Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Get a Couple of Library Cards

In support of public libraries, I encourage everyone to get a library card for your local public library and the Library of Congress, as well as any other libraries you have been thinking about using. As many of you likely already know, a library is often a very pleasant place to sit, browse books, use a computer, write, etc., a place open to everyone. Everything public is potentially under attack. Local politicians look at the # of the population vs the # of library cardholders. If the % of cardholders to population isn't high, then they think, "Why are our people being taxed for this service?" Getting a library card is an act of support in ways bigger than you imagined. And you might find yourself spending even more glorious time in a glorious library. #lovemylibrary #supportlibraries #publiclibrary

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

New Librarian of Congress to be sworn in at noon

Watch Carla Hayden Swearing-In LIVE Sept. 14

Carla Hayden will be sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress by Chief Justice
of the United States John G. Roberts Jr. in the Great Hall of the Library's Thomas Jefferson
Building in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, September 14. Speaker of the U.S. House of
Representatives Paul Ryan will offer remarks. Hayden will be the first woman and
the first African-American to serve as Librarian of Congress. Hayden was nominated
by President Barack Obama and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
The feed begins at 11 a.m. EDT here, and the ceremony begins at noon EDT.


Friday, June 3, 2016

Become a "Library of Congress is Great" Scholar in Residence

Applications are now welcomed for "The Library of Congress is Great" Scholar-in-Residence Program. Scholars in residence must have a Library of Congress Reader Identification Card and thus, as a result, have all the benefits of being a reader in the Library of Congress. The residency does not provide housing, stipend, or salary of any kind. Join the illustrious "Library of Congress is Great" Scholar-in-Residence Program!

The application is as follows:

Name:
Is the Library of Congress great? __ Yes    __ No (disqualification)
Length of residency:
Project (summarized in one sentence):

Please submit your application (or any questions) below as a comment.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

By Popular Demand: Writing Retreat Extended!

Yes, due to popular demand, the Second Annual Library of Congress Writing Retreat has been extended another week, so we'll be in writing action through Friday, May 27th.

Feel free to post your writing plans/commitments below.

For more info on the Writing Retreat, see here

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Second Annual Library of Congress Writing Retreat

Everyone is invited to the Second Annual Library of Congress Writing Retreat: Monday, May 16th to Friday, May 20th 8:30am to 5pm (self-funded lunch 12-12:30 in the 6th floor cafeteria in the Madison Building). Free and open to anyone 18 years of age or older. The main activity: writing without distractions, getting writing projects done, writing with joy, or whatever makes sense to you. 

The only requirements are that, before you arrive on Monday morning, you have a specific writing goal or specific set of writing goals for the week and that you make some sort of time commitment to the writing retreat (for example, writing in the Library of Congress all five days or four out of the five days or whatever you wish). In addition, the Library of Congress requires that you obtain a library card before going into the reading rooms. For those who wish to meet for lunch, we can talk about our writing plans, etc. 

Finally, it would be great if you would comment on this blog post, letting me know if you are planning to take part and maybe your personal writing goals for the week. Of course, those having their own writing retreats in other wonderful public libraries around the world can comment and let us know the details of their own writing retreat. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Opening Day of the Southwest Courtyard

Today, during a break from writing in the European Reading Room, I got some peanuts from the machines right below the Jefferson Building cloak room and then waltzed right into the Southwest Courtyard. It is looking great. Lots of flowers. Everything has been spruced up. Happy Opening Day!

For more info and photos of the SW Courtyard:
http://thelibraryofcongressisgreat.blogspot.com/2014/06/hidden-treasure-in-loc.html

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Another Great Thing: Library of Congress Chorale

A while back, I saw an announcement for a concert by the Library of Congress Chorale. The next concert will be happening sometime in May or June, but it seems rather unclear how we will hear about the concert except through a flyer posted somewhere in the Library. In the meantime, all researchers can sing in the Chorale:
The Library of Congress Chorale is a recognized employee organization of the Library of Congress. Membership is open to all members of the Library community, including staff, contractors, researchers, volunteers, and staff of other Capitol Hillarea government agencies. Conductors are chosen for a two-year term from among interested employees. The Chorale performs two formal concerts each year, in December and May or June. It also supports special events, such as the Librarian of Congress' annual holiday celebration in the Great Hall. 
Rehearsals take place weekly, on Wednesdays (12:05-1:00pm), from September to June. If you enjoy singing, please consider joining us for the spring program. Questions may be directed to David Brunton, President, Library of Congress Chorale (dbrun@loc.gov or 202-707-2790).
How great is that?  

