UVA Library Ghosts

A recent list of statistics published about the University library includes many of the expected facts, things like the number of books (more than 5.1 million) and manuscripts and archives (19.1 million). One entry, however, is more surprising: “Ghosts reported: 2.”–Robert Vicellio

Alderman Library, University of Virginia

From “Ghoulish Grounds” Vicellio identifies two ghosts:

Dr. Bennett Wood Green, a Confederate surgeon whose collection of books was donated to the University library after he died in 1913. According to legend, Green’s ghost once haunted the Rotunda, which served as the library until 1938. When the books were moved to the newly constructed Alderman Library, Green’s ghost followed them across McCormick Road.

Dr. Bennett Wood Green

Alderman is being modernized and remodeled. Many of the books have been transferred to the Ivy Stacks on Old Ivy Road. Some of the book have been transferred to the Clemons, the undergraduate library. I don’t know where the Green collection ended up, but I wonder if Dr. Green followed his books to their current location.

The library’s other ghost haunts the Garnett Room, which houses a large collection of books donated by the family of Muscoe Russell Hunter Garnett. The ghost is not a member of the Garnett family, and is instead believed to be the ghost of a physician who often visited the family’s home in Fredericksburg, Va. The estate was abandoned after the Civil War and was vacant for many years. The collection of books, however, remained immaculate, and some say the doctor’s ghost took care of the collection he had admired while alive. The books were eventually given to Alderman Library, where the ghost still watches over the collection.

This collection seems to have ended up in Ivy Stacks. I wonder if the ghost likes his new accommodations.

Another Use for a Dead Card Catalog

When libraries began discarding their card catalogs in the 1980s and 1990s, there was much gnashing of teeth for people that grew up using one of the early information retrieval systems, typed or hand written on 3X5 cards. As long as there was an author, title, or subject card, you could find what you were looking for.

The wooden card catalogs were things of beauty. Whether a 6 drawer set sitting atop some file cabinet or rows of catalogs that filled a room with their lovely wooden symmetry.

The Graduate Hotel (formerly a Howard Johnson’s) in Charlottesville, has turned two card catalogs into their front desk. I don’t know their provenance but I hope they may have been repurposed from one of the University of Virginia Libraries.

In pre-Covid times, the tassels indicated which drawers held treats. The tassels near the floor held dog treats in this dog friendly hotel.

The Ghost and Miss Maddy

Maddy has been selected as the subject for this year’s Library Halloween t-shirt so I decided it was an opportune time to catch up with the Midway Library’s favorite mascot. 

  • What do you think about being the inspiration for this  year’s Halloween t -shirt?  Is your ghost, your buddy from Annex 2, Monty?

Mom and I were both happy and surprised when we found out about this year’s Halloween t-shirt.  Yes, Monty is the ghost in Annex 2, but I wouldn’t call him my buddy.  I don’t feel comfortable with him and I worry about him around my Mom.  After all, it is my job to protect her.

  • Your mom recently had another fall.  Was this as scary as the fall out of the  helicopter?  How did you help with her rehab?

It was very scary.  This time we were home all by ourselves.  I knew immediately something was wrong—my Mom fell so hard.  She hit her head on the door frame, broke her left arm and fractured her left foot.  Mom got herself up, made several phone calls, put her arm in a sling, and got my food, bowls and bed together and walked me up to the neighbors.  She left me there and told me she was going to the doctors.  That was a very long doctor’s appointment–she was gone 5 days!

When she finally got home, she couldn’t lift me up by herself so we came up with a way where I would jump up and she would get her right hand under my bottom and lift me into the chair.  It was a little clumsy, but it worked. 

After a couple of weeks, the doctor had her start bending her elbow, so I would sit on her lap and give her moral support.  If I thought she was slowing down, I would pat my paw on her tummy.  When she was done with those exercises, I would get a treat for being such a big help to her.

  • Do you like Halloween?  Do you greet the Trick or Treaters that come to do the door?  Do you dress  up for Halloween?

Yes, I do like Halloween.  Mom dresses me up for Halloween.  I have been an angel, a ballerina, a pumpkin and a ladybug.  I love putting on costumes—they make me feel very pretty and everyone always smiles. 

We are in Idaho a lot for Halloween, so I just normally sit on the couch with my Mom when the kids come to the door.

  • What is your favorite season?

