Mountlake Terrace Library Blog

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

If I Hadn't Become A Librarian...

...I think I would have been a talent scout.

I am rather a savant at spotting those who will be big stars, if I do say so myself.

I "discovered" Sandra Bullock in Speed, Antonio Banderas in Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down, Sharon Stone in Total Recall, Denzel Washington in A Soldier's Story and Tom Cruise in Taps. Whether it was Sandra Bullock's plucky humor or Tom Cruise's intensity, I knew they all had that something special that would give them megastardom. In fact, I remember turning to my spouse and saying "Spouse, that person will be a megastar."

I come by this talent naturally.

My father was a big movie fan, and I remember sitting up late with him watching old movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood on TV (when I was supposed to be in bed) - Stella Dallas, Now, Voyager, The Philadelphia Story, The Quiet Man, Deanna Durbin movies.

My Dad was particularly susceptible to the tear-jerkers. When he would tear up he would emit a little guttural laugh and pretend to wipe his forehead with his handkerchief when he was really wiping the tears from his eyes. He didn't think I noticed.

But he also loved the corny movies. Francis the Talking Mule series was a particular favorite.

We loved to spot famous actors appearing in bit parts early in their careers and comment on their impending star power. He also taught me the love of watching the credits for names of famous actors appearing in small parts before they were big or the odd little fact - did you know that the real name of the dog who played Old Yeller was Spike?

I just recently watched the credits for Precious, based on the novel Push by Sapphire, and not only noticed the name Grace Hightower, but recognized her as Robert DeNiro's wife. Like I said, I'm a savant when it comes to this stuff. Try it. Reading movie credits is fun.

What old movie memories do you have?
Have you spotted any now famous actors early in their careers?

Anyway, if I should decide to take this talent of mine and turn it into another career, where would I go for help?

You see where I'm heading.

The library, of course.

Our Tools for Tough Times leads job seekers and career changers to resources that will help them decide where their talents lie, which careers are right for them, what the job trends are and where the jobs are. We also provide practice tests and Microsoft applications tutorials(Learning Express), as well as resume, cover letter and interviewing help.

Another important local resource is a library partner, WorkSource, which is a one-stop reemployment system for the job hunter and career changer. Funded by state and federal funds, services include employment counseling services, onsite hiring events, workshops and seminars and a computer resource center, which provides fax and copy machines, phones and typing tests in addition to computers. There are offices in several locations in Washington. The Lynnwood Office is located at 20311 52nd Avenue W. in Lynnwood. For more information call 425-673-3300.

You do not need to be unemployed to access these resources and services.

You might just be someone like me...thinking of that *other* career.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Movies I Have Questions About

Have you ever watched a movie and when it was over, went Huh?

Here are a few I have wondered about:

The Time Traveler's Wife
Henry is a librarian. When was he ever around long enough to get a library degree?

Gone with the Wind
What on earth did Scarlett see in Ashley Wilkes when she could have had Rhett Butler?


Or Rhett? You be the judge.

The Neverending Story
If it's neverending, how come it ended?

"In space, no one can hear you scream." Is that really true?

District 9
How did the malnourished sick aliens get those huge weapons down out of the spacecraft? And why did they come to earth in the first place?

Mulholland Drive
Just in general, whaaaat?

If you haven't seen The Sixth Sense yet, read no further but for the rest of you:
How can Bruce Willis not know he is dead? No one talks to him except the kid who sees dead people.

See what you think.

If you haven't seen these films or want to see them again, they are available at the library. I have provided links directly to our catalog.

And by the way, is there a better deal out there than the free DVDs at the library? You can check out 10 DVDs at a time for free!

When times are tough, your library is there to help! Now that does make sense.

Take that Netflix!

What films do you think have plot devices or scenes that just don't make sense?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Things I Thought I Would Never Say

Disclaimer: Now I realize that some of what I am going to say might offend those of you who say these things all of the time, so I apologize at the outset. But, hey, libraries are places for people to gather to find information and talk about issues that they care about and sometimes these issues can be controversial. And this library blog is no different - it's an electronic gathering place for us to share our ideas and opinions, so I don't mind if you disagree with me if you don't mind that sometimes I might say something you don't like.

So, that said, here we go...things I thought I would never say.

"I love Tammy Wynette."
I was never much of a country music fan. I grew up with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, so Dusty Springfield was about as country as I would get. However, as the celebrity bio junkie you know I am, I am drawn to their stories and right now I am reading a fascinating book about her. Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen. When I am reading about a performer, I often want to listen to his or her music or go back and watch the films, so naturally I had to download some Tammy Wynette iTunes onto my iPod, and I am lovin' listening to her standing by her man and 'til she can make it on her own.
Great stuff!

And Dusty's story was pretty tragic too! Here is her biography and some tunes.

"Chuck, you are right."
Chuck is my spouse, and actually he told me to put this one in.
I've actually never said that.

"Nanny McPhee is the greatest film of all time!"
I really did say that, but it was right at the end, I was crying my eyes out, and I think there might have been some wine involved.
In hindsight, I guess it's not "Citizen Kane." but it's a really good family movie.
Check it out.

"Is that a gray hair?"
If you are a baby boomer, you probably also never thought you would say that. We were all Peter Pan. But I guess that's what Clairol Coppery Red is for. (I wonder if there is a "statute of limitations" on dyeing your hair before it affects your brain.)

"The kids are not coming home for the holidays."
This happened for the first time last year. Both "kids" went to their beloved's parents' homes for the holidays, so for the first time in 24 years, we were childless. I guess I thought they would want to come home every year. Who wouldn't want to come home when it's pizza on Christmas Eve, 10 presents each, and a car ride looking at holiday lights while singing carols?
Oh, used to work.
So we went to Paris instead.

"Because I'm your mother."
And other things like "Because I said so," "Life isn't fair" and "Go sit on your hands for 15 minutes."
Maybe that's why the kids aren't coming home anymore.

"I'm going to be a librarian."
The inclusion of this statement might seem strange to you, since I am a librarian and have been one for 30 years.

But I didn't always want to be a librarian.

When I was in college, my college roommate told me that she was considering going to library school after graduation. I remember saying, "What!? Why would you want to do that?" as I conjured up the librarian stereotype of the little old lady with a bun wearing double-tread floor gripper shoes, shushing everyone. Something like this.

Despite my horror, she became a librarian and worked at the Library of Congress.
I, on the other hand, put flowers in my hair and headed for San Francisco. Unfortunately, my liberal arts education didn't qualify me for much, except lively conversation at cocktail parties, so after two years of toiling in the trenches, I reassessed my situation and realized I needed more education. By that time, I had several friends who had found themselves in a similar situation and had become librarians (what does that say about a liberal arts education?), so I thought, why not?

Having cut my hair short in the then fashionable Sassoon,

I couldn't supply the bun, but I was sure I could supply the shush, so off I went to library school.

Boy, did I get an education!

What I learned was that as a librarian, I was a member of a noble profession. We are woven into the fabric of what makes America great. We help protect the right for all Americans to have the information they need and want, without restriction and without judgment. And we are hip!

I have been working as a librarian ever since. I have been a medical librarian, a research librarian and a college librarian, but working in public libraries has given me the most satisfaction and pride. The hours are not great and, yes, I have to plunge the occasional toilet and sometimes interact with an unruly customer, but we who work in public libraries are the frontline defenders of the freedom of speech. I sure didn't think I would be saying all of that when I was 22.

And by the way, if I may quote the Houston Public Library's Annual Report,

"Shhhhhh...has left the building."