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Showing posts from May, 2012

Heroes in a Half Shell: What the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Taught Me About Being a Librarian

I grew up in the 90's, which means that I was born in the 80's. Thus my peers and I were the target audience for the opus that is The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles empire. When I began my first stab at weeding the juvenile* fiction section at my library, I was thrilled to discover a set of TMNT picture books in pristine condition. Yet no one had ever checked them out. As the turtles would say, "BUMMER, DUDE."

Maybe the Turtles were past their prime? I decided there was no harm in trying to get them more attention. If in the next year, they were still on the non-circulating report, they were goners. But I suspected that even if actual kids were unfamiliar with the Turtles, there had to be some nostalgic parents out there excited to relieve their childhoods. 
The first thing I did was change the books' cataloging from J fiction to Easy**. Then I gave them their very own spotlight in the picture book section. And they have combined for more than 80 checkouts in the …

So You Want to Flannel Your Fridays?

I thought it would be helpful if I compiled some of the things that have worked well for me in contributing to Flannel Friday posts over the past year. If any of my fellow bloggers have a tip I neglected to mention, please leave it in the comments!

1) Schedule your posts. I like to have 4-5 posts all prepared and ready to go for Flannel Friday. I find it much easier to spend a few hours writing and photographing at once rather than finding time to do it each week I want to participate. I will often have posts scheduled for 2-3 months out, particularly as I am preparing my own storytimes each session at a time. This is also helpful at forcing me to look for which upcoming holidays I might want to prep a flannel story or storytime. 
2) Take good photographs and edit them. I use my iPhone to shoot my flannel stories. The key is to find somewhere in your library or house that has good lighting and to hold the camera as still as possible. To edit photos, I first upload them into my (free)…

My #1 Job Hunting Tip for Public Librarians

It's graduation time for many library school students and while I am not sure how many of them read my blog, I thought I would pass on my #1 tip for getting a job in a public library. Are you ready? Here it is: Before you apply for a job at any public library, read the Board minutes. Go back at least a year and more if the library still has them online.

Some of the things you might learn from the Board minutes:  What the library's financial situation is. Some libraries will have their entire budgets online and others you will have to read through the lines more. Look for key words like furlough days, health insurance costs, and other indicators that the library is struggling. You definitely don't want to start a new job only to get laid off! I like surprises, but only ones like cupcakes. Do your research. How the position came to be available. I always ask this in interviews, even when I think I already know the answer. You might get a different response than what the minu…

The Little Red Bird (a Japanese Nursery Rhyme)

Have you seen the beautiful book Japanese Nursery Rhymes: Carp Streamers, Falling Rain and Other Traditional Favorites yet? It is definitely worth flipping through and listening to the accompanying CD. I snagged it out of the new books pile because I thought several rhymes would make wonderful flannel boards. 
The first one to catch my eye was page 15's The Little Red Bird (Akai tori kotori). The book translates the words as: 
Little bird, red bird
Why oh why so red?  Because it ate a red fruit.  Little bird, white bird Why oh why so white?  Because it ate a white fruit.  Little bird, blue bird
Why oh why so blue?  Because it ate a blue fruit. 

I did a little Google search, and you can download a karaoke version of this song from Amazon or iTunes if you'd just like the instrumental version. Also because this is a full-service blog, here is a video of an adorable little girl singing part of this song. What we do without YouTube? 
I picked this rhyme because you can easily add different co…

Introducing the Flannel Friday website!

Exciting new, everyone! As you probably know, I have been keeping the archive and schedule for Flannel Friday information for the past year. I will be stepping away from FF and this blog for the next few months while I am on maternity leave. To keep Flannel Friday going while I'm gone (and after I get back), a small group of old and new Flannel Friday-ers worked to create a new web home for Flannel Friday.You may see this announcement on a lot of blogs today as all previous hosts of FF have been asked to post the same information in the hopes of reaching as many people associated with Flannel Friday as possible. Please bear with us as everyone adjusts to the "new" Flannel Friday. 

Here's the link!

The new site will be the home of the Round Up Schedule, the archives, FAQs about Flannel Friday, information about how to get involved with Flannel Friday, and links to help new members get started with social networking and bloggin…

Squire McGuire

I recieved a Flannel Friday submission via email from Josh, a librarian at Berkeley Public Library inBerkeley CA,so I am posting my first ever guest Flannel Friday post. I am happy to do this for anyone who has an idea to share but not a blog of their own (although I encourage you to start a blog if you are interested). You can also contact the host of an upcoming roundup to see if he or she would post your idea as a guest contribution. Here's what Josh has to say:
Here is a flannel board I recently made. The art and rhyme come from the book It's Raining said John Twaining: Danish Nursery Rhymes by N.M. Bodecker. Here are the words:
Squire McGuireHow much is your lyre?A dollar McDooSince the strings are quite new.If you want it more lavish,Go to McTavishIf you want it just plain,You must go to McLain.
The patterns are based directly on the illustrations and are a bit too detailed, but it is great for vocabulary, as words like "lyre" aren't used every day.  Thanks…