Tag Archives: library

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.

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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 😉

Webkinz Fun – My First Program!

Sorry for the delay! My itsy-bitsy netbook is still under the knife in intensive care.  Right now, it sits, gutted, on my other desk.  Because I password-protected my files originally, I am unable to access them now from the severed hard drive.  Alas, it will be more time before my digital mobility is functional again.
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This Monday was my first real library Children’s program: “Webkinz Fun.”  My supervisor gave me the great idea, as she had success with the concept in the past.  For those of you who may be unfamiliar, Webkinz are the newest incarnation of the Beanie Babies phenomenon.  However, Webkinz have the distinction of having an online component in which children and their parents can participate in virtual communities based on the stuffed pets that they have paid for adopted.

The program went relatively smoothly, despite the one child in the room who was determined to test out just how long his lungs would allow him to wail.  Fortunately his mother and my supervisor were both in the room, so I wasn’t faulted for his tantrum.  It was a very laid-back activity and consisted of:

  • children introducing themselves and their pets to each other
  • a game of Webkinz bingo (this was a big hit)
  • a craft where children designed a plastic name tag for their pet
  • children showing off their name tags to each other (this wasn’t quite smooth since the children were getting antsy)

All-in-all, this program felt like a success, and got a “great” rating from my supervisor, which made me very happy.  My favorite pet names were Chihuahua for a Chihuahua, Ssssss for a snake, and Flower for a dog.  How cute!

For my October program, I’ll be hosting a Knuffle Bunny fest centered around the recently-premiered Knuffle Bunny Free that hit the shelves this week.  I’ll give more updates on the program as I plan the details.

My Very First Program @ the Library!

Tonight I had my first program at the library!  But really, this one was no big deal.  It was a monthly Wii Game Night for teens, and all I had to do was setup the snacks, put in the Monkey Ball disc, hang around to make sure the kids played nice, and clean up afterward.  The teens that played actually didn’t really care for this game, it turns out.  It seems the motions were too abstract and not straightforward enough to master in the short 1-hour time slot.

However, this program wasn’t really “mine;”  I was merely filling in for the Young Adult Librarian who was on vacation.  Had I been in charge, I’d have probably chosen my favorite Wii game, Rayman: Raving Rabbids.  But all-in-all, the kids had a nice time, I got to meet some new faces, and we all discovered what Wii Game to pass on next time.

I’ve heard some great success stories about Wii Game Nights at libraries.  Do you have one?

There’s No Such Thing as a Stupid Question – Or Is There? (via Swiss Army Librarian)

On today’s Swiss Army Librarian post, public library reference librarian Brian Herzog pokes fun at some nonsensical or unsympathetic questions posed by patrons.  Below are some of the responses he would have liked to have offered, but did not, because he is a professional.  This post is a gentle jab at those annoying queries at the library:

“I enjoy being a librarian, and working with the public. But it can be challenging, and sometimes you just need to vent.  No matter what people ask me, I make sure the words that come out of my mouth are helpful and positive – however, those aren’t always the first words that spring to mind…here are some answers I have not given to questions patrons have asked me. You’ve heard of FAQs – now here are some ALUs (”answers left unsaid”):
Patron: The book isn’t on the shelf, on a cart, or behind the desk – where else could it be?
Answer: In someone else’s home.

Patron: This computer is loading slowly – should I just sit here and wait?
Answer: You could stand.

Patron: All the bathrooms are in use, where else can I go?
Answer: There are bushes outside.

[five computers in a row rebooted while a particular patron was using them because she keeps pressing CTRL-ALT-DEL, after I showed her that CTRL-ALT-DEL reboots computers]
Patron: I’m sure it’s not something I’m doing.
Answer: Hmm, then maybe they just sense danger.

Patron: The computer said the book I want is “Checked out.” Does that mean it’s checked out?
Answer: No, that’s just our way of deterring patrons who aren’t pushy enough.

Patron: The museum pass I want is already reserved for the day I want to go – can you cancel that person and give it to me?
Answer: Actually, you don’t need the pass at all – just go to the museum and they’ll let you in free if you tell them the secret code; it’s “I need to plan ahead.”

[patron on the phone]
Patron: Can you speak up, why are you speaking so softly?
Answer: Because I’m in a library.

[patron brings in a broken playaway, and I offer to request one from another library or to show him where the book is on the shelf]
Patron: You think I want to *read* this book?
Answer: You’re right, that might be asking too much.

Sigh, I hate speaking ill of people who come into the library and ask for help, but I’m sure we’ve all been there. The good news is that questions like the above are few and far between (but they’ll never be few and far between enough).”

Here’s my “answer left unsaid”:

[Patrons are given 30 minute sessions at the computer terminals.  They get a 10 minute warning that pops up, telling them to ask the librarian to put more time on their session, provided no one else is waiting to use the terminal.  Recently, two patrons came up to me after their time expired]
Patron:
Can I have more time on my computer?
Answer: Sure, just go ahead and follow the warning – 10 minutes ago.

Does anybody else have a personal anecdote to share?  Please do…

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No Flying, No Tights

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Sorry I’ve been MIA for awhile from my little blog – but I do keep up with my google reader, at least.  I’ve been busy with my first annotated bibliography for my Fundamentals of Library Science summer course, and I’ve let my meager writing fall by the wayside.

My topic of research is graphic novels, and how they can be used in libraries to support literacy.  If you know of any cool websites, please write a comment about it; it would be most welcomed.

A librarian coworker highly recommended this awesome site called No Flying, No Tights, which includes great recommendations of graphic novels, based on age and genre.  I’ve explored it only a little, but so far, it looks like a great readers’ advisory (and personal reading) tool.  Tell me what you think.

Chinese Cinderella – Book Review

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Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter

by Adeline Yen Mah

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The original Cinderella story dates back to China’s Tang dynasty (618-906) Ye Xian tale.  The heroine was an unwanted stepdaughter who escaped the clutches of her evil stepmother thanks to her own hard work and perseverance.

Like Ye Xian, Adeline (her Chinese given name is Jun-ling) received no tenderness or compassion from her family; both of “their stories may be perceived as talismans against despair” (p. 197).  This autobiography follows Adeline’s personal history beginning with her birth, through her years of emotional abuse in her family’s home, to her adolescent years living as the lone one of her boarding school classmates who receives neither letters nor visitors.  As a child, she didn’t look for pity, she sought only to live unnoticed by her classmates rather than reveal the sad realities of her home life.  Yen Mah intertwines some of her native China with this retelling of her life story: the significance of the Chinese pictorial written language, how children are given names in Westernized Chinese families, and the internal tension experienced by Adeline as a speaker of both English and Chinese.

Chinese Cinderella was written for young adult readers and uses straightforward language and storytelling techniques, albeit with a somewhat formal vocabulary.  The author’s reminiscences of her unhappy childhood awake sympathy in the reader; young readers are drawn to her story, sharing in her hope of a better life as she grows up.  I highly recommend Chinese Cinderella to pre-teens, teens, and adults alike, for Yen Mah’s inspiring personality that radiates from the pages.  Personally, I enjoyed reading Yen Mah’s story thoroughly and I could hardly put it down.  I’m looking forward to reading her full biography, Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter, found in adult libraries.

For more information about Adeline Yen Mah and her great work, visit her official web page here.  There, you can find links to her books, letters from fans, biography, and more.

References:

Yen Mah, A. (1999). Chinese cinderella: the true story of an unwanted daughter. New York: Dell Laurel-Leaf.

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