Unusual books at the UW Libraries

There are a lot of bizarre and bewildering books out there in the world. The UW Libraries are no exception. As a library student employee, I have come across some unusual covers, titles, and topics over the years. Though they may sound or look peculiar, you never know! Why not follow the 155-year-old cliché and not judge a book by its cover? If you are interested in looking through any of these unusual finds, read the blurbs beneath each title to see where to find it!

On Bullshit

I’ve come across this little book many times and it has always intrigued me. It seems to be relatively popular, though I am not sure why. I assume it has something to do with…well…you know. If you want to see it for yourself, this book is on the first floor open reserves shelves for spring quarter. Call number: (BJ1421 .F73 2005)

Modernist Cuisine at Home

This isn’t your average cookbook. Not only is it huge in size (really, it’s too big to fit on the regular shelves), but it has blueprint-like designs for how to make things like Onion Fluid Gel and Shiitake Marmalade and Sous Vide Braised Snails and Fat free Mac n’ cheese. (What the heck is this book!) I personally like a little fat in my mac n’ cheese, but that’s just me. If you are interested in learning to cook like a pro, you can find this book in the UWB Library Folio section. Call Number: (TX651 .M948 2012)

A Book of Glyphs

Edward Sanders is an American poet, singer, social activist and countercultural leader, environmentalist, author, publisher and founder and member of the rock band The Fugs…quite the resume! If that isn’t enough to get your attention, how about this: Sanders created his work for A Book of Glyphs in 2008 while he was in Florence, Italy using only colored pencils and a small sketch pad. A glyph is “a drawing that is charged with literary, emotional, historical or mythic and poetic intensity.” I tried to decipher some of the drawings in this book, let’s just say it was full of too much poetic intensity for me. Maybe you will have more luck. To find this book, go to the third floor of the UWB library. Beware, it’s tiny! Call number: (PS3569.A49 B66 2014b)

Stolen Sharpie Revolution

Ever wanted to create your own zine? This pocket-sized guide is packed with information about how to do it. I guess what I found unusual about this book was a) the title, and b) the layout on the inside – it looks like everything was hand-written in sharpie. Want it? Check the third floor stacks in the UWB library. Call number: (Z285.5 .W74 2005)

Please Bury Me in the Library

The title isn’t the only thing that strikes me as a little unusual, but the content as well. It’s full of short poems, each of them unique in their own way. However,  it seems a little morbid to be a children’s book. The poem that the title is based off of ends with: “Way back by a rack of Magazines, I won’t be sad too often, If they bury me in the library, with book worms in my coffin.” …and I thought Toy Story 3 was too scary for children. Anyway, if you are curious, this book is in the children’s literature shelves on the third floor of the UWB library. Call number: (PS3562.E9465 P58 2005)

Ragged Dicks

Without a little context, this title does seem quite peculiar. However, the name ‘Ragged Dick’ traces back to the literature of Horatio Alger, Jr. published in 1867. In his series ‘Ragged Dick,’ a young shoe shiner who demonstrates virtue and frugality rises from rags to riches, renaming himself Richard Hunter, Esquire. In all respects, the original Ragged Dick is a “self-made man.” Might be interesting to read how that ties in with today’s interpretations of masculinity… If you are so inclined, this book is up in our stacks on the third floor. Call number: (HQ1090.3 .C4 2001)

Portraits in the Presence of Marina Abramović

When you flip through this book, you will understand why it’s unusual. There are no words, just pages full of close-up portraits of people’s reactions to performance artist Marina Abramović. Many of them cry, some of them smile in the presence of Abramović, who sat in her exhibit at the New York Museum of Modern Art for a grand total of 716 hours and 30 minutes. It’s actually pretty amazing. This book can be found up in the third floor stacks at the UWB library. Call number: (TR680.A57 P67 2012)

What’s My Name, Fool?

