Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Case Study No. 2058: Staff of the Kansas City Kansas Public Library

Ninjas of Knowledge!
One from the archives! This was our entry into last years I Love My Library video contest, hosted by Thompson-Gale. The challenge was to create a video under two minutes that showed why you love your library. Inspiration struck and we decided the video should involve ninjas and roller derby.

More here: http://kckpl media.word press.com/2008/05/12/ ninjas-of-knowledge
Tags: ninjas roller derby roller skating library libraries Thompson-Gale I Love My Library library video kansas city kansas wyandotte county
Added: 6 years ago
From: KCKPublicLibrary
Views: 109

[scene opens with two women (wearing sunglasses and track suits) enter the Kansas City Kansas Public Library]
NARRATOR: Gertrude and Mabel wanna play roller derby. They go to the library to do some research.
[cut to the woman in the blue tracksuit walking up to the reference desk, when a ninja pops up from behind the desk]
MABEL: Okay, um ... I was looking for some books or some information on roller derby. Roller skating, that kind of thing.
[the ninja ducks under the desk (played in sped-up motion) then returns with a red helmet and pads, then bows and starts typing on the computer]
[cut to the woman in the orange tracksuit, as she talks to another (?) ninja while flipping through DVD cases at the audio-visual desk]
GERTRUDE: "Kansas City Bomber?" "Rollerball" and "Derby?" Alright! Do you have anything else?
[the ninja hands her another DVD case and bows]
GERTRUDE: "Lipstick and Dynamite, First Ladies of Wrestling?" Awesome, thanks!
[another ninja pops up from behind the desk, places some roller blades in front of her, then bows]
[cut to the woman in the blue tracksuit (now wearing the red helmet) sitting at a computer terminal, when a ninja runs up and places some books in front of her before running back off camera]
MABEL: Huh, roller derby histories ...
[the ninja returns and places more books in front of her before disappearing (as the woman in the orange tracksuit can be seen skating, then falling, in the background)]
MABEL: Rules of roller derby ...
[the ninja returns and puts another book on the pile before disappearing]
MABEL: Roller skate maintenance ...
[the woman in the orange tracksuit skates past (and the woman in the blue tracksuit quickly hands her some pads as she's moving) then the ninja returns with more books]
MABEL: Books and essays on speed and physics ...
[the woman in the orange tracksuit returns and places some roller skates on the table, then the ninja returns with more books]
MABEL: It's a really great selection, that's gonna be really helpful ...
[the woman in the orange tracksuit returns and grabs one of the books before leaving]
[cut to the woman in the orange tracksuit walking through the stacks, reading the book]
[she stops and looks up, then sees a copy of "Roller Girl" sitting on top of one of the bookshelves]
[cut to the woman in the blue tracksuit sitting next to a ninja typing at the computer, when the woman in the orange tracksuit skates up next to them]
MABEL: This computer ninja is helping me to start a MySpace group and a message board, so that we can find other girls to play roller derby.
GERTRUDE: Awesome! Hey look, I need your help ...
[cut to the two (wearing "Library Power" t-shirts) skating through the library, past a ninja reshelving books, when Mabel whips Gertrude past the reference desk to give her enough momentum to jump up to the top of the shelf]
NARRATOR: As the narrator, I feel it's my responsibility to tell you that it's not really a good idea to roller skate in a library.
[cut to slow motion footage of Gertrude grabbing for the copy of "Roller Girl", but instead tipping it up into the air]
NARRATOR: We're just trying to illustrate a point here.
[cut to Gertrude rolling on the floor after "landing", then looking up at the book flying through the air]
[cut to Mabel sliding into the scene to try to grab it, but then a ninja appears and grabs it out of the air]
[cut to the ninja handing the copy of "Roller Girl" to Mabel, while holding a step stool in the other hand]
NINJA: I would've let you use my step stool ...
[the two women high five and scream "Library Power!"]

Case Study No. 2057: Doreen Williamson

"Dancer of Gor" book trailer
Series: Gorean Saga (Book 22)
Paperback: 556 pages
Publisher: Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy (May 6, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1497643600
ISBN-13: 978-1497643604
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
Tags: John Norman Gorean Saga belly dancing
Added: 6 months ago
From: ToonLib
Views: 39

Doreen Williamson
appeared to be
a quiet, shy librarian ...

But in the dark
of the library,
after hours ...

She would practise,
her secret studies
in belly-dancing.

Until, one fateful night,
the slavers from Gor
kidnapped her.

On that barbarically
splendid counter-Earth,
Doreen drew a high price
as a dancer in taverns,
in slave collar and
ankle bells.

Until each of her owners
became aware that
their prize dancer
was the target
of powerful forces ...

That in the tense climate
of the ongoing war
between Ar and Cos,
two mighty empires,
Doreen was too dangerous
to keep.


From amazon.com:

Dancer of Gor
by John Norman

Doreen Williamson is a shy and quiet librarian on Earth. Like many other young women, she is distrustful of her attractions, frightened of men, introverted in manner and sexually inhibited. She lives within a quiet, lonely, dissatisfying, sheltered, frustrated desperation, distant from her true self, her nature denied, her only friends books and her secret thoughts. In the realization and enactment of a profound fantasy, after acute self-conflict, she dares to study a form of dance in which she is at last free to move her body as a female, a form of dance in which she may revel in her beauty and womanhood, a form of dance historically commanded by masters of selected, suitable slaves: belly dance. She must then dance, for the first time, before men. In doing so, she discovers her own desirability and that she may be well bid upon.

Rediscover this brilliantly imagined world where men are masters and women live to serve their every desire.


From goodreads.com:

Paperback, 479 pages
Published November 5th 1985 by DAW (first published January 1st 1985)
original title: Dancer of Gor
ISBN: 0886771005 (ISBN13: 9780886771003)
edition language: English
series: Gor #22

In the realization and enactment of a profound fantasy, librarian Doreen Williamson dares to study dancing, a form of dance in which she is at last free to move her body as a female, a form of dance in which she may revel in her beauty and womanhood, a form of dance historically commanded by masters of selected, suitable slaves, belly dance. Thusly may she fantasize her longed-for desirability. This is, of course, her delicious, shameful secret, one which must be concealed from all, one which must be forever carefully guarded. Unbeknownst to herself, however, she has independently come to the attention of skilled assessors of women, of Gorean slavers. While secretly practicing in the library after hours she is surprised by three men. She must then dance, for the first time, before men. For the first, time, too, she discovers her own desirability, and that she is such as may be well bid upon. She will be taken to the beautiful, perilous world of Gor, there, in a collar, to learn her womanhood, and there, at last, to beautifully and profoundly find and fulfill herself.


From google.com:

"Yes?" I had asked, looking up from behind the reference desk. My heart had almost stopped beating. He was large, and supple. His hands and arms, long arms, seemed powerful. He was dressed in a dark business suit, with a tie. There seemed, however, something subtly awry with this vesture. He did not seem at ease somehow in this garment. There seemed something alien about him, something foreign. What startled me most about him at first, I think, was his eyes, and how they looked at me. I was not certain I could fathom such a look, but it had terrified me. It was almost, I had inexplicably felt, as though his eyes could see through my clothing. Perhaps, I thought, such a man has looked on many women, and would have difficulty in conjecturing the general nature of my most intimate lineaments. In that instant I had felt, in effect, naked before him. and then he had lifted his head and was glancing about the room, as thought he might understand my apprehension at being beneath a gaze such as him. "Yes?" I repeated, as pleasantly as I could, catching my breath. He looked back at me, swiftly, fiercely. He was not interested in my pretenses, my games. I quickly lowered my head, unable, somehow, to meet that gaze. It is difficult to explain this, but if you meet such a man, you will know it. Before such a man a female can suddenly feel herself nothing. Then I sensed him turning again to one side. Mercifully I knew he had freed me of his gaze. I lifted my eyes a little, but not so much as to risk, should he turn, encountering his.

"Have you Harper's Dictionary of Classical Literature and Antiquities?" he asked.

"Of course," I said, in relief. Suddenly our relationship became explicable and modular. "Its number is in the card catalog," I said.

I sensed him looking at me.

"You can fine the number for it in the card catalog," I told him.

He did not move toward the card catalog.

"Can you recognize it?" I asked.

He was silent. I sensed he might be becoming angry. Did he think I was going to wait on him?

"If you can recognize it," I said, "I can tell you where it is. It is down that aisle, and on the left, toward the end, on the bottom shelf."

"Show me," he said.

"I" m busy," I said.

"No, you are not," he said. To be sure, he was right. I was not really busy. Perhaps he had determined that before he had come to the desk. I had a distinct, uneasy sense, then, that he might be remembering, and keeping an account in some way, of my petty delays.

I rose from behind the desk. He stood back. I would precede him. That was appropriate, of course, as it was I who knew where the book was. To be sure, it made me uneasy to walk before him. No one, or hardly anyone, as far as I knew, incidentally, ever used that book or showed any interest in it. We learn of it, of course, in library science. It is a standard reference work in its area. I knew where it was, from shelf reading. Too, of course, I knew the general range of numbers within which it fell. Indeed, I had had to memorize such things for examinations. I preceded the fellow to the aisle, and down it. It seemed, somehow, now, that the shelves were close on both sides. The space between them seemed somehow narrower, and more wall-like, than usual. The library is well lit. I was very conscious of him behind me. I did not think he was a classics scholar. "Perhaps you want to look up something for a crossword puzzle." I said, lightly. Then I was afraid, again, doubtless foolishly, that he might be keeping an account of such things as my remark. Perhaps it had not pleased him. But what did it matter whether he was pleased or not?

"You are wearing a skirt," he said.

I stopped, frightened. I turned and looked at him, briefly. He was a quite large man anyway, but here, in this enclosed space, the shelves on each side, he seemed gigantic. I felt tiny before him. His bulk, somehow seemingly ungainly in that suit and tie, seemed to fill the space between the shelves. "Is the book here?" he asked. "No," I said. But I felt suddenly, and the thought frightened me, that he knew where the book was, that he knew very well where the book was. I then turned and continued down the aisle. In a moment I had reached its vicinity. I could see it there now, on the bottom shelf.

