CLASC Annual Meeting and Dinner

CLASC sure knows how to make a business meeting fun! It’s not too late to RSVP for the CLASC Annual Meeting and Dinner on Thursday, April 14th with Victoria Kann, author of the Pinkalicious books. All are welcome to this evening of food, friends, networking, prizes, an author presentation, book signing and, of course, a CLASC business meeting.

Please see flyer here for full details and RSVP info:

Homeschooling and Teacher Resource Collection

In an effort to meet the needs of a large, active and organized homeschooling community, the Family Department of the Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton has developed a new Homeschooling and Teacher Resource Collection.

The collection is the brain child of Claudia, Assistant Supervisor in the Family Department. She has worked at the library for over 20 years and is currently pursuing her M.L.S. Claudia was presented with a school assignment to develop a new (fictitious) collection, and a budget to support it. Rather than a fictitious collection, the Family Department staff decided to explore whether a homeschooling collection might meet a community need while remaining within the confines of their budget. After reviewing hundreds of sources, assessing existing in-house library titles, and conducting focus groups with the local homeschooling community, the collection is now comprised of approximately 100 titles. Some of these titles are new and others have simply been moved and re-catalogued. In the fall of 2011, a program designed specifically for this audience will highlight and offer assistance with navigating its many resources.

Many in both the homeschooling and general teaching community have been directed to the collection and Rogers Memorial staff members have received much positive feedback in the short time it has been on their shelves.

Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood (Library)?

Playfulness ensues as soon as you walk into the Children’s Department of the Westhampton Free Library. Right by the entryway is a bookcase that features an eclectic array of items. Which librarian do these items belong to? That’s the guessing game all the children and parents play when they visit the library. In this manner, the children become familiar with the librarians in the department. Children enter the room and, upon seeing the librarian, frequently exclaim: “I guessed it was you!” to the librarian. Not only are the kids proud of their sleuthing skills, they get to know their neighborhood librarians just a little better.

This Jazz Man: A Read (and Tap Your Foot) Along

If you select audio material for children, consider adding the read along This Jazz Man from Live Oak Media to your collection. You may remember when the picture book written by Karen Ehrhardt and illustrated by R.G. Roth was published back in 2006, playing on the traditional rhyme “This Old Man.” This Jazz Man, the read-along, is more than a narrated picture book: it is a unique opportunity to take in a live jazz performance and a work of art and literature all at the same time. Narrator James “D Train” Williams changes his tone, rhythm and accent to reflect each of the nine players represented in the book. When the Cuban conga player and composer Luciano Pozo y Gonzalez is featured, Williams speaks with a Cuban accent, and when Louie Armstrong is on the stage, Williams scats in Louie’s fashion. Each jazz man’s instrument is brought to the forefront when the player is featured, like when we hear an old time piano featured on Fats Waller’s two page spread. The original composition serves as a great introduction to jazz, but there is much more for a seasoned ear to enjoy as well, including musical puns, rhythm changes, and nods to the individual player’s style.

Be sure to put this in the hands of musicians, music lovers, and appreciators of jazz, regardless of their age. Home-schooling families and small classes of children in particular could use this recording as a springboard to study jazz.

Fran Romer Memorial Booktalk Workshop

YASD reports that there are still spots to register for the 2011 Fran Romer Memorial Booktalk Workshop on Friday, April 8, 2011 at 9:00am-12:30pm at Harborfields Public Library. The topic is Truth is Stranger than Fiction: Non-fiction for Teens. The keynote speaker is Marc Aronson.

Good news for latecomers: anyone who registers between now and April 8, 2011 will be entered to win a book of their choice to be signed by Marc Aronson on the day of the event! To register, visit YASD online and download the registration form.

Managing Stage Fright

Librarians certainly spend a lot of time on stage. We speak in front of audiences when we’re introducing a performer, working with a Teen Advisory Board or presenting at a PTA meeting. When the weekend rolls around many of us are in the spotlight in our civic groups, churches, music halls, choir pits, art shows, comedy clubs (you know who you are), ball fields…the list goes on. But have we overcome the stage fright many of us feel before standing up in front of parents, teachers, teens, colleagues, bosses, even friends? I certainly haven’t. All I have are two tips that I’ve been putting to frequent use: know your space and remember to breathe. Here’s my take on why these two remedies for the stomach butterflies work so well.

Ever notice that when you’re on your own turf you feel more confident in front of a crowd? There’s something about feeling familiar with your space that can lend support. If you need to speak before an audience, try to visit your venue ahead of time. Not only will knowing your route and where to park give you one less thing to worry about, but you’ll also get a sense of the room. If you need to present about the Summer Reading Program at a school you’ve never been to, ask to see the facilities ahead of time. How are the acoustics in the room? Should you use a microphone? Where is the good lighting? What distractions will be competing with you? Will the students have eaten lunch before you get there?

Once you learn about all the interesting challenges you’ll face as you speak in front of your audience, remember to practice your new breathing technique: breathing like a cat. A cat breathes deeply and fully into the lungs, and so do people when they’re relaxed. Nervous people (and cats, I’m sure) breathe shallowly into their chest. The more nervous we are, the less air we take in, which only aggravates our nerves and impedes the projection of our voice. So remember a resting cat and make pauses in your speech for these deep breaths (which can take place quickly.) Plan your breaths if you need to, and practice.

If you’ll be at the performer’s showcase today, think about how the presenters are managing their own nerves while you take in their performance. And please share your tips if you have any of your own!

Patchogue-Medford’s Gilda Ramos Wins Award from Library Journal

Is Patchogue-Medford on a roll or what? This winner of the 2010 National Medal for Library Service is now recognized for the outstanding work of a dedicated staff member: Gilda Ramos has been named Library Journal’s 2011 Paralibrarian of the Year. Read the full article about this inspiring library worker and look for Gilda’s face on the cover of the March issue of Library Journal.