Friday, December 29, 2017

Book Review: Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente


This was a really cool little novel. It's definitely written in the style of a fairy tale. I really reminded me of reading a Grimm fairy tale. It was the same kind of poetic language, where some details are kind of glossed over because they're not really necessary. 

My one issue was the change in Point of View. The first third or so is told in First person, by Snow White. After she runs away, then the perspective switches to an unknown third person. It is explained in the book why it this happens, but it still knocked me out of the flow, and took me a chapter or two to get re-immersed. 

Overall this was a fantastic read, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes fairy tales, retellings of fairy tales, and female protagonists who can take care of themselves (and maybe kick some butt along the way).

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Ebscohost Instructional Video

I had to make a video for class on how to use a reference database. I had to touch on peer-reviews, boolean searches, and using a truncation. I was also supposed to mention a few other features, that I totally forgot to do. Since I didn't want to waste my first good video... here it is! I'll probably remake it tomorrow!
The updated version:

Friday, August 4, 2017

Passive Programming: Upcycled Kindle Case

So this project was definitely not brainstormed out of self-interest. Nope, not even a little... okay, so there was a little bit of self-interest involved. But it is a fun project! It's a just a hardcover book (that you don't mind cutting up), a recycled cereal box, cloth scraps, and elastic. You can find my instructions here.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Passive Programming: Sea Glass Lantern

This week's project was recycling a glass jar into a tented votive! The jar pictured used to be a salsa jar and has been painted with Elmer's Glue and food coloring. A pretty easy project overall! Find the trifold with instructions here.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Passive Programming: Paper Baskets

So as I was taking last week's project down, I realized that I never took pictures! So here it is. I recycled some automotive magazines (whose pages were like newspaper) into a little storage basket. This project was actually pretty easy, and only a little tedious! Find the trifold with the instructions here.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Book Review: Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness!

I have been a fan of Kristin Cashore since I first discovered her book Graceling. (If you like fantasy, and books with a female protagonist go read it right now!) Once I finished that series I was so disappointed to find out she hadn't written anything else. So I was super excited when she first announced that she was writing another a book. Like some of the best news I got in an otherwise truly terrible year.

I got to read this book early thanks to NetGalley. (The best thing that happened in a not so great week. Anyone seeing a pattern here?) And my goodness, this book did not disappoint!

Jane is a recent orphan, who is just trying to get by. Until Kiran shows up. Kiran is a former tutor, and she invites Jane back to her family home, called Tu Reviens, on a private island somewhere off the coast of New York. This is where Jane's adventure begins.

There are multiple endings throughout the book and each journey is more fantastical and weird than the one before it. I think that is what makes this such a great read though. You can have this story any you want it: adventure, spy thrillers, space pirates creepy children’s book. If you can dream it, this book probably has it.

Despite being about some tough topics, such as the loss of a loved one, and trying to find a place to belong, this book makes it easy to handle these topics. If you are a fan of Sci-Fi (and especially Dr. Who) you need to read this book!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Passive Programming: Plastic Yarn

This week's project is a way to recycle shopping bags and makes it into two-ply yarn. The only problem with this project is having to re-wind this little ball of yarn (I did not foresee that adults would be the patrons to unravel the yarn). Find the trifold with instructions here.
I also created a better display for previous week's projects!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Passive Programming: Egg Carton Roses

Last week's activity was recycling egg cartons into roses, and I think it came out really well! and between patrons taking handouts and giving compliments, I think this is one of the more popular programs! Find the trifold with instructions here.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Passive Program: Summer Reading 2017

Summer reading has officially begun! This year's theme is Build a Better World. So my intention is to have small DIY projects that embrace "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" in order to be better community members. Each project will be tested out by me to make sure that they are easy and doable projects.

This week was a T-shirt tote. No sewing necessary! I did my research and read through at least three different blogs that did the same project, and I combined the instructions from two of them (find them here and here) to create my own in handout form. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

To a Boy Named Harry

I recently shared the following story with a coworker who told me that this really was an inspiring story, and would have shared it with social media immediately had they had my permission. Since I’m not at all ashamed of it, I will do the hard part of putting it into writing.

