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Remember, if approached by a librarian, keep still. Do not run away.

Welcome to a tumblr of wonders. Special Collections, archives, and libraries have many wonderful items, but getting to them all can be a bit like trying to walk into Mordor, unless you have unlimited time and grants. But now, thanks to Tumblr, you too can explore collections around the world, and one of the best comes to us from the University of Iowa. Want a Hamlet quote on a miniature book that unfolds into a tiny Globe Theatre? Of course you do. Actual flying squirrels? Adventure with Alice! Get close to illuminations? Catch a glimpse of hipster frames circa 1504? More awesome librar* tumblrs inside. [more inside]
posted by jetlagaddict on Dec 26, 2013 - 13 comments

Bad Librarian! Bad!

Good librarians gone bad. (SLTumblr)
posted by hapax_legomenon on Oct 7, 2013 - 52 comments

Book Thieves Beware

Librarians + Beastie Boys = Sabotage (SLVimeo)
posted by geek anachronism on Aug 16, 2013 - 14 comments

Ceremonious Trespassing

Mysterious Skin: The Realia of William Gaddis [more inside]
posted by chavenet on Apr 26, 2013 - 4 comments

Librarians are doing it for themselves

What really concerns librarians; what do they discuss when they self-organise and decide for themselves? After the inaugural UK event, the second UK Librarycamp, with around 200 attendees, was recently held; reflections by Frank Norman, Carolin Schneider [1] [2], Sarah Wolfenden, Amy Faye Finnegan, Shambrarian Knights, Michelle, Jennifer Yellin, Jenni Hughes, Bookshelf Guardian, Amy Cross-Menzies and Simon Barron, and by one of the organisers. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Nov 1, 2012 - 10 comments

Librarians Vs. The ACS

Librarian Jenica Rogers wrote an interesting post on how her library decided to cancel their ACS subscription. Walking away from the American Chemical Society where she talks about money issues all too familiar to librarians but maybe not well known in the general public. Her post was picked up by The Chronicle Of Higher Ed The ACS only said "We find little constructive dialogue can be had on blogs and other listservs where logic, balance and common courtesy are not practiced and observed..." Things took a turn on a discussion list, where The Director of Office of Public Affairs for the ACS said "But I think you would agree that vulgarity and profanity postings do not lend themselves to meaningful, productive and civil discourse, thus our decision not to engage any further with her on this topic." Many other bloggers have taken up the torch including Walt Crawford, Jonathan Eisen, Iris Jastram, Chris Zammarelli and Steve Lawson, Any Woodworth, John Dupuis and one on ChemBark.
posted by Blake on Sep 28, 2012 - 62 comments

Digital Divide?

The NYT published an article this week covering a new "digital divide" where poor children are spending more time "wasting time" online. [more inside]
posted by momochan on Jun 1, 2012 - 47 comments

Faces of reference

This is What a Librarian Looks Like (SLT)
posted by mrgrimm on Feb 24, 2012 - 37 comments

California Dreamin'

California rejects top rate tax increase, removes all state funding for CA libraries. Funding cut for "literacy programs, InterLibrary Loans, and miscellaneous expenses such as librarian training programs and books." Library Journal goes into more of the technicalities.
posted by jaduncan on Feb 12, 2012 - 266 comments

Fucking librarians.

The Paris Review on librarian porn (nsfw).
posted by twirlip on Jan 30, 2012 - 53 comments

"This is not a high fidelity record"

In 1900, Lionel Mapleson - librarian at the Metropolitan Opera - acquired a Bettini cylinder recorder. Equipped with the machine and a giant recording horn, Mapleson began to make covert recordings of Met performances from the flies of the stage. Over the next few years, he made some of the earliest live recordings (and in some cases the only recordings) of many of the most popular voices of the late 19th and early 20th century. (Sometimes he also recorded his family). [more inside]
posted by bubukaba on Aug 19, 2011 - 13 comments

Optimism reigned but with caution

LJ 2011 Job Satisfaction Survey: Rocked By Recession, Buoyed By Service
posted by vidur on Jun 5, 2011 - 23 comments

