Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ripple afghan in shades of green

I am assembling this afghan from remnant yarns in various shades of green. The pattern is “Easy Crochet Chevron” by Kate Whittenhauer.

Originally posted to Ravelry

Monday, April 29, 2013

Slideshow: Overdrive eBooks, audio books and more

For the Cuesta College Library/Information Technology Program’s LIBT 115, Technology in the Workplace, here is a slideshare highlighting the Overdrive online catalog accessible through the Lake County Library.

I started this project while residing in Lake County, Calif. Since then I relocated to Ashland, Oregon where Jackson County Library Services uses an Overdrive platform called “Library 2 Go.” As a transplanted library consumer, I look forward to acquainting myself with items available through “Library 2 Go.”

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Active Friends groups at Jackson County libraries

A visit to Jackson County Library Services’ Library Friends Group page shows active groups at nearly every branch (There are detailed listings for all but the Butte Falls and White City branches; under those branches phone numbers are given for more information).

Saturday, April 27, 2013

‘Friends’ volunteer: Possible library involvement?

I continue in my quest to volunteer and be of service at Ashland-area libraries; at the recommendation by Community Outreach Specialist Carrie Prechtel with Jackson County Library Services, I contacted Friends of the Ashland Public Library to ask about volunteer possibilities.

I have worked with Friends groups in my prior career as a print and online journalist. I partnered with Friends groups for Lake County and Middletown to publicize sales and other activities. I also attended meetings of Friends of the Lake County Library.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Library school: Self-directed learning in the stacks

In the Dewey Decimal classification system, 020 corresponds to Library and Information Science. Jackson County Library Services (JCLS) offers a number of titles related to library operations: information technology, employee training, public relations and more.

During a visit to Medford, Oregon to leave resumes with area media, I couldn’t resist visiting JCLS’ Medford Branch Library. Two books accompanied me during the bus trip home: The New Information Professional: Your Guide to Careers in the Digital Age by Judy Lawson, Joanna Kroll and Kelly Kowatch (Neal-Schulman Publishers, 2010) and Without a Net: Librarians Bridging the Digital Divide by Jessamyn C. West (Libraries Unlimited, 2011).

These resources will be an invaluable supplement to my formal training toward certification and an Associate’s degree through Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo. For self-directed, independent learning in library and information science, I need look no further than JCLS’ non-fiction stacks.

Yarn Bombing @ Your Library: signature labels

Fiber artists who wish to align their work with the Yarn Bombing @ Your Library initiative can print and laminate these labels and then attach them to their work.

The updated tags feature a QR code directing smartphone users to the initiative’s Facebook page. The 2-D barcode pattern is superimposed over the international symbol of the library.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Workplace troubleshooting: Menu icons

Screen capture: Google Scholar, accessing gear icon menu
At the University of California, Berkeley Library:
An explanation of how to set preferences when using Google Scholar

My assignment this week for LIBT 115, Technology in the Workplace, was to document troubleshooting a problem that I could expect to encounter at work.

The problem I encounter with social media websites and web-based email applications is a shift in usability away from clearly-labeled menu functions to pictorial icon-based labeling. No matter how many times I see a gear wheel, I have to think every time what each menu icon means.

Here are the trouble-shooting steps I came up with:

1. Does the icon appear familiar? Think about other programs that made use of this icon. Did those other programs use this icon to represent the function you are trying to access now?

2. If the icon is unfamiliar: With cursor, rollover the pictorial icon and wait for alt-text description to appear.

3. Is it the function you want? If yes, press the icon.

4. If the icon does not correspond to the function that you are trying to locate, choose another icon and repeat from step 2 as necessary until desired menu function is located.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

YALSA announces 2013 Teens’ Top Ten nominations

Logo: "Teens' Top Ten"
Last year at this time, I was enrolled in a class focused on library service to teens. It was only natural during a semester-long discussion of web-based resources for teens, to recommend the Young Adult Library Services Association’s Teens’ Top Ten.

This week YALSA released the 2013 nominations for the Teens’ Top Ten. The 28 books were published between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2012.

The nominees were chosen by Teens’ Top Ten book groups. Last year YALSA was accepting applications to participate in the Teens’ Top Ten. The teen book groups are led by an adviser and the teens read and evaluate books submitted by participating publishers.

Readers ages 12 to 18 will vote online in August and September. The winners will be announced during Teen Read Week, Oct. 13 to 19.

What new yarnbombing tag should I install first?

