Taking Books to the People, pt 11: It Takes a Village to Share a Library

A village in New Zealand has donated enough books t o create the first public library in Tonga.  To learn more, click here.

Thousands of books have been donated by more than 50 Auckland Council libraries among the hundreds of other items given by generous New Zealanders including bikes, laptops and more.


September Days to Celebrate

September was the seventh month in the Roman calendar and means “seven” in Latin marking it as the seventh month.  September was named during a time when the calendar year began with March, which is why its name no longer corresponds with its placement in the Julian and Gregorian calendars.

World War II began on September 1, 1939 when Germany invaded Poland.  Hitler invaded Poland from the west; two days later, France and Britain declared war on Germany, beginning World War II. On September 17, Soviet troops invaded Poland from the east.

WWII Memorial in DC
WWII Memorial in Washington, DC
USS Missouri treaty signing
Deck plaque commemorating where the Japanes signed the surrender document on the USS Missouri (BB-63)

Six years later, World War II ended on September 2, 1945 when Japan surrender unconditionally by signing the surrender terms on the deck of the USS Missouri (BB-63).  The USS  Missouri is currently docked at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii near the Arizona Memorial.  The United States entered WWII after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  If you are ever in Honolulu, make an effort to visit the Pearl Harbor National Memorial where you visit where WWII began and ended for the United States.

September is also National Library Card Signup Month:

a time when the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries nationwide join together to remind parents, caregivers and students that signing up for a library card is the first step towards academic achievement and lifelong learning.

September 6 is Read a Book Day.  Here are a few reasons to read a book (bibliofiles don’t valentine stack of booksneed a reason.)

  • It’s the best excuse for peace and quiet.
  • You love sitting in your favourite chair.
  • That stack of borrowed books needs a dent.
  • All your friends are busy.
  • You need a new favourite quotation.
  • Books are on your schedule: you can pick them up and put them down at your own convenience.
  • Walking to the library is good exercise.
  • You saw the movie, but you heard the book is way better.

What is your favorite reason to read a book?  Mine is because it ‘s there!

National Videos Game Day is September 12. National Video Game Day is July 8.  Does anyone remember Pong from the 1970s?

Gotham hero, Batman is celebrated on September 15.  The Caped Crusader first appeared in Detective Comics #27 way back in May 1939.    Since then he has appeared in movies, a TV show, as a Lego character, and even in Walmart commercials.  The Batmobile has become an iconic standard by which other high tech cars may be measured.

National Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15-October 15 to

recognize the contributions made and the important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and celebrate their heritage and culture.

“Hispanic Heritage Month, whose roots go back to 1968, begins each year on September National Hispanic Heritage Month15, the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile and Belize also celebrate their independence days during this period and Columbus Day (Día de la Raza) is October 12.”

“The term Hispanic or Latino, refers to Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race. On the 2010 Census form, people of Spanish, Hispanic and/or Latino origin could identify themselves as Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or “another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin.”

The Autumnal or Fall Equinox will happen at 3:50 am (EDT) on September, 23, 2019.   On the first day of Fall, there are approximately 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness.

academical village fall tree

Banned Book Week is celebrated September 22-28.

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

 The theme of this year’s event proclaims “Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark,” urging everyone to “Keep the Light On.”

Reblog: Where Libraries are Tourist Attractions

Libraries as a place (whether as a meeting place or makerspace) has been a major trend for the past few decades.  Although everyone ‘knows’ that it’s all free and on the Internet (neither part of this statement is true), libraries still fill an important niche in people’s  lives.  Read how these seven libraries in  Europe, North America, and Asia have become tourist attractions.

Navy Presentation Silver: Interview with USS Midway Library Volunteer, Bonnie Brown.

Bonnie was the first person I met when I interviewed to be a volunteer at the USS Midway (CV-41)  Museum Library.  Since then she has become a valued shipmate and friend.


Bonnie Wendy and Pat at the Archives 2018Mar14
L-r Pat,  Bonnie and Wendy at the Naval Academy Archives in Annapolis, MD.



