Posts filed under ‘academic libraries’

poem for a sculpture

Segal Woman with Sunglasses on Bench
This sculpture by George Segal sits on a bench at the Milton S. Eisenhower Library at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. An anonymous sestina was recently found in its hands:

Dearest Muse,
I do not invoke but address you,
For I wish to thank you for your watch
Over this humble (or not so) university library
Where thousands and I have spent hours in study.
Please accept this work.

O, I cry to passerby—have you seen her? Have you come inside? Have you
Paid a salute for a blessing on your work
From the Muse of the Milton S. Eisenhower Library?
There she sits by the door to the quad, a study
In worn marble on a plain iron bench. She keeps watch
Over all those who enter her domain. (They smile. Do I amuse?)

She wears a watch
And goggles pushed up into her hair—a practical Muse.
I imagine she has come fresh from diving, some study
Of fantastic ocean creatures or slowgrowing plankton—the steady work
Of science as it takes the world and me and you
Forward, sometimes through this library.

Students, teachers, passerby—there is so much to do in a good library.
Sometimes you can even get done your work.
More often you are caught in the endless flood of work, study,
Essay, friends, study, and the sun rises but not on D-level and you stare into dead space and muse
That somewhere out there is the world (you’re bad at it) and friends (who all got this assignment done like competent people) and food (you don’t recall the taste of strawberries, nor the sound of water, the touch of grass…) and you, in the dark, useless, last, you—
Rest. Restore. A library has comfortable chairs, and the Muse will keep watch.

There is merit, too, perhaps more in lighter study:
Humanity in its prime, learning and laughing as they amuse
Themselves and each other at their work.
In a word: people-watch!
Joining with near-stranger to work a project, emerging from the depths to unforeseen companionship, you
Will find no purer kinship than in a university library.

And what they build—oh, the works!
Endocrinal Effects of Neural Synapse Protease to Satanism in Dungeons & Dragons: A study;
Blueprints for a rocket, a solar shade, a perfect clockwork watch;
Essays and stories and poetry, the architecture itself for a whole new library—
For inspiration, above all, is the gift of a Muse.

 

Thanks, Esau Katz, for bringing this to my attention!

June 5, 2017 at 1:30 pm Leave a comment

miniature horse receives MLS

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FUNCLibrary%2Fvideos%2Fvb.110056955968%2F10154435743040969%2F%3Ftype%3D3&show_text=0&width=560

“Kiwi the miniature therapy horse was awarded an advanced degree today at UNC Health Sciences Library — a Master of Library Shenanigans.”

(As far as I know, this degree is not affiliated with the Library Shenanigans blog.)

Thanks, Joan Petit!

May 9, 2017 at 11:40 am Leave a comment

so many shenanigans

I went on a road trip with my family and a whole bunch of library shenanigans (and one museum shenanigan) piled up.

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The Hermitage Museum keeps 74 cats on site to protect its treasures from rodents! Thanks, Anna Bendiksen.

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Gloria Gaynor disco party at the Library of Congress in May, yes, this is for real. You know you wish you could go.

 

“Quirky photo project” by Elise Schimke at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

 

The whole collection, back in the vault.

The Folger Shakespeare Library apparently gets pretty cold, but researchers can borrow hand-knit shawls while on site. Thanks, Lynne M. Thomas!

 

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And speaking of library-themed clothing, library book leggings are available from Kickin Leggings (this ad showed up in my Facebook feed, so Facebook isn’t totally useless I guess).

 

March 31, 2017 at 4:23 pm Leave a comment

Valentine’s Day shenanigans

Libraries and librarians never let me down at Valentine’s Day. The Ramsey County Library posted this excellent valentine on their Facebook page:

isbn

And the Loyola University Library in Chicago, following the lead of several other libraries, put together a Valentine’s Day display of “blind date” books wrapped in brown paper:

blind

(Thanks, Amy Shuffelton!)

See also this post.

February 15, 2017 at 3:45 pm Leave a comment

alternative facts section of the library

howardlibraryCheck out this sign at the library of the Howard University School of Law.

Thanks, Maryann Corbett!

Addendum (same day): Here’s a related image, from the Facebook page of The Bookloft in Massachusetts. Thanks, Lisa Lister!

bookloft

January 25, 2017 at 10:38 am 2 comments

shushing already-quiet people

Um … I’m sorry, everybody. But I had to include this as a library shenanigan. It’s actually like twelve different shenanigans piled together.

Thanks, Marianne Aldrich!

December 16, 2016 at 11:45 am 2 comments

ISBN shenanigan

onbeyondzebraAs Curator of Colorado College Special Collections, I recently ordered a copy of Woody Leslie’s book Understanding Molecular Typography. There appeared to be a snag in the cataloging, and the following email conversation ensued:

Cataloger Amy: Hello, Jon (and Jessy),  If this link is behaving as it was for me just now, then you will see the image, with a link, to a Dr. Seuss book to the right of the title I just cataloged, “Understanding Molecular Typography.” Hmmmmmmm……..  :-/

Systems Specialist Jon: That bib record contains the ISBN for the Dr. Seuss title so it’s pulling the Dr. Seuss book cover image… Correcting or removing that ISBN should fix the problem. I also noticed that a subject heading of Humor is shown on that bib-is that correct?

Amy: I figured it had to do with the ISBN. The ISBN in the record is indeed the ISBN on the title page, so, I’m not sure how one might handle that. About humor, yes, that is correct, despite the rawther serious-sounding title.

Jon: Interesting-so it’s a humor book and they put the ISBN for a Dr. Seuss book on the title page? That’s kinda funny. WorldCat seems to have the same problem: http://www.worldcat.org/title/understanding-molecular-typography/oclc/920580763 –as do the catalogs of all of the other libraries WorldCat shows as holding this title… This is now actually hilarious.

Curator Jessy: Wow. This is fantastic actually! I wonder if they did it on purpose. Maybe I’ll try to contact the author or publisher and see.

Amy: I’d love to know what he says. It’s kind of like a library shenanigan. I mean, why “On Beyond Zebra”?? This is a first, for me.

Jessy: Dear Woody Leslie, As you can see from the email chain, your book is causing some confusion and hilarity at the Colorado College library. We think you did it on purpose. Are we right?

Artist Woody Leslie: Hi Jessy, This really made my day! Thanks for contacting me. Yes, I intentionally appropriated that ISBN number. Understanding Molecular Typography is a fictional textbook by a fictional author about a fictional science — the science of molecular typography, which is based on the premise that all letters are in fact molecules, composed of atomic shape units known as typtoms. One of the ideas of the book is the concept of genetically modified, or invented letters. I used that ISBN number as a tribute to Dr. Seuss’ book On Beyond Zebra, because it’s all about invented letters. I didn’t account for library cataloging of ISBNs when I used it, figuring it would mostly be ignored. I too have noticed the World Cat auto picture selecting based on the ISBN. Glad you were able to sort it all out. There’s more about the book and project here.

December 9, 2016 at 11:18 am 1 comment

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