the library is the arsenal

Thursday, December 27, 2007


A community, a conference, an online journal. Check out all the links--chat, listserv, a blog--they even have a group.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Library Yoga

I drink Yogi tea every morning at work, because it's delicious, and because it gives me a fruity new age message on the tag every day to inspire me. Sometimes they seem really relevant and other times they just seem fruity. This morning's was surprisingly apt at first, until I realized I had misread "Live with reverence for yourself and others" as "Live with reference for yourself and others." I prefer the latter, obviously.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dewey Browsing from OCLC

Rebecca Duvall, Professional Librarian, has pointed out to me the OCLC's "DeweyBrowser," in both its 1.0 and 2.0 incarnations. Becky & I agree that 1.0 is far superior to 2.0 at showing the DDC visually. Plus, I'm so over weighted word clouds.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Beautiful Book Space

An amazing example of an ideal book space...too bad it's a bookstore and not a library.

this is one of my favorite non-library related blogs.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

New Initiatives in Folksonomy

Google image labeler

Why isn't this a story about libraries?

From an article in the Marin Independent Journal about author readings and tuition-based classes at independent bookstores in the Bay Area:

I think the independent bookstore is the last holdout of the type of interaction that's dying in our culture; it's become the town square of old. Here, everybody can come together and trade ideas.
-Book Passage owner Elaine Petrocelli.

People who turn out for these events are looking for a place to discuss their ideas. Politically, people need a place to talk about these things. We're in a painful, provocative time. People are desiring companionship to talk about these important issues.

-Book Passage Director of Events Karen West.

It's the third place. You have your work, you have your home and there's the third place. For some people, it was the local bar. For an increasing number of people, it's the bookstore.
-District marketing manager for Borders Bookstores in the Bay Area, Cathy Meengs.

In some ways, bookstore events have become the events of choice for a lot of Bay Area residents who come to Point Reyes, not only to experience the natural qualities of the area but the literary offerings we've been sponsoring. Besides the author being the attraction, with the fundraising aspect people feel like they're also contributing something to the community as well.
-Point Reyes Books owner Steve Costa.

Why isn't the Marin County Free Library hosting these kinds of author talks and offering these same types of classes for free? Why isn't the library the place for this, the elusive third place?

To be fair, the Marin Co. Free Library has an active blog, a calendar of public events, and hosts book clubs. However, this is the events calendar for the Corte Madera branch, in the same town as Book Passage. I hate to get tough on libraries, but come on, there are 200 people showing up for author readings in your town. And Marin County is not an impoverished area, either. If there is a large community of well educated people in the community, why isn't the Library tapping into that community for support--with book readings as fundraisers? The book stores are doing it!

It actually hurt my feelings to read what these booksellers had to say, but it's not their fault. They're providing, as the article says, "an increasingly important service to the community." I just wish that a library was filling that role.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Finally! A Comprehensive Guide!

OMG you guys. I am so excited to have found this. If there were a ranking for the usefulness of my bookmarks, this would be way at the top. Probably number one.

Of course, I found it through Jenna Freedman's blog, because when you're as cool as Jenna Freedman, you just know about this kind of stuff, and throw it out there like it's no big deal.

She's totally right about Barbara Fister, by the way. For those of you who are interested in maps and libraries, this paper is probably right up your alley.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Multiple Interpretations

Politically Charged Prints Cause Talking in the Library

"It is at first mildly shocking to come upon such bluntly partisan artwork on a New York Public Library wall. Biting political satire is deeply a part of printmaking history — see Goya, James Gillray and Daumier — but handmade prints are no longer a significant form of political communication, and we don’t expect anything so brazenly tendentious in the public library context." --Ken Johnson, NYT 12/4/07

I would like to see Ken Johnson, in a blue silk Hawaiian shirt, do a tap dance within the area of the "tendentious" scale that he thinks is appropriately bipartisan for municipal institutions mounting exhibitions. He would look so beautiful, dancing there, with three places to heel or toe, four if you count that new slim volume on toasted white bread abstaining from jam.

Monday, December 3, 2007

long overdue. but no charges.

Portland Public Library up in the great state of Maine (vacationland), has this fantastic project where people make art books out of discarded library books. The best part is that they are cataloged and able to be checked out again, even through interlibrary loan. I interviewed Michael Whittaker, branch manager, for my paper. He is really enthusiastic about it, told me many libraries have repeated it, and uses phrases like "remarkably cool." Check one out if you need some art for the house.


The art is alright, but what's really interesting about this presentation of photographs is that it's organized and categorized using the Dewey Decimal System. It actually makes the photographs more interesting when you see them through the lens of the call numbers.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

artifacts in cataloging

it's been a while since my last post, and i'm even cheating a little with this one. passed along from Prof. Block, this is my new favorite website. of course.