"A library book, I imagine, is a happy book." Cornelia Funke

"Everything puts me in mind of a story." Ben Franklin

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Meeting Chris Crutcher!

Yesterday, I was privileged to hear and meet the award winning teen author Chris Crutcher, author of Whale Talk, Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, The Sledding Hill and many more. He spoke at the the Central Saint Paul Library for about an hour and a half. I've seen a fair amount of teen and children's authors, and, Crutcher is an exciting, relaxed presenter. He read to us from The King of the Mild Frontier, telling us childhood stories of the "neat times" he had with his persuasive (cough) older brother. I laughed so hard that I cried. Guess what book I checked out as soon as I returned to my own library?
He graciously signed my proof of Whale Talk and I floated away a giddy, thrilled fangirl.
Crutcher also spoke eloquently of the censorship of his books and told us about the children who he met when he worked as a therapist and how they made their ways into his stories. He can speak about himself much better than I can, so read up on him at:
http://www.chriscrutcher.com/ and if you haven't already, pick up his books!

This Is Our Birthday Song, It Isn't Very Long...

Birthday Storytime

  • Who Made This Cake? by Chihiro Nakagawa, illus. by Junji Koyose

  • Birthday Zoo by Deborah Lee Rose, illus. by Lynn Munsinger

  • The Fairytale Cake by Mark Sperring, illus. by Jonathan Langley

  • A Birthday for Cow! by Jan Thomas

  • Mouse's Birthday by Jane Yolen, illus. by Bruce Degen

  • Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells

This storytime was a hit, with Cow and her birthday turnip, Max and his Red-Hot Marshmallow Squirters, and Mouse's "remodeled" house. We had a perfect number of kids to sing personalized versions of the super short birthday song of this post's title. The kids at this evening family storytime were charming in their pajamas, toting their favorite stuffed friends.

Thing 34: Online Answer Sites

I have little experience with Online Answer sites before this Thing. I have run across Yahoo!Answers when doing general surfing, but that is about it. So first I read
The Future of the Reference Desk, That Thing You Do, and a bit of Librarian 2.0: Interviews of the Future of Librarians.

Next, here are the sites I looked at:


I didn't look at Folkstown, which is down for maintenance. All of these seemed browseable except for Snappy Fingers, which requires a query in the search box. I have to say that these are appealing. I was interested to see the questions and answers.

So, why would someone prefer to ask a stranger, possibly unqualified, to answer a question for them rather than to contact a librarian who can answer them with authority and reliable material? Based on what I've read and seen, here's what I think:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More Thing 33: still traveling

Nessie from: http://flagranny2.wordpress.com/2007/06/01/tourist-says-hes-shot-video-of-loch-ness-monster/

Travel Review sites:

With just a quick glance Igougo looks the most appealing to me. There is a prominent search box, a map and a list of destinations at the top of the page. Searching for Scotland for my imaginary trip brings up an info page with a list of all possible destinations in Scotland. Pretending we are going to Loch Ness to visit Nessie, we select it and get info on hotels, things to do, one restaurant, photos, journals and more. There is also flight info to Loch Ness. I like this site.

Tripadvisor is really comprehensive. It gives me the above (plus more restaurants), and has a helpful "Before You Go" section that discusses things like history, suggested reading and typical weather. There is also "United Kingdom For Foreign Visitors" with info on banks, etiquette and emergencies. Two thumbs up!

Travel Journals:

My Life of Travel You can search by popular location to find blogs. I broadened out from Loch Ness to Glasgow, Vienna and all of India. If you had a traveling life, you could add your own blog.
Vcarious has both travel guides and journals. It also has message boards and discussions. The guides are nice but for serious information I'd absolutely reach for a good old guide book.
Travel Mashups:
These are the suggested Mashups:
Green Routes (helps you find one-of-a-kind places to eat that includes green businesses in MN, IA, ND, and WI)
TubeJP (London Tube journey planner)
District Taxi Fare Estimator (Washington Post's cab fare estimator)
Wines and Times (allows you to plan your own winery tour anywhere in the U.S.)
Hotspotr (find Wi-Fi hotspots and cafes around the U.S.)
Fastfoodmaps.com (Find fast food restaurants in the U.S; also has a link to Starbucks locations in the U.S.)
Travel Mashups - Mashup Awards (award winning travel mashups)

The only one that's really relevant for me is Green Routes. Searching it for places in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, I find one place to eat, Mill City Farmer's Market and a place to shop, Twin Cities Green.

