Saturday, January 31, 2015

ALA Midwinter 2015: Discussion of ‘diverse’ books

Group of people sitting side-by-side at table on stage, books propped-up on tabletop in front of them. Banner behind them identifies venue as the PopTop Stage.
Image credit: Angie Manfredi on Twitter
The American Library Association Midwinter Meeting is taking place in Chicago, Ill. From my remote perspective in Ashland, Oregon, I tuned in this morning via “live-Tweets” centered around the event hashtag, in time to follow a “Diversity League” panel discussion of diversity in Young Adult literature.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Bellview library books, retrieved from public library

Picture book with painting of a gray tabby cat on the front cover, partially visible with spines of other books inside brown canvas bag. The bag is printed with the logo and name of Friends of the Ashland Public Library.
Sackful of books ready to go back to Bellview library
On two occasions during the last seven days, I retrieved Bellview Elementary School library books that had been returned by borrowers to Jackson County Library Services’ Ashland library.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

‘Platinum Rule’ and measuring stick for ‘normal’

Among links shared with readers as Religious Explorations administrative coordinator for a Unitarian Universalist church, here’s a thought-provoking post from DRESara at The Children’s Chalice. She identifies a flaw in the Golden Rule, that it “presumes that I can use myself as the measuring stick for ‘normal.’” DRESara suggests that instead, people observe the “Platinum Rule,” to “Treat others the way they would like to be treated.”

Library yarn bombing promotes ‘common read’

Bench covered with red knitted or crocheted horizontal panels across the seat and draped back-to-front over the backrest of the bench.
Image source: Lawrence Public Library on Facebook
An image added to the timeline this week at Yarn Bombing @ Your Library has extra significance for me, as the installation served to draw attention to a community’s “common read.”

#LibChat library Q-and-A’s curated with Storify

During #LibChat (a weekly Twitter-based chat among library professionals), I used the Storify social-curation platform to group users’ question-and-answer posts. The finished “stories” can be found on the splash page for my Storify account.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

‘Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage’

Book cover: Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage by 'Science Bob' Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith. Cartoon rendition of a boy and girl standing, arms up and alarmed expressions on their faces, as an army of knee-high flying and marching robots advances on them from left, right and front.
Eleven-year-old twin sleuths Tesla and Nick return for the second book in a series that combines fast-paced action-adventure with hands-on science experiments.

In Robot Army Rampage (Quirk Books, 2014), the twins investigate local burglaries while continuing to delve into circumstances behind their parents’ abrupt disappearance.

Who is behind the local break-ins? Is the twins’ uncle’s attraction to a fellow scientist destined for a broken heart? And if the twins’ parents study soybeans for the government, how could their first date have involved writing a prize-winning paper in the field of laser science?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015

‘Evil Librarian,’ on my want-to-read list

Book cover, Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen. Red-outline drawing of horned demon with fangs, superimposed over a light-gray-lettering-on-dark-gray textbook cover.
If I have a weakness for a fiction “type,” it’s for books with main characters who are librarians.

From a review by Pamela Thompson among her Young Adult/high-school picks, Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen (Candlewick, 2014) takes its place on the list of books that I want to read.

Shortly after a new librarian shows up at Central High School, students begin walking around in a “zombie-like” daze. The protagonist, Cyn, and a guy she likes, Ryan, team up to take-on the “evil librarian.”

In her review, Thompson calls the book “Enticingly evil, freshly funny, winsomely wry, and eerily entertaining.”

Saturday, January 17, 2015

‘Expectations Stations’ in Bellview library

Business-card sized piece of paper reading "Bellview Elementary School. Be Safe. Be Respectful. Be Responsible," displaying line-drawn image of the school's Bobcat mascot. "Miss Cynthia" is hand-written above a space to write in a name, and the entire ticket is enclosed inside a clear plastic ID holder.
My ‘Bobcat Ticket’ badge from last year.
‘Be Safe. Be Respectful. Be Responsible.’
One of the professional highlights to my week was giving “Expectations Stations” reviews in the Bellview Elementary School library.

My co-presenters were Educational Assistant Doug Werner and child development specialist Diane Berry. The three of us emphasized that Bellview library is a place where “We are Safe, we are Respectful, we are Responsible.”

Specifically, the presentation included library “do’s” and “don’ts,” book care and alternatives to the “don’ts.”

Religious Explorations: Recent posts

Here are recent posts to social media in my professional role as Administrative Coordinator for the Religious Explorations program at a church in Ashland, Oregon, the Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. When curating these items, I look for resources and commentary that strengthen constituent families.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

‘The Word Exchange’ by Alena Graedon

Book cover, The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon. Title, in shaded orange to red type, is superimposed on field of tiny black letters against white background.
Books that my husband and I read aloud together hold a special place on my “currently-reading” list.

The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon (Doubleday, 2014) occupies a category whose past luminaries include J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and numerous science-fiction and fantasy series.

As The Word Exchange opens, a woman named Ana explains that her father disappeared from the “Dictionary.” And her statement is doubly true.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Library work: My first 500 hours

Cynthia M. Parkhill sits holding a book, cross-legged on the floor. While looking toward the photographer, she is seated to face shelves with books on them.
Shelving books during move-in at the new Middletown library
When I added up my time spent in professional and volunteer capacities, I discovered that I’d logged the first 500 hours in my library service career.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Library coursework officially completed

Head-and-shoulders photo of Cynthia M. Parkhill in blue vest, pigtails and red cap. A pin on her cap reads, Books Rock!
Cynthia M. Parkhill, a Calistoga native, has earned her Associate’s degree in Library and Information Technology from Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo.

During this past semester, Parkhill completed additional coursework for certification of specialization in library service to children.

Parkhill and her family live in Ashland, Ore., where she works part-time as a library assistant. She has many fond memories of regular visits to the Calistoga library.

Submitted to the Weekly Calistogan
and Calistoga Tribune

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Library support staff highlighted in OLA Quarterly

In its quarterly journal, the Oregon Library Association gives special attention to library support staff. In a Dec. 15 blog post, the OLA's Support Staff Division summarizes and higlights articles to be found in the December 2014 edition.