Category Archives: Libraries

Libraries

How libraries became refuges for people with mental illness.

By Anthony Aycock, Sept 22, 20225:50 AM

Photo illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo/Slate. Photo by Chanvre Québec on Unsplash and Pawel_B/iStock/Getty Images Plus.

Welcome to State of Mind, a new section from Slate and Arizona State University dedicated to exploring mental health. Follow us on Twitter.

The Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges is often credited with saying that “Paradise is a library.” He must not have meant a downtown public library, circa 8 p.m. Such places, like most communal spheres, can be a challenge to oversee.

Some people treat them like a sort of roomless hotel, sleeping in chairs and bathing in restrooms. I used to watch a man who looked like the famous woodcut of Blackbeard the Pirate ride the escalator of my three-story library up, down, up, down. For hours. Carrying a duffel bag. He never bothered anyone, so our security officers left him alone. (Can’t say the same for the lady of the evening who was meeting clients in the stairwell.)

Then there are the questions from believers in Qanon. Election deniers. Sovereign citizens. The woman who ranted about the “news” that the World Health Organization was going to “force a vote to allow them to take over the U.S. and force a lockdown like China.” (If WHO had that kind of power, why bother with a vote?)

The man who asked me how he and a few of his buddies could get into the governor’s office to “remove him” over pandemic closures. (Would that all insurrectionists did such thorough research!) Declinism is the feeling that everything is getting harder, scarier, and weirder, and a lot of people seem to have it.

Work in a library, I want to tell them, and you’ll learn what weird is.

Source: https://slate.com/technology/2022/09/libraries-mental-health-support.html

Archive of Ernest Hemingway Writings, Photos Opens to the Public for the First Time | Smart News| Smithsonian Magazine

Privately owned for decades, the materials include a short story featuring F. Scott Fitzgerald, personal effects and rough drafts

By Molly Enking, Daily Correspondent, September 26, 2022 3:13 p.m.

Ernest Hemingway and his middle son, Patrick, pose with a record 119.5-pound Atlantic sailfish caught off Key West, Florida, in May 1934. Toby and Betty Bruce Collection of Ernest Hemingway, Eberly Family Special Collections Library, Penn State University Libraries / Penn State. All Rights Reserved.

A veritable treasure trove of papers, artifacts and photos linked to Ernest Hemingway is now accessible to scholars and the public for the first time. As the New York Times’ Robert K. Elder reports, the archive—part of the new Toby and Betty Bruce Collection at Penn State University Libraries—represents “the most significant cache of Hemingway materials uncovered in 60 years.”

Objects featured in the trove include Hemingway’s earliest known short story (written at age 10), hundreds of photographs, four unpublished short stories, manuscript ideas, letters, clothing and personal effects. The writer was a notorious “pack rat,” saving “everything from bullfighting tickets and bar bills to a list of rejected story titles written on a piece of cardboard,” says Sandra Spanier, a literary scholar at Penn State, in a statement.

Hemingway left the materials in storage at one of his favorite bars, Sloppy Joe’s in Key West, Florida, in 1939. They remained there until his death by suicide in 1961.

Source: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/trove-of-ernest-hemingway-writings-photos-is-available-to-the-public-for-the-first-time-180980842/

What the new archive at Penn State reveals about Ernest Hemingway – Deseret News

By Hannah Murdock, Sept 23, 2022, 7:05am PDT

In this November 1960 file photo, U.S. novelist Ernest Hemingway attending a bullfight in Madrid, Spain. The Toby and Betty Bruce Collection of Ernest Hemingway, a treasure trove of Hemingway manuscripts and artifacts, is now open to scholars and the public.
Associated Press

After sitting for decades in a storage room in Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Key West, Florida, Ernest Hemingway’s favorite bar, a treasure trove of materials belonging to the author could change the way we think about him.

Unpublished short stories, manuscripts, photos, letters and correspondences and more have been made available to the public and scholars for the first time through the Toby and Betty Bruce Collection of Ernest Hemingway at Penn State University.

From fishing logs and his American Red Cross Uniform, to drafts and galleys of his book “Death in the Afternoon,” the collection is full of artifacts that should make any Hemingway fan excited. Robert K. Elder in The New York Times even called it the “the most significant cache of Hemingway materials uncovered in 60 years.”

Source: https://www.deseret.com/2022/9/23/23364909/ernest-hemingway-collection-sloppy-joes-bar

Report finds increase in attempts to ban books | KPBS Public Media

By Jade Hindmon / KPBS Midday Edition Co-Host, Andrew Bracken / Producer, KPBS Midday Edition

Published September 19, 2022 at 4:03 PM PDT

Listen to audio…

A new report from the American Library Association found a rise in the number of book banning attempts throughout the country. To help counter the trend, libraries this week are commemorating Banned Books Week, whose 2022 theme is “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.”

Tarryn Mento/KPBS
Downtown San Diego’s public library is shown in this undated image.

“I should say, it doesn’t stop with just banning books. What we’re seeing across the country is they’re banning voices, modern voices, librarians, teachers,” said Patrick Stewart, CEO of the San Diego Public Library Foundation. “It’s gone beyond just the banning of a book, or a certain piece of literature or textbook.”

Stewart joined San Diego Public Library director Misty Jones on Midday Edition Monday to talk about their reaction to the report’s findings.

“It’s disheartening,” Jones said. “It is seeing just the increase in the number not only of challenges, but the extent and the links to what people are going for, these challenges going before school boards, the personal attacks on librarians and teachers for doing their job.”

Many of the books being targeted involve topics on race and sexuality.

Source: https://www.kpbs.org/news/local/2022/09/19/report-finds-increase-in-attempts-to-ban-books

Imaginary Histories: How Tolkien’s Fascination with Language Shaped His Literary World ‹ Literary Hub

Damien Bador on the Origins of a Fantasy Classic

By Damien Bador, April 8, 2021

JRR Tolkien disliked novels that tended toward autobiography, though he did not dispute the fact that an author has no choice but to use his or her own experiences in writing fiction. The Lord of the Rings is most assuredly not an allegory for the 20th century, nor are any of his protagonists a reflection of Tolkien himself. Yet, if there is a domain inextricably intertwined with the life of our author, it is linguistics: comparative philology, to be precise.

From article…

For Tolkien, language and literature necessarily go hand in hand; this is the only way to ensure proper understanding of a text, particularly in the case of ancient texts. Tolkien conveyed this point of view in his analysis of Beowulf, published in The Monsters and the Critics: And Other Essays, which combined philological rigor with literary appreciation at a time when critics generally saw the epic poem merely as a source of historical information distorted by myth.

The importance of language is easily discernible in Tolkien’s obsession with finding the perfect turn of phrase, even if it meant reworking certain sentences countless times. His preoccupation with linguistic detail also found its way into his stories themselves, focusing on the languages spoken by the various characters. No one who has read The Lord of the Rings can fail to have been struck by the passages in Quenya or Sindarin, the two main Elvish languages, and in perusing the novels’ appendices, it becomes clear to the reader that these are true languages, each with its own specific grammar and vocabulary, and that Tolkien also paid close attention to the evolution of these languages, and to their relationships to one another.

Source: https://lithub.com/imaginary-history-how-tolkiens-fascination-with-languages-shaped-his-literary-legacy/