Friday, April 25, 2014

Farewell for Now, but Not Forever.

It is with a bit of sadness that my time as an virtual intern for the Saranac Lake Free Library is coming to a close. And to that I'd like to say that I am grateful to the SLFL, its director Peter Benson, and all its staff and community that made the library a very welcoming place. In keeping in touch with the announcements, the photo proof of how certain events went and were going brought delight to this old heart all the way in Korea. I really learned a lot in such a short time. Learning about the different reading groups, therapy dogs and the way they benefit many people, the different authors and speakers that represent all that is good and fascinating about the Adirondacks, I really enjoyed it all and I learned many things. And perhaps knowing that I may have helped the community through this internship is my fuel to press on a be a good librarian to many someday. In spite of my distance on what is literally, the other side of the world, all I want to say is, thank you for this experience, from the bottom of my heart.

I will subscribe to this blog with my regular e-mail, so if you have any questions or comments you would like for me to specifically address or answer, just comment this post and it will notify me via e-mail. It's been a pleasure everyone. I hope to someday visit the SLFL in person next time I find myself in the area. Thank you all.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

National Library Week: North Korean Libraries

Contrary to what the title may cause some to speculate, I have never set foot inside of North Korea. There was a time in the mid 2000s when both North and South Korea were on more amicable terms and in addition to increased goods trading between the two countries, there was also special economic zones that included opening up limited tourism to South Korean citizens. Not surprisingly, after a tourist was shot dead in one of these special tourist zones, things started falling apart. Trade decreased. The tourist visitations by South Koreans were shut down to a grinding halt, and after the sinking of a battle ship and an assault on a South Korean island, that was the last straw. My biggest regret was not taking advantage of a trip to North Korea when it was more feasible to do so at that time.

Anyways, in spite of what anyone might think of North Korea and it's leadership, they do have some pretty breathtaking libraries.

Image credit: Mark Kociejew

This is the Grand People's Study House, and it was one of those places one could have visited if they were fortunate enough to sneak a tour during the friendly years window of opportunity (2005-2008). Since I was not one of those lucky people, I invite everyone to read about this unusual and interesting library through the blog of Marc Kociejew here.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

National Library Week: the Colorful History of Korea's Old Libraries

This is a picture of me standing outside of one of Korea's oldest libraries. This is the Outer Kyunjanggak Library, located on Ganghwa Island, which is on Korea's western coast, not far from the city of Inchon, where General Douglas MacArthur infiltrated the North Korean supply line during the Korean War in 1950, turning the tide of war. This particular area of Korea has historically been a landing ground by various invasion forces in its long and turbulent history. This particular island saw Japanese invasions, Mongol invasions, French invasions and even a minor skirmish between Civil War battle-hardened soldiers and Korean troops. This particular library is actually a rebuilt replica of the original Kyunjanggak Annex, which held many records, archives and books of the Choseon Dynasty (line of Korean monarchs). This annex does not contain any books; most are actually kept at Seoul National University as well as in other locations throughout Korea for research purposes. The original annex was looted and burned to the ground by French forces in an expeditionary battle. Although the French were defeated, they were able to retreat with many of the library's possessions, including the Uigwe, which are volumes full of royal "how-to" instructions, records and decrees of the Choseon monarchs and one of Korea's most prized possessions. For many years, this set has been sitting in French museums, and only until recently have the governments of both countries come to an agreement to return the volumes to Korea.

More information:

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

For the Month of April

We have lots of exciting stuff happening this month at the SLFL:

Artist / Poet Nadine McLaughlin Gallery and Visit: If you haven't stopped by, be sure to come and check out “DOUBLE VISIONS” prints & poetry by Nadine McLaughlin in the Cantwell Community Room. Her gallery opens today, April 1st. Ms. McLaughlin is a prolific illustrator, poet and author; many of her works are inspired by the beauty of the Adirondacks.
Ms. McLaughlin will also come to the SLFL! On April 3rd, come to our Meet the Artist Reception, where Ms. McLaughlin can answer questions and talk about her poetry and art in the Cantwell Room from 5-7 pm

Therapy Dogs International: Therapy Dogs are back again! Join is for a super-fun time at the Elinor B. Preis Children’s Room. The fun starts on April 5th at 10:30 pm.

Fiction Book Group: The fiction book group will meet on April 8th at 2 pm in the Dickert Room to discuss Carson McCuller's The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. If you would like to join this or any reading groups, call us for more information. 
Low-resolution book art is copyrighted by the respective owners. Fair use rationale for non-free, low resolution images for use by the SLFL are to discuss the works and/or authors in question, which according to U.S. Copyright Law constitutes Fair Use. "Golden Retrievers" by Akaporn Bhothisuwan:
(CC BY-2.0)