Tag Archives: library

Big Changes for the Bookaneer

Ahoy, me hearties! As you may know, I’ve been gone for a very long time. (Almost a year!) I took a…piratical sabbatical, did some traveling, some working, and had some grand adventures (which I’ll catch you up on in an upcoming post). But I am back, rejuvenated, excited, and ready to go for the next long stretch of bookaneering! I’ve found some new inspiration in a new friend (see next post), and a BRAND NEW JOB! That’s right, I’m now the Youth Services Library Specialist at one of our library’s branches, and it’s really allowing me to stretch my creative wings and do some super cool things I hadn’t been able to do in my old position. Working with children is a dream come true, and it’s been so much fun getting settled into my new job. I have a truly excellent team, and I honestly feel like I’m making a difference in kids’ lives.

So come along with the Bookaneer into the next chapter of our journey! I’m so thrilled for what lies ahead. Next post: this weekend?! Believe it!

Keep bookaneering!


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Filed under At the Library

ReadAloud Video: Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

Today’s blog is a video post! I recorded a new ReadAloud video, of a great children’s book called Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. This is one of my favorite children’s books; it is visually stunning and has a really good message. And it features an awesome main character: Miss Alice Rumphius, a girl who grows up, becomes a librarian, goes on many adventures in faraway places, comes home to live by the sea, and makes the world more beautiful. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

If you have any suggestions of what you’d like to have in a future ReadAloud, leave me a comment here or on the video itself. I’ve got my new webcam set up so I hope to make lots more awesome videos soon!

Keep bookaneering!

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Filed under ReadAloud, Vlog Post

In Which the Bookaneer is Filled with Library Feelings

I responded to a post on tumblr about getting to know your tumblarians (that’s tumblr librarians, if you didn’t know ;D) where the prompt was “What are your dearest library memories?”

“LIBRARY MEMORIES?!” I cried, “I have tons of those!” So I proceeded to write the longest text post I’ve ever written on tumblr. And then I thought, well, I should definitely share this with everyone who DOESN’T follow me on tumblr too, right? So here I go.

It’s a long list.

I grew up in libraries. My parents read to me from the time I was born. I’m told I was reading on my own by the time I was three. It seems obvious now that this would be the field I’d end up in, but I really only settled on librarianship as a career within the last two or three years.

I went to a small Catholic school K-8, and I was in an “advanced readers” group in first grade. We read books that other kids in our grade weren’t ready for yet, and I loved it. The librarian at my school was a woman named Sheila Beaupre and she was my idol. She made reading and learning so much fun, and COOL. We did awesome crafts and presentations about books we were reading, and I was NEVER made to feel bad or weird for loving to read or being a “bookworm” in that space. I won the school spelling bee. I read every book on Greek mythology I could get my hands on. I read Jane Eyre in seventh grade and didn’t get it. My reading level was soon higher than any books we had there but I LOVED that library.

Every week during the summer, my mom would take my sisters and me to our local public library. It was tucked at the end of a road behind the Skate Station. I could navigate there with my eyes closed. I loved mysteries and went through a serious mystery book phase, during which I think I read every single Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys book in the children’s section (after I grew out of the Encyclopedia Brown books). I soon moved on to Agatha Christie for mysteries, and then Anne McCaffrey, Orson Scott Card, and Tolkien for fantasy. I saw a picture of my little old library (the building is actually younger than I am, by about a year!) recently and all those old memories came flooding back. I can still see the layout in my head, where the story hour room was, the children’s section in the back with the primary colors and low-slung chairs, the more austere adult area with the amazing old-book smell. My old library card. I haven’t been back in years but that’s still MY library, y’know? I LOVED that library.


Me too, Colbert.

Almost every summer growing up, we’d go visit my grandparents in Iowa for a few weeks. They lived in a small university town, much smaller than our hometown, and we would ride bikes to the library or the bandshell, go play in the creek down by the park, or swim at the high school pool. My abuela was a writer. I volunteered at the library a couple summers in a row, once as a helper for the children’s summer programming, where we read books and watched movies and made unicorn horns out of construction paper; and once as a shelver for the adult fiction collection. I was in charge of the science fiction and fantasy section and it was HEAVEN. It was during these years I think that I started reading Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. It was also during these two summers that I developed a huge crush on a boy named Nathan who volunteered at the library too. Nothing ever came of it because I was WAY too shy and he was a couple years older, but I remember him being very cute, and he had a PONYTAIL (gasp!). I LOVED that library!

