Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Passive Programming

I love my internship. I finished the big weeding project so now it's "play time," in the sense that I can get crafty and use the space for some passive programming. Here are two pictures: one using paint chips (the quality of the photo is not wonderful) and an interactive table with I Spy pages and games from Highlights magazine. A librarian pointed out to me that the Hidden Pictures from Highlights are engaging for kids, but easier than I Spy. I copied the pages and put them on the table using contact paper so kids can interact without damaging the pages. Additionally, it is my hope that the pages will be in use for at least a few weeks (I'm optimistic).

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Marvel of Zinio

Oh. My. Gosh. How did I not know about Zinio?! I'm amazed.

Zinio - "the world's largest newsstand" - has a partnership with many libraries, including Washington County.

I'm brand new to Zinio, so my apologies to those of you who know much more about it. I created an account yesterday, so I'm psyched to explore it and torture my friends and family with tutorials. Here's what I've learned thus far:

  • Zinio is free once you create two accounts (one WCL Library Zinio account, and one zinio.com account). If this sounds confusing, don't panic! Your library should have instructions, either online or physical fliers to take home. The flier guides you through the entire process.
  • Once you download a magazine, you get to keep it forever! Am I the only one who finds this a) convenient b) amazing and c) the exception to the rule? However, there are a few details to keep in mind:
    • You cannot download past issues. If you're able to find time each month to download the newest issue, this shouldn't be a problem. Simply download the file, and read it whenever your heart desires.
    • You must download the file if you want to be reading offline. Tailor this to fit your needs - either you are surrounded by WiFi on a daily basis, or you'd rather download the file for the convenience of reading wherever, whenever, regardless of WiFi.
  • There's a corresponding mobile app! Not only can I read magazines on my laptop (or tablet, but I don't have one), but I can also read them on my phone. I haven't played around with this enough yet to determine if the small screen size will bother me - but I like having the option.
  • Of course not all magazine titles are available, but in my opinion, there's some great publications. So far, I've downloaded Consumer Reports, National Geographic, Yoga Journal, Saveur, Runner's World, and Food Network Magazine. And no, I haven't had a chance to read them all.
  • You can print articles if you are using a computer. Again, I haven't had time to try this quite yet.
I can tell that the more I explore this resource, the more I'll like it. Check with your local library to see if they have Zinio, or a similar option. If you live in Minnesota, come to any Washington County Library branch to learn more.

Monday, April 22, 2013

More Crafts

Today I posted the alphabet on the children's reference desk. I wish I could say I drew the animals, but they are from a shared drive within the county system. Still, anything that creatively supports literacy is okay by me!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Happy National Library Week!

If I was more on top of my game, I would have posted this sooner. However, I'm not. Sorry.


One of the most challenging tasks for libraries (remember I am only a baby professional at this point) is maintaining relevancy and promoting services. Libraries offer amazing services and resources, but they will never be utilized if patrons don't know they exist. In my opinion, the best thing we can do as LIS professionals is be loud and proud. The more people we engage, the more likely positive feedback will spread from one person to the next.

According to a Pew research survey released in January 2013,

  • 80% of Americans say borrowing books is a “very important” service libraries provide. This goes against all those naysayers who want us to believe that "print is dead" and libraries are dead, and no one reads. To them, I say, "Au contraire!" 
  • 80% say reference librarians are a “very important” service of libraries. Again, this is an indication that patrons come to libraries for more than Internet usage or even to check out materials. People crave in-person interactions with trusted professionals. They want to know that their research is valid and important. I hope libraries continue to express this to patrons and, consequently, keep this number high.
  • 77% say free access to computers and the internet is a “very important” service of libraries. First, we cannot take for granted that in a time of heavy technology use, some people do not own computers. Second, even if patrons own computers, they may not have Internet access at home. Third, they may desire help with computers and the Internet. Enter the knight in shining armor - your local library.
I could go on for ages, but I'll spare you. If you ever have a spare weekend - or even an hour to visit your library - I bet you'll be surprised by materials and/or services available. Personally, I believe libraries are cool and have been cool throughout my lifetime. Let's keep them that way and promote them!

See the survey by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Crafting Time

This week I had the opportunity to create a display as part of my internship. I'm a huge art nerd, so combining this with my love of books and literacy is truly a win-win. I decided to make a "readbox" display, similar to the redbox we all know and love. To be fair, this idea came from Pinterest. I altered it slightly and chose books that have become movies - and ones that are hopefully appropriate for kids/young adults. I had way too much fun!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Cute Children's Books

I'm in the process of completing an internship in the Children's Department of a local public library. Throughout my weeding project, I've come across many children's books that were previously unknown to me. I've decided to make a list of them for future reference. They can be on the list for a myriad of reasons: cute plot, stunning pictures, or out-of-the-box thinking. That being said, they are not necessarily award winners or publicly recognized. Without further ado, here they are:
Polar Bear Night by L. Thompson

Sleepy Book by C. Zolotow
That's Love by S. Williams
One Step, Two by C. Zolotow

              The Noisy Way to Bed by I. Whybrow

The Water Gift and the Pig of the Pig by J. Briggs Martin