It’s Time for a Body Positive Brooklyn: Look, I finished that display, finally.

Remember that display that I startedThe “Stop Hating Your Body” display? Well, it’s done and officially up in the library.

I’m a little bit more nervous about this display than I was about the Pride Month one. I don’t know. I mean, we have such a long way to go as far as LGBTQ* rights are concerned, but at the very least I feel like it’s something you hear about on a daily basis. Am I wrong? Maybe it’s because I’m in a super liberal NYC bubble or maybe it’s due to the company I keep, but I feel like at least we’re talking about homophobia and equality. Are we talking about body image? Are we telling people, girls especially, that it’s OK to not hate your body? Has that discussion even begun?

It needs to be an every day discussion. Not just in zines and blogs. Body acceptance has to become part of mainstream dialogue. Otherwise, we have no hope against beauty magazines and the media. Zero chance for kids to have a healthy body image.

Sometimes I feel like it’s still so radical to let people know that it’s not OK to make fun of fat/obese/insert euphemism people (of which I count myself as one of). I want tweens and teens to realize that it’s alright to be fat. It’s OK to have big hips or thick legs. It’s alright to not have a supermodel body. And this isn’t just a display for the bigger teens, it’s for all of them. The thinner ones also need to be aware that they don’t need to be constantly dieting for no apparent reason. It’s not necessary to be permanently dissatisfied with your appearance.

I really needed someone to tell all of this to me when I was a (really, really thin) teenager. No one did. I was a mess. So, I’m making it known now.

I’ve already seen two tween boys pointing and laughing at a part of the display that features a fat girl in a bathing suit. It’s disheartening.

I’ve also seen a handful of girls read over the entire display.

Here it is. It’s got lots of tiny details. The ones I didn’t photograph for this post can be found here.

The aforementioned boys made fun of the drawing in the upper right corner. I was pretty upset.
This one is darling. It always makes me smile.
This one is darling. It always makes me smile.
Lumpy Space Princess and I have similar body issues.
Lumpy Space Princess and I have similar body issues.

Continue reading “It’s Time for a Body Positive Brooklyn: Look, I finished that display, finally.”

Tiny Cartoon Librarians and Our Staff Picks

In our chapter books section, the Youth Wing librarians have been taking turns creating book displays. I posted my contribution, the gross books display, not so long ago. This time around, my fearless leader Catherine decided that we should make a staff picks display. We each chose three books that we super dig, and came up with this:

staff picks display

Each staff member got their own shelf, decked out with their three selections and an information sheet. The sheet has a little cartoon version of the librarian (sort of reminiscent of these) and a summary of the recommended books:

This is my shelf.
This is my shelf.

I made the mini-librarians on Wee World, which is obnoxiously cute. Here are all the librarians and their selections:

This is Miss Megan. Her picks are Island: A Story of the Galápagos by Jason Chin, Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke, and Dominic by William Steig.
This is Miss Megan. Her picks are: Island: A Story of the Galápagos by Jason Chin, Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke, and Dominic by William Steig.
Miss Leigh's picks are: Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt, National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry: 200 Poems with Photographs that Squeak, Soar, and Roar! edited by J. Patrick Lewis, and Click Click Click!: Photography for Children by George Sullivan.
Miss Leigh’s picks are: Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt, National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry: 200 Poems with Photographs that Squeak, Soar, and Roar! edited by J. Patrick Lewis, and Click Click Click!: Photography for Children by George Sullivan.
Miss Tatiana picked: Holes by Louis Sachar, Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis, and 100 Scariest Things on the Planet by Anna Claybourne.
Miss Tatiana picked: Holes by Louis Sachar, Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis, and 100 Scariest Things on the Planet by Anna Claybourne.
Boss lady Miss Catherine's picks are: The Adventures of Nanny Piggins by R. A. Spratt, Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales : One Dead Spy by Nathan Hale, and Buddy by M.H. Herlong.
Boss lady Miss Catherine’s picks are: The Adventures of Nanny Piggins by R. A. Spratt, Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales : One Dead Spy by Nathan Hale, and Buddy by M.H. Herlong.
This dork is me, and I listed the following as my staff picks: Hereville : How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch, Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes, and Drama by Raina Telgemeier.
This dork is me, and I listed the following as my staff picks: Hereville : How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch, Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes, and Drama by Raina Telgemeier.

I also made a little handout sheet with all our selections on it, in case patrons want to refer to our picks in the future. I think this display is a great way for us to showcase our favorite books and also to help patrons remember what our names are. Maybe the cartoon little versions of us will help them put the names to the faces. Right now, when they refer to us they usually say, “That lady that was here,” and that really doesn’t narrow it down.

