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And I won’t quit til I’m a star March 25, 2008

Posted by sneaks in display topics, E, Fall, J is for Juvenile.
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Has William Steig’s gruesome ogre Shrek achieved enough? Three blockbuster movies, video games, his face on a box of breakfast cereal, Happy Meal toys that make parents want to scream, and Stanley Tucci reading his words on tape are apparently not enough for the big green farting machine.

This fall, Shrek and Fiona, Donkey and Dragon and all their pals will appear in a Broadway musical entitled, “The Outsider in Postwar Children’s Literature”. No, no. It’ll be called “Shrek the Musical“. Casting is just about complete.


Children’s Choice Book Awards March 25, 2008

Posted by sneaks in display topics, J is for Juvenile, spring.
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Vote early! Vote often! Wait, no, only if you’re a kid.

These are the Children’s Choice Book Awards, awarded in honor of Children’s Book Week (May 18-12). INNTERESTING nominees. There is series nonfiction in there, graphic novels, and one of the seemingly endless number of recent Beowulf adaptations.

“Favorite Author” seems a little more predictable, putting J.K. Rowling up against Jeff Kinney and Erin Hunter. “Favorite Illustrator” pits Jan Brett against Mo Willems and Brian Selznick, among others, heavyweights all.

Stay tuned for the exciting results! 

It ain’t easy being green March 22, 2008

Posted by sneaks in great ideas, nonfiction, spring.
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El Mariachi

Here’s a cute idea courtesy The YA YA YAS, a trio of Young Adult librarians in Hawaii. For March, Gayle made a green-themed display, with books on money, veggies, the environment, and other subjects associated with the color green.

Does it work for other colors?

Blue: blues music, depression, the tropics, the moon

Yellow: the sun? cowardice? bananas? Ok, it doesn’t work for yellow.

Red: Communism, Chinese history, Russian history, the Red Baron, apples, various sports teams, anger, volcanoes, fire

Orange: Florida, citrus fruits… doesn’t really work for orange either.

Purple: royalty, grapes, wine, mountains

Truth and consequences March 9, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, fiction, nonfiction.
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In light of all the publicity surrounding Margaret B. Jones‘s faux memoir, Love and Consequences, and BCPL’s decision to keep the book, but label it as fiction, how about a display of recent popular autobiographies, both real and fallacious?

Running with scissors and other books by Augusten Burroughs (true)

Misha : a mémoire of the Holocaust years by Misha Defonseca (false)

The discomfort zone : a personal history by Jonathan Franzen (true)

A Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard, by James Frey (false)

The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy by Robert Leleux (true)

Sarah by J. T. LeRoy (false)

Confessions of a video vixen and The vixen diaries by Karrine Steffans (true, but pretty hard to believe)

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (true)

Fragments : memories of a wartime childhood by Binjamin Wilkomirski (false)

Keeping tabs on the scribblers March 9, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, great ideas, J is for Juvenile.
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Whenever an author speaks in our area, we notice an increase in queries about that person. Wouldn’t it be great to know ahead of time when someone like Michael Chabon or Lisa See was going to be in town? Then we could merchandize that author’s books, along with similar works by other authors.

Now you can, with the online database BookTour. Started by Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail, BookTour magically ascertains your location and tells you which authors are planning a visit, as well as letting you browse the schedule of your favorite author or your favorite venue. You can get updates via email, on your calendar – you can even zoom around the world and through time to find your favorite authors, using BookTour’s GoogleEarth interface.

LibraryThing Local offers similar listings, though it is more venue-centric than author-centric. Between the two of these tools, it’s a lot easier nowadays to keep abreast of local literary happenings.

For teens, history is so last week March 9, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, J non-fiction, nonfiction, YA.
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A recent study undertaken by the new educational research and advocacy organization Common Core has found that:

many of America’s high school students do not possess the basic knowledge they need to succeed in the world or to achieve their full potential as democratic citizens. The report, entitled Still at Risk: What Students Don’t Know, Even Now, shows that, twenty-five years after the publication of the landmark study, A Nation at Risk, America’s children continue to demonstrate a stunning ignorance about basic facts of U.S. history and literature. Overall, the 1,200 17-year-olds surveyed earned a “D.”

