Update on Ruthie’s sharing library

Hi everyone! This isn’t as much an update to you as it is an introduction. Last October (2016), my boyfriend, Nick, made me a little library for my birthday. Nick is a very talented carpenter, and spent a lot of time on this project. The main picture of my blog is one of the first pictures I took of it. You can see the little bowl of candy I set out for halloween.

Anyways, since then I have decided to call the library a book exchange. It is more a book exchange than it is a library. I do not keep track of the books, and the books are dropped and picked up freely by participants in the community.

The book exchange has been active this past year! At one point I had to bring about 15 books inside my house to make sure the exchange was not overflowing. Now it is in good balance. It has children’s books, popular literature, classical literature, and self-help books. I have seen a DVD move through as well as a couple audiobooks. I also have met people participating, and had multiple people thank me for providing this to the community. I appreciate these thanks, and appreciate the participation. And I appreciate the time that Nick put into this wonderful birthday gift. Thank you!



Summer Post 2, Cool Project Alert!

So, in New York State the summer reading program’s theme is Build a Better World. I love it! STEM/STEAM focus is in the name, so lots of making and building is happening all around public libraries in NY. We also are focusing on how to use our talented brains and reading skills to make a better world.

At the Nyack Library, we have a programs in the Build a Better World series in the children’s room. They are as follows:

Build a Better World with Art (July 4)

Build a Better World Hunt (July 15)

Building a Better World Begins with You (August 2)

Better World BINGO (August 7)

Build a Better World with Poetry (August 15)

Build a Better World CLOSING CEREMONY (August 18)

The cool project that I found to make (with a lot of help from your library’s makerspace) is a laser cut Dymaxion Globe. I can’t imagine doing this without the help of someone, so instead I’m going to focus on drawing the pattern of the dymaxion map. This is such a cool invention if you think about the intent of the invention. Create a map that is both accurate and can be made into a globe. Great learning tool!

Everyone enjoy your summer!

**This is a personal blog. I do not represent the Nyack Library.**



Summer Post 1, children’s books cast aside…

While working in the children’s room of the Nyack Library the other day, I picked a lot of books off of tables and bookshelves that had been cast aside by the young patrons. This is of course an everyday occurrence. We also like and prefer when books are cast aside in this manner, rather than the youngin’s attempting to shelve them.

Note to all patrons, young and old, unless you have Page experience – please do not shelve books. Yes! The book will thank you for handing it over, and we will thank you. It always stinks when we go searching for a book, and cannot find it because it has been shelved in the wrong place. And you also have an excuse to be a little sloppy. That opportunity doesn’t come around too often, so take advantage!

I decided to read as many of the books left behind as possible. Out of about 20, these are my favorite 3. They each inspired me in different ways.

a6f567138f32afcb060294460ab46c1a-w204@1xCommunication. Author and Illustrator: Aliki. Greenwillow Books $4.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-688-17116-2

This picture book is a helpful tool for teaching positive communication. Honestly, the cover deceived me. I thought that the book was going to be about how people communicate in different ways (speaking, signing, writing, etc.). But, it turned out to be an even better tool than I thought.  Sometimes we get so caught up in our heads that we forget that communication is basic. It is about one person speaking and the other person listening. These roles of listener and speaker go back an5118GJG7XDLd forth as we have a conversation. This book is helpful when we need a little reminder on how to communicate in the most effective manner.

Find in Nyack Library: J 302.2 ALI


Elephants Cannot Dance! Author and Illlustrator: Mo Willems. Disney-Hyperion $8.99 (57p) ISBN 978-1-4231-1410-9

I want to read this book at a story hour! It is so much fun. First of all, while reading in my head, I enjoyed deciding how I would like to read the individual voices of Elephant and Piggie. Then, Elephant and Piggie are moving around so much in this book. Not a lot of books give you the opportunity to change your voice, move, have your listeners move, and have everyone in stitches at the end. Elephant and Piggie are a funny pair. I can’t wait to read this one out loud for a crowd someday.

Find in Nyack Library: JE WILLEMS


Little Miss Whoops. Author: Roger Hargreaves. Penguin Random House (32p). 9780843133509.

Oh my goodness – Roger and Adam Hargreaves books are adorable. The pictures of the characters are simple and descriptive of their name. I am very clumsy, so I could relate to Little Miss Whoops. Whenever I break something, I am disappointed and sad. I have to remind myself that I didn’t do the clumsy thing on purpose. If I break something that belonged to someone else, sometimes it is hard but I know that I need to tell them and apologize. Then I need to just keep on trying to be more careful, and that is the best that I can do. I will always be who I am, and Little Miss Whoops will always be who she is. As we grow up we learn about ourselves and how to love what makes us special. In The Nyack Library we have the Little Miss and Mr. Men series in tiny book form – come check out all the characters!

