Sunday, August 31, 2014

New blog about travel by bicycle and bus

“This librarian travels by bicycle and bus.” I’ve started a new blog to officially house my writings about auto-dependence alternatives. Its blogroll will grow as I migrate entries from my library-themed blog.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

‘Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe’

Book cover: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Red pick-up truck parked in a field of grass against a backdrop of hills and a twilight sky.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Simon and Schuster, 2012) is a moving story about the close friendship between two young men.

At 15, Ari doesn’t share the interests of other boys his age and, even though he’s tried various activities, he’s never felt a “part of their world.”

At the swimming pool one afternoon, Ari meets a boy named Dante. But while Dante is very different from Ari and the other boys Ari knows, Ari is able to relate to Dante in a way he can with no one else.

As both boys age, they grow and learn what it means to be men in their society.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday cat blogging: Starfire and new hat

My black cat Starfire curls on her side, forming a half-circle around a hat sewn from piecework squares in four plaid designs: dark red, blue and green, red on white and blue and green on white.

Starfire loves being my sewing helper, even when her “help” takes the form of a nap. Here she is with my newest hat creation, cut from a repurposed skirt.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Children’s literature: Trend toward greater diversity

Our studies this week in my chidren’s literature course addressed ways that children’s literature addressed social issues of the time, including our predictions concerning what issues will be included in the future.

New year in Bellview library

Five stacks of books in varying heights in diagonal/diamond shape. Clockwise from top left, the titles on the top of each stack are Swindle by Gordon Korman, Rules by Cynthia Lord, Night of the Twisters by Ivy Ruckman, Kizzy Ann Stamps by Jeri Hanel Watts and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
During my first day back to work for the new year in Bellview Elementary School library, I input copies in the online catalog for Oregon Battle of the Books.

Special thanks to the Bellview PTO for purchasing OBOB books, and to parent-volunteers for laminating and barcoding them. Teacher-librarian Lauren Hall and I will work through them as soon as possible to get them ready for use by our students.

Library shelf-tops, bare for the summer, will soon have books on display. I’m looking forward to another wonderful year in the Bellview library.

Friday, August 22, 2014

‘Students Engage with Journalism’ on Slideshare



Originally written as a blog post on June 2, 2014, this book list has been formatted for insertion into a binder for easy use during reader’s advisory. It highlights four upper-elementary level books about students engaging with journalism.

Bully called-out for self-serving closure

“I imagine your former victim might consider the same conclusion I have; you want closure for yourself.” For Utne Reader, columnist Tim White explains to a former bully why he should leave his victim in peace.

My response, left via Contact form:

Thank you, Tim, for setting a former bully straight, that the closure he seeks is only for him and doesn’t benefit the victim.

A few years ago, I had a former bully contact me and attempt to make amends. While I believed he was sincere in his apology, he made extremely personal comments about my presumed marital status and asked for further contact in a way I thought was completely inappropriate.

I didn’t feel comfortable telling him how I felt about his behavior.

To begin with, he connected with me via telephone land-line, the most invasive form of contact possible (No caller ID, absolutely no warning that the person on the other end was a person who bullied me).

Combine that with the barrier-invasion in his comments and request for further contact. I was ill-equipped to deal with an interaction that was forced upon me.

But I am saying it here: We were NEVER friends. He was bullied too, but while I stood up for him when he was bullied by our classmates, he never stood up for me. He took the bullies’ side and joined in when they persecuted me.

I accepted an apology from this former bully; I honor his making amends but I will NEVER be his friend. His betrayal was too complete.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Reader asks about library delivery to people with disabilities

A reader posted a question to my professional page on Facebook, asking if the Lake County Library in Lake County, Calif., delivers books to people with disabilities.

Ergonomics and access in library

During the Aug. 20 #LibChat, moderator Natalie Binder asked what important ergonomic tips librarians most overlook. I responded that check-out activities are done from standing-height at my public library. Staff and patrons are required to stand during check-out transactions.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I work with an awesome teacher-librarian

In my introductory post for LIBT 210, School Library/Media Services, I talked about how I worked part-time in an elementary school library.

