Monthly Archives: January 2014

Baby Lapsit Storytime – Friday, January 31, 2014

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We had a full house and then some today – 13 adults and 15 babies – and some flexibility was called for, as you’ll see.

First, I got to tag-team my storytime with my coworker J, who wanted to get some practice under her belt, and our coworker K, who wanted to observe. We began with “Hello, How are You” and “Open/Shut them,” and J read Mem Fox’s Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes. There was lots of toe wiggling and finger waving. Then we sang “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” and I took over. I read Itsy Bitsy Babies, which has lots of participatory activity in it. 

(One of the reasons today’s storytime was so successful is that the adults were really involved with the babies and helped them wave arms and fingers, etc. With older kids, they can do it on their own, so the adults are more likely to pull out their phones or just not participate. I’ve found I get great adult activity when I do baby lapsit.)

Then we wound down with “This Little Piggy” (twice, and there was a lot of spontaneous “wee wee wee all the way home” tickling, which was adorable.) We then sang “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”

We had started off with only 3 babies and their adults, but as storytime went on, it really grew. Some people came in as we were doing our goodbye songs, so to extend storytime a bit, I pulled out our big copy of Caps for Sale so the newcomers could at least experience one book. As Caps for Sale is one of my old favorites, I knew it could be made easy for babies, and there was a lot of fist shaking and arm waving and foot stamping in the story that the adults and babies did. We finished off with “We Wave Goodbye Like This,” which has clapping and waving, and doing that twice worked out well.

(Normally I’d post pictures of the books, but one of the caregivers wanted to check them out, which is a sign of success, don’t you think?)

A winner!

Full of links, low on content

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Not a whole lot to share – I’ve spent a boatload of time this week on the teen desk, and have met some really sweet teens (and those aren’t words I thought I’d use together!), and seen some of my favorite little dudes in children’s. (Is it wrong to have favorite patrons? I treat everyone equally, with respect and a smile, but some patrons are easier to like than others.)

I did experience a trifecta of fail today in Teens, with a guy who was using someone else’s card (a no-no), that said he was 22 (also a no-no), when in fact he was 16 and should have been in school (nope, and thanks for playing). I’ve also become frustrated with some teens who break rules they know they’re not supposed to break. They’ve been banned on the issue before (in this case, having lights out in the studio). Why do they do that? It’ll just result in a ban – what’s the point?

I haven’t posted about my resume and cover letter workshop yet, but for the two participants we had, I like to think it went well. (Hmph.) I left a pile of the handout packets in Teens, and noticed that they have been disappearing, so that’s at least something. But I’m looking forward to trying it again, when the time is right and I can do a lot more advertising.

Now, here’s a lot of links, with the most important one first: the trailer for The Fault in Our Stars!! (SQUEEEEE)

Libraries aren’t static, and they’re not relics of the past, either. Here’s a glimpse of some libraries of the future.

Gilderoy Lockhart was a strange character in the Harry Potter books – I’m glad to learn a bit more about him.

#4, particularly. IQ64 is a hefty tome.

Congratulations, Kate DiCamillo, on winning the Newbery forFlora and Ulysses!  Locomotive took home the Caldecott.

I don’t remember when I first heard of different covers on books in the UK and US. I have a lot of friends who collect the Harry Potter books from both sides of the pond. The rationale behind two different covers baffles me, but it’s interesting how they can differ.

Don’t break the spines. It really screws up the books.

Harry Potter seems to be a running theme throughout this post. Here’s some great HP-themed insults.

Is this real? Because of course Lemony Snicket would come up with this.

These are so cool!

Mama Bear and Sister A and I all agree on these, particularly number 2.

This one’s from Friend D. Hearing an author’s voice is transformative. You don’t quite read books the same way after. Ladies and gentlemen, Virginia Woolf.

With thanks to Mama Bear for most of today’s links.

In What’s Annabelle Reading, I just finished rereading an old favorite, The Lady in Red. I mean, what’s more interesting than an 18th century sex scandal that can rival anything Hollywood or Washington can cook up? I finished it on the bus home tonight, and am about to start my last Malcolm Gladwell, David and Goliath.

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

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So it’s not quite Chinese New Year yet, but we had a bang-up program today that was well-attended and just so much fun. All props to my coworker C, who organized it in addition to also running today’s Family Fun Time storytime (with a funny hat on to boot).

