Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Vancouver actress Jori Phillips makes dress out of thesaurus pages

Here's a great project for all those outdated reference books!

By | Shine On – July 29, 2013

Vancouver-based actress, model and former circus artist Jori Phillips spent months ripping pages from a secondhand thesaurus to create an unusual paper dress that has garnered international attention since being posted on Reddit last Friday.

In the post, the 21-year-old native of Denman Island, B.C. poses in a series of photos wearing the strapless creation. Since Friday, it's received more than 88,000 views and more than 300 comments.
Reporters from CBC, Good Morning America, Mashable, the Daily Mail and Metro have all contacted her wanting to discuss her labour of love.
"I'm an avid reader, and I loved the idea of a girl who reads so much that she becomes the book," Phillips, who made the dress to wear as a volunteer greeter at the local Readers and Writers Festival, explains to Mashable.
“I got it in my head that it would be awesome if there was this dress made all out of paper,” she tells Metro.
Phillips made the dress without a pattern, using hot glue to hold the pages together. And while wearing the dress on the festival weekend of July 20-21, she says that sitting down was near impossible and she worried the glue would melt in the heat.
Yet as impractical as the dress may be, with some haters describing it as a waste of a book, Phillips remains unfazed by the criticism.
“Reddit encourages negative discussion a lot,” she tells Metro. “That’s just made more people look at it.”
Hoping that the media attention will land her some agency gigs, Phillips aspires for bigger and better projects. She writes on her Facebook fan page that she is vying to get on the popular American talk show "Ellen."
It turns out that Phillips is far from the first person to have made a dress out of paper.
Numerous paper creations are detailed on the Back to the castle blog showing one dress made out of children's book covers and another dress made out of newspapers.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Bulgaria Opens Its First Beach Library

Wouldn't this be a great post-retirement job?  

Updated: Wed 7:23 AM, Jul 17, 2013

Beach Library!                                                                                                                                                     For holidaymakers who reach the end of their beach books earlier than planned, one Bulgarian resort is offering a new service: a library built just yards from tourists' deck chairs. Albena's beach library is the first in the European Union and the third worldwide. Its stock of over 2500 volumes in more than ten languages is so far proving a hit, especially because every book on the shelves at the Black Sea resort in northeastern Bulgaria, costs nothing to take out.
The resort's deputy manager said the variety of books was helping the library's popularity.
"I think there is a wide choice of books and authors," said Yovka Strashilova. "Also, the library is getting richer because of our guests who leave their own books when they go home for others to read."
Current book genres range from world classics to thrillers, mysteries, romantic readings and memoirs.
It is a diversity that seems to be captivating young and old alike.
One Bulgarian woman who was spending time on the beach with small children said she was pleasantly surprised. "I found books for me, they have found books too and they are fixed to the library, I can't move them," said Mira Ivanova.
The library was a nice way for the children to make friends, Ivanova added.
The project was the brainchild of Herman Kompernas, the German project manager at "Albena" PLC.
Kompernas designed the library, which has 140 shelves and space for over 4,000 titles. He said the search for a special durable material to withstand the seaside elements was not as problematic as you might expect.
"We found the proper material very quickly," Kompernas told Reuters TV. The material is resistant to sun and strong winds, and in wet weather vinyl rollers sealed by zippers protect the books.
"We also found a stabilization method very quickly," Kompernas added. "We chose a sort of palette construction for under the library, which you can't see here, to make it very stable against the wind."

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Fifty Shades of Grey among Goodreads’ list of most abandoned books

By: GTA, Published on Wed Jul 10 2013 Toronto Star

Popular book recommendation website has asked readers about why they abandon books. Most often, it’s because they’re “slow” or “boring.”

Fifty Shades of Grey is bein made into a movie.
A popular book recommendation website has delved into the psychology of abandonment and what makes people keep reading or set a book down before finishing it.
According to stats released on a Goodreads blog post on Tuesday, popular books such as Fifty Shades of Grey E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Greyand J.K. Rowling’s first aduly novel,The Casual Vacancy, are the most commonly abandoned or “unfinished” books.
People may put The Casual Vacancy down, for example, because they have different expectations as it is “a far cry from the Harry Potter series.”
New books aren’t the only ones people tend to start and abandon. Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings are among the most commonly abandoned of classic books.
Most people, Goodreads’ stats say, will “always finish” books they start, with about 38 per cent claiming they don’t abandon books. About 28 per cent of people surveyed will abandon a book about 50 to 100 pages in.
Almost half (46.4 per cent) of readers surveyed say they will put a book down if it’s slow or boring. Another 18.8 per cent will abandon it if they feel it has “weak writing.”
On the contrary, a rule of finishing things (36.6 per cent) and a desire to know what happens (25.2 per cent) will keep Goodreads’ members turning the pages of a book until the end.
Goodreads — which says it has 18 million members — allows people to build lists of books they’ve read or want to read and find new books by sharing lists with friends via social media.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Lac-Mégantic casualties include Quebec town’s history

Libraries in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta have had to deal with natural and explosions over the past few weeks.  Southern Alberta libraries and now yesterday some libraries in Toronto have experienced once in a lifetime floods. The people of Lac-Megantic in Quebec has suffered unimaginable destruction and loss of life with the train tanker explosion, and its library and archives were casualties.

Our thoughts are with you in the library community as you deal with your losses.

The explosions that followed a train derailment in Quebec destroyed Lac-Mégantic’s library which house precious archival documents.
Diane Roy says the loss of the library is not at all comparable to the loss of human life, but it's devastating for Lac-M�gantic nonetheless.
Jacques Gallant / Toronto Star
Diane Roy says the loss of the library is not at all comparable to the loss of human life, but it's devastating for Lac-Meganitc nonetheless.
Diane Roy was very much looking forward to the fall. The chair of the board of Lac-Mégantic’s only library was in the final stages of preparing to move the library’s 60,000 books and precious archival documents from the two-floor location downtown to a bigger facility, where the townspeople would have easier access to the documented history of their community.
It was the result of nearly five years of negotiations and countless grant applications. Everything was in place, and Roy was pleased. But then on Saturday, a train carrying crude oil derailed downtown, causing massive explosions that obliterated many buildings, including the library.
On that day, Lac-Mégantic’s history literally went up in smoke.
Sitting on the back porch of her home Monday, Roy fought back tears as she described the archives that had been housed at the library: baptism records that came over with colonists from France in the 17th century, local politicians’ correspondence, and documents related to the various social clubs in town.
But there was one archival collection particularly dear to her heart.“For the longest time, I kept at my home letters my uncle had written to my grandmother when he was a prisoner of war during World War II,” said Roy, 65, her voice breaking. “But then, just recently, I brought them to the library so my uncle’s grandchildren would be able to view them whenever they wished. I was actually scared they might get destroyed in a fire if I kept them in my house.”
Roy first found out about the explosion early Saturday morning when her 85-year-old mother was among the evacuees moved uptown. Her mother lived near the library.
“As soon as she called me to say what happened, I remember thinking ‘My God, the library’s gone.’“
Roy said the loss of the library is of course not at all comparable to the death of a loved one, but a devastating loss to Lac-Mégantic nonetheless.
She was involved in getting the town its very first library, which opened on Frontenac St. downtown in 1991, after lobbying the municipal government for more than two years.
“It was only supposed to be a temporary location, and we ended up staying there for 22 years,” she said, laughing.
In the late ‘90s, the library began a major campaign to collect archival records from residents, believing that the documents should remain in Lac-Mégantic, and not carted off to a storage facility in the nearby city of Sherbrooke.
“Everyone was always very eager to help out because so many people wanted a library here,” said Roy, who mentioned the library had three employees and 45 volunteers.
Roy said she no longer believes the library will be able to open at the new location on time in November, “unless the community really comes together to help out, which is very possible.”
The books should be covered by the insurance, said Roy, but nothing will bring back the archives.
“We lost a huge part of our history, what helped people here better understand their own community,” she said. “It’s nothing short of tragic.”


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Are Public Library Staff becoming Cruise Directors?

A couple of evenings ago, I was talking to a friend (not in library field) about what I had been doing that day at work - an exciting Teens vs Seniors Wii Bowling Tournament and the first meeting for our new Scrabble Club.  After I finished my description of my day, he asked if I was a Cruise Director.

Good question.  With the new focus of public libraries becoming a community hub and community activity centre, are we offering the same type of events and programmes as what we find in recreation centres, cruise ships and seniors clubs? 

The focus on programming is certainly something that was not on the curriculum when I went to library school.  Those were the days of courses on Government Documents, transliteration and programming with Basic. (Yes I am that old, but I was the youngest in my class!!)

This comes round to the training and experience for future public library workers.  Does the MLIS or Library Techniques curriculum really cover this?  Should we be Cruise Directors and Event Planners?