Refer Madness: Librarian as Point Guard

Refer Madness spotlights strange, intriguing, or otherwise noteworthy stories from the library reference desk. On Tuesday I hosted a discussion at the library on the films of 2018. It was an informal time to swap favorites (or least favorites) from the year, and discuss the Oscar nominations that had just been announced. Opinions abounded, of … Continue reading Refer Madness: Librarian as Point Guard

Why I love Kanopy, Hum, and System Information

Want to give some love to three services I've enjoyed lately: Kanopy Kanopy is a free streaming service available through your public library. (If it isn't, ask them to get it!) Abundant with titles from A24, The Criterion Collection, and other high-quality providers, it's rife with a delightful array of foreign films, indies, and documentaries … Continue reading Why I love Kanopy, Hum, and System Information

Refer Madness: Always on call

Refer Madness spotlights strange, intriguing, or otherwise noteworthy stories from the library reference desk. You know how doctors are always on call? Someone has a heart attack on an airplane or chokes at a restaurant, and doctors, nurses, or other care providers jump to the rescue, even if they are off the clock. Even medical … Continue reading Refer Madness: Always on call

Go Pack Horse Librarians, Go!

One podcast that survived my recent purge is The Keepers, a series from The Kitchen Sisters and NPR.  The series features: "stories of activist archivists, rogue librarians, curators, collectors and historians. Keepers of the culture and the cultures and collections they keep. Guardians of history, large and small, protectors of the free flow of information … Continue reading Go Pack Horse Librarians, Go!

How to pay your library back

Refer Madness spotlights strange, intriguing, or otherwise noteworthy stories from the library information desk. A regular came to the desk with the George Carlin Commemorative Collection DVD she was returning. "Before I return this," she said, "I'd like to know how much it was for the library to buy because you bought it based on my … Continue reading How to pay your library back

Refer Madness: The Book Dropper strikes again

Refer Madness spotlights strange, intriguing, or otherwise noteworthy stories from the library reference desk. A few months ago, a coworker and I noticed that every Tuesday, two items appear on the library's book sale shelves that shouldn't be there. The library has a system for what gets placed in the book sale, so we know which items are … Continue reading Refer Madness: The Book Dropper strikes again

Summer assignment: visit your local library

Despite their great intentions, those "required reading" lists of books make me cringe. Required reading usually feels like work, whether they're from a friend, a professor, or a stranger on the internet. Pleasure reading should be based on freedom and empowerment and whim, not compulsion. Use those lists as a resource, sure, but don't feel obliged … Continue reading Summer assignment: visit your local library

For the records

Dan Cohen ponders why some recent sci-fi films prominently feature libraries, archives, and museums: Ever since Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor extracted the Death Star plans from a digital repository on the planet Scarif in Rogue One, libraries, archives, and museums have played an important role in tentpole science fiction films. From Luke Skywalker’s library of … Continue reading For the records