Archive for the ‘THE LIBRARIAN… she stalks at midnight’ Category

I’m on another committee.

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

I don’t know how those librarians do it. They look at me with their big doey eyes and tell me what a good thing I’ll be doing for the less fortunate librarians of the world. And I’m suckered in every time. This time I didn’t even actually see them. They emailed me soothing emails and told me that I would be doing a wonderful thing for librarians around New York State. I’m only a member of New York Library Association and not American Library Association, since ALA dues are so expensive, so I’m assuming that ALA wouldn’t ask me to do anything… yet.

Anywho. I was still slightly on the fence, although quickly being guided (to the dark side some might say), when one of the other librarians who joined the committee emailed me in a very convincing manner that swayed my decision. Darn you and your hypnotic ways Lisa! I’m glad I don’t work at Webster, because I’m sure that she’d convince me to do all sorts of things all the time. 🙂

Unfortunately, I’m only one person, so I won’t be able to take on this committee and stay on the Teen Book Festival committee as well. Two intense committees at once? That is a sure sign for divorce. So that means that I will have to go on hiatus from TBF for a while. I’m sure that I will still volunteer for the day of, but that’s about it.

Starting in March, planning begins for the NYLA conference in Geneva… now I have to figure out if this is the Spring YSS conference, or the Fall NYLA conference, of which I’ll be helping plan the YSS part. I’m still in shock, and trying to figure out how I’ve gotten noticed… I may be too much of a Chatty Cathy, but oh well, I can’t help it.

I’ve also got this thought in the back of my head that I’m giving a presentation at one of the conferences with some other librarians about programming for Tweens, but I can’t remember when or if it was just a figment of my imagination… we’ll see. I’ve actually been offering programs for kids in 4-8 grade for about a month now, but no one has been showing up. Its probably time to do <shutter> class visits. I am such a baby. I don’t know why the idea of class visits freak me out, but I just don’t know if I can handle them.

—-Couple of days later—-

Okay I looked it up. I was asked to help give a presentation at NYLA this October, but I haven’t heard anything else, so maybe they’ve forgotten me. I’m helping to plan the Spring 2009 YSS conference in Geneva. I can handle that. 🙂

The wii is…

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

In my possession as we speak! I got to Toys R Us at 9 am to wait in line for an hour. There had been people waiting since SEVEN AM! I don’t know why people do this. They may be crazy. I thought I was crazy waiting for an hour.
It was snowing and blowing and FREEZING! My goodness was it freezing. But I got in there. I was Wii 26 of 35. I also got Wii Play (with the extra wiimote) a nunchuk, and the charging station. After that I was warm enough to leave the store. Only to get out of the store and realize that I couldn’t see a foot in front of my face. Yuck.
I had somewhat of a cold late last week, but today I’ve felt horrible. Absolutely awful. Those patrons better appreciate how much I’ve suffered. Ah, who am I kidding? They’ll be mad that I didn’t get the right wii games.
Next week: a trek back to Toys R Us for Guitar Hero III.
Just so you guys know, even though we play a lot of games and watch Anime, I do encourage the youth to read too. Sure I do! Manga and the Halo series. Oh and thanks to Bob, my new favorite: Scott Pilgrim.

The things I do for my teens

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

I found out a couple of days ago that a certain store is getting a new shipment of Wiis. So guess who is going to try and get there an hour (hope that will be enough time) early to get one for the library? Yup that would be me. I don’t know what I’m thinking, but I’m hoping that no one else has heard about it… yea right. We’ll see. The worst that could happen is I’ll have to go home wet and empty handed. I’d better not though. I may have to take down some little old lady buying a Wii!


