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My Library On-line September 10, 2008

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Since January, I have been using the online book cataloguing system called Goodreads. It allows me to list all of my books, both for work and for pleasure reading, on different “shelves.” Because the shelves are more like tags, each book can be labeled with more then one, and there is no limit on the number of shelves or books you can have in your goodreads.

Some of the features I particularly like in Goodreads are the unlimited capabilities to add books and shelves (if the book you want to add isn’t in the system, you can add it there, the abilities to share my books with others and see their books (get lots of ideas for what to read next), and the opportunities to connect with other librarians and YS professionals across the city and the country. When I worked at UAPL, they used good reads all the time to provide reader’s advisory, by using the lists created by colleagues.

Here is a sample of the lists I’ve created:

One of picture books on opposites http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/828864?shelf=p-opposites

I’m still creating this one for a class I’m taking: http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/828864?shelf=50-books-for-dickson

Here is a list of books for YA on volunteering: http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/828864?shelf=ya-volunteering

In addition to these lists, I can share books on my blog, with an image of the cover and a link to good reads. One of my favorite board books:
Baby Cakes

One of my favorite YA books:
Life As We Knew It

One of my favorite books of all time:
Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, Book 1)


Reading August 26, 2008

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My creation

Originally uploaded by swegene1

Even before my brother and his wife had their baby girl, I begun collecting board books for them to share with her. My brother told me that they didn’t have that kind of specialized thing in the college town where he lives. This still makes me laugh, both because he thought board books are specialized, and because that town has all kinds of places to buy specialized things even if they were that hard to find. This encouraged me to buy even more for them. I still have a stack on my book shelf waiting to be sent off, but the first thing I sent them was this little cloth book with a rattle. My sister-in-law uses it with the itty bitty baby girl to read to her while she is stretching her tummy. I think this is a great example of how books can be used even when babies are very young.

The Farmer’s Market and Me June 14, 2008

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So even before I started this job, I decided it would be awesome to try and get some advertising for the SRC at the Farmer’s Market just down the street. My supervisor didn’t hear back in time for the kick off weekend, but today we set up a table at the market. It started POURING at 5 am and continued for a couple of hours, with loud thunder and lightening–I was sure that my plans would be washed down the drain.

Fortunately, it stopped in time for me to haul my stuff down at 8am. We had a small card table–which was smaller then I thought we’d have. I made it work by storing the forms in our box under the table. Not the most organized, but it worked. My room mate came to help me set up and hung around for the market, and I had two volunteens come to help as well. And boy did we need them! We signed up 68 people in 3 hours and talked to at least four times more–including the two kids who finished at our location first.

I’m so excited that it was a success, since it was my first solo activity and my first idea on the job! The latest shift of volunteens are probably still entering the info into the computer, but I got to come home finally!

Underwear June 12, 2008

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Under here? Underwear? Yep! Today’s reading corner featured an assortment of books on every young child’s favorite topic. Undies! Socks and Pants–under pants! While Thursdays are usually sloooow days at our library, the 10 participants were enthralled with these tales of underwear and socks. I read the stories to two groups, since even a great topic like underwear can’t hold a 5 or 6 yr old still for more then 5 picture books. There were a bunch of kids on the game computers who barely even looked up when I asked them if they wanted to come hear stories. So I grabbed a bunch of kids who had just walked through the door, and they were the most enthusiastic crowd ever–even though they were pretty young, they listened to the entire story of Timothy Cox and also Dirty Joe. My boss came to check up on me at 2, when I was supposed to be done, but these kids were SO entranced that they didn’t even notice him come by.

So here are some of my favorite underwear tales:
A True Story This combines both Underpants and Socks!

Timothy Cox Will Not Change His Socks This is quite long, so definitely an elementary tale, but it is entrancing! What happens if you don’t change your socks for a month? In real life they’d probably fall apart before they could smell as stinky as Tim’s.

Pants This was actually more popular then Parr’s Underwear dos and don’ts, a British take on Pants!

