10 Ways to Explore a Book: “1000 Books Before Kindergarten” Alternative

Daniel Cornwall:

A really cool early literacy idea from Homer, Alaska. Love the poster as a great call to action/experience.

Originally posted on never shushed:

At a recent regional early literacy workshop, a few of us we’re tossing around the idea of starting a “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” program at our individual libraries. There so many librarians out there who have successfully adopted the idea that it seemed like a no-brainer. More reading = higher literacy rates.

As we talked though, I decided not to do the program. We couldn’t get away from the idea that numbers can be intimidating, especially for families that aren’t regular storytime attendees or adults that are not confident readers themselves. We were also a bit intimidated by the numbers. By that I mean we were worried about committing to more record keeping since many of us work in libraries with few staff. We agreed that we ultimately wanted the focus to be on the story experience not the number of stories. So I came up with this…

View original 91 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ALSC Updates Great Websites for Kids

From the ALA Executive Director’s report 12/11/2014:

Great Websites for Kids

ALSC has added more sites to Great Websites for Kids, its online resource containing hundreds of links to exceptional websites for children. Sites are reviewed and chosen for inclusion by ALSC’s Great Websites for Kids Committee.

I have personally worked with Duolingo and Scratch and I think those sites are appropriate for all ages. I’ve bookmarked AppInventor.org as it promises to have students of all ages building Android apps within hours. Experimenting with this is definitely on my to-do list for 2014.

If you have experience with any of the sites listed here, please leave a comment.

Posted in ALA | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

ALA Midwinter: Professional Etiquette Luncheon (2/1/15)

This interactive luncheon presentation provides an extensive tutorial on the dining etiquette skills needed when meeting potential clients, colleagues or employers in professional networking settings. The full dining tutorial includes how to navigate table settings, properly hold silverware for each course, how to eat various foods, and how to graciously toast your host. A portion of the presentation also focuses on professional etiquette as it relates to dress, behavior and communication in the professional world.

via Professional Etiquette Luncheon | 2015 ALA MidWinter Conference.

I find this $40 session intriguing although part of me thinks that most people who can afford a $40 lunch probably have a good idea of etiquette.

I could use a refresher on dining etiquette, especially on how to eat certain foods. This is part of why I rarely order pasta when dining with people I’ve just met in a professional setting. The dress, behavior and communication parts are probably less meaningful for my work in Alaska as many professionals of many stripes pride themselves on Alaska’s informality. This is part of the reason I never wear a tie to a professional conference. But it could help if I ever wind up visiting the Legislature in a professional capacity or if I take a job down south at an institution that prides itself on its conventional ideas of professionalism in dress.

Going back to the price tag, I’m concerned about a mismatch between the price of the event and its likely target audience of library students and new professionals from lower economic classes. These folks had to pay for ALA membership, then a conference fee and then an extra $40. Even if they get support from their libraries (the students will not), library workers almost never get support for extra meals beyond their per diem. $40 for lunch may mean they go without breakfast or lunch that day for the privilege of learning about etiquette.

I’m finding that my belief that many things ALA offers are geared towards mid-career salaries is starting to become a hobby horse for me. But if the Association can’t make things affordable and useful for lower wage members, what sort of future do we have?

Quote | Posted on by | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

ALA’s Social Justice Collaboratorium (SJC)

Seen in the 11/14/2014 ALA Executive Director’s Report to Executive Board and Council:

The 2013 cohort of the ALA Spectrum Doctoral Fellows have worked to develop an online user centered resource, The Social Justice Collaboratorium (SJC). This resource allows for the confluence of research, resources, connections, best practices, and LIS school models in a centralized medium. Learn more about the SJC at a Midwinter News You Can Use Session on Saturday, January 31, 2015, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. This interactive session is presented in tandem with a session at the ALISE conference and seizes the opportunity to gather librarians and library educators who are doing social justice (SJ) work within their institution/organization/research. Panelists will provide a life cycle overview including
brainstorming and ideation processes, gauging and anticipating user needs with the use of qualitative and quantitative data, feedback, communication, and other considerations. A group conversation about how people approach the topic of social justice—and ways that institutions have either denied, co-opted or morphed different kinds of social justice initiatives—will be facilitated through a series of questions: 1) What is Social Justice (SJ)? 2) What aspects of SJ are most needed in LIS? 3) What have been some model programs or initiatives? and 4) How does SJ move forward in LIS?

I have to be in a Council event during the time slot of the SJC, but I’m looking forward to following the work of the Collaboratorium.

Posted in ALA | Tagged | Leave a comment

Book Review: Death With All Trimmings by Lucy Burdette

Death With All the Trimmings: A Key West Food Critic MysteryDeath With All the Trimmings: A Key West Food Critic Mystery by Lucy Burdette
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I got off to a slow start reading this book. Life (including NaNoWrimo) got in the way and I was uncomfortable with with how little job security Haley Snow, the main character, had after four previous books in this series. It seemed unfair that she hadn’t yet fully demonstrated her competence and innocence to one of the magazine’s owners. But I persevered and was rewarded with a satisfying ending to the job issue as well as the murder.

As with “An appetite for murder”, the last Lucy Burdette book I read, I really appreciated how she brings Key West to life. If the real Key West at Christmas is as half as fun as “Death with all the trimmings” claims, then I think a Key West Christmas might be in my future. After several other trips.

