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Library people

26 Mar

Monday was officially my first day of Spring Break and I spent part of the day at one of my favorite places : the public library.  Truly a place for everyone, here is who I saw:

A mom pushing a toddler in a stroller and holding the hand of her older child, crossing the street, on their way to story time.

A dad with two daughters, dressed identically, though one was clearly older. Both girls pushed identical babies in identical strollers.

A woman at the circulation desk, getting help placing holds.

A man at the circulation desk, taking care of his fines.

A woman exiting a study room, leaving a man with headphones inside.

People of all ages, colors, socio-economic statuses using the computers.

Toddlers of all colors – and energy levels – in the children’s area.

The Street Roots vendor out front, chatting to a former Streets Root vendor.

And Harry, patiently waiting for his mom and sister.

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Why we read

2 Oct

In 2013, Neil Gaiman delivered a speech entitled “Why Our Future Depends on Libraries, Reading and Daydreaming” to The Reading Agency in London. You can watch the speech on Youtube,  listen watch and read the text on The Reading Agency’s website, or simply hold the text in your hands and read it, along with many other essays, in Gaiman’s recent collection of essays, The View From the Cheap Seats. 

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I highly recommend that you make the effort to see what Gaiman has t say on this topic. You will nod your head in agreement because, if you read this blog, you are a reader.

Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston clearly believe in the same power of books and reading. His new picture boo, A Child of Books,  says the same thing as Gaiman, though in simpler language.

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Publisher’s Summary: New York Times best-selling author-illustrator Oliver Jeffers and fine artist Sam Winston deliver a lyrical picture book inspiring readers of all ages to create, to question, to explore, and to imagine.

A little girl sails her raft across a sea of words, arriving at the house of a small boy and calling him away on an adventure. Through forests of fairy tales and across mountains of make-believe, the two travel together on a fantastical journey that unlocks the boy’s imagination. Now a lifetime of magic and adventure lies ahead of him . . . but who will be next? Combining elegant images by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston’s typographical landscapes shaped from excerpts of children’s classics and lullabies, A Child of Books is a stunning prose poem on the rewards of reading and sharing stories—an immersive and unforgettable reading experience that readers will want to pass on to others.

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Where will your reading take you today?

Why don’t you turn on the dawnzer?

12 Apr

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Beverly Cleary turns 100 today.

It is hard to believe that this woman wrote books that I liked as a kid, and my students still enjoy.  I am not embarrassed to admit that I like to quote Ramona. So, for this Slice of Life post, I will share my favorite Ramona quotes, in no particular order

  1. “Why don’t you turn on the dawnzer?” – Ramona, thinking she was quite smart, thigh that dawnzer was a synonym for lamp. She learned it in the national anthem: “Oh say, can you see, by the dawnzer lee light.” Brilliant!
  2. “Sit here for the present.” Ramona’s teacher says this to her on the first day of school. Ramona follows her directions perfectly, expecting a present for doing so. I like to say this to kids and I snicker when I do. I think they think I am crazy.
  3. “Pieface!” Mrs Swink, an elderly neighbor, and Ramona call each other this in a good-natured way.
  4. “I am too  a Merry Sunshine.” Ramon says this when she is accused of not being one. You can imagine the tone f voice she used when saying this.

I am lucky to live in Portland, where the Ramona series is set. My local public library is right in Ramona’s neighborhood, and has a huge map on the wall of all the places Cleary mentions in her book. You can get a walking tour map from the librarians and take yourself on a tour of the neighborhood.

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There really is a Klickitat street.

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Grant Park, has a statue garden with Clearly characters.

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So, on this auspicious day, I hope you turn on a dawnzer, do something for the present, and shout “Pieface!” at someone you love.

#alaac15 – Day 4 – quiet, but amazing

29 Jun

Yesterday started off with the YALSA Coffee Klatch with YA Authors. I met up with some Beaverton colleagues and we sat at table 10 of about 50. This was another speed dating event, with authors rotating about every 10 minutes. We only got about 10 authors, but WOW, we got some good ones:

Mariko & Jillian Tamaki of This One Summer

Andrew Smith who was promoting The Alex Crow

Leigh Bardugo talking about  Six of Crows

Marissa Meyer talking about Winter

When it was over, I dashed out to get to Andrew Smith’s book signing & got a copy of his sequel to Winger,  entitled  Stand-off. The I went to watch the parade. I didn’t stay for the whole thing because I was too short to see much and then the crowd was starting to get to me. I don’t really enjoy crowds.

