Monday, January 26, 2009

Fictional Librarians

I recently finished re-reading the Harry Potter series, and I found myself reflecting on the portrayal of the Hogwarts librarian, Madame Pince. A minor character in the series, she unfortunately embodies many negative librarian stereotypes--unfriendly, extremely strict, and decidedly unattractive ("vulture-like" is one description found in the books).

To J.K. Rowling's credit, she actually apologizes for this characterization, which was for purposes of the plot rather than her actual perception of librarians.

But anyway, I got to thinking about depictions of librarians I've come across in other films and books. One favorite is Mrs. Phelps, the kindly librarian in Roald Dahl's Matilda, who encourages and cultivates Matilda's love of reading.

Another fun one, which I came across more recently, is from Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean's MirrorMask. Although the librarian is a shusher, he does prove to be helpful and you get the feeling that he's probably not as grumpy as he acts. And hey, bonus points for the librarian being a guy.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Top 5 Reasons to come to iYouth Book Club Meetings

5. Because it makes you sound smart. Seriously, when you are at a party and you hear someone say things about their book club, don't you envy them, just for a minute, because they are smart enough to belong to a book club? Just think, now, you too, could discourse at length about your very own fabulous book club. We'll help you come up with phrases to astound, sentences to amaze, and thoughts that will impress others to no end.

4. Because we talk about great books. Each time we meet, we pick a picture book and a young adult novel for in-depth discussion. We have chosen some really intense works such as Unwind by Neal Shusterman (which we are talking about on January 12th. Don't miss it!), 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, and Little Brother by Corey Doctorow. We have also chosen fun and heart-warming books like Knufflebunny by Mo Willems, And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson, and The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. We also talked about Arlene Sardine by Chris Raschka, too. I don't know which category that one falls into, but makes for some interesting conversation!

3. Because it is convenient. We meet on the second Monday of every month at 9:30 AM, MGH 310D. I suppose that if we came right to your home, that would be slightly more convenient for you - but not for the rest of us... However, campus is your second home anyway, your cozy little nest where you spend any and all of your free time. The ambience can't be beat!

2. Because it is where all the cool kids hang out. Ahh, you thought it was at the College Inn, didn't you? Well, that is correct some of the time - but on book club days, this is where you will find the super cool kids. We know you are one too, so what are you waiting for? Join us already! There is no need to be planning to go into children's and youth services. If you enjoy discussing literature and hanging out with people who make you think, and make you laugh, then this is exactly the right place for you. Everyone is welcome!

1. Because there is always the possibility that there will be food! And on Monday, January 12th, there is a very high likelihood that there will be food. In fact, I would go so far as to guarantee that there will be food at the meeting. What could possibly be better than that? Some caffeine, you say. Hmm, you may be on your own there, but there will be food! Don't believe me? Stop by and find out! We will be waiting for you!

So, if you didn't figure it out yet (but you all did, since only the most intelligent sort of folks read The Silverfish), you are welcome to attend any and all iYouth book club meetings. We look forward to hearing what you have to say about what we're reading. For any additional details, check out our website, courtesy of the fabulous Elizabeth Mitchell, here:

See you soon!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I came across this promo for 4th Estate Publishing's 25th anniversary. The short film is produced by Apt Studio and Asylum Films.

"The film was produced in stop-motion over 3 weeks in Autumn 2008. Each scene was shot on a home-made dolly by an insane bunch of animators; you can see time-lapse films of each sequence being prepared and shot in our other films."

This Is Where We Live from 4th Estate on Vimeo.