A blog dedicated to word play such as parodies, puns, and word parallels and stories about libraries that you may not have heard before. It has also expanded to include a few book reviews, nature essays, stories about military and veterans, and tips about writers and writing. It has evolved into a sort of online journal



Hope you enjoy the ride and the fun.

Please let me know if there is word that deserves a riff or a library that has a story to share.

Thanks for joining me in the blogosphere.







Happy Paraskevidekatriaphobia

Friday the 13th.jpgParaskevidekatriaphobia–Fear of Friday the 13th

Fear of the number 13 is traditionally believed  to have gone back to the Last Supper when the 13th person (Jesus and the 12 Apostles), Judas Iscariot betrayed Christ.  Another theory is that on Friday, 13 October 1307,  Philip IV of France arrested hundreds of the Knights Templar.  Twelve was considered a safer number than thirteen–twelve signs of the zodiac, twelve months in a year, twelve apostles.  Thirteen was supposedly the number of witches needed to form a coven.

The next Friday the 13th will fall in July.

UVA with JEfferson's statueThomas Jefferson (3rd President of the United States, primary author of the Declaration of Independence, and founder of the University of Virginia) was born on April 13, 1743.  UVA has celebrated Founder’s Day since the University’s first academic session in 1819. Today marks the 275th anniversary of Jefferson’s birth.  Events will be held at both Monticello (Jefferson’s nearby plantation) and on the Grounds of the University of Virginia.



Do you need glasses sometimes–like when you are in a restaurant with low lighting or your eyes are tired?  If you forget to bring your cheaters or dislike having to carry a glass case around, read this post from Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial about ThinOptics.  It has great information AND a 15% discount.

If you are interested read on….

Happy National Bookmobile Day

NBD18_logoApril 11 is National Book Mobile Day. Does your library have a bookmobile?  Have you ever used it or seen it?

My last bookmobile experience was in the early 1970s in University City, San Diego, CA.  It was replaced by a heavily used storefront branch.  The current 10,000 square foot branch opened in 1978.  San  Diego Public Library ceased it’s bookmobile operation in 1997 because of diminished usage and worn-out bookmobiles.  San Diego County Library still operates two bookmobiles in East and North County.

JMRL bookmobileThe James Madison Regional Library in Central Virginia, still operates a bookmobile  that serves Albemarle County and Charlottesville. “The Bookmobile has its own collection and carries 1800 to 2000 books to each stop. Patrons may place holds on materials and pick them up at their respective stops. Patrons may also request materials on particular subjects and we will bring a selection to the patron’s stop. The walls are lined with shelves of books that include fiction and nonfiction books for adults, teens, and children, as well as some books cd, and play aways. Included are mysteries, fantasy, biographies, cookbooks, history, and folk and fairy tales.”

The Pew  Charitable Trust recently posted an article on the status of bookmobiles, following one particular book mobile in rural Kentucky. (Kentucky has a long history of taking books to some of its more remote citizens–going back 80 years to the WPA era.)

To read more about bookmobiles, click here.

What is your favorite book mobile story?  Join in the conversation and share your story or whether you think that book mobiles are still viable.

National Library Workers Day–April 10, 2018


Happy National Library Workers Day.

Not all people who work in libraries are librarians.  Other positions include library technicians, library aids or pages, maybe janitorial, IT, or other staff specialists that help keep the library functioning.  If the library is big enough, there may be researchers, library assistants, administrators, bookmobile drivers, etc.

Q:  Do you really need a  Master of Library Science?

A:  For most of us, yes, you do.

Q:  Why do you need a masters degree if you sit around and read books all day?

A:  I have met hundreds of librarians and have yet to  meet one who only was responsible for reading books.  The book that you checked out had to be selected by someone, purchased by someone, cataloged and processed by someone, put into the online catalog that allowed you to find the book, check the book out, and possibly renew it.  If you put a hold on the book, someone had to locate the book, bring it to the hold shelf, monitor the system that allowed you to place the hold, notify you that the hold was available, maybe let you select where you could pick the hold up, and how long the hold would be available.

Q:  What else do librarians do?

A:  We can be generalists or specialists, depending upon the size and need of the library.  If you are in a one person library, you do a bit of everything.  If you are in a public library, you may be the children’s librarian where you select children’s books, hold story hour and summer reading programs, and you may arrange other special programs for children. Some libraries also have young adult or teen librarians. You may be a reference librarian, a cataloger, a supervisory librarian (head of a branch or a section of the library), or the acquisitions librarian where you buy the materials, supplies, and equipment the library needs.  If you are a systems librarian, you maintain the online library system that includes the online catalog, the modules that allow you check items out, find out what serials or databases are available to to you, maybe work with the e-books, audiobooks, the computer lab, etc.

