Saturday, August 31, 2013

60 Ways to Use Your Library Card

Just in time for Library Card Sign-Up Month, an American Library Association slideshow identifies 60 ways to use a library card. How may of them have you tried?

Library Card Sign-up Month is celebrated each September at the beginning of the school year. Its purpose is to emphasize that a library card is “the most important school supply of all.” In promotional resources, Honorary Chairman Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls declares that a library card is “The smartest card in my wallet.”

“A library card is a key resource in achieving academic success,” according to the ALA, “and the library is the perfect place to spend quality family time together.”

‘I am a social librarian’

Infographic: I am a Social Librarian. I am a curator, creator, and promotor. I am an educator. I am a facilitator and experimenter. I am a beacon. I am ready. Never underestimate the power of the {social} librarian.

Elsevier’s Library Connect newsletter and Joe Murphy, librarian and technology analyst, offer up a visual portrait of The Social Librarian.

“Social today means so much more than sending a tweet or posting to Facebook. The social librarian is enmeshed in the fabric of the Internet of Things as curator, educator, filter and beacon. In this complex, dynamic and demanding environment, librarians are extending themselves and empowering library users.”

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Yes, I ride a bicycle. Yes, I use a cane

Cynthia M. Parkhill with yarnbombed bicycle
My bicycle gives me mobility
(and it’s yarn-bombed too).
I can relate to the sentiments of Shannon Des Roches Rosa when she says her vehicle’s disabled parking pass is none of disapproving strangers’ business.
“Folks don’t have the passes if they don’t need them, and as they go through an official process of applications and approvals to get that pass, your opinion is irrelevant -- even if you can’t tell what the person’s disability is.”
The situation I encountered this week wasn’t entirely the same, but it involved a stranger’s unsolicited judgement about my supposed disability.

I parked my bicycle Tuesday evening outside the Ashland library and retrieved my cane (which was secured across my back by a really cool, over-the-shoulder, upcycled-T-shirt braided strap).

Friday, August 23, 2013

Jackson County libraries: Interview highlights ‘Champion’ status

Kim Wolfe, director of Jackson County Library Services; and Eric Molinsky tech support for the online lending platform Library2Go, were recent guests on Five on 5 at KOBI in Medford.

The discussion focused on JCLS being named a Digital Library Champion for its YouTube video highlighting the Library2Go redesign.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

You offered me the ‘awesomeness’ discount, right?

I appreciate you asking if I qualify for “the discount” if it’s the “awesomeness” discount you’re referring to. ’Cause you didn’t just add 10 years to my age because I’m walking with a cane. You wouldn’t do that, right?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mr. Library Dude builds Lego public library

Lego public library constructed by Joe Hardenbrook (Mr. Library Dude)
Image credit: Mr. Library Dude
“People love Lego blocks. People love librarians. When you combine the two, you get an irresistible cultural mash-up,” according to Mr. Library Dude (Joe Hardenbrook).

Hardenbrook created an awesome Lego public library to house the official Lego librarian. “Just like the real library, there’s something for everyone, he promises: “books, periodicals, technology, events.”

Proposed: South Valley Library District

A proposed South Valley Library District would approximately follow the boundaries of House District 5, which includes Ashland, Talent, Phoenix, Applegate, Ruch and Jacksonville in Jackson County, Oregon. Its area was chosen based on voting patterns in previous library elections.

As outlined during a special meeting of the Library Advisory Committee, a special district could either be funded by asking for a permanent tax rate or by an operating levy for a specified number of years. The district would be governed by its own elected board.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Next Big Library Read: Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth

Book cover: Nancy Clancy: Super SleuthJust in time for back to school, the next Big Library Read selection is geared toward juvenile readers.

OverDrive announced this week that Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth by Jane O’Connor (HarperCollins Publishers) will be available in eBook and audiobook formats for simultaneous use, Sept. 16 to 30 through participating OverDrive-powered digital collections.

Afterward, libraries may purchase the title for one copy/one user lending.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Caturday project: Starfire ‘helps’ with Sharrow jacket

Cat with her face shoved into sleeve of T-shirt
Starfire ‘helps’ me work
Assisted by my “helper” Starfire, I upcycled T-shirts into a “Sharrow” Share-the-road bicycle design on a hoodie jacket.

My first step, with a paper template, was to cut out the sharrow pattern. Starfire was highly interested in the proceedings and I had to watch her carefully lest, when batting at the sharrow template, she end up with a pawful of pins.

Jacket back: Share-the-road "Sharrow" design on hoodie jacket
Back view: The finished jacket
As I began assembling pieces for the sharrow design on the back, Starfire burrowed into the discarded T-shirt.

Starfire managed to shove her entire face into the sleeve. She reared up and was surprised by the effect.

Once free from the shirt, she was oh-so-dignified as I continued with my work.

The back of the jacket features an appliqued sharrow design against a floral background. I also attached a floral sharrow motif to one side on the jacket front.

Starfire and I wish you Black Cat Appreciation Day

My black cat Starfire pummeling a ball of yarn
Every day is Black Cat Appreciation Day when you share your home with a cat as wonderfully loving and intelligent as Starfire.

Born April 6, 2009, Starfire joined our home in July 2011. She brought an essential feline life and energy to our lives.

This sleek, healthy, 4-year-old cat is a very different creature from the half-starved adolescent of two years ago.

When she looked at me with her enormous round eyes, I imagined Starfire pleading with me to help her.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Voting now open for YALSA Teens’ Top Ten

Logo: "Teens' Top Ten"
Voting opened today for the Young Adult Library Services Association’s Teens’ Top Ten. Teen readers can cast as many as three votes among 28 nominees, books that were published between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2012.

