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Library Card 5478 / The New Atlantis

img_3085This library card comes from a copy of Francis Bacon’s “Essays and the New Atlantis”, and shows it’s circulation throughout the 1980s.

Bacon is considered the father of empiricism and the scientific method for his position that knowledge can only be based on inductive reasoning and careful observation, with the use of a skeptical and methodical approach.

In addition to his contributions to science, Bacon also donated greatly to libraries, even developing a system of cataloging books by dividing them into three categories and further breaking those down into subjects and subheadings.

In his novel, “The New Atlantis”, Bacon created a utopia which was to represent what he considered the greatest aspects of human civilization; a community based on scientific enlightenment, generosity; in which the collected scientific knowledge was shared equally with all for ultimate betterment of society. At the center of this society was a state-sponsored scientific institution that served as the blueprint for what he considered the ideal college or what we think of today as a scientific research university.

It should be pointed out that due to Bacon’s death in 1626, this novel about the perfect society was left unfinished and its promise unfulfilled. Would the newcomers to this ideal society thrive in their new environment? Or did they represent the corruption of the European state, and would seek to take advantage of the scientific discoveries of Bensalem, to use them for their own gain rather then the greater, societal good, and cause conflict on the island?

Visit our shop on Society6 to see this library card and more on a variety of great products!

 

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Library Card 3503 / Exploring the Moon

Library Card 3503 Roy A. Gallant, Exploring the MoonThis library card comes from an old copy of Roy A. Gallant’s “Exploring the Moon” and shows the circulation history of this particular edition throughout the 1980s.

Gallant has been a professor at the University of Southern Maine since 1979 and is the director there of the Southworth Planetarium. Before that however, he began his writing career with “Boy’s Life” magazine. When his article on the origin of the moon resulted in hundreds of letters of interest, he began to consider a career as a science writer.

Gallant’s first book, “Exploring the Moon,” was published in 1955 and not only sold over 100,000 copies but led to a series of ‘Exploring’ books touching on chemistry, weather and planets.

This book was, for many, an introduction to the Moon, as it would be another fourteen years before Neil Armstrong set foot on it, and four years before the Soviet Union crashed their Luna II probe into the surface.

Gallant’s career would span 50 years and include 96 titles. His last book, “Meteorite Hunter”, was published in 2001, and chronicled his journey across Siberia in search of anything related to the Tunguska Event of 1908, an unexplained explosion said to be 1000 times more powerful than Hiroshima.

Visit our shop at Society6 to see this library card and more on a variety of great products!

 

All Booked Up at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library

img_1913Library?  Podcast?  Sold.

I just finished listening to the first episode of “All Booked Up” on SoundCloud, a new(ish) podcast put out by librarians Michelle and Jacob with the Buffalo and Erie County Library.

I put it on while I was shoveling the other day (which I don’t necessarily recommend as I started laughing a few times and had to stop) and finished it later while folding laundry (a much safer activity while listening to this), because that’s just the jack of all trades that I am.

I loved all of its geeky rambling about “The Disaster Artist”, “Dunkirk” and “The Big Lebowski” and everything the Library has to offer to take you into those stories and beyond.

I was a little scared when Michelle started professing her genuine love and obsession for “The Room” but then I remember I own multiple copies of “Manos: The Hands of Fate”, a movie made by a fertilizer salesman just to prove he could and whose title literally is “Hands: The Hands of Fate”. What does that even mean? Why does it seem like two movies spliced together? Seriously, what is happening with Torgo? Why am I watching it again?

Yeah, so I guess who am I to judge, right?

The podcast’s hosts are true librarians, who can work multiple recommendations into a conversation without it being overwhelming, and their suggestions are informed by their own reading history and interests. They’re not just throwing suggestions at you or reciting a bestsellers’ list, but recommending books and movies they have available through the library based on the conversation they’re having.  The episode notes include a list of all the books and movies they talked about as well as links to those titles on the library’s website.  So if something sounds really interesting, you can immediately click over and request it from your local branch.

I’m looking forward to catching up and listening to the rest of the episodes they have up, and checking out some of their recommendations. It’s available now on SoundCloud and iTunes.

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