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