Thursday, February 27, 2014

In Bellview library, share favorite Dr. Seuss quotes

Piece of newsprint with handwritten quote: "'Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.' -- The Lorax." In upper-left corner of newsprint, a print-out attached to pink cardstock reads: "Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss! Most folks love Dr. Seuss, they do. I love Dr. Seuss! How about you? So please leave me a comment, leave me a quote, of those favorite Seuss words you like the most. I'll be FIRST, I'll lead the way. This is my favorite, at least for today. 'Why FIT in when you were born to stand out.' Just be yourself-that's what it's about. 'It's fun to have fun, you just have to know how.' So, leave me a quote. Leave it here. Leave it now!" In lower-right corner of newsprint, a print-out attached to pink cardstock displays a birthday cake with candles.

Bellview Elementary School will observe Read Across America Day on Monday, in honor of children’s author Dr. Seuss. In the Bellview library, I put up a sheet of paper from a newspaper end-roll. Staff, students, volunteers ... share your favorite Dr. Seuss quotes. I’ve started things out with a selection from The Lorax.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cuesta College internship: Site visits resume

Cynthia Parkhill, in left of frame, holds barcode scanner above a stack of textbooks.

A selfie — “shelfie” — in the stacks: With the Medford teachers’ strike settled, I was able to resume site visits for my Cuesta College internship in Library and Information Technology. I helped out this week with textbook inventory at the Medford School District’s Instructional Media Center. Using a handheld barcode scanner, I worked from a list of textbooks and scanned the barcodes on each copy.

Cross-posted to the Facebook page of the Cuesta College Library/Information Technology Program

Meeting for Special Library District campaign

From Friends of the Medford Library comes an invitation to everyone who wants to assist with the campaign for a Special Library District, 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday in the large community room at Jackson County Library Services’ Central Branch Library, 205 S. Central Ave. in Medford. For more information, call 541-779-3246 or download a PDF of frequently-asked questions about the Special Library District from

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Teen Crafternoon: Comic decoupage

A high-heeled pump, decorated with superhero comic decoupage
Image credit: Ashland Teen Library Fans on Facebook
How would a pair of shoes look decorated with comic decoupage? Bring your own shoes and find out during the next Teen Crafternoon, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the teen department at the Ashland Public Library.

“Decoupage” involves decorating an item’s surface by applying paper cut-outs and coating it with varnish or lacquer.

Check the library’s online catalog or browse among 745.546 in your branch’s nonfiction stacks to look for books about decoupage.

Esther Mortensen, teen librarian, indicated that she also has a pile of magazines in her office if participants want other pictures to decoupage. Ashland library is located at 410 Siskiyou Blvd. For more information, call 541-774-6994.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Cuesta College is fully accredited

Here’s some of the best news that I had all week: the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges reaffirmed Cuesta College’s accreditation among California two-year colleges.

It brings resolution to an issue that dogged my studies in Library and Information Technology. It’s a relief to this student that during the final semester of my pursuit of an Associate’s degree, I no longer have to worry that the program/degree will “disappear” or be rendered illegitimate.

Oregon Battle of the Books: Partial list of titles for 2014-2015

Logo for Oregon Battle of the Books: Two teams of four students stand on an open book, playing tug-of-war across the book's gutter. The image is superimposed on top of an outline of the state of Oregon.
While Bellview teams competed this past week in Oregon Battle of the Books, the statewide program released its partial list of titles for 2014-2015.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

LinkedIn enables member blocking

The LinkedIn professional social network finally enables member blocking. In a post to the LinkedIn help center, Paul Rockwell, who heads up Trust & Safety, told LinkedIn members that “your concerns were heard loud and clear.”

To access the blocking function, hover your cursor over the downward-pointing triangle to the right of the contact button on the person’s profile. (Depending upon the degree of connection, the contact button might say “Send a Message” or “Send InMail.”) This will bring up a menu of several options including the ability to block and report.

‘Why Bedtime Reading Rules’

At the HarperCollins Childrens blog, a writer argues that a bedtime story is a quintessential part of a child’s bedtime routine. Among other reasons, it boosts brain power and sends a clear signal that bedtime is near to children who crave routine.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Oregon Battle of the Books: Bellview teams advance

Parent volunteer Nicole Gutrich posts updates on Facebook each day concerning Bellview school team standings in Oregon Battle of the Books.

