A Cabinet of Curiosities

There is so much interesting history to be found in the card catalog, if only those drawers could talk!

Image of the Library of Congress Card Division, 1919
The Library of Congress Card Division, 1919 Underwood. The Library of Congress Card Division, 1919. [circa 1919 or later], photograph, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
As Andrew Limbong explained on NPR’s Morning Edition show, “if you do a Google search for “card catalog” it will likely return Pinterest-worthy images of antique furniture for sale — boxy, wooden cabinets with tiny drawers, great for storing knick-knacks, jewelry or art supplies,” or seed packets as in the case of the new Pellissippi State Seed Library! There is a rich fascinating history behind the card catalog as author Peter Deveraux explains in his new book, The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures. Checkout this fun and fascinating interview on NPR:


DVDs at Your Library!

lucy gravity heartland her interstellar Action! Comedies! Sci-fi! Romance! Documentaries! Thrillers! Mysteries! Drama! Classics! Animation! Family films! We have the movies you want to watch.

Come see the newly added film collections at Hardin Valley, Blount, Division, and Magnolia libraries. You are sure to find some irresistible titles!
Choose something you missed in theaters like the Dark Knight, Shutter Island, or Sweeney Todd (remember, with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter?).into the woods

Reconnect with a favorite movie or TV show from your past like Taxi Driver (You talkin’ to me?!), Indiana Jones, Total Recall, or the Matrix.
Or grab a few films for your kids like Antz, the Box Trolls, or the Wizard of Oz.

gatsbyBrowse the shelves in person, or look for film icontitles online with OneSearch on the libraries’ homepage: Just look for the film icon in the results.

Borrow up to 3 DVDs for 7 days. No matter which day you check them out, you can keep them over a weekend!

Susan Martel

Attention all book lovers! Would you choose to live behind the library stacks?

Checkout this article about Life Behind the Stacks: The Secret Apartments of New York Libraries. Though today the practice has gone by the wayside, historically it was quite common for libraries to have live-in superintendents. These library caretakers lived behind the scenes  with their families, and enjoyed many fringe benefits like after-hours access to the collection. When their children wanted a new bedtime story, they had only to walk through the door and into the stacks- adventures abound!

Thornberry Family in their home in the New York Society Library.
Thornberry Family in their home in the New York Society Library.

For 25 years the Thornberry family called the New York Society Library home- Rose and Patrick Thornberry, both Iris immigrants lived and worked in the library, raising their two children Rose Mary and Terrance among the books. Though the family no longer resides in the library, they reflect back on their time there as “fun and brimming with opportunities.”

The Fedeler family, residents of the New York Public Library from 1910 until 1949, when John Fedeler’s son, John Jr. retired. John Jr. recalls as a child having used reference books as softball bases, until his father or security broke up the games. His sister Viviana, had been born in the library. Though they relished their life growing up in a library, there were some drawbacks to their unusual home — stomping and singing were strictly forbidden until after the library had closed.

Sadly, this tradition of live-in library superintendents has come to an end. But if you had the opportunity, would you choose to live behind the stacks?

Indonesia’s Library on Horseback

Ridwan Sururi and his horseback book mobile in Indonesia. Photographer Putu Sayoga, The New York Times.
Ridwan Sururi and his horseback book mobile in Indonesia. Photographer Putu Sayoga, The New York Times.

Roving Librarian’s come in many forms! Ridwan Sururi delivers books to to eager schoolchildren in remote villages in central Java, Indonesia, using his horseback book mobile. A book lover and a visionary,  Sururi’s mission is to create opportunities for others to read and to learn about the world. A study by Central Connecticut State University ranked Indonesia 60th out of 61 nations in regards to literacy, but Sururi is dedicated to changing this. His collection started with 138 books donated by a client who had met Sururi while participating in one of his horseback tours of the area. Since then, Sururi’s collection has grown to the thousands. His dream is to someday open a library in his home so that people don’t have to wait for him to deliver books. The photographer for this article, Sayoga, dubbed him “the Don Quixote of literacy.” While he might not change his nation’s literacy status all on his own, he’s making a big impact in his local community. How are you impacting your community?

You can read more about Sururi’s story in the New York Times. For full access to other New York Times articles, create a free account using your Pellissippi email address.

New Database: Science Direct College Edition

ScienceDirect: Just another database? We compared its content to our other databases and found its journals were unique, not in any of our other databases.

Science Direct homepage, where you can search journals and books by keyword, author, title, volume, issue, and page number. You can also browse by subject area.ScienceDirect consists of three major subject collections: health & life sciences (1,200 full-text journals), physical sciences, (500 full-text journals), social & behavioral sciences (750 full-text journals).

Search ScienceDirect to find original research articles. Check the “references” in a journal article, since many include summaries of referenced articles and often links to the full-text.

Access ScienceDirect on the libraries’ Database A-Z page (http://lib.pstcc.edu/az.php)

by Peter Nerzak