August 17th, 2013 Brian Herzog
Sometimes, patrons just miss a chance at a really great Reference Question of the Week.
A patron called and asked for information on a product called the "Parrot Talking Bible." She described it as a physical device that lets you press different buttons to hear the Bible being read to you.
Sounds straight-forward, but I couldn't find a product called the "Parrot Talking Bible." I found lots of disc-based and digital audio Bibles, and even a physical device called Talking Bible, but that wasn't what the patron was looking for.
The problem was that any time I included "parrot" as a search term, I'd either get a Parrot Bible, or Bible jokes or stories involving parrots. There were a surprising number of them, but my favorite was:
Four brothers left home for college, and they became successful doctors and lawyers.
One evening, they chatted after having dinner together. They discussed the 95th birthday gifts they were able to give their elderly mother who moved to Florida.
The first said, "You know I had a big house built for Mama."
The second said, "And I had a large theater built in the house."
The third said, "And I had my Mercedes dealer deliver an SL600 to her."
The fourth said, "You know how Mama loved reading the Bible and you know she can't read anymore because she can't see very well. I met this preacher who told me about a parrot who could recite the entire Bible. It took ten preachers almost 8 years to teach him. I had to pledge to contribute $50,000 a year for five years to the church, but it was worth it. Mama only has to name the chapter and verse, and the parrot will recite it."
The other brothers were impressed. After the celebration Mama sent out her "Thank You" notes.
She wrote: "Milton, the house you built is so huge that I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house. Thanks anyway."
"Marvin, I am too old to travel. I stay home; I have my groceries delivered, so I never use the Mercedes. The thought was good. Thanks."
"Michael, you gave me an expensive theater with Dolby sound and it can hold 50 people, but all of my friends are dead, I've lost my hearing, and I'm nearly blind. I'll never use it. Thank you for the gesture just the same."
"Dearest Melvin, you were the only son to have the good sense to give a little thought to your gift. The chicken was delicious,thank you so much."
The patron was disappointed I couldn't find what she was looking for, but also remarked that maybe she had gotten some wrong information.
See, now what would have made this a great Reference Question of the Week would have been if she had said this after I read her that joke. Oh well. Ever since this call came in I periodically re-search looking for a "Parrot Talking Bible," but so far nothing.
July 7th, 2012 Brian Herzog
A patron called asking about videos to rent*. My standard reply in this situation is to ask for the the title the patron is looking for - to my surprise, she replied:
I'm not exactly sure, but I think it's "The Midget Bible."
I had no response to this. Luckily, the patron followed it up with,
Tim Conway was in it.
Ah, I bet she was talking about the Dorf on Golf videos. A quick search for dorf bible showed the title is Dorf's Golf Bible.
Unfortunately, we don't have it in the catalog - actually, there were no Dorf videos in our consortium at all. She was a little sad, but not entirely surprised. I, on the other hand, got to speculate on the other possibilities for a "Midget Bible" for the rest of the day.
*I know it's kind of just semantics, but people using the term video bothers me (and not just because it's ambiguous
). But even moreso when people talk about "renting" things from a library. I think they know what they mean, but I believe that thought can follow speech, and not speaking accurately can lead to thinking inaccurately. But, I'm like that.
June 24th, 2010 Brian Herzog
I passed this church sign while walking around Ottawa:
I'm used to hearing the "Google is not as good as libraries" rhetoric, so it was funny to see another profession facing the same struggle. By the way, Bibles in my library are shelved at 220.5/Bibl - maybe our slogan should be, "find a library, find your way."
March 11th, 2010 Brian Herzog
Here's another one of those coincidences with the same topic popping up in different contexts throughout the day.
On my way in to work one day last week, I heard a story on the radio (via the BBC) talking about how children are becoming more sexualized. I wouldn't have thought this was possible, but the report described how, for decades, society has told little girls that they need to be thin and pretty. But recently, society has ramped up this message, telling them they need to be thin and pretty and sexually-attractive to boys. It seemed to say that now it's not just about looks, but that sex appeal is also required.
Later at work, our Teen Librarian asked me if I'd heard of a "princess bible." I hadn't, so I looked it up, and sure enough they are for sale. Our reactions were the same, and echoed the point of the radio show earlier: isn't this an odd mixture of religion and sassy sexy self-image?
Not necessarily, of course, because I know my niece likes Disney princesses, and that is totally innocent. Perhaps I'm just being over-sensitive on the little girl sex angle. Maybe it's just the marketing gimmicky feel of it I don't like - it seems akin to using a cartoon camel to peddle cigarette to children. I guess I just question what this princess message is trying to appeal to in young girls - and whether that should be necessary to sell Bibles. It seems a bit at odds with the pious modesty of Christianity.
Interestingly, this book appears in WorldCat.
And just for a counter-point, BoingBoing reports that Campus atheists offer free porn in exchange for Bibles. I guess there's more than one way to connect religion and sex.
Tags: bible, bibles, child, children, faith, libraries, Library, princess, princess bible, public, religion, sex, sexuality