Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Kids these days

Saturday I had the strangest conversation (if you can call it that) with one of my regular kids. This girl normally comes in for anime club and drawing books, that's her thing and I fully support it. I love the drawings that kids in the library do. I've even sectioned off a section of wall that has been subbed the "Art Gallery" and the anime club kids, and even random kids who like to draw, give me their pictures and I put them up on the wall. I love seeing the pride in their eyes as something that they've created is displayed for public admiration.

Anyway, this girl had to look into novels because she and her brother (who wasn't there mind you) had to do book reports. So we trudged over to the YA row and I've never had such a hard time finding books for someone, they were all too girly, or to big, or the words were too small, or a million other things. There were a few books that we were picking up that were maybe's the problem was that I hadn't read all of them. Some of the books other kids had raved about when they returned them, or the books just circulated often so I knew there must be something interesting about them.

At one point, the girl I was helping asked if I'd read the book she was holding I told her that it was one that I'd started but hadn't had time to finish. (Here's the section where kids say the darnedest things) She asked me, "How come you haven't read this, haven't you read, like all the books in the library." I looked at here then at the five hundred book or so that were within eyes sight, then I looked back at her and said, "Nope, I haven't quite gotten there yet."

It was the most ridiculous thing in the world but then I started to think about it a bit. As librarians we should know what materials we're suggesting to others. How can I expect someone, who's not a big reader as it is, to take my word for it when I haven't read the books that she's considering. It was kind of frustrating. I know its unrealistic to imagine someone having read every book in their department of the library, but at the same time after the other day I kind of feel like I should have.

YA New York Times bestsellers

So I've finally figured out how the NY Times manages to post the YA best sellers for the week, before that week has even begun. I have a list of the top 10 best sellers for the week of Feb. 24, but the list is decided bases off sales week ending Feb. 9. Strange, but I'll run with it. So the top 10 are:

  1. The Fault in Our Stars- John Green
  2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower- Stephen Chbosky
  3. Divergent- Veronica Roth
  4. Scarlet- Marissa Meyer
  5. Insurgent- Veronica Roth
  6. Prodigy- Marie Lu
  7. Looking for Alaska- John Green
  8. The Book Thief- Markus Zusak
  9. Etiquette and Espionage- Gail Carriger
  10. Homeland- Cory Doctorow
Here it is folks!!!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Countrywide Lock In

Alright fellow Newbie's, a prime example of the power of networking. In college I had this friend Jenn, we were Theatre Majors together, and great friends and all. Right after college she moved to Chicago and got married and later began library school, which I found out when I asked one of my old college professors to write me a letter of recommendation.

So the other day I get a Facebook message from her asking if we could schedule a phone call around our work schedules because she wanted to talk to me about library business and we had a great conversation the other day. Apparently various libraries around the country are trying to set up a Country Wide lock in on August 2nd for summer read. There will eventually be a website or blog or something where libraries can post videos and leave messages and talk about what they did for their "Dig into Read" or "Beneath the Surface" lock in.

It's the most amazing idea ever. Bring Your Child to the Library day is one thing, but a country wide lock in sounds like so much fun. So while we're having this conversation I'm thinking this is something that she though up and was trying to implement because if you know Jenn... she just does awesome things like that, however I was wrong. When I asked her about this she said that the idea stared in California. Somehow, through networking and knowing people, this idea made it's way from California to Chicago to Connecticut, 3,000 miles. Unbelievable!! I don't know if my library will allow a lock in, but I'm going to tell every librarian I know about this until I find someone who can  have a lock in, then I'm going to theirs.

Anyway, I'm not sure if anyone is reading these yet but if you are, go to your Director and  ask if you can participate.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Reading Challenge

So I've gone through the Hub list for 2013 and I've only read one book on the list. Epic Fail, I have a plan though to conquer. I will make sure that I always have one of the audio books in my car, I drive a hour each way to work so it should be easy to do those, and I'll try to get through the graphic novels as soon as I can. If you try really hard you can probably get through all of them in one sitting. As far as the books are concerned, I just make sure to always have one on hand. It shouldn't be too hard... I think.

2013 Hub Reading Challenge

So as if I didn't have enough to do already, I got a newsletter from YALSA today, apparently the 3rd one they've send out *shrugs* and there's this reading challenge that they do. YALSA has compiled a list of of 83 YA books that have either won an award or was honored during this years voting, if you read 25 of them you can post a review and it will be published on The Hub and you'll be entered into a drawing to win a tote bag full of books. If you read all 83 book they'll also send you a digital badge (which for some reason I want really bad).

The challenge started on February 3rd (I'm a few days behind), and ends June 22nd. The winner will be announced in June 24th.

Let the games begin!

