Reaching out to my fellow Librarians….

If anyone happens to stumble across my little used blog (totally my fault), I hope you might be able to help me.

You see, my boss at my current job (not in a library, but a retail setting) has the most precocious little 7 year old, who is struggling to read at her grade level right now. From the details my boss gave me, her daughter was reading on a 2nd grade level in kindergarten, but now that she is in the 2nd grade, she has stepped back and is reading at a kindergarten level now…she has totally regressed! This is after she changed elementary schools: she went from one that is under state administrative control to one that is not (the rural area I live in had some trouble a few years back…school admins and board members were embezzling funds meant for the schools…awful situation, and the kids and School Media centers suffered the most as a result of these adults crimes and incompetence). That’s what I have so far, and as all librarians know, literacy and all the reading skills it encompasses are the most important tool in our human toolbox, and I want to help this girl get back not just to her reading level but to a love a reading that she used to have (according to her mother, my boss).

So these are the facts as I have them from her mother:

  • She used to read at a 2nd grade level, now she struggles to read at the kindergarten level
  • The school she attends uses the AR reading system (something I am not really familiar with)
  • She gets frustrated very easily when trying to read, although she wants to read above her level (YA fiction like Vampire Diaries and Twilight)
  • I quizzed her mom to see if she was being bullied or put down by someone before and currently about her reading skills and her mom (my boss) said she thought so, but couldn’t get a straight answer from anyone at the school
  • The daughter loves Ever After High®, Monster High ®, Shopkins®, rocks and minerals, math, and science

Okay, with all this in mind, can anyone out there in the library world (or any field/profession/experience) give me some tips, tricks, or just plain good advice that I can pass along? Even if we only help this one little girl, it will be a worthwhile and worthy goal of putting a person back on track for a lifelong love of reading and all the worlds it will open up for her!

Thanks a million in advance, everyone…I look forward to seeing what we come up with! 🙂



Those Big Changes are Here!

Hello to all my readers, family, and friends! As you can see, I am no longer the (Almost) Librarian, I am (Now A) Librarian! Graduation on May 8th was wonderful (good luck to the one Diplomat from that night, and all my fellow classmates whom I met for the first time face-to-face…love you guys, you are all so awesome) and there was only one person who I wish more than anything could have been there: my late father. Alas, life and death have different plans for all of us, but I know he was watching from wherever he was!

So, long story short…say hello to the world’s newest Librarian!, 2016)

Some big changes are coming…..

To all my followers, readers, and casual looky-loos who stumble on my site….some big changes are coming! I am proud to tell the world that I passed my Portfolio exam, and after May 8th (Mother’s Day, no less), the (Almost) Librarian will now be The Full-Fledged Librarian! Remember way back to the first post, and you will notice how I talked about that we can’t call ourselves Librarians until we earn our Master degrees…well, that day is almost here!


More after May 8th and commencement!! 🙂


Umm…what the hell, people?

First, I want to say that through my email, I received a link to another blog article that is quite disturbing, and after reading it, I want to sit down and shed tears…what do you guys think? I am just trying to get this article seen by others in all communities (obviously library communities, but anyone will be disturbed after reading it, trust me) as per the author’s of said blog request (and many commentators).

Please read it, try and process it, and let’s open up the discussion here….

Blog Post

An (Almost) Librarian’s Reflection on Reference

Reference- n. An act of referring to something (2012, The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th ed.). As you can see from this definition, when we speak of reference, we mean the actual act of referring to something (i.e. journal article, book review, etc.). But what does this mean to me, specifically? Does it mean that when I recommend a book to my friend, I am referring to that book? Does it mean that when I guide a patron to an encyclopedia that will answer their question, I am referring them to that source? Yes, it means both of those things, and so much more….

Reference is not just the actual act of referring to something, it is also a whole world of library service that enlightens us, teaches us, and makes us better librarians and library patrons. From the very beginnings of reference service, some of the main goals were to “teach people how to use the library and its resources” and “answer readers’ questions“(Green, 1876), something that is still practiced today, although the resources themselves have changed dramatically since Green’s time (Samuel Swett Green, the Father of Reference Services). What this means to me is that I am building on a long-standing tradition of providing reference services to readers of my website, via my Information Portal or to other Reference Librarians, via my Reference Services Evaluation and Plan.

Reference services, while not the oldest library service in existence, are vitally important to all people, all over the world, more so now than ever before in history. With the explosion of printed material since the 1450’s (Gutenberg press), and the advent of the Internet Age, we have seen the plethora of information available to us become unmanageable, there is so much of it. And this is where the Reference Librarian and all the services they offer come into play: these are the men and women on the front lines of serving the patrons in the community, and they are the librarians who are most knowledgeable about sources for almost all information needs. And what they cannot find themselves, they will gladly consult with other librarians and information professionals who can help. By not only committing the act of referring to something, but also having an insider knowledge of what to refer to, our Reference Librarians are the heart and soul of our profession: they guide, nurture and show us the way to the best information sources for our information need.

While I might not have any professional reference experience, my layman’s knowledge that I have gathered so far (and created for use on this website), will hopefully show the world that just because reference is not my specialty, does not mean that I do not have much to contribute to the reference world. My personal viewpoint and the way I perceive the world through the experiences I have led allow me to see reference services in a way that (maybe) they have not been seen before, while at the same time making sure to see them and study them through the eyes of those who have participated in these services before me. Being able to see a service through new eyes allows us the chance to possibly integrate new ways of performing that service to the betterment of all the patrons who use it, plus will add to the growing body of reference literature in the library world.

While I might not be a Reference Librarian (yet, remember that the future is not set in stone), it is my most fervent wish that other librarians and information professionals will look at my site and see that what I have to offer by way of reference service plans, evaluations, and reviews, and that they will use the information they find within to better themselves, their libraries and workplaces, which in turn will benefit the patrons and users of these services, which in the end, is what I set out to do: help as many people as I can with what I know and what I have learned about the world of reference.


As I sit here thinking and typing, I am trying to resolve an issue that has come up lately with regards to academia: the “trigger warning”. I just read an  about it in The Chronicle of Higher Education, and it was quite enlightening about what steps the university in the article is taking to preserve academic freedom in light of this issue. I for one think anybody who reads this post should Google the phrase “trigger warnings college(s)” to see just what I am talking about. I welcome all responses and comments as to what you guys think about this issue, and I will report on my feelings as we go along….this is something that all in the academic world should be concerned about, so let’s gain some knowledge about this issue and act according to said knowledge…..til next time, readers.

A Wonderfully Happy and Kind of Sad Day…

As my son just literally turned 12 (at 2:10PM, the time he was born), I want to shout to the heavens with joy and weep at the same time….my baby is getting older, and our next life stage is the dreaded puberty!

To make matters even more complicated, my son is moderate to severe on the Autism Spectrum, and while I have gotten a lot of great advice from his doctors and others who have been through this, I still know that each child is unique when it comes to this time we all go through, so I take comfort in knowing that I have made it this far, against great odds, and that this is just the next step in my son’s life, and we will cross that bridge when we come to it!

We definitely enjoyed our Monster’s University cake, and all of the presents, including the many wonderful books that we were given, thank you to all of our family for that! It was not too long ago that my son didn’t enjoy books at all….I actually wrote a different blog about that (found here) if you would like the backstory…..

So as I type this, fear not, my friends, my tears are tears of joy, with just a touch of melancholy, because as every mother (and father) since the dawn of time knows, watching our kids grow up is both the greatest and saddest event in our lives….. 🙂