Tag Archive: programming


San Francisco Mountains in Autumn

Fall in Flagstaff, AZ with the San Francisco Mtns in the background

It is finally Autumn in Arizona. Now I realize it is late November and winter storms are plaguing most of the Midwest and East coast, but it has only in the last few weeks gotten cool enough here to warrant long sleeves in the morning and evening (with temps in the low 70s – 21C for the rest of the world) and leaves starting to fall. The majority of the trees are still green and still have their leaves. Fall is my favorite time of year. I miss having real seasons in Arizona, we mostly just have a lot of summer with a very small fall/winter/spring. In October, I started craving cozy foods like homemade mac ‘n’ cheese and stews, and more importantly hot tea and cider. And this was when it was still 90 degrees outside. I also started crocheting again, and have made three scarves so far. I have decided to do “Autumn” as my theme for the last DiscoveryTime (DT) of the year. Sadly I can’t do a lot of the experiments I found online because almost no leaves have fallen. I added more songs and fingerplays in though, and an extra book so hopefully that will make up for it. I started doing take-home activity sheets as well, to have the parents and children do something fun related to the storytime.

While I was researching for the DT, I found a couple of poems, one of which I decided to add because it was from an award-winning children’s book called A Child’s Calendar by John Updike, illustrated by Tricia Schart Hyman. I also decided that if it was possible, I would like to include more poetry in my storytimes, as I enjoy it and it would be nice to expose the children to it as well. One that I could not add, not because it wasn’t a great poem (it is gorgeously vivid and lovely) but because it is a bit long and too complicated for 1-4 yr olds to sit through, was the following Keats poem. I’m sure most people have heard of it or heard it quoted before.

To Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,–
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Life Update

2014 Summer Reading Logo

So I apologize from being totally MIA from this site for the last month and a half. I started a new job at the public library and while I am loving it, it does keep me supremely busy. Plus I’m taking care of my son on the off days, which is very time-consuming, and all of this work (both paid and not) leaves me with not much free time. I was working more hours at my last job but the work was pretty easy and I was basically getting finished after a couple of hours and having a lot of free time. At the library, it is less hours, but I am packing more work into the time. I am working as a Library Assistant in the Youth Services Dept (for ages 0-18 yrs) and I get to help with some pretty cool programming, as well as working at the Children and Teen Desks as a general purpose/Reader’s Advisory/Reference point person. We’re in the middle of the 2014 Summer Reading Program (logo above) so there is a lot going on from now until July 26th, then hopefully things will slow down a bit in time for school to start again. This year’s program is very STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology, and Math) orientated as the theme has been Outer Space, so that makes for some fun programs too. The Reptile Adventures Show has been making the rounds at the libraries and my son and I got to pet an 18 ft Albino Reticulated Python named Lily, at another branch when I was off work (which my son thought was rather cool, I did too!). I’ve helped with programs on the geology of Mars, which includes making homemade Volcanoes (which points to life on Mars) out of baking soda and vinegar, as well as Paper Engineering,  where the kids have made all kinds of cool recycled paper games like Mini-Golf, a Pinball Machine, Robots/Spaceships, and Mini-Soccer Pitch. There are also STEM Crafts were the teen volunteers have taughts mini-classes on things like magnets and plants. We also have a Minecraft Education Server where the kids can have fun playing in the world on Creative (where they have all their resources) and Survival (where they have to find their own). In the future, I will be in charge of some ToddlerTime storytimes for 2-3 yr olds and Discovery Time storytimes for 3-5 yrs olds with a STEM influence. I’m also learning how to properly weed the collection of books that haven’t been circulated in over a year, which is actually more complicated than it sounds. Overall, I am loving the work as this is exactly what I got my Masters Degree in Library and Information Science for in the first place.


Aside from that, not much else is going on. I am keeping up with my reading as best I can, though even that is slowing down a bit with this new schedule. My dad gave my hubby his old computer, which is a better faster computer with a better graphics card, so I got my hubby’s computer with more RAM and better graphics card, so we’ve been doing a lot of computer gaming lately. I started playing Fable III, which is pretty additive, has pretty graphics and is a lot of fun to play. I’m looking for a new free-t0-play MMORPG, though that is tricky since I’ve played quite a few over the years. I downloaded Aionwhich I am having fun playing though the loading up time sucks and the client took me 16 hrs to download. The above picture is an example of the graphics, although I am playing as a Templar (warrior with mace/hammer and shield) and a Gunslinger (dual pistols). It gets a little grindy, i.e. lots of searching for materials for crafting and killing mobs but the main storyline is interesting enough to keep me interest.