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Fantastic Opening to the Literary Season at the Library of Congress

Juan Felipe Herrera conducts his inaugural reading as poet laureate at the Library of Congress in Washington. (Shawn Miller/Library of Congress)
The Washington Post published a great article on the fantastic lecture last week by the new poet laureate at the Library of Congress. Juan Felipe Herrera thus opened the literary season, which looks very exciting. He talked about some of the fabulous resources in the Hispanic Reading Room (see a previous post on these). The Post writer Ron Charles ended his article:
Herrera concluded the evening’s presentation by reading one of his own incantatory poems that ended, like magic, with these lines: 
“If I stood up wearing a robe in front of my familia and many more on the high steps of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and read out loud and signed my poetry book like this, ‘Poet Laureate of the United States of America,’ imagine what you could do.” 
What a trip — and it’s just beginning.
Here is some history behind the poet laureate position:
in 1937, when the Library began to establish a poetry presence in the Nation’s Capital, thanks to a gift from railroad heir Archer M. Huntington, who wrote poetry himself. Huntington funded the “Chair in English Poetry,” a position which evolved into “Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress,” and finally, in 1987, into “Poet Laureate/Consultant to the Library”—or just, casually, US Poet Laureate. 
The Library of Congress is part of the vibrant worldwide poetry world and has a Poetry Office. Another reason that the Library of Congress is great!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Libraries are hospitals for the soul

According to the Kluge Center blog
Later in life, as he reflected on his career, Jaroslav Pelikan spoke eloquently about a lifetime of scholarly learning and how libraries, and the knowledge housed within them, are hospitals for the soul, where “the soul can find instruments for diagnosis”–where men and women have recorded the pains of the heart and mind, and deposited their wisdom for its convalescence. “To the library the soul can turn for healing,” Pelikan said. “We can make our lives sublime.”[2]
To read more, click here

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Why Libraries are Great

Why libraries are so great, according to my friend F:
I've been trying to figure out why I'm so attracted to libraries and I think the answer is not just the books but rather the culture of sharing they represent. Public libraries seem like the last institutionalized sites of non-monetized human interaction in America. Librarians freely give their time and information regardless of social class. It's an incredible idea, and somewhat revolutionary given our current social and economic context. This idea of sharing as a sustainable form of resistance to whatever the fuck is happening in our society...
John Kelly in the Post also talked about the commodification of everything in his column yesterday.  

Friday, May 22, 2015

By Popular Demand: the Library of Congress Writing Retreat Continues

Yes, by popular demand, the 1st Annual Library of Congress Writing Retreat has been extended another week. While the Library of Congress is closed on Monday, the Writing Retreat will get right down to work on Tuesday morning.

P.S. Of course, you can participate in the Writing Retreat at any public library anywhere in the world. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

You are Invited to Write: Library of Congress Writing Retreat on Monday

Everyone is invited to the First Annual Library of Congress Writing Retreat: Monday, May 18th to Friday, May 22nd 9am to 5pm (self-funded lunch 12-12:30 in the 6th floor cafeteria in the Madison Building). Free and open to anyone 18 years of age or older. The main activity: writing without distractions, getting writing projects done, writing with joy, or whatever makes sense to you. 

On Monday, May 18th at 9am, we'll meet in the Dunkin Donuts (in the tunnel between the Madison and Jefferson Buildings) and then make our way to the Main Reading Room in the Jefferson Building. You can, of course, write wherever you wish in the Library of Congress. You also don't have to meet in the Dunkin Donuts beforehand. You can have your own personal writing retreat. Each morning, those interested will meet and check in before starting the day of glorious writing. 

The only requirements are that, before you arrive on Monday morning, you have a specific writing goal or specific set of writing goals for the week and that you make some sort of time commitment to the writing retreat (for example, writing in the Library of Congress all five days or four out of the five days or whatever you wish). In addition, the Library of Congress requires that you obtain a library card before going into the reading rooms. 

Finally, it would be great if you would comment on this blog post, letting me know if you are planning to take part. Of course, those having their own writing retreats in other wonderful public libraries around the world can comment and let us know the details of their own writing retreat. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

First Annual Library of Congress Writing Retreat (Details)

Everyone is invited to the First Annual Library of Congress Writing Retreat: Monday, May 18th to Friday, May 22nd 9am to 5pm (self-funded lunch 12-12:30 in the 6th floor cafeteria in the Madison Building). Free and open to anyone 18 years of age or older. The main activity: writing without distractions, getting writing projects done, writing with joy, or whatever makes sense to you.

On Monday, May 18th at 9am, we'll meet in the Dunkin Donuts (in the tunnel between the Madison and Jefferson Buildings) and then make our way to the Main Reading Room in the Jefferson Building. You can, of course, write wherever you wish in the Library of Congress. You also don't have to meet in the Dunkin Donuts beforehand. You can have your own personal writing retreat. Each morning, those interested will meet and check in before starting the day of glorious writing. 

The only requirements are that, before you arrive on Monday morning, you have a specific writing goal or specific set of writing goals for the week and that you make some sort of time commitment to the writing retreat (for example, writing in the Library of Congress all five days or four out of the five days or whatever you wish). In addition, the Library of Congress requires that you obtain a library card before going into the reading rooms. 

Finally, it would be great if you would comment on this blog post, letting me know if you are planning to take part. Of course, those having their own writing retreats in other wonderful public libraries around the world can comment and let us know the details of their own writing retreat. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

First Annual Library of Congress Writing Retreat

Everyone is invited to the First Annual Library of Congress Writing Retreat: Monday, May 18th to Friday, May 22nd 9am to 5pm (lunch 12-12:30). Free and open to anyone over 18 years of age. The main activity: writing without distractions, getting writing projects done, writing with joy, or whatever makes sense to you. Details to follow. 

P.S. Details: http://thelibraryofcongressisgreat.blogspot.com/2015/04/first-annual-library-of-congress_25.html

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Another Reason It's Great: the Employee Arts & Craft Exhibit

Definitely make a point of seeing this soon! I must say that this exhibit is much more interesting and surprising than most gallery shows.
The 42nd Annual Library of Congress Employee Arts and Craft Exhibit
October 14, 2014 to April 3, 2015
Library of Congress, Madison Building, 6th Floor Hallway (Blue/Magenta)
The Exhibit shows "the outstanding artistic talents of our Library colleagues, retirees, contractors, volunteers, and colleagues from the Architect of the Capitol." The organizers ask us, "Please celebrate the creative spirit that lives in us all." 74 artists submitted 124 works, and they are fabulous in many different ways.

Here are some of my favorites, but you just have to see them all and judge for yourself:
  • Kathy Williams-Edmonds, US Capitol Police, "Animal Calmness," photos of cats, birds, and turtles being calm.
  • Thomas M. Louis, Preservation Reformatting Division, "Octopus' Garden," a psychedelic collage of undersea images. 
  • Angela Murphy-Walters, U.S. Programs, Law and Literature Division, "Star Gazing with Teen," a photo capturing star gazing.
  • Diane Dixon, Retired from Visitor Services Office, "Kela Lolo -- Mr. Unicorn," a photo of a cool looking tropical fish. 
  • Leslie Goldman, Conservation Division, "Horses," a painting of two horses on long stilts, and "He has Ears," a painting of a man with alien-type ears.
 The Employee Arts & Craft Exhibit -- another reason the Library of Congress is Great.