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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: There’s No Such Thing as a Free Library

  • My husband looked at this picture of me and the guys who were part of Saturday’s NYPL Children’s Literary Cafe and said, “Those guys look kind of manly.” Yup. It’s all about the manly. Saturday I hosted Michael Rex, Marc Tyler Nobleman, Brian Floca, and Jon Scieszka (not pictured, presumably because he moves at the speed of light) for a discussion about guys who make picture books.  All in all a rousing success. Mr. Nobleman has the round-up, and is responsible for the picture itself.  Cheers to you, Marc! And a big thank you to everyone who showed up. I’ll be raffling off those signed Robot Zot posters later today.

  • I sure hope that Benjamin Franklin’s grave is nice and roomy. How else will he be able to roll over in it when he hears that Philadelphia is closing all of its library branches?  I can’t imagine this will stand.  People may not notice their libraries when they use them, but they most certainly notice when they’re not open.  This is particularly biting when you consider that ALA was just there in Philly not that long ago.

  • Yeah, my library’s okay.  It’s got some stone and some marble and some stucco and that’s fine, I guess.  Far higher on the “awesome” scale?  A great big neon “Open” sign.  Blogger Greg Hatcher has a habit of going out and finding great books at obscure little bookstores around the country.  On his latest trip he found some interesting things like a Pollyanna book series and old vintage boy adventure novels.  The best, however, was the library with the aforementioned sign.

  • The Desk Set here in New York has a post up at the moment that considers librarians and how they’ve been portrayed in various films.  There is, of course, Desk Set itself.  And I know that I was shown Party Girl when I went into grad school (thereby modeling my librarian life on the example set by Parker Posey).  And of course there is It’s a Wonderful Life where nothing could be more devastating for Jimmy Stewart than to learn that without him in her life his wife is . .  is  . . . a librarian!  Take me back, Clarence!  Take me back!   Anywho, two new films I’d not heard of are now added into the mix in the post The Library on Film.  ” . . . a short essay film by Alain Resnais on the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and Storm Center, starring an aging but still glamorous Bette Davis playing a small-town librarian whose commitment to intellectual freedom makes her a victim of the Red Scare.”  Discussion is made of the both of them.  I am intrigued.

  • There’s a rather fascinating interview with the widow of Roald Dahl in the Times Online this week.  In it, mention is made of upcoming Dahl film projects.  “John Cleese has been involved in the early development of Working Title’s film of The Twits. A musical of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, involving Sam Mendes, is intended for the West End and Broadway, while the RSC is working on a production of Matilda.” When you compare these projects to the ones done with Seuss’s work… well, it just seems like Liccy Dahl wins the Good Widow Award for savvy selling.  Not that there haven’t been clunkers of Dahl’s work out there but at least he has at least ONE decent film to his name.  Thanks to @JennyS26 for the link.

  • Video Sunday was yesterday but . . . it’s Lisa Graff.  And cheese!  And chocolate.  So just for you, Lisa, I provide the video you created.  You see, folks, Lisa entered a contest.  She’s the author of a couple middle grade novels you might know (The Thing About Georgie, Umbrella Summer, etc.) and she has entered the Chocolate and Cheesemaker Cusinternship where, if she wins, she gets to make chocolate and cheese.  To win she has created a YouTube video.  I suggest you watch and see what a woman who is desperate to milk a cow will do to get a judge’s attention.  Rate it too, if you get a chance.

I’m also fond of the haiku she wrote: “Would have bribed you but / it turns out you cannot send / cake via email.”

  • Daily Image:

All I’ll say about this is that artist M.S. Corley entered a contest where he had to redesign a classic video game cover.  There’s a book in this.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. I love you, Betsy! (And a Twits movie? Swoon!)

  2. All things considered I would rather NOT be in Philadelphia. That is heartbreaking.

    Do you think we could get Nora Ephron to write a remake of her parent’s movie, maybe with Lauren Graham and Bradley Witford – they are used to dialogue dense scripts?

    And by auctioning off – do you mean to your loyal and devoted stalker/readers? Or something marginally noble like to the kids that visit your library?

  3. We were just talking about Philadelphia. I found it one of the worst places I’ve ever been — filthy and depressing. Who would have thought it could get worse?

  4. What about The Mummy for a movie, isn’t she a librarian?

  5. No auction. Attendees of the Lit Cafe had a chance at the posters, that’s all. Kids that visit the library would be unspeakably noble, but I’ll settle for educators.

  6. The rather ironic thing about the Philadelphia library issue: I was sitting on a Tram in Philly over the summer when a woman remarked to her friend, as we went by the main branch and its big sign Philadelphia Free Library, “Why does it say Free? Aren’t all libraries free?”. Clearly not.