(Reblogged from thelifeguardlibrarian)
I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.
Flannery O’Connor
Barnes & Noble is a big store with more titles than I could possibly read. But reading wasn’t the point. Not really. It was the experience of being with books. With so many words, neatly stacked on shelves, all around me – no filing cabinets, no warrants to stamp – I was home. The books, the ones I didn’t even read, saved me, just by being there, just by being books.
from The Books I Didn’t Read Saved Me by Dana Staves (via bookriot)
(Reblogged from bookriot)
Public libraries now outnumber retail bookstores by two to one in the United States, and are fast becoming the only in-person book browsing option for the residents of many communities.

Library Vendors Make Business Case to Publishers | BEA 2014 - The Digital Shift (via kishizuka)

“There is a library in every town in North America. Every town,” Jankowski said. “As retailers are shrinking, libraries are still strong and thriving in their communities. [Librarians] are talking with readers all the time… They recommend books, and often they show you how to use the tablets, ereaders, and services” necessary to access ebooks and other digital content as well.

Their relationships with their communities make librarians informed allies who can help publishers market content at the local level, Jankowski said. But libraries need access to content to market it. 

(Reblogged from libraryjournal)


Libraries in many big cities often serve as de facto homeless shelters — a place for people living on the streets to find quiet and warmth — and it can make others, there to just check out books or videos, uncomfortable.

KQED’s Scott Shafer reports that’s why the San Francisco Public Library has hired a full-time social worker. She spends her days roaming the library floors, keeping an eye out for regulars who look like they could use her help. And sometimes she hires the formerly homeless patrons she’s helped, like Joe Bank, to do outreach under her supervision.

(Reblogged from darienlibrary)
The only advice … that one person can give another about reading is to take no advice, to follow your own instincts, to use your own reason, to come to your own conclusions. If this is agreed between us, then I feel at the liberty to put forward a few ideas and suggestions because you will not allow them to fetter that independence which is the most important quality that a reader can possess. After all, what laws can be laid down about books? The battle of Waterloo was certainly fought on a certain day; but is Hamlet a better play than Lear? Nobody can say. Each must decide that question for himself. To admit authorities, however heavily furred and gowned, into our libraries and let them tell us how to read, what to read, what value to place upon what we read, is to destroy the spirit of freedom which is the breath of those sanctuaries. Everywhere else we may be bound by laws and conventions — there we have none.

- Virginia Woolf

(via Brain Pickings)

When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.
A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway (via thecountryfucker)
(Reblogged from thelifeguardlibrarian)

Two ideas from fictional characters that I (and many other non-fictional folk, I think) would very much like to be real:

  • Heartache days
  • Emotional snow days

From Mindy Kapoor (The Mindy Project) and Ned, the pie maker (Pushing Daisies), respectively.

If you have any doubt that the hashtag is a frighteningly powerful tool in our modern vocabulary, imagine a person you care about texting you that song’s title line out of the blue: “You’re beautiful.” Now think of the same person texting, “You’re #beautiful.” The second one is jokey, ironic, distant—and hey, maybe that’s what that person was going for. But it also hammers home that point that the internet too often asserts: You’re not as original as you once thought. “Beautiful” is analog, unquantifiable, one-in-a-million. #Beautiful, on the other hand, is crowded terrain. Ten more people have just tweeted about something or someone #beautiful since you started reading this sentence.

As more and more of our daily interactions become text-based — people preferring texting to phone calls, workplaces that rely heavily email and instant messaging—we’re developing ways to stretch our written language so it can communicate more nuance, so we can tell people what we mean without accidentally leading them on or pissing them off. Periods have become more forceful, commas less essential, and over the last few years, the hashtag has morphed into something resembling the fabled sarcasm font—the official keystroke of irony. Putting a hashtag in front of something you text, email, or IM to someone is a sly way of saying “I’m joking,” or maybe more accurately, “I mean this and I don’t at the same time.”

The #Art of the Hashtag

Thanks to Twitter, the hashtag has become an important linguistic shortcut. But while everyone from Robin Thicke to Beyoncé has used the symbol as part of their art, only a few have truly taken advantage of its culture-jamming possibilities.

Via @pitchforkmedia

(via npr)

(Reblogged from teachingliteracy)
It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations