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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.
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:
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.
Susan North is retiring after thirty years (wow) behind the desk of the Ames (IA) Public Library, to be, as she puts it a "nanny granny."
In this interview in the Ames Tribune , North tells how she began working in a library while still a student at Iowa State, when she thought she might pursue a career as "the first female president of the United States", a desire that faded quickly. Even in junior high and high school, North worked in her local (Waterloo) library. Speaking of her years at the library she said, "It has been great being a librarian. It's always like we've been dispensing sweetness and light. Now just recently it's been a little harder, what with some of the (controversial) film series and the advent of the Internet."
This one's about Phil Stohrer, another resident of Michigan and a teacher who was at first reluctant to a become a school librarian. He now loves his work, and has been honored as "media specialist of the year by the Michigan Association of Media in Education".
"I have always enjoyed technology, and back (in the mid 70's) that meant slide projectors and movie projectors -- not the kinds of things we use today," he said. "When a book was worn out or missing, then you spent a lot of time taking those cards back out. I spent a good deal of my time alphabetizing and shuffling little cards. Now, with computers, all that is gone. The whole circulation process is automated."
Here's the story from MLive.
The Cadillac (MI) News is interviewing one resident a week, and this week it's reference librarian Lisa Marie Popp of the Cadillac-Wexford Public Library. She talks with the interviewer about the pros, the cons, the technology, and the stresses of her job.
She's mostly pretty darn happy, but is concerned for the future of librarianship.
ffirehorse writes "Yet another twist on the misspelled library mural story ..... the muralist is now saying she will come back and correct the errors because, in her words, 'I really want people to see the work's meaning so they stop making issues of things that are unimportant.'"
Although former volunteer Dr. Jane Carver Holmes, who died of cancer last year at the age of 76, will be missed by the Lakeland (FL) Public Library, she will never be forgotten.
She bequeathed to the library (among other arts and health care organizations) a sum of $875,000, this after having served as a loyal volunteer--and donor--for over twenty years.
Portrait of a remarkable lady at The Ledger Note: slow to load, but be patient, it will.
SomeOne writes "News From The University of Oregon,
The former University graduate student who called in a bomb threat to the Knight Library in February was sentenced to 20 days in jail and 36 months probation Wednesday. Lane County Circuit Court Judge Lyle Velure said James Gregory Evangelista could serve his jail time on the sheriff's road crew, if desired, but Evangelista must complete and provide proof of mental-health treatment. Also, Evangelista is ordered to have no contact with the receptionist who answered the bomb-threat call and can't enter the library without University permission."
The Saline County Library in Benton, Arkansas is the recipient of a gift by a local resident, Mike Johnston, who finds that he is losing his vision due to complications brought on by diabetes.
This story in the Benton Courier quotes Library director Julie Hart who describes the collection as "amazing."
"It's the largest single collection (approximately 2,000 books) we've ever received," Hart said. "All of the books are hardbacks and are in excellent condition."
Since Mike has been unable to read, the library has provided "books on tape for him to continue to enjoy them," his mother said. "These are wonderful for him. He can listen to them at night when he can't sleep." In addition to Mike's books, the Johnstons gave the library a framed copy of a deed signed by Grover Cleveland and Ulysses Grant.