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My Library On-line September 10, 2008

Posted by swegene1 in books, Library, Recommendations, Uncategorized.
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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)

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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!

Reference Final Exam June 5, 2008

Posted by swegene1 in Library, Recommendations.
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I just came from my final exam for my youth services reference course, it is good to have it over with so I can focus on the summer reading club. The questions focused on all the typical things that such reference classes do: electronic databases, reference interviews, and different types of reference materials. However, having worked the past couple of months at the reference desk in the youth services department, I know that this is really a small part of the REAL questions that we get asked.

Here are is a small sampling of the most typical information needs that people had when they came into the children’s department:

*I’m looking for my daughter/mother/father/son/small Martian
*Where are the bathrooms/drinking fountain/computers/dvds?
*Have you seen my bag/headphones/jacket?
*Do you have a copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid/The Clique/Twilight?

The only question on the exam that came close to this was about the three types of reference interviews–saying that directional questions are not part of this–I had to add that they are probably among the most common received.

What are your most commonly asked questions?

More Homework Stuff May 30, 2008

Posted by swegene1 in Homework Help, Library, Recommendations.
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I am still in the midst of preparing for my new job–which I start Monday–and working on my reference project. So I have more fun reference sources for my core collection–these are internet links that I think will provide good sources for directing students when working on their homework. It is always hard to know without actually trying them out on kids, but here are a few that I’ve found:
Websites


Math
Math Forums @ Drexel:


Biography
Presidents of the United States


Language Arts
Factmonster Language Arts


Multimedia Grammar Glossary


Science
Especies Fact Sheets


Windows to the Universe


All Science Fair Projects


Social Science
The World Factbook


Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government for Kids

Reading Corner Themes! May 22, 2008

Posted by swegene1 in books, Library, Ready to Read, Recommendations.
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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!

Non-fiction Read Alouds for Kids May 18, 2008

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I’ve never been much of a non-fiction reader, at least not for enjoyment, though I’ve read more then my fair share for school. But since I begun working in youth services I have discovered some really enjoyable non-fiction, particularly aimed at younger readers. Many have stunning illustrations, interesting information, and quite a few are suitable for reading out loud to a group or together at home. Since I love picture books, it is not surprising that I would enjoy these so much. Today’s new book cart was chock full of delightful non-fiction, which I thought I would share!

The first is a hilarious book for pre-k and up that is PERFECT for reading aloud because it invites participation. It is Where Does Pepper Come From And Other Fun Facts and it includes a wide range of facts, from why flamingos are pink to the difference between whales and fish. First a silly statement is made explaining why these things are so, such as “Flamingos are pink because they are embarrassed!” Then a child says “No! Silly” and then the facts are explained. Children will love to say “No!” to the silly stories and pictures, and will not be confused by the facts explained.

Another fun book that came in today is Ape , the illustrations are stunning and the text is simple. The book presents the five great apes and provides a bit of information about each and where they live. It might not be for every family, as the ending presents the fifth ape as humans, and there is definite preservation angle. However, the images and lyrical simple text make this a book that is definitely worth recommending as a read aloud.

Continuing the theme of animals, this is an interesting story for a bedtime theme: Water Beds: Sleeping in the Ocean It pairs simple words with peaceful text that provides information about the sleeping habits of aquatic mammals. Another good themed storytime bookPumpkins –this time for a fall/harvest/pumpkin theme, this non-fiction book has incredible pictures, simple text, and good proportions for sharing with a group.

Oddly, one of the hardest categories for non-fiction read alouds is folk tales, which are particularly hard to find for younger readers. Most of the time a storyteller can modify them to keep attention using dramatics, props, or just voice modulation, but simple folk tales are excellent for sharing aloud. Today, I found The Ghost Catcher with the new books. It is a simple tale of trickery and humor, involving ghosts and generosity that will not frighten children. This is suitable for k-2 grades.

What I have really discovered is that there is a lot of non-fiction that can be incorporated into our story telling in the library, and that rather then just focusing on fiction picture books, we can introduce our children to the world around them from an early age. I hope to find even more amazing non-fiction books–so any suggestions would be appreciated!