Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Children’s and teens’ library services, back to school

Hand-knit socks: First pair complete

Black cat reclines behind a pair of dark green knit socks, several pairs of crocheted socks in various colors, a ball of yellow-green yarn and knitting-in-the-round on three double-pointed knitting needles

The only thing more incredible than my first knitted sock is my first pair of knitted socks, which join several existing pairs that were hand-made with crochet. Here’s my knitting helper Starfire with my knitted and crocheted socks. Another sock is now underway on the double-pointed knitting needles.

Cross-posted to Ravelry

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Kindle Unlimited: Librarians react

“Competing with Amazon on its own terms is not a good direction for libraries. But thinking about how to complement Amazon is worthwhile.” As related by Matt Enis for The Digital Shift, librarians like Jimmy Thomas, quoted above, reacted this week to Amazon’s launch of a subscription service for the Kindle: for $9.99 per month, subscribers will have unlimited access to a selection of 600,000 eBooks and more than 2,000 audio books.

Also published on and Library 2.0

‘Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life’ by Karen Armstrong

Book cover: Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong
In Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life, Karen Armstrong relates how she asked the nonprofit group Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) to help her create a Charter for Compassion that would be written by leading thinkers from a variety of faiths.
“Thousands of people from all over the world contributed to a draft charter on a multilingual website in Hebrew, Arabic, Urdu, Spanish, and English; their comments were presented to the Council of Conscience, a group of notable individuals from six faith traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism) who met in Switzerland in February 2009 to compose the final version.”

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Hand-knit sock, shaped for right foot

Right foot wearing a hand-knit sock in forest green. Arranged with it are a ball of yarn with knitting needles, nylon thread, a book by Ann Budd: Getting Started Knitting Socks, and a carrying case with clear cover through which more yarn is visible.

I’ve completed the right foot in my first knit pair of socks. (And yes, it really is tailored specifically for the right foot through my placement of toe-shaping decreases).

Friday, July 25, 2014

‘Navigating Early’ by Clare Vanderpool

Book cover: Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool. Two boys row a boat on a river, surrounded on each side by trees.
Early Auden sees a story in the numbers that make up Pi. His response when confronted with the claim by a professor that the number 1 has disappeared from Pi and that Pi will eventually end, is that “sometimes he’s hard to find for a while, but he always comes back. I always find him.”

In 1945, Early and a classmate, Jack Baker, follow the Appalachian Trail on a quest to “look for Pi.”

As the journey unfolds, Early reveals details about his older brother, reportedly killed during D-Day (the Allied invasion at Normandy).

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Library teen crafting: Decorated book bags

Green, gold, yellow and brown paisley design painted on canvas

Had a great time Tuesday decorating this canvas bag during the Ashland library teen department’s summer crafting activity. Watch the Jackson County Library Services calendar for upcoming activities. Summer reading activities are scheduled at multiple branches in our library system.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Librarians’ importance to Senior/Capstone Projects

Cartoon version of Cynthia M. Parkhill, created with Bitstrips app, sits at a table with paper and pencils in front of her, surrounded by stacks of books. Rows of shelves, filled with books, are in the background. The caption reads, "My near-permanent address for serious research."
Cartoon image created with Bitstrips
In a position statement, the American Association of School Librarians emphasizes the importance of school librarians in Senior/Capstone Projects. From the AASL: “AASL’s Standards for the 21st-Century Learner identifies the skills and dispositions vital for students to successfully complete a Senior/Capstone project.”

Color communication: Go, slow or stop

On a table-top: sets of green, yellow and red cards in clear plastic holders, the green card visible on top.
Image credit: Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Initiating conversations and controlling whether or not strangers approach you at a public gathering: Color Communication Badges address these sources of social anxiety. Green, yellow and red cards are available as a set from the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.

‘Open’ verification of information and source

How do we define verification in 2014? For PBS MediaShift, Julie Posetti writes thoughtful commentary about journalists’ use of social media to verify content and source.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Validated by the fact that ‘Food Chaining’ is a thing

Book cover: "Food Chaining," by Cheri Fraker, et. al. Cover image combines a cartoon-like illustration of an apple, carrot, a meat, tomato, lettuce and cheese sandwich and a child gazing at a beverage in a cup with straw, with the photo of a child holding a slice of bread so that it obscures his or her face.
“Validation” would be my choice if I had to name my feelings reading this statement by Loree Primeau, PhD: “Since feeding involves all sensory systems (sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste), eating is the most difficult sensory task that children face.”

Eating continues to be the most difficult sensory task for this woman on the autism spectrum.

To expand my palate, my husband and I take an approach very similar to the “food chaining” discussed by Primeau at Aspergers101.

It takes time for me to get used to an unfamiliar food, and it requires considerable fortitude to be willing to try new things. An experience that is already fraught with challenges on the basis of unfamiliar or unpleasant tastes or textures is further burdened by past experiences and prevalent social attitudes.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

‘The Fault in Our Stars’ read-alike library display

Tall, vertical, John Green read-alike display featuring the covers of books similar to his YA novel, "The Fault in Our Stars." A cloud-shaped cut-out at the top of the display proclaims, "If You Like John Green."

Here’s something I’d love to duplicate in the Bellview Elementary School library — customized for our students’ reading preferences — when school resumes this fall.

Created by Julie Wood and showcased at Library Displays, this is a John Green read-alike display, “relevant to the current movie release of ‘The Fault in Our Stars.’”

In her description of the display, Wood discusses design motifs that played off the color scheme and cloud motif on the original book jacket art.

The blog administrator pairs Wood’s display with a link to a Buzzfeed compilation by Arielle Calderon, “17 Books to Read if You Liked ‘The Fault in Our Stars.’”

Teen crafting: Mobile device carrying pouch

Purple felt pouch with a deep-burgundy flap folded over the top and secured with a white button. The pouch is stitched at bottom and sides with a blanket stitching, which also outlines the edge of the flap and forms a loop for the button closure. The pouch is decorated with two diagonal stripes, in shades of pale and hot pink in the lower left corner of the pouch and with a hot pink stripe across the flap.

Looking ahead with fall “Teen Crafternoon” ideas for the Ashland Branch Library teen department and Jackson County Library Services: How about a carrying pouch for a hand-held device?

Netflix and libraries: Crucial differences

“The library is not a Netflix for books.” For, Kelly Jensen explains crucial differences between Netflix and libraries: the former being a for-profit company that bases its service upon the level of access paid for, while the latter provide equitable access and services to any and all of its patrons.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Autism advocacy: It’s our table

Many things have changed during the past decade of autism advocacy, according to author John Elder Robison, writing at his personal blog.

“Between growing up, being recognized in adulthood, and developing more ability to communicate effectively, members of our autism community have become far more able to speak for ourselves. Given that reality, I believe it’s time for a shift of balance in some of the organizations and groups involved with autism.”

‘Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Art’

Book cover, "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, illustrated by Lois Ehlert. Cover image is a stylized depiction of the top of a coconut tree.
“Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Art”: There was an abundance of activity on Tuesday in the Ashland Branch Library.

After helping teen librarian Esther Mortensen set up for the construction of found-object robots, I responded to a request by Denise Wilson for additional volunteers in the library children’s department.

The children’s department had been transformed into a multi-station setting that explored color, collage, sound and the alphabet.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

#LibChat: Essential skill for librarians

Library professionals weigh in on the “one certification, license or skill” that they think librarians should have. Their responses are curated with Storify.

#LibChat: How libraries determine top candidate

From the July 9 #LibChat among library professionals: How libraries determine the top job candidate, when several meet (or exceed) qualifications.

Library service to patrons with autism

For School Library Journal, Lauren Barack writes an informative article about library services to children with autism. As a library assistant who is on the spectrum myself, I’m especially interested in programs that prepare library workers to assist this population.

‘The Sensory Child Gets Organized’

Book cover: "The Sensory Child Gets Organized, Proven Systems for Rigid, Anxious, or Distracted Kids" by Carolyn Dalgliesh. Against a blue background, a child's possessions are arranged in storage containers on a yellow bookshelf.
In The Sensory Child Gets Organized (Touchstone, 2013), author Carolyn Dalgliesh teaches parents/caregivers to design organizational systems that tap into the “innate strengths and learning styles” of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, sensory processing disorder, bipolar disorder and autism.

Dalgliesh emphasizes three main questions: 1. How can I break this down into a more manageable task? 2. How can I eliminate some of the (external and/or internal) stimuli that may be distracting? and 3. What visual aid can I create to support the task at hand?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Teen summer reading: ‘Fobots’ at Ashland library

A "robot" with crown, scepter and fairy wings, constructed from found objects
Image credit: Jackson
County Library Services

Found objects become “robots” during the Ashland library teen department’s summer reading program, 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Talk about a great way to repurpose found objects into unique, one-of-a-kind art. Mary Wilkins-Kelly leads Tuesday’s “Fobots” activity.

Upcoming teen activities include the monthly video and board games, noon to 3:30 p.m. July 19, and painted book-bags, 1 to 3 p.m. July 22.

Ashland Branch Library is located at 410 Siskiyou Blvd. For more information, contact the library’s teen department, 541-774-6994.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

‘Esperanza Rising’ by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Thirteen-year-old Esperanza lives a life of privilege with her father Sixto and her mother Ramona in Aguascalientes, Mexico. When her father is killed by bandits, Esperanza and her mother are forced to flee an attempt by one of Sixto’s brothers to force Ramona to marry him.

A former servant and his family are traveling to California and Esperanza and her mother join them.

Life in a work camp is an abrupt change; Esperanza has only been taught to give orders and has never had to fend for herself. And when her mother falls ill, Esperanza must even-more-so be a wage-earner for her family.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Jackson County SMARTWorks: Mobile water station

"Water on Wheels" portable drinking water station with drinking fountain and water-bottle refill spigot

“Water on Wheels”: That fresh, clean and mobile drinking water station viewed Friday during Fourth of July in Ashland, Oregon is a service of Jackson County SMARTWorks.

Fourth of July: Library remains accessible

Thank you to Ashland parade-goers for leaving the mobility walkway clear on Thursday in front of the Ashland public library. I appreciate the unrestricted access to our library amid holiday parade-viewing setup.

Published July 9 as a letter to the editor, Ashland Daily Tidings

Friday, July 4, 2014

Web-ster’s in Ashland: Fourth of July entry

Jonathan Donihue and Cynthia Parkhill holding flags assembled from knit swatches in front of a kniting-covered, circular layer-cake frame on a flatbed trailer
Another prize-winning Fourth of July parade entry by The Web-sters knitting, spinning and weaving store in Ashland: third place in the commercial division.

This year’s entry commemorated the store’s 30th anniversary with a knitting-covered, three-layer birthday cake that was towed on a flatbed trailer.

Designed by Erin Duffy, the float was assembled from knitting swatches. A group of seven or eight people, including Jonathan and me, marched alongside waving flags stitched together from knitting swatches.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary: New words in 2014

“Crowdfunding.” “Gamification.” “Hashtag.” “Social networking.” “Tweep.” Check out a sampling of more than 150 new words added to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary in 2014.