A Midsummer’s Update

Can’t believe summer feels like it’s almost over. Thought I’d give an update on what I’ve been up to this summer.

Interning at the Library of Congress:

I’ve been *so* fortunate this summer to spend the past 8 weeks interning at THE Library. Of Congress!!! I’ve been working with the Educational Outreach team, which does some really amazing and wonderful work creating primary source analysis and engagement resources for teachers, as well as providing plenty of professional development opportunities for educators across the country. See what they do here.

It’s been wonderful working at the Library. As a junior fellow, I’ve had the opportunity to go on amazing tours of the different reading rooms and research centers and other divisions of the library. I’ve learned a ton in a short amount of time, not only about history but about the amazing work Library staff does that I was not even remotely conscious of. My tour of the preservation division today was particularly eye opening.

My particular work has been focused around creating a resource for children visiting the library, as well as providing assistance during our five, week-long, summer teacher conferences. Hopefully I will be able to post more on those things in the future. I am sad that I only have two weeks left working at this amazing place!

My first trip to ALA:

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Yes, this summer I had my first trip to the amazing city of Chicago as well as my first visit to the American Library Association Conference. It was incredibly overwhelming, but wonderful and I am so glad I went. Some highlights:

  • Dr. Carla Hayden’s fabulous conversation with the leaders of 3 major public library systems, which gave me some insights into the ways public librarians should be thinking about their market, their opportunities, and their challenges. Particularly of interest was their discussion around innovative partnerships and collaborations – I think these are vital for success in the public library and it was good to hear that the leaders are thinking about them in new and interesting ways to ensure effectiveness.
  • Ron Chernow’s speech after the ALA awards. I unfortunately did not get to stay for the whole speech, but I was wowed to hear him talk about using the Library of Congress’s resources (there’s clearly a theme to this post) to prove that Grant hand-wrote the draft of his own biography. It was a fascinating story and really demonstrated the value of our archival institutions, as well as the continued relevance of physical materials and physical presence in the library, despite arguments to the contrary.
  • YALSA’s new members orientation. It was a lot of information to take in, but has given me a lot of confidence to proceed with more involvement in ALA and YALSA.
  • Being able to meet new professionals from around the country as well as run into and reconnect with those I already know. As a soon-to-be-grad, networking is vital, but more than that, it’s wonderful to feel that sense of camaraderie and belonging to community of my people.
  • THE FREE BOOKS. I don’t think I need to say more about that.
  • Unexpectedly seeing one of my teen idols, Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance, speak about a really cool new comics project that is giving voice to lesser heard audiences and stories – as he describes it, embracing the “weird.” I’m slowly getting into comics now, a lot thanks to the wonderful Gene Luen Yang’s work as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, and I am very excited to get my hands on some of the comics in the Young Animal imprint.
  • The city of Chicago. What a magical city – I can’t wait to go back.

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PopSugar Reading Challenge 2017

I am committing to the PopSugar Reading Challenge 2017. I will be updating this list throughout the year as I complete items on it.

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The Challenge (29/40)

  1. Recommended by a Librarian: Monster by Walter Dean Myers
  2. Been on Your TBR List Way Too Long: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  3. Book of Letters: Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
  4. Audiobook: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
  5. Book by a Person of Color: March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
  6. One of the Four Seasons in the Title: The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares
  7. Book That is a Story Within a Story: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  8. Book With Multiple Authors: The Book of Other People edited by Zadie Smith
  9. Espionage Thriller:
  10. Cat on the Cover: 
  11. By an Author Who Uses a Pseudonym: All the Dirty Parts by Daniel Handler (he uses a pseudonym for other books!)
  12. Bestseller From a Genre You Don’t Normally Read: Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
  13. By or About a Person Who Has a Disability: How to Survive a Plague by David France
  14. Book Involving Travel: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
  15. Book With A Subtitle: Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels by Scott McCloud
  16. Published in 2017: Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
  17. Book Involving a Mythical Creature: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  18. Book You’ve Read Before That Never Fails to Make You Smile: Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
  19. Book About Food: Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
  20. Book With Career Advice:
  21. Book From a Nonhuman Perspective: Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn too by Jomny Sun
  22. Steampunk Novel:
  23. Book With a Red Spine: Intimations: Stories by Alexandra Kleeman
  24. Book Set in the Wilderness: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
  25. Book You Loved as a Child: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
  26. By an Author From a Country You’ve Never Visited: 
  27. Title That’s a Character’s Name: Winter by Marissa Meyer
  28. Novel Set During Wartime: 
  29. Book With an Unreliable Narrator:  Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
  30. Book With Pictures: Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  31. Book with Main Character Who is a Different Ethnicity From You: Burn, Baby, Burn by Meg Medina
  32. Book About an Interesting Woman: Mother Panic by Jody Houser
  33. Book Set in Two Different Time Periods: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany and Jack Thorne (& J.K. Rowling)
  34. Month or Day of the Week in the Title:
  35. Set in a Hotel: What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell
  36. Written By Someone You Admire: Forever by Judy Blume
  37. Book Becoming a Movie in 2017:
  38. Book Set Around a Holiday Other Than Christmas:
  39. 1st Book in a Series You Haven’t Read Before: Heaven by Angela Johnson (Heaven #1) 
  40. A Book You Bought on a Trip:

Advanced (9/12)

