28 July 2009

Bond, James Bond, at the library

Last night I watched "Casino Royale", the Daniel Craig version. Bond and M spent some time in a gorgeous British library. I wonder where it was filmed? the Bodleian?
Apparently James has after-hours access to the library since he was there when the building was deserted in the wee hours of the morning. At least he didn't trash the place like he did with some buildings in Italy and Uganda. Thanks, Bond.

22 July 2009

The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines

I will continue to watch this series because of the title, but these movies are not the best made. I fell asleep twice while watching this second in the series.
My two co-viewers agree that these movies are cheaply made, but if you can get past the predictability and the continuity issues (why is that cave brightly lit?), they are fun adventure romps.

11 July 2009

Miami Valley Big Read Preparing for 2010

And the nominees are:

1. The Soloist by Steve Lopez (nonfiction)

2. This I Believe I and II brought to us by National Public Radio (the 2006 and 2008 editions)(nonfiction)

3. Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell (historical fiction)


09 July 2009

Superman copyright fight

Judge rules Warner Bros. paid 'fair-market value' for 'Superman' rights
10:26 PM PT, Jul 8 2009
A U.S. district court ruled today that Warner Bros. had paid "fair-market value" license fees to its corporate sibling DC Comics for the rights to "Superman."
Last year, the heirs of Superman co-creator Jerome Siegel claimed that Warner Bros. and DC Comics, both owned by Time Warner Inc., had struck a "sweetheart deal" that deprived them of their fair share of royalties. A federal judge last year awarded the Siegel heirs -- his widow and daughter -- half of the copyright to the Superman material published in the comic book Action Comics No. 1. What hadn't been decided was whether the license agreements between the Burbank studio and DC Comics from 1999 to 2002 represented "fair-market value."
The judge's decision was a plus for Warner Bros., which has been in a long-running legal battle with the heirs of the comic's co-creator who last year won a stake in the U.S. copyright to the character.
In late April, a federal judge in Riverside held a 10-day bench trial to determine the matter. After considering "hundreds of exhibits, hours of testimony from several witnesses and several hours of closing arguments," the court ruled in favor of Warner Bros. and DC Comics.
"The decision validates what DC and Warner Bros. have maintained from the beginning," the companies said in a joint statement, "which is that when they do business with each other, they always strive for --and achieve -- fair-market value in their transactions."
An accounting phase of the trial will be held Dec. 1 to determine how much money the Siegel heirs are owed for their exploitations of Superman.
The Siegels' attorney, Marc Toberoff, said he did not expect to appeal today's decision. "My guess is we would not separately appeal this. This is part of a multi-faceted accounting case."
In response to the decision, Toberoff released a statement saying "the entire accounting action pales in camparison to the fact that in 2013, the Siegels, along with the estate of [co-creator] Joe Shuster, will own the entire original copyright to Superman and neither DC Comics nor Warner Bros. will be able to exploit any new Superman works without a licencse from the Siegels and Shusters."
He also pointed out that the court ruled that if Warner Bros. does not start production on a new Superman sequel by 2011, the Siegels could sue to recover their damages.
At the present time, Warner Bros. is not close to greenlighting another Superman movie. The last Superman movie it released was "Superman Returns" in 2006, which grossed $391 million in worldwide box-office sales.
-- Claudia Eller

08 July 2009

Tea, books, bliss

"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." C.S. Lewis

(from an email I received)

06 July 2009

The Librarian: Quest for the Spear

*Bob Newhart as a Marine? Of course, Miss Bianca Mouse! (Well, he is a librarian/former Marine). Semper Fi.
*I thought that librarians were supposed to share information, not be in the business of withholding/hiding information and/or artifacts in some secret chamber and be members of some secret society. Isn't there something in the Library Bill of Rights or somewhere about this?
Why, yes, there is.
Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
*Of course, all the librarians represented in the movie are super smart : - )
*Is one of Noah Wyle's character's degrees in library science? In his interview he does mention Dewey, LC, etc. but not MeSH.
*In many aptitude or career guidance tests (ASVAB, Myers-Briggs, etc.) the same people who are encouraged to be librarians are encouraged to be translators or work for the state department. I suppose this librarian does all of the above. Usually librarians score high on analytical tests.
A librarian? Me?
Some people question their Strong results, particularly when they see "librarian" on the list of matching occupations. Many Artistic people see this career on their reports. People sometimes tell me they never considered being a librarian.
What do librarians do? Lots of different jobs. For example, you could be doing story time for young children at the local branch. You might be an acquisitions specialist at a research library for a university. A law librarian at a law firm is different from a branch manager at a public library. A reference librarian's workday looks different from a college library director's. You might be working at a public school or for state government. Perhaps we could revise our internal picture of what a librarian looks like before we decide there's no way the job would fit.
Why are librarians considered Artistic? Well, the simple answer is the sample of librarians used to create the tables in the Strong replied "like" to more questions on the Artistic scale than any other. It might sound counterintuitive, but that's the answer. It's the same logic for lawyers and the Artistic scale. Remember, this is an interest inventory. Librarians and lawyers have more similar interests than librarians and bookkeepers.
*Why did they make the library the Metropolitan Public Library? It seems more like a national or museum library, not a city library.
*This movie has some flaws, but that doesn't mean that I am not getting on hold for # 2 and # 3. I enjoy a good action film.

