Saturday, March 29, 2014

Who Wants a Job?

Following is the official job posting for a Reference Librarian position at our public library. We have two reference librarians on staff (including the open position), and a systems admin person who works some hours in reference. The staff is fantastic, our patrons are wonderful (and at times colorful), and you can't beat the climate - if you are tired of the snow in the east, give our HR department a call! (575) 439-4399.
P.S. I know the wage may seem low to those on the east coast, so here are some property listings to give you an idea of the cost of living in comparison.


OPEN RECRUITMENT Applications are now being accepted for an
Full-Time Regular Position




EXPERIENCE: Master’s degree in library science, plus at least one year of library reference experience; or Bachelor’s degree, preferably in liberal arts, plus at least two years of library reference experience; or any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities. Have MLS or Grade II Library Certification or be able to obtain within 1st year of employment.

SPECIAL JOB DIMENSIONS: Knowledge of: current developments in the library field; principles and practices of professional library reference services, including use of traditional and computer reference sources. Skill/Ability to: Demonstrate proficiency in both oral and written communication; draft and prepare documents for the media; operate standard office equipment, including fax machine, copier, calculator, microfilm reader and computer using standard word processing, spreadsheet, and library reference software, and establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers, other city employees, other local libraries, community organizations, schools, vendors, and the general public.

WORKING CONDITIONS: Library/office environment. Requires standing, walking, stooping and lifting.

JOB SUMMARY: Assists library patrons in locating material and answering reference questions;

examines review sources and selects materials for purchase; maintains nonfiction,

reference, and periodicals collection.

SALARY/ WAGE: Salaried Rate: $30,436.02

Current maximum wage potential $47,940.46

POSTING PERIOD: Friday, March 28th, 2014 until Friday, April 18th, 2014

All interested applicants must apply at City Hall.

Located at 1376 E. Ninth Street, Alamogordo, NM 88310.


Review - The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim, by E.K. Johnston

The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim
Listen! For I sing of Owen Thorskard: valiant of heart, hopeless at algebra, last in a long line of legendary dragon slayers. Though he had few years and was not built for football, he stood between the town of Trondheim and creatures that threatened its survival.

There have always been dragons. As far back as history is told, men and women have fought them, loyally defending their villages. Dragon slaying was a proud tradition.

But dragons and humans have one thing in common: an insatiable appetite for fossil fuels. From the moment Henry Ford hired his first dragon slayer, no small town was safe. Dragon slayers flocked to cities, leaving more remote areas unprotected.

Such was Trondheim's fate until Owen Thorskard arrived. At sixteen, with dragons advancing and his grades plummeting, Owen faced impossible odds—armed only with a sword, his legacy, and the classmate who agreed to be his bard.

Listen! I am Siobhan McQuaid. I alone know the story of Owen, the story that changes everything. Listen!

I have read several alternate-world novels, but they have all seemed forced to me, and never really piqued my interest. Not so with Johnston's debut novel (and don't you just love when an author's first novel hits it out of the park? Guaranteed spot on my "order everything by" list!)
Johnston imagines a world just like ours - but, with dragons. Not newly arrived dragons, not always-there-but-hidden dragons, but dragons which have been here as long as people, and which have helped shape our history. Remarkably, but believably, that history is not all that different from what you may find in your textbooks - it was just shaped so by dragons (Buddy Holly's airplane, for example, went down when attacked by such). There are some larger differences - dragons being attracted to carbon emissions and large bodies of water, Michigan is pretty much a no man's land now.
Along with music and sports stars, this world also has dragon slayers to offer for hero worship. Most are under contract to large corporations and stationed in large metropolitan areas (after their four years mandatory government service, of course). Dragon slaying is traditionally a hereditary profession, and many slayers don't live long enough to have very many children, so the pool is dwindling rapidly.
One can imagine the excitement, then, when one of the most popular dragon slayers decides to semi-retire, WITH her dragon-slaying family, to a small town in Canada. This is where the tale begins, and it doesn't stop moving until the final page. Between exciting battle scenes, often humorously related, there is political maneuvering (also humorously related), character development, bonfire parties, music composition, fun teachers, intrigue, internet conspiracy theories, and blossoming relationships (but - spoiler alert - the two main characters do NOT fall in love, which is enough for me to put Johnston on my always-buy list all by itself!)
This does not seem to be set up as part of a series, and while my brain often imagined the screenplay as I read, there were parts that would make me shy away from that as well. No, this is simply a strong, stand-alone, enjoyable read that should be an easy sell to readers of any gender over the age of 12. A must purchase for high school libraries!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Teen Cafe - Catching Fire

