Friday, June 23, 2017

Friends of the Santa Rosa Libraries, summer sale

Cynthia M. Parkhill, holding a book in her right arm, looks over a sale table of other books. A sign displayed above the table of books designates their category as 'Literature.'
Spring 2017 Book Sale, Friends of the Santa Rosa Libraries

I have long donated special outreach efforts for “Friends of the Library” book-sale events and this weekend, Friends of the Santa Rosa Libraries is hosting its summer sale in the Forum Room at Sonoma County Library’s Central Library.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Library customer-service priorities reflected in posts to RVUUF blog

Black-and-white image of people browsing and reading in bookstore
Image credit: inSpirit/UU Book and Gift Shop

I’ve left Ashland, Oregon, but continue to work as web content editor for Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Recent posts to the RVUUF blog are aligned with my passion for library customer-service; they draw attention to informational resources that enhance the church community.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Yarn-storm commemorates ‘Friends’ group anniversary

Close-up view of hands cutting thread on piece of crochet that has been stitched around the handle of a library book-drop. The words 'Yarn Bombing at Your Library' have been superimposed on the image.
In Orange, Conn.: Case Memorial Library was “yarn stormed” with a colorful, hands-on, knitted and crocheted exhibit depicting the four seasons, in the library’s second-floor rotunda.

As reported and photographed by Pam McLoughlin for the New Haven Register, the exhibit — created by Friends of the Case Memorial Library — “has visitors talking, touching, teaching and marveling at the uniqueness and detail.”

The Friends group installed the exhibit in May, to celebrate the group’s 25th anniversary. “The exhibit was originally slated to stay up through June, but Library Director Meryl Farber loved it so much she requested to keep it up at least until November. Farber said, in her book, it can stay up forever.”

Posted to Yarn Bombing at Your Library on Facebook

‘Whose reviews’ influence libraries’ purchasing decisions?

When library staff utilize reviews to determine books’ suitability, “whose voices are privileged and whose go unheard” among the reviews that they read? At Reading While White, Megan Schliesman addresses concern about library collection-development policies that emphasize “professional” reviews. Schliesman argues that professional review journals lean toward “traditional” publishing, which in turn has a bias toward “whiteness” in children’s and young adult literature. She highlights sources of critical discourse beyond the traditional outlets, which can help to foster the diversity of viewpoints that a library will ideally strive for.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

El desayuno y el almuerzo gratis para niños este verano

(In Spanish)
Vía Santa Rosa escuelas de la ciudad: ​Los niños, 18 años y menores, comen el desayuno y el almuerzo gratis este verano.

(En inglés)
Via Santa Rosa City Schools: Children, ages 18 and younger, eat free breakfast and lunch this summer.

Summer ‘Lunch at the Library’

For the third year in a row, Sonoma County Library (SCL) will host free meals for youth this summer, every weekday at six library locations.

Summer reading at Sonoma County Library

Infographic showing that access to books during the summer prevents loss of reading skills among students. The caption proclaims, 'Kids Who Read Beat Summer Slide. Studies show that access to books during the summer prevents a drastic loss in reading skill - especially for kids in need.' Three figures of children are shown on the left of the graphic, with angled lines representing their gain or loss of reading ability as measured by reading test scores: a gain of 24.15 among students from low-income households with access to books, a gain of 15.51 among students from high-income households with access to books and a loss of 9.77 among students from low-income households without access to books.
Image source: First Book. Used with permission
Early-childhood and school-age BINGO cards are available at Sonoma County Library as part of this year’s Summer Reading program.

By reading a minimum of six books over the summer, children are being encouraged to defeat “Summer Slide,” that drop in students’ abilities in reading and math when they don’t engage in educational activities.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Plenty of school spirit with this newsboy hat

I managed to create one final hat before packing up my sewing supplies for the move back to northern California. With the black-and-white brocade patterning of its brim and quartered panels, this newsboy hat is just the thing to wear with the school colors for Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts. And as is often the case with my unique constructions, this hat is entirely assembled from repurposed garments. The patterned pieces come from a thrift-store jacket. The green solid was repurposed from a man's work shirt and the blue comes from a skirt.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Volunteer library-book courier

Walked downtown to return a book after work, to the Sonoma County Library. The book had been in Lost-and-Found at Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts.