At last update, six teams had advanced to the semi-finals: Battle Girls, Blue Dolphins, Extreme Readers, Hashtag 23, The Overlanders and Umbrella Snails.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

‘The Last Newspaper Boy in America’

Book cover: The Last Newspaper Boy in America by Sue Corbett. The book's title is printed in a rolled newspaper thrown by the silhouette of a boy on a bicycle
David family males have delivered the newspaper in Steele, Penn. for as long as the town has existed, with each boy taking over the route when he turns 12 years old.

On the eve of his 12th birthday, Wil David receives unwelcome news: the Cooper County Caller will end newspaper delivery to Steele.

Author Sue Corbett brings the perspective of a former youth carrier to her story of a town trying to survive hard times. Interwoven with Wil’s crusade to save the newspaper route is an effort by Steele residents to attract new business to the town’s closed hairpin factory.

Combine this with shady dealings at the county fair and Corbett’s novel is an exciting one. The title of each chapter cleverly mimics the newspaper headline-writing style.

Corbett, a journalist, accurately portrays the changing media landscape. When Wil researches articles online, the results are limited by paywalls.

And librarians may appreciate the library’s acknowledged role in bridging the digital divide: Wil conducts online research and checks his email on library computers.

Oregon Battle of the Books at Bellview

Graphic logo for Oregon Battle of the Books: Covers of books arranged inside Oregon state boundary outline
What a welcome sight on Tuesday, to see competing teams in Oregon Battle of the Books quizzing teammates in the Bellview library. Many of the teams were wearing matching shirts and looked simply fabulous as they ran questions. Best of luck to all competing teams. Represent Bellview — and your reading accomplishments — with pride!

Friday, February 14, 2014

‘Cat Champions’ profiles young people who make difference in lives of cats

Book cover: Cat Champions: Caring for Our Feline Friends by Rob Laidlaw. Photo on cover depicts a cat and child looking at each other.
In Cat Champions, Caring for Our Feline Friends (Pajama Press, 2014), author Rob Laidlaw introduces young readers to “another world” of cats, beyond the experience of those fortunate animals who have loving owners.

“Pet cats can become lost or abandoned and must fend for themselves. Feral cats who have not been spayed or neutered give birth, producing more homeless cats, sometimes in large numbers. Neglected cats can become sick or injured. Animal shelters cannot find homes for all the cats they receive; many shelters destroy cats that are not adopted out quickly.”

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

New dictionaries in Bellview library

A view along the spines of three dictionaries, The Best Dictionary for Students, each bearing a spine label stating "REF 423 DIC." A library barcode is visible on the back cover of the left-hand book. The books' spines also bear the name and logo of Dictionary Project, Inc.
Barcoded, spine-labeled, ready for use: Bellview Elementary School has new student-friendly dictionaries, courtesy of Rotary Club of Ashland and the Dictionary Project.

The Best Dictionary for Students, according to the Dictionary Project, features more than 32,000 words with “simple, child-friendly definitions, plus pronunciation and part of speech.”

It also includes “information about punctuation, the nine parts of speech, weights and measures, five long words, Roman numerals, and a map of the United States.”

Shortly after I put the books out today, one was in the hands of a student. That’s what I love to see, anytime I add or recommend a book for a library collection.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

‘Weird!’ ‘Dare!’ ‘Tough!’ Bullying from three perspectives

Book covers: Weird!, Dare! and Tough! by Erin Frankel and illustrated by Paula Heaphy
Image credit: Free Spirit Publishing
A case of bullying is told from the perspectives of the target, a bystander, and the child who initiated the bullying in Weird!, Dare! and Tough!, written by Erin Frankel and illustrated by Paula Heaphy (Free Spirit Publishing).

Monday, February 10, 2014

Miller: ‘Bring back shushing librarians’

“Bring back shushing librarians.” At, Laura Miller points out that “Quiet study spaces for adults and children” is almost exactly as valuable as access to the Internet among library users who responded to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award

A poster held up by a wire stand displays cover art and lists titles and authors for Beverly Cleary Children's Choice nominees: Spunky Tells All by Ann Cameron, Invisible Inkling by Emily Jenkins, Waiting for the Magic by Patricia MacLachlan, Marty McGuire by Kate Messner, Clementine and the Family Meeting by Sara Pennypacker, The One and Only Stuey Lewis: Stories From the Second Grade by Jane Schoenberg and 8 Class Pets + 1 Squirrel (Divided by) 1 Dog=Chaos by Vivian Vande Velde . To the poster's right, four books -- Spunky Tells All, Invisible Inkling, Marty McGuire and Waiting for the Magic -- are shelved between bookends. Each book has a Beverly Cleary award label on its spine.

