Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New Name Badges at the Library

My staff and I all got new name badges today!  They look so much better than our old ones!

Our old badges were a basic gray name tag from Demco that were boring and ugly and weren't even big enough to include our library name.

Our new badges are from Mighty Badge and are wonderful.  I like that we can now create badges in our office and not have to wait weeks to get badges in for new staff.  It was tricky learning how to print the inserts without smearing the text, but practice makes perfect, right?  We could have gone with a more custom layout, but that cost more money and these will work just fine for us!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

BBW and Ethics

Banned Books Week has always been my favorite "librarian" celebration.  I admit, its partly because I like to push the envelope and make people uncomfortable.  But isnt being uncomfortable a good thing? Being comfortable is boring (intellectually comfortable that is).

Today I was at a meeting in which I was talking about the importance of Banned Books Week as a springboard to educate others about the value of open access and the ability to balance ourselves with multiple opinions.  It was disheartening to hear many people in the room respond in favor of censorship.

These people felt that I should be acting as a parent to my young patrons and keeping them away from topics that were "inappropriate."  Of course the book in question had the word "mommies" in the title.  It was so sad to hear others who work in libraries (although these particular respondents did not have an MLS) say that children's books with same sex parents were "not appropriate."

I whole-heartedly believe that it is my job to PROVIDE these materials.  In fact, its more than my job, its that thing that keeps me awake at night.  I cant stand the thought of censorship, but to hear it applied to libraries makes my stomach turn and my heart ache.

In trying to find a good educational response to this conversation, I found myself re-reading the ALA Code of Ethics, the Library Bill of Rights, and the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

If you haven't taken time to read these documents, please do.  They offer many words of wisdom and they depict a clear vision of why I have dedicated my life to librarianship.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Thanks Quayside Books!

I was excited to learn that my library, the Malvern-Hot Spring County Library, in Malvern, AR was the winner of a prize from the 2013 American Library Association Annual Conference.  We won 10 free books of our choice from the Quayside Books catalog.

Eight of our 10 books arrived today, so I thought I would share.

Thanks, Quayside!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Favorite moment of ALA 2013

So for those who don't know me and maybe some of you that do know me, The Giver by Lois Lowry is my favorite book.  It has been my favorite book since I was 9 or 10 years old and I still reread it every year.  As an avid fan, I read all four books in the series and I must say that I liked all of them except book two.  In fact, if I had to rank the books in order of my most favorite, I would place them in this order: 1, 4, 3, 2.

These books are the ones I most frequently recommend (to both children and adults) to my patrons and to my friends.

Why do I love this book so much?  The Giver is a great coming of age, dystopian novel that that makes on rethink society and re-evaluate our lives.  Every time I re-read this novel I learn something about myself and reading often causes me to think beyond the scope of my personal reality.

At the Annual American Library Association Conference this year in Chicago, IL I got to MEET Lois Lowry.  When I found out that she was going to be at the event I was beside myself with excitement.

So behold....A picture of me with Lois Lowry!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Traveling to ALA Annual? Here is a tipping Guide from Emily Post

My husband always tells me I don't know how to tip, but he tips us into the poorhouse.  Here is Emily Post's guide to tipping.  While Librarian's don't tend to have lots of money to spare, it is expected that we treat our host city well!

For this and additional information about etiquette.  Please see the Emily Post website.

General Tipping Guidelines

When and Where and How Much

Wait service (sit down)
15-20%, pre-tax
Wait service (buffet)
10%, pre-tax
Host or Maitre d'
No obligation for greeting you and showing you to your table.
$10-$20 for going above and beyond to find you a table on a busy night or on occasion, if you are a regular patron
Take Out
No obligation
10% for extra service (curb delivery) or a large, complicated order
Home Delivery
10-15% of the bill, $2-5 for pizza delivery depending on the size of the order and difficulty of delivery 
$1-2 per drink or 15-20% of the tab
Tipping jars
No obligation
Tip occasionally if your server or barista provides a little something extra or if you are a regular customer.
Restroom Attendant
$0.50-$3, depending on the level of service
Tip when the car is returned to you.
$2 first bag, $1 per additional bag
A smile and a "thanks" when he  opens the door
$1-$4 for carrying luggage
$1-$2 for hailing cab (add an extra $1 if it's raining)
$1-$4 beyond the call of duty
$2 first bag, $1 per additional bag
$2-3 for each additional service, such as room delivery
$2-$5 per day, left daily with a note marked "Housekeeping - Thank you"
No obligation for answering questions
$5-10 for tickets or restaurant reservations
$15 for hard-to-get tickets or reservations, or 10-20% of the ticket price
Taxi driver
15-20% of the fare, but minimally $1
$2 for the first bag, $1 for the second
Hair Salon
15-20%, ask to be split among those who served you
Facial, waxing, massage

