Thursday, March 17, 2016

All Things Irish

Ahhh St. Patrick’s Day, one of my favorite holidays. Today most of the world is Irish, at least for the day, and it’s a perfect time to introduce Ireland and Irish writers to our patrons. Ireland has produced some of the greatest writers in literature, including renowned authors and poets James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats, and Seamus Heaney. Some of the authors you may not have known were Irish are Jonathan Swift and Bram Stoker. While they all have varying and different styles, each has written about society, culture, and family relationships. What are some of your favorite Irish authors? Here’s a few of mine.
1.     W.B. Yeats
2.   Seamus Heaney
3.   C.S. Lewis “Narnia series
4.   Tan French “In the Woods
5.   Frank McCourt “Angela’s Ashes
6.   John McGahern “Amongst Women
7.   Eoin Colfer “Artemis Fowl
8.   Joseph O’Connor “Star of the Sea
9.   Thomas Flanagan “The Year of the French
10.  John Boyne “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

 The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I've no spade to follow men like them.
Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I'll dig with it.
- Seamus Heaney

Friday, March 11, 2016

What's in Your Book?

      You never know what you will find in library books or books donated to the library. As the acquisitions supervisor, I receive all the books donated to our library or those that are being weeded from the collection. In discarded library books I usually only find mundane items such as bookmarks are slips of paper, however, the fun begins with donated books.

      I have found dried pressed flowers, shamrocks, prayer cards, napkins, notes, postcards, receipts, and much more. The above photo is just a sampling from one side of the book truck. My favorite is the letter that came in a returned book. Apparently the book was checked out decades ago as an undergraduate and found during a move. They politely mailed it back with a nice apologetic note. 

      What do I do with these accumulated treasures? I toss everything in a large envelope, except insects and dirty Kleenex, and someday will make a bulletin display of found items. Recognize this? Is it yours? Come and get it. I’ve heard that others have found slices of bacon in returned books. Really, what a waste of bacon! I mean what on earth happened that you grabbed the last slice and used it as a bookmark? What unusual items have you found?