3rd Annual RVLS Week of Weeding

The Republican Valley Library System celebrated the 3rd Annual RVLS Week of Weeding from March 3 through March 7. We had a dozen libraries participating including public, school, and academic libraries. Together they weeded more than 4,000 items.

Some were enthusiastic weeders, excited about the shelf space this project provided, and one reported that weeding “gave me many moments of trepidation” and that it “hurt my heart.” One librarian faced some controversy with members of her community wondering why she was “throwing away books.” All the participants mentioned the improvement in their collections and recognized that, although it was difficult at times, weeding is a necessary part of library management.

A random drawing was held at the RVLS Summer Reading Program Workshop from all the participants. The winner of the Kindle eReader is Sky Seery, from the Learning Resource Center at Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte.

WoW Winner

Congratulations to all who participated in this year’s Week of Weeding!

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April Display Ideas

The temperatures over the weekend made it feel like spring is in the air…but I’m sure the weather has more winter in store for us. Mid-70s today, chance for snow tomorrow. Yep, we’re still in Nebraska. Here are 10 April display ideas to get you ready for Spring.

Car Care Month
A nationwide effort to focus motorists’ attention on the importance of vehicle maintenance and care. Find maintenance tips and more at www.carcare.org. Display car maintenance books with toy or model cars.

Defeat Diabetes Month
A month focused on preventing diabetes and/or its complications. See www.DefeatDiabetes.org for activities, dietary advice and health information. Display current health and recipe books related to diabetes, along with printed information sheets from the website.

National Poetry Month
An annual observance to pay tribute to the great legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets and the place of poetry in American culture. Launched in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month has become the largest literary celebration in the world. Go to www.poets.org for daily poems. Click here for 30 Ways to Celebrate Poetry—One for Each Day in April. Post a poem a day on your library’s website or Facebook page and in your library.

School Library Month
School Library Month is the American Association of School Librarians’ celebration of school librarians and their programs. Every April school librarians are encouraged to create activities to help their school and local community celebrate the essential role that strong school library programs play in a student’s education career. The 2014 theme is Lives Change @ your library.  Invite local elected officials to your school library during April. Click here for posters and web graphics.

Maya Angelou’s Birthday (April 4, 1928)
Dr. Maya Angelou is one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. She is a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist. Place a poster in the stacks next to I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings to commemorate Dr. Angelou’s birthday. For more information go to http://mayaangelou.com

National Beer Day (April 7)
When the Cullen-Harrison Act went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on April 7, 1933, thirsty customers could buy a beer that was 3.2 percent alcohol by weight instead of the “near beer” they had suffered with all through Prohibition. The public lined up on “New Beer’s Eve” (April 6) at breweries in 20 states and Washington, DC, and purchased 1.5 million barrels. April 7 has remained an unofficial holiday celebrating beer in the U.S. Do you have a book on home-brewing? This is your chance to highlight it. Do you know someone that brews beer or collects beer cans?  This would be a great program to bring in a different crowd. Be sure to check local requirements for a liquor license if you are planning on any tasting.

Home Run Record Set by Hank Aaron (April 8, 1974)
Henry Aaron hit the 715th home run of his career, breaking the record set by Babe Ruth in 1935. Playing for the Atlanta Braves, Aaron broke the record at Atlanta in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He finished his career in 1976 with a total of 755 home runs. This record was broken by Barry Bonds in 2007, but it is April, and we are all ready for some baseball. Display books about baseball and baseball players along with a bat, ball, and glove. Batter up!!

National Library Week (April 13-19, 2014)
First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our national’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. Judy Blume is this year’s Honorary Chair. Go to http://www.ala.org/conferencesevents/celebrationweeks/natlibraryweek for promotional material.

Earth Day (April 22)
Earth Day was first observed on April 22, 1970, with the message “New Energy for a New Era.” This observance is intended to focus attention on the transition to renewable energy worldwide. Display books about the environment and recycling. For more information, go to www.earthday.org.

Poem in Your Pocket Day (April 24, 2014)
Choose a poem, carry it with you, and share it with others throughout the day. This is a great chance to highlight your poetry books. Display them with information about this day, index cards, and some pens or pencils. That way people can find and write down a poem to carry with them.

BONUS Nebraska Event: Nebraska Book Festival (April 25-26, 2014)
The Festival will be held in Omaha and is free and open to everyone who wishes to meet, hear, and talk with a few of Nebraska’s many talented authors who have published new works. You can request a poster from the Nebraska Library Commission. Go to http://bookfestival.nebraska.gov for complete information.

