Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What is the Biblioholic Reading: Sports Edition

Well I have been talking a lot about how I became a biblioholic, but I have not mentioned what I'm currently reading. This is a dreadful oversight and I intend to correct immediately. Not all of my reading is in academia. I read things from many genres. I plan to post them separately so I can have a theme to each Post. Today's post is the "Sports Edition".

Recently I joined the Nacogdoches Rollergirls womens flat track roller derby (WFTDA) league as a referee. Our first public bout was on Feb. 25th and it was a huge albeit painful success. In order to prepare for the role of a Jammer Ref.,I spent a lot of time reading and memorizing the rules of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association. However, being the book junkie that I am I couldn't stop there. I started reading, Rollergirl: Totally True Tales from the Track, this is an exciting inside look into the new roller derby revolution from the skater's point of view. It is a raw and unpolished book that gets a bit racy at times. It is obviously riding on the success of the A&E TV series "Rollergirls". The book successfully maintains the tone of the popular series. Another facet of its success comes from the dearth of current books about one of the fastest growing phenomenons in sports today. All the Roller Derby skaters and fan will read this book. They will get a straight forward in your face account of events a seen by the author. I don't know how many people outside of the Roller Derby world will enjoy it. Read it or not, everyone should attend at least one roller derby bout in their life. They won't forget it.

While Rollergirl: is entertaining, I also wanted to read a more serious treatment of my new obsession. I craved information on the more serious aspects of sports officiating. The rebirth of Roller Derby or Neo-Derby is still growing and working out the rules. As a result I drew on the vast amount of experience and knowledge of officials from all across the sports spectrum.

From the university library I checked out Psychology of Officiating. This is an excellent book. I highly recommend it to referees or officials of all sports, from t-ball to the NBA. Some of the most valuable information is found in the chapters on goals, communication, and burnout. The book covered a myriad of things I never would have thought of as part of officiating. I can not recommend the need for this book highly enough. After reading it I gained a new respect for sports officials and I now watch sporting events on TV for the first time just to see the officials (or "The Third Team") work.

From my public library I got a copy of Successful Sports Officiating. This to was an excellent book whose editors included staff from Referee Magazine. It talks about many things including: communication skills, keeping the game under control, developing your skills and developing your career. One of the many great aspects of this books is that it has pictures and quotes from model officials illustrating the principles discussed in the book. Successful Sports Officiating and Psychology of Officiating are both going to be added to my permanent library whether there is room or not.

If you are interested in sports, either as a player or as a fan I recommend Successful Sports Officiating Psychology of Officiating. After reading these books you will appreciate the game even more, and will understand the "Third Team" or "Third Player" and the game better. Ultimately it will result in enjoying the sport even more and may encourage you to become involved as a ref. for one of your local youth leagues.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Be Good to Your Mother

Well my dear mother was not very happy with her portrayal as a hippie book addict. If you read the post you will see a comment from my brother confirming my side of the story.
Hi My Name is Phil and I'm a Biblioholic: Hi my name is Phil and I am a Biblioholic.

Something good has come from this though. My mom has finally begun to talk about her problem. She has decided to review the libraries in her life and face the stark reality of her situation. They say that admitting you have a problem is the first step.

Let the healing begin.

The first library I remember was at Douglas Grade School in Springfield, Illinois. The school was named for Stephen A. Douglas and was built around the turn of the 20th century. Its time and place dictated that the bookcases would be of oak and have at least some of the prairie style influence. (This library was a room in the school reportedly designed by Frank LLoyd Wright)

It was a small room and the books were divided not by Dewey but by grade/reading level. There were rows of stiff wooden chairs and we were all lead, single file, from our classroom to the library. It was expected that each student would quickly select a book and spend the remainder of our weekly library period reading. By the end of my eight years, before what Phil calls the torture of middle school was invented, it was increasingly difficult for me to find a book I had not read. I would browse through the books in vain for nearly the entire period, drawing frowns from the teacher but no help.

I have come to believe that the entire library collection was purchased when the building was constructed and never upgraded. This had some interesting results for me.

I learned how to relate to other children by reading the Betsey-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace. I grew up on a farm, isolated from other children and supervised by my Grandmother. The house had no central heat and no running water. Given the circumstances, it is not surprising that I did not realize that Maud Hart Lovelace was writing of an earlier time. Her accounts of children who could find playmates next door, lived in a city and could go to the library on there own were wondrous to me. It wasn't until I visited the Minnesota Historical Society on my second honeymoon that I learned that she was from Mankato, Minnesota and that the stories were memories from her childhood.

As the location of the school influenced the library's physical appearance, the name of the school influenced the collection. While I do not remember meeting an actual librarian, the person who chose the books must have had a strong interest in the Civil War. That coupled with the fact that many of the Generals wrote and published their memoirs around the turn of the century resulted in a collection for the older grades that included Grant, Lee and Sherman's memoirs along with Mosby's account of the career of a partisan ranger.

