Friday, January 31, 2014

Children’s media award for disability experience

Book cover: A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant
Among multiple awards for youth media announced Monday by the American Library Association, the Schneider Family Book Award honors books that that “embody an artistic expression of the disability experience.”

A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin, written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet, won in the ages 0 to 10 division.

“This picture book biography of self-taught African American folk artist Horace Pippin demonstrates the dogged determination of a wounded soldier to paint again,” according to the ALA on its Schneider Family Book Award page. “After a WWI injury threatened to end his potential artistic career, he trained himself to paint by supporting his injured arm with the other hand.”

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Oregon Reads 2014: ‘for children and teens too’

“Oregon Reads 2014 is for children and teens too!” On the Southern Oregon Education Service District librarians’ listserv, Library Materials Specialist Kelly Bryant passed along information from Katie Anderson, youth services consultant, with the Oregon State Library.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

‘Verification Handbook’

A new resource, “Verification Handbook,” offers guidelines for verifying online information and user-generated content.

I worked with one of the contributors, Steve Buttry, while employed at a northern California newspaper. As a library professional, I have a continuing vested interest in promoting information literacy.

The handbook’s contributors address a variety of topics including verification fundamentals, as well as applications for specific types of content. It also offers suggestions for putting “crowdsourcing” to work when verifying information.

The “Verification Handbook” was written primarily for journalists and for aid providers but, more and more, citizens are relying directly on online sources and bypassing professional outlets.

If you care about the accuracy of the information you consume, if you want to be information-literate, the “Verification Handbook” is worth checking out.

Accessibility of online tools: report tracks top ideas

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT) and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) have completed a report compiling “participation metrics” for an online conversation about making web-based tools easier to use for workers with intellectual disabilities, cognitive issues, traumatic brain injury or other disabilities.

The dialogue was open from Dec. 9 to 20.

I’m gratified that the idea that I backed — concern for personality screening of job applicants — made the report’s “Top 5 Ideas” under “Applying for Jobs.” But I want to express my concern about the competitive nature of the PEAT-ASAN forum. Why was it structured so that people were able to vote down other people’s ideas?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cuesta College internship: Early impressions

I am interning this spring through the Instructional Media Center (IMC) of Medford School District 549C. A drop-down menu on the district website lists 22 schools.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Teen Crafternoon: Repurposed men’s neckwear

Eyeglass case from repurposed man's tie. The tie's point forms a fold-down flap secured by fabric hook-and-loop fasteners.
Image credit: Ashland Teen Library Fans on Facebook
First Saturday of each month finds me volunteering for the teen library program’s “Teen Crafternoon” at the Ashland Public Library, 410 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland, Oregon. Upcycling once again takes center stage on Saturday. From noon to 2:30 p.m., participants can repurpose neckties into various other things: bracelets, wallets, eyewear cases, iPhone covers, etc. Lookin’ forward to it!

Friday, January 24, 2014

‘Calamity Jack’ by Shannon and Dean Hale

Book cover: Calamity Jack by Shannon and Dean Hale, illustrated by Nathan Hale
European fairy mythology meets frontier America in Calamity Jack, sequel to Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale, illustrated by Nathan Hale.

This graphic novel picks up where Rapunzel’s Revenge left off. A misadventure with a beanstalk and the theft of a goose that lays golden eggs forced Jack to flee the city of Shyport. Now he and Rapunzel are returning home so he can put things right.

Readers who enjoyed the action, suspense and humor of Rapunzel’s Revenge will enjoy this story, which presents new challenges and introduces new allies.

Rapunzel’s Revenge was a 2011 nominee in the upper-elementary division, Oregon Reader’s Choice Awards. Readers can find both books in the Bellview Elementary School library and through Jackson County public libraries.

Cross-posted to the Jackson County Library Services Facebook page

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Library Book Cart Precision Drill Team Manual

Book cover: The Library Book Cart Precision Drill Team Manual by Linda D. McCracken and Lynne Zeiher
Among memorable Dewey classifications, books on library and information science are shelved under 020. What should I find during a recent visit to the Ashland branch library but a book cart drill team manual.

Written by Linda D. McCracken and Lynne Zeiher, The Library Book Cart Precision Drill Team Manual (McFarland and Co., 2002) covers everything library groups need to know about a unique form of community outreach. The authors share tips at every stage, from forming a group, recruiting, making a case to stakeholders, decorating and costumes, cart drill routines, identifying events/opportunities and transportation to and from the event.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Underneath by Kathi Appelt

Book cover: The Underneath by Kathi Appelt
Recently added to my Winter Reading log, The Underneath by Kathi Appelt is available in the Bellview Elementary School library and through Jackson County public libraries.

The Underneath tells the story of an old hound who shelters a pregnant cat and, later, her two gray kittens beneath his cruel owner’s home.

Abandonment, neglect and abuse of companion animals are among the themes that Appelt addresses in her book.