Reading aloud: Wonderful example for children

Responding to my post about early reading influences in my Children’s Literature class, a classmate raises the point that my husband and me reading aloud together can set a wonderful example for “whatever little ears are around.”

Monday, August 18, 2014

Children’s literature: Early influences

In an online forum for my Early Childhood Education class, students are asked to think back concerning their earliest experiences with books. “Do you remember a parent, grandparent, or teacher reading to you? As you learned to read, were you encouraged to read, and what sorts of books did you like and/or dislike and why? Was reading modeled at home by other family members?”

Children’s literature: My reasons for taking course

My black cat Starfire curls in a ball, her head gazing toward photographer, on a shelf padded with towel and small afghan. Books are shelved on the lower shelf that Starfire's shelf is attached to. Their spines display various titles related to library work.
For my classmates’ enjoyment: Starfire on her special ‘cat shelf’
In an online forum, my Early Childhood Education class asks for an introduction, including my reasons for taking the class and any experience working with children.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Black Cat Appreciation Day for Starfire

Head, paws and upper torso of my black cat Starfire, lying on her side, her paws tangled in dangling strands of ribbon.

Aug. 17 marks the annual arrival of Black Cat Appreciation Day. And truly, my sweet Starfire is deserving of celebration on this and every day.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Trolling: ‘part of the job’ for women in online media?

For The Mary Sue, Jill Pantozzi raises a valid question: “Is Dealing With Vicious Internet Trolls ‘Just Part of the Job’ For Women In Online Media?” She links to a piece in which “Jezebel Staff” describe the placing of violent pornographic images in the discussion section of their articles.

Although Jezebel staffers can manually dismiss comments and ban offensive commentators, “Literally nothing” stops abusive posters from signing up for another untraceable account and posting more abusive images. “It’s like playing whack-a-mole with a sociopathic Hydra.”

‘The World’s Strongest Librarian’ by Josh Hanagarne

Book cover: The World's Strongest Librarian, a Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family by Josh Hangarne. On his back and shoulders, a weightlifter supports a pyramid of books.
My inclination to enjoy reading The World’s Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne began with the table of contents. Each chapter’s list of subject headings includes their classifications in the Dewey Decimal System.

Hanagarne is a librarian in Salt Lake City, Utah. He’s also a weightlifter who embarked on his regime in an effort to manage Tourette Syndrome.

Hanagarne writes with an engaging, personable style and with an unabashed love for books and libraries. He shares with candor his experience with Tourette’s, his struggles related to continuing his faith within the LDS Church and his efforts with wife Janette to start a family.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Cuesta College’s LIBT 210: First communication

Book cover: Where Do I Start? A School Library Handbook, Santa Clara County Office of Education, Learning Multimedia Center. Cover image depicts a question-mark in the center of a maze.
Received my first official communication this week for the Cuesta College Library/Information Technology Program’s LIBT 210, “School Library/Media Center Services.”

The message emphasizes the importance of having our text, Where Do I Start? A School Library Handbook, by the first day of class.

Produced by the Learning Multimedia Center, Santa Clara County Office of Education, this is a comprehensive guide to school library/media center operations. Approximately two-thirds into the book, I find it an extremely valuable resource.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Library outreach by bicycle

Denver Public Library's Zac Laugheed standing next to one of the library's DPL Connect bikes.
Zac Laugheed with one of the Denver Public Library's
DPL Connect bikes. Image credit: American Libraries
“Custom Library Book Bikes Roll Out Across US.” For American Libraries, Chris Francis highlights library outreach via bicycle, including recommendations and important considerations for starting a similar program.

Repurposed dress joined to sleeves and neck of T-shirt

Cynthia M. Parkhill wearing tie-dyed dress, attached in a horizontal seam to the sleeves and neck of a hot-pink T-shirt.
My latest refashioned garment is a tie-dyed dress combined with the neck and sleeves of a T-shirt -- specifically with a T-shirt that was used in an earlier project from a book I checked out from the library.

When shelving returns or locating patron “holds” during my work in libraries, my interest is invariably piqued by what other people read. And in August 2011, one of those returns was Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt by Megan Nicolay.

One of the projects involved cutting a scoop out of the back of a T-shirt, snipping incisions along both sides and threading a drawstring through the holes.

