Monday, June 23, 2014

Off to Vegas!

The first time I ever went to Las Vegas, it was March, and the weather was delightful. The second time I went, it was May, and I thought I was going to die. I vowed never to return, a promise that I'm breaking this week to attend the American Library Association's Annual Conference.

Photo by Pobrien301
Why would I venture into 100+ degree temperatures when it's a biological fact that the dry heat steals the breath out of my lungs like a meteorological demon? When I'm so pale as to glow in the dark? When I dehydrate faster than a fish from space? Well, I'm serving on the 2015 Sibert Award committee, which is super exciting.

(Side note: Have we talked about the Sibert Award yet? We probably should. To quote directly from the ALSC website:

The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal is awarded annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published in the United States in English during the preceding year. 

Fancy, right?)

In addition to going to my Sibert meetings, I'll also have the chance to attend sessions on early literacy, rural libraries, and funding, to name a few.

Also, AUTHORS. Some of my favorites will be there signing books, and I plan to meet at least a few and comport myself like a professional lady - and not the goofball I am in real life.

(Side note, part 2: I can actually do this. I met Jon Scieszka once and did NOT tell him I wanted him to come to my house for Thanksgiving.) 

I may or may not be blogging from the conference, but I'll certainly be tweeting it.

From indoors. In air conditioning. Wearing sunblock and drinking lemonade.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer events at Sandy Creek

The summer reading program (Fizz Boom Read) at Annie P. Ainsworth Memorial Library in Sandy Creek will run from Monday, June 30, through Friday, August 22. The library will celebrate the end of Fizz Boom Read with a science fair on Saturday, August 23. (Prizes will be awarded.)

Other Fizz Boom Read highlights at Sandy Creek will include 4-H programs, a teddy bear sleepover, local author visits, and computer coding classes. Contact the library for more information!

Tea Time at Ainsworth Memorial Library on June 9.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

New e-books added to NCLS collection!

The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander.

"With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I'm delivering," announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he's got mad beats, too, that tell his family's story in verse, in this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood from Kwame Alexander (He Said, She Said 2013).

Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story's heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.

Freedom Summer: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi, by Susan Goldman Rubin.

In 1964, Mississippi civil rights groups banded together to fight Jim Crow laws in a state where only 6.4 percent of eligible black voters were registered. Testing a bold new strategy, they recruited students from across the United States. That summer these young volunteers defied segregation by living with local black hosts, opening Freedom Schools to educate disenfranchised adults and their children, and canvassing door-to-door to register voters.

Everyone involved knew there would be risks but were nonetheless shocked when three civil rights workers disappeared and were soon presumed murdered. The organizers' worst fears were realized as volunteers, local activists, and hosts faced terror on a daily basis. Yet by the middle of August, incredible strides had been made in spite of the vicious intimidation. The summer unleashed an unstoppable wave of determination from black Mississippians to demand their rights and helped bring about a new political order in the American South. Fifty years after this landmark civil rights project in Mississippi, an award-winning author offers a riveting account of events that stunned the nation. Includes over 75 photographs, drawings, original documents, a timeline, source notes, bibliography, maps, and an index.

Hope is a Ferris Wheel, by Robin Herrera.

Ten-year-old Star Mackie lives in a trailer park with her flaky mom and her melancholy older sister, Winter, whom Star idolizes. Moving to a new town has made it difficult for Star to make friends, when her classmates tease her because of where she lives and because of her layered blue hair. But when Star starts a poetry club, she develops a love of Emily Dickinson and, through Dickinson's poetry, learns some important lessons about herself and comes to terms with her hopes for the future. With an unforgettable voice with a lot of heart, 'Hope Is a Ferris Wheel' is the story of a young girl who learns to accept her family and herself while trying to make sense of the world around her. 

The Thickety: A Path Begins, by J.A. White.

