Travel Tuesday!  We don’t have an exact date for this poster, but we know it was produced sometime between 1915 and 1934 because of the ship pictured. Metagama was built for the Canadian Pacific Line in 1915 and was in active use until 1930.  It was scrapped in 1934.  During its lifespan, it was part of the largest shipping fleet in Canada, responsible for moving people and goods across both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

To Scotland : Canadian Pacific Steamships.  [Canada] : [Canadian Pacific Steamships], [between 1915 and 1934] MU Ellis Special Collections Poster NC1849.T68 T62 1915 or in the MOSpace Digital Library
When America's Librarians Went To War
American Library Association volunteers in Paris on Feb. 27, 1919.

Looking back at the nationwide support for American troops in the two world wars, we see Americans of all stripes making patriotic contributions and sacrifices — including farmers, factory workers and librarians.

Wait.  What?  How did librarians fit in to national security in the 20th century?  In an array of ways, says Cara Bertram, an archivist for the American Library Association.  Libraries were established at hospitals and military bases.

“In both wars, librarians back at home or on the front were key in collecting and distributing books to soldiers,” Bertram says.  “During World War I, librarians maintained camp and hospital libraries,” and in both world wars, “librarians promoted books drives and encouraged donations.”

Librarians were especially active during World War I.  The ALA reports that between 1917 and 1920, its Library War Service established three dozen camp libraries with the support of the Carnegie Corporation and raised $5 million in public contributions.  Special uniforms were created for librarians in World War I.  The American Library in Paris — established in 1920 by the ALA and American expatriates, and seeded with books from the LWS — continues to this day.

War Librarians.

(also fodder for Wartime!Librarian!Steve Rogers AU fanfics?)
Making the Most of Your Time in the Archives: Research Technology
As funding budgets shrink, many historians face increased pressure to make the most of their time in distant archives. For a number of years now, a lot of researchers have favored a good digital ca...

Advice on tech tools from historians doing archival research!  Fellow archivists and tumblarians, do you have anything to add?
Libraries as Platforms of World Domination Part 1
Libraries as platforms (collections, databases, maker spaces, gardens, WiFi hotspots, recording studios) built by librarians to enable community empowerment....

I listened to this last week and found it interesting and motivating. One thing he mentioned that shook up how I think of things is that, “how may I help you?” rather than being a pleasant question (although I’m sure it is meant that way by most and comes off that way) is actually an arrogant question. It should be more about working with the patron to get to answers and solutions, not just providing all of them. I haven’t come up with a good alternative to ask/inquire on a regular basis though. Any ideas?

Conceptions, Ms.

Questions about my gender come up every time I do outreach with kids. Yesterday, I visited a kindergarten class.

Kid: “Are you a girl or a boy?”

Me: “I’m a girl.”

Kid: “You look like a boy.”

Me: “Some girls look like boys.”

Kid: “You want to see something cool?”

Me: “Sure.”

He then proceeded to take off his prosthetic foot.

Kid: “It’s my new foot.”

A Library That Plummets into the Abyss

Swedish artist Susanna Hesselberg constructed an ingenious installation which is composed of an ominous library in the ground, which plummets into underground of the Earth, similar like a mining shaft. The visual results are alarming and spark great curiosity. Titled “When My Father Died It Was Like a Whole Library Had Burned Down,”Hesselberg submitted this piece into the biannual Sculpture by the Sea in Aarhus, Denmark. 


For her entry into the biannual Sculpture by the Sea in Aarhus, Denmark, Swedish artist Susanna Hesselberg installed this ominous library that plumments into the ground like a mining shaft. While visually arresting, the piece has a somewhat somber intention. Titled “When My Father Died It Was Like a Whole Library Had Burned Down,” the artwork makes reference to lyrics from Laurie Anderson’s song World Without End. The piece joins an additional 55 sculptures on display right now at the 2015 Sculpture by the Sea through July 5, 2015. (via Hyperallergic)


If you were airdropped, blindfolded, into a strange town and given nothing but a bus ticket, to where would you ride that bus? You might be surprised to learn that there’s only one good answer, and that’s the public library. The library is the public living room, and if ever you are stripped of everything private—money, friends and orientation—you can go there and become a human again. Of course, you don’t have to be homeless to use a library, but that’s the point. You don’t have to be anyone in particular to go inside and stay as long as you want, sit in its armchairs, read the news, write your dissertation, charge your phone, use the bathroom, check your email, find the address of a hotel or homeless shelter. Of all the institutions we have, both public and private, the public library is the truest democratic space.

Federal funding for libraries is down nearly 40 percent since 2000. Our democracy may never wholly recover