Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Dear Friends,
I will return to this blog shortly.  My last month has been a busy time at work and with moving.  I will hopefully get on a regular posting schedule in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Library Decorations

At work, I am always making new posters for book displays.  As a children's librarian who also does all the teen stuff, I am always looking for a way to promote the books on my shelf.  We do not have any large display board or shelf for display, so I often place books along the top of the bookshelves with a bright poster.  Here are some of my favourites!

I put my posters together on Microsoft Publisher.  All the pictures come off their clip art or are book covers.  The fonts either come from my computer or I download a free font from the internet.  Some of my favourite downloaded fonts are the camouflage one on the Adventure Calls poster and the paw print font on the Read on the Wild Side poster.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Half Birthday Party

A few weeks ago, I invited several of my friends over for a half birthday party.  I really like getting together with friends, so I thought my half birthday was a great excuse for this.  The theme of the evening was a spa night.  We all had foot baths, several people painted their nails, and a couple even put on face masks.  Everyone enjoyed sitting around, visiting, and getting a special foot treatment!
Supplies and decoration ready for the party!

Ahhh... This is so relaxing!

Hanging out

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

God's Gentle Probing

Photo taken from Microsoft Clip Art Gallery.
I would like to share a few thoughts from scripture that have been on my mind lately.  For several years, I have been pondering the possibility of moving toward serving the Lord and others in full time ministry.  While a few reasons have held me back in the past, God is currently refreshing this burden.  So now I need to get serious about it!  The gentle probing in my heart needs to be given adequate attention through prayer and meditation on God’s Word and hopefully soon some action.

First, my focus needs to be in the right place

Luke 9:57-62

57 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.”
58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
59 Then He said to another, “Follow Me.”
But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”
60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”
61 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”
62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

This passage shares the responses of several people who considered following Jesus.  Each one had an excuse why he/she could not follow Him at that time. 
#1.(v.57-58) Not a comfortable life or desired standard of living.
#2.(v.59-60) Social duties and closeness to family.
#3.(v.61-61) A divided focus. 

The reason this scripture passage has been running through my head is because one of my siblings has a serious ongoing health issue.  Sometimes I am afraid of leaving and then something terrible will happen and I will not be here. Well, that is no excuse!!  God will be as close to E if I am here or across the land or sea.  It takes faith to do what is right.  Maybe God does not want me to go now, but if I do not examine my heart and the possibilities in front of me I will never know. 

Then my motivation needs to be in the right place

 “It was love that motivated God to send his Son on a mission of salvation (John 3:16).  The same must be true of us.  Only the great commandments to love God with heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves can push us outside ourselves and our narrow self-interests (Mark 12:28-34). Only this love can compel us to lay down our lives caring for the poor, marginalized, and oppressed of the world.

“Only this love will give us the sustained courage to go into the world to speak the foolish, unwanted, yet saving message of a crucified Messiah.  Love has to fuel mission.  We can’t go to the world because we want their approval; we can’t go for power or to prove ourselves right.  Mission has to be the overflow of a love for God that aches to see others experiencing his grace, love, and compassion for people who are lost and destined for hell.”
(p. 211 Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris)

What is my motivation to reach out to the world?  Am I really motivated or just tell myself that I should be?  Am I sharing God’s love with the people I know here, today or do I think that some day or in some other situation, I will be more motivated?

Well, that is where I am today.  This post may be the first of many such thoughts.  I pray that God will continue to challenge my heart and that I will listen.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Stories Under the Trees

As a children’s librarian, I get to read stories a lot and I really enjoy connecting with children and their families while reading.  Reading is never passive when I do story time.  I make the children think by asking them questions about the story or the pictures.  We also try to connect the stories and our lives together.  Stories should enhance our view of the world around us.  They should bring understanding beyond our own perspective.  If a story is boring, either it is not worth reading (there are many of these out there!) or you are coming at it in the wrong way. 

This summer the town where I work celebrated it’s 140th anniversary and as part of the celebration, they asked me to join them.  We went out to our local park and set up “booths”.  My spot was a reading spot.  The day started off with a terrific downpour.  Fortunately, I had a tarp to keep my books dry.  After that, the sun came out and dried everything out and warmed us up.

Throughout the afternoon many children stopped by my reading spot.  At one point I nearly lost my voice after reading to a brother and sister for about half an hour.  It was well worth it though!

Enjoy these pictures of my nature spot.  I almost thought pixies and wood elves would pop up to hear the stories too.

My enchanted reading spot
Some of the books we shared

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Disc Golf

On a warm day in June, five siblings set out to play
And these five tested their aim and direction
As they threw plastic discs toward metal posts.

My sister lives on a campus that has a “nine hole” disc golf course. This past June, she invited all her brothers and sisters (there are six of us) over to her place for a day of fun and games. Our one sister lives too far away to join us, but the rest of us had a wonderful time throwing discs and avoiding being hit and hunting for discs that went into the bushes (or on to the roof). After we played two rounds of disc golf, we enjoyed swimming, a couple campfires, and games. I am so thankful to God for my siblings. We get along most of the time and can always have a fun time together with little or no expense.

On our way to play

Some people don’t have the best aim, so watch out! E ducks to avoid C’s throw.

After retrieving a disc from the roof, my brother J decided to sweep up. We were always taught to leave a place the same or better than how we found it. Apparently that covers disc golf too.

J carefully calculates his next shot.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Some books I've been "reading"

Lately, I have been consuming alot of information by audiobook.  The library where I work has several books on CD as well as access to OverDrive, an online audiobook lending service.  This is wonderful since I do not have TV ... but I think I should pull back a bit because I am not getting much quiet anymore since I have to finish a book by its due date or it will automatically delete itself from my smartphone!!!

I try to review the books I read at Goodreads.  I usually just give a personal opinion about the book, but sometimes I make it more of an overview of the book.

Here are a few of my audiobook reviews:
View all my reviews

Shakespeare: The World as Stage Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An interesting overview of what we know about the man Shakespeare and his writings and how much we think we know. :) I like Bill Bryson's style of reading his own books. He writes in a very journalistic style with many odd and amusing tidbits all along the way.

Bleak HouseBleak House by Charles Dickens

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I saw the BBC miniseries on this book and thought I would like to get the full story. I also saw how thick it was, so I decided to borrow the 30+ hour audio book from my library.

This is a very intricate story about a court case about inheritance (Jarndyce & Jarndyce) and the many people whose lives are affected by it to some extent. This is also a story about a young lady named Esther who is not directly affected by the case, but her story intertwines with many people who are. There are innumerable secondary characters who are quite interesting or revolting in their own various ways. As well as a multitude of sub-plots intertwining it all together.

I am glad that I listened to it or I may not have finished it very quickly. It took me 9 months to read The Count of Monte Cristo and only 2 weeks to get through this one.

Torrent (River of Time, #3)Torrent by Lisa Tawn Bergren

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Sickly sweet romance, Blah!! I don't know how the main character survived to the end, she was not cautious or wise in many of her decisions. Of this series, I loved the first one, thought the second was ok, and hated the third.

Mansfield ParkMansfield Park by Jane Austen

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I believe that I have now read or listened to all of Miss Austen's completed works.

This is not my favourite, but it was a decent story although slightly tedious. Fanny's not my favourite, but that's probably because we are not very much alike. I liked how it showed the difference between the great house at Mansfield and Fanny's parents house and the interaction of the people who lived in each house.

Johnny TremainJohnny Tremain by Esther Forbes

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I liked the time setting, but I could not like Johnny. If I cannot like the main character, I find it difficult to think the book is good. I felt like the story ended without concluding.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Library 2.0 : Week 8

This is the last week of the Library 2.0 course and then this blog gets a new lease on life (if I have time). :)

Our topic this week is Productivity Tools.  This brings all the other modules together.  The module introduced several ideas for collaboration.  From sharing documents using GoogleDocs or Drop Box (both services which I was already utilizing to some extent) to online tools to help organize meetings to creating your very own Dash Board (the activity I chose for this week).

I originally planned on using iGoogle, but since this service will be terminated in just over a year, I decided to set up a Netvibes account.  This was very straightforward.  I choose my theme as "Libraries".  In hindsight, I probably do not need a theme as I deleted most of the widgets they put on my profile page.  I then added several of the Web 2.0 tools we have learned about in the course as widgets.  I added Twitter, Delicious, e-mail, and Facebook feeds and also added news and weather feeds.  I look forward to playing around with this and will enjoy having a one stop place for several Web 2.0 tools and services.  Yeah!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Library 2.0 : Week 7

Social Cataloguing

This week we are learning about social cataloguing.  Sharing book loves and hates online.  I currently use Goodreads for reviewing and keeping track of what I read.  This site is great because I can keep track of when I read a book, what I thought of it, and what others think of it.  For this course, I went over to LibraryThing and set up an account there.  This site would be a great spot for libraries to turn to for reviews and to see what other libraries are saying about books and such.  I like the idea of integrating a LibraryThing account into the regular library catalogue.  I look forward to exploring these sites more.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My love for music

This will be a personal favourite post.

All my life, I have enjoyed music.  My mother would often wake us up in the morning by playing on the piano (my favourite alarm ever!).  She also encouraged us in music lessons and in listening to music and even singing (though I am definitely an amateur there).  My siblings and I all love music and our tastes range greatly from person to person.  My one brother enjoys rap and hip hop the most.  Another brother says that he wants to learn to play the didgeridoo from Australia.  Others enjoy hymns, some pop, jazz, rock, contemporary Christian music of various genres, and of course the "classical" music of great composers throughout the ages.  I don't think any of us really enjoy country music though (probably because neither of our parents do).   

No one in my immediately family is an expert, but my mother's sister is a professional musician.  She plays the piano and teaches many excellent musicians.  I have never heard her in concert, since she lives across the country, but I did recently get an opportunity to enjoy her music in "concert" via youtube. 

