Monthly Archives: June 2014

Outdoor Storytime, Thursday, June 26


Thursday was a weird day. I’d had a migraine the night before, and even though I’d taken my meds and scared 95% of it away, I still had that funny migraine-hangover feeling on Thursday morning. So I wasn’t 100% up to snuff, but I hope nobody at my outdoor storytime knew that, because I had a fun and funny group, with some repeat customers from our regular story time, so it was nice to see some familiar faces in a new place.

We do our storytime about a block north of the library, in a brand new commercial/residential complex. The inside courtyard is pretty nifty:


There are benches, and a little water jet wading fountain for the kids, and plenty of shade:


This is where we had the storytime – it was plenty shady, and away from people having early lunches.

I forgot to take pictures of the books I used, but they were all pretty successful. Old favorites like If You’re Happy and You Know It, Count the Monkeys, and Caps for SaleI also used a new book that I thought might be fun: Let’s Be Animals. I had preschoolers, toddlers, and babies, so these books managed to bridge all those groups.

And then I went home and went to sleep. (Boss jokingly asked me later, “So were you really sick, or were you soccer-sick?” Because I can’t believe I slept through the U.S./Germany game either.)


Ramona’s come a long way, don’t you think?

Every council meeting should be this fun.

Everyone should – everyone who serves the public.

Barnes and Noble is consciously uncoupling from the Nook.

Yeah, I don’t think I’d put Birthday Twin’s books in the same category as “soft porn,” as this one mother did.

More tears for Harry Potter (don’t read this if you’re a twin)

I feel like I posted this before, but it’s my blog, and I can do what I want: vintage library photos!

Kate DiCamillo! She’s at ALA right now. I am not. Dammit.

A picture from the last day of filming for The Hunger Games.

I got children’s librarian! Obvs.

Sacre bleu! C’est vrai!

From Friend D:

Homelessness – not THE homeless – is a problem that needs to be dealt with. This is an interesting post.

From Sister A:

Big, exciting news!!

From Mama Bear:

10 books, old and new, that are perfect for summer.

Mary Rodgers, author of Freaky Friday, died recently. She also wrote Once Upon a Mattress, because she’s awesome.

In What’s Annabelle Reading, what’s Annabelle NOT reading? Hoo boy. I was stalking the catalog to see when the new Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling book The Silkworm would come out, and I got myself first on the list, and sped through it. Another fine effort in the Cormoran Strike series. I have to admit, I’m still surprised that a mystery novel can come out of the woman who brought us Muggles and Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans. Anticlimactically, I read The Hive, which was about mean-girl moms at a British elementary school, and yes, the clique, and it’s a hive, and the protagonist’s mother keeps bees, and yes, we get it, the Queen Bee, etc. etc., so stop hitting us over the head with the metaphor! Instantly forgettable.




I don’t have much to say today, except that I’m doing my first outdoor storytime tomorrow (!) and am really looking forward to that new challenge. Will it be loud? Will there be a huge number of kids? Of what age groups? So there are a lot of variables. I guess we’ll see what happens. I’ve chosen some books that I hope will stretch across all possible age groups. 

Also, most of my friends are at ALA. In Vegas. I hate them.

Just mostly links today.

I’m hugely into the World Cup. Here are some great sports books to complement your summer dose of futbol.


The Mockingjay, Part 1 teaser trailer! Oh, President Snow, you’re a baddy.

Toasted cheese is amazing, and so is Beatrix Potter.

Look, I know we librarians are poor, but maybe this wasn’t the best idea on how to earn a little pocket money?

The Yellow Wallpaper as a student film. Directed by Rue. No biggie.


It’s Jimmy Kimmel’s “Mean Tweets,” except with YA authors.

LeVar Burton on the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter campaign.

From Coworker A’s blog: If various famous writers had written Twilight.

From Friend D: Did you see My Birthday Twin on Colbert?

From Friend E: If the Harry Potter books were written from Draco Malfoy’s point of view.

