Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Librarian

Still More Conversation about Libraries . . .

This conversation began on July 9th and continued on July 11th and July 13th

Village Library

~ Village Library in Greece ~

It began with me remembering a few of my library escapades and interests, continued through four readers’ experiences in libraries, then on through a focus on a particular “library-charity-shop” in the UK…

Now come the reader comments that enable this continuation of the discussion…

Concerning my trying to locate a particular place in the UK, an author from Australia said:

“Well, I loved looking up the link to The Corner House and reading about the Oxfordshire community and I wished I lived in a small town in that community with a local library. Even if it was only in a novel—I wanted to live in: East Hagbourne, Toot and Marsh Baldon, or Long Wittenham. Thinking about libraries took me to these places in my imagination :-) “

How delightful to have a search in a small UK community for the resting place of donated books propel a woman in Australia into imaginative visits to libraries in other small communities in the English countryside :-)

And then, the author from the UK, who facilitated the search for the donated books, said:

“I’m glad you liked the link to Oxfordshire, but to get back to your initial discussion. In Worthing the mobile library brings books to a street ten minutes walk from our house so I don’t have to get the bus downtown. The main library is full of computers but has plenty of talks and events going on as well as a large children’s section. Each week I select four novels at random, unless I have read a recommendation.
“Certain authors always delight, Stephen King for one, and I try to mix thrillers and sagas. I get put off if I see a pretty woman in period costume on the cover. I try to keep a record of all books read on Goodreads; but, I have been known to pick up one a second time, just because I found the cover attractive.
“I donate copies of my own books to the local library after about three months, just to find readers; but, the latest one isn’t in there yet.”


An author in Australia has imaginative visits to local libraries in the UK, while an author in the UK describes her library access and reading routine…

Have you imagined visits to libraries in another country…?

Have you made a visit to a certain library in another country…?

Do you want to visit any particular libraries…?

Do you use bookmobiles (mobile libraries)…?

Does your local library supply most of your reading…?

What’s your relationship to your local library…?

Can you tell I’m trying to encourage you to share a comment about libraries…? :-)
If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…

For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Yet More Conversation about Libraries . . .

Charlbury Library street As tens of thousands of citizens flood the streets of London, I recall part of a comment from a UK author in our July 9th post in this discussion about libraries:

“We have just come back from Charlbury in Oxfordshire where I took some of my books to what I thought was an independent bookshop.
“When I got there I found it was a room where local people brought books and bought another copy for 50p – rather like a charity shop. In fact, it was a charity, for the upkeep of the building. Not strictly a library but almost the same.”

I worked to find that charity “library”; but, ran into a quandary and couldn’t say much about it in the post on July 11th

However, our UK author came through and resolved the quandary, by saying:

“The [‘library’] in Charlbury has closed but if you look up ‘The Corner House’ you’ll find where all the books went.”

So, while almost stepping into a different quandary checking Google maps, I, at least, found the street the former Charlbury “library” was on—our image for this post—a twee area, which looks like it might also embrace “The Corner House”…

So, the quaint little British mystery “library” has been accounted for… :-)

If we could only account for all those lovely British folk protesting a man who seems to have worked hard to earn those protests…


Since it takes at least one comment on any given post in one of our Blog Conversation series to have the discussion continue, here are some possible things to comment about:

  • Your first library memory…
  • Your first major book discovery in a library…
  • Your first kiss in a library…
  • Your most memorable visit to a library…
  • Your reason for feeling like libraries should be supported and maintained…
  • How many books, and an indication of the types of books, in your personal home or digital library…
  • Any ol’ thing you can urge yourself to share about libraries :-)

If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…

For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

More Conversation about Libraries . . .

Sandusky Ohio Library Our current conversation began this past Monday, with A Blog Conversation about Libraries . . .

