Magazine article American Libraries

Test Your Bib/Triv Knowledge

Magazine article American Libraries

Test Your Bib/Triv Knowledge

Article excerpt

Bib/Triv: Profundities, Banalities, and Trivialities in Libraryland, to be published this month by McFarland & Co., explores the role of libraries and the image of librarians in books, movies, and the media. Although the book deals with substantive issues, it doesn't shy away from the humorous side of our image and the silly things that occur in libraries.

Not surprisingly, what the book reveals about our image is not good. Although on occasion we have been described as efficient, caring, knowledgeable, and yes, underpaid, the usual stereotypes prevail. Sure, we can--and should--laugh at ourselves. But let's not forget that librarianship continues to suffer from serious misconceptions and has yet to receive full recognition from society. We should take justifiable pride in our labors and know enough about our work and ourselves to recognize the stereotypes for what they are.

Since much of the library profession's substance centers around giving answers, a Q-and-A format seemed a fitting way to test librarians' knowledge of their image and the context in which they work. Here's a sample of the 400 such questions contained in Bib/Triv; the volume also includes photos, illustrations, a bibliography, and an index.

1) In what 1985 Orion movie does supervising librarian Ophelia Sheffer (Valerie Curtin) begin her sexual harassment of Nick (Mandy Patinkin), her new assistant, by cornering him in the stacks of the San Francisco Public Library and telling him, "Let's not pretend, Nick. Most women avoid married men, I improve them."

2) Which of his novels was Samuel Langhorne Clemens referring to when he complained that librarians had arbitrary powers of censorship?

3) What Ivy League chapel has a stained-glass portrait of Columbia University librarian Isidore Gilbert Mudge as a young girl?

4) The Carnegie Corporation of New York gave 1,946 libraries to the United States. What state has the largest number of Carnegie libraries?

5) What New England transcendentalist observed that "Meek young men grow up in libraries"?

6) Maria Mitchell (1818-89) discovered a comet in 1847 and went on to become the first professor of astronomy at Vassar College. Prior to the Vassar appointment, Mitchell served as head librarian of what town in Massachusetts?

7) Name the Indiana lawyer, novelist, and mother of three who was described in Blackwell's 1988 worst-dressed list as dressing like a 1940's unemployed librarian?

8) What former president of the New York Public Library was Alfred Kazin referring to when he said, "He has a great social gift, which most librarians don't have."

9) Name the English librarian, poet, and novelist who wrote:

Sexual intercourse began In nineteen sixty-three (which was rather late for me)--Between the end of the Chatterly ban And the Beatles' first LP?

10) Which of the following Librarians of Congress earned an MLS? a) L. Quincy Mumford; b) Archibald MacLeish; c) Daniel J. Boorstin; d) Luther H. Evans.

11) In what 1956 Columbia movie does Freddie Slater (Kevin Coughlin) set fire to the Kenport Public Library after being tormented by his peers for being the pet of the librarian (Bette Davis)?

12) The circular reading room of the E. T. Roux Library at Florida Southern College was designed with high windows to provide natural light and had no provisions for artificial illumination. Name the master American architect who designed this less-than-functional facility, which was built between 1942 and 1945.

13) In fall 1989, it was reported that Pentagon procurement officers allegedly "laundered $35 million for weapons, missile systems, and classified defense projects" through the Library of Congress's purchasing system. Which acronym stands for LC's procurement system? a) FEDLINK; b) LIBPRO; c) LIBLAUN; d) LIBPEN.

14) Which of the following librarians wrote Women in American Libraries (1904), which criticized the lack of opportunity for advancement of women librarians? …

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