Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Resume how-to should address online applications

Invariably, listening to a job-search video leased for my use as a student, I find that the producers have left out important details that correspond to job search in real-life. That trend held true in the case of “Resumes: A How-To Guide,” produced by Films on Demand.

Oregon Battle of the Books 2014-2015 reading list

In time for Bellview students to get a summer-reading head start, Oregon Battle of the Books has released its 2014-2015 reading list. In Bellview library today, I affixed spine labels to books to identify them as OBOB selections.

eBooks in library catalogs: Text-to-speech notation

My internship brought me to the Medford IMC, where I created records in the Follett-Destiny online catalog for Kindle eBook files. Once a record has been created, each school site with that title will be able to add copies to their catalogs.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Renatus school of real-estate investing

As one educational endeavor nears its end, another one begins. My husband Jonathan Donihue is enrolled in the Renatus school of real estate investing. I’m his education partner.

My personal objective is that with real-estate income, it simply won’t matter if I work full-time or part-time. I can focus on doing work that I love without worrying about paying the bills.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

I ‘wear many hats’ and sew them too

The crowns of newsboy-style, eight-paneled hats are stacked in piles of solid off-white and black hats.

Hats have been a part of my image for so long, you might even say they’re part of my “brand,” especially when having multiple — and sometimes very different — responsibilities is described as “wearing many hats.”

This latest batch of newsboy-style hats, assembled for Hat People in southern Oregon, are in classic off-white and black. This style makes me think of the 19th-century plucky young person who triumphs in the face of adversity. I like to think that wearing a hat like this conveys a sense of that spirit.

‘Teen Crafternoon’: Bookmarks for summer reading

Black-and-white composition books with wrap-around ribbon bookmarks. Each bookmark features an elastic hair-tie secured by a casing sewn in the lower portion of ribbon that is visible. The hair-ties are stretched up to loop over buttons sewn to the other end of ribbon.
Image credit: Ashland Teen Library Fans on Facebook
Our next “Teen Crafternoon” supplies what every reader needs, bookmarks, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the Ashland Branch Library’s teen department.

Teen librarian Esther Mortensen will have supplies to make the ribbon-and-hairtie bookmarks shown above, as well as “art sticks” and paint sample cards that can be decorated and made into bookmarks.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

‘Poem in Your Pocket Day’

Blue pocket-shaped cutout, with caption "Poem in Your Pocket," taped on bottom and sides to blue sheet of cardstock. White slips of paper are tucked into the "pocket." On the top sheet of paper, the title of a poem by Kenn Nesbitt reads: "All My Great Excuses."

Last order of business before leaving work today in Bellview Elementary School library, was the posting of this sign in preparation for “Poem in Your Pocket Day” on Thursday.

The “pocket” contains humorous poems by Children’s Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt, as well as a few additional selections.

Observed during National Poetry Month, Poem in Your Pocket Day encourages people to carry a poem with them and share it. Here’s hoping for smiles and laughs through sharing Nesbitt’s poems.

Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award

Book cover: 8 Class Pets + 1 Squirrel ÷ 1 Dog = Chaos by Vivian Vande Velde
Among 2013-2014 nominees for the Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award, elementary school-aged children cast winning votes for 8 Class Pets + 1 Squirrel ÷ 1 Dog = Chaos by Vivian Vande Velde.

Bellview Elementary School was represented among Oregon’s voting student population.

The Oregon Association of School Libraries has also released a list of next year’s nominees: Violet Mackerel’s Brilliant Plot by Anna Branford, The Year of the Book by Andrea Cheng, The Secret Chicken Society by Judy Cox, Letters to Leo by Amy Hest, Leopard and Silkie: One Boy’s Quest to Save the Seal Pups by Brenda Paterson and Third Grade Angels by Jerry Spinelli.

The nominations include books that are targeted to second- and third-grade reading abilities, the age group for whom Cleary, an Oregon-born author, wrote many of her books. The award was created with her permission.

Students must read or listen to at two nominated books to be eligible to vote for their favorite. There is frequently overlap among reader’s choice nominations and the Oregon Battle of the Books.

‘Pie’ wins Oregon Reader’s Choice Award

Book cover: Pie by Sarah Weeks. A large white cat licks his lips, looking at a pie drawn floating over his head.
In the upper-elementary division, Pie by Sarah Weeks is the winner in the fourth annual Oregon Reader’s Choice Award (ORCA). (Pie was also featured this year in Oregon Battle of the Books.)

About 2,635 students voted for nominees in the upper-elementary, middle school and high-school divisions, according to the Oregon Library Association. These votes came from 60 participating schools and six public libraries.

ORCA winners in middle-school and high-school divisions this year were The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson and Divergent by Veronica Roth respectively.

Broken system makes job search near-impossible

“Why did I agree to the endless lists of Essential Requirements bullets that make the average job ad a nearly impossible bar to hit, for nearly every job-seeker?” Liz Ryan, CEO and founder, Human Workplace, writes about working to un-do the damage of a broken recruiting system.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Independent campaigns for Jackson County libraries

Bicycle hitching post covered with knitted slipcover in multicovered stripes. The horizontal bar has multi-colored knit letterforms that spell out "Vote for the Library" against a pale-yellow background.
Ashland library yarn-bomb on the Libraries for All website
Every single corner of Jackson County has “its own little independent campaign” in support of a library district, according to Cathy Shaw speaking to the Medford Mail Tribune.

