Category Archives: Library Career

Updates 2/20/13

It’s been too long since my last post.  Here’s a 10-second update:

I’m now proud to be employed in the Library department of Molloy College in Rockville Centre.  I’ve been there since August, I enjoy my time there, and I’ve learned a lot so far.  I’ve continued to work weekends at South Huntington Public Library in the Children’s department that I love.

In the last year or so, I’ve embarked on a great fascination with the Ender’s Game and Shadow series by Orson Scott Card, via their amazing audiobooks, with perfect timing for the 2013 film release.

Graduation!

I graduated with my MLS/School Media Specialist degree from CUNY Queens College on May 31st, 2012! I’m so excited to be through with all the demands of taking classes and writing my thesis. A few days later, I was happy to see my grades come through the registrar, and I did very well, if I may so so myself.

I’m hoping to get back in the swing of things on the blogosphere once I get settled in my post-grad-school life.

Now, I’m looking for a school librarian/media specialist position or a youth services position in a public library.  Tell me if you hear anything 😉

Read Across America

Happy Read Across America Day – and Dr. Seuss’s Birthday!

Check out Live-Brary’s info on this celebration here.

Also, Seussville has a great online collection of materials for educators to use in their classrooms to celebrate with kids.

 

A Rant on Intellectual Freedom

Once upon a time….

I was in a ____ literature course, and a particular day was focused on [fictional books on a controversial topic, one in which I differ in personal opinion from most of the vocal members of the library profession].  We discussed our reflections on the reading choices as a class.  Although I cringed at hearing some of the storylines, I would, of course, support the inclusion of these titles  in a collection, pending age-/review-/balance-/budget-appropriateness.

My gut was very uncomfortable with this discussion, not only with the vision of some of these books (which were contrary to my own worldview, but I’m used to that), but largely with the fact that most of the library profession seems to think that it is the only way to see the world, and that other points of view are [adjective describing unacceptability].  Sadly, the professor and fellow students seem to perpetuate the notion that a character or theme of a book must agree with their set of values, especially within this controversial topic.

This smells awfully similar to the 180-degree opposite intolerant mindset that the same people complain about.  Woe.  The best I can do is stick to my beliefs in my personal life (a luxury which in some fields is being eroded), defend intellectual freedom, and make sure that my future library welcomes all points of view, not just the ones in vogue.

For more information about Intellectual Freedom, check out ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and the Library Bill of Rights.

Book Talk – The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Mini Booktalk on The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

I haven’t used this with teens yet, but feel free to use it in a library if you’d like.

Life isn’t easy on greasers, and greasers aren’t easy on life.  These teens throw punches at their friends for fun, and pull out switchblades and guns on their rivals, the rich kids in their town.  Ponyboy, yes that’s his real name, lives with his two older brothers, and the greaser life is all they know.

Late one night, a chance encounter with the rich kids will leave one rival dead, and two greaser friends on the run from the law.  Can Ponyboy handle the tough life, and can his brothers keep him safe?  To find out more about how these boys laugh at danger and live to tell the tale, read The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.

Book Review: The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease

Image from Jim Trelease's Website

The Handbook begins with a rationale for the importance of reading aloud to children, and cites statistics and case studies that show the benefits it offers to literacy, family togetherness, child development, and more.  Then, Trelease walks the reader through some practical techniques as well as beginning reading suggestions for every age and interest.

Based on his experience as a father and grandfather, and his familiarity with many anecdotes from other parents, Trelease tells us (p. 4) that there are some major advantages derived from reading aloud to [your] child:

  • Associating reading with pleasure in the child’s brain
  • Establishing background knowledge (ie, what animals live on farms, what a bulldozer looks like, what a fiddle is).
  • Building vocabulary (Children’s picture books are meant to be read to a child not by a child because their vocabulary and structure are too sophisticated.)
  • Provide a positive reading role model (YOU!)

Although I’m only about halfway done reading The Handbook, I’ve skimmed the final sections that contain a plethora of reading recommendations of every sort.  I highly recommend The Read-Aloud Handbook to parents, teachers, librarians, and any other professional that works with children.

Here’s a link to the author Jim Trelease’s home page that contains book lists, lecture downloads, and excerpts/major points from every chapter of his book.

Quiero ser…

I want to be…a librarian!

For my MLS technology course, I was assigned to compose a paragraph briefly explaining my professional goals, for my ePortfolio.  Did I hit all the points, folks?

I’m eager to begin my career as a librarian and I am building a full repertoire of skills and experience that will enrich my professional practice.  I expect to earn my MLS by 2012, with a School Media Specialist certification, but I’m open to working in a public or school library setting.  My undergraduate specialization was in education and I have many teaching experiences, so I already know how much I enjoy helping children and teens to make the most of the resources available to them and to appreciate the importance of the written word.  As I predict my professional life as a librarian, I see myself working on the front lines of a reference desk or information literacy classroom every day and interacting with different people.  I will learn from my patrons as much as they learn from me, and I will be thankful every day for the blessing of getting to help people in a vocation I love.

PS – Sorry I’ve been MIA for so long.  I get way too caught up with school, work, and life, and I’ve strayed too far from my home[page].  I’ll be posting more often, and hopefully include some reviews of recent reads.