Last month at Teen Café we had a very small group - 4 people - so we spent a lot of time sitting around and talking. That was fun in itself, but we wanted to plan some activities that would spark the interest of kids who haven't come before. For this month, they settled on a Catching Fire party.
Not knowing how many we would have, I planned activities that could be done singly or in groups, and with any number of participants.  We ended up with 9, which worked out well.
When kids came in, they had time to grab some snacks and form alliances if they so chose. For snacks we had Peeta's Bakery (pound cake, donuts, garlic bread sticks) and Katniss's Foraging Stash (nuts, dried fruits, beef jerky).
Each individual tribute or alliance group then chose a district from a stack of district seals I had printed out, and the games began.
First, we need food! I printed out pictures of various edible and nonedible plants, and told them this was what they could find in the arena.  
Each district took a turn picking something to eat - if it was edible, they earned five points. If not, they died. But, just for this round!
Now we needed shelter. I had a shortage of trees, banana leaves, and kudzu vines in my supply closet, so we made due with chairs, newspapers, and tape. Each team had twenty minutes to build a shelter at least one person could hide in.

These two went with sturdiness over speed:

It would have worked great if the had more time, but at the end they were rushed trying to assemble it all.

District 1 showed they weren't all about luxury, earning extra points for fitting BOTH tributes inside with nary a shoelace showing!

Next was weaponry. One representative from each district got a blow gun (straw) and weaponry (marshmallow). They had five shots... President Snow, and earned points for each hit.

Let's not tell the custodian we were shooting marshmallow bits at the wall, shall we? Thanks.
Last but not least (and certainly not quietest), we had a tracker jacker attack! Each tribute had seven tracker jackers (colored dot stickers) that they needed to get off themselves and onto other tributes (or, onto the papers on their backs, anyway). The next ten minutes were a mix of absolute stillness as everyone stood with their backs to the wall to protect them,
and bursts of activity as everyone decided to attack at once.
Running from tracker jackers makes you very blurry.

Oops! Paper came off!

They call this the Tracker Jacker Dance.

 The tribute with the least number of stings at the end of ten minutes earned 20 points for that district, and then all points were tallied up.
The tribute in the yellow shirt, from District 4, was the winner, earning a hardcover copy of Catching Fire.
Next month: Napoleon Dynamite! And yes, there will be tater tots.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Cryptid Files series from Lerner, by Jean Flitcroft

I read the first two books of this series:
The Loch Ness Monster
     Vanessa's dreams are haunted by cryptids—mysterious creatures that may or may not exist. Her mother used to study them, gathering scientific evidence that at least some of them are real. Vanessa longs to continue her mother's research. At the moment, though, she also has more pressing concerns—like a family trip that includes her father's new girlfriend.
     But the visit to Scotland gives Vanessa a chance to explore the eerie secrets of Loch Ness. With the help of her mother's cryptid files, can she solve the mystery of the most famous cryptid of all?

The Chupacabra
     When Vanessa visits a friend's family on their ranch in Mexico, she's expecting a relaxing summer. Instead, she enters a shadowy world of mysterious animal death, magical curses, and dark family secrets.
     Vanessa's hosts are in trouble. Their ranch is struggling; there's been no rain, and animals are being killed by an unidentified predator. Could it be the mythical creature mentioned in her mother's cryptid files—the bloodsucking Chupacabra? Or do the ranch's misfortunes have something to do with the family's painful past?
There is a third title, The Pacific Giants, with presumably more to come.
I had high hopes. Cryptids are always a popular subject, one both kids and adults can't help find intriguing. The chapters start off with brief paragraphs describing actual reports of encounters with the cryptid in question, as well as scientific information that could explain or support its existence. In just reading those, one could easily finish the book convinced that Nessie or the Chupacabra are very real.
Unfortunately, I didn't find the stories themselves as convincing. Most characters remained rather one-dimensional, although there is development and growth in the main character, Vanessa. The hard facts and evidence in the chapter openers give way to magic and fantasy as the 'mystery' is solved. I don't think readers who wantto finish the book convinced one way or another will find that very satisfying.
At the same time, the struggles Vanessa faces in her personal life came across as real, and may resonate with many readers in similar situations. I would give the series so far a B- if it was turned in by a student - a high enough grade to encourage the writer to coninue, but low enough to show there is definite room for improvement.
***One small issue with the second book, which I found continually jarring: the young man of the family Vanessa is visiting is named "Armado", "Mado" for short.. While Americans commonly change spellings and pronunciations of common names, traditional Mexicans (which this family is) do not. It's Armando, Mando for short. I can forgive Flitcroft, who hails from Dublin, for the mistake, but surely someone at Lerner should have picked that up? If it throws me off in reading, it may be enough to cause my New Mexican readers to put it down entirely.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus and an Accident