Be sure to follow me on Pinterest for even more display ideas.

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Out of the Office

I will be out of the office from February 27 – March 4. Kay will be here Monday – Thursday mornings. Please leave a telephone message or send an email to Kay for the quickest response.

I will be back in the Office on Wednesday, March 5.

Denise

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Books to Read

…when I have time.

I found a couple more titles to add to my ever-growing list of books that look too good to pass up.

defending jacobDefending Jacob, by William Landay
(Delacorte, 2012)
ISBN: 978-0385344227

Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

Every parental instinct Andy has rallies to protect his boy. Jacob insists that he is innocent, and Andy believes him. Andy must. He’s his father. But as damning facts and shocking revelations surface, as a marriage threatens to crumble and the trial intensifies, as the crisis reveals how little a father knows about his son, Andy will face a trial of his own—between loyalty and justice, between truth and allegation, between a past he’s tried to bury and a future he cannot conceive.

Synopsis from Amazon.com. See http://www.amazon.com/Defending-Jacob-Novel-William-Landay/dp/0385344228/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392844408&sr=8-1&keywords=defending+jacob for complete information.

and

nightwoodsNightwoods, by Charles Frazier
(Random House, 2011)
ISBN: 140006709X

A woman living in an abandoned rural lodge is suddenly forced to raise her dead sister’s two wild young children. Neither of them has spoken a word since witnessing their mother’s brutal murder, and they’ve developed a fondness for breaking things and starting fires. These mute, trouble-making kids are among Charles Frazier’s finest characters. And when their ne’er-do-well father is acquitted and released from jail, the action in this lush and lively novel flares. With sharp dialogue, unexpected humor, and a powerful ability to depict the scents and sounds of loamy Carolina backwoods, while toying with fire and water as his themes, Frazier has crafted an impressive story, proving that Cold Mountain was no fluke.

Review by Neal Thompson on Amazon.com. See http://www.amazon.com/Nightwoods-A-Novel-Charles-Frazier/dp/B00AK3MG2C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392845097&sr=8-1&keywords=nightwoods for complete details.

As I was reading this description, I realized why this book sounded kind of familiar. RVLS owns the audiobook. Now I can just listen to it when I have time!

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Cheryl Ahrens Retires

Cheryl Ahrens RetirementLong-time Library Director for Arapahoe Public Library Cheryl Ahrens retired recently. The Library Board and community held a day-long Open House on Tuesday, January 28. Certificates of appreciation were awarded to past Library Board members and others that have supported the Library over the years. Cheryl also received many expressions of appreciation from the community. Cheryl intends to travel and has plans to volunteer for a number of organizations, including the library, during her retirement.

Jennifer Einspahr was welcomed as the new Library Director in Arapahoe. Cheryl jokingly called the Open House an “Out With the Old and In With the New” party. Jennifer has been working with Cheryl for some time and is ready to take the reins.

We wish Cheryl a happy and relaxing retirement and hope that she won’t be a stranger!

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March Display Ideas

March means March Madness to many people. Display basketball books with a ball and a backboard and hoop (if you can find one not on a pole) along with the slogan “A Great Book is Always a Slam Dunk.” Add the tournament bracket and keep it updated with the winners. Here are ten more ideas for displays in March:

National Women’s History Month
This month provides a time for reexamining and celebrating the wide range of women’s contributions and achievements that are too often overlooked in the telling of U.S. History. This year’s theme, Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment, honors the extraordinary and often unrecognized determination and tenacity of women. Display biographies of famous American women. Go to www.nwhp.org for more information and material.

National Sing with Your Child Month
This month is a special time to celebrate the joy of families singing, dancing, and making music together. Family music-making supports children developmentally and helps form everlasting family bonds. Display your children’s music CDs and DVDs along with sheet music. This might even work into a multi-generational program. Invite a local music or preschool teacher to have a family sing-along at the library.

NEA’s Read Across America Day (March 3, 2014)
Since Dr. Seuss’s Birthday in on Sunday this year, the 17th annual Read Across America Day is set for Monday, March 3, 2014. The Seussical celebration will kick off a week of reading across the nation as students, parents, and community members gather to share their love of reading. See the RVLS Pinterest Board for Dr. Seuss-themed ideas.

National Grammar Day (March 4)
Language is something to celebrate, and March 4 is the perfect day to do it. It’s not only a date, it’s an imperative: March forth on March 4th to speak well, write well, and help others do the same! Display your books about grammar along with some dictionaries. Visit http://www.nationalgrammarday.org/ for fun articles, myths, teaching materials and tips related to grammar. They even have a theme song on YouTube!