From Mama Bear:

We’ve been over this, and yes, they should.

In What’s Annabelle Reading, I finished The Woman Before Wallis by Andrew Rose. I love history, and I love stories and scandals and royal history, so this hit all those buttons. But it was really two books in one. The first part was Edward VII’s (while he was Prince of Wales) liaison with a French courtesan (ooh la la), and the second part was the courtesan’s murder trial. Both neat stories, sandwiched together.

Family Fun Time: Saturday, June 21


When I was a little girl, I was a little weird in a lot of little different ways. (This should come as no surprise, frankly.) But one of the weirdest little stories about me, according to Mama Bear and Daddio, is that when I took a nap, I couldn’t do it in my regular clothes; I had to change back into my pajamas to sleep, and then, on waking up, would get back into my overalls or whatever.

Two things are still true today: one, I still need to be in PJs to sleep, and two, there’s just something really magical about wearing pajamas at non-night times.

Hence Saturday’s storytime: pajamas.


Here’s yours truly in her Hogwarts shirt, Nick and Nora PJ pants, and Oscar slippers, which were undoubtedly the most popular part of my ensemble.

The three books I read were a lot of fun – my and the crowd favorite was Timothy and the Strong Pajamas – and I wanted to pick pajama books that weren’t tied into bedtime/sleeping/good night stories, you know? Luckily, we have plenty of those.

photo 1 (1)

Then it was craft time! I had precut a bunch of (funny-looking, shut up, I’m not a great cutter-outer) pajama tops and bottoms and nightgowns out of construction paper to decorate. So I put down newspaper on a table, provided beads and glitter glue and crayons and paper and little fun things and let the kids go to town. It was a messy, fun time.

Here’s mine:

photo 2 (1)

Cute, no?

I’m glad it worked out so well – no one came in their pajamas, which was fine. I still liked wearing mine, though.

Links, yeah?

I hadn’t realized till this how weird Gus really is.

Some YA authors’ favorite book-to-movie adaptations.

Coworker C read this book, and here’s the trailer for the Hulu-exclusive Delirium.

Love a good parody.

If you want kids to read, be a reader yourself.

I got 7!

Let’s give these fictional characters something to read.

From Friend M: What the school libraries of the future could look like.

From Friend D:

More on the Great YA Debate of 2014.

Strong female characters are more than the sum of the Bechdel test.

I can’t even with this.


From Friend P:

Literary London!

From Mama Bear:

Mmm, chemicals.

What do children want?

I looove roller coasters. LOVE THEM. Will ride them till I’m blue in the face. Add a roller coaster to Harry Potter, and that’s basically perfection.

The book was small but uplifting and fun. The movie looks darling (and with a great cast).

People are stupid. Municipalities are even stupider.

Wonderful Ones, Thursday, June 19


This storytime was a winner. Great kids, great parents, so much fun. We were in an animal theme, and I did three, two of which worked really, really, REALLY well – Let’s Count Goats (anything illustrated by Jan Thomas just rocks) and The Seals on the Bus. They were both participatory songs, and while I Love Animals was good, it wasn’t nearly as much fun.

photo (16)

In my next post, I’ll talk about my Saturday pajama storytime.


The top 10 feminist books.

A little bit about Esther Earl, one of the inspirations for TFIOS. 

Got 15 minutes?

Some YA books you just have to read.

Keep it weird, Portland!

Some Father’s Day better book titles.

I tell everyone that the line between YA and adult books is a very, very fine one.

The series section in my branch is “my” section, and people don’t really believe me when I say they’re the gateway to reading. They are.

44, yo.

Maker spaces are coming near you – this is what some friends in Bethesda, MD are getting at their local library.

From Friend D: No, no, no, it will not.

This hurtful little detail from the TFIOS movie will hit you right in the feels.

From Friend L: This raises some really, really good questions.

From Friend P: Who do you think Jane Austen’s harshest critics were?

From Sister A: this is more to the TV series, which, honestly, is also canon.

From Mama Bear:

Holmes is now, and will forever be, in the public domain.