(P.S) this was on the other page that I'd set up but I think I'm just going to list the books and post on the main page.

Valentine's Story Time

My poor supervisor has been sick since Thursday and still hasn't come back to work yet. So yesterday she was suppose to do story time but was home in bed so I had to throw something together. It actually turned out well. So for story time I read:
How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. In the story there are these cartoon Dinosaurs who sometimes don't make their bed, or make a mess in the bathroom, or wont take a nap, but at the end of the day they always make it up in some way to symbolize how much they love you. I liked the book because the parents were all human, but then there were these giant dinosaurs, that were acting like children. It was cute because one of the little boys at story time kept yelling "I'm a dinosaur!"

Happy Valentine's Day Delores by Barbara Samuels. A story about a girl who was snooping through her older sisters room and found this necklace in the drawer. Delores (the younger sister) wore the necklace to school the next day but when she got home and tried to put the necklace back she'd lost it. Delores winds up going to the store to buy a new necklace to replace the old one.  The next day on Valentine's Day, Delores's older sister Faye give Delores the necklace for Valentine's day.

Little Bear's Valentine by Else Holmelund Minarik. Little Bear is also a TV show so I though the kids who knew the show would get a kick out of this book. Little Bear makes Valentine's Day cards for his friends and a special one for his mom. He hides his mom's card to give to her later and on his way to deliver the cards he'd made his mom suggest that he look in the mail box to see if he'd received any cards. There was one for him but he didn't know who sent it. His mother declared that he must have a secret admirer. As Little Bear sets out to deliver his cards he thinks that one of his friends may be his secret admirer but when he delivers their cards they are tell him that they're not his secret admirer and give him their cards. When Little Bear gets home his mother and all of his friends are waiting. his mother declares that she is his secret admirer. Little Bear gives his mother the card he made for her and they all live happily ever after.

In honor of Little Bear and his home made Valentine's Day cards, I had construction paper, markers, crayons, stickers, glitter, these squishy ball things and all the parents helped the kids make their own extra special Valentine's Day cards. It was the cutest/ messiest thing ever. Note to self, start saving newspaper to put down for all activities that involve glue.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

New York Times YA Bestsellers

For the week of Feb. 17, 2013 Barnes and Noble has posted The New York Times YA Bestsellers and they are:
1. The Fault in Our Stars- John Green
2. Prodigy (Legend Series 2)- Marie Lu
3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower- Stephen Chbosky
4. Divergent- Veronica Roth
5. Insurgent- Veronica Roth
6. Looking For Alaska- John Green
7. The Book Thief- Markus Zusak
8. Thirteen Reasons Why- Jay Asher
9. Paper Towns- John Green
10. Legend- Marie Lu

I have read only 5 of these, but I have one of them sitting on my book shelf right now calling to me. I clame it on the 22 book assignment. What I read for the next few months is pretty much out of my hands.

But can I just give a round of applause for a second that Looking for Alaska is on the list. I had to read that book for the assignment and I loved it so much I bought it. I can't quite put into words what stuck out of me in that John Green book that the other two that I read (Will Grayson, Will Grayson and The Fault in our Stars) didn't have but I've never been able to get the book out of my head. Maybe it's because I'm constant seeking my Great Perhaps too.

Monday, February 11, 2013


So I've been doing a lot of reading lately because of this assignment I got just before Christmas. This semester I am taking another three classes because I'll be gosh darned if I don't graduate in December. One of my classes ends this week and the other two start on Monday. The assignment is for my Library Materials and Services to Young Adults class (which doesn't start until Monday). It's a loooong assignment that is suppose to expose us to various YA literature and award winners, the theory is that in order to have an idea of what materials a YA department needs, you have to read a lot of YA books. Therefor for ONE of our assignments, we have to read and review 22 books. This class is hasn't even started yet and I've been working on this assignment since December. *Sigh*. I've read 11 books so far and written reviews for 9 of them and it wasn't until I started this current book yesterday, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, that I noticed something. Every other book that I've read for this assignment (I think), was in first person POV. Why is that?

I guess I understand why most YA books are written in first person, it allows readers to connect with the characters in the story more, and we need to keep our teens engaged and connected if we want to hold on to them as they get older and their interest change.

I understand that Uglies is written in third person limited POV and that's why we only know what's going on in Tally's mind, but I really don't understand why Westerfeld didn't write the book in first person. Was it an experiment? They say that all writers should attempt to write in third person, and branch out from their comfort zone. I just don't know, but I did spend like 10 minutes pondering.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Nemo + Baker and Taylor

Well it looks like there wont be much library time here for the next two days because Winter Storm Nemo have invaded Connecticut. So I guess we'll just redirect our attention to something that I learned in school the other day. So I'm taking this reference materials class right now and our last assignment required us to look at certain sites and companies that catered toward collection development and one of the sites we looked at was Baker and Taylor. I know of the site and it's basic function because our library orders a lot of book from there. However I was unaware that there were lists that you could subscribe to that would alert you to newly released books. I'm sure everyone knows that something like that exists, I, however, was excited about a specific one, it's called Fast Facts.

