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Thursday, May 31, 2012

The End for Now

I found this gem in the scrap paper bin we keep next to the reference desk. (What a sad place for it to be!) Now, I'm no Sherlock Holmes, but this appears to be the ominous cliffhanger ending to a story written by a kid. There were no other pages to be found, so I will let you use your imaginations as to what horrors came before these lines.


Dun dun DUNNNNN!
In a way, this mysterious ending reminds me of one of my favorite books from childhood, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg in which a man named Pete Wenders is visited by a mysterious writer (the fictional Harris Burdick), who drops off a series of mysterious illustrations, each with a mysteriously vague caption attached to it. Burdick promises to return the next day with the finished stories and more illustrations, but, mysteriously, he is never heard from again. SO MUCH MYSTERIOUS. Like many other kids who have read this book, I had great fun making up my own Burdick-based stories when I was a young, budding writer.

It's hard to choose a favorite illustration, but I always loved this one titled "Mr Linden's Library." (You can probably guess why.)


Caption: "He had warned her about the book. Now it was too late."


In case you weren't aware, there's a recently published "sequel," The Chronicles of Harris Burdick, with stories written by renowned authors such as Lois Lowry, Jules Feiffer, and Linda Sue Park. My mother, remembering how much I loved the first Harris Burdick book, gave me Chronicles for Christmas. I haven't read it yet, possibly because I'm afraid that the stories written by these fabulous authors will clash with the visions I had in my head as a kid. (I'm sure I'll get over it.)

Here's to choosing your own adventure, friends.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Presented Without Comment

College-Aged Guy (urgently): Who is Nicholas Sparks?

Me: He's an author. Why?

College-Aged Guy: I'm talking to this girl and she said that he's her favorite author.

Me (with accidental, obvious distress): Oooooh.

College-Aged Guy: Why, what did he write?

Me: The Notebook, for one.

College-Aged Guy: OH GOD.

Me: Yeahhhh.

College-Aged Guy: Well, that means she'll be easy.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Kids Say the Darndest...Well, You Know (Part Trois)

Exciting news, everyone! I'm leaving for PARIS OH MY GOD I'M GOING TO PARIS in two days! Before I go, I'd like to share with you my Top 10 Funny Kid-isms that I heard in the past few months. I hope you enjoy them. 

1) Kid: "How do you use the word 'devoted' in a sentence?" 
Me: "What's something you really believe in?" 
Kid: "Wait, let me ask my mom." 
Strong convictions, this one has. 

2) Teen: "Bullying is bad. I'm strongly anti-bullying. Unless it's your sibling. Then it's okay." Can't argue with that.

3) Teen: "You know [band name]?" 
Me: "No. I don't know any new music." 
Teen: "They're not new. They're old. Like, your age." 
LONG HEAVY SIGH.

4) Kid: "My opinion is, never eat anything with an eyeball still on it." 
This kid is now my nutritionist.

5) Kid: "Love hurts so much." 
Oh dear.

6) Kid: "Is there Teen Time today?"
Me: "No, unfortunately it's been suspended because we're short a librarian."
Kid: "I guess TWO of us are suspended, then." 
Ouch. True, but ouch. 

 7) Kid: "I wish that, like, when you wished for money, it would just come out. 
That would be a miracle." 
Not sure where it would come out FROM, but it sounds good to me. 

 8) Me (during a class visit): "When a library book is late, what do you have to pay?" 
Kid: "ATTENTION!" 
Not quite right, but I'll take it.

9) Kid: "I wish there was a time machine in the library so I could go get my library card." 
I can think of no better use for a time machine.

And finally, my favorite: 

10) I asked the kids in my class visit if they had any questions. A boy raised his hand and said "Are you going to stop talking now?" 
Daaaaaaamn. Well, at least it was an honest question. 

Have a great week, everyone! Au revoir!  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Getting Mugged at the Reference Desk

Like many people, I have a favorite mug. Perhaps predictably, mine is library-related. I can't remember if I bought when I visited the Library of Congress a bunch of years ago or if it was a gift, but it has journeyed with me from branch to branch, sitting atop my desk like ceramic monument to books and libraries and the promotion of education and literacy and the pursuit of information. (Also, I drink tea from it.) 




The other day I was drinking tea on one of my reference desk shifts (which I know is frowned upon, but I was trying desperately to avoid the mid-afternoon crash). A couple of kids were hanging out at the desk, as they do, and one of the girls apparently noticed this statement on the other side of my mug:




"YES!" She exclaimed, slamming her hand down on the reference desk. "That's so true!"


"What's true?!" 


"What your mug says about books. That's how I feel too."


And then the kids started talking about books. And how much they love books. And how they are going to check out more books from the library. Basically, a children's librarian's dream.


There is hope, people. There is hope.


(And if it starts conversations such as these, maybe I will continue to drink tea at the reference desk. DAMN THE MAN.)