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Monday, January 30, 2006

Blog Plug

If you're looking for a good read, check out:

Maggie Reads.

She is a former fellow library student, and she always had insightful, witty remarks in class! I'd say the same about her blog!

Enjoy!

Coffee Talk

If you know me, you know I LOVE coffee! OK, is love really a strong enough word? Just like Lorelai Gilmore, I live and breathe my coffee...it's a borderline obsession!
So, when my wonderful husband found these fan-tab-ulous quotes, I just had to pass them along!

A fig for partridges and quails,
Ye dainties I know nothing of ye;
But on the highest mount in Wales
Would choose in peace to drink my coffee.
-
Jonathan Swift

Coffee falls into the stomach...ideas begin to move, things remembered arrive at full gallop...the shafts of wit start up like sharp-shooters, similes arise, the paper is covered with ink.
-
Honore de Balzac

Coffee, which makes the politicians wise, and see through all things with his half-shut eyes.
-
Alexander Pope

The drink that comforteth the brain and heart and helpeth digestion.
-
Sir Frances Bacon

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.
-
T.S. Eliot

It is caffeine alone that sets my mind in motion. It is through beans of java that thoughts acquire speed, that hands acquire shakes, that shakes become a warning...I am in control of my addiction!
-Minicon Graffitti Wall

The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce.
-
Oliver Wendell Holmes

No one can understand the truth until he drinks of coffee's frothy goodness.
-
Sheik Abd-al-Kadir

The powers of a man's mind are directly proportioned to the quantity of coffee he drinks.
-
Sir James Mackintosh

When we drink coffee, ideas march in like the army.
-
Honore de Balzac

Now...isn't it time for a cup?!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Reading and Writing

Yow-wow, am I behind in posting! Just might have to get that home computer after all!

Just to get in an early plug, check out my husband's new blog. It's fanatstic and insightful and wonderful...and, OK, I'm slightly prejudiced!

So, lately I've been trying to get re-adjusted to school and my new diet (lost one pound, six inches so far), I've mostly been catching up on my reading! I was lucky enough to receive some excellent books for my birthday and Christmas.

Two of my favorites: Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer and Writers of the American South: Their Literary Landscapes.

The former was fun because Warren St. John was researching the football season from my sophomore year, which I remember well as the year we unexpectedly won the SEC tournament!

The latter, however, really inspired me to get kicking and try my hand at writing again. I haven't done anything definite YET, but I have made a few plot/character sketches that I hope to put foundations under in the next few weeks.

I found a quote by National Book Award-winner Jeanne Birdsall. She has written a book "so retro it's radical" called The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and a Very Interesting Boy.

Birdsall grew up in an alcoholic family and said (in School Library Journal), "Books about families were an escape. They gave me a sense that there was a world where families were close, and sisters took care of each other, and you could get in trouble, and it wouldn't be a disaster. People are saying children who lead traumatic lives need books that validate the trauma, and I'm not saying they're wrong. But I also think because it worked so well for me, that there are children who lead difficult lives who need to understand that it doesn't have to be so bad. I also think that there are lot of children out there who are still leading wonderful lives, and I think they need to have something to read, too."

That's important because so much of today's literature is "supposed" to be realistic, to portray life with all its gritty, depressing detail. I think, though, that real life is also hopeful, and I'd like to write the kind of book (or short story) that encourages people to search for or hang onto that hope.

Wish me luck! I'll keep you posted and try not to back-blog too much this next month!

Catching Up

Whew! It's been a whirlwind these past few weeks!

I've basically been trying to collect my thoughts enough to put a few of them online!

First off, let me deeply apologize for a typo in my last blog! "Amoung" should be "amount." That's the kind of thing I'm super-particular about, so it always irks me when I don't catch a mistake I make! Anyway, I'm sorry again about that.

Moving on...there's a pretty cool event that the Alabama Library Association is putting on--Making Your Library a Safe Place for All. Don't know if I'm going to make it, but it sounds really beneficial!

Also, I think I've linked to some info before about librarians in film. Here's another cool project about that. Sounds like a must-see!

