Category Archives: Librarians

Proofreading is a dying art, wouldn’t you say?

My sweet daddy sent me the funniest email this afternoon (see below) full of humorous newspaper headlines. As a former English teacher, I couldn’t believe that an editor allowed these headlines to go to press. Curiosity got the better of me. I wanted to read these articles, so the researcher in me took over, and I figured this might make a great lesson in teaching digital literacy skills (see the results of my search at the end of my post).

Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter

This one I caught the other day and called the Editorial Room and asked who wrote this. It took two or three readings before the editor realized that what he was reading was impossible!! ! They put in a correction the next day..

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says

No, really? Ya think?

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers

Now that’s taking things a bit far!

Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over

What a guy!

Miners Refuse to Work after Death

The good-for- nothing’ lazy so-and-so’s!

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant

See if that works any better than a fair trial!

War Dims Hope for Peace

I can see where it might have that effect!

If Strike Isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile

Ya think?!

Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures

Who would have thought!

Enfield (London) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide

They may be on to something!

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges

You mean there’s something stronger than duct tape?

Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge

He probably IS the battery charge!

New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group

Weren’t they fat enough?!

>Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft

That’s what he gets for eating those beans!

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks

Do they taste like chicken?

Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half

Chainsaw Massacre all over again!

Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors

Boy, are they tall!

And the winner is…..

Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

Did I read that right?


While these “headlines” are humorous, to say the least, I couldn’t find a single full text article supporting any of them. I did, however, find just the headlines in a series of books written by Richard Lederer, one of which dates back to 1987. They may be actual headlines, but, without the original source, I’m still a bit skeptical.

For those of you who understand the importance of vetting sources for research (hopefully, not just my librarian compadres), I found this scholarly journal article discussing humor in ambiguous newspaper headlines. Although the author apparently is/was an English professor at Youngstown State University, his sources are a bit sketchy. Only three of the links work, but this article was published ten years ago. Nonetheless, all but three of his listed websites appear questionable simply by looking at the URLs.

Not to leave you disappointed, here are a few humorous headlines that I found:

Hershey Bars Protest

New Yorker; 2/3/1968, Vol. 43 Issue 50, p79

This article may be accessed via EBSCOHost.

Red Tape Holds Up New Platte River Bridge

Freemont Tribune 06/09/2009

And my favorite . . .

Chick Accuses Some of Her Male Colleagues of Sexism

LA Times 06/24/1996



Chronicles of a Media Center Renovation: Part II

After a month of working 10.5-11.5-hour days, the media center was packed and ready to be stored for six months. Whew!

I’ll be setting up my mini library in a classroom for the first semester probably starting next week.  Every book truck, A/V cart, iPad and laptop cart I’ve got is sitting in a classroom crammed with boxes of files, filing cabinets, and several hundred books just waiting to be organized for the upcoming school year.  I’m not sure how this will work, but minimal library access is better than none.  There was no way I was going to shut down the library for an entire semester. I just couldn’t do it. All those freshmen beginning their high school career with no library – what kind of message would that send? Besides, I had way too many teachers and students requesting specific materials to be kept available.  Circulation may decline because of the small space, but I’ve got a plan – I’ll go from classroom to classroom if I have to delivering books.

According to the building plans, my office and the other two study rooms will be demolished; the AV room will be converted into two faculty bathrooms, the front window will become the new entrance, and other windows and walls will be knocked out to make way for the new media lab.

Weeding: WWBGD?

I knew in January that this semester would be busy with the renovations beginning in May, but I wasn’t quite prepared for it, not really.

After the last meeting with the architects, I was told that I would need to get rid of about 8,000 books to reduce the collection to 10,000. I almost cried – actually, I think I did shed a few tears before the day was over. The tears were not for the loss of so many books, but for the loss of the space I’d worked so hard for the last 18 months to create, and the loss of the “library” as I knew it.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m the first to embrace technology, eBooks, Web 2.0 tools, and such. Digital literacy was my focus throughout grad school. I just get a little nostalgic for the way things used to be sometimes. Part of me misses searching for books using the card catalog.

Suffice it to say, I had a monumental task that lay before me and needed a plan. So I asked myself, “Self, what would Barbara Gordon do?

