May 15th, 2008


If it's not love, then it's the Baum that will bring us together

Happy birthday to L. Frank Baum!

I got the latest issue of The Baum Bugle a few days ago, and it features a retrospective on the International Wizard of Oz Club itself. There's some talk in it about how, around when the Club started in the fifties, a lot of libraries refused to carry the Oz books because they were of poor literary quality and somehow bad for kids. You know, I graduated from library school, and I don't recall learning in any of my classes that it was acceptable for a librarian to make that kind of value judgment. A sign of the changing times, perhaps? I don't know.

There's also a note from Angelica Carpenter, the current Club president, regarding the organization's declining membership. When I first joined in 1993, there were frequent updates from Fred Meyer mentioning how many members the Club had, and I remember it usually being upwards of 2000. Those updates pretty much stopped when Fred took ill, but the president's note says it is now below 1000. That's kind of a shame, but if it's mostly just people who were only interested in the MGM movie who stopped subscribing, I don't know that I can be too upset about it. :P

I remember hearing that there's some kind of clique in charge of the Club, which I guess isn't too surprising, but it's somewhat annoying that even non-profit organizations devoted to children's books can't be free of such things. I've heard comments from people on the Board of Directors that they weren't aware of such a clique, though. I've been reading Kafka recently, and that sounds a bit like something he would have cooked up. {g}
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