Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Senior snapshots

Graduation day is drawing closer and our library will soon be missing the seniors who have graced us with their presence over the years. We were able to capture some senior moments before they leave. We wish them well!
Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Versatile Library

When rain showers dampen the pre-formal festivities, the library becomes the hub of photos, smiles and excitement as gentlemen in their tuxes and ladies in the gowns fill every corner. Despite the rain, everyone seemed to have a wonderful time and all those who attended looked smashing!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Summer Reading recommendation

Laurie Halse Anderson, one of the best Young Adult writers around today, has written a new novel "Twisted" (FIC AND), and the reviews are great. Her seventeen year old narrator, Tyler Miller, is a high school student who brings back our own memories of how hard those years can be. This is a coming of age story that is honest, if brutal, and the main character is believable and likeable. I recommend this book for summer beach-side reading. Our library has all five titles by this award winning author. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Leaving Footsteps

Let me preface by saying that the lack of privacy online is appalling! But let me add, that I find our site meter addictive. Not only can I see how many hits our blog is getting and how many pages are viewed per visit but I can see how our readers get there: the referring URL, the search engine, the search words, the entry page and the exit page. I can organize the data by location and see the domain, IP address, continent, country, state, and city. I can recognize the regulars – the readers from our community, the ones who enter from our RSS feed on Classrooms on Elm Street, others who might have us as a feed. Some days are quite intriguing! Like, the past two days. We have had a slew of visitors from Australia: 13 from Victoria, 5 from New South Wales, 2 from Queensland, and one from the Australian Capital Territory. The search terms have been “history boys”, librarian, poet, headmaster and the engine was google.com.au. One searcher even typed in the question “in the history boys, which librarian and poet worked at the university the headmaster attended?” So, who is researching this? Is it an online course? A trivia contest?
The Pesky Library blog came up in the search results because I blogged on a conversation I had with a former student regarding reading and used a quote from The History Boys movie. I think the question’s answer is is Philip Larkin who was an assistant librarian at University College, Leicester and the librarian at the University of Hull until his death (although which was the headmaster’s alma mater I can’t hazard a remembrance!)So does this lead anywhere but to acknowledge the footsteps we leave when we are online? Not really. BUT, I learned something in my truly favorite fashion – serendipitously! The inspiration for Lucky Jim (FIC AMI) came to Kingley Amis while he visited Philip Larkin and saw the common room at Leicester University. Lucky Jim is a comic novel which serves as a wonderful introduction to Amis

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Top Five Pesky Circs

As the year winds down and we dust the shelves and gather our end of the year statistics, I thought it would be interesting to see which books have had the highest circulation this year. I limited my search to the top five fiction books with two runners-up. So without further ado, the winners are: The Kite Runner (FIC HOS), Catcher in the Rye (FIC SAL), Prep (FIC SIT), The Memory Keeper’s Daughter (FIC EDW), and Water for Elephants (FIC GRU). The runners-up include, Lord of the Flies (FIC GOL), and Lucky You (FIC HIA). If you have not read the above titles, you may want to pick one up for the summer. Happy Reading!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Become the Change

There recently was a student wandering the library looking for people to sign her petition to help stop companies from investing in Sudan which is linked with the atrocities happening in Dafur. This petition was to be sent to Washington D.C. in a few days. Today I came upon a brief article in the April 2007 VOYA describing Humanitarian Youth Projects, one being the Dollars for Dafur National High School Challenge. This challenge was started by two high school students in Western Massachusetts who have asked others to spread the word using their MySpace and Facebook accounts. The challenge ended on April 30, 2007 and the top fund raising schools are listed. This is a great example of what young adults can do with ambition, energy, and passion. Whether it is a petition being passed around campus, or making connections online, young adults have much to offer and in many ways are taking the lead to make a difference. Very inspiring!

We must become the change we want to see in the world. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Work in Progress

Even a library as new as our Pescosolido Library is a work in progress. With new books to add, and new technology to incorporate into our research process, we found a need for more shelving for our crowded Reference Collection. We no longer had a need for the 3 microfiche readers that were used to research back issues of magazines since students and faculty now research newspapers and magazines on the databases we provide. With all this in mind we have refurbished the Lyons’ Family Alcove with new shelving for the crowded Reference books and discarded the obsolete microfiche readers. We have had many positive comments about the new arrangement.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Wandering Among Dogtown's Boulders

