Super Displays and Stupid Decisions: It’s Banned Books Week!

Banned Books Week adGeez, we haven’t had any Library Love on this blog for AGES!  So here ya go – a display from Sacramento Public Library for Banned Books Week.  Is this not awesome?  See it below:


Terrible photo, great display

Let’s try something less blurry, shall we?  Here’s a great display from The Twin Hickory Public Library in Virginia:


Congratulations, Twin Hickory, you won the Internet.

Lest we forget, the most frequently banned or challenged book of 2012 was Captain Underpants.  Want to read my review, first posted when the 2012 Banned Books list was released by the American Library Association?  You can find it here!

The Super Hero Librarian From Timbuktu – A True Story

Abdel Kader Haidara

Abdel Kader Haidara

This story from New Republic  is about a true library hero – sveral, in fact, although most of them have remained anonymous.  It seems that when the group Ansar Dine took over Timbuktu in 2012, they vandalized the Ahmed Baba Institute of Higher Studies and Islamic Learning.  When they fled, the mayor of Timbuktu reported that the militants had burned the collection of medival manuscripts.  He did not know if any of the manuscripts had survived.

Well, they did survive, thanks to Librarian Abdel Kader Haidara and hundreds of families who hid the books and couriers who risked their lives to smuggle the books out of the region.  Manuscripts were transported on bicycle and by boat, through checkpoints and under helicopters.  Haidara estimates that roughly 95% of the 300,000 manuscripts were saved.  They remain in Mali, but away from  the more politically turbulent areas.  Currently their greatest peril is deterioration from heat and moisture.  The group T160K is looking for volunteers and donations to protect and preserve the manuscripts.

In the legion of kick-ass hero librarians, Abdel Kader Haidara and his team stand supreme!

Library Quotes from Science Fiction and Fantasy

It’s library week here at Geek Girl In Love, and here’s ten quotes about libraries in science fiction and fantasy.  I meant to make this a list of quotes by fictional characters, but the authors had such great things to say in their own voices that I let them have a say, too.

1. “She sounds like someone who spends a lot of time in libraries, which are the best sorts of people.”

Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

2. “I am a librarian. I discovered me in the library. I went to find me in the library. Before I fell in love with libraries, I was just a

Ray Bradbury and cat

Ray Bradbury

six-year-old boy. The library fueled all of my curiosities, from dinosaurs to ancient Egypt. When I graduated from high school in 1938, I began going to the library three nights a week. I did this every week for almost ten years and finally, in 1947, around the time I got married, I figured I was done. So I graduated from the library when I was twenty-seven. I discovered that the library is the real school.”

– Ray Bradbury

3. “Rule number one: Don’t fuck with librarians.”

Neil Gaiman

4. “Interlibrary loans are a wonder of the world and a glory of civilization.”

book cover

Among Others

Jo Walton, Among Others

5. “I was a hugely unchaperoned reader, and I would wander into my local public library and there sat the world, waiting for me to look at it, to find out about it, to discover who I might be inside it.”

Patrick Ness

6. “…bookstores, libraries… they’re the closest thing I have to a church.”

Jim C. Hines, Libriomancer

7. “We are the only species on the planet, so far as we know, to have invented a communal memory stored neither in our genes nor in our brains. The warehouse of this memory is called the library”

Carl Sagan

8. “Once again I’m banished to the demon section of the card catalog.”

Willow and giles

“If it’s to last, then the getting of knowledge should be tangible. It should be, um… smelly.”

– Willow, Buffy The Vampire Slayer

9. “The three rules of the Librarians of Time and Space are: 1) Silence; 2) Books must be returned by no later than the date shown; and 3) Do not interfere with the nature of causality.”

– Terry Pratchett, Guards, Guards

10.  And the most Badassas of them all:

“For him that stealeth, or borroweth and returneth not, this book from its owner,

Let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him.

Let him be struck with palsy and all his members blasted.

Let him languish in pain crying out for mercy,

Let there be no surcease to his agony till he sink in dissolution.

Let bookworms gnaw his entrails in token of the worm that dieth not.

When at last he goeth to his final punishment,

Let the flames of Hell consume him forever.

Nicholas A. Basbanes, A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books

Soooo…okay then.  I guess I better go turn in that overdue book that I just found under the couch.  Thanks to Good Reads for the quotes!

Happy National Library Week

Happy Monday, Geeks!  This week is National Library Week.  In honor of the occasion, here’s a list of ten free services and programs that you might not expect to find at the Sacramento Public Library (but you will).  I’m guessing that your library offers similar services – what’s your favorite?  What’s the most unexpected?

1.  Fitness classes:  Heavy Metal Yoga?  Punk Rock Aerobics?  Tae Kwon Do?  Yoga for Kids?  There’s an awful lot of activity happening in the stacks, these days.  Darn you, skinny people, keep it down, I’m trying to read!

2.  Ebooks, Ereaders, and laptops:  Not only can you check out eBooks now, you can check out an eReader to read your book on.  You can check out a laptop if you want one.  No fully functioning TARDIS’s available, though.

3.  CDs:  Thanks to the library, I haven’t bought a new CD in years.

4.  DVDs:  As long as you don’t crave instant access to new releases, the library is a great source for free TV shows, movies, and documentaries.  Recently I checked out Community Season 3 and Chronicle.  Unlike Redbox, I get to keep the DVD for three weeks – more, if no one is behind me in the hold line.

5.  Audiobooks on CD and Mp3 player:  You may notice that I’m very excited about free entertainment.  My daughter loves listening to audiobooks in the car and we go through a new one about once every other week.

6.  Advice on:  How to invest for retirement, how to speak Swahili, how to fix your car, how to fill out legal forms, what to ask your doctor, how to find out who your ancestors are…if you want to know about it, they probably have it here.

7.  Sensory storytimes for autistic children.  we all remember story time, right?  Well, they still have that – for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, but now they’ve added special programs to meet special needs.

8.  Classes and Events:  Here’s some random titles of free classes and events held in various Sacramento Library branches recently: Bad Art Night, Magna Cafe, Knitting and Nattering, Family Movie Night, Classic Movie Night, Introduction to Excel, Teen Poetry Competition, eBook Help, One-on-One Job Coach Assistance, Persian Book Club, Lego Madness…now my fingers are tired.

9.  Adult Literacy:  A lot of people expect a library to have literacy programs, but you may not know that the Sacramento Public Library offers the only basic literacy program for adults in Sacramento.  There are several other Adult Education organizations in the area, but they tend to focus on things like helping people pass a high school equivalency exam.  If you want to learn to read from scratch, you’ll need the library’s help.  For more information about adult literacy programs in Sacramento, click here.

10.  Geeky Joy:  For example:  Zombie Scavenger Hunt, Haunted Stacks, Edgar Allen Poe Film Project, How to Write Using the Tengwar Alphabet, Mad Science, Science Fiction Book Club.  This is Geek Central. On top of all this, the library does a damn fine job of fulfilling its original purpose – loaning people books.   So, whether your librarian is handing you a free book to read today, teaching the aerobics, or fighting crime with a secret identity, tell them “Thank You” this week.