Voting will be open through Teen Read Week, Oct. 13 to 19. The winners will be announced on Oct. 22.

The nominees were chosen by Teens’ Top Ten book discussion groups in libraries. Part of the appeal for this YA fiction reader is to see books I’ve read and enjoyed among 2013 nominees and the 2012 list of winners.

‘Behind the Kitchen Door’ is UUA Common Read

Book cover: Behind the Kitchen Door by Saru Jayaraman
The Unitarian Universalist Association’s Common Read selection committee has chosen Behind the Kitchen Door by Saru Jayaraman (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2013) as the 2013-14 UUA Common Read.

Again, it seemed only natural to pass word along, given my attention to the “common read” when administering a lending library for a lay-led UU community.

“The book reveals how restaurant workers live on some of the lowest wages in America and how poor working conditions — discriminatory labor practices, exploitation, and unsanitary kitchens — affect the meals that arrive at our restaurant tables. ... Behind the Kitchen Door invites Unitarian Universalists to intentionally consider their practices in restaurant dining.”

Monday, August 12, 2013 Auto-curating can’t mimic editor’s touch

Grumpy Cat (a naturally-frowning, brown-and-cream seal point cat) with the caption 'No' superimposed
At ALA Think Tank, an open Facebook group, a member asked about the pros and cons of using, a “custom newspaper” publishing site, to keep abreast of professional news.

I shared my perspective as someone who advocates the continuing importance of the information professional — the journalist and the librarian. (From the Grumpy Cat meme, blog readers can glean an insight into whether I believe has earned the name of “newspaper.”)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Study examines autism risk factors for bullying

A survey by British researchers has determined that children with autism who have strong support networks are less likely to be bullied in school.

As related by Michelle Diament at Disability Scoop, the study asked 722 teachers and 119 parents of children on the autism spectrum about the children’s experience with bullying. The children ranged in age from 5 to 15.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Jackson County Library Services IS a Digital Library Champion

Logo: OverDrive Digital Library Champions 2013
In its “Online” category, OverDrive has named Jackson County Library Services (JCLS) a Digital Library Champion.

The Digital Library Champions contest honored libraries that promote their digital collections in “creative, innovative and effective ways.” In the case of JCLS, that digital collection is Library2Go, administered by the Oregon Digital Library Consortium.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

‘Oregon Smoke’ has wildfire, air quality information

For several days, wildfires burning north and east of Medford, Oregon have caused a concentration of smoke, with the air above Medford officially reported at an “unhealthy” level.

Information about air quality and the fires are available at a single website, Built and maintained by volunteers, the website represents an effort by multiple government agencies.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Try knitting left-handed in ‘dextronormative’ society

I’ve decided “dextronormative” needs to be recognized as a word, after searching for a suitable book to continue my education as a left-handed knitter.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Cuesta Book selection: Orange is the New Black

Book cover: Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
Just placed my hold through Jackson County Library Services for Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman, the Cuesta College Book of the Year for 2014.

Orange is the New Black documents Kerman’s year in a women’s correctional facility. From Kerman’s website:
“In Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, Piper takes readers into B-Dorm, a community of colorful, eccentric, vividly drawn women. Their stories raise issues of friendship and family, mental illness, the odd cliques and codes of behavior, the role of religion, the uneasy relationship between prisoner and jailor, and the almost complete lack of guidance for life after prison.”
Kerman was the guest of Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air on Aug. 12. Kerman’s memoir inspired a Netflix series of the same name.

I appreciate the shared experience of reading a book in common and have read the Cuesta Book each year I attended classes in Library and Information Technology.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Aspen Institute: Future of public libraries

Main reading room, New York Public Library
Aspen Institute: Main reading room, New York Public Library
The Aspen Institute’s Dialogue on Public Libraries is convening a multi-year initiative to support the transformation of public libraries for the digital age.
“As trusted institutions, public libraries serve their communities by improving digital skills, helping people access information in new ways, providing a space for learning at every age, and connecting people to jobs, educational opportunities and critical community services. Yet, despite these benefits, libraries face ongoing challenges with budget cuts and the need to adapt in an increasingly diverse, mobile and digital society.
“To help advance the work that public libraries are doing to address these challenges and to support the transformation of public libraries for the digital age, the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program is spearheading a multi-year initiative to explore, develop and champion new ways of thinking about U.S. public libraries.”

YA reader’s next book? How about one of these

Via Epic Reads, here are 25 adult books for fans of YA. For list of titles and link to video chat, visit

‘Books on Wheels’: Library bicycle delivery

From the Arizona Daily Star, reprinted at, the Pima County Public Library offers a once-a-month bicycle delivery service for home-bound library patrons.

Books on Wheels is offered in partnership with Pima County Bike Ambassadors. Could a similar program operate in the Bicycle Friendly Community of Ashland, Oregon?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Jackson County Library Services’ ‘Fan of the Week’

Screen capture: Jackson County Library Services' Fan of the Week on Facebook
I’m Jackson County Library Services’ “Fan of the Week” on Facebook.

John Scalzi makes harassment policy a condition of convention appearances

Mug shot of John Scalzi
John Scalzi
Thank you to writer John Scalzi, who makes it a condition of Guest of Honor engagements that conventions have a harassment policy that clearly defines unacceptable behavior and where to go for help or action.

As explained by Scalzi, “When my friends and fans go to conventions, I would like them not to have to worry, if they are skeeved on by some creep at the convention, that the convention will take the problem seriously. I would also like them to be able to know how to report the problem, should such a situation occur.”