Monday, April 19, 2010


[Now I'm home from the conference about which you'll read below and only now do I find that I'd not managed to get this posted on time, tech feeb that I am...]

So, I'm typing this out quite late at night, here in a hotel room, here at a conference of school librarians from all over my home state of Missouri. I, along with my good & dear writer friends, (Veda Boyd Jones and Vicki Grove) spoke to a few of them earlier today, about historical writing, research, and about Laura Ingalls Wilder. I have to give a presentation in the morning on the uses of history. Sure I am of my feelings and notions about the study of and the writing about historical figures, but this particular talk I'm planning is rather new to me. Ah well. We breathe then we throw our silly selves out upon the people, trusting that one's trusty brain will rise to the challenge, and the word-loving listeners, smile, nod, catch us in their expectant arms. I'll remember tomorrow morning, the 19th of April, that today marks the beginning of the Revolutionary War [remembering how school librarians led me to books that explained it] and the explosion of a government building full of Oklahomans, going about their business. It's Marie Antoinette's wedding anniversary, too, 1770, I think. I'll talk to a gaggle of school librarians, i.e. kindred spirits, about reading and learning about people and things historical. Talk about preaching to the choir. In any case, in thinking of what I must write and what I must say, I dilly-dallied about, quote-questing, and came to these marvelous words of Paula Poundstone: "It's funny that we think of libraries as quiet demure places where we are shushed by dusty, bun-balancing, bespectacled women. The truth is libraries are raucous clubhouses for free speech, controversy and community. Librarians have stood up to the Patriot Act, sat down with noisy toddlers and reached out to illiterate adults. Libraries can never be shushed." This brilliant, swellegant nugget I found at Iowa's State Library website. May Ms. P's words hearten you, fellow lovers of books and libraries, as they have heartened me.

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