Thursday was Hobbit Day, for those who are fans of Tolkien. This year, it struck me as somehow fitting that Hobbit Day falls on the last day of summer– the final hurrah before the world slowly spins down into winter hibernation. A fine day for a party, but usually cool enough to allow a feast fit for a hobbit’s appetite.
I mean, it should be. It was gray and rainy most of the week, though not cool– tropical storms will do that to a person. Fortunately it cleared up and was bright and warm for the Tea and Shoot today. In the meantime, we have finally started to process our acquisitions! I believe we have somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 cataloged so far, with many more to go, but its a start. Its nice to see those books lined up with spine labels and shiny new bar codes, with shiny new MARC records in the catalog to go with them.
I’ll leave you with a fun Tolkien fact for the day: last Friday was the 40th anniversary of the publication of The Silmarillion. I wish I could find it, but I remember reading somewhere that it represented one of the top ranking pre-orders the industry had seen at the time. Certainly it sold over a million copies that year. We have one:
The semester, and the fall, are upon us! Welcome back to New England. The leaves aren’t quite changing– yet. There are some that have turned russet or yellow, but we mostly have green as befits our rainy summer. The humidity is leaving though, and its cool enough to spend days with the windows open, and there is loveliness in that.
We’ll be getting back to our library escapades this semester as well, but here’s a shorter note to start. Did you know that New Hampshire has a poetry festival? The New Hampshire Poetry Festival is schedule for the end of the month, Sept 23. Now, shocking as this will be for some, this particular librarian wasn’t a lit major, and so poetry isn’t exactly within my personal wheelhouse. However, it looks like this will be an interesting day with a number of different workshops and panels. Check out their site for all the details.
This article has been making the rounds in Libraryland, and I’m sure some of you may have come across it as well. If not, take a peek!
For me, what’s interesting is the way that folks try to explain “Why Austen.” I’ve never been hugely influenced by Austen– I’ve read 3 of her novels, certainly seen more then a few cinematic adaptations, and even read a few Austen inspired pieces– but she was never a go to for me. To borrow a concept from The Little Paris Bookshop, Austen was never a medicine or tonic that squared with my life (mental, emotional, spiritual), and she’s not in my reading apothecary. At the same time, Lucy Maud Montgomery is, and I think there’s a development in English language novels following Austen, and LMM follows on. So I can’t hate on Austen, to be sure. I think Austen is also easier to appreciate the older you get, because you realize how insightfully she can write about humanity, and you have to see a certain amount of it before you can really get that.
Hopefully everyone had a lovely weekend! This weekend, I tackled a few things: digging into more of our acquisitions as we prepare for more, research on how we might sell discards (more to come on that!), and clearing out the back log of blog posts and stories I’d been meaning to read.
Based on that, I found some stories I wanted to share with all of you:
- A travelogue of Libraries in Italy, two subjects near and dear to my heart
- 10 years ago OCLC published a report on digitization and they are highlighting that again, especially since technology changes so quickly
- The Library of Congress has a new free to use photograph collection, this one of Roadsides in America.
- An oldie from the Library of Congress, here are some awesome vintage travel posters that are free to use and reuse.
- Also on the older side, a round up of good free online resources and apps
- Did you know the New Hampshire state library is 300 years old today? They’ve been highlighting fun facts every day, but there’s a good intro piece on NHPR.
- The digital copies of George Washington’s papers moved to a new home a few months back, in case you missed it.
- In the spring, Library of Congress launched a new portal to all of their World War I content, especially timely since we are in the midst of the centenary.
- So now I’m disappointed that there wasn’t a “librarian hand” class in library school. I would love to have standardized penmanship!
If you’re anywhere in the vicinity of campus, you are not so very far from Walden Pond and the many haunts of the New England transcendentalists. Thoreau in particular is in the limelight this year, as it is the bicentennial anniversary of his birth.
Concord, MA is where most of the movement was centered, the “biggest little place in America,” so Henry James once said. Concord is worth wandering for all manner of reasons, but I wanted to highlight the bicentennial events in case anyone wants to explore Thoreau in more detail this year.
There is, of course, Walden Pond. Its a state park these days, with hiking trails and swimming allowed, along with the requisite guided tours. You can check out more info on the Pond here.
The main event is probably the Concord Museum, one of the main locations to find all things Thoreau. They have several exhibits this year on Thoreau, and they’ve got an event for Thoreau’s birthday (July 12th, just around the corner!). The Museum also has exhibits on the other notable events and residents of Concord, and online exhibits as well for those farther afield.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t link to this article in the Paris Review. I must confess, I didn’t remember that this was the bicentennial on my own. The article popped up in my RSS feed, but I’m glad I did. Its an interesting read, whether you are a fan of Thoreau or not.
A Happy 4th of July to you all! I hope you have a day to sit back and relax. Me personally, I’m planning to watch baseball later today with hot dogs for dinner (a grand American tradition to be sure).
If you have a few minutes to spare, you can certainly review the resources from last year. This year I thought it would be fun to see what I could find specific to New Hampshire and the Revolutionary War.
Can you believe not a SINGLE battle occurred in New Hampshire? Seriously, none. There was a patented Paul Revere Midnight Ride to Portsmouth, NH to warm them about a plan to attack the Fort of William and Mary (now Fort Constitution, in the midst of a lovely park in Portsmouth that you can visit), and two of the warships captained by John Paul Jones were built in Portsmouth as well. Beyond that? The militia fought at several battles including Bunker Hill, and there’s General John Stark of course.
Beyond that my favorite little anecdote is one that I learned of because a brewery named themselves after the man who started the riot. No, really. And the beer’s pretty good too. It seems to be a New Hampshire thing. It’s called the Pine Tree Riot, and you can read a bit about it here. (If you follow the College, I’m sure you saw the students who went around NH and toured 30 breweries in 30 days. They started at the one I mentioned, Able Ebenezer.)
Not summer camp (or summer program, if you’re coming to the College), but Camp NaNo! I’m ready to go– new laptop, got my writing program, got a vague idea. For those unfamiliar, Camp NaNo is an extension of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), in which you commit to writing a 50,000 word novel. It can be done (I’ve managed it only twice, granted, but twice! Its not nothing!).
For anyone who’s thought about doing NaNoWriMo in November, think of camp as a good introduction. NaNoWriMo has some fairly strict rules– you’re can write any type of fiction, but you’re writing a novel when all’s said and done and up until the last few years it had to be a completely new work. They now allow you to work on a previous project, but only new words count toward the goal. Camp, on the other hand, can be used for any type of writing or even revising. You set your word goal, but you have a bit of flexibility there.
It’s fun, and you get email reminders as well as pep talks, plus you know you’re not the only crazy out there trying to do this. They also run word sprints on Twitter, and you can engage with your fellow campers on social media. If you’ve been trying to make yourself write, why not give it a shot? Camp starts July 1. Happy writing!