You may have noticed the lack of book reviews this year. I’m going to try to work on that, but honestly, I’m not sure it’ll get better right now. I am Great Graphic Novel for Teens this year and am still working out the balance of reading for committee and reading for myself. I am discovering it’s a very delicate balance, but I am working on it. I am, however, writing up some posts on programming and what’s going on w/my teens. Hopefully, there will be some posts up later on this week and next!
So, um, summer reading came and swallowed me whole. Along with other work stuff I have been buried. But I am working on some posts which will hopefully be up sometime this week. Hope everyone is doing well!
This week marks the 40th year that my library is at its current location. So, we have a ton of different activities planned throughout the month, including 70s Week!
For me, that means a new display in the Teen Section (which I hope will be Tuesday’s post!) and the whole staff is wearing 70s inspired fashion this week.
I definitely promise a picture, haha!
You may have noticed that Kristen, Katie, and I have been super busy lately. So, to catch up on work/life we are going to go on “vacation” until Sept. 5. We’ll be back and better than ever then!
You may have notice it’s been rather quite here at Book Blather lately. I know this isn’t something new, but this time there is a reason. Book Blather is about to go through some changes! Some of you may know that I’ve always wanted to make this a collab blog and I’m happy to report I’ve finally made it happen. Staring May 1st Katie and Kristen will become part of Book Blather. To say I’m excited is a tad of an understatement! Both lovely ladies are friends and I’m so glad to welcome them aboard.
However, that’s not the only changes that’ll be happening. The plan is to make Book Blather more of a MG/YA resource blog. There will still be reviews, but our focus will be more on reader’s advisory. We’ll be posting book lists, good transition books, award winners, manga, and so much more. And since we’re all librarians we’ll be posting a lot about our everyday jobs as well. But don’t worry, there will still be some personal stuff as we plan to have a weekly “Get to know your Blogger” feature.
I hope you’ll all welcome Kristen and Katie with welcome arms. I can’t wait to show you what we have planned, but for now I’ll just say….See you May 1st!!
I don’t usually post “soap-box” posts, but there’s something near and dear to my heart that I want to share: Supporting Libraries. As many of you know, I am a Young Adult Librarian. I never planned to end up on this road, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. This is the first time in my entire life, where I’m happy to go to work and absolutely LOVE what I do.
But libraries are being hit extremely hard right now. With the economy still in turmoil, libraries are losing more and more funding. Yet, during those same hard times it’s the first place that community members turn to, which means serving more people on less money. While my own library is feeling the crunch, we are nowhere as bad as some other systems across the nation. There are doors closing, hours greatly reduced, and staffing cut down to bare bones.
On June 29th, I attended a Library Advocacy in Washington DC, where 1600 people attended a rally and later went to speak to their congress representatives. And while a mass of red shirts storming Capitol Hill got some notice, it wasn’t enough. Until congress is flooded by emails, letters, and phone calls, libraries will continue to be overlooked.
So, what can you do? Help write those letters and emails and make those phone calls. There’s a great tool called CapWiz that you can use to find out the urgent issues in your state/city. You can also use it to look up your representatives’ contact information. There is even a form that will auto-send emails with all the important information/issues directly from you!
My plea is simple: join the cause and don’t let libraries disappear. Without library users’ love and support, we cannot win this battle. Let your voice be heard…knowing it will make a difference.
Hello, my lovely blog people. Can you believe it’s August already? I can’t! I feel like every year my summers disappear in a blink of an eye. Of course, working in a public library means I do summer reading–which literally sucks up all of my time and energy. But–OH!–how I love it!
My summer reading was quite successful this year! I had 162 teens in my program who read 376, 978 pages! So while I was down about 20 teens, they read 20+k more pages than last year. While I would have love for more kids to participate, I’m very pleased with the outcome.
We moved our system completely online this year. I absolutely adored the online factor, but the system we used wasn’t the best. The interface was highly confusing and non-user friendly. Sadly, I think this was the reason some kids decided not to participate. My plan next year is to switch to another company and possibly build in a paper option. But enough about that…
Let’s get back to the real fun–Lock-Ins and crazy stuff I do for teens.
So, crazy thing #1: putting blue streaks in my hair. Ok, I’ll admit I’ve kind of always wanted to do this. And I love how it turned out. I’m even going to see if my boss/powers that be will allow me to continue doing it. The kids loved it and it helps me stand out from the other staff.
Crazy-thing #2: allowing a pie to be thrown in my face. So, okay, maybe this wasn’t completely allowed. I may have sort of kind of been dragged by 20-odd kids and trapped, but whatever. I still claim I’ll have my revenge….(HEAR THAT JESS?!) At least the teens loved it—and something they’ll likely not forget for a while.
Crazy-thing #3: Lock-in. My teens ADORE these. This was are third one in a year, and boy, I’d have to say one of the best. I made them earn it this time by reading 1600 pages. This may have been the smartest thing I’ve ever done. It cut down so much on the cliques and the teens really mixed it up and bonded this time. I’ll even admit I get a little giddy when I see them trading numbers and adding each other on Facebook. But that’s not even the best part. At the end of the night, about 6 of them decided to preform a Reader’s Theater to Snow White, which was utterly adorable and all their idea. They even want to start a regular one this fall and I’m completely excited to see where it’ll go!
