Archive for the ‘Ideas to Steal’ Category

Everyone’s a ‘Knucklehead’

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Our EarlyWord Kids contributor, Lisa Von Drasek, has been writing here about her enthusiasm for Knucklehead by Jon Scieszka. This Sunday, she shared that enthusiasm with the broader world, in the NYT Book Review

She wants to mention to the EarlyWord audience that, since the book is Jon’s (hilarious) reminiscences about growing up, “it’s a great jumping-off point for a memoir-writing workshop with teens and late elementary kids. It would also be great for an intergenerational oral history program.”

For an example of how well the book gets people talking, check out the responses on the NY Times Paper Cuts blog, “Are You a Knucklehead?”. They challenged people  to post their own “entirely true stories of the most knuckleheaded thing — defined here as risky, dangerous, absurdly pointless or all three — they ever did when they were growing up.” A great idea to steal for your library blog.

Come to think about it, let’s do it here, but let’s change it. What’s the most knuckleheaded thing you did as a librarian?

I’ll start. Happily, I never did anything dangerous on the job, but maybe this qualifies as a bit absurd:

When I was working in Baltimore County P.L., we had the mandate to offer help, rather than wait for people to come to the desk to ask. We discovered that if we wandered the stacks well before closing time and approached people who looked like they needed help, it had the extra benefit of speeding along closing time.

I saw a young couple in the 300’s. Being a bit shy, I was never good at beginning conversations, so I blurted, “You look frustrated, can I help?’

You guess it, they were looking for books on sex.

True story; but as I tell it, I doubt it would happen today.

Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Almost True Stories of Growing up Scieszka

Jon Scieszka 

  • Paperback: $12; 106 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile (October 2, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 067001138X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670011384

Steal This for Your Next Speech

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

A good laugh to begin a VERY hectic week (thanks to Collection Developments @ Sno-Isle for spotting this!)

Please excuse the intro from Ad Age. Why do people think they have to explain a joke?

Words to Live By

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Great quote in today’s Shelf Awareness:

The first rule is you never tell a customer we don’t have something until you’ve asked two other people . . . And the other thing is, don’t be an ‘over there’ store. Take the customer, show them where the book is, walk with them to where it is. ‘Over there’ could be anywhere in the whole store.”–Betty Jackson of the Happy Bookseller, Columbia, S.C., Columbia Free Times

Unfortunately, the quote is part of a story about the bookstore closing. Clearly, poor customer service was NOT one of their problems.

Link of the Week

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Lisa Von Drasek: Early Word Kids

Collection development is not all buying. Time to weed and support teen craft programming!

Check out “How To Make a purse out of a stack of old books.”

Clever Marketing

Monday, September 15th, 2008

It seems that a smart marketer at Workman offered the nation’s most well-known technophobe a special one-on-one session with the author of their new book, Is This Thing On? : A Computer Handbook for Late Bloomers, Technophobes, and the Kicking & Screaming, Abby Stokes. 

Both Wonkette and reported the story today. Each also has a link to a copy of the letter on Workman letterhead.

Sending the letter to McCain’s Deputy E-Campaign Director? Very smart. 

Leaking the letter to Wonkette and Even smarter.


 “Is This Thing On?” : A Computer Handbook for Late Bloomers, Technophobes, and the Kicking & Screaming

Abby Stokes

  • Paperback: $15.95; 408 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (August 22, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0761146199
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761146193

“Don’t Call it a Slam”

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

That’s just one of the great tips in today’s Shelf Awareness on running a poetry slam. Jenn Northington, events manager for the King’s English Bookshop in Salt Lake City says that when she came up with the idea,

I envisioned maybe 10 poets, 20 chairs (but only 15 of them filled) and a quiet night in the store. What I got was 70 people, only 60 of whom had chairs to sit in, and two rounds of 20 plus poets each, slamming, declaiming and generally having a poetically fantastic time.