Friday, May 27, 2011

Summer Reading Lists Are Out

Seems like I say the same thing every year ("gosh, can't believe it's time already . . ."). So with no further ado, the Elementary, Junior High and High School summer reading lists have all either been distributed (current K-6th graders) or mailed (7th-11th graders, and all new students). They should have hit mailboxes by yesterday, or possibly as late as today.

* Each reading list link will download a full-size PDF of the booklet

A word about our summer reading "requirement" -- yes, we absolutely require summer reading, but we don't specify what must be read. The reading lists for all levels are for guidance, entertainment, education, but not limitation -- there are so many good books that a student might not find on her own, and the lists include hundreds, if not thousands of recommendations. There are also too many zillions of good books to fit them all into one 40 page booklet, so the odds are good that a student will have one or more books on his "must read" list that isn't in the booklet. No problem! Does it have words? Ideas? A more or less sustained narrative? Then it probably counts. If in doubt, e-mail me or Natalie with your question, or ask your teacher.

To support and encourage students in finding a reading passion, we open the collection for summer checkouts at the end of each school year. Families may check out up to 40 books, which will all be due when school starts back in the fall. Because of the number of materials and the length of the summer, we require a parent to be responsible for the books and check them out on parent accounts. Elementary students must come in with a parent, while high school and junior high students may select and check out books on their parent's account as long as they have permission from the parent (a note, e-mail or phone call to me works).

Come on in and choose a stack. If you're overwhelmed or stumped for choices, arrange for a "Personal Consultation" with a librarian -- it's sort of like having a Personal Shopper for books, only it's free!

ps -- the downloadable Elementary list will be ready next week.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Prepare for the Zombocalypse!

Well, folks. It's official -- the CDC has issued its preparedness checklist for the Zombie Apocalypse. Personally, I've never quite "gotten" the zombie thing -- they're dead AND rotting, their dinner choices are parts that most Westerners don't eat anymore, their conversational skills are nil, and they're not even into fashion, ice cream or good books. At least vampires can clean up and retract their fangs . . .

But I digress. It's true about the CDC's preparation advice. From the CDC Social Media blog:
There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.
Turns out, all the steps folks should take to prepare for Zombocalypse are the same things we should do to prepare for a tornado, hurricane, or flood. Who knew, a little pre-planning can kill multiple natural disaster birds with one stone!

Of course, if you want to study up on all the ways a zombie invasion could come about, we've got plenty of choices here in the library (mostly in the fiction section . . ).


And if you want to cover all the possibilities:

If you're ready for a zombie apocalypse, then you're ready for any emergency.

Meet you at the mailbox.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Books, Altered - Now Showing in the Library

It was great timing. Elizabeth Lide's Drawing and Design art class mounted a display of their Altered Books projects the week before the 40th Anniversary book release party here in the library. Books everywhere!

A few students used outdated Encyclopedia Britannica volumes (we recently got a newer edition), and incorporated the volumes' content (trees, in the T volume, and a bridge in the B volume) into the artwork.

Other pieces were created from baby board books, a telephone book, and a hardback copy of Where the Wild Things Are.

Wild things



One student altered a collection of paper plates with recipe pages from an international cookbook, overlaid with hand-cut block prints, culminating with a meal of international foods from the represented countries.

A final piece defies attempts at photography. Called Shadow Puppets, it's an interactive work created from a deconstructed board book overlaid with translucent vellum. In order to see the work (images of various hand puppet shapes, including the beloved two-fingered long ear bunny rabbit), the viewer has to slide a dark background behind each shape. And magically, the shadow puppets appear.

For inspiration on creating altered book art, visit the links in this post from the DeKalb County Public Library ("Can't Do That With An eBook") featuring Atlanta artist Brian Dettmer, and Part II. A CBS piece on Dettmer aired just last night -- watch the 2.5 minute clip here.

For techniques and inspiration for creating art from a variety of objects, check this book out of our library:

Altered Art: Techniques for Creating Altered Books, Boxes, Cards and More by Terry Taylor.