Work Flyer


Rarely boring.

Read about (and see videos from!) the last two Music Club program here.  I love knowing great people to do some great music programs for kids.

A Library Book Burning Success Story

Book burning would get just about anyone’s attention, right?

When a .7% tax increase seems too large a burden for a town, a clever PR campaign saves the day.  This should be required watching.


Jeremy Tankard helps my kid think I’m cool.

My daughter isn’t here yet.  And I’m thinking it’ll be at least a couple years before she grasps the rather elusive concept of  ‘cool.’


Somewhere between finding out about ‘cool’ and being about 14 years old, she’s going to think I’m really cool.  In part because I met the children’s author / illustrator Jeremy Tankard, and he signed a book for my daughter.  He’s the author and illustrator of Grumpy Bird, Me Hungry and Boo Hoo Bird. He gave a really great presentation on himself as an artist. How his style has changed over time and slowly morphed into doing children’s illustrations.   Part of his presentation involved him drawing some stuff in Photoshop, which was mind boggling and might as well have been a death star tight rope liger demonstration to the room full of children’s librarians who operate daily with 10 year old computers.

Anyway he signed my book, which ruled.

The Photoshop picture he did in the presentation was downright nifty and I thought it’d go well in the nursery. So I asked him if he could email it to me.   He said sure, and asked if I could hang out a bit longer – he had to sign other books. After signing other people’s books he started doing a drawing for the nursery!

At some point, my daughter will think I’m cool for this. Thanks Jeremy!

Music Club

My job at the library is pretty cool.  I started a Music Club summer series for kids.  Basically, I get bands to play at the library for kids, and in between songs they talk about their instruments and how they work, etc.  Each program has time for the kids to get up on stage and try the instruments themselves.  So far it’s gone really well, with each session drawing between 60-95 people.

The first three are recapped here, with some videos on Von Barlow, Tony Steve, and Tropic of Cancer.

Video from yesterday’s program with After The Bomb, Baby! is up on the Children’s Department blog here.  I think this band has a whole new following.


Testing… testing… 1, 2, 3…

Not bad for a Monday, really.

I got to meet a bunch of people I hear nearly everyday on the radio.  That was surreal.

And then I got talk for five minutes about a new program I’m doing at the library.  That segment is near the end.

You can listen to the show here.

I said ‘um’ about 9 times.

The first speaker was the new city council president.  It was nice to hear he’s all about the city helping promote education, not so nice was that he doesn’t necessarily equate that with library funding.  I should have called in from the lobby.

Three Little Speckled Frogs!

There is a song I sing every week with my Toddler Power Hour class.  I play the guitar and sing and the kids all have various instruments that rattle about.

It’s the big finale.

At one point I tried to sing a different ending song to the storytime.  After that song about dinosaurs or whatever it was clear the toddler were not satiated.  A room full of 2 year olds just sat drooling at me and demanding ‘the frog song.’

So it’s always the big finale.

Gruven, one of the toddlers, came in with a bunch of cookies today.  One special one for me.

They were the tastiest frogs I ever had!  Thanks Gruven!

Diggin’ My Job

You know, enjoying it while I can.

On Monday I’m going to Gregory Drive Elementary for a Zine Machine outreach.  The school is having an Arts Festival and I’ll be talking to three groups of kids grades 3rd-5th about zines and self publishing.  Each kid will be designing a car, and each submission will be put into the next issue of Zine Machine.  The school will be given copies as well for it’s library, and a master copy if individual kids want issues.  Should be fun!

The guitar lessons I’m doing right now are going great.  This month’s class has a large age spread of students (ages 6-14), but everyone is getting along well and learning something.  One of the students this time around have a little electric guitar and amp. Last night, after the lesson, I was retuning his guitar. The few students hanging out after class were asking me to play this and that song. “Do you know any Beatles songs? Do you like rock and roll?”  Realizing I had a captive audience, I made sure to try and get across some valuable information (most the kid’s were only hanging out to see the electric guitar and actually aren’t usually very attentive students).

“I know you all are learning simple songs right now, and you’re doing great!  If you keep practicing you’ll be able to play faster and cooler things. Do you guys know what a guitar solo is?”  I hit the distortion button on the toaster amp and started playing some generic fast metal stuff and solo junk.  These three kids totally flipped out! They started jumping off of chairs and playing air guitar.  One kid got on the ground and started doing the worm.   Seriously.  It was hilarious.

I think they’ll practice for next week’s class.

I’m starting a summer program called Music Club for Kids.  We’ll explore different types of music, and learn about particular artists / composers, instruments and theory.  It will be held every other Tuesday at 4pm and geared towards children 8-12, although any child 6-14 may attend.

It starts June 14th with our first performer – Von Barlow’s Jazz Journey.  The website has MP3’s to listen to and such.    …Or just let it suffice to say he’s played with Ray Charles, Etta James, Harry Connick Jr, Bunky Green and MANY other amazing musicians.

I’m very exciting that we’ll be kicking off our Music Club with some songs and discussion from him and his band.

Joe Berg Seminar

Thanks again to the students of Jacksonville’s Joe Berg Society for being so interested in the Zine Collection!  Last night I got to run a seminar basically about myself, my job, and the zine collection.   It was a fun and very different sort of library outreach for me.   I got to talk about being in bands, tours, having a record label and store, and booking shows.   And then got to talk about how I get to do a lot of those same things with my job.   Hopefully now we’ve got another 80 rad teens stoked on the collection and the library.  They had really good questions and checked out some of my favorite zines.

For more information on my new favorite group of high school students, go here.

600 Kids Can’t Go Wrong!

… At John E. Ford Elementary this morning!