"It" s there," I said, "on the bottom shelf, that large book. You can see the title."

"Are you a female intellectual?" he asked.

"No," I said, hastily.

"But you are a librarian," he said.

"I am only a simple librarian," I said.

"You have probably read a great deal," he said.

"I have read a little," I said, uncertainly, uneasily.

"Perhaps you are the sort of woman who has read more than she has lived," he said.

"The book is on the bottom shelf," I said.

"But soon perhaps," he said, "books will be behind you."

"It is down there," I said, "on the shelf, on the bottom."

"Are you a modern woman?" he asked.

"Of course," I said. I did not know what else to say. In one sense, of course, I supposed this was terribly false.

"Yes," he said. "I can see that it is true. You are tight, and prissy." I made as though to leave, but his eyes held me where I was, immobile. It was almost as though I was held in place, standing there, before him, by a fixed collar, mounted on a horizontal rod, extending from a wall.

"Are you one of the modern women who are intent upon destroying me?" he asked. I regarded him, startled.

"Are you guilty of such crimes?" he asked.

"I do not know what you are talking about," I said, frightened.

He smiled. "Are you familiar with the book on the bottom shelf?" he asked.

"Not really," I said. It was a standard reference source, but in a limited area. I had never used it.

"There are several such books," he said, "but it is surely one of the finest." "I am sure it is a valuable, excellent reference work," I said.

"it tells of a world, very different from that in which you live," he said, "a world very much simpler, and more basic, a world more fundamental, and less hypocritical, and far fresher and cleaner, in its way, and more alive and wild than yours."

"Than mine?" I said. His voice, now that he spoke at length, seemed to have some trace of an accent. But I could not begin to place it.

"It is a world in which men and women stood closer to the fires of life," he said. "It was a world of tides and gods, of spears and Caesars, of games, and wreathes of laurel, of the clash, detectable for miles, of phalanxes, of the marchings of legions, in measured stride, of the long roads and the fortified camps, of the coming and going of the oared ships, of the pourings of offerings, wine and salt, and oil, into the sea."

I said nothing.

"And in such a world women such as you were bought and sold as slaves," he said. "That world is gone," I said.

"There is another, not unlike it, which exists," he said.

"That is absurd," I said.

"I have seen it," he said.

"The book is here," I said, "on the bottom shelf." I was trembling. I was terribly, frightened.

"Get it," he said.

I lowered myself to my knees. I drew out the book. I looked up at him. I was on my knees before him.

"Open it," he said.

I did so. Within it was a sheet of folded paper.

I opened the sheet of folded paper. On it was writing.

"Read it," he said.

"I am a slave," I read. Then I looked up. He had left. I leaned over, on my knees, bending far over, clutching the paper. I was giddy and faint. Then I looked up once more after him. The aisle was empty. I wondered if he would come back for me. Then I felt suddenly frightened, and ill, and hurried to the ladies" room.

3 The Library

I put the bells about my ankle.

It was dark now in the library, and it was past ten thirty. We had closed more than an hour ago.

The incident in the reference section, that in connection with Harper" s Dictionary of Classical Literature and Antiquities, that in which I had been so frightened, had occurred more than three months ago. In that incident it seemed that I had found myself at the feet of a man. To be sure, it was merely that I was kneeling to draw forth a book. I was a librarian. I was only being helpful, surely. Too, it had seemed that I had, before him, aloud, confessed that I was a slave. But that was an absurd interpretation, surely, of what had occurred. I was only reading the paper I had found in the book. That was all. I had taken the paper home. The next day, after a troubled, restless night, and after hours of anxiety, misery and hesitation, I had suddenly, feverishly, burned it. Thus I had hoped to put it from me, but I knew the thing had happened, that the words had been said, and had had their meaning, that which they had had at the time, and not necessarily that which I might now fervently desire to ascribe to them, and to such a man. That the paper might be burned could not undo what was now transcribed in the reality of the world. The incident, as you might well imagine, had much disturbed me. For days it dominated my consciousness, obsessing me. Then, later, mercifully, when I gradually began to understand how foolish my fears were, I was able to return my attention to the important routines of my life, my duties in the library, my reading, my shopping, and so on. Once in a while, of course, the terrors and alarms of that incident, suddenly, unexpectedly, would rise up, flooding back upon me, but on the whole, I had, it seemed, forgotten about it. I rationally dismissed it, which was the healthy thing to do. The whole thing had been silly. Sometime I wondered if it had even happened. I would recall sometimes the eyes of the man. The thing that had perhaps most impressed me about him, aside from his size, his seeming vigor and formidableness, was his eyes. They had not seemed like the eyes of the men I knew. In them there had seemed an incredible intelligence, a savagery, an uncompromising ferocity. In those eyes, in that fierce gaze, I had been unable to detect reservations, inhibitions, hesitancies or guilt. He seemed to be the sort of man, and the only one of this sort I had ever met, who would do much what he pleased, and take what he wanted. He seemed to carry with him the right of power and lions. I had no doubt that he was totally my superior. There had been, however, I think, one explicit consequence, or residue, of that incident. I think it served, somehow, in some way, to trigger a resolve on my part to do something which for me, if not for other women, required great courage. It brought me to my lessons. For months before, I had toyed with the idea, or the fancy, or fantasy, the idea first having emerged after I had seen myself in the mirror on that incredible night in my room, of taking lessons in dance. I had almost died on the phone, making inquiries about these things, and more than once, suddenly blushing crimson, or, from the feel of it, I suppose so, had hung up the phone without identifying myself. I was not interested, of course, in such forms of dance as ballet or tap. I was interested in a form of dancing which was more basic, more fundamental, more female. The form of dance I was interested in, of course, and this doubtless accounted for my timidity, my hesitation and fear, was ethnic dance, or, if you prefer, to speak perhaps more straightforwardly, "belly dancing." Happily it was always women who answered the phone. I do not think I could have dared to speak to a man of this sort of thing. Like most modern women I was concerned to conceal my sexual needs. To reveal them would have been just too excruciatingly embarrassing. What woman would dare to reveal to a man that she wants to move, would dare to move, before those of his sex in so beautiful and exciting a manner, in a way that will drive them mad with the wanting of her, in a way that shows them that she, too, has powerful sexualneeds, and in her dance, as she presents and displays herself, striving to please them, that she wants them satisfied? Surely no virtuous woman. Surely only a despicable, sensuous slut, the helpless prisoner of her undignified and unworthy passions. In the end I called up the first woman, again, on whom I had, some days ago, hung up. "Have you done belly dancing before?" she asked. "Not really," I said. "You are a beginner?" she asked. "Yes," I said. I had not really thought much about it before, but it seemed there must then be various levels of this form of dance. I found that intriguing. "I understand it is good exercise," I said. "Yes," she said. "New classes begin Monday, in the afternoon and evening. Are you interested?" "Yes," I said. I had said, "Yes." That affirmation I think, did me a great deal of good. I had publicly admitted my interest in this sort of thing. Somehow that made things seem much simpler, much easier. If I had lost status in this admission, it had now been lost, and it was now no longer to be worried about. But the woman did not seem surprised, or offended or scandalized. "What is your name?" she asked. I gave her my name. I was committed. I had taken these lessons now for almost three months, and in more than one course of instruction. I kept my new form of exercise, or my new hobby, if you like, secret from those at the library, and those I knew. It would not do at all for them to know that I was studying ethnic dance. Let them think of me merely as Doreen, their co-worker or friend, the quiet reference librarian. It was not necessary for them to know that sometimes, when we utilized costumes, other than our leotards and scarves, that that quiet Doreen, barefoot, in anklets and bracelets, with whirling necklaces, with her midriff bared, sometimes with her thighs stripped, swirled in fringed halter and shimmering skirt, with tantalizing veils, to barbaric music. I think I was the best in my classes. My teacher, she also with whom I had spoken on the phone, proved to be an incredibly lovely woman. She seemed incredibly pleased with my progress. Often she would give me extra instruction. I was her star pupil. Often, too, she would call to my attention offers or engagements, at parties and clubs, and such. It was natural that she would e contacted with regard to such matters. I always refused to go, of course. "But you would be beautiful, and marvelous," she would encourage me. "No," I would laugh. "No! No! I would be terrible!" One or another of the other girls, then, would be contacted, and they would go. Several, I thought, were wonderful. Women are so beautiful, thusly. Never would I, however, have had the courage to dance publicly. Too, suppose someone had seem me, like that. To be sure my dance, whatever might have been its motivations, conscious or subconscious, did have various lovely accompanying effects. I found myself slimmer and trimmer than before, and more vital than before. Too, I think the dance served some purpose within me, thought I am not sure what it was. Perhaps it helped me get more in touch with my womanhood. To be sure, sometimes it made me sad, as if in some way it seemed incomplete, as though it were only part of a whole, a lovely part of a whole that was not fully available to me. "It would help, of course," my teacher said to me, "if you would perform. It is meant to be seen. You do not know what it is truly like until you have performed." "I would be afraid to perform," I said. "Why?" she asked. I put down my head, not wanting to speak. "Because there are men there?" she asked. I looked up. "Yes," I said. "Do you think these dances are for women?" she said. "That is their purpose." "Please," I protested. "And there would not be one man here, one real man," she said, "who, seeing you half naked in your jewelry and veils, would not want to put a chain on you, and own you." I looked at her, startled. "I see that such thoughts are not new to you," she smiled. "I thought not." How could she have known that I had had such thoughts? Could it be that she,too, had them, as she was a woman? I will recount one further anecdote from my lessons. It occurred yesterday evening. We were in class. We were dancing, twenty of us, in leotards, and shawls or scarves, to the music on the tape recorder. Then suddenly she said to us, scornfully. "What is wrong? You are dancing tonight like free women. You must improve that. You must dance like slaves."

