Monday Miscellany

There are a couple of sad stories about well known authors to report:

But there is some good news about libraries and librarians:

State of America’s Libraries Report 2013

Libraries and library staff continue to respond to the needs of their communities, providing key resources as budgets are reduced, speaking out forcefully against book banning attempts and advocating for free access to digital content in libraries, with a keen focus placed on ebook formats. These and other library trends of the past year are detailed in the ALA’s 2013 State of America’s Libraries Report.

Librarians group calls for boycott to stop ‘erasure of Palestinian culture and history

We are an independent group of librarians and archivists who traveled to Palestine from June 23 – July 4, 2013. We come from the US, Canada, Sweden, Trinidad & Tobago, and Palestine. We bore witness to the destruction and appropriation of information, and the myriad ways access is denied. We were inspired by the many organizations and individuals we visited who resist settler-colonialism in their daily lives. We connected with colleagues in libraries, archives, and related projects and institutions, in the hopes of gaining mutual benefit through information exchange and skill-sharing.

Finally, Evan Gottlieb, Associate Professor of English at Oregon State University, describes the challenges and pleasures of reading novels with unreliable narrators:

We Will Be Fooled Again: The Strange Pleasures of Narrative Trickery

the unreliable narrator. This narrator almost always speaks to us in the first person, meaning she or he tells the story directly in her own voice and from her point of view. Traditionally, such narrators implicitly gain the reader’s trust quickly; when Jane Eyre, the title character of Charlotte Brontë’s classic Victorian novel from 1847, informs us on page 1 that “I never liked long walks, especially on chilly afternoons,” we have no reason to doubt her. Neither do we initially doubt the narrators’ words in Wuthering Heights (1847), the equally famous novel by Charlotte’s sister Emily. Unlike Jane, however, the more we hear from Mr. Lockwood and then Nelly Dean (whose “narration within a narration” occupies the novel’s central chapters), the more we come to wonder whether either of them truly understands the significance of the events they relate.