A BLAST FROM THE DISTANT PAST: OR: “I found it in the attic!”

It’s always the way. You need something, you don’t have it, and the person most likely to possess it apparently doesn’t.

When you visit the website of The U*N*A*B*A*S*H*E*D Librarian (the “how i run my library good”SM letter), you’ll notice that archives are scarce. This is a problem if you’re searching for one of their articles that was published in 1989. 1989 was twenty-four years ago.

But my fortunes turned after contacting the editors through their web site. Not 4520967-2only did they respond, but they discovered the article in a back issue, scanned the pages, converted them to PDF, and emailed them free of charge.  That’s service for you, in the midst of our jaded, cynical, graceless age.

The article I needed was one I had written about my internship at SCI-Pittsburgh called “Of Giraffes, School Buses, and Prison Librarianship: Or, ‘Why did you move hundreds of miles away to buy a car, Bill?’ I remember how this article came about. I wrote the article in 1987, and sent it in to Library Journal. At that time, Brenda Vogel was guest editing an issue on prison librarianship. She called me and said she would use it in a sidebar, but wanted to cut it by more than half. Since it’s barely bigger than a postage stamp to begin with, I demurred. Then I discovered U*N*A*B*A*S*H*E*D. I submitted it to editor and founder Marvin H. Scilken. I don’t remember receiving a response. Then, in 1988, while attending a New England Library Association conference, I discovered that Marvin happened to be giving a presentation. Afterward I approached him, introduced myself, and asked if he remembered the submission. He thought for a few seconds and then smiled. “That was the giraffe and school bus thing?’ I said yes, and asked him to publish it. He said he would. And he did.

The article link can be found on the Prison Library Links page, and by clicking Of Giraffes, School Buses, and Prison Librarianship

The kind, extraordinary folk running U*N*A*B*A*S*H*E*D these days are named Paula and Mitch Freedman. Please be kind to them by: