April 12, 2012

Embracing My Inner Librarian

Courtesy of OSU Archives
The library is not a shrine for the worship of books. It is not a temple where literary incense must be burned or where one's devotion to the bound book is expressed in ritual. A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas - a place where history comes to life. 
— Cited in ALA Bulletin, Oct. 1954, p.475 Norman COUSINS (1915- )

I love going to the library. The shelves filled with books, the hushed, almost reverent sound of the patrons' voices. People of all ages milling around, browsing through the shelves, or sitting in comfy chairs reading the newspaper or magazines. 

We joined the St. Louis County Library (for an annual fee of $50). Right from my laptop at home, I can browse the electronic card catalog and request books, DVDs, CDs, or ebooks for my Kindle. If the branch I call home doesn't have the particular book I want, magical library elves deliver it there, and I get an email telling me that I can pick it up.

All of this technology is wonderful, but it has taken some of the treasure hunt feel out of the experience for me.

I miss the old card catalogs. Does anyone else remember them? Those lovely wooden cabinets with all the drawers. Fiction listed alphabetically; non-fiction by Dewey Decimal number (and cross-referenced by topic). 

Just opening one of the little drawers with their brass handles, and smelling that dusty card smell let me believe that I was one step closer to finding my next favorite book!

Feeling nostalgic (yet using today's technology),I found a cool site where I could create my own card catalog cards.

Wanna see what I'm reading?

What are YOU reading?


  1. OMG … love love love those little cards!! I totally know how to do my next round of mini reviews. Glad you got the book!!!! I'll send you the next one (well, it is really Book 5 in the series) when I get my review done.

    The first book of the Hunger Games rocks!!!

  2. Don't you just love tho how you can check out a digital book at midnight from your library. I love it. Lots of times I finish a book late and return it. I can't believe tho that you had to pay 50 bucks to join. Our county libraries are free here.

  3. Our libraries are suffering terrible financial cutbacks this year, and a neighboring county is dealing with protests after preparing to close several branches. In a huge bit of irony, they have a couple million slated to BUILD new libraries which they did, but no budget to staff them! Whhaaat?? Our tax dollars at work. *sigh*

    What am I reading now? Well, I just finished "Fortune is a Lady" by Elizabeth Adler and am halfway through Ray Bradbury's "Farenheit 451" for the umpteenth time (the imagery is wonderful).

  4. The cards are excellent - takes me back to the days of searching in the stacks at the library! The last 3 books I just finished are New York by Edward Rutherfurd - have you ever read a book that you didn't want to end? This was it for me. It's a historical novel and a long read which does take a wee bit of time to get into but it was fascinating and I became truly invested in the characters. Rutherfurd brings everything full circle and it's just a great read that I highly recommend. Also just finished Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson - again fascinating, read about a complex man who, regardless of what you think about him, was genius. I also just finished The Teacher Who Couldn't Read by John Corcoran - true life story that brings to light the travails of learning disabilities and illiteracy - inspirational. Now I've just started The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien because he, along with Sandra Cisnernos (whose books I'm revisiting and who is a lovely Chicana writer), is one of our keynote speakers at an upcoming Literary Arts Festival. I haven't read that much so I've not formed an opinion. I’m also reading Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World Dalai Lama. He's going to be in town next week (his first time in San Diego) on the Compassion without Borders tour and I scored tickets to see him in person - I'm quite looking forward to hearing him. Hmm, other that the aforementioned I'm reading student papers, student papers and more student papers!

  5. wow! You took me back a few years. We must fight to keep our libraries open. I believe reading and literacy are the keys to success in every aspect. I am reading Wally Lamb's book, The Hour I First Believed, a fictional account of how he and his wife, employees at Columbine, were affected after the mass murder. It is intense but good. I liked his other novel better, I Know This Much Is True. Happy reading.


Thanks for stopping by. I love your comments...I get all warm inside just reading them!