Wednesday, April 30, 2014


punt : an indentation at the bottom of a molded glass bottle

lunule : a crescent-shaped body part or marking (such as the whitish mark at the base of a fingernail)

tittle : the dot over i or j

What wEIRD wORDS do you know?  Share in the comments.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Summer Reading Displays

With Spring just barely arriving, Summer seems a long ways off.  But for those looking to create dynamic summer reading displays, now is the time to start gathering ideas.  Whether you have limited space, resources and time or are blessed with many bulletin boards and counter space, perhaps these ideas will inspire you.

Dig Into Reading Summer Reading Program display Lake Benton Library. Books and garden tools in a Wheelbarrow
Short on shelf space? Try bringing in a prop that will grab everyone's attention!
From the 
Summer Reading Program display Lake Benton Library

Cute reading display to encourage summer reading.
Keep the light with this cheerful sign! From

Use summertime props to bring atmosphere to your display:

Crozet, VA PL Summer Rdg Program 2013. More amazing displays by Pam Grammer: Groundbreaking Reads.  Dirt made from coffee grounds glued onto foamboard.
This display uses coffee grounds, foamboard,
a fancy planter and some creativity. 

Beach Reads by Hackley Public Library, via Flickr, and a ton of other pics of book displays
Use colourful towels, Kites and big, bright letters to catch the eye.
by Hackley Public
Library on Flickr

Summer time reading display. Shells, astro turf, watery wrapping paper and beach chairs.
Entice your audience with a reusable cloth or felt tablecloth and set the stage for for a summertime adventure...between the pages of a good book,
From Pinterest
librarydisplayideas / BEACH READS!
Found on
Start Your Summer Reading Early by Enokson, via Flickr
Book Displays in Libraries Group via Flickr--thousands of photos
Different textures and bright colours add interest to this display. 
From  Enokson on Flickr

Start Your Summer Reading Early | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
A Broader view of the same display
Enokson on Flickr

You can always uses these ideas in a display cabinet too!
From Montana State Library

Here are some Bulletin Boards that help catch the eye and the imagination.

Dive into Reading.  End of school year to tie reading in with summer activities.  Library Displays
Found on

Bulletin Board:  I would change this to "Fish for a good 'hook'" during writing when we learn about writing a good lead and display the students' "hooks"
Found on

Robert Carter Portfolio > Summer Reading Program bulletin board design
Another version. From Pinterest.

An end of school year library display.  Books were placed in there with the "destination" or where the reader will go when they read the book over their summer vacation.

Books were placed with the "destination" or where the reader will go when they read the book over their summer vacation. From Pinterest.

The theme of the 2013 Summer Reading Club program is 'Up, Up and Away' and we've launched a new display to celebrate!
Oakridge Branch (Vancouver Public Library) added life to their 2013 Summer  Reading program with an 'Up, Up and Away' theme. From Pinterest

Robert Carter Portfolio > Summer Reading Program bulletin board design
Another version. From Pinterest.

"Don't Blow It This Summer ... Keep Reading!" is a fun title for a summer bulletin board display that highlights reading.  I love the idea of having students draw portraits of themselves and gluing colorful balls that look like bubble gum over their mouths.  I would include a writing assignment about students' recommendations for books that their classmates should read over the summer vacation.
Great 3-D balloon display  for the library  or a classroom bulletin board. Add book recommendations from your library. Found on 

Summer Reading Recommendation Bulletin Board- great for an end of the year class or school project
With a blank book template, students can take lead and recommend books to each other.   Found on

Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday Meme


Friday, April 25, 2014

iPod Friday

(Picture adapted from jamona_cl on flicker)

At the end of the week I give myself a treat and listen to my iPod at work while processing books or working on the database.   These are my picks for today.                          What do you listen to at work?

Velvet Underground

Sweet Jane

Pale Blue Eyes

Some Kind of Love

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Most Commonly Misused Words And Phrases

Reposted from City-Data Forum 

"Let’s get right to the point. Misusing words makes you look less intelligent than you really are. If you misuse words in your writing, it can damage your credibility and diminish the point you’re trying to make. Even worse, it could completely change the meaning of the sentence".

What follows is a list of the 32 most commonly misused words and phrases.

1. Accept/Except- Although these two words sound alike (they’re homophones), they have two completely different meanings. “Accept” means to willingly receive something (accept a present.) “Except” means to exclude something (I’ll take all of the books except the one with the red cover.)

2. Affect/Effect- The way you “affect” someone can have an “effect” on them. “Affect” is usually a verb and “Effect” is a noun.

3. Alright- If you use “alright,” go to the chalkboard and write “Alright is not a word” 100 times.

4. Capital/Capitol- “Capitol” generally refers to an official building. “Capital” can mean the city which serves as a seat of government or money or property owned by a company. “Capital” can also mean “punishable by death.”

5. Complement/Compliment- I often must compliment my wife on how her love for cooking perfectly complements my love for grocery shopping.

