Showing posts from March, 2013

colors are appearing

Though we received about 6 inches of snow on Monday, the temperatures have been in the 40s all week, melting it all away. This weekend is looking like 50s and rain showers on Easter Sunday, and I can live with these things because, as Bob at the Farm used to say, "the backbone of winter is broken." It's in the days, the odd way that spring feels tangible even though the temperatures sway back and forth and the winds blow bitterly. It is visible in the way that the bent over remains of corn stalks, plowed down in the last of the season, now act as resting stoops for birds. Not just the winter birds, but the returners too; the lyrical songs every morning, drawing both Hemmy and I to peak out through the curtains and look for the source of that baby bird squeak song we've been hearing. I saw green shoots in a soybean field the other day and breathed a literal sigh of relief. Winter takes such a toll on the soul--a necessary one, as it makes the spring more brilliant.


gray hair making work

I feel like I've heard gray hairs happening this week. Last week meant 12 hour days four out of five days, this week has been a little better, but barely. I did interviews last week for our Youth Services Librarian, and yes, we hired one! Thank God! What a process! I could never work in HR. Prarie Dawn (this will be her blog code name) begins in April, which gives us enough time to get her acclimated for Summer Reading, which begins in early June around these parts. Btw, I still want to share some things to do/not do during the interview process. It was really interesting experiencing it from this end.

As I was wrapping that up I had to begin reconfiguring our schedule to reflect an increase in the Library's hours (levy monies from last year are coming in and we are able to go back to our old schedule). That sounds easy, right? And maybe it is for others, but it wasn't for me. At all. I was so stressed out I don't think I slept more than 5 hours a night and had bizar…

chronicling a life

This is my 2nd reading and I absolutely love this book! Gilead is a love letter, from a father to his son--the story of his life (and bits and pieces of his family history), rife with advice and regrets--which he is leaving behind for his son, as his death is imminent. This book brings me to tears in several places and definitely makes me wish that those loved one whom I've lost would have left a chronicle like this behind.

 This song felt apropos, and by the way, Credence Clearwater's Greatest Hits's called Chronicle.

flying from our trees

Our mural is nearly complete FOR NOW. The wonderful art professors from Sticks College who've done all of this free of charge will be finishing soon, and then will be taking a break for a while, hoping to return to the rest of the mural after Summer Reading. They are both working, and also juggling the homeschooling of their wonderful kids. I had asked that nothing happen until Summer Reading is over because I expect this place will be a madhouse...or should I say, I HOPE it's a madhouse!

Here is the nearly completed wall up to now; our flying books were inspired by The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. I've ordered a copy for Sticks Library and am eager to hear what people think after seeing both.

way to go Kent State

The School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at Kent State University has moved up in the rankings of the nation’s top schools of library and information studies, according to the latest edition (2014) of U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools.”

Kent State SLIS is now ranked overall at #18 (up from #20). The school’s Services for Children and Youth program now ranks in the top 10 (at #10, up from #13). --Kent State Library website

Ok, Wayne State, get your shit together!

as day dissolves

I am exhausted. This week has been:InterviewingOrders: books, DVDs Scouting for new vendors and pricing for new rugs, new printers, new computers, a new projectorMeetings: Board, FRIENDS, Safe Routes to School Committee StorytimesUpdating website/Facebook/Twitter And all the stuff that comes up along the way
It is only Thursday and I've already worked 47 hours. I can't do tomorrow... I can't, I can't, I can't. You can't make me. The ONLY thing that helps during times like this ispoetry.

Alex is a winner

Congrats to the 10 Alex Award winners of 2013! The Alex Award--sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust--is given to books written for adult audiences, which have "special appeal" (YALSA) to teen readers.

I haven't read a single book on this list yet, but there are many which are definitely on my list!

