Category Archives: Libraries and Librarians

Spring thoughts of gardens, libraries & fresh ideas

Libraries are an attempt to impose order in a world of clues…They are places of redemption.  Stuart Kells

To appreciate a small selection of  library wonders, check these magnificent libraries https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/books-about-libraries-history or enjoy a virtual tour of some of the most beautiful “houses of literature here: https://twitter.com/i/moments/988539861127876608

Places to go, Things to do – a sampling

May 5 — Minnesotans will be celebrating with friends of Mexican descent the grand festival that is Cinco de Mayo.   The celebration will mean more for those who take time to learn a bit about the history and stories that shape the celebration.  History can offers an accessible primer on the how the celebration (which is not Mexico’s national holiday) came to be: https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/cinco-de-mayo  To learn more about happenings in this area, check this great guide to Cinco de Mayo: https://mailchi.mp/19c63e94fbfc/join-us-this-saturday-for-cinco-de-mayo

May 5 – Researching the history of your Minneapolis Home, 10;30-11:30 – Webber Park Library, 4440 North Humboldt in North Minneapolis.   An introduction to house history presented by experts from Minneapolis Central Library archives.

May 5 – Author Talk with Erik Riveness:   Dirty Doc Ames and the Scandal that Shook Minneapolis, Minneapolis Central Library, 2:00-3:00 PM

The first weekend of May explodes with energy and ideas generated by Heart of the Beast – Highlight of the celebration is the MayDay Parade, now in its 44thyear. Planners expect more than 50,000 people to fill the streets as participants and spectators.  Full details on May Day related events here:  https://hobt.org/mayday/

You know it really IS spring when it’s time for Art-a-Whirl, the celebration of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Area.  For the 23rdseason AAW will be happening on every street and in every studio, library, and eatery throughout Northeast… It’s one of those events that defies description – you want to  be there, and you’ll want to tour more than once.    It’s May 15-18, open to all.  Check out the schedule of exhibits, activities and open studios as well as the logistics here: https:/emaa.org/art-a-whirl/

Starting on May 9th net neutrality activists and some sites will post “red alerts” to protest the FCC’s effort to roll back net neutrality protections.  More here: https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/30/red-alert-net-neutrality-campaigners-announce-new-effort-overturn-fccs-assault-open To keep up with what’s happening on the net neutrality front, check this updated blog entry:  https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2017/07/08/protecting-whats-ours-on-net-neutrality-day-of-action/

Again this year the American Craft Council Library is sponsoring the popular Library Salon series of presentations. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the conversation starting at 7:00.  For more information about the Library or the Library Salon Series contact the ACC at 612 206-3100 or library@craftcouncil.org  Forthcoming presentations include

* May 9 – “Reality is only a Rorschach inkblot, you know”, presented by Seattle artist Anna Miasowsky.  The artist will discuss how the many states of glass – its mutability, transformative character, and intangible materiality – have been her “alter ego.”  Mlasowsky will lead the group through her work and discuss what a material-based contemporary practice can express about our culture and perceptions.

* June 13 – Guest presenter is Dr. Heather Akou who will talk about “Creating African Fashion Histories.” Akou is associate professor of fashion design and merchandising in the School of Art, Architecture, and Design at Indiana University.  Also from the American Craft Council – Oral History Interviews with the Potters of the St. Croix River Valley – audio recordings, transcripts and photographs.  Details at www.bit.ly/accstcroix

Looking ahead – Thursday, May 24, marks the 30thAnnual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards.  The grand celebration features keynote speaker William Kent Krueger and emcee Barton Sutter.  There’s a book fair and reception (5:00) followed by the Awards Ceremony * speaker and reception. Events take place at the Northland County Cub in Duluth.  Free and open (umn.edu/nemba or 218 726 7889)

Pew Research Center’s program on Religions & Public Life has produced and is making available a video entitled Being Muslim in the U.S. It’s a look inside the belies and attitudes of Muslims in America, based in part on data from Pew Research Centers 2017 survey as well as the personal stories of Muslims in the US.  The accompanying survey report is entitled “U.S. Muslims concerned about their place in society, but continue to believe in the American Dream.”  http://www.pewforum.org/2018/04/17/video-being-muslim-in-the-u-s/

Rise Up: The Movement that changed America, is a one-hour documentary from executive producers LeBron James and Maverick Carter.  The documentary follows the inner workings of legislative decisions that resulted, including the Montgomery Campaign, the Civil Rights and the Voting Rights Act.

