By Steve Zalsuky
For a number of silent film enthusiasts, silent comedy has acted as a gateway drug.
In my case, I sampled a dose of Chaplin and this led me to Keaton, which is like moving from marijuana to crack cocaine. From there, I developed an insatiable appetite for all things silent, cinematically speaking. But I also wind up going back to my roots in an enthusiasm for silent comedy.
By Steve Zalusky
A grueling 700-800 mile drive from Chicago to Culpeper, Va., barely sustained by several rest-stop "ventis" and followed by only one-two hours of sleep, had left me more than a little groggy as I headed to the lobby of the Microtel Suites in Culpeper.
In June, at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas we spoke with Michelle Luhtala, winner of the 2011 Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award, about the impact that winning had on her career and her local community.
Luhtala explained that in addition to the boost to her career, winning the award turned out to be a valuable advocacy piece for her school library.
Everyone at one time or another gets a "desert island" question.
"If you could take 10 records to a desert island, what would they be?"
I would prefer receiving that question in a slightly different form.
"If you had a choice, where would your desert island be?"
I would answer, the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Va., near Washington, D.C.
In this video, author Lisa Genova discusses the many services available through the local library.
She says it is a place she visits every week with her children, where they take part in such activities as yoga, singing and crafts.
"My 12-year-old is a voracious reader, and I have a hard time keeping up with the books that she is reading," she says.
Speaking as a writer, she says that her favorite book events are at libraries.
"It's a great resource for the community," she says.
In this interview, author Ruth Ozeki says that when she was a little girl, her mother would take her to the library almost every day.
She says she would take home a stack of books and read them in virtually one night.
She also remembers that her local library would have a contest that would involve writing book reports.
In this video interview, Jane McGonigal, author of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World (Penguin Press, 2011), shares her favorite memories of libraries.
She says her first memory of being involved in a library is from 4th grade, when she volunteered to come to school early and work behind the counter at her school library, stamping books.
In this video interview, author Wiley Cash talks about his love for libraries.
He shares an especially warm memory of returning to his hometown library in Gaston County, N.C. for an event revolving around the publication of his first novel.
“It was an amazing homecoming of sorts for me,” he says, noting that some of his favorite librarians from his childhood were still working there.
“That was a real thrill to meet them and tell them what a huge impact they had on me – and then sign their books,” he says.
In this video interview, Larry Kane, author of When They Were Boys: The True Story of the Beatles' Rise to the Top, discusses the critical importance of libraries.
He remembers growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y. in the 1940s and visiting the library to check out the books he needed for summer reading, a trip he considered an adventure.
The theme for this year's National Library Week celebration was Lives change @ your library, so we asked library patrons across the country to tell us how the library had changed their lives.
Visibility @ your library
American Libraries Inside Scoop
Abby (the) Librarian
How Books Got Their Titles
Library History Buff
Library Link of the Day
Library of Congress Blog
Points of Reference
Book Group Buzz