Tag Archives: reading

“the limits of my language means the limits of my world.” -ludwig wittgenstein

Standard

library-and-garreth-006

grandie b

read her book to us

out loud

proud and confident

while

younger grandie j

watched and listened

and

when she was done

he said

 he was happy she could read the words

but he seemed 

a

little bit

envious 

and

sad

because he wasn’t sure how to read yet

until

suddenly

he had an idea

and

i saw

the lightbulb go on

just before

he announced 

that he would 

‘read his book to us in spanish’.

and

he proceeded to 

show us the cover

as he

read us the title

and then

patiently

read

each and every page 

in his version of spanish

taking his time

nodding and facing the book towards us 

turning the pages

at appropriate times

pointing out the pictures

all while 

happily smiling

 confidently

 chattering away

in a his brand new version of spanish

that was so very, very advanced 

that we

the listeners

didn’t even 

know the translations

but we understood

that he was proud

and

he was reading

and

when he was finished

he snapped his book shut

and said

in english

“that’s all.”

brilliant.

muy bien, and gagglesmithjong kipisanlomita paskajonti to you!!

 

“if you want to talk about something new,

you have to make up a new kind of language.”

-haruki murakami

 

where brains met brawn.

Standard

katy_kelly_-_library-olympics-book-cart.jpg__1072x0_q85_upscale

librarians have an olympics, too
brains met brawn in a bookish competition for the ages

think the athletic action is all in rio this year? you’d be wrong—dead wrong. though you might not think so, librarians perform feats of near-olympian prowess every day as they lug books back and forth, tame tortuous piles of information and sustain long hours and complicated reference requests. and as librarian katy kelly writes, they proved it in the university of dayton’s first-ever library olympics last week.

the “olympic” event showcased the prowess of librarians by turning the mental into the physical. it’s an olympics year tradition in many libraries that aims to get people more engaged with their local library. some libraries invite the public into the library to compete in fun, bookish games, but in this case librarians themselves faced off in what may be the ultimate game of reference skill and cataloging competence.

katy_kelly_-_library-olympics-jenga.jpg__1072x0_q85_upscale

librarians competed in a vigorous game of “journal jenga” (stacking bound periodicals as high as possible and jumping out of the way when they collapsed. then they faced off in a circuit of different events, including balancing bound journals on their heads, running a book cart through a twisty course, and tossing journals toward a target. (all of those thrown journals were slated for recycling in a process librarians call “weeding.”)

katy_kelly_-_library-olympics-toss.jpg__1072x0_q85_upscale

brains had a place next to all that brawn, too, as librarians participated in a tricky speed sorting event in which they had to put books in order by their library of congress call number. to top it all off, they ran around campus finding objects that corresponded to different lo  call numbers. the winning team made off with the medal by a single point.
all of these antics sound silly, but librarian m. schlangen, who participated in the event, found deeper meaning in the exercise. “as I raced to put a cart full of books in order by the library of congress call numbers on their spine labels,” she wrote, “the very genius of this system occurred to me: without orderly cataloging of the world’s knowledge, even in this age of search engines and high-speed networks, information could easily be rendered obscure in an ocean of data, accessed by mere chance rather than intention.”

 

there’s another purpose for the games: as the university of dayton’s m. scheffler and a. black note, these olympics-like competitions don’t just test librarians’ knowledge, but highlight areas in which they might need more training. and the best librarians know that, like the most competitive athletes in the world, it never hurts to brush up on the basics.

credits: smithsonianmag.com, erin blakemore, katy kelly

 

magic.

Standard

877a6ab9ce50d8ec6ed88339845a96db

“books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind,

flight to the imagination, and life to everything.”

-plato

i stopped over to surprise

little grandie b

on her birthday

brought my gift

gave her a flower

shared a hug

then

she asked

if she could read to me

i had ‘read’ with her

just months before

when she pretended to read

a chapter book

imitating readers

she had seen and heard

excited to be like one of them

but today

she opened a book

read me every word

her little brother

said

“i don’t know how it happened.

but she can just read now.”

i told him

” it is magic.”

i was in awe of her

and

this surprise gift of magic

that she gave to me on her sixth birthday.

“once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”

– frederick douglass