A dark, forbidden forest. Vicious beasts. Deadly plants. An evil spellbook. Secrets. Mysteries. Witches, both good and bad . . . Welcome to the world of the Thickety. Full of action, set in an intriguing and dangerous world, and illustrated with gorgeous and haunting line art, The Thickety: A Path Begins is a truly stunning book.

A Path Begins is the thrilling start of a new middle-grade fantasy series about a girl, a mysterious forest, and a book of untold magical powers. Kara and her brother, Taff, are shunned by their village because their mother was a witch. The villagers believe nothing is more evil than magic, except for what lurks in the nearby Thickety. But when Kara enters the forbidden forest, she discovers a strange book, a grimoire that might have belonged to her mother. The events she then sets in motion are both awe-inspiring and terrifying...

The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill, by Megan Frazer Blakemore.

Hazel Kaplansky is a firm believer in the pursuit of knowledge and truth—and she also happens to love a good mystery. When suspicions swirl that a Russian spy has infiltrated her small town of Maple Hill, Vermont, amidst the fervor of Cold War era McCarthyism, Hazel knows it's up to her to find a suspect... starting with Mr. Jones, the quietly suspicious grave digger. Plus she's found a perfect sleuthing partner in Samuel Butler, the new boy in school with a few secrets of his own. But as Hazel and Samuel piece together clues from the past and present, the truth is suddenly not what they expected, and what they find reveals more about themselves and the people of their cozy little town than they could ever have imagined.

(All descriptions from OverDrive.)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Adventures in weeding.

Sometimes, I drive out to libraries and help them out with their weeding. Sometimes, I find a gem like this:

I pity the fool who doesn't love weeding!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hooked on Books in Lowville

This just in from Lowville Free Library:

The public is invited on Saturday, June 28, as Lowville Free Library kicks off the summer program by opening their new Storywalk along the hiking trail in the Arboretum located on State Route 812. The event will begin with sign-in and nature crafts at 10am and a ribbon cutting on the trail at 10:15am with Woodsy Owl.

The library has partnered with the Lowville DEC Demonstration area to develop the Storywalk. Storywalk is a program developed by Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition in 2007.  Pages of a book are transformed into signs that are then laid out on a trail inviting families, children, caregivers, teachers and others to follow the path of the pages. Combining physical activity with literacy may seem like an odd mix, but it's an innovative way to get  people of all ages out walking while reading children's picture books.

After the Storywalk, the Elks members will be serving hot dogs, teaching kids to fish, and giving away free books to each child.  The members of the Elks will have bait and fishing poles for kids to use but if you have your own please bring it along.  A Fishing Pole and Tackle box will be given away to one lucky family so be sure to sign in to be entered to win.

This project is funded by a Beacon Grant from the Lowville Elks Lodge # 1605.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Summer Reading Resources

Lovingly compiled from my inbox:

Summer Reading Flyers

The New York State Library, as part of Summer Reading at New York Libraries, is pleased to announce nine new translations of a summer reading tip sheet for parents of school age children, "10 Easy Ways to Get Children to Read This Summer."

The flyers, translated by Queens Library, contain helpful tips that parents can use to encourage and motivate their children to read during the summer months. The flyer is now available in English, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Haitian Creole, French, Korean, Polish, Russian, and Spanish. Download them here!

Summer Reading PSA

CSLP has again this year created a PSA that can be used by your libraries to promote summer reading. For use by a library, for their website, to load on computers, etc. please download a copy from the CSLP website, sign in, and click on Proprietary Downloads. If you would like to share a copy with TV stations, please use this link.

Day by Day NY: New York State's Family Literacy Calendar, with songs, stories, video, and activities!

Student Summer Reading : A compendium of summer reading resources from Middle Web, a website dedicated to educational resources for children in grades 4-8. Thanks to Sarah Sachs for this one!

And of course, please check out the NCLS Summer Reading page.

New e-books = middle grade madness!

The Great Greene Heist, by Varian Johnson.