While Hayley has issues at work, she seems to have developed a great support network since the first book. All of the supporting characters feel fully fleshed out and their actions are appropriate to their characters. I wasn’t sure that I was going to like Miss Gloria, but she turned out to be very charming.

One addition to the support network I found surprising, because I skipped over three books, was Hayley’s mother. In book one she comes off as a well meaning flake whom Hayley seemed to enjoy only marginally more than her father the judgmental lawyer. But at some point, mother Janet moves down to Key West to be near her daughter and to work in the catering business. She is good at this and it might be the shared food connection that helps Janet connect better with Hayley. I can’t know for sure till I go back and read books 2-4.

A character who is likely to be a one off that I thoroughly enjoyed was a New York Times food critic. Ms. Burdette portrayed him as a down to earth character who loved and appreciated his food nearly as much as he loved and appreciated his wife. The food critic’s wife was endearing as well.

It’s hard to describe the plot without too many spoilers, but I felt like the tale of restaurant sabotage gone horribly wrong to hang pretty well. Ms. Burdette does a good job of showing us Haley’s reasoning her way through the various possibilities of who done it and why. Her relationships with the police are someone better than in the first book, in part a benefit of not being a suspect. Enough clues are offered throughout the book that it make senses who was behind the death.

Finally, just as in “An Appetite for Murder,” Ms. Burdette does a great job of describing the various eateries and dishes available in Key West. You can totally smell the coffee at Cuban Coffee Queen and taste the Spaghetti Bolognese at Bistro on the Bight. And in case you want to taste Spaghetti Bolognese, though Janet Snow’s, Ms. Burdette has included that recipe along with several others at the end of the book. While it sounds good, I don’t know if I’ll make the Spaghetti Bolognese, but I’m already collecting ingredients to make Cassie Burdette’s Hot-Dog Casserole as it sounds like a good upgrade from “beans and wieners.”

The one quibble I have with the book is that there is something that the fire department and/or the police should have found early in the novel which I feel would have definitely affected the course of the investigation. I found it surprising they were left in the dark. But it is a forgivable detail. But it does keep me from giving this book five stars.

Now I need to go back and read books 2-4 in the series, as well as keep and eye out for the next book in the series, which looks like it may have stuff to say about social media marketing as well as fine food and warm scenery.

View all my reviews

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Internet Librarian: 30 Apps in 40 Minutes

Although my “Rough Cuts” for Internet Librarian have concluded. I still have a few more posts to make which I hope I can finish before throwing myself into Nanowrimo world for November.

Gary Price did an excellent session called “30 Apps in 40 Minutes.” I decided not to post this as a rough cut because my notes consisted of copying his web page handout at http://j.mp/garypricemobile14 into OneNote and making annotations. So I figured it was a potential copyright violation. Librarians respect copyright.

Gary started his session by talking briefly about internet security. He used Wireshark and CookieCadger together to trace the internet traffic in the hall to specific machines. He had the good grace to only highlight the things HIS laptop was doing, but it was a chilling demo. He then went into ways that we could protect ourselves and our patrons.  I appreciate this service to the community.

Then he went on to the advertised main event. While I’m confident that all of the apps/app related sites Gary listed would be useful to someone, here are my “best bets” for people in libraries. I’ve noted ones that I either already use or intend to install when I get home:

If you were at Gary’s session, what resources seemed the most useful to you? If you live in Alaska, what apps do you find most helpful?

Posted in Technology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Internet Librarian Rough Cut: News & Information, Community Curation & “Data Alchemy”

Here are my raw notes to:

News & Information, Community Curation & “Data Alchemy” by Kenn Bicknell

My impression is that the LA Metro Transportation Library has done a lot with the staff they have.


30,000 ft view of three areas

Check out “8 generative values of digitization” “Better than Free”


News Agg & disem

Began as an online clipping service

Why this area? – Being proactive in providing information

Had a desire to be mobile

Moved to paper.li – MetroLibrary Twitter Daily

Note: Might want to try paper.li again

Metro uses a freemium paper.li version to create a personalized version.  “Los Angeles Transportation Headlines”

Idea – Alaska State Agency Daily – perhaps way to share across agencies?


Community Curation

Flickr – deliberate promotion

Example embedded resources – monorail letter

Creating conversation & storytelling opportunities with interesting pictures

Calendaring – “this day in los angeles transportation history”

[Way to tie into HC?]

Use tiki-toki for interactive timeline

Interactive Family Tree: PeoplePlotr

They also use Historypin – Note: Check for Alaska related Historypins

They also have some augmented reality in historypin that interacts with Google Street View

Historypin also has tours. See 1984 Summer Olympics Tour from Metro


“data alchemy”

(This section was really rushed as the presenter was running out of time. Would have liked to have heard more.)


Library works with GIS Data Layers

Crowdsourced applications

Infographics and Data Visualization – Fresno County presented a two page infographic for their annual report.

“Exo-Library: Interactive Transit Kiosks”

“Los Angeles Information Network” (?)

Look for “Los Angeles Transportation Plans”

Getty Overdrive LA Constructs the Future 1940-1990

Posted in Technology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment