It’s Winston Churchill’s Birthday, National Library Week, and the week before National Park Week (17-25 April) so in honor of all of these, read this wonderful blog post.
Since Teagan has indicated that the Sisterhood shares and spreads information, they may be an early form of librarians. In honor of National Library Week and the next Journey, I wanted to interview Teagan about her Deae Matres.
By Journey 3, we have met 4 Deae Matres: Boabhan, Mercedes, Zasha, and Tahira. Will we meet other Deae Matres as the Journeys continue?
Absolutely, yes. While the Society of Deae Matres in Emlyn’s day doesn’t hold a candle to the size and power the organization once had, it is still a large and impressive group – particularly to Emlyn’s inexperienced way of thinking. We’ll learn more of their present and past.
Boabhan and Zasha seem to have their own swordsmen. Do Mercedes and Tahira have similar associates?
When I first started reading high fantasy, one thing that intrigued me was how the authors left certain details of relationships to the reader’s imagination. Zasha and Tajín have a backstory, and romance is hinted at, but not confirmed. Boabhan and Hallgeir have a completely different backstory. Bits of both stories are revealed later when they impact the plot.
However, to your question, in this world, sisters of the Society may or may not have a swordsman who travels with them. In the backstory of the Deae Matres, such arrangements were structured into their organization, but not any more. In Zasha’s day, those arrangements might come about for any number of reasons. In any era, many Deae Matres sisters travel independently. That is true of Mercedes and Tahira, at least in the timeframe of this story.
The Deae Matres seem to live a very extended lifespan. Is that accurate? I do not think they are immortal, but if they are…
The sisters of the Society vary in age, but no, they have a normal human lifespan. You may be thinking of hints I’ve made about Boabhan. The Woman in Green is unlike the other sisters – but that has nothing to do with her being Deae Matres.
How do girls/women become Deae Matris?
There would have been a process in ages past. In Zasha’s day, if enough of the sisters agree that a woman is versatile and knowledgeable enough the Society will approach her. I didn’t “get into the weeds” with that for this story. Maybe for a future series… (winks)
Zasha, for instance, seems to have a small crush on Taigin. Do any of the Deae Matres marry their swordsmen or would that be a reason to have to leave the Society of Deae Matres?
See the question 2 for the answer.
Was Haldis, the Watcher, ever a Deae Matres?
Ah… Haldis is intriguing – mysterious in part because she is so damaged. More about her will be revealed as the Journeys continue.
Was/is Queen Ailbine a Deae Matres?
In fleshing out the history of Emlyn’s world, I mention several past rulers. That history comes into play in some details of the story. Various ghosts from the past interact with Emlyn. Queen Ailbine is one of these. Since Emlyn has difficulty knowing whether she’s talking to a ghost or a living person, Emlyn has learned to pay attention to details of their clothing and manner before she starts talking out loud to what turns out to be a ghost. Spirits from the past sometimes show up to make sure Emlyn is aware of something important, as Queen Ailbine did. Getting the message from a queen, made her pay more attention to it than she would have if one of the serving maids had pointed out what was happening. At other times, the ghosts simply come to her because she can see them.
Do the Deae Matres have a central authority figure or is it more rule by the more senior and/or dynamic members?
A question I’ve learned to ask myself when writing is “Does it advance the plot?” The structure of the Society does not impact the plot, so I don’t dig too far into the politics this world. As with most groups, the older, senior members tend to hold more authority than the newer ones.
Journey 3, the Fever Field
Journey 2, Penllyn
Journey 1, Forlorn Peak
Derrick had me with the primary picture of three volumes called Hours in a Library.
During the night I began to realise that, although ‘Monkey’ by Wu Ch’eng En was snuggled up in the novels section of the library, there was no Gibbon among the shelves that I thought had been accurately filled yesterday. That meant that there had to be another History container somewhere among the 24 left to empty. This morning’s search demonstrated no such luck.
There were two.
To read more click here.
A childhood without books — that would be no childhood. That would be like being shut out from the enchanted place where you can go and find the rarest kind of joy.” Astrid Lindgren
From the Imagination Library webpage:
About Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth to age five, no matter their family’s income.
After launching in 1995, the program grew quickly. First books were only distributed to children living in Sevier County, Tennessee where Dolly grew up. It became such a success that in 2000 a national replication effort was underway. By 2003, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library had mailed one million books. It would prove to be the first of many millions of books sent to children around the world.
