Archive for the ‘ Neat Things ’ Category

Link Round Up: June 2013

The Future of Libraries: Short on Books, Long on Tech

Though I know there is a subset of library users (and, unfortunately, librarians) who are not thrilled with the changes and advancements libraries have made to keep up with modern users, I am a big fan of innovative library programs, services, and spaces.  While I still love a beautiful old building filled to the top with books, we have to admit that the public needs more than that if we want to stay relevant.  These are some examples of interesting ways libraries are trying to do that.


Authors for Library Ebooks

If you are interested in learning more about how ebook pricing and availability affects libraries or you support revamping both, this is a good site to check out.


Adagio Tea Fandom Blends

I need all of these.  I don’t even care what they taste like.  I mean, how great would it be to drink some Veritaserum or Felix Felicis while re-reading Harry Potter?  Or the TARDIS or Dalek blends while catching up on Doctor Who?  I’m aware that I sound like a commercial right now, but, seriously, how cool are these?


The First 10 Works of Fiction You Should Read If You’ve Never Read a Book Before

I’m including this because I completely disagree with it.  While the books on this list are all good books, they are exactly what someone who cares more about image than literacy would suggest.  First time readers should pick a book that excites them.  Very few people who’ve never made it through a book before are going to be excited by Hamlet or Mrs. Dalloway.  Very few people started out loving these books; they worked their way up to them and then, perhaps, found a love for them.  Unfortunately, too many people are concerned with the idea of people reading the “right” things rather than the idea that they’re reading at all.  New readers would be much better off going to the reader’s advisory at the local library to get help finding a book they’ll love.

And here are a few lists to enjoy…

23 Images That Will Change The Way You Look At “Harry Potter”

Clever Photoshopped Covers of Book Titles Missing a Letter

15 Classic Children’s Books That Have Been Banned In America

13 Utterly Disappointing Facts About Books

Vintage Library Posters

Vintage Library Posters

Buzzfeed has a list of 19 super neat vintage library posters.   So creative!

Library Love: The National Park Service Libraries

I’m starting a new recurring series here at Quintessentially Bookish today.  There are so many great libraries out there that have innovative services, unique buildings, or special collections, but peope who don’t live near them or subscribe to library publications might not be aware of their existence.  I’m going to be periodically featuring libraries that are particularly interesting in some way.  The parameters are pretty loose; if I come across a library I think would be great to share, I will.  So, keep tabs on the Library Love tag for future posts.

For this inaugural post, I’ll be talking about The National Park Service Libraries.   American Libraries Magazine contained a great feature on NPS libraries this month. If you don’t subscribe, you can read the article online here. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that, until reading the article, I wasn’t really aware of the great number of fascinating libraries NPS contains.  I suppose when visiting that I, like many others I’m sure,visited the parks more for their natural beauty than for the materials offered.  However, I will definitely be looking for the libraries on my next vacation.


national park


The NPS website has a section for their library service on their website.  Here you can find links to all the library locations, contact the service desk, search the catalogs, and find more information regarding the libraries.   Here are a few that I am hoping to be able to visit soon.


San Francisco Maritime Park Library

Within the Library itself are over 35,000 book and periodical titles dating from 1536 to the present, 50,000 pieces of ephemera, over 3000 maps and charts covering the Pacific Basin and the West Coast of the United States dating from 1850 to the present, audio, and video materials in multiple formats.

50,000 pieces of ephemera!  Titles dating back to 1536!  Doesn’t that just sound amazing?  In addition to this library collection, the museum on the park grounds also contains an archival collection of papers, recordings, and photos from seafarers throughout the American history, and thousands of items from sailors, including dozens of historic vessels.


National First Ladies Library

As a national archive devoted to educating people about the contributions of First Ladies and other notable women in history, the Library’s holdings fill an informational void that has long frustrated academicians and armchair history buffs alike. The Library fulfills this mission by serving as a physical educational facility and an electronic virtual library, in an effort to educate people in the United States and around the world.

Many of America’s First Ladies have contributed greatly to our country’s well-being, but their accomplishments are often forgotten in the shadow of their presidential husbands.  It’s wonderful that this park and library is so dedicated to educating people about these women and what they did.   Their collection includes such items as photos, artifacts and videos from the First Ladies, books by and about them, and research papers about them.


Yosemite Library

The Yosemite Research Library, maintained by the museum, is a research resource with some 10,000 books relevant to Yosemite, as well as photographs and articles…The Yosemite Archives, located in El Portal, contains National Park Service records, personal papers, manuscript collections, and oral histories.

The Yosemite Museum opened in 1926 and the first National Park Museum.  It now includes hundreds of thousands of items.  It’s truly amazing what they contain in their collection.  For anyone with any interest in archives, history of that area, or National Parks in general, this just seems like a goldmine (and you can even learn about goldmining!)

Fiction and Empathy

I have a new book review in the works, but until then check out this post from OnFiction called Effects of Fiction on Empathy.  I wrote a couple of papers in library school discussing the psychology of fiction and many of these studies played a big part.  They’re great stuff!

Goodreads by the Numbers

I unequivocally love Goodreads. I’ve been using it since 2008 and of all the “bookshelf” websites, it is by far my favorite.  It’s an excellent way of keeping track of your own reading, learning about new books, and connecting with other readers.  It also has a number of great uses for libraries.

At the culmination of it’s fifth year of existence, the Goodreads blog posted a neat infographic of 2012 use.



P.S.  If you have a Goodreads account and would like to add me, I’d love to be friends.