Accio Kids Pick: You Can Read

NEW series here on Accio Librarian! I’m calling it Accio Kids Pick, for lack of a better name.  At work we share Staff Picks on our intranet, and I thought I would start sharing mine here, too.

First up, You Can Read by Helaine Becker & Mark Hoffmann

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Accio Book Review: Inside the O’Briens

Every month, my library holds a reader’s advisory event called Beans n Books. Over cookies, tea, and coffee, a panel of 3 library staff members deliver book talks to an audience of about 30-40 people.  Each panel member presents 2 books, chosen based on a monthly theme.  This week’s theme was We Are Family: every family has their secrets, stories, and sagas.  This week was also my first time being a part of the panel, and I must say, it was so fun.

It was also a little stressful and nerve-wracking.  Stressful because the 30-40 people who usually attend are a very well-read group, and I stressed over picking titles that were engaging and enthralling and yet not too popular.  I didn’t want the majority to have read them already, otherwise I’d be preaching to the choir.  Nerve-wracking because I really did love the novels I chose, and I wanted my book talks to do them justice.

Needless to say, all was well as most people had not read either book I presented (Inside the O’Briens and Imagine Me Gone), and the audience said our panel was very engaging and enthusiastic.  I have to agree with that – I was lucky to be presenting with two very sweet, very energetic, and very friendly co-workers.  Go team!

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Summon Widgets @ D3 Day!

Today (March 3rd) was Sheridan College’s inaugural Digital Discovery Day (D3 Day), a day devoted to “exploring and sharing ideas related to enhancing teaching, learning, creativity and innovation in the classroom.”

Back in February, I was encouraged by a colleague to present on an EdTech tool that was relevant to the work done by the Library’s Technical Services team.  And what better educational technology tool to promote than Summon – our discovery service.  (Not sure what a discovery service is? Think Google for Libraries).  After all, it is the tool that links learners tScreen Shot 2016-03-04 at 5.26.00 PMo academic research.  Given this, it is also the EdTech tool that has probably been one of the most promoted by the Library… via our Liaison Librarians during instruction sessions, and especially at the Reference Desk.

So we needed something new to talk about; something that would build on staff’s and faculty’s existing knowledge of Summon.  The same colleague who encouraged me to present suggested I do a session on Summon Widgets, ProQuest’s tool that allows you to offer Disciplined Scoped Searching to your users/students.  And since this was to be my first. conference. presentation. ever., I wanted a tool that that I could easily become familiar with – and familiar enough to teach others about.  And this was it.

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Last week I had the privilege of attending my second OLA Super Conference in Toronto.  In 2015, I attended as a student volunteer, and in 2016, as an employed library attendee.  Since I’m only an hour GO train ride away (less as I was up early enough to catch the express…Thanks for the rides, Dad!), I didn’t stay over.  Which is just as well, as this way I got a taste of the T.O. commuter-life.

In addition to attending many inspiring and engaging sessions, and the freebie filled Super Expo (I came home with at least 10 free books), I had a mini-reunion with some of my library school friends!!  I hope in 30 years we’re stilling meet up at library conferences.  Given that almost 5,000 people attend, knowing a few faces makes the experience that much better.

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Mouse! In the library! Thought you ought to know…

The highlight of this past week (2 weeks ago!) was the discovery that we have our very own Library Mouse!  We were first introduced to our little friend in the librarians’ office, where he spent the day(s) just watching them work.  Then one night this week, he made his way out into the library, probably on the hunt for food.  Or a good book.  Or maybe to welcome the students back from Winter Break.

In any case, our Library Mouse was released into the wild not long after that.  He was found lazing about on the arm of one of our comfy chairs, gently coaxed into a box by a staff member, and then let outside.  It’s too early to tell if s/he’ll return (we’ll call him a he for now), or if there are more library mice in our presence but nonetheless, our Library Mouse provided me with some out-of-the-ordinary excitement.

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2016, the Year of the Reading Challenge(s)

So I’ve decided that 2016 will be the Year of the Reading Challenge(s).  For the past five years, I’ve had little time to read a book for pleasure, by choice, out of curiosity, because it had a nice cover.  Between undergrad, multiple summer jobs, and library school, the vast majority of literature I’ve read has all been school-related.  I have learned that I’m not one of those people who can find time to read copious amounts of books (i.e., the amount needed to complete one reading challenge, let alone multiple!) in addition to being a student.  I wish I were.  One of my dear library school friends managed to read more than 365 books in 2015, on top of finishing her MLIS! She amazes me.  I, on the other hand, am not that talented.

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