Posted by: whimsicallibrarians | June 5, 2008

podcasts, gardens, and summer reading

I was at two great workshops, this week, at the Darien Public Library.  One was on Podcasting and the other was on Screencasting.  I’ve wanted to start doing some Podcasts at the Woods and wanted to be able to totally “complete” them without any help from out tech guy, Jim.  I think I’ve got it. I’ve got my very short 15sec. trial up on bliptv. I’m going to try and corral some of our teens to do some podcasting about books, music, movies, comic books, graphic novels, anime….and post them in September on our teen website. It was kind of surprising to me that the middle schoolers I was talking to didn’t really know what a podcast was or how to do it.  I thought that might be something the schools were doing but maybe that doesn’t happen until High School.

Screencasting opened up a whole new set of ideas for me as well.  It’s pretty easy to use and it would be great to use as an instructional tool for say ,finding and using our databases, using the OPAC, or even adding a screencast after a program on cooking, showing the chef’s knife selection, why he chose a particular knife to use etc.

On another note, I love my garden!!! It is finally planted…. well, almost.  But we’ve been eating the Bibb lettuce, it melts in your mouth, and I had my first radish last Sunday.  Wow, it was delicious, just pulled from the soil.  I can get a bit crazy with this.  Went out and bought a canner (it’s huge), canning gadgets, canning jars, canning spices.  Sounds like my kitchen is going to be getting pretty busy, pretty fast.  My first venture will be something easy, strawberry jam.  Anyways, while I was out in the garden, setting up the netting for our peas I started thinking about this blog and what my next post might be. Summer reading and what recommendations of books I would make, seemed a natural choice.  When I visited many area Bookclubs, this winter, with Karen, the Assistant Director, a question we would always get asked was “what is your favorite book of all time.”  That’s not an easy question to answer, even for us!! How can you narrow it down? But we both always seemed to go back to our younger days and reel off some oldie but goodies that we adored.  So here is a beginning list of some of my favorites that you may or may not want to dive into this summer. My husband and I are great hikers and National Park lovers. On of my favorite mystery writers is Nevada Barr, her character Anna Pigeon works for the National Park Service.  Ms Barr’s book “A Superior Death” is on the top of my list. Anna must scuba dive into Lake Superior to solve a mystery.  The descriptions of the underwater investigation felt so real to me that I was practically gasping for breath! I also loved “Blind Desert” , which takes place in the Carlsbad Caverns. I felt Anna squeezing through those caves and canyons, ouch!  Another favorite that I could keep on my bedside nighttable is “Little Women”  by Louisa May Alcott . Because I enjoy American History the novel set in 19th century New England during the Civil War was the perfect setting.  Those March girls were really something weren’t they.  My childhood, in a way always reminded me of theirs.  Imagination and curiousity were always taking me and my brother and cousins on astouding and fun adventures. We also wrote and put on plays, and made costumes, and got along splendidly. Jo was my favorite, perhaps becasue I was just as tomboyish as her. I always envied her sitting up in her upstairs attic bedroom writing away, by candlelight.  OK one more, “Jane Eyre”  by Charlotte Bronte. This story set in England is told as a first person narrative.  Jane is a small, plain, orphaned girl who becomes a governess for Mr. Rochester.  Mr. Rochester was also so cold and his character so big to me.  My heart always goes out to Jane as I read through her struggles and tribulations.  I can’t imagine what a Governesses life was really like back then.  I always did have that romantic fantasy of wanting to be one though. How perfect it would have been to have a few children under my wings in this fabulous nursery tucked away in some huge castle!  A couple of weeks ago there was a book review in the New York Times on a title called “Governess: the life and times of the real Jane Eyre”, by Ruth Brandon.  It was an interesting article on governesses and I’d like to take a look at the book as well.

So, there are a few of my recommendations.  All books about women. All books about strong characters. All books with interesting settings.  All books I would love to be reading, sitting out in my backyard under some rustling trees…drinking some ice cold lemonade of course.




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