Jackson Greene swears he's given up scheming. Then school bully Keith Sinclair announces he's running for
Student Council president, against Jackson's former friend Gaby de la Cruz. Gaby wants Jackson to stay out of it — but he knows Keith has "connections" to the principal, which could win him the presidency no matter the vote count.

So Jackson assembles a crack team: Hashemi Larijani, tech genius. Victor Cho, bankroll. Megan Feldman, science goddess. Charlie de la Cruz, reporter. Together they devise a plan that will take down Keith, win Gaby's respect, and make sure the election is done right. If they can pull it off, it will be remembered as the school's greatest con ever — one worthy of the name THE GREAT GREENE HEIST.

Children of the King, by Sonya Hartnett.

Internationally acclaimed author Sonya Hartnett tells a hauntingly beautiful story set during World War II. Cecily and Jeremy have been sent to live with their uncle Peregrine in the English countryside, safe from the war, along with a young refugee named May. But when Cecily and May find two mysterious boys hiding in the ruins of a nearby castle, an extraordinary adventure begins.

Dreamwood, by Heather Mackey.

Lucy Darrington has no choice but to run away from boarding school. Her father, an expert on the supernatural, has been away for too long while doing research in Saarthe, a remote territory in the Pacific Northwest populated by towering redwoods, timber barons, and the Lupine p

Determined to find her father (and possibly save Saarthe), Lucy and her vexingly stubborn friend Pete follow William Darrington's trail to the deadly woods on Devil's Thumb. As they encounter Lupine princesses, giant sea serpents, and all manner of terrifying creatures, Lucy hasn't reckoned that the dreamwood itself might be the greatest threat of all. 
eople. But upon arriving, she learns her father is missing: Rumor has it he's gone in search of dreamwood, a rare tree with magical properties that just might hold the cure for the blight that's ravaging the forests of Saarthe.

Revenge of the Flower Girls, by Jennifer Ziegler.

One bride. Two boys. Three flower girls who won't forever hold their peace. What could go wrong with this wedding? Everything!

The Brewster triplets,
Dawn, Darby, and Delaney, would usually spend their summer eating ice cream, playing with their dog, and reading about the US Presidents. But this year they're stuck planning their big sister Lily's wedding. Lily used to date Alex, who was fun and nice and played trivia games with the triplets, and no one's quite sure why they broke up. Burton, Lily's groom-to-be, is not nice or fun, and he looks like an armadillo.

The triplets can't stand to see Lily marry someone who's completely wrong for her, so it's up to them to stop the wedding before anyone says "I do!" The flower girls will stop at nothing to delay Lily's big day, but will sprinklers, a photo slideshow, a muddy dog, and some unexpected allies be enough to prevent their big sister - and the whole Brewster family - from living unhappily ever after?

A Snicker of Magic, by Natalie Lloyd.

Midnight Gulch used to be a magical place, a town where people could sing up thunderstorms and dance up sunflowers. But that was long ago, before a curse drove the magic away. Twelve-year-old Felicity knows all about things like that; her nomadic mother is cursed with a wandering heart.

But when she arrives in Midnight Gulch, Felicity thinks her luck's about to change. A "word collector," Felicity sees words everywhere—-shining above strangers, tucked into church eves, and tangled up her dog's floppy ears—-but Midnight Gulch is the first place she's ever seen the word "home." And then there's Jonah, a mysterious, spiky-haired do-gooder who shimmers with words Felicity's never seen before, words that make Felicity's heart beat a little faster.

Felicity wants to stay in Midnight Gulch more than anything, but first, she'll need to figure out how to bring back the magic, breaking the spell that's been cast over the town . . . and her mother's broken heart.

Under the Egg, by Laura Marx Fitzgerald.

When Theodora Tenpenny spills a bottle of rubbing alcohol on her late grandfather's painting, she discovers what seems to be an old Renaissance masterpiece underneath. That's great news for Theo, who's struggling to hang onto her family's two-hundred-year-old townhouse and support her unstable mother on her grandfather's legacy of $463. There's just one problem: Theo's grandfather was a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she worries the painting may be stolen.

