Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I recently came across Sunday's New York Times article, Literacy Debate: Online, R U Really Reading? Actually, it is the beginning of a series of articles on the " Internet and other technological and social forces are changing the way people read". This first article discusses the differences between reading a book and reading online. Of course, each has its merits and downfalls. Reading a book, to me, feels much like visiting a friend for a few days - I get the opportunity to really get to know them, learn from them, and am often sorry to say goodbye. Whereas when I read online, I feel like I'm in a room full of people with all different interests and viewpoints. I find myself drawn into one interesting conversation, but then am distracted by something else being discussed that also piques my interest. So, although I am offered a plethora of information and ideas, mingling through all this information takes patience and time...and it takes much effort to stay focused!

When you think about it, Web 2.0 tools are also kind of like being in that room of people: there are so many worthwhile, valuable ideas out there, but keeping your undivided attention on one for any length of time isn't easy. As our students are offered more and more online learning opportunities, they are placed in the same scenario. Does that mean that we keep closing the door to that room so that our students stay focused on just books and classroom learning? Of course not. Actually, our jobs as librarians have taken a very important shift: it's vital that we guide our students through all this information and show them how to get the most value from it all.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Y.A. is Definitely O.K.!

It was interesting to read Margo Rabb's article in yesterday's New York Times Book Review, I'm Y.A., and I'm O.K. She describes the disappointment that many writers experience when their novel, intended for an adult audience, is marketed towards the young adult audience. So I say, what is so bad about that? Mind you, this is a reaction of a high school librarian who enjoys so many young adult novels - often more so than some of the "adult" titles. As Rabb contends, the crossover from YA to Adult can be fairly transparent and perhaps the answer is to ease-up on categorizing them as such.
Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer, Before I Die by Jenny Dowham and Tamar by Mal Peet are just a few of the recent " YA" titles which I've read, and which I would certainly recommend to adult friends. Likewise, just take a glance at this year's Alex Awards and you will find a wonderful selection of "adult" books which are very appropriate reads for high school students.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Courtyard Update

So...last week I met with local landscaper, Vic Lance and our Operations Director, Dave Hansel. A plan is in progress! Vic will begin to clean out the area of over growth and pruning the two existing trees. Top soil will be brought in and seeding will be done in late summer. Vic will also take care of resurfacing and staining the patio once a shade has been selected. Of course, I have all the fun jobs such as choosing the patio stain and selecting patio and garden seating. Luckily, I'll be getting some great assistance from project mentor, Rosanne Hansel of the Education Fund Committee.
As far as plants and flowers - why not ask the community to donate plants from their own gardens? What a great way to involve the New Hope community and make them a part of our little garden haven.

I was very surprised to stumble across a WikiREADia article on How to Create a Reading Garden-an initiative from the 2008 National Year of Reading. Should be a very helpful resource for us!