Thursday, August 23, 2012

Case Study No. 0521: Kee Malesky

All Facts Considered
A short video by NPR librarian Kee Malesky to promote her book All Facts Considered: The Essential Library of Inessential Knowledge.
Tags: NPR Librarians facts
Added: 2 years ago
From: johnwileysons
Views: 760

[scene opens with a man reading from a script, into a microphone]
SCOTT SIMON: I'm Scott Simon. As everyone knows, the Sahara is the largest desert in the world. A desert is any sandy place where the temperature is always high, and the sun beats down unrelentingly on your head.
[an older woman appears from off camera]
KEE MALESKY: Stop! Stop!
[she pushes him off camera, as a crashing sound is heard]
KEE MALESKY: That's not correct!
[she positions herself in front of the microphone]
KEE MALESKY: Antarctica is the largest desert in the world, because a desert is all about lack of precipitation, not about being hot and sandy.
SCOTT SIMON: [from off camera] Huh, thanks! Who knew?
KEE MALESKY: Anyone who has my book!
[she holds up the book]
KEE MALESKY: "All Facts Considered, the Essential Library of Inessential Knowledge," published by John Wiley and Sons, will save you from embarrassing moments, whether you're hosting a national news program, or just hanging out trying to impress your friends. Waddaya need to know? History, science, art? It's all here! Two hundred seventy seven carefully researched, properly organized, fully documented facts that will amuse, enlighten, inform, and maybe even shock you. Of course, the book doesn't actually contain all facts, but I did consider all facts, or as many as I could squeeze into one handy volume.
SCOTT SIMON: [from off camera] Hey, you got any facts in there about concussions?
[cut to a closeup of the book cover]
NARRATOR: No hosts were harmed in the making of this video ...



"All Facts Considered: The Essential Library of Inessential Knowledge"
(New York : Wiley, 2010)

For the bestselling miscellany market, an NPR librarian's compendium of fascinating facts on history, science, and the arts

How much water do the Great Lakes contain? Who were the first and last men killed in the Civil War? How long is a New York minute? What are the lost plays of Shakespeare? What building did Elvis leave last? Get the answers to these and countless other vexing questions in a All Facts Considered. Guaranteed to enlighten even the most seasoned trivia buff, this treasure trove of "who knew?" factoids spans a wide range of intriguing subjects.

* Written by noted NPR librarian Kee Malesky, whom Scott Simon has called the "source of all human knowledge"
* Answers questions on history, natural history, science, religion, language, and the arts
* Packed with valuable nuggets of information, from the useful to the downright bizarre

The perfect gift for every inquiring mind that wants to know, All Facts Considered will put you at the center of the conversation as you show off your essential store of inessential yet irresistible knowledge.



Kee Malesky
NPR Librarian

NPR listeners often ask, "What is her name anyway - Keema Leski, Kim Alesky, Kay Marlenski, or what?" Her name is Kee Malesky, nee Christine Mary Shields, of Brooklyn, N.Y. The "Christine" became "Kee" when her youngest sister learned to talk, and because she thought it was a really cool name, she stuck with it.

With her colleagues in the Reference Library, Kee Malesky performs background research, answers fact-checking questions, finds experts and story ideas, and provides guidance to staff on grammar, usage, and pronunciations (but don't blame her when someone says "nook-yoo-ler"). She coordinates the library's internal News Wiki, and has also worked on special projects for NPR — producing Election Night briefing books, documenting the early history of the network, and assisting with journalist training projects.

Kee has been married since 1970 to Robert Malesky, who was the senior producer of NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday for twenty years. However, they are not on the official "NPR Couples" list because they met and married before either of them came to NPR.

After several years as an administrative drudge for NPR, Kee abandoned the network to get her Masters degree in Library Science from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She had planned to find a position deep in an archive somewhere with no human contact, but was lured back to NPR by her friends in the Broadcast Library in 1984. After cataloguing NPR programs for three years, Kee became the staff librarian for the original version of NPR's arts magazine program, Performance Today, and then moved to the News Reference Library in 1990.

Breaking the Mold: The Kee Malesky Story (2003) is a completely fictional account of Kee's early life. Producer Josh Seftel, working on a documentary about environmental science, asked Kee for permission to use her name for the character, a high school girl who enjoys research and finds the solution to a house mold problem that is making people sick. Aired on PBS and at film festivals around the country, the short film has been well-received by reviewers and audiences. The Providence Journal called it "a zanily eccentric tale."

In 2009, Kee took some time off to write All Facts Considered; The Essential Library of Inessential Knowledge (Wiley 2010), a compendium of interesting and unusual facts that she has accumulated during more than two decades answering questions for NPR reporters, editors, and hosts.

In her copious spare time, Kee collects books and New York City memorabilia, enjoys European travel, and works on her family genealogy. She was the subject of a chapter in Super Searchers in the News: The Online Secrets of Journalists and News Researchers (2000, Information Today Inc.) and co-authored the entry on "News Libraries" for the electronic edition of the Encyclopedia of Library & Information Science (2003). Kee has been a member of the adjunct faculty of Catholic University's School of Library and Information Science, and is active in the Special Libraries Association and in Beta Phi Mu, the international honor society of library science.

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