Friday, October 23, 2009

Jane Rutherford's Halloween recommendations

October seems to just be whizzing by. Already it's the 23rd, Halloween is next Saturday, and we've passed the midpoint of the Fall semester. Where'd all the time go?

Most of this month so far feels as though I spent it running around after people, books, and events. We're gearing up to start our next round of purchasing -- which means new books! If anyone has any requests, please don't be shy about speaking up; we're into giving people what they want.

In the meantime, I spent a little time talking with Jane Rutherford about Halloween. She claims not to be all that interested in Halloween (she's one of those people who insist on covering their eyes during the scariest part of horror movies, thus defeating the sweet, sweet purpose), but says that her favorite part of Halloween is the way all the kids dress up, both the cute costumes on the little kids and the ... weird costumes on the older kids. She also gets a kick out of the way trick-or-treaters ooh and ahh over the various trinkets and candy they see being dropped into their bags like they just got a million bucks, to say nothing of the candy that's left over afterwards.

To be honest, I kind of agree. Nothing's better than Halloween candy! Except maybe Easter ...

Anyway, as I said, Jane's not a big horror buff. She admitted to having only just read her very first Stephen King novel (Duma Key), and mostly prefers to read about Halloween itself. She specializes in, among others, education and children's literature, so bear that in mind as you read her list of recommendations -- they might come in handy for your own children!

Halloween: An American Holiday, an American History
A fun history of Halloween from the Druids through Colonial, Victorian, and 20th Century America.

All Saints, All Souls, and Halloween
Discusses Halloween (and similar holidays), including stories and activities.

Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night (e-book)
A comprehensive history ranging from its Celtic origins in the night of Samhain all the way up to today's sugar-fest.

Holiday Readers Theatre
A cute play for Halloween, as well as others for different holidays.

The Holiday Dessert Book: Nearly 200 Delectable Treats for a Year of Celebrations
Basically a recipe book for desserts for various holidays, this includes some good Halloween treats!

Party Fun, for Holidays and Special Occasions; Parties for children
Ideas for Halloween parties, including activities and games.

Holiday Stew
A couple of cute poems about Halloween.

Life Doesn't Frighten Me
A poem by Maya Angelou, about scary things and accompanied with some amazing paintings.

The Spider and the Fly
Based on the poem by Mary Howitt, this book includes drawings that are not recommended for the arachnophobic.

Many thanks to Jane and her succinct summaries! Next week, we'll have Patrick Oberholtzer's recommendations. This is bound to be interesting. Enjoy your weekend!

Question of the Day
I'm a student in the UK. I plan to visit the US in a month or two, and I'll be working on a project about the history of deafness in France for university. I know Gallaudet makes a lot of resources available online, but some of what I need is only available in print. Would it be possible for me to come in and see if you have what I'm looking for?
Absolutely. The Gallaudet University Library has a great deal of resources that are, more often than not, only available here at Gallaudet. This isn't true just for American publications; we gather everything possible from all over the world. We'll have plenty for you to work with!

We do allow visiting researchers to use our resources -- both from the collection as well as access to one of our public computers upon request. If possible, just give us some advance notice so that we know you'll be coming in and asking to use our equipment.

In the meantime, you can save yourself a little time by looking through our catalog beforehand; just head to, and begin your search in the search box under "Shortcuts to ALADIN"; you'll be asked to log in, but there should be another, smaller link to "ALADIN Catalog." Clicking on that should allow you to continue searching without needing to log in. You can use it to compile a list of items you might want to look at immediately upon arrival, giving you just that much more time to perform your research. Many of our rarer items are in the closed stacks; you can always ask a librarian to retrieve it for you. Others may be found only in the Archives, which you can contact by e-mailing

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