So, there was my summer in a nutshell! I won’t apologize for not posting because, well, life happens and I’ll always put my teens first! However, now that things are slowly down, I’m hoping to catch up on reviews and posting on a regular basis. Just bare with me a little longer…..
Ok, I’ll admit it I’ve been pretty quiet in the blogging area lately. I’ve been reading I promise and even have a few reviews lined up…but mainly I’ve been completely and utterly swamped by life! Both personal and professional! But let me catch you up on what I’ve been doing….
So, first things first, I got to go to BEA in May. Can I just say I LOVE New York?! I would have totally stayed there if I could have! I had such a fabulous time there and loved every moment I spent with Jess and Pam aka my little ducklings. I also got to hang out with other fabulous bloggers like Katie, Susan, Monica, Michelle and so many more. The whole trip was such a whirlwind of activities. I won’t got into all of it, but my highlights had to be meeting Heather Brewer, meeting Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, Cocktails with Cornelia Funke, leaving with my must haves, and all the crazy quotes that got thrown around (ask me about these sometimes, a lot of them are a hoot!) I failed at the whole site-seeing thing, but that’s what next year is for, right?!
Another awesome event I got to go to was the Supernatural Tour in Naperville. Okay, so I’ll kind of admit that I didn’t really care much about the tour itself. I had already met Kim Harrison and I haven’t read any of the other authors yet. So why did I go, you ask? Because it meant that I finally got to meet Sara from the Hiding Spot! I’ve been talking to her forever and while (& not to mention running a tour site together) but had never gotten the opportunity to meet her in person. I had so much fun with her, her friend, and Kristen at lunch and after the signing. I can’t wait until she comes back in September for the Girls Kick It Tour!!
Now, let’s talk about the real reason why I’ve basically fallen off the face of the blogosphere. Two words. Summer Reading. This is my second year running the Teen Summer Reading and I’m having a blast. We did some changes this year and moved everything online. There have been a few glitches along the way, but all in all it’s been a positive experience so far. Three weeks in and I’m only about 70 or so teens shy of my total participants from last year! And get this, in those three weeks they’ve already managed to read 125,000 pages! I think they may actually reach our goal of 500,000 pages. This both excites and scares me…since I promised they could do/make me do something crazy. (So far, it looks like I’ll either get pies in the face or have to put blue streaks in my hair. Please, please, please be blue streaks!)
And as I get ready to post this, I realize that it’s almost midnight, which means I leave for ALA in just one day! I’m can’t believe that it’s already here! I have lots of events planned that will be keeping me busy during my week stay. Not only will I be attending meeting for my Fabulous Films for Young Adult Committee, but I’ll also be gearing up for Library Advocacy Day and Congressional Meetings. Eep! I’m a little nervous about the meetings, only because I know what I say can make a difference. Libraries are facing such hard times right now and I can only hope the government will still supply us with the money we need! I hate hearing about all the doors that have had to close and the people who have lost their jobs. I’m living my dream right now and have no idea what I would do if I had to give it up. My only hope is I can express all of that in the right way!!
One more thing before I end this post. You will soon notice a change in my rating. I decided the five-star system was getting harder and harder for me to do. Instead I’ll be going to the following rating/conclusion:
Buy It: this would be my normal 4 or 5 star books, the ones proudly displayed on my shelves
Borrow It: this would be the 3 or 4 star books, the ones I think are good but not buyable. Checking them out from the library would be your best bet.
Forget It: this would be the 1 or 2 star books, the ones I really didn’t like and would have trouble recommending.
I may still play with it as I work with it more, but for the time being I think it accurate reflects how I think when recommending books.
So, I’m not quite sure where this year has gone, but it’s almost May…which mean BEA/NYC! Can I tell you how excited I am to be spending a week in NYC? And while there I would LOVE to hang out with other bloggers.
Sooo, I thought I would create a form in order to trade info with anyone that wants to meet up while I’m there! (And I stole this from Sharon Loves Books and Cats who stole it from Chick Love Lit). I’ll email anyone who is interested so we can figure out when will work best. So, what are you waiting for?! Fill that form out![iframe http://spreadsheets.google.com/embeddedform?formkey=dDFnMmlEejZtWWxXcFVVVW5hNUNWTnc6MQ 510 985]
So, my hiatus has lasted longer than I would have liked. I won’t apologize or anything, but I just wanted to let you all know what was going on. Life has sort of gotten in the way. Between my big activities and death of a co-workers family member, I haven’t had much motivation to blog. I am slowly getting back into the groove and hope to start posting again next week. However, there are things I can show you now….
1) Blog Layout! It’s finally done and I’m very pleased. Much love and thanks to my friend Tucker for helping me out with the shelf-images. Without him I wouldn’t have this amazing layout.
2) Work. I had a big event 2 weeks ago called “Prom Fashion Show” that went amazingly! I had 42 local teens act as models and another 160+ attend! I couldn’t have hoped for a better turn out!
3) Work part 2. Last week was our local Author Fair. I helped out this year and was so glad I did. We had about 36 different authors, including Kristina Springer and Kristin Walker, and had about 950 people attend. Again another smashing success and I had so much fun talking to the local authors, especially the YA ones. Below are just a few of my favorite pictures from the event.