Cart-pimpers and cat counselors

What is a library? What do librarians do? Librarians from the 2011 ALIA conference in Sydney respond - and their answers can be surprising.
posted by divabat on May 18, 2011 - 24 comments

Worst Librarian in the Galaxy

Jocasta Nu may be a Jedi, but she's not much of a librarian.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jan 6, 2011 - 35 comments

I [heart] Librarians

Libraries are, for many of us, the public places where we bring our most private selves, our fears and our dreams, so long buried and so studiously unspoken. The librarian checking out a stack of books may be for many of us, the equivalent of the first person we’ve told a secret to. Which brings me to the real reason I chose the profession that I did for my narrator: Even more than libraries, I love librarians.
As Others See Us: An Author On Why She Loves Librarians
posted by carsonb on Nov 24, 2010 - 30 comments

Pack Horse Librarians

The Pack Horse Librarian (Photo Gallery) was a welcomed and much anticipated sight in the isolated and hard-to-reach mountains and hollers of Eastern Kentucky between 1935 and 1943. They brought books and magazines, retrieved already-read materials for delivery at another stop on the route, read to residents, took requests, and generally served homes, schools, villages, mining camps, and anywhere there were people who wanted to read. [more inside]
posted by julen on Oct 31, 2010 - 17 comments

Passive Aggressive Library Signs

Passive Aggressive Library Signs Everyone loves librarians, don't they? In honor of National Library Week, here's a collection of threatening library signs. Librarians can be VICIOUS. Some librarians hate those signs more than you'd think: Ten Signs I Hope I Never See in Libraries Again. And just in case you missed them, Five Technically Legal Signs for Your Library if you worry about PATRIOT related issues.
posted by Blake on Apr 16, 2010 - 111 comments

Teach the children, save the nation

A Nation Without School Librarians is a collaborative Google map showing eliminated school librarian positions. Across America libraries in general are facing reduced hours and closed branches due to budget problems. From Boston to Los Angeles, from Ohio to Florida. New Jersey, Brooklyn & West Virginia, to San Jose. Even as information shows that millions of Americans rely on libraries.
posted by cashman on Apr 6, 2010 - 41 comments

Do you care about Librarians, Archivists or Museologists? - Mr. Wilson shows you why you DO care.


The Smithsonian Libraries hark back to the ideas of Mr. James Smithson, the benefactor after whom the Smithsonian is named. Mr. Smithson, an English scientist, never set foot in this country, but was enamored of our nation’s independence and the way science and discovery were becoming part of our national ethic, particularly through the work of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. During his lifetime, Mr. Smithson built up a large collection of books and documents and obviously appreciated the value of libraries. He left his fortune and his book and document collection to our nation to create an institution for the “diffusion and increase of learning” in Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian was authorized by Congress in 1846 and from its outset it made provisions for a library to hold its growing collection of documents and books.
- From the Keynote Remarks: 
An Age of Discovery: Distinctive Collections in the Digital Age 
G. Wayne Clough, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution
recently the ARL (Association of Research Libraries) and the CNI (Coalition for Networked Information) had their fall forum. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Dec 2, 2009 - 6 comments

Librarian Trading Cards

Librarians at the University of Rochester -- River Campus Libraries create trading cards viewable on Flickr. They apparently got the idea from the Carlton College librarians. More examples.
posted by GenjiandProust on Sep 25, 2009 - 49 comments

Sexy Tattooed Librarians

Sexy tattooed librarians.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey on Aug 1, 2009 - 76 comments

Where Search Meets Research

middlespot.com is a search interface for teachers, librarians, researchers and anyone who wants to interpret information faster from their search results, collect and annotate relevant results into groups, and share those collections with people relying on their expertise. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Dec 31, 2008 - 4 comments

Lolbrarians

Lolbrarians
posted by Del Far on Dec 28, 2008 - 70 comments

Enough with the "sexy librarian" jokes.

