May 25, 2018

I spent last weekend celebrating David and my husband’s family in general. What a sweet, hilarious, generous people. I also learned that I get to present at a local library conference this summer, which is very exciting and also a new frontier of challenge for me. But one of my goals this year has been to get better at public speaking, and the only way to do that is to keep stumbling into situations that require I speak publicly. I might share some of my research (about mindfulness, customer service, and librarianship) here in the upcoming weeks!

  1. A Photographer’s Love Letter to City Libraries. I don’t know if I believe libraries are sacred spaces, but if any are, it would be major-city public libraries! These are some lovely photos of some seriously awe-inspiring libraries. They make me want to visit new libraries this year!
  2. Who Succeeds in Higher Education? Quick Ask Zoe. Been thinking about this transcript of a talk I read a few weeks ago. At our library, we’re talking a lot about our mission and vision, “why we’re here,” and what our core values are. Student success comes up a lot, and this talk has been a valuable reality check for me; students may need a librarian to be successful, but they need secure housing and access to food and mental health care first. This talk courageously explores what it could look like if we went where students need us (offering or supporting family study rooms, campus food banks, textbook and technology loans).
  3. The New York Public Library Lets You Downloand 180,000 Images in High-Res:
    Historic Photographs, Maps, Letters & More
    . This is so exciting! Digital collections from major libraries allow you to put the exploration back into your experience of libraries – I highly recommend browsing the NYPL Digital Collections website and see what kinds of treasures (as the Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden calls them) you find! (The Walt Whitman artifacts are thrilling to me)

  4. The Trashy, Expensive, Contradictory Reputation of Leopard Print
    . This is a fascinating history of a print with complicated connotations. “I think we see fashion [as] consumption, but it’s a way to choose second skin. We didn’t choose the skin we are born in, but we can choose the skin we are showing.”
  5. And two pasta stories: Pasta-Making for Peace of Mind. “On the blog, Brown shared a photo of her plate scraped clean after sampling her sauce, writing, “I would fall in love with whoever made me this pasta. I fell in love with myself. I love me.” That’s lovely. I learned how to make soft pretzels this week, and the ritual (kneading, baking-soda baths, rolling dough into long tubes, melting butter, sprinkling sea salt) was so engaging and relaxing.

    And this quick read actually motivates me to flip the ratio and add more veggies to my pasta: Your Pasta Can Handle More Vegetables.

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