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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: librarian, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 73
1. A Library Full of Books & Happiness


“Will they still be here tomorrow?” students often ask Morgan VanClief, the librarian at P.A. Shaw Elementary School in Dorchester, MA.

They’re asking about the brand new books that Morgan has been able to bring to the school’s library through generous grants and access to the First Book Marketplace. Many of her students simply aren’t used to having resources available to them on a consistent basis, so they get nervous that the fun and exciting books they see today might not be there tomorrow.

Thanks to Morgan and funding partners like KPMG, they can be confident that the books they love will be available to them day in, day out.

“I think it helps show them that they do deserve to have these resources at school, just like any other kid,” Morgan says.

In just two years as the school’s librarian, Morgan has turned the library into a vibrant and engaging place where students can explore their interests — but it hasn’t always been that way.

“It was literally just an empty room,” Morgan says of the library, “now we have shelves full of books, computers, and even a little theatre area.”

Students are becoming more comfortable using the library regularly and in turn, more comfortable at school. Just by coming to the library every day kids are opening up, advancing reading levels and most importantly, they’re happier.

“One student who was in kindergarten two years ago—he was very reserved, kind of withdrawn, almost sad at school,” Morgan says, “but after two years of constantly coming to the library, he enjoys school now and his family says he is happier at home too.”

For many students, questions about whether or not the books will be available have been replaced by other questions. Questions about a book’s characters, or the setting of their favorite story–questions that will help them learn and grow.

Morgan VanClief’s library was able to receive books through First Book’s partnership with KPMG. If you work with children in need, you can access books and resources for your classroom through the First Book Marketplace.

The post A Library Full of Books & Happiness appeared first on First Book Blog.

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2. An Educator’s Campaign to Revitalize Her Library

When Vanessa Cadena entered the library at Bret Harte Middle School this school year, she knew she had a big job ahead of her.

It was Vanessa’s first year at the school and the library had not been updated in almost twenty years. Full of damaged and outdated books, Vanessa saw the reluctance on the kids’ faces when they left the library with books they didn’t want to read.

“It was a space that was defined by a vast collection of outdated and tattered books, technology and furniture. It begged to be pumped with vitality again,” said Vanessa, the Library Media Specialist for the school.

To create the library her students needed, Vanessa needed some help.  She started a First Book Fundly campaign with the goal to raise $1,000 to invigorate the shelves.  She reached out to the PTA at both her school and the elementary schools whose students would be attending Bret Harte in the future. She spread the word via social media, faculty, friends, the local public library and the closest books hop. She even enlisted the help of an intern to pass out flyers promoting the campaign.

index1When she not only met, but exceeded her goal, Vanessa was ecstatic – and so were her 7th and 8th graders. With the money raised, Vanessa was able to add 350 books to her library. This year alone she has purchased 1,000 brand-new books from First Book to revitalize the collection.

It’s made an immense difference in the reading habits of her middle schoolers.

Now, Vanessa has “regulars.” She can’t keep fiction and graphic novels in stock and students race to library to see her new arrival section. When the kids take home a book, they usually finish it by the next day.

“Kids are excited to read,” Vanessa explains. “The teachers have told me this is the first year they could send their students to the library and every single student comes out with a book – and it’s a book they are reading and excited about.”

Want to bring books to your school or program, or one in your community? Visit www.firstbook.fundly.com to start a campaign.

The post An Educator’s Campaign to Revitalize Her Library appeared first on First Book Blog.

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3. Librarian Interview – Betsy Bird

I suspect that even if you have only been writing for children for a short while, if you live in the US (and maybe elsewhere) you will know the name Betsy Bird, who was the Youth Materials Selections Specialist of New … Continue reading

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4. Matthew Winner – Librarian Interview

I have been mulling over how to expand my interviews, which I so enjoy doing, and have decided that while I want to continue with a focus on illustrators, I want to also incorporate chats with other members of the … Continue reading

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5. Hoist your flagons!


Heave on your futtock-shrouds and don’t leave your swashes unbuckled! ‘Tis International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Don’t forget: If you are anywhere near Latrobe, Pennsylvania, shape a course for The Art Center (819 Ligonier Street) where I’ll talk about illustrating pirates this evening from 6:30 – 8:30. If you miss it, I’ll be at The Art Center again tomorrow morning 10:00 – 11:00ish (we need to clear the decks before noon—when some poor lubber’s wedding takes place).


