Spring and libraries: what do these things have in common? Besides being beautiful and making life more enjoyable, spring and libraries also share April. This month is National School Library Month in the U.S. Today also kicks off National Library Week there – which is officially bibliotastic.
Like many people, I love libraries and use pretty much any excuse to sing their praises. However, I think I’d be singing to the choir in the context of this blog. So instead, I’ll offer a few of my favorite library-related things – such as this video of librarians spoofing a Lady Gaga song. (Brace yourselves for greatness: it features Boolean references, a banjo, and modified Gaga-illuminati gestures.)
I also like this slideshow of beautiful libraries from around the world. I think Trinity College Library in Dublin wins the prize for elegance. But the slideshow also includes several impressive architectural designs and a breathtaking explosion of baroque.
At home, when I visit my mother in Lancaster, Wisconsin, the Schreiner Memorial Library is always on the agenda. It’s truly a gem. I mention this library specifically for three reasons. First, I want to give a shout out to the knowledgeable, patient, and compassionate staff members there. Second, I would like to express my appreciation to the library director, Alan, for his work in compiling, maintaining, and managing a high-quality collection of cultural for the community. Loving means giving – so I plan to donate to Schreiner Memorial Library this week, and I hope you will consider doing the same for a library which has been important in your life.
The third and final reason that I mention Schreiner Memorial is because the U.S. public library system is an incredibly valuable resource for people seeking information on the topic of language (among many others) – especially for people with limited financial resources. One of the nicest things about Schreiner Memorial Library – and public libraries in general – is that they are places where different types of people with different interests and skill sets come together.
Public libraries such as Schreiner Memorial are ideal places to study attitudes to language usage in the U.S. The titles of reference works on language and information on the frequency with which these works are checked out would provide a clearer picture of the popularity of usage guides and of other reference material on language. Are these works consulted frequently? Are they read from cover to cover? And how has the frequency with which such works are checked out changed over time and with local technological trends?
I will leave one more thing for the commencement of this week’s bibliocelebration: this amazing book Library Jokes and Jottings: A Collection of Stories Partly Wise but Mostly Otherwise. Enjoy!