Will Eisner’s Birthday (March 6, 1917)
One of the greatest comic book/graphic artists, William Erwin Eisner was born at Booklyn, NY. In a career spanning eight decades, Eisner created the popular and innovative Spirit comic book, started an educational comic book business, taught legions of students graphic narrative techniques, and created the first graphic novel. The Eisner Awards were created in his honor in 1988. Create a poster about Will Eisner and display it with your graphic novels in the teen area.

Genealogy Day (March 8)
Climb into your family tree. Jiggle a few branches. Start piecing together your personal history today via one of the world’s fastest-growing hobbies, genealogy. Invite your local genealogy group to prepare a display. Go to http://www.familytreetemplates.net/ for more than 100 family tree templates you can download and print for free.

Teen Tech Week (March 9-15)
Teen Tech Week is when libraries make the time to showcase all of the great nonprint resources and services that are available to teens and their families.  This year celebrate with the “DIY @ your library” theme. Demonstrate the value your library gives to the community by offering teens a space to extend learning beyond the classroom where they can explore, create and share content. Go to http://teentechweek.ning.com/ for ideas and resources.

St. Patrick’s Day (March 17)
Display a varied assortment of books with green covers or green lettering on the covers. Prepare a sign (printed in green, of course) that says “Reading of the Green (Books, That is!)”

National Puppy Day (March 21)
National Puppy Day is a special day to celebrate the puppies in our lives and rescue the ones who need a good home. Go to http://www.nationalpuppyday.com/ to find the Top 20 Puppy Names of 2014. Display that list with picture books of dogs and puppies.

Harry Houdini’s Birthday (March 24, 1874)
This magician is best known for his ability to escape from locked restraints (handcuffs, straitjackets, coffins, boxes and milk cans). Celebrate his birthday with a display of magic books. You could add a cape, top hat (complete with a rabbit puppet), and magic wand for an eye-catching presentation.

BONUS Nebraska Display—On March 1, 1867, Nebraska entered the union and became the 37th state. This is a chance to get out and display all of your Nebraska History materials.

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Nebraska Writers Guild Spring Conference

Nebraska Writers Guild

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NLA’s Paraprofessional Section Spring Meeting

Brrrrr, it’s cold now, but spring is just around the corner! With that in mind, here’s a quick reminder that you still have time, but not much, to take advantage of discounted registration for the Paraprofessional Spring Meeting to be held on March 27 in Omaha. The theme for this year’s meeting is “Grow Your Teen Users.” There’s no time like the present — mark your calendar and make plans now!

Early Bird Registration ends next Friday, February 7, 2014. Click here for registration and program details.

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2014 Edgar Award Nominees Announced

To commemorate Edgar Allan Poe’s 205th birthday, the Mystery Writers of America have announced the nominees for the 2014 Edgar Awards, “honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television.”  The Awards will be presented at a banquet on May 1.  Meanwhile, the lists of nominees in many categories include some great reads:

Best Novel
Sandrine’s Case by Thomas H. Cook
The Humans by Matt Haig
Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny
Standing in Another Man’s Grave by Ian Rankin
Until She Comes Home by Lori Roy

Best YA Novel
All the Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry
Far Far Away by Tom McNeal
Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy
How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller
Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher

Best Juvenile Novel
Strike Three, You’re Dead by Josh Berk
Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking by Erin Dionne
P.K. Pinkerton and the Petrified Man by Caroline Lawrence
Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
One Came Home by Amy Timberlake

See all the lists at TheEdgars.com.

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Books to Read

…when I have time.

I read a lot of book reviews, which is good. It is part of my job to make purchase suggestions to RVLS libraries. Through those reviews, I see so many books that I, personally, want to read, which is bad, since I struggle to find time to read for pleasure. I have my favorite authors, but I feel guilty when I don’t read books by new authors. I should branch out more.

I decided to start a list of Books to Read…when I have time. The first one on the list is:

family fangThe Family Fang, by Kevin Wilson.
(Ecco, 2012)
ISBN: 9780061579059

For outré performance artists, Caleb and Camille Fang, everything in life is secondary to art, including their children. Annie and Buster (popularly known as Child A. and Child B.) are the unwilling stars of their parents’ chaotically subversive work. Art is truly a family affair for the Fangs. Years later, their lives in disarray, Annie and Buster reluctantly return home in search of sanctuary—only to be caught up in one last performance.

Review from Amazon.com. Click on this link to see complete information:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Family-Fang-A-Novel/dp/006157905X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389368060&sr=8-1&keywords=family+fang

Watch this website for more Books to Read throughout the year.

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