What's on My Desk July 2009

Deep Storm by Lincoln Child. Adult Suspense/Science Fiction. DONE.
Have we found Atlantis off of Greenland? Drilling for oil, men find what may be Atlantis. Some of this was a bit technical for my taste, but the author did a pretty good job of explaining things.
It was definitely suspenseful and I wanted to know how it was going to end for our hero, and maybe for the whole planet.

Boo Hoo Bird by Jeremy Tankard. Ages 3-6. DONE.
The animals are playing and the bird gets bonked. His friends offer him moral support. The end is a bit of a twist. The illustrations are cartoonish and look vaguely Japanese.

Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell. Adult Fiction. Historical Fiction. DONE.
She is a superior writer and I am glad that she has written at least this one historical fiction book, rather than sci fi so that other audiences can enjoy her work. Russell operates out of Cleveland, so let's have a cheer for an Ohio author.
She uses the Little Italy region of Cleveland as a the home of the main character, heiress schoolteacher Agnes. After serving others her whole life Agnes starts her own life at age 40 with a trip to Egypt and the Holy Land in 1921. She ends up hobnobbing with Lawrence of Arabia, Winston and Mrs. Churchill, Gertrude Bell, and a handsome German who may be a spy. Agnes is amazed to discover that they value her opinion and respect her for who she is instead of belittling her as she is accustomed to being overlooked.
Library and book quotes (pages from the hardback version):
page 147
[T. E. Lawrence (of Arabia) talking]
"Back to the groves oa academe, I suppose. I'm trying to write a memoir. A lot of that going around," he said, as though authorship were the flu. "Have you heard the old joke about Job sitting on his dunghill?" he asked, his tired eyes flickering with amusement. "He tells his friends all his troubles and at the end, one of them says, "Yes, but you know...there could be a book in it!'"
page 233
[Rosie the Dachshund] liked to snuggle with the children who began to hang around the library after school.
"You know what?" I'd say. "Rosie just loves stories, but I'm awfully busy." I'd hold out a simple book and look very serious. "I hate to ask, because I know you're busy, too, but I'd take it as a personal favor if you would read her a story while I catch up on some paperwork."
This was patently absurd, but doing favors for adults makes children feel very grown-up and magnanimous. The good readers liked showing off, but even the more backward ones were willing to mutter and look at the pictures with Rosie at their side.
page 234
[Her students need to drop out of school to work].
I would dry their tears, open a desk drawer, and help them fill out a card request for the Cleveland Public Library.
"The public library is like a giant bookstore where everything is free, " I would say. "Nobody will ever tell you to stop learning at the library. Rosie and I go there every Saturday morning. When it's nice weather, we read stories out under the big tree. Come and visit us."

page 236
Who'd remember Agnes Shanklin all these years? It's possible that one of my fifth greaders still thinks of me, I suppose, or that someone recalls the Library Lady who used to read to children on Saturday mornings.
page 249
I don't have much in the way of advice to offer you, but here it is:
Read to children.
And never buy anything from a man who's selling fear.

Chicken Soup for the New Mom's Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Patty Aubery (editors). Adult nonfiction. DONE.
I jokingly put this on a list of books for young mothers to read, with a note saying "who has time for a novel?". Apparently I don't even have time for short stories/essays. It took me 4 months to finish this book.
This is not a criticism of the book. Don't take it that way. I just haven't had much time to read lately.
This is a pretty good compilation of essays from new mothers, one or two new fathers, and a few new grandmothers about the life-changing event of becoming a mother. The best essay is "I'm a mess" by Cindy Hval. It is a good one to read out loud to other mothers, or maybe to read for Mother's Day at church.
The second best one is "My New Job" where Karen Driscoll describes the job as if it were an advertisement in a business journal listing the perks and responsibilities of this career.
I might seek out other articles by these ladies using my library's online journal databases.
Each essay is prefaced by a quote. Here is my favorite quote from the preface quotes:
"Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see." by John W. Whitehead in The Stealing of America, 1983. I probably will not ever read this book, but it is a good quote.

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George. Children/YA/Adult Fantasy Fiction. DONE.
Is it for children or adults? The author takes a classic fairy tale (Beauty and the Beast) and tells it her own way. If it were a movie it would be rated G, or it could be a Sunday night made-for-tv family movie. My library put it in the teen section, but it could go for any age level. It is highly readable and would be good for a reluctant reader or anyone who wants a quick read. It is 328 pages and doesn't have pictures inside, so the average 4th grader probably wouldn't pick it up, but if she did, certainly she could read and enjoy it. I will definitely read more by this author.
The author's note says she took this story from the Norwegian tale "East o' the Sun, West o' the Moon" because it had: "a noble polar bear, a courageous young maiden, and some very wicked trolls. It had everything the heart could desire: romance; danger; magic; treasure; complicated shirt-laundering; and marvelous, horrifying, fascinating trolls."

03 July 2009

Einstein quote

“If you want your children to be brilliant, read them fairly tales. If you want them to be geniuses, read them more fairy tales.”
-Albert Einstein

I found this as another librarian's email signature line.