Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Caution! Wet Frosting

Mr. Berkbigler's Highlander Home displays their spirit by decorating the library's door.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

DON'T PANIC! You CAN get to Google Drive.

Sorry Safari fans :(
The computers in the library won't allow you to connect to Google Drive through Safari.
Please use Chrome or Firefox.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

New Books

Ask us about our new books. It's exciting!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Short Stories On-Demand

Need to kill a few minutes while waiting for a bus or train? Instead of mindlessly staring at your phone or twiddling your thumbs, why not print out a quick short story. A small start-up in Grenoble, France aims to do just that with the Short Edition vending machine. The machines were conceived by Short Edition co-founder Christophe Sibieude who was standing in front of a traditional candy vending machine and questioned if there might be a better way to pass the time other than snacking.

So far, eight of the minimalistic vending machines have been installed around the city, each of which has three buttons that correlate with how much reading time you have to spare: 1, 3, or 5 minutes. The stories print instantly on narrow receipt paper which makes for easy reading and storage. The randomly printed stories are written by the Short Edition community, and also include poems and other forms of experimental short fiction.
Found on Colossal

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

800-Year-Old Doodles

Ever find yourself doodling during class? Well you are not alone.
Left doodle: Medieval smiley face. Conches, Bibliothèque municipale, MS 7 (main text 13th century, doodle 14th or 15th century). Right doodleDoodle by bored medieval school boy. A 15th-century doodle in the lower margin of a manuscript containing Juvenal’s Satires, a popular classical text used to teach young children about morals. Photo: Carpentras, Bibliothèque municipale, MS 368
See more doodles at Colossal 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

And the winner is... KCLS!

The King County Library System materials warehouse staff raced their New York Public Library counterparts in a “sorting smackdown,” to see who could sort the most books in an hour.
From the Seattle Times -- Click to read more about this annual competition

Friday, October 30, 2015


Thank you Leadership Class for the photo backdrop. Can you find Andrew & Derrick?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Weapons of Mass Instruction

In celebration of World Book Day  7UP commissioned Argentinian artist Raul Lemesoff to construct one of his famous book tanks. In this case he began with a stripped down 1979 Ford Falcon which he used to build a new roving library on wheels with an exterior framework capable of carrying 900 free books.
Click to watch a video to see it all come together. (via Designboom

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Giving Shape to Story Plots

“The fundamental idea is that stories have shapes which can be drawn on graph paper, and that the shape of a given society’s stories is at least as interesting as the shape of its pots or spearheads,” Kurt Vonnegut said. 

Vonnegut plotted stories on a vertical “G-I axis,” representing the good or ill fortunes of the main character, and a horizontal “B-E” axis that represented the course of the story from beginning to end.
One of the most popular story types is what Vonnegut called “Man in Hole,” graphed here by designer Maya Eilam. Somebody gets in trouble, gets out of it again, and ends up better off than where they started. “You see this story again and again. People love it, and it is not copyrighted,” Vonnegut says in his lecture. A close variant is “Boy Loses Girl,” in which a person gets something amazing, loses it, and then gets it back again. Read more via Know More, Wonkblog's social media site.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Old and New, Andy Berkbigler

Old and new. I am beginning my fourteenth year at Shorecrest, my twenty-first year teaching, and my first year as our school librarian. In a way, my life as a teacher began even before I was born since there has been at least one person in my family teaching every year since 1902! My twin sister is a 4th grade teacher in Seattle, my wife is a para-educator at Highland Terrace Elementary, and my children are students at Shorewood.

In making the transition from the classroom to the library, I have thought a lot about libraries both old and new. I worked in an art slide library while in college at the U.W., earned my Master of Library and Information Science the year after my daughter was born and a few months before my son was born, and worked as Shorecrest’s part-time librarian from 2004 to 2006. My first time as a head librarian was while teaching in Aleppo, Syria a long time ago. What is a long time ago for me is nothing in comparison to a long time ago in Syria. Aleppo has been a city for the last seven thousand years—it was a city before books, alphabets, logograms (kanji), and writing of any type existed.

