Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Options for Unbroken Spine Book Club ---Fall 2018

The Disappearance of Sloane Sullivan by Gia Cribbs

from a Goodreads Review:
When Sloane Sullivan was 12 years old, she witnessed a murder and then her parents were killed, and she was quickly put into the witness protection programme under the guardianship of Agent Mark. For years they have been changing names and moving around, now that she is nearly 18 years old, this is her last stop and then she is free to go to college and become Sloane Sullivan for good. Sloane has been great at keeping under the radar until the first day of her new school; she bangs into a guy who is very familiar - Jason Thomas. He was her best friend, before the incident. Though it has been six years and she has changed her eye color, he can't have recognized her or has he? Now Sloane should tell Mark but she doesn't want to move, and she wants to be free finally, so she keeps it a secret and eventually becomes friends with Jason and his group. My heartfelt for Sloane as when she visited Jason's house and saw the picture of her mother, someone she hadn't seen in six years. What will happen though when she is finally tracked down by the guys she has been running from? Then Agent Mark - her protector for the past six years goes missing. Soon truths, secrets will come unraveling out, and Sloane will discover that everything she believed for the past six years was a lie. Who can she trust when ones she loves and law enforcement are telling her not to trust the one who has been there for her for the past six years? The ending of this book reminded me of the TV show that aired a few years ago -Finding Carter. If you love YA, mystery and suspense novels with high school life chucked into the mix, then check out The Disappearance of Sloane Sullivan by Gia Cribbs today

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Coypright & Fair Use for Woodson's Journalism Classes

Fair use permits people to do things that could otherwise be decided upon as illegal under copyright law.  For instance, using clips from a TV show in a video to comment on controversy related to that TV show.


  1. The Purpose and Character of the use
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used
  4. The effect the use has on the market for the original work

Ask yourself:
  • Has it been transformed?
  • Have I used the smallest amount possible to get my point across?
  • Am I lowering the money they will make on the original?

This photograph was used to make this T-shirt.  What do you think the courts said about it?


For images, try Creative Commons.
For more info, try Penn State Library's copyright portal.
For more info on research visit our past blog post HERE.
For info on spotting fake news visit our past blog post HERE.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Spring = Research

image from

Be sure to use credible sources!

Using Google to find your sources isn't always a great idea.

Be sure to cite your sources---this includes IMAGES.
Try Creative Commons for any images you need.

Click HERE for links to the NHS digital resources and online catalog.  
*Login info shows up when you hover over the Symbaloo. 

For more detailed info on MLA format see Purdue OWL. 

Click HERE for a quick *mostly fun* refresher on plagiarism. 

Looking for more research fun? Try EXPLORING.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The curtain closes, but the band plays on {#sol18 day 6}

Old habits die hard, it's true.
I get so excited each year as March approaches. I'm filled with a desire to renew my daily writing habit, which generally has become a less-than-daily writing habit by this point.  I have participated in the Slice of Life challenge for several years now, and each year it's the same.

And then the challenge begins. I write and I write.  I dig deep and find things to slice about even on the days I have the I-don't-wannas.  I read other participant's slices, and always find new bloggers to follow--writers whom I admire and who inspire. I comment on as many as I can.  In fact, I have been a part of the Welcome Wagon multiple times now, because I know how important that feedback can be.  I have participated in the Slice of Life challenge for several years now, and each year it's the same.

Each day, after I post my slice, I check for comments. Yes, it's a bit Sally Fields "they like me, they really like me," but I can't help it.  It means something to me for someone to read my words and comment. I have always been a writer--a lover of words and a keeper of journals.  I have 2 novels in the works that may always be in-the-works-and-never-done, but still.  My point is---I write.  I blog to have some interaction with others regarding my thoughts and writing because the bulk of the writing I do is already just for me.  Often when I comment on slices, I am one of 10-20 commenters.  That is a beautiful thing for those writers.

Last year it really hit me that perhaps this isn't my tribe.  It is a GREAT group, mind you---zero shade thrown---but my posts clearly aren't meaningful enough to enough of the folks who slice to get many comments.  Should it matter?  Whatever your answer may be to that question for you, the answer for me is clearly it does. It is incredibly discouraging to see zero to two comments day in and day out.  (and for those of you who have left me comments---I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  It truly means so much to me.) I have participated in the Slice of Life challenge for several years now, and each year it's the same.

And so, as a gift to my sanity I'm choosing to bow out of the remainder of slicing this month. I will still participate this year in reading and commenting on the slices of others, especially my new folks as I'm part of the Welcome Wagon.  I'll still read the daily inspirations.  I'll definitely still write.  I just won't be posting my slices regularly and most of my writing may very well be in my own journal or Google doc.  I gave it the ole college try---but honestly, life is hard enough for me at this point to feel like my voice doesn't matter.