  • Nearly a quarter cannot identify Adolf Hitler, with ten percent thinking Hitler was a munitions manufacturer.
  • More than a quarter think Christopher Columbus sailed after 1750.
  • Fewer than half can place the Civil War in the correct half-century.
  • A third do not know that the Bill of Rights guarantees the freedom of speech and religion.
  • Half have no idea what the Renaissance was.
  • Nearly half think that The Scarlet Letter was either about a witch trial or a piece of correspondence.

Ouch! Take the test yourself (PDF), and then how about putting together a display of historical fiction, classics, and the most gripping history books you can find? You could even print copies of the quiz and challenge parents and teens to compare their scores.

The GWB Center for kids who don’t read good – update March 6, 2008

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The nominees have been chosen in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Back-of-the-Envelope Design Contest” for the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

View them here. If you wish to vote, free registration is required.

Not for wimps only March 3, 2008

Posted by sneaks in J fiction, J is for Juvenile.
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Diary of a Wimpy Kid is an unusual book. A combination of cartoons and writing, it’s well beyond your average illustrated chapter book, but it’s not quite a graphic novel. It’s not an adventure novel, there are NO elements of fantasy in it, and the main character, Greg, learns no valuable life lessons. It is funny, and anarchic, and full of farting.

In short, it is a gift from above for 5th grade boys. Luckily for them, there are 5 books planned for the series, and Fox 2000 has just signed on to do a movie. The second book in the series has just come out. Called Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, it is more of the same, except blue.

The author, Jeff Kinney, was interviewed in the Baltimore Sun this weekend, and as of this morning, all copies of both books are checked out – with a hold queue.

Click “more” for some read-alike suggestions for a “Wimpy” book display:


Storyville February 23, 2008

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Storyville General Store

Have you been to Storyville yet? Better yet, have you taken a preschooler to Storyville?

What a wonderful, amazing piece of work this is! The attention to detail, the beauty of every element, the craftsmanship… everything in Storyville is cleverly designed to make the best use of space and to cram as many developmental skills as possible into the Storyville experience.

Just as an example: we LOVED the store. First you do your shopping, choosing among the healthy delicious foods for sale with your child. There are scales to weigh your items – very popular.

When it’s time to check out, the kid puts on an apron, scans each item and rings you up (did you know that all kids know what the rectangle of glass at the supermarket checkout is for and how you use it? I did not, until I saw my four year old do it). The cash register works, and is stocked with play money and a couple credit cards.

After you buy your food, then you sort all the food back into its proper bin, shelf, or basket.

The Storyville General Store incorporates about a hundred developmental skills, plus it’s fun, plus the items are bright-colored and detailed and just – neat.

Then there’s the Theater, or, more properly, the Theater District, as it incorporates both a puppet theater and a live-action stage.

Currently, the stage is set so that kids can perform The Mitten, by Jan Brett. Masks of each character are provided, as well as a poster listing the dramatis personae and a giant-size copy of the book. The vertical pylons at the rear of the stage rotate to reveal three different backgrounds: woodland, farm, and one more.

The costumes deserve special note – a Rosedale staff member made them after searching in vain for sturdy costumes that were easy to put on and take off. They are beautiful, with extra-reinforced seams and luxurious fake fur, and invite imaginative play.

Congratulations to everyone involved – Storyville is breathtaking!

Finding yourself in the world February 20, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, fiction, nonfiction, spring.
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London during the Great Exhibition of 1851 by George Shove. ca. 1851; printed map on leather. The National Archives, U.K.

This spring, the Walters Art Museum presents four exhibitions about maps and mapping. Including such fascinating oddities as a map of London on a kid glove (above) and such technological marvels as maps of the universe taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, these exhibitions are in conjunction with Baltimore’s Festival of Maps, a citywide celebration organized by the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance to encourage Baltimore residents and visitors to explore museums, theaters, galleries and educational institutions. There’s even a downloadable GoogleEarth layer showing where on earth the

The Festival of Maps runs from March 16 through June 30, 2008.