Math Reference May 29, 2008

Posted by swegene1 in books, Homework Help, Library.
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One of the scariest parts of my new job is going to be providing homework help in math, since it has never been a strong subject for me. But in my quest to become as prepared as possible, and in my class assignment of creating a core-reference collection for the center, I have been examining a variety of math related reference materials. Since I don’t have a passion for math, I didn’t expect to be terribly excited about these reference materials, but I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of math reference materials out there.

In particular, I found the book A Mathematics Handbook very colorful and informative on all kinds of math problems and concepts. It is aimed for middle school students, but could help younger children and even older ones.

Core Reference Collection May 28, 2008

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I’m currently taking a four week class called “Reference Services for Youth” and our main project is to create a core reference collection of about 30-34 works both print, electronic, and hopefully audio visual. Personally, I am not sure of what the professor means by “reference” as she sometimes seems to refer to all non-fiction books and other times to refer to a distinct sub-set of non-fiction. Regardless, I am finding this particular assignment to be very helpful, and am creating a core reference collection for the homework help center.

Since the homework help center is a distinct area within a larger branch, it doesn’t need a full complement of reference materials. Students can bring reference materials into the center from other parts of the library, and certainly if there was a project that all the students were working on that needed a specific set of books, we could move them temporarily into the center. This said, there are some basic print reference materials that we could keep in the center for use of the students.

In deciding which materials to include, I’m trying to select works that can be used by the broadest range of students in the largest amount of projects. Since the library system has a lot of amazing databases, I will work on marketing those as well.

Here is the tentative list:
Random House Webster’s unabridged dictionary 2005 423 R1948r2, 2005
Macmillan dictionary for children 2007 423 M16, 2007
The American heritage student thesaurus 2007 423.1 H477s, 2007
The Facts on File dictionary of mathematics 2005 510.3 F142f4
Larousse French-English, English-French dictionary 2007 443.21 L332, 2007
Bilingual visual dictionary – French 2005 443.21 B595
Collins Spanish dictionary 2006 463.21 C7123c3
Writing Aids
Grammar essentials 2006 428.2 G7451g3
Ready, set, write! :a student writer’s handbook for school and home 808.02 R287
The World Book Encyclopedia 2008 031 W92, 2008 Almanacs
The World almanac and book of facts 2008 031.02 W927
The world almanac for kids” 2008 031.02 W9273
“School atlas–DK” 2007 912 S421s, 2007 Historical Works
Opposing viewpoints in American history 2007 973 OPP

This is just a start–I’m still thinking that I’d like a general science reference work, but I’m undecided on what would be general enough for the largest variety of students and assignments and not take up too much shelf space. In case you are wondering about the two French dictionaries, we have two French immersion schools in our service area, both k-8, so it seemed reasonable.

Alphabet Collages May 27, 2008

Posted by swegene1 in Alphabet, books, Library, Ready to Read.
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This week is my last week at my old job, but hopefully it wont be the last week of Ready to Read activities at the center. I have been working hard to get instructions and supplies together so that these activities can be pulled out and used after I am gone to work at my new job. The plan is to provide enough supplies so that each activity can be used at least once without any further preparation then looking at the instruction sheet and grabbing the box of glue sticks and the box of crayons along with the prepared supplies.

For some reason, I’d forgotten that it would be a shorter work week because of the holiday, but I’m still sure that I can pull it all together. Well at least I hope so! This week’s activity is pretty simple. We will be making collages on large letters. I have boxes with a huge assortment of different scraps of different types and colors of paper. That and glue sticks and scissors is all we need for a lot of fun! We made samples on Thursday and stuck them on the Fridge door in the break room–they looked nice and were fun to put together. Plus kids love to work on cutting paper and gluing, skills they get lots of practice in this activity, along with practicing some letters.

Reading Corner Themes! May 22, 2008

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This summer I will be reading Mon-Thursday for an hour to any kids in the library around 1pm. It promises to be enormously entertaining, and hopefully will give me the opportunity to read more picture books. Plus, picture books are fun and the smaller groups will allow more interaction.