  • What is Navy Presentation Silver? 

It is a silver service presented to the officers of a Navy ship usually on the day it is commissioned.  This practice was a tradition in the Navy, and many silver services were presented to ships between about 1890 and up to World War II.  Although, Sherry Langrock has identified over 500 ships with silver, I have limited my research to battleships.  All 50 states had battleships, and all those battleships had silver with the exception of West Virginia.


Navy Silver explanation, USNA
Navy Silver explanation from the USNA Museum in Annapolis, MD



  • How did you become interested in Presentation Silver?

How long have you been studying it?  In 2011, our Director of Exhibits emailed the library asking for the history of Navy presentation silver as the Midway was getting a loan of the partial set of the USS Toledo CA-133 to put on exhibit in our wardroom.  That was when I began collecting and reading books and articles about this tradition.


  • Did the USS Midway (CV-41) ever have any Presentation Silver?  If it did, do you know what became of it?

As far as I know, the Midway never had its own set of silver.   I read an article that mentioned that the USS New Mexico silver was on the Midway in 1946.  That silver is now at the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe.  Between 1970 and approximately the mid 1980s, we had the USS Michigan silver onboard.  The Michigan silver is currently in storage, and some of it is on the submarine, USS Michigan SSGN-727.


  • I understand you have seen Presentation Silver around the United States.  How do you know where the presentation silver is and how do you arrange to view it?  Which states have you visited to see the silver and which ship(s) did it come from?

I have a contact at the Navy Supply Corps headquarters in Mechanicsburg, PA,, and he  knows where all the Navy silver is located.  So far, I have seen and photographed the following:

USS Alabama—USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile, AL

USS Arizona—Capitol Museum, Phoenix, AZ

USS Arkansas – Governor’s Mansion, Little Rock, AR

USS Florida – Governor’s Mansion, Tallahassee, FL

USS Louisiana—USS Theodore Roosevelt

USS Maine—Governor’s Mansion, Augusta, ME

USS Maryland—State House, Annapolis, MD

USS Mississippi – Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Jackson, MS

USS New York—US Naval Academy Museum, Annapolis, MD

USS Oregon—Oregon Historical Society, Portland, OR

USS San Francisco—USS Carl Vinson

USS Tennessee—Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, TN

USS Utah—One piece at the US Naval Academy Museum, Annapolis, MD

USS Toledo (CA-133)—USS Midway Museum, San Diego, CA

USS Wisconsin—Norfolk, VA


  • Is there such a thing as a Silver Presentation starter set?  What are the most common pieces a ship’s presentation silver might include? 

Each state had a private committee which usually solicitated private funds to commission a silver service. The number of pieces depended on the amount of money raised.  I think the most common piece is a punch bowl which after 1914 was called a soup tureen when the Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels prohibited alcohol on Navy ships.


USS Maryland Soup Tureen
USS Maryland Presentation Silver–note the punch bowl/soup toureen in the first picture and the detail of the flying Canada geese in the last picture



  • What was the most impressive Silver Presentation service set you have seen to date? What made it impressive?

That is really a tough question.  I loved the badgers on the Wisconsin and the terrapins on the Maryland.  The Arizona’s beautiful landscapes and copper linings are gorgeous.  But I have to say my favorite is the USS Florida.  It has Pelicans, alligators, oranges, sea shells, the landing of Ponce de Leon on the punch bowl, along with portraits of Ferdinand and Isabella.


Badger from USS Wisconsin Battleship
Badger from the USS Wisconsin



Beavers from the USS Oregon silver.JPG
Beavers from the USS Oregon Silver


  • Is the Presentation Silver owned by the Navy or the donating organization?  Who usually donates the silver?  On the day that the silver is presented to a ship, the Navy assumes ownership.  A lot of battleship silver has gone back to the states on permanent loans.


  • If someone wanted to learn more about presentation silver, what sources would you recommend?  One of the best sources is the Library of Congress’ chronicling America.  Just put in the name of a battleship and silver and you usually come up with a good story.  https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/


  • Does the Midway make use of your extensive knowledge of Navy Presentation Silver? I would like to write an article for the Midway Currents, and your questions are a good start!


  • Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself, the Midway, or Presentation Silver that we did not ask You? I love to study what each state has put on its silver.  Louisiana’s set included 58 goblets which represents the 58 parishes.  The Arkansas silver has a piece with a map of Arkansas with every county’s name.  The Mississippi has Jefferson Davis on one side and Hernando de Soto on the other.  The Utah, which I haven’t seen, has Brigham Young on the punch bowl.  The elevator in our condo will be down for three months beginning in January of next year, so my husband and I have planned to do more road trips.  You can bet that these trips will include stops to see and photograph Navy battleship silver.


  • What did you do before becoming a Midway volunteer?  My first job out of high school was in the library of my university.  I loved the work so much that I took an undergraduate minor in Library Science.  After moving to San Diego in 1968, I was hired as a librarian at an electronics engineering company.  And after 20 years of being a librarian, I decided it was time to get my MLS.  I applied and was accepted at UCLA, and two years later I had my degree.  The latest library job was with my friend, Maxine, at a mathematics research library.


For more information:

USS Tennessee, USS Wisconsin tea service, detail of badger from USS Wisconsin and USS New York – Some of Bonnie’s pictures.

USS San Francisco silver onboard USS Carl Vinson – More of Bonnie’s pictures.

Maryland State Silver—Additional information about the Maryland State Silver collection

USS Maryland Silver—In Annapolis, MD.


Interview with Carl Snow, Scuttlebutt Editor for the USS Midway (CV-41) Museum Library

Q: Carl, how long have you been editor of the Scuttlebutt? And what enticed you to take over the job?

Carl Snow, Scuttlebutt Editor.png

In the Midway Museum Research Library there is a Pass Down the Line (PDL) log where the Library Lead enters items to bring them to the attention of other Library Leads; these could be “lessons learned,” reminders to perform certain tasks, or just funny or unusual things that happen. Not everyone in the Library has access to the PDL and so our Lead Librarian Bonnie Brown started compiling selected items for distribution to the “general population” of over 30 Library Volunteers. She referred to these documents as “updates.”

Bonnie had been doing her series of updates for about two-and-a-half years every two weeks or so. She got busy with other duties as the Library grew and asked if I would mind taking over publishing these notes. We decided to “dress up” the update notes and asked all Library Volunteers to submit names for the newsletter. Several people suggested The Scuttlebutt and so we chose that as the name. I did my first issue of The Scuttlebutt 7 September 2017 and called it Volume 2, Number 12.

Q:  What‘s a scuttlebutt?

In the days of wooden sailing ships, potable water for the crew’s use was carried in large wooden vats. To make it readily available, drinking water was transferred to a small communal cask, or “butt,” centrally located in the ship’s quarters. This cask had a hole, referred to as a “scuttle,” with a hinged lid enabling a person to get a drink with a dipper. The “scuttlebutt” was a natural gathering place where news and pleasantries were passed among the crew. Eventually, the information itself became referred to as scuttlebutt.

Scuttlebutt Masthead

Q:  How often is the Scuttlebutt published and how long does it take you to prepare each issue?

We publish every other Thursday, twice in a month. It takes, all together, maybe 12 to 14 hours in the two-week period. In months that have five Thursdays, we publish only two issues and take the extra time off.

On the Sunday before publication I start to lay out the material and decide on “lead” articles, features, etc., which takes about three to five hours. Then on the next day I execute a “hard” deadline and start to refine the content, again maybe three to five hours. Monday night before I go to bed I route it as a PDF document to the “proofer’s guild,” or “editorial board” consisting of the Senior Library Leads. They get back to me on Tuesday and I include their “nits.”

I let it rest on Wednesday and do a “final” pass maybe a half-hour before I go to bed and then send it out so that our readers have it in their in-boxes first thing Thursday.

Q: Where do you get your ideas for each issue?

