Jackson H

  • 6 degrees header 01

    Ever wonder how librarians hone their recommendation skills? Sometimes, our librarians play a game we call the 6 Degrees of reading. The rules are simple: choose six books, each connected somehow to the book above it, with the last book in the list connecting to the first. Periodically, we like the results enough to share them with you.

    This week we're turning to picture books to make our way from a duck with an identity crises, through misbehaving objects and pets, and back again! 

    Identity Crisis and Correspondence 01

    DUDDLE PUCK: THE PUDDLE DUCK
    by Karma Wilson
    (2015)

    Duddle Puck, the puddle duck, is one farm animal who seems to be experiencing an identity crisis . Although he doesn’t seem to mind the fact that he never quacks, the rest of the farm is bothered by his clucks, oinks, honks, and neighs. Will Duddle Puck ever quack?

    RED: A CRAYON’S STORY
    by Michael Hall
    (2015)

    It says “Red” on his label, but every time Red tries to color, it comes out blue. He tries his best but he just can’t do it and everyone notices. Red is having an identity crisis and wants to act like the other crayons . However, perhaps he needs to learn how to just be himself.

    THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT
    by Drew Daywalt
    (2013)

    Duncan’s crayons are writing him to let him know that they cannot keep working under the current conditions and are, therefore, quitting. Through their letters , they explain their hilarious demands to him and Duncan learns more about his trusty friends. 

    DEAR MRS. LARUE: LETTERS FROM OBEDIENCE SCHOOL
    by Mark Teague
    (2002)

    Ike has been sent to obedience school and he is not happy about it. Through a series of letters to his owner, he makes his feelings about the situation clear. He eventually runs away from school and lives on the lamb but in the end makes his way home under exciting circumstances.

    THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO RUNNING AWAY FROM HOME
    Jennifer LaRue Huget
    (2013)

    A young boy explains everything you need to know if you want to run away. The boy himself runs away but his memories of home aided by his imagination are making him have second thoughts.

    Bonus connection: Two LaRues! 

    NOT A STICK
    by Antoinette Portis
    (2007)

    A stick is not a stick. When you use your imagination, a stick can be anything. In fact, this little pig is not just a simple farm animal —it can be an artist or a weightlifter or whatever the pig chooses to be. 

     

  • This summer the children’s department began a brand new coding class for kids ages 8-12 called Code Club. We had done some coding classes before but this new class had a completely different format and allowed kids to progress at their own pace. We began with just one weekly class. However, a few weeks into the summer we realized there was a need for a 2nd weekly class. Here are some numbers that represent what went into the class as well as some of the progress that the kids made. 

    code club summer 01

    Children’s Code Club will recommence every Tuesday at 4:00 PM during from September through November. Also, the brand new Teen Code Club will be held every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month beginning in September.

  • grasshopper

    As we slip into winter, one of Aesop’s fables comes to my mind. All summer, the ant worked hard and collected food to create a reserve of food for winter. However, the grasshopper spent his summer singing and playing. When winter arrives and food is scarce the grasshopper is starving while the ant has plenty to eat. The lesson here is to make sure you prepare for winter (or what winter represents to you).

    Now the library cannot help you collect food for the winter. But we can help you get your winter reserve of books! When it gets cold and snowy, curling up with a stack of good books, whether alone or with friends and family, just comes naturally. There is something about heaters, fireplaces, hot chocolate, blankets, and the calming quiet of a fresh coat of snow that just makes us want to read.

    The type of book differs for everyone. Some want to read beautifully illustrated picture books. Others want to curl up and read some poetry or a classic novel. Still others want a good winter mystery. For me and my family, the cold weather invites Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, The Polar Express, and something with Harry Potter in it. Whatever type of book you need for the winter, we’ve got it.

    Don’t be the grasshopper! Don’t wait until it’s dark and cold outside to decide you need books. Start collecting books now! Come to the library and collect many great books for you and your family so that when the cold fully hits, you are prepared to feed your need for reading. 

  • beyond

     

    Too often, mentally at least, we all assign books into only two categories: fiction and nonfiction. Either a book is a true story or it is not. However, within these two overarching categories, there are many, many subcategories. These subcategories include different types of genres such as mysteries and romance as well as different types of formats such as large print or graphic novels. In the Children’s Department there are also a variety of reading levels.  

