Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Libraries in economic crisis?...thanks ALA

The American Library Association recently developed a new toolkit named "Advocating in a Tough Economy". In case you don't know what a toolkit (in regards to library terminology) is...it's basically references/ideas to help you make your job easier. In this specific toolkit, ALA has given us "tools" on how we can support libraries in different community capacities. They address issues like how one should approach the media and local government officials, what to say or what to wear at meetings, etc, etc. I highly recommend it to those who are trying to find ways to sing the praises of the library!!! I like to remember the 3 P's---Preparation, Practice and Passion. The last P is my favorite because it is the selling point for any audience. It is utimately what shines through...:)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Identical by Ellen Hopkins (Beware of spoilers)

As part of my resolutions I decided to read more in the YA/JUV area. To kick off this year, I chose Identical by Ellen Hopkins. She is the author of Crank, Burned, Impulse, and Glass. This is book is recommended for 14 and up. This book is about identical twins named Kaeleigh and Raeanne and their picture-perfect parents. Their mom is running for a congressional office, and their dad, who is a judge, has substance abuse problems among other problems. Who is taking care of the girls? Each girl is hiding secrets from the public eye. Even when I thought I got to a good stopping point, I had to keep reading. This was my first Ellen Hopkins book to read.
The twins' behaviors may shock some, but I recommend reading this book with an open mind. It deals with issues that are prevalent in our society, such as substance abuse, cutting, purging, and sexual abuse. After the accident, Kaeleigh and Raeanne and their mom were never the same. Their mom was mostly busy with her work, and she barely had time (or made time) to spend with her daughters. The ending was surprising as well. I had a inkling suspicion that something was a little twisted in the diary-like format. I was amazed that Hopkins could weave so many stories into this book. For me, I wanted Hopkins to elaborate more about the mom. It seemed to me that the boyfriend Ian, psychotherapist Carol, and grandmother (Kaeleigh and Raeanne's dad's mother) cared more for Kaeleigh during her time of desperate need. Many teens have requested for me to order more Ellen Hopkins books. I can see why.