Monday, August 11, 2014

‘The Age of Miracles’ by Karen Thompson Walker

Book cover: The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
For 11-year-old Julia, the physical and emotional changes that come with growing up are compounded by the inexplicable slowing of the earth’s rotation on its axis.

The change affects gravity and the earth’s magnetic field. Birds die and whales beach themselves.

The planet’s ability to continue to support life is increasingly uncertain.

Social chasms erupt between “clock time” proponents and “natural time” adherents who arrange their waking and sleeping hours around ever-longer days and nights.

The narrator speaks with an adult’s perspective looking back at her younger self. I’d recommend it for adult readers who enjoy coming-of-age stories as well as science-fiction fans.

Cross-posted to Jackson County Library Services on Facebook

Feminist Library on Wheels, irresistible combination of librarianship and bicycles

Two women stand holding their bicycles on a city street
Image credit: League of American Bicyclists
I’ve long been a fan of mobile library outreach; one of my projects in library school was to draft an argument for bookmobile services to the geographically spread-out population of a rural California county.

And as a bicycle rider, I’m even more enthused by library outreach on bicycle.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

‘Common sense’ can benefit from instruction

Cartoon avatar at a desk, her feet up and a social media website visible on her computer screen. In the background, a man in a suit walks by scowling at her.
Cartoon image created with Bitstrips app
At the Spokane County Library District blog, librarian Aileen Luppert provides a much needed affirmation that “common sense” behaviors are very often learned. In her piece titled, “Don’t Be That Guy (in the Workplace),” she presents “common sense” advice for making and keeping a good impression on-the-job.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Knitted socks with blended-yarn heel and toe

Feet enclosed in hand-knit, yellow-green socks. A yellow-green ball of yarn with four double-pointed knitting needles is positioned on top of the feet. Next to them are a skein of dark-green nylon thread wrapped on cardboard and a larger skein of varigated green, brown and gold yarn.
These socks, worked in an olive Ella Rae Classic Superwash, extend the ribbed leg pattern down the length of the foot.

Original directions come from Getting Started Knitting Socks by Ann Budd. But like my inaugural pair of hand-knit socks, these socks were knit to toe-specific right and left shapes.

The heel incorporates a dark-green nylon reinforcing thread while the toe adds a varigated green and brown sock yarn.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Linda Lucas Walling guides and collection, for and about children with disabilities

Head-and-shoulders view of Linda Lucas Walling
Linda Lucas Walling
From a link in a Booklist article highlighting the 10-year anniversary of the Schneider Family Book Award, I discovered two awesome resources.

The first is a guide by Linda Lucas Walling about evaluating materials for and about children with disabilities, published by the School of Library and Information Science, University of South Carolina.

For both personal and professional reasons, I appreciate the comprehensive effort that went into Walling’s guide. I am a woman on the autism spectrum as well as aspiring librarian.

‘Reclaiming Prophetic Witness’: UUA ‘Common Read’

Reclaiming Prophetic Witness: Liberal Religion in the Public Square by Paul Rasor (Skinner House Books, 2013) is the Unitarian Universalist Association’s “Common Read” for 2014-2015.

In an Aug. 5 blog post, Gail Forsyth-Vail discusses the selection committee’s considerations among nominations this year, calling Rasor’s book a “gem.”

“Rasor observes that many liberals are uncomfortable with talking about our faith as the well from which spring our social justice commitments. The book includes insights from our theological heritage and our history that have bearing for us today, and calls us to prophetic, faith-based justice work.”

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Superman/House of El shirt, version 2.0

Cynthia M. Parkhill in V-necked knit-green shirt with crocheted-mesh sleeves, decorated with a green against yellow, Superman S-on-shield diamond-shaped crest with a border of pale-mint lace
Version 2.0 of my House of El/Superman shirt
Version 2.0 of my Superman/House of El shirt, moves the machine-appliqued crest from one base garment to another, this a dark-green knit shirt with crocheted-lace sleeves.

Friday, August 1, 2014

RVUUF: Part-time middle school teaching job

Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, where I work part-time as Religious Explorations Administrative Coordinator, has an opening for a part-time 6th-8th grade teaching position this fall. The position pays $13.50 per hour and is for 3.5 hours per week.