Thursday, May 19, 2016

Host a silent reading party in 7 easy steps

 by Jeff O'Neal

If you are a reader, you know the special pleasure of going out to read in public. But for most of us, reading in public has meant reading in public alone.

But recently, a few recurring Silent Reading Parties have sprung up, giving readers a chance to read alone in public, but together. That’s right: a bunch of people get together and read. And that’s it. Doesn’t it sound great?

I spoke with Karen Munro and Amanda Morgan, organizers of Silent Reading Party Portland, about the best ways (and why) to host a Silent Reading Party of your own. Here is their advice.
  1. Pick a Place You Love
    Seattle’s Silent Reading Party founder, Christopher Frizzelle, told us to choose a place that we absolutely loved. For us that meant a place with comfortable seating, good lighting, some patina, some ambience, some comfort, some dignity… The kind of place that makes you want to read. We love our home at Beech Street Parlor. It’s a Victorian house with gorgeous flocked wallpaper, period couches, and wood floors. And of course it has a full bar–that’s important too. We’re also constantly dreaming up other locations for special pop-up parties. It would be so cool to do silent reading parties in public parks, at the art museum, at Powell’s bookstore… We don’t know how well those will work yet, but we’re hoping we get to try. Read more...

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

25 Nonfiction Titles for Guys Who Aren’t Big Readers

by on May 16, 2016
I’m a children’s librarian at a smaller library with one reference/circulation desk, so I make recommendations to people of all ages. One of my favorite patrons is the guy who gets a new library card because he now has some time on his hands maybe due to a surgery. Or the guy who gets dragged into the library by his wife who insists he has something to read on their beach vacation. I can identify with this guy because he sounds an awful lot like my husband. As an electrical engineer, my husband reads manuals at work all day. When he’s home, he’d rather work in the yard or catch a game if he has any downtime. But what kind of librarian would I be if I didn’t bring him home books occasionally?

So with some input from my coworkers, I have compiled a list for you to recommend to that guy who might just try a nonfiction book if you bug him enough. These are titles that won’t disappoint. You’re probably already familiar with some of them, but maybe you’ll find a new gem to recommend (My husband wants you to know that Under and Alone is the only book he ever got out of bed to read to find out what happened next).

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Einstein started a book club, and here's the reading list by Ilana Strauss | Tuesday, May 10, 2016

What the beloved genius and his buddies discussed in the Olympia Academy is legendary.


(Photo: Wikipedia)  


It's hard to think about Albert Einstein without imagining an old, crazy-haired genius. But once upon a time, before he ever came up with a theory of relativity, founded Jerusalem's Hebrew University or had his brain stolen, Einstein was a 23-year-old patent clerk, working for minimum wage and bumming around Bern, Switzerland.

The young man decided to earn some extra cash tutoring physics. He put up an ad, and philosophy student Maurice Solovine responded. The two didn't do much traditional studying, but instead chatted about philosophy. Einstein's friend, mathematician Conrad Habicht, joined their debates, and the three met regularly over drinks and cigars in Einstein's bohemian apartment to read and discuss physics and philosophy, mockingly calling themselves the Olympia Academy.

Even after the club broke up a few years later, Einstein said it influenced many of his theories. We've gathered together some of the books and essays the Olympia Academy read and discussed. Maybe the literature that inspired Einstein can inspire you to be clear and clever, too. View slideshow....

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

5 Famous British TV Writers On How Libraries Influenced Their Lives

Following the closure of 10 libraries in Lambeth in London, Russell T Davies, Mark Gatiss, Peter Bowker, Sarah Phelps, and Jack Thorne spoke to BuzzFeed News about why they need to protected across the rest of the UK.
Moving “south of the river” after spending 15 years as a Hackney resident was tumult enough, so you can imagine my irritation when, upon my arrival in Lambeth, south London, I discovered that the council in its wisdom was closing 10 libraries – including my local one, the Carnegie Library.
The Carnegie Library was closed at the end of April, with the council promising that it will reopen in 2017 as “a healthy living centre with a self-service neighbourhood library”. For 10 days the library was occupied by protestors upset at the move. They left the building peacefully, and the gates of the Carnegie Library are now locked shut. Behind those gates, books lie unread and stories go untold.
The closure is a tragedy and it’s one that got me thinking what the world – individuals and communities – would be without libraries and what libraries mean to people. So I asked five of the best TV writers in Britain to lend their voices to the anti-closure campaign (#DefendTheTen) and write about what libraries meant and mean to them.