I regularly brought back public-library books when I worked in Bellview Elementary School library. I also retrieved books brought in error to the public library. With both systems automated and relying on book barcoding, the chief difference was a matter of barcode placement when telling each system's books apart.

My one request to patrons was to tell me right away, without embarrassment, if a book was brought to the wrong library.

As part of my ongoing customer-service commitment to the people who rely on our libraries, I gladly volunteer to take on the role of school-to-library courier.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts

Logo for Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts. Image depicts two narwhals shown in profile with crossed horns
SRCSA’s ‘Narwhal’ logo
On May 12, 2017, I began work at Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts. Its mission is to provide K-8 students from Santa Rosa, California and beyond with “an innovative, high quality education that focuses on the arts through a challenging, integrated, standards-based academic program.”

Monday, May 8, 2017

Tarjeta de la biblioteca del condado de Sonoma

Mi tarjeta de la biblioteca del condado de Sonoma
(In Spanish)
Tengo una tarjeta de la biblioteca del condado de Sonoma. Puedo usar la tarjeta en cualquier biblioteca de la condado. Puedo pedir libros en el catálogo automatizado y tenerlos en la biblioteca para mí, y puedo descargar libros digitales.

(En inglés)
I have a Sonoma County Library card. I can use the card at any county library. I can request books in the automated catalog and have them held at the library for me, and I can download digital books.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Last day of work in Bellview library

This assortment of cards make wonderful keepsakes for my time in Bellview Elementary School library. During my final day at work, groups of students, individuals and classes, gave me these beautiful hand-made cards. Many of them depict scenes in the library: reading, finding and checking out books, while hand-written notes address what I hope have been positive contributions. School staff also signed a copy of teacher-librarian Matt Damon's book, The Fall of General Custard, or, The Overthrow of a Leftover. I will bring wonderful memories with me to the Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Lear resigns as Sonoma County Library director

Brett Lear announced Monday he is stepping down as director of Sonoma County Library. For the Press Democrat, Derek Moore relates: Lear's notice came on the same day the library was celebrating the reopening of branches on Mondays.

Sonoma County Libraries to reopen Mondays

I’ll arrive back in Santa Rosa just in time to be able to go on Mondays to Sonoma County Library. Thanks to Measure Y, libraries across the system will be open again on Mondays for the first time in six years (as reported by Christi Warren for the Press Democrat).

Monday, May 1, 2017

Oregon Reader’s Choice Award winner is El Deafo

Winning titles in the 2017 Oregon Reader’s Choice Award were announced during the Oregon Library Association/Oregon Association of School Libraries conference in Salem.

I’ve promoted reader’s choice awards every year that I have been in Bellview Elementary School library, and wanted to report this final election result before leaving to begin my new position.

In the upper-elementary category, the winner was El Deafo by Cece Bell. Here’s the publisher’s summary for a book I read and enjoyed.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts

I’ve accepted an offer of employment at the Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts in Sonoma County, Calif. I’m intrigued by the emphasis on the arts at this charter school, having devoted much professional effort toward advocating for the arts.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Bellview library reshelving project

Book range, made up of sections of shelving in Bellview library

Among my efforts to provide outstanding service to customers in Bellview library, I recently completed a major reshelving project amidst the library’s daily routines.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Sonoma County, Calif.: Seeking professional opportunities

I have significant news to share with network contacts. My family is in the process of relocating to Sonoma County, Calif., and today I submitted the “Intent to Return” document that, in this case, communicates that I will not return this fall to Bellview Elementary School.

Quinny & Hopper wins Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award

Results are in: Quinny & Hopper by Adriana Brad Schanen is the 2017 winner of the Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award, and was also top vote-getter among Bellview Elementary School students.

The Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award (BCCCA) is sponsored by the Oregon Association of School Libraries (OASL), formerly the Oregon Educational Media Association (OEMA). The award is named in honor of Beverly Cleary, the Oregon-born children’s book author.

According to a description on the BCCCA website, children of all ages vote each spring for their favorite title from the list of nominated books. Nominations include books targeted to the reading ability of second- and third-graders or transitional readers.