Dear Jon

I LOVE Jon Klassen's illustrations! LOVE! Like if I had a baby tomorrow and a load of loot, I would pay Klassen to paint the nursery. Just saw this post and I am so bummed that I can't go to this. Taken from Cuyahoga Library's website:

"Meet author Lemony Snicket and illustrator Jon Klassen, two award-winning talents who have partnered for their new picture book, The Dark. Lemony Snicket is best known for his thirteen volumes in A Series of Unfortunate Events and Who Could That Be at This Hour?, the first in a new series which debuted last fall. Jon Klassen won the 2013 Caldecott Medal for This Is Not My Hat, which he both wrote and illustrated, and also received a Caldecott Honor citation for his illustrations in Extra Yarn.

Books will be available for purchase and signing courtesy of the Friends of the Berea Branch Library and Mac's Backs - Books on Coventry.

Please register for multiple seats by calling the Berea Branch at 440.234.5475."

He is coming to …

peculiar children

I recently read and really enjoyed Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: 

Jacob grows up hearing his grandfather's stories of Miss Peregrine's home where he had gone as a boy when he was orphaned by the war. The stories were fantastical and the photos (included in the book)  portrayed children with strange gifts; all just stories that a grandfather tells a child to keep him entertained...or are they...? A tragedy finds Jacob looking for answers, as he sets about on his first real adventure in his ordinary life, he may wish that he hadn't...

This was one of Sticks High Schools' Teen Book Club books; I was intrigued when I saw it on the shelf, and glad to hear that all our teens really enjoyed it. I got totally sucked into this book--it was perfect for a rainy night, except when we lost power at a really creepy point, and I nearly wet the bed! 

A fun book, easy read, and it would definitely engage some reluctant readers too. I am definitely …

life is speeding by!

Crazy, wonderful weekend! My brother A3 (one of my favorite people in the whole world!) went car shopping with me on Saturday--he used to be a mechanic so he knows what to look and listen for--and after one shady car dealership, we moved on and found my baby! I love Saturns, and since getting rid of Harry in September I've been missing that sturdy, little car! This car's a 2006 Saturn Ion, a wonderful indigo blue and has thus been dubbed, "Inigo Montoya." I hope I have loads of roadtrips in this little car!

While at A3 & Dayna's this weekend, I also got to see my Savannah Banana taking steps! She has taken a few, but just this weekend she tottered from one side of the room to the other amid cheers! So special. I love that kid and I can't believe she's turning 1yrs. old in less than a month!

And work this week is sure to be crazy too! Among storytimes, a movie showing, school visits, a Board Meeting, a FRIENDS of the Library meeting, and more Summer Re…

EVERYONE is Irish today


the language of flowers and more

A million years ago, in what now seems another life, I worked full-time at the Farm, but also worked part-time at a little, liberal arts school nearby called Simons Rock. Though I don't have many fond memories of my short time there--I worked a shift once a week that consisted of me working a full day at the Farm, taking an hour nap, wolfing down dinner, then working a 6p.m.-1a.m. shift--what was I thinking?!--I did have the pleasure of seeing poet Rita Dove's poetry reading there.

Not just because I'm a librarian, but because this is the kid I was in some ways, my favorite poem that Dove read that night, which Dove said is her, "love poem to librarians." The poem has crept back to me and I am reading it again and smiling.

"Maple Valley Branch Library, 1967"

For a fifteen-year-old there was plenty
to do: Browse the magazines,
slip into the Adult Section to see
what vast tristesse was born of rush-hour traffic,
décolletés, and the plague of too much money.

momentarily motionless

I broke my tailbone when I was about to start grad school; one stupid choice that will in ways influence the rest of my life. The fall didn't cripple me, luckily, but I have to be mindful, remembering that I can easily hurt my back again, throw the muscles into spasms I've likened to "having birth contractions of the spine, instead of the lady bits," to Bestie L (the mother of 3 girls, so you know I wasn't being dramatic). Cautious and mindful are not my strong suits, and so I threw my back out this weekend.

