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<<November 2014>>
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Slice of Life, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 367
1. Slice of Life Story Challenge: Every Tuesday!

Join us every Tuesday for the Slice of Life Story Challenge!

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2. Mindfulness in the Library


Photo by Stacy Dillon. Cossayuna Lake NY

In our lives as busy and distracted librarians, it’s easy to get sucked into always keeping that running list in our minds.  You know the one.  It has all of those “to-do” tasks on it that have to get done in the next 2 hours, shift, day, week and month.  I know that I always have several balls in the air and am trying to stay ahead of the game.  It often leads to worrying about what’s next rather than being present in the task at hand.

I was speaking with a teacher about this not so long ago, and she told me about a mindfulness workshop she had attended.  She told me that it had not only helped her practice as an educator, but she was using the techniques with her students and it was making a difference in their lives at school as well.

I started looking around the web for some articles not only just on mindfulness, but on mindfulness in the practice of librarianship as well.  Here are some links have proven helpful to me as I begin to slow down, take a breath and be present in my practice.

Mindfulness for Librarians, by Devin Zimmerman

Insights and Practical Tips on Practicing Mindful Librarianship to Manage Stress, by Kristen Mastel and Genvieve  Innes

Mindfulness 101, posted by The Nocturanal Librarian

The Resource Page from The Mindfulness in Education Network

Of course this takes time. And our connected lives give us some hard habits to break.  I am typing this up while at the breakfast table, with several tabs open at once! I hope that you will consider adding some mindful practice to your days.

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3. Slice of Life Stories: Every Tuesday!

Share your Slice of Life Story today! Post a permalink to your story in the comments section below, and comment on at least three other slices! Do you love being a part of… Continue reading

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4. Slice of Life: Lost and Found Writing

Almost 20 years ago, we lived in a neighborhood with a magnificent gingko tree at the end of our street. It stood, not in a yard, but in front of an industrial business. One autumn morning, when I was out early walking the dog, I found the tree, which had been full of yellow light just the day before, a skeleton of bare branches with a perfect circle of yellow leaves on the ground underneath it. I went home and wrote this story.

*   *   *   *   *

In the Way Back, in the time of naming things, Earth Woman lived beside the Gingko Tree. 

During the Hot Time, its fan-shaped leaves cooled her all through her working days. 

As the nights grew chilly and the days shortened, Earth Woman was more and more thankful for the warmth of her fire.

One morning, Earth Woman noticed that the tree who had fanned her in the Hot Time had turned the bright yellow of the flames of her fire. Even though the tree gave off no heat, its yellow light warmed her all through her working days.

Soon there came a night of sharp frost, and the day that followed was no warmer. The Cold Time had stopped teasing and had finally arrived. 

Earth Woman sat in the yellow light of the Gingko Tree and pulled her blankets more tightly around her on that first morning of the Cold Time. She turned her thoughts back to the Hot Time and thanked the Spirits for all of the particular joys of that time. Then she said goodbye to those memories as she prepared to embrace each of the particular joys of the Cold Time.

As she began releasing her memories, she heard a faint rustling around her and felt light kisses on her head and shoulders and knees. She opened her eyes for a moment and saw that the Gingko was also releasing its memories in a steady flutter of leaves -- the yellow light, like shattered rays of sun or individual flames of fire, was leaving the tree to join Earth Woman on the ground.

Earth Woman smiled, closed her eyes, and resumed her goodbyes.

When she opened her eyes again, the tree was bare and she sat in a pool of fallen light. Her memories of the Hot Time had all been released and she was ready to accept this first memory of the Cold Time. She looked around at the fallen leaves, the fallen light, and she named her first memory of the Cold Time. 

She named it Fall. 

*   *   *   *   *

On Sunday, we biked through our old neighborhood and then south for an hour in the glorious autumn sunshine. The gingko tree is still there, and so is the ghost of Earth Woman.

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5. Write, share, give: It’s SOL time!