My favorite seasons are fall and winter.  I like the cooler weather and Mom always decorates the house, especially for Christmas.  There are lots of good scents, pretty lights and different things in the house.  For Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas I get treats, so it’s hard to choose which one I like best.

  • Do you look forward to your Mom going back to work?  What changes do you expect because of COVID?

I know before Mom got hurt we weren’t going to the ship and I couldn’t understand—in fact we weren’t going anywhere and I really like going for rides.  We went to the ship last week for the first time for a meeting and there weren’t hardly any of my special friends there. The ship didn’t have as many people there either.  I don’t understand what COVID is, but I don’t like it.  I am looking forward to things going back to normal—hopefully that will be soon. 

  • I hear the Midway Library staff wants to write a book based upon the t-shirt.  Do you think it should be a picture book, comic book, or graphic novel?  What will be your part of the book writing and preparing?  You are going to be a media star and  you heard it hear first!

The meeting Mom and I went to last week was about the book.  I’m not sure what all of it was about but I know my Mom was very impressed with the work that had been done—I heard her tell them that.  My only part of the meeting was lying on the floor and listening and then getting pets from everyone there. 

  • Are there other publicity outlets you would like to explore—plush Maddy toys, YouTube channel,  Instagram, Pinterest?

Since I really like squeaky plush toys, maybe a Maddy plush toy would be something interesting.

  • What do you and your Mom have planned for Thanksgiving?

We’re going to go to my Aunt Shelba’s house in Riverside County for Thanksgiving.  In August, my cousin and her husband moved very close to Mom and me and they will be going to Aunt Shelba’s as well.  It will be a fun day—Aunt Shelba and I are very close.

  • What do you think of all of the wild fires on the West Coast?   Have you been affected by them yet?

The fires are terrible and I know they have hurt a lot of people.  We had one not too far from our home and with the Santa Ana winds moving in there was fear that it could come close to our home.  It was a very tiring day.  Mom spent a lot of time going from room to room and putting things together and since I knew she was upset, I had to follow her everywhere.  Finally when the afternoon came and I was exhausted, I would lay in the hallway so I could see what room she was in. 

  • What is one thing you would like your legions of adoring fans to know about you? 

I just hope everyone is well and that soon we get to do the things we always did.  I miss seeing all of my friends–you know I’m a very social girl!

Since Maddy and Nan answered these question, they are both happily back on the Midway.

WWII Sketchbooks have been Digitized by Library of Congress

Eyewitness drawings of military life created while Victor Lundy served in the U.S. Army; from his training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina; through transport aboard ship across the Atlantic; to frontline duty at various locations in France.

To Lundy, who survived the war to become an architecture, sketching was as natural as breathing.

From Modern Met, “Lundy, who went on to have an acclaimed architecture career, donated his eight sketchbooks to the Library of Congress in 2009. The sketchbooks have all been digitally archived and are now available for viewing online. Lundy’s gift is a precious one, as in this age of continued war and terror it is more important than ever to learn from our past history.”

Phil Eakin Earns Over 16,000 Volunteer Hours for the USS Midway (CV-41) Library

A man year equals 2080 hours a year. Phil has been volunteered the equivalent of over 8 years.

Some of the highlight from Phil’s profile in the Scuttlebutt, by editor Carl Snow.

  • Philip Joseph Eakin was born on March 14 and grew up in Ft Wayne, Indiana
  • After graduating from Central Catholic HS in Ft Wayne, he attended and graduated from Villanova University near Philadelphia, PA
  • After graduation with the financial aide of an NROTC scholarship, Phil was commissioned a Navy Ensign and after some preliminary training,was assigned to USS Higbee (DD-806) as first the navigator and then the CIC (Combat Information Center) Officer
  • During his tour on the Higbee he was involved in the “Battle of Dong Hoi Gulf” where the Higbee was bombed by a North Vietnamese MiG-17
  • Phil admits that this tour was his most rewarding in terms of professional development and contribution to a naval unit
  • Phil changed focus from being a ship handler to work for Navy Intelligence. He worked for Defense Intelligence Agency and was later assigned to tours in San Diego, Hawaii, and Australia.
  • While in Australia, he met his future wife, Carol, who was working for the Australian government at the time.
  • After Phil left Australia, he received orders as the Intelligence Officer on the USS Tarawa (LHA-1). When the Tarawa was on a West Pac deployment, Carol arranged to meet Phil in Hong Kong where they sort of became engaged.
  • Phil married Carol in Canberra. They moved to Sabre Springs, north of San Diego, CA
  • Commander Phil Eakin and Carol had back to back tour in Hawaii where Phil retired. They moved to Australia after that: Melbourne, Perth, and finally Darwin.
  • During his time in Australia, one of Phil’s job was a punter, where he used his database and intelligence skills to bet on horse racing for a living, working for the leading Australian bookmaker in Darwin.
  • Meanwhile, Carol got a UN job supporting the East Timor mission.
  • They returned to San Diego, but Carol got recruited for another UN post to Khartoum, Sudan. Phil remained in SD.
  • In 2006, Phil took some guests aboard the USS Midway and impressed by the Docents. Because he had thought about getting a Masters in Library Science, he became interested in the Museum’s Library. He worked for a docent for two years and has worked the library for about fourteen years.

