Wednesday, April 28, 2010

So much to say blog about...

First, I want to blog about another blog. I tripped over this one while wandering through the www. I didn't hurt was a great fall though. There's something to be said about guybrarians. I like the way they write and think. And this blogger is one of those types. He points something out that I'm very guilty of...since reading this about a week ago, I've made some drastic changes. Here's his entry that'll make you think:

And dare I mention the three amazing books (galleys) I've been reading and juggling? One's about two sisters and a murder, another is about a blind girl that's been kidnapped, and the other is not a galley, but an already published book about a teen living with a hoarder.
Give me the titles of two of these books and I'll send you the galleys for review....
And they are GREAT!!
Hint: Scholastic and Bloomsbury, and Henry Holt

Monday, April 26, 2010

Booktrailer Tech Tip Mondays! Topic: Attribution

I've been asked time and again about where the link is to the blog post about how I create booktrailers. It's in the archive somewhere (I'll tag it after finishing this), but as I was thinking about all the questions someone may have, I decided to start a booktrailer tech tip of the week. Always on Mondays because it's just easy to remember.
These are going to be small things that I may miss during a workshop or just find out on my own! Not only will there be tips, but links, highlights, favorites and something a little juicy to (hopefully!) whet your here's BTT#1!!

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ON YOUR TRAILER...attribution! I use creativecommons flickr pretty much for everything I use. (and when I use caps, I'm not yelling...promise!) You can find these at: or on the website. If going that route, make sure you click on the flickr tab and CLICK ON THE FIND BUTTON IN THE GREEN.

Here's what a typical attribution looks like. You find this in the "Additional Information" on the right hand side hyperlinked by the "some rights reserved" words:

(click on the image to get a bigger view of the full link)
But all you need to truly attribute it on your trailer is this:

It's found within that huge first link towards the gives the name of the website, name of the imageholder, and number id of the image.

Hope this helps!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Less- Dead by April Lurie

Noah may not be famous, but his dad is. It seems everyone wants to meet the "Bible Answer Guy," one of the top-rated radio broadcasts on Christian radio in Austin, Texas. That is an oxymoron unto itself, but Noah can't run from his upbringing, although he tries.

Which is why he and his best friend Carson (who's dad is a DPCP - Demon Possessed Capitalist Pig) ended up at an alternative school for breaking school policy. And it's there that Noah's life takes a decidedly interesting, and perhaps deadly course. Because its at alternative school that Noah meets Will...

Will looks to be a typical, average Austinite teen, but there's more to him than Noah first realized. He meets Will on the Drag, while doing double duty at trying to win back his girlfriend Aubrey. The two form a friendship, tentative at first, but then slowly growing. Noah's buddy Carson sees what's happening and is the first to clue Noah in on the fact that Will is gay.

Noah has always seen himself as open, honest...not "uptight" like his Dad. But when he thinks about his reactions to Will, he knows what he thought isn't who he thinks he is. And Will will be one to test him on his levels of beliefs and bibilical teaching, as well as his emotions.

But their friendship doesn't last long...Will has been murdered. And his death is just another of many from a serial killer stalking the city. Noah has a clue the killer left behind, but who can he trust? With so many around him saying one thing and becoming another, who is telling the truth and who is lying?

April Lurie writes a YA fiction that combines prejudice against gay teens with the biblical teaching against homosexuality in one well-written and balanced book. The title suggests that while gay teens are considered less human, thus less-dead, the Bible and its scriptures say something else. The interpretation is what Lurie compiles on both sides very nicely. It's a book that not overtly heavy-handed one way or the other, but delivers a great mystery that will keep YA readers guessing, always the best quality of a well-written suspense novel.
There is an author's note where Lurie seems to state her opinion, pointing to scriptures about homosexuality, but that is the reader's option and doesn't impede on the actual novel itself. Recommended.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Booktrailers and Resources

So, I put this website out on the listserv today, and I can see so many possibilities with it! The little "let google help" button comes in handy!! Here's my binder, which is just a beginning attempt at putting together resources....there is so much out there!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Not quite book reviews...

