mangofandango: (ats/ killprettyx/ fred with book)
I have fallen off the face of the LJ, largely because...Sophie has colic! Yes indeed. We went to the pediatrician yesterday and there is nothing else obviously wrong with her, so colic it is. Some more talk of colic, cut for the disinclined. )

Tabs that have been sitting open for ages:

Reading Rainbow coming to an end made me think about the direction of reading education.

"Grant says that PBS, CPB and the Department of Education put significant funding toward programming that would teach kids how to read — but that's not what Reading Rainbow was trying to do.

"Reading Rainbow taught kids why to read," Grant says. "You know, the love of reading — [the show] encouraged kids to pick up a book and to read.""

As a school librarian, when I was working, I was encouraged to always be teaching a concept. There was supposed to be a product, a tangible result. This is largely about accountability, etc., Meeting Standards and Passing The Tests. You know, all that NCLB sort of stuff. I see the value in producing tangible "stuff" as a result of a lesson, and creating ways of testing or proving learning. But not to the complete exclusion of just reading a book for the sake of it. I think that my job as a librarian should be to teach research and library skills, reinforce reading skills learned in the classroom, and provide a space to learn about and explore reading for pleasure. Sadly though, I felt like I was being pushed to sort of abandon that whole "reading for fun" business because it took time away from Meeting The Standards. And okay, in a way, it does. But I really believe that students who see the value in reading for fun will do better with learning reading skills. There are exceptions to this, of course, but in general - kids don't care as much about the obvious functionality of knowing how to read. They are motivated more by enjoyment.

Besides, reading for fun reinforces reading skills because kids get more practice, and being read to helps with reading fluency - the ability to read smoothly and expressively, and to get meaning from reading. I think it helps many kids pick up on other reading skills, too. So I am really disappointed at the movement towards purely functional education from all directions, but particularly in this area. One of the biggest joys of my job is working with kids who are excited to find books to read, and if we abandon fostering that excitement, I think we will lose a lot. (I tended to work as much reading aloud in to my teaching as possible. I found reasons to spend entire class periods just reading, usually in the interest of some eventual goal or teaching point - but I just think that time is essential as well as fun.)

And okay, I had other things I wanted to write about but I am pretty sure Sophie is waking up and it's time to feed her anyway. I hope this post doesn't need serious editing because I barely had time to vomit the thoughts out at all. ;)
mangofandango: (ats/ orvannahka/ read more)
I am waiting for lasagna to be done baking. It is arduous. ARDUOUS I TELL YOU.

Meanwhile, I am trying to do things with the local library's online catalog (the OPAC, yo.) It is THE STUPIDEST THING EVER. I do not understand why no one can design OPACs that work. I can't imagine it's that hard. Well okay, maybe it is hard - but basic functions should be there, and they should be fairly intuitive. As it is, I find they're missing such crucial and obvious details! For example:Cut for the completely uninterested, or for people who have heard me rant about this a hundred times before :) )
mangofandango: (only_icons LoVe)
I have now finished teaching my unit on inventions. I made a display of the kids' work in the window at the library, mostly so I can show it to my professor when she comes to do her site visit. It's pretty cool though, the kids who bought into it and actually came to class did a good job. I wrote down some of their more humorous writing to share with you, which I will get around to eventually. I think. :)

Today I weeded old books out of the high school's collection. I pulled a bunch of books on the Middle East that were written in the 1980s or earlier, and some AIDS/HIV books from the 80s too. I also found some gems like "What About VD?", "The Rise of Red China" and "The Indian and the White Man in Connecticut", which are also sitting happily on the discard cart. Oh, there was also a book on what teenagers could do to help avoid nuclear war (huh?) and books on nuclear proliferation from 30 years ago. And books from the 1960s and 70s about American politics/political parties that hadn't circulated since the 60s and 70s due to their HEY-WE'RE-FROM-THE-60S-AND-70s looking covers. I love weeding. It's fun finding all these freakishly old, unloved, and sometimes just downright horrifying books and freeing the shelves of them. I hate to think of any kids who learned about safe sex from a book entitled "What About VD", after all! Plus, now I bet I can select some replacements for these books, which is also fun. See, up until this point, the library had a very small budget, so they couldn't really replace old stuff, which is why all this was still on the shelf. But it looks like they're going to be getting more money this year, so there is hope for the collection now.