I spent Sunday-Tuesday in bed, with fat, pathetic tears forming in the corners of my eyes every time I moved, unable to get out of bed in less than 5 minutes time, unable to do anything more than lay and wince. I dramatically imagined myself in the event of a fire, rolling from side to side, unable to get up to save myself. So, I did what I do best, I read. And read. And read. I forgot the pain and enjoyed laying still, feeling the weight of my body and the h…

catching up

Tis the season for TV. I've been using these last clinging weeks of winter to catch up on or get into new shows. I've laughed my way through Season 1 of "New Girl;" been stunned by Season 3 of "Downton Abbey;"  been left not knowing who to root for in Season 2 of "Game of Thrones;" and been surprisingly delighted and entertained by "Girls" Season 1.

Last night at the end of one of the episodes of "Girls," I heard the familiar voices of Fleet Foxes, and was again reminded of why I fell in love with them in the first place. For some reason the video won't post here, so click the linky for some Sunday magic: Fleet Foxes - Montezuma

we love Mo Willems around here

Kids LOVE Mo Willems books. I LOVE Mo Willems books! We just love Mo Willems around here, whether it's his Piggie & Elephant series; Knufflebunny trio; or his popular Don't Let the Pigeon... series. Willems just gets it. He gets how to write to kids and really make them laugh. And his books make you, the reader, feel clever, like you're in on the joke too. This week, tired from Dr. Seuss overload, I switched to Mo Willems, doing:
Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct
Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
with my storytime groups here at the libraryand during my Headstart visit.

My Headstart kids and I turned our hand prints into Pigeon. Simple art project:
Print a template of a bus (I literally googled, "Bus Template")
Ask the kids to draw some people in the bus windowsAsk them to draw the head and neck of the Pigeon peeking out the front (bus driver seat) window. I gave each table copies of the cove…

trees of knowledge


not about what it is, but what it can become...

I've been so insanely busy these past few weeks. The fast catch up:

Our storytimes that I'm now co-leading with the Education students from Sticks College have been GREAT! As part of their responsibility the kids have to not only pick and read books with the same theme, but also have to plan an art project. Double awesome that I don't have to do that! :)

Did I mention something about a mural one hundred years ago?  When I first started I got in touch with an art professor at Sticks College and asked if she and her students would like to donate their services to paint a mural for us. Because of the short notice, Professor Awesome couldn't fit it into their schedule, but offered to do the work PRO BONO over their spring break! That's this week!! And since my office is on the edge of the Children's Dept. I've gotten to watch the mural progress. The Professors Awesome (Professor Awesome's hubby is also an Art Prof) have been coming in before we open and qui…

the Liebster, the Liebenator, the Liebster-owski!

My friend RakhStar from over at Youmeandlilg tagged me in her Liebster Award, so I have to answer her questions...thought this was a nice way to blog again since I've been so spotty lately.
1) What is your greatest gift?  I can make people laugh. 
2) What makes you joyful? Being with my friends and family, I love spending time with my nieces and nephews and my friends' kids.
3) What is one blog you faithfully read? A Farmer in the Dell: I stumbled upon it when I lived in New England and loved it because: A. I was living on a farm in Massachusetts and so was Andrea (the author) and her hubby (though now I'm in the Midwest and she's in the West), 2. much like me, Andrea has a mom who's an excellent cook, but she herself didn't have a ton of experience, just a love of cooking, and 3. when I first found her blog I remember thinking, "HEY! Me too!" I look forward to reading about Andrea and Taylor's farm, and get excited/inspired by the recipes that …

my interests include...

I'm finally beginning the process of hiring for our Children's Librarian position. I am both excited and stressed about the process; glad to hire someone that will definitely lighten my load and be a colleague to shoot ideas around with; stressed about the daunting process before me: going through resumes and cover letters, winnowing down candidates, doing the actual interviews, calling references.

There are other things on the horizon that I want to write about...soon soon, but until then.