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Last night was my first shift at the adult reference desk, and it was pretty much a breeze since I was being “trained” by one of the reference librarians, and we talked about cookbooks and baking and outdated horrors and crazy patrons and library school in between occasional bouts of “oh, did you know about this resource?”  Can I just say again that I LOVE being “trained” someplace where I already know the collection, the layout, and the staff?  Starting at a whole new library would be so much more intimidating.  Not that it won’t be more intimidating when I’m alone at the desk, but you know what I mean.

Right now I’m reading the absolutely delicious The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly – a perfect summer reading book.  Temperatures in the high 80s feel cool when you read about Texas heat circa 1899 – as Calpurnia puts it in the opening sentence, “By 1899, we had learned to tame the darkness but not the Texas heat.”  The language of the whole book is deliciously rich, the characters entertainingly real, and Calpurnia’s adventures in naturalism are compelling even to me – someone who’s never particularly cared about learning about science or the natural world.  But for kids with an interest in those things, and a fairly strong vocabulary, this would be a dream.

And the book doesn’t take itself too seriously, either, with incidents like Calpurnia describing her rash (which results after some meddling in her oldest brother’s romantic life) as “the hives of hypocrisy.”  These delights more than overcome any doubts about the maturity of Calpurnia’s tone.  Oh, and it makes me want to go for a nice swim in a cold river, microscopic creatures or no.

July 2009

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