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A Maryland murder match April 29, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, fiction, nonfiction.
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In today’s Baltimore Sun, Laura Vozzella reports that David Simon, author of such gritty Baltimore crime books as Homicide and The Corner, and mystery writer Laura Lippman, were married in October – with none other than John Waters, Baltimore’s ambassador of odd, officiating at the ceremony.

Read the story here, and maybe print it out and display it along with a selection of books by Simon, Lippman, and Waters. Belated best wishes to the happy couple – Baltimore is a richer, slightly weirder place to live with such uniquely talented people in it.


Mama’s gonna buy you a mockingbird April 26, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, E, J is for Juvenile, Picture Books, spring.
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Recent Easy books that will make you say “Awwwww!”:

  • Mama Outside, Mama Inside / Dianna Hutts Aston ; illustrated by Susan Gaber.
  • Five little ducks / illustrated by Ivan Bates.
  • Bubble & Squeak / by Louise Bonnett-Rampersaud ; illustrated by Susan Banta.
  • Mommy, carry me please! / Jane Cabrera.
  • Gakky Two-Feet / by Micky Dolenz ; illustrated by David Clark.
  • Llama, llama red pajama / written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney.

Click “more” for more, plus coloring pages links.


Mayday! Mayday! April 26, 2007

Posted by sneaks in BCPL best practices, display topics, great ideas, spring.
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Flood at Mt. Holyoke College library. Photo: Fred LeBlanc

This year, cultural institutions such as libraries, archives and museums are using May Day, May 1, to promote emergency preparedness.

Much attention has been paid to the devastation suffered by museums and libraries in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the damage and theft that occurred during and immediately after U.S. forces entered Baghdad. 

The Heritage Emergency National Task Force urges cultural institutions across the country to observe MayDay by taking at least one step to prepare to respond to a disaster.

Here are some useful links:

The Heritage Emergency Task Force

ALA’s Field Guide to Emergency Response

National Trust for Historic Preservation – Preservation Month

Just for fun April 26, 2007

Posted by sneaks in fun.
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A couple of library-related fun links for you…

Yes we all use Google for searching, but PC Magazine suggests a few Internet search engines with something extra… StumbleUpon lets you rate the pages you come across; Ms. Dewey is a sassy librarian who answers your questions, and ChaCha offers live chat with a guide!

And… Stephen Colbert speaking about National Library Week. It’s video, so you’ll need to turn on your speakers, and if you’re on a slow Internet collection (Hi, Essex!) you might not want to try.

Earth Day, April 22 April 19, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, coloring pages, display topics, E, fiction, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, nonfiction, Picture Books, spring.
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hosta crop

Environmentalism, once the province of school children and hippies, has entered our national consciousness in a big way. Environmental policies are part and parcel of many current issues, such as catastrophic weather, childhood obesity, cancer, global justice, and more.

In addition to institutionalized recycling (in Western countries), cutting-edge venture capitalists are sinking money into wind farms, solar thermal energy, and biodiesel, and major automakers are developing electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles, in response mainly to consumer demand.

Such noted personalities as Prince Charles and Al Gore are stepping up to be the poster boys for an expanded personal awareness of our environment, popularizing such concepts as our carbon footprint and global warming.

Farmers markets, eating local, organic farming, and Community Supported Agriculture are becoming popular concepts as consumers become more aware of industrial farming practices and their effects on the environment.

So move beyond Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots (although definitely, include it!) and make an Earth Day display full of new technologies and cautionary tales.

Book list and coloring pages when you click “more”…


Support Teen Literature Day, April 19 April 12, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, spring, YA.
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From YALSA‘s MySpace page (yes, YALSA is on MySpace):

Join YALSA in celebrating the first ever Support Teen Literature Day, April 19, 2007!

Librarians and teens all across the country are encouraged to participate in Support Teen Literature Day to help raise awareness among the general public that young adult literature is a vibrant, growing genre with much to offer today’s teens.

For ways to participate in Support Teen Literature Day, check out YALSA’s display ideas, activities, drawing and contests.

In the meantime, be sure to tell everyone your favorite recent books on YALSA’s MySpace!

Though the year is young, don’t forget to nominate your favorites for the YALSA’s 2008 booklists and book awards!

Recent publicity has highlighted the high-quality books that teens have to choose from nowadays, and there’s a new edition of ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults coming soon.

Octavian Nothing, the Montmorency books, Impulse, The Book Thief, Joker, and American Born Chinese are just a few of the titles that leap to mind when we think of recent young adult books that are both appealing and thought-provoking. Bring out your best teen lit for this event!

Step up to the plate! April 12, 2007

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, display topics, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, Picture Books, spring.
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ALA has announced the second year of Step Up to the Plate@Your Library!

Concurrent with National Library Week, it’s a cute promotion, and it goes like this:

  1. Kid (aged 9 to 18) reads baseball book
  2. Kid describes a character in the book and tells why the character inspires him/her (250 to 750 words, in English or Spanish)
  3. Kid submits essay online or through the mail by September 1

Kid could win a trip to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum!

Register here for free promotional materials, and ALA even provides a fairly up-to-date list of baseball books. (See also our recent post on celebrity sports books)

Play Ball!

(Baseball coloring pages here and here and Orioles Bird coloring pages here.)

