Friday, February 04, 2011

Five Things on a Friday

Next Friday I will be boarding a cruise ship and the Friday after that I will be on a cruise ship somewhere in the great blue sea. I don't promise posts then though I suppose one before boarding is possible. Talk about a field test for my Nook! But as usual, here are my five things.

  1. Yesterday, I gave a tour to a group of adult literacy learners. In addition to the challenge of learning to read, they were all also new immigrants and learning to speak English. They were not literate in their native language either. What an amazing challenge they (and their teachers) have chosen to undertake. They all got library cards and our children's librarian did a good job of demonstrating storytime (the students all had children). It was a warm, squishy, happy, this is why I became a librarian moment.

  2. A year (or more) ago we renamed our Science Fiction and Fantasy section into Speculative Fiction or SpecFic for short. The abbreviations on the spine labels remain SF, but the signs on the end of the shelves changed. This has confused some (okay lots) of our patrons, but it does seem to make it easier to justify why Lord of the Rings and I, Robot on the same shelf. Speculative fiction is that which speculates and asks a great big "What if" question. What if wizards, elves, hobbits, and assorted other magical creatures lived together in another world? What if robots could think and act like humans? What if aliens on Mars attacked us? Of course I had a patron argue (erm discuss) with me that all fiction is by its very nature is speculative and every author begins their journey with a "what if" question. True that. But let's just go with this for now.

  3. I've been really enjoying the 2011 Printz Award winner: Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi. It's sci fi (or spec fic if you will) which doesn't usually win mainstream awards. Nailer is living in a dystopian future where he has to pull apart wrecks of old ships in order to find enough usable scrap to survive. Happy to recommend this as my Friday reads because it is a page turner so far.

  4. Yesterday a kid was trying a dance move during break dance club and kicked a hole in the community room wall. He missed the mural by about 6 inches. The irony of him breaking the wall during break dance club (yes an official library sponsored event) is not lost on me. It's not amusing me, but I do see the irony.

  5. We share a parking lot with a middle school. (Have I mentioned this before?) This causes lots of discipline challenges with kids and I've been thinking (and writing but it's not share-ready) about that a lot lately. However, it also causes parking issues. Though our area of the parking lot is clearly separate from the middle school parking, you drive through their parking lot to get to it. Parts of our lot are closer to the middle school than their own lot. Thus we also have issues with their staff filling up our parking lot. See? A problem that can't be blamed on "rowdy teenagers". It's nice to remind the rest of the world that the teenagers aren't the root of all evil.

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