As promised, here are the answers to yesterday’s M is for Movie Pirates Quiz:

First row: Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Carribean (2006). Second row: (left to right) Douglas Fairbanks in The Black Pirate (1926); Robert Newton as Long John Silver in Treasure Island (1950); Sherman the parrot; Errol Flynn as Captain Blood (1935). Third row: Charles Laughton as Captain Kidd (1945); (Charlton Heston as Long John Silver in Treasure Island (1990); Dustin Hoffman as Hook (1991); Walter Matthau as Captain Red in Pirates (1986). Fourth row: Maureen O’Hara as Prudence ‘Spitfire’ Stevens in Against All Flags (1952); Laird Cregar as Sir Henry Morgan in The Black Swan (1942); Kevin Kline as the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance (1983); Graham Chapman as Yellowbeard (1983).

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6. Davy Jones

More from P is for Pirate as we count down to Talk Like a Pirate Day, September 19th! I’ll be presenting a pirate program at Adams Memorial Library in Latrobe, PA, Friday & Saturday September 19th & 20th.

Here is D is for Davy Jones from sketch to final painting. Sorry about the color in my progress shots—must’ve been at night and I forgot to switch the flash on. You can see I based my version of Davy Jones on an 1892 ink drawing by John Tenniel from the British humor magazine, Punch. Tenniel is the guy who drew the famous illustrations for Alice In Wonderland.

Tight pencil sketch Ink drawing of Davy Jones from the British magazine Punch color sketch painting in progress… IMGP1680 IMGP1681 IMGP1682 Finished painting

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7. On the Shelf with Cindy Cardona, Tween Librarian

Cindy Cardona is the Tween Librarian at the South Brunswick Public Library, in South Brunswick, NJ. She spends most of her time trying to figure out how to incorporate food into her library programs, trying to make the Children’s Department a little more colorful, and fighting the good fight to convince people that audiobooks are real books too!

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8. A fun week at Eden Hall Upper Elementary School

Thank you for inviting me!

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9. On the Shelf with Youth Services Librarian Cassie Runkel

Cassie is a Youth Services librarian at a public library in southern New Jersey. She adores her home state and is thrilled to serve its residents through both traditional and innovative programming and collections. Her favorite dewey range is 500-699.999 and you can find her tweeting occasionally at @CassieLovesNJ.

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10. Some great ink!

Thank you, Claire Kirsch, for your fine reportage on my recent visit to Penns Manor Elementary and my collaboration with the students to create the horrible & dreadful Baby Pandasaurus Rex! Read all about it here.

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11. On the Shelf with Librarian Jessica Lee

Jessica Lee is a teacher librarian at Willard Middle School in Berkeley, California. She has also been an English teacher, a public librarian, and a waitress, but her favorite terrible-teen job was selling snacks at Six Flags Magic Mountain. She is the mom of two boys who are also students at her school, fully integrating the work-life experience.

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12. More grants for early reading programs

As I mentioned yesterday, Target offers grant money to schools and organizations who need help with an early reading program. An early reading program might entail hiring a children’s book author/illustrator to present to students (he said rather shamelessly).

Dollar General also has a grant program for early literacy/youth development—as does Barbara Bush, Verizon, Scripps-Howard, and Clorox.

Here is a round-up of foundations who offer grant money for summer reading programs. Here are awards & grants available from the International Reading Association.

If you would like a detailed description of my presentations to help you apply for these grants, be sure to give me a yell!

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13. Target offers grants for reading programs!

If you’re a school librarian looking to hire an author or illustrator to present to your students (hint, hint) Target is accepting applications for Early Childhood Reading Grants.

I’m busily putting together a world tour. I’ll be barnstorming across New York State and Pennsylvania—maybe winding up in Connecticut—September/October 2014.

I’ll be in the Pittsburgh area for Read Across America Week, March 2 – 6, 2015.

If I’m booked for 2 or more consecutive days in the same area, I’ll give those schools a discount on my speaking fee. If you’re interested e-mail Lisa at Bookings@johnmanders.com.