Dolly’s home state of Tennessee pledged to pursue statewide coverage in 2004 and global expansion was on the horizon. After the United States, the program launched in Canada in 2006 followed by the United Kingdom in 2007, Australia in 2013 and the Republic of Ireland in 2019.
From the American Library Association:
The theme for National Library Week (April 4-10, 2021), “Welcome to Your Library,” promotes the idea that libraries extend far beyond the four walls of a building – and that everyone is welcome to use their services. During the pandemic libraries have been going above and beyond to adapt to our changing world by expanding their resources and continuing to meet the needs of their users. Whether people visit in person or virtually, libraries offer opportunities for everyone to explore new worlds and become their best selves through access to technology, multimedia content, and educational programs.
Almost every day this week celebrates some aspect of libraries and the people who work in them.
What is your favorite thing to do in a library? Has your library reopened? Have you used your library during the Pandemic?
This is from an email I got from ALA.
The Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services (ABOS) is partnering with Little Free Library to offer the first Little Free Library Week to be held May 3-7 via social media!
Send in a photo of your Little Free Library along with a little bit of info so we can feature it that week. Here’s the form: tinyurl.com/y45yfb8o
The deadline to submit photos is April 23.
During Little Free Library Week you’ll have a chance to win a Little Free Library kit or a book bundle.
Follow Little Free Library Week on:
Dr. Seuss is one of the best known children’s authors. His Cat in the Hat series introduced children to a number of interesting characters including the Cat himself, Thing 1 and Thing 2, and the fish plus the two human children, Sally and her brother Conrad. It took him over a year to write Cat in the Hat—and it only uses 236 different words!
In recent years, the Cat in the Hat series has been pulled from many school libraries because of its perceived racism.
The Cat in the Hat, perhaps Seuss’ most famous character, is based on minstrel stereotypes. “The Cat’s physical appearance, including the Cat’s oversized top hat, floppy bow tie, white gloves, and frequently open mouth, mirrors actual blackface performers; as does the role he plays as ‘entertainer’ to the white family—in whose house he doesn’t belong,” says Ishizuka.
During World War II, he was a political cartoonist. “1941-1943, he was the chief editorial cartoonist for the New York newspaper PM (1940-1948), and for that journal he drew over 400 editorial cartoon.”
His friend bet that he couldn’t write a book with just 50 different words, and so, Green Eggs and Ham was born.
ThriftBooks, a very good place to buy inexpensive second hand books, has published a list and map of what books ThriftBooks’ customers read the most by state in 2020. Some like Alabama’s Where the Crawdads Sing or Alaska’s How Al-Anon Works for Families & Friends of Alcoholics may make sense. Virginia’s 1984 seemed like more of a surprise to me.
It may depend upon the language you are speaking.
Shared by my friend and Midway shipmate, Liza Aguirre-Oviedo
Libraries have been one of the loves of my life for years. I was fortunate to be a military librarian for over 30 years and I still volunteer as a librarian for the USS Midway (CV-41) Research Library. I thought that I’d celebrate military libraries with a re-posting of this library tribute from the U.S Naval Academy website. https://www.usna.com/tributes-and-stories-1963#Legacy
I learned about this website from a recent Scuttlebutt Vol 6, issue 3, 11 February 2021, edited by Carl Snow, put out bi-weekly for the library volunteers and other interested members of the USS Midway.
The real Keepers of the Flame are libraries. There are two categories of libraries worthy of your consideration: genealogy libraries and military/naval history libraries. What to send to each? That is certainly up to you, but I suggest you contact them first to see if they would welcome your treasures, your documents, your artifacts. Our Naval Academy Nimitz Library is one of the best, and Dr.Jennifer Bryan maintains its Special Collections and Archives. Here is the web site entry about such donations from another major military library, the Navy Department Library (under the Naval History and Heritage Command) at the Washington Navy Yard:
The Navy Library is open to the public and provides resources vital to the writing and publishing of naval history, as well as information relating to the needs of today’s Navy. The library catalog is online, and the library posts numerous publications, documents and subject presentations on the Naval History & Heritage Command’s Website. The library’s collection continues to expand thanks to the installation of compact mobile shelving and materials acquired from Navy offices, private individuals, and organizations such as the Naval Historical Foundation. Significant holdings have been obtained from disestablished libraries (including Naval Air Systems and the Navy Judge Advocate General), as well as from libraries whose collections have been downsized (such as the State Department). Over 13% of the book titles in the library are unique in the international OCLC (Worldcat) database.
