Scottish Poetry Library Advent Calendar

Today is Day 10 of Advent, the season of anticipating the birth of Christ, and even if you haven’t paid attention so far, it’s not to late to enjoy the first ten items in any good advent calendar. If you like blogs and poems more than flipping up paper flaps or opening felt pockets, check out the Scottish Poetry Library’s calendar:

Day 1: Richard Price reads “Open the Paper Windows”

Day 2: Aonghas MacNeacail reads “This Season’s Feast”

Day 3: John Burnside reads “Late Show”

Day 4: Picture This (a collection of poetry vinyl album covers)

Day 5: John Cale and Dylan Thomas, “A Child’s Christmas in Wales”

Day 6: “The God of Sugar,” a filmpoem by Alastair Cook

Day 7: The final book sculpture

Day 8: Ryan Van Winkle reads “Untitled (How I Lived a Childhood in Snow)”

Day 9: Bob Dylan, “It Must be Santa”

Day 10: Emily Dickinson, “The Savior must have been” (And her recipe for coconut cake!)

Check back every day through Christmas at the SPL blog. And most days throughout the year after that for other great posts.

Queens Library Story Hour Goes Outside After Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge hit the East Coast of the US on October 29.

By November 1, more than 50 libraries were reopened in Queens alone, offering free internet, phone and computer-charging, assistance with FEMA grant applications and emergency housing info, homework assistance for kids whose school year was disrupted, books of DIY repairs, activities and materials to occupy kids while parents put homes and lives back together, and many other always-valuable services.

Later that week, library staff took the book bus–and story time–to sites where families were choosing donated clothing to provide for their families.

(Found at 22 Words and the Queens Library Facebook Timeline.)

“The Library of Unborrowed Books,” by Meriç Algün Ringborg

Sometimes when I’m in the library, I’ll pick a shelf, open the back cover of every book on it, and take with me the one that’s apparently gone the longest since being checked out. I don’t read the whole thing, but maybe a chapter or two, or captions of all the pictures, or a few poems. It’s a quiet, pleasant moment of symbiosis: I see something–and maybe learn something–that I wasn’t expecting, and one author’s work remains alive a little longer.

So while Meriç Algün Ringborg’s Library of Unborrowed Books may not be the most visually scintillating art installation, it’s composition and idea are tremendously appealing to me. The first section of The Library opened in Stockholm this year with 600 books that have never been borrowed from Stockholm’s public library. Ringborg writes:

There is a selection made of what books accompany us into the future…This comes natural, a selection is necessary, and it’s made in different instances either conscious or unconscious. Nevertheless, the books that are left behind — those deemed useless or for unknown reasons are abandoned — still exist in physical form, organized and systematized within the one institution representative of knowledge in all its forms, the library.

The Library of Unborrowed Books bases itself on the concept of the library as an institution manifesting language and knowledge, of the passing of awareness and the openness to all types of people and literature. This work, however, comprises all the books from a selected library that have never been borrowed [and] hints at what has been disregarded, knowledge essentially unconsumed, and puts on display what has eluded us.

Why these books aren’t ‘chosen,’ why they are overlooked, will never be clear but whatever each book contains, en masse they become representative of the gaps and cracks of history, or the bureaucratic cataloging of the world…In this library their existence is validated simply by being borrowed, underlining their being as well as their content and form by putting them on display in an autonomous library dedicated to the books yet to have been revealed.

(Found at Meriç Algün Ringborg.)

Three Villanous-Looking Comics That are Actually Library Guides

Matt Upson, Mike Hall, and Dustin Evans write comics, and these three are guides to libraries in Connecticut and Kansas. Click each cover to read the full comic!

Monster Clash, a guide to the Wilton (CT) Library

Library of the Living Dead, a guide to the Miller Library at McPherson College (KS)

Sundown at the Library, a guide to the Graham Library at Coffeyvuill Community College (KS)
Guide to Graham Library Cover

(Found at Matt Upson – Librarian.)

El Biblioburro Brings Books to Colombian Villages

The donkeys are called Alfa and Beto. The man is Luis Soriano. Together they bring books to communities throughout Colombia’s Caribbean Sea hinterlands.

Since they began more than a dozen years ago, children’s picture books adventure stories have been among their patrons’ favorite deliveries. So it’s appropriately cool that Mr. Soriano and his burros feature twice in books of their own.

(Found at 22 Words; photos & info also found at Wikipedia and El Biblioburro.)