May is My Month

May 17, 2012

April 13, 2012 was the 1 year anniversary of my first day as Library Director of Muir Library in Winnebago, MN! And, of course, I was too busy to write something then. I think I tweeted about it, though…


May is my month!

Throughout the last year, I’ve essentially been “keeping up” and trying to learn as I go, but May is a month I’ve already lived through at the library, so I know what to expect. [Insert enormous sigh of relief]

Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely love my job at this library! I get to interact with curious readers and potential-readers each and every day! But, there was a definite learning curve to this position and I now feel more comfortable having one year of experience.

So – why is May MY month? Here’s why… I have no programming going on at the library in May, so I have more time to spend preparing for June 4 – the first day of the Summer Reading Program at the library; I’m working on some awesome programming opportunities for this Fall. This month also has me taking a few afternoons off to get my garden planted, go on bike rides and read books I’m going to talk up to the kids during the summer.

It’s important to take time for yourself, professionally and personally, even if you feel like you’ll never be able to keep up with your everyday tasks. Schedule the time into your life and make sure you take it!

My honey and I dressed up for a wedding last weekend.
(Congratulations, Amanda and Tom!)

My new favorite smoothie recipe! I made it up…
(no picture because I drank it too fast!)

1 banana
4-5 kale leaves
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
2 teaspoons of honey
1/2 cup water

cut up banana
rip stems off of kale and rip kale into pieces

makes 1 16oz serving


Volunteering at KCLS!

March 21, 2011

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to volunteer for an event for the same organization where I completed my Directed Fieldwork this past quarter.

The event was the King County Library System’s Library Foundation Literary Lions Gala. Essentially, they pretty-up the Bellevue Regional Library, bring in caterers and bartenders, a keynote speaker and 10-15 local authors and copies of their books and have a fancy party right there in the library! It was an exciting opportunity to get dressed up and rub elbows with people in evening gowns and tuxedos, but the best part?

All of these people LOVE the library.

Read the rest of this entry »

Banned/Challenged Books Panel [Part 2: Reflection]

October 10, 2010

As I mentioned in a previous post, we had our Banned/Challenged Books Panel last week. It was a huge success! Almost every seat in the room was full and we had a couple of people present on the online meeting space. We had enough pizza and pop and napkins! But, most importantly, our panelists had a wonderful discussion and expressed their passion and dedication for intellectual freedom in libraries.

I did some reading about moderating panels before this event, and I read about how sometimes there is a strange and uncomfortable and sometimes tense dynamic between the panelists. You can’t really control why or when this happens, but you have to be prepared for it. This kind of made me concerned. I kept thinking that I needed to be ready for anything, so I had lots of questions ready in case discussion was forced.

Fortunately, moderating the panel was unbelievably easy. The panelists fed off of each other, had great conversations — asking each other questions and also asking the audience questions. As the moderator, I encouraged them to talk about their experiences with banned/challenged materials and how important it is to have policies in libraries to protect the users and libraries.

— Some of the main points all of the panelists shared —

  • It’s a challenge to balance your feelings about controversial materials and your duty as a library staff-member. 
  • When a book is challenged (formally or informally) it is necessary to make sure everyone knows the process and procedures.
  • Usually parents or guardians who challenge materials have a specific, personal, emotional reason for doing so. (For example: a mother who grew up in a family of alcoholics may not want her children to read books that have alcoholism as a theme) When this happens, great care needs to be taken to not offend or hurt the person challenging the materials — but to focus, instead, on the challenge itself and the right to read whatever you choose. 

     Here is a link to the recording of the entire panel (it was about 75 minutes). You might have to have a UW NetID to log in, but if not, please enjoy!  Let me know your thoughts. Thanks!

    Online Discussion Forums

    October 6, 2010

    I’m new to online discussion forums; however, this quarter, all of my classes require my participation in discussion using the boards every week. I’m used to participating in the classroom, but I haven’t mastered discussing online.

    Here’s what I don’t understand. Why do people write so much? You wouldn’t have time to say a 5-paragraph-essay if you were speaking in a discussion in class, so why write that much while in conversation on a discussion board? Really? Then, we all have to go and read everyone’s “essays” to find out what the thread is about before we can respond to it.

    1. Read the discussion.
    2. State A [singular, one, uno] point in 5-7 sentences at the most.
    3. Read the discussion.

    If you still have more to say, repeat these steps.
    It will make everyone happy — because they will have more time to sleep at night.

    Maybe they’ll even have time to bake pumpkin chocolate chip cookies to share when you’re in the same classroom.

    Can anyone give me some insight as to ways of being successful in online classroom discussion forums?

     This is where I studied all afternoon. It was a gorgeous day in Seattle.

    Cook the Books! Seattle’s Annual Edible Book Festival

    April 19, 2010

    books! sweets! friends! What else could be better?
    On Saturday, April 10, my friends Susan, Chloe and Meagan and I presented two edible representations of books at the Seattle Edible Book Festival in Wallingford.

    Our two entries were Frank Hubert’s Dune

    Here’s a photo of our display.

    Layered spice cake, vanilla frosting, cinnamon and sugar on top, Twinkie, marshmallows, fruit roll-ups, frosting — and inedible plastic figures.

    Our second entry was from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon.

    Here’s our sleeping dog.

    At the end of the judging, we were given plates and forks and we consumed our edible art. It was delicious and entertaining! A creative and fun way to spend the afternoon — especially for librarians (and book-lovers) with a sweet-tooth!

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