Seen in the stacks: more recent acquisitions of nineteenth-century children’s books!  I couldn’t resist taking some photos of the most recent batch right on the cart as they came in to be processed.  Many of these books were originally part of the College of Education’s juvenile reading collection.  Some have been well loved, but they still boast colorful cloth bindings stamped in gilt, and the fact that they’ve been used means they have even more stories to tell.  

Katya (you know her from her Caturday posts) is leading the effort to inventory these materials and add them to Special Collections.  For more information, ask us here on Tumblr or on our website. You may see more of these books soon!

- Kelli

anonimo ha chiesto:

hello there! I was curious, how do I ask a librarian for help when looking for a book? Do I just ask what the book is or are there other ways to find the book? (sorry for the question I'm new to the US)

Just find the reference desk (the one I work at is called the “Ask Us” desk) and let the librarian know the title or author (ideally, both) of the book you want and ask them if they can help you locate it. Give the librarian as much information as possible and be friendly and polite when you do so (so many people aren’t). They will check their system to determine if the book is currently on shelf, then will either write down the call number and or, if they’re really good, walk you over to it. If they tell you where it is, you can always ask them to show you, if you are unsure of their organization system.

If you want to do things on your own, there will be computer terminals throughout the library that say something like “catalog” near them. You can type the title/author of the book (or movie or cd, etc.) into the search bar and it will tell you where the item is kept and whether or not is currently available. Again, if you get the location and don’t know where it is, you can ask a librarian.

Additionally, you don’t need to have a specific book in mind to get help from a librarian! Librarians also do reader’s advisory, which means they are (or should be) trained to help you find a book you might enjoy! So you can approach a librarian and tell them authors or books you’ve enjoyed in the past or describe things you like in general, and they’ll start suggesting books to you! I highly suggest taking advantage of this service as a way to discover new books. Lots of libraries even have an online form for those who don’t want to ask in person.


We’re getting very, very close to announcing the recipient of the 2015 SPX Graphic Novel Gift, as well as the art and artist for the bookplate that will grace the inside cover of each book from this year’s grant.

But, first, a little background… 

You’ve probably seen me say that SPX is more that an annual festival. We’re on a mission to promote, preserve and protect independent comics. Our graphic novel gift program is one way we do this.

Via this program, which began in 2011, SPX provides an annual grant to a local library, providing funds for that library system to purchase graphic novels from a group of participating independent publishers.

Thanks to the generous support of publishers from the SPX community, and to you for your attendance at SPX, this program has put over 1,000 graphic novels on the shelves of DC area libraries.

Every book provided by SPX is affixed with a unique bookplate marking it as a gift from the Small Press Expo.

Past bookplate artists include Lili Carré, Adrian Tomine,  Kali Ciesemier and Eleanor Davis.

Can’t wait to share our 2015 bookplate - and I won’t have to wait long!

Treasures from the Jane Scott Papers

As one of the country’s first daily newspaper rock-music reporters, Jane Scott (May 3, 1919 - July 4, 2011) diligently covered the local music scene, from the most obscure local bands to stadium headliners, documenting thousands of people, places, and events that otherwise would have been lost to history. Over the course of her 40 year career with The Plain Dealer, Scott covered every major rock concert in Cleveland and was on a first name basis with many stars. For 2015, the Library and Archives received a History Fund grant from the Ohio History Connection to process Scott’s archival collection and digitize her reporter’s notebooks.

The Jane Scott Papers are a part of the Northeast Ohio Popular Music Archives (NEOPMA), which comprises a substantial group of archival collections (including personal papers, correspondence, photographs, song manuscripts, business records, posters, and rare audio and video recordings) and library materials (including books, dissertations, magazines and journals, commercial audio and video recordings, and sheet music) that focus on popular music, musicians, radio stations, record labels, recording studios, music venues, concert promoters, booking agencies, and music publishers in Northeast Ohio.

We’ll be posting fun items to tumblr as new treasures are discovered, and keep an eye out at the end of the year for the complete finding aid to the collection!

Image: Patty Smyth (Scandal) autograph, from a show at the Music Hall, February 20, 1985.

Some Things Your Local Librarians Would Like You To Know

It is not a stupid question. Even if it is a stupid question, we have been thoroughly trained to answer your question without judgement or second-guessing. Besides, we’re mostly just glad you’re not asking us about the noise the printer is making again.

There are probably (at least) two desks in the library. One is where you check out books and is mostly staffed by people wearing nametags that say “Circulation Clerk.” These people can answer your questions about damaged or missing books, fines, and how many forms of identification we’ll need if you want to get a library card but your mailing address is in Taiwan. The other one is closer to the books and computers and is mostly staffed by people wearing nametags that say “Librarian.” These people can answer your questions about spider extermination, how to rent property to the United States Postal Service, and the number of tropical island nations in which you could theoretically establish the first United States Embassy. We would love to answer these questions for you. It would be a nice change from the printer.

We probably own a 3D printer by now. 3D printers, are cool, right? Please, please come use our 3D printer, it’s so lonely.

We spent a lot of money to hire this woodworker to come and teach a class at the library which you can attend for free. You will probably be the only person between the ages of ten and fifty in attendance, but your presence will fill the librarian with an unnameable joy. They will float back to their manager in a daze. “A young person came to my program,” they will say. You will have made their entire job worthwhile.