The biggest difference, in my observation, with this particular publication is that it sends e-mail to you every Friday. At first that seemed a bit overwhelming to me but then I though, that's awesome. Our library gets those monthly magazines, but by the time they get here, I sort of overlook them among all the other things on the desk and then it's eventually tucked away somewhere. With the Fast Facts, a PDF is sent directly to your e-mail, or you can just go to the Baker and Taylor site, and the list is broken down into handy categories such as new hardcover fiction and non-fiction, hot sellers this week, new to the NY Times bestseller list, publicity flashes, new hardcover children's picture books, new graphic novels, and more. The file also contains the ISBN, author, publisher, and list price. The way this things is set up I can just copy and paste into the book request spreadsheet that we have. http://www.btol.com/pub_details.cfm?id=435 <-- The URL to fast facts. 

So, in conclusion, I figured I've read a lot of blog topics that are titles "What they don't teach you in library school" and man oh man, don't they always hit the nail on the head, but I though I'd post about something that I did learn in library school that I can use.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Teen Tech Week

Also known as the new bane of my existence.

So I've never been very tech savvy, I was the kid that had to forced away from the card catalogs back in Elementary School (or maybe middle school) when they first brought in Opac computers. I didn't get my first smart phone until this past fall, I still have a physical planner, I could go on and on. This is my first Teen Tech Week and it seems like my resistance is finally coming back to bite me.

I've bounced around a few ideas so far, the first of which was creating your own web page. In a few of my grad classes we've have to play around with HTML and it always resulted in a web page with colors, pictures, various fonts, and all that other stuff that teachers grade. I figured, hey I've already done it, I got good grades, we can download a free trial and have some fun with this. NOPE. So I thought that my great idea was written in the stars when I found out that YALSA posted a website that teen could use to learn all about HTML and everything, but for some sad and strange reason I had the hardest time using it http://hackasaurus.org/en-US/ . I don't blame YALSA I'm sure they know what they're doing, I was just having issues (Site for Teen Tech Toolkit is here http://teentechweek.ning.com/page/event-activity-ideas ). Then it dawned on me, how are we physically going to pull this off. This library doesn't have a computer lab, or even extra computers for that matter, and many of our patrons come here to use computers so they don't have them at home. Basically it's physically not going to work, weather I figure out YALSA's site or not.

The next idea was QR scavenger hunt and I can't even take credit for that one. http://mpl-yaz.blogspot.com/2013/01/teen-tech-week-qr-code-scavenger-hunt.html but I'm having issues making and finding QR codes and not everyone has a smart phone so there would still have to be an activity that everyone could participate in.

Then I decided robot, everyone loves robots... I think. The next question what to make these robots out of, should I just collect random stuff, then I though cardboard boxes. It's currently still a great idea in my mind, I'm just not sure how technical is it. Maybe they're technically deciding how to construct these robots. I don't know, but it's all I've got at the moment and I'm running with it :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Newbie Librarian

I am a new librarian, well assistant librarian actually. With some luck I'll be completing my degree December of 2013 for young adult librarianship, but until then I'm working as a full time youth assistant librarian in West Haven, CT.

Because I'm ridiculously new to the field I don't plan to spew advice, or anything of that nature, I'm mostly documenting the beginning of my journey because I hope that one day I can look back at all of this and laugh. Until then, however, if people start to follow this thing, maybe they can help me out with advice every once in a while because goodness knows, sometimes I need it.

So to back track, I ran my very first teen book club this past Thursday and I had four kids. Now to some of you that may sound slightly pathetic, but what do you think when I tell you that no teen has attended a single event for as long as I've been working here, which has been for about five months. Suddenly four is an impressive number.

We read Hoot, well some of us did, and made picture frame collages from old magazines, and some wooden picture frames that I got from Michael's for a dollar. We talked about conservation and weather or not you would break rules to achieve something that you truly believe in, we also played some clips from the movie. The program lasted for about an hour and I'll say was pretty successful.

This months book is Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. He found a ton of old black and white photos and created a story around them. You can check out his blog at  http://www.ransomriggs.com/ I'm hoping that if enough kids like the book then we can do the sequel at the end of this year. This biggest issue with these books clubs is that we're building up our clientele (so to speak) from scratch. It would be one thing if I'd inherited a group of eager readers, but alas that is not the case. instead I'm left pumping the book to every kids I can. Cross your fingers for me.