Tuesday, December 11, 2018

They just DID it!

Twenty seconds before the end of the period, two 6th grade students walked up to a stack of masking tape and transformed it into a car.  MakerSpace magic!

Monday, December 10, 2018


Another reason:

Another reason:

Another reason:

Wednesday, November 7, 2018


Capturing the flow 

Capturing the moment or the flow 
doesn’t really characterize
whatever it is that I’m part of —
that we’re part of or pass through
or happen in or with or despite. 

So I make these line drawings
which tick along as I make them
and as I tick along. They don’t capture 

anything as it is or was, yet neither are they 
wholly independent of what happens
with me in this flow. 

I work on them until they are right,
until they are something on their own. 

It’s not enough that they might be 
representative of something I know, they 
need to be a new thing —
with the proviso that they include 

the familiar, the mysterious, and the beautiful - 
with fine sensuous lines like Rico LeBrun used 
and that Picasso wrestled with & romanced
in the line likenesses he loved —

little realities that spin on the page
so that they are as difficult to completely know 

as any part of the flow — this art that we are. 

June 2, 2010

Thursday, November 1, 2018

It only takes a second ...

... to communicate with the folks who depend on you.

Getting the Word Out

Took an "on location" photo of some new arrivals to add to my grade 7-12 email.
Then made a library foyer display using the "new shipment" boxes.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Field Hockey Having A Banner Year

Our varsity Field Hockey team won the Sectional title and is heading to the regionals! To celebrate their accomplishment I drew this banner on the library bulletin board. Go Knights!
Used my nifty geometric crayons from many moons ago!

Friday, October 26, 2018


I designed this graphic for the Class of 2025's fundraising effort to purchase a Gaha Ball pit for our school community. T-shirts are on sale!

Friday, October 19, 2018

The Printed Word

I enjoyed this long cover article in Harper's magazine (print), The Printed Word in Peril by Will Self. I did lots of underlining of choice paragraphs, shrewd insights, well-turned aphorisms, and several observations that he does a much better job of stating than I do. Much of what he says resonates to me as a reader, a librarian, and as a human mindful of, but not crazy about, the march of change.

I do believe his closing paragraphs to be sincere little surprises for him, as when he writes:
It was only when finishing this essay that I fully admitted to myself what I’d done: created yet another text that’s an analysis of our emerging ­BDDM life but that paradoxically requires the most sophisticated pre-BDDM reading skills to fully appreciate it. It’s the same feeling—albeit in diminuendo—as the one I had when I completed the trilogy of novels I’ve been working on for the past eight years, books that attempt to put down on paper what it feels like for human minds to become technologically transformed. I felt like one of those Daffy Ducks who runs full tilt over the edge of a precipice, then hovers for a few seconds in midair (while realization catches up with him), before plummeting to certain death. Look down and you may just see the hole I made when I hit the ground.
*"I referred above to “bidirectional digital media,” by which I mean 
the suite of technologies that comprises the wireless-connected 
computer, handheld or otherwise, the World Wide Web, and the internet. 
Henceforth I’ll abbreviate this term to BDDM."

Reflection piece

This article in the New York Times, How One Journalist's Death Provoked a Backlash That Thousands of Dead in Yemen Did Not is an "interpretive" piece that really provoked some reflection and that I think might provide an important discussion in the classroom. It describes the psychological experience of the "collapse of compassion"; how we are more susceptible to being galvanized by a single death than by the thousands of deaths in a natural or humanitarian disaster ("That is why news coverage of a famine or a flood will often highlight the story of one victim.").

It might be effective to take a short/long review of history and identify landmark events where such single deaths moved society to action. A dozen come to mind.

The article also talks about a "dynamic called common knowledge: A group becomes much likelier to act against a transgressor when each individual member knows that every other member knows about the transgression. This creates a perceived social pressure to act." This provides a strong rationale for supporting our school's efforts to develop strong small-group relationships with students to mitigate things like bullying.

