Tom Bober

The Power of Primary Sources

September 4, 2018

My 1st-grade students recently prepared for a trip to the National Museum of Transportation in St. Louis by analyzing photographs and films of streetcars to better understand the part they played in our city. Inspired to share their learning, students wrote about streetcars and built their own with simple tools like paper, scissors, tape, and … Continue reading The Power of Primary Sources


Mark Procknik (Photo: K&A Photography LLC)

Bookend: A Whale of an Archive

March 1, 2017

It holds an immersive array of whaling-related materials: more than 18,000 books on US and international whaling history and New England regional history, 750,000 photographs, a 700-piece cartographic collection, 2,400 log books and journals—the largest collection in the world—and three first editions of Moby-Dick (Herman Melville worked in New Bedford as a whaler and used … Continue reading Bookend: A Whale of an Archive


Christy Karpinski and a selection of political buttons from the Busy Beaver Button Museum in Chicago. Photos: Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries (Karpinski); Busy Beaver Button Company (buttons)

Bookend: Pushing Buttons

January 2, 2016

Enter Christy Karpinski, who has since turned that internship into a permanent position as digital librarian and museum manager at Busy Beaver’s Button Museum, which now displays 9,000 pinback pieces of cultural history and ephemera. Karpinski’s background is in photography, but she has also made websites and organized digital collections of photos, which spurred an … Continue reading Bookend: Pushing Buttons


Karen Muller

The Convergence of LAMs

December 12, 2014

Rare book collections are not just limited to well-known libraries—they may be present in any size or type of library local history collection, or special collection surrounding an event of importance to the larger community.  Sidney E. Berger’s Rare Books and Special Collections is a handbook to help an administrator understand the special aspects of … Continue reading The Convergence of LAMs


James L. Gates Jr. (Photo: Milo V. Stewart Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame)

Bookend: National Pastime

November 1, 2014

Since its opening in June 1939, the Hall has served as the cornerstone of baseball, honoring the sport’s greats and marking its significance in history over the years. Pictured here, James L. Gates Jr., library director, holds the promissory note for the sale of Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox to the New York … Continue reading Bookend: National Pastime