The real highlight of the day were the speeches at the Newbery Caldecott banquet. TEARS!!!!

Dan Santat, who won the Caldecott for The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimagnary Friend.

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That man moved the crowd with his soul-baring honesty. If you have a chance to read or listen to his speech, please do so. I am teary-eyed now. I bet you will see yourself in what he has to say.

He was followed by Kwame Alexander,who won the Newbery for The Crossover.

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He essentially gave a spoken word performance that was breathtakingly beautiful.

Today will be mundane after all that. My first stop is the on site post office where I will ship books home. I hope the line isn’t too long.

My summer reading program

17 Jun

The summer reading program is in full swing at my local library. I stopped by yesterday afternoon to pick up my holds. I was actually  on my way to the dentist for a check up, so I didn’t linger and browse the shelves, but the library was busy. Here are the things I picked up:

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The Skunk  written by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Patrick McDonnell Let me just say this: Waiting for Godot for the primary set. You should read this.   Unknown-1

Fifeen Dogs  by André Alexis. Publisher’s Summary: And so it begins: a bet between the gods Hermes and Apollo leads them to grant human consciousness and language to a group of dogs overnighting at a Toronto vet­erinary clinic. Suddenly capable of more complex thought, the pack is torn between those who resist the new ways of thinking, preferring the old ‘dog’ ways, and those who embrace the change. The gods watch from above as the dogs venture into their newly unfamiliar world, as they become divided among themselves, as each struggles with new thoughts and feelings. Wily Benjy moves from home to home, Prince becomes a poet, and Majnoun forges a relationship with a kind couple that stops even the Fates in their tracks. André Alexis’s contemporary take on the apologue offers an utterly compelling and affecting look at the beauty and perils of human consciousness. By turns meditative and devastating, charming and strange, Fifteen Dogs shows you can teach an old genre new tricks.   Unknown-2

Moonpenny Island by Tricia Springstubb. I’ve heard good buzz about this one. On Moonpenny Island, eleven-year-old Flor O’Dell experiences a series of life changes after her best friend’s sent away to a private school. And, finally… Unknown-3

Paper Things  by Jennifer Richard Jacobson. When forced to choose between staying with her guardian and being with her big brother, Ari chose her big brother. There’s just one problem—Gage doesn’t actually have a place to live. I have a pile of books to read and don’t know when I will get to these. Fortunately, I have two and a half months stretching out ahead of me.

TBR

17 May

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Donalyn Miller has a wonderful post today about books entitled All Who Wander. In it she talks about how books took her places as a kid, moving and her TBR piles. TBR stands for to-be-read.  She is moving and has 12 BOXES of TBRs!

I am going to confess my dirty little TBR secret. I abuse the Multnomah County Library rather shamelessly. I have two library cards: a regular one and a teacher card. The teacher card is like a ticket to heaven. On a regular card you check things out for 3 weeks and can have 15 holds.  On a teacher card you can check things out for 6 weeks and have 40 holds. My holds are always maxed, which is no sin. My dirty secret is this: I check things out and they sit on my shelf for 6 weeks and then I renew them until I cannot renew them any more. or until I finally get around to reading them.

I feel a little guilty about this. I know somewhere in the stacks of a  Multnomah County Library branch, someone might stumble upon a book that should be off my TBR shelf and on to the library’s shelves. Yes, I am keeping someone from discover the treasure I am hoarding. But I can’t help myself.

Ranganathan’s  laws of library science state that

  1. Books are for use.
  2. Every reader his [or her] book.
  3. Every book its reader.
  4. Save the time of the reader.
  5. The library is a growing organism.

By cultivating and maintaining my TBR pile, I am violating the first three of the laws. But I don’t feel guilty enough to stop. And besides. summer is coming. There are only 4 weeks of school left and once that is here, I plan on devouring all the books I can.

 

 

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