Monthly Archives: August 2015

More Miscellany


School is back in session and we’re battening down the hatches for some changes around here.

I’m really, really, REALLY excited to share that we’re going to be changing around some of our programming! We’re going to switch around some of our preschool and toddler storytimes – just for convenience’s sake – but… but…. but!

Monday nights at 7, starting September 14, we’ll be having… PAJAMA STORYTIME!

I guess I don’t need to tell you who’s signed up for all of them in September.

We’re also going to be partnering with a local museum for their storytimes on Saturdays, and altering our Sunday programming, too, which I think has definitely needed a refresher. Each month, it will look like this:

1st Sunday: STEAM, as before

2nd Sunday: Book Share – like a book club, but probably without a required book for everyone to read. Instead, talking about genres, or what we like about books, etc.

3rd Sunday: Lego Club. The popularity of Lego is, and has been for a while, over the moon. When I was at Branch earlier this year, their weekly Lego Club was always well-attended. It’s a good time. So it makes sense that we’d have one, too.

4th Sunday: An open, one-off program. The 4th Sunday in September, my coworker G is going to have a library camping program – doesn’t that sound fun?

If there’s a fifth Sunday, well, we’ve come up with something awesome. There are only 2 this year, so we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Confidential to my Birthday Twin: Happy belated birthday, you sexy thing!


The top link – fantasy isn’t really my style, but there are quite a few books on this list that pique my interest. The Patrick Rothfuss books at #1 are particularly fun.

I object, strenously. “Rom com” and “Jane Austen” are words that should never, ever be in the same sentence together.

“Your younger sibling is a real thorn in your side, but secretly, you value them above all else and would lay down your life for them in a heartbeat.” (Just like Sister A, hahahaha)

And speaking of Goosebumps, this is actually a really neat premise.

From Coworker J:

Ursula K. LeGuin’s take on Go Set a Watchman.

A delightful TED talk from children’s author Mac Barnett.

From Friend D:

Perish the thought!

I was hoping this article would mention Go Ask Alice (which I read voraciously as a teen).

From Mama Bear:

Holy cow, where do I sign up???

If you’re not Goosebumps-ed out, here’s the NYT’s By the Book” on R.L. Stine.

One of the rules I’m really a hardass about at work is unattended kids. Our rule is that a 9-year-old child can be alone, and a 13-year-old can watch his/her younger sibling. But I get hot under the collar in a big way when parents leave their children alone, even if it’s for “just a minute,” if they’re even a day younger than 9. It strikes me as outrageously irresponsible. Sometimes we’re asked flat out if we will watch children, at which we issue a hasty denial that we are not responsible. Then there are the kids who have, throughout the summer, camped out all day in front of the computer, and have barely gotten up to go to the bathroom, and skipped lunch altogether. It breaks my heart. I’ll get off my soapbox now, but as the article’s title says, “Libraries aren’t day cares.”

Charming and beautiful.

From Sister A:

This makes so much more sense, dontcha think?

In What’s Annabelle Reading, I’ve kind of had a mental letdown since finishing SevenevesI have to admit. It’s such an epic that it stuck with me for so long.  After that, I read Re Jane, a retelling of Jane Eyre, and I liked it more than I thought I would, but of course it’s not Jane Eyre and no retelling ever could be. Then I had bought Crazy Rich Asians for myself – one of Annabelle’s Book Rules: if I take it out of the library at least twice, I should just buy it – and reread that again. (I’m currently #35 on the library’s holds list for the sequel.)

Then I read Emily Schultz’ The Blondeswhich I didn’t like as much as I’d hoped I would. (Read her hilarious blog here, about her mixup with Stephen King.) Most recently, I finished The Wicked Girls, which took me a while to get into, but I enjoyed more and more as it reached its conclusion.


Toddler Storytime, Thursday, August 13


How good it is to be back in front of a huge crowd again.

On Thursday I had about 75 (? I can’t remember, forgive me) toddlers for my storytime in our Great Hall. It’s a little odd to get used to: you’re performing not in a small, enclosed room, but in a huge space, where anyone and everyone in the library can see you. I likened it on my Facebook status to being a dancing monkey. It was odd.