Find in Nyack Library: JP TINY H

Re-post from old blog

This was originally posted about three years ago on my original personal blog that I didn’t really maintain. I liked this post though, so I decide to transfer it over. Now that I am commuting to school, it’s nice to listen to podcasts or books on CD. I listen to books on CD a lot more now though, because I still need my GPS to get to school without getting lost. Running podcasts and GPS at the same time take up a lot of battery life! Anyways, now I sound like Maron going on an on about my boring life. I love Marc Maron’s podcast!! But, when I recommend it, I always tell people that it’s okay to skip through the beginning and just get to the interview. I’m sorry Maron, I hope that doesn’t offend too much. Enjoy this really old post.

I commute about two hours, three days a week. With a part time job just on the other side of the Tappan Zee Bridge, I have a lot of time to kill. I’ve been doing this for a year, and I love driving so it hasn’t gotten to me yet. The only problem I’ve run into is that listening to the radio for that amount of time is incredibly boring. Changing between channels constantly to avoid commercials, repetitive top 20 songs, or depressing world news broadcasting is distracting, but it gets old. So, for a couple of months now I’ve kept my phone full of podcasts. They are perfect, because many of them are about 45 minutes long, and they are stories that you can get lost in. I switch between NPR’s many programs like RadioLab, This American Life, Freakonomics, The Moth and RadioDiaries. Also, for some humor I listen to Comedy Bang! Bang! and my favorite interviewer Marc Maron’s WTF podcast. Terry Gross also holds a special place in my heart (I know I’m not alone on that one).

If you haven’t tried out podcasts yet, here’s a list of my favorite ones to start with:


1. Marc Maron’s tribute to Robin Williams:

I’m not going to weigh in on Robin William’s untimely death, other than to say that it has touched many people. I listened to Terry Gross’ tribute, read The Rolling Stone’s obituary (which is very good), and a couple of other articles, but I don’t think anyone really opens up Robing Williams like Marc Maron. I would go so far as to say that I don’t think anyone makes people feel comfortable enough to talk about their dark shit like Marc Maron does. He is an incredible interviewer, and his intelligence and ability to really pay attention to someone comes through in his interviews. Maron lets people run off on tangents while always gracefully pulling them back to the original point. If I could study under this guy, I would.

2. This American Life’s Episode 199: House on Loon Lake:

This story is so spooky and well told. Ira Glass steps aside and allows Adam Beckman to tell the haunting tale of breaking into an abandoned house with his pals as a kid. Any curious person will be able to identify with this guy, and appreciate the fact that he’s kept his imagination running for long enough that he could revisit this tale after childhood.

3. Radio Diaries’s Josh 16 Years Later:

I just started listening to Radio Diaries, and this was probably the fifth one I’ve listened to. The reason I love Josh so much is because he is someone that I could see myself being friends with. He is funny and hurt, and he is honest. What sucks though is sometimes he can’t control being honest. The moment when his mom asks him if she’s done a good job with him, and his answer is a tick is such a strong moment. The biggest reason I love Josh so much, though, is because he is a fantastic prank caller. I was laughing out loud in my car listening to his prank calls.

4. RadioLab’s Patient Zero:

The story of Typhoid Mary is fascinating and a good beginning to this episode, but my favorite part is the different stories of the beginning of AIDS. Just listen, RadioLab is fantastic journalism and the way they deliver it is musical.

5. Comedy Bang! Bang!’s A Spiritual Journey:

This episode is one of the first episode’s with my favorite character from Comedy Bang! Bang!’s podcast, Traci Reardon, played by Lauren Lapkus. This podcast and the show on IFC are not for everyone, but give it a try. Also, not all of the episodes are funny, because they are trying something new each time, so before you judge make sure you listen to a couple.


Week 13, Hilda and the Troll

Bibliographic Information: Pearson, Luke. Hilda and the Troll. Flying Eye Books, 2013. 40 pages. Tr. $18.95, 978-1-909263-14-7.


Pearson, Luke. Hildafolk. Nobrow Press, 2011. 48 pages. Pbk. $10.24. 978-1-907704-04-8.

Reading level: NoveList recommends this book for ages 9-12, Amazon’s age range is 6-10.

Genre: Graphic novel, fantasy

Awards for the Hildafolk series:

Hilda and the Midnight Giant, Best Children’s Picture, PW 2012 | Hilda and the Bird Parade NY Times Notable Children’s books of 2013

Hilda and the Black Hound — Young People’s Comic Award (British Comic Awards 2014)
Bester Comic für Kinder (Max & Moritz Prize 2015)
Pépite de la Bande Dessinée (Montreuil Book Fair 2015)
The Dwayne McDuffie Award for Kid’s Comics 2015

Hilda and the Midnight Giant — Eisner Award Nominee (Best Writer/Artist, Best Publication for Kids)
Winner of Young People’s Comic Award (British Comic Awards 2012)

Reviews and celebration for Hilda and the Troll:



Found on CLCD:

Hilda and her mother live in a mountainous region, in a cabin that was built by her great-grandfather. Hilda is unlike a typical child. Aside from the pointy nose and the blue hair, she has a thrill for unusual experiences. For example, hearing that there will be heavy rain in the evening, Hilda runs to her mother and asks to sleep in the tent. Fortunately for Hilda, her mother is unlike a typical mother. She says yes. Hilda spends an uncomfortable night in the cold and noisy outdoors but declares it the life of an adventurer that she wouldnt have it any other way. She studies trolls in the meadow; but when one follows her home, Hilda is not sure what to do. In this first Hildafolk graphic novel, her neighbor the Wood Man and her strange pet Twig are introduced. Children will thrill at the excitement and danger that make up Hildas world and sigh at the turn of the last page. Fortunately, they need not wait long since two additional books are now available in the Hildafolk series: Hilda and the Bird Paradise and Hilda and the Midnight Giant. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green


On the cover, the picture of Hilda petting what seemed to be a fox with horns and the geometric designs around her will peak your interest. The map at the beginning of the book and overall design of the comic encourages you to read further. Hilda’s spirited adventurous attitude will get you hooked. This book is also chock-full of whimsical fantasy characters like trolls, giants, a woodman, and a sea spirit.

My favorite panels:

“Such is the life of an adventurer.” This panel captures that feeling of satisfaction and drive for more adventure that one feels after an uncomfortable and sometimes grueling experience. I can see her series being a wonderful success. Her adventures are being made into a Netflix series, due 2018. Read it before you watch!


While on an expedition to seek out the magical creatures of the mountains around her home, Hilda spots a mountain troll. As she draws it, the blue-haired explorer starts to nod off… when she wakes, she finds herself lost in a snowstorm and her troll has totally disappeared. On her way home, Hilda ventures deep into the woods, befriends a lonely wooden man and narrowly avoids getting squashed by a lost giant.

Common Core Tie-in:

The third grade (age 8-9) Reading Literature (RL) standard states, “Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.” Fourth grade (age 9-10) RL.4.4 states, “Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including those that allude to significant characters found in mythology (e.g., Herculean).” Fifth grade (age 10-11) RL.5.7 states “Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).”

So, discussion of mythology and it’s place in literature is found in many of the common core standards. We could talk about how this author may have been influenced by Icelandic troll mythology when creating the troll rock. Then we can ask if there was any mythological influence on the sea spirit or the woodman? Does this also originate from Iceland? Or, maybe Finland or Sweden where we also find fjords? We can find the deeper meaning and beauty in this text through discussion of mythology.



Week 12, Digital Media

Spina, C. (2014). Finding, evaluating, and sharing new technology. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 53(3), 217-220. Retrieved from http://queens.ezproxy.cuny.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.queens.ezproxy.cuny.edu:2048/docview/1515296971?accountid=13379

This article recommends ways to approach the process of keeping abreast of new technology. Then, the author outlines criteria for evaluating new technologies. The evaluation criteria are meant to help manage the onslaught of apps and digital media that librarians need to sift through.

The author provides blogs and groups that will share new content and digital media. Though using technology to find technology works, I also liked the fact that the author encouraged reaching out to humans that belong to librarian groups — “Don’t be shy about actually striking up conversations with these people either. I have found that most are happy to discuss their own strategies or the tools they like the best.” (Spina, 2014).

Unlike most of our readings this week, this article is not for reviewing apps or recommending screentime use and management. This article is geared towards librarians and intended to help with evaluation and selection of apps and technology.

I decided to condense the information of this article into an evaluation tool:

PRICE Priority goes to free apps. Pricey apps with free trials. Pricey apps with no free trial.
PLATFORM (you may need to collaborate with other librarians to test all platforms) Available and works well on all/most platforms. Available on all/most platforms, but may not work well on all. Not available on all platforms. Especially needs to be available on the most used platforms in your community.
USER INTERFACE The tool is usable and easy to use for everyone (including people who are not as familiar with technology). It also is accessible to people with adaptive devices. The tool may lack is usability accessibility, but it is effective and has a nice layout/design. Or vice versa. Ultimately lacking in usability, pleasing design, and accessibility.
FLEXIBILITY (This might need a new name… like HELPFUL or USEFUL) Basically, Does the app or website make your life easier? It can integrate with other technology and makes technology use simpler and enticing. — Think about all that Google provides and how seamlessly the apps work together A standalone tool that does not work with other apps or technology, but is helpful and makes life a little easier. Purely for fun. OR, even worse, this app is meant to make your life easier and it just creates more confusion. (Like, for me, a lot of the List Apps have too much going on. They make lists complicated!)
SECURITY/PRIVACY Answers yes to 0-1 questions below.
Questions to ask: -does it collect/require personal information?-does it connect to social media or other websites?-does it share information?
Answers yes to 1-2 of the questions. Answer yes to 2-3 questions.
AGE LEVEL The content, style, and other features are age appropriate for the exact age group you cater to. The content, style, and other features are appropriate for teens and children, but not specific to the age group you cater to. The content, style, and other features are not appropriate for your age group.
COMPETITORS/ALTERNATIVES You can associate the app/tool with others. Answer yes to all of the following:

-Are there cross-platform equivalents?

-Can you recommend a similar good game when a patron has mastered one?

-Is there a free alternative?

Answer yes to 1-2. Answer yes to 0-1.