"Like slaves," I said.

"Yes," she said. "Keep dancing, all of you!" In a moment, she said, "That" s better. That" s much better." She walked about, among us. Then she was before me. I was in the front row. "Keep dancing, Doreen," she said, warningly. I was then, for the moment, afraid of her. I kept dancing. "Imagine now," she said to me, "what it would be to do that before a man, Doreen. Suppose, now, there is a man present. He is a strong man. You are before him. Dance! Ah! Good! Good!" I gather I must have danced well. "Good," she said. "Very good. That is very good. Now you are dancing like a slave."

"I am not a slave," I protested.

"We are all slaves," she said, and walked away.

I smiled, hooking the scarlet halter before my belly and then turning it and putting my arms through the straps, pulling it up, adjusting it snugly into place. I am, like most women, amply, but medium-breasted. I ran my thumbs about the interior of my belt, adjusting the drape of the skirt. I have a narrow waist with, I think, sweetly wide hips. My legs were short but shapely, excellent I think for a dancer, or at least a dancer of the sort I was, an ethnic dancer. I put on armlets, bracelets and, opposite the bells on my left ankle, a goldenlike anklet on my right ankle. I put my necklaces about my neck, the five of them. With such an abundance of splendor I thought might strong men bedeck their women. I examined myself in the mirror in the ladies" room at the library. How amusing, and absurd, I thought that my teacher had said that we were slaves. I was ready.

I turned off the light in the ladies" room and emerged into the hall-like way between the interior wall, that enclosing the washrooms and part of the children" s section, and the openings between the shelves on the western side of the library. One of the doors to the children" s section was on the left. The information desk was on the right. I sometimes worked there. I stood for a moment in the hall-like way. It was dark in the library, quite dark. Then I went right, making my way along the hall-like way toward the open, central section of the library, where the information desk was, and there went left, toward the reference section. On my right were the card catalogs and then, later, the xerox machines. On one of the tables in the reference section I had left my small tape recorder. With it were some tapes which I had purchased. There were tapes of a sort suitable for ethnic dancing. I used them often for my private practice. Also, from time to time, I sometimes told myself it was because of the smallness of my apartment, I was in the habit of coming to the library, after hours, of course, to dance. I would let myself in through the staff entrance. This was on the lower level, near the parking lot. I enjoyed dancing here. I do not think, really, that this was all simply a matter of space. Perhaps it amused me to dance her, where I worked, I do not know. Perhaps I enjoyed the contrast, known only to me, between quiet Doreen, the librarian, and Doreen, the secret Doreen of my heart, the dancer, or far worse. Too, there seemed something meaningful, something rich and almost symbolic, perhaps even defiant, about dancing here, in this place where I worked, with its whispers, its sedateness, its cerebral pretensions, to dance here, in this place, as a woman. No, I do not think it was really all a matter of space. How startled my co-workers would have been if they could have seen me, Doreen, barefoot, half naked, belled and bangled, dancing, and such dancing, dancing almost as though she might be a slave! And so it was here, in this private, perfect place, that I presented, in effect, my secret performances, performances which I had, of course, determined to keep wholly to myself, performances which I would never permit anyone to see, here where no one would ever know, where no one would even suspect, here where I was absolutely alone, where I was perfectly secure and safe.

I moved, warming up, preparing my muscles. I was intent, and careful. A dancer, of course, does not simply begin to dance. That can be dangerous. She warms up. It is like an athlete warming up, I suppose. As I warmed up, I could hear the jewelry on me, the tiny sounds of the skirt. Bells, too, marked these movements. I was belled. These I had fastened, in three lines, they fastened on a single thong, about my left ankle. Men, I sensed, somehow, would relish an ornamented woman, perhaps even one who was shamefully belled.

I went to the table where rested the small recorder. I was excited, as I always was, somehow, before I danced. I picked up one tape, put it aside, and selected another. It was to that that I should dance.

Men had always, it seemed, at least since puberty, been more disturbing, and interesting and attractive to me than they should have been to a modern woman, or a real woman. They had always seemed far more important to me than they were really supposed to be. They were only men, I had been taught. But even so, they were men, even if that were all they were. I could never bring myself to think of them, really, as persons. To me they always seemed more meaningful, and virile, than that, even the men I knew. To me, in spite of their cowardice and weakness, they still seemed, in a way, men, or at least the promise of men. Beyond this, after that night, long ago, in my bedroom, that night in which I had admitted to myself my real nature, though I had denied it often enough since, my interest in me had been considerably deepened. After my confession to myself, kneeling before my vanity in the darkness of my room, they had suddenly become a thousand times more real and frightening to me. And this interest in them, and my sensitivity to them, and my awareness of them, had been deepened further, I think, in my experience with dance. I do not think this was simply a matter of a modest reduction in my weight and, connected with this, and the exercise, a noticeable improvement in my figure, helping me to a more felicitous and reassuring self-image, that of a female in clear, lovely contrast to a male, or the dance" s prosaic improvement of such things as my circulation, my body tone, and general health, though, to be sure, it is difficult for a woman to be healthy, truly healthy, and not be interested in men, but what was really important, rather, or especially important, I think, was the nature of the dance itself, the kind of dance it was. In this form of dance a woman becomes aware of the marvelous, profound complementaries of sexuality, that she, clearly, is the female, beautiful and desirable, and that they, watching her, being pleased, their eyes alit, strong and mighty, are different from her, that they are men, and that, in the order of nature, she, the female of their species, belongs to them. It is thus impossible for her, in this form of dance, not to become alertly, deeply, keenly aware of the opposite sex.

Do we truly belong to me, I asked myself. No, I laughed. No, of course not! How silly that is!

I inserted the tape in the recorder.

My finger hesitated over the button. But perhaps it is true, really, I thought. I shrugged. It seemed that men did not want us, or that men of the sort I knew did not want us. If they did want us why did they not take us, and make us theirs? I wondered, then, if there were a different sort of men, somewhere, the sort of men who might want us, truly, and take us, and make us theirs. Surely not. Men did not do what they wanted with women, never. Surely not! Nowhere! Nowhere! But I knew, of course, that men had, and commonly had, in thousands of places, for thousands of years, treated us, or some women, at least, perhaps luckless, unfortunate ones, exactly as they had pleased, holding them and keeping them, as no more than dogs and chattels. How horrifying, I thought. But surely men such as that no longer existed, and my recurrent longing for them, a needful, desperate longing, as I sometimes admitted to myself, must be no more than some pathetic, vestigial residue of a foregone era. Perhaps it was an odd, anachronistic inherited trait, a genetic relic, tragically perhaps, in my case, no longer congruent with its creature" s environment. I wondered if I had been born out of my time. Surely a woman such as I, I thought, might better have thrived in Thebes, or Rome, or Damascus. But I was real, and was as I was, in this time. Did this not suggest then that somewhere, somehow, there might be something answering to my yearnings, my hungers and cries? How was it that I should cry out in the darkness, if, truly, there were no one, anywhere, to hear? Be pleased there isn" t, little fool, I snapped to myself. Of course there wasn" t. I reassured myself. How terrifying it would be if there were. I decided I would now dance. I recalled that the man in the aisle, he in the incident which had taken place some three months ago, that in connection with Harper" s Dictionary of Classical Literature and Antiquities, had spoken of a world like one long past, a world in which, as he had said, women such as myself were bought and sold as slaves. I dismissed the thought immediately from my mind. But I knew there was another reason I had come to the library to dance, one I had seldom admitted to myself. It was here, in this place, over there to my left, where I had found myself kneeling before a man, where I had found myself saying aloud, "I am a slave." I would now dance. I decided, as a pleasant fancy, that I would pretend something naughty, as I occasionally did, that I was truly a slave, on such a world, and that I was dancing before masters. Oh, I would dance well! The masters, as I dreamed of them, of course, and as they figured in my fancies, were not the men of Earth, or, at least, not men like most of those of Earth. No, they would be different. They would be quite different. They would be quite different. They would be such as before whom a girl could quite properly, and, indeed, perhaps even in fear of her life, realistically dance, and dance desperately, hoping to be found pleasing, or acceptable. They would be true men. They would be her masters.

Case Study No. 2056: Fania Brantsovsky

How I Became the Librarian of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute
Fania Brantsovsky - former Jewish partisan during World War Two and librarian of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute - describes how she began working at the Vilnius Yiddish Institute and how the Institute received books from all over the world.

To learn more about the Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project, visit:
Tags: Yiddish Book Center Yiddish language Yiddish culture Jewish culture National Yiddish Book Center Wexler Oral History Project nybc ybc Yiddish Fania Brantsovsky Vilnius Yiddish Institute Dovid Katz Librarian Lithuania Career and Professional Life Books Eastern Europe
Added: 6 months ago
From: yiddishbookcenter
Views: 90

Fania Brantsovsky
in conversation with Christa Whitney

A production of the
Wexler Oral History Project
at the Yiddish Book Center

[scene opens with an elderly female librarian (short grey hair, white blouse) being interviewed in Yiddish]
CHRISTA: [translated] How did you become the librarian here?
FANIA: [translated] I think that Dovid Katz ... When the institute was created, Dovid already knew me from the community. Well, he needed someone who could read Yiddish, who could write Yiddish. We receive a lot of letters.
[she points off camera]
FANIA: [translated] Indre knows Yiddish as well, she took the courses here. And so it was all built up, and then we decided ... This entire library is made up of gifts.
[she smiles]
FANIA: [translated] We don't have any money to buy books. Mendy Cahan brought a lot of books. We get books from America, from Australia. I remember receiving three large bags.
[she chuckles]
FANIA: [translated] And some of those books were very useful. For instance, when we visited Libele, I saw that he had a memorial book for teachers. So I decided to ask him for a copy. And we got the book from Australia.
[she shrugs]
FANIA: [translated] Well, perhaps there should be more new computerized books, but I'm old and with all this ... you know?
[she throws her hands up]
FANIA: [translated] And I'm happy that people come and use them, that students use them when the Yiddish course is running. That's an important thing.

www dot yiddishbookcenter dot org slash tell-your-story
Wexler Oral History Project
Yiddish Book Center (c) 2012


From yiddishbookcenter.org:

Fania Brantsovsky, former Jewish partisan during World War Two and librarian of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute, was interviewed by Christa Whitney on July 27, 2012 at the Vilnius Yiddish Institute in Vilnius, Lithuania. This interview is conducted entirely in Yiddish.