But just as important. I'd like to share with you websites I found while searching online for the next greatest web 2.0 to explore. There are just so many, I enjoy finding sites dedicated to web 2.0 and scrolling around in them. This is a great site I like: - Your daily web 2.0 dose. And boy, does it give you an injection of web 2.0 to kill your boredom! Over 9000 sites to pick and choose from. It'll take awhile to go through it all!! I'm actually looking forward to it and sharing the best of the best with ya'll! - (search engine optimization) best sites by category. Of course, these are from 2008, but if they're still around, that means they're keepers. This has things from online storage to games to collaborative writing to books. One that will also keep you busy, but better that it's classified. That way I can skip the retail and go straight to what I want to find.

So, with two gems to keep you busy, enjoy! And speaking of technology, get ready for booktrailer tech tips weekly. I've learned that there are so many tweaks and tricks when it comes to booktrailers, that instead of writing a rather lengthy article, I'll share a bite one week at a time. Watch the labels and tags! I'm going to start on Monday : )

Friday, April 16, 2010

A message to everyone....

We all have had successes...personal, relational, enotional, professional. And this favorite quote of Matt de la Pena is a reflection for everyone to sit back and tell themselves, "Yes....I remember the time before I..." It's easy to get caught up in the moment, but it all starts with a humble beginning. And in my view, if after that moment before your success you still live in that humble state, your successes become nothing more than a full life of a succession of interesting stories.

I've enjoyed TLA. This year has been vastly different for me, but this is a moment before. Thank you EVERYONE who voted for me....I will do you proud...

Highlights thus far...

One more day of conference, and this one has been a doozy! So, in a nutshell, here are my fave parts of TLA:

1. Forget dinner and a movie. At TLA, it's about dinner and an author! Last night was, bar none, the best dinner I've had. Sitting at my table was Teri Lesesne, Marc Aronson (author of Witch Hunt, War Is..., Race) and a Texas librarian that had experience with the Prinz committee. Talk about intellectual conversation!! It ran the gamut of school library cuts in New Jersey and California, to the history of sugar and its ties to slavery, to MLK Jr and Edgar Hoover, to writing. I was mesmerized with everything Mr. Aronson talked about. And being a lover of non-fiction, I couldn't ask for a better dinner guest. And all this time, I thought Alex Trebek would be great...Marc and Teri were just - words can't describe.

2. Presiding over a presentation about private school libraries and their issues/best practices with advocacy, collaboration, programs and intellectual freedom went beyond the scope to seeing this implemented at public schools too. We are ALL in the same boat with the same passions and capacities. Going to buy this professional book - Independent School Libraries: Perspectives on Excellence. Twenty essays that target all of the topics from in the trenches librarians.

3. This is the first year in a long time I didn't spend a lot of time in the exhibit halls, and believe me, I was always first in line. But I found what I wanted...the galley for Ellen Hopkins newest book, Fallout! Time to read!!!

4. Meeting people I know from all my travels and seeing them bloom with what I've taught in workshops (Annaline Johnson, Sherry Thompson et al!) Getting to meet more new faces and the digital book trailer workshop I did on Wednesday, and bumping into people I've never met but now I can put names to faces. Ivey from Argyle, nice to meet you! Ms. Davis from Sabinal, great to see you again after all of these years...the list goes on!

So, one more day and a couple more meetings to add to all the other meetings that I never knew happened when you become an officer for a division of TLA. The TASL people are exceptional, and my stress level is slowly turning around. I don't think I need to worry about ulcers now : ) Just need to think about catching up once I get home and start implementing new ideas!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The best con in the world!! TLA, that is...

So, I'm sitting here in the hotel room tweaking my presentation for tomorrow, and thinking how fortunate I am to be attending Texas Library Association's annual conference. The authors, the programs, the galleys, oh my! So much to do and see. But with all conferences, I challenge all attendees afterward to use what they've learned!! Putting handouts in a folder doesn't count. What's the use? That is a mantra I've been practicing for a long time, and have used many ideas from great TX librarians like Ty Burns, Angela Steagall, Nancy Kubasek, Rene Dyer, Jennifer Smith, Dr. Teri Lesesne, Dr. Mary Ann Bell and so many gifted others.
I am surrounded by greatness, and that makes me a very very lucky person. And this year will be a busy one for me. Looking forward to the challenge.

