books · libraries

Holiday Library Displays for When a Book Tree Isn’t Enough

Lately I’ve been thinking about how we could all use a little more joy in our lives. When I was young, the library at my school had the best displays seasonal displays. They were bright, creative, and made me never want to leave the shelves. (Which wasn’t all that out of character, now that I… Continue reading Holiday Library Displays for When a Book Tree Isn’t Enough

books · libraries

What Does the Librarian of Congress Read Anyway?

I’m tempted to say that librarians read everything, but of course that isn’t true. Like everyone else, librarians have their own book preferences, and there simply isn’t time to read everything. Discovering the differences in how people read makes The New York Times’s recent interview with Carla Hayden, the current Librarian of Congress, especially interesting. In… Continue reading What Does the Librarian of Congress Read Anyway?

libraries

Cats, Card Catalogs, and Not So Little Free Libraries

When I first stepped into the main library on the campus at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), I stared upwards and blinked for a long while. You see, there was a giant blue cat hanging upside from the ceiling. Most libraries don’t have one of those. I hadn’t expected to be amazed by the libraries… Continue reading Cats, Card Catalogs, and Not So Little Free Libraries

libraries

Then Libraries Came for the Memes

I recently mentioned the prolonged work in progress that is the US Library of Congress’s Twitter archive, but while we wait for it, other digital archives have finally come to fruition. In an effort to preserve the aesthetic and language developments that have defined the past decades, the Library of Congress has created the Webcomics… Continue reading Then Libraries Came for the Memes

libraries

How the Library of Congress is Trying to Archive Twitter

Losing the remnants of the past is one of the nightmares of historians. There are so many fragments that simply don’t survive the march of time, and as they disintegrate so too does our ability to understand the past. The modern era and its technologies raise new questions about how archivists, historians, and other interested… Continue reading How the Library of Congress is Trying to Archive Twitter

writing

Librarian of Congress Might Have Her Powers Slashed and Given to the President

“On April 26, 2017, the House of Representatives voted 378 to 48 in favor of the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act (H.R. 1695)…The bill’s name implies that it focuses on the mundane details of copyright law, and to some extent, it does. But it also limits the position of Librarian of Congress. In particular,… Continue reading Librarian of Congress Might Have Her Powers Slashed and Given to the President

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

writing

Want Your Kids to Grow Up to Be Writers? Choose These Names

It turns out that if you want your children to be writers, you should consider naming them Kate and Simon. In 2014, Verdant Labs used public records to analyze common names by profession in the United States. They found that people with certain names are disproportionately more likely to have various careers. They based this… Continue reading Want Your Kids to Grow Up to Be Writers? Choose These Names

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’