Thursday, August 16, 2018

Hooray for Librarians

Here are Nallab and Enit, Dinotopia’s librarians. Tell me in the comments if a library or a librarian helped make you who you are. For me, the Brand library in Glendale, California was the lifeline to early art instruction books that I used to teach myself in the pre-internet era.
from Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time signed on my website. Also available on Amazon


Hinkley said...

My local library was/is still in Douglas, Cork, Ireland. The main branch was in the city. A great place to get,(and still get), reference books to inspire or instruct on art. Publishers such as Watson Guptil etc. Libraries are brilliant. All the best from Glengarriff, Co.Cork.

Unknown said...

One day my exhausting, challenging toddler went from ONLY reading chunky books about trains, cars and trucks to devouring every inch of the subtle and sophisticated "Peppe the Lamplighter" by Elsa Bartone, gorgeously illustrated by Ted Lewin. It is a heart-wrenching tale of a poor, young, motherless immigrant boy in turn-of-the-century New York City as he seeks to understand his duties to his family (especially his cantankerous, ailing father) while establishing himself as a breadwinner, supporting his many sisters. Lewin's illustrations were like nothing I'd ever before encountered in a children's book. Sumptuous. At the time, librarian Betsy Bird was working at the Children's Center of the main branch of the New York Public Library on 42nd St and I RAN to her for recommendations for fan this flame. With Betsy's guidance my toddler and I explored everything from Jon Muth's dreamy, profound "Zen Shorts" to jewel-like illustrations in the biographies of Demi. Betsy and I began an email correspondence continuing to this day (nearly a decade later) despite the fact that she is no longer "my" librarian here in NYC, having decamped to Evanston, Illinois' public library system quite awhile ago. My now-10 yo son (still exhausting and challenging!) has a burning passion for books - our home library boasts over 10k (!)- in no small part thanks to librarian Betsy Bird.

Unknown said...

Mr. Flemming, the librarian at the Pacific Cascade Freshman Campus in WA, was by far the coolest school librarian I'd ever met. He would actively engage with kids and take them around the library to give his best recommendations based on their favorite books. The best things was that he even introduced me to a bunch of comic books! What librarian recommends comics that they've read!?

Gary said...

In 1944 the first library was opened in Flint Township, MI, while I was being conceived by marine sergeant and his young wife in Quantico, VA. The first volunteer librarian was my Grandmother, Katie McCarty, who had a 4th grade education and loved to read. The library was in the former township hall and functioned as a library to an age when I could read. I still remember the location of the books that I liked. After a couple years it was staffed by a professional librarian, Mrs. Mansfield, who stayed there until her retirement. The building and these two librarians had more influence on my education than anyone beyond my parents. The old township hall library was eventually replaced by a combined library & senior citizen center. The new library branch was named for my Grandmother in 1989, when she was honored as the volunteer of the year for the State of Michigan.

E-readers and the internet have replaced the library in my life. Something is lost when something is gained.

arturoquimico said...

Maybe I'm giving my age away here, but when I was a kid out in West Texas... the Walter Foster books were the only art books available available to kids of all ages... it seems like the real "Art" books such as classical paintings were hidden somewhere in the college library and not available to teenagers as they were deemed "mature". Also, there did seem to be an appreciation of Norman Rockwell paintings in magazines...

Timothy Bollenbaugh said...

WWU—Wilson Library. 1985.Non-student. Mid 20's. Learning obstacles. But I knew a person could learn and do anything from here.
Two professor / librarians asked if I needed help. I thought they would throw me out, and fessed up. They near adopted me and I never left but necessarily and briefly. Acquired my degree in illustration here. I'd most needed a welcome, acceptance, and understanding. I now am a volunteer faculty member for the design department and help in Wilson as well. Dal Symes and Ray McInnes were their names.


Western Washington University
Timothy Noel Bollenbaugh
Information & Assistance
FI 127 Faculty Volunteer
MS 9068
T: (360) 650-3660
F: (360) 650-6878
Mobile: (360) 920-2958

BarbaraAnne said...

