Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Graveyard Book

This was a really interesting, and enjoyable book. It's a sort of Jungle Book idea, in which the baby is raised by ghosts in a graveyard. He is given "Freedom of the Graveyard" and that lets him enter crypts, learn ghost abilities, see in the dark, etc. He has some quirky adventures. The story was weird at times, but kept my interest peaked to keep reading. This is the newest 2009 Newbery award winner and I agree that it deserves it!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Current Projects

It's getting better to work 8 hours. The hour lunch helps break up the day and I find that I'll look at the clock and will only have an hour left until I can leave. Time flies when you're busy and not watching the clock.
I'm currently working on a system-wide project in that we are putting new call number labels on the graphic novels (which is "an artistic book, produced by a graphic novelist utilising the form of a comic book" - and they're all the rage with the teens). So, I receive a packet of labels, next I find the book on the shelf and change the call number in the computer catalog. Then, I stick the label with the book and put it on the repair cart - and the part time staff takes over and puts the new label on the book.
This is one of the projects that keeps me busy - besides my main task of deciding which books to get for our collection. I don't have to choose from all the books available, but from a pre-selected shopping "cart" that a designated librarian has put together. I just have to go through the titles in the cart, look at the reviews, and decide if we want or need it. I have access to three accounts which produce carts different times during the month and that will keep me busy when they start popping those out more often. This is a new system and they are working on getting the glitches out.
Sorry for all the library talk - I just wanted to give you a sampling of what I'm doing here as a (insert snooty voice) "professional librarian". It's good.

Monday, March 23, 2009

One Book, One Community

Storm Warriors

The year is 1895 and young Nathan Williams wants nothing more than to be a "storm warrior," one of the brave men of the U.S. Lifesaving Service on Pea Island, off the North Carolina shore. Again and again, Nathan has helped the team rescue frightened sailors from floundering ships during the winter storm season. But Nathan's father is a fisherman, and he expects Nathan to be the same. After all, Pea Island is the single station open to African American surfmen, and the precious few jobs are passed from father to son. Still, Nathan is coached in lifesaving skills by the Pea Island crew and dares to hope that one day he may share in their ranks. But after helping with a particularly difficult rescue, Nathan is forced to face the truth: "In that moment I knew, without a shred of doubt, that I did not have the courage to risk my life that way. The dream, and all the months of hoping, blew away as quickly as the foam off the waves." After a close friend makes clear the obvious, Nathan realizes that there are other ways to save lives and discovers his true destiny.

This was a very interesting story and I enjoyed it. It's based off the true story of the African-American crew that manned the Pea Island Coast Guard in the last 1800's - post Civil-War time. These men were very brave and were given a prestigious award - long after they were dead. Chesapeake City has chosen this book as their One Book One Community and it will be interesting what activities and programs we will have relating to this book!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Virginia Report...Finally

I've been in Virginia for a month now and I've been trying to get enough motivation to write a full report of my adventure so far. Well, a month has gone by and here I am. So, I 'm going to sum it up - if you have any questions let me know.

New Job:
Wow, this is quite a job. I'm the department head for the children and young adult services at the Russell Memorial Library. Yes, I didn't realize my job would be that extensive, but it's good. My co-workers are all really nice and helpful and answer all my questions with no eye-rolling. They are just glad that I'm here because the job has been vacant for a year now. I'm starting to do some of my duties and attend meetings - I'm already very busy. I have my own desk and computer AND my own phone extension. This is serious stuff! (hehe) My primary duties are to order materials for our departments, meaning that I make final decision on what books and movies to buy. Next, I'm doing story time twice a week, (Monday is "Just for 2's" and Tuesday is "Just for 3's".) Also, I'm working on "weeding" some of the book collections. I'm currently working on the graphic novels - next I will work on the picture books. Then, I'm attending meetings, going on school visits and helping planning programs for the library. I've arranged one right now with the Virginia Beach Coast Guard to share a presentation about wrecks and rescues off the Virginia coast line - this program in going with our theme of the book we choose (Storm Warriors by: Elisa Carbone) for "One Book, One Community". It should be exciting! I think that sums up what I've been doing this last month with my job - more information to follow I imagine!

New home:
I have a cute little 1-bedroom apartment about 4 miles from the library. I work in the northwestern part of Chesapeake, and I live just a few streets out of Chesapeake, in Portsmouth (pronounced Portsmith) It only takes me 10 minutes to get to work, and on surface streets! I'm in a decent apartment complex, and so far all my neighbors are African-American. This is great! I'm still working on unloading all of my boxes, but I feel like I'm at a point where I just about settled in. I'm trying to decide to do with all my books, on one bookcase - quite a conundrum. I'm learning my way around here a little more - but it helps that I now own a GPS system. I can go exploring, then tell it take me home and it gives me directions! I love it!
My aunt, Dianna, and her family live in Chesapeake and I feel so blessed that I had family here! They helped out so much and let me come over for Sunday dinners. They're great! I've loved the time I've had with them so far and look forward to more fun times ahead!

Virginia in General:
It is so beautiful here - and many many trees to go around. The library parking lot is surround by a small forest. I'm anxious for spring to bring in all the leaves! Also, there are many rivers and water sources to cross. I cross over the Elizabeth River every day on the way to work! Besides the bridges, there is an underground tunnel, which is under the river, driving through Norfolk and it's always amazing driving through it! The weather is nice, but I heard humid times are ahead! Yeah... We had a little snow my first week and everyone was so scared to do anything! (hehe) It all melted by the end of the day! Wimps! (hehe) There is much history here and I'm anxious to visit Jamestown, Williamsburg, Yorktown and other historic landmarks. I've already been to Virginia Beach - and put my finger in the freezing Atlantic Ocean. I'll be sure to go back when it's warmer.

Ok, that's all I have time for this time! More info to come soon!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Al Capone Does My Shirts

I really liked this book! It's about a boy, Matthew aka Moose, who comes to live on Alcatrez Island in the 1930's because his dad got a job as a prison guard. He has an older sister, Natalie, who has autism and Moose's mother tries really hard to help Natalie function and be independent. Al Capone is in the prison at this time and Moose's friend, Piper, tries to think of ways to utilize this information without getting in trouble with her father who is the warden. Besides liking the historical aspect of the story, I enjoyed seeing this family come to love and appreciate each other. I also like how unlikely friendships start. I enjoyed this book!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My New Library

I took these pictures (the indoor ones) while the room was empty - I'm so sneaky! I need to take more when I feel brave!