I pick up items and photos as I come across them. I always keep an eye out for things that might “fit” and collect tidbits as I go. Folks in the Library are constantly feeding me ideas and tips. I keep a folder called “hip pocket file” that all this stuff goes into. When I need something to write about, I dip into that.

Q: Who writes the features?

I usually scan the e-mails and PDL, taking material from them and then polishing it into complete sentences. Sometimes I can combine two or more items into a wider story. Martha Lepore does the “people” features and is a constant font of ideas.

Q:  Do you have a standard layout you use?

I copy the previous issue’s Word document to use as a template for laying out the new issue, going through to update the folio, masthead, and title banner. I save that into a new folder. When I’ve completed the draft of the new issue, I save it as a PDF document to route to the proofer’s guild.

Q: Does anyone help you with the Scuttlebutt?

First and foremost, assistant editor Martha Lepore is tireless in pursuit of material for The Scuttlebutt. She almost single-handedly does the “profiles” or feature stories of people aboard the Midway Museum.


Carl Snow, editor and Martha Lepore, Asst. Editor.png
Carl Snow and Martha Lepore, Scuttlebutt co-editors.


I send a draft in PDF form to the editorial board for editing and proofing. On Tuesday night Martha and I do a marathon telephone walk-through, addressing all the changes/corrections and essentially a page-by-page comb-through taking about an hour or two.


Scuttlebutt Editorial Staff-Ed Wong, John Bing, Carl Snow, Martha Lepore, Hal Simmons, Don Senda, Bonnie Brown ,misisng Phil Eakin
Scuttlebutt Editorial Staff:  l-r  Ed Wong, John Bing, Carl Snow, Martha Lepore, Hal Simons, Don Senda, Bonnie Brown (missing Phil Eakin)


The real secret is having a cadre of interested, intelligent, willing, and very knowledgeable people to do most of the heavy lifting. It’s a team effort with 30-some Volunteers chipping in. We have four or five Volunteers who contribute regularly from different parts of the country; two on the East Coast! All I have to do is put it together….

Q:  What else do you do as a Library volunteer?

I’m the Library Lead on Saturday afternoons, supervising three to five librarians. We usually field four to five “guests” in the Library to look up former crew members, interacting with them as to what their relatives might have done aboard the ship. This sometimes gets emotional, particularly if we can find a photo of the crew member during a cruise aboard USS Midway.

We’re also working up a book on the aircraft exhibited aboard the Midway Museum. This will detail the airplane’s Navy service, its path from the Navy to the Museum, and what the Museum had to do to make the aircraft presentable as an exhibit.

Q: What was your background before you became a volunteer?

I spent thirty years in the US Navy and, after retirement, about ten years on various magazine staffs and another ten years as a technical writer for high-tech manufacturing, research, and development.

Q:  I understand you previously served on the Midway. When did you serve and what was your job? Did that have any bearing on your desire to become a volunteer here?

After I was commissioned as a Warrant Officer, I was detailed to USS Midway in 1981 as the Assistant Electronic Warfare Officer with a collateral duty as Air Transfer Officer. As ATO, my duties required me to work on the flight deck during flight operations, probably the most exciting job I had in the Navy (rivaled only by combat with the Mobile Riverine Force in Vietnam during the late sixties). After I retired from technical writing some old shipmates from my Navy days were volunteering as docents and persuaded me to spend some spare time aboard. I was drawn to the Library and started volunteering in 2011.

Q: How do you define the word shipmate?

A shipmate is anyone who serves in a ship with you. A ship’s crew is divided into workgroups referred to as divisions, people who work in the same spaces (in olden days, divisions were referred to as “messes” or people who ate and slept in the same space. More efficient “cafeteria style” dining in communal mess decks took away the messes, but not the camaraderie). The “pecking order” is messmates before shipmates, and shipmates before anyone else.

Our audience:

As mentioned, we write to the 35 Midway Museum Library Volunteers. Our readership has spread to the Museum staff of about 150 people; the 400 Docent Volunteers; and the 200 Safety Volunteers. In addition, we post The Scuttlebutt to the Museum’s Intranet for who knows how many readers there, though that includes all the above-mentioned folk. I suspect that there is a wider “shadow” audience as staff and volunteers share with friends and family.

