Monday, January 25, 2016

‘Blue Oaks Amphitheater’: Information sought and provided

On Jan. 24, a reader asked me for leads on information about the Blue Oaks Amphitheater, formerly at Yuba Community College’s Clear Lake Campus.

‘Strega Nona’ and lesson in Integrity

Multi-colored basket turned on its side with yarn spilling out of it
Strega Nona’s magic pot with spaghetti spilling out of it

I work as both web editor for the Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and as administrative coordinator for its Religious Explorations program. When I post announcements about R.E. activities to the church’s blog, these two positions’ responsibilities intersect.

During Religious Explorations classes on Sunday, the pre-kindergarten to second grade had a lesson in Integrity through the story of “Strega Nona” acted out and expressed through art. While Strega Nona is away, her assistant uses her magic pot to make spaghetti. But he can’t make it stop and the spaghetti overruns the town. After Strega Nona gets her magic pot to stop, her assistant must make things right by cleaning up the mess he made.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

‘Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood’

Book cover: Red, the True Story of Red Riding Hood, by Liesl Shurtliff. Image depicts a young girl wearing a blue dress and red hooded cape. Her black hair blows free from beneath the hood of her cape. In the background is a wooded scene with a wolf peering at her from around the back of a tree trunk
I never tire of reading contemporary fiction based on European fairy tales. So often, authors come up with a fresh angle of presenting the traditional story.

Liesl Shurtliff has done exactly that with Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood (Random House Children’s, April 12, 2016). As readers may expect, Red sets out to visit her grandmother’s house — but while a wolf howls in the woods, it doesn’t dress up as Granny. Instead, Granny disguises herself as a wolf to deter nuisance visitors.

Granny’s reputation as a witch attracts various people who want spells and potions.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

‘On the Edge of Gone’ by Corinne Duyvis

Book cover, 'On the Edge of Gone' by Corinne Duyvis. Image, rendered in purples and blues, depicts the back view of a young woman standing in a city-scape. In the distance in front of her, rockets ascend vertically into the sky
Minutes before a meteor strikes the earth, Denise and her mother are granted temporary shelter aboard a “generation ship,” designed for a journey that will take several lifetimes to travel to distant planets.

Before the meteor, Denise cared for cats at an animal shelter. She attended neighborhood events that were organized by her sister Iris. But before it even struck the earth, the meteor’s arrival changed everyone’s life irrevocably.

Now ships like this are one of humankind’s few hopes for surviving the meteor’s impact.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Public library forms Speakers Bureau

Group of people standing, kneeling and sitting inside the Santa Rosa library
Source of image: Sonoma County Library on Facebook
Here’s something I’m looking forward to learning more about: in Sonoma County, Calif., the Sonoma County Library has assembled a Speakers Bureau. From a photo with caption posted to the library’s Facebook page, Speakers Bureau members will be public speakers at meetings around Sonoma County. While doing so, they will connect with community members and talk about the library. What a great way to bring library resources front-and-center to public attention.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Nothing ‘fun’ about censorship

In Austin, Texas, the First Unitarian Universalist Church offered the ability to ban a hymn, for one year, from its services, as an auction item. The winning bidder chose to ban a hymn titled, “Bring Many Names.”

Saturday, January 9, 2016

‘Beating the Workplace Bully’

Book cover, 'Beating the Workplace Bully, A Tactical Guide to Taking Charge' by Lynne Curry. Image depicts a side view of two figures seated at work stations, one in front of the other. The figure in the rear position throws and bounces a ball of the head of the person seated in front.
My interest in strategies to combat bullying — from being a survivor in childhood — led me to Beating the Workplace Bully by Lynne Curry (AMACOM Books, Jan. 13, 2016).

Drawing upon her experience as a workplace coach as well as past experience as a target, Curry identifies seven workplace bully types, their motivations and mindset. She also addresses strategies for dealing with each bully type.

The dynamics between bully and target that are addressed in this book include supervisor to subordinate, subordinate to supervisor and bullying between workplace colleagues.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Reader’s choice award books in Bellview library

Books arranged upright, front covers facing forward, in a row on a countertop. From left to right, they are 'Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table' by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, 'White Fur Flying' by Patricia MacLachlan, 'The Mystery of Meerkat Hill' by Alexander McCall Smith and 'Gone Fishing' by Tamera Wissinger
Beverly Cleary award titles in Bellview library
Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice and Oregon Reader’s Choice Award nominees are available in Bellview library. I am asking Bellview staff to encourage students reading them or even read one aloud in Bellview classrooms.

Library2Go: 1 million digital books circulated in 2015

The Oregon Digital Library Consortium circulated at least 1 million digital books in 2015, according to statistics released by OverDrive this week. Jackson County Library Services cardholders have access to these digital resources through OverDrive/Library2Go, as well as to physical books, films and sound recordings that are shelved at our public libraries.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Oregon Battle of the Books: Bellview hosts regionals

In a Jan. 7 email to the listserv of Southern Oregon school library professionals, I announced that Bellview Elementary School would host the regional battle, Oregon Battle of the Books, for schools in our geographic area, Saturday, March 12, from 8 a.m. to about 1 p.m.

An event this size has lots of openings for volunteers. Potential roles include battle moderators, judges, time keepers, score keepers, runners, set-up and clean-up. I instructed any listserv subscribers who were able to participate to contact Bellview principal Christine McCollom.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Autism prevalence in adults: Clinton advocates study

From Disability Scoop: As part of a plan to address the needs of children and adults with autism, U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she would instruct the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct the first-ever nationwide autism prevalence study on adults.

As an adult on the spectrum, I consider such a study to be long overdue, but in this instance want to know how the study will be conducted.

Will every single person who believes her- or himself to be on the autism spectrum have an opportunity to be identified? Or will the study only involve formal assessments that were deemed sufficiently legitimate? Will it capture every occurrence or will it only be administered to a sample of the population?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

‘Year in Review’ activity sheet assumes all children have friends

It’s interesting that a Year-in-Review printable activity sheet for children, created by “Skip to My Lou,” assumes that all children completing it, have friends. If an ostracized child has difficulty expressing this reality, perhaps “My friends are ...,” left blank, can spark a dialogue.