Category Archives: Library Programming

Let’s talk gardening grants…

Yes, that’s a real thing.  You can write a grant that helps you cover the expenses of a garden at your library!  WOW!  Okay, we’re running out of time…so let’s get crackin’ on those applications…

Here are two coming up soon (found through – a fantastic website!)

March 1 – 2012 Mantis Award (to receive a Mantis tiller/cultivator)

April 1 – 2012 Midwest Garden Grant (for those living in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin)

Regional/Local Grants

This is the time when grant applications are about to be due.  I found an astonishing amount of regional and local gardening and food education grants across the country.  Try search terms like your city/region/state name and ‘gardening grants 2012’.

Many local branches of Master Gardeners offer local grants!  Reach out to your local group if you don’t already have a working relationship with them!

Time To Get Your Garden On…

It’s mid-February, and you know what that means.  Almost Spring.  Which means almost gardening time.  And if you’ve been reading my last few posts, you know I’m getting all wound up about libraries as sources of food education.

So, over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to give you a crash course in preparing a food garden and library programs related to it.  Whether you’re an urban library surrounded by concrete or a rural library with abundant agricultural resources, I think you’ll find information that can help you out!

We’ll go over different types of gardens, organizations that can help you out, grants that are available, programs you can run and more!

Open Data and the Role of Librarians

In the June issue of Wired Magazine there was a brief piece about governmental open data initiatives.  In it, writer Jesse Lichtenstein brings up the crucial point that getting lots of data out on the web and available to the masses is great and all, but the people who might be most empowered by the trends and information that could be gleaned are the those least likely to have the skills, resources or knowledge to extract what might help them fight for their cause.

And isn’t this where libraries come in?  Isn’t this the type of role we should be taking on?  I’m certain that there are some libraries doing this – providing Internet access to help communities get this data, then teaching them how to sort, slice, dice and come to conclusions based on what they find and discover. Libraries can be the liason and interpreters of this data – or teach the “language” of data/data analysis to library patrons.

There are some other arguments surrounding the article – but I’m trying to focus on the one aspect I see as being most significant to our profession – helping communities harness open data is a role libraries should consider more heavily when they are looking at ways they can stay relevant.

If your library is doing this, please tell me about it, I’d like to learn more!

Hint Hint: Awesome Keynote Speaker

No, not me.  Though I am fahbulous. 

Mike Rowe from the show Dirty Jobs.  Apparently, he’s getting a lot of speaking jobs lately talking about “on the “changing face of the proletariat vis-à-vis the modern-day work ethic and the digital divide”, according to the New York Times and he has a website called Mike Rowe Works, which helps people find technical and trade jobs and education.

General Link:
Jobs Link:

It’s a well rounded site and like most truly funny people, Mike Rowe is an intelligent and thoughtful spokesperson for the cause of worker education and job seeking.  Well, from what I can tell from the article I’ve been reading.

Librarians help people find work, Mike Rowe helps people find work.  Librarians help provide training and tools for people to improve themselves with, so does Mike Rowe.  Mike Rowe is hot and really funny.  Librarians are…er…we’re sometimes hot and usually pretty funny.

Just my suggestion.  Please consider it if your state or national library organization needs a speaker.  There’s potential for great synergy I think.

What’s In The Hopper…

That’s an actual turn of phrase isn’t it?  “What’s in the hopper…”  If not, then I just made it up and if it becomes famous I want you to remember you read it here first.

Life has been awash in busy-ness recently – I could have blogged but it would have all been about wedding planning.  Yes, I’m getting married January 30 – Bless the man who is willing to take on the challenge that is me.  So to spare you all, I’m actually going to blog more.  I promise we will not be discussing the finer points of tulle, floral arrangements, or wedding dresses. 

Here’s what you can expect from the next few posts:

– I’ve got a really cool post lined up about an AMAZING “teen green” activity series
– Pictures of Library Day at Comerica Park
– And an announcement for a new UnConference that will just make you plain happy

I’ve got some other things I’m thinking about but I can’t spoil allll the surprises.  I know you’re on the edge of your seats.  (Okay, not really, but I can dream can’t I???)