In high school, I was in band, and I was not a “cool” band kid, I was an awkward band kid. I spent more than one morning in the school library with the chess club, and when Orson Scott Card came to visit, I was one of the 30 or so kids that showed up. At that time I was exploring being a writer, and getting to speak with Mr. Card was an incredible experience. (I don’t agree with very many of the things he says now, but I loved his books then.) I was the editor of our band’s football game-day newsletter, and I took more pride in that than I probably should have. I was appointed the Music Librarian for the band for my junior and senior years, and I whipped that little music library into SHAPE, let me tell you. I got a taste of information organization then, but it still didn’t click that librarianship was my destiny. I spent hours in that little storage closet-turned-library, organizing sheet music by part, composer, and title. It was mine, and I LOVED that library.

I know, Crybaby.

I went to college in a different city than my hometown, and it was hard to adjust. College was hard; there were so many distractions and people to meet and things to do that I didn’t do as well as I most likely should have. I had never struggled with school before, and I didn’t understand why I was struggling now. I made some…probably-not-for-the-best life choices, mostly involving a boy, and it took me much longer than perhaps it should have to get my undergraduate degree. The bright spot at my university, though, was the libraries. There are at least a dozen of them, and Library West was my kingdom. It had just been renovated when I started school there, and they had installed MOVING BOOKSHELVES in the lower floors. I had never seen the like and I thought they were MAGICAL. (I met someone recently who tested the “the shelves will stop if they detect movement” theory. “Did you almost die?” I asked. “I almost died,” he replied, laughing. Don’t get stuck in the stacks, kids!) Library East was a special collections building, and they had a little bookstore for used books and records (where I wanted to work, forever) as well as a constantly changing and engaging display on the second floor. I would stop in on my way across campus if I wasn’t in a hurry, and just smell the history. I think they did rebinding and mends in there, too. I LOVED that library.

After I got my degree in December of 2010, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. I was kind of tired of linguistics, and my specialization, historical linguistics, wasn’t exactly looking to be the most lucrative option (thank god for that Classics minor, right? Not.) I decided that I wanted to look into archival work and preservation, since I liked old books so much and I kind of just want to be around them. I had a few friends who’d gone to library school and that sounded kind of awesome too. So I became a volunteer at my city’s downtown public library, working a few hours a couple days a week, and I got to know the place, and the people. About seven months later I got a job there, as a library page. It was a DREAM COME TRUE. Shelving and straightening books all day long, helping people find books and movies and music and everything they could hope for, having patrons look at me like a miracle-worker every time I pulled exactly what they were looking for…it was wonderful. I kept working hard, and I got two promotions within my first 10 months. I’ve been here about two years now, if you include my volunteer service, and every day is wonderful. Sure you have the regular troublemakers, but you also have the patrons who are so grateful when you give them the information they’ve been searching for…it makes every day worth it. Maybe I’m still idealistic, and maybe it’s not my life goal, but public librarianship is completely worth it, and I LOVE MY LIBRARY!

I feel your feels, Troy.

In conclusion, libraries have been with me since I was a wee little Bookaneer, and thinking about them gives me a lot of emotions. I definitely teared up more than once while writing this up, and I hope you enjoyed it! What are your dearest library memories?

Keep bookaneering, mates!

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Filed under Story Time

Headed for Hoggetowne (Plus Moment of Cute!)

Ahoy, mateys!

I’ve been spending the last week or so in desperate preparation for the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire, which starts this weekend and ends next weekend.

Wenchy Bookaneer

I wore a “dress-code-friendly” version of my wench outfit to the library today!