QR code superimposed over international symbol of library
This QR code directs viewers
to Yarn Bombing @ Your Library
My social-media based library advocacy initiative, Yarn Bombing @ Your Library, has relocated with me from Middletown, Calif. to Ashland, Ore.

My home library is sure to reap the benefit of being in close proximity. Which raises the question: what tag should I install first at an Ashland-area library?

I am due for a reprint of the signature labels for Yarn Bombing @ Your Library; I might incorporate a QR code that features the international symbol of the library.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ashland, Oregon: Resumes to area media

Can lightning strike twice? A cold resume got me a job 15 years ago with Lake County Publishing in northern California. I took a bus ride into nearby Medford today to leave resumes with area media.

Three media properties are located within blocks of Rogue Valley Transportation District’s South Front Street station:
  • KOBI-TV at 125 S. Fir St., 541-779-5555. Its news director, Julie Akins, wrote fantastic commentary about commuting to work in Medford by bus. It was posted April 8, 2012 by the Medford Mail Tribune.
  •  Southern Oregon Public Television, 34 S. Fir St., 541-779-0808. My family is a long-time supporter of public television. When we lived in Rohnert Park, Calif., I arranged for a group from our local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism to man the phone banks one evening during a pledge drive for KRCB 22.My family was also a financial supporter of KRCB and KQED in the Bay Area.
  • The Ashland Daily Tidings and Medford Mail Tribune, 111 N. Fir St., 541-482-3456. Before relocating to Ashland, I followed local news remotely thanks to these print publications’ online counterparts.
I am grateful to be living in Ashland, Oregon, a dream of so many years, and need work to sustain that dream. And while I am open to work that takes me in a new direction, journalism is the realm in which I have immediate past experience.

PSAs: Autistic people speak for themselves

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network has produced public service announcements emphasizing that people on the autism spectrum can, and want to, speak for themselves. The PSAs were released on YouTube in April for Autism Acceptance Month.

ASAN is asking for help promoting the Listen Up! autism acceptance campaign and getting the videos aired on television. ASAN has provided resources to contact TV stations and national networks. Access them at http://www.autismacceptancemonth.com/listen-up/.

Monday, April 22, 2013

‘Trouble in the book stacks’ for Jackson County libraries?

Is there trouble in the book stacks at Jackson County Library Services libraries? According to Shady Cove writer Bill Miller, “An entire county and 15 communities have all of their books on the line.”

Library card: Jackson County Library ServicesMiller presents an informative and cautionary essay about library funding in Oregon -- specifically in Jackson County.

Among its details: by 1963, Oregon was spending only about $1.60 per person per year on libraries and nearly one quarter of Oregon residents had no local library access at all.

In Jackson County, Oregon, according to Miller, the first Carnegie Library opened its doors in 1912 in Medford. By 1963, it was headquarters for Jackson County Library Services.

In 1963, Jackson County Librarian Omar Bacon accepted one of nine presentations made to outstanding libraries across the United States. JCLS was recognized for consolidating many administrative and purchasing functions as well as book processing along with increased support by city and county officials.

Unfortunately, according to Miller,
“Troubled times are never far away. In 2007, 15 Jackson County libraries closed for six months.
“In 1984, voters passed a library levy to help keep an ailing system open, but that levy and subsequent voter-approved levies were ended by measures 47 and 50 that together transferred all existing levies into the county's permanent tax base, with no requirement that those funds be used to support libraries or anything else.”
The essay was posted April 21 by the Medford Mail Tribune. It’s informative reading for the detail it conveys about Oregon libraries past and present.

Announced: Finalists for Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction

During a webinar today, American Library Association president Maureen Sullivan and committee chair Nancy Pearl announced the shortlist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction.

In nonfiction, the finalists are Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis by Timothy Egan, The Mansion of Happiness: A History of Life and Death by Jill Lepore and Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen.

In fiction, the finalists are Canada by Richard Ford, The Round House by Louise Erdrich and This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz. I curated a transcript of the Carnegie Medal shortlist announcement with Storify.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

‘Neurodiversity’: Steve Silberman explains origin

Steve Silberman explains the origin of the term “neurodiversity” in an informative essay for Wired:
“In a radical stroke, [sociologist Judy Singer] hoped to shift the focus of discourse about atypical ways of thinking and learning away from the usual litany of deficits, disorders, and impairments. Echoing positive terms like biodiversity and cultural diversity, her neologism called attention to the fact that many atypical forms of brain wiring also convey unusual skills and aptitudes.”