Interview Date: July 27, 2012
Narrator Full Name: Fania Brantsovsky
Narrator Birth Year: 1921
Narrator Birth Place: Kaunas, Lithuania
Interview Location: Vilnius Yiddish Institute


From holocaustlegacylithuania.com:

Fania Brantsovsky
"I always felt proud to be Jewish, despite what we experienced in the Holocaust."

Fania was interned in the Vilnius ghetto with her family. On the day the ghetto was liquidated, she escaped to the partisan forts in Rudnicki Forest. After the war, she married fellow partisan Mischa Brantsovsky. She currently works as a librarian at the Vilnius Yiddish Institute and helps camp and ghetto survivors at the Jewish Community Centre. She actively perpetuates the memory of those who perished through tours of Jewish Vilna and the partisan forts. As she explains: "I guide people to the Ghetto and to Paneriai. I see that as my sacred duty to those who died, who cannot get up and tell others what took place there and in the Ghetto. For as long as my legs will carry me, I must go on doing that. There are other guides... maybe they know the figures and dates better than I do. That is not my main aim, but my story comes straight from the heart."


From jewishchronicle.org:

In search of the Yiddish voice that still whispers in Lithuania
By Rokhl Kafrissen
September 25th, 2008

Vilnius, Lithuania (JTA) - Months ago, I decided that, as a loud and insistent partisan on behalf of Yiddish language and culture, I should improve my spoken Yiddish.
It would be this summer or never.

I had just left my job as a corporate attorney and time, if not money, was on my side. I was newly employed as the part-time Internet/outreach/youth-wrangling editor for a Jewish culture and politics magazine with a traditionally Yiddish speaking (intensely, and devoutly secular) readership.

I managed to convince my employers at Jewish Currents that not only was it necessary to spend more than a month in a language immersion program, but also that my trip to Yiddishland would generate plentiful material for upcoming issues.

So off I went to the Vilnius Yiddish Institute's summer Yiddish program in Vilnius, Lithuania. Vilna - I never referred to it as Vilnius - was a place about which I had sung, read and attended lectures.

Last April, I sat in the office of a colleague, a woman much wiser than I, and told her I would be going to Vilna this summer to perfect my understanding of Yiddish case endings. There are only three, so I figured a month would be enough.

Vilna! Yiddish! Wasn't it cool?

My colleague looked at me dryly, as only she can. "Vilna is no more," she said. "There is only Vilnius, babe."

But for me, and for all my Yiddishist friends, Vilna is a very real place. Vilna was the home of great modernist Yiddish poetry, of important Jewish publishing houses, the birthplace of the YIVO Institute, the resting place of the Vilna Gaon.

For those of us left cold by the clapping and swaying of Upper West Side neo-chasids, the idea of Vilna is a comforting touchstone, home of the traditional opponents of the Chasidim: the Misnagdim.

Although my own family is solidly Romanian, I am regularly in touch with what I call my inner Litvak: the cerebral, slightly aloof Jew who shies away from Friday night swaying at shul.

I was personally offended by the suggestion that Vilna no longer existed.

History and myths

My colleague turned out to be right: Vilna is no longer. Today, Vilnius speaks loudly. Jewish Vilna is only a whisper heard by those who care to listen closely. Indeed, the dissonances between Vilna and Vilnius ripple across the country, and the globe.

But first, some clarification. The city we know by its Lithuanian name, Vilnius, once was part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Until the close of World War II, Vilna/Wilno (Yiddish/Polish) was a majority Polish and Yiddish-speaking city. Lithuanian speakers were always a small fraction of its population.

After the war, under Soviet occupation, Vilna became Vilnius. Compared to Lavia and Estonia, Lithuania mostly resisted "Russification" and had a relatively small Russian population.

Lithuania has been independent for less than 20 years and is still in the process of writing its national history - and myths.

The competing histories of Vilna and Vilnius - Lithuanian, Polish and Yiddish - erupted this spring and summer with an international scandal surrounding the Lithuanian 'investigation' of Jewish former partisans for their wartime activities.

The official conflation of anti-Nazi activity with pro-Soviet collaboration is still alive in Vilnius and lies at the heart of the investigation.

And so, in addition to pondering the difference between the accusative and the dative case, I unexpectedly found myself right in the middle of an international story my first as a real journalist.

The Vilnius Yiddish Institute sits across the street from the Presidential Palace; you can practically see the changing of the guard from the classroom windows.

The institute's librarian, Fania Brantsovsky, was a partisan during the war and for the past few months has been targeted by the Lithuanian justice system.

Perhaps the fiercest librarian ever to catalog a Yiddish book, I quickly learned that Fania, 86, was not a woman to be intimidated by anything, even a prosecutor's investigation.

Even among Vilnius' small remaining Jewish community, Fania is unusual. She was born and raised in Vilnius - many of the approximately 4,500 to 5,000 current Jewish residents were born outside Vilnius.

When Fania guides us through the city she takes us to the place where her former school, the Sofia Gurevitch Gymnazia, was located. Sofia Gurevitch was one of the first places to have a telephone.

Being chosen to speak on the phone was an honor for the student with the clearest, most pleasant voice. Fania still beams with pride at the memory of being that student.

A few streets over, Fania points to where she and the other partisans emerged from underground. They escaped from the ghetto through the sewers, a daring plan made possible only by the specialized knowledge of another partisan, an engineer.

A few streets later and we see a plaque dedicated to Theodor Herzl, who, we learn, spent a short time in Vilna. But there's no plaque marking the spot where Fania and her comrades emerged from the sewers to go on to complete many acts of daring sabotage against the Nazis.

The Lithuanian government's ability to adequately document and preserve the stories of the ghetto and Jewish resistance - and Jewish suffering - is seriously compromised by the continuing official association of anti-Nazi activity with Soviet oppression.

The Museum of Victims of Genocide in downtown Vilnius is housed in an enormous building, the former home of the Lithuanian KGB. Just as chilling as the recreated KGB surveillance mechanism are the museum's official silences. Ponar, where a large portion of Lithuanian Jewry was murdered, is nowhere to be found among the museum's genocide victims.

Over the course of three years, some 70,000 Jews were murdered at Ponar, a forest the Nazis used as a death factory, about six miles from Vilnius. Fania also led us through Ponar, she herself a walking monument to resistance and survival.

Fania's voice remains as strong and clear as it was the day she was chosen to speak on the phone at the Sofia Gurevitch school. But hers is only one voice, too easily drowned out in a still-unsettled political discourse. The anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed across the Vilnius Jewish Community Center on Tisha B'Av didn't take place in a vacuum.

The official Lithuanian narrative is one that shouts over voices of resistance, such as Fania's. But my colleagues at the Institute, Jews and non-Jews, from all over the world, including Lithuania, will continue to join our voices with Fania's, and so ensure that Jewish Vilna continues to have a voice.


From defendinghistory.com:

German President awards Fania Brantsovsky the Federal Cross of Merit
28 October 2009
...Antisemitic Tirade Follows in Vilnius

Antisemitic reaction on Lithuania's main news portal came within minutes of the German embassy's press release announcing its award to anti-Nazi Jewish partisan veteran Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, librarian of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute. The award is the president's Federal Cross of Merit. It was presented to her by Germany's ambassador to Lithuania Hans-Peter Annen in a ceremony at his embassy in Vilnius.

[May 2010: Disturbingly, neither Fania's award nor the antisemitic barrage against her has been mentioned to this day on the VYI website.]

Monday, June 29, 2015

Case Study No. 2055: Unnamed Male Librarian (The Zomboids)

The Zomboids present "The Librarian"
Created for the Brattle Theatre's Trailer Smackdown 2014 in Cambridge, MA. Contestants were given the title and had to create a 2-minute-or-less faux trailer. Our entry was inspired by the early-1970s horror anthologies of Britain's Amicus Productions.

-Jason Boyar as The Librarian
-Eric Lander, Madeline Scheller, Jenna Schraut, Madeline Sweeney, and William Tran as The Victims
-Gabrielle Farulla-Bastian as the Cannibal
-John O'Dowd as The Scientist
-Vivi Valmont and Derek Moran as the Lesbian Witch Cult

Written, Produced, Designed, Shot, Directed, and Edited by Nicholas Levesque. Special thanks to the Hanson Public Library, Hanson, MA.

Featuring "Toccata and Funk in D Minor" by Walter Murphy
Tags: The Librarian Amicus Productions (Production Company) Horror (Film Genre) anthology trailer Zomboids camp
Added: 10 months ago
From: Zomboids
Views: 55

["Coming soon to this theatre" appears on screen, then scene opens with a group of people walking into the public library]
LIBRARIAN: [in voice over] Greetings, movie goers! When was the last time you were truly frightened?