Anyone who knows me, knows I am a voracious reader. However, reading has not always come easily to me. I was a bit of a late bloomer but it went mostly unnoticed by my teachers for a while. I’ve been told that I managed to memorize my favorite books. I don’t remember how, but eventually, my ruse was found out. I like to imagine that two pages stuck together while turning but I was still “reading” what was supposed to come next. I do remember the summer going into second grade: I spent every day going to school to be tutored in reading.

Even after that all that was done and school had begun, I was still behind. It was agonizing. Any book without pictures, and especially chapter books, felt more like punishment than anything else. I struggled with anything more advanced than Amelia Bedelia. It was definitely not something that I would have done for fun. I never finished the books that the other kids my age were reading. I think I finished one Magic Treehouse book under a threat of some sort. My mother was at her wit's end. She didn’t understand the disconnect: she had learned to read in preschool and my older sister in kindergarten. She was convinced that if I just read the right book, I would come to love it.

Finally, at the end of second grade, she heard about a new children’s book. It had come out the year before. She read it (because she always read the books she made us read, she thought it was only fair) and knew that I had to read it. Shortly thereafter, she dragged me to a bookstore and bought me Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and insisted I read it. I was so angry that she was trying to foist another book on me. But she didn’t give me a choice. She was going to consider it school work. I grudgingly started it, and promptly lost it, for months.

It probably wasn't an accident, though I have no memory of doing it on purpose. Eventually, the book was located and I started to read it in earnest. I finished the first chapter, and then the second, and suddenly I was on chapter sixteen, Harry was facing Fluffy and going through the trapdoor. By the end of the book, I was sold. I LIKED reading this book. After Harry Potter, I finally understood that reading was not a punishment, but rather one of the best things that would ever happen to me. Flash forward eighteen years and I work in a library hoping to make it a professional career. And I owe it all to my mother and a boy named Harry.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Passive Programming: Summer Fun! (Also SHE LIIIIVES!)

Hello all, Its been quite a while! Between forgetting to take photos, not loving what I've created, and large library wide events (I'm looking at you Harry Potter Day and Free Comic Book Day) I just haven't been able to get myself together enough to post something!
However, I've finally done it! I got together a display to get patrons ready for summer and summer reading!
Small summer inspired poster and Tri-fold.

I could have borrowed something straight from online, but I made my one. I think it could have been improved, but I had already printed it, so its the one I went with.

This includes tips on how to keep cooler in hot weather, what symptoms lead to heat exhaustion (and what to do), and a list of free or low cost activities in the area this summer. 

Everything on the poster is included in this tri-fold.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Passive Programming: Civics Jeopardy

I've been moving forward with the theme of educational passive programs. For February (I know I'm so late posting this! But it's tax season and I've been busy!) I wanted to do a game of some sort. And I have been dying to do something with the bill of rights, unfortunately I couldn't quite figure out how to do just the bill of rights. Instead, what I came up with was a jeopardy game with questions based on the citizenship test. Since the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offers a free practice test online, it wasn't difficult to pull this together. Trying to figure out how to make the board, however took forever. 
I lucked out, apparently Jeopardy held a special in Washington DC, So I didn't even have to work too hard on this sign.

This is the third version I came up with for the board. Each question in on an envelope with the answer inside (hence the white tabs).

Also made little answer sheets, that patrons could keep a tally of their answers, to see if they would pass. Since people taking the actual citizenship test need a score of 60%to pass, the same goes here. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Passive Programming: Fake News

The goal that my boss has set out for the team this year is to try to educate our patrons.
Naturally, the first thing that came to time has been the rise of fake news, and how fake news has been influencing many people's decisions and just wreaking havoc all over the place.

I decided that we should teach our patrons how to differentiate between what's fake and what's real.

Thanks to an outside source, I didn't have to do too much work, this project was mostly just converting from images to text!

This is the display as whole. The three papers lying down are three headlines, two are false. Patrons are supposed to guess which is the real headline. If you flip them over, they display the answer.

Everything that is included on the poster board, is all in the handout. the main difference is that there are a few more details in this, as well as the a quick pictorial guide to different news outlets.