28 July 2008

Road Map:: Bellefonte, Milton, and Hazleton, PA

Hi all. I haven't forgotten about jumpy pictures-- I have dozens more to share!

a) Centre County Library-- Bellefonte
Bellefonte, PA (05.24.08)

To me this is an iconic type of library. Small town, green lawn... I love it!

b) Milton Public Library
Milton, PA (05.24.08)

Stick 'em up! This one used to be a bank and still has the bank vault to show for it. Wouldn't you have loved to go here as a kid and play banks and robbers around books?

c) Hazleton Public Library
Hazleton, PA (05.24.08)

Believe it or not, I remember every library I go to. What sticks out about this one? Well it was closed so we couldn't go in, but I shan't forget how hard it was to get this shot below. It seems like every time we tried to get a picture I almost got run over.

Ah, what I do for jumpy pictures...

13 July 2008

Spotted!:: Tattoos of the literary kind

My mother's opinion of an individual would instantly plummet if she found out that his/her skin was in any way inked. Little did she know that I was planning to get the word "honey" in Arabic on my right hip. Thankfully for her, I realized that spreading Mexican hips should not be decorated in any type of permanent art, since I would start off with the word "honey" but over time, it would eventually say "horse" or "mackerel buffalo."

Thankfully for us, some people have gotten creative. They use the poetic words of masters-- ones that do not get lame with time, like poorly researched kanji. A special soul has gotten together a website with anthologies of tattoos.

Some are still fresh and inflamed.
Others are group tattoos with shared meaning.
All are intoxicating.

It's not surprising to see that Shakespeare, Saint-Exupery, and Vonnegut inspired many a tattoo enthusiast-- the latter of which is credited for the picture to the left. As a YA librarian, however, I was particularly moved by Stephen Chbosky's contribution to body art.

I met this Pittsburgh homeboy at ALA in Anaheim just a couple of weeks ago, and I hope he knows that his words are also eternal.

And speaking of tattoos and grand muses...

The most influential performer in my life, the monolithic Tori Amos, is adding to her repertoire by coaxing visuals out of her girls-- as she calls her songs. Various graphic novelists, including Hope Larson and Lea Hernandez, are coming out to interpret Tori's work in the new volume Comic Book Tattoo. You can see a few articles here, there, and everywhere.

This, to me, is an orgy of the things I love best. I would never have imagined, ten years ago, that something like this could be possible. For me to sway my hips to "Caught a Lite Sneeze" as I read liquid drawings.

09 July 2008

Spotted!:: Breaking Dawn Sneak Peek!

You know, Entertainment Weekly sure can publish absolute drivel but here is a gem. Un diamant brut.

.the beginning.
of Breaking Dawn is here.

Can you believe that I refuse to read it? I want to read the whole book all in one go and I shall close my ears to the world for fear of spoilers. I want to innocently discover
.the end.

07 July 2008

Spotted!:: Yet another reason why Australians are da bomb

Yes... YES... YESSS!

Now all we librarians need to do is rise up as militant and radical revolutionaries to get this on American TV.

Man, if I had moved to Australia the way I wanted to back in '05, I would probably be able to watch this without a problem. Then again, I'd probably be a waitress or something. I wouldn't really have an MLS, I don't think. It's one of those Sliding Doors phenomena.

Ah yes...

03 July 2008

Anaheim ALA '08:: Days Four through the end

I truly had every intent on blogging at least twice a day while I was at the conference but the following got in my way:
  • Limited internet access.
    It came and went as it pleased without ever really asking for my input.

  • Flawed human energy.
    I started the event with great enthusiasm but then it dwindled as time went on. I was still going to programs, just not rushing to write stuff about it.

  • Wimpy arms.
    I carried my laptop around the first couple of days. Yeah... I learned not to do that.
So instead you get a quick run-down of the programs that were memorable enough, in no particular order.

The Pura Belpré Award reception was pretty fabulous. I was so moved when Yuyi Morales, the winning illustrator, began her speech by acknowledging the presence of her family and friends. She said, "You're all here," in this sublimely grateful and amazed tone of voice, and I instantly thought of my family. Y no les miento cuando les digo que empezé a chillar. I kept my sobs to a minimum and all, but I was an instant mess. Then the pachanga became the center stage for the ultimate weapon of mass emotion: a group of elementary school mariachis started singing everything from "De Colores" to "Es Demasiado Tarde." All they had to do was sing "Si Nos Dejan" or "Amor Eterno" and I would have had to flee like La Llorona. One little girl could barely hold up her violin but she was a star in her beautiful mariachi clothes. I was all kinds of nostalgic there.

The YALSA president's program was stupendous, and not because I was hooked up with Dr. Bernier by my boss. It really got me thinking about both physical and digital teen space-- something I had not really given that much thought to. All presenters had something very real to offer, both in content and charisma. It's hard to do a presentation that really keeps the audience's attention, let me tell ya.

That said, I have to admit that there were some programs I found really disappointing, and not necessarily because of substance. You have to sell it, you know? Most librarians are not used to being in a classroom setting for hours and they really want to take away something solid into their work space. Simply reading from a cheat sheet is just not good enough. So bring some flava into it!

More reflections and pictures later. Ta!