6. Comprise/Compose- The article I’m composing comprises 32 parts.

7. Could Of-  It’s “could have” not “could of.” When you hear people talking, they’re saying “could’ve.” Got it?

8. Desert/Dessert- A desert is a hot, dry patch of sand. Dessert, on the other hand, is the sweet, fatty substance you eat at the end of your meal.

9. Discreet/Discrete- We can break people into two discrete (separate) groups, the discreet (secretive) and indiscreet.

10. Emigrate/Immigrate- If I leave this country to move to Europe, the leaving is emigrating and the arriving is immigrating.

11. Elicit/Illicit- Some people post illicit things on message boards to elicit outrageous reactions from others.

12. Farther/Further- Farther is used for physical distance, whereas further means to a greater degree.

13. Fewer/Less- Use fewer when referring to something that can be counted one-by-one. Use less when it’s something that doesn’t lend itself to a simple numeric amount.

14. Flair/Flare- A flair is a talent, while a flare is a burst (of anger, fire, etc.)

15. i.e/e.g- I.e. is used to say “in other words.” E.g. is used in place of “for example.”

16. Inflammable- Don’t let the prefix confuse you, if something is inflammable it can catch on fire.

17. It’s/Its- It’s= it is. Its=a possessive pronoun meaning of it or belonging to. Whatever you do, please don’t use its’.

18. Imply/Infer- A reader infers what an author implies. In other words, when you imply something, you hint at it. When you infer something, you draw a conclusion based on clues.

19. Literally- If you say “His head literally exploded because he was so mad!” then we should see brains splattered on the ceiling.

20. Lose/Loose- If your pants are too loose you may lose them. That would be almost as embarrassing as misusing these two words.

21. Moral/Morale- Morals are something you want to teach your kids. If your team’s morale is low, you need to do something to boost their confidence.

22. Percent/Percentage- The word “percent” should only be used when a specific number is given. “Percentage” is more of a general term.

23. Stationary/Stationery- You are stationary when you aren’t moving. Stationery is something you write on.

24. Then/Than- “Then” is another word for “after.” Incidentally, the word “then” makes for boring writing. “Than” is a comparative word (e.g. I am smarter than you).

25. There/Their/They’re- There are few things as frustrating as when I look at my students’ writing and they’re misusing these words in their writing.

26. Unique- Something can’t be “kind of unique” or even “very unique.” It’s either one-of-a-kind or it isn’t. There is no in between when it comes to unique.

27. Your/You’re- If I had a nickel for every time I saw this one… yeah, you know the rest. “Your” shows ownership and you’re is a contraction meaning “you are.” Get it right.

28. To/Too/Two- Two is a number. “To” is used in instances such as, “I am going to the store.” If you are supposed to use the word “too,” try inserting the word “extra” or “also.” If one of those fits, you need to also add the extra “o” to make “too.”

29. Lie/Lay- After you lay the books on the table, go lie down on the couch.

30. Sit/Set- Set your drink on the table and sit in your chair. Got it?

31. Whose/Who’s- Whose is the possessive form of who. Who’s is a contraction meaning “who is.”

32. Allude/Elude- When someone alludes to something in conversation (indirectly references), if you aren’t paying attention the meaning may elude you (escape you).

Which misused words drive you crazy?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


philtrum : the vertical groove on the median line of the upper lip

ferrule : the protective point or knob on the far end of an umbrella

aglet : the tag covering the ends of a lace or point – e.g., the reinforcement at the end of a shoelace

What wEIRD wORDS do you know?  Share in the comments.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day 2014: Submit your GlobalSelfie

GlobalSelfieLogo_verticalstack_538px-300x162* NASA is paritcipating in Earth Day this year with the agency's #GlobalSelfie event, asking people to take a photo of themselves outside and post it to social media using the hashtag #GlobalSelfie. NASA will use the images to create a mosaic image of Earth -- a new "Blue Marble" built bit by bit with your photos. Get more info on how to participate here.

What's a #GlobalSelfie?

NASA astronauts brought home the first ever images of the whole planet from space. Now NASA satellites capture new images of Earth every second. For Earth Day we are trying to create an image of Earth from the ground up while also fostering a collection of portraits of the people of Earth. Once those pictures stream around the world on Earth Day, the individual pictures tagged #GlobalSelfie will be used to create a mosaic image of Earth -- a new "Blue Marble" built bit by bit with your photos.
Need an idea of what kind of picture to take? Get outside and show us mountains, parks, the sky, rivers, lakes -- wherever you are, there's your picture. Tell us where you are in a sign, words written in the sand, spelled out with rocks -- or by using the printable signs we've created that are available here.

Post your #GlobalSelfie on
 Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ or Flickr.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Meme

Submitted by Marian from

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Movies for Earth Day... Keep the Conversation Going

Family Friendly

"Fern Gully" 

This movie immediately came to mind when thinking of Earth Day movies worthy of making the top 10 best Earth Day films list. The oil monster "Hexus" and the fairies of Fern Gully along with the crazy bat hard to forget. If you have never seen this animated film I highly recommend you do.