Why does Phil volunteer for the USS Midway?

Being around good people. I missed the camaraderie of the Navy and found that again at the Midway.”

October Holidays to Celebrate

October is the tenth month of the year in the and and the sixth of seven months to have a length of 31 days. The eighth month in the old calendar of Romulus c. 750 BC, October retained its name (from the Latin and Greek ôctō meaning “eight”) after January and February were inserted into the calendar that had originally been created by the Romans. In Ancient Rome, one of three Mundus patet would take place on October 5, Meditrinalia October 11, Augustalia on October 12, October Horse on October 15, and Armilustrium on October 19. These dates do not correspond to the modern Gregorian calendar. Among the Anglo-Saxons, it was known as Ƿinterfylleþ, because at this full moon (fylleþ) winter was supposed to begin.

October is also Health Literacy month. In this time of Covid, with so much conflicting information, we need 20/20 vision to understand what is myth and what is real. On October 1, Donald Trump tweeted that he and Melania both tested positive for COVID.

Health Literacy Month is a time for organizations and individuals to promote the importance of understandable health information. This annual, worldwide, awareness-raising event has been going strong ever since Helen Osborne founded it in 1999.

Greatest wealth is health

October is also Bullying Prevention Month. Anti-bullying activities include STOMP Out Bullying™’s signature campaign World Day of Bullying Prevention™ on the first Monday of every October.

Little Free Library in Norfolk, VA that is filled with anti-bullying books

October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. By working together, we can inspire hope and become a force for good “to get her” access to the care she needs.

Columbus or Indigenous People Day is October 12.

Columbus Day is a U.S. holiday that commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in 1492, and Columbus Day 2020 is on Monday, October 12. It was unofficially celebrated in a number of cities and states as early as the 18th century, but did not become a federal holiday until 1937. For many, the holiday is a way of both honoring Columbus’ achievements and celebrating Italian-American heritage. But throughout its history, Columbus Day and the man who inspired it have generated controversy, and many alternatives to the holiday have proposed since the 1970s including Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Indigenous peoples first proposed the day during a 1977 United Nations conference on discrimination against them. But it wasn’t until 1989 that South Dakota became the first state to switch Columbus Day to Native Americans’ Day, celebrating it for the first time in 1990. It is observed in Maine, New Mexico and South Dakota.

A blue moon will occur on Halloween. It is called a Blue Moon because it is the second full moon in a month. The first full moon is October 1 and 2 and is called the Harvest Moon. There are also seasonal blue moons.

Seasonal Blue Moons first. It’s an older definition for Blue Moons, stemming from old skylore. A year has 12 months, of course. A month – or “moonth” – has a length more or less based on a single orbit of the moon around Earth. What we call a season – winter, spring, summer, fall – typically lasts three months, and typically has three full moons. So this would be a fourth full moon withing a season.

I Asked Google What the Green Fruit Was.

The first search options were to look things up in print indexes, like Readers Guide..

In print, if you wanted to learn about child abuse in military families, you would look up child abuse and hope it might include some mention of military families or you would look up military and hope it included something about child abuse

The next stage was the ability to combine keywords in these few paid databases such as BRS or DIALOG.

If I wanted something on child abuse in military families, I would use Child Abuse AND Military Families. If I wanted something either child abuse or military families, I would type in “Child Abuse” OR “Military Families” and could retrieve results for either search term.

This search capability was limited to a few academic or public libraries.

The arrival of CDs in the 1990s expanded the number of people who could access the CDs, even if they did not have Internet access.