Mill City
Address 2nd Street S and Chicago Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55401612.341.7580
Hours Saturdays, 8am - 1pm, May 10th - October 18th, 2008
The region's finest sustainable and organic farmers and food artisans offer everything from heirloom vegetables and organic fruits to free range and grass-fed meats, dairy & eggs. Check out our selection of specialty foods including farmstead cheeses and European-style breads. Weekly chef demos, live music, kids’ activities and more!

Twin Cities Green
Address2405 Hennepin Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55405612-374-4581
HoursTues - Sat 11 - 7, Sun 12 - 5
An eco-friendly home/life shop that sells furniture, home decor, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, baby and other green accessories and necessities that are recycled, reclaimed, natural, organic, and sustainable.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Prom is still fun!

I admit it. I loved the prom, and I love Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson.

Many years ago, I went to the proms my sophomore-senior years. My favorite thing about them was putting together my outfits. Dates and the actual proms were secondary. :) For my senior prom, I wore a vintage white eyelet lingerie dress, a family heirloom. My mom made a pink satin sash to go with it and I wore a ring of pink rosebuds in my updo. I loved getting together an entire look, from gown to jewelry to shoes. I loved going out to a fancy restaurant on a double date with my best friend.

Unlike me, Ashley in Prom, doesn't want those things. She doesn't care about the foof and the sparkle and what she really wants is to get out of school and move in with her boyfriend, T.J., and out of her family's noisy house. But, when the school's budget for the dance disappears, Ashley's best friend Nat is desperate for help in scraping together some kind of prom, no matter what. Things get awfully busy for Ash as she works as a dancing rat in a pizza parlor, staves off T.J's alarming apartment choice, handles her crazy, loving family, worms her way out of her many detentions and plans for the year's biggest dance, which she may not even attend.

Prom is an enjoyable read whether you're attending your first prom, blowing it off, or waxing nostalgic like I am. For added pleasure, try listening to the audio version, read by Katherine Kellgren. She does a terrific job bringing the character's off the pages!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thing 33: Travel 2.0

Yummy meringues from My Kugelhopf

Travel Blogs and Podcasts:

Going through the list of suggested sites, I find the ones that interest me most are: The Lost Girls, My Kugelhopf and Tips from the T-list .

Beginning with My Kugelhopf:

the blogger, Kerrin Rousset, says she has "a sweet tooth the size of China". This woman is already my friend. :) Forget any other credentials she has, she likes sweets! Trust is developed and I read on. Okay, she has lots of other credentials and what sounds like a very interesting life. Additionally, this book has both beautiful photographs and recipes! It gains admission to the blog list on my personal blog. This is one that I want to browse at my leisure.

The Lost Girls:

Very cool. Extremely well organized. Although the places that they visited aren't at the top of my list now, that doesn't stop the blog from interesting me. I like the way they give practical information about what they packed, how they afforded the trip (for a year!) and how they left their jobs to do so. It's also fun to skim travel topics such as animals, funniest moments and sex!

Tips From the T-List:

Apparently, 158 bloggers contribute to this. This seems like more of a blog to browse than to find specific information on say, Scotland. Looking under General Travel, I find articles like All you need for a Vegas Vacation, New Right whale video - winter mating & feeding and 6 Tips for Traveling by Cab in a Foreign City . These are interesting to me, but pretty random. I am not a particular travel log fan. I'd pretty much only read a travel site to find information for a place I was going to visit. So, I probably won't use this one again.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Thing 32: Google Maps and Mashups

View Larger Map

I had fun making this one. This is a map of my favorite places in the Twin Cities. I've included libraries, bookstores, restaurants and, well see for yourself!

A library could make a map of all of its branches to show patrons.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Still Twittering

I just used the Twitter Status Generator and it gave me: "Gloomily incensed and considering the implications of slander." I have to admit that I like it. Twittering may not be my tool. I don't have any photos or music that I want to share ( I don't know how to burn songs) and I don't want to get updates on my cell phone!

So, two days ago, I signed up to be included in the Librarians Directory in the Tweeters Directory. It didn't seem like it went through and it said that you had a certain amount of time to edit your entry, so I changed it a bit and figured that I'd add a picture later. Today I looked and I am in the directory, which is nice, but I'm in it twice and I see no way to remove the extra listing or add a photo now. Sigh.

