Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Friday Poll ~ All About Libraries

First, the results of last week’s poll—Where You Read…

Old Library

Image Courtesy of Jonathan Adrianzen ~

There was a three-way tie for first place—Living room, Bedroom, and “Other” with Bathroom, Bath, Work, and In Front of My Computer.

Second place had a two-way tie—Back Yard and Cafe/Coffee House.

Also a two-way tie for third place—Outdoors and Den/Study.

And, fourth place had another two-way tie—Kitchen and Bar.

Now, since I happened to end up with 3 out of 4 of the regular posts this week being about libraries, let’s do a poll about them :-)


Select as many multiple answers as you need.

Use the “Other” space for special answers.

Make any Comments, right in the poll, after you vote.

Read Some Strange Fantasies
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Libraries Sponsoring Writers In Residence

I’ve done a few posts about residencies for writers—basically, a way to temporarily have their writing time “sponsored”, usually involving their living away from home.

In February it was, Mobile Writer-In-Residence.

In March, Writing On A Long Train Ride ~ For Free?

And, May had Write A House ~ Quite A Deal.

Today, I’ll share a bit from an article in Library JournalLibraries Welcome Writers in Residence.

First is a residency program not far from where I live, at the Public Library of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.

The Director said:

“I think it lets us really show that we support writers in our community and that we are interested in local writers, local authors, local content—that we are a place for literacy in the community…”

One more snippet:

“The writer will be given a $10,000 stipend and required to conduct a writer’s workshop, speak at four community events, and participate in select library promotions.”

The other program is offered by Coffee House Press.

They were only offering residencies in Minnesota but recently sponsored one in New York City as a prelude to an “expansion to produce more library residencies across the United States, and to create a program to serve as a model for other libraries.”

Jay Peterson, CHP’s project manager, said:

“What we hope to do is to inspire other libraries to collaborate in this way, in a way that provides the writer and artist space and time to work on their own project and create something that helps promote the library and the great things that libraries are able to do for people.”

Their In The Stacks page has this further description:

“Each resident artist will ‘collaborate with the collection’ to create new work. In addition, they will post dispatches on the In the Stacks tumblr and partnering library blog during the residency, chronicling their day-to-day activities.

“The end results, ranging from essays, fiction, and poems to old-fashioned book reports, will serve as a resource to help libraries engage with their own constituents and to incorporate arts organizations and educational groups in creative programming. Writers will present their new work in a public reading at the culmination of the residency.”

One last thought…

It seems any writer could sponsor their own residency in a library…

Actually, many writers have been doing this for quite a long time—leaving home, sitting in a library, and writing their heart out…
Last Day to Vote In Our Latest Poll…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Younger People and Public Libraries


Image Courtesy of David Lat ~

I have 32 posts tagged “Library”

I just wrote one the other day called, Do Physical Libraries Still Matter?

Apparently they do still matter to Millennials (those 16-29) in the United States.

I can’t help but think Global Millennials in affluent countries find libraries useful too…

The Pew Research Internet Project recently released a new study, Younger Americans and Public Libraries.

Here’s an interesting note from the explanation of the survey:

“There are actually three different ‘generations’ of younger Americans with distinct book reading habits, library usage patterns, and attitudes about libraries. One “generation” is comprised of high schoolers (ages 16-17); another is college-aged (18-24), though many do not attend college; and a third generation is 25-29.”

Other key points derived from the survey:

Millennials’ lives are full of technology, but they are more likely than their elders to say that important information is not available on the internet.

Millennials are quite similar to their elders when it comes to the amount of book reading they do, but young adults are more likely to have read a book in the past 12 months.

The community and general media-use activities of younger adults are different from older adults.

As a group, Millennials are as likely as older adults to have used a library in the past 12 months, and more likely to have used a library website.

As with the general population, most younger Americans know where their local library is, but many say they are unfamiliar with all the services it may offer.

And, a final general finding from the survey:

“Younger Americans are significantly more likely than older adults to have used a library in the past year, including using a library website.”

What I’m wondering is if these same results about library usage would have been obtained 10, 20, or even 50 years ago…
Check Out our Latest Poll…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Writing 101 ~ Don’t Let Yourself Feel Old

My body is officially “old”—my mind is “middle-aged”—my heart is very young—my spirit, ageless… A. J. Spindle

When I write, I blend all these phases of life…

When I edit, I’m constantly shooing away the old me—relying on the maturity of my middle-aged mind—letting my young heart guide me—urging my ageless spirit to shine through…

This blog has over 1,000 posts now; and, back in 2011 I wrote my 17th post—Learn From *Whoever* Has The Truth.

I’m going to reproduce it here with a bit of expansion.

I did some Googling to try to catch up with the young women featured in that post—seems she dropped off the map last year (apart from a few videos about her going to college)—hoping she’s only taking a brief hiatus from her writing life…

I also hope she’s discovering more about self-publishing…

Here’s the post from the past.


I woke up to the fact that I was a writer when I was 42…

It took me nearly 20 more years to get over the idea that what I wrote had to be perfect the first time I wrote it…

“Editing”? Hmmm… Ya know, I’m not a dumb person but I sure had some dumb ideas buried in my subconscious.

My first books were written and published with no outside input.

My Work-In-Progress has had a ton of input–from when I had the first, bare idea to right now and it won’t be published till April.

So, today, on Twitter, I met a 19-year-old woman, went to her blog, and watched a video of her telling me what it took me over 60 years to learn…

Her name is Amanda J. Spindle.

Here’s Her blog.

And, here is her consummately wise video about what it takes to write a book :-)

Now the expansion on that post—after Amanda was published:

Check Out our Latest Poll…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Do Physical Libraries Still Matter?

Are libraries—the ones you have to leave home to visit—still important?


Image Courtesy of Holger Dieterich ~

Can they survive in this digital age?

Will they become digital themselves?

Are physical books and their collections going away?

I have a few handfuls of posts I’ve done on libraries and I should share four of them:

So, What Are Libraries Good For, Now That So Many People Use the Internet?

The E-Book Wars & Your Public Library . . .

Publisher Helps Local Libraries Become Community Publishers !

A Place Called LibraryThing ~ A Space To Have A Love Affair With Books

I have a friend who’s a prison librarian and he recently sent me a link to an interesting article on SlateWhat Will Become of the Library?

I know one thing my friend probably liked about that article was the mention of Andrew Carnegie—the man who endowed 2,500 public libraries in the United States.

As a young boy, Carnegie benefited form a lending library operated by someone from Pittsburgh, the hometown of my friend the prison librarian…

I encourage you to read the full article over on Slate but I need to share one particular quote:

“A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life raft and a festival. They are cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination. On a cold, rainy island, they are the only sheltered public spaces where you are not a consumer, but a citizen, instead. … A mall—the shops—are places where your money makes the wealthy wealthier. But a library is where the wealthy’s taxes pay for you to become a little more extraordinary, instead.”

Then, there’s another article about libraries I discovered on my daily scans of the news—written by the Director of the Harvard Law School Library—Why Libraries [Still] Matter.

He brings up the facility of seeking information on the Web and says:

“I co-authored a study investigating link rot in legal scholarship and judicial opinions, and was shocked to find that, circa late 2013, nearly three out of four links found within all Harvard Law Review articles were dead. Half of the links in U.S. Supreme Court opinions were dead.”

I can only imagine how many links to non-law-related information are dying every second…

He ends the article with this statement:

“In a world suffused with so much transient information as to inspire epistemic paralysis, we acutely need libraries’ power, independence, and ethos: institutions conceived to fight on behalf of their patrons, which is to say for the public and for the preservation and intelligibility of the public record.”

Do you still visit physical libraries?

What do you think they can do to stay alive when military spending, among other financial escapades, is inducing public austerity and stripping libraries of the funds they need?
Check Out our Latest Poll…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com



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