Ever since reading Anita Diamint’s The Last Days of Dogtown (FIC DIA), I have had a hankering to wander around the site. The first house was built in the Commons Settlement area of Gloucester in 1650. The settlement grew and prospered but as trade flourished following the Revolution and Gloucester turned to the sea, the area declined. Now the Commons is populated by cellar holes. You can download a pdf of Thomas Dresser’s Dogtown: a Village Lost in Time and it makes for fascinating yet sad reading.
We chose a lovely spring Saturday afternoon, drove to Gloucester, and realized we had forgotten the map. So, instead of exploring the Commons area, we settled for the Babson Boulder Trail which borders a great terminal moraine. Roger Babson was a descendent of early settlers. He was a philanthropist who founded Babson College. In 1932 he donated 1150 acres in Dogtown to Gloucester for a watershed. During the Depression, Babson hired 36 Finnish quarry workers to carve mottoes on the rocks left by melting glaciers from the latter Pleistocene Era. In his autobiography he wrote “I am really trying to write a simple book with words carved in stone instead of printed on paper.”
Neither my husband nor I are usually affected by place but we both felt a sense of sadness there. The light was silvery on all the tree bark and granite boulders. Forgotten stone walls marked areas which were covered with boulders. A lone field oak made us both say “Blair Witch.” Every so often, a solitary walker would appear and vanish. Having missed finding some of the carved mottoes due to flooded areas from the earlier rains, we are planning to return but will wait until the leaves are out. Maybe then the aura will not send our imaginations to wonder how lonely walking home during November twilight must have been.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Pack ‘em up: gathering the summer reads

On library listeservs, librarians are starting to pull together titles for summer reading. They are looking for suggestions from colleagues for titles on specific subjects and different grade levels. They are also creating their own reading lists for the summer, offering titles of must reads as the season of flip flops, sandy beaches, rest and relaxation draws closer.
Although not necessarily a “beach read”, I would add Convergence Culture by Henry Jenkins (302.23 JEN) to the list. It is a fascinating read about how we share ideas: the old ways of reporting, providing information and communicating are coming together with new technologies and behaviors.
I am curious how Chris Bohjalian’s newest book will be discussed during the summer reading season. The Double Bind (FIC BOH) is like no other book I have read before, when people say to keep reading until you get to the end with this title, it is true! I am reluctant to say too much in fear of taking away from the story, it is best to simply pick it up and begin reading. If you must learn more about it, Amazon has a full page of customer reviews, an Amazon blog by Bohjalian and a review written by Jodi Picoult. I hope we can provide those ready for a great read some great ideas. Get ready to pack them up!

Monday, May 07, 2007

And here they gather...

They gather in groups, they assemble, cluster, congregate and convene. They flock and huddle. With the frenzy of the end of the year at The Academy, students find time to work together and relax together inside the library and out.
(Find more descriptive words in the tried and true Thesaurus, Roget's II at 424 ROG)

Friday, May 04, 2007

Beyond the Common Book

Yesterday was a most wonderful celebration of the Common Book - Baghdad Without a Map! Author Tony Horowitz gave a school-wide convocation (excerpt), met with students throughout the day, and signed books during lunch. During the day he often referred to other authors and books. If you are interested, we have several including his own titles. His books are One for the Road (919.4 HOR) about his travels through the Australian Outback, Blue Latitudes (910.92 HOR) recapturing the voyages of Capt. Cook, and Confederates in the Attic (973.7 HOR) looking at how the Civil War still rages across the South.

When asked about the role of women in the Mideast, he recommended his wife's book Nine Parts of Desire (305.48 BRO) by Geraldine Brooks. Talking about the writing process, he quoted from Annie Dillard. We have several of her books including Living by Fiction (809.3 DIL) and For the Time Being (814 DIL.) The other author he particularly enjoyed reading was a British travel author living in the U.S., Jonathan Raban. We have a copy of his Badland: an American Romance (978 RAB) about a trip through the Montana Prairies.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Senior Page

Tonight the library was filled with Seniors working on their "Senior Page. They had to choose 9 pictures of themselves, their friends and their families to be put in their 2007 Yearbook. They also needed to write 525 words about themselves and their experiences at the Academy.
There was much laughter and reminiscing as they looked through hundreds of pictures on their computers. It was fun, but also nostalgic. The end is near of their time at the Academy and they are starting to realize all the people they will miss as they begin a new phase of their life beyond the GA campus. We wish them all the best of luck!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Pesky Tools on the Road

Last Friday, the Pesky Librarians participated in the Northeast Massachusetts Regional Library System Power Program breakfast. We were asked to show how we are using some of the new 2.0 tools to expand our program. Unable to be "live on the web," we used Snag-it to capture images of our Moodle courses, blog, photo-sharing, wikis, librarian shared URL's, and our new books on LibraryThing. Sharing and listening to other librarians present is always challenging. The mind races to make connections and turn others' successes into programs that fit our library and community. Of special interest to us was a "Slacker Book Group." Stay tuned next fall when we'll roll out the Pesky version!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Budding Artists

On a beautiful spring day, these artists found their way outside the library to capture the some of the beauty nature is beginning to show.