New International Pictures presents
A film by The Zomboids
"The Librarian"
(c) 1973 New International Pictures All Rights Reserved

[cut to an interior shot of the library, as the people wander nervously through the stacks]
LIBRARIAN: [in voice over] Every book in my library is unlike any other. Each tells the story of an illustrious life ... and even more incredible death!
["Five shocking tales of the macabre" appears on screen, then cut to a man clutching a book as two female zombies (dressed as flappers from the Nineteen Twenties) slowly lurch towards him]
MAN 1: Ahhh!
[cut to one of the zombies sticking a hatpin through the man's eyeball]
[cut to a man driving in his car at night]
LIBRARIAN: [in voice over] Though most people can wake up from their nightmares, mine are kept in ink and paper, ready to be checked out and re-lived ... forever!
[a puppet with a green skull suddenly pops up in the seat next to the man, as he screams in fright]
MAN 2: Ahhh!
[cut to a shot from the man's POV, as the camera shows the end of a dirt road and then spins around (simulating the car going over the edge)]
[cut to a woman chewing on a severed human leg, as "Cannibalism" appears on screen]
[cut to a man (dressed sort of like Doc Brown from "Back to the Future") struggling with a severed green hand that is "choking" him, as "Mad science!" appears on screen]
MAN 3: Ahhh!
[cut to a "dungeon" where two woman cackle maniacally and lick their lips while forcing a third woman to drink from a goblet of "blood", as "Lesbian witch cults!" appears on screen]
[cut to a "woman" (i.e. a man dressed as Marilyn Monroe) tied to a tree with a book, while three men in Halloween masks approach her with knives]
LIBRARIAN: [in voice over] They're the stuff that screams are made of!
[the woman screams, then cut to her POV as the three assailants slowly approach with weapons raised]
[cut back to the people in the library, as the young male librarian (top heat, exaggerated eye shadow, brown sweater, black undershirt, tie, gold necklace covered in jewels) appears before them carrying a pile of books]
LIBRARIAN: Who's next?
[cut to a shot of the librarian from the side]
LIBRARIAN: Perhaps ...
[he turns towards the camera]

"The Librarian"

Jason Boyar
Gabrielle Farulla-Bastian
Eric Lander
Derek Moran
John O'Dowd
Madeline Scheller
Jenna Schraut
Madeline Sweeney
William Tran
and featuring Vivi Vamont

Written - Produced - Directed - Shot
Nicholas Levesque

Miss Valmont's Gowns by
Party City

Case Study No. 2054: "Find the Librarian"

Find the Librarian
Find the Librarian

Zinc LeMone


Released on: 2013-12-17

Auto-generated by YouTube.
Tags: Zinc LeMone Republique Ep1: Exordium Find the Librarian
Added: 7 months ago
From: Various Artists - Topic
Views: 3

From apple.com:

Republique Ep1: Exordium
Zinc LeMone

Genres: Soundtrack, Music, Electronic
Released: Dec 17, 2013

1. Republique
2. Exordium
3. A Way Out
4. Find the Librarian
5. 3-9-0-H
6. Rat in a Cage
7. Daemon
8. Separate Spheres
9. An Open Wound
10. The Grid
11. Under Cover of Darkness
12. Dissection

Case Study No. 2053: Hazel Evans/Isabel

No Sweet Revenge
A play by Franklin Hensinger
Tags: librarians broadway no sweet revenge
Added: 6 months ago
From: ToonLib
Views: 2

She is in her middle thirties and speaks with a becoming Southern drawl.
She wears a loose-fitting summer housedress and uses make-up very sparingly.
She is Hazel, a librarian by profession, and appears to have managed her personal and business routine with restraint.

But who is Isabel?
Isabel is never a librarian.
Sometimes she's a secretary ... or a waitress ... or a music teacher.

And when Keith arrives with the truth about Isabel, how will this "restrained librarian" react to her secret being revealed?


From google.com:

Hazel Evans, in her mid-30s, "is a disciplined spinster." In this two-character play, Keith Brady (her no-good former lover of sorts) stops in fresh from New Orleans. He ribs Hazel about her work as a librarian in a southern town. She assures him she finds "great satisfaction" in the job.

For a long time she was bound to the town while she cared for her invalid mother. Keith calls her a "mistress of books - but never one in bed." Hazel admits, with Keith's prodding, that she leads something of a double life: When loneliness sets in, she goes to a nearby park, adopts the name Isabel, and strikes up conversations with strangers - male strangers, chiefly.

This potentially embarrassing information in hand, Keith attempts to blackmail Hazel. Her response to his effort is the main focus of the play.


From worldcat.org:

Two for a happening; a dramatic duo in three acts.
Author: Clay Franklin
Publisher: New York, S. French [1969]
Note: Six one-act plays.
Contents: Suddenly last Friday -- Small victory -- Bold decision -- Western lament -- No sweet revenge -- The daffy world of Daphne De Witt.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Case Study No. 2052: Unnamed Female Librarian (Etch a Sketch)

"Library" Etch-A-Sketch Commercial - 2006
A better day is just an etch away...
Tags: Etch sketch
Added: 4 years ago
From: ohioartco
Views: 1,596

Lou Beres & Associates
Ohio Art
Etch A Sketch


(c)2006 Ohio Art

[scene opens with black-and-white footage of a female librarian (dark hair in a bun, glasses, grey sweater, white blouse, grey skirt) standing next to a bookcase, as she looks at the camera and angrily puts a finger to her lips]
[someone from off camera holds up an Etch-A-Sketch (in color) to obscure the librarian's legs ... as the picture drawn on the Etch-A-Sketch shows knee-high striped socks and curly-toed "elf" shoes (meanwhile, the librarian fidgets uncomfortably and continues to attempt to shush the camera)]
[cut to black-and-white footage of a large tree, then someone off camera holds up an Etch-A-Sketch (in color) next to the tree, as the picture drawn on the Etch-A-Sketch shows a tire hanging from a rope]
[cut to black-and-whtie footage of a dinner plate holding peas and brussel sprouts, then someone off camera holds up an Etch-A-Sketch (in color) to obscure part of the plate ... as the picture drawn on the Etch-A-Sketch shows several cupcakes]
[the screen cuts to black, as "A better day is just an etch away" appears on screen]

Case Study No. 2051: "Buffets and Librarians"

Buffets and Librarians
Buffets and Librarians

Mike DeStefano

(P) 2010 Stand Up! Records

Released on: 2010-07-06

Auto-generated by YouTube.
Tags: Mike DeStefano OK Karma Buffets and Librarians
Added: 4 months ago
From: Greg Giraldo - Topic
Views: 5

MIKE: Raping a stripper is like taking extra food from a buffet ...
[the audience laughs]
MIKE: Some girl yelled out one night, "Oh, that's wrong!" Oh, really? It is? Thanks, thanks. I thought it was right, I-I didn't know.
[the audience laughs]
MIKE: I-I thought ... Oh, thank you for reminding me that I'm doing a seminar on, like, y'know, helping women with their issues. Y'know, ya fuckin' dope!
[the audience laughs]
MIKE: She's like, "So you think a stripper deserves to be raped?" Did I say that? No, it was an analogy! I was using an analogy! Not a deserving, uh, who deserves it. I mean, nobody deserves to be raped! Nobody! Nobody deserves a fucking stranger's thumb jammed in their ass against their will! Nobody!
[he pauses]
MIKE: But if you have to say who deserves it ...
[the audience laughs]
MIKE: I would have to say that a librarian deserves a thumb jammed in her ass ... less than a stripper does.
[the audience laughs]
MIKE: If it's a stripper, there's a story. She was getting too close, I was trying to push her away.
[the audience laughs]
MIKE: I just had lasik surgery, she was scaring me up.
[the audience laughs]
MIKE: I was, y'know? If you jam your thumb in a librarian's ass, that was premeditated.
[the audience laughs]
MIKE: You left the house saying "I am jamming my thumb in a librarian's ass today."
[the audience laughs]
MIKE: There were diagrams found ... What're you gonna say? "Oh, she fell off the ladder, I was trying to help her?" No!
[the audience laughs]


From amazon.com:

OK Karma
Mike DeStefano

Audio CD (June 8, 2010)
Original Release Date: 2011
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Stand Up! Records

1. Warm Welcome From Mike [Explicit]
2. NO! [Explicit]
3. BOO! [Explicit]
4. Ass Hair Waxer [Explicit]
5. Rage Against The Cul-De-Sac [Explicit]
6. Homeless Tough Love [Explicit]
7. Fighting Terrorism [Explicit]
8. Bull-Emia [Explicit]
9. Buffets And Librarians [Explicit]
10. Overused Words [Explicit]
11. A Million Bucks [Explicit]
12. Free Tibet [Explicit]
13. Spiritual Handgun [Explicit]
14. Heroin Is Bad For Some People [Explicit]
15. Fake Optimism [Explicit]
16. Lead Finger [Explicit]
17. Chocolate Milk [Explicit]

The title of Mike DeStefano's first stand-up CD isn't so much an assessment of his status in the universe, nor is it an open, ''Bring it on!'' style exhortation. No, more in keeping with the conflicted Buddhist he represents on the cover (gun in one hand, meditation beads in the other), ''OK Karma'' is a mantra. If Buddhism is about realizing that desire, attachment, and addiction cause all suffering, OK Karma is DeStefano's way of acknowledging that we've all seen some sh*t. Okay, he says, this is how the world is. And if the world's like this, we'd better put aside our weeping and our bitching and get down to the laughter. It just might save our sorry lives.

DeStefano's delivery is straight-up Bronx. No trickery or slippery rhetoric here, just truths - the harder, the funnier. With years of New York, sink-or-swim comedy behind him (and, before that, a life full of the heavy kinds of experiences that render a guy a wee bit unlikely to care if an audience loves or hates him), DeStefano has learned how to dish it out, how to take it, and how to wrap an audience around his finger (we're guessing it's always the same one...) in an hour or less. Listening to him level humanity, regardless of color, religion, age, or political inclination, is a revelation. Because it doesn't matter who you are, suburban kids who think they're gangsters are always annoying.

Appearing now on the 2010 edition of NBC's ''Last Comic Standing'' and nearly every night on a stage somewhere in the great Big Apple, Mike DeStefano is ready to receive his adoring fans. Just, for the love of Buddha, learn how to spell ''excuse me'' before you try to shake his hand.

Case Study No. 2050: Unnamed Male Librarian (SHKAA887)

The Librarian
"A librarian has finally found his dream job; tending to books in an endless library. Here he can find peace while he works, and his first task is to alphabetise the entire library. However, he has encountered a problem –the shelves are full."