One of this week's Bountiful Baskets add-ons was asparagus - 11 pounds for $16.50. Since it is currently running $3.48 a pound at the local grocery store, I bought two! This is one of the few vegetables Daddy will eat cooked, and the kids and I all like it, too - score! Before I froze most of it, I wanted to find some new (to us) ways to prepare it, so I scoured the internet for recipes - and then, as usual, ignored them all and did my own thing.
I saw lots of prosciutto-wrapped asparagus recipes, but I wanted bacon. We all want bacon in this household. The bacon I have is pretty thick, but I was still worried about chewy asparagus, so I cooked it a bit first:
1. Melt a dollop of butter in a skillet (if the word 'bacon' didn't clue you in, this is not a heart-healthy recipe.)
2. Add a lot of minced garlic (exact measurements are so important to me), a couple pounds of asparagus spears (ends trimmed), and some grape tomatoes, halved. I actually used the mini heirloom tomatoes from several baskets ago - I love how long everything lasts! - but I'm usually more likely to have grape tomatoes around. Drizzle on some lemon juice, cover, and simmer until asparagus is just tender.
Make sure your assistant is alert and attentive.
3. Let cool slightly. Line a baking sheet with foil (unless you want to be scrubbing forever). Wrap 3 spears in a slice of bacon, then sprinkle the tomatoes and garlic over the top.
Now, that's just purty!
4. Bake in the oven at 350, until bacon is cooked.
Now, here's where the accident comes in. I still had half a package of bacon, so I decided to cook the rest of it up, because - you know, bacon! And, because I am too lazy to wash more dishes than absolutely necessary, I cooked it in the same skillet that previously had asparagus, etc. in it, without rinsing out the remaining lemon juice/butter/garlic. Because, garlic goes great with bacon, and because - lazy!
When the first slices cooled, of course I bit into one, and - oh. my. gosh. You guys.
Bacon! With garlic! And lemon juice! It's AWESOME! I didn't think you could make bacon any better, but - lemon juice - whoda thunk it?! So, now you know how those famous chefs came up with their delicious but off-the-wall combinations: laziness. I cooked a whole 'nother pack the same way, and none of it made it to supper time.
My assistant even woke up for it!
As for the original recipe, it would have been perfect if I had used regular, thin-sliced bacon instead of thick-sliced. The asparagus cooked much faster, and I had to take the bacon off and finish cooking it separately, which kind of defeats the whole prettiness thing. You might also try them on a broiler pan (but baking them, not broiling) to drain some of the grease off. However you do it,'s bacon! So, it's all good!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Springtime Board Books from HarperCollins

Little White Rabbit Board Book
A popular picture book now in board book form. Little white rabbit hops through his world and wonders about many things - all of which you could discuss or act out with your little one. Henkes' soft illustrations stick to just a few colors, with the white rabbit standing out prominently on most pages - something that we know catches babies' eyes, making this a good choice for lap time with infants through toddlers.
Bedtime for Chickies
I think I have a new favorite set of characters. In this title, cow, sheep, and pig are ready for bed. The chickies are NOT. They are masters of stalling - kind of like a certain 4-year-old I know. A copy of this will be going to a special birthday boy next week, along with a Fisher Price farm set - I just love book pairings for presents, don't you?
Pottytime for Chickies
"Pottytime, Chickies.
Fun, fun, fun.
Hop on the potty
and get the job done.
Goodbye, Pig.
Shut the door.
We know what
the potty's for."
I wonder where the chickies got scuba gear that small?
After a few more mishaps, the adorable chickies finally get things right. I don't think we'll be reading this at home until AFTER the last one is potty trained, though - too many 'great' ideas! Looking forward to Dinnertime for Chickies, due out in May.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Easter Books from HarperCollins

