Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Autistic people on staff: Ways to optimize workplace

People with autism don’t always announce ourselves, but if you own or manage a decent-sized company, you have autistic people on staff. From OneQuarterMama.ca, here are seven ways companies can optimize their workplaces by “treating each individual as valuable and with respect.”

Social sharing credit: Autism Women's Network

Friday, September 26, 2014

‘C’ is for ‘Cat’ with cut-paper shelf marker

On a shelf-marker above a shelf-ful of books, a calico-patterned paper-cutout cat arches its back as it faces a letter C.

One of the highlights this week in Bellview library was the installation by Traci Ordenez of cut-paper shelf markers she made. For Friday cat blogging, here’s a photograph of the shelf marker she made for “C.”

Thursday, September 25, 2014

‘Stellaluna’ by Janell Cannon

Book cover: Stellaluna by Janell Cannon. Image depicts a bat clumsily tangled among tree branches while two birds fly by in the background.
Stellaluna, authored and illustrated by Janell Cannon, is the story of a bat who is separated from her mother. She is taken in by a family of birds, but her bat behaviors are at odds with what the baby birds need to learn.

She puts so much effort and suffers so much grief trying to act like something she’s not. And — spoiler alert — what a great image at the end, when the young birds and young bat behave according to their nature, but wholeheartedly love and accept each other.

Track laps at Bellview Elementary School

A foot-shaped, laminated card, with Miss Cynthia hand-written on it and X-marks through each of 20 smaller feet that are printed on the card. The laminated card is strung from a green beaded chain with two plastic foot medalions. They lie on a portion of my blue-fleece Bellview Bobcats vest.

Bellview track-laps, 40 and counting! A track-laps program is a recess option at Bellview Elementary. Students collect foot-shaped medallions each time they complete 20 laps around the Bellview track. I walk and jog the tracks during evening hours and weekends and keep track of my totals too.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My family’s books, organized by Dewey system


Like living in a library: My project this week was to label and then shelve my family’s books in order according to the Dewey Decimal system of classification, with each book assigned a number based upon the book’s subject. Shown here, the books for my library studies are arranged in order numerically.

Feminist Library on Wheels, books on custom tricycle

A woman cuts a ribbon that is stretched across a bookshelf on the back of a tricycle.
A ribbon cutting for the Feminist Library on Wheels.
Image credit: Feminist Library on Wheels on Facebook
The Feminist Library on Wheels, consisting of donated books shelved on a custom-built tricycle, is an “eclectic mix of analytical texts and more leisurely reads.” As related by Aminka Khan for the LA Times, librarians Jean Witte and Dawn Finley said they love “the crowdsourced definition of feminism on the library’s weathered shelves.” This library assistant and cyclist loves the idea of library outreach atop a bicycle.

Social sharing credit: Women Bike/League of American Bicyclists

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

‘Extra Yarn’ by Mac Barnett

Book cover: Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen. Image depicts a little girl knitting and sweater-wearing animals amid the letters of the title, which are textured with the V shapes of Stockinette knitting
In Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, a little girl finds a box of yarn with knitting needles. No matter how much knitting she does, the box magically never runs out.

From knitting a sweater for herself and her dog, Annabelle goes on to outfit classmates, neighbors, forest animals and — while this term isn’t used in the text — she even “yarn-bombs” buildings and trees.

Friday, September 19, 2014

‘Ella Sarah Gets Dressed’ by Margaret Chodos-Irvine

One of the highlights of of reading posts by classmates in my children’s literature class is being exposed to recommendations for intriguing books.

For our discussion of Caldecott Medal winners, a classmate posted a write-up of Ella Sarah Gets Dressed by author and illustrator Margaret Chodos-Irvine. In the story, Ella Sarah chooses an outfit in which none of the pieces match.

Each member of her family tries to convince her to wear something they picked out instead, but as the book ends, Ella Sarah goes to a playdate with friends who are wearing outfits that are as wildly-picked as hers.

I love the idea of Ella Sarah and her friends all wearing wildly-picked outfits. There’s a lot of pressure in society to conform in clothing choice and behavior, and it’s great that this book has a positive portrayal of being your own unique self.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Weeding important part of library maintenance

Weeding is an important part of a library’s collection management. As the needs of library users change, as our understanding of the world evolves, a library’s collection must stay current and up-to-date.

Monday, September 15, 2014

‘Kitten’s First Full Moon’ by Kevin Henkes

The picture book Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes is propped up, its front cover facing forward, with my black cat Starfire sitting behind it.
My cat Starfire with Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
For my course in children’s literature this week, we were to read and respond to a Caldecott Medal winner or Honor Book. The award is given annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

My selection was the 2005 medal winner, Kitten’s First Full Moon, written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollinsPublishers). And a photo of Starfire wasn’t specifically part of the assignment, but I couldn’t resist propping the book in front of her and including her in a photo of the book that I was required to post with my response for the class.

