Monday, March 21, 2011

I Want/Don't Want a Kindle

I truly believe in change.  I do.  But some of my best childhood memories are found in the pages of a good book…a physical book.  I loved the feel of the well-worn pages, the musty smell of the children’s reading room of the North Hollywood Regional Library, browsing the stacks to find my next read, and talking to Mrs. Gould, my favorite librarian.  Fast forward to the 21st century and The Kindle.  I’m told over and over, “It’s GREAT!  I can load hundreds of titles on it, it weighs next to nothing, and there’s no glare reading outside.”   It does sound great…the promise of taking numerous books with me on vacation without weighing down my luggage, downloading free classics, no pages flapping around me while reading on my patio.  I’m a woman poised between two worlds.  I fear leaving behind libraries as we know them, seeing Vroman’s and other bookstores close, & ultimately losing the physical book altogether.  I appreciate much about library technology…no more real ‘card’ catalogs, the ability to find timely information in a flash, downloading music on iTunes, keeping in touch with my kids & old friends via Facebook .  I know it’s not all bad. 

My Kindle is still in perfect condition

So here it is…”the box”.   This was a Christmas gift from my husband—the very same husband who heard me say, “I know I’ll eventually want a Kindle, but I’m just not ready yet.”  This is as far as I’ve gotten since I tore the colorful wrapping off the package.  It’ll happen.  I’ll open the box…just not today. Meanwhile, you’ll have to excuse me.  My bookshelves beckon.      Mrs. Hodge

Friday, March 11, 2011

What's the worst book you've ever read?
To some, the answer comes quickly. Ask others, and there follows a long, thoughtful pause.

Our Middle School Library Advisors group posed this question to the student body - and the display upstairs in the library holds the answer - a selection of "the worst." The advisors seeded the display with their own worst titles, then opened the question to other students who put books and short reviews into the display case.

How do you define worst?
Is it boring? Offensive? Is the main character someone you just can't relate to? What if the the book makes you angry, or anxious? Sometimes, I get annoyed with the choices that the main character makes. But does that make a book the worst?

The display case is full. Some titles are expected. Some are surprising. Like Twilight. It's not in the case, although more than a few students suggested it. Twilight is a title that is both wildly popular, but also widely disliked. Why isn't it in the case? Because all three of our copies are currently checked out.

I've enjoyed the conversations circling around this display.
No bland discussions here.
Plenty of opinions, passion and diverse viewpoints.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


L.A. Day sign-ups
There are many days when I look up at our counter and feel overwhelmed by everything on it, but before I begin to hyperventilate and have a “fit” I remember that most of it has a good purpose and that it is, in fact, the perfect home for what is there.

I can hardly remember what our counter top looked like with nothing on it!  At first glance it is truly overwhelming. On the one side you have many opportunities to be as busy as you want. Today you can: sign up to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House, attend a baking seminar, and participate in the Film and Music Festival. If you are a sophomore, you can apply to be a committee head for JPD, a senior boy, Mr. Flintridge Prep, and senior girl, Emcee for Mr. Flintridge Prep!  On the opposite side you will find what you need to do take care of school business: sign out sheet for lap tops, the school newspaper, bulletin announcements, facility requests, activity proposals, community service information, and login information for JSTOR…whewwww!  Not interested in any of these? Just wait a minute and there will be more!  We have just about anything you could ever want!

Mrs. Ursettie