Last week, Carla Hayden was sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress, making her the first woman and the first African-American in the position. Hayden talked with Jeffrey Brown of PBS Newshour about the challenges of her new position, and her favorite children’s book, Bright April by Marguerite de Angeli, a story about a young girl who experiences racial discrimination....more
Posts Tagged: librarians
Pura Belpré began her long, luminous career as a librarian, storyteller, author, activist, and puppeteer when she moved to New York in 1921. Not only was Belpré NYC’s first Puerto Rican librarian, Neda Ulaby reports for NPR, she was the first to perform story times in English and Spanish (with puppets), opening up a world of reading for her community’s Spanish-speaking youth, and also the first to have a Spanish-language children’s book published by a major US press....more
At the Atlantic, Adrienne Green spoke with research librarian Theresa Quill about how the profession is changing and the traits that bring librarians of different generations together:
I don’t know that I agree that a person is born to be a librarian, but most librarians that I know seem to really love what they do.
My only real want along the way was to illuminate something about the human condition in a voice and from a point of view that could belong only to me. And if a bid for posterity beats in the heart of every writer, mine is alive with the possibility that long after I’m gone, someone will discover an old paperback of my work and say, “What’s this?” But whether or not that happens is independent of the volume of work a writer publishes, so what’s done is done.
Most libraries have limited physical shelf space, so if they want to purchase new books for their collections, often they have to remove some old ones. Two librarians, Mary Kelly and Holly Hibner, know this can be a tough pill for book lovers to swallow, so they’ve been working to bring attention to the issue through their blog, Awful Library Books:
They often feature books with outlandish titles, like “Little Corpuscle,” a children’s book starring a dancing red blood cell; “Enlarging Is Thrilling,” a how-to about—you guessed it—film photography; and “God, the Rod, and Your Child’s Bod: The Art of Loving Correction for Christian Parents.”
Former librarian Michelle Anne Schingler is tired of people questioning her credentials. At Book Riot, she argues that an MLS isn’t required for the most important parts of a librarian’s job:
Library theory isn’t at the fore when you’re helping someone navigate the computer for an online application, or when you’re putting together a display to feature underloved books.
The point is not to rank inflammatory books like game highlights. It’s to remind readers that information hasn’t always been free, and that we have librarians to thank for its freedom.
As part of austerity measures, the University of Akron eliminated its university press. The director and two staff members were both let go as part of budget-trimming layoffs. The press focused on regionally significant publications that chronicled Ohio history, culture and poetry....more
Over the holiday weekend, Linton Weeks wrote for NPR’s History Dept. on the critical role of librarians in World Wars I and II. Weeks spoke to Cara Bertram, an archivist for the American Library Association:
The books that did make it into the hands of the troops, she says, boosted morale, provided connections to people back home and offered technical guidance.
Librarians have long been on the forefront of information management; in the digital age, they are more invested than ever in protecting the free flow of information to the public, and protecting it from the overreaches of government prying. In June, key provisions of the Patriot Act that justified the government’s massive data collection efforts will expire; among these provisions is Section 215, which allows the FBI to requisition library records....more
A recent poll by YouGuv, intended to determine the most desired professions for Britons, suggests a strong interest in expanding the ranks of authors and academics. Though common conception holds these groups to be prone to an embattled posture, forever defending an endangered tradition of bookishness, it seems that writers still hold a position of respect in the public imagination....more
At Co.EXIST, Jessica Leber pits the algorithms of digital giants Amazon and Goodreads against the ultimate recommendation engine: librarians. Leber details her experience with the Brooklyn Public Library’s BookMatch program, in which real librarians respond to patron’s requests for reading recommendations based on other books they’ve enjoyed....more
The New York Public Library owns an absolutely peculiar collection: a 6000+ cards catalog of hand-typed children books reviews, written by librarians over the years. Lynn Lobash, NYPL reader services overseer, explained to Quartz that, “There’s about a billion card catalogs in the library, but these are special in that they were used as a tool for collection development, for the staff to evaluate the children’s collection.”
Be sure to check out NYPL’s Instagram account, where new review cards are posted every Tuesday....more
In the story, a young girl, Nancy, mysteriously receives a single Christmas gift – the steamroller. She takes the gift out for a ride and flattens many things along the way, one of which was human, as I recall. I believe the human popped back up, unrealistically.
Mark Luce, who teaches literature and history at the Barstow School in Kansas City, has a new column at Electric Literature, reviewing books that he and the school’s librarian have recently removed from the collection. His first “Discarded Pile” post is on German Secret Weapons: Blueprint for Mars by Brian J....more
This past week was National Library Week! Still imagine all librarians as the curmudgeonly figures you encountered in elementary school? Think again. Slate has a photo project representing the diversity of librarians—showcasing their personalities, appearances, and many vast fields of study....more
Melvil Dewey: inventor of the Dewey decimal system, godfather of modern library science, and…sexist jerk?
According to this Bitch blog post, Dewey helped open the field of librarianship to women by allowing them into his classes at Columbia’s library school, but he also relentlessly sexually harassed them....more
Who says librarians can’t also be the leaders of organized crime rings?
The very man charged with protecting these treasures, Marino Massimo De Caro, a politically connected former director of the library, is accused of being at the center of a network of middlemen, book dealers and possibly crooked conservators — all part of what prosecutors say is a sometimes corrupt market for rare books…
The New York Times has more, including the best final paragraph you’ll read all week....more
If you ask Kuzya, an assistant librarian at the State Hermitage Library in Novorossiysk, Russia, for a book recommendation, you might go home with A Tale of Two Kitties or The Brothers Kara-meow-zov.
Because he is a cat. And he wears a bow-tie and has a cat passport, which is apparently a legitimate legal document in Russia....more
Rumpus readers already know librarians are heroes, but it’s nice to see other people get it too.
Here’s io9’s list of 20 heroic librarians who save the world in books, comics, TV, and film.
From Rachel Weisz’s Evie Carnahan in the Mummy movies to Luna Moth in the comic books based on the ones in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, these pop-culture librarians remind us knowledge is power....more
Mental Floss compiles tattooed librarians. As expected, much of the skin art is literary themed, but that is not to say that classic skull and bones motifs don’t make an appearance.
Each tattoo’s origin is explained in detail and shed light on projects such as Brand Yourself A Librarian, which aims to unite prideful librarians....more
Apparently, the Wilson Library Bulletin ran this survey way back when, and then promptly fired its author and destroyed all remaining copies. However, 5000 librarians responded, and now, thanks to the Internet, we get to see the answers!...more