The Internet and later the World Wide Web made searching accessible to almost anyone wanting to research things online. It still is not all of online or free.

However searching has improved with the addition of AI and algorithms. When I saw a green fruit I did not recognized scattered in the grass of our churchyard, I typed in the question ” What is a green fruit that grows on trees?” into the Google Search box.

This was my result: (Note, it also corrected my spelling.)

Osage Orange is also known as Hedge Apple. It’s not considered edible.

Troy Prince, Creator of Midway Sailor Website

I have come to know Troy through all of the Midway related research, documents, pictures, and ephemera he has shared with the USS Midway (CV-41) Library over the years. His site Midway Sailor, is a wonderful source for all things Midway.

Troy as a Toon


I started out in life as a “Military Brat” because my father was in the U.S. Navy. I spent my early years moving around the States and the world. After high school, I decided that I “liked” the military life so much that I joined up myself. I spent ten years in the Navy, with nine of those stationed in Japan. I was assigned to the Gauntlets of VAQ-136, an EA-6B Prowler Electronic Warfare squadron for the first three years. Our home port was NAF Atsugi, Japan and we embarked aboard USS Midway, CV-41. When Midway was replaced by USS Independence, CV-62, I cross-decked over to the  Indy with the squadron. After I left the squadron in 1992, I transferred to a two year shore duty billet at NAF Atsugi AIMD. I then transferred to another shore duty billet at NAF Misawa AIMD for four years.

In 1998 I decided that it was time to move on and I left the service. I moved to Long Beach, Washington and went back to school for a while. After school, I worked as a custom furniture craftsman and remodeled a house. When those jobs were finished, I opened an auto detailing business.  The detailing business was great, but Washington’s notorious rainy winters put a stop to it. I then went to work for a resort beachfront hotel and started a website design business. In October of 2000, I moved across the country to Minnesota, where I am currently the Office Administrator for a company in Minneapolis.

During my younger years, I attended eight elementary schools, two junior high schools, and two high schools. Military life had my family frequently moving around the world. I have lived in San Diego, California (actually, I was born there) – Thousand Oaks, California – Key West, Florida (twice) – Bermuda – North Ogden and Park City, Utah – Pt. Mugu, California (near Oxnard) – Ferndale, California (near Eureka) – Haverfordwest, Wales – High Wycombe, England (this is where I graduated from London Central High School) – Honolulu, Hawaii – Orlando, Florida – Memphis, Tennessee, – Atsugi, Misawa, and Yokosuka, Japan – Long Beach, Washington – and most recently Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Throughout my life’s travels, I have had the opportunity to live in or visit several countries. I have been to Abu Dhabi (UAE), Australia, Bermuda, Diego Garcia, England, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Wales. I visited many of these countries several times and they became second homes to me. In each, I tried to learn their culture and history. I made new friends and have wonderful memories of the times spent in each country. I have sailed the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, Sea of Japan, South China Sea, Persian Gulf, and have crossed the equator twice.

Interview with Troy

  1. You obviously have a deep love for the USS Midway.  What did you do on the Midway and what about the ship caused you to fall in love with her?

I was an Aviation Machinist’s Mate in VAQ-136 Gauntlets aboard the Midway from January 1989 to August 1991. I loved the close relationship between the Air Wing and ship’s company. Although Midway was frequently at sea and the hours were long, the places we visited and things we saw made it an incredible experience.

  • What made you decide to establish your Midway website?  How has it  evolved over the years?

I created the USS Midway section as a subsection of my original personal website back in January 1998 and it was originally intended to simply share the history of this great ship. However, over the years, I have acquired an enormous collection of photos, stories, memorabilia, etc. and it has grown significantly. I still collect Midway-related photos, cruise books, newsletters, postal cachets, and other items to share on my website. Admittedly, I have lately been posting the majority of these items on Facebook instead of on my website, but I do plan on adding them there as well. I have also shared every publication and document I’ve collected with the USS Midway Museum’s Research Library.

  • You have an excellent rapport with the Midway Library.  How did you and the Library get in touch with each other?