I've also started to follow Mr. Tweet , so we'll see what comes of that.

3/13: I got a direct message from Mr. Tweet with 200 recommendations of interesting people. I enjoyed that, and started following about 10 more people. Mostly authors.

I tried to look at the Twilert page for tracking, but got a message that the page can't be displayed. Looked into Twitter Packs, which was easy to browse, but I found nothing new for me. Am unimpressed with Tweet Scan. I set up keywords on Twitterel: teen librarian, teen book, steampunk, books and library. I suspect that these are too general.

My best results came from just following people my "friends" follow. I was able to find a number of amazing teen authors that way. So, that is satisfying.

But, now I'm Twittered out!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Thing 31: More Twitter

I've barely begun this one, but I looked at celebrities who Tweet and, with no offense meant, I really don't want to follow any of them. Now writers, would be different.
I found my cute little birdie (above & to the right) on Free Twitter Bird Icon Set - Productivedreams.com . It took me awhile to find one that worked. The suggested links Twitter icons for blog and Twitter bird and Three Downloadable Twitter Bird Images linked to pages that wouldn't open. I also tried to make a ribbon from Free Twitter Ribbon Ad Generator , but I couldn't get the code to work in my blog:( Luckily, this one is so appropriate.
Fun Twitter Things:
I took the http://www.blogthings.com/whatpunctuationmarkareyouquiz/ and posted the results to Twitter. I tweeted.
More to come.

Thing 30: More ways to use RSS and Delicious


Because Delicious is something that I actually use, I began this exercise with it. I find it a handy place to store sites that I want to return to in the future. I used the search tips in this Thing to find and add more bookmarks, but there was not a topic narrow enough or a person with specific enough bookmarks that I wanted to subscribe to them. However, I began a tiny Network with one other librarian, added a button to this blog and embedded a badge and added a Tagroll in my personal blog. I have only used Delicious for bookmarking before this, so no other insights at this time.


I have to admit that I haven't looked at my RSS feeds since Round 1. When I signed in to my Google Reader I had an alarming 451 items. Wow! Overwhelming. I chopped my subscriptions down to 8. It's probably still too much.
I read the article
Seven Tips for Making the Most of Your RSS Reader and I figure that I've got the oversubscribe part down.

I just set up an account at http://www.feedrinse.com/ and at first attempt it seems more trouble than it's worth to me. When I enter the subscription URL and click the Import button, it takes me back to the "Let's Get Started" screen. After several more tries, I can't make this work. Doubtless it's me and not the tool, but I'm giving up on this.

Next, I looked at my Microsoft feeds. I have 6 on this, including "Booklust with Nancy Pearl," "HarperTeen Podcast" and "LibraryLoft Podcasts." As suggested in this Thing, I added rssWeather.com and Traffic.com , to give me local weather and traffic reports.

I don't see a bright future with me and RSS feeds, but I do appreciate my Delicious.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Which Teen books have you read? 50 for me.

Karen Brooks-Reese (Pittsburgh, PA) wrote:
With the help of some of my teen librarian friends, I've compiled a list of 100 Teen Books teens love and adults who serve teens should know about. Here it is! Feel free to gank it for your own purposes.

The following list of books teens love, books teens should read, and books adults who serve teens should know about was compiled IN ABSOLUTELY NO SCIENTIFIC MANNER and should be taken with a very large grain of salt.

Put an "X" next to the books you've read
Put a "+" next to the books you LOVE
Put a "*" next to the books you plan on reading
Tally your "X"s at the bottom
Share with your friends!

1. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy / Douglas Adams
2. Kit's Wilderness / David Almond *
3. Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian / Sherman Alexie X
4. Speak / Laurie Halse Anderson X+
5. Feed / M.T. Anderson X
6. Flowers in the Attic / V.C. Andrews X
7. 13 Reasons Why / Jay Asher X
8. Am I Blue? / Marion Dane Bauer (editor)X
9. Audrey Wait! / Robin Benway *
10. Weetzie Bat / Francesca Lia Block X
11. Tangerine / Edward Bloor X
12. Forever / Judy Blume
13. What I Saw and How I Lied / Judy Blundell *
14. Tyrell / Coe Booth *
15. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants / Ann Brashares X
16. A Great and Terrible Beauty / Libba Bray X+
17. The Princess Diaries / Meg Cabot
18. The Stranger / Albert Camus X
19. Ender's Game / Orson Scott Card
20. Postcards from No Man's Land / Aidan Chambers *
21. Perks of Being a Wallflower / Stephen Chbosky X+
22. And Then There Were None / Agatha Christie X
23. Gingerbread / Rachel Cohn
24. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist / Rachel Cohn and David Levithan X
25. Artemis Fowl (series) / Eoin Colfer
26. The Hunger Games / Suzanne Collins
27. The Midwife's Apprentice / Karen Cushman X
28. The Truth About Forever / Sarah Dessen
29. Little Brother / Cory Doctorow
30. A Northern Light / Jennifer Donnelly X+
31. Tears of a Tiger / Sharon Draper
32. The House of the Scorpion / Nancy Farmer X
33. Breathing Underwater / Alex Flinn X+
34. Stardust / Neil Gaiman
35. Annie on My Mind / Nancy Garden X+
36. What Happened to Cass McBride / Gail Giles X
37. Fat Kid Rules the World / K.L. Going X+
38. Lord of the Flies / William Golding X
39. Looking for Alaska / John Green X
40. Bronx Masquerade / Nikki Grimes
41. Out of the Dust / Karen Hesse
42. Hoot / Carl Hiaasen
43. The Outsiders / S.E. Hinton X
44. Crank / Ellen Hopkins
45 The First Part Last / Angela Johnson X
46. Blood and Chocolate / Annette Curtis Klause
47. Arrow's Flight / Mercedes Lackey
48. Hattie Big Sky / Kirby Larson
49. To Kill a Mockingbird / Harper Lee
50. Boy Meets Boy / David Levithan X
51. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks / E. Lockhart X
52. The Giver / Lois Lowry X
53. Number the Stars / Lois Lowry X
54. Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie / David Lubar X
55. Inexcusable / Chris Lynch X
56. The Earth, My Butt and Other Big, Round Things / Carolyn Mackler X
57. Dragonsong / Anne McCaffrey
58. White Darkness / Geraldine McCaughrean
59. Sold / Patricia McCormick *
60. Jellicoe Road / Melina Marchetta *
61. Wicked Lovely / Melissa Marr X
62. Twilight / Stephenie Meyer X
63. Dairy Queen / Catherine Murdock
64. Fallen Angels / Walter Dean Myers X
65. Monster / Walter Dean Myers X
66. Step From Heaven / An Na X
67. Mama Day / Gloria Naylor
68. The Keys to the Kingdom (series) / Garth Nix
69. Sabriel / Garth Nix *
70. Airborn / Kenneth Oppel X
71. Eragon / Christopher Paolin
72. Hatchet / Gary Paulsen
73. Life As We Knew It / Susan Beth Pfeffer X
74. The Golden Compass / Phillip Pullman X
75. Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging / Louise Rennison
76. The Lightning Thief / Rick Riordan X
77. Always Running: La Vida Loca / Luis Rodriguez
78. how i live now / Meg Rosoff
79. Harry Potter (series) / J.K. Rowling X
80. Holes / Louis Sachar X
81. Catcher in the Rye / J. D. Salinger X
82. Push / Sapphire
83. Persepolis / Marjane Satrapi
84. Unwind / Neil Shusterman *
85. Coldest Winter Ever / Sister Souljah
86. Stargirl / Jerry Spinelli X
87. Chanda's Secrets / Allan Stratton
88. Tale of One Bad Rat / Brian Talbot
89. Rats Saw God / Rob Thomas X
90. Lord of the Rings / J.R.R. Tolkien X
91. Stuck in Neutral / Terry Trueman X
92. Gossip Girl / Cecily Von Ziegesar
93. Uglies / Scott Westerfeld X
94. Every Time a Rainbow Dies / Rita Williams-Garcia
95. Pedro and Me / Judd Winick
96. Hard Love / Ellen Wittlinger X
97. American Born Chinese / Gene Luen Yang
98. Elsewhere / Gabrielle Zevin
99. I am the Messenger / Markus Zusak X+
100. The Book Thief / Markus Zusak X+

= 50 books

That doesn't seem like very many. :(