Bunnies with Moustaches, and Nine Other Things I Love About the Library

Plush bunny with moustache

There have been too many things to love about the library this spring.  At least five of them have to do with beer:

1. Reading Terminal Market and the Fabric Workshop and Museum

In March I headed to my first ever PLA conference, in adorable Philadelphia.  I roomed with my boss, and we watched “Friends” reruns in our hotel room.  So, it was pretty rad.  These Amish women at the Reading Terminal Market made the best sticky buns I’ve ever had in my life. Beer was consumed. But my favorite was the Fabric Workshop and Museum, where I met the very awesome Chicago librarians Vicki Rakowski and Ben Haines, and scored some pink plastic tentacles and a bunny with a moustache.  Then we saw Betty White.

2. The San Jose Public Library

Nate Hill, web librarian at San Jose Public Library, is my new favorite librarian — I saw him speak at PLA in Philly.  Imagine: self-published books by library patrons that could be instantly cataloged and then vetted by upvoting, like on Reddit.  And check out that sexy color coding on their website.  These are some of the brain children of Nate Hill, who makes jokes about dogs and burritos.

3. Erotic Fiction workshops

Also a Philly highlight: talking about smutty books with about 100 fellow librarians at 8:30 on a Saturday morning.  I learned that many erotic novels have purple or red covers, and I placed a hold on Fifty Shades of Grey.

4.The Psychopath Test

First real vacation in 18 months: spent poolside in Melbourne, FL.  I took a lot of library books, and then I read them on an intertube in the pool (with beer).  Jon Ronson’s The Psychopath Test was tops.  I now feel I harbor a secret power to identify psychopaths in my midst.  I was so smitten that I had to review it for my library.

5. The Anchor

There was once a time I could say I’d never been further west in Kansas than Topeka.  That cherry was popped when I traveled to Wichita three weeks ago for the KLA conference.  Things weren’t looking good when I got stuck at Cow Pen, KS (literally: an interstate exit into a cow pen).  Then I got to Wichita, where I promptly went to the Anchor for a beer.  I was sold when my colleague described it as “that place in Old Town with a neon sign of a seafaring wench.”  Verdict: any town that has a bar with church pews and a beer list that long can’t be half bad.

6. Poem Mailbox and the Poetree

Mark Hennessey, who used to be in Lawrence band Paw and has opened for Nirvana, came to my library to slam poems in a gorilla suit.  There were some hula hoops involved.  Other poetry shenanigans during national poetry month: a speed poetry writing nook replete with typewriter, a poem mailbox, #poemaday tweets, and a Poetree adorned with poems written by kids.  So much poetry love, plus this nice piece about our library from the Library as Incubator Project blog.


7. World Book Night

My colleague Susan of the library marketing blog 658point8 signed up to a be a book giver on World Book Night, April 25, and invited me and Rebecca of Sturdy for Common Things to be book givers with her.  We decided to reach the critically underserved library population: townies and bartenders.  This decision was purely objective.  Copies of Ender’s Game were distributed; tipsy photos were posted.

8. Maya 2012

Over a hundred people turned out at my library this week to hear a visiting professor speak about the events set to occur in December, and the end of the 5,125 year cycle.  Instead, he taught us why we must never say “Mayan” (it’s “Maya”), and we watched documentary footage of spiritualists discussing orgies at the pyramids and throwing empty water bottles at each other.  The local paper wrote about it.  It was great!

9. PBR book club

We are reading some crazy and experimental works of fiction, friends.  Zine hybrids by grown-up Portland punks; apocalyptic parenting abecedariums; stories about women who teach swimming lessons on the floors of their kitchens.  Lawrence.com came out and snapped some photos while we were eating pierogies and drinking beers.

10. Walking to the library in the morning

Biggest change of the spring: moving from the outskirts of town to the center.  My library is a mere eight minute walk from my front door.  Heaven.

Lawrence KS Sunrise


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