DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!

January 2009

Jan 6 2009

So long, farewell

by Heather S

Many notable people, who left an incredible mark on our culture and society, passed on in 2008. This year we have said good-bye to the people listed below, whom I greatly admired and enjoyed their work.  I also picked my personal favorite or most memorable piece of theirs from the Library’s collection.

Let us remember their work fondly.  For a more complete list of people who died in 2008, you may want to try this article from Wikipedia.  Who will you miss?  What are your favorites from his or her work?

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Admit it, you’ve seen it.  You’ve probably even said the words, “I’ll be back,” in a fake Schwarzenegger accent at some point or another.  If so, you might be pleased (or not) to find out that the National Film Registry has chosen “The Terminator” as one of 25 American films to preserve for eternity in 2008.

Each year the Librarian of Congress chooses 25 films to add to the National Film Registry, which preserves them forever under the National Film Preservation Act.  The films are not chosen based on quality, but instead are determined to be “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant to American culture.

Titles are nominated by the public and the final selections are made by the Librarian, with the input of the National Film Preservation Board and the LOC’s motion picture staff.  This year’s additions bring the total of preserved titles to 500 films.  Other films chosen this year include “The Asphalt Jungle,” “Deliverance,” “Sergeant York,” “Hallelujah,” and “In Cold Blood.”

For more information on each film, check out this press release from the Library of Congress.

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Jan 1 2009

Day 1 – 364 remaining

by Lesley B

Happy New Year! It’s the first day of the first month of the Gregorian calendar year, Anno Domini 2009. It’s also Haitian Independence Day, it’s J.D. Salinger’s birthday, it’s the Rose Bowl and it’s the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution.

Oh, and January 1 is the start of National Hot Tea Month.

What?

I’ve been looking through Chase’s Calendar of Events, a standard library reference book that celebrates its 51st anniversary this year. William D. Chase, a newspaper librarian, started keeping a file of calendar events, holidays and anniversaries, using it to help writers and editors make their deadlines and fill some columns. With the help of his brother, wife and children, the file became a book and a self-publishing success story that’s in just about every library. Google is fantastic, but Chase’s was designed by a librarian to perfectly answer the question — what’s important about today?

Over the years, Mr. and Mrs. Chase selected historical events they thought worthy of notice and wrote little entries for them. They accepted submissions for special days from groups looking to promote an idea or product. Mr. Chase has said they deliberately added a “whimsical” quality to a book that would otherwise be a dry compilation of dates and events. The end result mixes the profound and the picayune for a surprisingly enjoyable browse.

Discovering someone declared January to be California Dried Plum Digestive Health Month makes me laugh. But reading that January 1 has only been observed as New Year’s Day since “the British Calendar Act of 1751, prior to which the New year began March 25th” makes me curious. What? You mean January 1 hasn’t always been New Year’s Day? Hmm, I need to look this up.

Chase’s Calendar of Events comes with a searchable CD-ROM but no online version; so if you want to know what else happened on your birthday, you’ll have to come to the library OR you can post your birthdate (year optional) in the comments area . When the library reopens on Friday, January 2,  I’ll check Chase’s to see who or what shares your special day.

Like this:

June 20 – “LIZZIE BORDEN VERDICT: ANNIVERSARY Spectators at her trial cheered when the “not guilty” verdict was read by the jury foreman in the murder trial of Lizzie Borden on this date.”

Wait — they cheered? Didn’t she give her mother 40 whacks? Excuse me, I need to go look this up.

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