Friday, April 26, 2013

We're getting close!

Summer is approaching rapidly! I have two weeks left of my internship, two more staff meetings, two more Tuesday mornings spent at the desk, reading Library Journal and scanning books. As usual for the end of the semester, its becoming harder to concentrate on everything. My attention span is that of a gnat. I'm trying hard to finish strong, and do the best I can to put a good effort into the tasks I have left, both here in the library and in my other classes. I'm about to wrap up another section of the Policy Manual, and hopefully squeeze at least one more in before the semester ends. Then, I'll have an essay reflection over the entire internship. Its all do-able.
This week, the library has hosted a series of Money Smart Week events, with talks on couponing, paying for college, and paying off student loans. I've been the designated picture-taker for these events, not much, but its been fun. Not much else to be said here, as my creative juices have been completely drained this week, so I'll bid you Adieu from the stacks.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Listen to this! Storytime for College kids

Here at the Bryan Library, we have an event series called Listen to this! in which about four times a school year, we plan an evening of readings around a theme. We'll have anything from faculty and staff reading select passages of their favorite books, to local authors from the Chattanooga Writers Guild reading their works, to members of our own student body reading their stories and poems. Perhaps my favorite is the one I just worked on planning with our Outreach Librarian, Keri-Lynn, which featured childrens books. The campus was invited to come and read/listen to their favorite books from childhood. Keri-Lynn asked me if I wanted to get involved with planning it and after a meeting a few weeks prior to the event, she let me take the reins and go.
A couple of things went in to the planning of this event, while the date and theme was already set, making things pretty simple, I had to come up with advertisement to communicate the event on campus. This included everything from powerpoints for digital signage and posters to campus wide event emails, and chapel announcements.
So I made some posters....
and sent out emails
and braved the chapel announcements
and enticed best friends to attend with promises of eternal devotion (slight exaggeration)
and pulled a cart of good read alouds (which was probably the best part :)
and then came the night of the event!

With the help of Keri-Lynn's two kids, I got Spoede Cafe (technically the only room in the library in which food is allowed) prepared, arranging the armchairs in story-circle fashion, laying out the cookies so graciously provided by our Public Services Librarian, Ms. Vonnie, and bringing out the cart of hand-picked books.
Then the wait.
Librarians like statistics. We like to see how effective we are by our numbers, we catalog, we organize, we analyze. I now know that there is nothing scarier than planning an event and waiting for people to show up. I knew that at the very least, there would be me, Keri-Lynn and her two kids. We could read books for an hour and eat all the cookies, but I really wanted my publicizing work to have been effective,  therefore, I was nervous.
But everything turned out ok. My best friend and her fiance showed up, as well as a sweet freshman girl who told me she'd had the event marked on her calendar for weeks and was really excited about it. She even went hunting in the stacks to find her very favorite read-aloud. These are the patrons that make me feel good about my job. Everyone (except my friend's fiance who makes it a point to flaunt the fact that he doesn't read for fun in my face) read a book, including Keri-Lynn's normally shy daughter.

It was a pretty good first expericence with event planning. 

Practising my storytime skills with The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Pete gave a great performance reading of A Bad Kitty Christmas

Mo Willems was represented with Michaels reading of Don't let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

Lucy did a fantastic job with Fancy Nancy

The Giving Tree is Sarah's favorite, and the theme inspiriation for her wedding

Keri-Lynn entertained us with her reading of Skippyjon Jones

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Beyond the Bubble @ Clyde W. Roddy

Yesterday was the annual all-college service day here at Bryan. Everyone from students to faculty to staff was encouraged to join one of the many project groups that would be going out into the Dayton community to serve. The theme for this year was Beyond the Bubble, a title that pokes fun at the figurative "bubble" that we live in up on the Hill.  The library crew--being the current staff, myself, and a former intern--had been set up with a project at the Clyde W. Roddy Public library in Dayton.
 Armed with rags and shelf reading skills we dusted the shelves and read them to make sure they were in order. Between the seven of us, we conquered the entire library.

Clyde (as I've affectionately called it since first coming to Dayton) isn't a big library, but despite it's size and the size of the county, (not much bigger than Cheatham County where my family lives with ~8,000 less in population) its surprisingly well stocked.  I started making a mental list of books to read this summer as I worked my way through the stacks.
Here's a list of things I like about Clyde:
  • Great young adult selection, both new and old. Not only do they have the newest and most popular teen series, but they still have the oldies but goodies like The Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace and The Emily Trilogy by L.M. Montgomery. This stuff is important.
  • Couches. Need I say more? I'm a big fan of cozy library seating.
  • Events. I follow the library's page on Facebook and they always seem to have great events for the kids, like a Lego club, Wii nights and of course, storytime.
  • Great DVD collection. Sure, you can only have them for a night, but if you check them out on Friday you have two extra days over the weekend!
  • Random A/V stuff. They have a nice collection of audiobooks, audiobook and book combo sets, Playaway MP3 books and the newest innovation from Playaway, the Playaway View, a preloaded digital video player. I had never heard of them before yesterday, but I was tempted to check one out just to see how it works.
  • Friendly Staff. Not as great as my ladies back at South Cheatham, but I think that's probably cause I haven't had as much of a chance to get to know them here.
  • Location. Its right smack downtown in Dayton (if you can call it "downtown") and 1.3 miles from the college so a student could feasibly walk down there on a nice day. Also, its right across the street from Harmony House Coffee Shop, so after you get your library haul you can go drink coffee and read in one of John Piatt's assorted arm chairs.
If I get to stick around Dayton this summer I'll be hanging out with Clyde whenever I get the chance.  If you're from around the area and know this library, what do you like about it? let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

