This quirky and imaginative book celebrates individuals’ potential for creativity and libraries as vital and vibrant...



Librarians Damon-Moore and Batykefer show how libraries are more than just places to shelve books.

Founders of the Library as Incubator Project in Madison, Wis., the authors conceive the library as “a one-stop shop—a place where a broad variety of creative lifelong learners, artists of all kinds, and librarians could gather to share ideas about programs that support hands-on creativity.” The Incubator Project believes that “a library isn’t just about things—like books, databases, magazines, and free tax forms—it’s about people.” Their ideal library would welcome knitters, crafters, musicians, filmmakers and photographers, as well as readers, all of whom would be nurtured by the special ambience. Interviews with poets, teachers, actors, researchers and artists working in a variety of media are followed by exercises that encourage readers to think imaginatively: “The library is alive, and you are listening to its heartbeat. Record your ideas in a notebook.” Mostly, Damon-Moore and Batykefer focus on public libraries geared to general-interest readers, but their project is applicable to specialized and university libraries, as well. One artist, working at the National Library of Australia, Canberra, finds historical artifacts there that she interprets in her drawings. Recently, for example, she discovered 18th-century medallions commemorating the voyage of Capt. James Cook. “I am interested in how events and ideas of the past have influenced and persist within current cultural preoccupations,” she says. Another artist decided to illustrate every page of Finnegan’s Wake, a book, he decided, “that would really benefit from illumination.” Besides inspiring particular artists, libraries can serve as showcases for the arts: mounting exhibitions, hosting readings and book signings, staging performances and concerts, and providing a communal space for artists to work collaboratively.

This quirky and imaginative book celebrates individuals’ potential for creativity and libraries as vital and vibrant community resources.

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-56689-353-4

Page Count: 220

Publisher: Coffee House

Review Posted Online: March 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

Did you like this book?


Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

Did you like this book?