So tonight, on the eve of TLA, I made the four hour trek from Ft. Worth to SA and resisted temptation by NOT stopping at the outlet malls. San Antone is an old hat for me, and it's nice to know my way around. Met some peeps for a little aperitif at Pat O'Brien's, along with some dinner, took a swift tour of the Menger for those who've never seen it, and am now procrastining on my "homework" while everyone else it out having a great time on the riverwalk. Such is life....

But I still have dinner with some publishers and get to meet some amazing authors!! Adventures to follow : )

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A presentation...

It's simple, but the delivery is what makes it : ) Enjoy!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My experiment with color...

So, yesterday I finally put up my displays by color. Have seven different colors and after the first day, the reds and the purple bookcovers were disappearing. Interestingly enough, today a lot of students came in to check out books as a class. And visually, they're catching on....
Here's what I had (and now have to find more!!)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The impact of displays

So...I think we all change around our displays. At the library I work in, I have books on the shelves, on floating displays and have separate shelving for the new books that come in. I go with different displays, the latest being the TAYSHAS titles. Before that, it was all about spring and spring break books.

Been doing the in-shelf displays too, like B&N does, with one book of a set sitting on top of them. Those have been eye-catchers as well. And it makes the shelving look pretty cool too - more like bookstore than typical library.

This past week I decided to do something different. I created a .wmv of my booktalk animotos that feature covers and a short blurb for the last two booktalks as well as this upcoming one and displayed it on a computer screen on the circ desk. Beside it, I have some of the books that are being shown on-screen. It did my heart good to see kids stop and watch...then go over and get a book. LOVED IT!

And then the playaways came in. Put those on display and in one morning, one display got wiped out! Yippee!! What caught their eye was the orange plastic covers and what exactly they were. I should do a side-by-side of book to playaway as well. Will work on that one tomorrow!

But as I commented on in a previous post, I'm going to do an experiment with color. Each shelf will get popular YA books and they're going to be by color. Displays on one shelf will be red, another shelf will be blue, another white, another black. Since these are more prominent they reflect school colors. Different displays around the library will be orange, yellow and purple. I'm going to see which one catches reader's eyes....

Friday, April 2, 2010

By the Time You Read This, I'll be Dead by Julie Anne Peters

Dealyn is biding her time. She has been since the last time she tried to die (not her first), but this time she’s more determined than ever to play it out to a successful conclusion.

She loves her solitude. At this school, no one really bothers her. She doesn’t talk to other people or get involved with anything or anyone. She represses any feelings she may have for others, be it empathy for Emily, the girl everyone picks on because of her weight; or contempt, for JenniferJessica, who lives to ruin others’ lives. But her solitude doesn’t last long because of three people – Chip, Kim, and Santana.

Chip and Kim are Daelyn’s parents, and they walk a narrow path between obsessively keeping watch over their only child and allowing her freedom and trust. But how far does it go? Daelyn doesn’t trust her parents either – they have never understood her and only glossed over the terrible things in her life that have happened.

And then there’s Santana, who just won’t leave Daelyn alone after school. He comes to sit beside her on the bench, talking about nothing, entertaining himself and wanting her to see him. Santana wants Daelyn’s friendship because she’s intriguing… he likes her, but how can he bridge the chasm she’s filled with distrust for anyone? Should he tell her what’s wrong with him, or would it ruin a budding friendship he’s trying to create?

And the secrets…Daelyn doesn’t tell anyone about the new website she’s found called Through The Light. They don’t know about the DOD (date of determination), set at 23 days; the WTG (ways to go) that rate different ways to commit suicide; or the FF (final forum) where the J_Doe’s talk about the reasons why they want to die…and where Daelyn finally tells her story – the terrible, ugly side of humanity that has plagued her from junior high to high school. The bullying, the assaults, the humiliation, the abuse…

She has a countdown, a way to go, and a goal – will she finish it?

What a powerful book, with an intriguing ending! Peters doesn’t sugarcoat anything in this book, but shows the dangerous side of something that plays out in people’s lives everyday – bullying. Through her writing, the readers can see not only the experiences Daelyn’s come up against, but how it’s affected her psychologically through the way she views herself versus the way others do. This book will keep readers turning the pages because Daelyn’s character evolves slowly but progressively, allowing the reading to, at first, puzzle about her and what she’s done, followed by the full story of why she’s done what she has. For those who enjoyed 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, get ready to go up a notch on this one. Recommended.