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The Novel’s Title May 16, 2008

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Slow moments at the reference desk sometimes inspire the kind of back-and-forth title lobbing that results in a list like “Famous and Possessive,” seen this week on Booklist online. The list is Keir Graff’s alphabetic shout-out to all of those books whose titles read “Someone famous’s Noun”. Like Galileo’s Daughter and Schrodinger’s Cat.

I might add in a list of “The Professional’s Family Member”: The Memory Keeper’s Daughter; The Time Traveller’s Wife; The Arsonist’s Daughter; The Magician’s Nephew, The Abortionist’s Daughter.

Is it worth a display? Only on a very boring day. But the list is worth a look. Keir Graff’s blog is just the thing for a rainy Friday afternoon.


The GWB Center for kids who don’t read good – update March 6, 2008

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The nominees have been chosen in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Back-of-the-Envelope Design Contest” for the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

View them here. If you wish to vote, free registration is required.

You think you’ve got facilities problems? February 14, 2008

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This beautiful but disheveled library is in fact a diorama created by the artist Lori Nix.

See more of her mesmerizing work on her website.

His literary legacy January 24, 2008

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What do you think the George W. Bush Presidential Library should look like? If you had a seat next to the President and a few minutes to bend his ear, what would your back-of-the-envelope sketch look like?

This is just what The Chronicle of Higher Education is asking with its Back-of-the-Envelope Bush Library Design Contest. Put your design skills and sense of humor to work and give the President the library environment he deserves!

How come our bookcarts don’t have wings? November 25, 2007

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Woolly mammoths, conestoga wagons, the Yellow Submarine and the Mystery Machine were all entries in the nationwide Pimp My Bookcart competition sponsored by Unshelved.

Go to the contest website to see the winner – a UPS truck complete with working headlights!

Librarians: The Party People November 14, 2007

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Check out the overwhelming evidence that despite the hard-partying image of rock stars, Hollywood starlets, and aimless debutantes, library folk are the ones having all the fun. Here’s a presentation by Marylaine Block for the Nevada Library Association, October 4-6, 2007.

LII discovers BCPL August 2, 2007

Posted by sneaks in BCPL best practices, fun.
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Do you get Librarians’ Internet Index: New This Week emailed to your inbox? Every Thursday, it delivers up-to-the-minute topical Internet content… in their words: “between thirty to sixty websites representing the best of the Web, selected and described by the LII Team.”

And what website made their weekly “best of the Web” for August 2? Why, the Harry Potter page on the Baltimore County Public Library web site. Woo-hoo!

PS: Good news for you MD 23 Thing-ers who have discovered the beauty and convenience of RSS feeds – LII is available as an RSS feed too!

Big art museum! Local artists! July 11, 2007

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The Baltimore Museum of Art is continuing the FreeFall Baltimore program with free admission all year. Take advantage of their great new family fun kits, the free admission, and their superlative air conditioning and go check out new exhibit “The Janet & Walter Sondheim Prize Finalists: Artscape at the BMA.” Send good vibes when you view the work of Finalist Tony Shore – he’s Perry Hall’s Andrea Shore‘s husband!

Which Hogwarts student are you? July 6, 2007

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Sneaks took a couple of those Harry Potter character quizzes on the Internet and here are the results:

First of all, we’re in Ravenclaw:

Said Ravenclaw, “We’ll teach those whose intelligence is surest.”

Ravenclaw students tend to be clever, witty, intelligent, and knowledgeable.
Notable residents include Cho Chang and Padma Patil (objects of Harry and Ron’s affections), and Luna Lovegood (daughter of The Quibbler magazine’s editor).

Take the most scientific Harry Potter Quiz ever created. Get Sorted Now!


Next, we find out we’re Harry!

I was Harry Potter at the Harry Potter character quiz @ Crazylicious.com

Or maybe Hermione…

Which HP Kid Are You?
Or maybe Harry after all…

Pirate Monkey's Harry Potter Personality Quiz
Harry Potter Personality Quiz
by Pirate Monkeys Inc.

(This last one is based on Myers-Briggs personality types!)

Why not click through and have a little fun before rounding up all your J fantasy books for a big “What to read if Harry Potter is all checked out” display!

We’re famous! June 7, 2007

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Hemmingway the BookWorm brings the mayor to the library to show that it can offer much more than the internet can. This video (1:58), shot at Towson, is one of five finalists in the Thomson Gale “I Love My Library!” video contest. You can cast your vote for the one that you think best conveys a love for the library and its resources at the Librareo website. The deadline is June 11.

Word is that the filmmakers plan to split the cash prize with the library if they win! So go vote!

Which book? This book! June 1, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, fiction, fun, great ideas, problem solving.
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From the UK we get a wacky new way to help adults find a book that suits their mood or taste. Whichbook is a web site that helps the user identify books in terms of setting, protagonist gender, plot shape, or… and this is the really mind-blowing part… by using a set of descriptors like funny, happy, sad, serious, disturbing, sexy, etc.

It’s hard to describe. Here’s a screenshot:


Each of those scales on the left has a slider – so you can ask for a medium-short book that is very funny and sort of disturbing, and has just a little sex. So far, I’ve tried lots of combinations and never stumped it. And, being British, Whichbook offers choices that might not be the first books that we would reach for.

Whichbook apparently also interfaces with the British library system, so when you find a book that suits you, you can hit a button marked “Borrow it.” Wow. This might qualify as a MD 23 Things technology post… that is some high-powered stuff.

Pimp my Book Cart May 18, 2007

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… and speaking of stuff there’s no time for (*weep*), check out the winning entry in the Pimp my Book Cart competition sponsored by Unshelved, the library comic strip.

Grand Prize: Pink Cadillac by Katie George and the teens of the Miller Branch of Howard County Public Library in Ellicott City, MD.

Click through on Pimp My Book Cart and scroll down. Wonderful work! The other entries were just as impressive – the hippie-style cart Support Glitteracy by Amanda, Emily, Garrett, Kelsey, and Linda at the Olympia Timberland Library almost won for the name alone.

Bookstore paradise May 16, 2007

Posted by sneaks in fun, great ideas, J is for Juvenile.
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Every now and then you come across something that is just plain amazing. Children’s book author Esme Raji Codell (author of Sahara Special and Vive la Paris, just to name two) recently visited Reading Reptile, a Kansas bookstore specializing in “books and tapes for young mammals,” and took many many photos of that store’s inspired, outrageously creative displays. She posted her photos and wrote about the experience on her excellent book review blog, The Planet Esme Plan.

Maybe none of us have the time, or the budget, or the expertise, or the willingness to go elbow-deep in the paper mache, but these photos were just so inspiring we had to share.

Just for fun April 26, 2007

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A couple of library-related fun links for you…

Yes we all use Google for searching, but PC Magazine suggests a few Internet search engines with something extra… StumbleUpon lets you rate the pages you come across; Ms. Dewey is a sassy librarian who answers your questions, and ChaCha offers live chat with a guide!

And… Stephen Colbert speaking about National Library Week. It’s video, so you’ll need to turn on your speakers, and if you’re on a slow Internet collection (Hi, Essex!) you might not want to try.