Because of the research I had already finished at the time, I was approached by the USS Midway Museum in January 2004 (their name was San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum at the time) and was asked permission to use the information from my website to help them develop the beginnings of their historical records and publications for the Museum. In June 2004, I went on a vacation to San Diego to attend the Museum’s Opening Week. Upon arrival, I was (willingly) “Shanghaied” by the Museum’s Safety Team and put to work for the entire 13 days I was there. In more recent years, I had been receiving emails from docents asking questions and I had also reached out to the Midway Library if I ever had any questions. In April 2019, I began corresponding with Bonnie Brown on a regular basis and it soon developed into sharing information, as well as a good friendship.

After Troy was shanghaied to be part of the USS Midway Safety Team the week that the Museum opened, he is standing next to the roses he painted while stationed on the Midway
  • How many hours a week or a month to spend on the care and feeding of your website?

The time I spend on my website has varied over the years. I used to work on it at least two hours and sometimes longer every day. Although I haven’t done as much updating to the website in recent years, I have still been working on research projects as much as I can. I post most of my new photo and memorabilia acquisitions on Facebook in the various Midway groups. Depending on what’s going on in life, I am working on Midway projects almost every day. The times can vary from just a few minutes to over eight hours.

  • You’ve done an incredible amount of research on the Midway.  What sources do you use the most?

In the early years of my research, I relied on books from my personal library, which consists of over 1,000 books. The Internet has always been a source, but it’s not always reliable. In the past few years, a lot more information has become available online and in the form of ship deck logs and Command Operation Reports. Since developing a close relationship with the Midway Library, I’ve also had access to more newsletters and publications produced by the ship.

  • What  has been your most difficult question or project to research?

The most difficult question has been “What was Midway’s breakaway song during UNREPs?” It seems no one can agree on one specific song and many times the answer comes from their memory of being on a different ship. The most involved research has been (and continues to be) my “Deployments & Port Visits, Air Wings & Squadrons” project. It begins in 1943 and will end in 1992 with every underway period, port visit, significant event or incident, and squadron embarked listed in detail.

  • What things about the Midway would you still like to  find out?

Since I was in the Air Wing during my time aboard, I never visited many of the ship’s company spaces or learned about the jobs they did.

  • What would you like to do or learn on your next visit to the USS Midway?

See my answer to question number seven.

  • What  would you like to do next with the website?

I’ve been making subtle cosmetic changes to it over the years and would like to get that finished. I have also been exploring a new way of displaying the thousands of photos on the website. I also need to add the huge amount of material that I’ve only been sharing on Facebook, as well as finishing the long list of research projects I’ve started.

Independent Book Store Day: August 29

Do you like to read?  Do you like to support local businesses?  Then  today is for you.

One of the benefits of living near the college town of Charlottesville,  we have many indie bookstores to chose from.  Some specialize in new books, others specialize in second hand books and memorabilia.

New Dominion Book Store  on the historic Downtown Mall bills itself as the “oldest independent bookseller in Virginia” since it has been in continuous operation under a variety of owners since 1924..  Right  now it is open for limited browsing, local delivery, and curbside pickup.  Normally it is a hive of local literary activity with author readings, new book releases, and panel discussions like the Charlottesville Reading series.  Although most of these have been cancelled, the store does have a few virtual events like the monthly UVA Club of Charlottesville Book Club and a virtual book launch.  New Dominion is also a sponsor in the annual March, Virginia Festival of the Book.

Blue Whale BooksBlue Whale Books, also on the Downtown Mall, specializes in antiquarian books in good or better condition, and antique maps and prints.

From the Facebook page:

We have about 20,000 used books, and hundreds of antiquarian / rare books. We also have 1,000 original prints, especially chromolithographs from the 1800s. Our maps are 18th and 19th century, with the occasional early Virginia map from the early or mid-1600s. The owner also performs appraisals on a regular basis.

book piles

Taking Books to the People: Pt 14, Anti-Bullying Little Free Library

I want to encourage the kids that are being bullied that they are not alone, it’s not their fault and there’s ways of going about it, there’s ways of expressing yourself,” says Lindsey.

RBe Nice book coverosean Lindsey, Christian author and comic book writer, has created the Anti-bullying Little Free Library in Norfolk’s Park Place Peace Garden.  It sits at the corner of 35th Street and Newport Avenue, just steps away from James Monroe Elementary School.

“On the top shelf of the little library are books to help parents tackle the tough subject of bullying and on the bottom shelf are books for kids. The little library is encouraging kids to be their best, be bold and be positive while offering resources to parents.” writes Koto Lasaki from 3WTKR

Titles include some of Lindsey’s books and antibullying books by other local artists.