Outreach revisited

Happy to report that we have loaned 8 books in the two weeks since we set up a display in the staff room. Have been switching out about 6 titles every few days.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Very cool!

Temperature-sensitive librarian cooling of with windmill/fan designed from scratch by Nathan H.!

What's new at ACSLIB

Have our Recent Arrivals queued up on the foyer flat screen..along with a teaser of ebooks and audiobooks! Plus, I emailed a video of the slideshow to students and staff.

Plus, placed my first order for OverDrive ebooks and audiobooks; using some of my $1000 prize credit:

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Concentrating on Art

Our second jigsaw table this year featuring an art puzzle, art books, and art chairs!


Deep storage

Although this blog is mainly about this library, it is also a kind of archive of ACS and Afton things I don't want to forget or (virtually) misplace. And so I am posting this wonderful recollection of Afton businesses of 1940 as recalled by Joyce Burnett in 2010. Many thanks to June & Gloria for sharing it.

Afton / 1940

South Main Street

Crowley Creamery
Dairymans’ league
Master Oil Company: Lawrence Humiston, George Sutton
Gas station: Andrew King
Tiffany’s Garage
Fred Lewis Construction
Mudge Feed Mill
Cider Mill
Briggs Lumber Co.(coal)
Atherton Tourist / Telephone Office
Afton Enterprise: newspaper

Main Street (south side)

Handy’s Hat Shop
Barber Shop: Clint Gran
Grand Union Grocery Store: Charles Folts, manager
Rose Tea Parlor
Village Hall: Fire Co. (ground Floor), Library, Girl Scouts ( 2nd floor)
Pages Meat Market
Clarence Eldreds: mens clothing
Bert Hyde Drug Store
Post Office
Jenks & Swart Department Store
Farnsworth Sweet Shop
Herkimer’s Red & White Grocery Store
Glen Morgan Dodge & Plymouth Garage
Midway Restaurant: Fred Stearns
Tabor’s Dress Shop (funeral home also furniture store)
Bill Gregs Tourist Home (Gregs Pool Hall in back)
Afton Diner: Fred Talbert
Harry Horton Hardware Store
GL7 Feed Store
Doolittle Gas Station

Main Street (north side)

Sam Perry’s Gas Station
Cook’s Barber Shop
Victory Store: Elwin Bristol, manager
Bruce Keater Grocery Store
Morgan Brothers Hardware
Afton Inn
Town Clerk’s Office
Eldreds Tourist Home
Nick’s Shoe Repair
Blacksmith Shop

Schoolcraft Lumber (Caswell St.)
Victor Gregory Grocery Store (East side)

Darwin Craig: lawyer
William Crull, M.D.: Afton Hospital
Hienz Cohn, M.D.
Lloyd Johnson, dentist
Archie Gunn: RR Station Master & telegraph operator

Farmers in the Village of Afton

Dan Grant
George Raab
Gallup Holmes
Lewis Fisher
B(ud) & Mary Forsyth
Fred Holdrege
Ed Cornell

Drackler’s Stable
Bob Quenay: trapper

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Leaning toward good books

We have so many wonderful large-format nonfiction books; too heavy to hang on my end-caps with bookends. So going to try giving them some face-out exposure by using shelves on the diagonal.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Passive Art Ed

Have been posing some questions and observations on my Picturing America posters to provide some exposure and awareness of art appreciation and fundamentals.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

More than half way

Inspired by a new transfer student to make it easier (like know that I'm open to it) to recommend books for our collection.

A place to cultivate social capital

I have enjoyed reading Eric Klinenberg's Palaces for the People in which he explores "social infrastructure"; the physical conditions that determine whether social capital develops. Libraries, of course, figure prominently in his examples of places that cultivate interaction and tolerance between diverse people in a public setting, allowing us to practice face-to-face relationships which knit a community together.

I like this quote about libraries from a library user that Klinenberg cited:

Thursday, October 4, 2018

An artist steps forward

Digital drawings done on an ACS laptop. Cool.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The quilting thread

Our new book on The Quilts of Gee's Bend inspired me to dig out my quilt poster and other books on quilts and the underground railroad. Hoping my wife will let me bring in a quilt-in-progess to complete the display!