To keep what books I’ve read straight, I plan on compiling lists of books for each day. Though I’m scheduled to read for an hour, most likely I will not be reading the whole time, so my goal is 10 books on each topic, for different age levels. A couple for toddlers, a couple for pre-schoolars, some for k-2 grades, and at least one for older kids.

Some of the themes I have lists for already–others I will be compiling as I go along based on what we have at the branch. I don’t want to track down too many books at other branches, so hopefully I’ll be able to find enough for each week.

Here are some of the topics I’ve brainstormed, any suggestions would be great–as well as recommendations of good books on these topics!
-Camping -Farm -Family
-Sports -Clothing -Fruit and Veggies
-Folktales -Colors -Ponds
-Birthday -Creativity -Transportation
-Bedtime -Beach -Alphabet
-Dinosaurs -Jungle -Friends
-Dogs -Emotions -America
-Cats -Ocean -School
-Zoo -Weather -Diversity/multi-cultural
-Bugs -Picnic -Vacation

Some of these I have a lot for, but lots of these I don’t have more then one or two–so I could use suggestions for any read-alouds!

Passive Programing Ideas May 21, 2008

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Since the system I work for is enormous, with over 20 branches, the programs that are presented are shared with all locations and are developed centrally. This is a great time and money saver, since it allows smaller branches to experience more programing then their time and budgets would normally allow. The Youth Services team proposed programs and each location selected a list of them and added them to the schedule of activities. Since I am stepping into the position working on the summer reading club, I am just glad that such excellent programs were selected for my new location.

Though, I’m super excited about the activities and programs we have planned (I can’t believe Haddix is coming, I’ve never been to an author visit!!), I do want to add some things of my own to the SRC. The one area that I think can carry between the two aspects of this job is some passive programing. I can bring these out if there are kids sitting around looking for something to do, before a program, or on weekends when we don’t have any programs. These are also something that volunteens can assist in creating and processing.

Aimed at younger children, I’d like to have a variety of soft easy puzzles–using the die cut I’ve already made some using old flannel backgrounds. Building on the theme of Game On, I’d like to have lacing of some sports related images–primarily balls for different sports. I’ll also have some simple word searches and other word puzzles.

For older kids, I’ll have number, word games, logic games, and mazes. In order to encourage kids to participate and to enjoy it, I will have a contest–giving out stickers for each puzzle completed, with a special foam book mark for those who complete 10 over the course of the summer.

Groups of school age kids and teens might also enjoy some mad-libs, which can also be brought out for groups to enjoy when things get slow. There are also some drawing books that might provide some entertainment–particularly those sports and gaming related ones.

I’ll definitely be posting more as these ideas develop.

Gearing up for Summer Reading Club! May 20, 2008

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Part of my new job will be to coordinate the summer reading activities for the new branch–our theme this summer is Game On. Read. and we have reading clubs for infants-pre k, children, teens, and adults, though most of our programing is aimed towards the first three groups. This summer we are also trying some new things with our registration of participants–which will be entirely electronic and progress can be tracked via bar code on the activity sheet and their library card. Our volunteens will be entering the registration, but all staff will have to be trained on the new computer system–so everyone can help.

The official kick off will be a week after I start work, so a lot of information to catch up on before we dive into the fun. Even though I have not started yet, I have a lot of ideas about fun activities. Though the calendar suggests that there wont be much time for any more activities, especially with a four day a week reading corner, where I and volunteens and others will read to any children.

Some of our planned activities:
**Tall Tales of North America
**Mad Science, Up, Up, and Away
**Author Visit: Margaret Peterson Haddix
**Manga & Cartooning
**Lunch Bunch (Every Thursday)
**Kitchen Concoctions: Extreme Cuisine
**Turtle Lady
**Color in Action
**Teen Gaming (Every Thursday)
**Library Bingo
**Jim Gill, Music and Fun
**Irish Dance
**Race on!
And that is just June!!

Right now I feel like I need to get more information on what they are planning before I can see how any ideas I might have would fit into the program. The only part I know for sure that I am responsible for is supervising volunteens and the reading corner.