Why Libraries Kick Ass

I’m writing this to participate in the Louisville Free Public Library blogathon, to raise awareness (and hopefully some money) for the Louisville Free Public Library, which was recently hit with flash floods, dumping over four feet of water into the library and causing over a million dollars in damages.

Why did I donate money to the library? Why should you? It’s not because I’m a librarian. I became a librarian because I think libraries kick ass, not the other way around.

Libraries kick ass because they are a public service, free to all, centered around literacy, information, education and entertainment. Libraries, provide free books, CDs, DVDs, video games, newspapers and magazines, microfiche, databases and other resources to public communities. Libraries provide activities, meeting spaces and internet access to the public. I really believe libraries are essential to a community.

So please, donate as much as you can to the Louisville Free Public Library, either in the name of the Library Society of the World or directly to the Louisville Free Public Library Foundation. But please help out in some way, because we all need our libraries.

Lost Worlds

I miss Earth-Two. No, not this Earth 2 (although I did enjoy that series). No, not this Earth 2 (although I do love me some Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely). The Earth-Two I miss hasn’t really existed since 1986.

One of the first comics I remember reading Justice League of America #148. It featured the JLA teaming up with (and fighting, due to magical mind control) the Justice Society of America and the Legion of Super-Heroes. There was something, a certain je ne sais quois, that attracted me to the Justice Society and the idea that these characters, so similar and yet so different from the superheroes I knew, were from an alternate world called Earth-Two. As the years went on and I read more comics, I became more of a fan of the Justice Society and Earth-Two. I loved how Green Lantern, the Flash, Hawkman and the Atom were so different from their Earth-One counterparts. I loved how the Clark Kent of Earth-Two was married to Lois Lane and editor of the Daily Star, and his cousin was called Power Girl. I loved how they actually killed off Earth-Two’s Batman and introduced his superhero daughter, Helena Wayne a.k.a. the Huntress.

At that time, DC Comics featured many alternate Earths: Earth-Three, Earth-X, Earth-S and so on. The 1985 maxi-series Crisis on Infiinite Earths changed all of that, as all of the myriad parallel universes came crashing down into one universe. It was supposed to make DC’s superhero comics less complicated and baroque, more accessible to new readers. Maybe it did, but it made me sad. Sure, the Golden Age heroes of the Justice Society were still around, but I missed their alternate Earth, with its different feel and different characters, with the potential to take familiar characters and do things with them that the regular series wouldn’t do (like make Clark Kent a greying newspaper editor or Bruce Wayne a pipe-smoking police commisioner). If the world of Earth-One, DC’s standard world of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Justice League, was a magical place, Earth-Two was even more magical to me, another step away from ordinary reality, with even stranger heroes and villains.

DC has recently brought back the idea of multiple, parallel Earths. But so far, I haven’t seen anything that brings back the magic of old Earth-Two. I’m happy to see a return to the epic, gonzo multiple universes of old, but I still remain somewhat unsatisfied.

Earth-Two, you live on, if only in my dreams.

LSW for LFPL

Because I am a huge geek, one of my big inspirations for the naming & iconography of the Library Society of the World was a comic book superhero group like the Justice Society of America. But in the real world, we’re not superheroes, we’re just regular people doing our best in life.

Still, there are times when I’m particularly proud to be associated with the LSW, and this is one of those times. My fellow carping nerdboy Steve Lawson has started a drive to collect money to donate to the Louisville Free Public Library, which has recently been hit by disastrous flash flooding. I’m thrilled that Steve has taken the initiative to do this and to do it in the name of the LSW. I’m also thrilled that people have actually been donating. I’ll admit, as a public librarian in Kansas, I don’t exactly have loads of money to throw around, but I did make a small donation.

Please help out the Louisville Free Public Library in any way you can, either by donating through PayPal, sending a check to the Library Society of the World Clubhouse (PO Box 7893, Colorado Springs CO 80933) or sending a check directly to:

The Library Foundation
Attn: Flood
301 York St.
Louisville, KY 40203
(502) 574-1709

I know this is extraordinarily corny to say, but you really don’t have to be a superhero to do good in the world.

Life Changes

This blog has been silent for a while. I’ve had a lot on my mind and a lot going on in my personal life of late, which is mainly why I haven’t been posting. I debated whether or not to post about it, simply because this is a complex situation, difficult to explain well in a blog post. But I also can’t pretend my life isn’t changing, so…

My wife, Julie, and I are separating. I won’t go into the details here, because without the proper context and without lengthy explanations, it’s difficult to explain why and have it really make sense. I suppose it’s basically for the same reasons other couples separate. We’re still living together right now, but I’m looking for my own place and we’re beginning to disentangle our finances and possessions. Yes, our daughter, Morgan, knows and she’s actually taking all of this incredibly well.

We now return to our regularly scheduled blogging.