Monthly Archives: April 2014

Woo! Go Earth!

Do you like any of the following?

-playing or walking around outside…barefoot                        -flying kites

-eating fresh off the vine/plant/tree/etc. fruits and veg   -camping

-breathing in crisp, refreshing fall air                                          -skiing/snowboarding

-swimming in bodies of water that aren’t a pool                     -fishing & hunting

-bird and animal watching & photography                                -spring storms

Did you answer yes to any of these? I’m guessing you probably picked out at least one that strikes your fancy…or at least one you’re interested in doing in the future. Yes? In fact, many of you probably enjoy a variety of these activities. I, for one, am a huge fan of blackberries and cherry tomatoes directly off the bramble or vine (respectively)…sooo good despite the probability of eating an insect. If nothing else, I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume you at least KNOW someone who would be interested in some of these activities…therefore, hear me out.

Today is Earth Day…actually every April 22nd is Earth Day since its creation in 1970. The holiday, or special day, or what-have-you, was the brainchild of Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson. He was inspired by the anti-Vietnam War “teach-ins” taking place across the nation on college campuses. Using the basis of the “teach-ins” Nelson envisioned a large scale environmental demonstration to “shake up the political establishment and force this issue [the environment] onto the national agenda”. The idea was announced at a conference in 1969; Nelson spoke of his idea and invited the entire nation to get involved. Word spread quickly and Nelson was joined in the organization by a young activist/Stanford student president named Dennis Hayes. Hayes took on the duties of Earth Day’s national coordinator and with the help of an army of student volunteers and a variety of Nelson’s staff and Nelson himself, got the event organized. On April 22, 1970 20 million demonstrators and thousands of schools and local communities came together to bring environmental issues to the forefront. Rallies were held across the nation in Philadelphia, Chicago, LA, New York, etc. In Washington DC congress went into recess so its members could speak with their constituents. In New York the mayor shut down a portion of 5th Ave. and spoke at a rally along with actors Paul Newman and Ali McGraw. This first event spurned the environment into the limelight, and has been attributed to the passing of several protective laws: The Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the endangered Species Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. In addition, in December of that same year the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established. The EPA is tasked with protecting human health and safeguarding the natural environment–air, water, and land.

After the first “celebration”, the movement continued to grow. In 1990 Earth Day went global. Demonstrators, participants, and volunteers totaling over 200 million persons from over 140 nations came together. In 2000 the movement had another boost. Focusing on global warming and a push for clean energy 5,000 environmental groups in a record 184 countries reached out to hundreds of millions of people. Earth Day 2000 utilized the internet to bring people and groups together across the globe, organizing events throughout the world including a talking drum chain that traveled from village to village in Gabon, Africa and hundreds of thousands of people gathered for a rally on the National Mall. Today, the Earth Day Network (the organizers of the event for the last few decades) collaborates with more than 17,000 partners and organizations in 174 countries and have managed to get more than 1 billion people involved in the events. Each year, Earth Day celebrations have a purpose or a theme. Usually these themes have to deal with an environmental danger or some way to reverse/stall/end environmental harm. This year the theme is “green cities”. There will be a large scale promotion of green building technologies and the greening of cities (like parks on abandoned train tracks or building roofs).

Want to take place in events? Lucky for you, there are events in cities big and small all across the globe. Missouri has one very large “celebration” in St. Louis every year…the St. Louis Earth Day Festival which takes place on Sunday. Visitors are welcomed to learn all about sustainable products and services, meet local non-profit organizations and much on local, organic, and vegetarian goodies. Many programs are centered in schools, teaching young students about the earth and how to protect it. In Jefferson City, MO there area elementary schools are invited to the capital lawns to meet with environment and sustainability organizations to learn about the area, preservation, and all things nature. Often students are sent home with a sapling to plant as well a a number of goodies, magnets, pencils, etc. from the various collaborators who run booths. The state offices located nearby are also welcomed to participate and many offices offer an extra 15 or 30 minutes to walk or get some kind of exercise, preferably outside. Many Kansas City area businesses and schools do their own programs. Even big names get in to the fun…this year Apple has offered free recycling on all of their used products and have vowed to begin powering all of their stores, offices, and data centers with renewable energy to reduce the pollution caused by its devices and online services.

