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Hodgepodge 11/18/16

November 18, 2016

Been thinking about things like books, self care, and how to get through harrowing times. Thinking, also, about the role of libraries and librarians. Prefacing today’s Hodgepodge with a promise: this blog is and always will be a safe space. I’ll do my best to keep it a positive place, for wordy delights, openness and curiosity, and above all respect and warmth. Even hope.

And book reviews.

Anyway: links.

A Thanksgiving story of serendipity and goodness (via CNN)

Statement on Libraries, Diversity and Inclusion from the American Library Association:

During times like these, our nation’s 120,000 public, academic, school, and special libraries are invaluable allies inspiring understanding and community healing. Libraries provide a safe place for individuals of all ages and backgrounds and for difficult discussions on social issues. Our nation’s libraries serve all community members, including people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, and the most vulnerable in our communities, offering services and educational resources that transform communities, open minds, and promote inclusion and diversity.

“A library is a rainbow in the clouds.” Lovely meditation from Maya Angelou (via BrainPickings)

I’m all kinds of delighted by the news that OCLC has won a Knight News Award to Promote Collaboration between public libraries and Wikipedia. I want in on this. I really, really want in on this. #dreamjob

Fanfic Tropes (via Medium)…  Might seem like an odd juxtaposition with library-tastic links. But I think it fits. Fanfic can be goofy and strange… but, when you think of it, the ability to explore characters in different genres and just write for the sheer pleasure of it in a shared space… that can take its own stance for keeping imaginations, creativity, and information free.

Like the author of “How the Baby-Sitter’s Club Reflected Our Dreams of Safety,” I grew up with Ann M. Martin’s books. I’m delighted by this combination of a chance for nostalgia about a favorite series… with really cogent analysis that encourages deeper thinking.

Mathematically, we are 30 years from sunny afternoons in Stoneybrook, exploring hidden passageways and analyzing the handwriting on letters from secret admirers. Emotionally, however, we are eons away. Even if, statistically, there’s never been a safer time to be a child in America, we don’t feel that way. The Baby-Sitters Club isn’t just the fantasy children today will never experience; it’s the fantasy they could have experienced, if the world were just a little bit better, but missed out on.

Thinking about the shifts in attitude that have colored both the fictional landscape of middle grade and young adult literature, and the real-life state of the world, honestly. Hoping there is still refuge and joy in books, and in a community of readers and booklovers. Needed now, more than ever.

Gorgeous book sculptures (via Days Fall Like Leaves.)

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