Posted by lpearle on 16 February 2017
I could swear that I’ve blogged before about bubbles and how excited one of my graduate school professors was about how in the then-near future, we could drive across country listening to “our” radio station, rather than continually trying to find a station that played music we enjoyed. It worried me then, this bubble, and it continues to worry me today.
A few weeks ago, one of my cousins and I were speaking and she was expressing sorrow and confusion that a friend of hers had said that they couldn’t be friends because my cousin had voted for Trump. (perhaps I should mention that most of my family are Republicans, adhering to those oft-forgotten New England Republican ideas) This past weekend I had dinner with another group of cousins and one of them said “[your father] is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met – how can he be a Democrat?” Of course, my father would ask the same, in reverse, about this cousin. Most of my cousins are appalled at what’s currently going on in Washington, and while they may have voted Republican in November, they are not fans – or supporters – of the current president.
My point being, not every Republican supported the presidential candidate. Just as many Democrats didn’t support that party’s presidential candidate. But… do we really know that? understand that? My first cousin’s friend feels – as so many others feel, and have expressed on Facebook/Twitter – that simply being Republican and voting that way means that you are evil and responsible for all the proposals being mooted now (eg., rolling back environmental protections, changing or repealing LGBTQ legislation and so much, much more) Why would otherwise intelligent, nice people vote that way?
It’s not a new observation, but the problem is that we live in increasingly narrow bubbles and echo chambers, relying on confirmation bias only rather than exploring the subject and making up our own minds. With that in mind, I was interested to read Joyce Valenza’s column about Allsides.com. While I don’t pretend to understand their crowd-sourcing of “left”, “right” and “center” or agree with all their rankings, I do think that it’s interesting as a source of different viewpoints on a topic. David Wee then started an email conversation about the use of this site (he’s doing great work teaching about “fake news”), and Tasha Bergson-Michelson recommended Burst Your Bubble. The problem with the Guardian site is that it presupposes you’re liberal – where’s a similar site for conservatives?
At my school, there’s a definitely hostile attitude towards conservatives. Some are upset that the school hasn’t officially come out against recent executive orders and policies, much less against the president. What if, instead, we tried to understand why people voted the way they do, or the why they have the opinions they do about issues that don’t conform to our opinions? I’ve read many articles recently trying to understand why people voted for Trump (here’s one) because I understand what was appealing about Clinton and Sanders. Have you? Do you assume that everyone you know feels the same way you do about issues and candidates? Or do you know that there are some who don’t share those opinions, and do you try to understand what they’re thinking?
We have another year, perhaps, before the midterm election campaigns start up. Trump 2020 is actually a thing. What is your commitment to getting out of your bubble before then?
Posted in Musings, School Libraries, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
Posted by lpearle on 28 August 2014
If you work in a school, you know that each year will bring changes – different students, different research needs, different teachers, surprising events, etc.. They’re the type of things you know are coming and yet can do very little to prepare. For me, there’s no dread involved, just a sense of fatalistic anticipation.
Sometimes, though, there are even bigger changes afoot. It may be a new job. Or new library coworkers/colleagues. Maybe you’ve got a new facility.
The other day I was having lunch with Katie Archambault at Emma Willard and she mentioned another change, one we don’t really talk about at conferences or help prepare people for: going from being a part of a library team to being a solo librarian. She’s right, we don’t often talk about that change. Nor do we talk about the change from being a solo librarian to being part of a team. Or being a part of a team to being the Team Leader. There’s lots out there on how to survive your first year at a school, but often that presupposes that you’re just new to that school, not filling a new role as well.
Porter’s is planning on hosting the 2014 New England Association of Independent School Librarians conference and this seems like a good conversation for us to have: what massive changes have you experienced? how have you survived? what advice do you have for others in your position? etc.. Go ahead. Let me know in the comments!
