Knowledge is Power

alexandria

A long-distance bestie got a library card in her new home city. Librarian heart melting rn! (Photo cred: Erin)

Oh dear, oh my…it’s been awhile! So much has changed! I started improv classes and formed a troupe with some classmates, good friends moved away and I cultivated a new community in Dallas, I went from Youth Services library staff to an Public Services Librarian (more adult in scope), and the year isn’t over. 2015 has been good. Yet, my abandonment of this blog has been gnawing at the back of my mind for a while now. I’ve been writing lists of ideas for new content and then promptly losing them. Starting new blog posts, but then not following through. It just hasn’t been the right time to return. Until, now. I miss it and I feel as if it’s the season to jump back into writing. I limited myself to just librarianship posts before, but I want to take a bit of a new direction. I want to use this space as a space to fully process and express things that are happening in my surroundings. Be it books, art, projects, people I admire, the whole hodgepodge that is life.

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Instaread with a note on Bloglovin’

 

Ichiro

Ichiro written and illustrated by Ryan Inzana

Sometimes you forget your book at home and are stuck alone in the breakroom, eating a late lunch. This happened to me earlier this week and luckily I work at a library. I quickly browsed the young adult graphic novel section and my eye stumbled upon Ichiro. I thought it was a great story of a boy struggling with cultural identity and dealing with the loss of a father. Ichiro’s story weaves fluidly with Japanese mythologies. One thing that came of this Instagram photo, was the question of the manga genre. I’m pretty sure that manga are comics that are originally published in Japan and are diverse in style (not just Pokemon and Sailor Moon style characters/story). But some folks apply the term to any comics dealing with Japanese culture. What do you think? I would call this a graphic novel. It’s a non-serialized story published in the U.S. But however you want to classify it (manga, graphic novel, comic), it’s a wonderful and interesting story! So check it out.

So a lot of my friends are on the Bloglovin’ train. I’d thought I’d join. It is a great way to keep up with the myriad of blogs that are out there. You can curate your own newsfeed, which is really helpful if you are scatterbrained like me!! I was really surprised at how many of my favorite blogs are on here and excited that I can keep up with them a little bit better.

Are you on Bloglovin’? If so, feel free to follow me: <a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/12744723/?claim=z2n2sepnhqt”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Elements of a Storytime

One of my favorite, recent storytime books. Great to do with two people!!

One of my favorite, recent storytime books. Great to do with two people!!

I came across this post about the important value of storytimes and so many thoughts went through my head. I’ve talked with some of my non-librarian friends about storytime and they are so surprised that I don’t just read books to the kids.  I get to explain that storytimes prepare kids for school by building a strong early literacy foundation, which requires reading, playing, flannels, singing, and dancing. Abby Johnson notes in her post that singing isn’t merely singing a song, it’s helping kids develop phonological awareness (i.e. hearing and playing with smaller sounds in words).

There are a few things that every storytime should highlight. These elements are:

-Print motivation                             -Print awareness

-Narrative skills                                -Vocabulary

-Letter knowledge                            -Phonological awareness

A piece from our library's "Fall is Easy" flannel.

A piece from our library’s “Fall is Easy” flannel.

However, these elements can be presented in a myriad of ways. No storytime is completely alike. There is an overwhelming amount of templates, video, and other examples of how to conduct a storytime. Just within my library, everybody has a different storytime presentation style. We have our regular storytimes schedule with different storytimes for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and families. We have done music storytimes, science storytimes, and art storytimes.  Another branch in our library system recently did a trail storytime. Oh the possibilities are endless!!

My co-workers and I leading a music storytime

My co-workers and I leading a music storytime

I’m still figuring out my presentation style and how to mindfully include the different storytime elements when I plan a storytime. Jbrary and Storytime Katie are great resources, but often times my co-workers are the most helpful part of my planning process. We can talk about what works and what doesn’t work for our unique storytime community. We also inspire each other to try new things: to get great ideas out of our heads and take action.

Monday Linkage

labor day weekend

 

Such a fun labor day weekend!! Friday night, I had all the intention of taking it easy and relaxing, but that definitely didn’t happen. I saw a great movie, The One I Love, an indescribable magical realistic story about relationships. This movie got me thinking and blew me away. I got to take a much needed trip to Fort Worth to see some great friends. Then I helped out with an engagement party and worked a crazy Labor Day at my roommate’s coffee shop. Needless to say, Sunday didn’t feel like Sunday. So here’s what captured my attention this week. One day I’ll try to organize the links better and maybe provide more links (I forget to save them as I find them), but until then:

When I saw this headline, I thought Miles Morales as the Ultimate Spider-Man was getting his own show, but he’s only appearing in an episode. But Donald Glover!!

