Archive for March, 2007

“New & Improved Libraries” [A CBS News Video]

Our library director sent us a link to this news video today. It just so happens that I used to live down the street from the Princeton Public Library, the library featured in the piece. It is an absolutely gorgeous and very user-friendly library.

Of course, it helps to be well-funded. The horrible news about Oregon’s Jackson County libraries is just so depressing. Read the San Fransisco Chronicle’s article about the impending closures here.

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Discovery Channel’s “Planet Earth”

Planet Earth is the coolest nature series I’ve seen since BBC’s Blue Planet. What a great reminder of what an amazing world we live in! The footage is rare and absolutely mesmerizing. I have an old school TV that’s quite small by today’s standards, so I can’t even imagine what a breathtaking experience this must be on an HD large screen. I ended up taping the first three episodes, which aired this past Sunday, as they conflicted with the finale of You’re the One That I Want (I swear I’m not one of those reality TV addicts–I just happen to like Grease and was a musical junkie in my teens.) Click here for a description of all 11 episodes, which air on consecutive Sundays from March 25 through April 22.

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YALSA Selected Lists Survey

Yay! I am an ALA member once again! Just thought I’d spread the word to the young adult librarians out there about a new survey YALSA is conducting, which will close on April 2nd. Its purpose is to determine how member and librarians use YALSA’s recommended reading lists in their daily work. Click here to read more about it and take the survey!

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“Charlie & The Chocolate Factory”: A Tasty Morsel of Off-Beat Humor

I finally watched Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. So many people had warned me against it that I wasn’t in any real rush to see it. I should also mention that I was not a huge fan of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, the 70’s cult classic and a favorite flick among my peers. Am I the only one who experienced nightmares as a child from that psychedelic tunnel scene? “There’s no earthly way of knowing…” [shudder!] Ironic tidbit of useless information–that song was the only one in the entire movie taken directly from the book.

I have always loved Roald Dahl, however, and I fondly remember hearing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory read aloud to my class in elementary school. So I snatched the DVD out of the teen room a month or two ago, kept it out long past its due date, and popped it in last night to watch with my boyfriend, who had seen it before and deemed it both “heartwarming” and”annoying.”

Maybe it’s because I’ve been a die-hard Johnny Depp fan since birth; maybe it’s because Tim Burton is such an imaginative artist, or because Danny Elfman’s scores always rock my socks off–whatever it was, I definitely dug this movie! Sure the Oompa-Loompa songs were a little off the wall. But the fact that the characters actually conversed about how weird it was that their musical extravaganzas appeared to be rehearsed somehow made these scenes tolerable and even humorous. The Puppet Burn and Recovery Center? The brace-faced young Willy walking through the Flags of the World museum? “I haven’t seen bicuspids like these since…” Little details like these are what sealed the deal for this Wonka loving librarian!

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“Buddha Boy” by Kathe Koja

I started Buddha Boy yesterday, and look forward to curling up in bed with it tonight. It’s a far departure from last week’s teen chic lit read Write Here, Right Now, Book 1 of the Flirt series by Nicole Clarke. My reading taste is all over the place, but lately all my books have been coming from the shelves of my library’s teen room, where I’m lucky enough to spend about 60% of my time at work. Better go before my eyes glaze over…

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Stage Fright on a Storytime Night

After a week-long break from programming (phew!), storytime commences once again tomorrow morning. I put on my “show” for toddlers ages 18 months to 3 years four times a week–twice in a row on Tuesday mornings, and again on Friday mornings. I love storytime, I really do. But I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my most fitful nights of sleep occur on Mondays and Thursdays, or that I’m always completely unmotivated to get out of bed on storytime mornings. It’s called stage fright, people, and it strikes me–hard–despite the fact that my audience is a bunch of 2-year-olds and an assortment of moms, dads, grannies, and nannies who could care less if I falter.

To understand my little issue fully, it’s important to grasp the sheer numbers we are dealing with at FPL storytimes. After moving into the new building and having no proactive plan in place to deal with large crowds [and not realizing we would need one], my first storytime ever here involved a roomful of 200+ toddlers and parents. Being used to the more manageable groups of 15 or so at my old library, I was in a mild state of shock that day, to say the least. The massive crowds instigated a full blown attack on my part–I came to the next storytime armed with a wireless headset-mic, Powerpoint slides with song lyrics and rhymes, and some carefully placed masking tape to keep the audience at bay. These tricks have certainly worked, and so has the first come, first serve “ticket system” we soon implemented to limit our numbers to 125. I’ve recently even been able to ditch the mic, which had a nasty habit of falling off my head what with all the jumping, dancing, and falling that goes on up there.

Needless to say, it was nice to have a break, even if just for a week. I slept well every night, and was able to face each day without that weird fluttery feeling in the pit of my stomach [or, more aptly put, those sickening waves of nausea that engulf my insides.]

My mom always used to remind me, when I was a neurotic youngster with solos in musicals and choirs and orchestras and whatnot, that Johnny Carson puked every blessed night before his performances on The Tonight Show. That always made me feel much better (thanks, Mom!), and to this day, I figure that if Johnny could barf on a regular basis because of stage fright, I at least have every excuse to feel sick to my stomach, sweat profusely, and grammatically mangle a good 2/3 of all my sentences.

The beautiful part is, no one seems to notice! Parents constantly give me props; the little guys think I’m a celebrity; my mentor and supervisor thinks I’m a natural. But don’t expect to see me hosting any late night talk shows anytime soon…

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The Beginning…

I don’t have much up here yet, but I did just create an About page. Considering it’s bedtime and my laptop is quickly running out of juice, I’m gonna tide you over with that for now…

Good night, and good luck.

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