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


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.


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.


Three Silhouetted Long Haired Women Wearing Colorful And Fashionable Clothes And Taking Long Strides While Shopping In A MallI know that there is still time before January 1, but I’ve been contemplating my goals and aspirations for the New Year. There are lots of things I’d like to accomplish–furnishing and decorating my apartment (dare to dream!), making a final decision about librarian’s school, learning to sew, etc.–but in an effort to not overwhelm myself I’ve decided to start small. It’s a fairly light-hearted goal but it’s a starting point.

I’m going to start dressing better.

It’s silly but maybe not, really. I’ve been a grown-up now for at least 10 years (even though no one over the age of 25 should ever use the words “grown-up”) so perhaps it’s time I started dressing like one. I’ve been perusing the fashion magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair and Elle for ideas (stop by DCPL to check them out if your budget’s tight–also see Amanda’s blog post!). All of this fashion research leaves me wondering what it would be like to dress like some sort of professional person. I bet it would be awesome!

If you’re looking for style inspiration there are still other options besides the aforementioned overpriced, advertorial-heavy “fashion books” (seriously, don’t buy them unless you like using money as confetti!) . Look no further than the Library for great books on dressing well, looking classy and celebrating life.

Some intriguing titles here at DCPL include:

The Science of Sexy by Bradley Bayou (Gotham): Here is an enjoyable book by a stylist to the stars (Salma Hayek! Oprah Winfrey! Eva Longoria!). He offers useful tips on how to make the most of your figure and body type.

Dress Your Best: The Complete Guide to Finding The Style That’s Right For Your Body by Stacy London & Clinton Kelly (Three Rivers Press): The hosts of TLC’s What Not To Wear offer a well-illustrated, light-hearted and surprisingly thorough how-to guide for style-impaired women of all sizes. One minor quip I had with this book, however, is the authors’ overuse of the words “curvy” and “extra curvy” to describe women of average size and up. Is “full-figured” politically incorrect now?

Style is Not A Size: Looking and Feeling Great In The Body You Have by Hara Estroff Marano (Bantam Books): Initially I was put off by the cover model of this book: beautiful but decked out in a Bill Cosby sweater, baggy red knit pants & moderate-to-severe 80s makeup and accessories. But this book offers great insight into the definition of style vs. fashion. It’s a good reminder that style has nothing to do with the number on the clothes tag. You may have to tussle for this one, though: there are only 2 copies of it in the system.

The Beauty of Color by Iman (Putnam): Gorgeous, glamorous Iman’s book offers great illustrations and beauty tips on cosmetics and color, which is great for the makeup-phobic such as myself.

Off The Cuff: The Essential Style Guide for Men and The Women Who Love Them by Carson Kressley (Dutton): Here’s a little something for the men in search of style or for women who need a little reinforcement when saying something like “Honey, those pants are too baggy.” Everyone from a Bravo TV show should write a style book! I haven’t read Tim Gunn’s book yet but the Library has it for anyone who’s interested.

What's Your Body Type?The Complete Guide to Finding the Style That's Right for Your BodyFront Cover