Category Archives: Librarical

I’m a library science student, so sometimes I want to talk about shushing.

A Sirius Discussion of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Today I had my post-HPatDH book discussion group. We talked about what happened in the book, we discussed what questions we have left, and what future course of action JK Rowlings may take with her liteary career.

I had food left over from the Harry Potter party, so we had that too. There’s nothing like drinking butterbeer (creme soda and butterscotch syrup) and eating licorice wands at ten o’clock in the morning.

AIEEE. Chris and Angie are here. OMG. Bye.

Harry Potter Party

Here’s a link to the photo album of Harry Potter party pictures.

HP7 Party

What can I say. I’m exhausted. I stayed up late working on the Harry Potter trivia quiz and dying my hair pink. I think I’m going to have to practice my throwing-parties-for-kids thing, because it takes a lot more pre-party coordination than I expected. I got home to find my copy of HP7 on the stairs, but I think I need a nap before attending to it. And some cheese popcorn.

Oh, you want me to post the HP quiz? Alright then. This is a collection of questions from other sites, as well as some of my own:

What are the two variations in the title of the first book?

What are the month and day of HP’s birthday?

In the first book, what is the address on the owlgrams? (1 point for each line, 5 lines)

In Sorcerer’s Stone, what was the first password for Gryffindor house?

What’s the name for someone born into a wizarding family who has no magical powers?

On what platform does Harry get the train to Hogwarts?

From what station does the train leave?

What is Albus Dumbledore’s favorite kind of candy?

What’s the spell to create light in dark places?

Gringotts, the Wizard Bank, is managed by:

In Chamber of Secrets, what potion do Harry, Ron, and Hermione take while trying to get into Slytherin?

What is Voldemort’s real full name?

What do Hermione Granger’s parents do for a living?

What does S.P.E.W. stand for?

What is a common garden pest resembling a potato with legs?

Where do the Weasleys go on vacation, after Ron’s father wins a contest at work?

In which book do we first meet Sirius Black?

What is the name of the school Vernon Dursley says Harry goes to?

What color is the Knight Bus?

What is Hermione’s cat’s name?

What creature guards Azkaban?

In divination, what is the name for a large black dog that is an omen of imminent death?

What charm do you use against a Boggart?

What do you have to say to make the Marauder’s Map activate and blank again? (2 points)

With what spell does Harry open the One-Eyed Witch’s hump?

What kind of animal is Buckbeak?

How do you know if you are allowed to touch a creature like Buckbeak?

What does Professor Lupin drink to prevent him from turning into a werewolf?

What body part is Peter Pettigrew missing?

What makes a Crup different from a Jack Russell terrier?

What form does Harry’s patronus take?

[Leave a comment if you want me to email you the answers.]

HP and me


They’re here! They’re here! They’re here! To get them before the release date, you had to buy a case (of 10), so I did. Nine are going out on the shelf tomorrow – and one is going home to the ultimate winner of our Harry Potter party trivia contest.

I’m sitting at my desk, writing out all the details to the Harry Potter party tomorrow. My list includes:
Divination table: palm and tea leaf reading
Great Hall table: butterbeer, pumpkin juice, Ton-Tongue Toffees, licorice wands, rock cookies (thanks, Hagrid!)
Sorting table: you get sorted, then make a badge to show your house
Ollivander table: making wands
Defense Against the Dark Arts and Crafts table: Bat mobiles, suspended snakes, and a coloring contest that will blow your head off
Triwizard Tournament: three challenges, best time wins
Dueling: one on one duels, judges for accuracy, enunciation, and flair
Spells practice: it’s like Red Light, Green Light but with a wand (immobilus!)
And the cherry on top is the trivia contest. I’ve been working on it for a week.

I still need to get some fishing line for the bat mobiles, and some sort of ball I can use as a snitch. Man, I’m so excited. Wait till you see what I’m dressing up as.

Cashing in on children’s joy

I just read an article about how Scholastic and Warner Bros. are cracking down on the nefarious Harry Potter underground raves.

Apparently the book launch parties are breaking the rules we all consented to when we signed the street date affidavit (I didn’t really read it, I just knew it meant I couldn’t bring the book out before July 21).

If you want the details, you can read the article. They don’t specifically mention libraries, but what they’re describing still applies to the party we’re planning to have.

We’re not changing a thing about our party. We’re referring to it as a Hewlet-Packard party to avoid the cops/Deatheaters, but being a nonprofit in a small community, I think we’ll be under the radar.

Still, it’s upsetting.

24 Hour Meme

First there was the 24 Hour Comic. “an annual event where cartoonists around the world each try to create 24 pages of comics in 24 hours.” October 20th, 2007

24 hour comics

Then there was the 24 Hour Zine Thing.

24 hour zine thing

Now there’s the 48 Hour Book Challenge. “That special contest that allows you to read guilt-free for as long as you can stand it.” It’s going on RIGHT NOW.

48 Hour Book Challenge

I love the idea of forgoing the laundry, errands, bathing, etc. to lay around and read for an entire weekend. If I weren’t working right now, I’d be participating. I like the idea of finding a couple of different places to read over the course of the two-day period. On the beach, on the deck, lolling around in bed, on the couch, with the cat, at the kitchen table, at a cafe … it feels very hedonistic to me – book porn.

Weddings and controlled vocabulary

This weekend I (very, very carefully) travelled to NC for a wedding.


