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Monday, October 24, 2011

Life-long Learning at the Library!

 Barbara Price, Library Consultant at MLC, won a blue ribbon at the Mississippi State Fair. The ribbon was awarded for her Tunisian Crochet Sampler afghan. Many people have never heard of Tunisian Crochet, which is why Barbara decided to create the afghan to display the versatility of Tunisian crochet. The afghan demonstrates the 10 Tunisian stitches, as well a two panels of basic which demonstrate patterns created by changing colors and cross-stitch on basic Tunisian crochet.

 When asked how she learned about Tunisian crochet, Barbara’s answer is always “In books!”. She first became interested because of her cross-stitching. She wanted to know about how to cross-stitch on crochet, and learned this from McCall’s Big Book of Cross Stitch (ISBN 0-8019-7363-5). This book included instructions for basic Tunisian crochet. Barbara recently completed an afghan of basic crochet with an eagle cross-stitched in the center.
 When she wanted to know more about Tunisian crochet, she turned to another book, the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Needlework (ISBN 0-89577-059-8). This book taught her the 10 Tunisian stitches, which are Basic, Knit, Purl, Cross-stitch, Lace, Popcorn, Honeycomb, Bias, Cable, and Shell. There are variations on these stitches also.

If you want to know more about Tunisian crochet, check your library catalog. I found the above older books still owned by some libraries, plus a 2009 book by Sharon Silverman titled Tunisian Crochet: the look of knitting with the ease of crocheting.

Post written by Barbara Price, guest blogger

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Library Support Staff Certification Registration Assistance Awards Available

Through a grant to the ALA-Allied Professional Association from the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services, the Mississippi Library Commission is again offering financial assistance awards (one-half of registration fees) to library support staff applying for certification in the ALA Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC) Program. The program offers library employees, from any type of library, the opportunity to achieve recognition for their experience, enhance library service, and increase skills and knowledge in the foundations of librarianship, technology, and communication.

LSSC provides a path to recognition and awareness of the critical role played by library support in the delivery of quality library service. In order to achieve certification, support staff must achieve six of ten competency sets either through development of an online portfolio or taking approved courses. The competency sets are Foundation of Library Service; Technology; Communication and Teamwork; Access Services, Adult Readers’ Advisory Services; Cataloging and Classification; Collection Management; Reference and Information Services; Supervision and Management; and Youth Services.

The Mississippi Library Commission will offer four (4) Registration Assistance Awards in Spring 2012. The Awards of $175 each covers one-half of the LSSC registration and application fee.

To be eligible to participate in LSSC and to receive an Assistance Award, an applicant must have a high school degree/GED and have worked the equivalent of one year (1820 hours) as a library staff member or volunteer within the last five years.

The application form for a Registration Assistance Award is available for download on the Library Commission website.

The deadline for submission of applications to the Library Commission is November 15, 2011. Award recipients will be selected by random drawing on November 21, 1011. Contact Barbara Price at with questions.

Nancy Bolt, Co-Project Director of LSSC commented “LSSC is really pleased that the Mississippi Library Commission is participating in the Registration Awards We are confident that support staff will find certification to be helpful and are thankful for this grant from IMLS.”

Visit the Library Support Staff Certification Program website for more information on LSSC:

Friday, October 14, 2011

I Love My Calendar Girls (and Boys)

I've spent quite a bit of time sifting through U.S. Federal Census records this week. I invariably run across a few names that are... unusual and unique. After finding several Octobers in one family, I decided to see if there were more people out there with so-called "calendar names." I'm not the only one with a propensity for a name with flair, though. (We've done this in the past with positive results.) Hold onto your day planners and check out this list of "dated" names.

  • January Ball
  • February Graves
  • March January
  • April Showers
  • Lillie May Flowers
  • Ima June Bug
  • July Forth
  • August Bee
  • September Augusta (This seems to be a predominately male name...)
  • October Friday (While this seems to be a predominately female name. Go figure.)
  • November Driver
  • December Rose
  • Sunday Martini
  • Monday Vanderpool
  • Tuesday Stinchcomb
  • Wednesday Butts
  • Thursday Gobble
  • July Friday Parker
  • Saturday Booms
  • Calendar Love (If this man hadn't been born in the 1800s, I'd swear he was the inspiration for the Neil Sedaka song.)
  • Day Night
  • Week Economy (I promise I didn't make this one up, but he might've.)
  • Month Quinn
  • New Year Body (Poor lady. Poor, poor lady. Bless her heart.)
My absolute favorites are the double calendar names. One wonders if they're singularly good at remembering appointments. My one disappointment? I didn't find a single Wednesday Addams in the Census.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mississippi's Kids And The Need To Read

Saturday, I spent some time at the Mississippi Library Commission's booth at the Mississippi State Fair. Along with my coworker, we talked to many of our fellow Mississippians about library services in our fair state. We saw a lot of younger library users, too, who were eager to grab our offerings of finger puppets, library activity books, and crayons. Let me tell you--these kids are reading! They love books and they love to talk about them. Some of the favorite authors and books we heard about were the Captain Underpants books by Dav Pilkey, the Junie B. Jones books by Barbara Park, and the Heroes of Olympus books by Rick Riordan. It's simply wonderful to listen to a fourth-grader stumble over his words because he's so terribly excited to tell you about a book he just read. This is exactly why the Magnolia Award has been created.

The Magnolia Award's purpose is "to introduce the children of Mississippi to current children's literature and instill a love of reading." At this time, children in grades 3, 4, and 5 can vote for their favorite book out of a list of ten nominees. (Each year, any adult can nominate children's books for the award. There are some basic criteria; you can read about them here.) Starting in 2013, children in kindergarten through 8th grade will be able to weigh in with their choices.

This is the list of nominees for 2012:

  1. Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally) by Lisa Lee
  2. Calvin Coconut: Zoo Breath by Graham Salisbury
  3. Dying to Meet You: 43 Cemetery Road Book by Kate Klise
  4. Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature by Sarah C. Campbell
  5. Hallelujah Flight by Phil Blinder
  6. Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco
  7. Small Adventures of Popeye and Elvis by Barbara O’Connor
  8. Tango: The Tale of an Island Dog by Eileen Beha
  9. A Whole Nother Story by Cuthbert Soup
  10. Wild Card by Tiki Barber
Voting is in February of 2012 and the winner will be announced in April at the Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival. Children need to have exposure to at least half the books on the list in order to vote. (They can either read the books themselves or listen to them.) Luckily, the Mississippi Library Commission has ordered all ten books! Boy, I wish I could vote!
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