Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Inklings: Library Mascot

Introducing the new Shorecrest library “mascot”! She is powerful, intelligent, versatile, and vigilant. (Also, apparently near-sighted, hence the glasses.) And best of all, she has literary origins.

Author Garth Nix has written a wonderful fantasy trilogy and the second book in the series is titled Lireal. It is in this book that we find the inspiration for our new mascot.

The main character, a young girl named Lireal, does not appear to have ‘The Sight’ which is the ability to see into people’s minds as well as the future. Most of the women in her world gain ‘the sight’ as youngsters, so without this gift, she has little status in her community. She longs to work in the library where she would be useful, out of sight, and have access to secrets. Lireal is granted her wish and assigned to the library as a third assistant; here she meets Vancelle, chief librarian, who possess a luminous, silver-bladed sword — a symbol of her power and the symbol of all that Lireal lacks. Lireal does uncover
some amazing secrets in the library and in turn, discovers she has gifts far beyond even Vancelle. And is this not a librarian’s hope? That all her students will gain knowledge and skills that surpass her own?

The character of Vancelle takes on a new dimension at the hands of former Shorecrest student, Mr. Patrick “Danger” Hartley, who actually drew the original sketch of the 21st Century Librarian. We are indebted to Patrick for this small legacy.

So we have borrowed Nix’s character (and Patrick’s artwork) to have our own 21st Century Librarian who symbolizes the power that libraries give to everyone – the power of information.

Library Staff wearing mascot tee

And this week, I will sign off with the words: Choose to be happy!

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Monday Tech Tip!

Every Monday, the library blog will feature a technology shortcut or tip that may make your life a little easier. To kick off this series, the 21st Century Librarian has a suggestion that will save your print card squares and get you greater mileage from the little yellow card!
Many of you are asked to print out your Power Point presentations and often print out a slide-per-page when you can easily print out 2, 3, 4 or more slides per page. Here's how:

  • First, remove whatever background or design you've chosen for your presentation**
  • Next, open your PowerPoint and select 'Print' (but don't hit the PRINT button!!)
  • Look carefully at the print dialog box and click on 'Print What - slides' to see what your other choices are
  • We recommend 3 or 4 per page; 9 slides may be too small for your teacher to read
  • NOW, hit the print button
  • Finally, go back and re-apply your background or design**
Viola! Fewer pages, less print squares, happy students. (**The reason for removing your background before you print is to prevent the very dark backgrounds from using so much toner; it is very expensive and not necessary. Print plain slides for your teacher and show the jazzy slides when you project your project!)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Reader of the Week: Mr. Hegarty

Reading means getting lost, wandering off, and dreaming, quietly thinking about things without distractions. Good with no socks or shoes and your feet up and a cup of tea. (I used to be able to read and listen to music, but that changed long ago.) I think I became a reader because all my older siblings were readers, and my cousins; I think all of us kids read, but not our parents (that’s odd?).

Right now I’m not reading much at all other than magazines (and that’s mostly just the old New Yorkers that have stacked up at home).

Over the last break, though, Mrs. Pankiewicz gave me Marcelo in the Real World (by Francisco X. Stork) which I found I really liked. She knew I had enjoyed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (by Mark Haddon) so passed "Marcelo" on to me. Good book.

My all-time-favorites have changed over the years – as a young boy it was The Hobbit (by JRR Tokien), and later, as a teenager, it was Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and everything by Hermann Hesse.

In my twenties I went on a Stephen King binge. In my thirties I discovered John Irving (all time favorite book for sure is A Prayer for Owen Meany) – and now in my forties I seem to read more non-fiction, most recent brilliant gem Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (by Doris Kearns Goodwin). Other great gems of the last few years include Never Let Me Go by Ishiguro, The Graveyard Book (by Neil Gaiman), and Reading in the Dark (by Seamus Deane).  And so many more . . .