Thank you for feminist, Dumas fils!

You know I’m a grammar nerd, but maybe you didn’t know that I feel very strongly about the Oxford comma (in favor of it, AP be damned!)

Who doesn’t love words?

What’s with the “again” part? I still do. You should, too.

In What’s Annabelle Reading, having finished all the Stieg Larsons, I went on to the very quick YA prose poetry novel Because I Am Furniture, which I’ve been wanting to read since library school. It was powerful. I got an advance reader’s copy of The Appetites of Girls, which was yawn yawn female bonding food college yawn.  After that, I found Christopher Moore’s new one, YAAAAY, because he is funny and literary and bawdy and terrific. I’ll read anything of his. This one was Poe and Shakespeare all in a neat little package. Finally, I pulled out a YA memoir I’d been wanting to read for a while. I’m fascinated by people who practice extreme religions or religions extremely, so this was a neat perspective.



Well, I guess spoilers abound if you’ve read The Fault in Our Stars. Because the movie – shockingly – is almost exactly true to the book. From the dialogue to the plot, there are no surprises. So bravo to My Birthday Twin for keeping it real.

The previews were utterly YA. From The Maze Runner (and you know how I feel about that trailer!), to If I Stay (just saw the trailer for the first time), I felt right back at work.

Without giving too much away about the movie, or the book (and I saw it with 5 coworkers, plus one coworker’s date and one coworker’s mother-in-law), the tear level among us varied from welling up to full-on, I-just-saw-my-dog-hit-by-a-car sobbing.

I guess I don’t have to tell you what I was guilty of.

Here’s where the spoilers kick in:

I had slight leakage when Augustus brings Hazel the tulips.

I was full-on sobbing from the moment they landed in Amsterdam.

Hysteria ensued when Augustus made his big Amsterdam confession (“I lit up like a Christmas tree”) to Hazel.

(Then I took a break because my bladder overruled my tear ducts. Luckily, Coworker B and I dashed for the bathroom, peed, and made our way back to some non-obtrusive seats quite quickly.)

Finally, we were at the end of the movie. Coworker B held me while I cried, then I held Coworker B while she cried.

I recommend going to see The Fault in Our Stars if you are not wearing eye makeup and don’t mind people watching you pull a full-on Dawson. Because you will, whether you’ve read the book or not. If you don’t like completely losing it in public, I recommend waiting till it comes out on Netflix.

Proceed with caution, chickadees.

(NB: Most of the GIFs here are from Doctor Who. Indeed, proceed with caution.)

Full Moon Friday the 13th


Two big indicators of weirdness have collided today, given that it’s Friday the 13th (oh, weird, I graduated high school on a Friday the 13th, 17 years ago, that’s strange), and it’s also a full moon. 


Patron walks into teen space with an open bag of chips, eating from it.

Me: Excuse me, there’s no eating in the library. 

Him: *looks at me, says nothing, continues to eat.*

Me: (sighs) Please leave the teen space.


Phone rings, I answer it with the library’s name and the department and my name, and the woman on the other end says, “Oh, I’m sorry, I must have dialed the wrong number, but what a nice number to land on!”


A teenage girl comes barreling into teens with a baby carriage, and says, “I NEED TO USE YOUR PHONE!” On volume 11.

I respond, “I’m sorry, but patrons aren’t allowed to use staff phones. There’s a pay phone around the corner, by Adaptive Services, though.” 

She responds, “GODDAMNIT!” and then announces to her friends waiting outside Teen Space, “The bitch won’t let me use the phone!”

This all happened within the span of the past 15 minutes, and it’s only 11:23. 

Doctor, give me strength to make it through this day so I can go ugly cry with my coworkers at TFIOS.

Links? Okay.

I used to read Star Trek books, naturally in my room, only, and never out in public.

Celebrating fathers and diversity.

Betcha you didn’t know these facts about 1984.

More reasons (stolen from Coworker L) about why you should read YA.  

