Monday, September 25, 2017

Banned Book Week Scratch-Off Cards

I LOVE Banned Books Week, so I'm highlighting a project I did for Banned Books 2015 - Banned Book Scratch-Off Cards! There's something about promoting books that people love challenging,  that I just love, and I always try to do something cool to promote it - whether it's a display, program, or activity. I'm a huge proponent of intellectual freedom in all forms, so I took to the black hole of the internet for inspiration: Pinterest.

Pinterest is a dangerous place. I mean it. You start looking for one thing, and then BAM! You're in deep, eyes bulging, fingers twitching, and it's five hours later than you thought it was.

I found a recipe for home-made scratch off tickets, and they were being used as wedding party favors. I'd seen this before. Small beans... but then, a great flash went across my vision, and the lightbulb came on in my head. BANNED BOOKS WEEK SCRATCH OFFS - because what better way than to un-censor a book than to uncover it from beneath a layer of whatever-the-heck-that-scratch-off-stuff is made of. Amiright?

I adapted this pin from a Better Homes & Gardens article.

So here's what you'll need:
  • A way to create an easy-to-print bookmark (I used Microsoft Publisher)
  • A good printer
  • Cardstock 
  • White crayons
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Dish soap
  • A paintbrush
  • A paper cutter
Here's what you'll do: 
  1. Create and print your scratch-off tickets. I used Microsoft Publisher to create these. First I made these ones that have five different banned books that I chose to highlight. The reason they are challenged are beneath, so you can have fun guessing which book it is and then be properly horrified when you find out what book goes with which reasons. I made a different set that says "You won a free book!" so that we could give some free books away at our Banned Books Week Reading at the Tin Whistle Irish Pub (Tuesday, Sept. 29th at 5pm!) 
    • A helpful hint: Images weren't as clear once they were scratched off, but the black text on the white cardboard did fine. I used both the book cover image and text and that worked out. 
  2. Scribble white crayon over the part that you want to have be the scratch-off part. I found it helpful to have the lines around the area to guide me. 
  3. Mix one part dish soap to two parts black paint (you could use whatever color paint here, but black is the easiest to use to cover, and you'll only need one coat). Don't stir too vigorously, or else you'll get lots of little bubbles. 
  4. Paint mixture evenly over the white crayon. 
  5. Dry thoroughly. 
  6. Test it out! You'll want to try all of them, but don't, you'll ruin it. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Common Misconceptions about Librarians

I love being a librarian. It's fun. It's weird. You get to meet a huge range of people, and every day is different. There is so much variety in library work, and while I can only speak from the vantage point of someone in a public library (get this - there are librarians in a whole host of other job fields, too - medical libraries, historical societies, film and music libraries, corporate libraries, school libraries, academic libraries, etc.), I'd say that the work is never boring.

But there are common misconceptions about librarians that I get from people, library patrons and people-who-don't-realize-libraries-still-exist alike. Also, I'm sorry for the latter group of you, you're really missing out. So here I am to dispel your misconceptions.

Common Misconceptions About Librarians:

  • We all look like this
 Image result for old librarian shhh or this 
Image result for margot robbie librarian
I mean, it would be great to look like Margot Robbie (sans hair-falling-out), but in truth, we come in all shapes, sizes, ages, races, genders, sexualities, etc, and we're getting more diverse all the time. 
  • We get to read on the job. We might be around books all day, but that doesn't mean we get to spend the whole day reading. I think it's especially ironic when people tell me this while I'm in the middle of helping them find information or checking them out at the desk. It would be like telling a sales clerk at the store that you wished you could work there because you love shopping all day long. 
  • That we are all know-it-alls. We are find-it-alls and often know-a-lots, but really, we work at a library because we are great information seekers. Many of us have knowledge in a lot of different spheres, or a depth of knowledge in a few select areas of expertise. But it's foolish to think that we know everything or have read everything that sits on the shelves in our libraries. We are generally knowledge-lovers and life-long learners, but we understand that there is no possible way to ever know it all (though it might not stop us from trying).
  • We are all introverts who hate fun and noise. Please see above image of a shushing librarian. Again, we are a diverse crowd with a range of interests that is not one-size-fits-all. We are home brewers, soccer players, sports fans, gamblers, strong man competitors, and sky divers. We are kayakers, road trippers, club hoppers, beach lay-ers, and marathon-runners. Some of us are introverts, sure, who like quiet and solitude. There are also athletes, architects or entrepreneurs who like quiet alone time with books and cats. There are also those librarians who love noise and fun and socializing. It takes all sorts.
  • That technology has made us irrelevant. Nice try, but I've seen you Googlers at work, and it's not always pretty. With the increasing amount of information in the world, librarians help cut through the garbage to give you information that works, and teach you new technologies when they come out. And a self-checkout machine doesn't replace staff, it just lets staff use their time in a different way. We have more time to do library programs, help you find a new book to read, help you research your ancestors, or give your kid resources to do their project a day before it's due. 
  • And lastly, not all librarians are crazy cat ladies. I mean, sure, some are. Some are also allergic. Some are only mildly crazy. Some are crazy cat men. Some *gasp!* prefer dogs. 
  • HULU tv snl saturday night live hulu GIF

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Book Donation: Cooking in the Nude for Golf Lovers

Sometimes people donate books to the library that are for a very specific set of people. Thank you, Library Patron! 

My favorite is the Amazon description: 


"Combine your favorite game and your favorite partner with these sporty and suggestive romantic recipes. Dishes like "Tees Me" and "Bogey Kabobs" prove golf is more delicious with a twosome. If your partner on the course is also the object of your culinary conquest, you won't want to take a mulligan on this one!"