Since I’d already weeded several sections last spring, I decided to begin where I left off – the 300’s and go section by section until I had gone through every single book in my library. Not only did I clear entire shelves of books, but I also staged each shelf similar to book stores and photographed each section before and after.


No sooner had I finished one section, the books started flying off the shelves. Keep in mind, I was working in the 300’s – not the fairy tales or true crime sections either – I was right in the middle of economics and government. Teachers would walk by to see what I was up to on their way to their monthly meetings and, as if by magic, a book would catch their attention. I had more folks – students and teachers alike – make the same few comments: “I didn’t know we had this book!” and “Are these new?” and my personal favorite “Ooh! Can I check this one out?”

At this point, I had become obsessed with weeding. I looked forward to each new conquest and eagerly anticipated finding the next “gem” that should’ve been retired decades earlier (but due to former accreditation standards, these books were retained simply to satisfy quotas – number of books per student).

I found a book on steroids from the early ’90’s – which may not sound that old, but the guy on the cover was sporting a mighty fine mullet with a perm. Moving down the shelves into the section on various communicable diseases (616.9), I discovered that VD was all the rage in the ’70’s. Sadly, even the book entitled “The Love Bug” had to go. But the most memorable find was “The Dating Book: A Guide to the Social Scene” circa 1983. This little gem had some “student annotations” that certainly spiced up the content a tad (watch out E.L. James!). This book was mistakenly pulled from the shelf during my library orientation scavenger hunt (which reinforced the need to teach students how to read spine labels), and subsequently checked out by a student later that same day. Not only did this student take the book home, but she showed it to her parents. Oh, the horror!  Needless to say, that one provided hours of laughs, so much so that I kept it.

After two and a half months of 10.5 – 12 hour days, I had weeded a grand total of 6,665 books, 4,955 nonfiction and 1,710 fiction. I must admit that I was a little bummed when the weeding was finished, mostly because I knew what was next: packing it all up.   But that’s another story . . .

Neil Gaiman novel wins Book of the Year

See on Scoop.itBookSmart

Modern day fairytale wins public vote from shortlist of winners beating big names including Kate Atkinson and David Walliams (RT @guardiannews: Neil Gaiman novel wins Book of the Year…

Cindy Huskey‘s insight:

Love this book!

See on

Jail Time For Unreturned Library Books? – CBS Local

See on Scoop.itBookSmart

Jail Time For Unreturned Library Books? CBS Local A Texas man who was arrested for failing to return an overdue library book ignited an online flurry of snarky comments and headlines about the Lone Star State extending its tough-on-crime bravado to…

See on

Before there were computers . . .

Famous authors' typewriters

It’s hard to imagine for those who have never seen a typewriter before (a phrase that is hard to imagine for those of us who learned to type on one of these suckers), but this little machine revolutionized writing in its heyday. They required no batteries, no power cords, and {gasp!} no wifi.

I was discussing the use of a typewriter with a teacher just the other day as shocked 11th graders listened, mouths agape. We fondly talked of typewriter ribbons, correction tape, and carriage returns. We reminisced about crooked lines, flying carriages when we returned a bit too hard, and those dreaded scraped knuckles when our fingers slipped between the keys.


As a novice librarian, I cannot imagine typing three bib cards for the card catalog, the book pocket and pocket cards, and spine labels for new acquisitions on one of these little guys.

Although I sometimes wallow in the nostalgia of composing on a manual typewriter, I am grateful for my Macbook and its endless wonders.

Fun With Book Displays

Happy 50th, Boss! (at BJHS Media Center)

Caught ‘Ya Reading – The Kite Runner

Crystal Ganatra dares to read The Kite Runner for #BBW.

Caught ‘Ya Reading – To Kill a Mockingbird

Mary Smith, knowing full well this book’s been banned, reads To Kill a Mocking Bird anyway. #bbw

Caught ‘Y’all Reading – Banned Books

We love #BannedBooks! (at BJHS Media Center)

PC Sweeney

The Journey is the Destination

Design of the Picture Book

the intersection of graphic design + picture books

Mr. Library Dude

Blogging about libraries, technology, teaching, and more

TED Blog

The TED Blog shares interesting news about TED, TED Talks video, the TED Prize and more.

BJHS College Cheat Sheets

Just another site

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