Friday, December 18, 2015

BLOODY UNICORN

     This is just a brief glimpse at what it's like working with kids.
     In the high school library where I work, kids were dressed up for "Pajama Day," and one very slight and childlike 9th grade boy was also clutching a stuffed panda that doubles as a pillow. Here's the gist of our conversation:

ME: Nice panda pillow!
KID: Thanks. My little sister wanted to borrow it, but I was like, "You have your own!"
ME: She has a panda pillow, too?
KID: Well, hers is a unicorn.
ME (distracted, trying to work): Mm-hm...
KID: But she always wants to take mine...
ME: ...
KID: Because a couple of years ago I accidentally knocked into her when we were playing around, and my elbow hit her head and her head cracked open a little and bled all over the unicorn pillow.
ME: Wh-- Yikes! So... there's not STILL blood all over her unicorn pillow, right? I mean, your parents must have cleaned it?
KID: Well, they tried, but it didn't really come out, so it's still covered in dried blood stains.
ME: And your sister still uses it.
KID: Yeah, she still uses it.
ME: Huh.
KID: Well, I guess I'll go find my friends outside. See you later!

*

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

DISCARD TIME! Your Cat...



    (Is it, though? Is it really?)

     You're ok, your cat's ok by Marcus Schneck & Jill Caravan. Sigh.     
I guess I should just be thankful that they used "you're" and "your" correctly, and also used an apostrophe correctly.
     I know this is probably (hopefully) supposed to be funny, especially with that "meaningful relationship" part. But it's really just, like, "Ugh..."
     Right?
     Anyway, it's old, nobody has checked it out in at least a decade, and it's on its way out the door.
     Good DAY, sir.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

BULLETIN BOARDS & DISPLAY : Star Wars Reads Day 2015


     Hopefully these pics will be self-explanatory, because this is another one I'm posting a while after the fact. Good thing I took pictures.
     Basically, a few of my fellow library techs in our school district shared that they were doing displays and activities/events for Star Wars Reads Day, which I had never observed before. So I felt like, "Shit, I guess I better add this one to my October file..."
     I mean, I wanna be cool. And Star Wars is cool.
     All the other techs were submitting requests for these free giveaways some of the new Star Wars books' publishers were doing. I got some cool card thingies with that new droid, BB-8, that punch out and make little stand-ups of the character. I gave those away as part of the "consolation prize" to all the contest entrants who didn't win one of the 3 grand prizes.


     Luckily, my high school library has plenty of Star Wars novels, chapter books, even some nonfiction about the vehicles and creatures, etc.

BTW, one of my library tech friends noticed my error on the sign above, and I quickly fixed it, my cheeks burning with shame.

     The prizes I gave out were:

  • A 6' tall cardboard character stand-up of The Force Awakens' Captain Phasma
  • New hardcover book Aftermath: Star Wars: Journey To the Force Awakens by Chuck Wendig
  • The Darth Vader head bank you see pictured above, which we used as a raffle box during the contest.

BULLETIN BOARDS & DISPLAY : Banned Books Week 2015!

     *I'm posting this way after the fact, but don't judge me. Things get really hectic in a school library.*

I added this to my display this year, hoping for increased clarity on the issue. ;)

     Every year I struggle a little to make sure the students understand Banned Books Week as much as possible. I know some libraries call it "Intellectual Freedom Week," but usually that's partially for the sake of simplification, and partially because they shy away from anything that might sound controversial. I do NOT shy away from what might seem controversial, plus I like how arresting "Banned Books Week" sounds. It's SUPPOSED to get your attention because it's an important issue!
     But it also means you can't be lazy, because you'll probably be explaining the same things to your students all month. (No, we are NOT banning books, yes you MAY check out the books on display because we're celebrating the fact that they are available in OUR library, well- do YOU think one person or group should have the right to decide what YOU have access to and what you do NOT?  No, this doesn't mean I'm going to put Fifty Shades of Grey in our school library, etc...)

Several teachers created extra credit assignments based on the lists I sent out of Frequently Challenged and/or Banned Books that are available in our library. I thought that was really cool. :)

     Most of the stuff I put up this year is stuff I've already posted about, so I didn't post pictures of the old stuff. Instead, here is a link to a few older posts with display ideas for Banned Books Week.

BULLETIN BOARDS & DISPLAY : Women's History Month 2015


     Waaaay back in March, I did some displays for Women's History Month. Why didn't I post this back then? I dunno.
     I drew that fancy lady. She was originally for a NaNoWriMo display, but I realized she'd also be great for Women's History. But now I can't use her for NaNoWriMo. Because that would be cheating. Creatively speaking.




Mr. Kovac's favorite feminist: Kathleen Hanna


BULLETIN BOARDS & DISPLAY : Halloween 2015


     I meant to post these pictures early in October, but things got away from me. So I'm just gonna post them now. I'm kinda bummed that I totally forgot to take pictures of all the OTHER Halloween decorations we put around the library, especially since my library volunteer (Mom) and I really went all-out and did a super great job with it. So you just have to trust me, we should have won an award for "Best Halloween Decorations On Campus." The Attendance Office and the Counseling Office think they're so great, with all their fancy things on windows and hanging from the ceiling...
     We'll see how things fall out when the Christmas decorating contest rolls around. We'll just see about all that...

SSR stands for "Sustained Silent Reading"
     At the beginning of this school year SSR was newly reinstated, after a hiatus of probably more than 10 years. At first, LOTS of teachers just were not doing it. Didn't understand it, couldn't figure out how to handle it. Kids were still wandering into the library for various reasons during that sacred 15 minutes of SSR, when the ENTIRE CAMPUS is supposed to be silently reading, especially the adults who need to model it for the kids.
     I kept having to put my own book down and send kids back, and when I'd ask them why they weren't doing SSR, many of them had never even HEARD of it, which means their teachers were not only ignoring it, but they weren't even MENTIONING it.
     Luckily, our Principal was really good (and patient) about doing reminder announcements and emails, until finally I think most of them are doing it now. (3 months down the road)


I stole that slogan from somewhere online. I think it's super clever. But I can't take credit for it. I can take credit for the artwork and lettering above, though. Isn't it nice? Why, thank you. :)

BULLETIN BOARDS & DISPLAY : November 2015 (cont.)

NaNoWriMo
 
    Above is the interior bulletin board version of the NaNoWriMo display I did in the glass case outside the library. I made those big typewriter letters a few years ago, using a silver Sharpie to outline them. I think I just did a Google image search for old-fashioned typewriter letter keys, and copied and pasted into a Word doc, then cropped and enlarged, etc. Really pretty easy.

National Picture Book Month

     Our new District Librarian, Regina, who is awesome, reminded us all that November is National Picture Book Month, and if any of our libraries have cool picture books, now is the time to promote them. My high school actually has a lot of great picture books, which rarely get used because it's a high school, and because they're located in a far corner, facing the wall. I think the previous library staff purchased them for all the kids who are struggling at very low reading levels, but most of the time those kids are too embarrassed to check out Goodnight Moon or Bread & Jam For Frances.
     I used three end-of-stacks display shelves that face out to showcase some of the better picture books I thought would interest our students. Funny ones, and classics, and ones that are geared toward older readers and are more "all ages."
     For more info: nationalpicturebookmonth.com

Staff Favorites
     One of my library technician friends in the same district shared that she was putting up leaves that she was having staff write their favorite book titles on. I appropriated that idea, and created a quick template, printed it on variously sort of autumn leaf-colored papers, and had my trusty library volunteer (Mom) distribute one to every staff mailbox.

Staff Favorites Leaf Template
(That's my hulking shadow looming across the page...)

     We immediately started receiving filled-out leaves back, and started cutting them out and posting them on the end of a shelf, with a sign on top to explain what they are. Mom and I both did one, of course.
     One of our library regulars already asked for the title I put on mine (The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey) and checked it out. :)
     So... that's November so far!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

BULLETIN BOARDS & DISPLAY : November 2015 NaNoWriMo


     I was in a spastic frenzy to put something up in the glass hallway case outside the library, and there is little time between now and when I need to put Christmas stuff up.
     So I did a quick NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) display, including the nanowrimo.org website, and some simple explanation of what it is. None of the English teachers I've asked at this school know what it is, yet. But hopefully they'll start getting interested.

I stole that graphic at the top from somewhere online. It didn't have an artist credited, otherwise I would include that. The typewriter with the green background is from a monthly calendar I had a few years ago. The shield I printed in black and white from the official website, and then had a library volunteer (my aunt!) color the blue background.

     On the official website, they had a brief list of some professionally/traditionally published novels that started out as NaNoWriMo books. Here are a few:

Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants
Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus
Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl
and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder

These typewriters are just clip art printed on cream-colored paper, and then I cut a slit where the paper would come out, and hand-lettered the genre banners on white paper.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

THE AGE OF THE PUSSYFOOT (weird but interesting old book cover)

THE AGE OF THE PUSSYFOOT by Frederik Pohl
     I'm not sure any more needs to be said about this. I weeded this from my high school library because unfortunately it has languished on the shelf for a long time. But I kept it for myself. I really do like the cover, despite the snicker-inducing title. And look at that geek chic author portrait! He is OWNING it.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015

SULLENLY READING


     I colored this old drawing so I could make buttons (badges, whatever) out of it for fellow library techs. The original drawing has lettering on it that reads, "Books Are Friends You Can Shut," but I thought the drawing on its own would make a cool image. :)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

SMELLS LIKE LIBRARY (the comic)

STRESS DREAM

(CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE)

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