francey's blog

So long, farewell

At graduation, the Senior Chorus did a "Uni-fied" version of the song So Long, Farewell from The Sound of Music. It was, of course, terribly clever, and definitely got the tear ducts going. This year was especially rich in wonderful end-of-year events, but I think we're really, truly, finally done. Here's some evidence.

For me, this end-of-school period is my very last one. I've been the librarian at Uni High since the fall of 1987 and, let me tell you, it's a really, really hard gig to walk away from. The students, the staff, and the parents are amazing and I will miss them SO much. Fortunately, I'll have until June 29 before I'm technically off the job, which will give me time to clean up a few things and leave good records for the next lucky holder of this post. The middle locker in the photo below? That's me. Not quite ready to go.

Oh, and did I say how much I love Uni High students? Please stay in touch, you guys - I won't be hard to find.

Last Uni Period of the year

And my last one ever, SNIFF.


So glad to see these smiles.

The largest high school library in the world

Or, Reason #378 for why it’s so great to have a high school library that is part and parcel of a humongous research collection:

We get to see all the amazing and unique items our students request for their research projects. This week's hands-down favorite goes to the books that have been procured for a project in Ms. Majerus' 19th Century British Literature class (note that this is a correction from the previously incorrect attribution to Mr. Leff's class). Take a look at these three selections (hint: "receipt" is the old-fashioned term for "recipe"). 

Frontispiece of The Modern Housewife or Menagere, comprising nearly one thousand receipts for the economic and judicious preparation of every meal of the day and those from the nursery and sick room; with minute directions for family management in all its branches, illustrated with engravings, by Alexis Soyer [1856].


[Left] Reprint of a cookery book from 1861.  Its title is not nearly as grand.  [Right] Gold leaf embossed cover of The English Bread-Book for domestic use, adapted to families of every grade containing the plainest and most minute instructions to the learner; practical receipts for many varieties of bread; with notices of the present system of adulteration, and its consequences; and of the improved baking processes and institutions established abroad by Eliza Acton [1857].  The scroll entwining the sheaves of wheat reads “Bread to strengthen men’s heart.”


Page 1 of Modern Cookery, for private families, reduced to a system of easy practice, in a series of carefully tested receipts, in which the principles of Baron Liebig and other eminent writers have been as much as possible applied and explained (Newly Revised and Much Enlarged Edition, copiously illustrated), by Eliza Acton [1865].

Thanks, Paul, for bringing these to my attention and finding the good parts!

Little gifts

As a school library, we've received our share of abandoned or cast-off student artwork. But Kate brought us a piece of art we truly appreciate. Knowing of our (okay, my) obsession with the Credible Hulk, she donated this guy to us. I'm not sure he started out to be this hulk-of-my-dreams, but we think his geeky glasses, beard, and rather skinny physique make him perfect for the role. Paul set him up with some perfect signage, just in case someone passing by doesn't understand his true awesomeness.


The signage up close: 

Are we there yet?

Seriously. Everyone's heads are going to explode with TOO MUCH INFORMATION. Snow days = longer school year = crankiness. 

Teachers are ready to start grading like so:

Maybe the library should think about installing some "napping stations," like they are doing at the University of Michigan Shapiro Undergraduate Library for final exam period. Or, cancel exams and institute mandatory reading, which is known to be way good for you

I've got it: Naps With Novels. Coming to a library near you. 

Some nasal humor

From the Ask the Past blog, we have instructions (dated 1587) on how to replace a nose. Sounds like it might actually work. I'm just not sure about the whole binding-the-head-to-the-arm-till-it's-done part, as seen here: 

This sort of goes along with Paul's pronouncement earlier today that his least favorite part of the job is dealing with "adhesive boogers." You'll have to ask him for the details.

In other Library News of the Weird, someone demanded that the Toronto Public Library ban Hop on Pop, by Dr. Seuss, because it "encourages children to use violence against their fathers." The library's Materials Review Committee rejected the complaint. 

All the fun things happen at the same time

Wow, everything is happening ALL AT ONCE. Today is the day the world observes the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare's birth (time to party like it's 1564!). Not only that, it's World Book Night, during which "tens of thousands of people go out into their communities and give half a million free World Book Night paperbacks to light and non-readers." And tomorrow is Poem In Your Pocket Day (Note to self: Find a poem before tomorrow). 

All of these events are well and good, but how many of you knew that yesterday was Heart of Darkness Read Aloud Day? Well, okay, not universally, but during 6th period we had two sections of Sophomore English doing just that. 


Ms. Majerus takes the lead


Hope nobody called the fire marshall 


Best spokesperson ever

I posted this on our Facebook page some time back, but I think it's worth putting up again to close out this year's National Library Week.

So true, so true.


Why does all the good stuff happen when I'm gone? Last Friday, Ms. Atkinson organized a poetry slam during Uni Period. The well-attended session featured performances from four students, one teacher, and library staff member Paul K., who sang one of his original compositions. Many thanks to George Gunter, Sierra Maniates-Selvin, Sophia Carillo, Marshall Allston-Yeagle, Ms. Majerus, and Paul for sharing their talents. 

All agreed it was an event worth repeating.

More Uni Period musings

Usually it's controlled (or UNcontrolled) chaos in the library during Uni Period. Today, not so. The United For Uganda club leadership met in our main room for a Skype session with folks from Come, Let's Dance, a community development organization that has been working in and around Kampala, Uganda since 2006. Yes, they were Skyping with people in Uganda. In the PRESENT TENSE (sorry, I get kind of excited about these things).

Check out the handprint background! Club members said they would send a photo of themselves taken in the lounge in front of our own handprint background.

While all this was going on, I couldn't get to my desk. Since every other seat in the library was taken, a new batch of tardy duty "volunteers" were doing the black marker thing on our latest weeds. 

All in all, a pretty good Uni Period.


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