We started off with a storytime led by yours truly. I was pleased with the stories I chose:

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First I greeted my storytimers – about 6, but a great group, average age about 5 – and taught them how to say hello in Chinese (ni hao!). We started off with Chinatownwhich helped set the tone for the storytime, and included the phrase “gung hay fat choy,” which I’m sure I pronounced wrong, meaning “Happy new year.” Then we read Bringing in the New Year, a great storytime book – colorful pictures, not an overwhelming amount of text – and I got to use the words Jie Jie and Mei Mei, meaning “big sister” and “little sister,” respectively. Finally, I’d found a terrific book in our fairytale section (398.2, thank you very much), Story of the Chinese Zodiac, which had both English and Chinese text. Very pretty cutout pictures. These stories got us in the mood for arts and crafts time…

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at which we made dragons (far right) and Chinese lanterns (I made that one, surprise surprise).

Then…. then!…. the real fun began. We all went on a parade around the library, around the second floor, where the children’s section is located, and on the first floor. We had some shakers made out of coffee tins with beans inside, and we waved our lanterns and shouted “Happy new year!” and carried around our stuffed snake, which we pretended was a dragon. Not one person scowled at us. Not one person looked cranky. Not one person shushed us. All we got were smiles and cheers and waves in response to our noisiness – I think the kids just loved the fact that we were encouraging them to be noisy, to which I responded, “Wait till Purim” – and our parade leader, my coworker M, handed out fortunes pasted on horses (it’s the Year of the Horse) to passersby and people observing us. It was a delight.

(Sorry, this is the best picture I got, of us parading through nonfic. Can you see the “dragon” and the girl at the front holding the sun?)

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One of my favorite days at work.

A few links, all thanks to Buzzfeed:

This is sooooo true. #figureoutyourandyoure

Which women authors are you reading this year? (Oh, and this reminds me, earlier today I fangirled out over the Anne of Green Gables movie with a 7-year-old; it was fun.)

I got 15!

In What’s Annabelle Reading, I finished Malcolm Gladwell’s What the Dog Saw, and I was particularly intrigued by his essay “Something Borrowed,” about plagiarism, and how it felt when it happened to him. Next, I haven’t finished it yet – I will after about 3 minutes of reading – but I’m rereading Ready Player One, which is absolutely one of my favorite books of the past few years. I love it more each time I read it. Fans of the 80s, pop culture, underdogs, and Wil Wheaton – who reads the audiobook – will love it, too.

Classics vs. Updates

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With an off-day today I have lots of time and also the realization that guilt isn’t the best reason for me to update my blog. I have to have things to say, which is why I’ve waited a few days.

Thinking about adaptations also has me thinking about classics. (They’re related in my head, I promise.) Our series section just got a fabulous influx of original Nancy Drews and Hardy boys. You know which ones – bound in yellow and blue with the pen-and-ink cover drawings. Remember those? Don’t they look all nice lined up on our cart? And did I mention we got the whole series? I really geeked out about that.

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In this next picture you can see our Nancy Drew collection – there are about a billion spinoffs (that might be a slight exaggeration), modernized.

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Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew for younger readers, The Nancy Drew Diaries,  a continuation of the series, the Nancy Drew Notebooks, tie-ins with the Hardy Boys series … you get the picture. I’ll be interested to see, as part of my work on the series, which ones are the most popular – will the classics be as interesting as the new ones? Will they circulate? Time will tell.

I’m very excited about Saturday, which is our Chinese New Year party, and Sunday, when I’ll be having my program for teens on resume/cover letter/job applications. I just hope we have a lot of attendees for both of them.

Now, chickadees, some links!

If you’re interested in reading some good recaps of Flowers in the Attic and Sherlock, here they are.

What would have happened to Harry and the gang if Voldemort had won the Battle of Hogwarts?

I got The Capitol from The Hunger Games. This means I like good food and fashion (guilty as charged, Your Honor).

An interesting article about “the Starbucks effect.” Working at a main branch, I definitely see it: people treating the library as a “third place,” aside from home and work. I love it.

I have a particular interest in intellectual property and the public domain – more about that in my next post, based on what I’m reading now – so this article about Norway really intrigued me.

What can you do with an old card catalog? Lots of things! I even have a pair of friends getting married later this year – congrats, J&E! – who are interested in working one into their decorations.

This is from Friend D, and though it sounds silly – fairies? – never underestimate the importance of culture and fairy tales in a society.

From Mama Bear, and the folks at Flavorwire, 25 YA novels everyone should read. It’s a solid list of new, old, fantasy, reality, scifi, etc., but I am quite irritated that the book that started it all, The Outsiders, is not included.

Also from Mama Bear: Woo hoo!

