Book Giveaway: THE BRAVE CYCLIST: The True Story of a Holocaust Hero

via Book Giveaway: THE BRAVE CYCLIST: The True Story of a Holocaust Hero

Book will be published on August 1.  The cyclist, Gino Batali, was born 105 years ago today on August 18, 1914.  He was a Tour de France winner and a Holocaust Hero.


Reblog: I Found My American Dream at the Public Library

Come one, come all–the public library is open and available FOR FREE.  Read about one immigrant’s experience at the Public Library.

One of the hardest aspects in the life of an immigrant is not fully belonging anywhere. One foot stays firmly rooted in your country of origin no matter how hard you plant the other one in the host country. Even though I’ve lived in the United States for 24 years, the first thing people ask upon meeting me, courtesy of my accent, is “Where are you from?” And when I go back to Bulgaria, everyone calls me The American. But there is one place where I always feel at home—the library. Any library. Anywhere in the world. The familiar smell of books, the shelves packed with old and new tomes, the friendly staff eager to help.

Taking Books to the People, Part 10: Bokbåte

Sweden and Norway both have floating libraries that take books to citizens on remote islands, twice a year.  The Swedish floating library is called Bokbate while the Norwegian boat is called the Epos.

When the boat docks, residents climb aboard to return books they borrowed during the last visit and check out the library’s newest offerings. The boat carries about 3,000 books, and residents can put in requests ahead of time. The three or four volunteer librarians who take turns working on the ship say that, as you might expect, the latest best-sellers are in high demand.

Reblog: Library hacks

Have you ever wanted to annonymously report someone for being to noisy in a library or wished there was someplace for you (or somebody else) to privately take or make a cellphone call?  What else can you do with wornout library books?  How much do you save when you check out a book rather than buy it?  Read the way these 21 libraries have solved some of life’s library problems.


Power of Manipulation

Last weekend I was in Cleveland, Ohio for the Special Libraries Association 2019 Conference.  On Sunday, June 16, our opening keynote speaker was Leon Legothetis.  He previously was a London stockbroker, but gave that up. From his website:

 He used to be a broker in the city of London where he felt uninspired and chronically depressed. He gave it all up for a life on the road. This radical life change was inspired by the inspirational movie The Motorcycle Diaries.

Today, Leon is a motivational speaker. His initial presentation was upbeat and positive as he showed us slides and a video from his upcoming Netflix series,  The Kindness Dairies.

In the series he drives a yellow motorbike around the world.  He carries no money and has to get food, lodging, and gas for his bike, Love One, from strangers.  One memorable samaritan who gave him shelter was a homeless man.  The homeless man kept a spare clean bedroll, clean underwear, and clothes in a garbage bag stashed in some bushes.  In return for sharing  what little he had, Leon rewarded the man with an apartment and enrollment in a cooking program because school was where the homeless man felt the most loved.

How does a man without funds for food, gas, or lodging, and who is supposedly travelling around the world by himself, just happen to have a videographer on hand to capture his journey and enough resources to generously thank the people who give him lodging, food, and gas money?

One of the last parts of his talk was to ask anyone in the audience who had ever felt sad to come up on the stage and share their experience.  One lady raised her hand.  She just happened to be able to attend the conference because of a stipend from the local Cleveland SLA Chapter.  That stipend made her feel welcomed.

Leon asked us all to stand and face them, while he put his arm around the lady’s shoulders and asked if she felt loved because all of us stood clapping, per his instructions.  Both of them agreed it felt wonderful to bask in the support of the applauding audience.

Leon then asked us to turn our backs on them and face the rear of the hall.  He then asked the lady if she felt spurned and they both agreed it felt awful when we turned our backs on the two of them (again at Leon’s comand.)

When we were  told to turn around, the sun came back out and the two of them on the stage remarkably felt much better.

I felt manipulated.  Can I have a portion of my conference fee back?





