Human Library, Living Books

human library 2Have you ever been to a Human Library?  Here you can check out Living Books, and on Saturday I did just that.

The Salt Lake County Library System gathered a variety of people, i.e., books who were willing to share  their life experiences, and brought them together with readers who wanted to hear their stories.

I chatted with a retired soldier who had been involved in every American conflict since Viet Nam.  One man, a Muslim, told of being raised in apartheid South Africa, and another who was known as the Tom Brokaw of Iraq, recalled fleeing for his life after speaking up one too many times. I talked with a woman about the terror and the joy of escaping a life of polygamy, then discussed educational theory with a non-tiger Mom. There was an urban farmer, a polio survivor who climbed mountains, as well a an author, a songwriter an artist,  a member of the LGBTQ community and many more.

The Living Books festival originated in Denmark in 1993. The city had experienced a strong societal shift due to a large number of immigrants,  and the new and old members of the population were not getting along. The first Human Library was aimed at giving people a chance to sit down together as neighbors. It was an opportunity to break down barriers and  prejudice, and it serves the same purpose today.

“This event gave people  a chance  to talk with someone they wouldn’t ordinarily meet,” said the Imam of the Salt Lake Islamic society. “Whenyou bring people from opposite ends of the social and political spectrum together in a  non-judgmental setting, a lot good can come of it.”

“We’ll do this again next year,” said Liesl Seborg,  coordinator of the event.  “Hopefully everyone will come back and bring their friends.”

And that’s what it’s all about – friends.  The people who attended today have some new friends to show for it, and judging by all the animated conversations and smiling faces, the event was a great success.

don't judge 2

Poster for the Original Human Library

http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/musing-mondays-mar-31/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lost and Found

businessmanI work in a busy public library and am constantly amazed by the variety of things people leave behind.  For instance, car keys – we have on average 4 sets of car keys in our lost and found drawer at all times. Can somebody please tell me how you get home without your car keys?  Don’t you need them to start your car?

Another popular item is cell phones – a big-ticket, stress inducing item to lose track of.  I always feel bad about this and try to answer the phones whenever I hear them singing their sad little lost song in the drawer.  Often it’s the owner calling from someone else’s phone trying to locate their own.  “You left it in the library!” I say, and we have a good laugh and the mystery is solved.

Much harder to resolve and equally traumatic is the instance of people who leave their flash drives in one of our computers.  I’ve been there done that, and I know how it feels. People store important information on those tiny bits of technology – things  like business proposals, midterm notes, personal journals, and final drafts of their novels.  It’s like back in the day when everyone carried planners.  You lose it and you lose your mind.

We also deal in lost coats – last check we had three, backpacks and shoes – did you really not notice you were missing a shoe? Canes, we’ve found four over the past year and they’re all alike.  We suspect it’s the same person losing them, but have yet to catch the owner in the act of abandonment.

But all these things pale in the face of the Grand Champion of lost and found items. One day at closing we were astounded to find a  brand new, state of the art, convertible double stroller, sitting all alone in the children’s section.

What?  Someone entered the library with a giant double stroller and managed to leave without it? Poor  young mothers, I feel for you.  I know, sometimes life with young children gets so stressful that you’d forget you own head if it wasn’t attached. (But seriously, your stroller? That’s more important than your head.)

Anyway this particular story  had an interesting ending.  One day a young man came into the library and glanced at the stroller collecting dust in the manager’s office. He skidded to a halt and stared.

“Excuse me,” he said, “but I think that’s our stroller. We lost it a few weeks ago, and my wife thought someone had stolen it.”

No, not stolen, just forgotten.  I hope he broke it to her gently. In conclusion, the stroller and it’s owners were happily reunited, and our manager has his office back – for now anyway.

Are you missing your eyeglasses, your wallet, your trumpet or your wedding ring?  Can’t find your notebook, your credit card or your soccer shin guards? Check out the library. Books aren’t the only things we collect.

Linger

Wall ClockThe daily prompt asks what  we linger over – Ah, so many possible answers . . .  a good book, a crossword puzzle, a cup of hot cocoa on a snowy morning, lunch with a friend, a hot shower, a cuddly baby, puppies, a beautiful garden, and time with family.

I also linger too long over my word press posts, checking and re-checking spelling and grammar,  making sure I’ve made sense to someone other than myself.  So today I won’t do that.  Short and sweet – here it is.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/daily-prompt-linger/

Rock My World

thinking

Daily Prompt: Under Pressure? Only when I’m awake . . .

It doesn’t take much to confuse me these days, but this one really rocked my world.

I was running late for church last Sunday and wasn’t paying a lot of attention as I jumped in the car and drove off. I attended church, had a lovely time, and returned to my car only to find  the door wouldn’t unlock.   Now let me explain that this was my husband’s car and it has one of those electronic keys that you don’t even have to take out of your purse.  It’s magic and the door unlocks as soon as you approach – but not this time.

car keyWhen the lock wouldn’t work, I  assumed the car battery had died since it’s been doing that lately.  I was once again in a hurry  so I hitched a ride home with a neighbor and, master procrastinator that I am, promised to resolve the car problem later. Not surprisingly things came up that afternoon, and that night it  was just too cold so, bright and early Monday morning my spouse and I  went to retrieve his car.