With the help of some unusual new friends, Theo's search for answers takes her all around Manhattan, and introduces her to a side of the city—and her grandfather—that she never knew. To solve the mystery, she'll have to abandon her hard-won self-reliance and build a community, one serendipitous friendship at a time.

(All descriptions from OverDrive.)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

TI Book Fest 2014

I didn't get to go to the first Thousand Islands Book Festival; this time last year, I had just moved back to Watertown and was still sorting through boxes and trying to decide where to hang my print of R5 stations.

This year, though, there was no doubt that I'd be attending. I was on the fesitval committee.

The TI Book Fest is a pretty neat event that goes beyond just getting to meet an author and have them sign your book - although you can do both of those things, of course. In addition to the standard meet and greet, the authors at the festival give class visit-style presentations that encourage audience interaction.

I spent most of the day with author/illustrator Suzanne Bloom - not only because she's cool and left-handed, but also because as her festival buddy, it was my job to make sure she had everything she needed.

Suzanne Bloom, reading to the group.

Highlights of hanging out with Suzanne:

1. Her goose voice while reading her Caldecott Honor-winning book A Splendid Friend, Indeed
2. The way she opened her presentation by showing reproductions of her own early childhood artwork to the audience.
3. The child who finally made the connection about 15 minutes into the presentation that the lady up front talking about the books actually wrote the books. (And I quote, "Hey! YOU wrote that book!")
4. Talking about the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign happening right now.

Other festival highlights included attended Joseph Bruchac's music & storytelling presentation, watching Matt McElligott draw a cake monster for my niece's upcoming birthday, unintentionally following Vivian Vande Velde around (unintentionally, I swear!), doing selfies with Terry Trueman, and, of course, hitting the book sale table.

And this is why I cannot be trusted with cash at a book festival.
Good time had by all. Looking forward to next year!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Barbara Wheeler Farewell Interview, Part 2

Last week, The Frozen Librarian published the first installment of The Barbara Wheeler Farewell Interview. Here is the second.

Angela: What led you to librarianship as a career? Did you always know you wanted to work in libraries, or did you work in other fields prior to entering ours?

Barbara: I didn’t always know that I wanted to work in libraries.  I think the idea for that profession comes to most of us later in life.  I got a Bachelor’s Degree in English (with a minor in Library Science), but without the teaching component there isn’t much you can do with an English degree.  I was able to work as a library paraprofessional in a couple of jobs and when I got a position as the Head of Circulation at Troy State University in Dothan, Alabama, the professionals on staff encouraged me to go to Library School.   I had a profound respect for this particular group of coworkers and was touched by their conviction that I would make a good librarian.  So, that above all else convinced me to pursue my library degree.  

Angela: It's wonderful to have that kind of supportive environment. I'm glad they convinced you!  My final question before the lightning round is: What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a public library director?

Barbara: I would advise anyone who wanted to become a library director to take every class and workshop available to them that deals with human resources and/or personnel management. There are a lot of good books and articles out there about the subject and I would recommend you take advantage of the wisdom that others have written to guide your knowledge in this area.  If you work for a good manager, take notes! Because of all the things that you face as a director, dealing with the people issues will be a big part of the job.  Being prepared will mean it won’t be the biggest headache of your job.

Angela: Good advice. And now, the lightning round. 

A: Fiction or non?   
B: Fiction, definitely.  Tell me a story in an entertaining way and I’m happy.

A: Coke or Pepsi?  
B: Definitely Pepsi (though admittedly, I failed a taste test in a supermarket and picked Coke).

A: Douglas Adams or William Gibson? 
B:  Douglas Adams – big fan of the Hitchhiker’s series.

A: Dog or cat?  
B: Cat.  I own two cats but I’d like them to have a new home.  So…I guess, dog?

