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Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

I am leaving this wonderful article here. 

One of my favorite quotes is when he describes Fiction as “a gateway drug to reading”.

He brings up the idea of there being “no bad books for children” 

And “Information has value, and the right information has enormous value.”


Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors, he is amazing as are his words. His lovely wife Amanda Palmer is also the bees knees. Both are advocates for the arts and for libraries and literacy. 

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Singing in the Libraries

WARNING: This post may have been a bit disjointed, I am getting over a cold and am logged down from travel for weddings. There are lots of broadway references and personal tidbits.

I still remember the first time I saw a broadway show. It wasn’t on broadway, it was at the Majestic Theater in San Antonio. I was around 6, and had spent the better part of the previous year listening to Les Miserable (like every first grader/kindergarden I loved grand operatic tragedies of death and the French Revolution). My developing mind was blown. The music, the stage, the lights, the fact that I had imagined so much of the play totally wrong (again, I was still at the age where I got in trouble for leaving the picture book section in my library… but that is another story).

Where am I going with this?

Everyone should get to see a big broadway production. On broadway, off broadway, traveling troop etc. And I’m not saying there is anything wrong with your local theatre, high school or outdoor avant-garde production of Henry the V with a steampunk and alien twist. But there is something magical about seeing the ‘professionals’ on the great white way.

But not everyone can go to broadway. Not everyone can even see a professional traveling show. Maybe you are saving your pennies. Maybe your town is too small. Maybe you never realized how close a show was to you. Or maybe you are like me and were in the hospital with food poisoning the day you had tickets to Young Frankenstein.  This is where the library can step in and give you a little taste of Broadway.

Today more and more productions are being filmed and put on DVD. I don’t just mean adaptations like the classic Sweet Charity or the upcoming version of The Last Five Years. I mean where they film the actual show on the actual stage, with the audience and all the power of a live stage adaption. MTV put Legally Blonde on the small screen, and I have to say I was grateful. I knew I had little chance of ever getting to broadway to see it. I found a DVD copy of Into the Woods with the original Bernadette Peters and cast. And since the revival had long since been over it was my only chance to see it in all it’s broadway glory. It’s this amazing chance to see shows that may never travel, or that came long before us.

Libraries are a place where you can discover new things, that doesn’t just mean books, but video and audio. There is no reason you can’t seek out and find new shows at your local library. If your library doesn’t have a collection of broadway show on DVD try their CD collections. Or ask them about getting DVDs from another branch, or add it to their suggestion list.

If you work at a library, remember to add great shows to your collection. You could even do a screening, or a display including DVDs, books, CDs, sheet music etc etc. Think of some of the adaptions on the stage now. Think about what you could do with Annie. They have the movie adaption, a version of the stage show, sound tracks, multiple made for DVD spin offs, and books. You could also add in books about the era it’s based on. Maybe have a theme night where kids show off their dog to be the best “Sandy” or see who is the best Annie.

If you are looking for a good list of broadway shows on DVD here are a few places


Playbill has a great selection of plays, musicals and operas. Some of them are adaptations and some are straight up shows. They recently released SHREK the musical on DVD. It’s super fun, and if you saw it on tour you should still check it out. There are different numbers in the tour and the broadway show.


A list from amazon.com. I know a lot of places order their stuff from there for their personal and professional collections. There is some overlap with the playbill selection. I highly suggest Into the Woods. See it before the new adaptation comes out. Meryl Streep is amazing but Bernadette Peters will always be my favorite witch.

Libraries are homes to knowledge. It is also a place where the arts can flourish. We may SHH you in the library, but check out out stuff I encourage you to sing out loud at home.

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Abandoned: Mark Twain Branch Detroit Public Library

Abandoned: Mark Twain Branch Detroit Public Library

This makes me sad. As beautiful and haunting as the photos are, I wish they hadn’t been able to be taken. That is, I wish this library hadn’t been abandoned. A lovely sad pictorial. It would be amazing if it could be fixed up and restored. I am going to try and find images of it before it was left like this. Protect your libraries people. They are important to the community and to learning. 

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Librarians in Comic Books

Read a fun article from I Love Librarians

Look! Up in the Sky! It’s a … Librarian? Librarians in Comic Books

I got a kick out of this. You see, I am a huge comic book fan. And a huge fan of comics being in the library. There is nothing I love more then seeing a huge stack of TPB (trade paper backs to you non geeks) sitting on library shelves. Or even more then that… seeing a bunch of patrons enjoying them and requesting more. Comics can be an amazing gateway into a life long love of reading. I should be posting more about my favorite series, and more about comics in libraries, but for now, enjoy this funny little bit about super hero librarians.
I could be corny and say all librarians are super heroes, but that would be, as I said, corny.
And personally, I prefer sweaters and track hoodies to spandex.


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When I attend ER&L 2013 this past spring I was lucky enough to get to sit in on a session held by Lisa Carlucci Thomas of DESIGN THINK DO 

It was super keen to hear about branding in regards to libraries. The other librarians had some amazing ideas, and the whole session was really inspiring.

On a personal note, as I was reviewing my notes from all those months ago I started thinking about personal branding. Branding on my site, on my email, on my twitter… It’s been the little kick I needed to start rebranding myself as a grown up full on professional with a Masters. What do you think about branding in libraries and in every day professional life?

More thoughts on branding coming after I investigate some different idea.

Also check out my new twitter, it’s a new one branded with the same handle as my wordpress. Operation brand myself is in full effect!

#hashtags in my future!

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Deweyless Libraries Tumblr

Deweyless Libraries Tumblr

A really cool tumblr that reports on libraries that are going Dewey free. Full of really cool articles, links and videos. I am really interested in what people around the country and even the world are doing when it comes to removing an outdated system that is directly involved in their entire organizational system. Wooo the future!

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Genre Based Organization

I recently started working in a unique archive setting and the more I learn there about how they organize things (whenever I am not basking in the joy of working for wonderful people doing amazing fun things) the more I think about what structures people use to catalogue and organize things in libraries. At Concordia where I work we use the Library of Congress for our system.

Yes, I spend a bit too much time thinking about catalogues and organization when I should be enjoying my summer in LA by basking in the sun at the beach.

Instead I am working on a paper for my metadata class and my topic of choice is how to organize public/academic libraries with things OTHER then dewey (my nemesis) and LC.







Here are  few librarians personal blogs regarding genre based libraries and I am considering using this and FRBR for the main focus of my paper.  Must keep searching and start the note taking. Oh organizational schemas, I do adore you.

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