Melancholy Snow

It was snowing this morning while I was riding my bicycle.  It was a melancholy snow, Winter’s last gasp at withholding Spring. Like a sleepy baby that was too tired to wail, but not too tired weep, the flakes slowly drifted down and dissolved into tears as soon as they landed. Despite a 34 degree temperature, even the cold could not summon enough energy to bite, lacking the teeth of a strong wind.

Spring and Winter had been playing a tug of war since February.  Our 60 something average temperatures show up about once a week. (If Spring were to precede Winter, I would call it Sprinter, but it’s more like Plodder.)  This back and forth time is where Winter is is trying to Wring every last day and night it can before it will finally cede to Spring.

snow-last of winter

Of course, I was riding a stationary bike inside, listening to music.  I could see the snow falling and melting, but it was not my face it was melting on.  When I went out to yoga later in the morning, it was still snowing, and that was when I knew it really was not that cold out and nothing was freezing.

bike by window.jpg

State of America’s Libraries

Libraries of all types are doing well in this review by American Libraries Association.

Public, Academic, and School Libraries are all highlighted in this edition. Issues and Trends include intellectual freedom, youth and teen services, library programs, and sustainability.

Library challenges are no longer limited to just books (67%).  Other challenges include databases, magazines, games, and films (18%), programs (7%), displays (4%) and other (4%).   Challenges can rise for a number of reasons:  sexually explicit, religious point of view, profanity, violence, un-American,  propaganda, etc. ( I can remember years ago when a military officer came in and offered to set up a library advisory selection committee because he thought we should not be offering Mad Magazine to the young soldiers on base.)

From the ALA Fact Sheet: There are an estimated 119,487 libraries of all kinds in the United States today.


Happy 60th Birthday, National Library Week

happy-birthday-20384852National Library Week was first celebrated March 16-22, 1958.  To read more about the history of National Library Week, click here. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Libraries Lead.”

Library LogoPublic Libraries have been called the People’s University since Alvin Johnson made the argument in 1938.  Today polls still show support for public libraries.   “A new analysis of Pew Research Center survey data from fall 2016 finds that 53% of Millennials (those ages 18 to 35 at the time) say they used a library or bookmobile in the previous 12 months. That compares with 45% of Gen Xers, 43% of Baby Boomers and 36% of those in the Silent Generation. (It is worth noting that the question wording specifically focused on use of public libraries, not on-campus academic libraries.)”

Although books of all kinds (print, audio, online) are still important, libraries are shifting away from places where you come to check items out.  Libraries are also places to meet, to attend programs from preschool story hour to senior zumba, to learn how to make things on a 3-D printer, to have access to services from mental health  to veteran’s outreach to tax assistance.

Do you use your public library?  Why or why not?  If you do use your public library, what do you use it for?  Join in the conversation and share why you like/don’t like your public library.



ESL–Should It Matter if You Blog?

ESL_–_Language_TravelESL–English as a Second Language.

(Confession time–English is my first language. I am  functional but would not call myself quite fluent in Spanish. Those are the only two languages I know more than a few words in. I was also an English major in college.)

I follow some very fine blogs written in English, where English is not the first language of the blogger.  In a few cases,  I am not sure if the inaccuracies are more in the typo category than a misunderstanding of the idiosyncrasies of what is admittedly a difficult and irrational language to master.  For example, “this is are blog” rather than “this is our blog”.  (I’ve been known to make this type of mistake myself when I am in too big a hurry to send an email.)  Other times it may be the wrong tense of a verb, to let my brothers having their turn on the swing or using a noun instead of an adjective or adverb), she was a beauty woman.  (I have made up these examples because I don’t want to embarrass anyone by using a real example.)

I would never presume to change the topic, point of view, examples used, etc.  However, there are times when the English major in me would like to offer alternatives to the version of the word being used.  I don’t think there is a good way to do this without being hateful, overbearing, or just plain rude/obnoxious.

What do you think about this?  I can certainly continue to enjoy the blog without worrying about the grammar (especially since my own could use a good editor.)  What do you do in similar circumstances?   Do you have suggestions on how to offer assistance if someone seeks it out?  I’d appreciate hearing what you would do under these circumstance.

Elegy for a Churchyard Cherub

Cherub by herselfShe sits in the churchyard, no headstone near.
The rain trickles across her face like a tear.
  She wears green and gray from lichen and stone
How many years has she sat here alone?

Is she in honor, of some long dead child,
Who used to run through the churchyard, happy and wild?
Her knees are pinkish as if they were skinned.
Did the child have such knees, does this portend?

cherub with valentine wreath

Someone adorned her with a twig valentine.
Placed over her head, her neck to entwine.
Would that same person in some other season
Adorn her again for some other reason?

Cherub with valentine stone.JPG

By Easter, the wreath had been replaced by a stone
Someone remembered, she’s not left alone.
They left her a heart that they laid at her feet.
For her or for them? The image is sweet.

I like this churchyard of beauty and peace
It’s calming influence is without surcease
Even the tombstones have stories to tell
The stories are quiet so you must listen well.Weeping cherry on Easter at churchyard