Thursday, January 4, 2018
In the meantime, it is a new year and time to start up with some new thoughts. It is cold most places around the country so a good time to snuggle up with either a good book (shameless plug for our good friend Rob Lopresti's book When Women Didn't Count: The Chronic Mismeasure and Marginalization of American Women in Federal Statistics which really is a page turner) or watch a good movie (did anyone else catch the marathon of Thin Man films on New Year's Eve) or binge watch a favorite show or game (another shameless plug for my alma mater, geaux Tigers!)
Thursday, November 2, 2017
When did sandwiches deserve a day of recognition of their own? We also have national donut day, peanut butter fudge day, and even my participation favorite, National Absurdity Day. To get an idea for the depth and breadth of these traditions, please take a few minutes to look at the national calendar. https://nationaldaycalendar.com/november/
This calendar may give you some inspiration for a good display of government publications.
Friday, September 8, 2017
In the ALA District Dispatch today, we learned the Senate Appropriations Committed gave us a present with an additional $4 million in the IMLS funding. This Senate bill will have to be voted on by the full Senate and then reconciled with the House version yet this step demonstrates positive support for libraries. We have a good step to celebrate!
Monday, August 21, 2017
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
It seems that everywhere I turn, people are talking about the total eclipse of the sun - their plans to travel to Oregon or Wyoming to view the eclipse or travel elsewhere just to see it. Is it because it is such an unusual phenomenon? I have seen a total eclipse when I was a kid and it was okay. I was not mesmerized like my brother, who is now an astrophysicist or frighted like a friend of mine who happens now to be in the clergy. To me, it was nature being nature. I do not get all the fuss of going to spend all this money on something that is supposed to happen. However, I do recognize the immense power of natural phenomena, especially how total eclipses tend to throw people into fits of crazy behavior. People are discussing how their lives are out of sync because of the eclipse. I certainly cannot discount it. When nature is out of whack, we certainly can feel it, especially those of who are more grounded to the earth than others. The media are starting to run stories about myths and superstitions around solar eclipses as August 21st approaches. For example take a look at the PBS News Hour (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/5-things-remember-prepare-great-solar-eclipse/) report on how life responds as animals and insects change their behavior. National Geographic (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/08/animals-react-total-solar-eclipse-august-space-science/) also posted a very interesting story in animal reactions to the solar eclipse. Do these help understand our reactions? A really good article is Bob Berman's article in Wired (https://www.wired.com/story/eclipses-feel-weird/)
If you look at NASA's history of eclipses site, you will see what I mean. For example, the most famous solar eclipse (https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/what-was-most-famous-total-solar-eclipse-history) was in 1133 CE when Henry II died coinciding with a complete solar eclipse. As a result of his death, England was thrown into civil war.
NASA also has wonderful eclipse history site for beginners who are just learning about these events and explain the difference between partial and total eclipses. (https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/eclipse-history). Sorry, they do not apply to a total eclipse of your heart all you Bonnie Tyler lovers.
So get out your GPO eclipse kit and get ready. The next one is scheduled for 2024.
Friday, June 30, 2017
In the book, society's (and government's) changing attitudes toward women are chronicled through statistics on marriage, motherhood, heads of households, occupations, health, crime, and military service, among other topics. The focus isn't on the statistics themselves, but on how and why they were collected as they were. It is, indeed, both fascinating and disturbing.
(Lopresti is a librarian, but when he isn't examining the mysteries of government statistics he's writing popular mystery stories. You might want to check those out as well.)