Project Gutenberg: eBooks and MARC records

My explorations of Machine-Readable Cataloging (MARC) records for eBooks led me to Project Gutenberg, which bills itself as “the first producer of free ebooks.” Its online selections include several categories in its Children’s Bookshelf, many of which are sure to be of value in elementary and middle-school collections.

MARC records for eBook files

As a follow-up to the eReader training I observed on April 16, my local internship coordinator, Karen Angiolet, has me researching Machine-Readable Cataloging (MARC) records for eBooks. During the training, three Kindle Fire HD seven-inch tablets were added to the online catalogs of participating Medford schools.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

ALA award-winning books in Bellview library

The second shipment in a recent book order arrived this week in Bellview Elementary School library. My thanks to Kiwanis Club of Ashland, Oregon, which supported these library purchases. Among the new arrivals are recent recipients of American Library Association youth media awards, including Caldecott, Newbery, Pura Belpré and the Schneider Family Book Award.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Kindle eReader training at Medford IMC

During a training at the Medford School District Instructional Media Center, Elementary Media Specialist Karen Angiolet walked several media technicians through setting up Kindle devices for use in their respective libraries.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

‘Anything But Typical’ by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Book cover: Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin. Abstract swirling designs erupt from a boy's white-silhouetted head
In Anything But Typical, 12-year-old narrator Jason Blake confronts the contradictions of the neurotypical world. His creative-fiction writing is a valuable strength that he draws upon for insight.

In Jason, author Nora Raleigh Baskin has given this reader a character with whom she found plenty to relate.

Anything But Typical was a recipient in 2010 of the Schneider Family Book Award, ages 11 to 13 division, which honors “artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.”

Anything But Typical and Erin Frankel’s Weird! trilogy are the newest additions to my list of recommended books for people on the autism spectrum. I curated this list to highlight books that I believe to be of value to an autistic readership.

National Library Workers Day

Red outline of five-pointed star. Inside the star, graphic representations in yellow and black of various formats of media: film strip, hand-held personal electronic device, musical notes, books, graphic-novel speaking balloons, laptop computer. Beneath the image, text proclaims 'National Library Workers Day'
Source of image:
ALA Allied Professional Association
Libraries work because we do. Happy National Library Workers Day.

Monday, April 14, 2014

National Library Week: Judy Blume is honorary chair


Sunday marked the start of National Library Week. Judy Blume, author and intellectual freedom advocate, is the honorary chair.

In a public service announcement, Blume emphasizes that libraries are having to do more with less and that shrinking budgets demand hard choices. “So many people depend upon libraries for free job searches, free internet access, health care information and resources that support education.” Blume urges listeners to get involved with their libraries.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

‘Coaching Ms. Parker’ by Carla Heymsfeld

Book cover: Coaching Ms. Parker by Carla Heymsfeld. Ms. Parker stands at bat, a catcher in position behind her, inside a giant baseball mitt. Leaning over the top of the baseball mitt is a group of cheering students.
A reluctant reader finds himself in the position of teacher in Coaching Ms. Parker by Carla Heymsfeld (Bradbury Press, 1992).

On the day that his book-reading journal is due, Mike’s fourth-grade class is interrupted by the sixth-graders’ challenge: an annual baseball game pits the sixth grade against the elementary school teachers.

Tradition demands that Mike’s teacher play, but baseball is “not her sport.”

Mike and Ms. Parker work out a trade: He will coach her in baseball, and she will help with his reading. The fact that Mike’s sister is playing for the sixth-grade team adds complications to their agreement.

The team-sports setting of this story may appeal to reluctant readers. I also think children will enjoy the role reversal that puts a child in a mentor’s role.

Coaching Ms. Parker can be found in the Bellview Elementary School library. It is also shelved in the Ashland branch, Jackson County Library Services.

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

‘Handbook for Dragon Slayers’ by Merrie Haskell

Book cover: Handbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell. A young woman, seated on a horse, looks up at a dragon flying overhead.
Handbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell (Harper, 2013) features a heroine constrained by social expectations at odds with her own ambitions. As a princess, Tilda will one day rule the holding of Alder Brook. More than anything, however, she wants to be a scholar and a writer of books.

Compounding her troubles are the surreptitious wardings against the “evil eye” directed at Tilda by her subjects because she has a misshapen foot.

The story of how Tilda finds her peace and achieves her desires is sure to inspire readers. Handbook for Dragon Slayers is the 2014 recipient of the Schneider Family Book Award, ages 11 to 13 division, for its portrayal of the experience of a person with a disability.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Automobile bias in job interview videos

In an online discussion of videos about interviewing techniques, a classmate raised the point that an assumption by the producers that applicants will drive to an interview, is a “bit off the mark.”

