March 2010
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Month March 2010

Miniature Library

There’s a sweet quarter scale model of the Eames Design Office up for auction. Check out the cute furniture!

This image puts the size of the model in context.

More photos are available at MONDOBLOGO.

I Have a Problem with Crayola Twistables

Okay, folks. File this one under “I’m using my site to rant” and/or “Clearly there are more important things to think about.”

In a restaurant the other night I noticed these things. Instead of peeling back the paper to expose more crayon , one twists the plastic around the crayon. I understand that these keep the crayons the same size, sure, but doesn’t it seem a bit much?

Let’s look back at when crayons were crayons and the packaging wasn’t gross.

Ah, the oft coveted box of 64 with built-in sharpener.

By the way, get off my lawn.

Tank Books

Tiny books in the shape of cigarette packs. Complete and unabridged!

Gaming Workshop Handouts from PLA


Yesterday I had the pleasure of presenting a preconference workshop at PLA with Eli Neiburger. Even better than listening to Eli talk was getting someone to play a video game for the first time. She liked it.

Here are some resources mentioned during the presentation:

PDF of our slides
the video Eli showed
GTSystem WIki
ALA’s library gaming toolkit
Games in Libraries Podcast
Eli’s book!
8 Bit Library
National Gaming Day

The Book Collection

Photographs from Paul Octavious:

Walking Paper Guide to Portland

If you read this blog there’s a chance you’re coming to Portland for PLA 2010 later this month. I’m happy to call Portland home and thought I’d share some places you might enjoy visiting while in town. I have no idea where people are staying but I hope you can get away from the Convention Center for a bit. It isn’t a terrible area but it isn’t one of the most appealing parts of Portland. Don’t worry if you’re not renting a car. TriMet is a good way to get around town and no matter where you are you can call Radio Cab (503.227.1212) to come pick you up.

Places to Drink

Portland is beverage crazy.

It is a way of life in Portland. Stumptown Coffee is the best known and highest regarded roaster/coffee shop in town. If you’re serious about coffee go to the Stumptown Annex on Belmont for a cupping at 11am or 3pm. I have a slight preference for either location of Albina Press and Barista to Stumptown. Wherever you are you’ll be within a block of a non-Starbucks cafe.

Another way of life in Portland. There are at least 30 craft breweries in Portland alone. Not bad for a city of under 600,000 people. Almost any bar or restaurant will have an above average selection but if you want the most and best selection check out Horse Brass (great fish & chips too) or Green Dragon (though I’m not crazy about the atmosphere there). If you like beer and make it to Hose Brass, walk over to Belmont Station to see over 1000 different beers for sale.

Mixology your thing? Go to Clyde Common (for dinner too), Beaker & Flask, Secret Society Lounge (vaguely Mason themed!) and/or the Teardrop Lounge (though the Teardrop is in the Pearl District. See “Things to Skip” below).

Places to Eat

Breakfast or brunch are the best meals of the day in Portland. Highly recommended are Simpatica (Sunday only), Bijou Cafe, Screen Door, and Gravy. Expect waits for the last two.

For lunch I suggest visiting one of the food cart pods in town. If you’re downtown the main one is on Alder. You’ll find Thai, Mexican, Peruvian (no flutes, thankfully), BBQ and more. Oh, and you could do worse for fast food than Burgerville. They source all of their stuff locally from the Northwest and seasonally too. There’s one by the Convention Center. If you happen to love grilled cheese you owe it to yourself to visit the Grilled Cheese Grill which is housed in a bus.

Dinner options are endless. Pok Pok has great regional Thai food. Toro Bravo is a favorite and serves tapas. Secret Society Lounge (see Spirits above) is above Toro Bravo (and incidentally, across the street from Multonomah County Library’s main office). Clarklewis has a nice happy hour for an early dinner. Go to Laurelhurst Market if you’re in the mood for steak. Olympic Provisions is a new and hyped charcuterie that opens for lunch and dinner on March 20th. For a prix fixe splurge go to Beast (and make reservations). Apizza Scholls is justifiably one of the most respected restaurants in Portland. The pizza is indeed excellent, especially the Tartufo Bianco (Mozzarella, pecorino romano with Truffle Oil and sea salt).

Vegetarians might want to check out the Vita Cafe and the vegan strip mall that includes a grocery store, tattoo shop, bakery and more.

Other miscellaneous spots for dinner and drinks include Doug Fir, Rontoms, and Moloko Plus.

Things to Do

Portland Art Museum. A solidly decent collection usually with interesting special exhibits. A Cy Twombly exhibit is around now!

Portland Japanese Garden. Wonderful. I try to visit once every season and have never been disappointed.

