Creepy Hall

In my younger years, I watched plenty of  horror movies. I’d be screaming at the girl (it was always a girl) not to go walking slowly down the hallway to the dark corner at the end.


What do you think…should I try my luck? Who could be waiting for me? Freddie? Jason? Michael?

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Artistic Beginnings

On a warm afternoon, my daughter grabs her sidewalk chalk and begins a work of art on our patio.


The beginning

She doesn’t tell me what she’s going to draw, only that she wants draw.


The chalk in the bucket

I managed to get a part of her creative process.


The creation in progress



“Wonderful,” I say. “Now what is it?”
“I don’t know.” She shrugs.

She’s so creative that she leaves it up to her audience to decide what she’s created.

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Mounted Police

I’m always in awe of these horses and their police riders…


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Chess in the Park

I’ve been attending Computers in Libraries conference for the past few days. My inner librarian geek has been enjoying the tons of information that’s being shared. I’ve been writing plenty of notes to share the information with my colleagues.
Anyway, I went for a little walk after the end of my sessions at Dupont Circle Park yesterday afternoon. And I saw two gentlemen playing checkers. I tried to be discreet as I snapped a picture, but I was caught in the act.


As they finished their game, a young man and his caretaker approached them. From where I was sitting, it appeared that the young man visited the two gentlemen regularly. They set aside their checkers and pulled out their chess board.


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James Madison Building ~ Library of Congress


With National Library Week coming to a close, I’m wrapping up photos of the Library of Congress. Today’s Library building is the James Madison Building.

In 1957, Librarian of Congress L. Quincy Mumford initiated studies for a third Library building. Congress appropriated planning funds for that structure, today’s James Madison Memorial Building, in 1960, and construction was approved by an act of Congress on October 19, 1965 that authorized an appropriation of $75 million. Excavation and foundation work began in June 1971, and work on the superstructure was completed in 1976. The cornerstone, inscribed with the date 1974, was laid on March 8, 1974. Dedication ceremonies were held on April 24, 1980, and the building actually opened on May 28, 1980.

The Madison Building serves both as the Library’s third major structure and as this nation’s official memorial to James Madison, the “father” of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights and the fourth president of the United States.

In 1815, Madison was president of the United States and a keen observer when the library of his close personal friend and collaborator, Thomas Jefferson, became the foundation of a renewed Library of Congress. Like Jefferson, he was a man of books and an enlightened statesman who believed the power of knowledge was essential for individual liberty and democratic government.

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John Adams Building ~ Library of Congress

John Adams Building

John Adams Building

Continuing with National Library Week, today’s building is the John Adams Building. I’ve spent many, many hours here. Thanks Library of Congress!

In 1928, at the urging of Librarian of Congress Herbert Putnam, Congress authorized the purchase of land directly east of the Library’s Main Building for the construction of an Annex Building. The bill was sponsored by Robert Luce, chairman of the House Committee on the Library. On June 13, 1930, $6,500,000 was appropriated for the building’s construction, for a tunnel connecting it to the Main Building, and for changes in the east front of the Main Building, including the construction of a Rare Book Room. An additional appropriation approved on June 6, 1935, brought the total authorization to $8,226,457.

The simple classical structure was intended as a functional and efficient bookstack “encircled with work spaces.” David Lynn, the Architect of the Capitol, commissioned the Washington architectural firm of Pierson & Wilson to design the building, with Alexander Buel Trowbridge as consulting architect. The contract stipulated completion by June 24, 1938, but the building was not ready for occupancy until December 2, 1938. The move of the Card Division started on December 12, and it opened its doors to the public in the new building on January 3, 1939. The building is five stories in height above ground, with the fifth story set back 35 feet. It contains 180 miles of shelving (compared to 104 miles in the Jefferson Building) and can hold ten million volumes. There are 12 tiers of stacks, extending from the cellar to the fourth floor. Each tier provides about 13 acres of shelf space.

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Thomas Jefferson Building ~ Library of Congress

In honor of National Library Week, I’m posting some of my photographs (and a brief history — compliments of Library of Congress website) of the Thomas Jefferson Building. If you’ve never been, I hope you get to visit the Library of Congress. It’s a wonderful place to visit.

The Library of Congress was established by an act of Congress in 1800 when President John Adams signed a bill providing for the transfer of the seat of government from Philadelphia to the new capital city of Washington. The legislation described a reference library for Congress only, containing “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress — and for putting up a suitable apartment for containing them therein…”

Established with $5,000 appropriated by the legislation, it was housed in the new Capitol until August 1814, when invading British troops set fire to the Capitol Building, burning and pillaging the contents of the small library.

Within a month, retired President Thomas Jefferson offered his personal library as a replacement. Jefferson had spent 50 years accumulating books, “putting by everything which related to America, and indeed whatever was rare and valuable in every science”; his library was considered to be one of the finest in the United States.

A few of Thomas Jefferson's books Jefferson Building, Library of Congress

A few of Thomas Jefferson’s books Jefferson Building, Library of Congress (excuse my reflection)

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