Showing posts from July, 2013

Arrrrrrre you ready for this?!

I still have a few things I wanted to share from Summer Reading, and since Children's/Teen Librarians spend 3/4 of the year thinking about Summer Reading, or planning for it, it's always in season, right? Like the color black. Or licorice...

During our Summer Reading we hosted a Pirate's Treasure Hunt around the library; kids and their grown-ups had to hunt around the library, getting a stamp on their maps when they arrived at the proper location. Once everyone found the 6 clues they met up in the Meeting Room, then Prairie Dawn read a series of clues for everyone to figure out together, which eventually led the group outside and to our buried treasure! Yes, we actually buried a (cardboard) treasure box (wrapped in a garbage bag!) under one of our trees--this is when it's nice to be the Director because I can say, "YES!" to these things...I hate saying "no!"(P.S. the treasure box with toys inside can be ordered from Oriental Trading Co.) 

The kids had…

unlikely reminders of home

Just had to share this blog post by Julie Paschkis, illustrator of many beautiful books, because not only did I read it and think, "YES, she loves Mazza Museum too!" But I also was glad to hear that Paschkis had a great time at Oakland University which is my Undergrad alma mater. It was fun to stumble across reminders of home. :)

Ferndale library hosts benefit concert to combat budget cuts -

If you're in the Detroit area this weekend, please consider supporting this! I have friends who work at the Ferndale Library and if time allows I'm going to try try try to get out there!!

Ferndale library hosts benefit concert to combat budget cuts -

feeling proud and patting ourselves on the back a little

I've been avoiding blogging mostly because I've been too tired to write after work, too many long days. Summer Reading ended over a week ago and I'm finally starting to lose that hungover feeling that I think comes with being too tightly wound at work for too long, too fixated on making sure everything is great and going off without a hitch; working too many hours to accommodate being at every activity and trying to cover vacations on top of it to boot. It was a lot of fun, but damn, I'm glad it's behind us for a while.This Summer Reading was a huge learning curve for both Prairie Dawn and I; this, because it was her first summer reading; this because it was my first summer reading in charge, and also overseeing the adult programming aspects. We definitely learned a lot.

Today I was finally able to type up an article about the wrap-up of our program for the local papers and was awed by our stats:
We wound up with a total of 419 participants (babies-adults)
54 prog…


We received an email yesterday from the Ohio Library Council with it's weekly updates. This was something mentioned:

"Bill Would Allow Concealed Weapons in Public Libraries.
Rep. Ron Maag (R-Lebanon) has introduced HB 231 which would expand Ohio's current Concealed Carry laws to allow concealed weapons in government buildings, including public libraries. The bill also would allow concealed weapons in churches and daycare centers and allow college campuses to permit concealed carry. It is expected that this bill will have some hearings this fall, but because of the controversial nature of this legislation, it is not expected to move quickly through the General Assembly. At its meeting on July 19, the OLC Board of Directors reaffirmed the Council's long-held position of opposing concealed weapons in public libraries. The OLC is drafting a letter to legislators expressing opposition to the legislation and is developing a strategy for individual libraries to resp…

double book review

Prairie Dawn has done an AWESOME job of bringing a teen base back to the Library--a great group of teens who are actually asking us to do things like a Teen Book Group twice a month and a Teen Advisory Group, and more teen activities. And holy cats! It's great! They're also giving P.D. and I loads of book suggestions, so thought I would share these really fun and absorbing books by Kenneth Oppel in a DOUBLE BOOK REVIEW!

In This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein, twin brothers Victor and Konrad Frankenstein and their beautiful cousin Elizabeth lead a charmed life: wealth, a loving family, and their family chateau, of which they know every inch...or so they thought. In discovering a hidden Dark Library, and even against his father's forbidding, Victor is drawn back to the place and a book which contains a recipe for an Elixir of Life. With the help of the others and the brothers' best friend Henry, the teens set off on a quest that may just prove d…

I love this guy!

The thing I was most looking forward to about the Mazza Museum Summer Conference last week was the slight possibility of meeting one of my new favs. Jon Klassen snatched my heart with his simple and whimsical illustrations and I have just been dying to meet him and tell him how much the kiddos (and I) love his books. So, with nearly a two hour break for lunch, I ran across the street to the awesome George House--part coffee shop, part book haven, part awesome sandwich shop--then hurried back to find an empty conference room where I then shamelessly parked myself in the 2nd row right behind the chair marked for guest speakers. 
I sat and read and read and sat and in no time guess who walked in!? Jon Klassen--be still my beating heart, he's exactly the way I expected the creator of my beloved characters--a bear and rabbit; a naughty fish; Annabella the tireless knitter; Laszlo and his nemesis The Dark--to look. He was wearing jeans, a button down shirt, and a Detroit Tigers hat (fr…

keep calm, Summer Reading is almost over!

When we were kids my brothers played football--around this time the guys started practicing in preparation for the fall, their first week back was called, "Hell week," in which the coaches ran the guys ragged under a hot sun. Endless sprints. Endless drills. Constant motion. My brothers would come home exhausted and grumpy. I think of all this today because, as the old adage goes, "when it rains, it pours," and somehow all the stars have aligned and made this my hell week.