    This is not done just to provide job security for library staff (though it surely does add some time in purchasing, shelving and maintaining the collections). The reason all of this is done is to help us all, patrons and staff alike, find the right book for the right situation. No one wants to sift through big thick novels when looking for a short easy reader. Thus, we break things down to smaller sections to allow all of us to search for similar books without having to wander all over the library.  

    In the Children’s Department we have fairly recently broken things down a little further. We went through our J Informational section and pulled out all of the easy readers and children’s graphic novels and moved them to their own section. The Easy Reader Nonfiction books are now right by the Easy Reader section so you can get both story and informational books for your beginning reader without having to take more than ten steps (though I suppose the number of steps you take depends on several factors including leg length and the path you take while in the Easy Reader section).

    The children’s nonfiction graphic novels are now a part of the J Comics section back against the green wall. These titles come right after all of the fiction comics and graphic novels. So if you have a child who wants to know about a specific person or informational topic but really loves graphic novels, take them to this section and let them have at it. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind grabbing a BIG NATE or BABYMOUSE book while they’re right there.

    As always, if you need any help finding any type of book—fiction, nonfiction, mystery, romance, graphic novel, easy reader, etc.—don’t hesitate to ask a librarian. We are fairly good at finding the right book for the right situation.  

  • spider man

     

    I love superheroes. I especially love Spider-Man. In fact, I can’t remember a time in which I did not love Spider-man (though I assume there was a year or two after birth). With his appearance in the most recent Captain America movie and future movies in the works, he is being talked about quite a bit again (as if Spider-Man is ever not talked about. I mean come on, he’s Spider-Man). I decided to think about what books, adult and children’s, would benefit the Wall Crawler himself. I think that these 5 books would be right up Spidey’s alley. 

    ny nobody knowsTHE NEW YORK NOBODY KNOWS: WALKING 6,000 MILES IN THE CITY
    by William B. Helmreigh  
    (2013)

    Does anyone know New York City better than Spider-Man? This guy might. They should at least meet to compare notes. Spidey could always use another route for getting from one end of the city to the other quickly and discretely.

       

    right wordTHE RIGHT WORD IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME
    by William Safire  
    (2004)

    Peter Parker is definitely a witty guy, especially when battle villains as Spider-Man. But, with how often he has to come up with a clever or snarky comment, I’m sure he could use some advice from Pulitzer Prize-winning William Safire as he discusses various elements of the English language.  

     

    between towersTHE MAN WHO WALKED BETWEEN THE TOWERS
    by Mordicai Gerstein
    (2003)  

    Our Web Slinger spends a lot of time at great heights as he swings from building to building. Perhaps this picture book could help him see how another man got from one building to another at a great height without suffering from overwhelming vertigo.  

     

    princess in blackTHE PRINCESS IN BLACK
    by Shannon & Dean Hale
    (2014)

    Like many good superheroes, Spider-Man goes to great lengths to keep his identity secret. Princess Magnolia is also a masked hero and, thus far, she has managed to keep her identity a secret. Spidey might want to see how she does this.

     

    made to stickMADE TO STICK
    by Chip Heath
    (2007)

    Come on, with a title like that, I had to throw this one in there! I think Spidey would approve of the wit here. Plus, it’s a great book about why some ideas stick, without the use of webs. 

  • As librarians, we're pretty committed to the idea that the right book at the right time can change your life. So, every time we read Harry Potter, we can't help but think that things might have gone differently for Professor Snape if maybe he'd just read the right books. 

    Here are five suggestions that may have changed the course of our favorite villian-not-villian, Severus Snape. 

    1HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE 
    by Dale Carnegie
    (1936)

    As you read the Harry Potter books, it's really clear that Snape could use some good friends. One of America's best-selling self-help books could surely help him learn how to be friendlier (we're sure these techniques work on muggles, though we've never tested them on wizards).  

     

    2RAPUNZEL, RAPUNZEL, WASH YOUR HAIR 
    by Steve Smallman
    (2015)

    Sometimes the lessons we teach our kids are the most helpful; in this picture book, many princes try to climb Rapunzel's hair, only to find that it's too slippery. Luckily, a hairdresser comes to her rescue and teaches her proper hair hygiene. If Rapunzel can get rid of greasy hair, we're confident Snape can too. 

     

    3THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA 
    by Gaston Leroux
    (1910)

    Perhaps Snape should have spent some time with this classic tale of unrequited love; he may have behaved differently. It doesn't end well for the Phantom either. 

