Saturday, October 26, 2013

All About Everything - Week Of October 22, 2013

This Week's Topic: Tomes & Talismans

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Tomes & Talismans was a 1986 educational television series produced by Mississippi ETV, consisting of thirteen 20-minute episodes presented as a dramatic serial story. Each episode defines, illustrates, and reviews specific library/research concepts.

Plot Summary

In 2123 humanity is evacuating Earth for the White Crystal Solar System, due to an attack carried out by the nefarious Wiper race, a group of aliens that are determined to interfere with communication and data technology. A special group is preparing a complete library of all Human knowledge which is hidden underground. Here, all fiction and non-fiction books are sorted by an alphabetical and numerical ordering system but an important volume is missing. A desperate search for it begins in the library in the outskirts of the city. The library team leader Ms. Bookhart, played by Niki Wood, is stranded in her bookmobile and is suddenly metabolically suspended for 100 years by a being known only as "The Universal Being". She awakens in a world under the control of beings known as "The Wipers" and is discovered by another group of extraterrestrials in the form of four children known as "The Users". The children, along with Ms. Bookhart, rediscover the hidden library, and in the course of the series she teaches them how to use it. In turn, they discover how to defeat "The Wipers" and create a communicator to call the Human refugees back to Earth.


Tomes Entombed— overview of library/research skills and concepts
Fact or Fiction— fact and fiction; alphabetical shelving
Under Cover— parts of a book
In the Cards— card catalog
The System— Dewey Decimal Classification System
Information Quick— encyclopedia; typographical clues
Hidden Meaning— dictionary; thesaurus
Preference for Reference— special subject reference sources
Direction Unknown— maps; atlases; world almanac
SOS: Skim or Scan— skimming; scanning; paraphrasing; taking notes
Guide to Light— Reader's Guide; Children's Magazine Guide
Show and Tell— audiovisual resources
Final Report— summarizing reports; concluding research; bibliographic sources


There are certain movies and TV shows you see as a kid -- in whole or in part -- that cause you to spend the next twenty years wondering: What the heck WAS that? 

Maybe what you saw was super exciting or cool  -- or maybe it was extremely terrifying -- but it never ceases to haunt the recesses of your brain.

And then, one day, you somehow stumble across it, and you go OMG I REMEMBER THIS and you start to watch it again, with mixed results.

Back in the 80's, our school librarian had somehow gotten a hold of videos of Tomes & Talismans and had us watch the series during Library class. I guess it was educational, but it still scared the crud out of me. And for years, I would randomly recall the lady with the book-ish name and her passion for the Dewey Decimal System. Dewey Decimal, hahaha... dewey. Strangely, I don't think our librarian ever got us through the entire series. Either that, or I was so terrified of it, I tuned it out. Because as far as I was concerned, Ms. Bookhart was, and always will be, in mortal danger.

A while ago, when someone on Facebook reminded me of the series, I found that youtube channel with the videos, and I began to watch. 

I lasted maybe 2 episodes. 

Because holy crap, it's still terrifying. And bad. And cheesy.

Dewey Decimal.

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