Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ashland library ‘Teen Crafternoon’: spool and book poetry

Lengths of fabric wound on spools, with paper cut-out words attached length-wise to the fabric
Example of thread spool poetry by Kelli Nina Perkins
“Teen Crafternoon” continues its emphasis on upcycling with spool and book poetry, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. April 5 in the Ashland Branch Library’s teen department.

At Ephemeral Alchemy, Kelli Nina Perkins offers an explanation and displays several examples of thread spool poetry: “Take a vintage wooden spool and wind it with a strip of colored muslin. Add some collaged text you’ve cut from old books and turned into your random poem. Add some embroidery, a button, and a ribbon and roll it up into a little ‘book.’”

Ashland Branch Library is located at 410 Siskiyou Blvd. For more information about Teen Crafternoon, contact the teen department at 541-774-6985.

Yarn bombing: ‘Vote for the Library’

Three bicycle hitching posts covered with knitted "yarn-bombing" slipcovers.  The middle hitching post's slipcover reads "Vote for the library" in knit letterforms.

Friday night, this happened in front of the Ashland Public Library. Just in time for May’s library-district election for Jackson County Library Services.

Friday, March 28, 2014

‘Bullying Under Attack’

Book cover: "Bullying Under Attack: True Stories Written by Teen Victims, Bullies + Bystanders"
In Bullying Under Attack (Teen Ink, 2013), teens address their experiences as targets, as bullies and as bystanders through first-hand essays, poetry and images. It makes an important contribution to a crucial dialogue about bullying, by sharing the perspectives of people for whom bullying is fresh and immediate.

Decades have blurred my ability to document instances of abuse and ostracism, and I read this book from the perspective of a survivor who wants bullying to be taken seriously. Thank you to the teens who bravely shared their stories and the adults who nurtured this collection. And thank you to my public library for shelving it in the teen collection.

Cross-posted to the Facebook page of Jackson County Library Services

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Autism prevalence gaps and disparities

In its response to autism prevalence data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) highlights a “serious gap” in U.S. autism research.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Follett Software’s ‘One Search’

For my library internship this week, I reviewed Follett Software documentation for One Search, which enables students to simultaneously search the library’s online public access catalog and selected websites, search engines and subscription databases.

‘Libraries for All’ in Jackson County, Oregon

Group of people with clipboards
Image credit: Libraries for All — Jackson County
Libraries for All — Jackson County is mobilizing volunteers to campaign for Measure 15-122. Residents are being asked to vote during the May 2014 Primary to form a special district for Jackson County libraries. The recommended funding rate is 60 cents per $1,000 of the assessed value on a home.

Monday, March 24, 2014

‘Sshing Kitty’ shirt belongs in library

Cynthia Parkhill makes shushing gesture, while wearing a shirt with appliqued "sshing Kitty" design. The deep-red newsboy style hat I am wearing was chosen to accent the kitty applique's hair ribbon
My “Sshing Kitty” shirt will be just the thing in Bellview Elementary School library when we return from spring break.

A shirt originally highlighting a 2012 concert series was saved from obsolescence with the addition of a new garment body from a length of knitted fabric.

The kitty design was repurposed from additional garments. My templates came from two different illustrations that I found through an Internet search.

I used my sewing machine to first attach the layered applique, then chain-stitched the outline by hand.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

I’m guilty of breaking this library rule

Sign taped to wood paneling reads in small letters, upper left: 'Yes, we know that you are in Library School. Yes, we know that you know Dewey Decimal. Nonetheless.' In large letters, centered horizontally and vertically: 'Please Do Not Reshelve Materials.' In small letters, lower right: 'Leave materials on any library cart or table when you are finished.'
SLIS ‘Do Not Reshelve’ Sign by LibraryKitty on Flickr
Licensed for use under Creative Commons
What can I say? Among specific rules enforced in real libraries, I’m guilty of reshelving books that I’ve removed from nonfiction shelves. Granted, shelving is a regular part of my day at Bellview Elementary School library but, let us say, I am guilty of “extracurricular” shelving as well.