While teaching in Syria I took my students on a fieldtrip to Ebla, the site of the world’s first known library. Ebla’s scholars and scribes, or librarians, began collecting clay tablets into a library back when the pyramids were being built in Egypt. This picture shows a Bedouin guard explaining to me the location of the library and how it was organized.

Today, Syria has descended into a hell on earth for the people who I used to know—a true dystopian world. Over the summer I read my share of dystopian novels from The Giver and The Maze Runner to Divergent and Mockingjay. I was captivated by these imaginary worlds, and so very relieved that I was reading about them from the safety of my home. Over the last few years I have thought a lot about the teenagers that I taught and the colleagues that I worked alongside in Syria. I have also thought about the clay tablet collection at Ebla that existed for centuries as a library, was buried for thousands of years and has now been destroyed by civil war.

Old and new. I walked amongst the ruins of the oldest known library and I am now the librarian in one of the world’s newest libraries. I am looking forward to the newest books and e-books, databases and digital resources that will deepen our understanding of life and transport us to vivid literary realms. So, come on into our library and ask me about what’s new and about what’s old!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Monday, June 1, 2015

Elizabeth George is coming to the Shorecrest library on June 2nd, during 4th period. She will be talking about her latest book, The Edge of the Shadows, the third in her popular young adult mystery series. Set on our own Whidbey Island, the books (The Edge of Nowhere and The Edge of Water) follow the extraordinary events of Becca King’s life. Becca’s actual name is Hannah Armstrong but she has left her name and her identity far behind as she seeks to escape encountering her murderous step-father. Becca does bring along her nascent ability to hear what people are thinking and learn their secrets along with their fears. The series is great mystery, great romance, and great suspense.

In addition, Ms George can proudly claim a large body of work that includes her best-selling adult mystery series based on British Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and his partner Barbara Havers. Intricate, suspenseful, and carefully constructed, these novels have developed devoted fans worldwide.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Watch Out!

Annual Day can sneak up on you.

Get prepared for the fun...
Make sure all your overdue books are taken care of before June 1 to pick up your annual.

Friday, May 1, 2015

3-D Printers in Libraries

"It's actually part of a larger trend," says the ALA's Sari Feldman. 3-D printers are just the newest example of the interactive spaces that libraries are becoming for their communities, she says. 
"So, where once we thought of libraries as places where we had things for people, now we really do things for people — or do things with people," Feldman says. 
She says libraries large and small across the U.S. are setting up so-called "maker spaces," offering increasingly sophisticated hardware and software, including studio production equipment, design software and in some cases, even laser cutters. NPR

Friday, April 10, 2015

My Favorite Teacher 

Local Award Ceremony for
Brett Vlahovich 
Northgate Barnes & Noble 
Monday, April 13th, 2015 – 4:00 PM 
Cake and beverages – teacher discounts – special prizes!

Monday, March 30, 2015

[Bleeping] Book App is Making Authors Say "[Darn] You!"

In a stroke of irony fit for fiction, an effort by two Idaho parents to clean up their daughter's books has dredged up a fairly messy controversy. Clean Reader — an e-reader app designed to ferret out, and block, profanity in novels and nonfiction — drew significant pushback from some authors amid its recent launch. NPR
Anyone who works with words understands their power," she said. "Words, if used correctly, can achieve almost anything. To tamper with what is written – however much we may dislike certain words and phrases – is to embrace censorship.” –– author Joanne Harris The Telegraph
“I can’t forget the way it felt when a book I was loving let me down by throwing in something that offended me…. I know how much easier my life as a reader would’ve been if books had ratings or if I’d had access to the Clean Reader app.” Book Riot
Learn more about Clean Reader and the controversy.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

If you like (this popular teen fiction), try (this adult classic)

