Blog Archives

27 June 2006

Speaking of Beverly Cleary ...

At the dinner table this evening, our spouse entertained us with a re-telling of this post about Ramona the Brave, recently seen on the One Good Thing blog. Our whole family had a nice chuckle over the second-hand anecdote, though our kid appeared to be a little uncertain about whether it's okay for a kid to laugh when one's parent says a word like that.

We saw the teachable moment, and took the opportunity to get this important lesson across:

It's okay to say a "bad word" if it's funny.

26 June 2006

Library gag on The Family Guy.

We missed it when it first ran on Fox, but ...

In last night's episode of Family Guy on Adult Swim, the Griffin family visits the Quahog Library to find out how to get their house back from the spirit world. The librarian hands Peter this book:

A Guide to the Occult
by Beverly Cleary

22 June 2006

Just like dominoes.

Some storage shelving at UIUC went like this: ///////.

We'd have a good punchline if it had happened in a physics library.

13 June 2006

Matt Foley Public Library.

The Irrigon Branch of the Oregon Trail Library District is not in a van down by the river.

Sounds pretty close, though. (Conceptually and geographically.)

05 June 2006

Meeting the needs of library users.

We recently visited a library that has an innovative new service for its visitors.

Kiddie Kage in useYou've all seen parents and grandparents browsing the shelves in the adult section, constantly distracted by the children in their care whining or running loose between the stacks. This library has come up with an excellent solution: Kiddie Kages.

Children are checked into Kages (they're stacked in a room lined with sound-dampening tiles), and the adults are free to find grown-up reading material, do research on that fungal infection, or sit down for some cybersex chat without being disturbed by the young'uns. To keep the kids pacified, cartoons play non-stop on a large screen facing the Kages. The service is co-sponsored by the video store and a local fast-food restaurant, which provides fries and soft drinks for free.

What makes this an especially great idea is that this library will have a tax referendum on the ballot this fall, and the Kiddie Kages directly benefit the residents who vote. Anyone who's seen statistics about the abysmal election-day turnout of the under-25 cohort knows that libraries waste money and effort trying to woo teenagers, mistakenly thinking that "today's teens are tomorrow's voters." But catering to the folks who actually go to the polls (adults -- especially the older ones -- who go to the library without kids appreciate the Kages, too) is much more likely to pay off with "Yes" votes.

This definitely goes in our Ideas Worth Stealing file.

01 June 2006

Lagomorph literacy must die!

BunnyIn an obvious attempt to intimidate us after we focused the world's attention onto the menace of reading rabbits, bunnies (one shown at right, consuming a post-bloom tulip) have destroyed the snapdragons and pepper plants in our garden. This happened despite the presence of a ferocious, rabbit-chasing beast at our home.

Our resolve is only strengthened, however. Rabbit literacy must be stopped! Here are more photos which illustrate the danger. You just know that one of their bestsellers is To Serve Man.

p.s. Parents ... please, please, please do not foolishly let your children be indoctrinated by pro-lagoliteracy "hop-aganda" disguised as educational software!

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