To kick off the conversation, I said:

“I’m going to be rather desultory with this beginning of our discussion—bounce around a bit—rather like being in a library—So much to do…”

And, we had four comments—one from Australia, one from the UK, and two from the USA…

Here’s Jane, from Australia:

“I did love the local library that was in the basement of the town hall near my school. It seemed to have all the books I liked and I had completely forgotten about it until I read this post. I also loved my father’s Volkswagen which had a strange compartment behind the back seat, lined with carpet, into which passengers could throw their paraphernalia. I threw almost all of my favourite books into this sweet spot, so I could read through my collection in the morning on the way to school. Until one day my father said: ‘A book or two is fine in the back but an occasional cull may work well, you know. This is not a travelling library’…then, he smiled because he knew it was…”

I love the early focus here, the local basement library, the library in her father’s Volkswagen, reading on the way to school…

I truly wish my memory were that good—the best I could do (in the first post of this conversation) was the city’s main library I shelved books in when I was 18Though, I’m sure I was in some library before that—at least at school…

It would be interesting to have an ethical hypnotist take me back to my earliest libraries—hang out for a bit, see what books I took out…

Now, Julie, from the United Kingdom:

“We have just come back from Charlbury in Oxfordshire where I took some of my books, to what I thought was an independent bookshop.
“When I got there I found it was a room where local people brought books and bought another copy for 50p—rather like a charity shop. In fact, it was a charity, for the upkeep of the building. Not strictly a library but almost the same. I had to donate, rather than sell.
“The library I use is a mobile library that is only nearby for one morning a week. I get out four novels and have usually read three by the next week!
“I have always used libraries and rarely buy books.”

I tried to find Julie’s charity-shop-library—best I could do was the link up there for Charlbury; plus, on that site, a Gallery that shows the atmosphere of this small English town…

And, speaking of small town libraries, that image up at the beginning of this post is my hometown library in Sandusky, Ohio

Now, Ali, from the USA:

Adventures at my local library:

*seeing the dog for Paws to Read walk herself…
*searching for books from Ursula K. Le Guin and Andre Norton in both the adult and children’s section—doesn’t matter if they’re in the same series or not…
*discovering the library has more than books—music, ways to learn other languages, tv, free wifi access…
*finding lots of old Victorian books printed in the original individual hardback volumes as books used to be printed then…
*learning the library has some ebooks, but not everything I want to read and wondering why…

Speaking of library ebooks; and, referencing a news article from 2014 (plus, considering the pace of institutional change probably not having resolved these issues...):

“Publishers put restrictions not just on which ebooks libraries can offer, but how they can offer them. Some publishers only allow for an ebook to be borrowed 26 times before the library has to purchase the license again. Others opt for the license to expire after a year. And still others instead charge libraries significantly more than they do consumers for ebooks.”

Then, there’s the situation of libraries using self-published ebooks

Finally, this wonderful comment from Tea, also in the USA:

“Well, my first memories of books were of my mothers old encyclopedia collection. I used to tear through the thin pages, resisting the urge to color inside. But my early memories of the library began with the book mobile—the local children’s mobile book service. Inside that huge old colorful bus was a fantasy world where my imagination could run free. Later, as a young adult walking around town, every day I would visit the local University’s library. The long hot days and walks in the southern sun were exhausting. As soon as the automatic doors opened, out rushed the cold air conditioning. Of course, the smell of books was the first thing to jar my senses. The days of my younger years ended in that small library on campus. Later, as an adult, the public libraries became more of a necessity for my lifestyle. There, I could find media resources too, not only books. Also, there was a local popular cafe I frequented. Here people would sit and talk for hours and read. Nowadays, it seems like the laptop has replaced that physical book you held in your hand.”

I happen to know Tea…

I’d never seen anything she’d written. And, though she’s an accomplished artist, apparently, the creative impulse easily crosses over from canvas to the realm of words…

I wonder how many folks reading this post might be willing to share their memories of the library (“…the smell of books was the first thing to jar my senses…”)

Or, how many of you might comment about imperfections of libraries—or, your home libraries—or, street libraries—or, specialized libraries—or, personal digital libraries—or, prison libraries—or, possibly, famous libraries…

All it takes is one comment to let this conversation continue on Friday………
If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…

For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

A Blog Conversation about Libraries . . .

