little library assistant things <3
  • that feeling of ultimate power that comes from being able to waive all your own overdue book fines
  • sweet little old ladies borrowing huge piles of erotic fiction
  • finding a colleague you didn’t even know was working today behind a book shelf three hours into your shift
  • *mobile phone rings* “HELLO!!! YEAH I’M IN THE LIBRARY!!!”
  • accidentally squashing someone in the rolling stacks
  • deliberately trying to squash each other in the rolling stacks to see if it would be possible to murder someone that way
  • the secret librarian art of sneezing completely silently
  • two secret magic words to make the eye of any children’s librarian twitch: Daisy Meadows
  • restraining your seething rage when a parent tells their child they can’t have a book they picked out because ‘that one is just for boys/girls!’
  • “I’m sorry that new book is so popular there’s a long waiting list!” (every single copy is on loan to a member of staff)
  • customers sidling up and putting ‘50 Shades of Grey’ of the counter upside down in a futile attempt to hide what they’re borrowing
  • “I’m looking for a book.” “…um, could you possibly be a little more specific?”
  • petition for James Patterson to STOP ALREADY
  • assuring customers that we don’t judge them based on what books they borrow
  • judging customers on what books they borrow

Public libraries are a treasure

You might think libraries are outdated. Why drag yourself to a brick-and-mortar book warehouse, where you have to rifle through shelves of confusingly sorted offerings with maybe-yellowed pages that god knows how many germy fingers have thumbed, where there’s an expiration date on your ownership and where, at the end of it all, you have to actually carry a book around?

You scoff at the thought: Isn’t that the burden from which Kindles and iPads evolved to free us?

Well, maybe. But all that slim technology can’t replace the tactile satisfaction of turning a real-life page, the delight of seeing just how far you’ve made it through a fat paperback, or the exhilaration of picking a random book off the shelf and ending up infatuated with it. If you’re like me, the ritual of being a “library-goer” might even add a smug little pep to your step, as if you’re smart enough to take advantage of this open secret that everyone seems to be shelling out hundreds to eschew, choosing instead to spend yet more time staring into a screen.


Libraries Change Lives

I don’t know how else to put this: it’s immoral to study poor people and publish the results of that study in [a] journal run by a for-profit company that charges more for your article than what the household you studied has to buy food this week. I cannot think of any valid excuse for publishing social research this way.

Barbara Fister, “This Rant is for Social Scientists” | Library Babel Fish

Barb Fister takes no prisoners arguing that Open Access is a social justice issue.

For Your Reading & Viewing Pleasure

At the Library, a Cafe and TV Studio, and an Effort to Modernize - Boston Globe

Bibliophilia: the Extraordinary Library of Catherine the Great - Wonders & Marvels

The Future of Libraries Has Three Different Paths - Zócalo Square

How Mindfulness and Storytelling Help Kids Heal and Learn - Mind/Shift (Includes video)

Librarians Stand Again Against FBI Overreach - Hartford Courant

Libraries of the Future are Going to Change in Some Unexpected Ways - Business Insider

Lovely Hidden Paintings Adorned the Edges of Historic Books - Atlas Obscura

Studies in the News – a weekly compilation of policy-tested articles and reports produced by the California Research Bureau

The World’s Oldest Library Gets a 21st Century Face Lift - CNN

25 Of the Most Magnificent Libraries Around the World - Right from the Pages of a Fairytale

There is an essence of timelessness when it comes to libraries and books. Even with the modern marvels of human technology, e-books, audio books, libraries have still preserved the atmosphere of exercising and feeding the human mind with rich text and pages of storytelling. These great feats of architecture we have featured below are the integration of great design and the age old love of ancient yellow pages that have the history of the world etched in them.

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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


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.

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Here in the northern hemisphere, the Perseid meteor shower should be peaking sometime soon, as Earth crosses into the dust trail left by comet Swift-Tuttle. Are you watching for shooting stars?

- Kelli

Pérégrinations d’une comète, from Un autre monde : transformations, visions, incarnations … et autres choses by Grandville. Paris : H. Fournier, 1844. MU Ellis Special Collections Rare NC1499.G66 A42. Original image at

Have you ever thought about how much is available to you, to use and take in and enjoy, without needing to own them? Concerts, libraries, parks, a good joke, sunsets, the smell of freshly cut grass, soaking in the sun a lazy afternoon in August, or sharing a cup of coffee with someone you love on a still Sunday morning, watching the world wake up? And have you ever thought about the fact that memories, all your memories, are built on these things—things you don’t need to own. They are like the universe’s gift to us all, to enjoy. Like a present to celebrate you being here. How beautiful is that?