Up on the rooftop–but not reindeer

Volunteering to work the 3-11:00 PM shift for Christmas Family Night (tonight) didn’t seem like an awful idea weeks ago.  Today, it proved to be a brilliant move.  Imagine: an entire weekday morning to catch up on tasks at home while you’re fresh enough to enjoy doing them.

Scouting for boxes in an infrequently used room upstairs, I harkened to a surprising amount of squirrel traffic thumping and careening around atop the shingles but fortunately not in the attic (yet).  Note to self: check on that more often.  A more reassuring discovery was this:  the better-than-I-remembered stash of gifts purchased last year during post-season sales.  It’s easy now to survey all the items and recall whom I had in mind when selecting them.

But that other memory issue–newer impressions and data elbowing out older but highly significant stuff–is one we try to mitigate every day in the library.

The best information provision blends the best of cutting-edge and tried-and-true.  Even as we audition new digital resources (and we have a nifty one in mind right now–details later!) to offer our patrons, we want to keep proven ones on the radar screen.

 Yesterday, for example, as we examined an advance copy of The Virgin Diet (author, J.J. Virgin), I checked whether the library has it on order (yes).  Many patrons will be interested in this new volume dealing with food intolerance.  “Or,” as co-worker Chris suggested, “maybe they should just try using turmeric more often.”  That readily obtainable spice has been known for centuries.

Yesterday, as a delighted patron discovered that RRPL has six different music CDs by his favorite artist, I mentioned that, in good old allmusic.com you can input a song title and view all the artists who’ve recorded it, album information, listen to samples, etc. Curious about those hundreds of music genres and subgenres you hear about?  Click the “Explore” tab to understand how the different styles relate to one another (example, 18 different varieties of soul:  Chicago, pop-soul, uptown, country beach, brown-eyed, deep funk…)

In a world offering trendy tips like The 5 Best Digital Yule Logs and Bloomberg’s Technology Gift Guide, it would be a shame to neglect classic web resources like Internet Movie Database.  It’s been around for years and is still fabulous.  After you’re read reviews and traced actors’ work, try the common search to see who’s appeared with whom.  Who knew that Liz and Dick made that many films together?  No wonder….

Want to be more than current?  Try Film Journal International’s Blue Sheets and discover movies that forthcoming soon or even in 2014 and 2015.  How about Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, and Kevin Bacon in Universal’s R.I.P.D. (Rest In Peace Department) as undead police officers?  Or Robopocalypse in April 2014?  Or MGM’s Where’s Waldo, 90 minutes with a three-second glimpse of Waldo?

Finally, this timely site delightfully marries the past and the trendy:  Santa Mail’s array of vintage Christmas toy commercials from the 1950s onward.

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