Anti-bullying little free library

This is Lindsey’s second Little Free Library in the area.

National Book Lovers Day-August 9

August 9 is National Book Lovers Day.

I am a bibliophile and have been one since childhood.  In fact, Biblio is my avatar name. Books were my favorite birthday gifts.  A week before I got married I took the GRE  test so I could go to Library School the following year.  (I knew that I wanted to be a Librarian.  But no, we did not get to sit around and read books all day.) Unlike some of my fellow librarians, I never had the urge to catalog my Golden Books.

With so many books and so little time, I’ve turned more into a tsudonko. (Tsundoku is acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one’s home without reading them. The term originated in the Meiji era (1868–1912) as Japanese slang. It combines elements of tsunde-oku, (to pile things up ready for later and leave) and dokusho (reading books).

Step back in time
  • The very first books used parchment or vellum (calf-skin) for the book pages.
  • The book covers were made of wood and often covered with leather.
  • Clasps or straps kept the books closed.
  • Public libraries appeared in the Middle Ages.
  • Public libraries often chained the books to a shelf or a desk to prevent theft.
Moving forward

Along with several recent developments, book manufacturers use digital printing. Book pages are printed using toner rather than ink. As a result of digital printing, print-on-demand opens up a whole new realm of publishing. In this case, distributors don’t print the books until the customer places the order.

More and more, people read E-books. E-book (electronic book) refers to a book-length publication in digital form. They are usually available through the internet. However, they can also be found on CD-ROM and other systems. Read an E-book on a computer or via a portable book display device known as an e-book reader, such as a Reader, Nook or Kindle.

Contributed by my friend and shipmate Bonnie Brown, when neither of us could figure out how to put it the comments.
Knowing cat

How do you plan to celebrate National Book Lovers Day?

Reblog: Most Popular Book Set in Each State

If you can’t visit there personally, at least you can read a book set in that state. Here is a map of the most  popular book set in each state.

valentine stack of books

From classics like “To Kill A Mockingbird” (Alabama) and “Little Women” (Massachusetts) to more modern picks like “The Lovely Bones” (Pennsylvania) and “Ready Player One” (Ohio), there are many options for those with different literary tastes.

Bike Book Week Starts Today

Although I can not much additional information on this library inspired week, it is a smaller alternative to the more traditional bookmobiles.

Pottsboro (TX) Library Book Bikes
The week appears to be sponsored by https://www.facebook.com/abosoutreach/about/

From the Pima County (AZ) Public Library Book Bikes History

They may roll into town astride the Bookbike, Books on Bikes, the Bibliocycle, the BookCycle, or the Library on Wheels. They hail from such far-flung lands as Omaha, Tucson, Boulder, Los Angeles, Boston, and beyond. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor threat of overdue fines stays these dedicated librarians from the enthusiastic completion of their civic appearances. They roam the neighborhood on customized bikes, trikes, tandems and trailers, heavy-laden with books but buoyant with good cheer. They are the biking librarians and their trusty book bike steeds, and they are coming soon to a community event near you.

Book bikes are the latest earth-friendly, human-powered mobile library outposts. They have been rolling through the streets of America since 2008 and are rapidly growing in number and popularity. Among the ever-expanding book bike fleet are those of the public libraries in Berkeley, Boston, Boulder, Cleveland Heights, Denver, Evanston, IL, Longmont, CO, Los Angeles, Maricopa County, AZ, Oakland, CA, Omaha, Pima County, AZ, and Seattle. Coming soon are library book bikes for San Francisco, Montclair, NJ, Rochester, MN, and Austin, TX.

July Days to Celebrate

julius ceasurJuly is the seventh month of the year (between June and August) in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and the fourth of seven months to have a length of 31 days. It was named by the Roman Senate in honor of Roman general Julius Caesar, it being the month of his birth. Prior to that, it was called Quintilis, being the fifth month of the 10-month calendar.

It is on average the warmest month in most of the Northern Hemisphere, where it is the second month of summer, and the coldest month in much of the Southern Hemisphere, where it is the second month of winter. The second half of the year commences in July. In the Southern Hemisphere, July is the seasonal equivalent of January in the Northern hemisphere.