We were surprised when the car immediately sprang to life with his key. Apparently it wasn’t a dead battery after all,  so what was wrong with my key? I began digging through my purse and discovered that the key wasn’t in there.

Wait a minute, how had I driven his car to church without a key? OH NO! Had I lost it at church?  Please not that. This key is expensive, in fact  one of my pet peeves about new cars, is that they all have electronic keys that cost roughly the equivalent of a years pay (mine anyway) to replace.

But I digress.

Back at home I tore the car apart to make sure I hadn’t dropped the key inside. I tore my purse apart again, and checked all the pockets of the clothes I’d worn to church. No luck.  Defeated, we finally sat down to discuss the options.  We still had one key to his car, but if we lost that we were toast.

toastMe: “I guess we’ll have to buy another key.”

John:  “Yes, it’s unfortunate that it costs roughly the equivalent of a years pay.”

Me: “Sigh.”

Daughter:  “Are you guys looking for Dad’s key?  I’ve got it right here.”

John:  “YOU have the car key?!!

Daughter: Uh oh, (stricken look) how did you get home from church Mom?”

Me:  How did I even get to church?”

John: “Why do you have the key?!!

(What you see here is a classic case of multi-level confusion.)

To make a long story short, unbeknownst to myself I had taken my own car to church.  My daughter who doesn’t like to drive Dad’s vehicle came by and traded cars with me, then left an FYI text which I never saw because I don’t know how to find texts on my new phone. She left John’s car in the same parking place so I wouldn’t be confused, (Hah!) but neglected to leave the key, and had been blissfully unaware of the problem until now.

Is anyone still with me?  I’m not.

Anyway, all is well now because my paychecks can once again go towards paying bills and buying chocolate instead of installment payments on a new car key.

Note to car manufacturers:  Enough with the magic.Can we please go back to cheap metal keys?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/daily-prompt-heat/

This Takes the Cake

IMG_20140205_154900Here’s one for Sherlock. We’ll call it the Mystery of the Baffling Baked Goods. As I walked out of McDonald’s one afternoon I came across a puzzling sight.  There on a little patch of dead grass in the middle of the parking lot was half of a child’s birthday cake, perfectly preserved, with plastic lid still intact. (In case you’re wondering, the white patches are melting snow.)  Now some of you might say, “So?  There are many reasonable explanations for a situation such as this. For instance,” ? . . .?  . . . ?.

See what I mean?  What could possibly have caused a half eaten birthday cake to appear in this parking lot median. Did it fall from a passing space ship, the remnants of an alien child’s  festivities? Did it get bumped out of  a hungry delivery man’s bakery truck? Did someone eat their fill and decide to share with other parking lot dwellers? I don’t know, but that’s about the extent of my theories.  Ideas anyone?

Where are Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys when you need them?

Four Paws Up!

Rosie Bear

Rosie Bear

Rosie Bear here, fresh from a long winter’s nap – yawn. I actually had no intention of hibernating this year as I had way too many books to read, but one night last October, I was reading a long, looong book, and the next thing I know – it’s March!  Anyway, it’s time to get back to work.

As some of you may know, my friend the Library Lady had a falling out with the PBS series, Downton Abby.  (https://geanieroake.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/downton-abby-emphasis-on-the-down/)  As a result, even though her husband, and that ridiculous dog Lucy still stayed glued to the set on Sunday evenings, the Library Lady swore off all things Downton. Well, I bet I can get her to change her mind . . .  with this!

The Missing Diamond By Nick Page

The Missing Diamond
By Nick Page

Mouseton Abby – The Missing Diamond,  is unbearably cute and everyone will want to read it. Mouseton Abby originally belonged to the monastic mice of the Stinky brotherhood of the Holy Goatcheese, but it eventually ended up in the hands of Sir Roquefort, the Earl of Mouseton.

This mysterious story is filled with lots of fun characters, with many cheesy names like the Dowager Countess Lady Gouda. As the story goes, Lord Roquefort, who is very forgetful, loses the Great Cheesy Diamond, right before the annual celebration of Cheesemas, and the hunt is on.

Mouston Abby is a fun book for the cubs, and also for Mama and Papa bears especially if they like Downton Abby, which the Library Lady doesn’t, but she might give it a second chance after seeing this cute book!

Speaking of great books.  Here’s another must read.

By Amy Hest

By Amy Hest

Mr. George Baker is a Reading Rainbow book, and rightly so since it’s all about one of my beary favorite subjects – Reading. Mr. George Baker  is a hundred years old.  He’s sitting on the front porch of his house waiting for his friend Mr. Harry “in charge”, who is five.  When Harry arrives, he tells us about Mr. Baker and  his crumpled hat and long stretchy legs in saggy baggy pants with pockets full of candy.

They wait, and talk about some of  the things Mr. Baker  learned over the years, and some of the things he didn’t.  One of the didn’t is learn to read.

“That must be corrected”, he says.

Finally the wait is over. They stand and walk to the street as the school bus arrives, and  Mr. Baker and Harry both get on the bus. Though everyone wants Mr. Baker to sit with them, he always sits by Harry. When they get to the school, Harry goes to his room, and Mr. Baker goes to room 7 with the other adults who are  . . . learning to read.

This  honey of a book, also has furry beautiful pictures. You won’t sleep through this one!

Four Paws UP!

Four Paws UP!