Library card, ‘most important school supply of all’

At Jackson County Library Services’ Ashland Branch Library today, I picked up library card application forms and preschool storytime fliers for Library Card Sign-Up Month, observed each September to coincide with students’ return to school. I designed this sign to inform viewers that a library card is “the most important school supply of all.”

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hattitude: Medieval-style knit-swatch hood

Knit swatches in varying colors, assembled into a hood that is draped over a round candle-holder on base. The hood's lower corners have braided ties that are made out of a variety of yarns. Coins and bells are fastened to the ends of streamers that hang from the hood's upper point.

This Medieval-style hood is assembled from knit swatches from The Web-sters in Ashland, Oregon. Originally used in a banner for the store’s entry in this year’s Independence Day parade, I salvaged nearly all of the swatches plus the streamers that hung from my banner.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Phyllis C. Hunter declares reading ‘civil right’

In her Scholastic video, educator Phyllis C. Hunter declares reading to be an American civil right, and that teaching reading is the “first mission” of education. She has a “no-excuses” delivery that puts educators on-notice to teach their students how to read.

Unearned privilege, dextronormative and otherwise

I understand that when Nance Rosen writes about your left hand “hating” your right, she intends it as a metaphor for personality types and skills.

As a point of clarification, however, my left hand doesn’t have a problem with anyone else’s right hand. My difficulties as a left-hander stem from dextronormative bias on a systemic, social level.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Censorship has origin in instinct for survival

One of the biggest challenges regarding censorship in school libraries is that the urge to censor has its origin in a human instinct that has benefited our survival.

‘Ninja Knitters’ yarnbomb Fairfield, Conn. library

A group of women group around a tree that has been yarnbombed, covered with pieces of knitting. The women's faces are partially concealed by the colorful knitted swatches that they hold over their noses and mouths.

New to the timeline at Yarn Bombing at Your Library, “Ninja Knitters” yarnbombed the Fairfield Woods Branch Library in Fairfield, Conn., to draw attention to the library’s 45th anniversary, which begins this month. Local media published a photo and press release submitted by the group.

Religious Explorations: Recent posts

Unlit candle sitting in a clear, shallow bowl filled with rocks. The bowl rests upon bark groundcover and a small log is in the background.
Image credit: Call and Response/UUA Blogs
Here are recent posts to social media in my capacity as Administrative Coordinator, Religious Explorations, for the Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Oregon Battle of the Books 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
With the start of library check-out on Friday for the new school year, students are already selecting and reading titles for Oregon Battle of the Books.

Jackson County Library Services: new website

Image-capture of upper two-thirds of homepage, Jackson County Library Services website
Image source: Jackson County Library Services
A new website recently went live for Jackson County Library Services, at http://jcls.org/. Developed by iOR Consulting with the Wordpress blogging and website-hosting platform, the site employs a much more hierarchical approach that helps direct viewer attention, instead of confronting a jumble of information all competing to be noticed by the viewer.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Qualified library worker: Love of reading helps

For a discussion board in LIBT 210, my class in school library/media center operations, a classmate expressed the view that people who work in libraries should have a love of books and reading. I agreed, stating that while perhaps not quantifiable among educational or certification requirements, I think a love of reading and books can make the library worker’s life easier. The more you read, the more easily you can recommend books to others. If someone asks for a type of book, you’ll be able to recommend books by genre. You’ll have a frame of reference when readers talk about their favorite books. And you’ll have a better grasp on knowing if a book will be a “hit” in your library.

School libraries need full-time staff

My coursework this week for LIBT 210, School Library/Media Center Services, asked me to state my opinion concerning how school libraries should be staffed. In a class forum, I advocate full-time staffing at professional and supportive levels.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Monday, September 1, 2014

‘Livvie Owen Lived Here’ by Sarah Dooley

Book cover: Livvie Owen Lived Here by Sarah Dooley. Image depicts matchsticks arranged to form the outline of a house
Olivia “Livvie” Owen and her family have lived nearly everywhere in their small community. The family struggles financially; both parents work for a retail giant in a larger, more populous community.

The family faces their latest eviction after Livvie responds with an outburst to an unexpected sound. 

Livvie is determined to return with her family to a house where they used to live, believing they were all happy there.

I sympathized with Livvie, being condemned by strangers, because I shared similar moments.

There will be knitting in the library

Big tub filled with yarn

Here's a big tub of yarn for use in Bellview library, courtesy of teacher-librarian Lauren Hall. Add assorted crochet hooks, needles and a couple of knitting looms from my personal stash. Ready for some crafty fun in the library this year?

Originally posted to Facebook