I had strong reactions to the plight of the animal characters, fueled by my feelings about past experiences of beloved animals in my own life. The Underneath was a difficult but ultimately rewarding book to read.

Cross-posted to the Jackson County Library Services Facebook page

Monday, January 20, 2014

Library internship: Course content goes live

“Library work is first of all people work,” writes Cuesta College library director Mark Stengel in a welcome letter to Cuesta College library and information technology interns. “[Y]our successful efforts to establish relationships with your supervisors are the first of many learning experiences fostered by the internship requirement.”

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Jackson County Library Services’ youngest cardholder

A man and woman hold a baby with a "Baby Loves Peekaboo!" book and library card
From left to right: Jesse Cook, Juliana Neufeld and Jayden Cook
Image credit: Jackson County Library Services on Facebook
Meet Jayden Cook who, when 12 days old, became Jackson County Library Services’s youngest cardholder. For the Mail Tribune, Teresa Ristow writes, Jayden’s family was enticed to come to the Ashland branch library by a reading bag that is given to all new parents when children are born at Ashland Community Hospital. The book bag program and Babies in the Library storytime were pioneered by Ashland children’s librarian Margie Cicerrella.

‘We Need Libraries’: My photo made the cut

Cynthia Parkhill holding library cards

For the We Need Libraries protest song video project, here’s a picture of me holding library cards from nearly every community where I have lived or worked. I learned this week from the project organizer that my photo made the cut. Look for me in the video at the 2:52 mark.

Library systems represented in my photo include the Lake County Library (an account first created through the Sonoma County Library system), the George and Elsie Wood Public Library in Saint Helena, Calif., Napa County Library and Jackson County Library Services. I’m missing Marin County Free Library for a complete set.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Thursday, January 16, 2014

ALA president responds to ‘net neutrality’ ruling

“Here’s something you probably didn’t know,” writes Barbara Stripling, American Library Association president, at “The recent ruling striking down network neutrality doesn’t just affect websites and internet service providers — it affects libraries, too.”

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Oregon Reader’s Choice Awards 2013-2014: Nominees announced

Logo: Oregon Reader's Choice Award
The Oregon Reader’s Choice Award (ORCA) has released its Upper Elementary Division nominees for 2013-2014.

After reading or listening to two or more books from the list, third- to fifth-grade students will be able to vote for their favorite book between March 1 and March 31.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bellview Elementary School Read-a-Thon

In the Ashland School District’s Bellview Elementary School library, I conduct a steady business of checking-in returned books. Are students remembering to log the minutes they spend reading books? According to Bellview PTO, Read-a-Thon sheets are due next Tuesday. Money raised through the Read-a-Thon will go to purchase iPads and appropriate apps for some Bellview classrooms.

Publishers Weekly compiles ‘Top 10’ library stories

At Publishers Weekly, Andrew Albanese has compiled the Top 10 Library Stories of 2013. Topping the list is eBook borrowing, which showed significant growth and increased competition among vendors in 2013.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Mechanical Turk: Poor return on investment of time

Transcription work through Mechanical Turk, an online crowdsourcing platform owned by, took its place among life experiences under the category “didn’t work out.”

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Common Core: Amy Cox shares aha moment

According to Amy Cox, library marketing manager with Capstone, everything that a librarian needs to know about the Common Core can be summed up in a paragraph about the “New Literacy,” from the Introduction to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy:
“To be ready for college, workforce training, and a life in a technological society, students need the ability to gather, comprehend, evaluate, synthesize, and report on information and ideas ... to analyze and create a high volume and extensive range of print and nonprint texts in media forms old and new.”
“The whole purpose here,” Cox said during a recent ALA Booklist webinar, “is we are preparing students for their future.” Cox added that the “aha-moment” she would like attendees to take from the webinar is that “Common Core is not about what is in a book; Common Core is about what you do with the content of the book.”

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bookey: Let children’s interests pave way to reading

For Huffington Post, Jordan Lloyd Bookey has distilled her experiences and observations as parent and educator into five rules to read by so that she does not, as she says, “kill” her children’s love of reading.

It’s worthwhile reading for the parent, educator or librarian.

Two rules involve letting the child’s own interests pave the way to reading while another emphasizes making sure the child sees you reading yourself. “What are you doing,” Bookey asks, “to inspire a love of reading in your home?”

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

‘Winter Reads’ encourages reading by adults

Jackson County Library Services (JCLS) is encouraging adults to read this winter. Reading logs are available at local branch libraries and can be downloaded from the JCLS website.

(Theodor Seuss) Geisel Award: Significance explained

Book cover: 2013 (Theodor Seuss) Geisel Award winner Up! Tall! and High! by Ethan Lang
Image credit:
American Library Association
In an interview with Ann Cannon for the Salt Lake Tribune, librarian Carla Morris answers questions about the (Theodor Seuss) Geisel Award.