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National Library Week!

The week of April 13 – April 19, 2014 is National Library Week!

One week each year, usually in April, since 1958, libraries throughout the nation have held celebrations ranging from simple posters to all out parties to celebrate all that they have to offer (staff, materials, “spaces”, etc.) as well as supporters and patrons. The celebration was developed by the National Book Committee, which was made up by members of the American Library Association (ALA) and the American Book Publishers. In 1974 the National Book Committee was disbanded and ALA took over full sponsorship. The original committee created the celebration with the goals of: “encouraging people to read in their increasing leisure time”, “improving incomes and health”, and “developing a strong and happy family life”. The goals set forth by the ALA may have changed a bit in the ensuing decades since National Library Weeks’ birth, but the original goals still hold true.

As a part of the annual celebration the ALA assigns a  different theme to each year. Typically these themes deal with trends (library, community, global, political, etc.), promoting library services, reading, or literacy. The very first library week was themed “Wake Up and Read!”. This year the theme is “Lives change @ your library ®.”

Each library celebrates differently, of course. I’ve seen as little as a small poster on the circulation desk and as much as a week long, fun filled schedule of events all culminating with a party on Saturday (the last day) providing free food and drinks as well as games and prizes to any and all who wish to attend. Many libraries change their events to match the annual theme and frequently will gear their parties, games, etc. to children. In the last few years there has been a trend of promotions for teens and young adults, so I would expect to see more programs…particularly “maker” or “tinker” programs…aimed at that age group. On that note, the rise in popularity of the “maker” movement has prompted libraries, mostly public, to create “makerspaces” where patrons can basically work to create new things either from new bits & pieces (like a 3D printer) or by breaking apart old items (like toys, computers, fans, etc.) and using the salvageable bits. With these new spaces, there could be a variety of programs aimed to promote those spaces. This year, I expect to see a lot of programs asking patrons to share their life changing library stories or promoting using the library to help change lives (like creating an artificial hand with a 3D printer).

To promote this year’s theme, @YourLibrary (a library and literacy support community), has started a drawing for a Kindle Fire. Want to enter? Just take a selfie and share it with a story of how libraries have changed your life, or what libraries mean to you. Share your photo and story on Twitter, Facebook, or Flickr using the hasgtags “#LivesChange” and “#NLW14” before noon on Friday, April 19th. If you want more details or to use the funky speech bubble created just for National Library Week this year, click here! Here at Avila’s library, we have set out some copies for use!

Non-libraries get into the party as well. Different book publishers, library support groups, and technology companies will host online webinars, host events, or even offer some of their useful services for free! This year Oxford University Press has made their online resources free for the week! Just use “libraryweek” as both username and password and enjoy!

SO! Tell your story, take a selfie and remember to appreciate your library and librarians for all that they do and have done in your life. If you’d like to help your library celebrate, just stop by and see what programs they’ve got set up for the week! If you’d like to show your appreciation to your Avila University librarians, just stop by and say thanks…we also accept candy. 🙂 keep calm and library on

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Louie Louie, oh no. Me gotta go.

“Louie Louie, oh no/Me gotta go/Aye-yi-yi-yi, I said/Louie Louie, oh baby/Me gotta go”

Today is International Louie Louie Day! Everyone’s favorite party song-or at least a favorite-is celebrated each year on April 11th, the birthday of original composer of the tune, Richard Berry. Not surprisingly, he was also the first person to record it…in 1957. Since then it has been re-recorded by a multitude of big names. The version most are familiar with is the cover by the Kingsmen done in 1963. Other notable covers were performed by Led Zeppelin, The Clash, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Black Flag (yes, really), Young MC, Iggy Pop, Bruce Springsteen, and the Smashing Pumpkins. In addition to a variety of musicians covering the song, it has also been covered by the occasional actor in films featuring the song.

Shockingly, the super catchy party anthem was meant to be the “B-side” for Berry’s recording of “You Are My Sunshine”. The song itself has been much praised and, because of a tremendous amount of history in the Washington/Oregon region different cities in both states have celebrations throughout April (and apparently September/October in Portland) to commemorate the diddy. In fact, the glorious tune was nearly declared the official state song of Washington State. More typical commemorations of International Louie Louie day have included: newspaper articles, magazine stories, radio programs, and (in cities with a big Louie Louie contingent) small parades. Occasionally, radio stations will celebrate Louie Louie day by playing massive blocks of different versions of Louie Louie.

