The Library Oath

With all respect and modesty to George R.R. “Just get Off Yer Arse and Finish the Damn Book Already” Martin . . . this is what happens when Emma and I start trading GOT signals at work and begin discussing the Circ desk as if it’s a wall 700 feet high, made of ice:

Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall educate people, answer any question, and read to children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my reference desk. I am the candle in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the knowledge of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Library, for this night and all the nights to come.

—The Library Oath

The spooky thing is that it only took a few minutes to adapt the original. Now I just need to get a bunch of t-shirts printed with this and show up at ALA Mid-Winter.

The Last Week of Classes

“People flock in, nevertheless, in search of answers to those questions only librarians are considered to be able to answer, such as “Is this the laundry?” “How do you spell surreptitious?” and, on a regular basis, “Do you have a book I remember reading once? It had a red cover and it turned out they were twins.”

—Terry Prachett, Going Potal


Last week of the Fall 2012 semester is upon us.  It’s like . . .


You know the scene in You’ve Got Mail, where Meg Ryan, who has run an indie bookstore for decades, gets her first look inside a five story Barnes & Noble–

And she finds a store clerk trying desperately to figure out what book series his customer is talking about–

Because the only things the customer can remember about the book is that it’s a children’s book and it’s about shoes–

And Meg knows exactly what book they are talking about and tells the clerk the series title and the book titles and the year and the publisher–

And the clerk goes off to see if they can be ordered–

And then Meg bursts into tears because she has just realized that this is what the future of book sales looks like–

Buyers and sellers both wanting something distinct and eminently identifiable, but lacking the common reference points to make it happen–

Like subject, title, author, publication date, edition–

And instead all the customers have to work with is a disconnected image in their mind–

Or a snippet of conversation–

Or a few seconds of a television or YouTube broadcast that they had encountered  at some point previously–

And that becomes their only point of reference–

Their only access point–

And expect the other guy to fix it?

Yeah. It’s like that.

Quote of Note: E.B. White



That is all.


Books: Proof of Magic


Quote of Note

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you."  ~Ray Bradbury

Quote of Note

"I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries."

—Carl Sagan

Quote of Note

O Lord our God, help us tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it…

– Mark Twain, "The War Prayer"

Wisdom From Carnegie

"Surplus wealth is a sacred trust which its possessor is bound to administer
in his lifetime for the good of the community."

– Andrew Carnegie

More On the Subject of McCain’s Presidential Qualifications

"If you desire to be poor, oppressed, and eventually vaporized in a nuclear war, vote Republican."

—Paul Craig Roberts

(The full article is here.)

On the Subject of John McCain’s Qualifications for the Presidency

"I don’t think
riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president."

—Gen. Wesley Clark

Read the whole conversation here.

[Read more...]

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