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Posted by lpearle on 17 June 2013
I’ll come right out and say it: I’m not a huge poetry fan. Inserting poetry into a text makes my eyes glaze over, and those books in verse? Thanks, but… (having said that, I did enjoy Sharp Teeth, so it’s possibly more a question of “finding something I don’t mind”). So it’s with some trepidation that I settled in to hear the Poetry Panel at the Day of Dialog. For those of you who feel the way I do, the following might help change your mind.
Robert Pinsky opened by stating that children have a natural instinct toward rhyme: just look at children’s books like Dr. Seuss, and the sing-song way they often speak (not to mention the rhyming games they play). He also said that the way to appreciate poetry is to say it aloud – it will make you a better writer and reader.
So, how do we go about marketing poetry? It’s risky, because then we’re treating poetry as “other”, right? Poets.org has great resources to help you find poetry (including a great Poem-a-Day program). Several suggestions arose, including casually adding it to your displays (e.g., scarey poems as part of a Hallowe’en display), keeping books of poetry next to the check out (much like candy bars at grocery check outs). Asking random members of the community to read their favorite poems for a podcast or videocast and posting it on your website. Tweet great opening lines, or short poems, with a link to information about the poet or the poem.
We were also reminded that there are no rules for poetry. Yes, teachers say that (and there are, of course, rules about poetic form) but that’s really just wrong; they want to be able to say “smart things” about poems and poetry, when in reality, poetry is what sounds good when you say it – in other words, do not overthink a poem. Just enjoy it. As MacLeish said, “A poem should not mean / But be.”
Need resources? Library Journal is launching a poetry blog that will be gathering news, collection development ideas, tools and more. Poets.org has a Poem-A-Day program. Many current poets are on Facebook and Twitter, which is a great way to connect to living poets. Poets House has some great programs and ideas.
In other words, don’t let poetry scare you – treat it as any other part of your collection, promote it within your community, and watch things blossom.
Posted in Books, Collection Development, Conferences, Uncategorized | Tagged: LJDOD13 | Leave a Comment »
Posted by lpearle on 7 February 2013
Books, Reading, Etc.
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Posted by lpearle on 21 July 2011
No, not really. Clue 49 is “Millie Helper’s next door neighbor” – for which the answer is Laura Petrie, not me. But still, for a few moments, my father had a thrill answering the Washington Post’s July 14th crossword!
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Posted by lpearle on 23 September 2010
Because so many of our 9th grade students are new this year (over half the class) and because even those that came from our Middle School have managed to forget anything they knew about library research over the summer, the 9th grade History Team and I have created a series of assignments that will get them looking at books, thinking about resources and using the library.
As always, I created a Libguide to help. This one is a little special: there’s a tutorial there that is based on a great tutorial I found. The wonderful librarians at SWITCH said I could download the files (they’d based their tutorials on WMU’s original!) and customize away – it’s been a long time since I hard-coded HTML, and my Photoshop skills aren’t great, but after a few days hard work, it’s done! As time allows, I’m modify it even further…
I’m excited to see how (if?!) this helps our students get comfortable with the research process.
Posted in School Libraries, Student stuff, Techno Geekiness, Uncategorized, Work Stuff | 1 Comment »
Posted by lpearle on 28 July 2010
Doug started a meme:
Remember the days of “memes?” Blog this challenge on your site! What are your 6 essential tools and 2 essential devices?
After pondering this on my way home, weighing the sites I visit and use regularly, it’s really pretty simple.
- Gmail (staying in touch)
- Bank of America (for online banking)
- Facebook (seeing what my friends are up to)
- Google Reader (as Doug does, I’m cheating with an RSS feeder!)
- Goodreads (to keep track of my books and review those I’ve read)
- Twitter (again, seeing what my friends are up to/staying in touch with my PLN)
- iPod (not my iPhone, because I’m not a huge cell phone user and use that mostly when travelling, but I use my iPod daily while commuting)
Tag – you’re it!
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