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Teachers and Librarians: The Perfect Pairing

“The love of libraries, like most loves, must be learned.” –Alberto Manguel

Any resourceful teacher has no doubt become good friends with her local library, and even better friends with the resident librarian. While surfing on the world wide web, we came across this story that exemplified the invaluable dynamic between librarian and teacher so well, that we feel compelled to share it. Read on for more helpful tips, resources, and anecdotes here.

Third-grade teacher Karen Vreeland wanted her 24 students to do book reports on different countries. She asked me to help find good, appropriate fiction books. Unfortunately, there aren’t fiction titles for that many countries that would be appropriate for third graders. “What about folktales?” she asked. “Could we find countries there?” That was an excellent thought.

Working together, we decided that each child could pick a country and then find a folktale and nonfiction reference materials on that country. They could then analyze the folktale to pick out characteristics of that country, food, dress, setting, beliefs based on their research into the real place. Perfect! This made for a more interesting project than Karen first conceived and it also gave the students a fun way to learn more about the library.

I made a list of the 25 countries for which the library had the most appropriate materials. We allowed the students to pick their countries from the list before they arrived in the library. (This careful preparation insured greater success.)

Just one more reason why libraries and librarians rule the world. They rock our world, too.

Speaking the Citation Language

We’ve blogged about this subject before, but the information is still very relevant, as we encounter related situations a few times a week. Citations can be tricky sometimes. You have an article title in English, but when you get the article you requested, it’s actually in Japanese. How’d that happen? Many publication and article titles get translated into the nearly universal language that is English, which is misleading when you expect an item to be written in the corresponding language.

Documents Delivered does not presume that you may indeed want an item only if it is in English, so we will deliver the item as-is unless you specify your language requirements. It’s as simple as that; let us know if you would like a standing Client Preference for English-only or Native-Language-only. Or let us know when ordering if just one time only you have some other language specification.

Some helpful hints for preemptive detection of potential language issues:

  • Check the authors’ names. If they are consistently Russian-sounding, chances are the journal is in Russian.
  • Check the article title. If it sounds more like a summary of the article than an actual title, it could be a translation. Oftentimes when you see an article title in brackets, it is also a translation.
  • Check the publication title. If it has the word “International” in it, it’s possible the journal originates in another country. This doesn’t necessarily indicate a foreign language, but it could.

When in doubt, check World Cat, the invaluable online database of cataloged publications, where published languages and country of origin are listed. World Cat is not 100% complete and accurate, but it’s a bubbling fountain of useful information. Sometimes there’s no way to truly anticipate a language issue until we already have the item in our possession.

We do our best to alert you of any issues. As always, do not hesitate to inquire, address any concerns you may have, and set your client preferences.

Words, Words, Words.

Hello word lovers, Monday, October 16th is National Dictionary Day! Though the genesis of this holiday remains a mystery, it certainly doesn’t hurt to set aside a day each year to look at language a little deeper. The first American dictionary was created in 1806 by Noah Webster, and a year later he began assembling an expanded version that would take him twenty-seven years to complete. Today there are likely too many types of dictionaries to count, especially since new words are vetted and added every year requiring fresh editions annually. In honor of this year’s Dictionary Day, let’s take a look at a few recent additions (these are pulled from a variety of dictionaries, including The Oxford, Merriam Webster, and Dictionary.com):

crash blossom: (noun) an ambiguously worded headline whose meaning can be interpreted in the wrong way, as “Missing Woman Remains Found.”

mumblecore: (noun) a genre of narrative film focusing primarily on the intimate lives of young characters and featuring scenes of ample dialogue and minimal action. (Think most Judd Apatow films).

wayback machine: (noun) a device for traveling into the past.

post-truth: (adjective) relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.

internet of things: (noun) the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data.

hangry: (adjective) bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger.

dad bod: (noun) a man’s physique that is slightly overweight or flabby but still attractive.

man bun: (noun) a man’s hair gathered into a bun at the back or top of the man’s head.

struggle bus: (noun) a situation, task, etc., that seems difficult or frustrating— “With no sleep last night, I’ll be on the struggle bus today.”

uncanny valley: (noun) a psychological concept that describes the feelings of unease or revulsion that people tend to have toward artificial representations of human beings, as robots or computer animations, that closely imitate many but not all the features and behaviors of actual human beings.

Yas (also yaass, yass): (exclamation) expressing great pleasure or excitement— “Free wine and cheese and sweets, yass.”

fitspiration: (noun) a person or thing that serves as motivation for someone to sustain or improve health and fitness.

cat lady: (noun) an older woman who lives along with a large number of cats, to which she is thought to be obsessively devoted.

petrichor: (noun) a distinctive scent, usually described as earthy, pleasant, or sweet, produced by rainfall on very dry ground.

humblebrag: (noun) a statement intended as a boast or brag by disguised by a humble apology. (Google it for some laughs.)

permadeath: (noun) (in a game, often a video game) the permanent death of a defeated character, after which the player of the game cannot continue with the same character.

slacktivism: (noun) actions taken to bring about political or social change but requiring only minimal commitment, effort, or risk. (For example, signing an online petition.)

