Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Cool Stuff Online! (Federal Art Project)

Sometimes, the fact that Capital City Library never removes dated books leads to wonderful discoveries. I like to check out art books and just flip through them, maybe skim the text. Recently, I picked up The New Deal for Artists, by Richard D. McKinzie (Princeton University Press, 1973). The picture of a mural Stuart Davis did for WNYC seemed really cool -- and I wondered if it still existed. It moved to the Metropolitan -- learn more about it and other art works completed for WNYC from this short documentary on their website.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Choosing Asides

I really enjoyed the book I just finished, The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet. In short: boy genius wins fellowship from Smithsonian and hobos himself across the country to accept.

I liked the quirky plot, and I really liked that it's an illustrated novel with sidebar pictures and notes. Maps and nature pictures? Count me in. The reflectiveness of the asides makes me think of Nicholson Baker's The Mezzanine -- one of my all-time favorite books, perhaps because it was one of the first books I read after college, when I could pick anything I wanted. Perhaps because I like his asides because it's the way I, too, think. (Maybe we all do?)

I like that our hero, T.S., keeps notebooks and jots things down. Well, he maps things out -- like his sister shucking corn. I jot. Not as fanatically. Sometimes, I curb it: no one wants to see the Collected Scribbles of Lisa! But with T.S. in my head today, I went ahead and grabbed a notebook from the glove compartment as I sat in the line at the drive-through at a burger joint on U.S. Route 1, near work. In line with me were a truck with the bumper sticker "I [heart] the Latin Mass!" a Honda with the plate "VCU CHIC," and another car with the plate "DRA9ON." Wow. Can one hear a Latin Mass in Richmond?? Maybe our modest Catholic population has increased because of immigrants? The Honda didn't surprise me -- she must be a design major at the local university; and as for DRA9ON, well, he (or she) just rounded off our odd little group.

It cheers me up to capture these quirky moments. If you like this kind of serendipity, too, you might like both Spivit and The Mezzanine.
Ref Desk Random

Helpless Job-Applier is here, again.

I tell overweight woman I will not do anything about the body odor of the man next to her. I point out other PCs available.


Books she placed on hold an hour ago.


How to print.

Stormy: Misty's Foal



Surprise a 60-something with the news that fiction is arranged by the author's last name.

City map.


Distinguished Alumnus of this Lib calls; I put him on hold to check something for him. When I pick up again, he notes that our hold music sounds "spacey" -- like Dr. Who. Awesome.

And now, Angry Facebooker is here. . . I'm stopping this list before I cry!

Friday, June 05, 2009


Library Journal
's "Library by Design" insert features the new Darien Library on the cover. Notes LJ, of the "contemporary version of the classic 'schoolhouse chair[s],'" teens have "remarked how [the furniture] reminds them of Hogwarts." LJ features pictures in another room with long tables that match those chairs, but this picture gives you the idea.

I love that -- that a book (okay, probably the movie more so) could make young people love what used to be thought of as stuffy and old fashioned! I grew up with chairs like these in my schools, and the public library probably had something like this, only in brown or orange. Everything was brown and orange and yellow in the 70s. Even while the the houses all around us were Colonial revival (or at least inspired) furniture in public spaces was bland-to-modern. I don't think I ever saw "classic schoolhouse" or library furniture until college. (OK, it didn't look like that when I was there. This picture is from last year; the table more so than the chairs is the look I remember.)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

New Search Engines

While the
BBC found mild approval for "Bing" as a search engine name, I think I am with Shelf Check's Jan:

See also: Bing Crosby.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Tuesday Last Half-Hour Ref Duties

- Yes you can call your mom for a ride.

- Asked adult couple seated near center of the room to quit with the foreplay.

- Queried my teen volunteer on what she meant by "I rounded my hours off."