My current read: The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath.
And what Gaiman, my curly-haired comrade, said about kindness…
Be good to each other.
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
On Monday morning, I made my way to White Pine Library Cooperative for a board meeting — unfortunately, we didn’t have enough members present for a quorum, but we talked shop which I thoroughly enjoyed. There’s nothing like being a newbie in a room filled with over 100 years of collective field experience. I felt like a kid in a candy shop — better yet: a nerd girl in a bookstore! Loved the time with my colleagues.
Having a friend who grew up in Saginaw and has now asked a couple of times if I’ve ever visited Zauel Memorial Library, I figured I should probably stop by. Besides…when have I ever based up an opportunity to visit a library and get new ideas? I can add Zauel to the list of Michigan libraries that I’ve toured. (Now that I think of it, I should probably post my list.)
I did my customary pictures of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. This library is extra awesome because they had FIVE copies.
I’m digging these labels on some of their AV materials — I think it could help avoid some of the confusions with patrons: some DVDs check out for free, but they have late fees associated them if they aren’t returned on time. At DPL, the fine is $1.00 per day.
My library isn’t big enough to devote an area for award books, but if it was…you can bet that I’d have an award book collection! I found some Newbery and Caldecott spines in a drawer and recently asked staff to track down our award winners.
The theme for this year’s summer reading program was “Fizz Boom Read!” — a member of the staff, a retired teacher, selected several “sciency”-themed books and I developed the crafts. (I’ll work at sharing our selections and crafts in a series of blog posts.)
The Very Ugly Bug by Liz Pichon
Wilton, CT : Tiger Tales, 2005
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 27 cm.
ISBN: 9781589250482; OCLC: 56129391
There once was a very ugly bug, with spotted legs, googly eyes and a horrible hairy back. She wonders why her friends have pretty small eyes, shiny green backs, or nice fluttery wings. The ugly bug thought that if she looked like her friends, then she would be more beautiful. So she made herself a disguise. But her new costume made her even tastier looking to the birds! When a bird swoops down to gobble up the disguised ugly bug, something strange happens… The big scare made the very ugly bug even uglier! So ugly in fact, that the bird was scared away. The ugly bug learns that just being herself is the best defense. Liz Pichon’s witty text and colorful artwork highlight this story about self-acceptance.
Children in attendance made a very ugly (or pretty) bug of their own to take home.
Staff, volunteers, and patrons saved their paper/cardboard egg cartons. I preferred this variety versus styrofoam cartons because paint would and glue would likely adhere better to the surface.
I cut each carton into four 3-segment bugs — think: ants — and painted them with red tempera.
Due to the ages of the children we were expecting, I opted to do all of the basic prep work; punching holes in the cartons to run pipe cleaners through the underside to serve as legs — one for each segment of the ant.
I used self-adhering googly eyes for the bugs and attached the antennae using Glue Dots.
As always, the night before the craft, I divided the decorations into small paper bowls to make it easier for sharing amongst the group. I had several sheets of Glue Dots in a couple of bowls.
I’d say the most challenging part of this craft was getting the kids accustomed to using the Glue Dots — peeling the protective plastic sheet and pressing the dot against their bug. It was difficult for some of the younger kids to do, but thankfully, we had lots of adults on hand to help them along with their projects. Overall, it was WAY less messy than using traditional glue.
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:
Like a garden, in order to make run for new growth, a library needs to be routinely weeded. Weeding or deselection also serves as a time to get rid of materials which are dated — think: non-fiction published 10 years ago — and those which are no longer circulating — think: early Dean Koontz books.
The practice is vitally important to all circulating libraries. It’s important enough that most library schools offer an entire course on collection development which features a unit on deselection of materials and the various best practices. The School of Library and Information Science at Wayne State University offered LIS 7340: Collection Development and Selection of Materials and I must say that it’s one (of several classes) which I utilize on an almost daily basis.
The Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science (ODLIS) by Joan M. Reitz defines ‘deselection’:
In serials, the process of identifying subscriptions for cancellation, usually in response to subscription price increases and budgetary constraints. In book and nonprint collections, the process of identifying titles for weeding, usually on the basis of currency, usage, and condition. The opposite of selection.
I believe the practice of deselection to be especially important for the small, rural public library because shelf space is very limited and at a premium. Due to the library’s geographic location, access to materials via Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service can sometimes take several days to even weeks; therefore, it’s imperative that staff keep up and maintain rural library’s collection.
I’d like to break down the fallacy: “Something is Better Than Nothing.”
I’ve been working at weeding areas within my library’s collection and opted to get rid of our World Book encyclopedia set which was published in 2000 and which were rarely utilized.
Did I commit a “library sin”? Is it better to have something on a subject rather than nothing at all?
Your answer should be a definitive and resolute: NO.
In the case of the World Book encyclopedia set: yes, it was expensive when it was initially purchased for the collection; however, it is now FOURTEEN YEARS OLD — well beyond it’s useful shelf life.
Think about how much has changed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. A Windows book published in 2002 would’ve likely been focusing on the XP-operating system – which Microsoft is no longer supporting. And the millennium edition of World Book encyclopedia? It would have no mention of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the Mumbai Attacks, Boston Marathon Bombing, or the death of Ariel Sharon…not mention the strides we’ve made in AIDS research.
Best practice: non-fiction items 10 years or older should generally be weeded from the collection – exception: pieces with historical focus such as books on the World Wars, Jim Crow, women’s suffrage, etc.
When it comes to time-sensitive topics involving medicine, law, and technology, those areas of the collection should be weeded/replaced every couple of years. Dated information on those subjects could be quite misleading and end up being downright dangerous for patrons. Clearly, having just ‘something’ on a subject for the sake of having it is NOT better — it’s foolish.
A memorable quote from librarian, Erin Schmändt – a 2005 SLIS alumna whom has been practicing librarianship for 13 years and the current director of Caro Area District Library:
Weed anything that doesn’t fit your community, no sinning necessary.
Want some more background on deselection/weeding? Check out these resources:
And for a bit of library humor…
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.
After four years, nearly 600 posts, and graduation from library school, Hermionish is still going!
On June 15, 2010, during my very first semester, I started this blog for the purpose of immersing myself in the Web 2.0 technologies cited in LIS 6010 and as a way of sharing my thoughts as well as experiences in library school. As a result of this blog, I’ve toured some beautiful and innovative libraries plus met some pretty fabulous people along the way — several of which have become dear friends of mine.
I’d like to celebrate this milestone by having a giveaway! It kicks off on Friday, June 13 @ 12:00 a.m. and runs through Friday, June 20 @ 11:59 p.m.
What I’m giving away:
A custom, digital caricature by Eddie Renner — the perfect profile picture for your social media accounts. (According to FTC rules, I need to disclose that I did not receive the prize for free and I was not paid for writing my blog post or for putting on this giveaway. In fact, I am personally paying for the digital caricature drawn by Eddie Renner at getasketch.com.)
For further information and to register for the giveaway, please visit my Rafflecopter page: Hermionish Giveaway: Digital Caricature
Thank you for reading and good luck!