The only other thing I remember from grade school was that the seventh and eighth grade teachers, both men, read the stories of Edgar Allen Poe to us on Friday afternoons. But the library brought a remarkable richness into my life. I've walked the streets of Warrenton, Virginia, seen Mosby's house and his beloved Shenandoah Valley, marveled at Grant's stoicism on the battlefield at Shiloh, and attended a re-enactment of Sherman's funeral in St. Louis. For ten years I worked as a Park Ranger at Abraham Lincoln's home in Springfield, spent quiet winter days volunteering at the Lincoln Tomb and walked the battlefield at Gettysburg alone on a beautiful spring morning. These experiences, and my love of history, I have been able to share and enjoy with my sons.

Today Douglas school is an alternative school. The library was turned into a media center in the 1960's.

Isn't it amazing how books and libraries can shape our lives. I wonder what kind of memories the Internet generation will write about and what will be the influences they remember.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Nacogdoches Roller Girls Debut

Well the Rollerderby bout was awesome last night, maybe even turbo cool. Madame Furrie from the Iron Maidens in the NRG has a great post with some good comments at her blog "Strange Fruit" I'll quote from her blog because she is as great a writer as she is a skater.

But back to NRG. The Iron Maidens and the Brick Street Brawlers hit the rink raring to go. We basically skated as fast as we could and hit harder than we ever had before for the first five minutes. And then - exhaustion. .... Miss Glad Ass suffered a major injury in the first five minutes and was out for the rest of the bout. Today, we found out it was a broken collar bone.

... those last two minutes were brutal! Goody Nuff and Bad Apple were our last two jammers. The Maidens were ahead, but not by much, and the Brawlers weren't giving up without a fight. And what a fight it was! An all out kamikaze mission on quads and I'm surprised we didn't have more broken bones. But when the buzzer sounded and the smoke cleared, the final score was Brick Street Brawlers - 94; Iron Maidens - 107.

I am chalking last night up as a success, NRG's finest yet. And trust me - they are only going to keep getting better.

Love, Madame Furie
It was a blast we completely sold out of tickets

Monday, January 15, 2007

Technorati Addition

Technorati Profile
I am part of the university library faculty. My areas of research and development include, Computer Science, Political Science, Military Science, Geography, Religion. Philosophy, and History. Before that I was Head of the University Web Development Office, and Assistant Director of archives and special collections. I have a Masters of Library and Information Science and A Master of Arts and Sciences in History, focusing on 19th Century Communal Societies in The United States. I was inducted into Beta Phi Mu the Honorary Society of Library Science, and Phi Alpha Theta the Honorary Society for History.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Middle School

Middle School

After the heavy handed move by the ALA to put me directly under a library in some of my most impressionable and tender years I would eventually be thrown into that circle of Hell that Dante’s feared to even imagine let alone describe, middle school. I don’t know who the genius E.d.D. who thought it was a good idea to take all of the children at their most cruel and vulnerable ages 12, 13 and put them all together in one or two schools to fight it out but they should be taken out and shot. It is unfortunate that the educational establishment has continued the practice despite the prevalence of bullying and abuse heaped upon the children by their peers. If these groups were split up in a different manner the mitigating behavior and different situation would surely lead to a more hospitable environment for learning. The reason that students aren’t prepared for college is not the high schools but the middle schools, where ones survival as an individual and even as an uninjured person is constantly at risk.

Fortunately out of this crucible of arbitrary educational goals and constant social persecution there formed within me an entrepreneurial spirit that while influenced by the ALA cabal had the potential to save me from its sinister clutches. A lot of students I knew liked to read Mad Magazine books and Charlie Brown books, as well as other comic strip type books. My mom who’s addiction by this time grew from Russian Literature to garage sales and bags of grass clippings started taking me out early Saturday mornings with here to steal bags of grass and shop at garage sales. I began buying books filled with comic strips for between 10 cents and 25 cents. I would then read them and then carry them with me to school and sell them for 50 cents each. I would buy back from the other students any book I sold them or that they brought in for a quarter or trade two for one with them. As I did this my inventory grew. I soon had al my desks and my locker full of books for sale with my most recent acquisitions in my back pack. This went on for 3 or four months and I was clearing between 15$ to 20$ a week in profit. Then the school administration found out and we had to have a parent teacher conference with the assistant principal. It turns out that entrepreneurialship and reading are not part of the 7th and 8th grade curriculum. Capitalism, math as in accounting, inventory, planning, salesmanship and developing a business plan with room for growth and additional employees were all apparently not part of my intended education and were in fact a corrupting influence that was against the rules. I was told to stop and received detentions for this obviously deviant behavior. Surprisingly we did have a library at our middle school but for the two years I was there not a single class that I was in went to it.

Well 20$ a week is way to much for a 12 year old to give up on, so I stopped carrying my books around and kept them only in my locker. I then made an alphabetical shelf list with prices and costs in a blue ledger that I purchased and did all my business out of the ledger and then passed out my inventory at my locker. After a couple of months of this the authorities again discovered my subversive behavior and punished me severely enough that I gave up on the book selling business. Yes I could have been a part of Barne’s & Reynolds or Reynolds’ Amazon of books .com. But all of that was thwarted by the educational establishment and ultimately by the ALA through its extensive connections in the educational community.