In economic hard times, public libraries generally get a lot busier. With that in mind, here's a handy list of the top 20 things librarians in public libraries wish patrons knew or did (original article here).
posted by The Card Cheat on Nov 26, 2008 - 115 comments

Librarians on Parade

It's that time again. While they aren't otherwise occupied maintaining an open and informed society, and keeping an eye on our first amendment rights, librarians across the country are apparently... breaking out their dance moves. [more inside]
posted by froggmaiden on Aug 5, 2008 - 20 comments

A cautionary tail

The end of Moore’s influence came when, years later, she tried to block the publication of a book by E. B. White. Watching Moore stand in the way of “Stuart Little,” White’s editor, Ursula Nordstrom, remembered, was like watching a horse fall down, its spindly legs crumpling beneath its great weight. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jul 14, 2008 - 30 comments

The Sadder But Wiser Librarian

Is there any other way to Woo a Librarian? I mean, you don't want to cause Trouble, but it's tough to find that girl to be your Shipoopi, but when you meet her, it's like hearing bells.
posted by Del Far on Mar 29, 2008 - 18 comments

March of the Librarians

March of the librarians: "Twice a year, tens of thousands of librarians make a trek across the United States to a meeting of the ALA. How they know to congregate in the same spot, no one knows. They come to learn, to network, to collect free stuff, and possibly to mate." (YouTube)
posted by Orb on Aug 28, 2007 - 30 comments

decimalize

Hipster librarians. What, exactly, do these archivists do?
posted by four panels on Jul 6, 2007 - 80 comments

Enemies of Books!

Librarians as Enemies of Books
via the delightfully uptight Steve Mauer at BookMine.
posted by carsonb on Jun 7, 2007 - 66 comments

Librarians vs. nuns

Librarians vs. Nuns in a caged death match! (video) (Did I say "caged death match"? I meant "Spelling Bee".)
posted by 445supermag on Mar 10, 2006 - 10 comments

Radical Militant Librarians Buttons Selling Like Hot Cakes

While Not All librarians are "militant radicals" apparently we're not all your "stereotypical librarians" either. Incensed by the USA Patriot Act and irate over a memo between FBI agents, the American Library Association debuted a button at its annual midwinter meeting, which winds up in Texas today at the Convention Center. Boasting that its wearers are "Radical Militant Librarians," the button was one of the convention's biggest sellers.
posted by Blake on Jan 25, 2006 - 68 comments

Hell hath no fury like a librarian scorned

No... F---- you. Over the course of several months a Florida librarian received unsolicited facsimile transmissions from one particular fax blaster. The number for removal and the number to fax back the advertisements for health insurance, mortgages, hot leads, selling my business and so on just happened to be in his local zrea code. Using super librarian skills and secret librarian tools he sought (legal) revenge, and won. Moral of this story:
1) Don't screw with the librarian
2) Libraries- take action on your unsolicited faxes- they are illegal.
3) Reference tools are your friends!
posted by Blake on Oct 14, 2005 - 72 comments

Those librarians aren't like I remember them

And you thought librarians were stuffy. (should be SFW, though some flesh does show)
posted by malaprohibita on Oct 9, 2005 - 40 comments

Holy Transformation!

Holy Transformation! Watch as Gotham City's favorite librarian Barbara Gordon becomes Batgirl with a only few flashy accessories and a skirt that doubles as a cape! Check out more tv good'n's here.
posted by rokabiri on Sep 20, 2005 - 23 comments

Noises off

Hugh McIntyre has died. The retired librarian was the bass player for The Nihilist Spasm Band, widely considered the first noise band. Started in 1965, the band operated way underground for most of their career, but achieved no small notoriety in the 90s, ran their own noise festival for a few years, had a great documentary made about them, and jammed with REM (!) about a month ago. My favourite memory of Hugh would be watching him time noise improvs with his stopwatch to make sure they weren't too long. RIP big man.
posted by stinkycheese on Dec 9, 2004 - 7 comments

Georges Bataille

Georges Bataille. Librarian, surrealist, archivist, writer of works on subjects ranging from economics to the erotic. Father of the notion of transgression as a positive force. Frequently name checked and sometimes very confusing. And at this festive time of year, we may also remember his ideas on the gift.
posted by stinkycheese on Dec 7, 2004 - 6 comments

...access to affected authors has been disabled.