If you had to name your three favorite books to recommend to kids grades 3-6, what would you pick?

~Love and Libraries, Ingrid

Yo, That’s Nasty: Keyword Search: Boogers

We’ve been taking turns making displays in the Juvenile Fiction section. So far, my coworkers have made displays based on cookbooks, feel good animal stories, and mythology. Now, it’s my turn and I decided to make a Gross Books display, using juvenile fiction and non-fiction titles about boogers, farts, poop, pee, bugs, and other nasty stuff.

gross books display

The background of the display is made out of glittery green snotty boogers. Just because they’re boogers doesn’t mean that they can’t be sparkly! You think it’s funny, but it’s snot.

booger

I got to pull lots of gross-out, silly titles from the fiction and non-fiction sections:

killer koalas from outer space and poop

There’s a lot of potty humor up in this display:

nasty bugs and that's gross

I like to showcase titles that typically get lost in the non-fiction maze:

Butts. Farts. Buttfarts.
Butts. Farts. Buttfarts.

smelly locker

CLASSIC
CLASSIC

I also included Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder by Jo Nesbo, It’s Disgusting–and We Ate It by James Solheim, Roald Dahl’s Revolting RecipesGross Me Out! by Joe Rhatigan, Zombie Butts from Uranus by Andy Griffiths, and lots more.

What’s your favorite gross book?

~Pukes and Farts, Ingrid

GAY BOOKS!: A Sorta Valentine’s Day Display

It’s time for an LGBTQ-themed Teen book display. It’s got hearts, glitter, rad people, and lots of books from the Stonebook Book Awards and Rainbow Book  lists.

LGBTQ Display

Yeah, I got a bit sloppy/lazy with the lettering after all that cutting and pasting. Still, I think it's a pretty sweet little display.
Yeah, I got a bit sloppy/lazy with the lettering after all that cutting and pasting. Still, I think it’s a pretty sweet little display. Can you find Anna Paquin and Brooklyn author Jacqueline Woodson in this picture?
You can see Sally Ride chilling up in the corner, Orlando Cruz out to kick your ass, Zachary Quinto who scares the crap out of me on American Horror Story, the glam Justin Vivian Bond, Ellen and Portia, and Anderson Cooper, who has eyes like the sea.
You can see Orlando Cruz out to kick your ass, Zachary Quinto who scares the crap out of me on American Horror Story, the glam Justin Vivian Bond, Ellen and Portia, and Anderson Cooper, who has eyes like the sea.
Malinda Lo, author of Ash and other YA novels.
Malinda Lo, author of Ash and other YA novels.
Here we have Wanda Sykes, Frank Ocean, my girl Beth Ditto, James St. James (author of one of my favorite YA books, Freak Show), and Jane Lynch (who I will forever think of as a cocktail waitress on an oil barge).
Here we have Wanda Sykes, Frank Ocean, my girl Beth Ditto, James St. James (author of one of my favorite YA books, Freak Show), and Jane Lynch (who I will forever think of as a cocktail waitress on an oil barge).
The cast of RuPaul's Drag Race, getting up, looking sickening, and making them eat it.
The cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race, getting up, looking sickening, and making them eat it.
Honey Boo Boo Child's Uncle Poodle ("Ain't nothing wrong with being a little bit gay), Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Neil Patrick Harris, and Carrie Brownstein, the woman who my boyfriend will be leaving me for shortly.
Honey Boo Boo Child’s Uncle Poodle (“Ain’t nothing wrong with being a little bit gay), Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Neil Patrick Harris, and Carrie Brownstein, the woman who my boyfriend will be leaving me for shortly.
Hard Times of RJ Berger Actor Paul Iocono and Actor Jim Parsons
Hard Times of RJ Berger Actor Paul Iocono and Actor Jim Parsons.
Andrew Rannells, RuPaul (in drag and out), and Lana Wachowski.
Andrew Rannells, RuPaul (in drag and out), and Lana Wachowski.
Andy Cohen who has eyebrows for days, David Levithan, author of everything that's good in the world, and George Takei, king of the internet.
Andy Cohen who has eyebrows for days, David Levithan, author of everything that’s good in the world, and George Takei, king of the internet.
Ricky Martin and Amanda Lepore. I don't know much about clothes, but her hair looks FIERCE.
Ricky Martin and Amanda Lepore. I don’t know much about clothes, but her hair looks FIERCE.
books
Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger and It Gets Better.
The Year They Burned the Books (maybe it's time for an updated cover on that sucker) and Boyfriends with Girlfriends.
The Year They Burned the Books (maybe it’s time for an updated cover on that sucker) and Boyfriends with Girlfriends.

gay power!