Saturday, February 2nd, 2008

There. I said it. The dreaded “T” word. Not as dreaded as actual teens, but close enough. I made the decision at my library about a month ago to add tween only programs at my library… I’m considering tweens 4-8 graders. Some people say 3-6, but I can’t bear to go as low as 3rd, and my high schoolers don’t want middle schoolers at the teen programs. So starting on Monday, I will see who shows up. Probably not many or any at first, but once I start going to the schools and talking to the kids, people may start making an appearance. I’m sort of hoping that it works out the way my teen programs did. Word of mouth. The programs are pretty similar to the teen programs and family programs, but I’d like to give these kids a time of their own to relax and hang out. Most of my programs are just that. Relax and hang out with a thin facade of actual programming. I think if it gets too structured, the kids get scared and run away.

Once I get a small group of regulars, I’d like to see if I can get a grant to create a tween zine. … Oh that’s catchy! I’d get money for a camera, scanner, copier, maybe for a beginner class on writing (in general or journalism style). I think it could be really exciting. Of course, I’ve got to get them in first.

Wish me luck. I’ll need it, especially since my story times start next week too, and I NEVER have any luck with those. … I’m thinking that I may have to start traveling for story time, by going to preschools, daycares and kindergartens. Ack. Oh well. The life of a librarian is never dull. NEVER. Don’t believe the fairytales. Quiet and peaceful. Time to read novels. Bun and sensible shhhhoes. None of its true. Well except for the sensible shoes. Usually. Oh and I do have my shushing librarian action figure when I need her. (I even have the deluxe one with the book cart that doesn’t steer straight) Although I usually tell the kids that its my nose picking librarian. I think they like that better.

You tube is evil evil evil!

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

Potter Puppet Pals in “The Mysterious Ticking Noise”

I will thank the LWTeens (a teen library blog) for providing our entertainment for this evening, with the added bonus of driving me OUT OF MY MIND!! 🙂

BTW, I don’t know why my blogs hosted by wordpress can show the video right on the blog, but this one can’t. If anyone out there can explain it to my feeble little mind, please let me know.

NYLA conference

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

My mind was just reeling after the NYLA conference. It was almost too much to take in. At first, I wasn’t so sure if I was taking any of it in, although now I think I may have just been in information overload. That, and driving overload (600 miles in four days. Egads!)

Thursday I went to a special day long continuing ed program called “Get with the YA Program“. It was a real eye opener… mostly because if I had a population of a quarter of a million and staff dedicated to helping me specifically and oodles of money, I could do so much more. As it is, I serve a population of 15,000, have a total staff of about 12, and a programming budget that is shameful. Kevin King, from the Kalamazoo Public Library came to talk to us about the four s’s: Support, Staff, Space, and a Stash of cash. The presentation gave me a lot to think about. I realize that I need to work on my time management and organization skills. When this is accomplished, I need to write a couple of grants that give me lots of money so that the teens and I can create zines to distribute throughout town. We’d need lots of cash for a digital camera, scanner, laptop, collating printer/copier and lots and lots of paper…. actually the zine idea came from Zahra Baird, who works at the Chappaqua Public Library. I also realized that I need to take a more active step in working with the schools and in the community. I need to work with social groups and people in power to get what I want. Kevin explained that one of the more important things about being a librarian is to be able to communicate well with others, to work well in a group and to be a good listener. He talked about how teens brains are literally made up differently than the adult brain. They think and act differently, because that’s the way their brain works. Luckily, I think I still have a little of that teen brain left so that I can talk to them pretty easily.
Kevin gave me lots of ideas for programming… now I just have to get going on them! One of the easiest things, I thought, would be to start programs for “tweens”. I’ve found that people all define tween very differently. One program I went to determined that tweens are kids in 3 – 5 grade. I thought, “ah-roo?” Umm, I don’t think so.

According to a Business Week article:

A tween is vaguely defined as a prepubescent between the ages of 8 to 14, 9 to 12, or 8 to 12, depending on whom you believe. (Some industries, such as the wireless sector, categorize the age as an unbelievable 6 to 12 years old, prompting one to ponder, “in between” what?) Regardless of the exact age definition, most agree that the breaking point of a “child” becoming a “tween” is by the American fifth grade (approximately ten years old), when he/she rejects more childlike images and associations and aspires to be more like a teen.

