29 June 2011

The Cinquain Your Book Challenge

Haiku Your Book Challenge and because it's been a while since we talked poetry, we came up with the Cinquain Your Book Challenge!

What is a Cinquain? 
According to poets.org "The cinquain, also known as a quintain or quintet, is a poem or stanza composed of five lines."
You can use some of the tried and true cinquain forms or just go for it. Here are a few helpful hints...
Line 1 one word (the title)
Line 2 two words that describe the title.
Line 3 three words that tell the action
Line 4 four words that express the feeling
Line 5 one word that recalls the title
Your Book,
think about it,
compose your heart out.

If you want to get really creative, check out lots of options: click here for the Wiki page on Cinquain.
A Cinquain by The Mom about Savvy by Ingrid Law

We change don't we?
Around 13.
We find out that deep inside,
We each,
Are magic.
Five lines, you can do it:
A poem
About a book
Get creative
Have fun
Take the Cinquain Your Book Challenge! 

Now go ahead, grab a book and write your cinquain in the comments below!

28 June 2011

Save Troy Library Tuesday: The word is spreading

We'll begin this week with a new letter in support of Troy Public Library and some exciting news: our "Tell Two Friends" suggestion made its way around the globe to Brisbane, Australia.
From: Carolyn Cullen
Date: 27 June 2011
To: cindy.stewart@troymi.gov (Cindy Stewart, Community Affairs Director)
Subject: Troy Public Library

Dear Cindy,

As a librarian in Australia, I was distressed to discover that your town was holding a vote on whether to continue operating a public library or not for your citizens.

I ask you, would a vote be tabled to continue/discontinue refuse collection, roadworks, water sanitation?  Libraries are a basic right in a free society.  Without free access to information for all it's residents how can a government call itself democratic?  Those with the least power and resources will be the worst affected by the library closure, pushed further to the margins of a society which no longer wishes to acknowledge, let alone assist them.  Society's should be judged by how they treat the most vulnerable.  To close Troy Library is to leave the Troy City Council open to harsh condemnation, internationally.

Libraries are a public right, as civil servants, why are you not upholding this?

In distress,
Carolyn Cullen
Brisbane, Australia
Thank you Carolyn, we're excited that people are listening and working to save libraries all over the world!

Good News, More Support for Troy Public Library:
  • One campaign flyer says: "Dr. Seuss, Ronald Reagan and E.B. White are among the people who have supported our children's library. Now the question is ... Will YOU?"
  • Who supports the millage? (We'll add to this list each week, because the list is growing!) League of Women Voters, Troy Chamber of Commerce,Troy School Board.
  • "As a supporter of lifelong learning and higher education, we feel so strongly about this issue and appeal to all Troy residents to support our children’s future by voting YES for the .7 dedicated library millage that will be on ballots August 2, 2011.  It is critical to the future of Troy, it is critical to the future of our children, and it is crucial to lifelong learning that the city continues to have a fully functional resource library for all.

    Best regards, 
    Cynthia Bechill, President 
    International Academy of Design and Technology
What's Happening at Troy Public Library and how can you help? 
Before you get on with your day, even if you don't live in Troy you can help: just tell two friends, just two, tell them to tell their friends to pass this message to the people of Troy "VOTE YES August 2nd and Save Troy Public Library!" Send this message on, we're watching how many hits we get in Troy, the numbers are rising --our message is getting out, thanks for helping Save Troy Public Library.

Enjoy More Letters to the Children of Troy:

Daniel Evans
Who is Daniel Evans?*
Dear Boys and Girls of Troy:

I was pleased to learn that the City of Troy is to have a new public library facility for its citizens. You, its young people, are especially fortunate for it seems to me that in this day of constant change, the library can and should be a most important adjunct of a community living for your recreation and education.

Today's library offers you, through its collection of materials a treasury of enjoyment and information. The history which lives in the pages of books provide you with a link between the past and the present. The wisdom of the ages is there ready for you to put to use in furthering your knowledge and experiences for now and the future.

The Open Door of the public library is a key to both enlarging the horizons of your worlds and to the making of friends who will be your companions for life.

I urge you to use and enjoy your public library.