I want this as a poster to put on my wall. The cover features an image of Muhammad Ali, heavyweight boxing champion of the 60s and 70s. The title derives from the 1967 tournament between Ali and Ernie Terrell in which Terrell continually called Ali by his birth name, Clay. According to the New York Times, “Mr. Terrell thought Ali’s outrage was staged, part of a publicity stunt to promote the fight. But once the bell rang in Houston, it was clear that Ali was not joking. Over and over, he shouted, “What’s my name?” before delivering one damaging blow after another.” Ali won the fight. Zirin chronicles U.S. history through sports by telling the stories of many famous athletes, including Ali. Want to read it? It will be up in the stacks of the UWB library (GV706.5 .Z57 2005)

Virtual unreality

Don’t believe everything you see on the internet, especially if it looks anything like the cover of this book. There appears to be a cat riding a dolphin, with a flying saucer shooting a laser and the Statue of Liberty in the background. I feel like I’m describing a dream I had once. Right now, the book is on the new books shelf down on the first floor of the UWB library. Call Number: (ZA4201 .S44 2014)

Clean Asshole Poems and Smiling Vegetable Songs

This is not your average poetry collection. At first glance, Orlovsky’s work is vulgar, random and makes no sense (not to mention the title…seriously, what?!). However, Orlovsky was a central figure in the Beat movement in 1970s New York. Key components of this movement were non-conformity and creativity, so I guess that explains some of it. This book is actually housed at the Suzzallo Allen Library on the UW Seattle campus. If you don’t want to make the trip, you can always place a hold on it from the online catalog.

Happy reading! <3

Four Best Places to Sleep in the Library


It is finals week and that means you got 5 hours of sleep last night. If those 2 coffees you had this morning aren’t keeping you awake, try taking a nap! The Library is a quiet place to find a couch and get some ZZZs. In this post, find the 4 best places to sleep in the Campus Library and learn where not to sleep.

1.    Second floor open area

These comfy couches are tucked away along the wall and are guarantee to be away from all cold window drafts.


2.    Study carrels

Use a book as a pillow and no one will stare. A great way to get those 15 minutes of rest.


3.    Third floor open area

Take a cat-nap on the red couches on the 3rd floor in the open area. No one will mind, it’s finals week!

 3rd Floor open area

4.    Reading room soft chairs

This is my favorite place to count sheep while dozing off. It is especially cozy on a sunny day! And it’s always quiet in the reading room.

Reading Room

Take a rest from finals and find one of these 4 places. The Library is the perfect spot for a nap! But beware of places you are not allowed to sleep.

NOT if front of doors or the elevator 

Doors and Elevator

Taking a nap in front of doors or the elevator can put others in danger in case of an emergency. Plus, people may need to use the door!

NOT in the stacks


Besides accidentally tripping passers-by, don’t sleep in the stacks because others need to have access to the books.

NOT in the study rooms

Study Room

These rooms are for studying only. Taking a nap in the study rooms takes away a valuable space for others to use for school work!

The Perfect On-Campus Job

Hi there!

I hope winter quarter has treated you well so far! My name is Kayla and I want to take a few moments to further introduce myself. I’m a senior at UWB majoring in Community Psych and with a minor in Education and Society. I am also a Student Circulation Specialist at the UWB/CC Campus Library. I started working in the library as a freshman (awwwww) and now I’m preparing to graduate in the spring. Amidst all of the craziness of midterms and spring quarter registration, I have some very exciting news to share with you: WE’RE NOW HIRING STUDENT CIRCULATION ASSISTANTS! In order to give you a better idea of what this position is all about, let me share some of my personal experiences about working in the library that will hopefully encourage YOU to apply:

1) Odds are, if you’ve been in the library in the last 3 and 1/2 years, we’ve probably crossed paths. That being said, working in the library presents so many opportunities to meet new people. The nature of my job is extremely social. I have had so many wonderful opportunities to chat with students and faculty members from different departments on campus. No matter if you’re a Community Psych major like me or working toward a degree in Business Management or Electrical Engineering, any job you look for in the future is most likely going to require you to work with other people in some capacity. A job in the library is a great start to building valuable social skills that will look great on a resume later, and build a network!

2) I get to work on campus! My flexible hours let me work before and after class, which cuts down on time where I would have to be sitting in traffic traveling from school to work (or vice versa). Each quarter my supervisors work with me and my coworkers to put together a perfect schedule that fits with all of our classes. My supervisors want me to be successful in both academics and work, so they do everything possible to custom create a schedules for all of the student. They truly do care about each and every one of their circulation student employees.

3) My job is downright fun and lets me be creative. After all, I’m writing a blog post aren’t I? For those of you who love writing and producing things, you get to do that as a student worker! Also, at the beginning of each month the student employees take turns building displays on the second floor using the books from our Children’s Literature collection. If you haven’t yet seen the one for February, the theme is Black History Month—you should go check it out! I personally get to work on the display for the month of March, and I need to come up with a theme… any suggestions?

