April 18, 2023
- There is now a library of various types of media (from books to video). It’s listed in the Start Menu and on the Index page now.
- The shrines page finally looks presentable. There’s still just…well, Cole. For now.
- Now part of the null webring, which is viewable on the links page.
- Changed out the body font for the “black” theme. I think it looks nicer now.
I love libraries.
When I was a child, my local library held all sorts of events. I have warm memories of summer reading challenges, overnight reading lock-ins, and Ghibli movie nights hosted on a small, bulky TV we’d all crowd around. Off-brand dark cola and cheese pizza still remind me of late nights reading, the thrill of being a child in a library at 3AM curled up with a Lois Duncan book.
In elementary school, I often spent recess in the school library, flopped over a bean bag as I worked my way through books methodically. I would set goals for myself (“I will read this entire shelf”) and proudly proclaim them to the librarian, inventing tracking sheets and hunting for challengers to compete with. (Surprisingly, this was not an especially effective recruiting tactic.)
When I started struggling with mental health issues in 7th grade, I’d often retreat to the school library to calm myself down. The school librarians, eventually coaxing out the details, invented a “librarian assistant” position just for me, complete with a “librarian pass” that allowed me to leave class whenever I wanted. I also got a special clipboard to survey classmates on what books to order. I’d often sneak in a few extra orders of my favorite shoujo manga while the head librarian shared homemade sugar cookies with me.
In high school, I spent so much time in the library that they gave me admin privileges. I used to have a bad habit of dropping by on my way to the bus stop at the end of the day to get another book, and I’d invariably get so distracted I missed the bus. A girl I liked approached me to be friends, so naturally, I invited her to the library, a proposal her mom found so confusing she called my mom.
In college, I flirted with food service before remembering I, well, love libraries. So then I spent four years working in libraries on two different campuses. I worked in Digital Collections archiving and OCR’ing fragile documents, then after I moved to a new school, started working in in Archives & Special Collections. After awhile, I ended up with a dual position in the Digital Services department, splitting my summers into collecting archival materials and then later scanning and uploading those materials. And truly, I loved it.
Then I graduated.
Due to a few Reasons, I can’t go to the public library all that often anymore. I also don’t have the academic credentials to access to databases anymore, which has been pretty devastating. (At least JSTOR still lets you check out 100 articles a month?) Anyways, I miss the library.
It’s scarily easy to just stop reading. In fact, after a few years of not really reading much, it got harder and harder to get back into it. And maybe I’m just being dramatic, but I realized that for me, a life comprised of just fandom-y content and goofing off is incomprehensibly miserable. So I decided I needed to start reading again.
And now I’ve decided to share some of the stuff I’ve read with you, dear reader…for free! Partly because I think it’s cool to have a webpage of stuff I’ve found illuminating, partly because I think open access to information is important, and partly because I think it’s easier to read things when someone plops it down in front of you, and I think we could all probably stand to read more. I only found a ton of stuff on that list because of random bloggers posting snippets, so hopefully something there is useful to someone.
I’ve spent the past few days setting up the library, and I think it’s a nice start. I won’t pretend to remember the ins-and-outs of every title (hey, it’s been a long time, okay), but I know many of my beliefs have been informed, changed, and/or otherwise challenged by the stuff there. I know I’m forgetting a lot of titles, and there’s a lot of stuff I’ve had a hard time getting ahold of. I also feel like the library is a bit too serious right now, maybe, and I’m worried about how obviously skewed it is. I don’t need it to be a “neutral” thing, but I’m noticing some glaring gaps in the sort of content I’d like there. Can’t hurt to have more incentive to read though!
I’d like to someday tackle a more ambitious digital librarianship project that really digs into databases and complex methods of sorting data, but for now…check it out!