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Capturing the moment

In 1984, I was visiting Heidelberg Germany on a crisp Sunday morning in September.  Heidelberg, the location of one of the oldest universities is also a town that boasts a plethora of churches and cathedrals.  The scenery and history of the city was awe-inspiring to this 26 year old.  My husband had purchased a brand new SLR camera for the trip, and a yellow bag full of special lenses and filters.  After visiting the ruins of the Heidelberg castle the day before, we woke early—eager to get on the Romantic Road.

What we didn’t expect were the church bells.  The cacophony of bells was beautifully deafening so I ran to the window to capture the moment.  I snapped picture after picture of the view from our pension window, the quaint, lace—bedecked opening that was the only feature of our tiny budget lodging; leaning out as far as I could, I tried to spot the facades of each of the churches that surrounded our tiny room.

I will never again be able to hear the bells of Heidelberg as I experienced them that morning, but will always cherish the moment.

What moments have shaped your memories, and how did you choose to capture the moment?  Writing, passing on the stories with our friends and families is an important window to our very soul. The next time you hear something that triggers a memory, tell someone what you are feeling and why.  They will be glad you did.

Filed under writing travel memories Library Science MLS

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Three years ago, a sixth grader walked up to our check out station, book in hand, and wanted to borrow the book.  He didn’t say a word, and my co-worker began giving him the traditional instructions: Open your planner, stamp the page, scan your barcode, and—-before she could finish he covered his ears and ran out of the library.  Juan was autistic and we did not know that because it was the beginning of the year, and of course, he looked like every other sixth grader. We learned to give him one instruction at a time, and to be very patient with him.  A few weeks later, he showed up at the computer lab, sat down and began to stare at the computer.  I went over to him to see what he was doing, asked him if he needed help and he stared at his lap."I’m here to do research."  "Ok," I said. "What kind of research?"  "Research.""What are you researching?""Research.""You are researching research?""Yes."At that point, I realized he didn’t have a pass, and I asked if his teacher knew he was in the library.  He didn’t answer, so I instructed him to go back to class and get a pass.  As soon as he left the room, I telephoned his teacher and told her that Juan wanted to do some research.  She sent him back to the library with a topic and three questions to answer.  He had been in the library, hearing other students talk about their research papers, and wanted to be just like them.  This year, on the last day of school, Juan came into the library all grown up and excited about entering high school.  He was way too cool to give us hugs or even high fives, but we had watched him bloom from a scared kid to a pretty capable learner.  Kind of makes it all worthwhile, don’t ya think?
Juan is not really his name. ;)
The above photo is one that I snapped this summer in the Louvre, and I chose it as a representation of how my preconceived ideas concerning how students learn might really look in their eyes.

Three years ago, a sixth grader walked up to our check out station, book in hand, and wanted to borrow the book.  He didn’t say a word, and my co-worker began giving him the traditional instructions: Open your planner, stamp the page, scan your barcode, and—-before she could finish he covered his ears and ran out of the library. 

Juan was autistic and we did not know that because it was the beginning of the year, and of course, he looked like every other sixth grader. We learned to give him one instruction at a time, and to be very patient with him.  A few weeks later, he showed up at the computer lab, sat down and began to stare at the computer.  I went over to him to see what he was doing, asked him if he needed help and he stared at his lap.

"I’m here to do research." 
"Ok," I said. "What kind of research?" 
"Research."
"What are you researching?"
"Research."
"You are researching research?"
"Yes."

At that point, I realized he didn’t have a pass, and I asked if his teacher knew he was in the library.  He didn’t answer, so I instructed him to go back to class and get a pass.  As soon as he left the room, I telephoned his teacher and told her that Juan wanted to do some research.  She sent him back to the library with a topic and three questions to answer. 

He had been in the library, hearing other students talk about their research papers, and wanted to be just like them. 

This year, on the last day of school, Juan came into the library all grown up and excited about entering high school.  He was way too cool to give us hugs or even high fives, but we had watched him bloom from a scared kid to a pretty capable learner.  Kind of makes it all worthwhile, don’t ya think?

Juan is not really his name. ;)

The above photo is one that I snapped this summer in the Louvre, and I chose it as a representation of how my preconceived ideas concerning how students learn might really look in their eyes.

Filed under school libraries library libraries research methods middle school students Library Science MLS

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The End of Summer

As the summer of 2012 comes to an end, I wax nostalgic.  This summer began with a trip to Europe with my family of 5—two daughters, a son-in-law, and my husband of 30 years.  We celebrated our 30th anniversary, one daughter’s 21’s birthday, and the other daughter’s 2nd wedding anniversary.  Just before leaving on my trip, I embarked on the first three classes of summer school, aka graduate school. 

Traveling while learning how to manipulate the online curriculum of grad school, and then trying to find internet coverage to submit virtual papers on time proved to be a bit tricky, but I was able to sleep at night, knowing that the family was having a good time, and that I was keeping up with my challenging assignments.

When I returned home, I began to get better acquainted with my fellow students—many of whom I will never actually meet.  We bonded over tough assignments, discussed pets and problems, held each other up during tough times such as the loss of loved ones, or the shared experiences of being members of the sandwich generation.

As I turned in my last paper today, I realize that I will miss these virtual friends and while we vow to stay in touch, I am realistic enough to know that some relationships will not stand the test of time. 

It has been a good summer, I have learned a lot about myself and hopefully, have helped others along the way.

Filed under nostalgia travels leeds castle grad school end of summer Library reflections travel reading writing Library Science MLS

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This has been reposted from the NYPL and Smithsonian Magazine web sites.

The Deerstalker: Where Sherlock Holmes’ Popular Image Came From, via Smithsonian Magazine.
An interesting read, and a similar theme to an upcoming exhibition at NYPL, which will focus on how Dickens’ characters have been portrayed visually over the years.
** Edited to add: We see there’s been some confusion about this post. We know that Dickens didn’t write the Sherlock Holmes books — what we meant to say was that our exhibition, like this article, focuses on how illustrators have portrayed fictional characters over the years. The article refers to Sherlock Holmes, while our exhibition will focus on the characters of Dickens. Hope that clears things up!

This has been reposted from the NYPL and Smithsonian Magazine web sites.

The Deerstalker: Where Sherlock Holmes’ Popular Image Came From, via Smithsonian Magazine.

An interesting read, and a similar theme to an upcoming exhibition at NYPL, which will focus on how Dickens’ characters have been portrayed visually over the years.

** Edited to add: We see there’s been some confusion about this post. We know that Dickens didn’t write the Sherlock Holmes books — what we meant to say was that our exhibition, like this article, focuses on how illustrators have portrayed fictional characters over the years. The article refers to Sherlock Holmes, while our exhibition will focus on the characters of Dickens. Hope that clears things up!

(Source: nypl)

Filed under Library reflections travel reading writing Library Science MLS

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NYPL Archives Research Fellowships

nypl:

NYPL is currently digitizing the papers of Samuel J. Tilden. In conjunction with this important archival resource, NYPL is offering researchfellowships of up to $5,000 to support research projects related to Tilden’s circle of activity and the political culture in New York and the United States during the 19th century. 

The application deadline is September 1! Learn More

Filed under Library reflections travel reading writing Library Science MLS

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