Thursday, July 30, 2015

Teen self-help with self-checkout for privacy

Sign in black lettering against a white background that reads, Teens - Help Yourself. Look for these numbers on the shelves. For more privacy, use the self-checkout machines. Abuse/incest: 362.76 and 362.78. Abusive relationships: 362.8292 and 362.88. Acne/skin care: 616.53 and 646.726. AIDS/HIV: 616.9792. Alcohol: 362.292. Anorexia: 616.8526. Birth control: 363.9609 and 613.94. Body changes/puberty: 612.661. Body image: 306.4613 and 616.852. Date rape: 362.883. Depression: 616.852, 616.8527, 616.85844. Divorce: 306.89. Drugs: 362.292 and 362.2918. Health/hygiene: 613.04243 and 613.7043. LGBTQ: 306.766 and 613.951. Pregnancy: 306.856, 306.8743, 618.2024. Relationships and dating: 305.235, 306.70835, 646.77. Self-esteem: 305.235. Sex: 613.951. STDs: 616.951. Suicide: 362.2, 362.28, 362.283.
Credit: aphroditzy on Tumblr
With this awesome sign created by library supervisor Justin Azevedo, the Sacramento Public Library points teens in the direction of sensitive information that they may be too embarrassed or afraid to ask an adult to help them locate. The sign reminds teens about self-checkout to help protect their privacy.

As Azevedo told Buzzfeed News, “I would notice how popular teen books on these topics were, but how rare actual questions about them from teen library patrons were. Most of the topics would be embarrassing to ask about, but some of them could threaten their privacy or even safety if asked in front of people or discovered by parents in a search engine history.”

Because the Dewey numbering system is a subject classification, many of these topics will likely have their counterparts in the same order in our Jackson County libraries — and our teens, too, can access them in privacy through self-checkout machines. (The photo was first posted by Tumblr user aphroditzy and Buzzfeed News elected to share a reblog by user kassysgalaxyyy).

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

UUA Common Read: Children’s book pairing

A few months ago I suggested, concerning the UUA’s “Common Read,” that the adult non-fiction book that is selected each year be paired with books for children and youth that compliment its theme.

Today the UUA announced that this year’s Common Read is Just Mercy, A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson (Spiegel & Grau, 2014).

With Just Mercy’s emphasis on people trapped by the criminal justice system — specifically poor people, people of color and children — a possible pairing that came to my mind for this year’s Common Read was Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me by Daniel Beaty (Little, Brown and Company, Hatchette Book Group).

This picture book depicts a boy whose absent father advises him through letters about how to be a man. Incarceration is not identified in the story as the reason for the father’s absence, but is addressed in an afterword. The illustrator, Bryan Collier, received the American Library Association’s 2014 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award.

‘Just Mercy,’ UUA Common Read

Book cover, Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
The Unitarian Universalist Association announced today that this year’s “Common Read” is Just Mercy, A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson.

Since the program’s inception, I’ve closely followed each year’s Common Read selection.

I have long appreciated the shared experience of reading a book in common, and the UUA Common Read was an important addition to the UU lending library where I volunteered as librarian. Promoting the Common Read continues to be in-character as Religious Explorations administrative coordinator and web editor for a UU congregation.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Editors’ filters reshape authors’ worlds

At Huffington Post, Deborah Plummer examines the impact of an editor upon the radically different portrayal of Atticus Finch in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, compared to his depiction as “racist-rhetoric ranting, card-carrying member of the Klu Klux Klan” in Lee’s Go Set a Watchman.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

‘The Real Boy’ by Anne Ursu

Book cover, 'The Real Boy' by Anne Ursu. From a darkened hallway, a young boy carrying a lantern enters a room with vials on tables and attached to the wall. Behind him, cats peer into the room he has entered.
In the cellar beneath a magician’s shop, a young boy named Oscar enjoys a life of quiet routine — of gathering herbs from his master’s garden and then grinding them for use while the household cats keep him company.

Oscar’s master, Caleb, and magic smiths of the community create and sell enchanted objects and charms for a city’s privileged inhabitants.

Suddenly, the community is plagued by terrifying and unexplained events and Oscar must emerge from his cellar sanctuary and tend the shop while his master is away. He reluctantly teams up with the healer’s apprentice to try to solve mysterious ailments that threaten the children of the city.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Jackson County Library Services, re-branded as independent entity

During a recent visit to the Ashland library, I picked up a letter that was sent to me. It announced my transition from Jackson County volunteer to being a volunteer specifically with Jackson County Library Services (JCLS).