In other news, my son turned 3 yrs old last Tues. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? I figure it’s as much a celebration of his birth as it is my husband and I surviving another year as parents. Everyone said the twos were terrible but now I hear that it might continue until he’s 4 years old. Goodness, I’ll just be happy when he’s completely potty-trained at this point (though less temper tantrums would be awesome!).


Teen Read Week 2012: Oct 14-20

So apparently I am totally out of the loop. I had forgotten that this week was Teen Read Week, probably because I haven’t worked in a library and/or haven’t gone up to the teen section of my library in awhile. What caught my attention and reminded me of the fact was this article on teens reading to pay off library fines, which I thought was a clever way to encourage them to read.

For those who do not know about Teen Read Week, it is celebrated the third week in October, and is a literacy initiative to encourage teens to read.  This year’s theme is Read For the Fun of It. Here are some programming ideas for librarians, although youth groups could do some of them as well. YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) even has a Pinterest page. I will admit that I put some of their ideas on my own Library Programming Pinterest page as well. The 2012 Top Ten Books have been picked by teens, and are listed below. For more information on the books, check out this pdf.

1. Veronica Roth’s Divergent

2. John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars (excellent book which I highly recommend, though it is very sad)

3. Marie Lu’s Legend

4. Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (another I would recommend)

5. Sarah Dessen’s What Happened to Goodbye

6. Beth Revis’ Across the Universe

7. Marissa Meyer’s Cinder

8. Maggie Steifvater’s The Scorpio Races

9. Gail Forman’s Where She Went

10. Meg Cabot’s Abandon

I had an interview yesterday with my local public library for a part-time Library Assistant position at one of five branches. I think it would be a cool position because it involves doing a little bit of everything, such as circulation, teaching basic computer classes, general reference, as well as helping out with children and teen programs. I believe the interview went well and I’m hoping for a positive response within the next two weeks.

I receive a weekly newsletter called @ Your Library: A Campaign for America’s Libraries  from the ALA, and it had a couple of good articles that I wanted to share. Since the Hunger Games came out today (yay!) and I loved the series, I thought I would share this article about what libraries around the country are doing for teens in response to the movie and promoting the books, and even a library in Pima County, Arizona is getting in on the action. I did something similar to this for a teen program I had to plan for my Young Adult Materials class in Graduate School.

The ALSC has released their list of the 2012 Notable Children’s Recordings, aka audiobooks. As the website says, these audiobooks are “for children 14 years of age and younger of especially commendable quality that demonstrate respect for young people’s intelligence and imagination; exhibit venturesome creativity; and reflect and encourage the interests of children and young adolescents in exemplary ways.” Now I know a lot of people don’t like audiobooks because they think they are boring, but sometime if you have a reluctant reader, they will use audiobooks instead of actual books. It eases them into reading. I personally like them because a lot of times I won’t read a book or just couldn’t get into one, but by listening to it on audiobook, I had a much easier time with it (latest example being Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert).

Now I hadn’t heard of most of the one on the Notable list, but I was excited to hear about Jack Gantos’s Newberry award-winning book Dead End in Norvelt was being read by the author (who I think does a fantastic job on his audio versions) and that The Incorriglible Children of Ashton Place, Book 2: The Hidden Gallery was being performed by my favorite voice actress Katherine Kellgren (of Bloody Jack fame – she does an absolutely brilliant job on that series – for me she is Jacky Faber). I have not read the first book, but would like to, so I could listen to this book.

On a totally random side note, I was browsing through the Teen section on the website for @ Your Library and they mentioned the READ poster that Daniel Radcliffe had recently done, which I had seen before. Whilst looking for that image at the ALA online store, I came across this one (see below) of Ewan McGregor and thought “You know, if Ewan told me to read, I definitely would; though let’s be honest, I would do pretty much anything he asked me to do.” Yay for Scottish guys!

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