Monday, July 22, 2019

#24in48 Finish Line!

This weekend was the 24 in 48 Readathon and it was a blast. I ended up logging 24 hours of reading with about 10 minutes to spare Sunday night.

I finished 8 complete books, parts of 2 others, and listened to a couple of hours on my current audiobook.

Books I finished during the challenge:

Like a Love Story by Adbi Nazemian (Balzer + Bray, June 2019) - I had started this one previously and finished it up as my first book Saturday morning

The Miracle & Tragedy of the Dionne Quintuplets by Sarah Miller (Schwartz & Wade, August 2019)

Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez (Nobrow, 2017)

Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum, October 2019)

This Was Our Pact by Ryan Andrews (First Second, June 2019)

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee (Putnam, August 2019)

Meal by Blue Delliquanti (Iron Circus Comics, 2019)

Dead Voices by Katherine Arden (Putnam, August 2019)

Bloom by Kevin Panetta (First Second, 2019)

And for my last book of the challenge, I got a little over halfway through Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse (Rick Riordan Presents, January 2020). 

My lovely audiobook companion while I was doing laundry and talking walks outside (despite the intense heat we got this weekend) was I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver (Scholastic Audiobooks, May 2019). 

You can look for more posts about these books in the weeks to come. 

Whew! What a GREAT weekend of reading! One of the 24in48 challenges along the way was to post about your favorite book of the challenge and I can't really do that because I chose absolutely excellent books. Seriously, they were all great. 

This time around I did plan ahead to have a stack of graphic novels to read in between longer prose novels and I think that really helped me. I felt better about how the challenge was going when my completed book count was going up and the graphic novels, being shorter reads, really helped with that. 

One thing that the challenge team did that I thought was so, so neat was that they asked participants to log any finished books in their spreadsheet, which were then added to a July 2019 24in48 Readathon Goodreads shelf. It's already got over 1600 different titles logged to it. I think it's really neat to be able to see what books were read over the weekend. 

The challenge hosts were phenomenal at posting all weekend, hosting giveaways and challenges, and responding to folks on social media. I want to send a huge thank you to the 24 in 48 Team! 

And they've set the dates for the January challenge - mark your calendars for 
 January 18-19, 2020 
for the next challenge!

Friday, July 19, 2019

#24in48 TBR

It's time for another 24 in 48 Readathon!

Starting Saturday, July 20 at 12:01am, participants will try to read 24 hours of the next 48 hours. I love this readathon and I haven't been able to participate in the past couple due to prior commitments, but this weekend remained free, so I'm really excited to jump in.

Of course, I've been working on a TBR pile of contenders. I've got a small stack of graphic novels (nice quick reads between longer books!) and some new books and galleys. This is a fraction of my actual TBR shelves, but some of the books I'm most excited to get to.

And I have a Kindle full of galleys, as well. Here are some of my top picks from my Kindle stash: 

SO WE'LL SEE. I definitely like to have lots of choices and that's not going to be an issue for this readathon. 

I'll mostly be posting on Twitter through the weekend, so follow me @abbylibrarian and check out the hashtag #24in48 if you're interested in following along. I will update with another blog post at the finish line, if not before. If you're participating in the readathon, good luck and I wish you many unputdownable books! 

Monday, July 8, 2019

Our First StoryWalk!

This summer, a professional dream of mine came true. Our library put in our first StoryWalk at a local park. I have always wanted to do one and I'm so grateful that my colleagues were so supportive of the idea. It was truly a team effort!

Our first story in the StoryWalk is A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin. She's one of my all-time favorite authors and this story fit in perfectly with our summer reading theme, A Universe of Stories. 

While you can create StoryWalk posts a number of different ways, our library had funding to order premade frames from StoryWalk Solutions. Our Floyd County Parks & Recreation folks installed them for us and they look really nice. Each frame unscrews at the bottom so you can change out the story. 

Our amazing marketing coordinator / graphic artist designed the spreads and we physically took apart a couple of copies of the book and glued them in before laminating them to create the spreads for each frame. This was a ton of work and we will definitely be seeking out permissions to use digital images for future stories so that we can create the spreads as digital files and then just print and laminate them. 

On each spread, Ms. J and I came up with some kind of physical activity or dialogic reading question / talking prompt to encourage interaction and discussion as families walk along the StoryWalk together. 

The walking path at this park is about three quarters of a mile and we ordered 20 posts, which is what I am told is the usual amount that libraries order. For A Big Mooncake for Little Star, that allowed us to include the entire book, plus an extra post in the middle where we placed a little activity break. Post 1 has the cover and info about the StoryWalk. Post 2 has the gorgeous endpapers. Posts 3-19 have the spreads from the story with one "activity break" in the middle (Post 13 below). And Post 20 has Grace Lin's author's note and more library info. 

This is a permanent installation and we plan on changing out the featured stories quarterly-ish. My hope is that we'll be able to install more StoryWalks in our community!

I know you probably have questions, so hit me up in the comments and I'll write a follow-up post to answer everything. And if you have a StoryWalk in your community, I would love to know what's worked for you and what your favorite stories have been! 

ETA (April 2021): The question I'm asked most often about StoryWalks is how to get permission from publishers to reprint picture books for use in StoryWalks and I finally have a post all about it! Click through to read more about that!

The second most frequently asked question I get asked is if I can provide the beautiful layout designed by our talented Marketing Coordinator and I'm afraid the answer to that is thank you for agreeing it's beautiful, but no.