Originally posted by LibraryKitty on Flickr, the photo documents library signage at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Library and Information Science Library. It and other photos documenting specific library rules were curated by John Brandon for

‘Star Wars books for Padawans and Jedis’

Star Wars beginning readers' books propped facing forward with additional books shelved between bookends. To the left, a sign proclaims "Star Wars Books for Padawans and Jedis." The sign is decorated with cut-out characters from Angry Birds Star Wars and Lego Star Wars

As members of the recess coloring crowd came into Bellview library, I enlisted a few of them to decorate this sign. It showcases Star Wars books for beginning readers (the library “Padawans”) as well as for more-advanced readers (“Jedis”) who are ready for chapter books. The cut-out characters feature manifestations of the Star Wars franchise including “Angry Birds” and “Lego Star Wars.”

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Four lucky people will wear these hand-made hats

Stack of assembled crowns for eight-panel "newsboy" hats in blue-and-white houndstooth fabric

For Hat People in southern Oregon, here are what, when finished, will be four newsboy-cut hats in a lightweight blue-and-white houndstooth.

‘Think b4 u Post’

From this week’s course materials for my Cuesta College student internship: In “Think b4 u Post: Your Reputation and Privacy on Social Networking Sites,” hosts Josh McBride and Julie Lavery explain how misuse of social media can affect a person’s reputation and safety. The 22-minute video addresses serious subjects — reputation, public exposure, career consequences, cyberbullying, data mining and online predators — in an engaging and entertaining way. This program was leased by Cuesta College for student viewing from Films on Demand.

Monday, March 17, 2014

SLJ to examine diversity

From School Library Journal: A lack of diversity in children’s literature challenges “core missions” at the heart of education and libraries,according to the “equity of learning opportunities, especially for children, and equal access to education.” SLJ will devote its entire May 2014 issue to diversity in various forms.

Saint Patrick’s Day in Bellview library

Cynthia Parkhill wearing brown-leaf vest over medieval-style tunic and trowsers with a brown and green Tudor "flat cap" over white-linen coif, standing next to library shelving cart filled with books

Saint Patrick’s Day in Bellview Elementary School library: I couldn’t resist dressing the part of a Leprechaun.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

‘Let Her Say No’

Show your daughters (and sons) that her “No” will be respected while the stakes are still low. At Huffington Post, an important essay from contributor Stephanie Giese.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Training in hat-production piecework

I might have regular subcontractor work doing piecework for an Ashland hat company. I'm going to be trained on Monday. My temporary work through the staffing agency continues until mid-April. I continue looking for steady work to supplement my earnings in the library.

Graphic novels in Bellview Elementary School library

Graphic novels shelved between bookends. At left, a sign proclaiming "Graphic Novels" features a cut-out of cartoon rodent Geronimo Stilton at his desk
Updated photo, taken March 20, 2014
From a distributor, many graphic novels in the Bellview Elementary School library come pre-labeled for shelving according to Dewey classification (741.5) on the non-fiction shelf. But given high interest in graphic novels among Bellview library users, teacher-librarian Lauren Hall and I are shelving them in a higher-profile area.

Among selections written about here, the Bellview collection includes Hereville by Barry Deutsch, Calamity Jack by Shannon and Dean Hale and graphic-format nonfiction.

Other titles in the Bellview collection include the Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi, Bone by Jeff Smith and D.C. Comics super-hero adventures. Some selections have been honored as nominees for the Oregon Reader’s Choice Awards. There’s a wide variety of subjects and perspectives addressed in these graphic-format books.

Friday, March 14, 2014

In which I handle ALA youth media award winners

American Library Association youth media award winners were mine — mine! — to handle during the course of my internship today.

Sparrow Rose Jones: ‘Silenced’ by her own autism

At Unstrange Mind, Sparrow Rose Jones writes about being “silenced” with her own autism: a third-party went behind her back to offer “perspective” to a person with whom Jones had had a small argument.
“When I am open about being Autistic, I am handing people a weapon to punish me with. ... Anytime someone wants to dismiss my opinion or experience, they point out that I am Autistic, as if that trumps anything and everything. They remind everyone that I am not reliable, that my word means nothing, that I don’t understand anything.”
How many of us use excuses similar to the way this third-party used Jones’ autism, to dismiss someone’s viewpoint without going to the work of coming up with reasons to counter it? I think it’s worth thinking about.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Beginning readers’ table in Bellview library

Group of graphic novels and early-reader children's books arranged in a display on a circular table-top

In the Bellview Elementary School library, teacher-librarian Lauren Hall and I have been at work creating a beginning readers’ table display filled with books that are easy to read, on subjects that interest young readers. Our reading “Padawans” have a variety to choose from including Star Wars, sports, super heroes, animals and more. Graphic novels and a set of Star Wars chapter-books are nearby for the “Jedi” readers.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Preference-based communication: Why does my phone still ring?