The Berenstain Bears' Easter Parade
Things I always wondered about the Bear Family: When Baby Bear grows up, what will they call her? Why are they referred to as the Bear Family, when there are a million other bears around? What are they called? How come some animals talk and wear clothes, and others act like...animals?
Middle-aged musings aside, Mike Berenstain seems to be just as capable as his late parents. In The Easter Parade, Brother Bear resists the idea of shopping for and dressing up in 'nice' clothes, but changes his tune when he gets a few compliments. Sound like anyone in your household? The Berenstains always tried to write about issues that were timeless and uiversal, and this one sure fits the bill. (Off question for this one, though: Sister Bear is the one most excited about dressing up and wearing a fancy hat, but in the end she seems to be dressed the same as she always is - and no hat. ?!)
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Alvin's Easter Break
The Chipmunks' many DVDs are among those most watched in our household. Something about that trouble-making Alvin seems to appeal to my kids, can't imagine why. In Alvin's Easter Break, the Chipmunks' easter vacation is spoiled by the constant attention of their three biggest fans - or is it? Younger kids may not quite see the problem, but oler siblings annoyed by their tag-alongs may respond to this gentle nudge to include rather than avoid. Or not. But it's worth a try!
Pete the Cat: Big Easter Adventure
With cards, poster, and stickers. Because gimmicks are an easier way to make sales than actually writing something worth reading. Sorry, but these are just getting worse and worse.
Two to try and one to pass on! Thanks to HarperCollins for the review copies.

Love is Real, by Janet Lawler

Love Is Real
Don't you just love it when you come across a book you didn't realize you were looking for?
Every spring we have a Mother's Day themed story time, and in June we have a Father's Day tea party. Of course, there are many families which don't have a mother or a father in them. Or which have one in a different household. Or which have more than one of either or both. So, what on earth do you read out loud that will cover everybody and leave them with warm fuzzies rather than a reminder of something they may be missing?
Here is one such title! From the beginning lines of "Love awakes and helps you dress. Love will clean up any mess," rhyming couplets mention some of the many things we might do for or with someone we love - while never ever mentioning a specific relationship. Adults may argue that love is about more than what we do for each other, this is an approach children can easily recognize and identify with. Even adults who are not able to be with their small ones all the time will be able to point to some of the activities as things they have done together, from combing hair to slicing up an apple snack.
Brown's illustrations are as uncluttered and comfortable as the text. A hit for any classroom or home with small children - and most likely a guest star at this summer's tea party!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Lerner's What Is a Food Web? series, by Pal Fleisher

The area I live in is unique in that it is
Desert Food Webs
surrounded by
Forest Food Webs
so, when I had a chance to take a look at this series from Lerner, I chose these two titles, as areas I am most familiar with. Others in the series exlores grasslands, lakes and ponds, oceans, and tundra.
The stated age range for these is upper elementary. I had to look to see what age group was listed, because I couldn't tell by reading them. Some of the captions seem to have been written for primary or even preschool readers. Other parts of the text seemed to assume the reader had more background knowledge of terms and concepts than you would expect from the average 9-year-old. For example,
"When plants and animals die, they break down into chemicals. The chemicals become part of the soil."
Chemicals? Like the stuff in bottles under my kitchen sink? How do they become dirt? Food chains are mentioned but not explained. Some things are simplified too much to be accurate, especially for older kids - for example, yes, turkeys eat plants, but they will also eat insects, or even salamanders.
Both books do contain a great deal of information in short segments. A child who likes to move quickly from one idea to the next would probably enjoy this series, and would come away with a good basic understanding of each particular ecosystem. Those who find a specific aspect interesting could then hopefully find something more in depth.
The photographs are an excellent addition, well-placed and varied. As each of these ecosystems occurs throughout the world, it would be helpful to have the location included in the captions - so that readers don't assume all deserts include camels, and all forests have black bears.
Appropriate for upper elementary ages, good for basic information and overview reports.