Daniels J. Evans


Dan Rowan and Dick Martin
Who are Rowan and Martin?
Hi Gang:

Someone very wise once said that knowledge is power. The best place we know to get knowledge is in a library. That's why you can be very proud of your Troy Public Library.

If we are ever in the neighborhood, we're going to drop in and leaf through a book or two.

Yours for good reading,
Dan Rowan and Dick Martin


E.B. White
Who was E.B. White?
Dear Children of Troy:

Your librarian has asked me to write telling you what a library can mean to you.

A library is many things. It's a place to go, to get in out of the rain. It's a place to go if you want to sit and think. But particularly it is a place where books live, and where you can get in touch with other people, and other thoughts, through books. If you want to find out about something, the information is in the reference books---the dictionaries, the encyclopedias, the atlases. If you like to be told a story, the library is the place to go. Books hold most of the secrets of the world, most of the thoughts that men and women have had. And when you are reading a book, you and the author are alone together---just the two of you. A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people---people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.

EB White

Come back next Tuesday for more. This week The Mom couldn't add as many letters because today is The Big Sister's 11th birthday and she wants to spend the day celebrating! Happy Birthday Big Sister!!!

*Letters shared with permission from Troy Public Library.

24 June 2011

Get the Scoop at Your Library: Library Book Sale 101

Who: YOU
What: Library Book Sales
Where: A Library Near You (Find a sale in the USA)
Why: To raise funds for the library and engage community in the library.
How: People donate books, volunteers and/or library staff organize a sale.
We are going to let you in on a BIG BIG BIG secret, ready? The BEST BEST BEST Library Book Sale is happening this weekend. Every Summer Interlochen Public Library's wonderful Friends of IPL organize and host a book sale. 
Volunteers with the Friends of Interlochen Public Library
and The Big Sister
Here is the secret: for $10 you can join the Friends and then you get to go to the Preview Sale on Thursday and get FIRST Pick! (Click here to join the Friends of Interlochen Library, you'll be glad you did!) 
The Sisters browsing the amazing selection on Preview Night! 
Another reason to join the Friends,
the crowd is MUCH lighter on Preview Night!
Last night The Mom, The Big Sister, and The Little Sister hit the Preview Sale and for $50.50 we loaded up on books (each of us filled a bag!) This weekend The Dad needs to build another book shelf!
The Big Sister's Treasure

The Mom found over 50 books for $36.50!
Please join the Interlochen Public Library for their 25th annual Book Sale. Friday, June 24th from 9am to 8pm and on Saturday, June 25th from 9am to 3pm. Support Children's programs at the library. For additional infor call 231.276.6767 http://www.interlochenpubliclibrary.org/index.htm Don't live in Northern Michigan? No worries, find a library book sale near you or call your library and ask!

Have you taken a challenge lately? No time like the present, click here and get started! Want to help Save Troy Public Library --click this link and share it with 2 friends! Have a wonderful weekend! Happy Reading.

22 June 2011

The Calamity Challenge

Calamity can mean "disaster or distress". Sometimes when I pick up a book to read or begin listening to a book on tape I realize that it isn't my thing. Or after I read the whole thing I just don't understand why the book had to end that way, like why someone had to die or marry their cousin when they were really in love with someone else.
This photo is
year's contest.

Most of our challenges, so far, have been about books we like; this week I (the Big Sister) want to offer a little switch. I want to know about books you don't really like --that may have even been a disaster or even caused you a bit of distress.

Click on the comments and tell us a story about a book that wasn't for you. I can't wait to read your comments!

The Mom adds "remember that we are sharing our opinions and that here at the Books for Walls Project we are a community and share thoughts and ideas, please take what is good for you and leave the rest! Our intention is not to offend, but to discuss, this week we're discussing books that are not our cup of tea. Great idea Big Sister!!"

21 June 2011

Save Troy Library Tuesday: Tell Two Friends!

Every Tuesday for the next several weeks we are going to focus on helping save Troy Public Library. With so many threatened libraries, why did we choose to focus on TPL? Simple: after our visit last month we realized how important every library is and The Sisters really like TPL in particular. We committed to spend time researching and interviewing and working to help Get Out the Vote for TPL on August 2, 2011. In addition to updates, each week we will share some of the Letters to the Children of Troy* highlighting amazing quotes from amazing public figures back in 1971 --the letters speak clearly to the citizens of today: "save this wonderful library"!