Once I could ride my bike in the mid 50's , I was able to get to the 'big' library which was a beautiful old Victorian English home converted, in the west end of Montreal. I still remember the smells of the books mixed in with a little mildew? and the homey feel of that building with the early old english furniture like it was yesterday. It just felt good to be there. I believe that building had a big innfluence on my reading. Oddly enough, I am now back to a small Victorian library again, this time in a small town in Ontario, and I once again love sitting in the big comfy chairs and reading on a cold wintery day. Good memories....thanks for asking .....Barbara

Bill Marshall said...

My, my, I haven't thought of the Brand Library in many a year! Martin Mondrus, artist and art instructor at Glendale College, where I was a student, would take his watercolor class there for plein air painting sessions on the grounds in the early '70's. Beautiful place to both study, and practice art.


Penn Tomassetti said...

As a child, my mom would take us kids to the Exton, Pennsylvania, library where we spent hours looking for books and videos to take home. I used to project the animal books on the wall and try to trace them or draw from the photo references. I also taught myself Karate (and how to draw Karate poses) that way before going to actual classes.

Brian said...

Both my parents were librarians, and thus some of my very earliest memories are connected to libraries. To this day, they hold a magic to me, that no other place can quite match.

Andra said...

My local librarian was a star - she got my brother and I speaking english and encouraged my love for books and reading. Libraries were always my sanctuary as a child and young adult. Once I began developing interests in esoteric things like calligraphy and heraldry, I was given access to the stacks; sheer bliss!

Steve Gilzow said...

We moved every few years during my 50’s childhood. A first foray in each new town for my brother and me was the local library. Two of these were Carnegie libraries; endowed by Andrew Carnegie. Beautiful, inspirational buildings with curved bannisters, marble sills, and vast collections. Heaven.

Unknown said...

I am reminded of the librarian father in "Something Wicked This Way Comes," by Ray Bradbury. There are many great passages relating to libraries and their inhabitants in that book.

here is a sample:

"Out in the world, not much happened. But here in the special night, a land bricked with paper
and leather, anything might happen, always did. Listen! and you heard ten thousand people
screaming so high only dogs feathered their ears. A million folk ran toting cannons, sharpening
guillotines; Chinese, four abreast, marched on forever. Invisible, silent, yes, but Jim and Will had
the gift of ears and noses as well as the gift of tongues. This was a factory of spices from far
countries. Here alien deserts slumbered. Up front was the desk where the nice old lady, Miss
Watriss, purple-stamped your books, but down off away were Tibet and Antarctica, the Congo.
There went Miss Wills, the other librarian, through Outer Mongolia, calmly toting fragments of
Peiping and Yokohama and the Celebes. Way down the third book corridor, an oldish man
whispered his broom along in

Bob said...

Libraries provide valuable knowledge for all stations of life and interests. How very -- well, Dinotopian! While in the Waterfall City Library I'd prefer Zippeau from the miniseries to Enit -- because Zippeau speaks English, while I'd be worried whether Enit had enough fish to eat each day. Seen too many Jurassic Park sequels to stay in the same room with a Deinonychus! In my childhood I remember scarfing up every science book in the Fresh Meadows (Queens, NYC) library -- which made me an engineer.

Timothy Bollenbaugh said...

Nallab came from the heart and mind of one who made academies of libraries, because an adequate academy—or atelier wasn't so available, or so I am given to understand. And James is a librarian of sorts, passing on his resources, gathering resources, reviewing resources, and authoring resources, the repository being this blog and his works.

Tim, again.

Bug said...

Our high school library had copies of Downbeat Magazine. I'd not heard any jazz, but was fascinated by the magazine and the things it said about the music. Shortly I not only began to listen to jazz but collect the albums. The first jazz record I bought was Dizzy Goes Hollywood. Not exactly a classic, but a decent start for a guy who would shortly find his way to concerts from Newport to Cleveland and many points in between. I have always read, but have always been self directed. Our junior high school had seven books on impressionism and I began to paint-- which I still do in retirement. I also listen to jazz. Librarians have changed my life by the very fact of their keeping libraries, and I cannot thank them enough.