Category: Essay

Beneath the Surface – Surrealism and Summer Reading

There’s a special kind of summer madness that comes for public librarians across North America. We call it the “summer reading programme.” For most people the summer reading programme is two to four months long, depending on your library. At the longest, some libraries will run the programme from the middle of May to the end of August. That timeframe is an illusion, because the planning and logistical side of the summer reading programme is a year-long process running from August 1st to July 31st. As soon as one summer reading programme ends, planning for the next one begins. In many of the larger libraries, children’s librarians are already in the midst of planning the next event while the current event is underway. The summer reading programme, or SRP as it’s called amongst the bibliorati, is like Black Friday in America. While Black Friday is often the busiest day of…

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Like the Avengers, but Fuzzy

1985 in Yakima, Washington was a special time and place if you happened to be a bored kid who decided to seek out entertainment and flip through the TV stations. Maybe you’d find something worth watching, maybe not. As a kid, you knew the schedule for your favourite shows. My parents blessed the house with cable television and I spent a lot of time watching cartoons on channel 11, KSTW out of Seattle. The after school shows included Transformers, GI Joe, Jem and the Holograms, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, BraveStarr, and The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers. I’d get home around three in the afternoon, and I’d be in front of the TV until five when the cartoons would be replaced with boring, adult programming like the news or sports or something equally uninteresting. But if it was the middle of the day, maybe on a late…

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