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Jackson County library programs earn child literacy awards

Jackson County Library Services' library card. Caption "EXPLORE" above silhouette of hiker with a wooded mountain background
Children’s literacy programs administered by Jackson County Library Services (JCLS) have earned it an Outstanding Ready to Read Grant Project Award from the Oregon State Library (OSL).

Katie Anderson, youth services consultant with the OSL, will present the award at 9:30 a.m. April 23 during the Jackson County Board of Commissioners Meeting. The meeting will be held in the Jackson County Courthouse Auditorium, 10 S. Oakdale St. in Medford.

JCLS was also designated a Best Practice Library for implementing three “best practices” in library services identified by the OSL as having the greatest impact on children’s reading proficiency. Specifically, these are services to children outside the library (outreach), summer reading programs, and early literacy training for parents and childcare providers.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Children’s library book displays: Ideas for May?

Earlier this evening, I posed this question via the #LibChat weekly Twitter-based chat among library professionals (thank you, Natalie Binder for relaying it) and now I’m asking the question here: In children’s library services, what book-display themes are people considering for May?

Report emphasizes importance of diversity in library services for children

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has released a new report, “The Importance of Diversity in Library Programs and Material Collections for Children.”

Monday, April 7, 2014

Body language sends subtle messages

In an online forum, a classmate raises a point about the importance of body language, especially its subliminal messaging.

Don’t laugh at this job appplicant’s mistake

My sympathies were with the person in “Next Time, Eat the Pizza After the Interview” who, when asked to bring “references,” brought two people along to a job interview.

Aging bias a reality during interviews

Failure to address disability-based discrimination isn’t the only omission by Films on Demand’s job interview videos. Try being perceived as “older” than the supervisor for the job you’re applying for.

Job videos insufficiently address discrimination

An online discussion for my Cuesta College internship addressed videos about successful job interviewing. The program was leased by Cuesta College for student viewing from Films on Demand.

If I’d been asked to share my opinion with the producers of these videos, I would have liked them to address discrimination in a more direct way.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Embarrassing mismatch: Sesame Workshop and Autism Speaks partnership to ‘reduce stigma’ of autism

Sesame Street’s Abby Cadabby.
Photo by Gil Vaknin for Sesame Workshop.
I read with concern a press release announcing that Sesame Workshop, in an admirable effort to reduce the stigma associated with autism, has partnered with the agency that is single-handedly most responsible for perpetuating harmful and dangerous stereotypes.

Talk about an embarrassing mismatch.

In an email message, I asked Sesame Workshop project representative Pam Hacker to reconsider any sort of partnership with Autism Speaks. Sesame Workshop needs to be aware that adults with autism do not accept it as the “leading autism science and advocacy organization.”

Friday, April 4, 2014

April is National Poetry Month

Blue posterboard that reads "National Poetry Month," decorated with images from the cover of a book by Jack Prelutsky, the "Poem in Your Pocket" pocket-shaped logo, an image from the cover of a book by Roald Dahl and Dr. Seuss surrounded by several of his characters

April is National Poetry Month and in the Bellview Library, I created a posterboard display to commemorate the occasion. A collage of cut-outs celebrate authors Jack Prelutsky, Roald Dahl, Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss. The decorative sign accompanies several book of poetry for young readers.

New books! In the Bellview library

Several stacks of books, some with spine labels and others waiting to have labels placed on them. A paper print-out of spine labels is in the foreground with a pair of scissors

New books! Always an exciting time in the Bellview Elementary School library, for students and this worker alike. At work today, I put spine labels onto several of the books, with onlooking students eager to know if they were ready for check-out. Watch for new titles to soon become available: fiction, non-fiction, picture and chapter books.

Related posts about work behind-the-scene in libraries:

Happy School Librarian Day

Blue folded card with a pink butterfly pasted on it, sitting on top of a bag of candies

Someone in the Bellview Elementary School community left a card and bag of candies in the library for School Librarian Day today. For teacher-librarian Lauren Hall, library assistant Doug Werner and me, thank you for the recognition. (And I’m marking my calendar: April 15 is National Library Worker Day.)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My journalism mentor seeks new opportunity

Mug shot of Steve Buttry
Steve Buttry
Steve Buttry, a mentor of mine, announced that he’s a free agent, following layoffs by Digital First Media.

Until February 2013, I worked at the Lake County Record-Bee in northern California. Owned by MediaNews Group, it joined the DFM family when MediaNews appointed John Paton as its CEO and entered an agreement with Digital First Media to provide management services.

The move brought a change in emphasis from next-day print journalism to “digital first” publication across websites and social media.

No library funding in proposed U.S. House budget

A House Budget proposal released by Rep. Paul Ryan eliminates funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which is the agency that supports U.S. libraries. Rep. Ryan recommends instead that the agency’s responsibilities be borne by the private sector.

In a statement, American Libraries Association president Barbara Stripling emphasized large returns upon federal library funding “in the form of literate and civically engaged communities. We hope that Congress will support the important role that the Institute for Museum and Library Services plays in supporting educated communities by rejecting the House Budget resolution.”