Upcycled fashion: Gown from shopping bags by art major Johanna Boy

Gown made from plastic shopping bags
Photo credit: Southern Oregon Goodwill
Check out this gown made from plastic shopping bags by Southern Oregon University art major Johanna Boy. Seeing her model this gown was a highlight of the Earth Day celebration at ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum.

Goodwill Industries of Southern Oregon hosted an Upcycled Fashion Contest Runway Show, featuring work by area students.

I hope next year that there is an entry division for adults. Nearly everything I wore -- a T-shirt depicting Kliban’s Cat on a Swing, a sweater with Om medallion, a bucket hat -- plus my shopping bag were repurposed from other things.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Webinar to focus on library service to people with disabilities

A webinar about library services to people with disabilities is of interest to me as an aspiring library professional who is on the autism spectrum. In four sessions, course dates run from April 22 to May 19.

The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies, a division of the American Library Association, will host two live online sessions from 2 to 3 p.m. Central Time, May 2 and 16.

Taught by Kate Todd, the webinar syllabus encompasses concerns I have written about: “invisible” disabilities and the use of respectful, inclusive language.

Other issues include changes in laws and assistive technology at the library.

In the fourth session, library staff will recommend changes in personal and organizational behaviors to improve services for people with disabilities. Toward this effort, I recommend hiring people with disabilities.

There is a cost to attend this webinar but participants earn CEUs. For more information, visit www.ala.org/ascla/asclaevents/onlinelearning/libraryservices.

Emily Bazelon discussion questions for Sticks and Stones: My responses

Book cover: Sticks and Stones by Emily Bazelon
Image credit: EmilyBazelon.com
Discussion questions for Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy can be downloaded in .docx format from Emily Bazelon’s website, www.emilybazelon.com.

In the first question on the list: Bazelon defines bullying as physical or verbal abuse that is repeated over time and involves a power imbalance: one child, or group of children, lording it over another.She asks if the reader agrees with that definition and is there anything the reader would change?

To Bazelon’s definition I would add social exclusion, which I was repeatedly subjected to: I was rejected by all of my classmates from my first day of kindergarten onward. Even when I wasn’t being taunted or abused physically, I had absolutely no friends at Calistoga Elementary School and Calistoga Junior/Senior High School.

Or take this one: “At Woodrow Wilson School in Middletown, Conn., students in popular circles believed that social aggression was necessary to improve or maintain social status. Can school culture change the way ‘popularity’ is experienced?” I believe the answer is yes and suggest two potential resources:
  • Challenge Day uses an “iceberg” metaphor, emphasizing that only 10 percent of what a person is, is visible on the surface. “Crossing the line” illustrates similarities among people who may superficially appear have little in common.
  • Safe School Ambassadors engages and mobilizes “socially-influential leaders” among the student population. These students receive training to “resolve conflicts, defuse incidents, and support isolated and excluded students.”
Emily Bazlelon is offering to Skype or call in to book groups of 10 people or more. The book’s publisher, Random House, will send two free copies to the book group organizer. For more information, contact emilybazelon@gmail.com.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Sticks and Stones: Emily Bazelon to join book group discussions

Book cover: "Sticks and Stones" by Emily Bazelon
New community, new library card: the first book to come home with me to my apartment in Ashland, Oregon was Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy by Emily Bazelon.

I requested the book after attending an ALA Booklist webinar, “Addressing Bullying Through Books,” in which Bazelon was a featured presenter.

I had a three-fold interest in the webinar as a survivor of childhood peer abuse, a former journalist and aspiring library professional.

I believe library workers and journalists are especially well placed to share the message that bullying is not OK and that bystanders have a powerful role to play in prevention of bullying.

In an email correspondence, Bazlelon told me that what she cares about most is sparking discussion on the topic. “To that end, I’m offering to Skype or call in to book groups of 10 people or more.” Bazelon added, the book’s publisher, Random House, will send two free copies to the book group organizer.

Terry Gross interviewed Bazelon during the Feb. 19 broadcast of NPR’s Fresh AirDiscussion questions for Sticks and Stones can be downloaded in .docx format from Bazelon’s website, www.emilybazelon.com.
Bazelon invites anyone who wants to put a book group together to contact emilybazelon@gmail.com. I appreciate her effort to promote discussion about ways to defeat bullying.

Friday cat blogging: Starfire settles in new apartment

Black cat "Starfire" sitting on window sill

Our cat Starfire is getting settled in our new place. This morning when I got up, she followed me into the living room and hopped onto each windowsill in turn when I opened the blinds.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

‘Just a’ leader or a leader who is just?

