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The Library Lovin' Challenge

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I have loved libraries all my life. When I was a little girl, I liked the hush of the room, and the way the light filtered in through the windows. I loved the smell of the dust and the paper and the glue in the binding. I used to pretend to be a librarian, and wish I had my own library cards and a date stamp. In college, as a music major, I spent a lot of time in the "listening library", committing Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Mahler, Stravinsky and Copeland to memory, and I also spent time in a work-study job shelving books (I am the BOMB when it comes to Dewey decimal, y'all). Since then, I've visited college libraries to research the Jane project, and I've spent time visiting rare books in collections at the Rosenbach Museum & Library and elsewhere. And I'm not just a bookworm; I'm also a bibliophile (a person who loves books for qualities such as their format, and not just for the text and images they contain).

These days, I still like the hush and the hum and the light and the smell of so many pages in one place, and part of me would still like cards and a date stamp (or at least a set of bookplates). I love collecting books myself, but I love that libraries collect so very many more, to say nothing of the online resources they provide, and the ability to obtain books and scholarly articles electronically or via inter-library loan is akin to magic.

So, when Jenn Hubbard (writerjenn) issued her Library-Lovin' Challenge, I accepted right away. Initially I said I'd be in for what Jenn had proposed: 25 cents per unique poster, with a cap of $100, with funds to go to my local library. But then I got to thinking about it, and I think my challenge will be a bit different. I've upped my cap to $200, and doubled my per-post contribution: 25 cents per unique commenter to my local library, and 25 cents per unique commenter to Books for Africa. The comment period is open until midnight on March 28th. To max out, I'm pretty sure I need to get comments from 400 individuals (multiple comments from one person doesn't work, and neither will unattributed Anonymous posts - sorry). Since I'm thanking folks who stop by, that theoretically means as many as 800 (or more) comments on this particular post, so don't rush off if, by some lucky stroke, I exceed the 400 level in comments!

EDITED TO ADD: Comments are now closed

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( 167 comments — Leave a comment )
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Mar. 26th, 2009 05:38 pm (UTC)

That was my comment; it was not crying; it was just a loud I'm-here kind of noise.
Mar. 26th, 2009 05:47 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you're here, AM. I like having you around!
Mar. 26th, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC)
Isn't this an awesome idea? We writers depend on our libraries so much. And I love the idea that you are supporting Books for Africa too!

I upped my initial one as well. Also Betsy Bird is going to publicize the event on her blog, probably not until Saturday, so I extended my deadline to Sunday.

PS - I'm rounding up participants on my blog and have added you there.

Edited at 2009-03-26 05:48 pm (UTC)
Mar. 26th, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC)
I'm allowing comments to count until midnight on Saturday, so that should do it. I think.
Mar. 26th, 2009 05:47 pm (UTC)
Ngiyabonga. Thank you, especially for the Books for Africa donation.
Mar. 26th, 2009 05:49 pm (UTC)
I thought of you when I picked that particular charity.
Mar. 26th, 2009 06:09 pm (UTC)
This makes me wonder what libraries will smell (and feel) like, if/when everything goes digital. Won't be the same!
Mar. 26th, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC)
It won't be the same. It also continues to strike me as highly unlikely in my lifetime. But we shall see.
Mar. 26th, 2009 06:09 pm (UTC)
What a great idea to donate to Books of Africa as well. Just like you, I've always wanted my own date stamp and library cards, and I used to play "librarian" all the time.

Wishing you the big 400!! Wow, that's a lot of comments :)!!
Mar. 26th, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC)
I doubt it will happen. But it's all good - my initial donation was going to be capped at $100, so I'm really hoping to bust past that. We shall see!
Mar. 26th, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC)
Way to think big, Kelly! I loved your sensory detailed-filled post. Almost as good as stepping into a library and being immersed in the sweetness of it. Rock on, local libraries and Books for Africa!
Mar. 26th, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC)
Go big or go home! Here's hoping I break the $100 mark, at any rate.
Mar. 26th, 2009 06:28 pm (UTC)
Sorry - my brain isn't working too well. But you and Jenn are both awesome for doing this. So...
Mar. 26th, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)
That'll do!
Mar. 26th, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
Yah for libraries and yah for your contribution to them!
Mar. 26th, 2009 07:23 pm (UTC)
Mar. 26th, 2009 06:49 pm (UTC)
Eta: Oh, I get it (a little slow today) -- very cool that you're doing this :) Libraries are wonderful!