     

    4KNOCK 'EM DEAD COVER LETTERS 
    by Martin Yate
    (2012)

    Maybe if Snape had turned in a better cover letter to Dumbledore he would have locked down that Defense Against the Dark Arts position years ago! 

     

    5THE COLOR OF STYLE 
    by Daid Zyla
    (2010)

    The subtitle of this book reads: "a fashion expert helps you find colors that attract love, enhance your power, restore your energy, make a lasting impression, and show the world who you really are." Snape, throw off the black, and show your true colors! 

     

    While writing this post, we couldn't help but be a little sad thinking about Alan Rickman's recent passing; come and see his masterful performance as Snape (could they have picked a better actor?!?) tomorrow at our Harry Potter Movie Marathon. We'll start screening the first film at 9:30 AM. 

  • classics busy

     

    Reading classic novels is not only enjoyable, but also makes you feel sophisticated. However, some classic novels can be lengthy and heavy. Sometimes we are all a little too busy to sit down and begin a 400 page novel full of complex sentences. Here is a list of my five favorite classics to read when I want to feel sophisticated but I don’t have time for heavy reading.

    jekyll and hyde

     

    THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE
    by Robert Louis Stevenson

    Not only is Stevenson’s story of the doomed man with dual identities incredibly brief, it reads like an engaging thriller. This book can be finished in one sitting. Way before Bruce Banner, there was Dr. Jekyll.

     

     

     

    scarlet pimpernel

      

    THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL
    by Emma Orczy

    This tale of the original masked hero with a secret identity is an exhilarating adventure full of romance and daring escapes. It is not a particularly short book, but the excitement of the story makes this one a quick read.

     

     

    martian chronicles

    THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES
    by Ray Bradbury

    This book is a little lesser known than Bradbury’s other classic, FAHRENHEIT 451 (which is also a quick read), but is a great science fiction classic that recounts various tales of man’s interactions in the new colony on Mars. This quick read is essentially a collection of short stories that each present a unique story with a distinct feel.

     

     

    christmas carol

     

    A CHRISTMAS CAROL
    by Charles Dickens

    Beloved by all, read by too few, the classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge’s change of heart is a short book that is so uplifting and so well-written that it ends altogether too soon. You can’t help but respect anyone who is reading this masterpiece.

     

     

     

    around the world 80

     

    AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS
    by Jules Verne

    Verne’s classic story full of memorable characters and nonstop adventure leaves the reader wishing Phileas Fogg was still on his trip around the world. Lighter than some of Verne’s other works, this book’s good natured tone and rapid succession of events makes it a quick read.

     

     

     

  • graphic novels 01

     

    Let’s talk about one of the proverbial elephants in the room of literary works: graphic novels. As a form of literature, graphic novels and comic books have been around for nearly a century. However, the term “graphic novel,” which was originally used in the 1960s, did not gain prominence until the late 1970s (Hintz & Tribunella, 2013). Since then, the term has become more widely accepted as describing a book-length story with images that uses panels. Recently, there has been an increased interest in the format. Although comic books and graphic novels have always found an audience, in the last decade alone their sales in North America have increased by 90% (Gavigan, 2014).  Graphic novels for all ages covering a variety of topics are being published every year. According to one statistic, sales increased from $43 million in 2001 to a staggering $375 million in 2007 (Holston & Nguyen, 2008).

    Despite this recent surge in interest, many people are hesitant to accept the format and many negative perceptions and misconceptions surrounding graphic novels still exist. For example, one misconception that is still being corrected is that the word “graphic” refers to the level of violent or sexual content found in the books (Chance, 2014). Many still associate comics and graphic novels exclusively with superheroes. Some also believe that the format should not be considered a legitimate literary format. Others think the format is a good start for reluctant readers before they move onto other formats. 

    Although there are studies that support the use of graphic novels and discuss their benefits and literary merits, the purpose of this post is not to prove whether or not graphic novels have literary value or educational benefits. The purpose of this blog is to invite you to decide for yourself what you think of the format. Check out a graphic novel (yes, all ages can do this). See what you think of the format. We have three collections of graphic novels and comics: one for children, one for teens and one for adults. I believe that books can play a variety of roles for different people. See what role you might want graphic novels to play for you. 

    Here is a booklist of graphic novels (they are for children but adults and teens might enjoy many of them too!).

