February’s African-American Filmmakers Display

A fun display honoring African-American filmmakers is in the Display Case in the Brown Library, located just inside the entrance.


Friday Find: Rare Book Returned to Library 78 Years Late

From ABC News:

A Chicago Public Library amnesty program that allowed members to return overdue items without having to pay any late fees brought in more than 100,000 books, DVDs and other materials – including a rare, limited edition novel that was turned in 78 years late.

The rare edition of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray had been checked out in 1934. According to Reuters news agency, Harlean Hoffman Vision found the book in her late mother’s possessions and wanted to bring it back, but she wanted to make sure she wouldn’t go to jail for having had it so long.

“She kept saying, ‘You’re not going to arrest me?’ and we said, ‘No, we’re so happy you brought it back!’” Ruth Lednicer, the library’s marketing director, said.

For the full article, click here.

Do you know if you have any overdue books checked out from Brown Library? If you’d like to check to see if you have any overdue items, you can log into your account in BernieCat.

Luckily, Brown Library won’t charge you fines for late-returned materials… But, who knows, that book lying under your bed may just be a rare item someday! If you do have materials that you need to return, please bring them to the Library Circulation desk.

Friday Find: Library of Congress’s Alan Lomax Collection

Folklorist Alan Lomax believed that folk culture, particularly folk music, is essential to human society. His lifelong goal was to record and document traditional folk culture so that it could be preserved for future generations. From the time he left his position as head of the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress in 1942 through the end of his career as an internationally known folklorist, author, radio broadcaster, filmmaker, record producer and television host, Lomax compiled one of the largest and most culturally significant collections of ethnographic material in the world.

Included in this collection are photographs, video footage and sound recordings of traditional singers, instrumentalists, and storytellers captured by Lomax during numerous trips to the American South, the Caribbean, Haiti, Britain, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, France, Spain, Morocco, Romania, Russia and Italy. All of the material in the collection is available for personal viewing at the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center.  Many of the sound recordings, photographs, and videos may also be accessed online through the Association for Cultural Equity, fulfilling Lomax’s dream of preserving traditional folk culture and making it universally accessible for all.

Friday Find: New Digital Exhibit at the Chicago History Museum

The Chicago History Museum has a new Digital Costume and Textile Exhibit on their website. With over 50,000 images of costumes and textile artifacts from the mid-18th century to the present, this digital collection is the second largest in the world and one of the nation’s most complete digital repositories. Although the exhibit currently only features costumes, over time the Museum intends to digitize pieces from their entire collection.

Whether you are a history buff or a disciple of fashion, this digital resource offers a unique opportunity to view some very rare and beautiful historical objects.

Thursday Find: Animated Christmas Classics

It was only a few weeks ago that I posted about YouTube’s collection of free, full length movies and highlighted a few of my favorites. Today we’re going back to YouTube to watch some animated Christmas movies!

There’s a decent selection of Christmas classics, though there’s no simple way to search for the free Christmas movies (browsing is required) but here’s a link to the list of free animated Christmas movies on YouTube. Here’s one to start you off, Christmas Classics Number 1, featuring everyone’s favorite reindeer.

Wednesday Find: Christmas Traditions

I love hearing about the different ways that people celebrate Christmas (my personal favorite is the Christmas Pickle) and so to learn more on the backgrounds of different Christmas traditions, I went to the one place that’s great for this kind of information and little else: Wikipedia. As it turns out, they have an entire category devoted to Christmas traditions.

The list is a bit heavy in American traditions as opposed to those of other countries, but there’s still quite a bit to learn. And who know’s maybe you can incorporate a thing or two into your celebrations this year! Have a favorite, unique Christmas tradition? Let me know about it!


Monday Find: Santa Claus Guide

This year Christmas means a lot of Friday’s away from work, so to make up for the lack of a Friday Find last week and the fact that there will be no Friday Finds for the next two weeks, we’re celebrating Christmas all week at Brown Library by posting a daily Christmas related find.

Today we start with librarians getting excited about Santa Claus- The Santa Claus LibGuide from Loyola University Chicago. Containing everything you might need to know about Santa, regardless of your age, this guide puts all your Santa information in a single place. Find recipes for cookies to leave out for the man in red, learn about the apps for your smartphone to track Santa on Christmas Eve, learn about Santa sports, there’s even a section to learn about the dark side of Santa.

So head on over with your coffee and learn a little about the man who brought such happiness to so many childhoods.

Friday Finds: Books of the Year

Publishers are a smart group. They know they can’t have December release dates because then their books won’t end up on the “Best of 2011” list and then they won’t end up under the Christmas tree. Luckily for me, these “best of” lists coming out now means I can pass them onto you before we head into Christmas break, because you’re all going to need suggestions of what to read over winter break, right?

So without further ado, here are some of “Best Books of 2011” lists. Enjoy the selection!

10 Best Books of 2011 from the NYT (They also have a 100 Notable Books of the Year list if you need more suggestions)

Best Books 2011 from Publisher’s Weekly

Best Books of 2011 from NPR (really it’s more a list of lists of best books)

The Best Books of 2011 from Amazon

Books of the Year from The Guardian

2011 Readers’ Choice Awards from Goodreads


Friday Finds: ‘Tis the Season

Over at Brown Library we’re getting in gear for Christmas by decorating doors and planning the hours that we’ll be open during finals and the holidays. Today for our Friday Find we’ll be looking at old pictures of Christmas from one of my favorite photo and history blog Shorpy. Shorpy gathers most of its pictures from the Library of Congress, but also has user submissions and other great finds from all corners of the Internet. Today we’re focusing on:

Shorpy’s Christmas Image Gallery

This gallery is a blast from the past, letting you look into what Christmas was like around the country in many different time periods. What I like most about this gallery is that while there are plenty of professional or journalistic shots of Christmas from storefronts to simple winter settings, there are also a lot of family photos.

So if you’ve got a moment, take a look at the various Christmas photographs available in this gallery and get yourself into the Christmas mood. After all, there’s only 23 days left until Christmas is here!