Of Libraries and Books about Libraries

02 Jul

I’m not sure I mentioned this before but I love libraries. My friend and I had a blog chronicling all our library hopping adventures and the goings on at the various counties that surround us. We decided to end that because our lives had gotten too busy.

There may be more posts about libraries here since I’ll need an outlet to share that particular passion of mine. It wouldn’t really be noticeable since I’d already been doing so since the beginning of this blog.

Yesterday was a good day for the Multnomah County Library District. Before, they relied on levies for their funding but after last November’s election, they were able to become a district meaning a much more stable funding. With this new fiscal year, it meant restored hours and services. They were open on Mondays again! They had a public celebration outside Central Library to mark this occasion. It was great to be surrounded by so many passionate and dedicated library lovers! Kim Stafford even led the crowd on a read-along of a poem he composed specially for that day- “City of the Book.”

Kim Stafford reads his poem "City of the Book"

Kim Stafford reads his poem “City of the Book”

Last week, I was able to add two more libraries to my list. One was Portland Community College’s Rock Creek Campus Library, which was ordinary. But I also got to visit my first bookmobile! The Hillsboro Shute Park branch is undergoing renovations so they were able to get one (on loan from the Salem Public Library) to use while all this was happening. Even in the tiny space, it was being well used- adults, kids, families!


Here are a few reviews on books I read recently about libraries and librarians.

Amelia Bedelia’s First Library Card by Herman Parish, Illustrated by Lynne Avril

Amelia Bedelia’s First Library Card by Herman Parish, Illustrated by Lynne Avril

Created by Peggy Parish, Amelia Bedelia was a character I remembered reading from my childhood. I was hesitant to read this new series by her nephew. In fact, I hated it the first time I read the two books in the series. But, after rereading, I actually enjoy them and have become quite fond of the picture books. This was sweet even if some of her behavior in the library and how she treated the materials made me cringe.

Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk

Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk

Sam the Mouse lives in the library. He loves books so much that he decides to become a writer. His books become popular and everyone wants to meet him. I enjoyed how he solved that particular problem. Cute and creative!


Jasper Fforde is one of my favorite writers ever. He has such a way with words and his humor is so slapstick yet sophisticated at the same time. I’ve been lucky enough to go to two of his readings and have a few books signed!

His Thursday Next series is a wonderfully imaginative world all book lovers should read. Who hasn’t dreamt of having the ability to jump in and out of books? The seventh (of eight) installment- The Woman Who Died A Lot– is dedicated to librarians and has the titular character taking up the role of Chief Librarian.

So, aside from trying to save the world again, the problem with her daughter who doesn’t exist, figuring out a way to help with the stupidity surplus, and an evil corporation making copies of her, she also has to deal with budget cuts! There are a lot of quotes relevant to issues libraries are dealing with today.

“Librarying is a harder profession than the public realizes. People think it’s all rubber stamps, knowing that Dewey 521 is celestial mechanics and saying “Try looking under fiction” sixty-eight times a day.”

“Cutting all funding to the Wessex Library Service is an act of such astonishing idiocy that we need commit no additional dumb acts for at least five years.”- In response to why the higher ups have cut her library budget

Thank you for letting me talk about libraries yet again!

Edit: I created a page of libraries I’ve visited since moving to Portland. Check it out here.


One response to “Of Libraries and Books about Libraries

  1. Jo

    July 7, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Wow. Mondays are one of our busiest days, if not the busiest. I can’t imagine not being open for them.

    I would LOVE to visit a bookmobile. Or work in one. =)


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