Friday, March 14, 2014

JFK by Jonah Winter

Books about John F. Kennedy abound in both children's and adult literature. There aren't very many titles for the primary grades, which may be the biggest reason for buying this one.
As adults, we know JFK did many great things, but he was hardly the godlike figure that this book hints at. While small children don't necessarily need to read about his womanizing, making political figures sound better than they were is more indoctrination than education. Winter's book may serve as an introduction into the events of JFK's life, but teachers might do well to add other information and explanation as is suitable. Children may have questions of their own while reading - such as, who ARE all these people in the pictures?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Other Way Around by Sashi Kaufman

The Other Way Around

Who'd a thunk it - a coming-of-age-finding-yourself-learning-to-appreciate-what-you-have story that didn't make me want to vomit.
"Andrew has seen a flash of his future. (Dad: unfinished PhD. Mom: unfulfilling career. Their marriage: unsuccessful.) Based on what he's seen, he's uninspired to put a foot on the well-worn path to the adulthood everyone expects of him. There must be another way around.

After a particularly disastrous Thanksgiving (his cousin wets Andrew's bed; his parents were too chicken to tell him his grandmother died), Andrew accidentally (on purpose) runs away and joins the circus. Kind of.

A guy can meet the most interesting people at the Greyhound station at dinnertime on Thanksgiving day. The Freegans are exactly the kinds of friends (living out of an ancient VW camper van, dumpster diving, dressing like clowns and busking for change) who would have Andrew's mom reaching for a third glass of Chardonnay. To Andrew, five teenagers who seem like they've found another way to grow up are a dream come true. But as the VW winds its way across the USA, the future is anything but certain."
Character development is obviously the core of this novel, and Kaufman does it well. Andrew doesn't automatically embrace the lifestyle and attitudes of his new travelling companions, which would have come across as either contrived or irritating. The reader gets a clear view of his thought process and feelings as he reassesses ideas old and new. Secondary characters are allowed to be complex, although only Emily seemed more than two-dimensional to me, and her only just barely. (Fwiw, I didn't LIKE Emily, but she seemed more real than G. I had trouble even keeping some of the male characters straight.)
Many teens will be attracted to the thought of running off for a while, with the safety net of a home to go back to, and intrigued by some of the concepts such as Freeganism, straight edge, and squat houses. Be prepared to objections from parents who think kids are going to act out everything they read about (which is why we have so many vampires these days - oh, wait...)
Just off-beat enough to stand out in any YA collection. Thank-you to Carorhoda Lab for the review copy!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Founding Mothers, by Cokie Roberts

Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies
Ah, yes, celebrities as authors. Another sub-genre of books that librarians have a love-hate relationship with. If a child likes Madonna or Will Smith, and picks up a book because it has their name on it, that's good, right? Except, so often, talent in singing or acting does not necessarily translate to talent in writing. (Hint: In the former, it definitely doesn't.)
Fortunately, Cokie Roberts can join Will Smith in the list of celebrity authors that don't make us cringe. Her writing style is friendly and fast-paced, and Diane Goode's flowing illustrations are a perfect match.
Roberts begins her book with a lengthy 'letter of introduction' explaining her interest in/research into the lives of our 'founding mothers'. Next comes an illutrated timeline with a few tantalizing tidbits - while I knew about each of the events, most young readers wouldn't, and even knowing about them did not stop me from wanting to turn the pages and read more.
Each woman is given two pages of details about her life and accomplishments. Two seperate spreads, "Women Writers" and "Women Warriors" give quick descriptions of the contributions other women made to America's early years. This book could serve either as a gift meant to inspire a young lady in your life, or as a good book to leave around the classroom and let kids discover on their own.
Thank-you to HarperCollins for the review copy.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Lerner's Map it Out Series, by Jennifer Boothroyd