  “Writing is like breathing, it’s possible to learn to do it well, but the point is to do it no matter what.” ― Julia Cameron, The Right to Write: An Invitation and… Continue reading

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6. Write, share, give: It’s SOL time!

“Because this business of becoming conscious, of being a writer, is ultimately about asking yourself, How alive am I willing to be?” ― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and… Continue reading

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7. Write, share, give: It’s SOL time!

“Because this business of becoming conscious, of being a writer, is ultimately about asking yourself, How alive am I willing to be?” ― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and… Continue reading

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8. You know you’re an (old) children’s librarian when …

You know you’re an old  experienced children’s librarian when …

… you make public school outreach visits and you can recognize some of the kids from baby story time!

I spotted one child I remember from when I visited with his preschool class years ago. He was always the one with yogurt and Cheerios ® smashed on his head! :)


Photo: By Loadmaster (David R. Tribble) This image was made by Loadmaster (David R. Tribble) Email the author: David R. Tribble Also see my personal gallery at Google Picasa (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Have a great weekend, all, and remember – today’s babies are tomorrow’s library patrons.

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9. Harnessing the Energy

Photo from pixabay

Photo from pixabay

This is more of a question, than it is a post.

I work in a school that embraces technology. Many of our students have devices, either as part of our one to one program, or they have their own personal devices.  The library in the morning has shifted as a result of the omnipresent tech.

Don’t get me wrong…we do not expect a quiet library, especially in the morning. But now the groups of students are huddled around, eyes on screens, raucously commenting and enjoying their selfies/videos/games/instagrams/apps etc etc etc.

So. How to harness this? How to direct it? I have a couple of ideas brewing, but I thought I would put it out to the great brain. Any and all ideas appreciated.

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10. Write, Share, Give: It’s SOL Time

“There is, of course, always the personal satisfaction of writing down one’s experiences so they may be saved, caught and pinned under glass, hoarded against the winter of forgetfulness. Time has been cheated… Continue reading

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11. Strange shelf-fellows

Love him or hate him, Melvil Dewey was the architect of modern library cataloging.  His classification system added order to the world of books like the classification system of Kingdom, Phylum, Species, etc., made sense of the biological world.

In most instances, Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) makes for easy non-fiction browsing.  Once in a while, however, it makes for some strange “shelf-fellows.”  Here are two  that you might enjoy:

Browsing the DDC 610s: Nothing goes together quite like Chiggers and My First Trip to the Dentist

Browsing the DDC 610s: Nothing goes together quite like Chiggers and My First Trip to the Dentist
© L Taylor

Browsing the DDC 640s: My Christmas Cookie Book and Flush: The Scoop on Poop Throughout the Ages - strange shelf-fellows indeed! (c) L Taylor

The Christmas Cookie Book and Flush: The Scoop on Poop – strange shelf-fellows indeed!
© L Taylor

What strange shelf-fellows are nesting on your shelves?  If you’ve got a great photo, I’ll be happy to add it to the post.

(Be sure to tell me whom to credit for the photo.)

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12. Thoughts on the CCSS

How ironic that the more fluid the study of math and science becomes, the more rigid becomes the study of language and literature…

Solve for x

© L Taylor

…in which math becomes form and reading becomes function.

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13. It’s Tuesday! Write your Slice. Share your Link. Give your Comments.

Please write your Slice of Life Story, share your link, and give at least 3 comments to other Slicers.

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14. It’s Tuesday! Write your Slice. Share your Link. Give your Comments.

Please write your Slice of Life Story, share your link, and give at least 3 comments to other Slicers.

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15. Slice of Life: What We Don't Know

If I had known when we set out for our fly fishing trip to Vermont that I wouldn't catch a single fish, I probably wouldn't even have bothered to try.

Don't get me wrong, the trip was not a failure. There was the otter, the kingfisher, the B&Bs, the Orvis Outlet Store, Niagara Falls. There are a myriad of moment-uous memories. Just none that involved trout at the end of my line.

