Sunday, October 30, 2016

Library customer service: Are you aware of your library’s resources?

Cynthia M. Parkhill's cartoon Bitstrips avatar stands with left arm resting on counter with books in it.  With her right hand, she makes an open handed gesture toward the books behind her at left. The caption reads, 'Welcome to the library!'

I’ve written before about the librarian’s “customer service” hat, and the ways that customer service manifests in my work in a library.

Today I want to address the importance of familiarity with a library’s resources among people working in the library — because you can’t recommend a resource to a customer if you don’t know about it yourself.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

‘Laura Monster Crusher’

Book cover, 'Laura Monster Crusher' by Wesley King. Illustration depicts a gaping hole in the ground, ringed by tall trees
Accidentally breaking the arm of a smaller classmate during a game of “Duck, Duck, Goose,” sealed Laura Ledwick’s fate to be known by cruel nicknames capitalizing on her size.

So when Laura and her family moved to the town of Riverfield, Laura hoped that by beginning eighth grade in a brand-new school, she would leave that persecution behind.

On the first day of school, Laura gains two new friends, meets a boy she’s attracted to, but also attracts the attention of a mean girl and her wanna-be followers.

But the travails of middle-school are compounded by eerie sightings and reports of wild animals in the dark forest that borders Laura’s home. A mysterious rattling in Laura’s closet leads to her discovery of a hidden world beneath her feet.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Autism and socializing: ‘Armond Goes to a Party’

Book cover, 'Armond Goes to a Party.' Line-drawn and colored image depicts a boy clutching a dinosaur book amidst many other children who are making noise around him: talking, blowing on noisemakers, blowing bubbles, playing games, etc.
There is little-to-nothing pleasant about the prospect of being stuck in a roomful of people simultaneously talking around me.

These numerous conversations — for me all playing at equal volume — are further compounded by  the “soundtrack of life” — air conditioning or heater, utensils clanking against dishes, the movement of people through a room.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Staff photo commemorates new year in library

An official staff photo by Lifetouch School Portraits commemorates my beginning a new year as a library professional.

I’ve come a long way since first going to work in Bellview Elementary School library. That first year, I learned so much — and I continue to learn going forward.

For each staff photo, I dipped into my extensive hat collection, consistent with what has been a key part of my identity.

This year, I wore my “newsboy” cap made from brightly-colored fabrics. I modeled this hat after the touring-cap pieces I assemble for Hat People of southern Oregon, but I added a hat band.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

‘The Screaming Staircase’

Book cover: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud. Image depicts two teenagers, a boy and a girl, standing on a staircase and each holding a sword, their attention directed toward ominous dark vapor on the top of the staircase
With The Screaming Staircase (Disney-Hyperion, 2013) author Jonathan Stroud introduces young readers to an exciting adventure series set in a modern-day London that is beset by paranormal disturbances.

Young people with an ability to detect these supernatural entities are essential to psychic detection agencies that compete to combat London’s “Problem.”

In The Screaming Staircase, Lucy Carlyle becomes the newest recruit of Lockwood & Co., an agency staffed entirely by young people.

With agency founder Anthony Lockwood and researcher George Cubbins, Lucy investigates a mansion with a grisly reputation for multiple hauntings and deaths. She also attempts to solve a young woman’s decades-old murder.

This enjoyable first volume combined many of the ingredients I enjoyed in Stroud’s Bartimaeus books, including the first-hand observations of an engaging narrator. I recommend this book to young readers who like supernatural mysteries.

Disclosure of material connection: My taxes support my public library’s acquisition of this and other resources. I consider the access I enjoy to be a “priceless” return on my investment.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Bullying Prevention Month, library display

Book covers: Weird!, Dare! and Tough! by Erin Frankel and illustrated by Paula Heaphy
Image credit: Free Spirit Publishing
In honor of Bullying Prevention Month (October), I put books on display again this year, that address the subject of bullying. The books are available from our collection in Bellview Elementary School library.

Bellview Elementary School library ‘Top 10’

The Bellview Elementary School library “Top 10” represent the most often-checked-out books during the previous 30 days, as tracked by the Follett-Destiny online public access catalog. Roughly once per month, I like to create flyers that showcase these often-used resources.