Materials that enhance the Archives’ collections and support the research of U.S. Navy personnel, historians, scholars, and other researchers are greatly appreciated. Please email email@example.com if you have material you are interested in donating. Do not send unsolicited material.
What type of items are of interest? The question is, what items do you have? Email the library to see if they would welcome your items into their collection, which includes:
- Cruise books
- Cryptologic documents
- Early military and foreign language periodicals
- General/special orders and circulars (pre-World War II)
- Manuscript collection (including letters, journals, diaries, logbooks, etc.)
- Modern Biographic Files
- Naval administrative histories of World War II
- Naval Technical Mission to Japan reports
- Navy officer registers (1800-1994) and directories (1908-1942)
- Navy shipbuilding contracts
- Navy uniforms
- Navy Z files
- Postal Covers Collection
Some of your items almost certainly relate to family history. Genealogy libraries are well known to researchers, perhaps not so much to the general public. For example, the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) is considered one of the ten destination libraries for genealogy, as is the Birmingham [Alabama] Public Library and the Detroit Public Library – do a search for top genealogy libraries. Vertical files can hold collections that are not bound– and LAPL even has its own bindery. If you were to send them loose pages of your unpublished biography, they will bind it and enter it into their collection–and WorldCat. Check with your local library and talk to the Genealogy Librarian, let them know what you have. They are so much more interested in your holdings than your kids!
In the real Looney Tunes, Porky Pig has a signature line, ‘Ththththat’s all, folks.”
“Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday blasted Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s embrace of “loony lies and conspiracy theories” as a “cancer for the Republican Party.”
“Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality,” McConnell said in a statement first shared with The Hill. “
I was living near Washington, DC when the plane hit the Pentagon. I saw the huge gash in the side of the Pentagon where the plane hit. At the National Defense University Library, we shared space with the Pentagon Librarians who were temporarily re-assigned there because the Pentagon Library was closed (almost forever) when the nose of the plane affected the rear wall of the library and the resulting moisture created such toxic mold that hundreds of books were damaged and the library was a toxic waste site until it could be cleaned.
One of my best friends was responsible for saving many of the books in the library because she thought to call the experts in book preservation before it was too late. Did you know that freezing the books can halt the build up of mold?
Another friend fractured her foot and had 2nd degree burns on her head and hands escaping from the Pentagon after the plane struck. Several of her friends died from burns or smoke inhalation after the plane struck.
I think most of these conspiracy theories are bunk, but this one I have seen the aftermath for myself.
Do the conspiracy theorists, seemingly smug in their cocoon of superiority, realize that they are defaming or lying about real people who have sustained real injuries?
Today is National Seed Swap Day.
National Seed Swap Day on the last Saturday in January serves as a reminder to gardeners that spring is on its way. It is also an ideal time for gardeners to gather and swap seeds in preparation for starting seeds indoors.
The first annual Washington Gardener Magazine Seed Exchange was held in Washington, DC, on January 26, 2006. Kathy Jentz, the editor/publisher of the magazine had the last Saturday of January named an official holiday and National Seed Swap Day was born. After that event’s success, seed swaps in other cities across the nation have joined in celebrating the day each year on (or around) the last Saturday in January.
Seed Libraries are often good places to swap seeds.
A seed library is a place where community members can get seeds for free or for a nominal fee and is run for the public benefit. Many seed libraries are open in public libraries and community centers. For some communities, getting folks to garden and grow some of their own food is the focus. For other communities, seed libraries may be created as an important step to develop a network of seed savers, to create locally adapted varieties, to respond proactively to climate change or loss of gene integrity due to GMOs or to preserve genetic diversity. Seed saving is something humans have done for over 10,000 years. Rejoin the ritual and start to save seed and share the abundance in your community.
Seed Libraries is a network of seed lending libraries. Seed libraries can vary from community to community, but the basic idea is that seeds are made available to the community for free or at a low cost. Some of the intentions of seed libraries are:
- increase access to locally grown food
- social justice
- local resilience
- food security
- seed sovereignty
- promote seed saving
- community building
- preserve and increase genetic diversity
- pro-active response to peak oil and climate change
- desire to strengthen genetically honest seed
During the pandemic Little Free Library concept has expanded to include Little Free Pantries and now Little Free Art Galleries.