Highlights include catching up with many friends I have not seen since the last wedding we were all at, and being chatted up by no less than five different strangers my parents age about either 1. my Little Prince tattoo or 2. my sling – somehow bikers can sniff out their own kind, and I ended up saying the words “Tour de France”, which I avoid.

My librarian crew will be proud when I decided that we should create a controlled vocabulary so we could all search Flickr for wedding-weekend photos. Controlled vocabulary is the use of specific words in metadata – for instance, if I tagged my wedding photos ‘Geoff&Anne’, people I’m not already linked to would have to know that I used THAT SPECIFIC TERM to find the images.

Anybody else want to try their hand at defining ‘controlled vocabulary’? Now that we’re masters of our own tags, this concept is important.

Also, if you like scintillating cataoging news, you can learn about how activists like Sandy Berman are trying to get the Library of Congress to dump some of the more inflammatory subject headings that were acceptable at one time, but are no more.

“Collection development” or “censoring”

I’m looking through a pile of donated children’s books to decide if we want to add any to our collection. When people donate materials, most of the time we put them in the book sale. We have a solid budget, and not a lot of space, so we’re usually not hurting for more.

Sometimes, though, I get a book that makes me really ponder what we have in the collection, and what we don’t have in the collection.

Today’s example is a book called “Kidatlas: Important Places in the Bible“. I’ve been flipping through it, deciding if I want to add it to our kid’s nonfiction section. I checked the catalog, and no one has it in the system, which means it would then become accessible for other libraries (we have reciprocal agreements with the libraries in our system, like interlibrary loan but faster and cheaper).


It does that nonfiction-trying-to-be-fun thing where there are jokes like “What kind of party did Judah want to give Pharaoh Shishak? A going-away party!” which I think is hilarious. (And the tactic worked, because I then read about who Pharaoh Shishak was.)

I was mostly inspired to write this post because I wanted to share the joke. Now I’m pondering collection development and providing access to materials. I can’t decide if I want to add this book, or where to put it. It provides a well-written historic tour of biblical places, but it does say that the universe was created by God in six days. Historical tour = not disputed. Creationism = currently disputed. I’m not saying that I don’t want to add books that are creationist. The question is, does this book belong with the religion books, or with the geography books. It’s 90% geography, but 10% specific Christian beliefs. Even my personal perspective that creationism belongs with religion and not science is a biased view – I’m sure others would choose differently.

Now I’m going to go order some left-wing zines for the teen section. Fiction is so much easier.

Zines organization in the news

The Boston Globe has a great article about libraries that collect zines, and how hard it is to make zines conform to how libraries are set up – both in content and in design. The topics in one zine may be incredibly varied, and there is no standard structure for making a zine, so it may be bound with gum, or written in blood.

It’s something I’ve thought a lot about. From the conservationist standpoint, there’s the question of maintaining an item that is made using a photocopier and has candy taped into it. Also how to shelve the zine. From the cataloger standpoint, there’s a list of questions to be asked, from finding out when the zine was published (not necessarily written on the zine) to how to describe the subjects written about.

I think the fact that we can’t pigeonhole zines into pre-existing standards is exactly what makes them fantastic – malleable and indescribable. I’m OK with this dissonance. Well, I might scan the contents, candy and all. But then I’m OK with it.

Ammi Emergency
(My currently favorite zine.)

Babies are like wolves.

Today I had 17 people at storytime, which is unusual for the Friday crew. We read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, and I taught them the American Sign Language signs for the animals. I did this with the 1-3 age group, and they mostly stared at me (they mostly stare at me most of the time). This older crew were totally into it, and remembered the signs when we got to the end of the book where there’s a review page of all the animals (a black sheep, a white dog, a purple cat).

There’s a little girl who comes to storytime who is totally rad, but kind of freaks out during songs – I had wondered if it was that she didn’t know the words, which would make things confusing and overwhelming. As it turns out, her mom thinks it’s the standing up and singing out loud that terrorizes her shy heart. Today before storytime started, I asked her if there were any songs she liked. She said “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, so we did it after the first story. Everyone liked it, coming right after the sign language bit (remember walking your fingers up the waterspout?) and my shy girl smiled and sang and it was goooood. So, I learned a lesson – some sitting songs are good for those who hate the limelight.

I had never read Winston the Book Wolf, and I’ve noticed that a lot of books about libraries are terrible and librarians buy them because they’re about our world, but this one made the kids laugh and kept their attention. Winston goes from literally eating words to “eating them with his eyes”. It sounds weird to say out loud, but the concept is there, and as a voracious reader, a wolf analogy is appropriate. Also, we talked about how babies like to chew on books, and then they learn to read, so babies are like wolves.

We sang “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”, and my shy girl ran. Can’t please everyone all the time. We did it in super slow motion, then again really really fast. That’s always a crowd pleaser, much like suggesting “tounge!” or “butt!” when doing the hokey pokey.

Then we read Just Teenie, by Susan Meddaugh. The main character is very small for her age, but the memorable part of the story is the plant that she grows, which starts pulling keys, socks, and – dare I say it – underpants into its vines. Teenie ends up in it too, which turns out to be exactly what she needed to feel big and important. The kids were totally into the idea of a giant plant that tries to take stuff.

The craft we did was drawing a plant like Teenie’s, then sticking foam stickers of animals, boats, etc. into its branches. Coloring + gluesticks+foam cutouts = awesomefun.