Not only is this our last week of Summer Reading (so Sticks Library is as busy as ever) and it's full of activities, but I'd also won a scholarship to attend the Mazza Museum's Summer Conference; Prairie Dawn and I had it all figured out so I could go to many of the sessions, while still managing to be here for programs to lend an extra hand. But none of that matters now--my car is going into the shop tonight--my fuel line and fuel filter shot. I felt miserable last night, my voice tr…

planning my swift escape

My itchy feet are screaming: "Throw down your chair, take nothing, burst through the doors, head north south east or west, it makes no difference! RUN! RUN!" Work is going to be hard today...

"We two--how long we were fool'd!"
We two--how long we were fool'd!
Now transmuted, we swiftly escape, as Nature escapes;
We are Nature--long have we been absent, but now we return;
We become plants, leaves, foliage, roots, bark;
We are bedded in the ground--we are rocks;
We are oaks--we grow in the openings side by side;
We browse--we are two among the wild herds, spontaneous as any;
We are two fishes swimming in the sea together;
We are what the locust blossoms are--we drop scent around the lanes,
mornings and evenings;
We are also the coarse smut of beasts, vegetables, minerals; 10
We are two predatory hawks--we soar above, and look down;
We are two resplendent suns--we it is who balance ourselves, orbic
and stellar--we are …

exercises in nostalgia

Moving is an exercise in nostalgia; moving is holding and examining possessions long since lost to your memory, or those intentionally packed away. Tonight as Pavarotti fills the emptying space of this apartment I find myself examining so many books as they find their way into boxes--as alphabetically by genre as possible.

I smile at my friend who remembers where she was when she bought her favorite shoes, or at the one who can pinpoint exactly who was with her when she saw whatever movie, but it's always been books for me. Each book a visitation of a favored bookstore; dear friends; the city, state, or country I was in while reading it; a reminder of a lover.

So, here I sit wishing desperately that I were better prepared for this nostalgia night, wanting a tall glass of some type of red wine and long, pensive drags of a cigarette. But, pack on I must.

good good weekends, long long weeks

It was so hard to come back to work yesterday; I had the best weekend:
hung out with brother A3 and sis-in-law Dayna, besties Lisa and Kim and their hubbies, Kate & Chris, and my old roomie Melissa. So good catching up with everyone, even though it meant lots of talk about babies (last summer all the talk was about getting married and buying houses)Learned that my brother A3 and sis-in-law Dayna are expecting their 2nd child! I am going to be Aunt-ed for the 6th time this winter!Went to a cousin's wedding on Saturday; my friend Edwin was the perfect date. Had so much fun!Edwin and I went and saw The Heat on Sunday--can I just say I love Melissa McCarthy! Felt good to enjoy a martini, put my feet up, and laugh. you see why it was so hard to come back to work yesterday!

Summer Reading is winding down--thank God!--this is week 5 of 6 and we're still having people sign-up, which is great! Our count now looks like this:

Babies-age 5 years:             55
Kindergarten-6th …

itchy feet

I call it itchy feet: this need to be going; to get on the road, to drive away; to start all over again somewhere new. And yet, each time I start all over again I am exhausted by the actual starting all over again bit. It must be the thrill in the travel I want. And I've got it again, the itchy feet. I'm having a hard time settling and sitting still after 3 weekends in a row of going, and seeing dear friends, and of fun: Massachusetts, Chicago, Michigan.

This morning we begin week 5 of Summer Reading, OVER the HALFWAY mark and we're excited about that. And everyone's tired. And I'm sitting here suffering from itchy feet, my mind wandering back to the places I've been lately and I am dreaming of more time in Chicago in particular...*sigh*

ALA Chicago still on the brain

My last post was Conference tips, this post will be chronicling all of the AWESOME things that I saw/did at ALA 2013 Chicago!
Went to awesome sessions which gave me great ideas and left me feeling EMPOWERED!Talked to cool professional colleagues--met a guy who was the former director of a local library, so he actually had heard of Sticks! Now he's back near Cleveland--good to know if I ever decide to go back out that way...MET!! and had books signed by Katherine Paterson, Patricia MacLachlan, Kevin HenkesGot free yet-to-be-released-books which some of our HAPPY teens are previewing for us now AND deciding whether or not we should buy these books for our collection when they come out in the fall!Was next to Nancy Pearl on an escalator; had a great, short conversation with her, at the end of which I said, "I had an action figure of you in Grad School!" Yep. I'm that dork.Heard speakers: Temple Grandin, Giada De Laurentiis', Ann Patchett (front row!!), Alice WalkerW…

I survived my first ALA Conference

Was going to post while at ALA, but 1. I didn't bring my computer and 2. though I had access to my iPhone, when I wasn't conferencing I was too busy having fun. I LOVE CHICAGO. It was so nice to be back in the city, a little over a year since my last trip in. I went in prepared to feel a little overwhelmed, which I did, initially--I mean there were about 20,000+ people there!--but, I played it smart and decided to only attend speakers and sessions that were around McCormick Place, choosing to avoid hitting the outlier sessions. Even though I came with a schedule of what I wanted to see and do, I lived in the moment and switched up my schedule if I saw something that caught my eye. I also wasn't sure how much time I would spend in the Exhibitors Hall (7 hours!?) or how tired I would be each day!

Things I learned at my first American Library Association Conference:
Wear comfy shoes. I chose Tevas, which actually didn't look as bad as I thought they would with skirts. Don&#…