The Faire’s been kind of consuming my whole life outside of work and school and it’s been a little overwhelming! On Saturday we had a wench rehearsal, and had a lot of fun. We love to laugh, and we think we’re hilarious! Then I had a meeting with a producer friend about maybe recording some songs for an EP? Which would be crazy awesome. I think we’re going to see how Faire goes before we think about spending money on professionally recording ourselves. On Sunday the Theives’ Guilde (the troupe that does the Living Chessboard each year) had their dress rehearsal for the City, and it went swimmingly. I also got to sing my song for the other producer of the show, and the actors and I worked out some cues. You can see and hear me sing a song about how great Hoggetowne is at the opening gate scene at 9:45am, just before the gates open and let the masses in. If you’re not inclined to wake up that early, I will be performing as Cherri Tart with the rest of my wenches in Just Desserts at 12:30, 2:00, and 3:30. Come high-five the Bookaneer!

Just Desserts Card

We even got business cards! (/shill)


Moment of Cute:

I want to share this story with you because I think it’s a perfect example of why I love my job so much. (Also because everyone likes Moments of Cute.) I had just stepped out of our work area and into the Children’s Department floor, about to head upstairs to the desk. As I walked toward the stairs, a little girl of about nine or ten approached me and said, “Excuse me, ma’am?” I asked her what I could do for her and she said she was looking for the Inkheart books. “Do you know who writes them?” I asked. She shook her head and I said “I THINK it’s Funke. Let’s go check.” I walked her over to the fiction section, explaining that they’re in alphabetical order by author (librarianing, as it is apparently called, though I just think of it as an aspect of bookaneering), and when we got to F…Fu…Fun… “There they are!” she exclaimed happily, and picked up the first book from the bottom shelf. “Thank you!” She looked at me like I was a miracle worker. “I’m glad I was right!” I grinned, and then we high-fived and it was awesome. I LOVE it when kids have so much enthusiasm for reading. I hope she hangs on to it.


Tonight I’m going to Cupcake‘s to try on my new bloomers, and then tomorrow is the Faire! Huzzah!

Keep bookaneering, everyone!

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Filed under At the Library, Outside the Library

The Bookaneer Works a Lot, Sings a Lot, and Goes to Grad School!

Ahoy mateys!

The last couple of weeks have been absolutely crazy busy with both library things and non-library things. I am on the display team for the Adult Services department and we’ve put up our big January display (World Music, pictures coming soon) and our February display is in the works! Our December display (Find Your Way to Fantasy, pictures coming soon) was a huge hit and I got a number of nice compliments on it! My coworker and I were responsible for most of this month’s display, and we’re really proud of how it turned out. If you’re in the area, you should stop by!

I am also on the committee for our Viva Florida 500 campaign. This year is the 500th anniversary of Ponce de Leon’s landing in Florida, and the whole state is having a year-long celebration! Our library district is going to have a speaker series, a time capsule, and lots of other cool events to commemorate. It’s been really interesting to learn some Florida history that I didn’t even know about! Keep an eye on our aclib.us website for upcoming Viva Florida events!

Another major event for The Bookaneer is the upcoming Hoggetowne Medieval Faire. I perform with a group of ladies wenches (including my friend Toni/Cupcake) called Just Desserts who sing bawdy songs and generally have a raucous good time with our audience. The Faire this year runs the last weekend in January (26-27) and the first weekend in February (1-3), with the 1st being Kids’ Day (no scheduled shows). We have three shows a day and I would LOVE to see you there! My stage name is Cherri Tart and you can be friends with her/me on Facebook!

As I mentioned in the title, I’ve also started graduate school! My friend the Brash Librarian and I are taking two classes together, since it’s his last semester and my first. We’re in Information Organization and Museum Informatics, and I’m already hooked after two weeks! I’m so glad I made the choice to be a librarian. It’s gonna be a tough road to balance both school and work, but I will make it happen!

I’ve made it my goal to post more updates, even if they are not as long as my former posts. My blog notebook is filling up with silly stories to share and it’s gonna be great! I’m also going to use my Tumblr and Facebook to interact with you all more, so be sure to follow me there as well! I also have a couple books picked out to do video readings of, and I’d love more more suggestions. Let me know in the comments if there’s anything you’d like to see!

Happy sailing and keep bookaneering!


Filed under At the Library, Outside the Library