If you like Hunger Games, Matched, Divergent and Delirium…
… try some of the original, ground-breaking dystopian adventures.
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
If you like Skulduggery Pleasant, Andy Lane or the Rangers Apprentice series…
… give these classic adventure stories a go!
  • Sherlock Holmes books by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy
If you like the Twilight series, Lauren Oliver, Lauren Kate or Cassandra Clare…
…you need to read the classic gothic romances. ALL OF THEM.
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  • Cheri by Collette
  • I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith
  • A Room With a View by E.M Forster
If you like Neil Gaiman, Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, Diana Wynne Jones or Philip Pullman…
… you should try some epic fantasy or gothic tales!
  • Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake
  • The Earthsea Quartet by Ursula Le Guin
  • The Mistborn Saga by Brandon Sanderson
If you like Robert Muchamore, Anthony Horowitz, Lauren St John or Charlie Higson…
… you need some spy classics in your life.
  • James Bond by Ian Fleming
  • The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan
  • Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene 
See more suggestions and book descriptions from The Guardian

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Oh, for Pete’s sake.

Who cares where information comes from or if it’s accurate or who wrote it or who uses it? Sheesh…these picky teachers and weirdo librarians that yammer on and on about ‘checking your sources’, ‘who’s the author’, ‘find the citation’, ‘turn in a Works Cited’, MLA, EasyBib, yadayadayada. What a snore!

Well, listen carefully to what John Green has to say about crediting the appropriate sources. A real-world example from someone who not only cares to be accurate but will publicly make sure that we know he cares. What a great guy! A perfect example for all of us.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Abandoned to Award-Winning

A deserted Wal-Mart in McAllen, Texas was converted into the award-winning McAllen Public Library.

Some of the library’s more charming features include what Horan calls “mega-pendants,” or large signs emblazoned with genre names and designed to make the lofty ceilings seem a little lower. Under them are reading nooks they call “respites.” The library also features a quiet room, several computer labs, a small volunteer-run bookstore, and a café. Slate
Check out the other repurposed big-box stores (One is a Spam Museum)
More pictures of the library.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Big news in the publishing world this past week.

First and foremost, it was announced that after almost 60 years, this summer will see the release of a second novel by author, Harper Lee. This book is actually her first novel, according to her publisher, but was never printed for public sale. Lee's editor at the time suggested that the main character, Scout Finch, deserved a back story and encouraged Ms Lee to craft a story of Scout as a young girl. That effort resulted in the classic American novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, a story that remains one of the most widely-read and cherished books of the 20th century. Now it seems, the re-discovery of this first manuscript will lead to a much-anticipated second work by the reclusive, 88-year-old writer. Literally millions will line up to re-connect with Scout and her aging father, Atticus. What a find! NY Times

In addition, the family of American writer, EB White, has finally agreed to release three of his most famous children's stories in digital format. Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan will be available as an ebook download beginning next month. The family has concluded that sales of the digital books will not affect the continued sales of the 'preferred' print format. ABC News

As a bi-format reader myself, I think both announcements are great. Such timeless stories should be spread far and wide for all ages to enjoy. I'm so looking forward to these releases.

Friday, January 30, 2015

"But the idea that all YA is bad and doesn't challenge you in any way is ludicrous."

Shannon believes adults should not belittle the genre just because it is populated predominantly with teenage characters: "There's this bizarre idea that adults can't empathise with teenagers - even that there's something embarrassing about reading books about young people. 
"That indicates to me that they're saying there's something fundamentally embarrassing about being a teenager." BBC News
Do you agree?

Photos by AP
clockwise from top left
  • The film adaptation of John Green's Fault in Our Stars topped UK and US box office charts
  • Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, is the face of the rebellion in a dystopian society
  • Divergent's protagonist Tris (played by Shailene Woodley) lives in a society divided into five factions based on virtues
  • Fault in Our Stars author John Green's status has been compared to that of a rock star, with 3.5 million followers on Twitter - whom he calls his "Nerdfighters"

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Things People Asked Librarians Before the Internet

In a world pre-Google, librarians weren't just Wikipedia, they were people's Craiglist, Pinterest, Etsy, and Instagram all rolled into one. NYPL Instagram

Images via the New York Public Library
Want more? Check out these links.
Mental Floss
USA Today