Best to everyone as March continues onward.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Celebrating Today {#sol18 day 5}

Today I am celebrating.
My oldest made it a whole day at school.
She felt awful most of the day, but she stuck it out and we made the day.
I cannot tell you what a huge WIN this feels like.
This, after missing 3 days of our 4 day week last week,
And many more days before that.
Since the week before midterms she has missed more school than in her entire school career up to this point.
Me, too.
This, after starting new meds that make her mostly feel sickish and swimmy.
I bribed, I cajoled, I encouraged, but ultimately
SHE made the day.
She wiped away her tears at multiple points, but
SHE made the day.
And so today we celebrate. 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

because I'm irritable and need to be reminded {#sol18 day 4}

Because I'm irritable and need to be reminded of all the WONDERFUL qualities my husband possesses, here's a list of some things I love about him.  I have been super inspired by all the numbered posts such as this one , and I suppose I could go with "the hubby turns 48 on Tuesday, so here are 48 things I love about him" but, like I mentioned in the opening, I'm irritable today, so we're gonna go with being happy at whatever amount of things end up on this list.

  1. He is incredibly loyal.  
  2. He is a devoted husband and father.
  3. He is willing to eat anything I cook and he is always grateful for whatever it is.  True, this is probably mostly because he cannot cook a thing without burning it, bless him, but still. 
  4. He is the most honest person I have ever known.  I really do appreciate this about him even though it means I never ask him if my pants make my butt look big.
  5. He seeks continual growth.  He is always open to learning and improving.
  6. He makes me laugh  Even days like today when I'm irritable. 
  7. He is always on my side, and always my biggest fan.
  8. He isn't intimidated by a strong woman. Did I mention I'm a first-born child & Aries?
  9. He gets me. He doesn't try to control me or change me. 
  10. More important than "getting me" is that he loves & appreciates me exactly as I am. I am always enough and never too much (even though I totally am sometimes).
  11. When he is into something (archery, running, whatever it may be) he learns everything he can about it and he becomes an absolute expert.  
  12. He has the ability to super-focus on whatever he is working on. 
  13. He'll watch chick-flicks with me.
  14. He is incredibly goofy at times.  I LOVE this! 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

If I could change just one thing {#sol18 day 3}

I have to be honest here.
It irks me when anyone replies to the questions of if you could go back in time and change something...? with the answer I wouldn't change a thing because it made me the person I am today.
Total copout of an answer.
Total and utter ridiculousness.

(okay, sidebar to say that the person who really irks me the VERY MOST that said this publicly was my starter husband.  we are friendly-ish with each other now after 25ish years, but buddy....he sure could have answered this better.  if he needed help making a list I coulda got that bad boy started for him...)

I mean, clearly we are, in part, the sum of what our choices has made us, but....if I could change something, if I could right some wrong, if I could be a kinder, gentler version of myself in multiple instances I totally would.

  • I wouldn't make that neighbor boy eat dirt.  I was heady with power at the age of 4 and it made me an awful despot.
  • I wouldn't have ever made my mama cry from my attitude towards her as a teen.
  • I wouldn't have tucked those mean words from that boy I thought was so cute into my heart and felt less-than for YEARS because of it.
  • I would have let my weirdo flag fly much sooner without worrying so dang much about the judgement of others
  • I would have spent much more time with my grandparents
  • I would have bought the red shoes
  • I would have listened more and talked less
  • I would have loved myself enough to leave situations that made me feel icky instead of trying to be cool
  • I would have stressed less over the small stuff.
  • I would never ever have answered this question with the dumb lame-o answer of "um...nothing...because it made me the person I am today." ever.
These are just a smattering of the things I could go back and change if such things were allowed in the space-time continuum.  

Friday, March 2, 2018

Hurry Slowly {#sol18 day 2}

I don't think anyone in my younger years would have described me as a patient person. Antsy? yes. Wanting, no NEEDING answers RIGHT NOW?  yes.
But patient?
Not even close.

I'm learning. The Universe has giving me many opportunties to learn.
I first heard the term Festina Lente in a book.  (imagine that! you can read a blog post about it here.)
It resonated with me immediately.  I knew I needed more of this ability in my life.
Recently I heard about the Hurry Slowly podcast. Again, I was drawn in immediately and am now a regular listener.

I learned some level of patience when I first started teaching.  Kindergarten babies require it, but they are so darn cute and made from pure spun sugar, so its easy to be patient (well, mostly.)
Then, I learned a bit more while working at a middle school.
Not so much spun sugar, but I so totally empathized with the sheer heinousness of being a middle schooler that I found some more patience way down deep inside me.

