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Katie Behrens
Avid consumer of books, media, and general nerdery. Ready to dig deep into a story and match the right books with the right readers.

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Libraries & Special Collections: The Poetry Foundation Library

By Katie Behrens. Jun 3, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Poetry, Libraries & Special Collections

Among the many small libraries in the United States attached to organizations, the Poetry Foundation Library in Chicago is a gem. The library itself only opened in 2011, but the collection began as a resource for Poetry magazine in 1912. Open to the public, the library is an extension of the Poetry Foundation’s mission “to raise poetry to a more visible and influential position in American culture.”


King's Printers in England: Giving Monarchs a Voice Throughout History

By Katie Behrens. May 23, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book History, History

Many established governments around the globe have a dedicated printing house that handles all official documents and resources. In the United States, it’s the US Government Printing Office. In the British Commonwealth (primarily the United Kingdom and Canada), the role of King’s or Queen’s Printer may be assigned at the monarch’s pleasure. And things get sticky when politics, religion, and publishing mix.


Eight Surprising Hobbies of Legendary Authors

By Katie Behrens. May 19, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

Writing is a creative release to many people, but when you make your living from the pen, what do you turn to in order to replenish your soul? Those we consider legendary authors today didn’t spend all of their time at the desk. These eight authors and their hidden passions may surprise you.


Myth, Fairy Tales, & Children: A Brief History of Fantasy

By Katie Behrens. May 17, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Book History

If you were to play a word association game with the word “fantasy,” your brain would probably jump to things like magic, dragons, heroes, wizards, quests, monsters, mythical creatures, other worlds, and so on. In only a few decades, fantasy has declared itself loudly to the public consciousness as an established genre that's demanded to be heard. Where did the human fascination with such stories begin?


A Glossary of Publishing Industry Terms, Part IV

By Katie Behrens. May 9, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting

The process of printing and publishing a book has many steps, and when it comes to collecting rare books, the pre-publication material can be as valuable (if not more so) than the actual book. What are the terms to distinguish these unique items? We hope this quick glossary helps in your collecting!


Libraries & Special Collections: The Library of Alexandria

By Katie Behrens. May 8, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book History, Libraries & Special Collections

You can’t talk about the history of libraries without including the Library of Alexandria, that pinnacle of human knowledge and wisdom in the Ancient World. Like other aspects of far history, not very much is concretely known about the Library of Alexandria, but we can piece together what Ancient historians and thinkers have said about it. It is not just a matter of legend.


JAWS Author Peter Benchley as Ocean Advocate

By Katie Behrens. May 7, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Movie Tie-Ins, Science

Author Peter Benchley may have stumbled into fame as an expert on all things shark, but he quickly took up the mantle as their advocate. Benchley’s smash hit novel, Jaws, came out in 1974, spent 44 weeks on the bestseller list, and became the first summer blockbuster film (ever) the following year. Although Benchley cast a great white shark as his villain, he would spend the rest of his career debunking the stereotype he created.


Libraries & Special Collections: And the Oscar Goes to...

Movie-lovers can be just as passionate about collecting rare materials as book-lovers, and it shows in the number of large film collections around the world. One of the most prestigious is found at the library and archives of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles. The Academy, better known for handing out the Academy Awards or Oscars, has made it their business to make films, screenplays, production sketches, periodicals, and much more available for research and education.


Libraries and Special Collections: Carnegie Libraries

By Katie Behrens. Apr 16, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Libraries & Special Collections

Andrew Carnegie left his name on a lot of American landmarks—Carnegie Hall and Carnegie Mellon University, for example—but perhaps no other philanthropic mission did quite so much good for so many as the libraries he funded. Carnegie believed in helping those who helped themselves, so the public library, where people of all walks of life came seeking knowledge, greatly appealed to him. The first Carnegie library built in the United States became a National Historic Landmark in 2012, and there are hundreds still in use.


Southern Publishing During the American Civil War

By Katie Behrens. Apr 12, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Book History

Stop for a moment and think about how much society runs on the availability of paper: book publishing, printed money, legally binding documents, etc. When the American southern states seceded from the Union in 1860, they found themselves in need of both an organized government and the paper to make it run. Publishing in the Confederacy was going to require creativity.


    About this blog

    How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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