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Don’t Judge, But DO Try it!

Sometimes you may look at a book and think, “Nah.  That cover art looks so boring!  I won’t even bother looking at it.”  But then you somehow hear about it; perhaps from a friend, on the radio, maybe even reviews in a magazine or newspaper.  It actually sounds kind of interesting.  You

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Librarians as Control-F Keys

I remember the days when people came to the front desk asking us to look up the capitol city of Azerbaijan or the lines of a Kipling poem. And we actually looked those things up in BOOKS!  What role is left for library staff to play in an era where this kind

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An Old Photography Shop

People request all sorts of information at the library:  from the mundane to the downright strange, we get them all.  Just this last month, I received an email requesting a number from the McPherson Telephone Directory from 1947. The man was writing a book set in McPherson during that era and wanted to be

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Read it Before Hollywood Does

p5rn7vb It’s been a common perception for a great many years that the Hollywood movie machine can take a book and turn it into a screenplay that has little in common with the story of the original author.  Movies have been made about it!  But in most cases — whether it’s in

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Front Page News

I was looking for an obituary a few days ago that I knew would be somewhere in late August of 1941.  Maybe early September, if the paper was slow getting the news.  But here’s the thing about searching through the microfilm of old newspapers:  you can’t not read the headlines. And this

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The Good News from Africa

Africa, the land where I spent the first 18 years of my life, conjures modern images of suffering, conflict, and poverty.  Darfur, disease, genocide, ruthless dictators, blood diamonds, land mines, famines — we’ve all seen the headlines. And yet, Africa continues to show it’s sunnier face in some of the new books written by sons,

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Reading Spaces

Where do you most like to read?  Do you read nonfiction in a different location or in a different position than you do fiction?   Where do you read magazines or catalogs, or the newspaper? I like to read in my window seat in the late afternoon, in my living room swing (although the

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Nat’l Library Week: Libraries and Art

Libraries and art have always shared a special bond.  Even from the times of the earliest libraries, art was incorporated into the space — and the very architecture of the buildings was art.  While the design of most libraries today doesn’t inspire the same degree of breathless awe as some of their Renaissance

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Nat’l Library Week: We Can Get That for You!

I hate telling people no.  Or pets for that matter, as my spoiled dog would tell you if he could talk.  But I really, really hate it when I have to answer someone with the negative. Which is one reason I love inter-library loans (ILL). Our library collection is, by physical and monetary necessity, limited. 

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Nat’l Library Week: It’s a Blue Planet

One feature of our Children’s Library which is easy to overlook is the Blue Planet Globe.  Housed in a dark plexiglass case, the globe is designed to simulate the earth rotating in space.   A small electric motor inside the globe turns it so that each rotation equals 24 hours.  A light inside the globe