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Black History Month – a month of birthdays January 26, 2008

Posted by sneaks in display topics, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, winter.
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Rosa Parks, by Bill Farnsworth, from the forthcoming Heroes for Civil Rights, by David A. Adler.

Fresh inspiration for Black History Month – here’s a notable African American for every day in February, plus one for January 31st, just because he’s so doggone inspiring! 

January 31: Jackie Robinson, 1919. Baseball player.

February 1: Langston Hughes, 1902. Poet.

February 2: William Ellisworth Artis, 1914. Artist.

February 4: Rosa Parks, 1913. Civil rights movement icon.

February 5: Hank Aaron, 1934. Baseball player.

February 6: Bob Marley, 1945. Musician.

February 7: Chris Rock, 1966. Actor, comedian.

February 8: Justina Ford, 1871. Doctor and humanitarian.

February 10: Leontyne Price, 1927. Opera singer.

February 11: Daniel Chappie James, 1920. U.S. General.

February 12: Roberta Martin, 1907. Gospel singer.

February 13: Emmett J. Scott, 1873. Historian and administrator.

February 14: Frederick Douglass, 1818. Abolitionist. February was chosen as “Negro History Month” in part because Frederick Douglass chose this date to represent his birthday.

February 15: Fay Jackson, 1902. Journalist.

February 16: Levar Burton, 1957. Actor, reading activist.

February 17: Michael Jordan, 1963. Basketball player.

February 18: Toni Morrison, 1931. Author, Nobel prize winner.

February 19: Smokey Robinson, 1940. Singer.

February 20: Charles Barkley, 1963. Basketball player.

February 21: Denise Page Hood, 1952. U. S. judge.

February 22: Julius “Dr. J” Erving, 1950. Basketball player.

February 23: W. E. Burghardt Du Bois, 1868. Civil rights leader, scholar. 

February 24: Lillie Brown, 1931. Civil rights activist.

February 25: Ida Cox, 1969. Jazz singer.

February 26: Sissieretta Jones, 1869. Opera singer.

February 27: Marian Anderson, 1897. Opera singer.

February 28: Etta Moten Barnett, 1901. Singer and actress.

February 29: Augusta Fells Savage, 1882. Sculptor, educator. The Augusta Fells Savage School of Visual Arts in Baltimore City boasts the second-highest SAT scores in the city (after Poly).


Year of the Rat January 24, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, coloring pages, display topics, fiction, J is for Juvenile, nonfiction, winter.
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And no, that’s not some snide comment on this year’s Presidential elections… it’s what 2008 will be in the Chinese zodiac. The new year begins February 7. Celebrate it with a display of red and gold paper, along with selections from Dewey 951, 915.1, cookbooks from 641.5951, fiction by Amy Tan, Lisa See, Laurence Yep, Anchee Min, Ha Jin, and Maxine Hong Kingston (look here for a good list), and biographies (just search CARL on China biography).

Craft ideas here.

Coloring pages here and here.

YALSA announces top picks January 24, 2008

Posted by sneaks in YA.
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YALSA’s yearly lists of popular paperbacks, best books, quick picks, etc. have been announced. Here are the links to the lists:

Best Books for Young Adults 2008 – headed up by Sherman Alexie’s Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, the list includes YA and adult books, fiction and non fiction.

2008 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults – list topics include Sex, Family, Sports, and Magic.

Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers – lots of drama and one-word titles here!

Great Graphic Novels for Teens 2008 – an interesting list, it includes graphic novels that BCPL has classified as adult, young adult, and even juvenile.

2008 Selected Audiobooks for Young Adults – strong performances of good books.

Selected Videos and DVDs for Young Adults – short documentaries on popular teen subjects (sex, crime, money).

His literary legacy January 24, 2008

Posted by sneaks in fun.
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What do you think the George W. Bush Presidential Library should look like? If you had a seat next to the President and a few minutes to bend his ear, what would your back-of-the-envelope sketch look like?

This is just what The Chronicle of Higher Education is asking with its Back-of-the-Envelope Bush Library Design Contest. Put your design skills and sense of humor to work and give the President the library environment he deserves!

Book Group Buzz January 24, 2008

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Do you host or facilitate a book club or book discussion group? Do you belong to one? Book Group Buzz is a new blog full of reviews and resources for book groups. Launched by Booklist Online, the blog features categories such as Reading Guides, Good Books for Book Clubs, Books for Youth, Adult Books, etc. In addition there are lists of Best Author Websites and Best Reading Guides.


Teen Tech Week, March 2-8 January 24, 2008

Posted by sneaks in display topics, spring, YA.
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Madison_HighSchool image from Nancy Sullivan. Originally uploaded by yalsa50

Get ready for Teen Tech Week with these display suggestions from YALSA, get inspired by pictures of displays from last year, and consider ordering this year’s signature graphics, which, you must admit, are actually cool this time around! Mmmm, and they’ve put together a really nice book list too!

Photos for reports – new free resource January 24, 2008

Posted by sneaks in display topics, great ideas, J non-fiction.
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Woman aircraft worker, Vega Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, Calif. Shown checking electrical assemblies (LOC). Originally uploaded by The Library of Congress

The Library of Congress has placed 3000 images from its renowned photo archive on Flickr, the photo sharing web site. These images come complete with attribution, title, date, medium and format, rights info, call number, and LC subject headings.