Even if you don't live in Troy you can help: just tell two friends, just two, tell them to tell their friends to pass this message to the people of Troy "VOTE YES August 2nd and Save Troy Public Library!" We showed The Sisters the old Faberge Shampoo commercial and explained how word of mouth can spread a message like wild fire --we cannot promise "super fresh smelling hair" but we can promise that it feels really good to help a library. So tell two friends!

Updates, learn and get involved:

Enjoy! This week's Letters to the Children of Troy:

Citizens of Troy:

My sincere congratulations to the City of Troy on the opening of your public library.

A library is among the richest of gifts a community can give its citizens. Pleasant hours of entertainment, adventure and education are only part of the opportunity a library may offer.

Each man's lifetime seems to him the only "real" part of history. Reading of our forefathers and their work to provide a world and new worlds to make our lives better, brings the past to "life". It teaches us that our modern world did not just happen. Hard work and dreams brought man from the stone age and the other side of the earth to the space age and the moon. All of the people and events between the cave man and the astronauts and can be found in your new libarry.

Whether you are looking for career ideas, reading about cultures of the world or your city's history, your library offers untold advantages from improving your conversatons or schoolwork to bringing understanding and peace to the world.

There is no better time than your youth to develop the habit of using your library. With the fine new facility in Troy, using your library should be especially enjoyable.

Arch A. Moore Jr.


Dear Young People of Troy:

Congratulations on the opening of your first public librrary! This is a significant event and one that  should affect all of you.

Books and libraries are among the most wonderful possessions young people--and, in fact, people of all ages-- can have. Books help us not only shape a view of ourselves but of society as well. They provide us a sense of history, of knowing where we are and who we are. They give us the substance to raise questions about our condition, and hopefully to arrve at some answers.

In short, a book carefully chosen serves both as an anchor to our heritage and a springboard to our future.

I wish for all of you many hours of discovery, personal growth, and wonderful journeys through the books you will read in your new library.

Birch Bayh
United States Senator


Dear Mrs. Hart:

I am most pleased to contribute my thoughts on your new library, and pleased to convey my congratulations on providing this new facility.

To the young people of your community, I would like to urge an active and constant use of the library. As I reflect back on my youth, I remember many, many pleasant hours in the library and with the books selected. This love of books and libraries has continued with me throughout my life and continues to grow. Despite the demands on the time of our young people from television and other sources, there can be no greater impact come to young lives than through a well-stocked library.

Calvin L. Rampton


To the young readers at the Troy Public Library:

I hope that each of you will take full advantage of your new library to develop understanding and appreciation of the heritage which, in my opinion, is what America is all about - a national commitment to opportunity for all and to the elimination of poverty and ignorance.

As a young person, I was encouraged by my mother, my teachers and librarians to read for recreation, for information and for knowledge. Let me encourage you, as they encouraged me; for this country, despite all its failures and present inconstancies does promise and deliver much to those who prepare themselves.

Carl B. Stokes


Dear Mrs. Hart

It is a real pleasure for me to write to the children of Troy, through your office and to point out to them the wonderful world that can develop for them through the library.

The Library can be the gateway to a marvelous experience in travel, history and literature. Through the library we can talk to Abraham Lincoln, ride elephants with hannibal and paint fences with Tom Sawyer. And all without leaving our chair!

I hope that you children will use your library as it is intended. The world is yours if you do.

Cecil D. Andrus


Dear Mrs. Hart:

Please extend our sincerest congratulations to the young people of Troy on their new library facility. Libraries play an important role in our lives by providing opportunities for continuing education, as well as recreation and enjoyment.

The educational role of libraries becomes increasingly important as citizens are faced with a complex array of issues involving the well being of the community and the Nation. By providing materials for the study of current topics, libraries contribute substantially in the creation of an informed citizenry.

The U.S. Department of Agricultures's support of libraries is illustrated in the construction of the new National Agricultural Library Building in Beltsville, Maryland. This new facility houses one of the world's largeast specialized collecions on agriculture sciences, second only to the Library of Congress. The National Agricultural Library services the needs of science researchers on a national and world-wide basis.

The new public facility of Troy is a link in a nation-wide network, joining with hundreds of other general and specialized libraries in providing information resources.

I express the wishes of all employees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in enthusiastic support of your achievement.

Clifford M. Hardin


To the Young People of Troy:

You who are reading these words have only to look around you to know the wealth of ideas which are preserved within these walls. However, the mere acquisition of these ideas does not better a person. How you use the knowledge is equally important.

But what of your friends and the other young people of Troy? What is your responsibility to them? Only as you share the richness of your library experiences will society as a whole benefit. Edwin Markham pointed to this in his poem Outwitted.

He drew a circle that shut me out
Heretic, a rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had with to win:
We drew a circle that took him in.

The citizens of Troy met their responsibility by providing you with this library and its collections; you, in turn, must meet your responsibility by determining the dimensions of your circle. Will it take in all of society with its many problems? I certainly hope so!

The motto of my alma mater, the University of Chicago, is "Crescat Scientia vita excolatur" -- "Let knowledge grow from more to more and so be human life enriched." These simple words describe with eloquency the purpose of this, or any other, library.

Clifton R. Wharton, Jr.

*Letters shared with permission from Troy Public Library.

15 June 2011

Summer Summer Summer Summer Summer Challenge

Join The Sisters tomorrow June 16, 2011 at 1pm
we're helping Benzonia Public Library kick off
their Summer Reading Program!
Summer Reading, what's the buzz all about? Just search these two words, go ahead just like this: “Summer Reading”. Can you believe how many things come up? Now change the search parameters to include most recent activity, try a Realtime Search –isn’t that wild, there is a new post just about every MINUTE on Twitter. Try a News Search, all the latest news articles that include “Summer Reading”. Pretty wild, it seems everyone is talking about reading this summer!

So, what’s the big deal? Oh, that’s right it’s almost SUMMER! We’ve been listening as friends count down the days to Summer Vacation, were you counting down? Summer officially begins in the Northern Hemisphere on June 21, 1:16pm (Eastern Daylight Time).
Are you excited about Summer Reading? Do you have different plans for reading while school is out? Does your library have a Summer Reading Program?
"One World, Many Stories" 2011 theme for Library Summer
Reading Programs,
 set by the "Collaborative Summer Library
Program (CSLP)
, a grassroots consortium of states working
together to provide high-quality summer reading program materials
for children at the lowest cost possible for their public libraries."
According to the American Library Association the benefits to readers in a summer reading program include:
  • encouragement that reading become a lifelong habit
  • reluctant readers can be drawn in by the activities
  • reading over the summer helps children keep their skills up
  • the program can generate interest in the library and books
The Books for Walls Project has BIG plans; during July and August our Challenges will focus on Summer Reading, helping YOU find your way to books and authors that you might enjoy. In addition, we'll offer Writing Challenges; ever wonder how writers come up with all those stories. Imagine: there is a story in every book, every book! and a human being (just like you) dreamed the story up! Now imagine this: you have a story inside of YOU, this summer we are going to share tools to help you tell your story.

We’ve enlisted the help of librarians (thank you, wonderful librarians) who are going to comment on Challenges and share their wonderful wisdom. Did you know that one of a librarians jobs is to be available to YOU and help you find a perfect book? Librarians are constantly reading and researching trying to find ways to help readers find their way to library resources that they need. (If you are a librarian and want to join the ranks, send us an email and we’ll share the details.) In addition, we asked poet Sarah Kay(Project V.O.I.C.E) for permission to use one of original, amazing, and simple tools to help you find the way to your own story and she said, "yes!"

The Books for Walls Project Summer Reading and Story Program starts on July 6th 2011. So after you're done celebrating, picnicing, and watching fireworks on the 4th stop by and join us. If you’d like to receive our posts via email, sign up here:
Enter your email:

Now, for the Summer Summer Summer Summer Summer Challenge, tell us about your Summer Reading:
  • Do you make plans?
  • Have a required reading list from school?
  • Know any great tools for finding books? 
  • Can you think of a perfect book to read during the summer? 
  • What are you up to this summer?
  • Join in, tell us a story!