Need a Laugh?

kinderLast week was difficult for a lot of people, and the feelings will probably continue for some time. If you need a little lift, I came across this great post on Manrepeller.com called “Nine Kindergarteners on Their First Month of School”.  I swear, these mini interviews will restore your faith in people, and let you revel in the sheer joy of being a kid.

My favourite? The little boy who was asked what he wanted to be when he grew up. His answer? “A policeman. No! A leopard!”  Because, of course.

Rejected Princesses

princessesHave you seen this amazing website called Rejected Princesses? It’s not your typical princessy site, and in fact, is all about amazing, strong, incredible women you’ll never hear about in a Disney movie simply because they are a little bit off-beat.

Check out a few of the many wonders like Jeanne de Clisson:

1or… Mary Anning:

maryanning-560x792The graphics on this website are so appealing and give readers a glimpse into the worlds of these amazing women in a variety of ways. The search capabilities are fun and very detailed, and honestly, let you get lost in the variety and detail of this site and the women it’s about. While it looks like it would appeal to young girls, some of the language is a little frank, so please be aware before you let your daughters take a gander. However, the information majorly trumps the slightly offensive words.

Thanks to Caroline for suggesting this great website!

Food Fun for March Break

FOODAre you looking for ideas for March Break? How about trying out one or more of these fun recipes to make with your kids this week. Not only are they fun, but it’s a great way to spend some time together….

A DIY Cereal Bowl Cake that looks like, well, a bowl of cereal! YUM!

Tie-Dye Smores?  Say no more!

Rainbow Bagels with Funfetti Cream Cheese (they’d be just as fun with regular bagels).

Bunny Ear Ice Cream Cones, because, you know….Easter.

Funfetti Fudge (who cares how tricky it is to make…it looks wonderful!)

A giant Easter Peeps cake!

All right, yes, I became slightly obsessed with these fun desserts while writing this blog post (hint: never write blog posts while you’re hungry!), but you might find you have a mini-baker on your hands after trying a few. Thanks to the StudioDIY blog for all of the inspiration!

Happy Baking!

Who Do You Follow?

While it’s fun to post things on Facebook, it’s also interesting to see what other people are posting. Our library follows local businesses, town Facebook pages, other libraries and many “bookish” sites. We can learn a lot about libraries, the book world, and also our community by looking at posts from all of these pages. Recently, we discovered:

The Carleton Place Town Hall was asking for photos taken by local residents capturing the beauty of winter in our area. Did you send a photo and use the hashtag #myCP ? Why not! You might be featured.

The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum is always posting amazing photos of Carleton Place back in the day, and this week, they shared with us a fabulous black-and-white of Findlay Foundry as it was at its heyday.

12473528_1037388819651345_5404475710751705604_oCBC Books is always a great source of information about upcoming books, authors, featured topics, and just delightful reads. This week, they shared a list of children’s author Barbara Reid’s favourite children’s books. She’s got some of my favourites on there. Does she have yours?

And the NAC English Theatre page had a great post about their English Theatre production of 12th Night, happening now until February 6th at the NAC. It has puppets!

But one of the best things about following a variety of pages is that often, we find out something of importance that we can share with our readers. This week, it was a call out to the community from our local food bank for non-perishables that will soon be needed. While the Food Bank is well stocked at the moment, thanks to Christmas food drives etc., the shelves will empty quickly as people tend to forget about donating. Don’t forget, food is needed year round, so when you visit your local grocery store, pick up a can or two of the following and place it in one of the Food Bank bins on the way out of the store.

12400772_1866778360215177_8175255594555933128_nA BIG thanks to The Blossom Shop for sharing this with their readers, so that we could share with ours.

Start following some of our favourites, and share some of your favourites with us in the comments below so that we can add to all of the great communication going on between readers!

Do You Have a Plan?

PLANI have written this blog since 2007. It’s a wonderful way for us to share information about our library, but also to connect our readers with fun or informative posts about all things bookish. (And not so bookish….we’ve had a lot of posts about Star Wars, apparently!)

I also have a personal blog, and write for another group blog, so you could say that blogging takes up a lot of my time. (Although I must admit, the last post in my personal blog was from—er, early October.)

Recently, we’ve had discussions with our adult writing group at the library about starting a blog, and what types of information we’d like to get out there to the public about writing at the Carleton Place Public Library. It’s in the beginning stages, really, without much of a plan yet, but I know that having a direction, and getting everyone on board with the same goals is going to make things a lot easier in the long run. Which made me very happy to see this informative post on By Regina regarding having a blog business plan.

A lot of the Regina’s plan involves making money, which is not the intention of our blog at all, but most of the advice is really, really good. And if you’re considering ways to make your personal blog even better, you could do a lot of good by trying to implement a few of the ideas.

My favourites?

  • Having a blog style guide to help you keep the look of your blog consistent and polished.
  • Tracking your monthly stats/analytics to see where you are generating traffic, and where things need to be improved. Stats can really tell you a lot about your content, and how you might manage slow spots.
  • Social promotion. We don’t do enough of this at the library, but promoting blog posts on other social media sites in a timely way, will bring in different readers.
  • Have a posting schedule.

There are plenty of great ideas here, but you can take what you like and mix and match. Also, if you followed a previous post about intentional ignorance, this might be too exhausting to work through. Even if you take one thing from this, it will improve your blogging greatly. Then….file it away and forget about it until you need it again.

We’re On Tumblr!

We’re excited to really get going on this Tumblr thing for the library…and now we have our own Tumblr page!

tumblr

You can find us at Tales of a Small Town Library on Tumblr (just click the link to go there now). So far, we’re adding links slowly, but it’s going to be a fun, ongoing project for us.  If you love Tumblr, give us a quick follow and we promise lots of interesting library and book related posts weekly!

 

Be a Part of the Book Chain

thank youWorking with books all day, we often hear people rave about something they’ve just read. While they might tell quite a few people through word of mouth what they thought about that book, not everyone goes any further.

Some will go on to find that author’s website, and possibly send out an email to tell them how much they enjoyed the book. Maybe they’ll even get a response. But there is something more important, something that has more impact, that readers can do: thank an author by writing a review.

Online reviews on Goodreads and Amazon don’t always seem like they’re doing anything really important, but they are. Especially for the author. Good reviews are better than bad, but the more reviews a book has, the better it is for the author in general. A well-reviewed book means people are reading that book, which not only translates to more sales, but also to a better standing at the publishing house for that author. If you’ve ever seen debut authors on Twitter and Facebook begging for reviews, they aren’t doing it just to hear praises for their books—they need those reviews to stay relevant in the minds of the publishing business. If they want another book published, the first must garner sales and positive reviews.

Of course, this isn’t all about sales. It’s also about how it affects well known authors and publishing houses and your local library. If people stopped reviewing books, sales would plummet. When sales plummet, bookstores close and authors are not published again. When bookstores close, books either become more expensive to produce, or they will dip into the electronic production, and places like libraries will have a harder time purchasing books for patrons to read. It’s a vicious cycle, isn’t it?

So, if you love to read, make sure to do an online review for books you enjoy—Goodreads, Facebook, a blog post, a short tweet….whatever you prefer, just do it.  If you’re really ambitious, do one for every book you read. It will keep book sales high, allow authors to continue to publish, keep bookstores afloat, and allow libraries to receive funding to purchase the books their patrons want to read. We’re all a part of the book chain.

Write a review today!