Saturday, September 28, 2013

Teens Only | Scavenger Hunt

So when I was really, really young -- I think this might have been when I was a Camp Fire girl -- I participated in my first ever scavenger hunt. Doesn't "scavenger hunt" just sound so exciting? Of course, none of us really knew what a scavenger hunt was. 

In the days leading up to the big event, I started imagining a group of kids searching through dirty, smelly garbage cans. Let me tell you, the excitement over the upcoming hunt started to lose its allure.

What's a scavenger hunt, you ask? The American Heritage Dictionary defines a scavenger hunt as follows:  A game in which individuals or teams try to locate and bring back miscellaneous items on a list.

That scavenger hunt I was in turned out to be a lot of fun. Groups of us were sent off in search of odd things. We knocked on neighbors' doors and thankfully were met with nice people who were more than happy to help us in our quests. I can't remember what odd things we were sent to find, though. 

Sounds rather fun, don't you think? If you were making a scavenger hunt, what items would be on your list? I'd probably opt for "find a piece of pizza" (preferably fresh...for me to eat). Or maybe something like "find a popsicle stick" (with the popsicle still on it, of course). Hello. You know I'm always thinking of food.

I know what would be fun. Maybe I'd list "take a picture of a human pyramid."

Well, back to scavenger hunts. I've got some exciting news for you. There will be a YA Scavenger Hunt from October 3-6 -- starting and ending at noon. Looks like it's all about great new books and READING! And there are a ton of awesome prizes! You can learn more about it here. And here is the blurb from the website: 

What's This All About?

The YA Scavenger Hunt is a biannual online event that promotes collaboration between YA authors from different publishing houses, offering fans an opportunity to see the latest and greatest in young adult literature. During the hunt, we showcase exclusive bonus material, give readers access to top secret insider information, and offer fabulous prizes and giveaways for zealous YA fans. 
Looks like fun. 

In the meantime, if you want to meet an author live and in person, join us at 6 pm today -- at the Cesar Chavez Central Library -- when we will welcome Nina Sankovitch, author of Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, this year's One Book, One San Joaquin featured title. It promises to be a wonderful evening.

Happy Reading!

Books On Film | Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 came out yesterday. It's a sequel to the animated film Cloudy with A Chance of Meatballs (2009). Both are adaptations of the Judi Barrett's classic children's picture book of the same name

The movie is very enjoyable, but it is more more inspired by, than based on, the book. The movie keeps the central idea of food falling from the sky, but most of the rest of the plot and characters were created whole-clothed.

If you enjoy Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs check out Judi Barrett's other picture books, which include Never Take A Shark to the Dentist (and other things not to do), Old MacDonald Had An Apartment, Pickles to Pittsburg, and Pickle's Have Pimples

Covers courtesy of LibraryThing

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Wanderlust Librarian| Books in the City of Angels

On my travels, I try to visit one new library or bookstore. When I say "bookstore" I'm not talking about a chain bookstore or one in an airport. I refer to a local store that is exclusive to that city. I work in a library, so it's only natural that one of my comfort zones is around books. 

An information desk made of books?
In a bookstore? Genius! 
Before I went to Los Angeles, I read a great article on KCRW about a place called the Last Bookstore. The Last Bookstore.....ominous, isn't it? In a time when many people turn to the Internet to purchase their book-wares, there are still gems in cities around the country that still cater to rows of tangible literature! The pictures in the blog really drew me in and made me crave this place as a destination that I needed  to visit. Check out my blog inspiration, here

The Last Bookstore's previous life was a bank!

Even though I go to Los Angeles frequently, it's much like San Francisco in that there are many pockets and neighborhoods that I am yet to explore. It's intimidating to me because I'm not as familiar with the neighborhoods, but that doesn't mean I'm not ready to embark on an adventure! For the first time in my life, I took the Los Angeles Metro System. The Last Bookstore was a few short blocks away from the Underground Metro stop. It was convenient and fun! 

To say that The Last Bookstore was a wonderland would be an understatement. There was a whimsical feel once you entered the building. Not only were there books and records (music records!!), there was art made from books and paper. 
The first artwork that greeted me
as I walked into the store
Books FLY off the shelves here! 

A really cool art wall WAY up high towards
the ornate ceiling is made from tons of
paperback books! 

Art was everywhere. The walls, the front desk, corners and upstairs... art helped to define the space in a new and interesting way. Upstairs, there are artist spaces and display areas and  magical book maze called the Labyrinth. 

The view from the second floor
looking down onto the entrance

The Labyrinth is a maze of books that takes up half of the floor. I was reminded of Hogwarts and a place where books live. The best part? All books in the Labyrinth are $1 per book. I can't even BEGIN to describe the magic, so enjoy these pictures! It's too good to be true! 

A magical place where the books are
separated by color! 
An old bank vault houses fantasy books 

A book tunnel of epic proportions! 

You can walk THROUGH the book tunnel!!! 

Do you have a suggestion for me? Share it in the comments! I write down the names of these places in a notebook I carry with me always! My eyes and ears are always open to these wonderful warehouses of literature.. Friends who know I am traveling somewhere are quick to share where they go or what they've heard. I love these suggestions. I, in turn, will share the same knowledge to my friends and family.

Book adventures are out there. If you find yourself in Los Angeles, do yourself a favor and visit this amazing place. You won't be disappointed! 

I dare you peek into the Last Bookstore when you
visit Los Angeles!! 

