This season in The Library…

Happy New Year!

Time for the year end wrap up and reflection on our continued journey through the library.

  • Once again, I had really wonderful student workers who worked really hard on our ongoing catalog digitization. We finally had reliable internet and access to the server, and we made a big dent in our catalog. At this point, we’re almost done with our first room! Given that we are also actively cataloging check ins and check outs and we’re all part time, that’s pretty good!
  • We also set up a system for selling our discards because yes, we have discards. I’m considering a post or two next year about my thoughts behind deselections and discards, just to give a sense of the various criteria that go into the process.
  • There were no major projects this year, and that’s to be expected. We’re in the midst of catalog digitization, after all. That is going to take time and priority at this point.
  • We’ve continued to receive generous donations to our collection, and have been getting those cataloged and onto the shelves for folks to use.

Next year promises to have more of the same, with the hope that we will complete the catalog conversion for the entire ground floor of books.

Finally, in case you missed it, check out the Fall issue of Communitas. I have a write up on Tolkien that I think you’ll all enjoy

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A Belated Happy Hobbit Day

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:

For Fun: Bodleian Library acquires annotated map of Middle Earth

We are something of a ‘divided’ household when it comes to the Inklings: I’m a CS Lewis fan, my husband is very much a Tolkien fan. That’s not to say that we don’t read both, more to say where preferences lie. Whichever you prefer, the original illustrations for Lord of the Rings and Narnia are in the same style, having been done by the same artist.

The map in question was actually found among the books of the artist, Pauline Baynes. The Guardian has a good write up on the map, which you can find here. You’ll also want to make sure you check out the write up from Bodleian about the acquisition– it includes a picture of the map as well as the post map that Baynes illustrated in 1970.

I was in Oxford once, though it was only for about 2 hours so I wasn’t able to go really anywhere that I wanted to. For those who have been, did you see anything from the Tolkien collection? Or any of the other special collections?