The idea behind the BCCCA began in the summer of 2001 when Jann Tankersley invited some OEMA friends to discuss the possibilities of creating a children’s choice award. Tankersley is a long-time OASL member and library teacher at Dayton Elementary School.

The group of friends decided to name the award after Beverly Cleary, who wrote for the age group that was being targeted. With Cleary’s permission, the award was created.

Suggestions are currently being accepted for the next award cycle.

Nominated books can be fiction or informational, but should be quality literature, published three years prior to the nomination year, and at a second-grade or third-grade reading level (taking into account vocabulary, graphic support and physical layout of the books).

The purpose of the contest is to encourage reading of books that students may not otherwise find on their own and are not necessarily the popular best sellers. Please send ideas to BCCCA Chair Libby Hamler-Dupras, at

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Rogue Commute Challenge: will Ashland schools win again?

Photo-montage clipart of people traveling. Left to right, two women standing in front of a car, a helmeted woman pedaling a bicycle, a woman walking while carrying a shoulder bag and a man with shoulder bag standing at the entrance to a bus
Image credit: Rogue Commute Challenge

In Ashland School District (ASD), the Health Promotions Committee is getting ready for the Rogue Commute Challenge, a competition among teams to log the most miles by bicycling, walking, carpooling, etc. -- any trip taken by not driving a car alone.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Presentation: Navigating to RVUUF Board Minutes landing page

Screen capture, RVUUF home page

As readers may know, I serve in many professional capacities: including part-time work as Web Content Editor for Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

From time to time my work involves presentations to the public, and Thursday evening I gave an overview on how to navigate from the church’s WordPress site to the landing page for archived Board Minutes.

Friday, April 7, 2017

What was role of ‘culture fit’ in church’s hiring controversy?

Three senior-level staff have resigned from a religious denomination, following an outcry over its hiring practices and a lack of diversity among its senior leadership.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Schools recognized as Bicycle Friendly Businesses

Among the League of American Bicyclists’ latest round of “Bicycle Friendly Business” awardees, two elementary schools are the first to successfully apply. They are Ashlawn Elementary School in Arlington, Va (a new Silver BFB) and Oceano Elementary School in Oceano, Calif. (a new Gold). As someone who hopes to model bicycle-commuting to the children I come in contact with, I share pride for these schools’ accomplishments. I hope that many more schools (and businesses) follow their example.

Also posted to Librarian on a Bicycle

Monday, April 3, 2017

Kiwanis Club purchases books for Bellview library

Books standing upright on library counter, various titles in the Oregon Reader's Choice Awards: 'Under the Egg' by Laura Marx Fitzgerald, 'Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle' by George Hagin, 'By the Grace of Todd' by Louise Galveston and 'The Madman of Piney Woods' by Christopher Paul Curtis. Lying face-up on counter in front of them are Patricia Gallagher Picture Book Award nominees: 'A Rock is Lively' by Dianna Hutts Aston, illustrated by Sylvia Long, 'Dolphin Baby!' by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Brita Granström, and 'On a Beam of Light' by Jennifer Berne, illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky; and Beverly Cleary Children's Choice Award nominees: Archie Takes Flight by Wendy Mass, Jelly Bean by Cynthia Lord and 'Lulu and the Rabbit Next Door' by Hilary McKay

To punctuate Ashland schools’ return from spring break, here’s an “attitude of gratitude.” The books shown here -- nominees in various “reader’s choice” awards that Oregon students can vote on -- were purchased for Bellview Elementary School library using money that was donated by the Kiwanis Club of Ashland, Oregon. Local groups and volunteers enrich our schools so much, and I am deeply appreciative.

Oregon Blue Book, new in Reference

New in Reference, for use in Bellview library, the Oregon Blue Book almanac and fact book (2017-2018) is sure to be an authoritative source for Oregon economy and government. Published regularly for more than 100 years, the 2017-2018 edition was donated to Bellview library compliments of the Oregon Secretary of State. Its web version can be visited at

Saturday, April 1, 2017

‘The Rosie Project,’ fun to read, but book-club materials could be better

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion is an amusing and fun read, but it includes book-club materials that demonstrate insensitivity toward the autistic community.