  1. Book Recommended by an Author You Love:
  2. Bestseller From 2016: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
  3. Family Member Term in the Title: I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erica L. Sanchez
  4. Takes Place Over a Character’s Life Span: The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
  5. About an Immigrant or Refugee: In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero
  6. From a Genre/Subgenre You’ve Never Heard of: 
  7. Book With an Eccentric Character: I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
  8. Book That’s More Than 800 Pages: Winter by Marissa Meyer
  9. Book You Got From a Used Book Sale: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  10. Book That’s Mentioned in Another Book:
  11. Book About a Difficult Topic: Th1rt3en Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  12. Book Based on Mythology: American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Setting Goals for the New Year

January 1st has come and gone, but I’ve chosen to take this time that I have off from school to reflect on what I accomplished this past year and decide what I would like to focus on in the upcoming year. Here are some goals I am going to set, both professionally and personally, for this year.

Professional goals:

  1. Attend the American Library Association Conference.
  2. Find a fulfilling summer internship.
  3. Further develop my leadership and management skills through workshops, reading, and classes.
  4. Maintain this blog more regularly.
  5. Hone my skills at program planning and execution via my current internship at a major library.

Personal goals:

  1. Improve my knowledge of current affairs (I’ve gotten a bit lazy since I left journalism school).
  2. Travel more – visit at least one state I’ve never been to before and hopefully one new country.
  3. Recommit to reading in my spare time during the school year.
  4. Go on more dates with my partner (not just dinner at Taco Bell).
  5. Reconnect with friends with whom I have lost touch or only irregularly talk.

An update! And an explanation

I know, I know… This blog has been a little off-track to say the least recently. I’ve had a lot going on, between an impending vacation, an apartment move and…. preparing for a new job!

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This Saturday, I’ll be leaving my job at the library. Starting August 17, I will become a graduate assistant for the Design | Cultures and Creativity Honors program at the University of Maryland.

It was a hard choice to leave my job at the library. I love working with people every day and all the little ways I am able to see myself affecting their lives. I love my little group of dedicated story time regulars. And most of all, I love my library family dearly. When I came back from my vacation yesterday and was greeted warmly by each and every one of them, I felt the loss of this job transition acutely. I have certainly enjoyed my time spent there and am thankful for all I learned that even made it possible for me to take this opportunity.

That said, I am immensely excited to move forward to this new position, where I will still be able to work closely with people, though an entirely different demographic than I am used to. I will be doing a ton of different things in this new job – helping with classes, leading discussions and work groups, planning events, working with a maker space (!!!).

More than that, I am so pumped to finally be starting my master’s program at the end of this month (and only a little terrified).

I’m not sure what this is all going to mean for the future of the blog. I’ll probably keep on with my monthly book round-ups but I think I will probably be a lot less regular with my in-between posts. I will have a lot on my plate and unfortunately this might become a last priority.

Anyway, we’ll see how it all goes!

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Bout of Books Day 5 Update

Yesterday I started and read 190 pages of P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han. It’s the sequel to her first book To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. I wasn’t expecting to get drawn into it the way I did – I thought I was going to do pretty poorly with my page count for yesterday’s challenge but I accidentally got sucked in at bedtime and finally had to put it down 190 pages later so I’d get enough sleep before my work shift today!

I’m really enjoying this challenge to read, and sad that it’s almost over. My goal for today is to finish PS I Still Love You and make more progress in The History of Rock and Roll in 10 Songs. 

total page count: 783 pages

Bout of Books 16 Day 3!

Yesterday, I worked on two books, both of which I am loving.

  1. I continued on in The History of Rock and Roll in 10 Songs by Greil Marcus. The way Marcus beautifully describes the songs and effortlessly links moments in music history is really astounding, and I’m learning a lot. I read 86 pages of that books yesterday.
  2. I started Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein. I’m only 62 pages in, but I’m amused by the Willy Wonka-esque persona of Mr. Lemoncello and looking forward to all the puzzles the children (and I, as the reader) will have to solve!

Looking forward to another afternoon of reading today!

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Bout of Books Day 2

We’re in the second day of the Bout of Books 16 readathon.

Yesterday evening flew by and I got a little sidetracked and well… I didn’t exactly experience the crazy amounts of reading I anticipated.

I finished The Bell Jar yesterday, adding another 15 pages to my total.

I also started The History of Rock and Roll in 10 Songs by Greil Marcus. It’s one of those books that’s kind of hard to binge right through, so I only managed 57 pages before I had to call it quits for the day. It is a very interesting book so far, and I like that the songs I’ve read about so far aren’t super mainstream.

Thus, my total for the day was 72 pages

and my total for the week is 184 pages.

I know I said this yesterday and kind of lied but I feel like today will be my day! I have the whole afternoon off to read. Even though I haven’t been reading as much as I had hoped this challenge would push me to do, I am enjoying the extra motivation and slowly getting more into the library blogger community.

 

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Bout of Books: day 1 update

Hi all! As you may know based on some previous posts, I have begun Bout of Books 16. The challenge did not start off too well for me yesterday, unfortunately. I was in meetings all morning and then my normal work shift in the afternoon, where we’ve been preparing pretty furiously for our Summer Reading Program.

However, finally in the evening I was able to power through a good chunk of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I’m in my second reading of this gorgeous, lovely, sad, book, and I am loving it. So, update for day 1: 112 pages.

My hope is that today I will be able to get through a lot more, since I have the evening off.

Happy reading everyone!

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