Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Oscar season is over, but I stumbled across this winner the other day, and couldn't help but share.  The Oscar winner for the best animated short for 2012 was "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore" a charming cartoon inspired by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books.  If that mix of inspirations doesn't intrigue you I don't know what will.

To learn a little more about the film I would suggest reading Mat Goldberg's article "Must-Watch: Best Animated Short Oscar Winner, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" on  Want to know more about the Oscar's Animated Short category?  Peruse "Best Animated Short", by Richard Corliss on Time Entertainment, for a few facts and a rundown of the 2012 contenders.

Next week... well I don't know what I'll post next week.  You'll have to check back to find out.

~Sara Pitcher, Archives Assistant

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Salutations from the Reference Department

As summer officially begins today, I though that I would post a summer update from the reference department.  Right now, we are in maintenance and reading mode.  This means we are slowly trying to sift our way through the stacks of library publications on our desks while also trying to prep for the coming school year (and accompanying classes.)  All this reading means that occasionally you find neat resources that you really want to share with students, though it can be tricky to find the proper home for them on the library's website.  However, this type of stuff is ideal for the blog, so let's start the sharing and caring!

This week's focus is on financial literacy for students.  With student loans prevalent, and many students starting their first job where one has to contemplate 401K, IRAs, and retirement funds, it can be overwhelming at times to figure out where to go to get financial information and advice.  Thankfully, the ACRL recently published a bang-up list of websites that students can use to help educate themselves on all of these issues and much more.  Here are a few highlights from that list:

-360 Degrees of Financial Literacy: This site, sponsored by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, is an extensive resources aimed at users ages 12 and up.  Another bonus?  The information is organized and separated both by life stages and by topic. Another site organized according to life stages, this website is hosted by the US Government and aims to improve the financial literacy of a variety of consumers.  It's also available in Spanish, for those who would prefer.

-'Financial Literacy and Ignorance" Blog:  Authored by Annamaria Lusardi, a researcher and professor of economics and accountancy at the George Washington School of Business, this blog touches on a variety of financial and economic issues.

Happy $$$ planning!


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Bibliotaph - Someone who "buries", or hides and hoards, books by keeping them under lock and key. (from:

No this is not another word for archivist.  Archivists preserve books and information so they are available for research and future reading.  But, it is something that many a busy book lover can be accused of, unless I am the only one that buys books with the intent of reading them and then leave them on my shelves for a rainy day.  The story of a true bibliotaph can be read on project Gutenburg.  A paragraph of "The Bibliotaph and Other People", by Leon H. Vincent, can be read below, but the full book is completely free and just a click away.
"The most genial lover of books who has walked city streets for many a day was a bibliotaph. He accumulated books for years in the huge garret of a farmhouse standing upon the outskirts of a Westchester County village. A good relative 'mothered' the books for him in his absence. When the collection outgrew the garret it was moved into a big village store. It was the wonder of the place. The country folk flattened their noses against the panes and tried to peer into the gloom beyond the half-drawn shades. The neighboring stores were in comparison miracles of business activity. On one side was a harness-shop; on the other a nondescript establishment at which one might buy anything, from sunbonnets and corsets to canned salmon and fresh eggs. Between these centers of village life stood the silent tomb for books. The stranger within the gates had this curiosity pointed out to him along with the new High School and the Soldiers' Monument."

Next week I will take a break from biblio words to share a "must-watch" Oscar winning animated short.

~Sara Pitcher, Archives Assistant

Thursday, June 14, 2012


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Bibliokleptomania - an abnormal compulsion to steal books. (from The Free Dictionary by Farlex)

This bibliomania is a true mental illness, though it isn't a good insanity defense in court.  In medieval times books were protected from bibliokleptomainiacs by book curses which were written in a book, most often the colophon, and promised bodily harm and damnation to the thief.  Such curses are rarely used today when libraries and book collectors depend on security systems and locked doors to protect their rare collections.

To hear some tales about notorious bibliokleptomaniacs I would suggest reading Lindra Henrick's Cerebral Boinkfest blog post from January 1st, 2011 titled "Bibliokleptomania".  She relates the stories of a thief who stole books from a neglected monastic library in order to restore and preserve them, and a book seller who murdered his customers in order to get his books back from them, among other true tales of bibliokleptomania.

To read a few examples of book curses see the blog post from June 10, 2012 titled "Book Curses, Medieval Scribes and a thought on book care…" on Lux Mentis, Lux Orbis...Rare Books, Random Thoughts.

Next week I will continue the exploration with Bibliotaphy, book hiding.

~Sara Pitcher, archives assistant

Thursday, June 7, 2012


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Bibliophagy - The consumption of, or the devouring (figuratively), of books. (from English Word Information)

Few would blink an eye lash at some one figuratively devouring a book, but an odd look would be warranted if the book was literally being consumed.  Unless of course the one consuming the book was a child.  Bibliophagy is sometimes recorded in children but, according to my brief (10 minutes) internet research on the matter, rarely occurs past childhood.  Though if you have a sudden craving there is an Edible Books Festival celebrated around the world on April 1st.

To find out more about Bibliophagy and the Edible Book Festival I would suggest reading Blake Eskin's essay "Books to Chew On" published in the New York Times on March 26, 2006.

Next Thursday a few words on Bibliokleptomania to keep with the theme of the last few weeks.

~Sara Pitcher, Archives Assistant

Monday, June 4, 2012

Check out some animated fun from Studio Ghibli!


Looking for a fun summer movie? Our Studio Ghibli collection is a great place to start, and good for all ages. Studio Ghibli is a Japanese animation studio founded by acclaimed directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. Studio Ghibli focuses on films filled with whimsical fantasy elements and often features strong heroines. Here’s just three of the 18 that have been produced by the studio:

My Neighbor Totoro (1988) tells the story of two young girls who move with their father to the Japanese countryside and encounter many friendly woodland spirits, named Totoros. The main Totoro helps older sister Satsuki find her 4 year old sister Mei when she turns up missing.

Spirited Away (2001) is the story of Chihiro, a strong-willed 10 year old girl. She moves with her parents to the suburbs and one night discovers an alternate reality inhabited by thousands of mysterious spirits. When Chihiro’s parents are transformed into pigs by a witch, she takes a job at a bathhouse for these spirits to free herself and her parents from this alternate reality.

Pom Poko (1994) chronicles the struggle of shapeshifting raccoons, called tanuki, that are fighting to save their home from urban development. The lazy tanuki put themselves through a strict training regimen so they are able to utilize their shapeshifting powers to trick the humans and evil foxes invading their habitat.

The AV Department has the majority of films by Studio Ghibli, come check them out!

--Laura, Head of Audiovisual