In which my mother takes over the content of this blog.

I’m a little embarrassed that I’ve turned to my mother for hot news tips in the world of rare books, but I would like to point out that my folks are well-suited to be stringers for this particular story since they live in downstate Illinois and also since my mother the newshound reads everything in her local paper (including the legal notices, as the periodic doses of mild schadenfreude produced by the bankruptcy notices have a tonic effect). Anyway, my mom hepped me to the news that the rare book collection at the University of Illinois has been undone by a failing HVAC system. And it is a well-known and oft lamented fact that in times of high humidity a young spore’s thoughts naturally turn to romance.

My mom also pointed out a somewhat happier story regarding libraries and funding: a man who some years ago had been assisted with some genealogical research by a downstate public library has returned the favor by leaving the library $1.9 million.

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