RVUUF library needs ‘140 linear feet’ of books

Continuing with my personal commitment as an advocate and publicist for libraries, 140 linear feet of gently-used books are needed for a sale supporting the Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship library. From the most recent “News to Note,” so far the library has received contributions that measure 20 feet. Elinor Knight asked that donated books be left on the shelf in the library workroom.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

‘Hattitude’: Cap in orange, green, blue and brown

Front view of a eight-paneled crown hat with band around the edge and brim, all constructed from various fabrics in brown, two patterns of orange floral, green lace and blue-multi stripes. Accents include orange braided trim that follows the curve of the brim and a metal sunflower button at the top of the crown where the eight panels come together. Rear side view of a eight-paneled crown hat with band around the edge and brim, all constructed from various fabrics in brown, two patterns of orange floral, green lace and blue-multi stripes. Accents include orange braided trim that follows the curve of the brim and a metal sunflower button at the top of the crown where the eight panels come together.
I assembled various fabrics, in orange, green, blue and brown, into a spectacular hat. I love the way these fabrics work together, most re-purposed from other garments. Old pants, a skirt and fabric cut from a dress to make it “bicycle-friendly.” (’Cause at the risk of digression, a short dress over pants is much easier to ride in than a long dress that might tangle in the chain.) The blue-stripe comes from a sash that was very loose weave — just threads held together at intervals — so I stitched it onto another fabric to give it greater durability. Same thing with the green lace.

RVUUF website goes live

A new website went live this morning for Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship​. For the past few weeks, I’ve been working as its web editor: generating or locating content, editing it for style consistency and populating the site.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

‘Like riding a bike’

Cartoon image of Cynthia M. Parkhill's Bitstrips avatar riding a bicycle on a residential street, rendered in bright pastels with a smiling sun and fluttering butterfly to suggest an idealized setting. The caption reads, 'Just like riding a bike.' Would it be obnoxious if someone said that to you?
Cartoon image created with Bitstrips
I'm always fascinated when the links I read and share, speak to seemingly disparate interests. A recent Wall Street Journal headline resonated both with my interest in colloquial expressions and my passion for traveling by bicycle.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

People with disabilities assert ‘common identity’

More and more frequently, people with disabilities are attacking discrimination, writes Joseph P. Shapiro, discussing a new “common identity” for people with disabilities. “Rejected is the traditional mindset that it’s up to the individual to overcome his or her own physical limitation,” Shapiro writes at the Washington Post. “Instead, according to the disability rights movement, it is not so much the individual that needs to change — but society.” Quoting Judy Heumann of the World Institute on Disability: “Disability only becomes a tragedy when society fails to provide the things we need to lead our lives — jobs opportunities or barrier-free buildings, for example. It is not a tragedy to me that I’m living in a wheelchair.”

Monday, July 13, 2015

Return of the incredible cane baldric

Metal cane, painted with paisley pattern in green, brown and red, with a three-strand braid out of dark-green and olive-green T-shirt fabric secured to the cane near the handle and approximately one-quarter from the base. The cane and braided strap are lying on daffodil-print pale blue fabric.
My cane baldric, braided from strips of T-shirt fabric
I caught my right little toe against a door frame Friday evening and it’s swollen, discolored and tender. This presented an opportunity to once again bring out the incredible cane baldric.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

‘Station Eleven’ by Emily St. John Mandel

Book cover, 'Station Eleven,' a novel by Emily St. John Mandel. Cover art depicts a night-time scene of tents behind a barrier wall. An emblazon on the cover identifies the novel as a National Book Award Finalist.
In Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Vintage, 2015), a deadly virus has wiped out nearly all of the earth’s human population. Its survivors group in pre-industrial settlements in former strip malls, airports and schools.

A troupe of actors and a symphony orchestra travel among these settlements, performing Shakespeare’s plays. When they arrive at one settlement, they discover that it is under the control of a religious cult. A couple who settled there to have a baby have now disappeared and headstones mark their empty graves in the settlement cemetery. The couple’s last-known destination was the “Museum of Civilization.”

Oregon to offer ‘free’ community college

As noted by Nigel Jaquiss for Willamette Week, Oregon will become the second state to offer “free” community college (pending the signature of Gov. Kate Brown). Under Senate Bill 81, Oregon will pay the balance of tuition for eligible students who apply for and receive federal grants for community college.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

‘Enabling Acts’ by Lennard J. Davis

Cover image, Enabling Acts by Lennard J. Davis. The title and author's name are in blue text against a white background at the top and bottom of the cover respectively. In the center of the cover is an illustration of the paper torn open to reveal another layer underneath. The book's subtitle is printed in this torn-paper box. It reads, 'The Hidden Story of How the Americans with Disabilities Act Gave the Largest US Minority Its Rights.'
Twenty-five years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Enabling Acts by Lennard J. Davis (Beacon Press, 2015) offers both a detailed history and comprehensive assessment of the ADA.

Davis positions his book outside “the popular story” (16) in which “activism led to dramatic legislative results.” Instead, Davis credits the energies of three groups in creating “the complex thing we call politics” (17): elected officials or “high-profile politicians,” staffers who write legislation and organize hearings and activists “who provide the momentum when the other two groups encounter a slowdown.”