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ashley Parker-Graves - My ALA 2013 Schedule

So, I have done my best to plan out my ALA 2013 schedule and there are so many programs and events, it is hard to choose!  I have done my best to accurately depict my schedule at Annual, but as with everything library related, its important to be flexible!  Hope to see you there!  Catch me via Twitter @ashleykparker and be sure to check out the session I am co-presenting with as part of a panel "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Finding Your First Librarian Job."

Thursday, June 13, 2013

5th Annual Summer Kick-Off Carnival

So this year we hosted our 5th annual summer carnival at the library on June 1, 2013 from 9am-1pm.

In the past we gave 10 game tokens to each person who signed up for our summer reading program and those tokens could be spent on the games at the event.  We charge 25 cents for each additional token, not to make money, but to gauge traffic and encourage the kids to move around the carnival instead of spending all their tokens in one place.

We have never had a good way to estimate our attendance because we always hold it at the park next to the library and it can be entered on three sides and we allow pre-registration.

This year we had registration on the same day of the event, so we were able to track the attendance of kids via registrations and we counted adults with tally marks at the registration table. 

This was the first year we had rain.  And we had serious rain.  This didn't stop us though.  We moved the carnival inside and we parked the concession trailer in front of our main entrance.  We did have to cancel our three most popular stations: water balloon toss, jump house, and pony rides.  We were able to keep the petting zoo and move it inside.

Our attractions included: face painting, ring toss, go fish, petting zoo, musical chairs/book walk, crafts, concession stand, and pictures with the Berenstain Bears.We also sold summer reading program t-shirts and passed out summer event calendars.  

Our concession stand was stocked with donated items: hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, Grapette and Orangette Soda (the are manufactured in Malvern), and water.  All items were sold at a $1 or $0.50, primarily to ensure that food wasn't wasted.  

We staffed our event with library staff (that were not working the circulation desk) and volunteers.  It is always hard for us to get volunteers for events, but this year we had 12 volunteers, plus one volunteer who delivered the concession trailer that a local bank let us borrow.  We collected volunteer information via a google form sign-up sheet that can be found here.

My husband also helped us set up all our stations the morning of the event.  His help was extra special because he has been working 5 hours away on a night shift.  He left his job and drove straight to the library to meet me at 7:15 am (on no sleep!).

Considering the torrential downpour and the cancellation of the pony rides, I am very happy with out 191 people attendance!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 Reading Goals

This year I am participating in two reading challenges (so far), reading for my library's new teen book club, and (I hope) reading for this years Arkansas Teen Book Award selection committee.

I have pledged to read 40 books on Goodreads.

I have pledged to be a green star reader on Red House Book's 2013 NetGalley Challenge.  This means I will read between 11 and 20 books specifically from NetGalley.

My library's teen book club (and me) will be reading these books this year:

January              Fever Crumb (this is the only title that I have previously read,but there are several on this list that I have been wanting to read)
February            Water Steps
March                  Savvy
April                    Pope Joan
May                     Gregor the Overlander
June                     Little Brother
July                      Before Green Gables
August                  Happyface
September           Cosmic
October                Eli the Good
November            Fair Weather
December            The River Between Us

I will also be reading for the Arkansas Teen Book Award selection committee again this year.  I will create a  post in the Spring when our new lists are posted.  

**Note: If you write book reviews or are a librarian, and have not created your own NetGalley account.  Do so!  Its a great way to read/preview books prior to their publication!