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Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Many inventions come from a desire to solve a problem.  In the business world, those problems often concern improving the way a business runs.  A previous post centered on finding a way to make multiple copies of documents cheaper and faster. Today’s post celebrates the anniversary of patent number 221,360, issued on November 4, 1879, […]

In Good Company: John Adams and The ‘Fonz’

Everyone around here is talking about Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity and Halloween celebrations, but there is another bit of exciting news that warrants some attention this weekend. Drum roll, please…. The ‘Inside Adams’ blog celebrates its first birthday.  We launched this blog on October 30 to coincide with the birthday of our founding father and namesake […]

My Favorite Day

So you think you have a cool job? Here in the World’s Largest Library, there’s always something going on: lectures, special programs, concerts and exhibits. And you never know who you’re going to see in these hallowed halls: famous authors, actors and musicians, Poets Laureate old and new, maybe even the President or Royalty if you’ve been tapped to participate in a special event.

“…Should I meet with gold or spices in great quantity…”

The Columbus Day holiday is a good opportunity to post on the topic of trade.  After all, wasn’t finding another trade route to the Orient one of the main purposes of the expedition in 1492?  Since the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the land route had become difficult and dangerous.  The Portuguese were working on […]

It’s Raining Pitchforks?!?

The phrase “it’s raining pitchforks” or “it’s raining stair-rods” to describe heavy rain never caught on, however, the phrase “it’s raining cats and dogs” has become a popular way for us to describe a heavy downpour. Here in DC, and from a look at the satellite picture from weather.gov , the entire eastern seaboard is […]

Falling for Autumn

 Growing up in California I never got to truly celebrate the changing of the seasons on the grand scale. But now that I am on the East Coast, I get a first hand account of each season- from the cold and snow of winter, into the flowers of spring, followed by the heat of summer […]

Happy 51st Birthday to the Xerox 914

Today’s post is from business reference librarian Ellen Terrell. I will admit that sometimes I can’t conceive of a time when copiers were not part of the landscape, but before 1960 that was very much the case.  So the fact that the Xerox 914 was unveiled on September 16, 1959 marks a milestone, if a […]

The First Monday of September

Guest blogger today is business reference librarian Ellen Terrell Many Americans may think Labor Day as the end of summer or a day of rest, parades, picnics, or store sales. Labor Day is so much more. The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882 at the behest of the Central Labor […]

Science Resources for Teachers

Keeping with the back to school theme I thought it might be helpful if I outlined some of our K-12 science material that was specifically created for teachers, students, and parents. We are fortunate to have on staff a former elementary school librarian who knows the Library’s science fair and teaching collections inside and out. […]