Bravo Zulu, Carl.  Thanks for taking the time to be interviewed.

Best Naval Aviation Library Afloat.PNG


Reblog: Popular Arts with Your National Parks: Comic-Con

This reblog has it all!  Part of San Diego’s Comic-Con takes part at the San Diego Public Library.  Cabrillo National Monument (San Diego’s old National Park) has a terrific outreach program.

This year, free public Conservation + Comics workshops were held at the San Diego Central Library the week of SDCC in celebration of the popular arts convention. But that wasn’t it for Cabrillo National Monument’s representation at Comic-Con – there was also a discussion panel about using art to communicate science titled “Conservation + Comics: Enhancing the Understanding of Science Through Art”.


Midway Maddy: Follow-up Interview

We first met Midway Maddy, beloved Midway Library mascot about 18 months ago.  Maddy is a service support animal to Nan, one the Midway Library’s stalwart volunteers.  It has been a year of change and upheaval for both Maddy and Nan.  

Maddy, It’s been almost two years since our last interview.  I think your fans would like to catch up with what has happened in the meantime.

  • I understand that Nan fell out of a helicopter on the flight deck while she was giving a tour to some family or friends.  Were you there when it happened and can you tell us about it?

Yes, she was giving a tour to my cousin, Stacey, and it was pretty scary.  My Aunt Shelba says mom jumped out of a helicopter without a parachute!  She was carrying me at the time, but fell so that I was on top.  She’s always looking out for me!  Editor’s note:  Maddy does consider these women her relatives and recognizes them by name.


  • I hear that Nan was in the hospital for a while after the accident.  How did the two of you handle the separation?
  • Maddy keeping one eye on Nan even in the hospital

The emergency crews were fantastic!  I was able to ride with mom in the ambulance, and I was with her in the emergency room, too.  Mom decided it was best for me to have someone to take me out for comfort breaks which she couldn’t do so Stacey took me to our neighbors.  The next morning as she was wheeled into the operating room, the nurse said “Isn’t there a dog?”  So I think I could have been there with her.  Mom is sending a picture of me on her bed the morning after her surgery.  There were quite a few people who worked at the hospital that came to visit.

It was harder, though, when she had to go back into ICU at the hospital (for both of us).  She was there twice as long that time and I was very worried and pretty inconsolable until she got back home.

Nan’s remarks  We were separated while in hospital–when I got home, Maddy wouldn’t leave my side to go outside.  She had to be picked up by one of my friends and carried outside to potty.  Once, they didnt close the door all the way and she immediately ran back in!

I think it was pretty traumatic for both of us.


  • Have you any recent Midway stories that you would like share with your fans?

I have so many wonderful friends at the Midway who want to give me treats that it is hard for Mom to limit them.  Also, I really enjoy waiting at the top of the ladder in order to greet everyone who comes in.


  • We’ve all gotten a bit older. Do you think your senior status has provided you with additional insights or wisdom you would like to share?

The best part of being older is having so many people adore me!  No matter your age, being cute definitely has it rewards.  Age does give you additional wisdom– it’s now easier for me to tell who needs a quick kiss or more attention when they pet me.

  • You and Nan both earned your 1000 hour leather jackets this past year.   How often have you had a chance to wear them to the Midway?

Maddy decked out in her 1000 hour volunteer leather flight jacket and patriotic colors for Memorial Day


We don’t have air conditioning in the library, and it was so warm last week that mom even took off my vest.  I have plenty of water, and I sleep most of the time.  (PS – There are rumors that we will be getting AC soon.)   Fortunately, it was cool enough on Memorial Day for us to wear our jackets—Mom is attaching my picture from that day.  I can’t wait until summer is over.


  • Our shipmate Joan, sadly passed away this past year. Nan has taken on Joan’s former role as Mistress of the Master Crew List.  Is she still a  Deck Log Diva and has that changed how often or your role when coming onboard the Midway?

