Category Archives: Library

in defense of young adults and their literature. 3

I try very hard to be a parent who respects her child and sees his intelligence as he figures out the world around him. It’s made easier by the students I have worked with over the years, the ones who make bright and funny observations all the time and who have taught me to give […]

library secrets: the bottom shelf. 0

I had to gather some books for a teacher this morning. I enjoy that sort of thing because I get the opportunity to see the collection in a different way. Oh, I didn’t realize that book had information on that topic, good to know. But here’s what I don’t enjoy: the books that I need […]

library secrets: secret page twenty-nine 0

I am lucky to have had great people to teach me the tricks of the library trade. There are a lot of little things that librarians have to do that nobody else knows about, things that keep stuff running behind the scenes. Some of those things are more important than others – the state report […]

library secrets: let it go. 2

This year, I have been diligently weeding (library word for discarding old or worn out items) the library’s collection because we have a bunch of really old books and equipment that I have to dig through when I want to, you know, do my job. There are all different kinds of librarians–I know this might […]

hey, whatcha need? 2

When I was a student, I went through my days knowing that I had a place in my school building. There is no doubt that I was awkward, but I navigated the system of education with relative ease as a reader, a quick learner, and a rule-follower. These are gifts I was given because my […]

saving my life. 3

Right around the time when I was congratulating myself for having taken apart and then put back together various technology carts so that every single teacher had what they needed, all the laptops in my building died. It’s a long story involving old laptops and an operating system upgrade but the point of the story […]

lived in. 3

One of my pet peeves is when teachers tell students to be quiet because this is a library. Not anymore, I say! These days the library is a dynamic learning environment. Despite the silence you remember from your childhood (when I got in trouble at both my school library and the public library for volume […]

specificity. 5

Sacredness requires specificity. The grand esoteric themes of theology have their place, but love takes root in those specific moments when we voluntarily and intentionally enter one another’s pain. “God so loved the world” makes sense when love has a name and is lying in the manger. The Incarnation (big theological concept) comes alive in […]

saving my life. 1

In my library, we have some great new books and circulation is up for the year. There have been classes scheduled almost every day and I have helped with projects and computer issues and books on tornadoes. It’s been the best kind of busy, and I have been the good kind of tired. I do […]

god be with you. 6

“It was a long while ago that the words God be with you disappeared into the word good-bye, but every now and again some trace of them still glimmers through.” -Frederick Buechner I forget every year. I forget that the school year fizzles out nowadays. I forget that students just stop coming to school once […]

saving my life. 2

This week, I have been sick. Kleenex and cough drops and advil have been essential. My mom took care of Atticus even though I was home (I took two naps that day). But let me tell you about the poetry. I spent weeks deciding which poem I would carry on Poem in Your Pocket Day. […]

the lost sheep. 9

For the first time, I had to cut students from my Battle of the Books team. In the past, I have been lucky that the number dwindled down to the magic number of students I am allowed to take to the competition. But not this year. This year I had to choose. There was one […]

storytelling. 0

I forgot how hard it is to start at a new school, how long it takes to build those relationships with the students. I forgot how hard I worked at my old school to make sure those kids knew that I cared about them. I was used to the rhythms of affection and tough love […]

My object in living is to unite. 7

Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day! Today I am carrying around the last stanza of Robert Frost’s “Two Tramps in Mud Time.” But yield who will to their separation, My object in living is to unite My avocation and my vocation As my two eyes make one in sight. Only where love and need are […]

The Maze Runner by James Dashner 2

Last year, one of the young men at my school who read The Hunger Games came up to me with a question (which I won’t put here, because it’s kind of spoilery). I couldn’t give him the answer, because it was also kind of spoilery, so we talked about it when he was done. When […]

For the end of Banned Books Week. 0

Today is the last day of Banned Books Week. I didn’t really do anything to celebrate this year. Except I have been listening to the Harry Potter series on my runs and walks around the neighborhood. Yay for access to books that other people disapprove of! Every year, I think, “Maybe next year I will […]

Raise a toast to Saint Joe Strummer. I think he might’ve been our only decent teacher. 6

This spring I had the very great pleasure of walking our art teacher through the Harry Potter books. Oh, the texts that she sent me as she raced through them. Oh, the conversations we had. Oh, the ways I listened to her predictions and tried to keep my not-very-good poker face. I even gave her […]

The books are whispering. 6

In the Library by Charles Simic for Octavio There’s a book called “A Dictionary of Angels.” No one has opened it in fifty years, I know, because when I did, The covers creaked, the pages Crumbled. There I discovered The angels were once as plentiful As species of flies. The sky at dusk Used to […]

Many things made me laugh today. 2

But this was the one that made me laugh the hardest. I know there are actual inspirational posters like this. But I am much more familiar with the ones from Despair.com. Which leads me to the obvious joke that this one, of course, comes from Hope.com. (What? You were totally thinking it, too. I’m just […]

I know that story, I was sitting right behind you. 3

I don’t want to jinx it, but the two classes that I am currently teaching seem a little bit less challenging than the two that I had in my last rotation. I think I am going to have some rowdy boys again, but there are rowdy boys and there are rowdy boys. I think these […]