Profile picture from about.me: Deb Mills-Scofield
Deb Mills-Scofield
“What if we modify the culture to recognize people fairly, based on their work, effort, passion and results, as individuals and teams?”

For the Smart Blog on Leadership, Deb Mills-Scofield offers an insightful perspective (and grammar lesson) on the difference between being “just a” leader and being “a just” leader”: treatment that is fair versus equal and a focus on “I” versus “you.”

Her piece resonated with my own interest in social intelligence and Skillful Means at work (and the wordplay in her introduction was a real attention grabber).

First items out from Jackson County Library Services

Library card: Jackson County Library Services in Oregon
I've truly arrived in Ashland, Oregon: Checked out my first two items from Jackson County Library Services and submitted an application to volunteer at the Ashland Branch Library. I treasured the time I volunteered for the Lake County Library, and it is vitally important to become involved with the library in my new community.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Crowdsourced: Report on QR code use in libraries

At the intersection of journalism and library service, I used crowdsourcing to to complete my report on QR codes in libraries for my Technology in the Workplace class:

QR code linking to Facebook page: Yarn Bombing @ Your Library
This QR code directs viewers
to Yarn Bombing @ Your Library
A QR code is “essentially an enhanced version of the average barcode” (QRCodesinMarketing.net). It stores information in two directions and, for this reason, a QR code is considered a “matrix type” or 2D” code.

According to QRCodesinMarketing.net, a QR code can hold “roughly 350 times the amount of information that could be stored on a typical one-dimensional barcode.”

The QR code was invented by the Denso Wave company in 1994 to track the vehicle manufacturing process. The first QR code scanner and reader applications were released for a variety of smartphone platforms in the United States in 2010 (QRCodesinMarketing.net).

QR codes contain a URL that, when scanned, sends the user’s smartphone browser to a website (Harris). “Additional data such as contact information or even an email message can also be embedded in a QR code.”

(This paper’s author incorporates QR codes on her resume and list of references; the QR code on her resume directs the viewer to her social portal at about.me. The QR code on her list of references launches the user’s default email application with “Subject: Job interview” and her email address as recipient automatically filled in.)

QR codes add an interactive, dynamic quality to otherwise static media. In her prior position as a journalist, this paper’s author produced a weekly print entertainment calendar in a northern California newspaper. It included a QR code linking to the section’s online counterpart, where viewers could access an expanded version of the entertainment calendar. I use free, web-based applications to generate QR codes.

“Libraries can use QR codes to deliver a higher level of support and interactivity to patrons” (Harris). Gwyneth Anne Bronwyne Jones, blogging as “The Daring Librarian,” added a “QR code twist” to a scavenger hunt created by Joyce Valenza.

At Jackson County Library Services, the administrator of its Facebook page indicated, “We have QR codes on every branch entry that link to the hours of that branch, plus several surrounding branches. We also have QR codes on our digital sign in Medford that links to free classic downloadable books with no borrowing limits.”

A question posed April 10 during the weekly Twitter-based #libchat among library professionals yielded multiple responses.

QR codes can be created free-of-charge using web-based applications. This researcher has used QR Droid to generate a number of codes. VisuaLead allows the user to incorporate a logo into the finished QR code.

Pro tip: Jones recommends running the URL through a shortener like Bit.ly first, explaining, “The more data you have in your code the more complex the 2D barcode.”

Works Cited:

  • Harris, Christopher. “QR Codes in the Library.” School Library Journal 56.10 (2010): 12. MAS Ultra—Public Library Edition. Lake County Library. Web. 27 Mar. 2013.
  • “The History of QR Codes.” QRCodesinMarketing.net. Web: 8 April 2013.
  • Jones, Gwyneth Anne Bronwynne. “QR Code Quest: A Library Scavenger Hunt.” The Daring Librarian. March 2011. Web. 8 April 2013.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Ashland, Oregon: We arrive today

We arrive today at our new home in Ashland, Oregon. Our first few days are sure to be spent unpacking, comforting our precious cat Starfire and getting settled in our new home.

Library card: Jackson County Library Services
One of the first things I plan to do is upgrade my Jackson County Library Services card from limited to full service. I also plan to apply to volunteer at the Ashland Branch Library.

Updating this blog will be secondary to meeting other responsibilities like the Cuesta College distance education program.