Mom has lots of titles.  The most recent, as you mentioned, is Mistress of the Master Crew List.  She is also known as the Printer Queen as she is the only one on the Monday and Wednesday teams that can get the printers to work.    With all those titles, Deck Log Diva will be passed to another. We still come in twice a week and mom sits at a different desk, but it’s all good!


  • Is there any other question you wished I had asked you?

Have there been any changes during your tenure on the ship?

Since Mom and I went back to the Midway in March, it seems like even more people seek out my calming and comforting demeanor (I guess I was missed).   Some of the people in Admin, when they see me, come over and ask if they can pet me because they’re so busy and have so much to do, they just need a “Maddy love.”  Almost all of them say they feel better after they pet me.  Because all of the people, volunteers and employees, are so nice and work very hard, it makes me happy to think I can help and hopefully live up to being “Midway Maddy.”

Thank you for your interview Maddy.  We wish you a warm and long future of belly rubs, faces to kiss and people to comfort.  Your’re such a natural at the job.

Reblog: I Love My Librarian Award Nominations


On behalf of the I Love My Librarian Award Selection Committee, I am excited to share the news that nominations for the award are now open and run through October 21, 2019.

The I Love My Librarian Award recognizes the public service contributions of exceptional public, school, college, community college and university librarians in the U.S. who have gone above and beyond to improve lives and make a difference in their communities. For the first time in the award’s history, the ten winners will be honored by their colleagues at an award ceremony during ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia in January of 2020, in addition to receiving a $5,000 prize and travel stipend.

Past winners have powerful stories about how they transformed lives, including an academic librarian who stocks the library with non-perishable foods and toiletries for low-income students, a public librarian who created a book project to preserve refugees’ stories and a school librarian who uses therapy and certified reading dogs to help students who are struggling with anxiety or have disabilities.

Up to 10 exceptional school, public, and college/university librarians will be selected to receive a $5,000 cash award, a plaque and a travel stipend to attend the awards ceremony in January 2020, during the ALA’s Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Philadelphia.

Every year, we look for ways to ensure the nomination pool reflects the diversity of the profession and represents all types of communities across the country. With that in mind, we hope you will help spread the word about the award in your local area and bring much deserved recognition to librarians and the incredible work they do every day. The electronic nomination form is available online at ilovelibraries.org/ilovemylibrarian and on the I Love My Librarian webpage there are free promotional tools for libraries, library groups and library supporters to promote the award, including:

  • Flyer
  • Sample newsletter copy
  • Digital graphics
  • Social media copy
  • Press release template
  • Table tent

We are grateful for any promotional support you are able to provide in getting the news out about the award. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if we can help with any efforts.

All the very best,

Loida Garcia-Febo

Chair, I Love My Librarian Award Selection Committee

Logos: Carnegie Corporation of New York; New York Public Library, New York
 Times, American Library Association


New DoD Studies from the Congressional Research Service (CRS)

Library of Congress Logo1.  USE OF US ARMED FORCES ABROAD, 1789-2019

There are only nineteen years since 1789 when the U.S. did not have armed forces engaged in military operations abroad, according to an updated tally from the Congressional Research Service. See Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2019, updated July 17, 2019.

The most recent year in which U.S. military forces were not used in a foreign conflict was 1979, according to the CRS. The CRS account does not reflect covert action, disaster relief, or training activities involving U.S. forces abroad.

Though there have only been 11 formal declarations of war, there have been hundreds of military actions including “extended military engagements that might be considered undeclared wars.”

“These cases vary greatly in size of operation, legal authorization, and significance,” CRS said. “Some actions were of short duration, and some lasted a number of years. In some examples, a military officer acted without authorization; some actions were conducted solely under the President’s powers as Chief Executive or Commander in Chief; other instances were authorized by Congress in some fashion.”

2.  DOD’s Cloud Strategy and the JEDI Cloud ProcurementCRS In Focus, updated July 16, 2019

3.  Hypersonic Weapons: Background and Issues for Congress, July 11, 2019