Friday, May 29, 2015

‘All About them Books,’ due back at library

It’s that time of the year in school libraries, in which books are due back and a final flurry of overdue notices are distributed. From media specialist Mary Evelyn Smith at Liberty Elementary School, Powell, Ohio, here’s “All About Them Books” (a parody of “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor).

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Public shaming is bullying

Cartoon illustration: Adults direct types of bullying toward Cynthia Parkhill's Bitstrips avatar. A woman stares at her from around the corner. One man talks behind his hand to a listener, who has a shocked look on his face. A woman with a disbelieving expression looks at her computer while a woman in the desk next to her looks over. The caption reads, 'Bullying survivor: What I imagine is happening.'
Cartoon image created with Bitstrips
A photo showed up Monday in my Facebook newsfeed as part of a deliberate campaign to ensure that the person in the photograph is forever after defined by the event depicted.

I am profoundly concerned — and even deeply disappointed — that anyone associated with me would participate in a public shaming.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Yarn-bomb tribute to words and libraries

Posted to Yelp by “Tami S.” circa April 17, 2015, a yarnbombing of bicycle racks at the San Mateo Public Library for National Library Week 2015. Knitted black letters against a yellow background read, “Words are,/In My/Not-So-Humble Opinion/Our Most/Inexhaustible/Source of Magic.”

Cross-posted from Yarn Bombing at Your Library on Facebook

Summer reading at Jackson County libraries

Collection of bookmarks on their sides, facing forward, in a basket labeled 'Bookmarks.' Bright orange bookmarks in the front of the stack proclaim that 'Every Hero Has a Story! Find Your Superpower at the Ashland Children's Library. Smaller typeface details events of the summer 2015 reading program.

Jackson County libraries’ summer reading program starts as soon as school finishes. During these final days of the year in Bellview Elementary School library, I’m promoting the summer reading program by making bookmarks available.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

‘Kelsey Green, Reading Queen’ by Claudia Mills

Book cover, Kelsey Green, Reading Queen. Illustration depicts a girl walking with her head upturned, looking into a book that she holds above her head with her left hand. She carries another book in her right hand.
In Kelsey Green, Reading Queen by Claudia Mills (Farrar, Straus and Girouz, 2013), third-grader Kelsey Green is determined to win recognition for being the top reader in her class and hold Mr. Boone, school principal, to his promise that he will shave off his beard if the students can read 2,000 books.

Like Kelsey, reading was the thing that I was good at when I went to school, and I thoroughly related to Mills’ heroine.

Kelsey’s competitive drive prompts her to look for the shortest, easiest books possible, within the boundaries of her teacher’s insistence that students must read books at a level appropriate to their abilities.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

New chapter in ALA membership

I’m embarking on a new chapter in my American Library Association (ALA) membership. Each year, starting in May 2011, I purchased an ALA membership. This ongoing affiliation is as much a gift to myself as it is a professional investment.

Scholastic Book Fair ‘dollars’ provide books for Bellview library

Stack of books, their spines visible with library spine labeling. Behind the stack are vertical rolls of protective dust-jacket covering.

A delivery by Heather Loring of Scholastic Book Fair purchases was a highlight this week in Bellview Elementary School library. The books’ delivery followed a successful conclusion to this year’s spring book fair.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I want to decorate that knitted T-shirt

A knitted update to the classic baseball T-shirt appeared in my Facebook timeline, linking to a pattern from designer Ysolda Teague on Ravelry. Imagine the charted-design possibilities for the T-shirt’s front panel! The Sharrow design perhaps? Or maybe ... Social sharing credit goes to Erin Duffy, pattern editor at Shibui Knits (my knitting instructor at The Web-sters in Ashland, Oregon).

Sunday, May 17, 2015

YA novels’ treatment of sexual identity and faith

Here’s an essay that resonated in my dual capacities of aspiring youth librarian and administrative coordinator of Religious Explorations for a Unitarian Universalist church. For School Library Journal, contributor Robert Bittner discusses young adult (YA) novels’ treatment of LGBTQ youth and faith. He argues that the “either/or” nature of many of these books “creates an unhelpful dichotomy between those who are queer and those who are Christian (or, in some ways, spiritual in any sense of the word).” He articulates a need for YA books that depict an ability for sexual identity to co-exist with faith.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Self-striping ‘Fair Isle’ socks

Leg of a sock, knit in yellow, red and green self-striping pattern, on four double-pointed knitting needles, with a package of double-pointed knitting needles next to it. Behind them lies my beautiful black cat Starfire, who looks back over her left shoulder toward the camera.

For my latest socks, I cast 56 stitches of Zwerger Garn Opal “Flower Power” onto my size 1 Knitter’s Pride Dreamz Symphonie Wood double-pointed needles. I love the yarn’s bright variety, the yellows, greens and reds, especially the Fair-Isle mimicry. I left my knitting on the bed, and a short while later found Starfire next to it, almost as if posing for a photograph. I was only too happy to oblige.

Cross-posted to Ravelry

Starfire ‘helps’ assemble sewing pattern

Black cat with white splotch on her chest, sitting on pieces of white paper on a wooden bookshelf next to a potted plant with red flowers. Sewing pattern markings are printed on the paper.

Of course, Starfire was going to sit on print-outs of my Etsy sewing pattern download. On this Caturday morning, my sweet sewing helper is essential to pattern assembly.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

‘Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus’

Book cover: Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus by Tom Angleberger. Cover image depicts origami-folded, black robe wearing puppet with a green pickle slice for a face and red candies for eyes.
Tom Angleberger brings his best-selling Origami Yoda series to its conclusion in Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus (Abrams, 2014). This story continues in the “case file” format in which students at McQuarrie Middle School contribute their observations and experiences.

In The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, a student named Dwight dispensed advice through a folded Yoda finger puppet. Did the advice come from Dwight or was Origami Yoda real?

As the series progresses, more and more students adopt finger puppets of their own, all consistent with the mannerisms of Lucas Films’ Star Wars characters, with names evocative both of the character and the medium used to create the puppet. Thus we have the Fortune Wookiee, Han Foldo, Foldy-Wan, Princess Labelmaker and Darth Paper.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Book bags from shirts and other materials

Set of hand-made cloth book bags on a small shelf

Repurposed shirts and other materials find new life as decorative book bags. They’re great as a planet-friendly alternative to throw-away gift wrapping paper and could as easily hold a digital reader or tablet as they could hold a traditional printed book. Appliqued onto the bag in front is the international symbol of the library.