Internet access will also be a factor in the updating of this blog. We are in the process of getting settled in our new community. We may, at first, rely on access through the library and coffee shops.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Middletown Public Library: Grand opening celebration and one final yarn bombing tag

Yarnbombing tag: "NEW LIBRARY"On the verge of our setting out for Ashland, Oregon, Jonathan and I took time out from packing Friday to attend the grand opening celebration for the Middletown Public Library. It is a fitting culmination of our time spent in Lake County, Calif.

On Thursday night, I installed one final yarn bombing tag at the new Middletown Public Library: “NEW LIBRARY,” originally applied to a chain-link fence at the library construction site, is faded but still legible.

Sunday update: The yarn bombing tag was vandalized; we found it, slashed and lying on the ground. I have had tags removed before but this was the first known act of vandalism against one of my tags.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Cosplay ≠ Consent

Cartoon panel with caption: "Cosplay ≠ Consent. Don't be a douche, don't stand by if you see it happen. Let the harassers know that it's not cool."

Here's Cosplay ≠ Consent, created by Kanthara on Tumblr, that is rich with themes I blog about: victim-blaming and the importance of bystanders to combat/negate bullying. Add to it the realm of science fiction/fantasy fandom in which, far from being an inclusive haven, women can be targets of hostility on the basis of their looks.

Credit goes to my brother Andrew Parkhill for bringing my attention to this image, which offers commentary on an incident at PAX East in which a male journalist posed sexually-suggestive questions to women portraying Lara Croft.

#LibChat participants discuss QR code use in libraries

To research the use of QR codes in libraries for LIBT 115, I enlisted the aid of Natalie Binder, moderator of #LibChat, a weekly Twitter-based conversation among library professionals:

From among participants’ responses:

Postscript: #LibChat takes place at 5 p.m. Pacific on Wednesdays. My thanks to Binder for posting my question and to participants for sharing their insights. This insight was invaluable in completing my report for LIBT 115.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Indispensable app: YALSA Teen Book Finder

YALSA's Teen Book Finder app
My assignment this week for Technology in the Workplace, LIBT 15, is to comment on an app that I think would be indispensable in a library. My pick: the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)'s Teen Book Finder.

YALSA's Teen Book Finder is a free app allowing access to the past three years of YALSA awards and lists on the user's smartphone. YALSA recommends the app for teens, parents, library staff, educators and anyone who loves YA literature.

QR code for  YALSA Teen Book Finder app
Scan this QR code
to get the YALSA
Teen Book Finder app
According to YALSA, the app is compatible with iPod Touch, an iPhone or iPad. An Android version of the app is planned for later in 2013.

A homepage featuring three titles from the database is refreshed each day. App users have the ability to search for books by author, title, award/list year, genre, by award and by booklist.

A Find It! button, powered by the OCLC WorldCat Search API, shows users where to find the book in a nearby library. Users can create an individualized booklist and share books on Twitter and Facebook.

For more information about the YALSA Teen Book Finder app, visit http://www.ala.org/yalsa/products/teenbookfinder or contact yalsa@ala.org.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Lorimer associate publisher shares ‘Best Books to Beat Bullying’

Book cover: "Bullying: Deal with it before push comes to shove"
In an email, Carrie Gleason, associate publisher of Lorimer Children & Teens, recapped titles from a recent webinar about Addressing Bullying Through Books.

I share her recommendations to advance library collection development that addresses bullying.

For children (ages 9-12), Gleason recommends Deal With It, “graphic-novel-style” non-fiction books with advice and activities to cope with bullying and other issues. A Bullying & Conflict Resource Guide can be downloaded for free, according to Gleason.

Here's what C.J. Bott for Voice of Youth Advocates has to say about Bullying:
“[Elaine] Slavens presents everything needed to start great discussions about bullying in class, in counseling groups, with individuals, and with youth at home... [We] applaud not only the accessible, basic information and reader-friendly text, but also the illustrations and overall presentation that make this brief book a valuable tool for everyone. All adults should read it and thank the author for this excellent resource.”
For young adults, Gleason recommended SideStreets, describing them as “edgy and contemporary fiction novels based on real teen issues.” Titles listed by Gleason in the SideStreets series include Gone Bad, Girl Fight, Homo, Scab and New Blood.

Monday, April 8, 2013

QR codes at the library

Cynthia Parkhill attaches yarnbombing tag to peace pole at Lakeport Library

The artist’s self-appointed objective: to commemorate the Charter for Compassion and the Lake County Summer of Peace while drawing attention to resources available at her public library.

Her solution: Laminated tags displaying quick-response (QR) barcodes corresponding to books in the library’s online catalog were affixed to a mesh foundation. Also featuring crocheted flowers and a cloth peace symbol applique, the yarnbombing tag was attached to a peace pole at the Lake County Library in March 2012.

