Weekly Round-Up

Editor’s Note: Each week, we reflect on the top articles, blog posts, tweets, news, thoughts, and other tidbits we’ve found interesting or useful. Enjoy!


I’m enjoying the between semester break and have been chuckling over this fun bit in the Guardian about queries received by the New York City Public Library in pre-internet days.  While it’s a fun read, I’m almost glad librarians aren’t expected to be quite as all-knowing these days.  Looks like a difficult pedestal to climb down from.

I also liked this post on Eleventh Stack about ‘bad books,’ meaning books about horrible events in the past we can’t do anything about.  Bonnie T. calls out books like The Gulag Archipelago as examples, I’d add A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra and King Leopold’s Ghost by Adam Hochschild from my own shelves, although the ramifications from the horrors in KLG are still ongoing. She writes that ‘I read these books because the horrors they describe need to be known, and they need to be felt. I need to be familiar with this darkness so that I can recognize and fight it in the world around me.’ A powerful sentiment and one I agree with.

And finally, AlterNet and Salon have gone to bat for public libraries.  This is kind of preaching to the choir but it’s still nice to see.

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