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14. On the Shelf with Librarian Dana Skwirut

Dana Skwirut is a Youth Services librarian at the Fanwood Memorial Library in Fanwood, NJ, and the Summit Free Public Library in Summit, NJ. She is active in the Tumblarian community and on Twitter, where her sass got her featured in School Library Journal. When she isn’t in Ice Cream story time, she is seeing the world, one tiny road trip at a time.

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15. Research Across Levels

Last week I was literally sitting on the dock of the bay when along came a kayaker. Hello I shout and she shouts back hello and pulls up to the dock where we proceeded to have a 30 minute conversation. It really is a small world. The kayaker is an English professor at an East coast university and we commiserated about the lack of true research expected of her students and/or the lack of knowledge about how to begin the whole research process. Typically she teaches upper level classes but lately the administration at her university has decided all teachers should have the opportunity to work with English 101 students. I was pleased to hear her say she and some of the other university professors know who can help steer the students at their university…the librarians.

My district and a neighboring district team up every year about this time to have a professional development day for all of the librarians in our area. One of the sessions we will have is called Preparing Secondary Students for Research at the College Level. We have invited four university level librarians and two professors to be a part of a panel discussion covering expectations, academic research, citation tools and ways to develop and boost students’ information literacy IQ’s. When we are in the company of post-secondary librarians we are reminded that our students really are your students.


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16. Academy High School and Library Commons

Our new Academy high school had their Open House tonight with an energized crowd. We have opened this campus with a Library Commons and no librarian but it seems set to be the focal point of the Academy due to its location and inviting presence.

Listening to the parents and students it was obvious they were awed by the uniqueness yet familiarity of the space. There are still physical books along with the normal eBook components and soft seating is suited to the needs of our students. As parents and students wandered in and out of the library I loved hearing one parent say to her children, “Oh, they have books and we still have the ability to sit and read!”

Everyone was excited and positive as they toured this district’s newest educational endeavor. We aren’t sure if this campus will have a librarian (all teachers are at least dual certified) next year as the enrollment grows, but in the meantime we will support it and the needs of our students.

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17. Upward Collegial Sharing

My colleagues and I just spent two days in professional development sessions with our district’s elementary and secondary principals and their administrative staffs. The energy was high and the principals were engaged and dare I say enjoying our presentations. How much better could it get?

With their jam-packed schedules principals can be a tough sell but a unifying piece to remember is we are all in the business of educating our students. The administrators took the information we shared with them back to their campuses…and there they will spread it two-fold.

My advice is to enjoy the connection with these folks when you have the opportunity and make the most of the time you have with them. Win-win.

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18. Mackin Rolls Out EBook News

imageI’m in Austin at the Texas Association of Library Administrator’s conference where I enjoy meeting new people and reconnecting with colleagues from all parts of this great state.   We went to dinner tonight with the Mackin group where we heard Chris Wood speak. He is the Library Director for the Genessee Valley Educational Partnership. This is an educational service agency in western New York. Chris is a national leader in the school library community so I was very interested to see him at this dinner and hear what he had to say. Chris announced that tonight was the national launch of Here Be Fiction. He said that Mackin and the Big 6 publishers have reached an agreement and a limited beta release of their new fiction titles is underway.

He said the Big 6 have agreed to provide discount access for multiple users (you may have to buy more than one title), agreed to provide off line access with no Internet needed and can reach our special needs readers. Kitty Heise, co-owner of Mackin, said that School Library Journal is helping to sponsor this new program by having their reviewers review some of the titles they will offer. We librarians are anxious to see if our expectations are met.

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19. Guest Post: On Reaching the Parents of Teen Readers

Today’s wonderful guest post is by Stephanie Wilkes, a YA librarian with a passion for teens, good books, pizza, video games and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Stephanie Wilkes is the Young Adult Coordinator at Ouachita Parish Public Library in Louisiana. I love Stephanie’s recounting of her book club, and her idea about reaching the parents of teen readers. You can find Stephanie on Twitter at @stephaniewilkes

Last night I met with my Adult Book Club. Now, as a young adult librarian, when it is my turn to select our monthly book, I ALWAYS pick a YA book…to get them out of their comfort zone. Over the years, we’ve read The Hunger Games, Shiver, and Bloody Jack. This month, I chose Hate List by Jennifer Brown. I never anticipated that the discussion would be as beautiful as it was, but when everyone left the room and I was alone in my office, I had tears in my eyes. For the first time, I had connected with adults about the truth in young adult fiction.