Finally, two pictures from the set of The Giver. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

It’s been a while since an installation of What’s Annabelle Reading, because I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on one book, which was worth it. I love both fiction and non-fiction about royalty, and The Heir Apparent, a biography of Edward VII, did not disappoint. 

Next, I’d seen that The Shining Girls was available for download immediately from my library, so I checked it out because I heard it was one of the big books of the summer. But it was a huge letdown. Basically, it’s a story about a time-traveling serial killer out to murder a certain group of girls in various eras of American history. But we never find out why these girls are so important to the killer or what it means to him that they “shine.” So, meh. 

On literary adaptations, bad and good

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I’m taking a slight detour from my usual library-related posts to play the lit-lover card and discuss literary adaptations. There were two on this weekend that I made a point of watching – nay, raced to my sofa and planted myself there – that deserve specific discussion.

Saturday night was Lifetime’s premiere of Flowers in the Attic.  Now, let’s be honest, FitA is not the greatest novel ever written. It’s really not even good. Okay, it’s a piece of crap. But for a lot of women my age and a bit older (30s – 40s), it’s a seminal part of our teenage years. (Along with these, too.) So there was much excitement among other women my age when Lifetime announced their remake, and my Facebook feed came pretty close to blowing up as the airdate approached. That evening so many of us were liveblogging/tweeting/FBing it, and sharing in it together. (I called Sister A about 20 minutes before showtime to make sure she was on her couch and ready. She was about to call me for the same reason.)

But as we all knew it would be, it was crap. But it was great crap. It kept the campiness of the book intact and everyone committed to their parts – Kiernan Shipka was great, and Oscar-winner Ellen Burstyn was quite evil (not evil enough), and Heather Graham was predictably terrible – and it was just fun enough to be fulfilling and still terrible and at least marginally enjoyable.

On the other side of the spectrum was Sunday night’s return of Sherlock. This show has been a critical darling – a brainy, updated take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, and the return was anticipated by some seriously hard-core fans, including myself. (It couldn’t be more opposite from FitA in so many ways, including the fact that the general consensus was that Sherlock was a knock out of the park.) Clever, well-written, beautifully acted, and full of surprises, it was just great. My apartment full of friends just squealed and loved it the whole time. 

Mark Gatiss wrote a smart episode that didn’t really answer our questions, but it didn’t matter, because it was just nonstop action awesome cleverness from start to finish. (Does it matter how Sherlock survived?) I’m not going to write any more on it, because the internet only exists so you can go read more on Sherlock.

So, two big adaptations, both anticipated, both not the first of their kind (the FitA one didn’t even touch on incest, and there are too many adaptations of Sherlock Holmes to mention, though my favorite is any with Jeremy Brett).

How did they differ? Why was I desperate to watch both? Why were both so, so, so popular among such disparate groups? Both books are loved for very different reasons and have their own enthusiastic fanbases – my grandfather was a lifelong member of this group – and both recent adaptations have spawned new fans of the original texts. Maybe we just love seeing if the screen can deliver what we’ve pictured in our heads. Can adaptations ever be as good as the books? Can anything top our imaginations? Will Harry and Hermione be just as we thought? Will Smaug be as evil? Will Augustus’ and Hazel’s love affair live up to how we’ve built it up? Maybe that anticipation is part of the fun, too, as is discussing it afterward. It’s all a new dimension.

I don’t think there are a whole lot of people who were equally excited for Flowers in the Attic and Sherlock. I’m just weird enough to span both groups.

And now some links.

From Friend D, the origin of some great insults.

Also from Mental Floss, more librarian tattoos. So fun.

Some of these would be really fabulous.

Interested in more pictures from the set of The Fault in Our Stars? Of course you are.

Yes to all of these.

I’m outgoing, but also an introvert, as I may have mentioned. Sometimes people can’t live up to books.

Preschool Storytime – Wedesday, January 15

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Yesterday’s preschool storytime was about 25-strong, with a bunch of wiggly little ones, eager to contribute, though not always at the most opportune moments, bless them. It went quite well.

I started off with “Hello, How Are You?” as I have with the toddlers, and jumped right into the books.

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We recited Humpty Dumpty, and then I read them Humpty Dumpty Climbs Again, which was the most successful of the three. It was funny, and really well-received, particularly because Humpty is in his tighty-whities for most of it. Underwear will break ’em up, every time.

Then we had a quick clinic on the three bears, and reading Me and You, which is a good participatory book. The bears are on one side of the pages, and Goldilocks on the other. So I would ask them to raise their hands and tell me what Goldilocks was doing.

