books · libraries

Like a Car Wash for Books: How Libraries Clean Reading Materials

As much as I like to imagine that library books remain perfectly clean, the reality is a little different. Sometimes books get gunky. Oil from people’s skin rubs off onto them. Someone spills a cup of coffee on a book cover. A child drops her novel in the garden. In cases like these, libraries have… Continue reading Like a Car Wash for Books: How Libraries Clean Reading Materials

libraries

10 Ways Libraries Serve Local Communities

For nearly 60 years, the American Library Association has chosen a week in April in which to celebrate, promote, and support libraries. In the 1950’s research indicated that people in the US were spending less and less time reading. They were instead being distracted by radios and those newfangled television sets. Creating a National Library… Continue reading 10 Ways Libraries Serve Local Communities

libraries

3 People You May Not Have Known Were Librarians

Modern society has a very stereotypical image of who a librarian is. She – and it is almost always a she – is prim, wears glasses, and very likely loves cats. Despite this persona, in reality, librarians have come in many forms. Here are three historical librarians who defy modern expectations. Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798) –… Continue reading 3 People You May Not Have Known Were Librarians

books · libraries

Archive Adventure: ‘Tales from Catland’

Periodically I like to share the strange, fascinating, and often rare books that live in library archives. Today I’ve found one that will make you absolutely purr with pleasure. Tales from Catland: Written for Kittens by an Old Tabby was produced by Tabitha Grimalkin and was, as far as I can tell, originally published in 1852. The cover… Continue reading Archive Adventure: ‘Tales from Catland’

libraries

Weird Libraries: The Case of the Steak Sauce Bottles

As those of you who have worked in libraries know, patrons often do strange things. Something about the smell of books inspires people to act differently than they otherwise would. Avon Lake Public Library in Ohio is currently dealing with one patron doing just that. Starting in January, the staff began to find A.1. Sauce… Continue reading Weird Libraries: The Case of the Steak Sauce Bottles

books · libraries

And Then They Murdered Jane Austen

When I say that they murdered Jane Austen, I’m not speaking metaphorically. Some person in the distant past didn’t simply eviscerate her work. No, I mean that a few scholars believe that someone poisoned Jane Austen. With arsenic. According to research from the British Library, Jane Austen’s death at the age of 41, her early… Continue reading And Then They Murdered Jane Austen

books · libraries

A Bus Stop for Book Lovers

Apparently I am on something of an architecture kick. In addition to finding one of the most incredible library parking garages in the world, I’ve discovered a stellar bus stop. Those are words I never thought I would type. When bus stops come to mind, I typically don’t think of anything extraordinary. The stop nearest… Continue reading A Bus Stop for Book Lovers