Curating your social media feed to decrease negativity

K so we all know what a downer social media can be sometimes, and yet it can be an important way to connect with people on the internet. SO here are some tips for curating your social media feed so it’s less likely to be a suckfest that makes you lose faith in humanity.

Knowledge is power: follow people who teach you stuff

Educators, libraries, history buffs, computer programmers, anyone who talks about things you’re interested and/or want to learn more about. Some of my favorites:

@othmeralia – This is the blog of a chemistry museum in Philadelphia. I visited there when I was 18 and loved it and got SO EXCITED when I found them on tumblr a few years later.
@fuckyeahhistorycrushes – Awesome historical figures you may have never heard of. Often highlights attractive folks.
@thescalex – science dude and writer (also a good friend of mine). He often posts cool science photos and videos. He and I take credit for each other’s usernames.
@jstor – yes that place where you hunt down academic sources while writing papers in college. Sounds like they’d be a boring blog to follow? WRONG. This blog is gold.
@gladyourenothere – pics of vintage postcards and what people of bygone days wrote on them
@yesterdaysprint’s – one of my absolute FAVE blogs, featuring bizarre and hilarious headlines and newspaper clips from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
@smithsonianlibraries – exactly what it sounds like: cool stuff from the Smithsonian’s libraries. Lots of art and books.
@beautifulmedievalmanuscripts – also exactly what it sounds like. Loads of pictures of really pretty illuminated manuscripts.
@histsciart – very cool historical science art
@ahencyclopedia – a history encyclopedia with lots of cool pictures
@sineads, @thecostumevaultblog, @historicaldress – all really great historical fashion blogs.
@digitalpubliclibraryofamerica – more historical pictures! (I have a type). Could be anything from pictures of historical figures to digitized ephemera from decades past.

Art, cuz pretty

There are LOADS of great artists/art blogs on social media in all of the mediums. Sculptors, potters, painters, photographers, comic/book illustrators, crazy cake decorators, calligraphers, you name it. Not only does following them make your feed a happier place, it can help get the artists more exposure. Some I like:

@theartofanimation – this blog features art from various artists.
@cloverkin – I have four of her prints hanging in my house
@locirodrawsstuff – and two of hers
@mienar, @heikala, @prinsomnia – illustrators and comic artists
@welovewaves – tbh I’m not sure if this is one artist or mulitple, but the art ranges from cool to trippy

Photographers (mostly of nature and stuff):
@xxluminescence – a blog that focuses on pictures of cool lamps + other light sources


Sculptors/potters/clayworkers/cool thing makers (it should be noted that I also have a Type when it comes to sculpture blogs so please seek out what fits your preferences): 

Cutesy clay critter types: @bon-appeteats, @plushlikecreaturesgallery, @quequinoxart, @rivalmit, @emilysculpts, @evgenyhontor, @mijbilcreatures

Potters: @foxtail-pottery, @andrewclarkpottery, @moolric-ceramics, @jtceramics, @skeletaldropkick (and yes their pottery is just as cool/quirky as their name).

@genuslocii – Outdoor sculptures and street art
@sculpture-center – features lots of different sculptors 

Art curators/bloggers/museums
@sophiegunnol – modern stuff
@almostarts – weird/cool art, lots of it 3D
@frickfineartslibrary – a library focusing on art
@didoofcarthage – historial stuff

….and there are a lot more but this section is big enough so I’ll stop here. Point is there are people out there making your favorite kinds of art and they have great Tumblrs.


Because whose social media feed doesn’t need more castles? I recommend:

@castlesandmedievals – cool castles from all around the world
@bibliotheca-sanctus – this is actually libraries but libraries that are like in gorgeous palaces and shit (as a librarian I also have a bias towards libraries) 

Follow the funnies

Humor is always a good way to brighten the day, or your dash.

@effinbirds – Old-timey illustrations of birds with rude captions
@badsciencejokes – all the science puns
@outofcontextdnd – really weird things people say while playing RPGs, only without the context of why they were said (not that the context makes some of them any better).

Feed your inner bookworm

Lots of folks have great book-based blogs. Some focus on photography, others on reviews, usually it’s a good mix of both. Some of my faves:

@theboywhoreadsbooks – pretty pictures and book recs. Includes LGBT+ book recs.
@coffee-bookss – if you like the books and coffee/tea aesthetic, this blog is for you.

This list is only THE TINIEST SLIVER OF A FRACTION of the cool stuff here on Tumblr (and clearly reflects my bias toward history and art). Reblog and tag the blogs that make your feed better!

Note: while this post gives examples of folks to follow here on Tumblr, the same principles apply for other social media sites. On Facebook I like Great Big Story and Atlas Obscura to get posts about historical + present day cool people and places, and on Twitter I like Maggie Stiefvater (for her wonderful sense of humor) and the Library/Librarian of Congress (for all their cool information about all sorts of stuff). Lemme know if I should do a post about cool folks to follow on those platforms too.

