Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Finally a Published Writer!

After the press I received in January for wearing that funny hat to the ALA Midwinter library conference, I was approached by ForeWord Reviews to write a column for their magazine. As it has always been a dream of mine to be a published writer, (I spend most of 2004 writing a book that has yet to see publication), I jumped at the opportunity to write a piece which offered my insights and opinions on the fields of librarianship and comedy, much like I do here on the blog. Here is the result of those efforts, I hope you like it...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Book Suggestions

Search Topics: Irish culture, leprechauns, luck, green, Irish writers, Celtic

1. St. Patrick's Day murder : a Lucy Stone mystery / Leslie Meier MYS MEIER
2. St. Patrick of Ireland : a biography / Philip Freeman 921 PATRICK
4. Pint-sized Ireland : in search of the perfect Guinness / Evan McHugh 647.95415 MCHUGH
5. P. Donleavy's Ireland : in all her sins and in some of her graces 921 DONLEAVY
6. Ireland 914.15 IRELAND
7. Booking passage : we Irish & Americans / Thomas Lynch 305.89162073 LYNCH
8. A book of migrations : some passages in Ireland / Rebecca Solnit 941.5 SOLNIT
9. Ireland and the Irish : portrait of a changing society / John Ardagh 941.5 ARDAGH
10. Passport's illustrated guide to Ireland / [written by Eric and Ruth Bailey]. 914.15 BAILEY
11. I'll know it when I see it : a daughter's search for "home" in Ireland / Alice Carey 921 CAREY
12. Irish gold [text (large print)] / Andrew M. Greeley LP FIC GREELEY OR
13. Ireland--our island home: an aerial tour around Ireland's coastline / Kevin Dwyer 914.15 DWYER
14. Once DVD 1904 DRAMA
15. Fodor’s Ireland 914.15 FODORS 2005
16. Tea and green ribbons : a memoir / Evelyn Doyle 920 DOYLE
17. A secret history of the IRA / Ed Moloney 941.60824 MOLONEY
18. Ireland and Your Irish Ancestry VIDEO 2163 DOCU
19. The rebels of Ireland : the Dublin saga / Edward Rutherfurd FIC RUTHERFURD
20. On Celtic tides : one man's journey around Ireland by sea kayak / Chris Duff 914.1504 DUFF
21. Angela's ashes : a memoir / Frank McCourt 921 McCOURT
22. Our lady of darkness : a novel of ancient Ireland / Peter Tremayne MYS TREMAYNE
23. Home to Ireland [sound recording] : the best of the Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem CD 787 FOLK
24. Fairy and folk tales of Ireland, edited by W. B. Yeats, with a foreword by Kathleen Raine 398.2 YEATS
25. song for Mary : an Irish-American memory / Dennis Smith 921 SMITH
26. 500 best Irish jokes and limericks / illustrated by Doug Anderson 891.62 FIVE
27. Irish magic II : four unforgettable novellas of love and enchantment FIC IRISH SC
28. The Oxford book of Irish short stories / edited by William Trevor FIC OXFORD SC
29. The Commitments VIDEO 1572 COMEDY
30. The Irish in America / edited by Michael Coffey 973 IRISH
31. I love sing-along Irish pub favorites CD 284 FOLK
32. Riverdance the show VIDEO 2813 FINE ARTS
33. The lie of the land : Irish identities / Fintan O'Toole 941.5082 O'TOOLE
34. For the love of Ireland : a literary companion for readers and travelers / edited and with an introduction by Susan Cahill 820.8 FOR
35. Irish rebel : John Devoy and America's fight for Ireland's freedom /941.5081 GOLWAY
36. Irish lighthouses / Sharma Krauskopf. 387.155 KRAUSKOPF
37. Dubliners FIC JOYCE
38. James Joyce 823.912 O'BRIEN
39. Inside Ireland 941.508 DILLON
40. The importance of being Oscar : the wit and wisdom of Oscar Wilde set against his life and times / Mark Nicholls. 921 WILDE
41. A Drinking Life: a memoir 921 HAMILL
42. Ireland and the Irish : portrait of a changing society / John Ardagh 941.5 ARDAGH
43. An Irish country childhood / Marrie Walsh 941.5 WALSH
44. All the best Irish drinking songs [sound recording] CD 149 FOLK
45. Rockne of Notre Dame : the making of a football legend / by Ray Robinson 796.332 ROBINSON
46. 100 years of Notre Dame football / Gene Schoor 796.33 SCHOOR
47. A great feast of light : growing up Irish in the television age / John Doyle 070.92 DOYLE
48. The Gangs of New York VIDEO 6894 DRAMA
49. In the Name of the Father VIDEO 2311 DRAMA
50. August Rush DVD 2011 DRAMA
51. Intermission DVD 0731 DRAMA
52. The Wind that Shakes the Barley DVD 1800 DRAMA
53. Women in Celtic myth : tales of extraordinary women from the ancient Celtic tradition / Moyra Caldecott. 398.2 CALDECOTT
54. Green Linnet records [sound recording] : 25 years of Celtic music CD 524 FOLK
55. Celtic Thunder CD 1009 FOLK
56. Celtic cross stitch : 30 alphabet, animal, and knotwork projects 746.443041 LAWTHER
57. Celtic design. The tree of life / Aidan Meehan 745.4 MEEHAN
58. Celtic love collection [sound recording] CD 786 FOLK
59. On Celtic tides : one man's journey around Ireland by sea kayak /914.1504 DUFF
60. The celtic riddle : an archaeological mystery / Lyn Hamilton MYS HAMILTON
61. The ancient Celts / Barry Cunliffe 936.401 CUNLIFFE
62. Classic Celtic Fairy Tales 398.2089 CLASSIC
63. The Book of Kells : reproductions from the manuscript in Trinity College, Dublin / with a study of the manuscript by Francoise Henry ART BOOK
64. Anam cara : a book of Celtic wisdom / John O'Donohue. 248.089 O'DONOHUE
65. The grail : the Celtic origins of the sacred icon / Jean Markale 809 MARKALE