That got me thinking about high stakes testing. I "fish" my heart out for the entire school year, and invariably, I don't "catch" much. And then I beat myself up.

Well, this year's going to be different. I'm not going to worry about the year as a whole. Instead of taking one big trip that depends on a single outcome, I'm going to slice this year up into 180 daily jaunts. Whatever good comes with each day (whether I aim for it, or it happens in spite of my intentions) will be the "trout" of the day.

I know this isn't a new way of thinking, but it finally makes sense to me. And I'm going to go with it.

Let's check back in a couple of months and see how it's working out for me.

Until then, I'll wish you tight lines, and be sure you watch your back cast.

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It’s Tuesday – time to share your Slice with the Two Writing Teachers Community. Here is a chart from last week’s Teachers College Reading and Writing Project August Writing Institute at Columbia University.… Continue reading

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17. Getting Organized

Image from creative commons reuse search "post its" - source Hyper Island FB

Image from creative commons reuse search “post its” – source Hyper Island FB

As summer winds down some public librarians are feeling thankful and school librarians are gearing up.  I have spent a considerable amount of time planning my year (and realizing that some of those plans will get sidelined).  Each year for the past several school years, I have tried some new organizational methods, but have yet to find something with staying power that smooths transitions and helps me in my day to day life.

I was excited when earlier in the summer #readadv had a chat on this very subject. How do librarians get and stay organized?  What is working for other people?  The storify for this chat can be found here.

It was interesting because folks definitely seemed to use a variety of tools – demonstrating that no one method works for “all the things”.  Being of a certain age myself, I have to say that there is an appeal to some of the analog methods and I am more likely to remember something if I write it down on a post-it than if I type it into my google calendar.  Now, don’t get me wrong – I live off my google calendar for the majority of my in the moment time, but when in comes to actual planning, I need something more visual.

Enter bullet journal.  Some folks have been talking about this on twitter and in blog posts for a while, and this is the method I have decided to experiment with for my overall planning of the school year.  The beauty of this system for me is that it seems infinitely tweakable to allow for my own idiosyncrasies.  I can color code, add post-its (and stickers!), dog ear pages, and blend as much of my outside of school life as my teaching life as I see fit.

I will check back in with you all later to see if I can make this one stick!

How do you all keep your library lives organized?

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18. Tuesday Slice of Life

Serve up your slice of life story today.

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19. Wait, Where are You?: Directional Challenges at #alaac14

I like to think I’m pretty good when it comes to maps and directions. I’ve traveled a fair bit and I can usually reason my way through a new airport, on public transit, and downtown grids with just a few U-turns. But I think I’ve met my match – Las Vegas.

First of all, almost everything is hidden inside a ginormous casino! That really cool restaurant you read about on American Libraries Direct? Yeah, it’s smashed between a block of slot machines and the Rock of Ages Theatre.

Second, the signage is bad. It’s like trying to figure out Library Congress (at least for this Dewey loving librarian) using signage translated from another language by a robot. The name of a restaurant won’t be on the sign, “Some restaurants are that way. Some restaurants are that way.” This is ploy to get you lost on the casino floor so you gamble. Resist. RESIST!

Finally, there are a lot of distractions. Flashing lights, dinging bells, blaring music, larger-than-life show posters, people in crazy outfits, the list goes on. It can be difficult to keep your target in sight!

Maybe I’ll figure out the trick to navigating this flashy, overstimulating world soon, but in the meantime I think I’ll be doing a lot of “accidental exploring!” Viva Las Vegas!

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20. Write. Share. Give. It’s SOL time.

      “This is our goal as writers, I think; to help others have this sense of–please forgive me–wonder, of seeing things anew, things that can catch us off guard, that break… Continue reading

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“This is our goal as writers, I think; to help others have this sense of–please forgive me–wonder, of seeing things anew, things that can catch us off guard, that break in on our… Continue reading

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“Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver

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23. Slice of Life -- Hemming

One of the jobs on Mom's to-do list for me last week was to hem a couple of pairs of pants for her.