In honor of this terrific holiday, I ask that you don some kind of party wear…I suggest a plastic lei and perhaps an umbrella drink…and check out all of these different versions of “Louie Louie” I was able to dig up.

Richard Berry

The Kingsmen

Iggy Pop

Paul Revere & The Raiders

Toots & Maytals

The Clash

Rockin’ Robin Roberts & The Wailers

Motorhead

The Sonics

The Kinks

Blondie

Led Zeppelin

Fat Boys

Otis Redding

Black Flag

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Animal House Clip

Down Periscope (watch the last minute…ish)

Monty Python skit set to Louie Louie

Coupe De Ville

Mr. Holland’s Opus (start at 8:22)

In other news…it’s also Cheese Fondue Day & National Bookmobile Day. So, when you’re finished watching all of these fantastic videos go check out a book from your local bookmobile about Richard Berry and enjoy reading it over some delicious Cheese Fondue! And as always: keep calm and louie louie

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Annnnnd…We’re Back!

Did you miss me? I wasn’t really gone, just crazy busy with the BIG MOVE here at the library. As some of you on Avila’s campus may have noticed, the library is no longer in its usual home. We’ve moved in order for our typical building to be renovated. As of this moment I’m chilling in my “lovely” shared office space in the Resident Life office on the first floor of Avila Hall. That’s right! The library has moved a large portion of it’s bulk down to the lobby area on the first floor of Avila Hall. Looking for computers? We’ve got ‘em. Printing? That too. Circulating books? Well…we may have boxed about 85% of the books that were housed in the library and locked them up for the summer. But, don’t despair! We’ve still got the books your professors placed on reserve, the St. Paul’s collection, a hefty supply of reference books, and easy access to Mobius (so we can, you know, get all the books). Basically, the entire library (minus the books and much of the furniture…) has moved via dolly or gator pulled trailer into a variety of spaces on Avila Hall’s first floor. We even have the Archives over here!

If you find yourself lost and alone when trying to locate us, just pop on to the library’s website. We have provided you with a map, complete with “yellow brick road” to follow from the old building to the temporary digs. I will ask, however, that you respect the policies of Avila Hall and enter through the first floor doors. I know it’s tempting to be lazy and stand in the vestibule on the third floor and quietly wish for someone to let you in, but please…get a little more fresh air and walk around to the front. Those doors are wide open and require no amount of wishing, crossed fingers, or possible bribery to get in; all you need is a little arm strength. If you’re still having problems finding us, try contacting us through one of our social media outlets…this blog, for example, or perhaps Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. We’re all over the internet…just waiting for something interesting to happen. Go ahead, punk, make my day (more interesting).

In less “directional” news, we’ve taken a TON of pictures and even a few videos of the move and events tied to it. I’m working on sorting through everything to bring you the least boring of the bunch. At this point we’ve got three albums up on Facebook. The first is a variety of pics taken prior to the “BIG MOVE”, “BIG MOVE day 1”, and the third is “BIG MOVE days 2 & 3”. I’ll be posting a new set of photos each day, probably in progressively smaller batches and perhaps adding more to the albums as other library staff sends me what they’ve taken. It has been really interesting seeing all the bits and pieces slowly disappear. Today, when I walked in, it was almost unrecognizable. The floor is torn up and the ceiling is completely gone in sections. All you can see are the exposed beams, some leftover duct work, and a lot of concrete and dust. I’ll be up at the library at least once a day to take new photos until they wont let me in (and then I may slip in anyway…). It is incredibly interesting to see how quickly a space can transition.

Finally, I will leave you with some parting thoughts…until tomorrow. While the move may be over, we still aren’t finished with this craziness yet. The dust wont settle in the library building until mid August! We’ve been working out of our new digs for about a week now, and are trying our best to work out the many kinks we’ve discovered come with our shared and smaller spaces. The library staff begs you to be and thanks you for being patient with us as we continue trying to make this space work well for you, our patrons, as well as ourselves. If nothing else, stop by and see what we’ve done with the space. 🙂

 

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