PBS will launch the Great American Read with a two-hour episode on Tuesday, May 22. The series, hosted by TV personality and journalist Meredith Viera, will introduce viewers to PBS’s list of the country’s 100 favorite novels. Learn much more about the ambitious project here: (http://www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/home/

Style note:  Atlas Obscura must have reveled in the opportunity to share the story of “girdle books.”  (now rendered obsolete by smart phones and podcasts)   Girdle books were small and light, wrapped in leather and carried like a purse. They are commonly depicted in paintings of Medieval bibliophiles.  Read more at https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/what-is-a-girdle-book)

Digital treasures:

The New York Academy of Medicine is celebrating the 20thanniversary of publication of J.K.Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by showcasing rare books and objects dating back to the 15thCentury.  The books and objects reveal the history behind many of the creatures, plants and other magical elements that appear in the Harry Potter Series.  https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/these-real-magical-texts-are-straight-out-of-harry-potter_us_59504de2e4b02734df2b33e9

The Newberry Libraryhas digitized their collection of early 20th Century Lakota drawings.  It’s an open access collection that, according to creators, “tells a curious history”.  The collection includes drawings by Sioux Indians, all images from the Edward E. Ayer Digital Collections.  Learn much more here: https://hyperallergic.com/438554/collection-of-early-20th-century-lakota-drawings/

Kudos:

Daniel Gullo, Eileen Smith, and David Calabro from the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library are recipients of the 2018 Minnesota Academic Innovators Award.  The trio have developed a method to establish new authorities for under-represented communities not commonly found in LC and VIAF authority files – e.g. authors and titles from early modern and medieval Eastern Christian and Islamic writers. The award is sponsored by several library associations’

The Library of Congress has announced that author E. Annie Proulx has been named recipient of the LC Prize for American Fiction.  Proulx is author of The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountainhttps://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/annie-proulx-wins-library-of-congress-prize-for-american-fiction/2018/05/01/fb6b3da6-4ca1-11e8-84a0-458a1aa9ac0a_story.html?utm_term=.d73ed5758b7a

Concerned that your carefully crafted turns of phrase will die aborning? Consider the story of “late bloomer” Zora Neale Hurston.  A mere 87 years after Hurston penned her novel The Last Black Cargo, Hurston, , who died in 1960, would no doubt be pleased to know that her masterpiece has been published, now renamed Barracoon (in some editions, The Last Black Cargo).  See “A long-unpublished book by Zora Neale Hurston” by Casey N. Cap, New Yorker, May 14, 2018 and https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/05/02/zora-neale-hurston-87-years-after-she-wrote-of-the-last-black-cargo-the-book-is-being-published/?utm_term=.ceb3f5178faat   

Forecast is turning 40!   In its four decades Forecast has emerged as pioneer in a growing movement of which Forecast is a powerful leader.  Public Art Review, published by Forecast, stands alone.  The 40thanniversary celebration will continue throughout the year, including a June TC’s Public Art Tour, Launch of Forecast’s Public Art Consulting Training Program and a 40thanniversary party and awards ceremony to be held next Fall.

The American Library Association has tapped Minnesota librarians Trent Brager (University of St. Thomas), Amy Mars (St. Catherine University), and Kim Pittman (University of Minnesota Duluth) for its 2018 Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Instruction Section (IS) Innovation award. The trio developed 23 Framework Things, an “academic librarian-focused, self-paced program [that] encourages participants to read, reflect, and respond to prompts and big questions surrounding the implementation of the [Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education] at their institutions.”  According to ALA, the program currently has “more than 300 registered participants from 42 states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, along with nine countries outside the United States.”

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.

Marcus Tullius Cicero

 

 

 

Advertisements

Ideas, Events, Resources and Other Spring Things!

 World Book Day – April 23

CALENDAR

In truth,World Book Day, sponsored by UNESCO, is a movable feast, celebrated at various times by individual nations.  The official April 23 date goes back to 1923 when established book Spanish booksellers. The date honors the birth of Shakespeare and the death of both Shakespeare and Cervantes, both of whom died on the same date, April 23, 1616.  The day is also known as UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day.