Take this opportunity to put out a display of atlases and maps, books of exploration, and movies and fiction with plots involving maps.

“Super” kids program idea February 20, 2008

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From American Libraries Direct:

CHICAGO – The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has awarded children’s librarian Lisa M. Shaia with the 2008 ALSC/Tandem Library Books Literature Program Grant for her program “Superhero Club” at the Bristol Public Library.

Shaia’s program, Superhero Club, encouraged children to use their imagination by creating a superhero alter-ego, complete with a costume, accessories, superpowers and a sidekick. Each club member then drew a comic book starring his superhero and at the end of the session, used their superhero powers to compete against supervillains in an obstacle course.

The program, which ran for five weeks in the spring and then eight weeks in the summer, introduced club members to the superhero genre and encouraged them to read from the library’s growing graphic novel collection. It is Shaia’s hope that introducing young readers to pleasure reading, such as comic books and graphic novels, will keep them interested in reading through their ‘tween and teen years and into adulthood.

“I believe this program is so successful because the superhero genre transcends age, race, sex and children’s interests,” said Shaia. “The club provides children with a way to use their imagination that they don’t get a chance to do any other way. Instead of watching a television show or playing a video game, they can create a persona and lose themselves in their own story.”

She’s a super-cool exploradora February 20, 2008

Posted by sneaks in J is for Juvenile, spring.
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And she reads! Dora the Explorer has signed on to help ALSC and REFORMA in celebrating El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day). Día’s mission is to spread “bookjoy” by linking children of all cultures with books. Celebrate! Celebremos! The celebration is held on April 30 each year.

Art on the run February 20, 2008

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Paul Cézanne. Boy in a Red Waistcoat, 1888-1890. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, in Honor of the 50th Anniversary of the National Gallery of Art. 995.47.5

Two recent art heists (articles here and here) have us thinking of The Thomas Crown Affair, Ocean’s 12, and books like The Lost Painting and Noah Charney’s recent The Art Thief. Find some big beautiful art books and pair them with some classy true-crime stories and mystery fiction for a fun midwinter display.

More misery from Augusten Burroughs February 20, 2008

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Expect a run on the memoirs and essay collections of Augusten Burroughs when his new book A Wolf At The Table comes out in May.

“I got my start at the library” February 20, 2008

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As reported in American Libraries Direct:

“Continuing a seven-year partnership with ALA’s Campaign for America’s Libraries that has generated millions of dollars worth of editorial coverage on behalf of libraries, four entrepreneurs share their stories of how they started businesses using the library with Woman’s Day magazine’s 4 million readers this month.”

The article appears in the March issue of Woman’s Day (pdf here). It might make a nice printout alongside a selection of books about starting a business, women in business, biographies of Carly Fiorina, etc.

Spiderwick suggestions February 20, 2008

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, J fiction, winter, YA.
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The Spiderwick movie opens this Thursday and it looks like a good one. It certainly has a fun web site, if that’s any indication. Plump up your display of books by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black with other books about extra-normal creatures. Click “more” below for a short list. Simon & Schuster offers a variety of printable activities we might offer as pickup items.

Notable Children’s Recordings 2008 February 14, 2008

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CHICAGO – The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has selected its 2008 list of Notable Children’s Recordings. The list includes recordings for children 14 years of age and younger of especially commendable quality that demonstrate respect for young people’s intelligence and imagination; exhibit venturesome creativity; and reflect and encourage the interests of children and young adolescents in exemplary ways. Click “more” for the full list.


You think you’ve got facilities problems? February 14, 2008

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This beautiful but disheveled library is in fact a diorama created by the artist Lori Nix.

See more of her mesmerizing work on her website.

Audie Award nominees announced February 11, 2008

Posted by sneaks in audio books, display topics, winter.
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The Audio Publishers Association has announced the finalists for the 2008 Audie Awards.

“Finalists are selected for each category and from each group of finalist one winner is awarded. Finalists will be notified in March 2008, and showcased to the industry-at-large on the APA website, press releases and in association materials. Winners will be recognized at The Audies® gala on May 30, 2008.”