Teen Read Week nominations April 12, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, Fall, spring, YA.
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Support Teen Literature by encouraging YA readers to read the books nominated for Teens’ Top Ten, to be announced during Teen Read Week, October 14-20.

Have a look at the list of nominated books: there are a few surprises and some seemingly notable omissions. These books were picked by members of teen book groups in school and public libraries across the country.

Find your inner forester April 12, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, coloring pages, display topics, nonfiction, spring.
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tree done fell over

From BCPL’s Home and Garden Info Center:

Baltimore County’s 12th Truckload Compost Bin Sale will be held on Saturday, April 14, 2007, from 9am to 3pm at the Carver Center for Arts and Technology in Towson.

Baltimore County’s Growing Home Campaign web site provides tree planting and maintenance information and guidance to homeowners for adding trees to their property and offers a $10 coupon toward the purchase of a qualifying tree from participating retailers.

If you have a stack of Baltimore County’s Growing Home Campaign brochures, why not display them with these shiny new tree books (click “more” for the list) and a stack of coloring pages.


Indie Comics April 12, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, fiction, graphic novels, programming tie-ins, spring.
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UPDATE: Check out page 22-23 of this week’s City Paper for an interview with Miriam Desharnais about Cockeysville’s zine collection!

Here’s a program to promote to your younger adult (as opposed to Young Adult) patrons: Indie Comics A-Go-Go! at Cockeysville April 12. Cartoonists Emily Flake, Brian Ralph and Mark Burrier will be talking about how they got started and what they are working on now.

Cockeysville has the only library collection of zines in Maryland, and BCPL as a whole has plenty of graphic novels by “indie” artists. These books are easy to identify: no superheroes, no girls with giant eyes. Often published by Drawn & Quarterly or Fantagraphics. And the title? Put it this way: if it references insomnia, depression, OCD, or uses big words, it’s indie. Also if it’s called “This will all end in tears”? Indie.

A small, disenfranchised, nonconformist group of these books might set off the poster for this event and underline the fact that all our branches have the edgy stuff. Book and author list when you click “more”.


The Tralfamadorian has left the building April 12, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, fiction, science fiction.
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Kurt Vonnegut has died at the age of 84. Along with his classic works of fiction, he wrote plays and memoirs. Similar authors include Philip K. Dick, Joseph Heller, Philip Roth, Robertson Davies, Mordecai Richler, John Kennedy Toole.

Controversy over The Chocolate War April 10, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, YA.
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Harford County School System has removed Robert Cormier‘s The Chocolate War from their ninth grade curriculum. (Baltimore Sun article here)

Books by Robert Cormier have long been praised for their sensitive yet realistic examination of the psychology of teenage life.

A visual discussion of teen literature dealing with difficult subjects might include a printout of the article and show off books by Laurie Halse Anderson, Walter Dean Myers, Gary Soto, Jacqueline Woodson, Marcus Zusak, Olive Ann Burns, Christopher Paul Curtis, Sharon Draper, J. D. Salinger, Robert Lipsyte, Maya Angelou, and Chris Crutcher.

Meet the Illustrators April 10, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, J is for Juvenile, Picture Books, spring.
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Meet the Robinsons is this season’s big popular kid movie. BCPL doesn’t have a lot of copies of the book it’s based on, A Day With Wilbur Robinson, by William Joyce, but that doesn’t stop you from showcasing other books by William Joyce.

Similar illustrators of far-out picture books include Daniel Kirk, Eric Rohman, Kevin Hawkes (Paul Fleischman’s Weslandia leaps to mind), David Catrow (Plantzilla et al), Mark Buehner, and Timothy Bush (My Dad’s Job and Benjamin McFadden and the Robot Babysitter).

The Alex Awards: Adult books with YA appeal April 10, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, fiction, nonfiction, spring, YA.
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The Alex Awards, administered by YALSA and cosponsored by Booklist and the Margaret A. Edwards Trust, honor the top 10 adult books, published during the previous year, with appeal to readers between the ages of 12 and 18.

Support Teen Literature Day is April 19 (more on that later, watch this space). You might ramp up for it with a display of this year’s Alex Award winners, along with some read-alikes suggested by Gillian Engberg of Booklist online. (Original article here)

“From the Japanese internment camps of World War II depicted in John Hideyo Hamamura’s Color of the Sea to the wildness of the big-top circus tents in Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, the settings in this year’s list of Alex winners will transport teens to diverse, wholly realized worlds, in which young readers may be surprised to find their own urgent questions explored.”

You might use this list as a good starting point for short attention span adult readers too, or for family read-togethers, or audio books for family road trips.

Click “more” for award winners and read-alikes from Booklist.


“Joey Pigza” comes to Towson April 7, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, spring.
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Support this fantastic author visit (April 16) with a display of books by Jack Gantos. Round out your display with other humorous books by authors such as Louis Sachar, Gregory Maguire, Andrew Clements, Gordon Korman, E.L. Konigsburg, Richard Peck, Jerry Spinelli, Dav Pilkey and Daniel Pinkwater.

The book of Oprah April 2, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, fiction.
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The Measure of a Man. The Corrections. Anna Karenina. A Million Little Pieces. Night. What do these books have in common, besides zillions of holds and massive circulation?

They are Oprah’s books. And the newest one is The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. Batten down the hatches.

Or take a cue from Hereford and throw up a display of all of the Oprah books you can get your hands on.

Complete list available from Oprah herself.