Pajama Storytime, Monday, September 28, and Preschool Storytime, Wednesday, September 30


The wind has changed, and if you’ve been a regular reader of my blog, you know what that means.


Mary Poppins has opened her umbrella, hopped over the fence of our branch at 17 Cherry Tree Lane, and flown off to her next post in the system to help the children there with her fabulous storytimes.

We shall miss her very much.

So this means that we’re all back to doing more storytimes, which: hurrah for me, because I love them, but also: boo, because I learned so much from watching Mary Poppins at work.

I love my Pajama Storytimes. There have been three, and the turnouts have been poor. The first week, I had five, the second week it rained and we had city-wide transit problems, so I had a big goose egg, and this week I had five, but a completely different five than the first week. What does that mean? I don’t know. But I love PJ storytime and am hoping we’ll keep moving forward with it despite the low turnout.

Today I had another small turnout for my preschool storytime – and not all of them preschoolers – and used three new books! I don’t think I’ve done that since my first storytime, at which all the books were obviously new! I went with a theme of costumes and disguises (didja know that Halloween is coming up????????), and all three books were winners with my tiny crowd.


I should mention that Where’s Walrus is a wordless book, so it worked really well to have a small crowd and ask them questions about the characters and the story. It was adorable.

(My dream storytime would be a packed house, where every child in the audience is of the advertised age, all the adults are on the floor with electronic devices stowed away, and everyone’s participating.)

Last week, on September 23, was my two-year anniversary. How it slipped my mind, I have no idea. This past year went so quickly; it’s crazy. Of greatest note throughout this past year – and forgive my old lady brain if I’ve mentioned it – is that I’m now the most senior librarian in the department. Hard to believe, right? While Coworker J has been around longer than I (and secretly I look to her, as my senior librarian, for all information I lack), I have the most seniority in terms of degrees, as she only just got her degree in May.

This all means that when Boss isn’t around, is off, is sick, is in a meeting, I’m in charge. She announced it at a staff meeting, and while part of me was proud, the other half was expecting everyone to start laughing, but they all turned to look at me with something akin to…. well, it could have been respect. I don’t know. Even my eyelids were blushing, so I couldn’t properly tell.

It’s a little intimidating.

Last week Boss had a rough cold that kept her out all week, and all of a sudden, people were coming to me with problems about the playroom, questions about shelving and weeding, a full cart of newly inventoried DVDs, and holes in the staffing schedule. I wearily texted Daddio one day at 3:30, saying, “Guess who’s just now sitting down to eat her lunch?”

But it felt good. I felt useful. And I liked knowing that I could do it without going to Boss for her approval, and knowing this is all good practice for someday heading up the managerial ladder. (Sooner rather than later, I hope.)


Top link: It’s been 20 years (!) since the Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice adaptation.

Unfortunately, we will probably always need Banned Books Week.

I’m going home to Bath precisely to lose my shit in Austenland. Isn’t that the point?

Some of these are good, but others are marks of genius.

The song drives me crazy, but the idea is a great one.

From Coworker J:

A lovely interview between authors/illustrators Philip and Erin Stead.

From Friend D:

People who meet me and learn I’m a librarian invariably ask me one question first: “But aren’t books going to be obsolete?” Sometimes I’m able to refrain from rolling my eyes, but my answer is always the same: no. In my system alone, our circulation numbers have risen in the past two years. We’re about to get a huge shipment of board books and easy readers to our department in the next few weeks to replace the ones that are so loved (read: borrowed so often) that they’re falling apart. So one can take from this: books are in no danger of going anywhere. Yes, people are reading e-books, too, but the printed word is under no threat from the digital word.

Perhaps this article serves as a coda to the previous link?

I love me some cat GIFs, but they’re not… art. Are they? 

“A Brotherly Bailout” – one of the things the Hardy Boys… er, Men, might have to deal with today.

If you’ve never read Dashiell Hammett… why not?

Literary tourism can be a double-edged sword.

Books are meant to be loved, but you just have to be careful who you let love them.

Dissention within the canon as to the fate of Lavender Brown.

From Friend E:

Who doesn’t love a good pun? These are quite clever.

From Friend T:

FIRST: Many many mazels to Friend T, who has birthed a being! Welcome to the world, Baby L!

Second: Christmas dinner at Hogwarts. Oh my yes.

From Mama Bear:

Raging liberal that I am, and a supporter of women’s health, as any woman should be, I’m thrilled to announce that Lemony Snicket donated $1m to Planned Parenthood.

A shocking article about the state of the Library of Congress. Innovation is central to the leadership of the next director’s tenure.

A shoutout to Goucher College and one of its Austen profs! (Also, Our Jane is not a “tourist trap.” The world’s second largest ball of mud is a tourist trap. Got it?)

Another shoutout to Goucher’s Juliette Wells. Again, this year is the 200th anniversary of the first publication of Emma in the U.S. That’s a big deal for Janeites. (Personally, I think Persuasion is Our Jane’s greatest achievement, but whatever.)

OH YES. (I’d sign up, but I know most of them, I think…)

Yay for funny ladies! (If you didn’t read Dear Committee Members, do!)

“I think books can open one’s eyes to what else is in the world, but it’s also nice if one can see oneself.”

Hilariously brilliant.

Being a Tumbleweed is now on my to-do list.

All of these bookmarks are clever – of course, anything’s better than dog-earing pages.

Mallory Ortberg is some kind of god, I think. Her humor comes too easily.

Short answer: yes, they can. Longer answer, obviously, yes, they can. But let’s get lots of international people on it.

Updating the classics of yesteryear for today’s little bastards is something of which one should be wary. Particularly one of my top three favorites: Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.

In What’s Annabelle Reading, I naturally wanted to read Nick Hornby’s latest, Funny Girl, because I’ve loved everything I’ve read of his. But in this one, I was really disappointed. Maybe it was me, maybe it was the book, but it didn’t grab me like his other works. I was thisclose to not finishing it – and even now I’m not sure why I spent the time.

But next…but next! Finally!!! Lair of Dreams – the new Libba Bray! The sequel to The Diviners! And it was (in protagonist Evie O’Neill’s words) posi-tute-ly the berries. It was even better than The Diviners. Original and fun, and, as Sister A and I discovered, it contained a neat little Easter egg for one of her other books. Also perfectly set up for a trilogy. I squeed, and emailed her, and she had squeed over it too. Shared sister squeeing across the miles – it doesn’t get any better than that.


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