Libraries Our last conversation was about different types of readers and was on July 2nd, July 4th, and July 6th

Now, let’s launch into Libraries…

I’m going to be rather desultory with this beginning of our discussion—bounce around a bit—rather like being in a library—So much to do…

When I was 18, I spent a season working in a library being what’s called a “page“; essentially, putting books back where they belonged…

I became infatuated with a fellow page; and, during one of our breaks, when she deeply embarrassed me for not inhaling a cigarette being passed around, I promptly began a 50 year addiction (which I quit a couple years ago…)—Ah, such memories…

I really did love the smell of a library…

I didn’t get to the library in my home town until I was in my 60s—rather like a sacred journey…

Then, there were those times I was homeless and appreciated various libraries as warm places to take a nap…

Oh, and mobile libraries; and, incredible library book sales…

But lately, since I’ve let myself roam in the pasture of confirmed bachelorhood and grown very long hair (except for the front and top) and a yet longer beard, even though I’m an author, I don’t dare do readings in a library—don’t wanna scare anyone…

I have however published a moderately large repository of posts about libraries(this post just might sneak into that repository…)

Let’s see… what else can I desultorily throw out, perhaps to engage you enough to have you share a comment, so this conversation can continue beyond today…?

Well… How about that Dewey Decimal System? I hear there are over 135 countries using it to keep their books organized…

Oh, yeah… Try these 25 mini-adventures in the library

Of course, if you’re a writer, you can read your books out loud there; and, I bet some libraries would even let you read your final draft before publication (talk about pre-order opportunities...)…

Then, there are all those Little Free Libraries (they’re really cute and they’re all over the world…)

And, there are, naturally, many other types of libraries

So, how about this…

Instead of me searching Google for links about libraries, why not share a comment about *Your* experiences with libraries…?

I can already hear all those books saying, “Right On!”

Yes, I can hear books talk—can’t you?

Looking forward to the comment that will let this conversation continue………

Almost forgot—what about all those cool librarians?—oh! and, those digital libraries folks carry around now………
If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…

For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Dipping into the Archives . . .

I’m foregoing my usual re-blog today… Blog Links from 2011

Regular readers may remember me mentioning a friend of mine—prison librarian and microfiction author, Johnpaul Mahofski.

So, this rather incredible human being has just spent 4 weekend sessions, lasting at least 9 hours each, finding all the broken links (sites change their names, people disappear, etc…) in all my posts from 2011 (the first year of this blog’s life...)…

The last of those weekend sessions was him compiling all the links from those posts that he found valuable…

I’m going to list all those 2011 links in a minute; but, first, I need to let everyone know that this particular post is number 2,159—that’s an average of 25 posts a month for seven years…

Also, I need to point out the search bar in the upper right of each page of this blog—handy, to see if certain topics or names are here, somewhere in the depths of seven years of blogging…

And, down near the bottom of the left side-bar there are two widgets—Archives by Month & Year and Archives by Day of The Month.

Plus, if you first select a month and year in the first widget, the second widget will show all the days of that month…

One more way to dip into the archives here is not so far down in the left side-bar—Top Tags—gathering “similar” posts together—where larger words mean more posts…

Also, Johnpaul is committed to checking all the posts from the other six years and producing a list of valuable posts from those years (stay tuned…)…

I should remind you that Johnpaul is a librarian and, apparently, they just love tedious checking of things, as well as making lists :-)

Reminder: what follows is not a list of my posts from 2011—it’s a list of some of the links (from 2011) that I put in my posts, that a librarian/microfiction author liked, and gave his quite unique titles to………

I wonder if there are any broken links in this list… :-)

So, here is Johnpaul’s List of Valuable Links from 2011:

(Why you should give away your book)

(Book and writer recommendations from CJ Cherryh)

(The Seven Basic Plots in Fiction)

(Jung’s collective unconscious explained)

(A very thorough look at Jung’s collective unconscious)

(Concept of Archetypes at Carl Jung)

(Jung’s Archetypes discussed)