Monday, March 14, 2011

Meredith Visits The Library of Magical Arts at the Magic Castle!

Abracadabra - you’re hired! Yeah, I wish it were that easy to get a library job because I would be the first person to go out and buy a magic wand (I already own the hat, gloves, and cape.) Well, if there were one place that I could learn such tricks to employment, it would be Hollywood’s legendary Magic Castle, which is a private clubhouse for the Academy of Magical Arts, “an organization devoted to the advancement of the ancient art of magic, with the mission to encourage and promote public interest in the art of magic.”

The Castle was originally built as a private home in 1909 and later taken over in 1960 by “Truth or Consequences” writer Milt Larsen to honor his late father, William W. Larsen, Sr, a renowned magician who had long dreamed of building an elegant private club for magicians. On January 2, 1963 at precisely 5pm, Larsen’s dream would come true as the doors to the Magic Castle officially opened, and now, some four decades later, has become the official home to the 5,000 members of the Academy of Magical Arts and their invited guests.

And tonight, I would be one of them!

Exploring the William W. Larsen Memorial Library of Magical Arts, a collection devoted exclusively to magic, is typically off-limits to non-magicians...until now. With Librarian Bill Goodwin as my magical guide, I was instantly levitated into the stacks and found sections of the library devoted to illusion, card tricks, close-up magic, gambling, and my personal favorite, comedy/patter! What about balloon animals, you say? Yes, there is even a section devoted exclusively to just that! According to Goodwin, who does not hold a Masters degree in Library Studies, but is a magician with vast knowledge of the collection, there are about 16,000 books and DVDs total, in addition to several display cases featuring memorabilia from Johnny Carson to the legendary Dante the Magician.

While there is no Dewey Decimal system utilized to organize the library, it doesn’t seem to matter when it comes to this library, as anything you could possibly want magically appears with the help of Goodwin’s sorcery and that incredible database and online catalogue. For example, a book on Houdini, I ask? Like a rabbit out of a hat, a key emerges, and Goodwin is unlocking a secret door to items only special visitors get to see. And there it is, Miracle Mongers and Their Methods – A Complete Expose by Houdini, and inside the cover? His signature from 1921, now that is pretty cool.

Now back to making that job appear, I ask, using what little charm I can muster without being a card-carrying member of the magic community. Could there be a secret contained within the stacks, a spell perhaps, that would enable me the powers to conjure up a job and be hirable in a tough economy? Goodwin smiles, puts his finger to his lips as he escorts me to the door. To this day I have no idea if he was using misdirection to avoid my question, being secretive, or simply shushing me. Ah the trickery of those Magician Librarians!!!

Complete with a strict dress code and invite only status, the Magic Castle is truly a one-of-a-kind experience, hosting five different magic shows in three showrooms, including: the Close-up Gallery, presenting masters of the art of close-up magic in the smallest of the Castle theaters (seating only 22 guests); the Parlour of Prestidigitation, which recreates the Victorian experience of the "parlour" (living room) magician; and finally, the Palace of Mystery, which hosts grand illusion and other stage performers.

In addition to the shows themselves, guests can also enjoy dinner or brunch, cocktails at any of the various bars found in the many hidden corridors of the Castle (I prefer the Owl Bar, where a certain owl will answer questions regarding your future, even if Magician Librarians cannot!), or you can listen to Irma the ghost play your requests on the piano. I like “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” by The Police since I may be unemployed but by some miracle I haven’t given up hope that maybe all of these little things I do will one day result in something miraculous!

Now if I could just find that gold coin in my ear I could pay my rent!


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