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On Writing & Usefulness

After a break for my son Jon’s electrifying performance of his powerful songs Monday night (you can find him of FaceBook), I’ve been hunkered down in my basement office working on Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.  Since last week, I’ve been “piling up pages,” to quote Linda, in large part because my Wed. night classes at Queens College, CUNY, haven’t met for two weeks, due to religious holidays–having a stretch to immerse myself is such a treat. A couple of weeks ago, I met a retired New York City librarian who told me–insisted, in fact– that applying the word “usefulness” to a book is the “kiss of death” for librarians, a “code” in a book review that indicates that the reviewer didn’t want to write something negative, but couldn’t write something positive. Whoa! If that’s the case, then it seems to me that there is a huge gap between what many readers seek & teachers need and librarians who shun “usefulness.” No school for Sophie today so we’re off to the Bronx Zoo!

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