Libraries are our friends. –Neil Gaiman

Because we work in the document supply & informational professional business, libraries definitely are our friends. If you’re taking the time to read this, chances are good that you feel the same way. We have compiled this list of diverse and poignant thoughts about libraries, which we suspect will resonate with you, too.

Bad libraries build collections, good libraries build services, great libraries build communities.

–R. David Lankes

An original idea. That can’t be too hard. The library must be full of them.

–Stephen Fry

When I got my library card, that’s when my life began.

–Rita Mae Brown

Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.

–Ray Bradbury

Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.

–Anne Herbert

In the nonstop tsunami of global information, librarians provide us with floaties and teach us to swim.

–Linton Weeks

The library card is a passport to wonders and miracles, glimpses into other lives, religions, experiences, the hopes and dreams and strivings of ALL human beings, and it is this passport that opens our eyes and hearts to the world beyond our front doors, that is one of our best hopes against tyranny, xenophobia, hopelessness, despair, anarchy, and ignorance.

–Libba Bray

Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life.

–Sidney Sheldon

Cutting libraries during a recession is like cutting hospitals during a plague.

– Eleanor Crumblehulme

If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?

–Lily Tomlin

I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.
― Ray Bradbury

If we can put a man on the moon and sequence the human genome, we should be able to devise something close to a universal digital public library.

–Peter Singer

My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.

–Peter Golkin

Libraries are reservoirs of strength, grace and wit, reminders of order, calm and continuity, lakes of mental energy, neither warm nor cold, light nor dark…. In any library in the world, I am at home, unselfconscious, still and absorbed.

–Germaine Greer

[D]on’t ever apologise to an author for buying something in paperback, or taking it out from a library (that’s what they’re there for. Use your library). Don’t apologise to this author for buying books second hand, or getting them from bookcrossing or borrowing a friend’s copy. What’s important to me is that people read the books and enjoy them, and that, at some point in there, the book was bought by someone. And that people who like things, tell other people. The most important thing is that people read

― Neil Gaiman

New Account FAQ

When pondering any new service, it can be daunting to think about having to set up a new account. But we make it so easy for you. In fact, if you’ve seen the FAQs on our website, you may have seen this one:

Q: Do new clients need to set up an account?

A: No, new clients do not need to set up an account. Simply place your order and our customer service team will set up an account for you.

Our system can retain your preferences, such as no DD cover sheets, cumulative invoice billing, or front matter inclusion as a default. We do the work for you, we set up your account for you. There’s no “account number” for you to memorize. Just your name and email address will direct us to the right person once you have placed your first order.

If you have any questions or would like to get set for ordering, get in touch.

Brewing Up a Cup of Literature

Some things have such a natural marriage that we don’t even think twice about them. Peanut butter and jelly. Weekends and sleeping in. Coffee and morning news. Another one is tea and books. Lucky for us, some people did think twice about this last pairing, and have crafted literature inspired teas that anyone can enjoy.

The Literary Tea Company creates blends inspired by the geniuses who wrote the classics. Imagine being a tester in the tasting panel for this company! And just try getting through this portion of their product descriptions without wanting to pull out your favorite classic and see how well the blends suit the mood.

Hunter S. Thompson blend: “This delicious blend is a combination of black tea, skullcap to relax the nerves and sweet blue mallow flowers. Recommended to drink while reading Fear and Loathing or after a big night that you can’t remember.”

The J.R.R. Tolkien tea is a fresh and floral blend of Green Jasmine tea, Juniper Berries and Blue Mallow Flowers. You could very well be transported to a grassy knoll in Hobbiton whilst drinking this tea.”

The Agatha Christie blend is an instant favourite. It’s a delicious blend of English Breakfast tea, rose petals and mango. It is very English and interesting but with an unexpected fruity twist.” (Just as her novels have those unexpected twists, we might add)

The Virginia Woolf tea is a strong and surprising blend like the writer herself. Smokey Russian Caravan with lemon peel and elderberries, it will be unlike any tea you’ve tasted.”

The Roald Dahl tea is a fun and enjoyable blend of strong English Breakfast tea, cinnamon and vanilla bean. It’s the perfect tea to start your day.”

Writer’s Tea. “It’s the perfect tea for any writer who can’t sit down and write without a cuppa! It’s a delicious blend of Organic English Breakfast Tea, Mango, Vanilla Bean and Ginkgo for that extra kick you need to get through your word count.”

An important note about how they craft their teas: All of our teas are made with organic ingredients and blended with love and peace.

Furthermore, if you live in Australia, they offer workshops on tea blending: “You will learn everything you need to know about tea. From its history, tea grading, tisanes, teaism, healing properties, how to distinguish types of tea and more. You will then learn the art of tea blending and create your very own tea blend.” Sounds pretty dreamy, like a lot of their blends. So go check them out.

Now, if you want an even more specific feeling while reading your favorite book, there’s a company whose concept was born from the whimsical notion, “What if books were tea?” Stephanie Sandercock’s passion is books, through and through, and it led her to create the First Edition Tea Company.