Edited at 2009-03-26 06:51 pm (UTC)
Mar. 26th, 2009 07:24 pm (UTC)
No worries - it's all the snow, bogging your brain down!
(no subject) - robinellen - Mar. 26th, 2009 07:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 26th, 2009 06:56 pm (UTC)
You rock, Kelly.

Loree Burns
Mar. 26th, 2009 07:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Loree!
Mar. 26th, 2009 07:01 pm (UTC)
YAY! Good for you!

Books for Africa is a great cause too
Mar. 26th, 2009 07:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Heidi!
Mar. 26th, 2009 07:07 pm (UTC)
You are made of awesome. And your post has spurred my to get to my library post haste. I get there once a week, but always with a little person in tow. I think I need some alone time in my library.

I bow to your generous spirit and grand thinking. Go big or go home indeed!
Mar. 26th, 2009 07:25 pm (UTC)
Alone time in the library is excellent - it allows you to spend far more time scanning the shelves. Even now, if I bring S, I have to hit the library with something like a precision strike, because she has little tolerance for hanging out here - and she'll be 16 next week!
Mar. 26th, 2009 07:09 pm (UTC)
Yay for library lovers everywhere!!! I think it's great that you're also donating books beyond your own realm. :)
Mar. 26th, 2009 07:27 pm (UTC)
My local library isn't exactly impoverished (which is why angeladegroot gave her money to a bookmobile in a neighboring county), although they've received budget cuts recently. But the kids in Africa have next to nothing, so I figured I'd split my contribution.
Mar. 26th, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC)
Commenting for the libraries!
Mar. 26th, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
Mar. 26th, 2009 08:09 pm (UTC)
Yay Libraries!!!!
Mar. 26th, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)
Mar. 26th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
Hooray for Libraries
Libraries are great. I am joining this effort. Thanks.

Mar. 26th, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Hooray for Libraries
Mar. 26th, 2009 09:00 pm (UTC)
Just here to tell you I mailed your book out yesterday. Oh yeah. And to add my yay for what you're doing.
Mar. 27th, 2009 02:42 am (UTC)
Yay for mail! And thanks!
Mar. 26th, 2009 09:06 pm (UTC)
Me! I'm here! This is cool, Kelly, and I may come up with a match of some sort....
Mar. 27th, 2009 02:43 am (UTC)
Hooray for matching!
Mar. 26th, 2009 09:26 pm (UTC)
When I was a kid, my siblings and I created our own library in a back room. We labeled all the books, created library cards and library hours. In theory, you were supposed to sign out every book you took out. That lasted about a day. Who wanted to bother! But even so, it was fun to do.

Thanks for supporting libraries!

Bonny Becker
Mar. 27th, 2009 02:45 am (UTC)
That is so cool, Bonnie!
Mar. 26th, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
I love me some libraries!!!
Mar. 27th, 2009 02:46 am (UTC)
Mar. 26th, 2009 10:38 pm (UTC)
Libraries are awesome. You're awesome.

I should say more, but teaching today, and want to correct papers before I leave for London in the wee hours. Hopefully will see Jane Austen's desk and I'll just be thinking of you.
Mar. 27th, 2009 02:46 am (UTC)
Thanks so much. Have fun in London (ooh - and you're going to the British Library? Excellent!)
Mar. 26th, 2009 10:39 pm (UTC)
Yay, Kelly! Let's hear it for libraries!
Mar. 27th, 2009 02:48 am (UTC)
Woot for the libraries!
Mar. 26th, 2009 10:44 pm (UTC)
*Cough up the dough, Fineman.*
You have to imagine me saying that in a tough, '30s gangster voice.

Now for my weepy grateful voice:
*Thank you!*
Mar. 27th, 2009 02:49 am (UTC)
I'll be needing a lot more commenters to get past the $100 mark.
Mar. 26th, 2009 11:46 pm (UTC)
*\0/* Yay! for Libraries!
and Yay *\0/* for you and Books for Africa!
Mar. 27th, 2009 02:49 am (UTC)
Re: *\0/* Yay! for Libraries!
Mar. 27th, 2009 12:38 am (UTC)
I love libraries but I must confess I never did master the card catalog.
Mar. 27th, 2009 02:50 am (UTC)
I did. But I am a special sort of geek.
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