Awarded annually since 2006, the Geisel Award is given to an author and illustrator for the “most distinguished contribution for beginning readers” published in English in the United States during the previous year.
“The winner receives a bronze medal, and the Honor Book authors and illustrators receive certificates, which are presented at the American Library Association Conference each January.”

Monday, January 6, 2014

Andromeda Yelton: Historical perspective on ALA Code of Conduct

For Library Journal, Andromeda Yelton has authored a great piece on why the American Library Association needs a Code of Conduct.

Put simply, “This statement is a mechanism for addressing disputes, but it is also a declaration of values: it signals to everyone who we are. Furthermore, it’s part of an ongoing dialog about inclusion in library-related conference communities.”

Yelton provides historical perspective on the origin of the policy, including links to bloggers who share stories of harassment in the library profession.

Related post: My response to the ALA Code of Conduct

Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel

Book cover: The Enchantress, book 6 in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott
What should I spy on the shelving cart of a passing volunteer during a visit to the Ashland library but the sixth volume in a fantasy series, The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel.

With The Enchantress, author Michael Scott concludes an epic story that thrusts a pair of teens, twins Sophie and Josh Newman, into a battle involving figures of myth and legend and notable people from history for the fate of the world.

The series began with The Alchemyst and continues with The Magician, The Sorceress, The Necromancer and The Warlock before coming to its conclusion.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Blanket stitch decorates this bag, assisted by library browsing

Button-and-loop closure book bag, repurposed from pale yellow sweater and blue-plaid fabric

This handmade bag is just the right size to hold a couple of books. Made during the Ashland library teen program’s “Crafternoon” on Saturday, it features a repurposed sweater, a button-and-loop closure and a blanket-stitch edging.

I couldn’t remember how to make a blanket stitch, but that really wasn’t a problem, since “Crafternoon” was located near the non-fiction stacks in the Ashland library.

It was a simple matter to browse books shelved under Dewey classification 746 (Textile Arts) ’til I found a book on needlework. (Anyone else have “favorite” Dewey classifications that you’ve committed to memory for the sheer frequency of visits?)

Friday, January 3, 2014

ALA president advocates importance of school librarians

Mug shot: American Library Association 2013-2014 President Barbara Stripling
Barbara Stripling
In her column for the January/February 2014 edition of American Libraries, American Library Association President Barbara Stripling outlines essential services and life-changing benefits provided by school librarians:

  • A culture of literacy
  • A culture of inquiry
  • Social and emotional growth
  • Creativity and imagination and
  • Thoughtful use of technology.

It’s inspiring reading for this Educational Assistant in an elementary school library. Stripling has my appreciation for her regular emphasis on the importance of school libraries and librarians — and so much more so now that I am in this profession.

Barbara K. Stripling, the assistant professor of practice at Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y., was elected in 2012 by ALA members to serve as 2013-2014 president.

American Library Association prohibits harassment

On the website for its Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits in January 2014, the American Library Association displays a Statement of Appropriate Conduct at ALA Conferences.

As a survivor of childhood peer abuse who frequently blogs about bullying, I applaud the ALA for adopting an anti-harassment policy. And while it’s not a perfect document, I disagree with Will Manley, an American Libraries columnist who argued on his blog that the policy could “have a chilling effect on intellectual freedom.”

Library referenda: successful campaigns analyzed

A successful library referendum campaign identifies three things, according to Kathy Rosa, writing for American Libraries: the amount of money needed, how long the tax will last and a justification that resonates with the community. Among these, the “overarching challenge” is to build trust and establish compelling need.

It’s a timely article, given Jackson County libraries’ urgent need for funds.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Knitting socks in 2014

Ball of dark green yarn and sock-sized circular knitting on double-pointed needles with a book, "Getting Started Knitting Socks" by Ann Budd

A book by Ann Budd, Getting Started Knitting Socks, and a gift card from The Web-sters, a yarn store in downtown Ashland, have me set to embark on new projects in Year 2014. First up: worsted-weight washable wool on double-pointed needles.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Ashland library ‘Crafternoon’: Repurposing old jeans

Hacky sacks made out of solid-blue and red-and-white striped denim
Image credit: Ashland Teen Library Fans on Facebook
The next Teen Crafternoon at Ashland Public Library promises to be a lot of fun, at least from the perspective of this avid upcycler who enjoys repurposing old clothes. From noon to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, teens will be invited to create things from recycled jeans. Photos on Facebook suggest exciting possibilities: bracelets, wristers, a diary/book cover and beanbags or hacky sacks.

New Year’s resolutions for autism community

At Autism Spectrum Disorders, Lisa Jo Rudy has compiled “New Year’s Resolutions for Members of the Autism Community.” As she accurately observes,
“People with autism are radically different from one another, and members of the ‘autism community,’ whether caregivers or people on the spectrum, have very different points of view about almost everything.”
Rudy offers these resolutions to help heal bitter differences between factions in “the autism community.” They’re worthwhile reading as we begin a new year.