The book tells the story of Don Tillman, a genetics professor who takes a methodical approach to locating a “female life partner.” He drafts a 16-page questionnaire to screen for compatibility, but is brought together with a woman who wants to identify her biological father.

Rosie is everything that Don’s questionnaire indicates should NOT be his ideal match, but they are brought together by their joint project to identify Rosie’s paternity.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

‘Practica hace Perfecto: Tiempos verbales españoles’

(In Spanish)
Este libro me ayudará a aprender español: Tiempos verbales españoles por Dorothy Richmond. Señora Richmond es una maestra de español, y la autora of cinco libros en la serie Practica hace Perfecto. Aprenderé mucho de este libro.

(En inglés)
This book will help me learn Spanish: Spanish Verb Tenses by Dorothy Richmond. Mrs. Richmond is a teacher of Spanish and the author of five books in the Practice Makes Perfect series. I will learn a lot from this book.

Monday, March 20, 2017

ALA resists cuts to federal library funding

At “District Dispatch,” American Library Association President Julie Todaro shares ways that library professionals can fight U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts in federal funding. Todaro states that while it is unclear at this time how deeply federal library funding will be impacted, “One thing we all know for certain: Real people will be impacted if these budget proposals are carried through.”

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Animal photographs illustrate ‘fake news’

Cover, April 2017 issue of National Geographic Kids. Image depicts lemur standing on hind legs, arms upraised. Caption reads, 'Real or Fake: Is this Lemur Dancing?' Additional text next to insert-photo of elephant sitting on top of car, reads: 'Plus: Animal Fake-Outs, Tricky Photos, and More'

With fake news the subject of enormous concern in education/information communities, I want to highlight a new arrival in Bellview library that broaches the subject with young readers. The April 2017 issue of National Geographic Kids presents outrageous animal photos and asks if they are “real or fake.” It also presents guidelines to help readers separate “real-life headlines" from “phony-baloney stories.” This is a very timely subject, and I think the animal pictures make it especially accessible, something that children can relate to.

Patricia Gallagher Picture Book Award

Patricia Gallagher Book Award nominated titles, arranged on library counter-top

In Bellview library, I’m drawing staff attention to the Patricia Gallagher Picture Book Award. This year’s nominated titles are available in Bellview library, with voting open until April 30.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

‘Se requieren habilidades bilingües en español’

(In Spanish)
Leyendo un anuncio para trabajar en una biblioteca: “Se requieren habilidades bilingües en español.” Quiero hablar con los usuarios de la biblioteca en el idioma que entienden. Por ahora, hablo y entiendo sólo un poco de español, pero estoy estudiando. Las entradas de mi blog escritas en español son parte de mi práctica regular. Busco palabras que no conozco.

(En inglés)
Reading an advertisement for work in a library: “Spanish bilingual skills are required.” I want to talk with library patrons in the language they understand. For now, I speak and understand only a little Spanish, but I am studying. Blog entries written in Spanish are part of my regular practice. I look up words I don’t know.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Free Bookmobile of Sonoma County

Bright green RV-type vehicle, bearing the slogan, 'FREE Bookmobile of Sonoma County'
Image credit: Free Bookmobile of Sonoma County

Among things seen that I liked during a recent visit to Rohnert Park and Santa Rosa, Calif., the Free Bookmobile of Sonoma County gives away free books at locations throughout the region.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Library professionals combat ‘fake news’

According to Julie B. Todaro, American Library Association president, “one of the biggest assignments” facing the library professional is to combat “fake news” and help readers to verify credible authors as well as accuracy and purpose of content.

“We have decades of research data, curricula, best practices, tutorials, and marketing approaches to combat this scourge. But now more than ever we have to step forward on this topic because it’s no longer business as usual.”

Todaro suggests library workers can learn from a powerful shift in language being engaged in by journalists: “Reporters and anchors who used to say that ‘X is speaking today on Y’ now say ‘X is giving his or her impression of Y.’”

Friday, March 3, 2017

‘Friends of the Library’ sales yield treasure

Cynthia M. Parkhill, holding a book in her right arm, looks over a sale table of other books. A sign displayed above the table of books designates their category as 'Literature.'

