look like a dick. Just read it already. What’s the big deal? It’ll take a few days, and then you will be a participant in the cultural zeitgeist, the document of our era, the book that made books relevant again. (At least, the book since Twilight. Or Harry Potter. Or the last Franzen, Corrections.) After all, the Guardian called it the book of the century. Surely you have to read that.

But no. Not in Vienna, not in New York, not on the plane, not in a box with a fox whatever the f*ck, no. So just shut up about it.

Read entire article here.

Franzen? Really Oprah?

From Nora Rawlinson at Early Word:

In about an hour, we’ll learn which title will get the magic book club sticker, when Oprah’s live show debuts on Chicago’s WLS at 10 am. EDT. Many news outlets are already claiming that Oprah will pick the wild card, Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, based on a story, released mid-afternoon yesterday, by the AP, quoting three anonymous booksellers who have seen early copies of the stickered book. [UPDATE: yup she picked it]

The Melville House Publishing blog posted a story way back on Monday, based on “reliable sources” and followed with a post featuring the Freedom cover sporting an Oprah sticker. The L.A. Times is suspicious, however, that the rather blurry photo may be a result of photoshopping; see it next to the original cover on the left. What do you think — a poor photo shop job, a bad scan, or just a terrible photo?

It's Book Bloggers Appreciation Week, and You Are Appreciated

International giveaway at Beth Fish Reads...eight In My Book® cards...anywhere in the world

Enter this week, contest ends Monday September 20.

Beth Fish: Discovering Book Bloggers Around the Globe

Today is the first day of Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2010! This yearly event of giveaways, blog hopping, blogging, and awards is all about you! And you and you and you and me. It is the brain child of Amy from My Friend Amy.

Each day this week blogger Beth Fish Reads is hosting an international giveaway (winners announced on Monday), so please come back to see what she has in store.

Beth Fish Reads says: I'm taking today's blogging theme and putting my own twist on it. One of the best things about book blogging is getting to know readers from around the world. Daily, I read blogs from across the United States, Canada, the UK, Europe, Asia, South America, and the Pacific.

Read more about the book blogging community and Book Blogger Appreciation Week (BBAW) at BookPage's The Book Case.

Help Build The Most Comprehensive List Of Library Blogs Ever

Walt Crawford is looking for a few more good blogs....
  • Check this pageLiblogs 2010 (with exclusions) — DRAFT. Use your browser’s Find function to check the name. (The list is in alphabetic order, but it’s idiot alpha order, with a few “A ” entries and a lot of “The ” entries. And, of course, cute punctuation can change sorting.)
  • If You Have Candidates…

    • Add a comment [NOT here at LISNews], with the blog name and URL–but give the URL as text, not as a link (omit the http://), and don’t combine the blog name with a link. (Why not? Because, particularly if you have more than one, it will cause Spam Karma 2 to flag it as spam–and with more than 100 spamments today, I’m not sure I’ll be able to sort through all the spam looking for legit posts.)
    • Or send me email, waltcrawford at gmail dot com, using the same rules.
    Topic: 

    Texas Teen Lit Festival Will Be Minus Several Authors

    UPDATE According to the Houston Observer, the scheduled festival has BEEN CANCELLED in its entirely, due to the number of participants who have chosen not to attend.
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    The Teen Lit Fest in Humble is a huge deal for renowned writers of young adult fiction and the kids they're writing for. Which is why it's a huge deal that half of the authors have dropped out of the January 2011 festival.

    It all started when an Humble ISD librarian complained to some influential parents about New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins, who was scheduled to appear at the festival. (Hopkins writes about cheery subjects like drug addiction, suicide, and religious intolerance.) Houston Press reports.

    Those parents then allegedly bent the ear of Superintendent Guy Sconzo, who ordered another librarian to uninvite Hopkins -- even though she had already appeared at two of the festivals Humble-area high schools, without causing any of the teenagers to slit their wrists, become pregnant, or turn to prostitution to subsidize chronic substance-abuse problems.

    When fellow writer and invitee Pete Hautman heard about it, he decided to drop out of the festival, and, according to his blog three more writers have dropped out -- Melissa de la Cruz, Tara Lynn Childs and Matt de la Pena.

    Awful Library Books Can Be Fun

    You probably have visited Awful Library Books (and if you haven't...do!), but now the word is spreading.

    Wired's Geek Dad has an article on the website created by two Michigan librarians, Mary Anderson Kelly and Holly Allen Hibner. Among the gems they find while weeding is the 70's title Nomadic Furniture by James Hennessey and Victor Papanek, that features a child car safety seat made of cardboard.

    And as they promised themselves if the site was still fun after one year, they would be making ch-ch-changes. What started as a lark has taken on a life of its own. Says Mary: I kept thinking surely we will run out of books. Then we open the submission emails and something shows up that absolutely blows us away. Stay tuned and send in those submissions.

    Are You a Book Blogger?

    Be sure to sign up for the upcoming Book Blogger Appreciation Week here.

    The week extends from September 13-17, during which you'll be interviewing another blogger. This is an interview SWAP so you'll be interviewing each other, and posting your interviews on Tuesday September 14th. Please do not post your interviews early, post with the community! Sign-ups close on August 31st.

    New York's Mayor Suggests To a Reporter That He Visit the Library

    ...to read the Bill of Rights.

