Everything Imaginable Can Be Found Here

When you think of libraries do you limit yourself to books, magazines and DVDs? I hope not! There are a lot more things to be discovered in most libraries.  Special collections in libraries include all kinds of objects. in particular, you should be aware that Vinyl record collections are growing in the library market.  I’ve noticed where I live there are a booming number of vinyl record shops have been popping up. In fact, even Barnes and Noble stores have started selling vinyl classics along with other bookstores. My alumni magazine from the University of Wisconsin – Madison reports this month that the University’s Mill’s Music Library has about 50,000 individual titles of 33 1/3 and 45 rpm records as well as duplicate copies of many of those records. Mills’s Music Library has twice as many old 78 rpm records. For those of you who are younger, 78 rpm records were mostly classical music, while 33 1/3 and 45 (revolutions per minute) were more for popular music albums and hit parade singles from the last century.  Public libraries often carry CD’s and many still have old vinyl records. The Boston Public Library says it has 200,000 vinyl records in its collection. Other smaller public libraries may carry vinyl too.  Music researchers, music collectors, and fans may want to use these collections and/or donate to them.  I have to ask, could it be possible that music too, like books, will have a new revolution involving self-published vinyl someday? The cost would seem a barrier, but many people still play these records. Here’s a blog site post by a Canadian record producer about the costs involved in making vinyl records – “Hot Wax: When Does It Make Sense for a Band to Press Vinyl Records?” Hot Wax: When Does It Make Sense For a Band To Press Vinyl Records? It would nice if technology in the future could make the recording process a bit more affordable.  Nevertheless, if musicians have built a strong enough audience, this may be one way to get some of their work into libraries.  My point here is that often there are unique kinds of materials we can find in libraries that exist nowhere else.  If that description fits your creative project, please don’t despair. Ask librarians in charge of the music or special collections areas in their library for their ideas of how best to market...

Rebuilding a Library from Scratch

From Aramco World magazine July/August 2018 comes this rather surprising announcement about a Canadian museum exhibition that features an ancient library in the Middle East. The exhibit is titled 168.01 — A Library Rising from the Ashes. In 2003 The College of Fine Arts at the University of Baghdad lost its entire library of 70,000 books during the invasion of Iraq when looters set fire to the collection. Previously in the 13th century Mongol army invaders destroyed all the libraries in Baghdad. The invaders threw the entire library of the Bayt al-Hikma (House of Wisdom) into the Tigris River to create a bridge of books their army could use to cross the river. “The pages bled ink into the river for seven days—168 hours—at the end of which the books were drained of knowledge.”  Wafaa Bilat, the Iraqi artist, named his museum exhibit 168:01 to indicate the first moment when grief yields to a spur to take action to move forward from loss.  His exhibit runs at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto through August 19, 2018. ————— From the Web:  The artist of the exhibit has been running a Kickstarter Funding campaign to buy new books. In 2016, more than 1600 books were donated to the project around the world. Here is Wafaa Bilat below:   Kickstarter Funding – Wishlist Books were purchased from Amazon by the 168.01 team using funds from the Kickstarter campaign. Books were first sent to the Art Gallery of Windsor and the Esker Foundation as part of the exhibitions, before being prepared for shipment to Baghdad. During the exhibition at the Esker Foundation, the local community purchased white books from the gallery and the gallery used the money to buy books from a local bookstore. Individual and Institutional Donations – People and institutions from around the globe purchased books from the Amazon list and/or donated books from their personal collections. These books were also sent to the galleries for the exhibition and prepared for shipment after the exhibitions ended. At the end of the exhibition at the Esker Foundation, all of the purchased and donated books from all sources were organized, cataloged, and prepared for shipment. The Books are being prepared for delivery to Baghdad. To see how the books will be shipped as well as awards the artist and exhibit have received click here:   The librarian behind it all Judith Frangos is...

Even Famous Authors Self-Publish

Lawrence Block is an award-winning best-selling author of several book series and short stories. Block is most famous for his Burglar mysteries. Block’s Burglar books feature Bernie Rhodenbarr. Bernie is a bookseller by day and high-class thief by night.

This series of ten books began in 1977 with Burglars Can’t be Choosers, and seemed to end in 2004 with Burglar on the Prowl.

Then nearly ten years later, in 2013, The Burglar Who Counted Spoons came out as a self-published book by Block.


Walter Benjamin – Storytelling vs. Fiction

Walter Benjamin’s essay “The Storyteller” in Illuminations: Walter Benjamin: Essays and Reflections (English translation 1968), will be thought-provoking for anyone who loves to write or read fiction.

Most of us think of fiction as storytelling, but it isn’t really. I can attest to this from experience.

Back on a September day in 2004, my drumming mentor, Barbara Borden, gave me a day pass to “The Healing Power of Art” at Moscone Center in San Francisco. On my way to Moscone I passed an intriguing stranger.

What caught my eye at first was a large patch of burnt-looking skin on his face. I recognized it immediately.


Mobile Libraries on Four Legs

In What’s Going On at the Library, I noted that some librarians are making space for new kinds education within library walls while others are taking their expertise outside the library and on to the Internet.

The movement to go outside library walls isn’t exactly a new trend, though. In early California librarians used to ride out all over the state on horses all to deliver books. This WPA photo below shows one of these “pack horse librarians” delivering books to her patrons.

In Northeastern Kenya librarians are using camels to deliver books to children


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