Category Archives: Library Stuff

All about libraries and library matters…

Job satisfaction

Life is so much pleasanter if you love what you (have to) do, at least most of it – and with a nice cup of hot tea or coffee ūüėČ

Texture is by les brumes and own texture, the lovely hearts are by melemel  //


Once Upon A Time

It’s story¬†hour in The Library and everyone has come to listen to the tales and stories. Mrs Pearl is the centre of attention, reading from Wilhelm Busch’s story book to the children, about the pranks of Max & Moritz and¬†the bad end the mischievous duo¬†had in the end.

Everyone’s listening intently, the delicate Ophelia is already feeling a bit¬†dizzy¬†from hearing about¬†the¬†wicked boys’ little crimes and Blacky the sheep, who is usually blamed for everything that goes wrong anyway, has taken the precaution of hiding behind the book cart and is enjyoing the story from a safe distance, out of eyesight. Just in case. You never know.

 Max und Moritz

Ach was muss man oft von bösen
Kindern hören oder lesen!
Wie zum Beispiel hier von diesen,
Welche Max und Moritz hiessen.
Die, anstatt durch weise Lehren
Sich zum Guten zu bekehren,
Oftmals noch dar√ľber lachten
Und sich heimlich lustig machten. –
РJa, zur Überltätigkeit,
Ja, dazu ist man bereit! –
РMenschen necken, Tiere quälen,
√Ąpfel, Birnen, Zwetschen stehlen –
Das ist freilich angenehmer
Und dazu auch viel bequemer,
Als in Kirche oder Schule
Festzusitzen auf dem Stuhle. –
– Aber wehe, wehe, wehe,
Wenn ich auf das Ende sehe!! –
Ach, das war ein schlimmes Ding,
Wie es Max und Moritz ging.
– Darum ist hier, was sie getrieben,
Abgemalt und aufgeschrieben.

Beatrix Potter (1866-1943)¬†and her delightful stories were hardly known here when I grew up. I only got to know her¬†as an adult. My childhood companions were the characters from the fairy-tales by the Brothers Jacob (1785-1863) and Wilhelm (1786-1859) Grimm, Astrid Lindgrens (1907-2002) ¬†“Pippi Langstrumpf” and other books, and¬†the¬†stories by¬†German author Wilhelm Busch (1832-1908), most of all his¬†that about the famours, or rather infamous rascals Max & Moritz, which was first published in 1865. Written in rhyming couplets and wonderfully illustrated, I absolutely loved them. They are quite cruel at times, really (as are many fairy tales) but we never noticed that as children, they were (and still are) ¬†just so wonderfully funny.

The big green Wilhelm Busch book with all his stories belonged to my grandparents who kept it for me to read when I visited. My grandparents have died long ago and the book is now one of my cherished treasures (even though it is not a 19th century original but a 1970s reprint), full of memories – and great stories.

I don’t know how well known (if at all) Wilhelm Busch is in the English speaking world. If you don’t know them, you can read a bit about Max & Moritz here¬†(there’s also an English translation of the above preface to the story).

To be continued…

Textures by les brumes and Shadowhouse Creations  //

Mrs Pearl Is Getting Ready

Mrs Pearl has been busy all day yesterday dusting the books in The Library to make the best of impressions on her first apprearance in the new Flickr group Toy-in-the-frame Thursday today. She was so excited, she couldn’t stop shushing to herself all day and she even completely forgot to put back all the books but left them lying everywhere on the cart and the desk.

Textures by les brumes and Shadowhouse Creations


Meet Mrs Pearl
Mrs Pearl is a 12cm tall Librarian Action Figure. Push a button on her back and her arm moves with a shushing action. She comes with her bestseller Book Lust and a stack of books or, in the deluxe version, with a whole library complete with reference desk, computer, library cart and books.

 The figure is modeled after the real-life librarian and author of bestseller Book Lust Nancy Pearl.

Mrs Pearl is already looking forward to next week. What adventures, tasks or daily routines will the new week bring?

To be continued…

Bilder von der InetBib-Tagung 2010

Der Tagungsort: Die ETH Z√ľrich

Der Tagungsraum: Das Auditorium Maximum

Das Tagungsprogramm vom Donnerstag, 15. April 2010:

Die Twitterwall:

Die Stände der ausstellenden Firmen im Innenhof:



Quot. Sansom: The Guildhall’s Librarian

Fictional description of the Guildhall Library¬†in London in 1540 and its librarian. I’m sure the librarians there¬†are much more reader-friendly and service-orientated these days¬†ūüôā .

But I’m afraid there are still some libraries left even today, where a ¬†librarian not unlike the one described by Sansom¬†watches over the collection, scowling at every reader who innocently wishes to¬†consult one of its books¬†…

The librarian was one of those fellows who believes books should be kept on shelves, not read, but with the aid of Vervey’s note I was able to get past him. He watched sourly as I put the volumes in my satchel.

Sanson, C. J. Dark Fire. London: Pan, 2007. 978-0-330-45078-2.

See here for¬†information about today’s Guildhall Library and its services.

It’s a blue book, you know…

Bringing books and people together: Librarianship back then – “Your Life Work: The Librarian” (1946).

Quot.: Whitechapel Library – “a meeting place for boys and girls”

Libraries are not only (more or less quiet) places where one can pursue one’s studies,¬† but also social places to meet people – and maybe even find love. This was already the case over a century ago:

Meanwhile, the second generation was making good use of the Whitechapel Public Library. It has acquired legendary status as a haven where Jewish slum kids could escape overcrowded flats and plunge into books, but there¬†also study was a social activity. “It was not only a place where one could just about get an hour’s homework done in four hours, but a meeting place for boys and girls,” recalled one habitu√©. […] There was much conversation and some rowdiness, in spite of a stern librarian.

Rose, Jonathan. The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes. New Haven and London: Yale Nota Bene, 2001. 0-300-09808-1.