Every time you ask us for a book, movie, or music recommendation, a baby librarian gets their first cardigan.

Somewhere in the library, there is a form. If you fill out this form with your name and library card number and the details of the thing you are looking for, we will find you the thing. Sometimes the answer is “the thing is in Great Britain and they will not send it to us,” but more often the thing will just appear on hold for you, and one day you will pick up a copy of that out-of-print book you never thought you would read and maybe you will say, “Wow, the library is amazing,” and the librarian’s heart will glow. 

Please bring back book #2. The rest of its series misses it very much.

Five dollars is not a large library fine. Believe me, before I started working in libraries, I too wondered how someone could sleep at night, knowing they owed money to the library. When we laugh as you sheepishly apologize for your $2.50 in overdue fees, we are not mocking you, we are thinking of the ten people we sent to debt collection already today.

We really don’t care why you’re checking out Fifty Shades of Grey. Maybe you have a specifically-themed ironic bachelorette party to plan. Maybe you’re working on a thesis paper about mainstream media’s depiction of female sexuality. Maybe you just got curious. We will give you the benefit of the doubt. 

Whatever you’re smoking in the family restroom, please stop.

Somewhere on the library’s website, buried under “Links” or “Research” or “On-line Resources,” is a page that a librarian spent a month’s worth of work on. It contains many links to websites you thought everyone knew about, and one to a page that you could never have imagined existed that perfectly solves a problem you never expected to be resolved. 

Imagine the kind of person who would think to themselves, “Library school sounds like a thing I should do.” For the most part, you are imagining the kind of person who is now a librarian. We want very much to help you, but we’re not entirely sure how to do that unless you ask. You are not bothering us. Please, come and say hi.

I love a library. The idea of reading books for free didn’t kill the publishing business, on the contrary, it created nations of literate and passionate readers. Shared interests and the impulse to create.

David Byrne turns his own books into a lending library

Complement with this photographic love letter to libraries and the marvelous poem “If Librarians Were Honest.”

(HT Open Culture)


I got carried away with the photography on this one, especially considering that (yet again) most of these are more diagram than map, but hey! They’re really neat.

Kircher’s work is elaborately and beautifully illustrated, and well worth a more thorough look. You can see find more info and images here and here.

BookKircher, Athanasius. Athanasii Kircheri … Mundus subterraneus, in XII libros digestus; quo divinum subterrestris mundi opificium, mira ergasteriorum naturæ in eo distributio, verbo pantámorphou Protei regnum, universæ denique naturæ majestas & divitiæ summa rerum varietate exponuntur. Abditorum effectuum causæ acri indagine inquisitæ demonstrantur; cognitæ per artis & naturæ conjugium ad humanæ vitæ necessarium usum vario experimentorum apparatu, necnon novo modo, & ratione applicantur. Amstelodami, apud J. Janssonium & E. Weyerstraten, 1665.


I love these issues of The Science Fiction Fan, ca. 1939-40.  These are nice examples of hectography in fabulous condition.

The Science Fiction Fan. Ed. Olon F. Wiggins. Vol. 4, No.9, Whole 45. April 1940. 

The Science Fiction Fan.  Ed. Olon F. Wiggins.  Vol.4, No.10, Whole 46. May 1940.

The Science Fiction Fan.  Ed. Olon F. Wiggins.  Vol.4, No.5, Whole 41. December, 1939. 



This library has a book worm problem…. 


Hot on the heels feathers of the Fawkes the Phoenix cake, here’s another awesome Harry Potter-themed cake from the Birthday Mischief Managed project. Top Tier Cakes created this incredibly elaborate cake shaped like the interior of the library at Hogwarts. We’d like to join Sean Fallon of That’s Nerdalicious! and shrink ourselves down in order to enter this mouthwatering library so that we could read and then eat all of those marvelous, magical books.

[via That’s Nerdalicious!]

anonimo ha chiesto:

Is the public library an appropriate place to try to meet new friends? I recently moved to a new state, and have no friends yet. There is a considerable age gap between my coworkers and I. I don't go to school, I'm not religious, and I am not a drinker so that rules out the top 3 social settings for most adults. I feel my local fiction section may be my only hope of meeting a friend with similar interests, but I don't want to be a creep, or disrespectful to any one trying to enjoy a book.

Omg yes, please come to the library, we’d love to have you. If books (or movies! or music!) are a big interest for you, libraries are a great place to meet people who share that interest. Libraries are really pushing to become a “third space” where members of the community can gather, so more than ever, this is an option for you.

My suggestion is to see what kinds of programming your library offers and attend one of their events. For example, I’m leading a whole series of programs for 20s/30s that exist almost solely to give people a safe place to meet each other, have a good time, and not have to go somewhere that requires money. [Side note: if you’re in the Chicago west or south suburbs, I posted a list of my upcoming programs at mylifeinthelibrary. You should come!]

Book clubs are great, too. They might be hosted by the actual library, or the librarian may be able to put you in touch with someone in the community that runs one. Or you could start one!

Or you could just walk up to people in the fiction aisles and strike up a conversation about what they’re reading. “I love that book. Have you read anything else by the author?”