Why do marketers and, for that matter, customer service representatives, ignore preference-based communication when interacting with customers? From 2009, a question raised by Howorth Communications continues to have relevance.

‘One School, One Book’ at Roosevelt Elementary

Roosevelt Elementary School in the Medford School District is embarking upon a program called “One School, One Book.” Program details are summarized in the school’s March newsletter.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Jackson County Library Services’ ‘Fan of the Week’

Screen capture: Jackson County Library Services' Fan of the Week on Facebook. My Facebook avatar is displayed on a red carpet with double spotlights shining down from left and right diagonals.
I’m Jackson County Library Services’ “Fan of the Week” on Facebook.

Scholastic Book Fair in Roosevelt Elementary School library

Books put out on a table-top display for a Scholastic Book Fair. Additional books are arranged face-out on shelves in the background.

For my Cuesta College internship, I helped set up for a Scholastic Book Fair in Roosevelt Elementary School in Medford School District 549C today.

Women’s History Month

Blue posterboard with caption "Spotlight on Women's History." From left to right, cut-outs attached to the posterboard depict Sally Ride, Sacagawea and Michelle Obama.

March is Women’s History Month and this posterboard display in the Bellview library proclaims a “Spotlight on Women’s History.” From left to right are U.S. astronaut Sally Ride, Sacagawea, who guided Lewis and Clark on their expedition and First Lady Michelle Obama.

To accompany the display, I pulled several titles from the library’s collection of biographies. Civil rights activists, artists, aviators, politicians, sports figures and more. Women have contributed in numerous ways to U.S. and world history.

‘The Rithmatist’ by Brandon Sanderson

Book cover: The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
The Rithmatist (Tom Doherty Associates, 2013) marks the Young Adult debut of fantasy author Brandon Sanderson. (Readers may know Sanderson as the author chosen to complete Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time.)

In the United Isles, a group of bodies that in outline resemble our North American continent, “Rithmatists” can construct drawings out of chalk that have offensive and defensive properties. Their science — and religion — is Rithmatics.

Circles and lines can form protective barriers, while other lines and “chalklings,” two-dimensional figures, can go on the offensive.

Monday, March 10, 2014

LinkedIn ‘Influencer’ tracks libraries’ modern twist

In a library, surrounded by book-laden shelves, Cynthia M. Parkhill's Bitstrips cartoon avatar and another cartoon woman sit at a table that has laptops arranged at each of the table's four settings
Cartoon image created with Bitstrips and added July 13, 2016
LinkedIn “Influencer” Karen Cator, CEO at Digital Promise, argues that people who don’t support public libraries “have overlooked the role public libraries play in our communities, the lives of individuals and our society — a role they have always played, now with a modern twist.” Cator tracks usage statistics documented by the American Library Association. To quiet places for reading and study, add use of computers, technology classes, and high-speed Internet access among services provided by libraries.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

#Libchat host Natalie Binder shares primer on autism

Mug shot: Natalie Binder
Natalie Binder on Facebook
From rural Florida librarian Natalie Binder, here’s a “librarian’s personal primer” on autism spectrum disorder.
“I’ve often wondered if librarianship attracts autistic people, or if there is a higher rate of this common disability among librarians. I don’t think anyone’s done a study on the subject, but I keenly remember how important school and public libraries were to me when I was a child.”

Saturday, March 8, 2014

‘I Can Read!: 100 Tips for Beginning Readers’

Book cover: 100 Tips for Beginning Readers
HarperCollins Children’s Books has compiled 100 tips to help children learn the essentials of reading and become enthusiastic readers.