One of the first responses I received when asking if they liked the book was that they didn’t understand why the books were so dark and they were concerned that it glamorized certain behaviors with teens. After this summer’s debate with Meghan Cox Gurdon and the outpouring of YA writers to support these types of materials, we had a serious discussion about the history of young adult literature and where we are today. Obviously, sharing my passion about young adult books is something I do on a daily basis, but I even surprised myself about how knowledgeable I felt when discussing ‘problem’ novels.

As we discussed the book, one of the attendees mentioned that she read the book with her daughter, as the book was on her daughter’s required reading for her high school over the summer. She mentioned that she and her daughter were able to sit down and discuss some of themes in the book together and how enjoyable it was to talk to her daughter, refreshing to hear her voice an opinion of her own, and how it brought the two closer together. Why did it bring them closer together? Not because of the discussion of school violence but because of the discussion of the relationship between Valerie, the main character, and her boyfriend Nick. She stated that she sat and talked about destructive behavior in relationships and about how it can be hard for girls AND guys to see that the decisions they are making have a domino effect on others. I was floored. Every discussion I have with teens about this book is about the shooting…we never discuss Valerie and Nick’s relationship.

Which brings me to my musing and my new idea… After much thought, I have decided that while doing the daily duties of a young adult librarian brings teens closer to books, maybe I should change focus for a short time and target the PARENTS. This seems crazy bu

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20. Ask A Librarian: Sara Slack from Inspired Quill

A while back, I mentioned that I'm considering the possibility of becoming a librarian, but that I realized I didn't actually know that much about what the library sciences entailed. Thankfully, several knowledgeable ladies stepped up and agreed to answer a few questions! This week (while I'm getting caught up on all the schoolwork I missed), I thought I would share what they had to say. I'm sure I'm not the only book blogger considering this path!

Today's interviewee is Sara Slack, general assistant at an award-winning university library, owner of her own publishing house, and blogger at my affiliate Inspired Quill!

First off, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Well, I'm currently a 22-year-old English Masters Student here in the UK. My hobbies range from reading (such a surprise!), to woodworking and participating within the theatre. My love of literature (or 'lol', as I like to call it), has always been a passion.You can usually find me either with friends, at the gym, or working away in front of my laptop on Inspired Quill. (I also hold the belief that 'to-do' lists breed when you're not looking).

Did you always want to work in a library and run a publishing house? What first drew you to these careers? What other options did you consider?

Not at all! Up until fairly recently, I wanted to become a University Lecturer or teacher. Before that, I wanted to be a lawyer. I also considered going to stage or film school as an actress, but that obviously never materialised. I knew from last year that I wanted to work in publishing, but it was getting an Entrepreneur grant from my University which really cemented the fact that I wanted to run my own company. I saw a huge gap in the market for a people-orientated, quality driven publisher...so I sort of dived in head first! The library job was a bit of luck, really. It was on campus and I'd been applying for the same job for about two years...(talk about competative!) Finally they caved and let me have it!

What does being a general assistant at a university library entail? How is working in a university library different from a public library or elementary/high school library?

At the moment, I simply work with moving the books around, restocking the shelves and making sure things are neat and tidy. I didn't realise so much work went into it! At the end of September, I'm being trained to be more of a 'people-person' on the information desk, which I'm really looking forward to. That sort of work entails dealing with queries...and resetting the alarm when people forget to swipe their books. In terms of the difference...I guess it's more to do with the information you have to deal with. Service desk operators don't just have to know where each section of books are. They also have to be very up to speed with all of the computer systems...including the catalogue, and academic

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21. Ask A Librarian: Jo from Fluidity of Time

A weeklong feature for those bookish types considering a career in the library sciences, or just curious about what it means to be a librarian.

If you're a librarian or someone with another kind of bookish job, and you're interested in being interviewed -- please email me!

Today's interviewee is Jo, an Assistant Department Head in the Adult Department at a public library who's had her MLS for 5 years. She also blogs at Fluidity of Time!