I would like to think of tweens as people in (5th?) 6th grade to 8th grade. I know that 8th graders would like to think that they are teens, but middle schoolers and high schoolers are SO different, maturity wise.

I think the idea that a SIX YEAR OLD is a tween is ridiculous. However, if you take a look at some of those Halloween costume ads, maybe it isn’t (I’m being sarcastic, BTW.)  Some of these costumes try and tart up little kids. Its disgusting. Why can’t we let little kids be little kids? Why can’t they just have fun doing little kids things?

Anyway. I would like to start doing some “tween only” programs, similar in style to what I do for the kids and teens. Once a week, all month long, I’d do a program for tweens only. I thought I could call it “Tweensdays”. Goofy, I know. So sue me… no don’t. I have to save up for my girls-only cruise (WOO HOO!) in January.

Welp. Its after midnight and I’m tired. I have so much more on my mind that I want to tell you!

A couple highlights:

  • YSS wanting to recruit me for committee work, and a local librarian trying to push me into their clutches :0
  • Even more NYLA fun… such as winning a set of diseases!
  • Calling the police on the teens because they are out of control, scare the kids and adults (and even some of the other teens) and having them swear at me so that I have to go all alpha dog on them. And belief me, I can if I need to. I know ghetto neck and I’m not afraid to use it.
  • Grants grants grants. I have so many ideas for grants my head may explode.
  • Jack mishaps in Wegmans. Blood, screaming and a mommy trying to stay calm and she looks frantically for daddy.
  • DDR madness at the Kyle household and CALVES OF STEEL!

I think that’s it for now. I will try and cover all of these topics (and more) in the next couple of days. I can’t believe that so much has been going on! Eek!

New committee

Thursday, April 26th, 2007

I’m on a new committee to explore new avenues of technology the library can take advantage of. I think I’m going to enjoy myself, because we have quite a cross-section of librarian-ship involved in the group. Plus I think it’ll be nice to bounce ideas off librarians that feel the same way I do about technology. Whether or not we will get the support of the other library staff will be a whole other thing. People in libraries seem to be very set in their ways, so it’ll definitely be interesting.

The committee will give me the opportunity to play around with a lot of new technologies, which, of course, I love. For example I’d really like to play around with wikis a lot more, and Adrienne’s “series binder” wiki has given me the perfect opportunity. I’m thinking that I may do a series wiki of my own and include comic titles we own as well. It’ll help me keep track of the series we own a lot easier. Plus I can have the kids and teens remind me when I’m slacking in my updating.

OH and I just had a brainstorm! Because we now have WIFI, I can bring my… err my husband’s laptop to work and create the wiki right where the books are without having to drag the books around! LOVE IT!

Anyway, the committee should be a lot of fun, although I did notice that one of the other committee members and myself may have been speaking a lot more than we should have, because I don’t think everyone else had much time to talk. We may have to remedy this somehow, but I don’t really know how… well I mean I can shut up a little more, but I don’t think we can bring it up to the other person…

Oh well, I’m grateful to Sally for letting me join the committee. Thank you Sally!

YSS Conference

Thursday, April 26th, 2007

I went to the conference. The sessions that I went to really didn’t blow my mind. In fact I don’t think that I gleaned much new information from them. 🙁 There were three sessions:

