Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks

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Young women celebrating Shavuot in Israel, 1965 (CC image via Wikimedia)

Shavuot, or the Festival of Weeks marks 7 weeks since the conclusion of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt, when the Torah and the Ten Commandments were received at Mount Sinai. There are a number of customs associated with the celebration of Shavuot, which can be enumerated using the mneumonic of the Hebrew word acharit (אחרית‎, “last”). These include the reading of a liturgical poem and from the Book of Ruth, the consumption of dairy foods (like cheesecake, blitzes, and kreplach), the decoration of homes with flowers or greenery, and all-night Torah study. Read more about the meaning of Shavuot and its traditions.

This year, Shavuot begins the evening of Tuesday May 30th and end the evening of Thursday June 1st. Most library locations will close at 2 p.m. Tuesday 5/30 and reopen Friday 6/2.

Chag Shavuot Sameach! Happy Shavuot!

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Memorial Day: Honoring Our Fallen Soldiers

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A video from Military.com

Memorial Day will be observed on Monday May 29th. In 2000, the U.S. Congress and President Clinton enacted the “National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579. According to Military.com, “The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: ‘It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.'”

Nose Job

Carol Schapiro, Librarian…and Clown

Thursday, May 25th marks the celebration of Red Nose Day in the US, a fundraising event dedicated to eradicating child poverty. A large pharmacy chain is the exclusive purveyor of the Red Noses.  Half the proceeds of the sale go to support the good works of child charities. I love when companies incentivize positive behavior. I’m generally inclined to do the right thing, but getting a prize for doing so is all the sweeter. I’ve donated blood for a free umbrella. I gave cash to a television network for a tote bag. I ran a 5K for a T-shirt. I’m stoked to buy a clown nose. A Red Nose costs only one dollar plus tax. Continue reading

On Internships & eBooks

Me as a young librarian! (Photo by Debbie Melnick, Principal Law Librarian for New York City Civil Court Library, 2010)

Many moons ago, when I was but a young librarian and did not really know what a digital repository was and copyright laws were not yet solidified in my brain, I did a summer project for the New York City Civil Court Library as part of an internship. I was a recent graduate of library school and had never worked in a legal environment before, and was interested because I had enjoyed my Legal Librarianship class in my last semester of library school. Internships are a great way to gain much-needed experience without the pressure of a “real” position, so while I could I took advantage of many opportunities to intern and volunteer. I wanted to gain as much experience as possible before entering the working world. Continue reading

Which Way to the Bookstore?

(source)

If I had a nickel for every time a student walked into the Midtown library expecting to buy a textbook, I’d have a pocketful of change. Why do they come to this place, where shelves are lined with so many books, yet I cannot sell them a single one? Doesn’t that sound like a bibliophile’s bad riddle? (OK. Here’s one. What do you get when a librarian tosses a billion books into the ocean? …A title wave!) No seriously, where is the bookstore? Continue reading

Wild and Untouched: Hiking the Deserts of Southern California

A beautiful sunset in Death Valley National Park

My husband and I like to visit at least one National Park every year. We have visited several of them so far. In fact, it looks like we have visited 24 out of 59 parks up to now. National Parks in the United States are of great importance. They are protected vast natural beautiful lands and usually include unique geological features. They are kept wild and untouched. And they can’t be bought by real estate moguls and be destroyed by human greed. Continue reading