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.

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PBR Book Club

It might not look live I’ve been blogging very much this month… but actually I’ve been blogging more than usual!  Bookish hipsters all over Lawrence are rejoicing in the launch of the PBR Book Club, an intimate group devoted to beers and pretentious postmodern lit.

We’ve started with David Mitchell’s bawdy and labyrinthine Cloud Atlas, which we’ll be discussing at the Replay later this month, but in the meantime we’re using social tools like twitter (#pbrbookclub) and blogspot (pbrbookclub.blogspot.com) to mull over the experience as it unfolds in real time.

The blog is coauthored by several Lawrence nerds, including myself, @larryvillelife, @courtbelle, and hopefully soon (wink) @mentalplex and @indieabby88.  It’s a little, um, saltier than what you might be used to seeing from me here.  So be forewarned, have fun checking it out, and join in!

Librarians on the Big Screen

Lawrence Public Library is hosting a shhh-ing, spectacles-wearing, bun-touting film series next month dedicated to a long lineage of Hollywood librarians!  Featuring happy hour specials across the street at the Eldridge when you show your library card from 4:30-6:30.  Hope to see you there — buns, glasses, and all!

Librarian Films

THE LIBRARIAN: CURSE of the JUDAS CHALICE: 10/7
Holy Vampires, batman! Noah Wyle’s uber-popular, campy, Indiana-Jones-esque Librarian series returns for a third installment with “Curse of the Judas Chalice.” Librarian Flynn Carsen (Noah Wyle) is drowning his sorrows in New Orleans after retrieving the philosopher’s stone but losing his girlfriend. There he encounters the guardian of the Judas Chalice, which is capable of resurrecting vampires! Vampire chaos ensues, including an army of the undead with Vlad the Impaler at the helm. Continue reading

The Big Poetry Reveal

A few weeks ago I posted a teaser about upcoming poetry events at my library.  A few of you even weighed in on what it should be called (and by a few, I mean one, and he’s mostly a fictional erotic persona).

Lobster Phone

Having little to do with poetry, this Lobster Phone is for your viewing pleasure.

And so now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: what will the library’s new monthly poetry night be called?  Not a Mixer, or a Collective, or a Congress (sorry, Chip) — but… a Social!  Somewhere between a Square Dance and a Soiree, it somehow seemed sexy enough for Lawrence without being too sexy.  The first one’s coming up just around the corner in September, and will feature “Migrations.”  Sharpen your pencils, Lawrence: Continue reading

Sexy, Sexy Poetry

So we’re trying this new thing at my library.  We’re starting a monthly poetry night for the fall and spring, and are pretty excited about the opportunities and challenges this presents.  Main opportunity?  Poetry is awesome.  And main challenge?  Poetry’s got a little bit of a dusty reputation.  We’re hoping to do something about that.

Manic Mouth Congress

And so taking to the ever-amazing Internets to get some ideas, I typed “awesome poetry events” into my google search bar, and discovered this beautiful little poetry tumblr that I’m now obsessed with: Manic Mouth Congress.  Manic Mouth Congress!  I want to be everything that is the Manic Mouth Congress.  In reading more about the Mouths, I learned that they do things like a Night of Erotic Poetry.  Yowza! Continue reading

Read What You Want

So, I pretty much have to share this article with you from today’s local paper.  Hey, if this were 1995, I’d be cutting you a clipping and sending it to you in the mail!

Failed Summer Reads

About a month ago, one of our library’s favorite reporters from the Lawrence Journal World called us up to pitch a story about tips on getting through mammoth Summer Reading projects.  I think we surprised her with our unanimous advice: if you need tips to slog your way through it, then you’re reading the wrong Summer book!  Far from the retro “shushing librarians,” we suggest saving the Tolstoys and the Melvilles for December.

For more on why our library thinks you should read what you want (and to rehash an infamous War & Peace Bookclub incident), read on: LJWorld: “Failed Summer Reads”

Twitter Book Club

To Kill a Mockingbird

These last few weeks have been pretty crazy!  I’ve been helping plan my library’s Read Across Lawrence festival, which has been on hiatus for a few years but is back with a vengeance this April.  This year’s book is To Kill a Mockingbird, which I’m really loving during my first post-adolescence read — Scout, Boo, and Atticus stand up to the test of time, unlike certain other beloved novels that I wish I’d never tried to reread… has that ever happened to you?  And then there’s Dill!  After reading Charles Shields’ biography of Harper Lee, I Am Scout, I realized that Scout Finch’s childhood friend Dill is based on Truman Capote, who was Harper Lee’s next door neighbor growing up in Monroeville, Alabama.  Crazy!

We’ve planned a lot of fabulous events for Read Across Lawrence (stay tuned), but one of the events I’m most excited about is our library’s first ever Twitter Book Club.  And my first ever, too.  Local tweeps @larryvillelife, @THERaymondMunoz and @nuthousepunks will be using the hashtag #TKAMB to help us explore the hipster dilemma: “what can Atticus and Boo and Scout still tell us about ourselves, as contemporary scenesters?

And now, back to the “Lyla’s disillusionment” episode of Friday Night Lights