Wednesday, December 15, 2010

December is Read a New Book Month storytime

To honor the theme of Read a New Book Month, I chose to...not read a new book.  Ok, I decided to read a few of my favorite picture books.  Yeah, they aren't new books, but I can't help my lack of creativity when it comes to storytime.  Anyway, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle was our first book.  Then, we made our very own hungry caterpillars by gluing pom-poms to popsicle sticks with pipe cleaner antennae and goggley eyes.  While we waited for our caterpillars to dry a bit, we read Bark, George by Jules Feiffer and one of my very favorites, Owen & Mzee: Best Friends.  Twas another successful storytime, indeed.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

National Pastry Day storytime

In case you were unaware, December 9th is National Pastry Day and if you've been keeping up with my blog and paying any attention at all, you should know by now that I love to bake.  And a lot of picture books with baking in the story happen to have various recipes in the back.  Sooooo, I picked one rather cute book and baked the featured recipe the day before storytime to surprise my storytime group.  The first book I read was the one that features the recipe I used: Sun Bread by Elisa Kleven.  When I surprised the kids (and parents) with the homemade sun bread, they were really excited.  (Luckily, I had a leftover pizza box laying around which came in quite handy to both transport the bread and conceal it prior to the surprise.)  While we munched on the bread, we read a classic, The Little Red Hen by Byron Barton and This Little Bunny Can Bake by Janet Stein.  I was a little bummed that most of my regular storytime kids didn't come to see my surprise, but whacha gonna do?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

UF Levin College of Law Library tour

This afternoon I attended a tour of the University of Florida's Levin College of Law's Lawton Chiles Legal Information Center Library scheduled by NEFLIN.  I was actually really just glad that I made it there on time because I had to drive all the way from Newberry then, due to UF's parking situation (or lack thereof, rather) I had to park over a mile away from the library.  It was renovated and expanded a few years ago and the library was very nice and plush.  There were only a few people who attended the tour and most of which were from close by (actually, about half were from other UF libraries).  I was the only one from the public library but there were two local school library media specialists, both of whom I happen to be slightly familiar with.  Ms. Antony, the librarian at Eastside High School, made herself available for me to interview her for a project I had earlier this year about the use of Web 2.0 technologies in media centers.  The other school librarian was Ms. Moore from Santa Fe High School for whom my little brother was a media aide when he was in high school.  Ahh, small world in library land.  In any case, the tour was interesting as I have not previously been in a law library and I miss just generally being on campus oh so much.  Sigh...good times.

Eat a Red Apple Day and apple smiles

Today's storytime theme was Eat a Red Apple Day, December 1st.  The first book we read was The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall.  Then we ate none other than red apples in the form of apple smiles.  My mom suggested this edible craft - we took red apple slices and put peanut butter on one side of two apple slices and then stuck mini marshmallows in the peanut butter and between the apple slices, like the ones in the picture to the right.  Of course, with 3-year-olds, trying to get the whole apple smile put together without any part being eaten alone is practically impossible.  I was absolutely amazed at how quickly these little girls could gobble up little marshmallows!  I gave one half a dozen to stick in her peanut butter and turned around to distribute more marshmallows and just a few seconds later the first few marshmallows were no where to be found.  It went well though, except for the one little girl who was apparently afraid of peanut butter, poor thing.  Anyway, while our apple smiles were being devoured, I read Apple Farmer Annie by Monica Wellington.  The girls enjoyed storytime and the parents, as always, got a giggle at my observance of pseudo-holidays.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Collection development policy comparison

One of the classes I am taking this semester is Management of Information Collections and my latest assignment was a paper comparing the collection development policies of three libraries or information centers.  Being interested in academic libraries, I chose three university libraries: University of Oxford, University of Florida, and Harvard University's Andover-Harvard Theological Library.  My choices were a bit arbitrary but they were not completely without rhyme or reason.  This summer, I studied abroad in London for three weeks and visited various surrounding areas, including Oxford.  The campus was beautiful as was the Bodleian Library.  As for UF, aside from the fact that I have lived in Gainesville, home of the Gators, my whole life, I attended UF for undergrad.  And at UF, I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion (with a minor in Art History), leading me to choose the Andover-Harvard Theological Library as my third information center.  Reading their collection development policy made me miss my religion classes a lot.  I think the title "dream job" is in order here. 

If you are interested in reading my paper, feel free to email me at - copies are available upon request.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Job Hunting for the Recent or Future MLS Graduate workshop

Today I attended the Job Hunting for the Recent or Future MLS Graduate workshop offered by the Library Leadership & Management Association (LLAMA), division of the American Library Association.  First of all, I would like to express my frustration with time zones.  In the past few weeks, the Eastern Standard Time/Central Standard Time difference has been tripping me up.  But alas, I don't think that I would be able to make much headway in changing the nature of time zones, nor do I really think that a time zone revolution is actually necessary.  Anyway, back to the webinar...  It was quite interesting, addressing issues and best practices for all steps of the job hunting process.  Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the webinar was that, though it was hosted by LLAMA which is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, it was presented by Brian Keith, Assistant Dean for Human and Financial Resources at the George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida.  Not only did I receive my Bachelor's from UF, I still (and always have, to be honest) live in Gainesville, Florida.  So naturally, I have been applying for a number of jobs at the UF libraries.  In fact, there was one in particular for which I went through an extensive interview process - unfortunately, I did not get the job.  (But do not fear!  For this means that I am still in the job market and would be more than happy to take my extensive skill set to an academic library position.  Perhaps you have one in mind for me....)  In any case, it was very insightful to hear about the other side of the interview process and have some context in which to place it.  But as much as I appreciated the webinar being presented by an institution in my own backward, I'm now quite worried that a large portion of the over one-thousand-member audience will now be applying for the positions for which I have been applying.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving storytime