Fluidity of Time

First off, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Let’s see …. This is actually the hardest question, because I don’t usually talk a lot about myself. I’ve been a Librarian for 5 years now, working at my local public library (which is great, because I have a really short commute). I’ve always been a book addict (that’s my term for it, at least), so working in a library is a great thing, and also a bad thing, because my stack of books to be read is always growing. Outside of my life at the library, I’ve got a great husband, and a couple of bunnies – and a piano that I’m meaning to start sitting at again (I’ve taken lessons since I was 5, stopped when I was in grad school, and now need to get myself back on track again).

Did you always want to be a librarian? What first drew you to the career? What other options did you consider?

When I was in high school, I worked in my school library (working off my scholarship), but I never thought about being a Librarian. Instead, I was putting all my effort towards law school, so I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, took the LSAT, and then paused to really think about law school. Instead of going to law school, I started working at a law firm --- and soon discovered that as much as I liked my job, I wasn’t sure if law school was for me. I spent about 10 years in law firms (and working for about 2 years part-time at my library) until one day, the idea of library school was suggested to me. I had no idea there was “library school”, but when I really thought about it, the idea of becoming a librarian really appealed to me. My current law firm job made me feel like I never helped anyone – and being a librarian, depending on where you’re working and what kind of library, is all about helping people in some way. So, it really all started to click for me. And, I admit – the lure of being surrounded by books had appeal, as well.

How is the current economic market and the transition to digital media affecting traditional libraries? I’ve heard that it’s a difficult field to enter right now, because of a lack of available positions – would you encourage people to pursue it, or possibly take a different path?

I can only speak for my own experience in a public library, but librarianship now and what it was even 10 years ago are very different. There’s more technology now, whether it’s in how we process our materials, to how we serve our patrons. We do offer downloadable materials at our library, and I think t

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22. Maine Librarians! A chance at a free author visit from Cynthia Lord

Maine librarians/teachers–you have a chance to win 1 of 2 free author visits from author Cynthia Lord! (Rules, Touch Blue).

Just email Cynthia Lord privately with your name, your email address, and the name of your school (and whether it’s in East or West Maine), and she’ll enter you in the drawing. There will be no cost for you–you just have to make sure that the students, if they’re grades 4-8, have read one of her books. Check out all the details on her post. Sound good? Contact Cynthia to enter!!

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23. In Toronto? Please help stop the library cuts with this fast form

In Toronto? Please help to stop the library cuts! It’s simple! Just fill out your name and address and press send. YOU can make a difference!

We need our libraries and our librarians!

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24. This Is What A Librarian Looks Like

You know the stereotype of what a librarian looks like–wire-rimmed glasses, hair pulled back tight, finger up to the lips shushing people? It’s just not the way librarians are. Doubt me? Go check out This Is What A Librarian Looks Like–a blog where librarians from around the world post images of themselves. I love poring through the many different images of librarians. (You *know* I love librarians–the ones who help get our books into readers’ hands!)

Thanks to SherylBooks on Twitter for the link.

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25. Librarian Rave Mix

Librarians: You know how it goes.

You are out partying with your librarian friends. Suddenly you realize that your gathering requires a suitable soundtrack. A library-themed soundtrack. Indeed, without the proper music, the event will be a disaster!

It could happen. The worst case scenario is sobering: everyone ends up hopping around to the They Might be Giants’ album “Flood” until the police show up and ticket you with a noise violation.*

Using a combination of technology and powerful query-typing skills, I have SOLVED THIS PROBLEM. Introducing Dancing on the Reference Desk, a free playlist dedicated to libraries, librarians, and their interests.

Including such timeless classics as Ch-Check it Out by the Beastie Boys, and Lady Writer by Dire Straits make sure your next librarian rave is a success with this excellent compilation.

Note: I’m not associated with Spotify, but I do think they are pretty awesome. If you end up using this soundtrack let me know. I would love to attend some rocking librarian parties vicariously.
Credits: I dictated this entire blog post to my iPhone via Dragon Dictate while spooning nutrient-rich goop into the baby’s mouth. Special thanks to Jenny Klumpp who provided numerous excellent suggestions.
* This actually happened. I was in grad school hopping around with my fellow nerds, watching the Muppet Show and listening to TMBG. We chipped in to pay the ticket. This was in my experience hands-down the Dorkiest. Police Intervention. Ever.

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