Thursday, May 29, 2014

Bibliophile the Move: 4 Easy Tips for Moving with an Extensive Home Book Collection

I recently picked up my home, husband, and doggy and moved to an unknown area for me. Along with all the other moving checklist items (internet, electric, water, fees, more fees) I found myself in a difficult place moving my impressively large book collection. However, through all the wailing and gnashing of teeth of Biblical proportions, I did successfully move all my books and collectibles to my new place. Here are a few tips and tricks that made is SO much easier.

1) Young one: weed your library

First thing's first, you need to go through your library (or knick-nacks, or clothes, or whatever) and ask yourself: "do I really need to keep this?" This can be very helpful because if you are like me, you may find that you have two, or five, copies of the same book. Heck, they may even be the same publisher and year!
Unless you lend out your personal books often, there is no need for you to hold onto multiple copies of novels, even your favorites.

Another thing to check is the quality of the books you are moving. Here is a secret: my husband has kept every textbook he has ever bought. He even goes to the used books stores and gets the free ones out of the bins. So, our combined family library consists of a few rows of textbooks of all subject matters dating from the 80's to the current year. For those of you who did not have to lug textbooks around in your backpack to a class on the other-side of campus, textbooks are gosh darn heavy. Is it worth breaking your back to move a lifescience textbook from 1984 to your next location? That one is a personal choice, but chances are the textbook is so out of date that it would not even matter. The same goes for the books that are too beaten up to even read. Like Elsa from Frozen says....Let it go.

2) Place Your Books in Some Order

Now, I am not saying pack according to Dewey or LC. If you want to, go ahead, all power to you. What I am saying is put the bigger, heavier books together in a SMALLER box. This will provide protection from a larger book damaging a smaller one, or completely ripping it to shreds. If you choose to use cardboard boxes, MAKE SURE TO LABEL THEM AS BOOKS.
This will spare you or your movers from picking them up and quickly finding out that paper weighs a ton. Do not overload the boxes! I know these are trained, burly men doing the lifting, but they too can get injured lifting something that was unexpectedly heavy.

There are some of you, like me, who have some books that are more fragile or for some reason need better protection. This is a great time to use those sheets and towels that you are stuffing in every nook and cranny and wrap them up nicely but tightly. For the very breakable books (like an old family Bible) I would wrap it in a towel then saran wrap it so that is does not come off. 

3) Make Sure Your Boxes are Labeled Properly

Each box, books or not, should be labeled with your last name, the room it will go in, and whether it is heavy or fragile. Again, please make sure to label your boxes as books so that no one gets hurt.

4) Create Handholds

This is the easiest thing that can really save you from getting hurt. Handholds will allow for easier lifting and moving all of your books into and out of the truck. If your hands start to hurt, just use a kitchen towel to cushion them against the cardboard.

I hope these 4 little tips can really help when a bibliophile is on the move!

Monday, May 19, 2014

6 Super Cool Libraries to Visit Before You Die, or After, I Don't Judge

All around the world are libraries big and small for the public to visit and take advantage of. Some, however, stand out as architectural art pieces in which it would be foolish for any world traveler to pass up. Others make the perfect backdrop for some awesome photos or movies. Some are just, well, super cool. So, here is a list of a few super cool libraries to visit before you die......or to haunt afterward. Whatever you decide, I don't judge.

Biblioteca Casconcelos: Buenavista, Mexico

Biblioteca Vasconcelos is on of the few “megalibraries” in the world. This wharehouse of books, books, and more books can be found in the north area of Mexico City in the Buenavista neighborhood. Despite some closures due to construction defects, the architectural uniqueness (by Alberto Kalach) of this library put it on my list of super cool world libraries. If you can read Spanish, I would definitely check out their website here.

Trinity College Library: Dublin, Ireland

No super cool library list is complete without Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland. Founded in 1592 by the very awesome Queen Elizabeth I, Trinity Library boasts the largest single chamber library anywhere. The famous room, known as the Long Room contains over 200,000 books and the oldest harp in Ireland. Most of the books housed in the Long Room are really, really old too.
The website here has mush more information on special exhibits passing through and admission information. If you do visit, however, you kind of have to see “The Book of Kells,” the four Bible Gospels in Vulgate Latin.





 The Abbey Library of Saint Gall: St. Gallen, Switzerland

The Abbey Library of Saint Gall (St. Gallen Switzerland) was founded by Saint Othmar somewhere between the 8th and 15th century. 
Unlike some of the other abbey libraries from the Middle Ages still around today, the books held at the Library of Saint Gall are available for public use. Those printed before 1900, however, must be read in the Reading Room. No one should complain, though, because the Reading Room is flippin’ awesome.

 In an earlier post, I mentioned how much I love the Pagemaster, the nestalgic 90's library movie with Pedo Christopher Lloyed going after the kid from Home Alone. Well, the ceilings here are just as gorgeous. This is a definite on any list to visit if you are ever in Switzerland. Feel free to read through their website for more information.

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library: New Haven, CT, USA

 The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library contains the important rare books and manuscripts for Yale University and scholars everywhere. The library is open to the public with permission and during special events and, even though you can't take them home, you can read these rare and exciting books in their extensive Reading Room.
The library has a central tower that is home to over 180,000 volumes and an underground book stacks of over 600,000 volumes, everything temperature and humidity controlled for preservation.

Lately, though, the library will undergo a major renovation beginning at the end of May 2015.  The renovation will replace the library’s mechanical systems and expand its research, teaching, storage, and exhibition capabilities.
The library will reopen in September 2016. A temporary reading room in the Sterling Memorial Library will provide researchers access to the library’s collections while work is under way. More about the renovation can be found here.

National Library of Belarus


Founded in the 1920's the National Library of Belarus houses the biggest collection of Belarusian materials in the world. It also looks pretty awesome.The building has 22 floors, completed in January 2006. It can seat about 2,000 readers and features a 500-seat conference hall. Its main architectural component has the shape of a rhombicuboctahedron, a word that is sure to impress any math teacher you have.

It has generated a collection of bibliographic, factual graphic, full-text, graphic, sound and language databases that comprise more than 2 million records, all on its own. This is in order to make a name and preserve the Belarusian language against the larger Russian dominance.

In addition to serving as a functional library, the National Library is a city attraction. It is situated in a park on a river bank and has an observation deck looking over Minsk. As of 2009 it is the only structure in Minsk with a public observation deck. The area in front of the library is used for many public concerts and shows.

'The Brain' Library at Free University: Berlin, Germany

The Philological Library at Free University in Berlin, also known as 'the brain,' s the newest section of the "Rust and Silver Lodges" complex on the main campus of the Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin (Germany).

 It was designed and implemented in 2005 by architect Norman Foster in the cool shape of a human brain. The big brain part holds many smaller libraries for their many different subject areas, mainly the humanities. This is definately one of the coolest libraries around and would make a great photo-op both inside and out.

Friday, May 16, 2014

INALJ: Finding a Library Position, the Net-Savy Way

As I was sitting in my pajamas watching my 4th or 9th hour of Law and Order SVU and mindlessly web-browsing for interesting reads, I came across a website that blew my mind. Here, as a recent grad finding myself in the library field, I was constantly searching for open positions in my city. Heck, I would take a nearby city. I had a running list of websites that I checked daily to see if they had updated that I had put together myself and was quite proud of. 

Browsing....browsing....browsing....suddenly, there is my list! Actually, it is my list and then some, complete with links and organized by location and employment/volunteer status. I am speaking of the INALJ (I need a library job) website at 

October 16, 2010, an amazing woman named Naomi House founded and published this blogging platform that now employs over 180 volunteers. The point: to provide those who are in the library field with all open positions in their area. And folks, this is nationwide.

For instance, I call the mountains of east Tennessee home, so I may find some lists on the internet of some local positions if I tried. However, given that a good amount of the surrounding counties are dirt poor, some don’t even have their own websites to check. I go to, click on the INALJ Jobs link, then I have a list of states and Canada, some overseas too. 

The INALJ Tennessee section is run by Rebecca Tischler with several assistants listed. At this point, I can click on her bio, contact her, or just go through the list of Tennessee jobs, divided by region. As an east Tn girl, I don’t want to have to move 5 hrs away to work in Memphis, so I limit my search to the east Tn section. And………….the links work. Yes, I did not find one dead link on any that I applied to. Heck, there is even a list of Academic institutions in east Tn with links to their employment opportunities so you can search them yourself. My Alma Mater, Carson-Newman University is loud and proud on that list.

So, if you are a budding library professional like myself and looking for a position or volunteer opportunity, look no further than the INALJ website. There are several other resume-padding opportunities on there as well, such as blogging opportunities, presentations, and, of course, networking. Lots and lots of networking!