A Unique and Essential Reference
Posted by: Admin
The one print reference source I would find it hardest to do without is the small spiral-bound, college-ruled notebook I carry almost everywhere--to work, to museums, to lectures, and a few days ago to Port Isabel on South Padre Island, not far from Mexico. One cryptic notation I made on the drive home (my wife drove) was a three-item list: "Monkey Slough, Chocolate Swale, fungible." The first two memorable names appeared on signs preceding bridges we were about to cross; the third was a word Bill Clinton used in a speech we had just seen on C-SPAN, which I intended to look up when we got home. (I always make a mental note of "Woman Hollering Creek," which we cross on our drives between Houston and San Antonio).
The first set of notes in my current journal are dated 4/1/09 and are from the lectures and panel discussions I attended at the most recent Texas Library Association Conference, beginning with Leonard Marcus's "History of Childrens' Publishing." The most recent entry is my list of things to get done at work tomorrow (seven, so far). In between are hundreds of book and DVD titles, garage conversion plans, to-do lists, names and contact information, notes from at least twenty lectures or artist talks, summaries of places visited and things noted on trips, etc. I refer back to items in my notebooks frequently. I have found it useful to include the year as well as the month and day, and to keep the entries in chronological order (except for the last few pages, which contain contact or other information I might need to access quickly). The travel summaries are especially useful after a long trip during which we might have visited dozens of museums and galleries and taken a thousand or more photographs. The notebook format works well for me, and I have a dozen or more going back about ten years. I like a pocket in front and a plasticized cover. I am sure many have found computerized formats that suit them as well or better, but I'll stick with my notebook.
Who, but me, could (and would want to) make sense of this list: "Mineko Grimmer, Kamol Tassananchalee, Roy Besser, John McLaughlin (not either of the first two that would come to mind), Nikifor, Wols, Szalay-Colos"? Actually, you may be familiar with some of the names; and a Google search would easily tell you what they have in common. But I'm sure you have better things to do.