My current read: The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath.
And what Gaiman, my curly-haired comrade, said about kindness…
Be good to each other.
My current read…
On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
“Reading in bed can be heaven, assuming you can get just the right amount of light on the page and aren’t prone to spilling your coffee or cognac on the sheets.” -Stephen King
I took some time to hike the Tawas Point State Park and thought it’d be fun to make a post using some of the pictures I snapped while tying in literature…
“The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.” -Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
“The bell jar hung, suspended, a few feet above my head. I was open to the circulating air.” -Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
“The silence drew off, baring the pebbles and shells and all the tatty wreckage of my life.” -Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
“Can you understand? Someone, somewhere, can you understand me a little, love me a little? For all my despair, for all my ideals, for all that – I love life. But it is hard, and I have so much – so very much to learn.” -Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.” -Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
I’m sitting in a small restaurant eating lunch and reading the book Nest by Esther Ehrlich during my lunch hour.
When I flip over, the chlorine burns my eyes, but I like the way everything looks fuzzy and green. I surface – dive down, down, down. With my belly on the bottom of the pool, I’m a beautiful mermaid. I take my hair out of its ponytail and put the elastic on my wrist. I swim around with my long, flowy hair and slithery body. Tiny bubbles float off my skin. The golden hair on my arms wave around. A mermaid never needs to come up for air. She opens her mouth and tasty minnows drift in. She drinks seawater. She swims for as long as she wants, and no one sees her unless she wants them to. No one sees her and no one talks to her and no one touches her and says stupid things. No one even thinks about her. And she doesn’t think about anyone. …I want to stay down here in the fuzzy green, not thinking about anyone…but my lungs ache and my head hurts and I can’t help pulling myself up through the water and gulping air.
I could see this book winning the Newbery.
Back when I first started library school, I had a recurring dream about rushing into burning archives and trying to save the contents which usually consisted of works written in old German blackletter. Sometimes my efforts were successful and other times…not so much.
More recently, I’ve had dreams about weeding books…
I take a cartload of items to my desk and remove them from the catalog. When I return to the stacks in order to get more books, I find all of the items that I just weeded have been magically returned to the shelves. What gives?
I’d much rather dream about Mr. Darcy, Severus Snape, and Toshikazu Nobu.
Summer Reading Program wrapped up at the end of July and I must say that it was a HUGE success. My craft choices for the stories turned out wonderfully and we didn’t have any major bumps in the road. Pinterest really helped with the brainstorming process. I am pleased to say that I’m excited for next year and I’ve already started brainstorming ideas and looking at grants to help offset the cost.
(Update: when my library life returns to normal, I’ll write a post about the crafts we did for SRP.)
While the summer reading program was going on, I worked my way through the collection weeding items in preparation for our annual book sale and the carpeting project — why box up and move items which are damaged and in poor condition or not circulating? The weeding project also went extremely well and we were able to sell many of the items in our book sale. Items in which I did not think would sell well (based on previous sales), some science fiction/fantasy and specific classes of non-fiction works, were boxed up and sent off to Better World Books — we’ll get a proceed of the revenue generated from any sales.
I was very disappointed and shocked to see that the majority of the Penworthy books had near ZERO circulation. While their overall quality is high and they’re nearly indestructible thanks to the library binding and hard covers, they are — unfortunately — not visually appealing for the younger audiences. Kids are pretty judgy about the way a book looks. With plain white spines and black lettering, they don’t jump out at you while combing the shelves for an interesting book to check out. At a cost nearly 3x the price of other publishers, it was a bitter, jagged pill to swallow as I weeded many of them from the library’s collection. They might be a good fit in other library’s collections, they are not at Deckerville; therefore, I won’t be adding any more Penworthy books to the collection at this time.
The library’s annual book sale rocked! While weeding, I was cognizant of organizing books and kept them grouped together. I bought some small dowels from Walmart and crafted cute signs little for the different material types which I taped on the boxes. I believe for the first time, the book sale had a collection geared specifically for the home school population. It went over quite well! As a result, I think I’ll continue adding juvenile non-fiction into the home school collection.
As I write this blog post, the library is getting new carpeting. We closed last Saturday afternoon and we’ll remain closed until Tuesday, August 26. The installation should wrap-up sometime this afternoon and the library will be hosting yet another work “party” — the first two focused on boxing and moving the library’s collection and tonight’s gathering will focus on washing down the walls and book cases before they get set-up again. Tomorrow and throughout the weekend, I’ll work with volunteers to begin restoring the library to working order again.
Getting new carpeting in the library has been quite the undertaking. Method: each shelving unit was numbered, a map of the library’s arrangement was drawn, and each box/tote was labeled with the shelf number and a notation about what’s in the box. My biggest worry: the condition of the sub-floor. It’s an old building and the floors creak quite loudly in different areas. The cost of the project would dramatically go up if replacing any of the sub-floor was required. I was relieved to learn that the sub-floor was in great shape and nothing had to be replaced.
I’ve been blessed with an absolutely AWESOME group of volunteers. Last weekend, we even had to turn a few people away because the people was so full of people helping out. This outpouring of support has been the highlight of the project for me. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working alongside of them and sharing their enthusiasm/love for the library.
For the most part, the majority of the project has went smoothly without any major hiccups or surprises — an ignoramus who ripped open the screwed shut drop box despite the sign, and several patrons who refused to follow directions and handed their materials to the contractors (yes, the contractors!) despite being told that all items would be automatically renewed, fines waived, the drop box would be unavailable and to PLEASE hold onto ALL library items until Tuesday, August 26…and there was a cute/informational sign on the library’s door.
The latter really irked me the most because the patrons walked into a library which was obviously CLOSED and nearly shelf-less! (As if the sign on the front door wasn’t enough indication.) The entire collection was in boxes and the carpeting ripped out thus exposing the sub-floor complete with plaster patch drying. The patrons spoke to contractors, not library staff, who were obviously busy working on a project — yet they insisted on interrupting their work, handing over library materials, and that the contractors play “librarian” for them. Even more: the contractors told them about the sign on the door and that they should hold onto their books for safe keeping. Unbelievable.
All in all, those are VERY minor issues for a project of this magnitude.
I have a slew of projects that I can only begin after the new carpeting project — among them:
And the randomly chosen winner via the Rafflecopter app is…
“it’s a tie between the shire (the hobbit) and the weird land from “the phantom tollbooth.” i remember loving both books as a child.”
Sarah will receive 1 digital caricature by Eddie Renner – compliments of me.
Thank you to everyone who participated. You’re awesome and really made the past week special! I got a kick out of reading about your favorite places – many of which you described with great detail. I added the books in which I haven’t yet read to my TBR pile and hope to travel there soon.
And a big thank you to everyone who reads this blog as well to those who have encouraged me to keep writing.