You can sip on a cup of these titles:

Alice in Wonderland. It’s always tea time. Indulge with this sweet and floral blend of rooibos and black tea, filled with rose petals. A candy sweet blend that just says ‘Drink me!’” You’ll find lots of floral notes in this one, just as the gardens were a big part of Alice in Wonderland.

Pride and Prejudice. “A tea that will bewitch you, body and soul.” Need we say more?

Jane Eyre. “A solid black tea with a wild and free heart, an independent will, and all the warmth of a hearth in a home long searched for.”

The Great Gatsby. “Starts out green as cash, brews up rich as gold.” Sandercock wanted a blend that could easily be made into a cocktail, naturally. The tea itself is strong and astringent almost to the point of bitterness. This parallels a theme of the book, that behind all those rich lavish parties, all is not quite well. But throw some gin in it and everything seems all right.

She also offers other specific blends. One is an ode to Sherlock Holmes: a robust and smoky blend, “perfect for sipping while lost in your mind palace.” Another is a themed line of blends, The Wanderlust Collection, which aims to transport you across the globe. You can visit Toronto, Marrakech, Paris, London, or Mumbai, all without leaving the comfort of your teacup. Feeling thirsty for an adventure? Check them out.

These Books Live in the Lap of Luxury

Some days call for caramel lattes instead of plain old coffee, silk sheets instead of regular cotton ones, designer-brand clothes over the household brands. There are all types of ways to treat yourself, and now, when a boring thrifty paperback doesn’t satisfy your book craving, you can choose books from “luxury publishers.” Any bibliophile can appreciate the craftsmanship of these books, which need to be seen to fully appreciated. So check out a video here, see an example book here, and then keep reading.

Assouline is a fine example of the luxury library genre. “We love and believe in books more than everything else, but we also want to extend our vision to create all that can be expected in a chic and personalized library, from beautiful books and special editions to luxury gift items, unique library accessories, and now a complete turnkey collection of stylish furniture.” They also describe themselves as the first luxury brand on culture, being proponents of the traditional technique of hand-binding covers and the luxurious thickness of each page. “The passion and the attention to detail are like that of an haute couture atelier.” If the $500-$7,000 price tags are too steep for your home library, you can enjoy a library scented candle for around $50, with scent options ranging from paper to wood to leather and more.

Another luxury publisher known as Opus is taking quality to the next level. They use “special colour processes,” highest grade papers, and extraordinary attention to detail as they design and hand-bind their limited-edition prints. Many of the photos in an Opus are never before seen, specially-commissioned, oversized for effect, and always beautiful. Common subjects for publications include automobiles, fashion, and other cultural cornerstones. Take a gander at their take on luxury here.

Taschen is one more publisher. Like any luxury publisher, Taschen prides itself on the time and effort they put into their products. Worth a mention is their carbon neutral business model, their oversized books (the biggest are called “Sumos”), and a special rounded binding technique that allows books to open more fully and flat without damaging the spine. That last little tidbit should be a more commonplace technique, if you ask us. We all appreciate when a book opens flat!

So when you’re looking for an extra special gift for your book-loving friend, or you just want to glimpse an upscale world of paper excellence, know that you have options. Never again do you have to settle for that flimsy bargain softcover, that is, if you can handle the luxury publishers’ price points.

Autumn Musings

Along with October comes a new chill in the air and a scattering of leaves on the ground, the colors of the sky at sunset. It’s time to break-out the sweaters and the crockpot, folks, fall is officially here. The changing of the seasons affects us all in different ways. For all of you beach-goers who like to bake in the sun, the approaching colder months likely fill you with dread. For those of you who spend the summer longing for a fireplace and a pair of slippers, you are probably humming a tune right now as you leaf through your favorite soup cookbook. In honor of the season we have compiled a few of our favorite quotes from the best thinkers we could find. Hopefully it will bring a smile to your face, even while you daydream about the beach.

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” –Albert Camus

“There is a part of me that will forever want to be walking under autumn leaves, carrying a briefcase containing the works of Shakespeare and Yeats and a portable chess set. I will pass an old tree under which once on a summer night I lay on the grass with a fragrant young woman and we quoted e.e. cummings back and forth.”  –Roger Ebert

“A wind has blown the rain away and blown the sky away and all the leaves away, and the trees stand. I think, I too, have known autumn too long.” –e. e. cummings

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” –George Eliot

“Fall is my favorite season in Los Angeles, watching the birds change color and fall from the trees.” — David Letterman

“Why is summer mist romantic and autumn mist just sad?” — Dodie Smith

“Designers want me to dress like Spring, in billowing things. I don’t feel like Spring. I feel like a warm red Autumn.” –Marilyn Monroe

“Autumn wins you best by this, its mute appeal to sympathy for its decay.” — Robert Browning

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all.” –Stanley Horowitz

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” –L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

“I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.” –Henry David Thoreau

“Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.” –Nora Ephron

“Life starts all over again, when it gets crisp in the fall.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald

Here’s to new beginnings. Happy fall!

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