56 days of summer – 35

Today, my goal is to complete the MS for this math book, then let it sit until Monday for another round of editing. I’d also love to finish with my vehicles and get the BB paper cleaned up out of the guest room! I can do mess for a short period, but there comes a point that it wears on my nerves.

Cheryl Ristow postedĀ a video this morning of a teacher decorating his room. It is not all practical, but I do love his enthusiasm. I have done some impractical things in my room (even knowing they were impractical) because I loved the way they looked and HOPE really does spring eternal donchano. I didn’t do themes in my classrooms – well, I did, but the theme was Math. šŸ˜‰ I’m doing my second one in the library now and I love how the theme can tie things together. I love the filming theme he uses. Got to add that to my Pinterest board!



Barb Kibler shared a Buzzfeed Link – 35 Money Saving DYIs for the ClassroomĀ from 2013. I realize this kind of teacher craftiness is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’ve tried many of these things. I cannot tell you how many stacking boxes and cans (metal and plastic) I’ve repurposed over the years. Sometimes what I ended up making was NOT less expensive because of covering it (or, yes, even the mistakes I made), but I just couldn’t find something to fit a purpose. I would recommend finding boxes from a source other than the Post Office. Those are clearly marked that they are for USPS use only. But once you start collecting boxes, they multiply quickly.


paint chip calendar

Love this headline!


Are Libraries Necessary, or a Waste of Tax Money?

One of the nation’s biggest and busiest libraries is the $144-million Harold Washington Library in the Loop. It boasts a staggering 5,000 visitors a day!.

So we decided to check it out. We used an undercover camera to see how many people used the library and what were they doing.

In an hour, we counted about 300 visitors. Most of them were using the free internet. The bookshelves? Not so much.

An hour. This is what they saw in an hour. Wondering how much they looked around. Here are some selected comments.

Comment 1

I am not sure what parallel universe Ms. Davlantes was living in when she aired that report yesterday. She spent over one hour in the Bucktown-Wicker Park Branch of the Chicago Public Library, which was busy with readers checking out and returning books, computer users, visitors, students, parents reading with their children, and teens volunteering for the Summer Reading Program. Are libraries relevant? Of course they are, especially in these dire economic times when people don’t have disposable income, are out of a job, or are trying to improve their lives. Libraries provide important information and referral services to other community agencies and provide a setting for forever learning. Chicago Public Library branches circulate thousands of books each month and welcome hundreds of patrons per day, often (as a result of the current economic climate) with the same number of workers you might find on a garbage truck. Those few staff members will often work extra hours, purchase supplies out of their own pockets, and reach out to underserved areas of their communities on their own time. Even with short staffing and more and more people coming through our doors, you will find staff excited and committed in the future of libraries. We know times are changing, but we’re not stagnant. As methods for information retrieval and even pleasure reading change, so do we. Check it out at your local library!

Comment 2

You’re complaining about 2.5% of your taxes going to something that provides service nearly every day of the year – with many open 12 hours a day – and gives you access to a vast wealth of information you’d have to pay serious cash for as an individual (e.g., databases such as ValueLine, Morningstar, Lexis Nexis, etc.)? What about the internet and other computer programs that provide access for the many (more than you’d think) who cannot afford their own computer or internet service? What about the immensely popular programs for children and adults that encourage literacy and continuing cultural education? Not to mention access to thousands of books, audiobooks, films, music, e-books and e-audiobooks that you would otherwise have to spend thousands of dollars to get?

At 2.5%, libraries are a bargain, Anna. Please do some real research on this subject.

There are more. There was one really good one about Librarians having shot themselves in the foot. People are are passionate about the library and what it offers. I just hope that passion isn’t showing too late.

The library as community.

I don’t think those cutting library services – whether public, academic or preschool – have any clue about the varied ways that libraries serve the community. In this story,Ā Cal State L.A. students want to study past 8 p.m. – latimes.com, students arrived at the library to find it closed early due to budget cuts. So they improvised in the court yard.Ā And they kept on improvising. I wonder if the savings of lights and salaries is worth the feeling these students had over the loss of a place they could come and gather and work – AND use reference materials and find books and all the other things that are done specifically in the library itself.

Leno disses the library

From the Library Journal:

Crack about Los Angeles Public Library budget troubles generates letter of protest

Does Tonight Show host Jay Leno think libraries are worth much? Apparently not.

In hisĀ monologue May 11 (at about the three-minute mark), Leno cracked, “People here in Los Angeles are upset that the mayor’s proposed plan to cut the budget of libraries… This could affect as many as nine people.”

I know the libraries in my area are hopping. I have a hard time finding a parking place. AND when I interviewed one of the local librarians, she said that they have had a huge increase of people using the library specifically for job hunting, but also for all services because of the economic downturn.

So bah-humbug

Thoughts on writing

I love to write – formally or casually. What I don’t really enjoy is the research. That’s where casual writing is head and shoulders above formal writing.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy reading articles and books, I do. It’s that I have to hone in on a specific topic which can be difficult. Have you ever thought you had a great idea and then couldn’t find any supporting documentation? I had that happen this time. Rod’s thoughts on a racism carnival got me to thinking about racism in libraries. I’ve seen mentions of it in other courses and readings, but I couldn’t find any articles specifically addressing it. I sure couldn’t find any studies. Now if I were a real researcher and not just someone who synthesizes information, that might be a good topic to latch on to. I returned to my original topic after running into a dead end on that one. Then I went down another rabbit trail – copyright studies. But there was too much information on that. Although it’s good to have a back up topic. Back to the original.

Now the original topic was (*ahem* is) on budgeting in libraries when there are budget cuts. What has to go and what has to stay? Who has to go and who gets to stay? I was really excited about it a week ago, but now I’m a little ho-hum. That’s ok. I can write about it anyway and may regain some of that earlier enthusiasm as I read in order to write.

I also have been trying to work with open source office to highlight/comment on the pdf documents of articles. It’s a little awkward and doesn’t work on scanned documents. I’m thinking nothing probably works on scanned documents. This is not the time to be figuring this out – with deadlines looming. I wanted to do something besides print all these articles/chapters that I may or may not use.

Ball game tonight. I’ll leave it all and stew on it . . .