April Days to Celebrate

April Fool’s Day-1 April.  According to History.com:

Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563.

April is School Library Month. The 2019 theme is Everyone Belongs @ Your School Library SLM2019_Banner_Letterhead

magnetic fridge poetryApril is also Poetry Month. National Poetry Month was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.  If you can’t write your own poem, use the magnetic fridge poetry to creat one.

nlw19_poster_tileOne of my favorites, National Library Week, is April 7-13.  Check out your local libray or take a librarian to lunch.  Yes, you do need a masters degree and no, we don’t sit around reading books all day.  That book that you just checked out had to be selected, purchased, cataloged, available to find and check out in the integrated library system, prepared with stamps, security stripped, and shelved so it was available for you to  find and read.

It figures that if you have libraries, you need library workers. Celebrate National Library Workers Day on April 9.

Preservation Week is April 21-27.  From the Preservation Week webpage.

In 2005 the first comprehensive national survey of the condition and preservation needs of the nation’s collections reported that U.S. institutions hold more than 4.8 billion items. Libraries alone hold 3 billion items (63 percent of the whole). A treasure trove of uncounted additional items is held by individuals, families, and communities. These collections include books, manuscripts, photographs, prints and drawings, and objects such as maps, textiles, paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, and furniture, to give just a sample. They include moving images and sound recordings that capture performing arts, oral history, and other records of our creativity and history. Digital collections are growing fast, and their formats quickly become obsolescent, if not obsolete.

preservation week 2019.

On April 22, celebrate Earth Day. Clean up your neighborhood, recycle, plant or care for some plants. Eat vegan for a day. Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22. Worldwide, various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day now includes events in more than 193 countries, which are now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network.


Lenten Thoughts

Tenacious Grace how strong the hand
That extended out to mine
And lifted me up into the arms
Of Love from the Divine.

The guitar sang to me while Father Rick was playing Bach’s Air on a G-string, transcribed for guitar.

Lord, hear my prayer.
I need you.
Are you there?

Lord, hear my prayer.
If I listen
Will you care?

Lord, hear my prayer.
I sense darkness

Lord, hear my prayer.
I feel your presence
On the air.

Happy National Spinach Day–March 26 , 2019

Strong to the finish

Popeye the Sailor Man is probably one of the most famous spinach eaters in the world.

National Spinach Day has a website dedicated to it.

If something is Florentine, Specifically, a dish prepared à la Florentine will feature some main ingredient, such as eggs, poultry or fish, served on a bed of spinach which has been cooked in butter, then topped with Mornay sauce and grated cheese, and finally browned under the broiler.

Have you tried spinach with Olive Oil? (Olive Oyl was Popeye’s sometime main squeeze in the comics  Most people don’t remember that she had a brother named Castor.)

Spinach is good raw in salads, cooked by itself, or mixed in Florentine dishes.

From Healthline:

By weight, spinach consists of 91.4% water, 3.6% carbs and 2.9% protein. There are 23 calories in 100 grams (3.5 oz) of spinach.

How do you eat your spinach?National Spinach Day

Medal of Honor Day–March 25

Medal of honorStar Spangled Girl, Janine Strange, is once again organizing a mail call to send a letter to Medal of Honor winners.  Her website even provides the names of the 72 Living Medal of Honor winners.    Living MOH winners span from WWII through the War in Afghanistan.


Individual participants: Write to as many Recipients as you’d like! Just make sure you put their names on the outside of each envelope.

Group participants: Please fill out the group form (scroll all the way down). We will send you an email with an assigned Recipient – or Recipients; this helps ensure all Recipients are ‘adopted’ evenly.

Here’s a list of all 72 living Medal of Honor Recipients, their names are clickable so you can learn more about them.

Send your mail on or before 3/15/19 to:

Medal of Honor Mail Call
attn: Recipient’s Name(s)
2400 Boston Street, ste 102
Baltimore, MD 21224.

Please sort! If you are writing to more than one Recipient, please sort and batch them before mailing. This will help me out a lot when I am sorting the thousands of letters that are coming in.

Buy Indie, Borrow the Big Bestsellers

Indie is a strong, positive word (much less pejorative than the old Vanity Press) label to describe to the works of self-published authors. Indie author Cynthia Reyes, author of An Honest House, A Good Home, Myrtle the Purple Turtle, co author of the sequel Myrtle’s Game, and lover of libraries and librarians has written a compelling post on why we should support Indie authors

Cynthia Reyes

A few Christmases ago, when my loved ones asked what I “really” wanted for Christmas, I gave them a list of book titles.  All were by Indie authors, or published by Indie/small presses. Some had multiple reviews, some only one or two. 

blog photo - what we hold in our hands by kim aubreyWhat We Hold in Our Hands

blog photo - book cover teresa madeleno“Girl Power” by Teresa Madeleno

blog photo - book cover valerie wint- the longer runThe Longer Run by Valerie Wint

And when I chose gifts for special occasions, it was either a potted bulb or a book by an Indie author, or both. (Sometimes, a bottle of wine replaced the plant.)

I’ve continued that pattern.

blog photo - crossing limbo by shane josephsCrossing Limbo by Shane Joseph

Where suitable, I also read excerpts to the Memoir-writing group that I coach. It’s important to celebrate strong, but lesser-known writers.

Oh, I read the big bestsellers by the famous authors. But I’m not part of that club and they won’t miss my purchase. I have limited funds; I choose to…

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Volunteers–What Supervisors Want

Before I retired, I worked in base (similar to public) libraries and academic libraries.  In both cases, we used volunteers.  Sometimes the volunteers were family members and other times they were special duty soldiers (SDs)  who were temporarily assigned to the library because they were awaiting reassignment or had some type of physical reason that they needed to be assigned limited duty.

People volunteered for a variety of reasons.  Some high schools required their students to complete a number of volunteer hours as a pre-requisite for graduation. (They made great volunteers.) Occasionally a parent would want a child to get work experience or spend part of the summer doing something constructive, especially if the child considered him or herself too old for the day camp run by the base youth activities.  A few adults really liked the library and wanted to help make it a better place.  The SDs were assigned to the library and did not have a choice.

Take away one:  Do you want volunteers?  If so, what kind of volunteers do you want?  How much time commitment do you want your volunteers to make?  How much training can you provide, if needed?

In the base library, the most popular assignment was usually working the circulation desk, back in the days when books were still stamped and checked out manually.  The ability to alphabetize book cards by the author’s last name, stamp the book with the date due, add the book to the correct borrower’s card, and separate the checked out books from the books being returned for check in  were all prized.  The volunteer also had to be polite to all customers and willing to help them find materials or fetch a staff member to help them.  There was not much of a dress code.

Take away two:  Attention to detail is very important when filing manually.  An item checked out to the wrong person or incorrectly could remain an issue indefinitely. It affected the library’s ability to determine who had checked an item out or whether  it had actually been returned.   Customer service is also important.  A patron should not be kept waiting because  a volunteer prefers to visit with his/her friends at the circulation desk.  

Shelf reading (putting the books back on the shelf in Dewey Decimal order) was a frequent volunteer task and one of the most unpopular because it was boring and could be dirty or uncomfortable.  There was a lot of standing and stooping as the shelf reader progressed from the top to the bottom shelf for each book case and then had to repeat the steps on the next book case. Both the teenagers and the SDs could be relied upon to avoid this assignment whenever possible.

Take away three:  A volunteer can be requested to do a job, but an unwilling volunteer will not do the job well or for very long before deciding this is not a good match.  Both the volunteer and the organization need to benefit from the transaction.  Sometime explaining the value of the task may make a temporary difference, but not if the volunteer really does not want to do it.

At Ft Story, we had SDs for varying periods of time.  Sometimes they were problem soldiers that the first sargeant wanted to temporarily reassign.  Othertimes they were soldiers with “profiles” that limited their abilities to do their military jobs.  These soldiers often had medical appoitments.  The soldiers were all young and became very adroit at working the system.  Many of them had reasons why they could not be at the library on a particular day or by a specific time.  One of them had physical therapy twice a week for two hours.  He continued to vanish during those scheduled times long after the PT ended (we found out afterwards.)

Take away four:  As a supervisor, find out what you can realistically expect from any volunteer.  If the volunteer is part of a program, find out who the program counterpart is.  Is that person willing to support you, if there is a question about the volunteer’s job performance or attendance?  This is important for both SDs (the military) and special work programs for disadvantaged people.  (I had both excellent and problem volunteers/employees paid by some other program) in both categories.)

At the National Defense University, we did not have SDs, but we did have volunteers.  Some volunteers were library school students completing an internship.  The interns were usually  good.  They got professional experience and sometimes a job offer if their graduation coincided with the Library having a job vacancy.  We had one volunteer who had already graduated but did not yet have a job.  She was a friend of one of the employees and was such a chatty-Kathy that even her friend would escape to parts of the library where she was not allowed.  She was also a disaster as a volunteer–she took forever to complete any task and her friend would have to clean up the mess after the project was ended.

Take away five:  Attitude and aptitude are often more important than actual skills or experience.

In both the academic and the base libraries,  previously identified volunteer projects was always a good idea.  What new project or event would you like to see happen, that the staff does not time to do?  Can you partner with another department to provide training or an activity that would benefit both of you?  Story hours, youth job experience, book clubs, literacy programs, technology petting zoos, seasonal displays, local celebrations or anniversaries are all opportunities for the library to shine or perhaps use volunteers.

Take away six:  It should not take more staff time to set up a volunteer opportunity than it does for the volunteer to complete the task.  The opportunity should benefit both the library and the volunteer.  A variety of previously identified projects offer the volunteer a choice on things that you would like to see happen.

What was your experience either as a volunteer or as a supervisor of volunteers?




Smorgasbord End of Summer Party – Brunch Meet Robert Goldstein, Victoria Zigler, John W. Howell, Becky Ross Michael, Jemima Pett, Marcia Meara, Luna Saint Claire and Anita Dawes

Since Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer in the United States, I thought this reblog would be a nice opportunity to share some other fascinating bloggers with you.

via Smorgasbord End of Summer Party – Brunch Meet Robert Goldstein, Victoria Zigler, John W. Howell, Becky Ross Michael, Jemima Pett, Marcia Meara, Luna Saint Claire and Anita Dawes

TRUTH–Constant or Variable?

truth is paradoxicalToday’s






Is Truth a constant, unchanging state, or is Truth  a variable, a continuously moving state?

truth is out there

Most of us believe that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.  Most of us also believe that depending upon the season and where we live, the amount of daylight changes each day.  The position of the sun in the sky, determines where in the east it will rise and where in the west it will set.  So even though most of us expect the sun to rise and set in the same general direction, it does not rise and set in the same location each day.

beach sunset.jpg

Does the variable of the sun’s movement change the constant of the sun’s rising and setting?

Do you think that truth is a constant or a variable?