We had our Thanksgiving-themed storytime a week early today - storytime is canceled for next week since my holiday vacation starts promptly at 8pm Monday night (a vacation that will encompass both Thanksgiving and my birthday).  To start off, we read Thank You, Thanksgiving by David Milgrim as a few more people showed up.  Then, we glued together these turkeys for some festive refrigerator art while practicing our shapes and colors (here is where the original idea and pattern came from).  While the glue on our turkeys was drying, we read Thanksgiving at Our House by PK Hallinan and then re-read Thank You, Thanksgiving for those who showed up a bit late.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Lately, I have been baking my own bagels rather than buying them.  It has actually become one of my favorite things to bake.  Bagels are really not very hard to make, but they require some time and involve a number of steps.  In any case, my ability to make bagels once again exemplifies a number of valuable skills.  As you can see from the recipe I use, a lot of the recipe involves allowing the dough to rest for a set amount of time.  And what is this but time management skills?  These bagels also require 10 minutes of kneading.  I don't know if you have ever kneaded dough or not, but after a couple of minutes, it gets pretty boring and takes a decent amount of energy.  However, I plow through those 10 minutes out of dedication to create the best possible end product.  In fact, the whole process of making bagels takes a certain amount of diligence to see the dough through the multi-step process all the way through baking it into delicious bagel goodness.  And though my bagels don't look perfect, I am nonetheless proud of my hard work...and plan to proudly devour one tomorrow morning.

Monday, November 15, 2010

eReader comparison

I may be young and techy, but I am pretty old-school when it comes to books; I have little to no desire to obtain an eReader.  However, being the aspiring librarian that I am, I recognize that eReaders are proving to be a respectable portion of the technology market as well as providing an interesting challenge and opportunity for libraries of all kinds.  Whether it is a device dedicated to providing access to e-books such as Barnes & Noble's Nook or a gadget that has multiple media capabilities like Apple's iPad, people are catching onto the eReader trend.  However, with competing companies comes differing options that sometimes limit the eReader's ability to access some e-books or other downloadable media.  More and more frequently, patrons come to the Newberry Branch Library seeking advice on which eReader to purchase (or whether they should get one at all).  Often, they are asking for suggestions in relation to the library's downloadable media.  Thus, my latest blog post for the library is all about comparisons of eReaders with special emphasis on which are compatible with the library's media databases.  And what better time to think about getting a new techy toy than right before Black Friday and just in time to add to your holiday wishlist...or as a last-minute gift idea.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Veterans' Day/America Recycles Day storytime

On Wednesdays at 11am, I present Pre-School Storytime at the Newberry Branch Library.  Following my mom's suggestion (my mom is a school library media specialist), I choose holidays to determine the theme for each week's storytime.  Sometimes this is a legitimate holiday such as Veterans' Day or Halloween but more often than not, these are pseudo-holidays such as America Recycles Day (Monday, November 15th, for the record) or, say, Dinosaur Month (October, in case you were interested).  I originally wanted to do just Veterans' Day for this week's storytime, but there are not many good pre-school storytime-worthy picture books relating to said holiday.  So, I combined these two holidays into one storytime.  First, I read Michael Recycle by Ellie Bethel.  Then, in honor of Veterans' Day, we decorated bookmarks with crayons, colored pencils, and stickers to send to the troops overseas. 

Luckily, the Tower Road Branch Library (where I worked for five and a half years as a library page) participates in the Books for Soldiers program which sends books, magazines, and other requested materials to troops overseas.  Thus, I will be taking the bookmarks we made to the Tower Road library to be sent off in the next care package.

After making our bookmarks, we read The Garbage Monster by Joni Sensel.  And after a "Read another one!" request, I also read Drummer Hoff by Barbara Emberley.  

Next week's storytime: Thanksgiving, of course!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Apple pie

I baked my very first apple pie today.  Now this may not seem like a big deal, but it is for me.  I am a relatively experienced baker and my mom makes the best apple pie ever so it seems a bit strange that this would be the first time that I have ever baked an apple pie.  However, I simply always ate my mom's pie rather than bake my own - why try to one-up something that is already so perfect?  Well, I finally decided to take on the challenge that is a delicious apple pie.  It looks and smells delicious and tomorrow, my co-workers and I will do the first taste test.

Why am I posting this to my resume blog, you ask?  Well, in addition to showing off a passion of mine - baking - this apple pie exemplifies a few very transferable skills.  First, baking requires the ability to read and follow a recipe (in the case of an apple pie, two recipes: one for the filling and one for the crust).  Thus, I am clearly able to interpret and understand directions.  Furthermore, I baked this pie all by myself, exemplifying my ability to work well independently and without constant supervision.  Granted, I have watched my mom make an apple pie countless times and, according to her, she actually taught me how to make an apple pie when I was about 2 weeks old so perhaps I had a bit of a leg up on baking this pie.  And I did have to borrow the pie plate from my mom as well, but that only serves to demonstrate my ability to recognize and utilize the resources that are available to me.  Additionally, I enjoy taking on a challenge, in this case that of baking something that I have no prior experience baking.  Not to mention the fact that I have my mom's amazing apple pie recipe and bake various delicious items frequently...often with the specific intent of bringing it to work to share with my co-workers.

Monday, November 8, 2010


For his senior project, the Newberry Branch Library's high school volunteer has chosen to report on the process of becoming a librarian.  Today, he asked if I would be his mentor for this process.  I felt quite honored and readily agreed.  Not that I actually have to do anything differently when it comes to training him in the art of library work and education, but the fact that he asked me gives me a new sense of purpose.  I am excited about the experience and potential challenges that this new title may offer.