I broke up the books by using a Five Little Monkeys felt that coworker C made and generously lets us use. They were very enthusiastic in singing the last line of each verse!

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Finally, my little ones were getting restless, and I moved quickly through Falling for Rapunzel, which was my favorite, but had lots of big words and I think confused them a bit.

By this time, they were getting antsy, and some of the groups had to leave – and we weren’t even running long, I felt like Dame Nellie Melba on this week’s episode of Downton Abbey, with people getting up and down all the time, and don’t even get me started on the rest of the episode – so I sort of felt rushed going through the closing rhyme, “Our Hands Say Thank You” and the closing song, “We Wave Goodbye Like This.”

(Sing it to “The Farmer in the Dell”):

We wave goodbye like this,
We wave goodbye like this,
We clap our hands for all our friends,
We wave goodbye like this.

And that was that. So now I’ve done one of each storytime! Next Friday I’ll be doing another babytime, which I do love.

Today I nailed a teen who tried to get into the recording studio by giving me a false name, who turned out to be too old. Then he gave me his real name, and he hasn’t gone through the orientation, so he’s not allowed to go into the studio anyway. Nice try, buddy, but remember that I am the adult and I am going to win every argument, just as I dreamed I would when I was a child.

How ’bout some links? Okay!

I own three full-size Billys and a half-size, but nothing as cool as these.

When Kirsten gives you advice about avoiding cholera, you take it.

Better Book Titles is one of my favorite blogs, and here’s a whole YA post full of hilarity.

Just because you were Scully doesn’t mean you can write, Gillian Anderson. But I will try anything once. [See: William Shatner  and John Barrowman (any excuse to reference Captain Jack)]

Poor Ron often gets short shrift. Give a ginger some love, yeah?

I’ve been saving my citation thank-you to Mama Bear for this one. She hears Sister A and me talk about John Green all the time (we are not above begging her to read The Fault in Our Stars), and has patiently put up with me telling her multiple times that he and I have the same birthday and me showing her the Tweet he sent me wishing me a happy birthday (ME FTW), but I don’t know who she was picturing. So when she sent me this link, she wrote, “The same John Green!?!?!” (punctuation intact). I responded, “Did I also mention that he’s really hot?” YA authors born on August 24 can be really hot, Mama Bear. Just saying.

This is hilariously brilliant. So up my alley.

What the flying monkeys is this crap?

#5 is the best short story ever written, period.

I was hoping that this article would reference specific punctuation marks, but it did not. #ilovetheinterrobang. (Also, the location of the photo was pure luck, I swear.)

What did I say in the past post about slashfic? Yup.

Finally, this year’s Edgar nominees.

And that’s all for now.

Oh, sadly, I wore my Jane Eyre tshirt to my exercise class tonight, and no one got it. Sigh. (Can’t find a picture, but it says “Lowood Institution Lacrosse” on the front and I assure you that it’s the height of cleverness.)

Tuesday links

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I was off today, so I don’t have anything really exciting to say. I just have some links. Sorry. In other news, the snot is gone.

(Also, a reminder that the Lifetime Flowers in the Attic movie is on on Saturday night. Who’s coming over?)

I’d be lying if I said this didn’t make me wildly jealous.

Another blog entry from author Jill Morrow on authors who hated the movie versions of their books.

How do you feel about books written about TV series that you love? When I was in seventh grade, I was a huge, HUGE Star Trek: The Next Generation fan. And I read a lot of the books, too. Now as a Whovian, I’m not sure I’d like to read books based on the show, because: canon. And canon is sacred.

From Mama Bear, sort of along the same topic, how does fan fiction fit in? When there’s a huge fanbase to a show, and fanfic or slashfic arises, as it will, what’s the line? Want to start writing fanfic? Here’s a writing prompt for you. Aaaaand: go!

I won’t pretend to know a lot about poetry or anything, but the fiction list is very strong.

If I’ve read them all, am I just a perfect person? I would say yes. (Sadly, I have not, but I would like to.)

From Friend D, this would be an excellent Beowulf 101.

Finally, in reference to the above-mentioned Flowers in the Attic movie – here is a drinking game. You will be plastered before the incest even happens. (Did you know they’re already planning a sequel?)

In What’s Annabelle Reading, I’m actually pausing in between essays in my latest Malcolm Gladwell to read an e-book that landed on my Kindle. And as per the rules, I don’t write about it till I’ve finished it. So there. You’ll just have to wait.