or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk

What Do To When Authors Die

   March 13th, 2015 Brian Herzog

Terry Pratchett died this week, and I, like many people, were saddened.

I came to the Discworld books later in my life, sort of by accident (which is the best way to come across books like the Discworld books), and to say I liked them is an understatement. It was more like the worlds and characters had just been waiting for me and were happy to have me turn up.

It wasn't until later that I realized I had already read some Pratchett, without knowing it. His book, Good Omens, co-written with Neil Gaiman, was another I had inadvertently come to on my own, on the shelf in an independent book shop in Yellow Springs, Ohio. I can't say it changed my life, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and was also introduced to Neil Gaiman that way. I somehow missed the introduction to Terry Pratchett, but since I got there in the end, I suppose it is okay.

Perhaps because of this, but perhaps also just because they are similar and the connection is logical, I have always linked Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman in my head.

So when I came across the following line while reading Neil Gaiman's Trigger Warning today (specifically in the story, The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury), I couldn't help but be reminded of Terry Pratchett's death:

I sometimes imagine I would like my ashes to be scattered in a library. But then the librarians would just have to come in early the next morning to sweep them up again, before the people got there.

Very appropriate on many levels, but it also seems that there is hardly a tribute fitting enough for such a creative and prolific writer as Terry Pratchett.

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Coming Soon: Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library

   August 19th, 2010 Brian Herzog

Kurt Vonnegut Memorial LibraryKurt Vonnegut is one of my favorite authors, and I first read many of his books at a time when my personality and outlook on life were still impressionable as wet cement. His writing style, and both of us being from the Midwest, played a large part in my love of reading and writing.

So I'm happy to hear that the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library is opening in his home town of Indianapolis in this Fall.

It is fitting to call it a library, because he was certainly a prolific writer and a great supporter of libraries. However, the description on the website makes it sound more like a museum, community center and art gallery. It's collection will house many of his letters and works and so will be a research center, and they also plan to publish a literary magazine and sponsor writers workshops.

They have a newsletter and are on Facebook, and all of it makes me really look forward to visiting.

via LISNews

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Life, the Universe, and Street Names

   December 11th, 2007 Brian Herzog

42nd Street signIt's not uncommon to honor someone by naming a street after them. To honor one of my favorite authors, a group in Portland, Oregon is trying to get 42nd Avenue named after Douglas Adams.

What a great idea. It is so much better than just changing the name of "Elm St." or "Main St." to the name of a famous person - 42 actually is relevant to Douglas Adams' life, works, and his fans.

Here's a few more reason, from the group's website:

  • It will reflect Portlanders’ commitment to the arts.
  • It will reflect Portlanders’ respect for the environment.
  • It will reflect Portlanders’ desire to provide technological access to all.
  • It will reflect Portlanders’ passion to further education to all people.
  • It will remind all Portlanders’ the most important lesson in times of uncertainty and fear…

I hope that the Portland Library has gotten behind this effort, as it is a great way to promote reading and fun. This is also something other communities could do, as well - well, those with 42nd streets.

via slashdot

42, 42nd avenue, author, authors, books, douglas adams, rename 42nd

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