I often find such wonderful treasures during “Friends of the Library” book-sale events and this morning I ducked into the Spring 2017 Book Sale during a visit to Sonoma County Library’s Central Library in Santa Rosa, Calif. Amid sale offerings, How to Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esmé Raji Codell seemed perfect given my deep interest in library service to children.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Women’s History Month in Bellview library

Blue posterboard with caption "Spotlight on Women's History." From left to right, cut-outs attached to the posterboard depict Sally Ride, Sacagawea and Michelle Obama.

For Women’s History Month, I brought out this posterboard display that I created during my first spring in Bellview library: a collage of cut-outs featuring U.S. astronaut Sally Ride, Sacagawea, who guided Lewis and Clark on their expedition; and First Lady Michelle Obama. The posterboard is accompanied by several titles from the library’s collection of biographies: civil rights activists, artists, aviators, politicians, sports figures and more.

bodyCushion2™ promotional carousel slide

Infographic slide depicting a tan-colored bodyCushion orthopedic cushion. Infographic text reads, 'Introducing ... the new bodyCushion2. From $249. Click to learn more about the bodyCushion2'

I’ve worked part-time since April 2015 for Body Support Systems, the creator and manufacturer of the bodyCushion™, a set of cushions specially engineered for use during massage and other physical therapy treatments.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Weeding is part of library customer service

‘Free Books’ can be cause for celebration among enthusiastic readers

I love the tagline on the “Awful Library Books” blog, “Hoarding is not collection development.” The blog commemorates actual books that were once in libraries and in some cases, still are -- presented as arguments for removing outdated materials from a library collection.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ashland schools open, in spite of snow

Black cat sits in windowsill, looking through window at snow-covered landscape outside

In spite of snow that accumulated overnight, all Ashland, Oregon schools are running as scheduled and on time today (Feb. 23, 2017). That's according to a 5:37 a.m. update to the district’s “School Closure & Delayed Start Info” page. “Our Director of Transportation spent the early morning hours driving the bus routes to verify that buses can safely transport students to school. We encourage all staff, parents and students to drive slowly and use caution when traveling to school campuses this morning.” Shown: the view from our apartment’s back window from the perspective of our cat Starfire.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

For Bellview science fair: pay a visit to ‘507’ in library

Children's science books lying face-up on library shelf: 'Experimenting with Science in Sports' by Robert Gardner, 'You Asked? Over 300 Great Questions and Astounding Answers' by Katherine Farris, 'MythBusters Science Fair Book' by Samantha Margles and 'More Than 100 Experiments for Science Fairs and Projects' by Vicki Cobb

In Bellview library, teacher-librarian Matt Damon has been reviewing the Dewey Decimal classification system for shelving “informational” books: in order numerically, starting with 000 and continuing to 999. Each number corresponds to a subject, with similar subjects grouped in categories.

Steve Buttry, my journalism mentor, dies at 62

Mug shot of Steve Buttry
Steve Buttry
My condolences to the family of Steve Buttry, who died Feb. 19 of pancreatic cancer at age 62. I met Steve when I worked in the newsroom of a California newspaper; his employer, Digital First Media (DFM), provided management services for the newspaper’s parent company.

Our newsroom was transitioning to a multi-platform publishing strategy that placed an emphasis on “digital first,” and Steve came to our newsroom during a tour of member newspapers to share resources and strategies, and also to bring back with him any challenges we might face at our stage of implementing.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

La Voz, un periódico en español y inglés

Black-and-white printouts of two recent issues of La Voz magazine
Ediciones recientes de La Voz

(In Spanish)
Junto con leyendo libros para niños, estoy leyendo La Voz / The Voice. Es un revista escrito en español y inglés, publicado en el norte de California. Puedo leer el periódico en la computadora, o puedo imprimirla en papel. En California, La Voz está disponible en muchos lugares físicos. Las historias en español y inglés están lado a lado en la página. Espero leer esta revista bilingüe para mejorar mi comprensión del español.

