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Bookend: Marching Full Circle

Photo: Aaron Clamage All signs pointed to Philip Espe joining the Marines. The 34-year-old comes from a long line of military family members. But he also had a calling in music. Espe studied clarinet performance, earned a master’s of music in orchestral conducting, and directed community and youth orchestras. He used those skills when serving […]

Recipe in Peace

Photo: James Jelin Whether it’s snickerdoodles, peach cobbler, or cheese dip, many home cooks want to be remembered for their signature dish. Some have even gone as far as incorporating those foods into their final resting place. “Food connects us to someone we miss,” says Rosie Grant, digital librarian for American Jewish University in Los […]

By the Numbers: Gardening

Salt Lake City Public Library’s community garden. Photo: Jeri Gravlin 71Number of institutions recognized by the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries. These libraries are often housed within public gardens, arboretums, or universities around the world. 2004Year the first seed library opened in a public library. Hudson Valley Seed Library—which has since evolved into Hudson […]

Bookend: A Library of Laughs

Jenny Robb at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum at Ohio State University in Columbus. Photo: Stephen Takacs Jenny Robb says we are living in the golden age of cartoons and comics. “When I was growing up, we didn’t have graphic novels for a children’s audience,” says Robb, head curator of the Billy Ireland […]

Beats from the Bayou

Sandy Himel is associate professor and head of government information and the Cajun and Creole Music Collection at University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Photo: Doug Dugas/University of Louisiana at Lafayette In 1950s southern Louisiana and southeast Texas, a new kind of music filled hopping dance halls: swamp pop. The genre, typified by electric guitars, pianos, […]

Bookend: Stranger than Fiction

Suzanne Noruschat, Southern California studies specialist for USC Libraries Special Collections. Photo: Anne-Marie Maxwell Long before the popularity of true-crime podcasts, there was True Detective, a pulp magazine published from 1924 to 1995 that, at its peak, chronicled real-life crimes for millions of readers. Edward S. Sullivan, an editor for The Los Angeles Examiner and […]

Saving Afghanistan’s At-Risk W

The Afghanistan Ministry of Education homepage, as captured on August 16, 2021. Information about then–­Minister of Education Rangina Hamidi (pictured), a women’s rights advocate, has since been removed from the website. When the Taliban breached the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 15, Liladhar R. Pendse knew he had to do something. Pendse, librarian […]

Bookend: The Right Track

T-Kay Sangwand, digital collection development librarian at UCLA Library and host of radio show The Archive of Feelings.Photo: Amanda Lopez When T-Kay Sangwand named her radio show The Archive of Feelings, she wasn’t just being cute. In addition to being a DJ, Sangwand is librarian for digital collection development at UCLA Library, where she helms […]

What Was Lost

The Sphere, a sculpture by Fritz Koenig, survived the collapse of the Twin Towers partially intact. The unrestored sculpture now sits in New York City’s Liberty Park near the National September 11 Memorial Museum. Photo: Michael Rieger/FEMA Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, many archivists […]

A Movement Grows in Brooklyn

Items from the Greenpoint collection, including a newspaper, a photo of an implosion of natural gas storage tanks, and an award presented to Greenpoint Against Smell and Pollution. Photos: Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library, Brooklyn Collection Greenpoint, New York, a historically working-class Polish immigrant community, sits at the confluence of the East River and Newtown Creek, […]

Responsive and Responsible

A drawing of Iroquois games and dances by Jesse Cornplanter resides in Amherst (Mass.) College’s collection of Indigenous materials. Photo: Amherst College Archives and Special Collections It’s not news that libraries and museums have a long and problematic history of mishandling Indigenous materials. From exhibiting culturally sensitive items to retaining materials that were unlawfully seized, […]

Collecting Coronavirus Stories

Patrons at Palos Verdes Library District in Rolling Hills Estates, California, submitted photos that include images of daily jokes, Zoom meeting signs, protests, and jigsaw puzzles. Photos: Palos Verdes Library District in Rolling Hills Estates, California The Palos Verdes Library District (PVLD) coronavirus archiving project started with a cat. Monique Sugimoto, archivist and local history […]

Blockchain & Decentralization

Announcing the launch of the first Massive Open Online Course on Blockchain & Decentralization specifically focused around libraries, museums, archives, publishers, and the rest of the information ecosystem! Registration is now open and the course itself begins March 11th and runs for 6 weeks. Did I mention that the course is free? I am the […]