If teens want to listen, why do we shut up? or Reading Aloud to Teens Presenter: Alison Follos, Author and Lake Placid Media Specialist
This was seen from the school librarian’s point of view, and much of the talk was wasted on me. She was a school librarian, and therefor had an outlet where she could “force” the students to listen to her if need be. I think that if I had a program like that, no one would show up. She suggested having local “celebrities”… coaches, mayors, teachers… read to the teens for the first time, however I think that could be as much of a disaster as anything. It really takes a special person to be able to read out loud and not make things dull. Oh well, she did what she could. I had the same problem when I spoke to some school librarians and they said the same thing about me. The biggest complaint was that I “focused too much on public libraries”. I think I talked about comics in general, but I didn’t talk about how they could use it in their curriculum. Oh well.
I have been toying with the idea of an all ages read-aloud. I would read a short story or selections from a classic novel to anyone that showed up; kids, teens, adults and the wee old people. ;^) I really like the idea of reading to senior citizens, I’m just wondering if I could pull it off. I know that I like being read to, why shouldn’t they.

In regards to the teens, I was thinking that I might take a selection of next month’s book for the discussion group and read to them, in order to wet their appetites.

Energize Your Image
70% of first impressions is visual and 90% of that is what we are wearing. The image you project is what you want people to know about you. You make an impression before you say a word, shake a hand, or begin a presentation. What does the way that you dress say to the world?
Presenter: Certified Beauty & Image Consultant, Rebecca Kopcienski, Mount Sinai

I really hoped for more from this one. I’m not totally sure what I expected, maybe more about the image of librarians and how we can change our image as a profession. What it was, was a presentation about body shape, face shape and what clothes we should be wearing. However we only dipped into a little bit of what we could have gotten into. I felt really bad for the guys in the group, because they benefited even less from it than I did. Men don’t tend to have hourglass figures, if you know what I mean.

The Lost Art of Flannel Boards: a hands-on workshop
Check out this demonstration of some flannel board stories and make a flannel board to bring home.
Presenters: Raquel Cavalcanti and Terry Rabideau, White Plains Public Library, NY

I took a course at Brighton Library taught by one of the children’s librarians and I went to a couple early literacy programs. All of the stuff that they talked about in this program was covered in the other programs. However the librarian’s seemed A LOT more animated than I ever am in my story times. Baby voices and everything. I don’t care to talk in the baby voice, because I feel its demeaning, even to babies. However, I guess it was a little useful, because Jenny was with me and she got to learn about flannel boards, as well as make her own which she hadn’t done. I’m not sure that she was into it enough that she changed her mind about not wanting to be a children’s librarian, but I think she had fun.

The most fun at the conference was when I talked to the other librarians and when I listened to Libba Bray. OMG! How much fun were some of these librarians? Tons. They had lots of energy and a great love for their jobs. How much am I in love with Libba Bray? OODLES! I loved her book “A Great and Terrible Beauty”, and I couldn’t wait to meet her. After listening to her speak, I think I could listen to her talk for hours. I clung to EVERY word. She was fascinating and extremely humorous.

The Pinkwaters also spoke. They were very sweet and you could tell that they really loved each other. However they paled in comparison to Libba Bray. I LOVE YOU LIBBA! I embarrassed myself thoroughly at her talk, but it was well worth it. I screamed “I LOVE YOU” at a quiet moment during questions, but I did, so I said it. SO THERE. Phht.

Next week… well really this week now

Sunday, April 15th, 2007

Wednesday is my 28th birthday! How special am I?

I visited the parental units yesterday, so they gave me my present early. They gave me the special 25th anniversary edition DVD of the Last Unicorn. I’m already on my second viewing… of course I’m not following it very clearly… I’m trying to prepare books for a book list committee I’m on. They also gave me some pac-man socks, which I’ll have to find a cute outfit for. Maybe I’ll save them for the trip I’m going on at the end of the week. Jenny gave me a DVD to help in teaching me how to play the ukulele. I fallen behind in my practicing, but I want to get back into it.

Yesterday we also visited people in Fairport that have an old upright piano from 1918 we are going to get for FREE! Some of the keys are broken and we’ll have to find a way to get it into the house, but its free! The guy played it for us, and it has a beautiful sound. While we were there, we met their two daughters, and I was such a librarian nerd. I started talking to them about some books that they should get out of the library. Of course I told them that they should read, Catalina Magdelina Hoopensteiner Wallendiner Hogan Logan Bogan is Her Name. Of course I had to show off my mad librarian skills and I told them to talk to Ms. B from Fairport and make sure she got them the book.