(En inglés)
Along with reading books for children, I am reading La Voz / The Voice. It is a magazine written in Spanish and English, published in northern California. I can read the newspaper on a computer, or I can print it out on paper. In California, La Voz is available in many physical locations. Stories in Spanish and English are side-by-side on the page. I hope by reading this bilingual magazine, to improve my understanding of Spanish.

Monday, February 13, 2017

‘Stories Alive’ at Bellview school

Side-view of red cart on three wheels, with handle-bars and decorative steering wheel, emblazoned with the words 'Story Machine' in white. Above, smaller black letters say, 'Dream Big.'

The “Stories Alive” story-collecting machine is at Bellview Elementary School, and will accept students’ contributions throughout the month of February.

Stories Alive transforms students’ creative writing into artistic performances. Throughout February, writer’s workshops are offered at Bellview for students in grades 2 to 5. Kindergarteners and first-graders are invited to writer’s workshops at the Ashland Public Library.

Actors will perform several students’ work during a school assembly on Tuesday, March 21. Students’ creations will also be compiled and published in a book.

Friday, February 3, 2017

‘Mockingbird’ by Kathryn Erskine

Caitlin, an 11-year-old girl, is struggling to understand and deal with her older brother Devon’s death in a school shooting — an event that staggered her entire community.

When she discovers the concept of “closure,” Caitlin decides to pursue it for herself, her family and community.

Caitlin is autistic and, as a reader on the spectrum, I could relate to Caitlin’s difficulty understanding social situations.

Like Caitlin, I had no friends when I was going to school and could imagine that her struggles when interacting with peers, could easily have been my own.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Leyendo libros para niños, en español

Libros para niños, en español

(In Spanish)
Estoy leyendo libros para niños, en español. Son: El fútbol es nuestro juego por Leila Boyle Gemme (Una traducción de Lada Josefa Kratky de Soccer is Our Game), ¿Eres Tu Mi Madre? / Are You My Mother? por P.D. Eastman (traducido del inglés por Carlos Rivera) y El año de Gato Galano por Donald Charles (versión en español de Calico Cat’s Year, traducido por Alma Flor Ada). Leí estos libros para aprender español. Están disponibles en mi biblioteca de escuela.

(En inglés)
I am reading books for children, in Spanish. They are: El fútbol es nuestro juego by Leila Boyle Gemme (a translation by Lada Josefa Kratky of Soccer is Our Game), ¿Eres Tu Mi Madre? / Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman (translation from English by Carlos Rivera), and El año de Gato Galano by Donald Charles (a version in Spanish of Calico Cat’s Year, translated by Alma Flor Ada). I read these books to learn Spanish. They are available at my school library.

ALA opposes recent Trump administration actions

Executive orders and actions of the Trump administration stand in stark contradiction to the values of the American Library Association. In a statement released Monday, ALA President Julie Todaro asserts, the ALA “strongly opposes any actions that limit free access to information, undermine privacy or discriminate on any basis. This includes the temporary suspension of visas and entrance to the U.S. based on anyone’s nationality or religion as well as the increased scrutiny of any individual’s communication such as mobile phone and/or social media activity.”

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Rudine Sims Bishop honored for lifetime achievement

Rudine Sims Bishop
Among notable recognitions during a recent presentation of the ALA Youth Media Awards: Rudine Sims Bishop received the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.

From American Libraries Magazine, “2017 Youth Media Award Winners Announced“:

“Bishop is a winner of numerous awards and has served as a respected member of many book awards committees over the course of her long and distinguished career. Her influential writing, speaking, and teaching articulates the history and cultural significance of African-American children’s literature. Her globally cited work, Mirrors, Windows and Sliding Glass Doors, has inspired movements for increased diversity in books for young people, and provides the basis for the best multicultural practice and inquiry for students, teachers, writers and publishing houses.”

Government censorship of science

The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom issued a statement this week, condemning demands by the Trump Administration that scientific findings by the Environmental Protection Agency be subject to review for consistency with the administration’s political viewpoint.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

‘Ashland Reads’ returns to local schools

Book-plate design combining black text with the yellow and blue spoke-and-wheel logo of Rotary International, against white background. Text reads: 'Donated to Bellview library by the Ashland Rotary Club as part of the Ashland Reads literacy program. Program partners: Friends of the Ashland Public Library. Ashland Interact Club. Treehouse Books'
Ashland Reads” is taking place again in Ashland elementary schools, courtesy of the Rotary Club of Ashland. One of the highlights of classrooms’ library time this week was a first-grade teacher reading to her students, one of this year’s “Ashland Reads” selections.

