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Om migPenn State Art History Graduate, Docent Emerita, Palmer Museum of Art (volunteer service: 1981-1989), Human Resources paraprofessional (retired 7/1/11 with 22 years service). Member of local choral society for 20 years.
Om mitt bibliotekFocus of collection: Arts, Cultural History, Aesthetics, Natural History, Psychology, Travel: A lot of nonfiction. Fiction holdings vary as I give books to relatives and friends, or lend books that are never returned. (And I have some books that were loaned to me that aren't really mine). For now I'm concentrating on what I own.
My interest in personal libraries started early when we lived in a small country village that hadn't any library. The bookmobile came through monthly. My mother accumulated an extraordinary collection of books, scores and 78's to enrich her curriculum as she taught music to all 12 grades at the rural public school. She was also a church organist. My father was a forester, with a great interest in conservation.
We would visit my grandparents in the college town where I live now to borrow children's books from their home library. I also had a tall bookshelf filled with books of my own. My mother also borrowed books from the college library. My paternal grandfather was a high school science teacher, a smallholder who had an English garden, a vegetable garden, and a small flock of chickens on their few acres in Duncannon, Pennsylvania overlooking the confluence of the Juniata and Susquehanna Rivers. Of course those relatives had slews of books to read when I visited.
When I was ten our home burned to the ground. A few books left at school survived, but all the dear old resources we had were gone. In high school and university I worked in libraries: as a high school assistant, and then as a reference and documents assistant throughout undergraduate school. We had a wonderful funky bookshop, Nittany News, here in town back then.
As an undergraduate I developed a fondness for periodical literature. In those days of card catalogs, it was fascinating to see how circulating libraries kept track of magazines and journals. I do not yet understand how Library Thing cataloguers approach periodicals. I have had a great deal of difficulty entering broken runs of holdings I own.
Amazingly enough, by the time I left home after graduating from college, I had more books than would fit in the shelves in our first tiny apartment. When we moved to Boulder, Colorado, I was obliged to sell them off since we couldn't afford to take them with us.
Three years later, back here in Pennsylvania, I inherited a few books and once again began to build a personal library. As I discovered in my early twenties, you can't take it with you. I used to fantasize what it would be like for an archaeologist to dig up our home and find all my books and journals. Now, I reckon those folks would just say WHO CARES? That's the way things seem to be going with books. But I still care profoundly about books, literature and learning.
I adore a good browse at the Strand Bookstore when I'm in New York City. I have ordered books from Blackwell's in the past. I recall reading a wonderful New Yorker profile about it in the 1970's. I imagine it may not be so quirky today. I think BookThing should allow American readers access to British publishing.