Tag Archives: inspiration

OMG It’s a seed library!

A seed library! How awesome is this – you “borrow” seeds, plant them, grow some of the plants for seed, collect the seeds, and return them to be “lent” to the next gardener. Great idea, right??



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Library blogs

Library blogs are, for the most part, really boring.

I have about ten in my Google Reader, 8 of which I read for practical and immediate ideas for programming, library instruction, etc. The other two are actually interesting (I’m looking at you, Nicole, and your HackLibSchool bunch) but even then, I usually just skim. But sometimes, there is really good stuff out there. Really good stuff out there that reminds me why I want to be a librarian, why I should read more good, formally published library stuff (there is good, interesting library literature! Library Juice Press, I thank you for that!), and – most rare of all – that I should write. Advocate. Speak up. Because no one else will do it for me – I am out of school. It is I, and my colleagues, who determine what libraries are now. No more blaming someone else – it is up to US. We will become the future of libraries based on not only the decisions we make, but also how we feel, emote, and speak, amongst ourselves and publicly.

I went to the ACRL New England conference this last Friday. The closing keynote speaker was Umberto Crecna, an artist who was a major player in getting the arts back into downtown Providence, and therefore revitalizing huge sections of the city. He was awesome to listen to as a librarian. And he didn’t talk about libraries, at all. He discussed how he helped to create huge changes in the downtown architecture, culture, and feeling, through creating what he calls alternative spaces – spaces for unjuried, unjudged inquiry and exploration. Exactly what the library should be, right? What I would like to consider us to be? And yet, it is easy for the general public to see that in an artistic space, and difficult for them to see it in a library. Even Umberto, speaking at a library conference, didn’t really get the connection.

How did Umberto get his community to where it is? By being “loud.” His own words. He created the spaces first and then collaborated with everyone he could think of, to ensure that they could stay there. He didn’t whine, or complain – he took action and then he talked to everyone he could think of about it. Most importantly, he talked to people who might have hated his ideas or even him. Bankers, politicians (although it did help that Providence’s mayor was Buddy Cianci…). My favorite line from his speech?

“Act as if and you will think as if and you will feel as if and you will become.”

The blog post that inspired this was written here (section X is especially good). I started this blog knowing that I would write about libraries, because I can’t help myself, but purposefully not as a library blog. Mike and I share this space and it is about our lives (well, should be) as much as it is about either or our professions. I want to bring library discussions into these alternate, non-library spaces but I struggle with knowing how to do so. I want to speak passionately and meaningfully about why the library is important without using buzz words and a marketing plan.

Maybe I need to take a step back my from brain and act first, think later. I need to stop asking “how” and start asking when, where, why.


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Miso happy

[Warning – I’m about to talk a lot about miso. I cannot promise that the title is where the ‘miso happy’ jokes will end.]

Last weekend, Mike and I went to visit his godfather, Christian. [I am tempted to go on a tangent here about how I love the idea of godparents, less for the what-to-do-with-our-kids-if-we-die idea and more for the way-to-involve-friends-formally-in-your-family idea, but I’ll stop myself.] Christian is a homesteader and the owner/operator of the largest miso factory in the U.S., South River Miso. You can find jars of his miso in Whole Foods and the like. Mike’s parents know Christian from the Boston macrobiotic food movement, in which they were deeply involved in the mid to late 70s, and Mike grew up going to school with Christian’s son.

The land that their home and factory is located on is incredible. Their house was built by hand (with a little help from friends) and therefore reflects their personality and lifestyles perfectly, and everything overlooks the South River. It was an especially gorgeous day, I recognize that, and although it did take a fair amount of driving to get there (it’s pretty isolated) it was impossible not to idealize the lifestyle. Mike and I were both having visions of living like his family someday – and soon, we will be, to a certain extent. It was just hard to imagine why anyone would want to live in any other way.

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I must be drinking the correct bottled beverages.

…because the hippie tea stuff I bought today (Honest Tea…it is delicious) puts corny quotes on their bottle caps and today’s was relevant enough to warrant a blog post. It’s kinda like Snapple but the quotes are more along the lines of what you would find on a Yogi Tea bag. [I might have a tea problem]

So what did it say?

“To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves.”

– Ghandi

So…it must be a problem that I never knew how to dig the earth nor tend the soil. I am looking to remember as soon as possible, though.


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Wendell Berry is the man

…and the source inspiration for this blog’s title. God does he write a fantastic poem. This one, specifically.

I know it’s a bit Jesus-y but that’s not how I interpret it. Because I am no longer an English major and thus am allowed to read poetry purely for personal enjoyment.

Without further ado, Wendell Berry, in his own words.

“Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.

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