Wednesday, March 24, 2010

940.5318 The Diary of Anne Frank: A Classic Retold

On April 11, 2010, Holocaust Remembrance Day, PBS and Masterpiece Theater will present a new version of the classic coming-of-age story The Diary of Anne Frank.

Click on the picture for access to a video preview.

The Great Books Foundation, a partner with WGBH, has created and gathered together all kinds of support materials to use in conjunction with this new production and the Holocaust in general.

One of the most interesting things is a VoiceThread where students, teachers, and others can go in and comment on the production and project. Voice Thread has given free access to this sample, but there is a registration involved to make comments.

Ciick HERE to go to VoiceThread.

Here is another brief preview through YouTube .

In researching this new production, I also came across the only know movie of Anne Frank herself. It is a brief few seconds of her in an upper window watching her neighbor's wedding departure. There is no sound!

And of course , with the recent death of Miep Gies (at age 100), the last survivor of the real-life members of the history-making event, there has been renewed interest in the story and will likely spill over to the new production. Here is a portion of an interview where she talks about the diary and giving it to Anne's father.

In our district, the book and the time period have always studied and discussed on several levels so we have some long-time resources that also will probably come to the forefront again with this new production. Check our "cool new"catalog for other resources.

The message remains timeless.

Monday, March 22, 2010

352.7 Census: Where's the Interesting Stuff?

I did my duty over the break. I filled out my census form. took me less than 10 minutes for me to fill out the 10 questions...mostly because it is just me these days.

I was asked my name, age, date of birth, race and whether I lived in an owned or rented property and how many people resided with me.

What I miss are all the interesting questions found in previous census records. Being a family historian who has poured over old census records looking for facts about my family members, I was often drawn away from my primary task looking at interesting things I found on the old sheets and interpreting the spellings and handwriting of the day! I loved it...but then I am weird that way.

One of my favorite finds was on a family sheet of mine. For many census years, folks were asked their occupations. That was always very interesting and I would eat up lots of time reading what folks did for a living. Children were often listed as "at home" or "at school." The wives were usually "keeping house" as one would expect. Imagine my delight when I read that my Irish immigrant great-great-grandmother Annie's occupation was "kept tent!" It turns out that in 1880, she and her teamster husband and four daughters (soon to be six girls!) lived in a canvas tent with wood floor near the horse barns at Ft. Concho, Texas. WOW!

I later found out that they were able to move into an abandoned officer's house because Francis, the teamster, was retired from active duty and the fort was losing population as it was beginning the process of being shut down. I have seen a replica of the house...and yes, it was an improvement over the tent, but still was a tight fit for a family of eight!

Another interesting tidbit...Francis' job as a teamster...was to move the soldiers buried in the fort cemetery to the military cemetery in San Antonio...a part of shutting the fort down. No that was not found in the census forms, but there is so much that is.

If you have never looked at an old census form, the 1880 census is available on the internet for free at several locations including
I bet you a dollar you will find some interesting stuff!

I am really sorry that 72 years from now when the 2010 census becomes public record, the information will be so sterile and clinical and even missing the handwriting and ink spots of the day. I can't wait to see the 1940s records (and the gems they may contain) when they become public in 2012!

Here is a video about the 2010 Census and how to fill it out.

Census form
1880 form screen shot from personal collection

Sunday, March 21, 2010

538 Magnets: Apps Fun!

These are SO cute...magnets that look like I-phone/I-touch apps!
The company is currently out of stock...not surprised based on all the bloggers who are writing about them. They even come packaged like the front of a device!

At the rate I'm going, I would probably get more use out of these magnets instead of the real thing!

Images: from Jailbreak Toys

Friday, March 19, 2010

153 Thinking...on Many Levels

Take two minutes (and a few seconds) and watch this...

Now react...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

741.5 Make a Wimp of Yourself!

Go here and "wimp" yourself!
Stay on the site a few extra's fun watching yourself!

My wimpy self in action

A trailer of the movie coming out on March 19th is also available here.
Included at the site are some other fun things related to the movie and book.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

027.8 Libraries: The 12 Steps to the Future

Some people make things SO easy...
and Doug Johnson, the Blue Skunk guy (and one of my virtual mentor heroes) does it AGAIN with his latest post where he lists 12 differences in the libraries of yesteryear and those of the future! Go there and read them for yourself...all signify the changing, transforming libraries that I am seeing around me.

He DID ask us to "join in" so here's my thoughts...

#9 regarding organizing by a set of rules vs organizing in ways that make sense to users. Makes the cataloger's compartment of my little heart skip a couple of beats...YES, I want to be good to my users, but I also want them to be successful in any library they go into and if we get "too" creative in our arrangements, I fear we will suffer from the grocery store syndrome (why can't grocery stores adopt similar arrangements---I hate hunting for canned mushrooms in some stores!) Please, please, think thorough creative arrangements c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y...especially if you want your users to be independent users who can go from the catalog, take the address (call#) and actually find what they want and need without the librarian being the traffic cop!

#8 I definitely want whole-school ownership of the library. It is fabulous where I see it in action. But I still want the professional librarian there...and in my dreams, I wish for more than one professional librarian, but unfortunately dreams aren't coming true in these economic times so I will be content with one (and extra adult hands please?) Unfortunately, administrators and powers-that-be, because they really don't understand our purpose and our contributions to student success, often think they can eliminate the professional librarian because "everyone" and "anybody" can hand out books and equipment. This one worries me a lot because of how it can be interpreted.

I will take his six descriptors and last statement and put them right here where you can read them quickly and easily

Change IS tough, but if we want to be around to take part in the excitement of the future, we must!