It's always fun to check out the new books as they come across my desk. I'm especially happy when I see books that I immediately know will be a hit at home.
Our family is planning a trip from New Mexico to Ohio this fall, and is still debating whether we will drive or fly. Either way, these two titles in the "Map It Out" series will easily lend themselves to activities that should get the kids excited and involved in the planning.
Map My State
Simple text describes the basic parts of a map, and shows how a young boy marks the places he wants to visit on a family trip. I think this will be just right for my preschool-through-second-graders (and will help Mommy keep straight in her head all the places she wants to show them!) The second:
Map My Country
has its own key, but thankfully doesn't repeat anything from the state title other than the compass rose. In this, another boy marks the states he has been to, and the ones he wants to visit - another easy activity for my kids to do! As a former teacher, I appreciated the way Boothroyd explains why Alaska and Hawaii aren't pictured in their actual locations.
Other titles in the series, which we will be ordering soon, include:
Map My Continent
Map My Home
Map My Neighborhood
Map My Room
I look forward to incorporating whatever activities they suggest into our home 'school' times. I would recommend the series for any classroom/home library that serves younger children.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Little Stinker by Stephen Sanzo

My children always get along swimmingly, and never drive each other crazy.
Done laughing? Okay, on with the review.
Little Stinker
My kids LOVED this book. Christopher and Sheridan, especially - Logan didn't quite get what was so funny. Logan also doesn't quite get what I mean when I tell him to "stop being such a little brother!" Anyone who has ever had a little sibling (and, if they are honest about it, anyone who has ever been a little sibling) will identify with this big brother's sentiments:
Mom and Dad pick out a game for me to share with the Stinker.
I don't want to share with the Little Stinker.
I don't want to play with the Little Stinker.
I would like her to move to Grandma's house.
Of course, by the end of the book, he decides he does want her around - no word on how long that lasts!
When I read the story myself, I found it good but not spectacular - my jaded adult mind comparing it to others with the same theme. If my kids' reactions are representative, however, other parents will soon find themselves reading it over and over, as soon as I get this copy into circulation. The illustrations, by Mark Mullaney, make me think of cartoons like "The Fairly Oddparents", and should appeal to kids as well. I will be checking out, and probably ordering, Sanzo's other title, Cranky Pants.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Like many, I grew up on Little Golden Books. Heck, even my mother, who is REALLY old, has fond memories of The Poky Little Puppy. These books have been around since 1942, and while they still have the recognizable gold edging, the topics have changed a bit. Mixed in with classic fairy tales like The Twelve Dancing Princesses, you'll find Barbie and Spiderman titles.
I should probably wait until September to review this one, but that's a long time for it to sit on my desk.

How to be a Pirate
Author Sue Fliess is already a favorite here (and at home), and this title has the same easy rhyme and rhythm. Maybe I'm still in party mode from last week, but I can easily see this being the centerpiece of a pirate-themed birthday party. Read it at the start, then plan your decorations and activities around it. Make your own parrot, eat with pirate manners, have a battle with marshmallow catapults, and then search for buried treasure. At less than $4 each, you can even give each partygoer his or her own copy to take home! (Hmm...I'm getting into this now...whose birthday is coming up next?)
My only quibble with Little Golden Books, shared by many librarians, is that they just aren't built to last on a library shelf. They make great prizes, though, so into the summer reading cabinet with this one! Check your local book store to get your own copy, or order directly from Random House Children's Books. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Happy Birthday to Us!

Our library turns 114 this week. You would think, at our advanced age, we would be allowed to take a nap each afternoon, at least. No luck on that so far, but we did get to throw a smashing party for ourselves today, Mardi Gras style!
We like any excuse for food, of course.
There was jambalaya,


and cornbread.

I waited a little too long to take pictures!
 Missy did her usual fantastic job with decorating.

Staff members wandered around passing out beads and balloons.

Heads up, Tooth Fairy! Impending customer!
 You could also make your own mask,


The more feathers, the better!
 and wear it in the parade!
Last but not least, we had a presentation from our FIRST PLACE AT REGIONALS robotics team, the Lego Rangers.


Team organizer/kid wrangler Tiffany explained a little about what the team has done and will be doing (i.e. travelling to California), then the kids presented their idea for cleaning up a local lake that was pretty much killed off after a fire...

in skit form!

One young man even died as a result of drinking contaminated water. Any sacrifice for the team.

Fortunately, the engineers had a solution, involving evaporation and condensation technology.

Whew - time to recharge with more cupcakes!

We had a great turnout for the party, and those who came to actually use the library today were good sports about the noise (free food probably didn't hurt).

Now, about all that glitter...