ACSLIB: we deliver

A display/loan idea for our staff break room. I'll let you know ...
Thursday AM: Quiet by Susan Cain ... Yes!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Piece by piece

Our puzzlers have completed the 1000-piece puzzle that is now the centerpiece of our book display.

Friday, September 28, 2018

What I learned at Open House this year

For Open House the past few years, I have had a slide show on our foyer flat-screen of Afton Senior Class trips; from 1931 to present. It is a pretty good conversation starter.

This year an alumnus from the Class of 1968 stepped in and said, "You won't have one of my class on a trip." Sure enough, there was only a photo of their class at school.

Turns out their Washington, D.C. trip was cancelled due to that tumultuous year. In between Martin Luther King, Jr. being assassinated in April and Robert Kennedy being shot in June, the the Southern Christian Leadership Conference staged it's "Poor People's March" and "Resurrection City" in Washington during May and June. That was enough to dissuade school official from letting the trip take place.

Not only another example of the reach of history extending to Afton, NY once again, but of libraries being a place of discovery and life-long learning.

Monday, September 24, 2018

My Day

Student returned ACSLIB SD card reader borrowed for BOCES Raspberry Pi project.

Downloaded and shared photos from faculty camera-loan: phases of the moon project!

Received, logged, tagged, and displayed new Salem Press books.

Invited to join the Arts Dept. PLC meeting this week.

Demonstrated to a student how to Print to PDF to print a selected portion of an online article.

Rescheduled and hosted the LibLab for 6th grade I-ready testing.

Had email from the Afton Town Historian to collaborate on making digital files of an oral history on cassette, and to brainstorm on a local history "Summer Camp" for grade 3-6 students!

Printed Playaway audio book list for an interested staff member.

After reading results of the recent ACS student survey, created a foyer display of  books dealing with stress, tension, and emotional self-awareness.

ACSLIB source code?

Some of my most recent titles from Salem Press arrived with a pre-printed QR Code and URL linking to their online versions.
Wondering if my June 2017 Salem Press/QR Code mash-up inspired them?

Friday, September 21, 2018

DeVona's 1st Law of Laminated Posters in the Halls

When (in the hopes of better-communicating the primacy of your message ... forever) posters are entombed in plastic permanence, the likelihood of students noticing and embracing their content is inversely proportional to the eons they will remain on the wall.

Corollary #1:
It is not the duration of display that ensures the effectiveness of a poster, rather it is the potency of design.

Corollary #2:
A succession of posters, nuanced in design but with the same message, increases the likelihood of being continuously noticed, and so, embraced.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Mapping our virtual proximities

"This map shows an index of connectedness, created using friendship links between pairs of 
anonymous Facebook users from a snapshot of the platform in April 2016." 

What a fascinating NYT article: How Connected Is Your Community to Everywhere Else in America?

The graphics speak volumes.

At its core, it illustrates a recent study that correlates who we connect with geographically on Facebook; and the implications of that:
In the millions of ties on Facebook that connect relatives, co-workers, classmates and friends, Americans are far more likely to know people nearby than in distant communities that share their politics or mirror their demographics. The dominant picture in data analyzed by economists at Facebook, Harvard, Princeton and New York University is not that like-minded places are linked; rather, people in counties close to one another are.
Even in the age of the internet, distance matters immensely in determining whom — and, and as a result, what — we know.
Coastal cities like New York, Washington, San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles do exhibit close ties to one another, showing that people in counties with similar incomes, education levels and voting patterns are more likely to be linked. But nationwide, the effect of such similarity is small. And the pull of regionalism is strong even for major cities. Brooklynites are still more likely to know someone on Facebook near Albany or Binghamton than in the Bay Area.

That we cling to physical nearness, even as technology offers us unlimited horizons, pricks some corner of the poet in me and urges me to think that we don't yet want to give up front porches, sidewalks, neighbors, and the realness of our brick & mortar communities.