One may wonder why the ALA would go through so much trouble to get to just one twelve year old. Open your eyes man! They aren’t after one they are after them all. They have Literacy programs and information literacy and constant ad campaigns and volunteer friends groups to snare young impressionable minds and warp them into what eventually becomes a librarians worldview where nothing is in place, nothing is organized and everything should be left to us to straighten out. This idea of librarians’ megalomaniacal impulse to straighten out and rule the world is not a new one. It began in Summer and moved to Egypt where the librarians were part of the Priestly Cast controlling the Eternal and earthly destinies of entire populations through their stranglehold on literacy. Then over 2000 years ago in China the head librarian for Zhou dynasty “Lao Tzu” would write the “Tao Te Ch’ing.” This tome attempts to explain the the way of change or the order of the cosmos. Later other librarians would follow. Carl Marx who worked in the library at the British Museum, would develop the communist manifesto that swept across the world, then Mao Ze Dong, who started his adult life as a librarian and finished it as the leader of the largest communist nation on earth followed. Finally Laura Bush the unassuming school librarian, who all Washington insiders know is the true power behind the throne of the last superpower on earth. These are not accidents of history, but the diabolical plans of a cultural elite who will one day rule the world.

Next High School

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The 4th Grade

My grade school in Quincy Illinois had been built in the early seventies right next to the old brick school building which was practically an overgrown one room school house. The year I entered 4th grade was the year that they finished renovations on the old school house and guess what they did with it? One half of the basement was an music, art and activity room, the other half of the basement was a fourth grade classroom. The entire upstairs was converted into, you guessed it a library. Guess which 4th grade class I ended up in. That’s right the one underneath the library.

Some might think this is a coincidence. They probably also think it is a coincidence that the LC call number for the Bible starts out with BS. Again it was a conspiracy by those misanthropist ALA demons again controlling my life, carefully leading me down the path of addiction and then obsession. The library was of course staffed with this friendly young lady, who read to us and let us get our own books to look at and read. She had a stack of large wooden keys painted in bright colors. We would take one of the keys and when we found a book that we liked we would place the key by the book and turn it to spread the books open and then we could pull our book out. We needed to remember our color so that when we were done we could go back and turn the key again to spread the books open and place our book back where we got it. I of course was her “big helper” in collecting the keys and putting away books others had left out. To this day I can not walk into Hastings without forgetting to get a movie and just get lost in alphabetizing their videos. It drives me insane. Their military section has a whole stack of shelves labeled WWI and the shelves contain nothing but WWII books. I almost had a seizure. The WWI books were in a completely different stack. I hunted down a staff member and asked her what was wrong with this picture? (Turns out it was Cassies’ old boss who wants her back) Do you know what the reason was? Hastings labels their books with price tags combination barcodes and a topic. They do not have a WWI or WWII topic or subject heading, they just have World War as a topic. So they sent a bunch of WWII books and a bunch of WWI shelf labels. So the store has to put a bunch of books about D-day, the Nazis etc. under WWI shelf labels. Has the world gone insane? This might explain why when I go to a book store and ask for a book on a topic they can’t do a topic search on their computer they can only do title searches. I have to instead b lead to this section with a generic label like “Sports” and look to see if they have anything related to what I want? That would be like someone coming to the reference desk and asking for a book on Tai Chi Chuan and us telling them to go look in the GV section. What’s up with that? How did bookstores become so popular with that kind of service? I don’t even get people asking if I need help anymore (Maybe it’s the clothes; maybe it’s the torturing of the staff) but I think it might just boil down to displays and merchandising. Maybe we need one list of what’s new this week and another of what’s hot this week? (Besides me)

Anyway by the fourth grade any chance I ever had of enjoying a video or bookstore was gone. Linda and I two anniversaries ago after dinner and a movie in Lufkin ended up in their super Wal-Mart alphabetizing their discount video sales bin. Is that sick or what? I’ve got a monkey on my back and he has a digital dictionary and thesaurus he carries with him. I’d hate to think what it would be like if I knew more than one language. Unfortunately this story does not end in the fourth grade. It continues on into one of the levels of Hell that Dante feared to write about, Middle School.

My Name is Phil and I am a Biblioholic

Friday, December 15, 2006

4:45 AM the Last Night

There is one group. Up on the fourth floor. Being loud playing music (quietly) talking and having a good time. I have had to talk to this same group all week. Tonight it is to darn late, and I am to darn tired to get into a confrontation or scene on the last night. If there is anybody else on that floor and they don’t like the noise the can move to one of the three other empty floors in the building.

Now, I know that some of you librarians are wondering if you will chicken out under fire. Don’t you worry about that, I can assure you that you will all do your duty in a confrontation. That when you put your hand in a pile of confetti that a moment before was the third volume of the Oxford English Dictionary! (Cham – Creeky) You’ll know what to do.

Now it will be my pleasure and my privilege to serve with all of you anywhere anytime.

That’ll be all.


R Philip Reynolds