A:  Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune? 
B:  Jeopardy.  Though it humbles me to learn how much I don’t know.  Read more nonfiction?

A: Chocolate or vanilla?  
B:  Vanilla, all the way!

A: Vampires or zombies?  
B:  Leprechauns.

A: Baked or mashed?  
B:  Baked and then mash the potato inside.

A: Pen or pencil?  
B:  Pen, except for crossword puzzles – not confident there.

A: Benedict Cumberbatch or Jonny Lee Miller?   
B:  Oh, Benedict.  Definitely Benedict!!

Here at The Frozen Librarian, we always save the important questions until the end. Many thanks, Barbara, and best of luck!

Reading on the River

Well, I don't know what you're doing this Saturday, but I'm going to the Thousand Islands Book Festival.

After all, children's and YA book authors amassed in a charming river town on a sunny summer day? That's my kind of Saturday.

The event is free and open to the public of all ages. New authors this year are: Terry Trueman, Vivian Vande Velde, Frank Cammuso, and Christie Casciano. Returning favorites are: Matt McElligott, Joseph Bruchac, Hope Marston, Suzanne Bloom, Kalli Dakos, Justin and Gary Van Riper, and Sarah Ada.

Books will be on sale, but be sure to bring cash or your checkbook.

For more information, you can check out the Watertown Daily Times article* or watch this video of me on TV. (Fun fact: I smile and laugh when I'm nervous. One of my more useful defenses.)

*The WDT article states the event takes place on Friday, June 6, but I promise you, it's Saturday, June 7.

Shark Week.

I received an e-mail this week with the subject line: Storytime -- Now with 100% More Shark!

It should go without saying that this is the kind of e-mail that makes my day, but in case it doesn't: THIS IS THE KIND OF E-MAIL THAT MAKES MY DAY.

It turns out that the Reading Room Association of Gouverneur planned all of their Head Start storytimes this week around a shark theme, using two picture books and a nonfiction title.

Smiley Shark by Ruth Galloway
Shark and Lobster's Amazing Undersea Adventure by Viviane Schwarz
Incredible Sharks by Seymour Simon

For songs, they used:

To the tune of "Farmer in the Dell"-- one section of a song from Jean Warren:
The sharks live in the sea
The sharks live in the sea
Heigh-ho, watch them go
The sharks live in the sea

To the tune of "Wheels on the Bus"-- the shark sounds action song from Mary Davis:
The mouth on the shark goes snap, snap, snap (snap fingers)
The teeth on the shark go clap, clap, clap (hold palms together and clap hands sharply)
The tail on the fish goes whoosh, whoosh, whoosh (press hands together and wiggle them forward)
The people in the water shout "Shark! Shark! Shark!"

And that would be cool enough. But Linda went one step further and wrangled up an Air Swimmers Shark. Apparently, you can buy a remote-controlled shark-shaped helium balloon that floats through the air as though it's swimming through water.

(How cool is that! To see it in action, check out this video.)

Style points to Gouverneur, and best of luck with the rest of their shark week!

Edited to add: And here's the floating shark. According to Linda, "A few of the kids were startled, but one little girl said, 'It's not real, it's just a balloon, and sharks don't live in the air.'"

(Unless you're living in a B-movie. Then, all bets are off.)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


So, I downloaded my very first e-book this week. This is kind of a big deal, since I pretty much vowed that I would never, ever, in a million years do this.

I'm not a Luddite. True, I won't use a microwave, and I prefer driving stick, but I'm a librarian. Keeping up with technology is a significant part of my job. And beyond that, I get all my music - and the occasional episode of Good Eats - from iTunes. I stream from PBS. Facebook is my Rolodex, and ever since I got a smartphone, Twitter is my new favorite game.

However, I'm in love with paper. I want the actual book in my actual hands. I once brought an e-reader with me on a trip and still raided my hostess's bookshelves for a paperback - never even took the e-reader out of its box. Paper is how I read for pleasure. I just wouldn't read an e-book.

