there’s a librarian code of conduct that we all learn about, but there should really be a patron code of conduct too, one that doesn’t police our visitors, but instead reinforces why we’re all here:
- you’re not “bothering us” by asking a question, i swear! i work here mostly to help you find what you need. it’s nice of you to be considerate though, and i’m sorry if others have made you feel less welcomed.
- it’s okay to ask questions more than once- in fact, it’s brave to approach a stranger for help at all, even if they’re sitting at a desk marked “information.” even we want to be able to find things ourselves all the time, but opening a dialogue is wonderful and we’re so glad when you do.
- you have the right to read whatever it is that you want to read, whether for school, personal enjoyment, enrichment, book clubs you didn’t mean to join, or mere curiosity. you don’t ever have to be embarrassed to ask for something you think we might deem “unacceptable,” and if any library employee makes you feel that way, they don’t belong there.
- when you compliment us on our service, or our collection, or our programs, or that comfy chair in the corner, it makes our hearts swell as big as a gutenberg bible.
in other words, thank you to those who visit the library, and all other library professionals who aim to make it a welcoming place. you make what we do meaningful, and we care more than you know.
Yes, yes, yes! I’ve worked in a school library since 2006 and have observed how rules emphasize the negative and squash curiosity and engagement. Students generally know what’s expected of them, so I post two rules, which are working great:
- Ask Questions
- Be Kind
I may add “Clean up after yourself” as a gentle reminder, though… =)
Ernest Hemingway (via foreveragoforemma)
I don’t think there is such a thing as a bad book for children. … Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child’s love of reading. Stop them reading what they enjoy or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like – the 21st-century equivalents of Victorian ‘improving’ literature – you’ll wind up with a generation convinced that reading is uncool and, worse, unpleasant.
Neil Gaiman on writing for children, echoing Maurice Sendak – a comment especially apt on the anniversary of E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, which received a great deal of criticism for presenting young readers with the “inappropriate” subject of death.
(Source: , via explore-blog)
Fast forward to a couple of months ago, when I stumbled upon Ronald Hamilton’s paper “The Silent Fire: ODAP and the Death of Christopher McCandless,” which Hamilton had posted on a Web site that publishes essays and papers about McCandless. Hamilton’s essay offered persuasive new evidence that the wild-potato plant is highly toxic in and of itself, contrary to the assurances of Thomas Clausen and every other expert who has ever weighed in on the subject. The toxic agent in Hedysarum alpinum turns out not to be an alkaloid but, rather, an amino acid, and according to Hamilton it was the chief cause of McCandless’s death. His theory validates my conviction that McCandless wasn’t as clueless and incompetent as his detractors have made him out to be.
Hamilton’s discovery that McCandless perished because he ate toxic seeds is unlikely to persuade many Alaskans to regard McCandless in a more sympathetic light, but it may prevent other backcountry foragers from accidentally poisoning themselves. Had McCandless’s guidebook to edible plants warned that Hedysarum alpinum seeds contain a neurotoxin that can cause paralysis, he probably would have walked out of the wild in late August with no more difficulty than when he walked into the wild in April, and would still be alive today. If that were the case, Chris McCandless would now be forty-five years old.
20 years after he wrote Into the Wild, the now-legendary tragedy-turned-movie of how 24-year-old Chris McCandless perished in the wilderness, Jon Krakauer revisits the facts of how McCandless actually died, thanks to a compelling example of citizen science and citizen journalism.
The Tea Party argues that a library tax increase of any size, no matter how trivial, is unwarranted because of economic hardship. A far more compelling argument is that times of economic distress demand a larger, not as smaller information commons.
I’ve been waiting to see this headline.
it is in the best interest of politicians to keep the populace out of the loop. The more we know, the more we’ll think for ourselves. The more we think for ourselves, the less likely we are to vote a straight ticket or accept at face value the misinformation we are being fed.
1. Look at microfilm from your birthday, or a hundred years ago, or when grandma was born.
2. Look for the biggest book in the library. Take your picture with it.
3. Browse the travel section, find a place you want to visit, make some plans.
4. Go to the cookbook area, choose a recipe, go the store, get the ingredients and cook it that day.
5. Everyone find a poem, read it out loud and then copy it into your journal.
What a fantastic list!