Archive for September 2010

Happy Birthday – Stephen King

September 22, 2010

While researching the latest bulletin board – Next Monday starts Banned Books Week – I discovered that today is Stephen King’s birthday. 
Happy Birthday to yooooouuuu Mr. King.   
The HotLibraryTech will refrain from turning your greeting into a video complete with the birthday song because, well quite frankly, that would be too scary for even you. 

Besides all the novels that Mr. King has written, he has another  “claim to fame” with the honor that he has twenty-two count them, 22 books listed in the research guide entitled Banned Books by Robert P. Doyle. 

This resource guide for librarians and technicians is invaluable.  We have to put a “Do not remove from library” sticker on the cover so that it stays on the counter.  Every fall, students receive an assignment in their 10th grade English classes to check out and read a “Banned Book” from the library.  We appreciate the boost in our library circulation as fresh-faced little sophomores come looking for a book for their assignment.  They usually look for the ‘skinny’ books – a fast read – but then the teachers started telling them that they would have to read two books.  Kids often check out Christine or Carrie for this assignment.  This year, a few students picked up It and Pet Sematary

In case, I have made you curious, here are some of the reasons that these books by Mr. King were, challenged, restricted, banned or “placed on a special shelf.”  Just makes them all the more desirable in this humble Library Tech’s opinion. 

Christine:  In Alabama, (1985) the board of education voted unanimously to ban the novel from all county school libraries because the book contains “unacceptable language'” and is “pornographic.”  (Bet the public libraries in the county saw a jump in their circulation stats….)

Carrie:  Challenged in a high school library in Las Vegas (1975) because it is “trash.”  Placed in a ‘special closed shelf’ at a Vermont high school library (1978) because it could “harm students, particularly younger girls.”

It:  Challenged in the Lincoln, Nebraska school libraries (1987) because of the novel’s corruptive, obscene nature.” Placed on a ‘closed shelf; at the Franklinville, New York Central high school library (1992) because of explicit sexual acts, violence and profane language.  Students will need parental permission to check it out.  (Seriously, I read this book while my husband was under going cancer treatments – the book was a ‘walk in the park’ compared to what I was going thru.)

Pet Sematary:  Challenged, along with eight other Stephen King novels, in North Dakota (1994) by a local minister and school board member, because of “age appropriateness.”

The library is a flurry of activity now with students checking out the book they have picked for their project.  I just love it when they wait until the last minute…..I look at them and smile when I see the choice for their assignment, I say, “This one’s scary, hope you have a nightlight!”

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And the winner is…..

September 10, 2010

School started two weeks ago – that first day I could have confiscated no less than 6 cell phones.  Instead I just barked in my drill sergeant voice, “Do you really want a detention on the first day of school, private?” 

Today after school I had a dozen little darlings on the student computers.  They were actually all working – having finally mastered the new requirement of their own login and password.  It was quiet except for the sound of busy little fingers and one girl’s voice…..talking… I was hearing a one-sided conversation. 

I should have known something was up – the other students on computers kept glancing at me – looking away and then back again.  Some of them were giggling.  Ah, they have seen me in action before…..
Then it hit me…I am a bit rusty after the long summer…somebody was on their cell phone.  A 9th grader on computer Ten was chatting merrily, oblivious to the Great White who was circling behind her….cue music…

I must say, my compliments to the rest of the students who were  kept doing their work.  Not one of them tried to give her the “heads up” or the complimentary “LOOK OUT behind YOU!!”  As I stepped in front of the student and caught her eye, the color drained from her face. 
“Ohh Mommy!” she squeaked and disconnected her phone. 
Keeping my voice as interesting as a bowl of oatmeal, I said, “Bring your self and the cell phone to the counter.”  She went into the usual dramatic teenage girl freak out.  The rest of the students on the computers turned in their chairs to watch the floor show….Wow!  No cover charge!  No two drink minimum! 

When I reached the portion of the cell phone violation form that states, “Cell phones will only be released to the parent or guardian…” the color in her cheeks she had recovered, quickly dissappeared.  I think she realized it was pointless to struggle. 
Perhaps I need to make a special certificate for having one’s cell phone confiscated by the HotLibraryTech – I had one for the First Lost Textbook of the Year – back when I dealt with textbooks…I called it the “Kiss It Goodbye” award.  This year it only took two hours on the first day for someone to earn that honor.) 

After finishing the form and contacting the office on the radio, I walked the student to the office – policy states that you send the student and the form along their cell phone to the office…but quite frankly that’s like turning your back on a 2-year-old in front of an open cookie jar.

Patriot Day 2010

September 2, 2010

This year’s 9/11 bulletin board is more subdued than in past years.  You can see that previous board at the top of my blog.  The 9th grade class of 2014 were kindergarteners when the twin towers fell.