Sunday, January 23, 2011

Oh the Woes of Technology

Last school year, I utilized the skype technology a number of times. Bookmarked, the library book group, talked to two other book groups several times and an author once. My sister who is a graphic designer living in Atlanta helped the seniors via skype with their PowerPoint presentations for Senior Project. This school year, I just have not scheduled any skype sessions. I would talk about it, but I just didn't get any  sessions on the calendar until this past Friday.

To refresh your memory: Bookmarked is participating in YALSA's YA Teen Galley Program. So the Patrick Taylor book group is one of sixteen groups in the country receiving advanced reader's copies from the publishers and reviewing these titles for the publishers and the Teen's Top Ten sponsored by YALSA. I thought it would be fun for my teens to talk to kids in one of these other book groups because the kids are reading all of the same books. Kathy Corbiere of Lake Norman Charter in Huntersville, NC was all excited about the prospect of getting our groups together to talk. She and I planned a test skype on Monday, the 17th. We had a great time visiting--she seems like a librarian cut from the same cloth as me. Anyway, the technology worked just fine on Monday. Then on Friday afternoon when the students were suppose to get together, Kathy could not log onto her laptop. It was the only computer with the skype software. Her IT person had left for the day. Oh well, we are going to schedule another time, but with her school in the Eastern time zone, it makes it a bit difficult to schedule.

I am excited about an upcoming author skype that I have set up for a 7th grade English class. The students are going to have an opportunity to talk to Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown who wrote Picture the Dead. It is a ghost story set in during the Civil War. The book has had great reviews. Can't wait to read the book.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Just Doing a Job

With American Library Association coming to town this summer for its annual conference, I was anxious to volunteer when asked. I agreed to work as youth coordinator for the local arrangements committee for YALSA, the division of ALA for librarians who work with young adults. I knew that I could do whatever was needed in New Orleans. When Kim Patton, the president of YALSA, called me up to explain that I was also the youth coordinator for Midwinter I was flummoxed. How was I going to get 50 kids to the San Diego Convention Center on a Sunday in January. I didn't know anyone in San Diego.

After my initial anxiety, I asked YALSA for some help. I posted on a YALSA list serv, and I had a few California librarians contact me because they heard I was youth coordinator. I found five librarians to bring their teens to ALA Midwinter on Sunday the January 9th. I have heard from two of these librarians who said the event was awesome. The teens got to spend the morning at the exhibits picking up freebies and talking to authors. Penguin USA took them to lunch. Then they spent two hours presenting their opinions on books to the Best Fiction for Young Adults Committee. This same committee meets at Annual. I will be bringing some of my Taylor students with me in June to give thier opinions.

Here is a link to the BFYA Committee meeting with tweets and some video of the teens:

Joanna Axelrod from the Escondido Public Library shared this pic with me.
BFYA Committee, YALSA
January 9, 2011
San Diego, CA

Friday, January 7, 2011

Can you write your memoir in six words? by Ms. Kahn

Here is a definition of the word memoir that I copied from Wikipedia:
"A memoir (from the French: m̩moire from the Latin memoria, meaning "memory", or a reminiscence), is a literary genre, forming a subclass of autobiography Рalthough the terms 'memoir' and 'autobiography' are almost interchangeable in modern parlance. Memoir is autobiographical writing, but not all autobiographical writing follows the criteria for memoir set out below. The author of a memoir may be referred to as a memoirist."

Add your contribution to my wall by opening this link: Create your memoir in six words.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What I Did Over Vacation

Okay, I brought home a stack of books, but . . . . . . . . . I only read one of them and bought a new one and read that too. I guess two books in two weeks is sufficient, but I had planned to spend more time reading. It just wasn't what happened. I spent time visiting with family and friends and watching a lot of movies on television.

The first book that I read was For the Win by Cory Doctorow. I was intrigued by this book because I liked his Little Brother so much. This book had the technology component but otherwise was very different. There were a zillion characters all living in different parts of the world and each chapter told several stories at one time. All the characters were involved in computer gaming in some way, but the book was also about the economics of labor unions and how all workers could unite for better working conditions. It took me a very long time to follow who was who. I don't know if I am smart enough to understand all the themes that he presented, but by the end I was rooting for the good guys to win.

Even though I have a stack of books by the side of my bed; I went out and bought something new. I needed to have a book for my adult book group. Every year around the holidays we select a theme. Each person reads a book of their choosing. Then when book group meets, we bring our book to share with other members of the group. I love this event because so many of the monthly books selected are distasteful to me. For this event, I always read something that I love. The theme this year was to select a book that won a literary award. Since I am a school librarian, I chose a book that won an award presented by YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Assciation). The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls won an Alex Award for being one of the top ten best adult books for young adults in 2006. It is a memoir about Walls very unusual upbringing. She tells the story from her young self, and I was surprised at the conversations she recreates between her 3 year old self and her parents. I can't remember what happened yesterday much less something that happened 50 years ago. Her childhood was spent on the edge sometimes with no food, no running water or indoor plumbing or heat in the brutal winters of West Virginia. I could not even imagine what that would be like. The story is filled with humor, and even though her parents were nuts, the reader can see their charm. I highly recommend this book. It took me three weeks to get through Doctorow's novel, but I finished Walls' book in three days because I was so captivated by the story.
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