Stacy Milrany probably runs the only art gallery in the country where visitors are encouraged to walk away with the art.
And as far as she knows, her Little Free Art Gallery in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood is likely the only museum where all of the works will fit neatly in a pocket.
Click here to read more.
From an LC email:
Library of Congress Completes Digitzation of 23 Early Presidential Collections
Completion of Project Includes Latest Digitization of Papers of Presidents Benjamin Harrison, William Howard Taft, Grover Cleveland and Calvin Coolidge
The Library of Congress has completed a more than two decade-long initiative to digitize the papers of nearly two dozen early presidents. The Library holds the papers of 23 presidents from George Washington to Calvin Coolidge, all of which have been digitized and are now available online.
The Library plans to highlight each presidential collection on social media in the weeks leading up to the next presidential inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021.
“Arguably, no other body of material in the Manuscript Division is of greater significance for the study of American history than the presidential collections,” said Janice E. Ruth, chief of the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress. “They cover the entire sweep of American history from the nation’s founding through the first decade after World War I, including periods of prosperity and depression, war and peace, unity of purpose and political and civil strife.”
The 23 presidential collections in the Library’s holdings, acquired through donation or purchase, are of such significant value that Congress enacted a law in 1957 directing the Library to arrange, index and microfilm the papers, an enormous job that concluded in 1976. With the dawn of the digital age, the collections of presidential papers were among the first manuscripts proposed for digitization. The conclusion of this effort marks the addition of more than 3.3 million images to the Library’s online archives.
“The writings and records of America’s presidents are an invaluable source of information on world events, and many of these collections are the primary sources for books and films that teach us about our nation’s history,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “We are proud to make these presidential papers available free of charge to even more researchers, students and curious visitors online.”
The collections include some of the nation’s most treasured documents, including George Washington’s commission as commander in chief of the American army and his first inaugural address; Thomas Jefferson’s rough draft of the Declaration of Independence; and Abraham Lincoln’s first and second inaugural addresses, along with many others.
The digitized presidential collections offer a robust set of primary resources and easy access for researchers, educators and students studying America’s early presidents.
For presidents who followed Coolidge, the National Archives and Records Administration administers the system of presidential libraries that house and manage the presidential records from President Herbert Hoover onward. The Library does not hold the original papers of all 29 presidents before Hoover, however. The papers of John Adams and John Quincy Adams, for example, are housed at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
With the digitization of papers from Presidents Benjamin Harrison, William Howard Taft, Grover Cleveland and Coolidge, the Library’s complete set of presidential collections is now available online for the first time.
Newly Digitized Collections
Papers of President Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901)
The Harrison collection includes 69,600 items (178,479 images), with the bulk of the collection dating from 1853 to 1901. The collection contains correspondence, speeches, articles, notebooks in shorthand, legal papers, financial records, scrapbooks, memorials, printed matter, memorabilia, and other papers, covering every aspect of Harrison’s life and career.
Papers of President William Howard Taft (1857-1930)
The Taft collection includes approximately 676,000 documents (785,977 images), with the bulk of the material dating from 1880 to 1930. These papers constitute the largest collection of original Taft documents in the world and the largest among the Library’s presidential papers. The collection contains family papers, personal and official correspondence, presidential and judicial files, speeches and addresses, legal files and notebooks, business and estate papers, engagement calendars, guest lists, scrapbooks, clippings, printed matter, memorabilia and photographs.
Papers of President Grover Cleveland (1837-1908)
The Cleveland collection includes 108,200 items (192,602 images), with the bulk of the material dating from 1885 to 1908. The collection contains correspondence, diaries, messages to Congress, speeches, writings, printed materials and other papers relating chiefly to Cleveland’s presidencies and presidential campaigns.
Papers of President Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)
The Coolidge collection includes 179,000 documents (218,513 images), constituting the largest collection of original Coolidge documents in the world. The collection contains incoming correspondence with attachments, notes, carbon copies of outgoing letters from Coolidge or one of his secretaries, telegraph messages, appointment books and names and addresses of White House guests.
Full Set of Presidential Collections
The Library of Congress holds the following collections of presidential papers and has made each available online.
