Tag Archives: stories

Director’s Thoughts #9 – Telling Stories

17 Jun


I’m trying something new with my staff as of the end of this week. I’ve been asking the question lately, “How do we make people care?” People being our staff, stakeholders, supervisors, etc. I want our staff to know that we’re making a difference every single day, I want our stakeholders to know about all the great things we’re doing and I want the township supervisors to see how we impact our community.

Statistics work great – how many people walk through our doors, how many items are checked out, how many people attend our programs, but these statistics don’t tell our story. So, this week I taped a piece of posterboard to the wall in our staff hallway (we don’t have our own break room). All I wrote on it was “Our Impact” and now I’m asking staff to share patron stories – nice words at the circ desk, a kind comment after a program or a word of thanks for help using the computers.

I’m hoping to show our staff just how much our community values the work we do. I’m hoping for great stories to share on our social media. And I want these strong stories to share with our Board in the hopes that they are not only impressed by our numbers, but also see just how much we do to impact our community in a truly positive way.

How do you collect and share your stories?


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/20/17

20 Feb

25203675I didn’t get to quite as many books this week, but I enjoyed the ones I did get to read!  Wish is a sweet story about family and friendship found in unexpected places (and a small spoiler alert – although there is a dog on the cover of the book, the dog does NOT die!) hour of the Bees is a story of magical realism that reminded me a little of The Lightning Queen with stories and folklore woven into the story.  Finally, The Star-Touched Queen was not what I was expecting at all, but in a good way. A fantasy story seeped in Indian folklore – I read the whole thing in one day, I couldn’t put it down!

This week, my plan is to read the other books I didn’t get to last week:

  1. The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
  2. The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork


Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

Book Review: When the Sea Turned To Silver

27 Dec

28449045I just finished When the Sea Turned To Silver by Grace Lin this morning.  And I’m not surprised at how lovely it is.  Grace does an amazing job at integrating Chinese folklore seamlessly into a tale all her own.  This is the third companion novel to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky. And what I like most about these novels is that you could easily read them as stand alone stories, but if you pay close attention they are all woven together with characters, stories and locations.

Pinmei’s grandmother is taken away by soldiers of the emperor and it is up to Pinmei and her friend, Yishan to save her because without her grandmother’s stories, Pinmei’s world is in a forever state of winter.  Pinmei and Yishan travel to the City of Bright Moonlight, to the Sea Bottom and to the Emperor’s palace to save her grandmother all the while folktales bring to light more of the story than you would know otherwise.  The beautiful and lyrical storytelling is brought to life by gorgeous illustrations that call to mind the ancient art of China.

This would be a beautiful series to share aloud as I can only imagine the stories would be amazing to listen to and as I said you can read each book individually or read them together for an even richer experience. What I also love is that Grace provides a bibliography of where she found her stories, which leads me to believe that this is not only a gorgeous book to discover, but that it is also historically and culturally accurate.

Twitter Booktalk (14o characters or less): It’s up to quiet, little mouse Pinmei to save her storytelling grandmother from the emperor in When the Sea Turned To Silver by @pacylin

Title: When the Sea Turned To Silver
Author: Grace Lin
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: 2016
Page Number: 370pgs.

“Ten Best Sentences”

28 Mar

The American Scholar posted their list of the 10 Best Sentences ranging from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Charles Dickens and while all are very interesting and debatably the best, I would love to see a similar list for children’s literature.  What would be on it?

Most likely something from Dr. Seuss, Margaret Wise Brown, C.S. Lewis and maybe others especially from the Newbery list, but what about those books that slide through the “best” list?  What about those books that make you pause and think because the words and rhythm and imagery is so amazing you just have to stop and think?  A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd is one such book.  Lloyd uses beautiful language to create an amazing story to read.

“The way he said her name made my heart cramp. In all my years of word collecting, I’ve learned this to be a tried and true fact: I can very often tell how much a person loves another person by the way they say their name. I think that’s one of the best feelings in the world, when you know your name is safe in another person’s mouth. When you know they’ll never shout it out like a cuss word, but say it or whisper it like a once-upon-a-time.” – A Snicker of Magic, Natalie Lloyd

Who (or what sentences) do you think would make the list?


Kids Say the Darndest Things

4 Apr

As probably most of you know, kids have some of the funniest things to say.  I have a friend whose kids, I believe, are the FUNNIEST kids on the planet, she is constantly posting their conversations and I find myself laughing out loud every time.  I’ve been so busy with work, that I haven’t had too much time to read, so I thought I’d post a few cute blurps that I’ve heard at work recently.


During my story time I had a girl point out an animal in a book with eyebrows, but she got her body parts confused and called them eye lashes and told me that it must be a girl animal.  So we started a discussion about eyebrows and I aske her if she had eyebrows and she said yes, then I asked her if her mommy had eyebrows and she thought for a second and said yes, and then i asked her if her daddy had eyebrows and she thought for a little while and yes.  So I said, but your daddy’s a boy so boys and girls can have eyebrows, and she looked at me and exclaimed, “How do you know my daddy’s a boy?”  All the adults were chuckling at the end of that conversation.



I had a little boy yesterday tell me he did not want to come to yoga story time that afternoon.  But, he’s been coming to the library with his grandmother for years, so I said, let’s just try it and see if you like it.  So we were working on yoga moves and reading stories and a little more than half way through story time, while he’s standing in tree pose, he blurts out – I LOVE yoga!  It was absolutely precious and he ended up having a really great time.

** As a side, I was reading the story, Way Up High in a Tall, Green Tree and there was a kinkajou in the story.  Now, I had no idea what a kinkajou was until I looked it up – it’s also called a honey bear and it kind of looks like a sloth.  I asked my kids what it was, and the same little boy yelled out “kinkajou.”  I was shocked!



There’s a little girl that comes in with her nanny every week and has been coming since she was born.  She’s absolutely adorable and we were talking this morning and her nanny was saying that sometimes she’s so cute she just wants to smooch her face off!  I thought that is was quite the cute saying, but the little girl gives a little frown and says, you can’t smooch my face off! in a very indignant tone.  Like I said, she’s absolutely adorable so her “angry” face made her even cuter.

%d bloggers like this: