Newsletter (June 2007)
J U N E 2 0 0 7
Where’s the Meat?
It’s official. My hobbies are too ordinary in comparison to those of other librarians. For example, the Spokesman Review in Spokane published an interview (5/4/07) with Coeur d’Alene City Librarian Bette Ammon. If you think librarians only collect books, think again. When the interviewer asked her what people would never guess about her, she replied “I have a canned meat collection from all over the world – Spam and all of its cousins. I have some disgusting octopus from Prague and spork from Canada.” Hmm…I wonder if she has her meat collection arranged alphabetically, or by classification number.
While we’re on the topic of meat, one Alaska librarian has a variety of moose recipes and can cook up a tasty sandwich of moose nose. Yes, you read that right. In an article that ran in the Anchorage Daily News (5/13/07) wilderness librarian Bonnie Potter talks about life in Alaska, including the moose her husband killed and her moose nose recipe. In the article she states “You boil the nose until the hair comes loose and pluck it like a duck. Then you chop up the meat, throw away the bones and then make a pickle-type brine for it and can it. It makes a really good sandwich.” I wonder if she found that recipe in the library!
I don’t know about you, but my next meal is going to be a vegetarian one!
Librarians in Space
As a long time science fiction fan, I often dreamed of being the first librarian in outer space, or at least to the edge of space. Unfortunately, Nicole Arnaud, a fifty eight year old librarian at the Royal Society of Antiquaries in Dublin’s Merrion Square has already claimed that glory. An article in the May 20th Sunday Mirror (London) reported she flew to an altitude of 90,000 feet, the equivalent of three times the height of Mt. Everest, in a Russian Mig 25 “Foxbat” fighter jet. In the article she reports, “When you are at that height you can see the stars in the sky in spite of it being a bright sunny day down below. You can also see the curvature of the earth stretching away beneath you and the thin layer of atmosphere blackening upward into space.” I’m green with envy!
What Happens When a Radio Personality
The library world is treated to a library Internet radio show – more commonly known as a library news podcast. Marv Kaminsky, a former radio personality was lured into the field of librarianship, earning his MLIS degree from SUNY in 1997. He subsequently worked as a reference librarian for ten years before launching LibVibe: The Library News Podcast (http://LibVibe.com). Click on the LibVibe link, and twice a week, usually on Monday and Thursday, you can listen to a five-minute broadcast of library news right at your computer. No iPod needed. For all you multi-taskers, this is a great way to stay abreast of what’s happening in the library world while doing other paperwork in the office.
Hmmm…. I wonder how we can lure more radio and TV personalities into the library profession….
Librarians Continue Their Hero Status
Book 8 of James Turner’s Rex Libris comic book series is now in print. (If you’re unfamiliar with the series, Rex Libris is the Head Librarian of the Middleton Public Library who travels the galaxy and battles evil, all in his quest to retrieve overdue library books.) In this new comic book, Rex wrestles man-eating horrors in his attempt to rescue a library patron trapped inside the Book of Monsters. Thank goodness I don’t have rescuing library patrons from evil in my job description.
Also later this month, look for the Rex Libris trade book. According to James Turner, it will contain the first several issues, plus added extras, such as pin ups, a four page Rex vs. Red Baron, and some musings on the comic. More information can be found at www.slgcomic.com or www.jtillustration.com/rex/news.php
If you prefer a female superhero, then check out the new Super Librarian comic book. Yes, this is the same caped, shapely Super Librarian originally created by the New Jersey State Library a few years ago as part of their public awareness campaign. The library recently issued “The Virus”, the first Super Librarian comic book. In this first book, we’re introduced to Christine Kars, the twenty-three year old Head Librarian of the Sandview Public Library, whose secret identity is Super Librarian. “Knowledge is her sword and justice her shield. She is the sworn protector of the written word and thus, the world.” Her nemesis in this first book attempts to unleash a virus on Sandview.
Available in both English and Spanish, the comic book was distributed by New Jersey libraries during Free Comic Book day on May 5th. You can view the entire comic book on the web at http://web.mac.com/ndowd/...Welcome.html
Librarian Characters Continue to Appear in the Theatre
“Underneath the Lintel,” Glen Berger’s off-Broadway one-man play continues to tour the world. Recently being performed in London, the play is now being performed in Lansing, Michigan through June 10th. The play centers around an unnamed Dutch librarian who seems to lead an insignificant life, at least until the day that a Baedeker travel guide checked 113 years ago is returned in the library’s book drop. This overdue book is the catalyst for the librarian’s relentless worldwide search to find the book’s borrower so he can collect the long overdue fine. And of course, his search is a life transforming experience.
Another play, currently running in Toronto until June 9th, features a librarian character in a minor role. The play, “Homebody/Kabul,” was written by Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner and is set in Afghanistan.
Lynx Librarian Doll
I happened to stumble across this item for the ultimate librarian doll collector. Stuffe and Nonsense Stuffemal in Fremont (California) sells a hand-crafted 18 inch plush jointed librarian lynx doll named Annabel. Annabel is described as a rather stern Edwardian librarian lynx. “She’s somewhat matronly looking, but ever since The Music Man, everybody knows that librarians are beautiful non-conformists if they just take off their glasses and let their hair down. And she’s not plump, she’s fluffy.” Available by special order only, you can view and learn more about the librarian lynx doll at
New Book Featuring Crime Solving Librarian
Mystery writer and former librarian Jo Dereske’s tenth mystery novel featuring one of our favorite crime solving librarians is now in print. In Catalogue of Death, forty-two year old librarian Wilhelmina Zukas searches for the motive behind the explosion at Bellehaven’s new library, which killed the library’s benefactor. I can’t wait to add this to my list of summer reading!
Shelf Reading Parties in Kern County
One thing I love about librarians and library staff is their creativity. They can even make something as boring a shelf reading* interesting. Kristine Duke of the Kern County Library (CA) writes:
“The staff of the Tehachapi Branch of the Kern County Library has Shelf Reading Parties!! Why make shelf reading the tedious chore that it is when you can have fun with it? Three mornings a week for about 20 minutes go out to the shelves to read them but … when it is done as a group it is actually enjoyable. The group talks about family, events, town gossip and such. And yes shelves really do get read!”
* Shelf reading is when a staff person goes through and looks at each of the books or items on the bookshelves to make sure they are in the proper order.
For More Information About Librarians…
Be sure to purchase a copy of my new book, Casanova Was a Librarian: A Light Hearted Look at the Profession available from McFarland (www.mcfarlandpub.com), Amazon.com, and other retailers.
Congratulations to Amy Ciccione, this month’s Librarian Fun winner, and to Tony Redman, whose correct quiz entry was randomly drawn as the winner of a copy of my new book.