To be continued ...

For my Technology in the Workplace class, LIBT 115, I am researching possible uses for QR codes at libraries. What are your favorite uses for QR codes? Share them here.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Libraries: Not really ‘free’

Check-out receipt from "Your Local Library" totaling $0 cost
It is at best a mistake and at worse self-destructive
to under-represent a community’s investment in libraries
according to D.J. Hoek. Image credit: Idyllwild Library
In the March/April 2013 issue of American Libraries, D.J. Hoek offers timely commentary about an image that showed up in my Facebook timeline: a library checkout receipt detailing “free” items -- DVDs, books, an eBook and CDs.

Just how timely? The image appeared within days of my reading Hoek’s essay, thanks to social sharing by an account I follow on Facebook.

Hoek makes an important argument, that libraries are not really “free” -- rather, communities derive tremendous returns upon their great investment.

“ [I]t is at best a mistake and at worst self-destructive to under-represent the considerable ongoing investment that members of a community make to have library collections, technology, personnel, and facilities available to them.” A far better take-home message, according to Hoek, is that libraries are worth “every cent” of their ongoing cost.

Friday cat blogging: Starfire wears a harness

Black cat Starfire wears a harness

All Jonathan and I have to do is pack for our move (well, actually, we have to do a lot more than that). The really tough job is Starfire’s: she has to become accustomed to car rides and wearing a harness.

Update: Caturday was Starfire’s birthday. She was born April 6, 2009 and is now 4 years old. We are so thankful for our precious Starfire!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Bullying is subject of books, audio resources

On Tuesday I viewed an ALA Booklist webinar, “No Name Calling: Addressing Bullying Through Books.” Moderated by Booklist associate editor Annie Kelley, the webinar featured a presentation by Emily Bazelon, author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy (Random House, 2013).

Raising Cubby by John Elder Robison

Book cover: "Raising Cubby" by John Elder Robison
Raising Cubby: A Father and Son’s Adventures with Asperger’s, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives (Crown Publishers, 2013) joins John Elder Robison’s two previous memoirs on my list of recommended books for people on the autism spectrum.

Robison’s third book focuses upon his relationship with his son Jack (Cubby), presented as backdrop to Jack being tried for detonation of explosives. Like his earlier books, many sections are stand-alone vignettes.

The book gives equal time to the gifts of autism (mental elasticity that confers an advantage during motivated, self-directed learning) as it does to challenges (Robison believes that deficient theory of mind prevented Cubby imagining how others might perceive videos he posted of explosions).

I enjoyed this book for its portrayal of generations on the autism spectrum. My husband Jonathan raised valid concern about telling a child (supposedly purchased from “The Kid Store”) that he didn’t live up to the manufacturer’s guarantee.

I read the book courtesy of combined resources among Lake, Mendocino and Sonoma County libraries (organized under 616.928588 ROBISON).

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

‘Addressing Bullying Through Books’

Book cover: "Sticks and Stones" by Emily Bazelon
Image credit: EmilyBazelon.com
The timing couldn’t be better for an ALA Booklist webinar, “No Name Calling: Addressing Bullying Through Books.” Taking place at 11 a.m. Pacific today, the webinar coincides with World Autism Day.

Children with autism experience high rates of bullying, which gives the webinar personal relevance.

This free, hour-long webinar focuses on how children’s and young adult literature can help prevent bullying. I have a three-fold interest in the webinar as a survivor of childhood peer abuse, former journalist and aspiring library professional.

I value the role of library workers and journalists as information gatherers; I believe they are especially well placed to share the message that bullying is not OK and that bystanders have a powerful role to play in prevention of bullying.

Moderated by Booklist associate editor Annie Kelley, the webinar features a presentation by Emily Bazelon, author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy (Random House, 2013). Tbe webinar is sponsored by Books on Tape/Listening Library, Free Spirit and Lorimer.

Monday, April 1, 2013

‘Hattitude’: Woodland-patterned hat

Brimmed hat out of leafy-patterned fabric in shades of green, brown and tan. The .lining is a sage-green flannel.

Hand-made hat, using a woodland patterned fabric in shades of tan, green and burgundy. The lining is repurposed from a flannel sheet.

Originally posted to “Hattitude” photo album on Facebook

Who remembers Scholastic Book Fairs? I do

Scholastic Book Fairs, one of the few happy memories from my tenure in elementary school, take place in April at Jackson County, Oregon schools.