Book Bucket List | Fangirl

In the world of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, who wrote the ever so popular Eleanor and Park,the Simon Snow series is one of the biggest franchises on the planet.  It is a series of seven books set in a magical world full of magical creatures and is written by a British author.  It is about the young mage Simon Snow who doesn't know he's a magician but finds out that he has been accepted to study at Watford School of Magicks!  According to the Rowell, the Snow series has been published in 52 languages and has movie adaptations that have broken all of the box office records.

Sound familiar?

The story follows the Simon Snow fanatic Cath, as she navigates through her first year in college.  When I call Cath a fanatic, I mean she is a HARDCORE Snow fan.  She dresses up for all the movies, participates in Harry Potter, I mean Simon Snow, forums on the internet, and even writes Simon Snow fanfiction.  Cath is dealing with her new found independence, snarky professors, and first loves all while being consumed by her Simon Snow obsession.

I really connected with the premise of this novel.  If you skim through my past blogs you might be able to tell that I'm a Harry Potter fan.  Anyone that knows me well knows that I'm a Harry Potter fanatic.  I've done the dressing up for book releases and movies, read the new book release in one sitting, and can tell you the middle names and birthdays of all the main characters. However, unlike Cath in the book, I never was interested in Harry Potter fanfiction.  I just want to MAKE THIS CLEAR! 

So when I first heard that there was going to be a book about a girl with similar ... proclivities as me, I knew I had to check out this book.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Learning | Real Talk for Real Teachers

There's an educator at a Los Angeles elementary school who won the Walt Disney American Teacher Award for National Teacher of the Year in 1992. Esquith has a unique, motivational approach to teaching. You can see how he teaches students about Shakespeare in the documentary DVD, The Hobart Shakespeare Company

You may have read one of his books, such as There Are No Shortcuts (which is the motto on a banner in his classroom,)  or Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire: the Methods and Madness Inside Room 56.  

Rafe Esquith's newest book is Real Talk for Real Teachers: Advice for Teachers from Rookies to Veterans: "No Retreat, No Surrender!" Esquith speaks from the voice of experience, and he writes just as easily about his mistakes as he does his successes.  The chapter titles are entertaining and intriguing. "Chapter Three: Everything Put Together Sooner or Later Falls Apart" discusses why it's important for new teachers to focus a little less on Day One than Day Two.  He gives some examples of disastrous Day Twos he has had.

This book would be an interesting read for anybody interested in teaching, whether experienced or not.  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

4 Kids | The Bookmark Saga Continues

Lately my blogging friends have been writing about the odd, unusual, and sometimes gross things that people use as bookmarks. We folks in libraryland get to see these odd, unusual, and sometimes gross things when they show up in returned library books. Many times I've heard a library colleague shriek aloud at finding something in a library book that should just not be there.

So let's be honest. How many of us have used something odd, unusual or gross as a bookmark? Come on. Don't be shy. 

My colleague Lori has found candy wrappers as bookmarks in library books. Read about other odd things she's found in her blog. This whole discussion started when my colleague Panteha pleaded with our wonderful library users to not use dental floss as a bookmark. Dental floss? Really? Read her great blog here

Since I've got a few more years on Lori and Panteha, I've seen a little more. Alas. Let's see if I can remember the odd, unusual and gross things I've seen used as bookmarks in library bookmarks.

Would you believe....
  • A strip of dried fruit (you know the kind that comes rolled up in plastic? It was really old, by the way)
  • A dryer sheet
  • A piece of kleenex
  • A fast food napkin with ketchup on it
  • A boy's phone number with hearts drawn all around it
And my all-time favorite: a shoe insert, and I'm not kidding! 

All this talk reminds me of one of my favorite picture books ever: I Took My Frog to the Library by Eric Kimmel. This fun read shows what happens when animals run amok in the library -- from a hen laying an egg in the card catalog (the old way we used to look up books) to a python shedding its skin. Oh gross! 

So let's leave our animals at home, and use a piece of paper for a bookmark. Sound good?

In the meantime, happy reading as always!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Just Life| Our Old Library Buildings

  • City of Stockton was founded by Charles Weber in 1849. 
  • The city of Stockton officially became an incorporated city on July 23, 1850.
  • Stockton received its own library building, on February 1, 1889 thanks to the generosity of Frank Stewart who had donated $5,000 in his will for building a public library in Stockton.
  • Frank Stewart was a business man originally from Tennessee, later on he ventured into gold mining and eventually became a money lender. He was 59 when he died in an accident. 
Frank Stewart

  • The lot where the library was erected was originally donated to the city by Charles Weber. 
    Charles Weber
  • The Stewart Memorial library was a two story brick building at the corner of Hunter and Market street.
  • The first floor of the building housed the book stacks, ladies reading room, librarian's office, and the trustee's meeting room.  The second floor was used for storage.
  • The style of the building was between Medieval and Classic Greek with granite pillars.  
  • The library had a collection size of 11,000.
  • The total cost of building the library was $10,389.

Hazelton Public Library

  • The picture above shows the interior of the Hazelton Public Library which opened its doors on April 14, 1895.
  • William Hazelton donated $71,000 in his will toward building a library in Stockton.
  • When William Hazelton donated this money to Stockton, he hadn't been living in Stockton for 28 years.
  • The entire exterior of the Hazelton Library was constructed of white marble.
  •  The Hazelton Library had separate reading rooms for women and men. In the center of the library was the book stacks with first and second floor galleries upstairs. There was also an art room for book clubs and school visits.

Hazelton Public Library
  • The library had a collection size of 25,000. 
  • They had weekly story time starting in the year 1908.
Inside Hazelton Public Library
Inside Hazelton Public Library

  • In 1910, San Joaquin County entered into a contract with the city of Stockton to provide library services to its residents. 

I wonder who is going to be the next Frank Stewart or William Hazelton for Stockton?

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha