Monday, March 31, 2008

Let's get Excited (and Realistic) about Web 2.0, a presentation by Jen Maney

Ya hoo! Jen wrote Saturday to say that her talk "Let's get Excited (and Realistic) about Web 2.0" at the Public Library Association conference went very well. She did a dry run for it last month when the two of us talked to a regional meeting of the Arizona Library Association in Safford, so I knew it was funny, focused, and insightful.

Today Michael Stephens has posted about the panel on the ALA TechSource blog. Take a look!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A visit from Riikka Jäntti

Last week we had a visit from Finnish author and illustrator Riikka Jäntti. Riikka is the author of Nokikätkön ritarit ja Kuuhiisi, or The Knights of the Sooty Nook and the Moon Troll, a fantasy story where a squirrel named Chip and her friends Toivo the hedgehog and Iris the mouse save the world. Well their little corner of it. The friends discover that greedy thugs are planning on stealing a hidden crown that protects their village, and form a secret society called the Knights of the Sooty Nook to stop them.

While she was here we made an English summary of her story (two more are planned in Finland, the second one will be published shortly), and here is the list of chapters. It makes you want to read it, eh? I really hope she can get it published in the U.S. and U.K.!

Chapter One, In Which Chip the Squirrel and Toivo the Hedgehog make a new friend.
Chapter Two, In Which the Secret Society is Founded
Chapter Three, In Which Big Brother has Guests
Chapter Four, In Which they go Berry-picking at Ratham Manor
Chapter Five, In Which We Hear the Legend of Mouse Hill
Chapter Six, In Which Everyone Disappears
Chapter Seven, In Which Lord Ratham Speaks
Chapter Eight, In Which Big Brother has Second Thoughts
Chapter Nine, In Which it is Nearly Autumn

I was able to show her Tucson at its most glorious. The weather was in the 80s, the sun shone every day, and the wildflowers were blooming all over the place. Riikka is spending a month traveling around America and recording her experiences in a delightful sketchbook journal.

Here are more images from her book:

We meet Mem Fox!

On March 5, 2008 our library put on a day-long event named "Creating a Community of Readers, Starting at Birth," where we engaged the parents, teachers, business people and politicians of Pima County in a conversation about what we can do to improve the literacy rate here. Mem Fox was our keynote speaker, having traveled all the way from Australia! She was wonderfully funny and insightful and a real kick in the pants. I am on the left, then my boss Gina, children's librarian Julie and seated, the inimitable Mem.

For my part, I co-taught a shortened version of our "Ready to Read" class so that the attendees could see some of the programming the library is doing out in the community. Ready to Read is a two-day S*cceeds-certified class on literacy and early brain development that we offer to daycare and homecare centers.