So I Won an Award, and am Going to an Academy

I don’t blog to gain millions of followers or to make money (although that’d be nice…). I write because  I have something to say, and think that this is the best medium for that. So imagine my surprise when I won a YALSA writing award for something I wrote for the YALSA blog in February, 2013.

The article, titled Serving Homeless Teens: other ways to help was true third in a series, with the first two authored by Kelly Czarnecki (Technology Education Librarian at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library), and Marie Harris (Teen Services Specialist, ImaginOn-Charlotte Mecklenburg Library). The YALSA blog editor sent out an email asking which YALSA bloggers had experience in serving homeless youth in libraries. The three of us responded, and coordinated topics so we weren’t writing about the same service or situation. Each of the blog posts are distinctly unique to serving homeless youth, which I think proves the complexity of serving that demographic. Each homeless teen has a different story, different dreams, and different needs – but they all need and deserve service from librarians who have ways to help.

Check out the blog posts – linked above – to read about our experiences and our ideas.

A big thank you to YALSA for recognizing my (and our) work. It validates the hard work we put into not only writing, but serving.


A second shocking piece of news came across my desk this month – but this one I had been hoping for. I was accepted into the 2014 class of the Virginia Library Leadership Academy – sponsored by the Virginia Library Association. The Academy begins in May with a 2-day workshop in Staunton, Virginia where I (and the other 23 attendees) will receive project management training. I will then meet with my Academy mentor, who will work closely with me for the next year. Over that year’s time, I will plan and implement a program that utilizes the skills I learned at the workshop.

I am honored to be a part of the 2014 VALLA class, and cannot wait to discuss my experiences on this here blog.


review: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

dream thievesOh, Maggie. Dearest Maggie (Steve-otter is the correct pronunciation). You have, once again, rocked my world. (This would be a good time to link back to my review of the first book in the Raven Boys trilogy…but alas, I somehow didn’t review it when I read it earlier this year. That really upsets me. What was I doing that I forgot to revi…oh yeah. I read it when I was home sick the week before my wedding. Yeah…some things got away from me. Forgive me.)


(We had post bridal photos taken last month out in Ranson, West Virginia. Our photographer is incredible and I just had to share this since I mentioned my wedding. And also because I love my dress. I sometimes wear it when I vacuum the house.)

Back to the book. (Like we every really got started on it…)

The Dream Thieves picks up where The Raven Boys let off, and it begins quickly. Blue is still trying to figure out what she is doing in life, as are her boys Adam, Ronan, Gansey, and Noah. Unfortunately two new men enter the story – both are dangerous and deadly and mean harm. But they are dynamic and fascinating, and readers (and unfortunately, characters) are drawn to them.

I loved that this book included more of Blue’s family. Her mom and aunts are the perfect characters to counter-balance Blue’s sarcasm.

Then Maura made something with butter and Calla made something with bacon and Blue steamed broccoli in self-defense.


Their presence in the pages gives readers a better understanding of who Blue is. Her mom’s interest in the dangerous Grey Man is intoxicating’y romantic.

She ordered for them. Neither drank any wine. The appetizers were delicious, not because of the kitchen, but because all food eaten in anticipation of a kiss is delicious.

Gansey isn’t the main male attraction in this novel. Instead, another one of the Raven Boys takes center stage, and he really lights up the pages. Getting into his head was thrilling and so, so sad.

If you never saw the stars, candles were enough.

I’ve mentioned before that I typically don’t continue on with trilogies because I tend to be disappointed. But I am oh, so glad I did read this one. I want to drop in on Maggie (she lives in Virginia!) and ask her about the last book. Think she’ll tell me about the third book?

Recommended for: 
You definitely need to read the first book before reading this one. Period. The story totally builds off the one that began with book one. Any girl who reads YA – be it fantasy, contemporary, or dystoia – will enjoy this series.

The Diviners by Libba Bray was similarly humorous and dark.