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Review: Eleanor and Park

15745753Title: Eleanor and Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Pages: 325

First Line: “XTC was no good for drowning out the morons at the back of the bus.”

Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.

I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under.” – from macmillan

My Thoughts: I love Eleanor and I love Park. I love Eleanor and Park. I read this book pretty much in one day. The dialogue was perfect, and the characters were sweet. Eleanor and Park’s families and home lives are vastly different. I loved reading about Park’s family, while Eleanor’s always made me uncomfortable. Her self-esteem issues were not all unique, but all very real, understandable, and in no way taking away from the story. I loved that they weren’t necessarily friendly at first. I feel like I got to see their chemistry unfold, and I enjoyed every second of that. My only real issue was the ending of this book. Not that I hated it completely, but I wanted more from it I guess. Or maybe I just didn’t want it to end.

My Ratings:
Writing: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Subject: 4/5
Originality: 4/5
Kept me interested: 5/5
Overall rating: 4.5/5


I think I mentioned before that one of the displays I’m responsible for is a huge bulletin board area in the teen zone at my library. I’ve been meaning to post my displays, but I’ve gotten a little behind on that. Anyway, for the month of March and a couple weeks into April, I had up brackets for the books in the School Library Journal’s Battle of the Kids Books. Here’s a picture after half of the first round:

IMG_4026[1]Basically, I had squares for each title, and I put the dates in the squares so they would know when that battle would be announced. I don’t think I got a picture of it, but I also had an acrylic box where they could vote for their favorite, and then that bottom center red square is where our library’s winner went. I was happy with the votes I got too. Surprisingly, most of them were books actually in the battle, and I got no slips of paper with just “F— You” on them. I was very happy about that.

Here’s a picture at the end of the battle:

IMG_4070[1]SLJ’s winner was No Crystal Stair. The teens at my library voted for The Fault in Our Stars, with Wonder coming in a close second.

It was a really fun display that I stole from a librarian I really look up to that I worked with in my last position. I will definitely do it again next year, and I’d suggest it for anyone that has the space. Letting them vote for their favorite also gives it a little extra spice.

Job Duties

librarian hellThat comic has nothing to do with this post, I just like it. 🙂 Anyway, I just wanted to talk about some of my current job duties and why I might be a little overwhelmed at times.

Obviously, I work the reference desk at least a few hours a day. We recently combined the children’s information desk and the circulation desk at the library I work at, so when I’m there, I end up doing mostly circulation. In a way, it’s a bummer, because it seems like I don’t get to answer as many reference questions. But I also feel like I’m interacting with more people sitting there and helping with circulation, so that part I like. Sometimes I work on the adult desk as well, but I’m not quite as comfortable there.

I’m involved in a lot of the library system’s social media. I’m the “leader/organizer” of our Facebook committee, I write for the teen blog, I’m involved in the Pinterest team, and a coworker and I also create a puppet picture book review show for our kids blog. It’s probably one of my favorite things to do, especially since we have really good chemistry together.

Other committees I’m on are the teen committee, the puppet committee, and the new Suburban Dare committee. The teen committee has one member from each branch that plans all the teen/tween programming for that branch. Our puppet committee honestly hasn’t met in a year and a half and don’t do much right now. Suburban Dare is our new experiment in summer reading this year, basically also tying in other city departments and community activities to summer reading, so we are working on planning all the details on that.

I also do a few storytimes a week and I’m involved in our current LEGO Robotics club that we started this spring, which is a lot of fun, but does take some training and extra Saturday work. I organize outreach with the schools in our area, working with the school librarians (who are open to it) to find times for us to go visit the students at school.

Aside from all that, I’m in charge of the two teen displays we have, one a giant display case and the other a giant bulletin board. And I do some weeding and process donations.

All in all, I can’t say I find myself bored at work very often. And despite having all these things to think about, I don’t usually feel like I’m drowning. I think what I’m the most stressed about right now is the actual teen/tween programming. For the summer, we’re really focusing on tweens, so I’m planning a Minecraft party as well as a veggie derby, where the kids will make cars out of raw vegetables. I’m just in my self-conscious brain afraid that I won’t be able to pull these programs together into something good, or that I’ll be overrun with tweens after only planning for so many. I’m hoping after my first few programs, I will worry less about how everything will turn out and trust myself to know what I’m doing. But right now, I don’t!


Review: Reached

Reached_final-cover-image  Title: Reached
Author: Ally Condie
Series: Matched (#3)
Publisher: Penguin
Released: 11/13/2012
Pages: 512
First Line: “Every morning, the sun comes up and turns the earth red, and I think: This could be the day when everything changes.”

Reached is the third book in the Matched series. In this book, Cassia, Ky and Xander are all playing different roles in The Rising, waiting for them to come in and take over the Society. The Plague is their cue. At first, everything seems to be going as planned, but then the Plague starts to mutate, and even The Rising starts to run out of answers. Cassia, Ky and Xander are then asked to play key roles in the discovery of a cure.

My Thoughts: To be honest, I’m not even sure why I decided to read this one. I like Matched okay, but I was not at all a fan of Crossed. While the story in Reached was at least a little less disappointing than Crossed, I still found myself not really caring what happened to the characters, and mostly just waiting for it to be over. I think there is a lot that could have been taken out. In fact, I think Crossed and Reached could have been combined into one book. It seemed like not a lot really happened. The love triangle wasn’t really working for me in the last two books either. Maybe because I didn’t particularly like any of them all that much, so I didn’t understand why they loved each other so much. After the first book being pretty much all romance, there wasn’t much in this book at all.

Writing: 3/5
Characters: 2/5
Plot: 2/5
Originality: 3/5
Kept me Interested: 2/5
Overall Rating: 2/5

What It’s All About


Two years after graduating with my MLS, I got my first real live librarian job. I didn’t study to be a youth librarian, but I knew that was what I wanted to do before I finished school. I worked as a Youth Services Assistant for two years, and learned a lot from many people in that position. Then I got promoted. And now I’m scared.

I’ve been in my new job for almost four months now, and I’m still not feeling very confident. It’s not that I think I can’t do my job fine, it’s just that it’s the first job I’ve had where I’m not sure I can be exceptional. I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed, and I miss my really good friend that I worked with as an assistant in another library branch.

I’m starting this blog as a place to vent about work. I do plan on reviewing the YA books I’m reading and talking about my programs/displays/whatever else I have going on that’s hopefully going well. But I will also be using this as a place to talk about the times I’m not sure about something or when I feel like I made a wrong decision or am in over my head. I read a lot of librarian blogs, mostly by veteran librarians with recipes for successful programming and excellent review writing that can only come from experience. I’m hoping this blog will give hope to other new librarians. Not everyone knows what they’re doing 100% of the time! I really like my job, and I want to be great at it. For now I will feign confidence and then talk about all my insecurities here until I actually feel it!