Welcome to Night Vale tweets 4/?
Brilliant New Yorker cartoon by Harry Bliss.
It’s here: the annual celebration of the freedom to read/be human; our week-long soapbox to stand up against censorship/stupidity; that special time of year during which librarians can demonstrate their value/badassness.
Here’s a comprehensive listing of banned or challenged books in the US for 2012-13.
Here’s the American Library Association’s Banned Books site.
Please follow along at #bannedbooksweek #banned book week #tumblarians #libraries #librarians etc. to see what libraries and librarians are working on across the country to protect your right to read.
It’s a sexy week for libraries. Let’s have fun.
Harry Potter twenty-somethings | Pansy Parkinson
Following in Madame Pince’s noble footsteps, Pansy became the next librarian at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, hissing and stomping a Louboutin heel at any student who even glances at the Restricted Section without permission. She and Draco hone their sarcastic eye-rolling skills while sipping bitter tea in the teachers’ lounge.
Look, I’m not going to explain the intricacies of time travel to a man without a library card.
(Someone on a listserv I’m on had this in their email signature, and it pretty much made my week. So thank you, listserv person. And Batman.)
Photo: David Flores
Smell is chemistry, and the chemistry of old books gives your cherished tomes their scent. As a book ages, the chemical compounds used—the glue, the paper, the ink–begin to break down. And, as they do, they release volatile compounds—the source of the smell. A common smell of old books, says the International League for Antiquarian Booksellers, is a hint of vanilla: “Lignin, which is present in all wood-based paper, is closely related to vanillin. As it breaks down, the lignin grants old books that faint vanilla scent.”
A study in 2009 looked into the smell of old books, finding that the complex scent was a mix of “hundreds of so-called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released into the air from the paper,” says the Telegraph. Here’s how Matija Strlic, the lead scientist behind that study, described the smell of an old book:
A combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness, this unmistakable smell is as much a part of the book as its contents.Ed note: What makes rain smell so good?
People can lose their lives insides libraries. They ought to be warned.
— Saul Bellow (via chimerainsider)
And even if we have the stuff, if the assignment is written in such a way that it assumes students have had experiences with information that they have not had (reading paper newspapers), or that they know things they don’t know (research is published in things called journals) — it will make things worse. When students already think “everyone else knows this but me” then an unfamiliar term like “peer review” or “LC” will send them over the edge.
This is part of Anne-Marie Deitering’s excellent series on designing good library assignments. So, so, good - I have to restrain myself from quoting the whole thing at you. Go read it (and part 1)! I can’t wait for the next installment.
Great, great post—but I will say I’m OK with keeping some “library anxiety.” Students, you should be nervous! This is college! You’re going to think and read and write in a way you haven’t before, aided by tools you haven’t used before! Get ready to be a student.