Eastbank Esplanade. A nice path for cycling/walking/jogging along the river. Cross over to the other side at the Steel Bridge and Hawthorne Bridge.

Rent a bike. If you want to get some serious riding in, rent a nice bike from Veloce Bicycles. There are many other places that rent commuter type bikes that’ll get you around town.

Forest Park. A huge park with a ton of trails for walking/trail running/cycling. A convenient place for some quiet time and fresh air. Start at the Thurman entrance or at Pittock Mansion. If you’re into hanging out outside, go to Mt. Tabor Park too. Not only are the views great but it is on a extinct volcanic cinder cone. You can see the crater by the basketball courts.

Laurelhurst Theater. My favorite place to see movies in Portland. Entrance to the movie, a beer (or soda) and slice of pizza costs no more than $10. The Bagdad is similar but has less of a selection of movies (and is part of a local chain that I have mixed feelings about).

Karaoke. What is it with librarians and karaoke? If you must sing, Chopsticks II is always wild and if you want to rent your own booth make reservations at Voicebox.

Ground Kontrol has a large assortment of vintage arcade and pinball games. It is a totally fun way to spend a few hours.

MCL Central Library is a nice, traditional library that is worth poking around.

Historic Columbia River Highway. If you have a car and the time, drive out to the Historic Highway and visit Crown Point, Larch Mountain, some waterfalls, then cross over a bridge to Washington, head back towards town and hike up Beacon Rock on the way.

Ecola Beach State Park. Again, if you have a free day and like the beach, drive one hour out to the coast. It may or may not be sunny, but it will likely be windy and the water will be 50*F. It is guarenteed to be rocky, rugged and beautiful.

Mt Hood. It is very possible to leave town at 7am, get four hours of hiking or skiing in and be back in town by 2pm. Just sayin’.

Places to Shop

Powell’s City of Books is a legendary bookstore for good reason. It is large and has a great selection, including used books. If the topics appeal to you don’t miss Powell’s Books for Home and Garden and Powell’s Technical Books.

Jackpot Records. Good selection of new and used vinyl (and CDs). The main location is within walking distance of Powell’s.

Reading Frenzy is a great place for small and independent publications. There are books, zines, posters, cards and all sorts of great stuff. Also easily walked from the above two. Speaking of zines, Microcosm is the hotspot.

Things to Skip

Multonomah Falls. It’s the #1 tourist destination around here. Sure, it is tall and nice looking but with the crowds and noise from the highway I don’t consider it a pleasant experience. You’re not going to hate it if you go but there are just so many better waterfalls. The best ones, of course, are difficult to get to but if you have a car (or are up for a long bike ride!) and want to see something better than Multnomah Falls check out The Pearl District. In recent years this post-industrial zone has been “revitalized” and is now pretty much like any other shopping district in any other city. There are some unique things (for instance, a Chinese badminton brand store) but this area is the least Portland-like place in all of Portland. You’ll be close by if you visit the main Powell’s shop but I wouldn’t make in depth exploration a priority unless you want to buy some big ticket items sans sales tax.

There you have it. I hope you have a good time in Portland.

This really just skims the surface of what Portland has to offer. Get in touch if you have any questions.

Library of Dust

An art project from David Maisel:

Library of Dust depicts individual copper canisters, each containing the cremated remains of patient from a state-run psychiatric hospital. The patients died at the hospital between 1883 (the year the facility opened, when it was called the Oregon State Insane Asylum) and the 1970’s; their bodies have remained unclaimed by their families.

The prisoner’s use of the term “library” is apt. The room housing these canisters is an attempt for order, categorization, and rationality to be imposed upon randomness, chaos, and the irrational.

Okay, yes, a slightly morbid way to start the week. I’ll try to make it up to you.

Harland Miller’s Penguin Covers

Speaking of book covers, I saw a few of Harland Miller’s enormous fictional Penguin book cover paintings in Rotterdam the other week. My favorite one is “Wake Up and Smell the Coffin” also by Poe but I couldn’t find a good image.



Harland Miller’s Penguin Covers

Speaking of book covers, I saw a few of Harland Miller’s enormous fictional Penguin book cover paintings in Rotterdam the other week. My favorite one is “Wake Up and Smell the Coffin” also by Poe but I couldn’t find a good image.

Buckram Bindings at MCL

Caleb Tucker-Raymond’s curiosity was piqued by books covered in Buckram cloth at Multnomah County Library:

From some point after its incoporation to the early 80s, the Library Association of Portland, which later became Multnomah County Library, operated its own bindery. Besides visually and texturally uniting runs of periodicals and sets of reference books on the shelves, the bindery, together with the mending department, breathed new life into well-read books.


by year of binding | stealthislibrary bound-1

He’s started a collection of these striking covers which is fun to browse. Thanks, Caleb!