‘The Library Book’ is a delightful love letter to public libraries – CSMonitor.com

New Yorker journalist Susan Orlean continues her usual practice of captivating readers by investigating her own obsessions.

“Unexpectedly engaging sections are tied to architects and landscaping and budgets, plus the overwhelming modern challenges of homelessness and mental illness. (“Every problem that society has, the library has too, because the boundary between society and the library is porous…,” Orlean wrote.) We learn how “teen departments” evolved and about the delicate politics of loaning out music scores, and hear some of the odd questions asked of the reference desk pre-Google; “they read like synopses of a play; each one seems like a snapshot of life that concluded with someone saying “Let’s just call the library!”

Source: ‘The Library Book’ is a delightful love letter to public libraries – CSMonitor.com


Cultivating America’s Gardens: Smithsonian Libraries

“Americans have been making gardens forever, constantly innovating and experimenting as they work the soil. Amateurs and professionals, young and old, schoolchildren and scientists — Americans of every sort have put their backs into gardening. And for a variety of motives: beauty, food, science, prestige.”

Thanks to The Scout Report for the link…

Source: Smithsonian Libraries

Home Prices: How To See If They Are Rising Or Falling Where You Live : NPR

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies







In much of the U.S., the housing crash hangover lingers. New tabulation of home price data lets you zoom in on hundreds of metro areas and counties around the country.

Source: Home Prices: How To See If They Are Rising Or Falling Where You Live : NPR

‘It’s the End of Small Talk in Washington’ – POLITICO Magazine

Illustration by Ed Fotheringham

Illustration by Ed Fotheringham

But these aren’t normal times. Team Trump is showing few signs so far of hungering for the sort of social intercourse with permanent Washington that usually accompanies a new administration. And many longtime capital denizens in interviews describe themselves as put off by what they see as Trump’s personal vulgarity, and disturbed on some more fundamental level by the tornado of ethical controversies swirling around him.

“I think you are going to need a very strong blender to mix the Washington community with the Trump crowd, and I don’t think it’s going to end up being a smoothie,” says Sally Quinn, widow of the legendary Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee. “A friend of mine said, ‘It’s the end of small talk in Washington.’”

Source: ‘It’s the End of Small Talk in Washington’ – POLITICO Magazine