Even more odd was that I went right after Coworker M (the one who’s been brought in to do most of our storytimes). She was fantastic. Watching her made me feel brand-new to storytiming, but I did pick up some tactics that will work well. For instance, she uses a maraca to begin storytime with a little song, rather than a booming “Hello!” like I do. I like her way better than mine, so perhaps I’ll use it too with some of my high-energy groups.

(I’m going to start calling Coworker M Mary Poppins. Why? She came to us suddenly, she works miracles, and we don’t know how long she’s going to stay.)

I forgot a picture of what I read, and I forgot the books. Don’t hate me, chickadees.

In other news…

Friend E went to Istanbul for work (why do I not go to Istanbul for work?) and sent me a picture of some nifty street art:


I highly agree.


Top spot: A fascinating obituary of the woman who gave us Stone Soup

In the second spot, Michael Berenstain, son of Stan and Jan, puts the Berenst#in theory to rest.

How do you make this a movie?

I truly don’t know anyone born in the USA who never had a Golden Book.

Say hello to your friends! / Babysitters Club! / Say hello to the peeeeeeople who care! / Nothing’s better than friends! / Babysitters Club! / ‘Cause you know that your friends are always there! (Don’t look at me like that. You know all the words too.)

From Friend D:

I hate Ayn Rand.

Do you know what Dolly Parton has been doing to encourage literacy? Most people don’t.

A new Tolkien story?!?!

Jane Austen + Onion headlines = a match made in heaven. Too funny!!!

From Library Friend D:

This melts my grinchy little heart.

From Mama Bear:

It’s always nice when stuff we figured we knew gets scientifically proven.

More Ayn Rand. (But Mallory Ortberg is my spirit animal.)

From Sister A:

So purty.

From librarians to Jenny Lawson (a.k.a. The Bloggess): we love you too.

What a little sweetheart. (And don’t worry if you tear pages, people – that’s what book tape is for.)

In What’s Annabelle Reading, ugh, I’m so embarrassed, but I needed something light and fluffy to read by the pool last weekend so I read this. Don’t judge me. It’s such a terrible book, so self-indulgent, but it was there, so whatever.

Then I read If I Fall, If I Diewhich wasn’t quite what I was expecting it to be about, but it was mostly well-written, so it was fine.

Then! Then!!! THENNN!!!!! I picked up the epic Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. This was the first of his that I’d made it through. And goddamn, was it worth it. It’s almost 900 pages of space gobbledygook, but the idea of humanity trying to save itself will stick with me for a while. I couldn’t put it down. READ THIS BOOK.

Outdoor Storytime, Thursday, August 6


Yesterday was a weather-perfect day for outdoor storytime: hot but breezy, not glaringly sunny, and shady. It was excellent. I started out with two toddlers, and grew to be dominated by preschoolers (one of my favorite, verbal groups).

IMG_2400 (1)

I had gone with the basics – ABCs and 123s – and a fun book, Hug Machine (although I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it here before; it’s hilarious), which I started off with. Feast For 10 is a great counting book; I asked the kids to hold up fingers matching the number I used. At the end, I read them Alligators All Around (one of the books in the Nutshell Library, which is comprised of AAA, Pierre, Chicken Soup With Riceand One Was Johnny. Together these books make up Really Rosie, one of my FAVORITE cartoons as a child – possibly out of print, now, sadly – with music by Carole King. And I can never remember a time when the Nutshell Library wasn’t on my nursery bookshelf, I know that.)

Actually, I didn’t read them AAA. I know it by heart, so I plain recited it to them. And on certain letters, they could participate. (“C, catching colds.” Let’s all pretend to sneeze. Achoo!) It’s a good book for them to chime in on, which I try to have preschoolers do as much as possible with any book.


The top spot, from Sister A: Oh, the Babysitters Club; never a dull moment.

I’m not sure we need to worry about Judy’s legacy. Her books will keep it going.

YES YES YES YES Ready Player One release date!

Pretty accurate… and, honestly, a little pretentious.

Another great use for graphic novels.

13/14 because I didn’t read one of these books.

No one spends time here without being changed. Maybe you should go home. While you still can.

From Camp Friend D:

You know who they are.

From Friend D:

Hey, JKR did it…

Grammar FTW.

Anna: idk divorce is like all i can think about

Charts and graphs, all about sex.

From Friend L:

A crazy crazy Harry Potter theory, but it makes legit sense.

From Friend P:

Having heard enough from men, the author of this piece wanted to hear more from women writers.

From Mama Bear:

This has been growing. It’s on my Facebook newsfeed, people have sent this to me, and frankly I’m having trouble dealing with it. As far as I can remember, we’ve been at peace with Eurasia and at war with Eastasia. Wait, what am I saying? Wrong book. It’s BerenstEin. I’m sure of it. Right? Right?

And in other news, the sky is blue.

Possibly the weirdest thing Mama Bear ever sent me, and that’s saying a lot.

Or, are the children’s books winking too much at the adults?

Why reading aloud to older students is worthwhile.

From Sister A:

Fuel in the fire

All of these, but particularly Brian Selznick, after she and I got a sneak preview from the man himself earlier this year!

Plus ca change…

It was National Book Day the other day! Hurray!

How well do you know your children’s book covers?


In What’s Annabelle Reading, I reread Rebecca for the millionth time. It’s so wonderful, so well-written, creepy and foreboding and lyrical. Just go read it already.

Maker Camp and Me


I’m not science-y. I guess that goes without saying. Because, come on. If I had a science-y bone in my body, I don’t think I’d be a librarian. And I’d have done a helluva lot better in school. I’d understand how soda machines work and how televisions broadcast and telephones send calls. It was later in life than I’d care to admit that I accepted that elves were involved in none of these things.

So I was really, really, super skeptical when I learned that my system and, specifically, my branch would be participating in Google’s Maker Camp this year. Two words: compulsory science. I’d have sooner climbed into a soda machine and worked it myself.

But as I saw the weekly themes, and some of the ideas, I got into it. They really were neat. My coworkers made cardboard guitars and pipe cleaner ninjas and volcanoes and all kinds of other stuff. For my maker camp days, I made flip books (for Fantasy Week (or films; we got creative). For Fun and Games Week, the kids and I did library domino run. (Epic.) Yesterday, for Flight Week, we made catapults out of popsicle sticks and rubber bands and shot puffballs, beads, and coins across the room, hypothesizing about which would go the farthest, or the highest, and why. (I won’t say here which were the most interesting results, in case you want to try it on your own.) But weirdly, I was throwing out terms like “hypothesize” and “trajectory.” I used the word “fulcrum” WITH ABANDON, blithely tossing it around. How weird is that? All of a sudden, I was being science-y.

And it’s like I was tricked into enjoying it, too.

(I really wish I could upload the video I took of the domino run. Gah.)

It ends next week, and I’m sad. I’m going to try making LED bracelets next Thursday…we’ll see if that works!


The top spot goes without hesitation to a link from my former deskmate, Deskie, for this excellent skit. Warning: language.

I studied abroad in Bath in 2000. I’m so proud of the Uni for this.

Shady, shadier, shadiest. 

My answer? McGonagall. “You are a raging badass.” True.

The Midnight Library is a storytime surefire hit, so I’m glad it’s included on this list, anyway.

From Friend D:

An extraordinarily useful list (unfortunately, I have compiled a list of princess books for families because we get requests for them all. the. time.)

A harder quiz than one might think!

An annotated Alice in Wonderland. It will suck you in.

The Man Booker Prize longlist!

Translating nonsense words is a challenge.

Anything that gets boys reading is a plus in my book. And this location is a no-brainer.

How do editors edit? A look at Dr. Seuss’ editor’s work on the former’s latest book.

“A Tale of Two Edgars”

From Mama Bear:

This would be grounds for divorce.  Update: Judy saved that marriage.

I think the guy who wrote this was on hallucinogens.

Or not, because this is happening, despite Sister A’s and my strongest objections.

Take a look! It’s in a book! And now on Netfliiiiiiiiix!

A Wrinkle in Time isn’t everyone’s cup of tea (it wasn’t mine, I’ll admit), but it changed the face of children’s sci-fi/fantasy writing.

Seriously, there are soooooooooooo many more children’s authors out there beyond Dr. Seuss that this discussion is moot.

Another reason to love SImon Pegg.

From Sister A:

Pippi Longstocking FTW.

In What’s Annabelle Reading, I enjoyed Caitlin Moran’s How to Build a Girl (music, England, coming-of-age, check, check, check), but I’ve loved her writing everywhere I’ve seen it, so that’s no surprise.

I tried to read Dark Roomsbut used my Nancy Pearl 50-page rule and gave up, realizing I didn’t care one whit about a single character.