Mark Gatiss (SherlockDoctor WhoAn Adventure in Space and TimeThe League of Gentlemen)

Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, Doctor Who, An Adventure in Space and Time, The League of Gentlemen)
Anthony Harvey / Getty Images and Scott Bryan / BuzzFeed

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Has the library outlived its usefulness in the age of Internet? You’d be surprised by Donald A. Barclay

April 28, 2016 6.09am EDT
U.S. institutions of higher education and U.S. local governments are under extraordinary pressure to cut costs and eliminate from institutional or governmental ledgers any expenses whose absence would cause little or no pain.
In this political climate, academic and public libraries may be in danger. The existence of vast amounts of information – a lot of it free – on the Internet might suggest that the library has outlived its usefulness.
But has it? The numbers tell a very different story.
In spite of the findings of a survey in which Americans say they are using public libraries less, the usage numbers reported by libraries indicate the opposite. Read more...
Libraries are no longer cold, forbidding spaces. Howard County Library System FollowCC BY-NC-ND

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

3 Children’s Books That Encourage Kindness Towards Others

Kindness is one of the most important character traits, but sometimes kids need an extra reminder about the best ways to be kind to others or why kindness matters. These books provide that reminder in creative and appealing ways. Happy reading!

1. We All Sing With The Same Voice by J. Philip Miller and Sheppard M. Greene

We All Sing With The Same Voice by J. Philip Miller and Sheppard M. Greene
What It’s About: This is a song book that connects kids around the world. The verses highlight differences between kids, illustrated on the pages of the book. The chorus brings all of these kids with many differences together, singing “We all sing with the same voice. The same song. The same voice. We all sing with the same voice and we sing in harmony.”
Why It’s Important: Not only will the music engage kids as young as three, but it also encourages global awareness and connection at a young age. Everyone is different and unique, and this book celebrates those differences while singing together as friends.  Read more...

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Beyond books: Eight things you may not know about libraries

As people become more reliant on devices and less likely to crack open a paperback, libraries have been forced to adapt.
Most modern libraries offer e-book and e-magazines, plus movies on DVD and other digital items. But did you know that many also provide such services as free Wi-Fi, used bookstores, and even unique items borrowing.
Coming off of National Library Week, here's a look at eight things you might not know about your local library:
Not into paperbacks? Your local library is aware. According to the American Library Association, 90% of libraries now offer e-books for your device, and 39% lend e-readers to library patrons.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Beverly Cleary on turning 100: Kids today ‘don’t have the freedom’ I had by Nora Krug

Beverly Cleary doesn’t really want to talk about turning 100. “Go ahead and fuss,” she says of the big day, April 12. “Everyone else is.”
Across the country, people are delving into Cleary nostalgia, with celebrationsand new editions of her books with introductions by the likes of Amy Poehler and Judy Blume. Kids and adults are being asked to “Drop Everything and Read” to commemorate Cleary’s contribution to children’s literature.
But the beloved children’s author has something far more low-key in mind for herself: a celebratory slice of carrot cake, she says, “because I like it.”
Cleary is as feisty and direct as her famously spirited character Ramona Quimby — an observation that she hears often and doesn’t care for. “I thought like Ramona,” she says in a phone interview, “but I was a very well-
behaved little girl.”

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

8 Librarians Who Lend Out More Than Books by Michele Debszak

Libraries would be nothing without the librarians who run them. Most of us know them as the people who check out our books or help us navigate the Dewey Decimal System, but not all librarians are limited to working with the printed word. Whether they’re lending out ties or larger-than-life puppets, these are the heroic men and women behind some of the world’s most unique library collections.


Libraries offer tremendous resources to people searching for employment, but that could all be for nothing without a proper interview outfit to wear. In Queens, New York, library members can check out a tie with interview tips and tie-tying instructions printed inside the box it comes in. Queens librarian Lauren Comito launched the “tie-brary” as one of her many initiatives dedicated to providing services to the borough’s homeless population. After, a website that directs users to career services and other resources in the area, she realized that some of her patrons didn’t own a tie or even know they should be wearing one to interviews. She met this need by building the racks to hold a library of ties herself. read more...