    New York Times Cityroom Blog: On a campaign blitz on Tuesday, NYC's Mayor Michael Bloomberg was dogged by questions about the Islamic Community Center project near Ground Zero.

    In Philadelphia, where he endorsed the Democratic candidate for Senate, Joe Sestak, he tersely told off a critic. “Look, I would suggest you go from here directly to the library. Get a copy of the Bill of Rights and you’ll realize that everybody has a right to say what they want to say.”

    Mr. Bloomberg also fielded questions about the Islamic center, known as Park51, in Washington, where he traveled to back the re-election campaign of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. He ended the day with an appearance at a fund-raiser for Michael N. Castle, the Delaware Republican vying for a Senate seat.

    The Islamic center is a thorny issue for national politicians, with recent polls showing that most Americans oppose its construction. [ed- I like what one commenter says about it - "As someone who lives and works in lower Manhattan, I’ve noticed that one’s hysteria over Park51 seems to be inversely proportional to one’s proximity to it."]

    According to their website, the Park51 facility will include a library.

    #booksthatchangekidsworlds

    Nothing is more satisfying than seeing a child respond to a book, and author and New Yorker blogger Susan Orlean takes note of that in her latest twitter inquiry to her readers. She writes about her five year-old son:

    "I decided it was time for us to refresh his bookshelves. My default in these cases is to find a friendly librarian or a smart bookstore employee, but my boss (me) wouldn’t give me time off from work, so I was stuck at home. Inspired by an earlier experiment with book recommendations on Twitter, I decided to pose the question online (with the slightly cumbersome hashtag #booksthatchangekidsworlds) and sat back while the answers flooded in. What I have loved about reading through them is not just the great suggestions for my son but the shiver of pleasure I get each time I see a title that meant everything to me when I was a kid but that I haven’t thought about in years. "

    Find the list at New Yorker.com.

    Rules of Circ #27 (RoC)

    "Rocks, Paper, Scissors."

    Guess which item of the aforementioned list I would be more than glad to hand out to every patron who asks for it?

    It is so annoying during science fair season, when the library is swarmed by students who only bring blank poster-boards with them and expect to walk out with a finalized project. They will usually draw straws to determine which sucker has to sheepishly walk up to the Circ desk and ask for every single supply needed. It is not only reserved to young students, I have encountered many older patrons who were upset that I would not give them any paper for their book/movie/play/manifesto/complaint which they are currently working on.

    It seems like every tax paying citizen feels like it is their given right to use the library as if it was some rogue Staples that just gives ish away. I'm sure with your tax returns, and a calculator we can figure out exactly how much you "contributed" to the library. Here's a clue to save you some long division, it probably is not much more than $50. Sure that sounds reasonable enough for you to pillage the supply closet a time or two, but that money also goes towards the collection which includes countless copies of classic American literature aka the Harlequin series (yes, I do enjoy taking as many jabs at "romance novels" as possible).

    So in actuality, the amount of your taxes spent on supplies is extremely low. I'll do you all a favor and break it down in a simple list.

    Each patron's taxes affords them to:
    - 25 scissor swipes

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    Top 25 Librarian Blogs, Says Onlinedegrees.com

    Online Degree's top twenty-five here.

    By way of comparison, here's the LISNews list of Top 10 blogs.

    What's Happening at CIL?

    Check it out...what's happening at Computers in Libraries. Among other interesting tidbits, Blake Carver is speaking about Drupal on Tuesday.

    Here are the conferees on twitter.

    Listing of Save the Library & Other-Named STL Campaigns

    Check out this comprehensive list of Save the Library campaigns, compiled by Stephen Abram.

    He writes on Stephen's Lighthouse Blog: Some of these campaigns are grass roots and some come from the state library association, friends’ groups or others. Some may have ended. It’s just one influencer strategy and it’s is not a mark against a state if they haven’t chosen public viral campaigning since there are other choices to educate, lobby, advocate and influence the budgetary process.

    I just felt that it might be useful to pull the lot together for others to see them and learn. I am sure I missed a few so please add them in the comments. In the next week I will add postings for the main value of the library studies by library sector for your use.

    Commenting on comments, v. 1

    This anonymous commenter on Ed Feser's blog post "Stove on contemporary academic style" makes one common kind of bogus objection: he presupposes that one who affirms some of the ideas of Aristotle and Aquinas (where Aristotle and Aquinas can stand for any thinker) is committed to affirming them all. But unless he can show either that (a) Feser explicitly affirms Aristotle's views on the souls of animals and slaves, or (b) that it is logically inconsistent to deny Aristotle's views on the souls of slaves and animals, and simultaneously to affirm those views of Aristotle and Aquinas that Feser expressly does affirm, the objection lacks all traction. Suppose (as seems likely) that those parts of A & A that Feser does affirm do not logically imply Aristotle's views on the souls of animals & slaves, and suppose further that Feser does not affirm these views, or that he even condemns them outright; is Feser obliged to explain away crimes committed by those who follow views he doesn't affirm and isn't required to affirm? I think not.

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    What's the Deal with Librarians...

    In my best Jerry Seinfeld impression: "What's the deal with librarians and their holiday themed sweaters?" I swear, it seems that at every branch I have been to, it seems like it's a requirement to have a closet full of festive sweaters for the whole year.
    Are they the "in gifts" to give to that newly graduated MLS student?? If that's the case so be it, I wear a size S or M, and don't forget the gift receipt!

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