This is our group project that we spent around 4 months on at the NCCA. We had plenty of issues along the way, and this was definitely a steep learning curve for everyone involved. In the end we used an awful rig, but we managed to come up with some pretty solid animation considering how poor the rigging was!

The piece definitely evolved from the original concept, but a lot of these changes were for the better in my opinion. Next time a piece that focuses less on narrative and is perhaps more experimental would be a better option - more room to breathe with something like that, plus less pressure on storytelling in such a short amount of time.

It was great fun to make and I'm so proud of everyone who contributed, hope you like it!

*** CREDITS ***
Director, Shading, Lighting, Rendering, Pipeline, Compositing


Texturing, Modelling, Animation, Pre-Production

Pre-Production, Modelling, Texturing

Pre-Production, Modelling, Texturing, Sound Design

Music is "I Don't Mean a Song" by Sorohanro - (new grounds.com/audio/listen/512613)
Tags: animation animate ncca animated short lighting compositing rendering bournemouth university librarian short film cg
Added: 4 months ago
From: SHKAA887
Views: 39

[scene opens with an overhead shot of a young male librarian (brown hair, blue sweater, white undershirt, blue jeans) pushing a bookcart through a giant library, as "The Librarian" appears on screen]
[cut to a shot of the librarian as he stops and picks up one of the books on his cart]
[cut to a closeup of the librarian's arm as he checks his watch]
[cut to another shot of the libarian checking his watch (as he casually tosses the book up in the air with his other hand), then suddenly reacting as if he's just realized what time it is]
[he runs off camera, then cut to the librarian balancing two gigantic piles of books (one in each hand)]
[cut to the librarian on a ladder, as he takes a pile of books and just tosses them at the shelves (with each volume miraculously landing in an open spot)]
[cut to the librarian looking through another empty slot in one of the shelves, as he smiles and places a book there]
[cut to the librarian breathing a sigh of relief as he checks his watch again, then the camera pans out to show the gigantic library filled with bookshelves]
[cut back to the librarian as he smiles and starts to walk confidently back to his cart, when he nearly trips over a book lying on the floor]
[he picks up the book and looks at the cover, then throws his head back and rolls his eyes]
[cut to the librarian looking around the library, when the camera zooms in on a single open spot in one of the shelves]
[the librarian rushes over and tries to reshelve the book, but it doesn't quite seem to fit]
[cut to another shot of the librarian, as he uses both hands and strains to force the book into the spot ... it finally goes in, but then a loud cracking noise can be heard]
[the librarian looks over and sees that he's caused a large crack (?) to appear in the bookshelf, then he looks up to see that the entire upper portion is about to fall down on top of him]
[cut to the librarian's POV, as the giant shelf is about to topple down, then the screen goes black]
[cut to a shot of the bookshelf, which is being propped up by the adjacent shelf (so that it didn't fall completely to the floor) ... however, all of the books have fallen off and buried the librarian in a large pile]


From kyranbishop3d.com:

"The Librarian" is officially happening! I've got a great team, and I managed to get selected for the director role through – what I hope was – a killer pitch.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Case Study No. 2049: Jim Van Buskirk and Nancy Silverod

Reversing Vandalism
Reversing Vandalism chronicles the library's search for the book vandal, and the librarians' decision to offer the damaged books to artists as materials for creative expression and community healing. Learn more and get involved: http://www.niot.org
Tags: art community response vandalism san francisco public library librarians damaged books book art not in our town reversing vandalism
Added: 5 years ago
From: TheWorkingGroup
Views: 575

["San Francisco, California. For months the main branch of the public library has been repeatedly vandalized." appears on screen, then cut to a male librarian ("Jim Van Buskirk, Librarian") speaking directly to the camera]
JIM: It seemed like this was a very angry person with a very sharp object.
[cut to a female librarian ("Nancy Silverod, Librarian") speaking directly to the camera]
NANCY: His face is always gonna be in my mind ...
[cut to a female police officer ("Milanda Moore, Police Inspector") speaking directly to the camera]
MILANDA: When you start to see that type of hostility, you have to check it.
[cut to the male librarian walking through the stacks of the San Francisco Public Library]
JIM: [in voice over] At first, it was one or two, and then it was two or three more. These were books about gay and lesbian issues, about womens' health, about HIV and AIDs.
[cut to some shots of the mutilated books]
JIM: [in voice over] And these were not neatly sliced pages. These were deep cuts in the body of a text block of a book. Strange almond shaped or eye shapes cut out of words or body parts. Lots of them were books for teenagers.
[cut to another shot of the male librarian walking through the stacks]
JIM: We were terrified, and no one said anything ...
[cut back to the male librarian speaking directly to the camera]
JIM: But to me, it seemed like not a gigantic leap between carving up books and carving up people.
[cut to a shot of several police officers walking through the library]
NANCY: [in voice over] We were really just clueless and very frustrated.
["One Sunday, librarian Nancy Silverod decided to come in on her day off" appears on screen, then cut to the female librarian speaking directly to the camera]
NANCY: I had a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon, and so I came in and I sat and I pretended to read a book.
[cut to a shot of the librarian sitting in the library reading a book]
[cut to a closeup of the librarian's eyes (as she looks around suspiciously), then back to the male librarian speaking directly to the camera]
JIM: And sure enough, she spotted this guy slipping a pink ... bright pink book under the shelves.
[cut to the female librarian speaking directly to the camera]
NANCY: But the book really sort of clashed with his very sort of quiet ... uh, appearance and demeanor.
[cut to a shot of the library floor, as the shadow of a man looms into view]
NANCY: [in voice over] And I watched, and sure enough, he went over to the same area and hid the book.
[cut to a San Francisco Police mugshot of a man, as "John Perkyns was convicted of felony vandalism with a hate crime enhancement" appears on screen]
[cut to another shot of mutilated books, as "By the time of the arrest, over 600 books had been destroyed" appears on screen]
MILANDA: [in voice over] You come to the main library, and all you do is focus on gay and lesbian books, it's clear as a bell. It's a hate crime.
[cut to the police officer speaking directly to the camera]
MILANDA: It would be the same as if somebody came to the public library and just vandalized books on being Jewish.
[cut to an interior shot of the library, as "After the arrest, the library faced the issue of what to do with the vandalized books" appears on screen]
[cut to the male librarian speaking directly to the camera]
JIM: So the books were returned from the police, and we were faced with all of these boxes full of six hundred books. They had already been withdrawn from the collection, and the next thing was to throw them away ... and we just couldn't do it.
[cut to the male librarian and some volunteers looking over the piles of mutilated books]
JIM: [in voice over] We had to do one more thing.
[cut back to the male librarian speaking directly to the camera]
JIM: What the plan was is to offer these destroyed books to visual artists and let them do whatever they wanted with them.
[cut to another shot of the volunteers sorting the books]
JIM: [in voice over] So we had people calling, emailing, sending back the forms from ...
[cut back to the male librarian speaking directly to the camera]
JIM: New York, from Florida, from Portland Oregon, from France, from Japan. Everywhere.
[cut to various shots of the "Reversing Vandalism" display in the library, as "The library decide to display the transformed books in an exhibit called 'Reversing Vandalism'" appears on screen]
JIM: [in voice over] We had artwork in every format possible. Sculpture, painting, absolutely every conceivable ... we had a working clock! Unimaginable responses to an ordinary book.
[cut to a female artist ("Thea Hillman") speaking directly to the camera]
THEA: I got a book by Leslie Feinberg, who is an amazing transgender activist.
[cut to a shot of her display piece]
THEA: [in voice over] The thing that grabbed my eye was this line "The terms they used to describe us cut and sear" ... and that very sentence had been cut.
[cut back to the artist speaking directly to the camera]
THEA: And there was the ... the art, right there.
[cut to a wooden display piece, with pieces of paper draped on tiny "hangers"]
LYALL: [in voice over] I made a little closet using the title of the book, which was "Outing Yourself."
[cut to another female artist ("Lyall Harris") speaking directly to the camera]
LYALL: To say something hopeful, um, in all of this mix of ... despair and, sort of, tragedy around these books.
[cut to more shots of the "Reversing Vandalism" display]
JIM: [in voice over] We could've been victims, but I think what it did was united the community. This was about everybody saying ...
[cut back to the male librarian speaking directly to the camera]
JIM: "This is wrong. We are not going to accept this, not in our community."
[cut to more shots of the "Reversing Vandalism" display]
JIM: [in voice over] The safety is in numbers. The solution is in the community involvement.


From niot.org:

60 minutes

"Not In Our Town Northern California: When Hate Happens Here" takes a regional look at five Northern California communities dealing with deadly hate violence over a five-year period. Together, the stories reveal that whether the motivation is racism, anti-Semitism, or crimes motivated by gender or sexual orientation, hate is the same. But Californians are finding innovative ways to respond when hate happens here.

A co-production with KQED-TV.

This program includes the "Staging a Response to Hate," "Summer of Hate/Season of Healing," "Reversing Vandalism" and "Welcome Signs" stories.


From sfpl.org:

In early 2001, San Francisco Public Library staff began finding vandalized books shoved under shelves, hidden throughout the Main Library. Ultimately over 600 torn and sliced books, on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender topics, women's issues and HIV/AIDS, were deemed beyond repair and withdrawn from the Library's collection. Rather than discard the damaged books, the Library distributed them to interested community members in the hope of creating art. The wide variety of artistic responses to this hate crime resulted in "Reversing Vandalism," an exhibition of over 200 original works of art, displayed in the Main Library from January 31 through May 2, 2004.

Case Study No. 2048: Joan Shea

Show: "My Darling Joan" with Blake Shelton On SNL (January 25th 2015)
Look, not everyone should host Saturday Night Live. It takes a special person to hold a show for an hour and a half, and it takes an even more special person to hold the show as host and musical guest, which is what SNL host and musical guest Blake Shelton did on Saturday night. So how do you make that double duty role work for someone like Shelton? Have him sing "My Darling Joan," inspired by real life "My Sweet Lorraine," and make the viewers forget he's not actually a comedian.