As explained by “SOU Honors College” in a post last May to Facebook, some teachers and members of the Rotary Club chose seven hardcover picture books. Each of the nine first-grade classrooms in Ashland received a set of the books.

What happened last school year is happening again, right now; Ashland School District first-grade teachers are reading to their students from this year’s set of books.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Oregon Battle of the Books: Partial list of next year’s titles

Two stacks of books, their spines facing viewer. Library call numbers are affixed to the books' spines, as are other labeling, including green labels designating them 2017-2018 selections in the Oregon Battle of the Books

With a partial list of titles released for next year’s Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB), I start physical preparations and conduct a census of the books in Bellview Elementary School library.

‘Lowriders’ wins Pura Belpré Award for illustrator

Cover image: Lowriders to the Center of the Earth. The story's three man characters travel in a lowrider automobile through a cavern.
Each January, I await announcement of the American Library Assoication’s Youth Media Awards, representing the top books, video and audiobooks for children. And it’s gratifying when a book that I’ve read and enjoyed receives its due acknowledgement.

The Pura Belpré Awards honor a Latino writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience, and for 2017, the Illustrator Award went to Lowriders to the Center of the Earth (Chronicle Books, July 2016).

Illustrated by Raúl the Third and written by Cathy Camper, Lowriders to the Center of the Earth is the second book in a series. The first book, Lowriders in Space (Chronicle Books, 2014), introduced the three main characters: Lupe Impala, Elirio Malaria and El Chavo Flapjack Octopus.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Estudiando español para trabajo en biblioteca

(In Spanish)
Estoy estudiando español con Pimsleur y Duolingo. Entiendo y hablo un poco, y estoy investigando expresiones en español para trabajar en una biblioteca. Número de clasificación en el sistema Dewey: 463. En medios sociales: #EnEspanol

(En inglés)
I am studying Spanish with Pimsleur and Duolingo. I understand and speak a little, and am investigating expressions in Spanish for working in a library. Classification number in Dewey system: 463. On social media: #EnEspanol

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Yo-Yo books in Bellview library

Three books about Yo-Yos arranged upright on wire stands atop library counter with their covers facing outward. From left to right the books are, 'Yo-Yos: Tricks to Amaze Your Friends,'  'You Can Yo-Yo' and 'Awesome Yo-Yo Tricks.'

During the second half of the school year at Bellview Elementary School, the staff promotes special activities for the students to pursue. With a new activity or set of activities each month, it helps keep things fresh and interesting. For January, the emphasis is on Yo-Yo and Kendama.

To encourage students with January’s activity, Bellview library has books about Yo-Yo techniques available for check-out: Awesome Yo-Yo Tricks by Shar Levine (796.2 LEV), Yo-Yos: Tricks to Amaze Your Friends by Ingrid Roper (796.2 ROP) and You Can Yo-Yo! by Bruce Weber (796.2 WEB). Our informational collection includes books about many other fun activities; I’m encouraging Bellview staff to have their students give ’em a try.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Jeff Wheeler’s Muirwood series

Book cover, 'The Void of Muirwood' by Jeff Wheeler. Image depicts from-the-back view of a woman with long dark hair in a flowing green dress, arms outstretched at her sides, standing between two large rocks with sun faces carved into them. The woman faces a stone building
On my Winter Reads reading log for Jackson County Library Services: Jeff Wheeler’s Muirwood series centers around a medieval abbey on a world similar to ours, where a religious order whose priests are called “Mastons” live in harmony with a spiritual force called the Medium.

The harmonious force of the Medium is pitted against evil beings called the “Myriad Ones.” Women who pledge themselves to the Myriad Ones’ queen are possessed and become “Hetaera.”