Go forth and improve your social media experience!

IT’S FOLLOW A LIBRARY DAY!! (according to Twitter)

In honor of this excellent bookish occasion, allow us to give special shout outs to all of the libraries that we have followed and/or have followed us here on Tumblr. For all of you bookworms and library cats out there that can’t get enough Booklrs, make sure to check these pages out and #followalibrary!!

@alachualibrary (The Alachua County Library District)

@badgerslrc (The Klamath Community College’s Learning Research Center)

@bflteens (Baker Free Library’s Tumblr For Teens)

@bibliosanvalentino​ (Biblioteca San Valentino [San Valentino Library])

@boonelibrary (Boone County Public Library)

@cheshirelibrary (Cheshire Public Library)

@cmclibraryteen​ (Cape May County Library’s Teen Services)

@darienlibrary (Darien Library)

@dcpubliclibrary (DC Public Library)

@detroitlib (Detroit Public Library Music, Arts & Literature Department)

@dplteens (Danville Public Library Teens)

@fontanalib (Fontana Regional Library)

@gastonlibrary (Gaston County Public Library)

@glendaleteenlibrary (Glendale Public Library Teens)

@hpl-teens (Homewood Public Library For Teens)

@myrichlandlibrary (Mansfield/Richland County Public Library)

@othmeralia  (Othmer Library of Chemical History)

@petit-branch-library (Petit Branch Library)

@pflibteens (Pflugerville Public Library Teenspace)

@schlowlibrary (Schlow Centre Region Library)

@southeastlibrary (Southeast Branch Library)

@tampabaylibraryconsortium-blog (Tampa Bay Library Consortium)

@teencenterspl (The Smith Public Library Teen Center)

@teensfvrl (Fraser Valley Regional Library)

@teen-stuff-at-the-library (White Oak Library District)

@ucflibrary (University of Central Florida Library)

@waynecountyteenzone (Wayne County Public Library’s Teen Space)

Hopefully we didn’t miss anyone! (And, you know, if you’re not already following US, now’s a good a chance as any. ;) Just putting it out there.)


A beautiful book tree, a cozy book fireplace, and some cuddly creatures make for a very merry scene at the Othmer Library this holiday season. 

For those who are interested about the little critters gathered together on our mantelpiece, their names are: Don & Mid Mouse (in the sled), Ottilie and the dastardly Mr. Squeaky, and Steve the Monster Book

As always, our dear Oloch was present. After dressing up as Father Christmas and an elf in previous years, Oloch decided he wanted to be an angel for this year’s festivities. So precious.

Season’s greetings from all of us at the Othmer Library!


Another set of bookplates recently found while cataloging. Fun fact about the last one shown here:  Helen was born in Hannibal, Missouri, on July 25, 1873. She received her education in both public and private schools in Boston, MA. She married Rev. Minot Simons in Boston on December 18, 1894. The couple had one son, Langdon, and eventually settled down in Cleveland, Ohio, where Minot served as minister for a Unitarian church. Helen was an active member of the Woman Suffrage Party.

Bookplate of John G. Spenzer, M.D., chemist & physician, featuring a skull with a wreath of laurels atop a book bearing the inscription “Literae mors immortalitas.” Spenzer was a chemistry consultant and a Professor of Chemistry and Pharmacology at the Cleveland College of Physicians and Surgeons. His father, Dr. Peter Ignatius Spenzer (1837-1896), was a pharmacist and medical practitioner who helped found the School of Pharmacy in Cleveland, Ohio.


This year, as part of our annual Othmer Library Open House, we ran an “Escape the Archives” mini-game for visitors. With Processing Archivist Marion Tarly indisposed, players were given 20 minutes to complete a series of puzzles that allowed them to locate an alchemical manuscript before researcher Jen Eric (get it?) arrived. Making their way through donor files, finding aids, and unprocessed collections, one group successfully found the manuscript and “escaped,” while the other sadly remained “trapped” (We considered keeping them around to remove staples for all eternity, but Oloch urged leniency). Nonetheless, a great time was had by all and “Escape the Archives” has quickly become one of our favorite outreach activities. We can’t wait to start planning a new mystery for next year.

Tumblr friends, what favorite public programs have you hosted at your institution?    


From knights to Edgar Allan Poe to alchemists, the bookplates in our collection contain all kinds of fascinating designs. Also of interest (to me at least!) are the stories of each bookplate’s owner. Sometimes you can’t find a wealth of information on these individuals, but other times you find a treasure trove. Take for example the last bookplate shown here - belonging to August Merz. Dr. Merz (1873-1970) was a chemist and businessman in the dyestuffs industry. He began his career in 1897 as a chemist at his father’s dyestuff company, Heller and Merz, and then went on to become Vice-President of Calco Chemical Co. He later became an advisor to the Calco Chemical Division of Cyanamid Co. Outside of the chemical field, Dr. Merz served as a Trustee for several institutions in Northern New Jersey and New York.