Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Banned Books Week

In this day and age, it's hard to believe that there are still books being banned in America. I encourage you to visit the American Library Association's site on Banned and Challenged books to see if any of your favorites have been banned over the years. Also, I encourage you to explore some of these books at your local library and introduce them to your family. Especially A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle. Oh, and read just about anything by Judy Blume while you're at it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Best Blog Post I've Read in Years

You've got to read this post on the nature of coping by Josh. It will change your day, if not more.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Why Is This Such a Secret?

Why is it that one of the best FREE resources in New Jersey is such a secret? I simply don't know, but if I worked at the State Library, I'd be doing something about it.

Now, you're probably saying to yourself, "What is she talking about? What's this Jersey Clicks business?" Jersey Clicks is a far better way to search for topics than Google, it's a gift to those of us who must research topics for school, and is an absolutely free way to get to stuff you'd have to pay big money for any other way. What kind of stuff? Well, full-text articles in publications that usually require a fee to read their archival material, and in some cases, their most recent material.

This is a great resource for kids. It's very easy to use and can show them all kinds of stuff on the "invisible web" that they wouldn't see otherwise. The best part is that it's just like having your local library do all the work, except you can do it from home, just by using the UPC number on the back of your library card. And, if you don't have one, you can order one online.

The reason this is fresh on my mind is that I'm taking an online course as part of my MLIS at Rutgers, and the prof asked us to talk about an online library, and this is the one I picked. If you're a NJ resident with a library card, try it out. Go to Jersey Clicks and search for stuff right now. It will become your go-to tool in your bookmarks.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

It's a Small Book After All

From September 2009 photos

On Sunday, Teresa (shown above checking out the tiny tomes) and I attended the Miniature Book Society's annual Book Fair, in Princeton.

From September 2009 photos

Our interests were mainly in the artists' books, but we also saw book sellers and miniature book collectors (no, they are not small folks) with an excellent variety of books from around the world. The book above was hand painted and hand bound. It was beautiful, as were most of the handmade volumes.

We were fortunate to meet a few of the artists, including my favorite, Mary Devenyi, shown below.

From September 2009 photos

Her hand wrought leather-bound miniature books were gorgeous. And, the texts were very interesting as well. Her company is Beaux Art Publishing.

From September 2009 photos

I wish I had taken better photographs of her work.

From September 2009 photos

The doctor book was written by her son.

Some of the other beautiful books were made by Poole Press.

From September 2009 photos

The book above was hand painted and bound by Marylane Poole Adams. Here's an interior shot.

From September 2009 photos

As we learned on Sunday, a miniature book measures less than 3 in. x 3 in., and includes books that have printing so tiny as to require the reader to use a magnifying glass to read the words on the page.

From September 2009 photos

Some of the tiniest books were charms worn on bracelets that included magnifying glasses within their cases.

Finally, one of the presses that displayed unique folded books was Memory Press, home of Maria Pisano, the artist of this work called "Your Ticket".

From September 2009 photos

Here's a bird's eye view of the work.

From September 2009 photos

Maria described her art book as addressing gambling addiction. She played with it, showing how the work itself is unmanagable, like addiction. Teresa and I hope that she will be able to do a workshop at Rutgers, to provide library students like us some practical knowledge of book arts.

Overall, it was a great free thing to do on a Sunday afternoon with a friend.