Thanks to all the Twitterbrarians (Tweetbrarians?) that helped me come up with this idea and compile a list of people to include in the display.

What are your favorite books that speak to the LGBTQ experience?

~Love and Libraries, Ingrid

Oh Dewey! YOU’RE SO DREAMY!

This entire idea is the brainchild of one of my 3,000 supervisors, Catherine. I am but her humble glitter jockey (here to happily execute her display plans by cutting out pictures of Melvil Dewey and covering them in sparkles), but I thought I’d share this brilliance. This display has everything: hot dead guys, glitter bowties, and seizure-inducing flashing lights.

Behold! Melvil Dewey's Dewey Decimal Number of the Day!
Behold! Melvil Dewey’s Dewey Decimal Number of the Day!
Dewey! Dewey! Let me be! Keep that Decimal System far from me.
Dewey! Dewey! Let me be! Keep that Decimal System far from me.

Here’s the big idea: At the reference desk, we have a big display with Melvil Dewey announcing his Dewey Decimal Number of the Day. He tells you the number as well as the subject:

subject

Then you bop on over to non-fiction to see if you can find a tinier Dewey hiding in the stacks:

If you're lucky, he'll be wearing a little disguise.
If you’re lucky, he’ll be wearing a little disguise.

Then you can take out some books on today’s subject or just pat yourself on the back for a job well done. “What do the kids win if they find Dewey?” you might ask. THEY WIN THE SATISFACTION OF LEARNING ABOUT THE DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM, THAT’S WHAT.

Click here to see it twinkle.

~Love and Libraries, Ingrid

Goodbye Tumblr, Greetings to Better Blogging

Oh, hai. I’m Ingrid Abrams and I’m a Children’s Librarian working in Brooklyn, NY.

Me and the Biebs

I once had an “ALL LIBRARIES, ALL THE TIME” Tumblr, but it made me insane. It crashed and whined and called me inappropriate names and hogged the sheets on the bed. It was time to call it quits. I’m starting over here, not just talking about libraries this time, but fashion, living in NYC, and anything else that catches my fancy.

Vague enough for you?

The library world is too weird to be believed and, as a self-professed weirdo, I fit right in. I enjoy overly-glittery library displays, dressing like Liza Minnelli at the reference desk (read: lots of sequins), anything Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland-related, my Toddler Time class (exhausting, but always worth it), and coming up with Arts and Crafts projects that won’t bore the kids OR me. Oh. And. I like to read. Lots. Preferably in the bathtub. Preferably comic books/graphic novels.

Dancing with the Stars Display
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Read-Alikes
Fairy Tales in YA Lit

With librarianship, and working with kids in general, sharing is caring. I love seeing what other bad-ass book jockeys are excited about because it gets me all revved up about my own work. In the age of budget woes and understaffing, it’s easy to feel down on the job. Well, buck up, little campers. My cure for the library blues is to step up my game and change up my routine. It gets my mind off the bad stuff and on to what’s important: Making the library a fun and welcoming place to be.

I also thought it was important to be yet another face of non-size 2 fashion here on the internets. My hair’s not always perfect. Sometimes my yicky double chin shows. I have a pretty apartment that you’ll see from time to time, but sometimes it’s a mess. Often the dishes aren’t done. WE HAVE COCKROACHES. But we have cats, so it all evens out.

Kissing Fake Dogs
Mistress of my Skee-Ball Domain

Please don’t keep your good ideas to yourself. I’d love for people to submit their rad craft, display, and program ideas. Have an amazing outfit that would make Liberace weep tears of joy into his piano keys? Send it my way. I’ll be posting mine for you to steal/tweak/mock/judge.

~Love and Libraries, Ingrid

I’ll Tumbl For Ya

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

To prospective library school students I would say: Do not underestimate the service component of this profession. Don’t become a librarian because you love books. Books are just another (though wonderful) tool in an ever expanding, multi-media world of information. Become a librarian because you love people.

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Audrey Horne Looking Bookish and Lovely on NerdGirlfriend

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Future Storytime Option?

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Awesome People Reading is an addictive Tumblr

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I saw an episode of Hoarders that was about this very thing

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We gotta fix that library budget somehow

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A Downton Abbey display! Genius.

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I end this with Spike drinking from a Kiss the Librarian mug, because he's always been my Valentine.

~Love and Libraries, Ingrid