- Papers of President George Washington (1732-1799)
- Papers of President Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
- Papers of President James Madison (1751-1836)
- Papers of President James Monroe (1758-1831)
- Papers of President Andrew Jackson (1767-1845)
- Papers of President Martin Van Buren (1782-1862)
- Papers of President William Henry Harrison (1773-1841)
- Papers of President John Tyler (1790-1862)
- Papers of President James K. Polk (1795-1849)
- Papers of President Zachary Taylor (1784-1850)
- Papers of President Franklin Pierce (1804-1869)
- Papers of President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
- Papers of President Andrew Johnson (1808-1875)
- Papers of President Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885)
- Papers of President James A. Garfield (1831-1881)
- Papers of President Chester A. Arthur (1829-1886)
- Papers of President Grover Cleveland (1837-1908)
- Papers of President Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901)
- Papers of President William McKinley (1843-1901)
- Papers of President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)
- Papers of President William Howard Taft (1857-1930)
- Papers of President Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924)
- Papers of President Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)
The digitization of these collections reflect advancement toward a goal in the Library’s user-centered strategic plan to expand access, making unique collections available when, where and how users need them. Learn more about the Library’s five-year plan at loc.gov/strategic-plan/.
The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.
Covid take flight
Not a mask anywhere in sight
Dancefloor is jumping, a crowd at the door
Think we squeeze in a few dozen more
Covid is just more fake news
To party is the freedom we choose
More patients tonight
No rest in sight
Death rates are up and now taking flight
We’re down on our knees and pray for relief
Covid is real is and more than a belief
We don’t think we have more to give
We’re praying our patients will live
You’ve now read both sides
Your turn to decide
Where’s the view, where you’ll abide?
Can you put up with wearing a mask?
Is that really just too much to ask?
Will you get a vaccine?
Or is it just too obscene?
O Christmas socks, o Christmas socks
How lovely are thy colors
O Christmas socks, o Christmas socks
How lovely are thy colors
I saw you last in late December
You look the same as I remember
O Chrismas socks, o Christmas socks
How lovely are thy colors
Although Veteran’s Day has past and our older veterans are passing, there is time to capture the memories of those still around. One of the best ways to do this is to participate in the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project.
The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.
When I lived in San Diego, I did a few Veteran’s History Project interviews while volunteering at the San Diego Public Library, University City Branch. I interviewed Korean War, Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm, and Cold War veterans. It was a fascinating experience.
I’m hoping to get back into–maybe through Zoom since that seems to be the most common platform nowadays.
Once you meet a veterans basic needs like housing and medical care, can you imagine a more heartfelt gift than capturing his or her story for the future?
You can look a veteran’s name up to see if he or she is already in there.
The Randolph Caldecott Medal, frequently shortened to just the Caldecott, annually recognizes the preceding year’s “most distinguished American picture book for children”. It is awarded to the illustrator by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
If you are unfamiliar with picture books, selecting a Caldecott Medal winner might be a good place to start.
2020 Medal Winner
The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Kwame Alexander and published by Versify, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Kadir Nelson’s rich illustrations amplify Kwame Alexander’s poetic tribute to the resiliency, strength, and perseverance of the historical and present-day Black experience. Gripping, realistic oil portraits use light and forward movement to portray the deep humanity and contributions of Black brilliance in America.
“Through color and composition, Kadir Nelson’s daring visuals erupt off the page. They challenge our emotional capacity in this layered journey of heroes,” said Caldecott Medal Committee Chair Julie Roach.
2020 Honor Books
Bear Came Along, illustrated by LeUyen Pham, written by Richard T. Morris, and published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
“Oh, what a ride!” After tumbling into a river, Bear is swept into an epic journey, collecting woodland companions along the way. The river comes to life with Pham’s energetic lines, gradual increase of vivid color, and surprising page turns to form a rollicking adventure and bonding connections.
Double Bass Blues, illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, written by Andrea J. Loney, and published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House Children’s Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.
Ignited by an electrifying snap of the string bass, Nic navigates between the symphony of two worlds: music and community. Syncopated rhythms, musical harmony and familial love are vibrantly expressed through riotous color, dynamic lines, and kinetic movement. This inventive composition visually illuminates the auditory experience that is the blues.
Going Down Home With Daddy, illustrated by Daniel Minter, written by Kelly Starling Lyons, and published by Peachtree Publishing Company Inc.
An African American family reunion gives a boy a chance to connect to his vibrant roots. Featuring a warm, rich color palette, every spread has multiple, complex layers. Earthy imagery and Adinkra symbols help tell a story of intergenerational love and ancestral memory.
To read more about the Midway Library Ghosts, click here.
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
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.“
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.