miles moreales

I remember when Librarian in Black first talked about the new California State Librarian not really being a librarian. She had this update this week. I agree with her on a lot of aspects. Even though I’m somewhat uncomfortable with the “librarian with a capital L mentality”, I think it does belittle the profession that an actual librarian was not appointed. He is taking one class, but there are so many issues and perspectives regarding libraries, that most people don’t think about and one class is not going to help you understand the world of libraries. Alright Greg Lucas, I think this is what most librarians are thinking right now:

impress me

Came across this food for thought sparked by the Milo Manara’s Spider-woman cover: “In superhero comics, a book with a female lead is traditionally much more likely to be targeted at a male audience than a female audience, because almost all superhero comics are targeted at a male audience.” This is why I’m excited about Ms. Marvel and Zita the Spacegirl. These are two refreshing, strong female super-heros. They are also real. They go through insecurities and uncertainty. These characteristics make them relatable.

kamala kahn

Been browsing this website and reading up on young children and new media. Such interesting stuff!! I helped write a grant for a digital storytime and I want to make sure it’s done right. Luckily we’ve got a great team working on it. It’s been so much envisioning and planning.

Pow! Zing! Bop! Some Graphic Adventures

trio

It took me a while to get into comics. I had heard about Watchmen and Ultimate Spider-man and how I should really give them a gander, I’d probably like them. But, it was all so overwhelming. And then someone introduced me to Neil Gaiman’s Sandman Series. Holy moly! Such good stuff. I grew up obsessed with Greek mythology and it was interesting to see characters from all kinds of different kinds of mythologies – Greek, Shakespearean, superheros – in one story. The story was so complex and rich. I was hooked! I picked up the Death miniseries and then fell in love with P. Craig Russell’s adaptation of The Sandman: The Dream Hunters. I was still a bit timid, but I was more willing to explore other comics. Luckily, I worked at the library at this point. I could wander the stacks to discover what was out there and what I liked. Never underestimate the power of browsing!

I also had co-workers who could give me some great recommendations and I eventually gained some comic confidence. I began to explore different online reviews. I discovered the Amulet series, BatgirlZita the Spacegirl, and, most recently, Shadow Hero.

trio 2
 So where are some good starting points? The best thing is simply to browse your local library’s or comic book shop’s shelves. Pick up a volume and see what intrigues you. Also, if you know anyone who reads comic, just talk to them about it. In the meantime, check out these online resources. There’s way more out there, but these are some good places to start:

It’s also a great idea to follow different comic book artists and writers on Twitter/Tumblr/Instagram/whatever. You’ll find a really interesting community.

READ THIS GRAPHIC NOVEL!! it's really, really good.

READ THIS GRAPHIC NOVEL!! it’s really, really good.

What are your favorite titles? What comic book websites do you keep bookmarked? Next time, I’ll talk about my love of the Women of Marvel podcast. Stay tuned…

Sunday linkage

neil gaiman 2

I always have these grand weekend schemes that I will get everything I need done that I need to get done and feel better for it. Well, I got all my errands done, but now I’m exhausted and could use another Sunday. Luckily, I treated myself to some iced coffee, a truffle, and Neil Gaiman. It’s the little things that help me feel centered. Here’s what’s come across my radar this past week:

NPR has been all about diverse books this week. The topics range from MFA programs to publishing and selling diverse books. My very first post on this blog was about the We Need Diverse Books initiative and it’s exciting to see this conversation spreading.

Inspired by this pinterest board, our library created a compilation on Instagram of a few of our workers’ library confessions. I haven’t done mine yet, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be, “I have never read a John Green book – and I probably never will.”

Design*Sponge has a great advice section for small business owners: BizLadies. They post profiles of business owners and other short, engaging posts. It’s a great resource for people (especially ladies…) who own a small business or are thinking about opening a small business. There is some major food for thought here, guys. For more information, check out the 658.022 section in your local library. You just might find some serious motivation and empowerment on those shelves!

I love this round up of library programs. We already have our fall programs planned, but spring will be here before I know it! Amy Koester is such a librarian role model to me. She comes up with such creative, engaging programs and I love to hear what she is up to.

Doctor Who premiered Saturday night and oh it was glorious! I was a bit underwhelmed at first by the premiere, but by the end I was excited to see what season 8 has in store. I agree with the Guardian’s statement, that Capaldi “wasn’t instant.” But that was the point. Viewers could relate to Clara’s frustration that this wasn’t her Doctor. And now I’ll unload some reviews on you.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Instaread: The Museum of Intangible Things

museum of intangible things

The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder

This was a book that was sitting on my shelf and I kept wondering why I had checked it out. Once I finally got around to reading it, I got into the story quickly and was glad I picked it up. I tend to gravitate towards the sci-fi, magical realistic books, so this was a nice departure from my normal. At times, events in the story seemed very far-fetched or too coincidental, but as a whole Wunder does a great job of capturing friendship and mental illness. My favorite part was reading about Zoe’s “exhibits” that she creates for her autistic brother. Even though things don’t turn out perfect, life works itself out and the ending is filled with hope.