Friday, April 16, 2010

I found it at the library

Last semester a student asked me whether the Du Bois Library had new books that you could actually take out.

My response (after I put my teeth back in): YES! YES! Twenty floors of them!

I love the library, and you should too. As a journalist, I've spent some of my happiest reporting times talking with a librarian in a little town I was writing about, watching and waiting as she pulled out some arcane documents, town history or annual town report that nobody had asked for in years.

Or in the stacks at DuBois, trying to find out about Herman Melville's relationship with Mount Greylock.

Or the history of grass.

Or what self-help books looked like in the early 1900's.

Or what they were advertising in Vogue magazine in 1954. All kinds of stuff.

This week I was trying to develop some story ideas for an upcoming trip to France, and that brought me to the big art book floor, the France floor and another couple of floors, and an armful of books. One book led me to this crazy artist named Ben Vautier, who was a big fan of Marcel Duchamp, and whose studio garden in Nice would make a great story.

Hoping I can hunt him down. And have a cookie with him.

Then this morning, I was trying to figure out how to fine tune my Google analytics account fothis is the tool that tells me how many people are coming to my site and what they're reading. Just for the hell of it, I went to the Library website and typed "Google Analytics" into the keyword search. Up popped three E-books, which I can read online.

So if you've got a question, take it to the library. You'll probably find the answer and a lot more.

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