Archive for the ‘Doings on other blogs’ Category

I don’t suppose a week goes by when ALA’s Library History Round Table doesn’t send me something of interest. Today was an especially fascinating link to the blog of Charles A. Seavey, Desert Sailor.Info. There are several interesting library matters to be found there but his essay “Books for Swabbies: Ship’s  Libraries in the “New” Steel Navy, 1880s-1930s was a fascinating glimpse of a world I never suspected.

Seavey writes at the outset that “by comparing the contents of ship and crew libraries with the recommendations of the American Library Association (ALA) we can see that fundamentally differing approaches to book collections were in place. I[t] will be argued that the ALA recommendations were for an “ideal” library only partially grounded in real world conditions. The Navy, on the other hand, was basing their selections on both the nature of their ship-borne libraries, and the world in which those ships operated. The Navy, in this instance, was far more aware of what their readers might actually want to read than was the ALA”.

USS Franklin

USS Franklin

 Seavey goes on to describe a rather complex history of ship libraries which got their start aboard the USS Franklin in 1820.  According to Seavey libraries on ships became “institutionalized” at this time.

Moreover, he reports that the US Navy was far ahead of all others. Great Britains’s Royal Navy did not place books on ships until 1913.

All in all, this is a fascinating look at a type of library I had never known existed.


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American troops on parade in Vladivostok in August 1918. Japanese marines are standing at attention as the Americans pass a building occupied by the staff of the Czecho-Slovaks.

The Library History Buff Blog is always a wonderful read but Mr. Nix has been hitting ’em out of the park recently. There are two posts, in particular, that I recommend. His Sunday, Dec. 14 post is entitled Christmas in Vladivostok, 1918.  The ALA War Service and the American Expeditionary Force sent postcard greetings to the troops in Siberia, where Harry Clemons was working for ALA to provide services to the troops. This is a lovely post and I cannot help but feel proud, once again, to be part of a profession and tradition that takes books and learning and their critical importance in everyone’s life so seriously and with such dedication.


 On a lighter note the post for Friday, Dec. 12 is entitled, Library tim-toolman-taylorArtifact from Hell, and recounts a most amusing salvage operation carried out to preserve the old-fashioned iron shelving that was discarded when the Wisconsin State Law Library was restored. I don’t know why but the story reminded me of Tim “the Tool Man” Taylor for some reason. 

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I have to admit that much of what technology has wrought seems, well, useless to me. Twitter is a good example.  The whole idea of “tweets” (messages that can be no longer than 140 characters) leaves me shaking my head. Like, what genius figured out that there were people who would actually enjoy sending messages to and receiving messages from dozens and, even, hundreds of people along the lines of “yeah me too!” Still, leave it to librarians to figure out a way to put Twitter to good use.

This is what Melissa the Finisher wrote on her blog recently:

I just started a new Twitter account called @ACPLLibraryCamp to publicize Library Camp 2008. I started adding people by going to a famous person’s Twitter account, looking at their followers, and following their followers. Within about 30 minutes, three more famous people were following ACPLLibraryCamp. That’s pretty darn quick! I am hoping to use Twitter as one way to publicize our Library Camp. I also sent e-mails to a bunch of people I don’t know, but that was tough because in most cases I had to dig for them. Twitter is so much quicker!

We seem to be incredibly quick to find innovative ways to make use of even silly (seemingly) technology. Melissa gets three approving “tweets” from me. You can read more about “Library Camp 2008” at her blog too!

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There are a lot of library-related blogs in the blogosphere. I came across yet another interesting one here on WordPress called Closed Stacks and in its blogroll I came across the intriguingly named Library Link of the Day.  It proved to be the case that those are very interesting links, indeed. 

On March 13th this year, the site linked to an editorial in the Gainesville Sun recommending that the district public library be closed. The Huron Daily Tribune  (link works from Library Link of the Day but not when I copy it here, for some reason) feels somewhat differently about its public library and its editorial, Library More Relevant than Ever, was the link for March 27.  There is a wealth of interesting, informative news to be found in this one spot for all of us, who don’t have enough to read, as it is.


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With Valentine’s day approaching, this discovery seems very appropriate. The soon-to-be married librarian has made charming use of an old-fashioned date-due slip, pocket, etc. to create his wedding invitations. The call number (Dewey) is quite clever too. If Dewey isn’t your thing, one of the comments spills the beans on its meaning: http://speakquietly.blogspot.com/2008/02/library-themed-wedding.html (via Autocat)

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