It started off with a local news segment in Topeka that had 97-year-old Russell on the show to talk about his huge hit, "My Darling Joan," which he wrote about his late wife, Joan. He teamed up with Tyler (Shelton), a music producer who set the song, written by Russell, to music. If this sounds familiar, it's because it actually happened - back in 2013 - but the real life version wasn't as dark as SNL's version.

On SNL, Tyler starts singing the song for the news anchors, which seems like a good idea at first, but then things go horribly wrong. What starts off as a song about Joan's "sweet and tender smile," turns into a melodic roast of Joan's "nasty remarks," "hatred for animals," and calling her a monster. Everyone but Tyler and Russell are shocked by the twisted turn the song takes, because it turns out Russell wasn't too crazy about his late wife Joan.

In real life, Fred Stobaugh was recognized for writing a song about his late wife, Lorraine, who he had been with for almost 73 years. The song was called "Oh Sweet Lorraine," and it is actually a touching song and doesn't go in the same direction the SNL parody went. Fred's song became such a hit in 2013, he made it on the Billboard Hot 100. Here's the song SNL's "Oh Darling Joan" was modeled after. (Note: Grab the tissues, because it's a tearjerker.)
Tags: Saturday Night Live (TV Program) Blake Shelton (Musical Artist) Saturday Night Live SNL Blake Shelton Wishing Boot inspirational Country music Hee Haw The Bachelor Blake Shelton Performs Neon Light Boys Round Here My Darling Joan
Added: 4 months ago
From: Late Night TV
Views: 5,145

["Topeka Today" appears on screen, then cut to two TV hosts (played by Bobby Moynihan and Sasheer Zamata) speaking directly to the camera]
FEMALE HOST: Welcome back! It's not every day a ninety-seven year old becomes a world-famous song writer ...
MALE HOST: But that's exactly what happened to our next guest. When his wife of seventy years passed away last spring--
[cut to a black-and-white photo of a man and woman (Taran Killam and Kate McKinnon) waving to the camera in a car with a "Just Married" sign on the bumper]
MALE HOST: [from off camera] Russell Shea decided to pay tribute to her in song.
[cut back to the two hosts speaking directly to the camera]
MALE HOST: He teamed up with a local musician, and now he's got America listening with over two million YouTube hits.
FEMALE HOST: We've got Russell in the studio with us now.
[the camera pans over to show Killam (in "old man" makeup) sitting on the couch next to them]
FEMALE HOST: And aren't you a sweetheart?
[he laughs]
RUSSELL: Thank you.
FEMALE HOST: Now Russell, how did you and your wife Joan meet?
RUSSELL: Well, when I came home from the war, I'd go to the library every day. One day I walked in, and there was the most beautiful librarian I ever saw, and that was my Joan.
MALE HOST: Aw, that's beautiful. Also, here's Tyler Coldwin, who's helped set Russell's song to music.
[the camera pans over to show a younger man with a guitar (Blake Shelton) sitting next to Killam]
TYLER: Howdy.
MALE HOST: The song is "My Darlin' Joan" ... Please, take it away.
[he starts playing his guitar and singing, as black-and-white images of Joan (as a young woman) play on the screen behind him]
TYLER: My darlin' Joan, I won't forget your sweet and tender smile. My darlin' Joan, you never failed to light up a room. My darlin' Joan, I'll always treasure the day we met. I'll treasure, I'll treasure, I'll treasure, oh, that memorable day.
FEMALE HOST: Beautiful!
TYLER: There's more ...
[he starts to sing again (as the images playing behind him start to show a young Killam with "unhappier" looks on his face]
TYLER: My darlin' Joan, you were not perfect, but you sure were mine. My darlin' Joan, you could silence a room with your nasty remarks.
[the two hosts start to get confused looks on their faces]
TYLER: My darlin' Joan, your hatred of animals rattles my core. My darlin' Joan, you even yelled at me in your sleep. Your body, your body, your body, it was just okay.
MALE HOST: I'd just like everyone to know that this is our first time hearing this song ...
TYLER: My darlin' Joan, I'd hide in the closet and read my Bible for strength. My darlin' Joan, our dinners were silent and we never had sex. My darlin' Joan, the only thing you loved were your expensive hats. My darlin' Joan, your favorite hobby was making me cry. You monster, you monster, I wish I killed you but you choked on some corn.
FEMALE HOST: So ... why did you agree to help him with this?
TYLER: Look, Russell's a good guy, plus ... he's my landlord, so I kinda had to.
[he continues singing (as the images playing behind him start to show Joan with "graffiti" drawn over her face (an eyepatch, mustache, blacked-out teeth, etc.)]
TYLER: My darlin' Joan, do they let you use your humidifier in hell? My darlin' Joan, does the Devil let you curse at him in front of his friends?
[the old man joins in]
TYLER AND RUSSELL: I hate you, I hate you, I hate you and now I dance on your grave. You're in the ground, I'm alive and bugs are eating your hair--
MALE HOST: Okay! Okay, alright ... Thank you, Tyler and Russell!
RUSSELL: No, there's three more verses.
MALE HOST: Nope! Goin' to commercial, we'll be right back!
RUSSELL: Aww ...
["Topeka Today" appears on screen]


From yahoo.com:

My Darlin' Joan

A widower (Taran Killam) teams with a musician (Blake Shelton) to pen an ode to his dearly departed wife (Kate McKinnon).

Case Study No. 2047: Staff of the Library of Kazarach

Dawn of the Dragons World Raid (Phantoms of Kazarach) Part 1
Hope u like the Gameplay :)
Music By: tecknoaxe
Channel: http://www.you tube.com/channel/ UCtgf00GvfFQVsYBA7V7RwUw
Tags: Dawn of the Dragons Gameplay Free MMO Rpg Rts Browser Based Game Gamer Games Computer MMORPG Multiplayer
Added: 2 years ago
From: biohazardisonline
Views: 128

From wikipedia.org:

Dawn of the Dragons is a multiplayer fantasy RPG created by 5th Planet Games, available on Facebook, the social networking website, as well as Kongregate and Armor Games, online gaming websites. The game went into beta testing in May 2010. On January 23, 2013, Dawn of the Dragons was released on Newgrounds, and on February 14, 2013, a mobile version of Dawn of the Dragons was released for iOS.

The player begins the game as a farmhand, working the fields near the small town of Burden's Rest. When a horde of monsters attacks the town, the player is forced to take up arms and rally the other townspeople to defend their homes and families. The player goes on to discover that these monsters were but a small part of a larger army being led by dragons, and that the entire kingdom is under threat. Enlisted by the king's men and sent out to help in the war effort, the player goes on a series of adventures alongside the other fighters from Burden's Rest and the companions they meet along the road.

In Dawn of the Dragons players have four action bars: health, energy, stamina, and honor. Each bar can be used to take certain actions in the game. The health bar shows how much health the character has remaining. The energy bar is used to complete quests and defeat quest bosses. You may also purchase items from the Bazaar to put in your pouch and use when defeating bosses. Completing quests and defeating the boss at the end takes the player through the game's storyline. Completing each area's quests unlocks the next area, and hence allows them to play through the next portion of the story. The stamina bar is used to attack other players, and to fight raid bosses - which are more powerful enemies, requiring multiple players to work together to defeat them. The honor bar is used to take part in guild activities, such as jousting with members of rival guilds and attacking special guild raid bosses. All four bars recharge based on timers, meaning that a player's health, energy, stamina, and honor will regenerate over time, hence allowing them to continue the game later on after they've taken all their available actions. There is also a perception stat, which increases the player's chance to find special items while questing, though it does not have a bar of its own.

By completing quests and defeating bosses, the player gains access to various weapons, spells, mounts, and pieces of armor which may aid them on their adventures. The items they equip are displayed on their avatars. Some of the items gained can be used in the Craft where you complete Crafting Recipes. Clicking on the Craft or Collect buttons will show you what items you have accumulated. Once one of every item is collected, you can click on the blue Craft or Create arrows to gain your prize; which will help you in future quests. Weapons and armor can be dragged and dropped from the item list to the avatar. Make sure you check your quests to see if certain weapons or armor are needed for future quests. If not, you may sell them at the Bazaar. Players can also obtain items that can't be purchased in the Bazaar by receiving gifts from other players, or by gaining Planet Coins; which can be purchased or won by completing offers or surveys.

Players also obtain generals and troops, along with legions - formations in which they can arrange these units to help them in battle. Generals and troops can be arranged by their Role, which is the little blue symbol in the upper right corner of the avatar.


From wikia.com:

* First release on May 24, 2013 in honor of the third dawniversary (Loot Table)
* Second release on May 30, 2014 in honor of the fourth dawniversary
* This World Raid is special in that it changes its type throughout its time limit. Current types, in the order that they happened in, are as follows: Qwiladrian, Beastman, Demon, Dragon.

The library of Kazarach has been restored to splendor, filled with arcane tomes as it was in its glory days -- before the great disaster left it barren. But its horrors have been given new life as well. Mysterious forces draw the phantoms of long-dead beings from the pages of the library's books, unleashing their ancient wrath.

Orange Ruined Grimoire
* Type = Crafting Component
* Ability = Used in crafting Milaku General, Students Legion, Apprentice Librarian's Books, Apprentice Librarian's Dagger, Librarian's Set and x3 Stat Points.

