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Have flood-damaged materials?

Conservators and students from the University of Texas School of Information will present a workshop at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 30, at the library on how to save flood-damaged materials.

Anyone can attend; admission is free.

The workshop will teach people how to dry and clean water-damaged books, papers and photos so they can stabilize their own collections at home.

If you come, bring some examples of damaged items.

Pre-registration is required, and only 10 participants will be allowed.

Register by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Flood damages

More and more photos and other items are coming into the library, thanks to people who plucked them from flood waters or found them in debris.

If you lost things in the flood, come by. We don't have much yet, but it might be worth looking.

We also just got information from the University of Texas people who restore damaged textiles and books, photos, etc., and they said don't toss your damaged goods yet. In fact, they suggested a first step toward salvaging would be to freeze them.

Flood victims are urged to contact the iSchool for advice on conservation at 512-903-9564 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Good luck!

More classics

Thanks to a patron of the library Penguin has donated quite a large number of paperback classics for our collection.

We now have brand-new sets of the works of Shakespeare and Steinbeck, for example.

Little Women and the Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen are on the classics shelves.

And much, much more.

These books don't need to be checked out; just come by and pick one up and promise to bring it back.

These new materials are located in our paperback-lending area.

Come check it out.

Very unfunny

One of my favorite comic strips in the newspaper is Zits, the continuing saga of a teen-age boy who is old enough to drive ... and to drive his parents crazy.

A few days ago, Jeremy, the hapless lad featured in the strip, used a credit card that got hacked to buy an essay online to turn in as his own at his high school.

Needless to say, he got found out, and the teacher, somewhat surprised, confronted him with the accusation that he'd plagiarized his assignment.

No, Jeremy responded, adding: "You could think of it as a repurposed, vintage, crowd-sourced effort."

Ha. Ha. Heh. Eh. Hmmm.

Not funny.

Plagiarism is probably the most notable sin in academia today, made so easy it's laughable by the omniscience of the internet. (In second place, it seems, is the kind of scientific misadventure that made the pages of The New York Times today.)

My beef with the writers of the Zits strip is this: He got grounded for two weeks. Two weeks.

When I was a college professor, you could kick a kid out of class forever for plagiarizing. That's a little more serious than being grounded for two weeks.

The strip-writers flubbed this one. They should have thrown the book at Jeremy or, because that might not be funny, they should have left plagiarism alone as a strip topic.

Another free service

Librarians across the country have been historically reluctant to let patrons bring stuff to drink into their facilities.

People might spill stuff onto books or, then, into computer keyboards. Or on the floor, which would be less disastrous but still a mess.

We've been in that camp, too.

I didn't come to this job through regular library channels. Instead, I was in charge of a newsroom or two where everyone had a computer keyboard and everyone drank coffee or soft drinks all the time.

I can't recall ever seeing anyone who worked for me spilling drinks into their keyboards. And, mind you, none of those drinks were covered by lids.

(Instead, we had trouble with sports writers spitting sunflower seed hulls into their keyboards, but that's another story.)

When I was living in Temple, the city refurbished the library, and they provided coffee inside the library.

I never saw anyone spill anything.

So, after coming here and getting this job I began to push for us to serve coffee -- like a bookstore does.

And today that happened for the first time.

We now have free coffee.

Come by and enjoy some.

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