That’s all for now…more later, my library people.

Food for thought…

There has been the most amazing conversation happening at the YALSA general discussion listserv about two of my favorite things – FOOD and BOOKS.  Someone asked for ideas about books with food themes so that teens could come to book club and actually cook the meals made in the books.  I love these and really wanted to share.  It’s a fun idea for any age.

(The post that started the conversation) We are going to try changing our teen book club to a cooking/book club for the summer.  Each time they meet they will cook a recipe related to the book (i.e. Chicken Enchiladas and Twilight).  We are having a hard time coming up with some book/food choices.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Below are the some of the ideas that were shared – names and libraries excluded:

It might be fun to read one of the survival type books (i.e. How I Live Know, Life as We Knew it, Hunger Games, Hatchet) and make a meal out of some of the types of foods the characters lived on.

You could read The Fold by An Na and make bibimbap (spelling varies) as Joyce does.

Soul Enchilada by Gill
Nothing to Lose by Flinn (some kind of carnival food)
Cupid: A tale of love and desire by Lester (ambrosia)

The first thing that came to mind was actually the Percy Jackson series and for food you could make Ambrosia. I also thought of /13 Little Blue Envelopes/ and making food relevant to the countries she visits. Also, /Al Capone Does My Shirts /and lemon cake.

What about cooking a diner-style breakfast to go along with “The Fortunes of Indigo Skye.”

Maybe you could make something that you think the character would probably eat, based on everything else in the story or the location, even if it is never explicitly stated.  A story taking place in Philadelphia could = Philly cheese steaks, for instance. 

For younger teens, you could do Project Mulberry and have them eat KimChi.

Another good one that combines growing up and food is Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer.

Se habla Espanol? Polska? Italiano?

I’ve taken a substitute Librarian gig at a local library with a large Spanish speaking population.  You know what I didn’t learn in Library School?  How to say “You can only have five videos at a time” in Spanish.  It would come in handy.

I’m wondering if there is a resource librarians can go to if they are on desk and someone who doesn’t speak English comes in?  It’s great if you have a native speaker on staff, but let’s face it, we are an increasingly globalized culture and our patrons reflect that.  There’s no way we can be prepared to face every possible language that can come in on any given day.  Is there a place where librarians can go and choose a language and then select common library phrases or terms to use?

Babelfish and other services don’t always translate quiet right, and it would be nice to have a resource like that on hand.  I might just make it if no suggestions come up…

Google Art

El Cardenal

El Cardenal

 I’ve been reading the International Herald Tribune for a few minutes each morning.  I like it because it covers more global issues with a slightly different perspective – whereas on CNN or MSN you just find the same news rehashed.

Anyways, this morning there was a neat article about a colloborative effort between the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain and Google Earth to bring the details of great masterpieces to life.  All the ability to zoom in to see detail, but instead of seeing, say, some dude picking his nose on main street, you can see the brush-strokes and cracked laquer of art masterpieces.  Kinda neat.  There’s potential for an interactive art program online for teens there.

PB Wiki Provides Classroom and Library Templates

PB Wiki ran a great wiki summer camp this year.  I was a summer camp drop out, unfortunately and did not participate much.  However, it was awesome and very useful.  I was just a slacker.

Anyways, they are still reaping amazing creative benefits from that summer camp and PB Wiki campers are sharing their template ideas all the time.

Check out the interesting library and classroom wikis they posted today.

Literary Maps of Every State

I would love to see literary maps of every state…I happened upon this blog post from the Bangor Public Library discussing a state-wide effort to create a literary map of the state.  Haven’t researched it much farther than that, but it’s interesting…Anybody know of similar state projects?

In other news, my Internet was down for a large percentage of the day today.  I know we’ve all thought it, but isn’t it worrisome that such a large percentage of our lives are on the grid and/or are dependent on it?  The mind reels.  A world without Internet…I mean, how would I get all the most valuable world info, like Gawker?!?!?!