(Reflections on all things Psychology)

(Noam Chomsky linguist, social scientist, activist, author)

(Language and Etymology links)

(Online Etymology Dictionary)

(Literary Fiction Genres)

(Three interviews with novelist John Gardner)’

(Wikipedia entry for William S. Hatcher mathematician, philosopher, educator and member of the Bahá’í Faith)

(Wikipedia entry for Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist)

(Wikipedia entry for Allen Ginsberg, poet)

(Wikipedia entry for James Franco, actor and filmmaker)

(Wikipedia entry for Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet and socialist activist)

(Wikipedia entry for Neil Stephenson Author)

(Wikipedia entry for A Grain of salt)

(Wikipedia entry for John Gardner, American novelist)

(Wikipedia entry for Novel)

(Wikipedia entry for Carl Jung’s idea of Personal Unconscious)

(Wikipedia entry for Jungian concept of Shadow, Id)

(This site’s intent is to foster the writing arts)

(Article on writing stand alone books with series potential)

(A solid blog for writers resources)

(Article on how Book Bloggers can increase an author’s sales)

(Article on whether to self publish or not)

(Article discusses what subsidy publishing means for authors)

(Blog offers practical advice for building better books)

(Mystery Genre Definitions)

(Flash Fiction defined and demonstrated)

(Common Word lists and word usage lists—a must have for writers)

(A word counter)

(Explanation of synchronicity in life, by a writer)

(Carl Jung’s theory of synchronicity is explained)

(Why words mean what they mean)

(The mission is to find as many words of English with as many people as possible)

(Poems, Poets, Prose, Collections and more)

(Obscenity defined, from a legal perspective)

(Article against social media experts)

(Full dictionary and thesaurus for American, British, Canadian, Australian, Indian, and global English)

(MFA’S effect on Literature—the good and bad)

(Sweat equity as a writing tool)

(Best bits of writing advice she’s received)

(Why a bad review isn’t always bad)

(How a writer can conduct their character development)

(Pirating ebooks—is it a bad thing…)

(Book production terminology explained)

(Article about what a writer’s goal is for their book)

(Self publishing is explained through the vast knowledge of an author)

(An inside look at a writer’s mantra)

(The quiet theory of influence)

(A series ponders if writing a book is done for money)

(Getting people to care about the products of your imagination)

(Gifted author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)

(Marketing made easier)

(Finding your loyal readers)

(Why someone should write is discussed)

(Discussion of how many readers one needs for sales success)

(Real news sources in difficult times)

(Alternatives to mainstream news sources)

(Reality of your social networks)

(Blog about the nature of writing)

(Finding some joy, even in darkness)

(The idea of what makes success)

(A literary theorist responds to “What is Fiction…?”)

(Word of mouth Sales)

(Windows zenware* writing application)

(Simple note-taking app)

(Blog on writing publishing and editing)

(Valuable links on writing)

(How a movement of ‘ordinary’ Liberian women changed history)

(The dangers of being a perfectionist)

(Humorous article on why bad books don’t ruin self-publishing)

(A blog with many tips for writers)

(Self publishing tips)

(Vintage article on Amazon’s publishing platform)

(Article on Amazon as the future of Publishing)

(Emily Dickinson resource)

(The most respected publication for the library community)

(A hard look at the pattern of borrowing and the digital shifts of Library patrons)

(A page created by an independent prose machine)

(The Quality and Professional responsibility of Self Published work is discussed)

(Article on Self-Publishing expectations)

(Writing, support, and useful links)

(She is much more than a hashtag)

(Life lessons turned into Self publishing tips)

(A blog focused on giving voice to those in need)

(An article on writing more words per day)

(Article on traditional publishing’s struggle with Ebook presentation)

(A writer’s experience with traditional publishing)

(The critical aspects of digital publishing)

(A start to finish for writers to create their book)

(The Author’s Guild site)

(Human rights and the implications of copyright)

(Legalities of censorship in America)

(Tips on how to write a novel)

(12 articles of 2011 that are must reads for writers)

If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
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