On the virtual heels of and in the spirit of World Book we celebrate World Intellectual Property Day on April 26– a day more honored in the breach in these conflicted times.  The event was established by the World Intellectual Property Organization to “raise awareness of how patents, copyright, trademarks and designs impart on daily life” and “to celebrate creativity, and the contribution made by creators and innovators to the development of societies across the globe.” (World Intellectual Property Organization statement)

 April is also National Poetry Month(https://www.poets.org/national-poetry-month/national-poetry-month-faq)   It’s not too late.  Consider the excellent guide to Poetry Resources produced by the Library of Congress. The guide includes the Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape, the Archive of Recorded Poetry & Literature, begun in 1932 under the aegis of Allen Tate, LC Consultant in Poetry, the Center for the Book sponsored Webcasts, Conversations with African Poets and Writers, Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Webcasts, the Library of Congress Poetry Webcasts, a comprehensive listing of LC’s recent poetry webcasts, the National Book Festival, and well as webcasts and recordings of countless individual poets, e.g. thee webcast of Lucille Clifton, Robert Frost, Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Pinsky, James Dickey, Stephen Spender, Charles Simic, Kurt Vonnegut  and scores of others .   Descriptions and links to these and more poetry resources of LC.  A good link to explore the treasures is this: https://www.loc.gov/poetry/— or try this search strategy: https://www.loc.gov/collections/archive-of-recorded-poetry-and-literature/about-this-collection/  For last minute National Poetry Month resources check here: https://www.poets.org/national-poetry-month/home

New from LC: https://blogs.loc.gov/loc/2018/04/new-poetry-podcast-series-launches/?loclr=ealocb


EVENTS – A smattering of the possibilities

Talk of the Stacks. Sponsored by Friends of Hennepin County Library.

  • April 24Alex Wagner. In her nonfiction narrative debut, Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging, Alex Wagner, anchor and correspondent for CBS News and a contributing editor at The Atlantic, takes a journey into her own ancestry and discovers the ways race and immigration constantly redefine the American experience.
  • May 16 —Tracy K. Smith– U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize Winner Tracy K. Smith deftly dissects the nature of citizenship in a time when the American past and present continuously collide, as she discusses her latest collection of poems, Wade in the Water (Graywolf Press, April 2018).

April 28-10:00 AM – Minnesota Muslims Up Close. Tamim Saidiwill lead a discussion of the diversity and unity of the Muslim experience in Minnesota.  Sponsored by Minnesota Independent Scholars’ Forum.  Washburn Library.  Free and open.  5244 Lyndale Ave South, Mpls.

May 18-20   Art-a-Whirl  https://nemaa.org/art-a whirlhttps://nemaa.org/about/

Sunday, May 20, Peace and Justice Forum:  Larry Johnson and Allan Bostelemann discuss the topic “Reformation or Revolution: What should be the role of the Church on Military Killing?” 12:15 Central Lutheran Church, 3rdAvenue and 12thStreet.  Lunch available 11:45 – free will offering.

Through July 29 – “Allen Rupperesberg: Walker – Intellectual property 1968-2018:  https://walkerart.org/calendar/2018/allen-ruppersberg-intellectual-property-19682

REPORTS & RESOURCES

Online resources from the Library of Congres

  • 2018 marks the 100thanniversary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein. The Library of Congress is celebrating by making available online musical manuscripts and scrapbooks from the digital collection – 23700 items, including photos, writings, correspondence, scripts, musical sketches, scrapbooks and audio recordings.   At this writing the Bernstein Collection at LC consists of an estimated 400,000 items, including manuscripts, correspondence, audio and video recordings, photos and more.  The Library will celebrate the Bernstein centennial with a Spring mini-fest May 12-19. (loc.gov/concerts/bernstein100.html) More information at https://www.loc.gov/item/prn-18-038/library-launches-leonard-bernstein-centennial-celebration-with-thousands-of-bernstein-items-online/2018-04-10/
  • Immerse yourself in a virtual tour of the Library. In this video, Janice McKelvey discusses the history of LC,including the era when it was located within the U.S. Capitol from 1800-1987 https://www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/feature_wdesc.php?rec=8268&loclr=eanw.
  • If your interest is in expanding resources in music, learn about NLS Music Notes, a blog for and about those who want, need or provide the special format music of braille, audio, and large print; the showcase includes classical and popular music, new titles, interviews of and articles about blind and low vision musicians, music braille transcripters and features about current music events. https://blogs.loc.gov/nls-music-notes/
  • One fascinating post is Harriet Tubman: Teaming Up to Acquire a Rare Photograph https://blogs.loc.gov/loc/2018/03/harriet-tubman-teaming-up-to-acquire-a-rare-photograph/
  • Learn more about the work of library conservatorswith this video: “Conservation of the Emily Howland album”https://www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/feature_wdesc.php?rec=8267

