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Librarian Blog

Only now?

News flash!
This just in: A public library in San Diego was in the spotlight Thursday as it unveiled the city's first gender-neutral restroom inside a public facility.
Whoa, now!
Imagine a big city in California so behind the trend that it trails the Wimberley Village Library by years and years.
Yes, folks, we have two bathrooms. Both are gender neutral and always have been.
I came here from Wichita Falls where the library bathrooms were gender-neutral, and that was more than a decade ago.
I'm sure there'll be folks in California who won't like what the library in San Diego is doing. They'll conjure up the spector of all kinds of boogeymen. They'll raise heck.
And that'll make them sound just a whole lot behinder than they already sound as johnny-come-latelies on this particular issue.

Thanks for the shout-out

One subhead in the recent column by Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen read was intriguing. It read: "Oils for constipation."
Intriguing, perhaps, but not as useful as far as librarians are concerned as this one in the same column: "Reading makes you healthier and happier."
The two docs pull data from several studies to prove the headline's point. By a variety of measures if you read a book -- as opposed to your Kindle or your Samsung 7 screen -- you're giving yourself something good for, well, for mental constipation.
Thanks, docs.
We needed that.

A treasure trove

Every once in awhile an old Bob Dylan tune will pop into my head. Sometimes it remains there for hours; sometimes it just evaporates, leaving as mysteriously as it arrived.
I might always hear the tune, but I rarely hear the tune and the words. I don't know why and I don't know whether I'm unusual in that regard.
For most songs, in fact, I find the words are illusive unless I've sung the song many times.
So, when I think of a Dylan tune, I do think of the tune, and I'm not even sure today that back when I was hearing Dylan tunes on car dashboard-based AM radio in the '60s I was actually hearing the words because he was a little mush-mouthed and AM radio was, well, AM radio.
Obviously, the jurors for this year's Nobel Prize in Literature did not have the same experience when considering the award for Bob Dylan. He got the prize, and not for his tunes but for his poetry.
If you're curious about what the Nobel jurors heard that you may not have heard, check out one of our newest additions to the library collection: "Bob Dylan: The Lyrics 1961-2012."
There's no music in this large volume, published by Simon & Schuster, just words alone.
And they do speak for themselves when stripped of the music.
Thanks, S&S, for filling in the blanks in my memory.

A Faire beyond 'fair'

Our first Inventor's Faire was Saturday here at the library, and it was a huge success.
I don't have a count, but I believe we probably had more than 200 participants.
They were doing everything from learning about drones to printing off chocolate onto crackers on a Lego 3D printer to racing little cars, to blowing up huge bubbles ...
The weather was perfect for every outdoor activity -- and all activities were out of doors.
Today, we're taking a breather, but before long we'll be planning next year's Inventor's Faire.
Kudos for this year's success go to Kristina Minor, our YA librarian.

It must be quite a read

I'm pretty much a sucker for fiction set in or around the Texas Panhandle. Heck, I'll even read nonfiction about that area, which is where I was born and grew up and spent the first 33 years of my life.
So, now I simply must read "News of the World" by Paulette Jiles.
The review of the book, appearing in yesterday's book section of The New York Times, says it's terrific.
It does sound intriguing if something of a knockoff of, oh, "Lonesome Dove" and the story of Cynthia Ann Parker.
"News" features an old man and a white girl stolen by the Kiowas and later liberated. Apparently, they start their adventure in 1870 in Wichita Falls, which would have been one desolate and awful place in those days, and then make their way elsewhere in a kind of story of a journey.
Suzanne Berne, the reviewer, calls the book "exhilarating." And that's among other very nice things she has to say about it.
I must say I'm a little surprised because the book itself is only 213 pages.
A fast read, apparently, but one to be savored so much that Berne suggests reading it through twice.
I will give it a go, at least once.
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