Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review: Pretty Little Liars

As you know, I am taking a young adult literature class this summer. The class does not begin until July, but I started reading the books already. No, not because I am an overachiever, but because I am being practical. Two summer classes + a job + pulling together a literature review for my “Big Project” = get some work out of the way before I’m drowning.

With so many books in by brain, how will I remember the finer points of them all? Write them down, of course. And so I am trying my hand at a book review. Here it goes...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Will the Reading Ever End???

No, the reading will never end. Glad I was able to answer that.

A way long time ago, before going to Russia, I complained that I will never have time to read all of the books I want to read. Well, I will now complain that the books I have to read are getting in the way of the books I want to read.

I am taking a class on young adult literature this summer. I am pretty excited about it. I like young adult books, and I do want to be a YA librarian, after all (someone, please hire me!). However, I was just sent the reading list for the class, and I am slightly disappointed that I have not already read more of the books on the list. Some of the books that I have not read I do want to read, and others not so much. So basically, this reading list is getting in the way of me plowing through my ever growing to-read list.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Last day in Russia

Our greeting to the museum.
The last day was a free day. We were let loose upon the city, and St. Petersburg did not know what hit it. First, many of us went to the Museum of Curiosity, aka Kunstkamera. For the most part, it was like a scaled down Museum of Natural History. Bu then here were dead babies in jars. It was gross and I tried to avoid looking. I walked through that room as quickly as possible. The rest was interesting, though, and less disturbing.

After the museum our group split. Some went to more museums and some went shopping. I was in the shopping crew.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Russia: Day 10, Last day of being official!

Our last day of official activities was spent at Peterhof. To get there we took a hydrofoil, which was super fancy. 
Another large and impressive palace. I feel like all of them are blending together. Each one we have visited has been in a similar style: grand entrance, rooms covered in gold and mirrors, some rooms that are gold and red, and one or two rooms that are a different style from the others. In Peterhof the different rooms were oriental inspired rooms. They were quite ornate. Unfortunately, no pictures were allowed, and in the oriental rooms we were not even allowed to stop to look. We had to walk through, though we walked super slow.
Our greeting onto the hydrofoil

We're on a boat

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Russia: Day 9

I know, I know. I am very behind. I have not been faithful to posting in my adventures in Russia. In fact, I am back in the U.S.A now. But I will still post what I did during my last few days in St. Petersburg. On day 9 we went to two libraries: Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library and the Pushkin Children's library. 
The Presidential library was rich. Not rich in history or rich in culture or rich in character. Money rich. 
Its collection was also completely digital.

Having a completely digital library was both a dream and a nightmare come true. Dream because having things online makes the materials accessible to a much wider audience. We were told that people all over the world have access to materials through the library website. All you need is to make a free account, and you have access to all of the databases, manuscripts and books available in the digital archives. What was really cool was the 3D view of book covers you can get on the website. Our guide was correct in saying that while conducting research the book cover can play a major part.
Other parts of the dream were the cool little techie parts such as turning a projected book with your hand using sensors. I'm proud to say I turned it on my first try.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Russia: Day 8

Today was very Russian. Not that the other days were not very Russian, but today we went to the Russian National Library (RNL) and Russian Museum. So I suppose it would be better to say it was Russian Culture day.

We were only allowed to take photos in one room of RNL, so I don't have too much to show. It was a beautiful library; floor to ceiling books and tons of shelves everywhere. We even got to see Voltaire's personal library, which was purchased by Catherine the Great. She seemed to take being a fan to a new level. While Voltaire was alive, she corresponded with him on a regular basis, though they never met. When he died, she bought his entire library and also ordered a replica of his house be built. Wow.

National Library of Russia

Monday, June 4, 2012

Russia: Day 7

I am so tired. But in a good way. In an "I've spent the last two days seeing things that were 100% worth seeing and if I had the chance I'd do it all again" kind of way. We crammed quite a bit into our restful exploration. 
Group at the Gulf of Finland

Sculpture in the Summer Garden

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Russia: Day 6

So far my quest for a nice little summer home has been unsuccessful. The Hermitage was a good size, but the rooms were too simple for me. I like a bit more pizzaz in my life. Today, I checked out Catherine's Palace, which was a bargain, by the way, but is was too small. I only looked at a few of the rooms, but I could already tell I would feel claustrophobic living there. The architect tried to hide how tiny the rooms were by adding mirrors and little decorations here and there, but I could see right through what the mirrors were hiding: a living area that is too small to fill the needs of any decent person's life.

I think everyone will agree that this is simply too small. 

And the entry is not nearly grand enough.

Russia: Day 5

My class started a blog that everyone is contributing to, and we are all writing about our experiences on this adventure. Today, I posted. Do you know what that means? That means I'm going to be lazy, and instead of writing another post for this blog, I'm going to post the link to my class blog!

For the adventures of what I did, check it out, and you can also see what my classmates have been up to.


Met a bear on my way to dinner.

Below the hotel. So classy.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Russia Days 3 and 4

I hope you will forgive me for putting 2 days into one post. Actually, I don't care if you forgive me. I'm doing it anyway. So on Wednesday we went to visit the library school at St. Petersburg State University of Cultural arts, which I shall call the library school, and on Thursday we went to the Hermitage museum and library. Both were great experiences.

Day 3
First, the library school visit. I'd like to start by saying the school is an a palace. So cool. The classrooms were so fancy! 
My class prepared a presentation about trends in U.S. libraries to give to the Russian students. My part was on the use of social media and I was fabulous. Well...maybe not fabulous. Maybe I was just really good. Anyway, after our presentations they showed us a video on their department and we asked questions about their program, job prospects, and librarianship in Russia. Then we took a tour and saw more pretty classrooms and spoke to people in different departments. 
Just another classroom at the library school.

What we learned will probably only be interesting to a librarian, so I'll just make a list  of some fun facts. 
-In soviet times, after graduating people were placed in libraries. They could not refuse
-Today, students tend to flock to certain types of libraries, so placement may go back into effect. They will have the right to refuse.
-Specialization does not require a second degree
-Twilight is one of the most popular books among young girls