My chief emphasis this week in the Bellview Elementary School library was to create poster and book displays for the Oregon Reader’s Choice Award, upper-elementary division, and Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award.

Medford teachers call strike

My internship in Medford is on hold during a strike by Medford educators that was called at 6 a.m. on Thursday. Medford School Distict 549C declared all Medford schools closed on Thursday, Friday and Monday.

Friday, February 7, 2014

‘Reading in the Wild’

Book cover: Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer's Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits by Donalyn Miller with Susan Kelley. Cover art depicts a child seated in a forest, leaning against a tree, while reading a book
Like its subtitle suggests, Reading in the Wild offers author Donalyn Miller’s “Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits.” With co-author Susan Kelley, Miller identifies five traits or habits of a lifelong independent reader.

The “Wild reader,” according to Miller, dedicates time to read, self-selects reading material, shares books and reading with other readers, has a reading plan and shows preferences. And while the co-authors write from a background of teaching elementary school children, I believe that older-grade educators, parents and library professionals will find this book of value too.

Cross-posted to the Facebook page of Jackson County Library Services

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Oregon Reader’s Choice Awards: poster display

A poster held up by a bookend displays cover art and lists titles and authors for ORCA upper-elementary division nominees: Abe Lincoln at Last! by Mary Pope Osborne, The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens, Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai, Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver, Pie by Sarah Weeks, Vanishing Acts by Phillip Margolin and Ami Margolin Rome, Young Fredle by Cynthia Voigt and Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke. To the poster's right, five books -- Inside Out & Back Again, Liesl & Po, The Emerald Atlas, Young Fredle and Pie -- are shelved between bookends. Each book has an ORCA label on its spine.

A poster and set of books promote the Oregon Reader’s Choice Award in the Bellview Elementary School library. I got the idea during a visit to one of the schools in Medford School District 549C.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Graphic nonfiction: Common Core resource

Book cover: "The Amazing Story of Space Travel," in the "Max Axiom STEM Adventures" series. The title character is in a space suit, in free-fall, tethered to the exterior of a framework in space
On a library internship discussion board, a classmate responded to my comment about sharing an appreciation for graphic novels with my internship coordinator.

My classmate pointed out that presenting different sides of an event, as was done with Gene Luen Yang’s Boxers and Saints, “seems like a great way to encourage critical thinking skills (that happens to align with the Common Core State Standards).”

My classmate added, “I think that teachers will need extra support over the next few years while they are transitioning to the new curriculum and the school media center plays an important role!”

UU World interviews EqUUal Access president

Nearly three years after the EqUUal Access Policy Committee created Accessibility Guidelines for participation of people with disabilities in UU congregations, UU World talks with Suzanne Fast, president of EqUUal Access

Monday, February 3, 2014

Cuesta College internship: Recent highlights

My Cuesta College internship has taken me to several elementary schools in Medford School District 549C in Jackson County in southern Oregon. According to the district website, its 14 elementary schools range in size from 150 to 630 students.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

This man’s tie is now a scissors pouch

Scissor pouch constructed out of the end of a man's tie patterned with brown, burgundy and gold paisley on a dark green background
During the Ashland library teen department’s “Teen Crafternoon” on Saturday, I constructed a scissor pouch out of the end length of a man’s tie. I reinforced the existing seam that ran the length of the section of tie, and closed off the bottom. Once I turned it right-side out, I glued a length of trim around the opening and down the length of the pouch. Check out additional photos on Ashland Teen Library Fans’ Facebook page.

‘Welcome to the Autistic Community’

To your autistic librarian’s collection of resources for people on the autism spectrum, add “Welcome to the Autistic Community,” released this week by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) and the Autism NOW Center.

The document is available as a PDF download from the ASAN website.

Available at reading levels suitable for adolescents and adults, the document “introduces newly-diagnosed Autistic people to the community and answers common questions they might have, covering topics such as legal rights and identity.”