People N Patrons

Thousands of books pile up in Michigan collector's home

Thousands of books pile up in Michigan collector's home: It has taken Free Soil woman between 25 and 30 years to collect 20,000 volumes.

Buss estimates that she has about 1,000 books she hasn't read yet, in part because she had some vision problems while she was in the middle of acquiring some books and had to store them. "I plan on retiring next year, so I'll have plenty of time to read," she said. "I'll bring all the boxes down and get them done in two weeks."

Plea over books for blind people

Anonymous Patron writes "A BBC NEWS report suggests Blind and partially sighted people in Scotland are being denied the opportunity to read 95% of books, according to a new report.
RNIB Scotland said only a small proportion of books are available in brail, large print or as audio books."

Man runs car into library in attempt to be deported

Anonymous Patron writes "HoustonChronicle.com - Man runs car into library in attempt to be deported A man described by police as mentally ill rammed his car Sunday evening into the downtown Houston Public Library."

More on the Dolly Parton Imagination Library project.

You may recall the Dolly Parton Imagination Library from when we covered it a few months back. She's in the News Again, this time in Hawkins County, TN. Every child in Hawkins County could begin receiving a new book every month until their fifth birthday if county commissioners approve a resolution later this month entering into a partnership with the state and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library project.According to the Governor’s Foundation, the books that will be distributed are “age-appropriate� and include some bilingual books featuring Spanish and English text on the same page, an effort to expose Tennessee families to both languages.

Purveying the past

Anonymous Patron writes "The Daily Northwestern - Purveying the past: Before Sue Holbert moved to Evanston in 1998, she consulted an engineer to inspect her apartment building at 400 Main St. She wanted to be certain that the structure of her second-story apartment would be strong enough to support the weight of her books -- all 10,000 of them."

Cursing library patron now in Boulder

Anonymous Patron writes "MLive Reports The man who sued the Ann Arbor, Michigan, District Library after he was banned from its buildings has moved to Boulder, Colo., and risks seeing his case dismissed if he doesn't show up for a hearing next month in Detroit. Freelance writer Fredric Maxwell sued in U.S. District Court last June alleging that his First Amendment rights were violated in January after he was banned from the library for a year for using the "f" word during a disagreement with an employee. The library insists he was suspended following three separate incidents of misbehavior, not for the use of one word."

"Rain Man" Protagonist Kim Peek Loves the Library

NASA is studying Kim Peek's brain. He's the autistic-savant young man, now aged 53, who inspired the movie "Rain Man" released in 1988.

Apparently, he's gotten even smarter than he was back then.

Last week, researchers had Peek undergo a series of tests including computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. The researchers want to compare a series of MRI images taken in 1988 by Dr. Dan Christensen, Peek's neuropsychiatrist at the University of Utah, to see what has since changed within his brain.

Peek is called a "mega-savant" because he is a genius in about 15 different subjects, from history and literature and geography to numbers, sports, music and dates. But he also is severely limited in other ways, like not being able to find the silverware drawer at home or dress himself.

At home in Utah, Peek spends afternoons at the Salt Lake City Public Library poring over books, even memorizing phone books and the Cole's address directory. Story from Deseret News .

Is Clinton a rock star? - Understanding search results

Grumpy Librarian writes "For an example of someone not understaning what their search results mean, here's a quote in the Washington Post's Media Notes:
And for those keeping track of Clinton's campaigning, a Nexis search of just the past week finds 114 stories mentioning both "Bill Clinton" and "rock star." Bruce Springsteen, move over'

Well, Mr. Kurtz, this doesn't tell us much, as an article that says "Former President Bill Clinton and rock star Bruce Springsteen are among thousands of celebrities campaigning this week..." would be included in your results.

I bet you'd find a bunch searching on Bush AND "Red Sox Pitcher" but not many people believe Bush will be taking the mound."

Former School Librarian, Now Radical Lawyer, On Trial

In a suit filed by Attorney General John Ashcroft on behalf of the Department of Justice, a defender of those who seem to need her the most, attorney Lynne Stewart is once again in the news. She's on trial for allegedly "aiding terrorism by relaying Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman's messages of war to his followers", according to the DOJ.

Today's New York Times has an article on Ms. Stewart, age 65, describing her (stereotypically!) as looking "much like the public school librarian she once was, wearing her gray hair in a proper bowl cut and dressed in a conservative black and brown dress and orthopedic lace-up shoes." She worked as a public school librarian in Harlem (NYC) in the 1960's.

Ms. Stewart insisted that she had always kept her distance from the sheik's politics. "I'm my own person, I have my own beliefs," she said. She said she had grown skeptical of religious fanaticism when she attended an evangelical Christian college. She insisted that she had never abetted or even endorsed the Islamic holy war preached by Mr. Abdel Rahman, an Egyptian cleric convicted of conspiring to blow up New York City landmarks.

"I'm not in the habit of fundamentalism," Ms. Stewart said.

PBS Interview with the New Poet Laureate

Ted Kooser is a down-to-earth guy from Nebraska. He's also the new Poet Laureate of the U.S.

Here he's interviewed by Jeffrey Brown of PBS (read or watch in streaming video). They talk about some of the inspiration for his poetry, including subjects as mundane as "The Last Tomato" (in the garden).

A snippet from the interview, on the subject of 'making a living' as a poet:

    JEFFREY BROWN: You did work for an insurance company for many years. Is that because it's hard to make a living as a poet?

    TED KOOSER: Absolutely, yeah. You know, you publish a poem in the very best magazine in this country and you get enough money for a sack of groceries, you know, and that's about it.

    So I needed some sort of a job that I could, you know, where I could continue my writing on the side and so on. So that's what I did.

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