International Children's Book Day and other things...

I didn't set out to write about International Children's Book Day; in fact I don't normally write on Tuesday, but I had decided to write my weekly blog today as my thoughts were abnormally inspired this morning as I was working in the Curriculum Lab (which, for those who care, is tidying up quite nicely.) I will get to those thoughts eventually, but first, an explanation for the title. I pulled up my Google account to open the Blogger dashboard, and saw my Goodreads quote of the day email in the inbox. It was a quote from Hans Christian Andersen as today, April 2nd, is his birthday. The note in the email said, "Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales are so beloved that his birthday is celebrated as International Children's Book Day." I didn't even know this day was recognized until today, but it is now one of my favorite random holidays to celebrate. (Others include National Library Week, which falls on April 14th-20th this year.)
ANYWAY... on to what I was meaning to blog about, which has everything to do with children's books.

Interesting Things I Find While Working

Part of my intership includes an hour of shelving and shelf reading every week. I picked an area to maintain at the beginning of the semester and have been working happily on it ever since. The Curriculum Lab is half Education Department-half Library domain. It includes all the 370s (books on education and educational philosphies) all the juvenile literature--both fiction and non-fiction--current curriculum materials in use by the local schools, and LOTS of teaching aids.
The juvenile stacks are generally a thing that strikes fear in the heart of many a brave librarian as they always seem to be in disarray, but I truly enjoy getting them back into order.  I have to be disciplined to not be distracted by the wonderful books I work with, especially those with gorgeous illustrations, but I'm always keeping my eyes open for old favorites to come back to when I'm off the clock.
Today was a good day in the stacks, so here are a few I found. While they may not be classified as "good childrens literature" they certainly made me smile to remember reading them. (With links to Amazon)

Uncle Bob's Animal Stories JUV 268.62 D496u
A collection of short non-fiction essays about animals, exploring their unique places in this world and how wonderful the Creator designed them. There was a radio program on Moody Radio that featured these stories and it was one of my favorites growing up. I'm probably giving away my conservative, jean-jumper, homeschool background by saying this, but seeing that book threw me back to early elementary school and those wonderful, simpler days of co-op with my cousins and best friends.

Here's Benjie! JUV 268.62 W171h
Also from the sector of homeschool days comes a random book of 1970's orgin, complete with two-tone cartoon sketch illustrations.  Its part nature-story, part sunday school moral-stories. I had completely forgotten about it, until today. I still don't quite remember where I first laid my hands on a copy of it, but I want to say it was in pamplet form from a sunday school teacher at my grandparents church. In the jean-jumper wearing days. Seeing it again kinda makes me nostalgic, but also kinda makes me shudder at the thought of reading such saccharine material. Lets just hope it made me a better person somehow.

The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes JUV 220.9505 T215b
I was in the 200s (Religion) obviously as all these books so far have had sort of a sunday school bent to them. I know I wasn't the only kid who had this book as a child. Its laid out with a painting of a biblical story, a synopsis of the story and bible reference, and questions about it. The paintings are bright and very detailed, and I always remember one particular painting the best--the one of Absalom getting his hair stuck in the low lying branches. I don't remember now if the book tells exactly what happened next, (SPOILER ALERT: Joab comes along and stabs him through the heart with three javelins 2 Samuel 18:9-15) but I know my dad read that story to me straight out of the Bible plenty of times. (This is where my homeschool past becomes less Little House on the Praire and rather more Braveheart and blood and guts and glory and epic adventures. I'd like to thank my father for that.)

And Finally, Last but not least is a book that I did NOT read as a child, but love all the same
A Hole is to Dig by Ruth Krauss JUV Easy K868h
This is subtitled "A First Book of First Definitions" and it defines ordinary things like mashed potatoes, faces, dogs, holes and the sun. Simple and sweet... and a little silly, I love it because it is a book of Being. Things ARE, but why are they?  What are they for? Ultimately, its a quaint philisophical little book, and as one who likes to ponder the nature of Being, I love this book.

To end, I'll leave you with a quote from this book on what a book is, because thats what I'm all about here:

"A book is to look at."

and to a child, is that not the truth?