    References  

    Chance, R. (2014). Young adult literature in action: A librarian's guide (2nd ed.). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

    Gavigan, K. W. (January, 2014). Shedding new light on graphic novel collections: A circulation and collection analysis study in six middle school libraries. School Libraries Worldwide, 20 (1), 97-115.

    Hintz, C., & Tribunella, E. (2013). Reading children's literature: A critical introduction. New York, NY: Bedford/St. Martin's.      

    Holston, A., & Nguyen, T. (2008). The maverick graphic novel list: Unmasking the mystery of comics and graphic novels for libraries. Texas Library Journal, 84(3), 92-95.

  • library school 01

     

    Next in our series of behind-the-scenes information about our library, we'll talk to Jackson H, one of our Children's Librarians, about his experience attending Library School. 

    When did you know you wanted to work as a librarian?


    I made the final decision about a month before getting accepted into the Master’s program and about a year before I got the job as a part-time librarian.

    You had different plans in college. What caused you to pivot?


    My degree was in teaching. I got to teach in a variety of situations and loved much of it but decided I wanted to shift to something that would be different but have many of the same elements.

    How long is your grad program? What's library school like?

    I will finish my program this December which will be 2 years and 4 months from my first day of classes, going year-round. Library school can be very different for each person depending on the path they choose. Some common threads between many students and professors that I have encountered are love of books, desire to serve a community, and conviction of the importance of universal access to books and information.

    Give a taste of what kind of classes you take for your Master's Degree.

    I have taken classes on reference work, history and genres of youth literature, web design, participatory learning including makerspaces, Web 2.0, library management, survey research, and information retrieval systems among others.

    What's the most difficult concept you've had to grasp while studying librarianship?

    There are about as many schools of thought about what role libraries and librarians should play as there are people. The most difficult and complex part of studying librarianship has been determining my own personal philosophy and then living by it. Some other less theoretical yet difficult concepts have been metadata and cybersecurity, privacy and copyright, and some of the technical aspects of information retrieval.  

    Has working at our Library helped you with school?

    Yes, it has. I am able to not only discuss real experiences I’ve had as a librarian with my peers and in assignments, but I am able to marry the practical with the theoretical in my mind.

    Have your classes helped you with your job here?

    Yes they have. In my job at the library I am able to use some very specific skills that I have acquired from school. I also am able to use some assignments in school as jumping off points for work assignments such as proposals.

    What do you think the library of the future will look like?

    That’s a loaded question. Libraries in different areas and in different situations will take different forms of evolution. However, in general I think that libraries will continue to increase technological offerings and digital access.  Programs and classes will become more and more important as libraries seek to provide services the community wants and needs. Physical books will also still be an important part of libraries for many years to come.

  • read alouds

    We recently began reading chapter books to my four-year-old daughter and she has just fallen in love with them. I love hearing the words, “One more chapter, Daddy, please?” every night. I have often said that my wife and I are very imperfect parents and our daughter has her flaws (when will she just stay in her bed all night?!), but at least our daughter loves books! We have enjoyed reading to her since the very beginning, even before she could really track objects. But more than once throughout her four years of life we, like many parents, have struggled to consistently make the time to read to her and have wondered how important it really is. Time and time again we are reminded that, yes, it is that important! 

    Throughout the years there have been many studies published that discuss the benefits of reading to children. One such study published last year that was discussed in Time emphasized yet more benefits to reading to small children. It seems that many studies have been done about the behavioral and educational benefits of reading to children, but there is still much research to be done in the area of brain activity in children while being read to. It was discovered that reading to children was linked to “brain activation in areas connected with visual imagery and understanding the meaning of language" (Worland, 2015). Add that to the long list of other benefits highlighted in other studies, not to mention how much fun it is to read in general, and we find many reasons why it is that important to read to our kids and to start early.

    In case you are wondering what we have been reading to our daughter, here are two of her favorites so far: MERCY WATSON: SOMETHING WONKY THIS WAY COMES by Kate DiCamillo (she loved the whole series), and THE STORY OF DIVA AND FLEA by Mo Willems (yes, the Mo Willems). 

    Read-Alouds are so much fun that we have put together a booklist of several of our favorite ones. This list will be made available on the Provo City Library website in the near future and will be found here.

    Reference

    Worland, J. (April, 2015).  Reading activates an important part of a child's brain. Time. Retrieved from http://time.com/3836428/reading-to-children-brain/