According to the publisher, I Can Read! is also specifically designed to reinforce Common Core Standards for Reading. It’s available as a free download through the and Barnes & Noble booksellers. It’s also available through the Apple iBookstore and as a PDF document.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Autism Society seeks photos of ‘fully participating’ adults

OK, autistic advocates, this post is for you. The Autism Society of America is soliciting photographs for National Autism Awareness Month. “We are specifically looking for photos of adults working, learning and fully participating in their community,” according to Autism Society staff. Images will be accepted through April 1; submissions can be emailed to

TurnItIn identifies 10 ways to rip off others’ work

The degree on a scale of 0 to 10 to which types of plagiarism are considered problematic: Clone at 9.5, CTRL-C at 7.4, Find-Replace at 1.2, Remix at .5, Recycle at 2.8, Hybrid at 1.1, Mashup at 4.4, 404 Error at 1.3, Aggregator at 2.9 and Re-tweet at .5
Detail from an infographic
by The degree
on a scale of 0 to 10
to which types of plagiarism
are considered problematic
In an infographic, TurnItIn identifies and provides examples of 10 types of plagiarism.

“Each type of plagiarism has been given a digital moniker to reflect the significant role that the Internet and social media play in student writing.”

It’s worthwhile viewing for anyone who works with composing or editing of text.

The Plagiarism Spectrum,” according to TurnItIn, “moves plagiarism beyond the black-and-white definition of ‘literary theft’ to one that captures the nuances of how plagiarism can take form in student writing, with a severity scale based on student intent.”

A full study, which presents results from 879 secondary and higher-education teachers, is also available for download.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Read Across America Day

Cynthia Parkhill wearing blue-and-gold "Cat in the Hat" hat with armload of books
Today is Read Across America Day, it’s true,
the day of all days to celebrate You-Know-Who.
No, not that one; Lord Voldemort
Is not the You-Know-Who I’m talking about.
It’s Theodor Geisel, you know him as Dr. Seuss.
He’s the man of the hour, the man of the day,
The reason that I say “Hip-hip-hooray.”
So please excuse the impromptu rhyme
With which I’ve arguably wasted my time.
Let’s read across America and, what’s more, today
thank the Classified Staff-member who brightens your day.
Yes, “Classified Employee Appreciation Week”
begins as we celebrate Dr. Seuss’s feats.
Now I’ve given you two things
to celebrate in fact,
So go out and proudly wear your Dr. Seuss hat.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Decoupage decorates this water bottle

Stainless-steel water bottle decorated with comic character paper cut-outs
There was a definite “cat” theme to my selections of comic and magazine art for Saturday’s decoupage in the teen department at Jackson County Library Services’ Ashland branch library.

To the left, a stainless-steel water bottle is decorated with superhero and online gaming characters, all of whom have feline qualities in common.

“Decoupage” involves decorating an item’s surface by applying paper cut-outs and coating it with varnish or lacquer. Check the JCLS online catalog or browse among 745.546 in your branch’s nonfiction stacks to look for books about decoupage.

Teen “Crafternoon” takes place on the first Saturday of each month at the Ashland library, located at 410 Siskiyou Blvd. For more information, call 541-774-6994. Watch for announcements on Facebook. I also post notices to my blog.

‘The Sherlockian’ by Graham Moore

Book cover: "The Sherlockian" by Graham Moore. In the image on the cover, fictional detective Sherlock Holmes' pipe and a spot of blood form a question mark.
The Sherlockian by Graham Moore (Twelve, 2010) is a fast-paced mystery with parallel storylines that unfold in alternating chapters.

In present day, Harold has just been inducted into the Baker Street Irregulars, the preeminent society devoted to the study of fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. Harold attempts to locate a missing diary by Holmes’ creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The second storyline begins with Doyle’s decision to kill off his creation.

The death of Holmes at Reichenbach Falls is met with immediate public outcry, to Doyle’s considerable disgust.

Doyle’s storyline is chiefly concerned with three months that would have been documented by his missing diary. During that period, Doyle and his friend Bram Stoker (the creator of Dracula) attempt to solve the killings of young women. The deaths are linked by wedding dresses and by the image of a three-headed crow.

The Sherlockian can be requested in physical form through the Jackson County libraries and can also be enjoyed as an audio file through Overdrive/Library2Go.

Cross-posted to the Facebook page of Jackson County Library Services

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Should librarians police students’ reading-level selections?

Elementary school administrators, educators and librarians (and any other informed stakeholders), what do you think of students being expected to always read at their designated level, with the librarian required to prevent them selecting books that are “below” their level?