Tag Archives: library profession

Building a Little Free Library

Back in August, my husband decided to surprise me with a unique birthday gift. He bought me a Little Free Library, which is a box that you place on your front lawn where you can share books with your community. Community members can take a book, leave a book, and the cycle repeats itself. There were definitely some challenges to this project of course, such as worrying about vandalism, city by-laws, and if the neighbors would even enjoy it.

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There is variety of styles that exist for Little Free Library’s, and they can be made uniquely your own depending on design and paint. We opted for a pre-built one as neither of us is particularly crafty in terms of woodwork. Then we also needed to select an outdoor paint that could take a beating, but still make the library look appealing and eye-catching. Then if you have an official LFL you also need to register it with the organization (mostly so you can use the name). In the set my husband purchased, we were also given a bunch of children’s books to fill our library with. It was exciting to see what items they sent us — since August, a lot of those books are already gone!

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This has been an amazing community project to work on and I couldn’t have done it without the help and patience of my husband. It’s great to see my neighbors using the LFL! They have left me notes, commented on how much they love it as a fixture in our neighborhood. It feels so rewarding, and I always get excited to see what kinds of new items community members put into it.

Part of why I wanted to get a Little Free Library comes from the fact that I am not a Librarian by trade, but rather a proud Library Technician. Working in libraries has been a huge part of my life and I’ve been a long time advocate for reading, and I am active in my province’s association, wherein I write pieces focusing on how we can handle Reader’s Advisory for Teens. My husband and I are also huge readers, and this project gave us a huge sense of accomplishment. It also taught us a lot about our neighbors’ reading habits and their interest in literacy as well.

Would you make a Little Free Library? Or have you seen any nice looking ones in your neighborhood? I’d love to know in the comments.

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Event Recap – Ontario Library Super Conference 2015

For those of you who aren’t familiar with me outside of the bloggosphere and game journalism scene, you may know I’m training to be a library technician. Well, at the end of January, there is a wonderful event for library professionals to attend — the OLA Super Conference. The event focuses on a variety of sessions geared towards the various types of libraries, there’s a huge expo floor to explore, and there is always something happening. It’s not as big as something like BEA, but there’s definitely more of personal interaction at OLA then I’ve seen at other events.

I started my day over at Penguin Random House where in I chatted with the wonderful, always an amazing conversationalist, Vikki VanSickle. She is always a delight to talk to, and I always feel inspired afterwards because she is so passionate. She’s someone who cares about Canadian Literature, Kit Lit and YA and she knows her bloggers insanely well. As always, seeing Vikki at an event reminds me that I’m doing a bit of good in the world, and people like her are always great spring boards for good conversation and ideas.

At 10 am, Rachel Hartman was signing Shadow Scale. Let’s just say that was a mini dream come true. Seriously, I lovelovelove Seraphina, and Shadow Scale is one of those books that fans have been waiting a long time for. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s next on my list because I NEED TO KNOW.

rachelhartman

 Ahhhh Rachel Hartman is so nice.

After the signing I headed down for the only session I was scheduled for, and that was #WeNeedDiverseBooks. The session discussed the importance of inclusion and how we are library professionals and work towards building our collections to support diverse literatures. A lot of children and teens want to be represented in literature and they want to be able to see themselves in the books they are reading. I ended up feeling so inspired, and I came away with a ton of great ideas and new authors to check out. Also, there was a presentation on Canadian First Nations Literature and I really need to go and seek some of those books out. Great presentation and panel over all.

Then it was back up to the Expo floor, where working on my assignment happened, sort of food happened, and then it was offer to Raincoast Books to meet Courtney Summers!

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Meeting Courtney was a big deal for me. We’ve talked for a long time on Twitter about video games, horror, and all kinds of crazy. The week leading up to OLA was a lot of silly tweets about who was sexier and OMGTHIS. She makes me laugh, and she writes some of the most amazing and thoughtful books out there, so of course I had to go and show my support and grab a copy of All the Rage (which I devoured might I add already). Next time you are in town Courtney, you are letting me take you out to lunch. 😛

After getting my hugs, video game talk, and fangirling, I rushed over to see another person who I’ve been having mad twitter conversations with: Sam Maggs!

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I heart Sam Maggs, and she knows it. She helped participate in a feature I ran over at RPGamer for Valentine’s Day called Inquisition de Amore. The feature had a ton of authors and other journalists sharing a dating profile for their Inquisitor from Dragon Age: Inquisition. Sam was very enthusiastic about the project. I may have also sent a bucnh of my classmates her way because in all seriousness The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy really is such a fun read. Sam’s voice has such confidence and enthusiasm and she really makes you smile along the way. She’s a loveable soul and I’m happy we finally had a chance to meet.

After seeing Sam, there was more running around, more vendor flirting, and a ton of books being picked up. One of my professors even attempted to scope out my bag because she was impressed by the pile. Here’s the haul for your enjoyment!

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Huge thank you to Penguin Canada, Random House of Canada, Raincoast Books, Scholastic Canada and Harper Collins Canada for all the wonderful new books for me to read and review. Also thank you to all of you for your kindness, your approachability and your enthusiasm. There’s nothing better that dealing with publishing folk and authors who love the same things you do and want to share it on a similar level. Seriously, you gotta admire that.

At the end of the day, my feet were killing me, I was popped and all I wanted to do was get some dinner and go read some of my new books. I did a few other things at the event, such as a resume workshop, talking to other professionals and playing around with new software, and it was a great experience overall. I will definitely be going to the OLA Super Conference again, hopefully not as a student, but as someone attached to a library. Here’s hoping, right?

The end of the day was spent at the Loose Moose. Let’s just say, All the Rage and I made good friends that day. My husband who came to meet up with me afterwards, well… he wasn’t too happy with the new pile of books, but at the same time, he’s loveable and listened to all my stories over beet and nachos. I cannot wait for next year’s conference!

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Happy reading! 🙂