Thursday – Saturday I get to go to the YSS spring conference, or for those not in the know, the Youth Services Section of New York Library Association spring conference. I won a scholarship to go, which makes me very happy, since money’s been so tight the past couple of months. Plus, I get to go with Jenny! Yippee!

The conference is in White Plains, which is a little over 5 hours away. Fun times… especially since I’m going to be driving my car because it has:

1) less miles
2) a navigation system
3) sirius satellite radio
Unfortunately, it’s also a stick shift, which I love driving. However Jenny doesn’t know how to drive stick, so I’m driving the whole thing. poop.

Lowdown on the Teen Book Festival

Monday, April 2nd, 2007

Wow. Talk about amazing and crazy.

I was one of Svetlana’s helper bees. We had to make sure that she was comfortable and had enough water, that she knew where she was going, and that she didn’t get attacked by rabid teens. I knew that it would be a little crazy, since I do know how you guys are when we get a new manga, let alone meeting the artist! She was very easy going and put up with a lot more than I might have been able to. She even wore one of the teens’ hats for a second!


Here’s some images of the group of teens I worked with. They were CRAZY! One of the girl’s had a huge bag full of sugar: cookies, candy (including a gigantic bag of pixie sticks) and a 3 liter bottle of soda. However it was a lot of fun hanging out with them too.

cat grrrl

They spent quite a bit of time singing songs… some of which I knew.
when teens attack!

I think the mixture of sugar and adrenaline may have had an adverse affect on them.

peace out yo!

They were all smiles the whole day, making it a lot of fun to work with them.

red carpet for the authors

Yes that’s them in the corner, a big pile of blue t-shirts… we put out a red carpet for the authors, and when they came to Fairport High School in their HUGE limo…

author limo

and we all SCREAMED at the top of our lungs. By the end of the day I did’t have much of a voice left. It was SO much fun.

Lauren Myracle and Cecil Castellucci

Here’s a picture of Lauren Myracle and Cecil Castellucci.

Unfortunately the lighting wasn’t always the best, so I didn’t get too many good pictures. :( Although I did get this great picture at the end with most of the volunteers in my group with Svetlana. Svetlana was quiet, but a lot of fun to talk to. She was very laid back, and knew all the manga and anime the teens were talking about and when they started singing some of the songs from the anime, she could sing along to quite a few of them.

group photo with Svetlana

All the authors were super nice. And they were all down to earth. Not at all like the scary stories you hear about actors. I listened to Tamora Pierce and Cecil Castellucci.

Tamora and her husband both spoke. They played off each other nicely. Bantering about in a fun lighthearted way. You could tell very quickly that they bounced a lot of ideas off each other. Tamora was full of stories and spoke in a very conversational way. I was so happy that she wasn’t scary or awful. Sometimes I worry that the authors I really like are actually mean or nasty. You can get your hopes up and then in a couple of sentences your joy at meeting an author/actor can be dashed.

Cecil read from her book, Queen of Cool. I could have listened to her all day. She read with such enthusiasm. Sometimes author readings can be up in the air. They could be great writers, but lousy when they read out loud. It was not at all like that with her. She talked about how being cool all depends upon perspective. You could be really cool in one group or situation and then totally not in another situation.

She also talked about her family life, and how we might think that it would be awesome to be the daughter/son of a rock star, but once in that situation it could be annoying or bothersome. Cecil was the daughter of two researchers. I thought that sounded really great, but she had a different perspective; the crazy hours, the expectations, her parents’ idea of fun.

The whole experience was exciting. I would be lying if I didn’t say I was exhausted by the end of the day, but it was well worth it, and I can’t wait until next year.