 “Secret Service and White House win Rosemary Award for Worst in Open Government in 2017 https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/news-rosemary-award/foia/2018-03-12/secret-service-white-house-win-rosemary-award-worst-open

 “Our favorite signs from the 2018 March for Science https://blog.credomobile.com/2018/04/favorite-signs-2018-march-science/

 Almost 50 years Frederick Wiseman’s documentaries are now available on Kanopy – free to anyone with a library cad, a faculty or student ID. https://slate.com/culture/2018/04/frederick-wisemans-documentaries-are-now-streaming-via-kanopy.html

 “Enchanting illustrations carved from old books” https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/art-carved-from-old-books

 “Here are the ‘Transparency’ policy documents the EPA does not want you to see” by Yogin Kothari, Washington representative, Center for Science and Democracy, April 21, 2018. Union of Concerned Scientists. https://blog.ucsusa.org/yogin-kothari/here-are-the-transparency-policy-documents-the-epa-does-not-want-you-to-see

“Yale’s insanely popular happiness course now open to everyone’ by http://mentalfloss.com/article/540264/yales-insanely-popular-happiness-course-now-open-everyone-online, Michele Debzac, April 2018

“John Moss and the roots of the Freedom of Information Act: Worldwide implications https://unredacted.com/2018/04/17/john-moss-and-the-roots-of-the-freedom-of-information-act-worldwide-implications/

 Free online library – https://www.childrenandnature.org/?search=main&s=eeRESEARCH

“Raising teens in a new country” http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/Raising-Teens-New-Country.pdf

 https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/two-museum-directors-say-its-time-tell-unvarnished-history-us-180968341/  “History is not pretty and sometimes it is vastly different than what we’ve been taught: – Lonnie Bunch and Kevin Gover

 Craig Silverman, http://www.niemanlab.org/2018/03/living-in-a-sea-of-false-signals-are-we-being-pushed-from-trust-but-verify-to-verify-then-trust/  March 8 2018, NiemanLab “This new initiative deploys humans to review, research, and rate U.S. news sites” NiemanLab, March 5, 2018

 The rise and fall of the Hormel Girls, who sold America on SPAM https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/history-of-spam-hormel-girls

 INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE DAY SATURDAY, APRIL 28

April calendar – addendum

April 21 – Coming to the Table,10:30 AM-Noon at the Sumner Library, 611 Van White Memorial Blvd, Mpls.  Descendants of those who were enslaved and descendants of slave owners, and all those interested in engaging safe constructive dialogue come together to envision the US as a just and truthful society that acknowledges and seeks to heal the racial woods.  Free and open.

April 22 – Earth Dayhttps://www.dogonews.com/2018/4/17/earth-day-2018-is-dedicated-to-reducing-plastic-litter-and-pollution.  More on reducing plastic: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/162e3853a3b757e5https:// www.earthday.org/campaigns/plastics-campaign/ https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/162de1ad1c372acb —

April 26 – Raise your Voice! This is Habitat for Humanity Day on the Hill.  https://www.tchabitat.org/events/habitat-on-the-hill-mn-2018

April 27-29.  Saint Paul Art Crawl. http://www.exploreminnesota.com/events/25487/saint-paul-art-crawl-spring-2018

Through April 28 – 2018 Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival.  St Anthony Main Theatre, http://mspfilm.org/festivals/mspiff/

April 27-29 – Spontaneous Combustion.  Wildwood Theatre’s first production about mental health.  The production is focused on exploring the personal experiences of trauma and how they weave through our everyday struggles. Event is at the Off-Leash Art Box. http://www.offleasharea.org Tickets are priced on a sliding scale, $10-$15.  https://www.wildwoodtheatre.com/welcome

May 3 — It’s a tradition — Over time the Pen Pals author lecture series sponsored by Friends of the Hennepin County Library has become a community tradition.  The fourth and final guest in this 2017-2018 is Jesmyn Ward.  Her talk is set for May 3 (7:30 p.m.) and May 4 (11:00 a.m.)  Ward has written two novels and a memoir, all set on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi.  Her novel, Salvage the Bones, won the 2011 National Book Award for Fiction.   Phone 612 543 8112.