July is National Ant-Boredom Month. With COVID-19 shutdowns, re-imposed shutdowns, and many diversions like swimming pools or summer camps closed, boredom is an everyday problem for many of us. How will you combat boredom?Sleeping dog and cat

July was selected, according to the founder Alan Caruba, because after July 4th, there’s not much going on and it’s the hotter part of the summer break from school. That’s no excuse to experience boredom during July, though.


Dog Days of  Summer  “Dog days” are considered to begin in early July in the Northern Hemisphere, when the hot sultry weather of summer usually starts.     They were historically the period following the heligacal rising of the star system Sirius, which Greek and Roman astrology connected with heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck.


July 4th is American Independence Day.

From https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/july-4th:  American Flag on the PentagonOn July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of Lee’s resolution for independence in a near-unanimous vote (the New York delegation abstained, but later voted affirmatively). On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2 “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” and that the celebration should include “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.”

On July 4th, the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, which had been written largely by Jefferson. Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on the 4th became the day that was celebrated as the birth of American independence.

July 8 is Video Game Day.


video gamerInfo gained from a top Portland PR Firm (Survey of 1,000 Americans)

What’s the best gaming console?
#1: Playstation (38%)
#2: Xbox (38%)
#3: Nintendo (21%)

What’s the best video game franchise?
#1: Super Mario (47%)
#2: Call of Duty (21%)
#3: Donkey Kong (19%)
#4: Grand Theft Auto (19%)
#5: Pokemon (16%)
#6: Zelda (13%)
#7: Sonic the Hedgehog (13%)
#8: Final Fantasy (9%)
#9: Halo (9%)
#10: Crash Bandicoot (7%)

How often do you play video games?
#1: Everyday (31%)
#2: Rarely (31%)
#3: 2-3x a week (23%)

When do mobile gamers like to play games on their phones?
#1: Whenever I’m bored (66%)
#2: When I’m watching TV (41%)
#3: Before I go to sleep (39%)
#4: When I’m on the toilet (34%)
#5: During my breaks at work (21%)
#6: Whenever I’m eating (20%)
#7: Before I leave for work (12%)
#8: On my commute to work (8%)

National Kitten Day is July 10.

According to the American Humane Society, 95.6 million cats were owned, while 83.3 million households owned a dog. There is certainly nothing wrong with dogs, but a tiny kitten is irresistible!

Bastille Day is July 14.

Bastille Day is the common name given in English-speaking countries to the national bastille dayday of France, which is celebrated on 14 July each year. In French, it is formally called Fête nationale (pronounced [fɛt nasjɔnal]; “National Celebration”) and commonly and legally le 14 juillet (French pronunciation: ​[lə katɔʁz(ə) ʒɥijɛ]; “the 14th of July”).

The French National Day is the anniversary of Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, a turning point of the French Revolution, as well as the Fête de la Fédération which celebrated the unity of the French people on 14 July 1790. Celebrations are held throughout France. The oldest and largest regular military parade in Europeneeded] is held on 14 July on the Champs-Élysées in Paris in front of the President of the Republic, along with other French officials and foreign guests

National Moon Day is July 20.  It celebrates the 51st anniversary of man’s first step on the moon.


On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 carried the first humans to the moon. , Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, stepped foot on the moon. Six hours after landing, Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface. The astronaut spent two and a half hours outside the spacecraft. Soon to follow, Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the lunar surface. After joining Armstrong, the two collected 47.5 pounds of lunar material.

After joining Armstrong, the two collected 47.5 pounds of lunar material. Their specimens would be placed onto Apollo 11 and brought back to Earth to be analyzed.

In the command module, a third astronaut waited. Pilot, Michael Collins, remained alone in orbit until Armstrong and Aldrin returned.

July 31 is Harry Potter’s Birthday.  Harry will be 40 this year.

For more information about the Wizarding World click here.

Harry Pottter's friends birthday


Taking Books to the People, Pt XIII , Something to Drone on About

Christiansburg to Roanoke

In the Christiansburg Montgomery County School District  Virginia (south of Roanoke and near Virginia Tech ), middle school librarian, Kelly Passek, had been filling book requests for her students via school bus as long as the busses continued to deliver school meals.  Once the Montgomery County Schools closed last March because of COVID-19, she knew that it was important for her students to continue to read

The school bus option ended when the school year was over.  Kelly thought about the drone delivery service that her family had been using: Wing, a drone service from Google’s parent company Alphabet, delivered essentials straight to their door.