It’s a long and diverse list, including categories for children’s books, mystery, classic and literary fiction, and many others. Neil Gaiman is nominated for three different works, and Stephen Colbert, Jenna Bush, and Ronald Reagan are also among the nominees.

Audio books are seeing a steady gain in popularity – why not showcase achievement in this field with a printed list of Audie Award finalists together with a batch of nominated audio books?

Brush-a brush-a brush-a February 11, 2008

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, J non-fiction, winter.
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National Children’s Dental Health month is here! Slide our special bookmarks into books from 617.6 and provide fun activity handouts from the American Dental Association and dltk.

Icky Rehab February 11, 2008

Posted by sneaks in CDs, winter.
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The 50th Grammy Awards have been announced. Amy Winehouse won big, as did Justin Timberlake, the White Stripes, Kanye West, Bruce Springsteen, and Alicia Keys. Expect more demand for CDs by these artists.

For the full list of nominees and award winners, click here.

The Great Backyard Bird Count February 10, 2008

Posted by sneaks in J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, nonfiction, Picture Books, winter.
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A joint project of the Cornell Ornithology Lab and the Audubon Society, “the Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds.”

This event takes place February 15-18. Participants can enter their bird count results on the event’s web page, where you can also find regional bird checklists.

A little nature might be just what your displays need during these short cold days. You might print out our regional bird list, and display a batch of bird books – books from 598 as well as picture books and fiction featuring birds, such as The Snow Goose, The Trumpet of the Swan, Perry’s Baltimore adventure, Little Louie Takes Off, and others.

Share the love February 9, 2008

Posted by sneaks in display topics, recommended by, winter.
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Tell Us What You Love

This Valentine’s Day themed display encourages library patrons to celebrate their favorite books or share what inspires them.

Heart-shaped pieces of paper are provided, and books with pretty covers and positive themes are displayed.

From the Carl A. Pescosolido Library in Massachusetts.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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?”

Award-winning children’s books December 15, 2007

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Window display

It’s not too early to plan a display around January’s announcement of the Caldecott and Newbery award and honor books. This display really highlights the colorful illustrations in books that have won the Kate Greenaway Medal.

Happy birthday to all your favorite authors! December 6, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, fiction, great ideas, J fiction.
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Woodside pictures from Roald Dahl day

Here’s a super-quick way to draw attention to an author on his/her birthday – just plop a fancy birthday hat on the shelf or display! It will surely draw attention to the author’s books and throw a little unexpected fun into browsing the children’s section.

Or, heck – why not do it in adult fiction too?

A good, up-to-date list of kid author birthdays (it includes Kevin Henkes and J.K. Rowling)
And a list of adult author birthdays

To read or not to read? Make sure it’s the former December 6, 2007

Posted by sneaks in YA.
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In response to the NEA‘s recent grim report on reading, which noted a disastrous decline in teen reading in particular, YALSA has come up with a catchy checklist of 10 ways adults can support teen reading. It’s meant for parents, and gives such advice as “Stock up” and “Lead by example.”

A printout of this list would look great topping a display of can’t-miss YA literature, manga, magazines and audio books.

ilovelibraries.org has a good aggregation of YA booklists on their site.

Stick to reading! December 6, 2007

Posted by sneaks in great ideas, J is for Juvenile, winter.
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Here’s a simple, low-cost idea that encourages kids to read for fun through the winter. The rules of “Winter Reading Club” are simple. Kids sign up, and then each time they visit the library, they get a sticker for each book read. They can then decorate a mural-sized poster with their stickers.

Your mural could be a snowy scene with snowflake stickers; a big Christmas tree and ornament stickers; fish stickers and an undersea scene; or bird stickers in a winter landscape. How much creativity you want to put into the mural is up to you!

Materials required:

  • a big sheet of roll paper
  • a couple rolls of stickers
  • sign-up sheet

The best source for roll stickers that we’ve found is our old friend the Oriental Trading Company, although we love the Hawaiian shirt stickers you can get from Toy Connection