A swallow visits the LCW library: What we can learn “from the birds”

LCW gets an unexpected visitor

The other day at Lander College for Women, a bird flew into the building. We were advised to close the door of the library to prevent the bird from flying in during the window of time it took to catch and release the bird into freedom. We did not want our visitor, the bird dubbed Larry, to build a nest in our books! The excitement of the “bird alert” reminded me of the important metaphor that birds serve in various texts. Continue reading

Bother A Librarian Today

young men at reference desk, early 20th century
A librarian’s dream: Patrons lining up at the reference desk! (image via NYPL Digital Collections)

“I hate to bother you, but…”

Just stop right there.

Librarians want to be bothered.

We are waiting for your questions.

Each question is an adventure. You ask for help; we go on a quest to seek the information. The puzzle to figure out the best keywords to pull up better articles is a mystery to be solved.  Continue reading

Stumpers: The Reference Librarian’s Worst Nightmare

Carnac the Magnificent
“Carnac the Magnificent” via Wikipedia

When I was a child I was my father’s accomplice in crime. (That’s a lie.)  When I was young, I was my father’s assistant in a magic act.  (That’s an overstatement.  Here’s the truth.)  Years ago, I was my father’s foil in a math trick he perpetrated on the neighborhood children. In this trick he made the kids select a three digit number (say 723), inverse it (327), then subtract it from the original.  The trick is that the remainder would be a three digit number whose middle number is nine, and the first and third numbers when added together always equal nine.  (Try it!) Why am I telling you this?  You’ll see. Continue reading