I thought I had arrived.
I thought wrong.
I am learning the true meaning of patience, and of what it means to hurry slowly right now.
Much of it isn't my story to tell.
Well, it is, but mostly I can't tell my story without spilling tea that isn't mine.
I will say this...
Being the mom of a chronically ill kiddo is not easy.
We got used to the lovely ease that is remission and this autoimmune flare-up has hit us all hard.
I often don't know exactly what to do.
What's best.
What the right thing is.
I'm flying by the seat of my pants here.
I've missed more work this year than I ever have before. I'm totally out of days.
My kiddo looks perfectly normal.
She doesn't look sick.
Most folks find this difficult to wrap their heads around.
We have had the coldest, most rainy season on record in my area.
We've had summer band with intense Texas August heat and too little water allowed.
We've had starting high school with all it's stressors.
We've had folks we thought were friends show their true colors.
We've had hard, hard things.

I'm learning it is often best for me to not force it.
The Universe is teaching me to breathe and take a moment before jumping to conclusions or decisions or a new gallon of Blue Bell's Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream.

I'm a work in progress, y'all, but I'm learning to hurry slowly.

Festina Lente. 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Roll with it, baby {#sol18 Day 1}

This week has been a roller coaster of a ride, y'all.
Lots of changes.
And we are currently having rain.  Again.
(seriously, it's like living in the Amazon.  or Seattle. except in small-town Texas.)

My February was pretty brutal in many ways, and I couldn't be happier to see it go.
Despite this, and my joy at seeing March arrive at last, one thing remains the same.
The library is the happiest place on earth.
When everything else is falling apart, helping a kid find just the right book, or helping them locate digital resources for a paper, or talking with a teacher to plan a breakout EDU event soothes the soul.
It is my place, and my joy to make it so for others, as well.

Despite all the shifts, all the negative you hear in the world, all the chaos we've been going through personally with some health issues in our family....the library remains a haven.

When everything feels like a crapshoot, being in my library still feels like I've hit the bigtime winner table, and I'm so very thankful.

I'll roll with the changes---whatever will be, will be, right?
I'll roll with the weather---what else can we do? (although growing gills feels like it may be a thing)
Whatever comes I'll roll with it, baby---as long as I've got the ability to breathe the rare air in my library.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Friday, January 12, 2018

FAKE News?!

(for Ms. Woodson's Journalism classes )

There are SO MANY places to get information these days, but how can you be sure the info you get is actual factual REAL info and not someone trying to bend the truth?

Today we are going to explore this thought. 

1. Follow this link and do the quiz.  You might be surprised at how good folks are at making fake news look and sound real!

2. Follow this link and read the article.  If you have earbuds or headphones you can also listen to the video. 

3.  Go to Google.  Type is this question:  Is water wet?  Now, check the source of the first link that pops up.  Many people NEVER look beyond the first link that pops up. Is this site a credible source for accurate information?

4.  If you want to be sure your sources of information are credible (ones giving you real, accurate info) you can count on using the digital resources found on our library webpage.  

  • follow that link
  • hover over the word library in the bar at the top. See the drop-down menu? Click the "NHS Digital Resources" button. 
  • You will see a Symbaloo with many resource buttons.  
  • If you hover over the buttons you will see the password hints. Fill in the missing letters and you have the passwords!
  • Pick a topic and search.  See what you can find on various topics. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Here's to 2018

For the past few years, I've chosen one little word to guide me through the new year rather than a list of resolutions that never seemed to change from year to year.  Like most people, it seems, resolutions just don't work all that well for me in changing my actual behavior.

Last year my word was Cultivate.  I had grand plans.  Some worked out, but mostly 2017 seemed to be a year of misplacing my mojo.

Y'all.  It was a hard, hard year.

I'm not ready to say I've lost my mojo---but it has definitely gone MIA.

I'm pretty sure my mojo and my joy ran away together.  They are probably living it up on a sandy beach somewhere at this very moment when I am putting fuzzy socks on my feet since it is a brisk 25 degrees outside here in my neck of the woods this morning.

I am a joyful person by nature.
I don't typically run to melancholy.
Kids often tell me I'm happy all the time.
But 2017 just felt...meh.

People don't always like to talk about the hard times.
Sometimes it is viewed as being negative.
The truth is, though, that life happens to all of us.  Some good, some bad.
Pretending everything is great all the time doesn't work long-term.
I'm not about to bad-mouth anything or anyone.
I'm not even about to share details.
But I am speaking my truth when I say this year has been a heckuva hard year and I am changed.

So, this year, I'm setting out to find my missing Joy.
I know my mojo will return with it----they are besties and partners-in-crime.
I am remembering my locus of control.
I am remembering that the answer is also to love more, not less.
I am remembering that perfection is an illusion.

“I just do the best I can to face what life brings. That’s the secret, you know. That’s the way you change your fate.” 
― Alice HoffmanThe Rules of Magic