I should back up to say that my mom was a Master Seamstress in her day, trained under the iron rule of her mother, who was a Home-Ec teacher. (Raise your hand if you even know what Home-Ec is...yeah, I thought so...) When Mom started to teach me to sew, we nearly came to blows. She is a perfectionist. I am a generalist. But she cared enough that I learn to sew that she bought me sewing lessons from a teacher who was a little less like her and a little more like me. I became a functional seamstress.

Teaching Lesson #1 -- If you are not the right teacher for a student, have the humility to find the teacher who can best teach that learner.

After we got the pants measured and pinned, I went to work. I wanted to do a really good job. I wanted to make Mom proud that I'm at least a functional seamstress, and maybe just a little better than that. But I was having problems. The legs of the pants were tapered at the bottom, so the hemming was turning out bunchy. Since I wanted to do a really good job, I asked for help.

Learning Lesson #1 -- If it's not turning out the way you want it to, have the humility to ask for help.

I didn't even have the question out of my mouth before Mom knew what the problem was: the tapering. She came and showed me that if I switched the pins from horizontal to the hem to perpendicular to the hem my work would lay flatter. Then she confirmed my suspicion that it would help to take bigger stitches. Then she left me to it.

Teaching Lesson #2 -- Give just enough help to get the learning going again and then get out of the way.

Hemming the second pair of pants when smoothly. I didn't have to cut any off, the fabric was more considerate, and I was back in the groove of hand-hemming. My stitches were quick and even.

Learning Lesson #2 -- Just because one task is frustrating doesn't mean that every task like that is going to be frustrating. Don't give up. Persevere when things get hard...but also remember to enjoy the feeling when things go smoothly.

Teaching and learning...and hemming pants. Good stuff.

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“Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver

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25. A lesson in writing book reviews

I write book reviews.  I write them for magazines, my blog, my co-workers. I also spend quite a bit of time crafting them — tweaking this sentence, editing that.  Well, apparently, I’ve been doing it all wrong.  Perhaps it’s best just to shoot from the hip and tell it like you feel it, as the following children have done.

Enjoy this selection of entertaining book reviews. All appeared online and were written (without byline) by children participating in New Jersey’s Collaborative Summer Reading Program, “Fizz, Boom, Read!”

“Most Honest”

SpongeBob Sqaure [sic] Pants
I hated it…!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Don’t hold back, tell us what you really think!)

“Best Use of a Spelling Error”

Olivia The Princess
Natalie Shaw
It wasn’t the best book ever but it’s okay. I enjoyed it and it interested me a lot. I just can’t help to say I love that it retaliates to princesses and castles. I know kindergarten and 1st graders will definitely enjoy this magical princess book and the rest of the series. It was sort of challenging but with some help I can read it just fine.

(Take that, princesses and castles!)

“Sounds Kind of Creepy to Me”

Baby Unicorn
Jean and Claudio Marzollo
Read to me by big brother. I like that she lets all the other unicorns, even her father, touch her horn.

(I don’t know what to think about this one.)

“Yes, You can Judge a Book by its Cover”

At the Beach, Postcards from Crabby Spit
Roland Harvey
This book was funny because of the silly title!

(I’m guilty of choosing a book by its title, too!)

“Most Complimentary”

The Goose’s Gold
Ron Roy
I liked this book a lot. It was very real to me.

(What author wouldn’t appreciate this review?)

“Biggest Spoiler”

Two Bad Ants
Chris Van Allsburg
Those ants shouldn’t have made that decision. :(

(Guess I don’t need to read that one.)


I’d Really Like to Eat a Child
Sylviane Donnio
I like this one. It was really funny. This book is an 8.

(On a scale of 1-5, this one received an 8.  I’ll put it on my TBR pile.)


I hope you enjoyed them!  I’ll keep an eye out for other gems. :)

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