4) Working in the library doesn’t mean I’m stuck handling with old, dusty books from the 1950s all day. Okay, there are SOME old books from the 1950s, but our reference librarians collaborate with your instructors and work on purchasing the newest, latest, and greatest materials in relation to your classes. As a circulation specialist I get to process and display all of the new books that arrive, and this is the most fun part of my job! We have an amazing and diverse collection of books with over 90,000 physical titles. And did I mention the UW Library system has around 9 million print volumes? Ya, as a student worker you get to handle a lot of books, and it’s totally awesome.

5) This job has helped me become a more detail-oriented person through daily use of the Library of Congress call number system. What is this fancy, odd, call number system? Well, if you take a look at the spine of any of the books in our library collection, you will notice a series of numbers and letters. That’s what we call a number, and all of the books in the library are organized in accordance to their unique number sequence. How can learning the call number system help you later in life? Aside from building you numerical and alphabetical skills (I know it sounds silly because most of us learned how to count and alphabetize in kindergarten, but trust me, you actually CAN improve on those skills), detail oriented tasks are part of every job/career out there! My passion is to be a teacher and work with people—not call numbers—but the principles and applications I’ve learned through working with call numbers have helped me become so much more perceptive in other areas of my life.

6) A final thing I want to highlight is that I get to be mobile! It may look like the circulation students get to sit in a nice comfy chair all day long, but sitting at the main desk is only half of the fun. When I’m not on the desk, you can find me searching the stacks (i.e. the main collection of books on the third floor) for missing books, retrieving books that have been requested, shelving, cleaning, checking study rooms, performing building counts, or working on other miscellaneous tasks. I don’t like being idle for extended periods of time, so having the opportunity to be on my feet and performing different tasks helps keep me active and alert throughout the day.

I absolutely LOVE what I do and I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work as a student employee at the circulation desk for the entirety of my four years at UW Bothell. Working alongside some of the friendliest people on campus has been quite the treat. The opportunity to work here has led to building relationships with library staff, reference librarians, and other student workers, and I will eventually leave with so many wonderful memories and lasting friendships. For those of you who are ready to see a new side of the library, build valuable career skills, and have a ton of fun along the way, I highly suggest applying for the position as a student circulation assistant. I look forward to training YOU at your new job!

All the Best,

Ad: Codependent Reader Seeks Same

In the realm of privileged people problems, nothing is worse than getting a chocolate-covered cherry stain on your favorite shirt…except maybe being single on Valentine’s Day.

In the current state of society, we are conditioned to believe that “single” = sad. Singles Awareness Day (S.A.D.) was an unfortunate acronym. In actuality, being single is Fierce, Uplifting, and Nirvana (F.U.N.)! No offense to all the lovely couples out there, but being single is pretty much the best thing ever. Here’s why:

When you’re single, instead of going out to engage in activities you don’t enjoy, eat food that is too expensive, and agonize as you watch romantic comedies without the comedy, you can literally do WHATEVER YOU WANT on Valentine’s Day. Shopping for new clothes? Sure. Do-it-yourself spa day? Doable. Drinking too much Red Bull and doing amateur parkour stuff around Capitol Hill? Why not?

Or – get this – you could avoid all the Valentine’s Day traffic and have a comfy night in by yourself (or with your single besties) and read a BOOK! I know.

If you are so inclined, the Campus Library would like to help you with this final option. The “Blind Date with a Book” display is now up and running in the Campus Library, your match is waiting for you…Instead of living the real-life romance (with all of its pomp, frill, and subsequent complicatedness), why not read about it? Better yet, why not read a super-spy thriller, an outdoor adventure, a drug-addled memoir, a historical murder-mystery, a beloved classic or a love story parody?

The thing about “Blind Date with a Book,” is you don’t know what you’re going to get, which only increases the anticipation! As you unwrap your blind date, consider how lucky you are to have someone who cares about you so deeply. Someone who loves you so completely, that they dedicate themselves to you, and you alone, 24/7. I read a meme somewhere once that said something like: “There are millions of cells in your body and all they care about is you.” Kind of similar to what I’m trying to say, but not really.

What I mean is that being single is not the end of the world, neither is being in a relationship. Whatever your relationship status this year, just remember that the Library understands. So whether you need a significant other or are looking for a new one, pick up a blind date in the library lobby and fall in love…with reading.

(Cheesy, I know, but don’t care.)


