Summertime, and the reading’s easy…

Summertime, and the reading’s easy…

I know summer reading is seen as something of a threat to students yearning for a summer’s respite. Personally, I adore reading in the summer (though I also love reading in the spring, fall, and winter, so I think its a year round affliction more than seasonal.) Our local public library does a summer reading program– one for kids, one for teens, and even one for adults! I do love a good reading challenge.

What is everyone planning to read this summer? My ‘to be read’ list is long, and probably always will be, but I have a few things that look to be good reading in the short term. I’m currently reading Whose Body, the first Lord Peter Whimsy mystery by Dorothy Sayers. I’m enjoying it so far, though I’m coming off a binge through Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher mysteries (at least the ones the public library had), and those move a touch quicker.

Beyond that? I’ve had Kristen Lavensdatter staring at me since the spring and I think I’m finally ready to read. I also have Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem waiting. In the lighter, quicker reads department I have books a plenty: Nina George’s The Little French Bistro, Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of AJ Fickery, Annie Burrows and Marie Schaffer’s The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, and Jennifer Ryan’s The Chilbury’s Ladies Choir. I also have a slew of books on housekeeping, homemaking, and hygge that I’m reading on the side.

What do you have lined up for the summer? Are you participating in summer reading program or going it alone?

Quick year end wrap up

So what did we accomplish this year? A quick rundown for you:

  • Established Koha as the electronic catalog for the school. Currently available on the library network
  • We cataloged 3000 books over the course of the year
  • This is awesome when you consider we were without a network for close to two months, impeding the students and myself from adding any records during that time
  • We received two very generous donations to the library– between them close to 4000 books! We’re currently going through them to determine what will be a good fit for the collection.
  • We got Interlibrary Loan up and running, connecting to NHAIS. In addition to being able to get updated holdings into their catalog, we were able to borrow books that our students needed, as well as share books from our collection with neighboring libraries.

I incredibly grateful to the 5 students who rotated through library work study this year (at least one from each class, no less!). They all worked hard and helped get us to this point– we can say we’re truly underway with this catalog, which was not the case 10 months ago.

Special shout out to my “IT department”– my husband and my brother, who helped pull wire and fight the technological imps that threatened to drag us down. Those two are truly a blessing (even when the jokes are gently at my expense :D)

A brief hello

A brief hello

Oh poor blog, lost in the hustle and bustle of life. I unwittingly let the entire academic year go by without pushing publish on the posts I had in mind. Oops! To be fair, I am now on my third computer since the fall, and the technology in the library was also, well… You ever see Chicken Run? When Mr. Tweedy bursts into the house and screams “The chickens are revolting!” Yeah, that was kind of the story of me and computers this year. Good times, good times.

Now, however, it is summer, and my hope is that everything will settle down and let me get updates out for all of you lovely folks.

Cheers!

Area Exhibit: More Shakespeare! 

Area Exhibit: More Shakespeare! 

This past weekend, the College hosted the Fall play. Thus year’s production was Love’s Labours Lost, so it’s only fitting to find this exhibit for those wanting more Shakespeare. 

Now through the end of March, the Boston Public Library is running an exhibit on Shakespeare highlighting pieces from their collection, including a First Folio. If you missed the First Folio during it’s stop at the Currier earlier this year, you have another chance. 

The Battle of Hastings and the Bayeux Tapestry

The Battle of Hastings and the Bayeux Tapestry

Today marks the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. To my disappointment, I was obviously not at Battle Abbey to see the reenactment, nor was I in Bayeux looking at the Tapestry. The internet, however, is a magical thing and it can bring a little Hastings into your evening.

Here are some things to know before exploring the links below:

  • The Battle: The Battle of Hastings is considered the decisive victory that allowed William I (also known as the Conqueror, the Norman, the Duke of Normandy, and the Bastard) to claim the throne of England.
  • The Opponent: William’s opponent in the battle was Harold Godwinson. Harold was the Earl of Wessex before ascending the throne. He is the last Anglo Saxon King, and had a short reign. He was crowned in January 1066 and lost that crown in October of the same year
  • The Predecessor: Prior to Harold and William, the throne belonged to St Edward the Confessor– his feast day was yesterday, October 13th. Harold may be the last Anglo Saxon King of England, but Edward is best remembered and considered a successful, strong, energetic king.
  • The Family: Harold’s sister was married to Edward the Confessor. William was a first cousin once removed of Edward’s. So we’re dealing with claims that have to be enforced at the end of a sword, basically.
  • The Tapestry: Almost everyone has seen the Bayeux Tapestry, or at least part of it. They may not know it, however. Ever laugh at one of those medieval memes? Yeah, those are figures from the Bayeux Tapestry. I’ll leave most of the explanations to the link below but suffice to say, you should care about the Bayeux Tapestry even if you aren’t into needlework.

Links for your edification

  • The Bayeux Museum— Located in Bayeux, France the Museum is the home of the Bayeux Tapestry and they have a nice online exhibit regarding the Tapestry, its importance as a historical document, and the history of the piece.
  • Bayeux Tapestry at the Reading Museum— a digital version of the Tapestry, based on a Victorian Reproduction, the Tapestry is available by section. Wikipedia has a single continuous image of the tapestry.
  • Battle Abbey— Run by English Heritage, the site of the Battle of Hastings has information for you to peruse.

Finally for those perusing the collection, you’ll want to head to the stacks. The first two rows hold general history and early English history.

For fun: Guess the newest addition to the OED

For fun: Guess the newest addition to the OED

Language is, among many things, ever evolving. Also fun. I mean, you have to approach it with some fun, don’t you? How many brands of humor involve words, after all?

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED for those of us on a first name/had to haul it out of the stacks into the Cremens room basis) publishes updates once a quarter– language is ever changing after all. This quarter had a fair bit of fun in it, though, as the folks at the OED celebrated the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth. So if you ever need to find a definition for frightsome, scrumptious, splendiferousness, or scrumdiddlyumtious, you’ll know where to go

New Congressional Record available to view

New Congressional Record available to view

For the political science nerds and those who love original source documents, this from the GPO:

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) partners with the Library of Congress (LC) to release the digital version of the bound Congressional Record from 1991-1998 on GPO’s govinfo. This release covers debates of the 102nd thru 105th Congresses. This era of Congress covers historical topics such as:

  • The Persian Gulf War
  • Bill Clinton’s Presidency
  • NAFTA
  • Enactment of the Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Republicans gaining control of both the House and Senate since 1954

You can read the rest of the release here, and access the records here.