The first series, Legends of Muirwood, consists of three books: The Wretched of Muirwood, The Blight of Muirwood and The Scourge of Muirwood. They tell the story of Lia, abandoned at birth at Muirwood and raised at Muirwood as a “wretched” -- so-called because her parentage is unknown.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Bellview Elementary School library ‘Top 10’

Back at work this week after snow-day closures delayed my return from winter break: I decided to do things a little differently with the Bellview Elementary School library “Top 10” for January 2017. I filtered results in our Follett-Destiny online catalog for the most often checked-out picture books during the previous 90 days.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Friday, Jan. 6: Buses to run, schools remain closed

School-crossing in snowfall, New Year’s Day, 2017

Latest snow update is that Ashland schools will be closed Friday, Jan. 6, with all school-related athletic and extracurricular activities canceled for tomorrow as well. RVTD plans to resume transit service during normal hours tomorrow, but the routes may be delayed due to winter road conditions.

Winter Reads program at Jackson County libraries

Near-record snowfall isn’t the only thing that arrived with the New Year, 2017. Jackson County Library Services is offering its Winter Reads program for adults, Jan. 3 to Feb. 14, and it all begins when you pick up a Reading Log from your local branch library.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

For third day, Ashland school closures

Via an evening update: Ashland School District campuses will be closed tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 5, and all school-related athletic and extracurricular events will be cancelled as well.

Rogue Valley Transit cancels Thursday bus service

White-against-red-background: Exclamation point inside triangle, with letters above it, reading 'Weather Warning'

Rogue Valley Transportation District (RVTD) has cancelled bus services for Thursday, Jan. 5. In a weather-warning bulletin, RVTD cited a forecast of icy roads and below-freezing temperatures continuing throughout the day.

Service aboard RVTD buses shut down early Wednesday afternoon.

RVTD apologized for the inconvenience, stating it hopes to resume regular service on Friday, Jan. 6. RVTD recommends riders check its website, Facebook and Twitter accounts or call 541-779-2877 for up-to-date service information.

Snowfall delays Rogue Valley Transit routes

Riders disembark from Rogue Valley Transit’s Route 10 between Ashland and Medford, Oregon as snow begins accumulating Dec. 6, 2013. Animated gif superimposes snowfall effect.
Photo from personal collection (December 2013). Animation by Google Auto-Awesome

Bus riders, be aware that heavy snowfall has caused delays in services. As of 7:36 a.m. today (Jan. 4, 2017), all Rogue Valley Transportation District routes were operating but many were running late. RVTD recommends that riders with smartphones download the One Bus Away app for real-time bus arrival information.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Ashland, Oregon: School closures continue tomorrow

Apartment building exterior with snow accumulation on ground and stairway railings, landing and steps. A black cat (our Starfire) is perched on the window-sill, looking out from inside the apartment

Ashland Public Schools has declared that all Ashland Schools will be closed tomorrow, Jan. 4, on account of inclement weather and hazardous-road conditions. The snowfall became heavier today by afternoon-early evening, just as the U.S. National Weather Service Forecast Office in Medford, Oregon predicted. Here’s what things looked like under the watchful gaze of our Starfire, peering out from the safety of our apartment. You can watch for snow-closure and delayed-start updates on the school district website.

Winter weather closes Ashland schools

Siskiyou Boulevard draped with snow, New Year’s Day near Ashland High School
Due to inclement weather and hazardous road conditions, Ashland School District has determined that all schools will be closed today, Jan. 3, 2017. All school-related athletic and extracurricular activities are also canceled.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Good PR verifies deadlines and procedures

A few months ago, I volunteered to submit “Religion Briefs” each week for my church to the local newspaper. Doing so made sense, because it compliments my work as professional Web Content Editor — of updating the upcoming Sunday service on the church’s website.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

‘Talking Book and Braille Library,’ how it works

Digital player for Talking Book
and Braille Library
Shortly before winter break, I fielded questions from the Bellview community, concerning how students qualify for services through the Oregon Talking Book and Braille Library.

The official definition, from the “Registration” page, is that in order to qualify, a person “cannot read standard-size 12pt print for long periods of time comfortably.” To qualify as eligible, the program accepts the following:

Legal Blindness: Visual acuity is 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting glasses, or the widest diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees.