Calling for more GPOMLs: Show Us Your Libraries!

I’ve shown you mine, now, as kellymce suggests, show me yours. Let’s make GPOML-Thursday (Gratuitous Photo of My Library) a thing.

Tumblarians - post photos of the library where you work! If don’t work in a library, just post a photo of your favorite library - the one that’s a part of your life! Non-librarians aren’t merely welcomed to contribute - they are heartily encouraged.

We’ve all seen the beautiful photos of the Trinity University Library, the Library of Congress, and the various other high cathedrals of literature tumbl around a thousand times. Let’s see the libraries in our communities, our local colleges, or down the street, the libraries where people head every day to get work done, find the latest books, or learn about the newest technology.

Make sure you tag your posts GPOML!


Robbie Burns Day is coming up this Saturday, January 25th, and we at UIowa Special Collections have created a mini-display in anticipation.  The day serves as an opportunity to celebrate the life and poetry of the recently named “Greatest Scot of all time”: Robert Burns!  Burns was born on January 25, 1759, and would have turned 255 this year! The day is most often celebrated with a supper featuring haggis (of course), toasting and poetry reading, and a rousing round of “Auld Lang Syne” (written by Burns in 1788).  So grab your preferred Scottish beverage this Saturday and toast to the man who wrote your favorite New Year’s song and provided the iconic words, “O my Luve’s like a red, red rose,” to murmur in your Valentine’s ear!

Items on display feature:

·         sheet music from the Ada Holding Miller collection (MsC 510 F4)

·         a print of Archibald Skirving’s red crayon portrait of Burns, from the larger Robert Burns Print collection edited by Seymour Eaton, 1900. (PR4335 .E3)

·         A Double Six from Scotland—“A pamphlet of six whiskies, each appropriately accompanied by a Robert Burns poem.” (PR 4302 K3)

·         and Poems Chiefly Scottish printed in 1787 (PR4312 P6)

-Jillian P.

How are you promoting National Library Week at your library?

Tumblarians, we want to hear all about the National Library Week events at your library! And, by entering our National Library Week 2013 Photo Contest, sharing what you are getting up to *might* just win you a laptop for your library.

All you need to do is send in a photo from your NLW 2013 event or promotion along with a 100-500 word description and preferred contact information, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win your library a laptop. All submissions should be emailed to by 21 April 2013.

Please note the competition is open only to those within the United States and entrants must be affiliated with a library (employee, volunteer, etc.). By entering the competition, you agree to these Terms and Conditions. (Any law librarians will understand the struggle we had to come up with this.)

The winning photo and notable entrants will be shared on Oxford Academic’s Tumblr, but of course we hope to see many more gratuitous photos of libraries this week and beyond.

And, what is OUP doing to Celebrate National Library Week? You may well ask. We’re freeing up both the Oxford English Dictionary and Oxford Reference sites to everyone in North and South America for the whole week. Simply visit one of these products homepages and login in with the username: libraryweek and the password: libraryweek and you will have full free access to both sites. Visit the OUPblog for details.

This is the white board across from the information desk in my library. I post a question every week, but this was the fastest it has ever filled up. The question was, “Who is a professor that made a difference for you?”

Cockles of my heart: warmed. I’m going to send the photo to all the professors listed. 

Today’s Gratuitous Photo of My Library: The University of Louisville photo archives curator & print manager found this lovely set while shelf reading. It is a stereo viewer with glass positives from WWI. You see something similar to this quite often but the images are printed on cards. The glass retains massive detail, which makes the viewing quite intense. You definitely feel like you’re there.

Announcing: The #GPOML Contest

This week I hit my 3rd anniversary on tumblr. I felt like I got in on the ground floor of something special: a burgeoning new community of energized, creative librarians sharing ideas, inspiration, and educating each other. It’s been fun, I’ve met great people, and I’ve learned so, so much.

I’ve occasionally promoted the #GPOML hashtag: gratuitous picture of my library. The first time was in response to the endless pictures of the grand libraries that circulate tumblr constantly: the reading room of the NYPL, Trinity College Dublin, and all those other grandiose spaces. Don’t get me wrong: I love those, but I wanted to see photos of your libraries, from your eyes, the way they work for you.

So here’s the contest: anytime in the month of December, share a picture of your library on tumblr and tag it #gpoml. The photo can be:

  • the exterior;
  • a grand space inside;
  • a close-up of a display;
  • an architectural feature;
  • a cozy reading nook;
  • you at a service desk; or…
  • anything, really.

Use what you think is important, arty, interesting, or worth sharing. Something you like about your library.

Please note:

  • don’t post a photo of patrons unless you have their permission;
  • take the picture yourself;
  • you can enter more than one photo in the contest, but don’t spam us, ok?
  • you don’t have to follow me to participate.
  • you can include a blurb about your library, or not: up to you!


If there’s going to be a contest, there has to be a winner, right?

I’m going to assemble a crack team of judges to help me pick a winner (I haven’t asked them yet, but they’ll say yes). We’ll announce the winner in early January.

What does the winner get? The legendary Baker & Taylor “cat” tote bag photographed above, delivered in the mail. And bragging rights.

Different groups are starting to beautify the construction wall in the library.  Here’s Special Collections’ display featuring our Enchiridion from 1546.  Stop by and see!  Better yet, stop by the 3rd floor and see the original and as a bonus, the third floor is pretty insulated from any noise, so you can find quiet corners.