Mark Mier, the School Superintendent thought it was a good idea.

“Montgomery County Public Schools will be the first public school system in the world to use Wing to deliver library books to our students,” Passek said. “We are thrilled for this opportunity to have a really unique way to deliver resources to our students and do it practically on demand.”

  • Students request library books using an online form.
  • Passek
    • fulfills the requests,
    • provides the GPS delivery coordinates,
    • packs the books up in special delivery boxes,
    • drops them off at Wing.
  • Wing handles the drone deliveries.

The first book, Erich Maria Remarque’s World War I classic All Quiet on the Western Front, was delivered by drone on Thursday, June 15.  Now, students in Montgomery County can choose from the library’s more than 150,000 titles, and have their books delivered right to their front yard.  Students will return the books when they come back to school in the fall.

The 10-pound Wing aircraft, which carries up to three pounds, is quieter than a car or truck.  Packages are lowered about 23 feet to a person’s yard via a rope. The drone can travel more than 70 mph.

Reblog: Alexandria Public Library 1939 Sit-in

National Library Week 2020Alexandria Library wins American Library Association’s
2020 ‘Excellence in Library Programming’ Award

ALEXANDRIA, VA — Alexandria Library has been named the 2020 winner of the ALA Excellence in Library Programming Award for its program “We Are the Alexandria Library Sit-In.”

The award, supported by ALA’s Cultural Communities Fund, recognizes a library that demonstrates excellence by providing programs that have community impact and respond to community needs.

“We Are the Alexandria Library Sit-In” was a year-long celebration of the 80th anniversary of a historic protest at the library.  This 1939 protest of the city’s whites-only public library was one of the first sit-ins of its kind in the nation.

Library Executive Director, Rose T. Dawson, states “It is very important for the community in Alexandria to recognize the history of its Library system. During this yearlong celebration, the Library’s goal was to highlight the 1939 Sit-In that was led by Samuel W. Tucker and the five brave men that sparked major change in our community. If it wasn’t for the actions of these men, Sgt. Wilson, and others like them, the Library would not be the welcoming place that it is today – for people of all colors – and for that, I am very grateful.”

In the 1930’s, like most libraries in the Jim Crow South, African Americans were not allowed library access. In 1939, after an ongoing effort to convince officials to establish equal access to community resources, 26-year-old resident and attorney Samuel W. Tucker organized five other African American residents to participate in a sit-in protest.  On August 21, 1939, William “Buddy” Evans, Morris Murray, Edward Gaddis, Clarence Strange, and Otto Tucker each asked to register for a library card. After being turned down, each sat silently at a different table and began to read a library book. Police officers arrested the group and charged them with disorderly conduct.

The program series, “We are the Alexandria Library Sit-in,” involved family members of protest descendants in the planning for this anniversary event.  Library staff engaged the community through a variety of programs, including school visits, a yearlong film festival, anniversary week events, posters, commemorative library cards, pins and postcards. The events, which also involved Alexandria city leadership, drew standing room only crowds and truly served as a model for programming for other libraries across the nation.

More information about the ALA Excellence in Library Programming Award, including how to submit a nomination, is available on the ALA website (www.ala.org).

10 Tips for Reading Picture Books with Children through a Race-Conscious Lens – from embracerace

How do you discuss the current racial tensions with small children? Children aren’t born knowing these things They often to no notice differences unless they are pointed out. For 10 helpful tips check this out.

Platform Number 4

~by Megan Dowd Lambert

“How can caregivers and educators best guide children to and through picture books with positive racial representations? How can we also support kids in resisting or reading against racist content? These tips draw on the Whole Book Approach (WBA, which I created in association with The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art) and other resources to highlight how picture books can provoke meaningful, transformative conversations between children and adults that embrace race.”

Great ideas and additional links here! I hope you find something helpful or ideas to pass on to others.     Take care!   Becky

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Largest Book in the World

This is a reblog from Anika Perry’s Writing Blog entitled Not One to Read in Bed

Weighing 1,420 kilos (3,130 lb) and measuring a ginormous 4.18 m x 3.77 m (13.71 x 12.36 ft) this colossus book needs six people and special machine to open the pages.

Not surprisingly, the book gained the Guinness World Record at the time for being the largest book in the world.

In its 364 pages, the book explores the flora, fauna, caves and architecture of Szinpetri in northern Hungary.

I guess it does not come in paperback….