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Category Archives: Recommended Books

New Book Pays Tribute To The Library Card Catalog

I worked in college and special library technical services for quite a few years before I completed both college and my Master’s program. I was a cataloger, and my tools were dedicated OCLC terminals and hand typed catalog cards (the IBM Selectric was also indispensable in those days). I created my catalog cards, filed my cards on top of the metal rods, checked my work multiple times, and then, pulled the rods and dropped the cards into place, and then checked them again. A new book about the card catalog reviewed on NPR brought back memories of how much I enjoyed the meditative and focused qualities of cataloging – it was quiet, it was precise, it required accuracy, focus and subject matter knowledge, and it opened doors to the world of print collection library research. I am grateful that I acquired these skills and practiced these tasks way back when, as they have served me well throughout my professional life.  With all the daily hurtling through social media trying to sort out fake and alt stuff from facts. librarians continue to stay on point, all be it with new more expert and comprehensive tools and skills, and expansive subject matter expertise that contributes to the growing body of knowledge that is reliable, accurate, and yes factual.  So, knowing this basement area of LC well, I am sharing this article about a book that will no doubt make you too think about how you used to work, and the valuable work you both provided and enjoyed – NPR: “If you do a Google search for “card catalog” it will likely return Pinterest-worthy images of antique furniture for sale — boxy, wooden cabinets with tiny drawers, great for storing knick-knacks, jewelry or art supplies. But before these cabinets held household objects, they held countless index cards — which, at the time, were the pathways to knowledge and information. A new book from the Library of Congress celebrates these catalogs as the analog ancestor of the search engine. There’s a huge card catalog in the basement of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. “There’s tens of millions of cards here,” says Peter Deveraux, author of The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures. “It’s a city block long.” Some highlights from the Library of Congress’ collection include cards from Walt Whitman, Samuel Langhorne Clemens (you might know him as Mark Twain), Margaret Mitchell, James Baldwin, William Faulkner … the list goes on and on. Some of the cards are handwritten, others are typed with cross out marks and notes scribbled in the margins.”

Map shows US really has 11 separate ‘nations’ with entirely different cultures

Business Insider – “In his fourth book, American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures in North America, award-winning author Colin Woodard identifies 11 distinct cultures that have historically divided the US. “The country has been arguing about a lot of fundamental things lately including state roles and individual liberty,” Woodard, a Maine native who… Continue Reading

The Secret Life of Trees: The Astonishing Science of What Trees Feel and How They Communicate

Brain Pickings: “Trees dominate the world’s the oldest living organisms. Since the dawn of our species, they have been our silent companions, permeating our most enduring tales and never ceasing to inspire fantastical cosmogonies. Hermann Hesse called them “the most penetrating of preachers.” A forgotten seventeenth-century English gardener wrote of how they “speak to the… Continue Reading

Agility in US national security

McKinsey – Book Excerpt – March 2017  -“The shift continues from the manufacturing economy of the industrial age to the digital economy of the information age, US national-security organizations need to transform as well. American military forces have been, and continue to be, the most capable in the world, but the national-security infrastructure, refined and… Continue Reading

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The King Library and Archives in Atlanta is the largest repository of primary source materials on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the American Civil Rights Movement in the world. The collection consists of the papers of Dr. King and those of the organization he co-founded, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, as well as the… Continue Reading

Book Review – Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics

Jochnowitz, Leona Deborah and Ford, Julia A., Book Review – Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics (December 27, 2016). Available for download at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2890524 “The 71st and 72nd 2015 and 2016 annual meetings of the American Society of Criminology (ASC) in Washington, D.C. and New Orleans focused on themes of… Continue Reading

Book Review – The Politics of Gender Justice at the ICC: Legacies and Legitimacy

December 19, 2016 – Louise Chappell “The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court provides the most advanced articulation ever of gender justice under international law. In designing this aspect of the Rome Statute, states were influenced by the Women’s Caucus for Gender Justice, a dynamic international feminist advocacy network who used the creation of… Continue Reading

Hope in the Dark – Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities

Free ebook – Hope in the Dark – Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities by Rebecca Solnit “With Hope in the Dark, Rebecca Solnit makes a radical case for hope as a commitment to act in a world whose future remains uncertain and unknowable. Drawing on her decades of activism and a wide reading of environmental, cultural,… Continue Reading

Insights from new book – How Achieving Emotional Agility Can Help You – at Work and in Life

“Just like physical agility, emotional agility is important to overall health, well-being and successful relationships at work. But in a fast-paced world fraught with so much stress and upheaval, how do you achieve it? Psychologist Susan David, a lecturer at Harvard Medical School, offers insights in a new book titled Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change,… Continue Reading

The Hidden Wealth of Nations

The Hidden Wealth of Nations – Gabriel Zucman, Assistant professor, UC Berkeley. September 2015, University of Chicago Press. The book: Presentation slides (short, long) Introduction Table of contents Tables and figures included in the book Supplementary material: Technical appendix  Global offshore wealth: computation of the world’s offshore wealth since 2001 Switzerland: offshore wealth in Switzerland since 1914 Luxembourg:… Continue Reading

World’s Most Literate Nations

“The World’s Most Literate Nations (WMLN) ranks nations on—not their populace’s ability to read but rather—their populace’s literate behaviors and their supporting resources. The rankings are based on five categories standing as indicators of the literate health of nations: libraries, newspapers, education inputs and outputs, and computer availability. This multidimensional approach to literacy speaks to… Continue Reading

Ruth Bader Ginsburg will publish her first book since joining Supreme Court in 1993

“Simon & Schuster announced [March 10, 2016] that it will publish Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s My Own Words, which is her first book since becoming a Supreme Court Justice in 1993…My Own Words will be a selection of writings and speeches by Justice Ginsburg on wide-ranging topics, including gender equality, the workways of the Supreme… Continue Reading