Sunday, December 9, 2018

Friends of the Santa Rosa Libraries, holiday sale ends today

Stack of books on countertop. On top of stack is 'Gregor the Overlander' by Suzanne Collins, visible via its front cover. Beneath it are one of the 'Artemis Fowl' books by Ian Colfer, 'Great Things to Do Outside' by DK Publishing, and 'The Birchbark House' by Louise Erdrich

Made some great finds during the holiday sale of the Friends of the Santa Rosa Libraries: quality hardcover children’s books in like-new condition. If you’ve not yet had a chance to visit, Sunday is the final day. Hours are 2 to 5 p.m. in the Forum Room, Central Santa Rosa Library. Proceeds from these sales help to support Santa Rosa’s public libraries, including activities like the Summer Reading Program, book groups, and Adult Literacy.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Collage-art book cover repair

A book on a counter, 'Rodrick Rules' by Jeff Kinney, with a paper-collage front cover. Next to it are a pica pole and paper scraps in blue, white, and rust

The challenge facing me: a large piece had been torn from the front cover of this paperback book, Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney. Aside from the torn cover, the book was in good condition, worth putting back on the shelf.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

SRCS está contratando

Electronic bulletin board at Santa Rosa High School: 'SRCS is hiring! For more information, call: 707-890-3800, ext. 80607'
Electronic bulletin board at Santa Rosa High School

(En español / In Spanish)
Santa Rosa City Schools está contratando para trabajar a tiempo parcial o a tiempo completo (Boletín de noticias del SRCS para noviembre 2018).

​​¿Busca trabajo? Estamos contratando

Santa Rosa City Schools es un distrito escolar deseado para los alumnos, familias y personal. Siempre trabajamos para contratar a personas quienes quieren trabajar con los alumnos, trayendo sus habilidades tradicionales y no tradicionales a nuestra mano de obra, y son personas que solucionan problemas creativamente.

Actualmente tenemos puestos disponibles para trabajar a tiempo parcial o a tiempo completo, incluyendo: conserjes, producción de comidas, mantenimiento de los terrenos escolares, supervisión del patio de recreo, asistentes en clases de educación especial, maestros de matemáticas, educación especial, ciencias, música y para el tiempo de preparación, y gerentes de oficina. ¡Ser bilingüe es una ventaja! Comuníquese con Mary Alyce Stephens al mstephens@srcs.k12.ca.us o al 707-890-3800 x80607, o solicite por medio del Internet en EdJoin.


(En inglés / In English)​
Santa Rosa City Schools is hiring for part-time and full-time work (SRCS newsletter for November 2018).

Looking for a job? We’re hiring

Santa Rosa City Schools is a destination school district for students, families and staff. We are always looking to hire people who love working with students, bring traditional and non-traditional skills to our work force, and are creative problem solvers.

We currently have part-time and full-time openings, including: Custodial, Food Service, Grounds Maintenance, Noon-duty and School Yard Supervision, Special Education Assistant, Math Teacher, Special Education Teacher, Science Teacher, Music and Prep-time Teachers, School Office Manager. Bilingual skills a plus! Contact Mary Alyce Stephens mstephens@srcs.k12.ca.us or 707-890-3800 x80607, or apply online at EdJoin.

‘Crush’ by Svetlana Chmakova

Book cover, 'Crush' by Svetlana Chmakova. Image depicts the character of Jorge, sitting at a cafeteria table with several of his friends, looking at the character Jazmine as she walks past. Jorge and Jazmine are rendered in full-color, and everyone else is shaded pale gray with black-inked outlines
The character of Jorge lends a protective presence to the hallways of Berrybrook Middle School; I met him in Brave, patrolling the halls and persuading bullies to leave their targets alone.

In Crush, the latest by Svetlana Chmakova, Jorge takes center stage and we learn the wisdom from Jorge’s father that Jorge takes to heart: “Strength is a resource. If you have a lot and someone doesn’t, you gotta share yours.” But Jorge’s calm presence is ruffled by a schoolmate, Jazmine.

What I think especially well-done in this book is the conveying of Jorge’s mental processes. Jazmine is very much on his mind, and he dwells upon those brief exchanges they share in the Berrybrook Middle School hallways. When Jazmine is drawn as part of Jorge’s memory, there’s a different artistic quality to that rendition than when she’s physically present.

I mentioned in my review of Chmakova’s Brave that the book imparts valuable wisdom: about understanding how REAL friends will treat you, learning to recognize subtler forms of bullying, and speaking up for yourself.

In Crush, Coach Rashad — reviewing conduct-expectations for an upcoming dance — talks about respecting personal boundaries with the Athletics Club. Without wanting to go into too many specifics that might inadvertently be spoilers, there are numerous delineations between characters in this book: those who respect personal boundaries and choices, and those who don’t.

Altogether, this book is another solid addition to the young readers’ graphic-novel collection. I look forward to seeing it on the shelf at my local school library.

Disclosure of material connection: I originally read an excerpt of this book in a special publication for Free Comic Book Day, and was later able to complete the story via a copy from the public library. My taxes support libraries’ acquisition of this and other resources, and I consider the access I enjoy to be a “priceless” return on my investment.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Science of queuing for minimum wait in line

Just in time for the traditional kick-off to the holiday shopping season: here’s an interesting essay via The Conversation, on why a single long line, served by multiple cashiers, can be more efficient and move more quickly than several smaller lines each with a single cashier. The essay focuses on grocery stores relying on the “single-server” queuing model — but I’ve observed that many grocery stores combine single-server and multiple-server models.

Individual cashiers continue to each ring customers through individual lines, and choosing wrongly can result in significant wait. But in the same store, a single line of customers will form for several self check-out devices. And sure enough, even if one self-module breaks down or is subject to slow-down, that wait time is dispersed across the entire system. Customers can move to the next available unit instead of having to wait for that one.