Reblog of 14 of the World’s Most Charming Libraries

Maching house Little Free LibraryIt will probably not surprise most of you that I love libraries:  from the Little Free Libraries that have been popping up almost everywhere through the Library of  Congress.  I graduated from Library School (before they were iSchools) 40 years ago.  (How did I get so old?)    I  was fortunate to attend the University of Washington, where the Library School was still in Suzallo Library (which just happens to be on this list.)
Suzallo Library at night

Introducing LC’s Story Maps

The Library of Congress staff is excited to launch Story Maps, interactive and immersive web applications that tell the incredible stories of the Library’s collections!

Story Maps, created within a Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-based software platform created by Esri, combine text, images, multimedia, and interactive maps to create engaging online narrative experiences. Under a program spearheaded by the Geography and Map Division, collection specialists from across the Library have produced Story Maps with content from the hidden and not-so-hidden collections of the library. We are pleased to showcase the first three published Story Maps from this program, with many more to come!

There are currently eight story maps available.  The most recent follow the four D-Day soldiers as they come ashore at Normandy.

D-Day story map

The other story maps include:

Holy Land Photography. Journey across the Middle East with English photographer Francis Frith. This Story Map includes 19th century photography and written testimony from Sinai and Palestine, a photographically illustrated book by Frith at the Library of Congress. This downloadable CSV file provides the mapped data in this Story Map.

Camera and Locomotive. Explore the parallel histories of photography and the transcontinental railroad. Objects in the Library of Congress collections tell the story of the fascinating interconnections between the two technologies. This downloadable CSV file provides the mapped data in this Story Map.

Maps that Changed Our World. Using the collections of the Geography and Map Division at the Library of Congress, this Story Map will explore the changes in world maps throughout the centuries and how as a result, perceptions of the world have shifted. This downloadable CSV file provides the mapped data in this Story Map.

Treasure Trove of Trials. This is a story map is centered on a digitized selection of Law Library of Congress piracy trials. This collection is critical for understanding how various nations of the world handled piracy issues before the year 1900. This downloadable CSV file provides the mapped data in this Story Map.

Surveying the South. Noted architectural photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston created a systematic record of early American buildings and gardens called the Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South (CSAS), primarily in the 1930s. This downloadable CSV file provides the mapped data in this Story Map.

Incunabula. This Story Map will explore major themes in fifteenth-century (incunabula) printing, including: the transition from manuscript to print, early hand-printing methods, the invention of typography, and the integration of woodcut illustrations with type. This downloadable CSV file provides the mapped data in this Story Map.

Behind the Barbed Wire. A unique glimpse into the daily lives of Japanese-Americans in internment camps during WWII through the digitized collection of internment camp newspapers at the Library of Congress. This downloadable CSV file provides the mapped data in this Story Map.

LC Offers Free Online Children’s Books

Library of CongressIn honor of centennial of the  first Children’s BookWeek in April 2019, the Library of Congress selected several children’s books and made them available online

This special collection presents children’s books selected from the General and Rare Book Collections at the Library of Congress. The collection includes classic works that are still read by children today, and lesser-known treasures drawn from the Library’s extensive collection of historically significant children’s books. The books in this collection were published in the United States and England before 1924, are no longer under copyright, and free to read, share, and reuse however you’d like.

Highlights of the collection include examples of the work of American illustrators such as W.W. Denslow, Peter Newell, and Howard Pyle, as well as works by renowned English illustrators Randolph Caldecott, Walter Crane, and Kate Greenaway.


The selections span many generations and topics, and reflect three general themes:

  • Learning to Read: Materials produced to teach American children to read: ABC books, primers, and a wooden hornbook.
  • Reading to Learn: Materials supporting classroom instruction in subjects such as mathematics, classical mythology, natural science, and the structure and function of the Unites States government.
  • Reading for Fun: Materials to nourish the imagination: fiction, poetry, fairy tales and toy books.Library of Congress Logo