Saturday, February 9, 2013

News round-up

"Courtship Dance" carved by Koji Kareki of Japan, Winterlude 2013
  • Thought-provoking: Quiet, Please!, by the Annoyed Librarian:
    "I guess a lot of librarians get bored with all the quiet. Not me. That’s one of the best things about being a librarian, walking into a building that isn’t rife with all the noise unavoidable on the street and in most public places. The noise of everyday life is getting louder, and without quiet libraries will be almost inescapable. But some librarians are too busy rocking to notice, or maybe they just don’t like silence because silence breeds contemplation and they don’t want to contemplate their lives."
  • Celebrating: The Citizen Lab wins the 2013 CLA Advancement of Intellectual Freedom in Canada Award (which reminds me, save the date: Saturday, March 2, 2013 - Censored out loud event in Ottawa, the fifth annual local event to celebrate Freedom to Read Week!)
  • Inspiring: The Ottawa Human Library event (I'm so proud of my colleagues, and Rideau Branch patron Sean!)
  • Informative: "20 questions: Are you ready to be a manager?" from Globe Careers
  • Disturbing (three times over): some seriously offensive blonde prejudice embedded in the (justified) rage over the new Anne cover? "This "updated" version of Anne looks like a new addition to Jersey Shore and probably spends more time partying than re-enacting book scenes with her friends." Hey now, no need to make sweeping generalisations! See also: re-branding The Bell Jar (but hey, you have to laugh, right?)
  • Heart-wrenching: "Prison and Libraries: Public Service Inside and Out," from Library Journal (just try to scroll past the "Shakespeare in Shackles" picture of inmates in segregation without breaking down).
    "Prisoners read and discuss the plays. Inmates, many of whom lack strong academic records, often warm up to the challenge of learning the plays written by the intellectually demanding playwright. More than that, Bates asserts, many prisoners discover, sometimes to their surprise, that the questions posed by Shakespeare’s centuries-old plays may be more relevant than many would assume [....] Frequently, inmates will rewrite the plays to reflect their own changing perspectives. For example, Hamlet may spare Claudius’s life as prisoners reconsider their own thirst for ­vengeance.  Not every prisoner can be changed via humanities intervention, but Bates has met those who say they have not killed thanks in large part to exposure to works like Shakespeare’s plays. She says there should be a place for arts and literature programs in prisons and jails and their libraries."
  • What I have been up to: reading the last of the 60+ books under consideration for the soon-to-be-announced CLA Book of the Year for Children shortlist, piloting some de-centralised projects for our Homebound Services department, working on some interesting new ideas for our Bookmobile service review (while the team maintains service valiantly while one bus is off the road waiting for parts), and entering a dialogue about our tremendously worthwhile Library Settlement Partnerships.


  1. Oh the Anne cover... I wouldn't take it as far as some but the girl on the cover definitely doesn't represent the character. It was great meeting you today. It's nice to find someone else who also enjoys adult books. The blogging world is definitely predominantly YA. Is there a way to follow this blog? I'm having a hard time finding if. I'd love to put it in my google reader :)

  2. Hi Meaghan - nice to meet you, too!

    Try this for following should work or the link at the bottom of this page.

  3. Alex - Bates's book is just extraordinary. The depth and knowledge many of the convicts demonstrated when it came to understanding Shakespeare was just a revelation. They put many academics to shame.

  4. Bullet one: clearly haven't been to Greenboro recently.