Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tube love

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving full of pie! Exciting things (hint...printing press progress and Thanksgiving pics) coming soon, but in the meantime, join me in my love of old maps and London stuff. I'm always amazed at how early London actually had an Underground! As the maps are now changing (even more than in previous years - the maps actually change a little bit every year), the Guardian did a little piece on the history of the Tube map - enjoy it here!

Image from The Guardian

Monday, November 23, 2009

Typography loves

I've been holding back on (who I am kidding, I've been forgetting to post) some typographical/printing happenings of recent here goes!

One: If you run across Sinister Bird press, it's cool. It's run by two girls from Dartington Art College who basically spent two-three months living out the back of a little van and driving around the country, staying with friends of friends or sleeping in the van and printing a page on an Adana in the van in just about every place they stayed. Coolio.

Two: Even Dean thought this was cool. And he's learning more about printing! PS. If anyone wants to get me this book for Christmas, go for it. I'll be hurt but I'll understand if you only get me the mass market edition.

Pictorial Webster's: Inspiration to Completion from John Carrera on Vimeo.

Three: Check out this article on typography, courtesy of Paul Nash (world's coolest printer and wearer-of-the-Bodleian-printer's-hat) via the NYTimes. Best line: “I think sometimes that being overly type-sensitive is like an allergy.” Well said.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ughs and Yays

Things that do NOT rock:
The flu
Tough days at work
Creepy guys

Things that definitely DO:
Seeing old friends
Little kids looking up to you
Working on Christmas cards and presents
Finishing grad school applications (AGAIN)
Fiances rushing back from work because you're ill (even when they can't do anything but be there. There's a reason I'm marrying this man)

Also. A plea: I am theoretically working on a blog for one of my jobs...this blog will be to market and highlight items from a political archive. I'm researching various blogs, but what I really DO NOT want this blog to be is an oh...well...look we got this thing today...sigh...boring. Anyone seen any really snazzy library/archive blogs? Anyone have any advice?

Friday, November 13, 2009

And more books...

From Emily Dickinson-

There is no Frigate like a Book (1286)

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human Soul –

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Library Routes

Since it kept cropping up in various places (a comment here, an article there, and then I profiled it for our staff newsletter), I decided it was finally time to write my own post for the Library Routes Project.

A bit by way of explanation: The Library Routes Project is trying to encourage librarians, or those in the library and information sector, to write about their ‘library roots’ and ‘library routes’ – how they got into the profession and why they’re there. If you haven’t had a look and you’re in or interested in the profession, please go visit! I’ve spoken to the creators, and they’re so excited about the project and way it’s taken off.

So. Off we go…I’ll take a cue from Ned Potter’s post and do a roots/route thing…

My family loves books. Seriously. You have no idea. Our attic (where we put all the books that don’t fit on our shelves downstairs) is causing the whole house’s roof to sag, because there are too many books in it. We took “adventures” to Powell’s when I was little, because we loved it. Books were important because they were beautiful, but also because of what they contained – words were important.

When I arrived at Scripps for college, I popped into the library with my family. Within five minutes, my father had charmed the librarian into giving us a tour of the rare book room, and I’d applied for a job. I didn’t realize it until much later, but it was that job that did it for me. Not only was I working in a beautiful library, helping people find what they needed, but I got to spend one day a week working in special collections. I catalogued two archives (one related to a former dance professor with seriously deep ties everything that was going on in modern dance), and I discovered artists’ books.

I left for Oxford to do a Master’s in English, with plans to go on to journalism/academia. But we had to take a bibliography class, and I got to take a letterpress class, and I did more research into artists’ books. Then I happened to meet someone in conservation who was so excited about library work that he got me thinking. THEN I met a member of special collections at a dessert, and he told me about trainee opportunities in the Bodleian.

That’s when it suddenly clicked – although I loved journalism, and I loved academia, I loved libraries more (And what am I doing now? Helping academics, researching book history, and writing for a library-based newsletter. Funny how things work out). I began speaking to more people in the Bodleian about their jobs, and I started volunteering in Rare Books. I applied for and was offered a trainee job at the Bodleian, and spent the year working in all of its departments (very whirlwind, very amazing). I knew from the beginning that I wanted to be in special collections, but I realised what I hadn’t really grasped before – that I loved (LOVED) helping readers.

At the moment, I work in a number of positions for the Bodleian – in a political archive, in the communications department, in the reading rooms on the weekend, and in other capacities on my own time (I’m doing some work with 17th-century library records and bindings and learning Latin for it). It gets a bit hectic going from job to job, but I’m extremely happy doing it. I’m combining the best of all my worlds. The library world is changing, and rare books/special collections may seem like the “old” kind of thing, but they actually offer so many opportunities to find new ways of presenting material. And who am I fooling…they’re just cool (OK, keep in mind I’m the kind of person that has been known to jump up and down because she bought some type for printing by hand or touched an amazing binding).

Anyway, the gist of that is that you have to keep your eye open for opportunities these days, but they’re there…you can be involved in libraries in so many different ways, whether you’re interested in computers or books or people!

Image of Ulris Library Stacks via eflon's Flickr

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The oh-so-continuing obsession with card catalogues part 1 billion, plus an amazing chandelier and my new favorite outfit

Whew. What a title.

As for the card catalogue - I was watching The Big Bang Theory last night and noticed that Leonard and Sheldon (TV's geekiest pair) HAVE A CARD CATALOGUE IN THEIR APARTMENT. If I don't get one soon I might...I might...I don't know, but it will be scary.

I need to get a printing press soon as well. If anyone knows a of a cheap Adana or the like, let me know.

Now for the chandelier:

Nole of Oh So Beautiful Paper posted this chandelier from Pottery Barn. A little out of my price range, given our rented house and lack of desire for rewiring anything, but I could do something with it that didn't require any actual wires, couldn't I? Because I kind of love it.

Also, I do so love this outfit. I found it on i am a greedy girl. Enough said.

Photo of dress from Nadinoo via i am a greedy girl. Photo of amazing chandelier from Oh So Beautiful Paper, originally from Pottery Barn (links above)