Ghostbusters at NYPL

Ghostbuster Agents Hines, Purnell, Lathan, and Scordelis at the New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is facing budget cuts, and they recently had a pesky ghost problem on top of it!  Remember, without a budget, they wouldn’t be able to pay the Ghostbusters!  Think about it.  Here is the video.

Think you would like to make a public spectacle?  Well, certainly you could do one yourself, but if you want to call in the pros, who you gonna call?  How about calling Improve Everywhere.  You can read much more about the ghostbusting at their website.


Spurlock to host festival for the first time (2010)

This week is National Library Week!  What better way to celebrate than to live in Champaign-Urbana!  My goodness!  There always are cool library related activities!  Tomorrow, Saturday, April 17 at 7pm is the Storytelling Festival from the Center for Children’s Books.  This year it is being held at a new venue, The Spurlock Museum Auditorium (600 S. Gregory St. in Urbana, IL).

Come listen to some tales!  Not all are appropriate for children, so consider yourself warned, and have fun!

Students pay $5 with a Student ID

General public pay $8

Tickets can be purchased at the door.

For more information, contact the Center for Children’s Books at 244-9331 or

Click here for audio from past Storytelling Festivals!


Dark Night by Dorothee De Monfreid

"Dark Night" by Dorothee De Monfreid

Every week I volunteer at the Center for Children’s Books and the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books.  As such, I see a lot of great books for kids and young adults.  The Center for Children’s Books has a great non-circulating collection, and the Bulletin gets boxes upon boxes of books every week filled with the latest books before they are published.  I am going to try to be better about posting reviews of some of my favorites that come through.  Here are just a few quality picture books that are beautifully illustrated, have fun stories, and teach kids in an entertaining way.  These are of course viewpoints endorsed by Librarians are Weird, but are not to be confused with reviews of The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books.  For those reviews please consider subscribing!  As of this posting it is only $15 for students!

Pepi Sings a New SongPepi Sings a New Song by Laura Ljungkvist is the story of a parrot who goes on a little adventure to different places around the city to learn new things so he can make up a new song to sing for the little boy that owns him.  He goes to the bakery, the dog park, to an artist, to a musician, etc.  The illustrations are fantastic and I thought the selection of words was a nice mix of the ordinary and less ordinary.

Dark NightDark Night by Dorothee De Monfreid is another really cute one that came in awhile ago, but is out now.  I love the color and the style.  It is about a little boy that goes into the woods and there are all kinds of scary animals, but with a help of a woodland friend he overcomes his fears.  It is a beautifully styled book.  I just love the look of it.  It is a great picture book for kids that are afraid of the dark.

Where in the WildWith a lot of hidden creature books it is easier to find all the creatures.  Where in the Wild? Camouflaged Creatures Concealed Revealed by David M. Schwartz really made me look hard to see them, and it was very cool to learn about these amazing creatures.  The book has poems, shows the picture, and you try to find the creatures.   Then you lift the flap and it highlights just the creature.  Adults will have fun with this one, too.

Moon Rabbit by Natalie RussellMoon Rabbit by Natalie Russell does not feature a rabbit from the moon.  While this could be disappointing, it really wasn’t.  I loved that the little rabbit loves living in the city, but longs for a friend.  She ventures out to find a little brown rabbit that plays guitar. They form a fast friendship, and while the new friend wants her to stay she goes home.  It is a sweet tale of friendship, independence, and of knowing what makes you happy.

The Octonauts & the Great Ghost Reef by Meomi is the first I’ve read in the Octonauts series, but I am absolutely hooked.  Not only are the team of creatures beyond adorable, but they have a mystery to solve!  The team is on the case to find out why a large and bustling reef city has become a ghost town.  Not only is the book engaging as a mystery and kids will learn the names of all kinds of creatures, but kids will learn something when the mystery is solved!  Scooby fans will love The Octonauts, which is good news since The Octonauts will soon be an animated television series.  For more information check out the official website: The Octonauts!

Find these items at a library near you!


Celebrate National Library Week

Times are tough for us all and we need libraries even more.  I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir on this one, but it is important to be reminded of how awesome librarians are and how important we are in helping our communities thrive in these tough economic times.  In fact “Communities Thrive @ your library” is the theme of National Library Week 2010.  Especially with our own very serious budget issues, and the increased need for library services, we all deserve a huge pat on the back for working in or supporting librarianship.

The American Library Association provides promotional materials on their website including a Tough Economy Toolkit, but to be honest, as peachy as all that is I would rather just focus on the fact that none-other than Mr. Neil Gaiman is the Honorary Chair!  Doesn’t that just make you feel all warm and gushy inside?!  You can find the banner featured in this post, a PDF with Neil Gaiman, and many other materials on the ALA website.  National Library Week is April 11-17.  It doesn’t matter if you are an employed or unemployed librarian, or a patron of libraries.  We all should be able to agree that Neil Gaiman is an excellent choice.


Independent Media Center logoLast month I started volunteering at the Independent Media Center in Urbana, IL at the organization’s tenth anniversary celebration.  I have wanted to for a long time, but time was always a factor.  There is a lot to offer at the UC-IMC, and one of the coolest things is the zine library.  In the new year, I am planning on taking pictures of all the zines in the collection for the catalog.  Last time we worked on organizing the zines physically, while other volunteers from GSLIS worked on cataloging them.  You can learn more about the collection at the FAQ page:

If you are unfamiliar with zines (pronounced zeens), they are self-published magazines that have small runs.  Often they are cut and pasted together and photo-copied. The purpose of zines is not to make money, but rather expression.  Be it politics, sex, body-image, or pop-culture; zines are often highly personal in nature and are truly labors of love.

Volunteers from GSLIS are organizing the UC-IMC Zine Library