Fusenews: Wi’ Nae Wee Bairn Ye’ll Me Beget
New York Public Library makes use of a bizarre dual blogging system. There are internal blogs that the public is not able to see (and, sadly, some of these are some of the smartest children’s programming blogs out there… burns me up it does). And then there are the public NYPL blog posts for the rest of the world. I don’t really read them all that often myself, but a recent post by one Mr. Robert Armitage caught my eye. He’s a librarian that actually gives a lot of talks at NYPL about classic children’s literature, though that’s neither here nor there. No, the real draw of this piece is his look at how libraries used to operate in the 1970s. Particularly the General Research Division of the main branch of NYPL. Just looking at those tables covered in card catalog trays makes me want to kiss my online catalog. Particularly after reading this sentence: "Imagine how our hearts sank when a tray dropped to the floor, the metal rod holding the index cards in place came loose, and cards went flying like a nightmare scene out of Alice in Wonderland."
A blog business card. I don’t have one. Whenever I go to conferences I’m usually content with just scribbling my blog’s name on the back of one my library business cards. Or, and this is even better, I just tell people to Google it. Because obviously in the midst of ALA insanity and wackiness the one shining thing they will carry with them out of the conference hall is going to be my blog’s name. Riiiiiight. Better to go the route of 100 Scope Notes. Attaboy, Travis. A much better notion (and is the conference really only 21 days away??).
Do not fear. I’m not about to become a mommy blogger. But in lieu of having my own baby, I’d like to show you a creative use of posting information about small wordless babes. Example A: The Tale of Abby the Popsicleless Bairn. This tragic story has everything. Pathos, affection, fear, and a small cranky baby. Merely select this link and then click on the picture of the baby with the speech balloons in the post. You’ll see. It’s children’s literature in the most literal sense.
Blog backburning beware. It’s the advent of the Bloggiesta. Says the official announcement, "The Bloggiesta will focus on blog content, improving/cleaning up your blog or working on your social network profiles." Like I need an excuse! But I have been sort of dry-running it lately with just reviews and Fusenews. Usually I like to shake things up with other bits and pieces of content. Anywho, at least 85+ blogs are participating. Thems a lotta blogs. Thanks to Jen Robinson’s Book Page for the link.
A great post by Elizabeth Bluemle discusses a topic I think all children’s librarians are aware of. An adult comes up to you with a specific request and unless you can find a book that mimics it precisely, they ain’t interested. Little Johnny’s grandma died of cancer, so obviously the only book that can possibly be read to him at this time is of a grandma dying, specifically, of cancer. Has to be a grandma. Has to be cancer. I’m just using one example, but you get the picture. Where Elizabeth really hits it on the head is when she writes, "Or, most disheartening of all, a whispered, ‘I don’t think he’ll really be interested in that,’ when the child’s skin color on the cover does not match the child’s skin color in real life." Yeah. We get that here in New York too. Only they’ll never actually tell you why they’re rejecting the book. They’ll just pluck out all the titles with kids of other colors and leave them surreptitiously on the table for you to find later.
Author Julie Halpern blogs. Author Julie Halpern appears to have been blogging for about three years now (yikes!). Author Julie Halpern has also just started a new feature on her blog called Julie’s Most Awesome Book Covers. Her access to old covers and Photoshop mean that you can get a little something like this wonderful Neal Schusterman adaptation. It would pair beautifully with the blog Awful Library Books, I think. Thanks to James Preller (who featured a superb family photo post recently) for the link.
When I worked in the Jefferson Market branch of NYPL, I found a little tiny book all covered in soft downy fur sitting on the shelf in my office. This, I later learned, was an original (or at least, very early) edition of Margaret Wise Brown’s The Little Fur Family which Harper Collins had printed with a downy covering. Cute at the time. Unfortunate in terms of how well it aged/shed. I found myself thinking yet again of The Little Fur Family when I saw this book in the news.
A brilliant or terrible idea, depending on how you look at it. This is Dave Eggers’ The Wild Things Fur Covered Edition. Yep. It’s in conjunction with that film coming out. "The Wild Things, based loosely on the storybook by Maurice Sendak and the screenplay co-written with Spike Jonze, is about the confusions of a boy, Max, making his way in a world he can’t control." Thanks to Educating Alice for the link.
Filed under: Fusenews
About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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