The recent Australia/US free trade deal,among many other things, extended copyright from fifty years after an authors death to seventy years. As a result stuff like this happening. via Making Light
posted by thatwhichfalls on Aug 5, 2004 - 12 comments

How Many Librarian's Does It Take?

How 'bout a little bookish fun. We're cool enough to have our own Action Figure, but did you know librarians star in at least 2 cartoons, Library Girl, the adventures of a library girl and her cat, and the fantastically funny "Unshelved".
We've been Featured in the funny pages numerous times, and have been the subject of a couple funny flash cartoons as well, The Library, a catchy toon [Warning: May stick in your head for hours], and a "Cops" parody "Overdue", featuring the library cops.
We're a Funny Bunch, not just a bunch of ol' ladies.
posted by Blake on Sep 12, 2003 - 21 comments

College Rankings!

College Rankings! Seems like everyone's talking about 'em. There's the good ole controversial US News & World Report rankings, but thanks to the the librarians at UIUC, this wonderful site has links to many, many, many different rankings, including ones that let you make your own rankings. There's also rankings of some of the more important non-academic features of colleges, too. Does college rank really matter?
posted by Jos Bleau on Aug 23, 2003 - 20 comments

Welcome to the public library. Please check your rights at the door.

Welcome to the public library. Please check your rights at the door. The Patriot Act contains provisions that gag librarians when subpoenaed (from a secret court!) for circulation records. Seems like in at least one place, it's already being used. How about your own library?
posted by Cerebus on Nov 6, 2002 - 29 comments

In 1972 the librarians were revolting.

In 1972 the librarians were revolting. Now they're at it again. Katia Roberto and Jessamyn West are compiling a sequel to the famous (or infamous) classic of radical librarianship. [more inside]
posted by IshmaelGraves on Oct 7, 2002 - 12 comments

In Philadelphia, the ratio of students to librarians has increased dramatically. Schools are not only cutting the jobs of librarians, but they are failing to hire those who are qualified to perform the task. Some people, including principals, seem to have the notion that school libraries are a nonessential facet of high school education or are adopting idiosynchratic measures to keep school libraries in existence. The Toronto District School Board, for example, has decided that it will only offer a full-time librarian to schools with more than 710 pupils, leaving school libraries that are closed half the time or that remain substantially inaccessible to students. Laura Bush's Foundation for America's Libraries is an admirable idea, but will merely talking about the importance of libraries hammer the point home? What does it take to convince administrative types of the importance of school libraries? Where did the idea of the school library go astray? And what can we do to ensure that a reasonably accessible school library is there for any student who needs it?
posted by ed on May 30, 2002 - 23 comments

Librarians targeted in latest copyright battles.

Librarians targeted in latest copyright battles. What, did you think the copyright monopolists were going to forget about librarians defending fair use?
posted by NortonDC on Jul 12, 2001 - 11 comments

The End of Fair Use? Pat Schroeder and Publishers Go After Libraries

The End of Fair Use? Pat Schroeder and Publishers Go After Libraries "Of all the dangerous and dot-complex problems that American publishers face in the near future — economic downturns, competition for leisure time, piracy — perhaps the most explosive one could be libraries. Publishers and librarians are squaring off for a battle royal over the way electronic books and journals are lent out from libraries and over what constitutes fair use of written material."
posted by timothompson on Feb 13, 2001 - 7 comments

Librarians against UCITA.

Librarians against UCITA. Librarians on the forefront of preserving the public's right to fair use in copyright law. Kiss your local librarian and ALA member today! For more information, see the ALA UCITA Web site. [Courtesy of ALAWON and NINCH].
posted by leo on Feb 7, 2001 - 3 comments

Wendi, of slumberland.org,

Wendi, of slumberland.org, gets to keep her house! I don't think it's actually on her website yet, but these days the only way to be weblogger #1 is to log something before it happens. If you see Wendi and Jason at The Speakeasy, be sure to buy them a latte.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe on Feb 29, 2000 - 4 comments

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