From Blogger Friend R: Her look at some great fathers in children’s lit. 

From Friend D: Does the Anne Frank House kiss in TFIOS go too far?

From Other Friend D: This is almost perfect. Try not to well up.

From Family Friend J: When it’s bad, sometimes it’s good! 

From Mama Bear:

Rereading Ramona – as an adult.

So people with lousy report cards can go on to greatness? I’ll make a note of that.

I may need to call in sick to work for a while while I’m visiting all of these

A joke courtesy of Coworker A:

Where does Dorian Gray buy his clothes?

Forever 21!

I’ll be here all week, folks.

In What’s Annabelle reading, more Stieg Larsson

Toddler and Preschool Storytime, Wednesday, June 11


Two storytimes today! I’m surprised I can still speak. That’s a lot of singing. (Oh, and one tomorrow, too.)  Between this and the World Cup cheering I’ll be doing all weekend, I’ll have no voice by Monday.

My first storytime was with 2s and 3s, and it was quite small. Just four child/adult pairs. But I liked it that way, because I could interact with the kids more.

I had chosen counting as the theme, and an old, old Sesame Street song popped into my head earlier this week. I tweaked it a bit, and it was a hit, and I probably could have sung it twice, since it was so quick. I think it would work with preschoolers, too.

The books I had chosen were all good counting books, but Look Whooo’s Counting was my favorite, and the kids were good at counting with me.

photo (79)

The next group, my preschool group, was terrific – lots of participation and question asking and hand-raising and enthusiasm, on all counts.

Well, except one.

A nanny had two children with her and was present at the beginning, when I gave my usual “no cell phone-zone” spiel, and as we were singing our opening song – not 20 seconds after I’d asked everyone to put their cell phones away – she had her cell phone out. I politely asked her to text after storytime, and she said, “Oh, I’m just texting the mom to tell them we’re at storytime.” I told her we would wait till she was finished, and wait we did.  When she was finished, we talked about that day’s theme – helping – and I began Chickens to the Rescue , and SHE PULLED OUT HER PHONE AGAIN! Seriously? This time, I asked her to step out of the room if she was going to continue to text, when she got all huffy, grabbed her kids, and said she was leaving. The kids started crying, because they wanted to be here, and the preschool groups watched the scene with interest – drama! – and I calmly carried on. I mean, honestly.

photo (80)


The rest of the storytime was uneventful, unless you count the mooing and quacking of my new Old McDonald felt set, created by yours truly – half the kids thought the dinosaur was hilarious, and the other half very seriously informed me that dinosaurs don’t live on farms. Good to know.


(I can’t remember if I posted it or not before, when I made it, but here it is.) We’ll be doing it again tomorrow at my outdoor storytime.


This librarian gets the top spot.

Hail and farewell to Spot’s creator, Eric Hill.

The Simpsons has always been smart.

Sure, anyone can write a book, but is it any good?

You may ask how cartoons, comics, and graphic novels are part of the literary canon these days. Well, they are, so just accept it. Pearls Before Swine’s Stephan Pastis, who also writes children’s books, kept a neat collaboration secret until some strips ran this week.

How our favo(u)rite books shape us. Mine have been instrumental to who I am.

I like The Hunger Games and everything, but this is just silly.

Literary tattoos of works by female authors.

Insurgent casting news (and I definitely pictured him!)

There is not enough diversity in librarianship, by far.

Soooo many parallels to Love Story (which was crap).

A really, really clever response to Ruth Graham’s stupid “Adults should be embarrassed to read YA” piece.

The “Dickens was paid by the word” myth is busted.

I’m a little dystopia-d out at the moment, but when I get back in the saddle, I’ll read these, and then set my VCR (shut up) for the HBO series.


From Mama Bear:

Happy birthday to Maurice Sendak.

AWESOME. Censorship SUCKS.

A look at some of New York’s bookstores.

In What’s Annabelle Reading, I suddenly had the urge to crack open the Millenium Trilogy again. So I finished The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and am now working my way through #2.