Kazarach Legion Boost IV
* Type = Boost
* Ability = Boosts power of all legions by 10%

Kazarach Legion Boost V
* Type = Boost
* Ability = Boosts power of all legions by 20%

Kazarach Legion Boost VI
* Type = Boost
* Ability = Boosts power of all legions by 40%

Kazarach Dragon Familiar
* Type = Familiar
* Ability =


From wikia.com:

Librarian Set is a set of 8 Epic items. Obtained by upgrading Apprentice Librarian's Set with items from Phantoms of Kazarach (World Raid)

Librarian's Books
* Att: 345
* Def: 345
* AV: 431
* Per: 200
* Obtained: Crafting/General/Events
"Ook! Ook!": Chance for bonus damage; Extra damage for each piece of Librarian set worn; Extra damage if Librarian's Ring is owned; Increases Stamina by 10

Librarian's Dagger
* Att: 345
* Def: 345
* AV: 431
* Per: 200
* Obtained: Crafting/General/Events
"Ook! Ook!": Chance for bonus damage; Extra damage for each piece of Librarian set worn; Extra damage if Librarian's Ring is owned; Increases Stamina by 10

Librarian's Hood
* Att: 345
* Def: 345
* AV: 431
* Per: 200
* Obtained: Crafting/General/Events
"Ook! Ook!": Chance for bonus damage; Extra damage for each piece of Librarian set worn; Extra damage if Librarian's Ring is owned; Increases Stamina by 10

Librarian's Robe
* Att: 345
* Def: 345
* AV: 431
* Per: 200
* Obtained: Crafting/General/Events
"Ook! Ook!": Chance for bonus damage; Extra damage for each piece of Librarian set worn; Extra damage if Librarian's Ring is owned; Increases Stamina by 10

Librarian's Gloves
* Att: 345
* Def: 345
* AV: 431
* Per: 200
* Obtained: Crafting/General/Events
"Ook! Ook!": Chance for bonus damage; Extra damage for each piece of Librarian set worn; Extra damage if Librarian's Ring is owned; Increases Stamina by 10

Librarian's Pantaloons
* Att: 345
* Def: 345
* AV: 431
* Per: 200
* Obtained: Crafting/General/Events
"Ook! Ook!": Chance for bonus damage; Extra damage for each piece of Librarian set worn; Extra damage if Librarian's Ring is owned; Increases Stamina by 10

Librarian's Boots
* Att: 345
* Def: 345
* AV: 431
* Per: 200
* Obtained: Crafting/General/Events
"Ook! Ook!": Chance for bonus damage; Extra damage for each piece of Librarian set worn; Extra damage if Librarian's Ring is owned; Increases Stamina by 10

Librarian's Ring
* Att: 345
* Def: 345
* AV: 431
* Per: 200
* Obtained: Crafting/General/Events
"Ook! Ook!": Chance for bonus damage; Additional 500 cap for each piece of Librarian set worn; Increases Stamina by 15


From wikia.com:

Librarian's Books

Raid damage: 1725
Duel power: 230
Attack: 345
Defense: 345
Perception: 200

"Ook! Ook!": Chance for bonus damage; Extra damage for each piece of Librarian set worn; Extra damage if Librarian's Ring is owned; Increases Stamina by 10

"There are two kinds of books in the world: the ones you've read and the ones you haven't read." -- A notice on a library wall

"Three: The ones I haven't returned!" -- Scrawled below that notice in another hand

"Bring those back, or we'll stab you." -- Written beneath the graffiti

Obtained By:

Crafting/General/Events - Ruined Grimoires

* 1x Apprentice Librarian's Books
* 10x Grey Ruined Grimoire
* 10x Green Ruined Grimoire
* 10x Blue Ruined Grimoire
* 10x Purple Ruined Grimoire
* 10x Orange Ruined Grimoire

Part of Librarian Set
* Main Hand - Librarian's Books
* Off Hand - Librarian's Dagger
* Helm - Librarian's Hood
* Chest - Librarian's Robe
* Gloves - Librarian's Gloves
* Pants - Librarian's Pantaloons
* Boots - Librarian's Boots
* Ring - Librarian's Ring

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Case Study No. 2046: Morgan Holzer

The Weirdest Questions People Asked Librarians Before Google
The Weirdest Questions People Asked Librarians Before Google
Added: 6 months ago
From: Chandni Hitesh
Views: 1

From gothamist.com:

Before Google, Here's What New Yorkers Asked The NYPL
Jen Carlson in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 22, 2014 1:15 pm

Recently some folks at the New York Public Library discovered a box containing old reference questions from the 1940s to 1980s. They'll be posting the questions to their Instagram account on Mondays (starting today), but have shared a bunch with us today, noting, "we were Google before Google existed." (On that note, Neil Gaiman once pointed out, "Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one.")

Check out what people wanted to know decades ago, below - the NYPL has included answers and dates with some:

* Is it possible to keep an octopus in a private home?
* I just saw a mouse in the kitchen. Is DDT OK to use? (1946)
* Does NYPL have a computer for us of the public? Answer: No sir! (1966)
* What did women use for shopping backs before paper bags?
* Are black widow spiders more harmful dead or alive?
* Is it proper to go to Reno alone to get a divorce? (1945)
* Are Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates the same person?
* Can NYPL recommend a good forger?
* Where can I rent a beagle for hunting (1963). We also had requests to rent a guillotine.
* Has the gun with which Oswald shot President Kennedy been returned to the family?
* What is the life span of an eyelash? Answer: Based on the book Your hair and its care, it's 150 days.
* What is the life span of an eyebrow hair?
* Does the Bible have a copyright?
* What percentage of all bathtubs in the world are in the US?
* Can you tell me the thickness of a US Postage stamp with the glue on it? Answer: We cannot get this answer quickly. Perhaps try the Postal Service. Response: This is the Postal Service.
* What does it mean when you dream of being chased by an elephant?
* How do you put up wallpaper?
* A question from New Year's Day 1967: I unexpectedly stayed over somewhere last night. Is it appropriate to send a thank you?
* What's the difference between pig and pork?
* What kind of glass should I use in my greenhouse in Cuba?
* Can mice throw up?

These were all asked either via phone or in person, and we're told, "The system back then was the same as today, in that we tried to answer right away. While we're not 100 percent sure how certain questions wound up in this box, they seem to be questions that we didn't have an answer to at the time (for example, at least one question was put in the box in the 1940s, and then answered in the 1970s)."

People still use an updated version of this, called Ask NYPL, and the library says they receive about 1,700 reference questions a month via chat, email, and phone.


From boingboing.net:

In the New York Public Library's Instagram account, Information Architect Morgan Holzer is posting images of 3x5 cards pulled from a shoebox collecting 50 years' worth of weird questions that were posed to the system's reference desks, which were strange and notable enough to warrant addition to the collection.

It's a great collection of the kinds of weird miscellanea that today we pose to search engines without thinking twice, but which were once the province of a hard-working cadre of information specialists who were asked to figure out how to sell notable lighthouses one day, and what the natural enemy of a duck was the next day.

Here's some current reference questions from NYPL:

* Are vegetables and fruits being sold to American supermarkets that are fertilized with human excrement?

* What are the chances of survival after someone's heart stops for more than five minutes? I am having trouble finding a good source that breaks this down. The databases are tough to use and google is being no help. Thank you for any help you can lend!

* I am looking for articles in sociology about how individuals in small group settings tend to look outward to have their needs met, while people in larger groups tend to look inward. The specific context is about people with developmental disabilities who live in residential facilities, and trying to get support for the proposition that people are better off in smaller settings where they would look more to the community rather than the institution for support. Thank you for any guidance about searches or articles.

* I'm looking to do a comparison between the efficiency of buses versus the subway. At rush hour, how many people can load and unload from a subway train (say, the 4 at Grand Central)? About how long does that take? 10 seconds, 45 seconds? Through how many doors in how many cars? Thank you in advance!


From laughingsquid.com:

Staff at the New York Public Library recently found a recipe box containing a collection of interesting reference questions posed to librarians from the 1940s through the '80s.

"People came to the library for reference, but also for info on buying and selling, looking for inspiration, crafty project ideas, and even to find photos. In a world pre-Google, librarians weren't just Wikipedia, they were people's Craiglist, Pinterest, Etsy, and Instagram all rolled into one."

Some are sad ("Any statistics on the life span of the abandoned woman?"); some are silly ("You'll have to forgive me I'm from New Jersey"); some are sufferingly existential ("Trying to solve the riddle of existence"). Patrons of the library are still welcome to seek answers from librarians, but now Ask NYPL offers help via phone, email, chat, or text message.

The library will release a new question - some with the original answers - each Monday on Instagram under #letmelibrarianthatforyou.


From jezebel.com:

"Do mice throw up?" and "Any statistics on the lifespan of the abandoned woman?" are some of the less strange questions that librarians at the New York Public Library have been writing down for decades. If you're wondering if people asked about sex, the answer is "yes, absolutely."

Before Google, I used HotBot - because it sounded like the best search engine for a teen looking for porn, fuck you Alta Vista - and before that I don't even remember how I asked difficult questions that I wouldn't have the answers to. Now that I'm an adult, I am addicted to googling everything from "how do you really pronounce 'lascvious'" to "Am I having a heart attack right now or what?" to "What are some good ways to tell if the advice nurse knows the symptoms of a heart attack and is just lying to you to spare your feelings because it's too late for you to be saved?" I can't imagine life without Google. But for people in the 40s, 50s and 60s, the only people they had to ask these difficult questions were librarians, arbiters of truth and knowledge. Of course, the librarians were writing these questions down.

The NYPL is releasing some of the best questions they've received on their Instagram and the ones that have already been posted are doozies. My favorite, aside from "what percentage of all bathtubs are in the US?" and "You'll have to excuse me, I'm from New Jersey" - which, not a question - is this one, posed by a woman who was going to politely become a millionaire or die trying:

Telephone call mid-afternoon New Year's Day, 1967:

Somewhat uncertain female voice: "I have two questions. The first is sort of an etiquette question. I wentto a New Year's Eve party and unexpectedly stayed over. I don't really know the hosts. Ought I to send a thank-you note? Second, when you meet a fellow and you know he's worth twenty-seven million dollars because that's what they told me, twenty-seven million, and you know his nationality, how do you find out his name?"

"I mean, yes, I want to marry someone for their money, but I don't want to be vulgar about it."

You can see more questions here and check back every Monday for more. I haven't been as excited about the library since the SFPL upped their borrowing privileges from 20 to 75 books per person.