May 5, 2:00 p.m.  Erik Rivenes, Dirty Doc Ames and the Scandal that Shook Minneapolis, RKMC meeting room, Minneapolis Central Library.  For crime fans and local history buffs – the story of turn of the century Minneapolis mayor Doc Ames, “his political scandals, corrupt police department and the downfall that helped jump start an era of reform.  Eric Rivenes is a writer and historian who produces the Most Notorious podcast.  His new book is available this month.

 

 

BULLETIN: Poet Laureate Live – Thursday, April 18

LIVE April 19: Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith

Staying Human: Poetry in the Age of Technology

Tracy K. Smith will report on her rural outreach efforts in her first term as U.S. Poet Laureate. Smith will also discuss the focus of her second term, read poems, and participate in a conversation with Ron Charles, editor of Washington Post’s Book World and host of the Library’s “Life of a Poet” series. Watch LIVE Thursday, April 18 at 7 p.m. ET. – Note this is 6:00 PM CST

Click here to watch on Facebook Live.

Click here to watch on YouTube (captioned).

Click here for more information on the event.

Post-NLW reflections

National Library Week 2018 is history.  If you’re a public librarian who celebrated and survived, take time now to relax —  primp the bun, adjust the bifocals and wag a well-worn “shh” finger at the public library patrons waiting in line for assistance.

When you do get a much-needed break , treat yourself to  a cup of coffee and share a laugh about the unfortunate stereotypical TV depictions with a  real librarian and colleague.   Though there will never be a stereotypical librarian,  this essay comes closer to reality than many depictions….

http://mentalfloss.com/article/539843/secrets-of-public-librarians

National Library Week 2018 – Musings

Librarians are the true superheroes–they can help us find our best selves & carve out the future we want, instead of  what’s thrown at us. – Laurie Halse, author

This week (April 8-14) is celebrated nationwide as National Library Week 2018.  During the week, I have fervently devoted a good deal of time reading and pondering the expanding and necessary role of libraries in this, the “Information Age.”

By week’s end, I have once again concluded that what we should be celebrating is National Librarians Week.  Clearly it is people, not buildings, that shape the library experience today.  And never has the role of library workers been more essential for individual seekers of truth, for their communities, and to the fate of an informed and thinking democracy.

As week’s end, I’m at a loss for words to express the urgency I feel about the challenge facing librarians – and for decision-makers who determine the fate of libraries and librarians in a political environment neither recognizes nor values truth-seeking as a priority.

And so, as I grapple with confusion and concern, I look for hope in the words and thoughts of others.   I have sought for and embraced articulate defenders, those who understand and write about the range of ways in which librarians create community, inform decision-making, and preserve American values – with gusto.

Overwhelmed by concerns about critical and independent thinking in this democracy I turn to more articulate spokespersons to share their vision and hope for libraries and librarians. Try to take time this weekend to peruse, if briefly one of more of these thoughtful essays:

And, if we have the snowfall that’s predicted, you might want to take a quick look at some past blog posts on libraries and the critical thinking skills that inform and fulfill the hope that inspires this democracy.  https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2017/01/27/information-and-media-not-weapons-but-tools/

Democracy depends on an informed population. And where can people get all the information they need? —At the Library.” – Elliot Shelkrot,

National Library Week tradition — Top 10 Challenged Books

ALA’s ‘Most Challenged Books’ List

The American Library Associationreleased its annual Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books, included in the ALA’s State of America’s Libraries Report 2018, which “affirms the invaluable role libraries and library workers play within their communities by leading efforts to transform lives through education and lifelong learning.”

According to the report, libraries continue to face challenges–including the potential for censorship–to a variety of books, programs and materials. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 354 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2017. Some individual challenges resulted in requests to restrict or remove multiple titles or collections. OIF estimates that 82%-97% of challenges remain unreported. Overall in 2017, 416 books were targeted–direct attacks on the freedom to read. The most frequently challenged titles last year were:

  1. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  3. Drama by Raina Telgemeier
  4. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  5. George by Alex Gino
  6. Sex Is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  8. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  9. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, illustrated by Henry Cole
  10. I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas