Pete and I had a wonderful time at MidAmeriCon II in Kansas City, MO! We met tons of fans and supporters of the Hevelin Digitization Project, gave out U I Libraries swag, and signed up new volunteers for the transcription process. 

One of my favorite moments of the Con arrived at the end, when my friend science fiction author E.J. Fischer got me into George R. R. Martin’s exclusive party for the Alfie Awards. Martin created the Alfie Awards two years ago in response to the “Sad Puppy” controversy and their subsequent takeover of the Hugo Awards.The party took place in the Midland Theater in downtown Kansas City, and was absolutely spectacular. Most of the photos in this post are from the party, and the 4th and 7th photos feature George R. R. Martin himself, handing out awards. It was amazing to be a part of such an experience; the award winners were so gracious and the vibe of the evening was overwhelmingly joyous and celebratory. It was a fantastic end to a fantastic con!


We’re kicking off a new series over on our other blog, featuring the work of students in Dr. Juliette Paul’s English 4300 class and their research on an early American manuscript entitled The Lucubrator

This post (a Tumblr exclusive!) is by Meghan Cox.

Tumblr as Commonplace Book

The Lucubrator looks very much like a commonplace book. The pages of the manuscript are filled with essays, letters, and epigraphs expressing ideas that the author wished himself or herself, and possibly others, to remember. Commonplace books are repositories of knowledge often used for didactic purposes. Their pages are filled with ideas, observations, letters, quotations, tables, and drawings.

 The Lucubrator and the genre of the commonplace book can be compared to our modern day Tumblr. Tumblr enables us to create original content that is useful for personal and educational reasons. If you want to find Tumblr-like writing before websites were created, or perhaps even a history of the modern Tumblr, the commonplace book is one genre to which you would turn.  

 Technology has influenced the way we now collect knowledge and information, however we still can see parallels between genres of the past and present. Despite being developed in different time periods, both the Tumblr and the commonplace book are used for similar purposes, offering places for one to keep their thoughts, fascinations, and inspirations.  


New video! Colleen stops by the Conservation Lab to check out the book repairs going on.

Printing for a Cause | American Libraries Magazine
A Houston-area girl gets a new prosthetic limb thanks to a library makerspace, 3D printing technology, and a community of designers and volunteers.

Apparently, one of the cool things you can do in your public library is literally give a kid a hand. And the reason I’m talking about it here instead of on my other blog is that some of the designs for “e-NABLE hands” are licensed under Creative Commons or GNU, so they’re available for free if someone wants to take them and print out their own parts for a prosthetic. Pretty cool!

Perrero, M. (2016, August 9). Printing for a Cause. American Libraries Magazine. Retrieved from https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/blogs/the-scoop/printing-for-a-cause/

Color My World - Blues
Coloring is an artistic way to use your imagination and express yourself. Listen to music from the Library's collection as you discover the calming effects of coloring in this program for adults. Materials will be provided. Main Library, Third Floor - Audio Room This event is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the Putnam St. staff parking lot. Enter through the Cass or Woodward Avenue doors. Music, Arts, & Literature Department 313.481.1384

Click on the link for information about our adult coloring program with records spun by yours truly on August 24, 2016 at 6pm!


On this day in 1814, British forces invaded Washington, D.C. and set fire to public buildings, including the White House, the U.S. Capitol and the Library of Congress. When Thomas Jefferson learned that the 3,000-volume Library of Congress had been destroyed, he offered Congress his personal library as a replacement.

You can visit us and see the original letter in Jefferson’s own hand in which he proposes this important gift to the nation. A second copy of the letter, made on Jefferson’s polygraph, resides in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress.

The letter was donated to the University of Chicago Library by Frank Wakeley Gunsaulus (1856-1921), who was perhaps the most notable Chicago collector to contribute rare books, manuscripts, and autographs to the early University of Chicago. Between 1910 and 1919, Gunsaulus donated 340 American and European manuscripts, letters, and autographs from the sixteenth through the twentieth centuries to the University.

Learning to JAM in 5 steps: New initiative reminds journalism students to archive their digital work | RJI
Journalists take note: the internet eats your stories for lunch. News professionals who assume someone else is saving their digital output are often shattered to find they have little or nothing to show for years of stressful work on deadline.

If you’re a human with a computer, this is information you need to know! Journalist or not, we all have digital work that we care about saving for the future.  Learn personal digital archiving with our colleagues at the Journalism Digital News Archive.

An Old English word for library was “bōchord”, which literally means “book hoard”, and honestly I really think we should go back to saying that because not only does it sound really fucking cool, but it also sort of implies that librarians are dragons.


200,000 Rare Books Are Inside 300 Year Old Dublin Library

The Long Room, as this 300 year old library has been dubbed, is stowed away in a corner of Dublin’s Trinity College. The magnificent library is boasted to be the largest in Dublin, and contains over 200,000 rare books that would make any scholar, student or teacher make a permanent nest within these 65 feet long walls holding a precious amount of knowledge. The library was built in 1712 and 1732, and is dotted with Peter Scheemakers’s famous bust sculptures.

Keep reading



You can read my previous ‘Top Ten Most Beautiful Libraries Around The World’ post here.

1. The National Library of the Czech Republic - Prague, Czech Republic

2. Admont Abbey Library - Admont, Austria

3. Trinity College Library - Dublin, Ireland

4. The Royal Portuguese Library - Rio de Janiero, Brazil

5. Stuttgart Municipal Library - Stuttgart, Germany

6. George Peabody Library - Baltimore, United States

7. Wiblingen Monastery Library - Ulm, Germany

8. University of Iowa Law Library - Des Moines, United States

9. Walker Library - Minneapolis, United States

10. Vennesla Library - Vennesla, Norway


The JSTOR Art Project 

I’m PUMPED to share this poster with you–It’s one of my favorite pieces I’ve completed in the past year. I was asked by JStor to create an image of a student’s desk…and to, basically, have fun with it. I filled the space with treasured objects from my studio, from my memories, and from my own research projects on JStor. I included some detail shots because this poster was HUGE and I was able to get really detailed. 

Detail 1: An excerpt from a quote that is very important to me.
Detail 2: Some book spines, including a sneak peak of the spine of Compass South (our first story, Hope! :))
Detail 3: A ticket stub that is very important to me. (and I only wish I owned that skull)
Detail 4: Pluche, or the Love of Art–a good book and you should read it.

 This poster will be distributed to school libraries and institutions across the country.

In addition, JStor also came to my studio and filmed a little interview with me about the poster. If you are interested in seeing my adorably low-budget studio space and my pink-potato face, you can watch it here. (edit: or below)