"March of the Penguins" 

Learn about the Emperor penguins of Antarctica, their monogamy, traditional breeding ground and more. Narrated by Morgan Freeman this is a fabulous Earth Day film.

"Into the Wild" 

This Earth Day film represents getting in touch with nature. Based on a true story, Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) leaves his life behind to pursue the freedom of living in the wild.


A computer animated sci-fi, this Pixar/ Disney earth day movie is the story of a future robot that must clean the waste that now covers Earth. Love complicates his mission as he follows his girl to outer space and changes the future.

"Earth" (2009)

This Disney Earth Day movie was released on Earth Day 2009. "Earth" follows the lives of three families for one year; the humpback whales, elephants and polar bears. You will see more than just whales, elephants and polar bears. This is an educational film that reminds us to be environmentally conscience.

"Oceans" (2010)

Another Disney Nature film is in theaters now and is the perfect Earth Day movie. Disney will donate to save our coral reefs in your honor if you see "Oceans" during opening week of April 22, 2010. "Nearly ¾ of Earth's surface is covered by water and Oceans boldly chronicles the mysteries that lie beneath." (Disney)

Big Miracle

 While on assignment in a small town in Alaska, a reporter spots three gray whales trapped in the ice and unable to reach open water. Pretty soon, scores of people show up to help, including his Greenpeace volunteer ex-girlfriend and a big tycoon who wants to drill for oil.

The Lorax 

To win the affection of the girl of his dreams, 12-year-old Ted must track down the impossible in a city where everything is plastic – a real tree. But first, he must learn the story of the Lorax, a grumpy but charming creature who fights to protect the environment.

Happy Feet Two

This sequel to 2006′s Happy Feet stars the dancing penguins, Mumble and Gloria and their new son, Erik, who’s struggling to find his talents in the Emperor Penguin community. But when the penguins discover a new threat to their home — global warming — it’ll take everyone working together to save them.

For More Mature Audiences


Starring a stellar cast, Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, Billy Bob Thornton; this Earth Day film is about a group of blue collar drillers sent to NASA to stop an asteroid from colliding with Earth.

"Deep Impact" 

Another all-star cast, Morgan Freeman, Tea Leoni, Robert Duvall and Elijah Wood attempt to prepare for and destroy a comet from hitting Earth to prevent human extinction. A perfect Earth Day movie and great reminder that we should not take mother nature for granted.

"Erin Brockovich" 

A fitting Earth Day movie about a single mom (Julia Roberts) that lands a job as a legal assistant and soon becomes obsessed with helping to fight for victims of poisonous chromium from a gas and electric company that is not environmentally responsible.

"The Day After Tomorrow"

Dennis Quaid stars as a climatologist that must stop global warming and get to his son in New York, which is experiencing the effects of a new ice age.

“An Inconvenient Truth”

A documentary on Al Gore's campaign to make the issue of global warming a recognized problem worldwide.

“Planet Earth” Series

The series comprises eleven episodes, each of which features a global overview of a different biome or habitat on Earth: From Pole to Pole; Fresh Water; Caves; Deserts; Ice Worlds; Great Plains; Jungles; Shallow Seas; Seasonal Forests; and, Ocean Deep . At the end of each fifty-minute episode, a ten-minute featurette takes a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges of filming the series.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Love for Reading: Lead by Example

A great way to encourage reading and teach students how fun it can be is to model reading.  One of my schools created a picture wall in the library.   Since then, other schools have customized it for their needs.  Some made a simple display, others turned it into a contest and one asked students to bring in their own pictures to add.
This is a mock up of a contest where students are challenged to match the book cover to the staff member who read it.
It started as a promotion for Summer Reading and was easy to create. Ask your staff - teachers, custodians, support staff, principals, volunteers - to bring in or email photos of themselves reading over the summer. Encourage people to get creative. It doesn't just have to be of the person sitting in a chair holding a book, although that is fine too. As you can see from some of these pictures below, there are a lot of options. The only limitations is the reader's creativity.  I have seen pictures of people holding a book on a roller coaster, dressed up in tuxedos and others dressed in vibrant PJs or onesies with fuzzy bunny slippers.  Do anything to have fun with the picture.

Is your staff camera shy? Don't let them miss out on this!  I have had people submit pictures of their pets reading or pictures in silhouette of them reading, or even pictures of the book from their point of view with the book on their lap and their feet stretched out in front.  They can set up a scene of where they read such as reading at the beach with a snap of  the book with sunglasses, a sunscreen bottle and  a sun hat. 

If people are reading with their families but don't want the kids pictures to show publicly, they can take pictures from behind,  showing the backs of their heads.   Model co-reading by including the whole family.

Include an info bite.  The captions can say anything, again,  be creative.  Tell where you were reading, the title of the book, a quote from the book,  what you liked about the book or author.  Add recommendations or what you will read next.

Have fun with it and create a great display for back-to-school.  Or reading week.  Or any time!