So, was anyone else as offended as I was by this month's issue of School Library Journal? It talked about teenagers who are "out and ignored." After its one-sided coverage of intelligent design a couple of months ago (not to mention the fact that SLJ's editor-in-chief is gay), I shouldn't be surprised that the coverage was...less than objective.

After all, that's the standard in our profession, right?!

Did the author (or editor) even consider that there might be a reason NOT to fill our shelves with homosexual propaganda? Do they recognize that some libraries (like those at Christian schools) have to respond to this issue differently? Why not recommend literature like Every Young Woman's Battle or Every Young Man's Battle, instead of The Survival Guide for Queer and Questioning Teens.

Anyway, the battle against one-sidedness continues! If you're with me, e-mail SLJ Editor-in-Chief Brian Kenney at bkenney@reedbusiness.com.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Smells, Stress and Tests

Still pondering the "smelly" question, and, I have to admit, I don't have an easy answer. I think there's probably a middle road somewhere that should lean toward serving the maximum amoung of people possible, but I think I'll just continue to ponder and accept any outside thoughts as well!
Moving on...a couple of cool links came through this week.
The "Are you a Librarian?" test...but be warned, it's tough!
as well as...
an article about the stresses of British librarians.
Hmm...I wonder how the smelly population compares in Britain.
Bygones.
Anyway, I wouldn't complain about my job being repetitive and unchallenging! On the contrary--it seems as if something new is always coming up! It can be stressful, but I've been fighting that more this new year--with a lot of prayer and a lot of deep, cleansing yoga breaths!
Oh, well, keep breathing!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a great holiday, and your 2006 is off to a good start.

No complaints on this end.

Jason and I had a great, albeit quiet, time ringing in the New Year. We're off and running on our new "
healthy eating plan." Hopefully that will stick with us on a long-term basis!

I've been filling in as
morning news anchor, while Jason's on vacation this week. Not sure how much more of Fred he can take!

We're meeting a friend of Jason's for lunch today. She is actually a
missionary. Not sure how many details I'm supposed to give here, so I'll just leave it at that! Suffice it to say, she's been an incredible inspiration to both of us, I think, and I'm looking forward to calling her a friend as well.

And tomorrow we're planning to go to Birmingham for new
running shoes! We're also hoping to see a cousin of mine that we haven't seen since the wedding, so that will be fun.

In the meantime, I've been rethinking the focus of this blog, so any suggestions would be nice!

That's about it! Again, Happy 2006! And
Roll Tide!

Bham speaker

Although I will be in Birmingham tomorrow, I'm disappointed that I won't be able to stop by and hear Jessamyn West. West created the web site, http://www.librarian.net.
Just in case you want to stop by, here's the info:

University of Alabama at Birmingham's Mervyn H. Sterne Library
917 13th Street South
Room 158 (the First Floor Seminar Room)
2 p.m., Friday, January 6.

The topic is "Tech Trends in Libraries: The Good News & the Bad News."

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Smelly question

I see that public libraries in Dallas are now allowed to ban smelly patrons. And the American Library Association has reportedly supported this move.

Hmm.

Growing up with a mother who had a frighteningly sensitive nose and having extreme allergies myself, I can understand how much odors can offend.

However, I think the good people of Dallas are forgetting that public libraries are there to serve the public. And, unfortunately, members of the public can often be smelly, especially if they're living on the streets or in extreme poverty. These are the members of the public that the public libraries are there to serve.

What are we saying? That the smellies can only be on the streets?

What about the teenager who has drenched herself in Britney Spears's or J.Lo's latest "essence?"

Or the wealthy chairman of the board who happens to love Old Spice?

I mean no offense to the afore-mentioned scents. It's just that everyone finds some type of smell offensive, and some think some smells are more offensive than others, body odor included! Some cultures find it much less offensive than many of us here in America.

So the question seems to be, "What is to be done when a smell is overwhelmingly offensive?"

Truthfully, I'm not sure. But I think the best solution is NOT asking a patron to leave a public library.

I'll consult Emily Post and some other sources and re-post on this at a later date!

Read from the beginning...