Dos and don’ts of studying in the Campus Library (just in time for midterms)


  • DO take breaks from reading, writing, researching etc.
    You know the feeling. You’ve been in the library for three hours, reading through your Organizational Behavior textbook and taking meticulous notes. The words on the page are starting to make no sense, you had to go back and read the same paragraph four times, and you’re starting to feel like you might lose control and scream in the middle of the silent reading room. If this is happening to you, it’s time to take a break. When you’ve stopped being productive, there is no sense in forcing yourself to keep working. Get up and stretch, get a bite to eat, go for a walk down to the campus wetland, or what have you. Come back to your work when you’ve given yourself a decent break.
  • DO ask for help if you need it.
    The library circulation staff, technology consultants, and research librarians are here to assist you. If you need help locating a certain title or want to use a textbook for your class, come to the Circulation Desk. If you need help printing or logging on to the Wifi, go to the Tech desk, and if you need help with more complex research questions such as how to find scholarly articles or gain access to databases, see a reference librarian at the Reference Desk.

  • DO find a space that works for you.
    There are lots of places to study in the library, but some may be more suited to your needs than others. If you are looking for a place to spread out, maybe meet with a peer, eat your lunch, etc. and you don’t need complete silence, the first floor is your best bet. There are lots of tables scattered across the first floor that are great for working as an individual or as a group.
    If you want your own space with a whiteboard, TV monitor, maybe even a computer to collaborate on a group project, you want to reserve one of our study rooms. You have to call dibs on these, and they fill up fast so if you know you will need to use one, you can reserve it up to two weeks in advance online.
    Lastly, if you’re on your own and you just want a quiet place to read or study, the Quiet Study Room up on the third floor is where you should be. This is a cell-phone free, conversation free, completely silent zone. If you’re like me and can’t focus on a single thing when it’s noisy, go here.

:( DON’T

  • DON’T try to accomplish everything at once.
    Whether you’re behind in your assigned readings, studying for an exam, or working on a project or essay, you can’t expect that your pile of work is going to pull a Houdini and disappear in one sitting. Set reasonable goals for yourself during your study session. Prioritize and then pick one, again ONE, task to complete. If you start out thinking you’re going to get everything done at once a) you’ll end up over-working yourself or b) you’ll get nothing done because you’ll be too worried about everything that you have to get done and you’ll drive yourself crazy. So, be logical and pick one thing to accomplish, then move on to the next thing.

  • DON’T allow yourself to be distracted.
    Speaking of accomplishments, nothing gets in the way of getting work done like those pesky distractions. For example, out of nowhere you have a craving for a taco, your phone is buzzing from people liking your Facebook post, or you can’t help eavesdropping on the people next to you who are talking about the Breaking Bad finale from a year ago. Whatever it may be, don’t allow yourself to be distracted when you’re supposed to be working.  If you need to, move to a quieter place where you can focus.
  • DON’T assume. It’s dangerous
    Here in the library, we have an abundance of resources for our students to use. One of them are Reserve items. Teachers can choose to put required readings and videos on reserve for their classes. Media Reserves and Closed Reserve are kept behind the front desk, and Open Reserves are straight ahead when you come into the library. These items are restricted access, meaning they are for 4 hour, 24 hour or 72 hour check-out and they are first come first serve. So, if you need to use a textbook or DVD for a study session in the library, just be aware that the item you need is not guaranteed to be there. Reserve items have shorter check out because of their high demand. Come check with us at the front desk if you need to use a reserve item and we can help you locate it.

Now go on, get out there and study.


Links to the art:
Just one more pageHermione
Do all the homework!
Secret Window Depp
30 Rock excitement

Ode to a required reading list

oh, how you dishearten me
to see such a long list of
texts to be bought, shipped, read.

there is no hope for my wallet
nor is there hope for my social life
which will ultimately whither away
having been replaced by endless reading.

lest we not forget I am but a college student
bound by ever-expanding tuition rates and
my ever-shrinking savings fund.

what is a girl to do?
how can one remedy this injustice
and find a more sound, economic solution?

just when all seemed futile,
I found the answer in a likely
yet unlikely place.

a simple search within the catalog revealed
each and every reading required was
but a mouse-click away!

whether on closed or open reserves,
in the UWB stacks or in a land far away,
my books were waiting.

Hark! my wallet has been spared!
as for my social life however,
we are still waiting for a pulse.