Wow. The collection currently features news archive photos, images of rural life from the Farm Security Administration, and photos of WWII mobilization such as the one featured above.

LC invites comment and tagging by Flickr users, making this an interesting experiment in folksonomies as well as a valuable educational resource.

Now, in addition to pointing kids to the non-fiction books they need for their history reports, we can show them how to find appropriate pictures on Flickr.

Mercury rising January 16, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, nonfiction.
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NASA’s Messenger space vehicle has traversed the “dark” side of Mercury and sent back the closest, highest-definition pictures ever taken of that part of the planet.

See them on NASA’s web site and the web site of JHU’s Applied Physics Lab.

Highlight space exploration, rocket science, and biographies of scientists such as Neal DeGrasse Tyson if you’d like to take advantage of the interest in this development

Children’s book awards announced today! January 14, 2008

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Local hero Laura Amy Schlitz (shown here speaking to her students at Park School) wins the big one – the NEWBERY MEDAL – for Good Masters, Sweet Ladies.

How amazing is that? She’s a librarian, she’s from Baltimore, her previous book, A Drowned Maiden’s Hair, was recognized only by the bloggers (it won the Cybil Award), and Good Masters, Sweet Ladies is a book of monologues (and two dialogues) that she wrote for her students at Park School to perform when they were studying medieval Europe. Whoa!

Elizabeth Bird, a librarian at New York Public Library’s Donnell Children’s Library and a member of the Newbery Committee, wrote a wonderful review of this extraordinary book back in May.

The rest of the awards list holds a few surprises and a few non-surprises.

On the surprising end was the announcement that The Invention of Hugo Cabret, illustrated by Brian Selznick, is the 2008 Caldecott Medal winner. Usually the Caldecott goes to an illustrated book for younger audiences, but The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a sophisticated work of illustrated fiction for middle-grade readers.


And on the not-so-surprising end, once again, Mo Willems wins recognition, a Caldecott Honor for Knuffle Bunny Too and the Theodore Seuss Geisel Award for There is a Bird on Your Head! (the book that convinced my son that learning to read was a good idea). Also returning to the podium was Christopher Paul Curtis, who received the Coretta Scott King Award AND a Newbery Honor for Elijah of Buxton. Three of Christopher Paul Curtis’s six books have won major awards – not bad for an ex auto worker!

Hello, Bumblebee Bat, by my old co-workers Darrin Lunde and Patricia Wynne, of the American Museum of Natural History, was named a Geisel Honor Book.

The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain, written and illustrated by Peter Sís was awarded the Robert F. Sibert Medal for most distinguished informational book for children, in addition to being named a Caldecott Honor book.

Again, the whole list is on ALA’s web site.

New Year’s resolutions January 7, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, nonfiction, winter.
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Save more money.     332.024
Lose some weight.     613.25
Exercise more.     613.7
Eat healthier.     641.563
Get rid of the clutter.     648.5
Live greener.     333.7
Get a better education. 378.3

According to the U.S. government, these are a few of the most popular resolutions people make this time of year. Support the willpower of your customers with strategically placed displays of books that reinforce all of our highest aspirations. Check out the entire list here.

Thinking outside the (book drop) box January 7, 2008

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Gail Ross of Arbutus reports this terrific idea, recently put in use at her branch:

“We installed a clear plexiglass box with a lid outside, next to our book drop.  (It’s the kind of box realtors to hold flyers for outside a house that’s for sale.)  Diana Deskins, who handles our Public Pickup, has been keeping it filled with the Calendar of Events and special event flyers.  Refills have been needed, an indication that the public has been taking these promotional materials.”

More books for a Kite Runner display January 7, 2008

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YALSA created this list of “companion titles” to underscore the content and themes in Khaled Hosseini’s book and the movie that has just come out.

Pull other books by South Asian and Middle Eastern authors for a display with a different perspective. Think Jhumpa Lahiri, Manil Suri, Bapsi Sidhwa, Hanif Kureshi, Mohsin Hamid. Don’t forget non-fiction!

Success stories from Hereford January 7, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, BCPL best practices, cube fixtures, display topics, fiction, nonfiction, recommended by.
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From Jo Blankenburg‘s monthly report:

“Our primary set of display cubes near the entrance is a huge success covered with “Best Books of 2007,” titles culled from lists appearing in the NYT, Baltimore Sun, Amazon, Time, and Newsweek. A few customers each day leave with their arms full and keep librarians busy placing holds to keep it stocked. [NB: Booklist has come out with their “Best of 2007” lists as well…]

Eyewitness books flew off our secondary cubes, and a dump devoted to titles ordered in for our “Crime Time” branch generated booklist empties regularly.

All 200 copies of our first “Staff Recommends” booklist are now gone and are responsible for 200 items added to our YTD circulation. Each bookmark left tucked into a copy of one of those titles ordered in and on display on the top shelf of that popular area.

Easy book bundles stalled during December, but the addition of small Beginning Reader bundles are satisfying happy parents. Could Hereford someday of leftover SRC prizes?”