But I would listen to an e-audio book. That I would do - especially if it helps my library system win the OverDrive Challenge. (The fact that it's Neil Gaiman narrating doesn't hurt AT ALL.) I figure, if I'm asking my community to help support our OverDrive collection by checking out e-media, I'd better be prepared to do the same.

Print e-books may never be for me, but then I'm also the girl who said, upon being issued an e-mail address on her first day of college, "I am never going to use this. I got stamps for graduation." Clearly, there's always room for change.

New e-books added to NCLS collection!

We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart.

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends--the Liars--whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

The Mermaid and the Shoe, by  K. G. Campbell.

Each of King Neptune's 50 mermaid daughters boasts a special talent, except for little Minnow, who seems to be good onlyat asking questions. When she finds a strange object, Minnow follows her questions to a wondrous place and finds answers, including the answer to the most important question of all: Who am I? A gorgeously illustrated story about finding one's purpose.

There Will Be Bears, by Ryan Gebhart.

Tyson is determined to hunt an elk—even if it means sneaking his grandpa out of a nursing home—in a debut novel sparked with dry wit and wilderness adventure. Thirteen-year-old Tyson loves hanging out with his roughneck Grandpa Gene, who's a lot more fun than Tyson's ex–best friend, Brighton. These days, Bright just wants to be seen with the cool jocks who make fun of Tyson's Taylor Swift obsession and dorky ways.

So when Grandpa Gene has to move to a nursing home that can manage his kidney disease, Tyson feels like he's losing his only friend. Not only that, but Tyson was counting on Grandpa Gene to take him on his first big hunt. So in defiance of Mom and Dad's strict orders, and despite reports of a scary, stalking, man-eating grizzly named Sandy, the two sneak off to the Grand Tetons. Yes, there will be action, like shooting and dressing a six-hundred-pound elk. Is Tyson tough enough? There will be heart-pounding suspense: Is Grandpa Gene too sick to handle the hunt, miles away from help? And, oh yes, there will be bears...

Knuffle Bunny, by Mo Willems. (Audio, narrated by Trixie Willems.)

Trixie, Daddy and Knuffle Bunny take a trip to the neighborhood laundromat, but their exciting adventure takes an unexpected turn when Trixie realizes something is missing. Brilliantly narrated by author Mo Willems and his real-life daughter, Trixie, this instant classic will keep viewers on the edge of their seats! (All descriptions from OverDrive.)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Battle of the Books

Fourteen teams converged on St. James School in Gouverneur on Saturday, May 31, to compete in the North Country Battle of the Books, but it was Canton's team - Four Rad Readers - who brought home the trophy.

Four Rad Readers from Canton, NY. 

Gouverneur's 3 4 Bookateers came in second place, and Wave Like Royalty out of Carthage came in third. The complete list of teams and their libraries are as follows:

3 B's -Adams Center Free Library
Four Rad Readers- Canton Free Library
Wave Like Royalty - Carthage Free Library
The Big Bad Book Bashers - Hepburn Library of Lisbon
Nerdie Birdies - Hepburn Library of Madrid
#Selfiegurls - Hepburn Library of Waddington
Night Owls - Hopkinton Reader Center
Keep on Booking - Macsherry Library
ESPC - Massena Public Library
Mysterious Moustaches - Ogdensburg Public Library*
D.A.M.P.  - Potsdam Public Library
3 4 Bookateers - Reading Room Association of Gouverneur
S.I.N.G. - Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library
Black River Rockin' Readers - Sally Ploof Hunter Memorial Library

Thanks to all the teams, coaches, parents, library staff and volunteers who made this such a great event. Look for next year's reading list in the fall! 

*I have to give a special style shout-out to the Ogdensburg team. Not only did they wear mustaches attached to their sunglasses, THEIR SHIRTS LINE UP TO MAKE A MUSTACHE. Pretty cool, right?

The Mysterious Moustaches from Ogdensburg.