Books come to life when you read….

Made for the New Zealand Book Council, produced by Colenso BBDO, animated by Andersen M Studio.



It’s official–I now have actual library work experience!  A few weeks ago, I began volunteering at Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin, my hometown.  Even though I’ve only gone a few times, it’s been great.  The first project I worked on involved transcribing, organizing, and even somewhat analyzing data about reference transactions at the library.  It was really interesting to see what kinds of questions people are actually asking and especially interesting to see how these librarians answered them.

The second tag you see above is my ID for my new contractor job at the Kraft Foods Research and Development Corporate Library.  Through the end of the year, I’ll be working on an indexing project–adding keywords and brand names to countless past reports that have recently been scanned for electronic access in a database.  Let’s just say that I now know more about cheese than I ever even thought possible.

Google Books Fingers

More Google Books Fingers

Fingers found in Google Book scans.

In other news, I would like my staircase in my future house to look like this:

Talk about a space-saver!  Found here.

I’m a big fan of the TV show LOST, so when I saw this, my heart melted just a little.  Do you think Chicago Public Library could get Oprah??

It’s Banned Books Week!  Each year, in the last week of September, libraries sponsor this event to celebrate our freedom to read and access information.  In the face of efforts to censor information, it is the library’s duty to provide equitable access to materials–so let’s take advantage of it!  Ask your local library about any events they might have going on.

Catcher in the Rye

Catcher in the Rye

ALA has a lot of great lists and statistics, and I just wanted to take the time to highlight a few things.   I had always wondered if there was a definitive list of the most challenged books out there, and how many I had read.  Since the ALA has only been tracking these statistics since 1990, there is no complete “all-time” list.  One list that is considered quite definitive is The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books 1990-1999.  I was actually surprised that I’d only read 15 of these.  Shirking my reading responsibilities!  Since many books’ histories are so entwined with censorship, the ALA has also highlighted the 42 books which appear on the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century that have been challenged.  That’s almost half of the books that are considered to be the greatest of our time!  (The complete list is here, for those who are interested.)

How many of these books have you read?  How many do you want to read?  Ever wonder what all the fuss is about?  In honor of Banned Books Week, pick one up!  I’ve got a few of these sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read, and I think this might be the perfect opportunity to get one started.

Also, in my Readers Advisory class over the summer, I wrote a paper on the social history of The Catcher in the Rye.  You can check that out here or in my portfolio.

The first two minutes of this video are priceless.

I find Audio/Visual Services in public libraries fascinating.  A few posts back, I was talking about different ways libraries could use You Tube to its advantage.  An idea crossed my mind, but knowing my own experience, I quickly dismissed it.  The idea was possibly using You Tube to search for a film using keywords, much like many readers advisory services out there.  Searching on You Tube, however, is difficult, unwieldy, and many times, completely futile.

Enter Anyclip.

Anyclip is a new service that was introduced at the TechCrunch50 conference a few weeks ago.  Basically, these developers have created a movie clip search engine, which will allow users to “find any moment from any film, instantly.”  Imagine the possibilities.  A library patron approaches the desk and is trying to find a movie.  She can’t remember the title, but she thinks she remembers an actor’s name and can describe a scene.  I get these kinds of questions from friends all the time:  “You know that movie?  A surfer kid has a pizza delivered to class, and the guy from My Favorite Martian is the teacher.  What is that movie?”  If you didn’t know off hand, you could simply enter a few of these keywords into Anyclip, and voila–Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Right now, the site seems to be targeting movie lovers, studios, and the online film community, but this is a service that could really prove its value for libraries.  The site is in testing right now, and I am currently in the queue to try it out.  I for one, can’t wait.  Read more over at Slashfilm here, and watch their demo here.