Marysville Library Blog

Monday, December 15, 2008

So what is a book, anyway?

Having a librarian ask what a book is may make you do a double-take, but really, what is a book? Many hundreds of years ago it meant a scroll. Slightly more recently, it meant a hand-written, illuminated manuscript on vellum. Right now, the Marysville library is filled with printed, bound paper items that just about everybody agrees can be called books.

But what about the audio versions on CD’s of those printed books that also fill our shelves? Instead of reading the book, people listen to them - which can be a boon on car trips and for otherwise intelligent people with poor reading skills. I think they’re books, but one time I heard that a teacher was mad at a librarian for encouraging students to listen to audio books because she didn't think they counted as books.

Then the Sno-Isle system has so-called eBooks that aren’t attached to a physical item at all. If you follow our website ( to the Research Tools/Databases page, you’ll see links to databases and eBooks. You can research or read all about your area of interest while never leaving your closest link to the Internet. Do those count as books?

Finally, Sno-Isle has a whole collection of downloadable audio books that you can listen to on your computer or favorite MP3 player. Just follow our website ( to the Books/Overdrive digital media page for a complete listing. You can check them out, put holds on your favorites, listen, renew them, and even have them returned without ever touching anything from the library.

So if you don’t have to trek for miles through snow and ice and dark of night to unroll your favorite scroll at the library, is it still a book? What makes it a book or not a book?


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cats in the library

Librarians stereotypically are cat ladies, and the recent best-seller, “Dewey: the small-town library cat who touched the world” by Vicki Myron shows a good example.

But I am proud to announce that there is now some truth to that statement here at the Marysville library. As part of a recent bequest by our late patron Gellerson, we have had installed two art projects: beautiful stained glass titled “Dewey Digital” by Jack Archibald around the front doors, and seven bronze “Library Cats” by Carapace Arts around the library interior. Mark Stevenson and Sarah Ohman are the artists behind Carapace Arts. The idea behind the cats is that one cat lives at the library, just like the above book, so for the most part you can only see one of the sculptures at a time. They are very friendly cats in a variety of catty poses. I have witnessed that they invite even the burliest of individuals to stroke and pet them.

On Thursday, December 11 we will be holding an artist’s reception 5-7pm here to celebrate the new artwork and visit with the artists, and we invite the whole Marysville community to come celebrate with us.

The next time you are in the library, either at the artist reception or not, wander around and see if you can and pet find all seven!