My BPAL order and the crazy lip stuff came today, so it's time for a sniffing session now. :)
mangofandango: (mango_icons - ginnifer)
Just a note: The AACR2 (Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, 2nd edition, for those who don't know) has a rule for cataloging spirit communications. You enter a communication presented as having been recieved by a spirit under the heading for the spirit, with an added entry for the medium or other person who recorded the communication.

There's a rule for everything!

I accidentally just hit the middle button on my mouse, which pastes whatever I have copied. And here's what I got:

"richtig aufgeregt?"

I have no idea where that came from.


May. 18th, 2005 11:34 pm
mangofandango: (librarian)
Library stuff:

A cautionary tale about the Patriot Act, in which the FBI asked a library for a list of patrons who had checked out a book on Osama Bin Laden. The librarians said no. (I got this link from

And this charming article, , about U.S. Rep. Walter Jones' brilliant(ly stupid) idea: he introduced a bill that would create parent advisory boards that would screen books and other materials purchased for school libraries, for appropriateness and so on. The idea is insulting enough (why hire professionals to choose the materials based on professional resources, when you can just let the kids' parents do it?) but the article actually spells it out:

"Librarians for each department make book selections based on current research, said Margaret Waslicki, director. Reviews take place only if someone submits a complaint, she said.

"Before we make any purchases, we look at professional review sources and the number of requests we've received for an item," she said.

Is it even relevant?"

And that litte editorial addition really makes it. "Is it even relevant"?! *headdesk* Now I understand that people don't know why librarians have to go to school, and a lot of people probably think they just select books according to personal taste or astrological signs or something, but still.

I got this link from [Bad username or site: @]'s journal, who pointed out the quote about "5-6-7-8-9 year olds" who are, according to Walter Jones, "as innocent as babies". Riiiiight.

Brief Gilmore Girls and Lost talk, some spoilage possibilities )
mangofandango: (librarian)
Article in the school paper about this Important Issue

Text of the article for those who don't feel like clicking the link (and if you read on, please be warned):

"The University of Rhode Island Library is currently taking steps to address the issue of alleged sexual activity and vandalism that has been occurring during the past few months in the men's bathrooms in the basement of the library...the female janitor in charge of cleaning the basement level of the library found an excessive amount of blood and semen in the stalls of one of the men's bathrooms.
One suggestion that is still being considered, however, is a flyer that would be displayed in the stalls of the bathrooms, although Wessells and other staff members said they are doubtful about how efficient it would actually be.
"Who in the heat of passion is going to read this lengthy memo?" Assistant Professor Librarian Andree Rathemacher said.
Wessells said that vandalism is also a problem. Holes are being drilled into the walls between the stalls, he said, to be used for sex. These holes are commonly referred to as "gloryholes."
"In talking to more experienced librarians, this is not uncommon," Wessells said. "In public libraries you can find even more extreme situations. In urban settings, drugs paraphernalia, syringes and used condoms are often found."
"I've worked in libraries for nearly 40 years," Professor Michael Vocino said. "Sex in libraries is a common practice by both heterosexuals and homosexuals. When I worked in a public library, one of the staff members found a heterosexual couple actually having sex in one of the upper hidden stacks."
"The URI library is a public place," Wessells said. "Anyone can use it. And because we are so open, it makes things difficult to police."
Wessells stressed that "education is key," and "informing folks that this isn't appropriate" are big priorities for him. He is currently considering the idea of having seminars about the issue in the library for students to attend."

This is the funniest thing I have read in a while. :) I love that: a)people are surprised about the whole sex-in-libraries issue, b) that they think the people doing it don't know that having sex in the library is a no-no, and c) that they want to post memos and hold seminars about it, because they think that will help. Seminars! Students will certainly flock to those! And people who frequent the library for sex are so totally going to say OH OKAY THEN I'LL STOP DOING THAT NOW as soon as they attend said seminar (or read the lenghty memo in the heat of passion! ;)) I also like that they say "more extreme" things happen "in urban settings" - like used condoms and the like only appear in urban libraries. Trust me, people, used condoms in the stacks is not an urban phenomenon. :)

I feel very sorry for the poor janitor, though. Very, very sorry.
mangofandango: (librarian)

Click on "things we've dug up while weeding" on the side.

"What to do when the Cubans invade" along with its companion "What to do when the Soviets invade," anyone? How about "How Do You Spank a Porcupine?"


mangofandango: (Default)

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