If you enjoy Beethoven and orchestral music, click HERE and enjoy the show.  My aunt is the one at the piano.  Wondrous!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Library 2.0 : Week 6

This week we learned about using wikis.  There isn't much for me to post here since we did all our work at a wiki created for this course hosted by PB works.  It was neat to collaborate with people all over the place.  A wiki would be good to use in library settings for book lists, document editing & sharing (though we also use Google docs for this at my library), staff training, or even programming ideas.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Library 2.0 : Week 5

This week we are learning about photo sharing and podcasting.

1. Photo Sharing
I signed up for an Instagram account so I could post picture from various library events that I take on my smartphone.  Next, I uploaded a picture and linked it to Twitter.  I like that Instagram is an easy uploading program for your smartphone/ipod.  

I took this picture yesterday at out library's Hunger Games Challenge event. 
Just posted a photo

The photos from this event are also posted on my library's teen facebook page - another web 2.0 tool.

2. Podcasting
Hurray!!  I love listening to podcasts and now I have an idea for using them in the library.  Making a library tour or recording stories for later use would be a great idea for libraries to use this medium.  It would also be a interesting task for teens or adults to put together a book review or program review podcast from time to time.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Summer Reading Program

Kids SRP Poster
At my work, I am the children's (and unofficially the teen) librarian. This means that each summer my library runs eight weeks of summer reading programs (SRP). Who designs, promotes, and runs this program? Well ... that would be mostly me with the help of a summer student. This is my third summer here and I think I'm finally figuring out how it all works (or am getting better at flying by the seat of my pants).

My library is quite small. Our numbers range between 65 and 80 children signing up for the reading program throughout the summer and about half of them finishing it. This summer, there were already close to 60 signed up (including six teens for our new in-house program) before we even started programs this week. This makes me so excited. :)

Teen SRP Poster
My favourite part about the preparation for the SRP is the school visits. This year I visited five elementary schools (two private, two public, one separate). I love being able to interact with the children and get them excited about coming out to the library in the summer. I must admit, I don't mind being a celebrity in their eyes either. After I visit their schools, they come in to the library and say things like, "I saw you at my school yesterday." And then they sign up for summer reading. How fun!

So here's to using our imagination to take us on flights of fantasy and fun at our SRP in Summer 2012!!

Library 2.0 : Week 4

Social Bookmarking is the theme of my Library 2.0 course this week.  I have recently been exploring Pinterest (Click HERE to see my account) and find it a very visually stimulating board.  I found some neat ideas for a teen Hunger Games program that I am doing at my library next week, though I have not done much repinning.

Since I had already joined Pinterest, I decided to join Delicious.  Click HERE to access that account.  For this course, I linked an article about the use and accuracy of Wikipedia. Another thing I did was import the bookmarks from my computer.  I do not know if this will be useful, but I wanted to learn more about how this program works so I decided to upload them.  I made these bookmarks private, so that they are available for me at any computer station, but not available to just anyone.   

Friday, June 29, 2012

Library 2.0 : Week 3

Hello Blogger world (or at least my course coordinator ;) )!

Week 3 of the Library 2.0 course is here and I have learned a bit about RSS feeds and (gasp!) joined twitter.

1. RSS Feeds
I already follow several library blogs on the Google Reader platform, but now have added the SOLS (Southern Ontario Library Services) feed to my list. The only thing I don't like about Google Reader is that you can't keep posts that are more than one month old.

I really like the RSS feeds that I follow in the library world. They give me updates and reviews on various books and I receive lots of programming ideas. This is great because I am a children's/teen librarian who is always on the lookout for new ideas.

I think that an RSS feed would be a great addition to a public library site so people could keep abreast of the new posts and activities coming from the library.

On a side note, I have another reader that I use on my personal computer that I downloaded with to my firefox browser. It's a good add-on because I don't have to be connected to the internet to use it (and I don't have internet at my house).

2. Twitter
An interesting way to keep people updated on what's happening. If many people in your community are twitter users, then I think this is a good way to keep them updated. I think that the connecting to your phone's texting ability certainly makes it more user friendly.

Well, that's all for now folks!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


A wordle that I created. Can you guess what book I took this from?

Wordle: p&p

Library 2.0 : Week 2

Social Networking.  I left the world of social networking (besides Goodreads) a year and a half ago.  Now I am returning to this world for the course I am taking all about Library 2.0.

I decided to create a Google+ profile as I have not used this networking site before.  I also have a gmail account, so I thought that I would not have to remember another password if I used this site.

What I did:
1. Went to my gmail account and clicked the "+You" button in the top left corner.
2. I added a picture and checked that the information was correct.
3. I added my sister and some friends to my circles and then added a "professional" circle and added the facilitator for this course.
4. Then I took a look at the profile page and made a couple of changes.
5. All done!  The Google+ profile is under my name.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Library 2.0 : Week 1

Today I am starting a course all about Library 2.0.  The gist of the course is that the people in our communities interact online and so should we.  I have been thinking about starting a blog for awhile and now I have one.  :)  So welcome to my favourite things.  I hope you enjoy the process of learning and growing with me.
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