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Eileen M. Washburn Author Archive

Email: librarianchick@hotmail.com   Website: (un)written   Twitter: @MsEileen10

Eileen is the Children's/YA Librarian at the Richmond Memorial Library in Marlborough, Connecticut. She recently served on the Nutmeg Book Award Intermediate Committee, and loves writing for children and connecting people of all ages with books!

plane wing

EasyJet Brings Children’s Books to the Sky

Over the last summer EasyJet unveiled their “flybraries” or flying libraries, hoping to encourage young passengers to read more.


Connecticut Library Robotics Team Competes at Regional Competition

“Singularity Technology,” the robotics team of the Wilton (CT) Public Library, recently competed at (FTC) FIRST Tech Challenge’s East Super-Regional Championship in Scranton, PA. After winning 2nd place at the State Championship, the team placed 38th out of 72 teams in their first regional championship.

row of old books

What’s In Your Secret Library Stash?

Libraries in northern New Jersey recently gave up some secrets to Jim Beckerman, staff writer for The Record. They shared some of the unusual items that live in ‘library limbo.’ For a variety of reasons, these items aren’t circulating, but librarians just can’t bring themselves to toss them away.

Pikachu on blue background

Using Pokémon GO to Connect With Your Library Community

Libraries all across the country are brainstorming ways to use Pikachu and friends.

arrangement of hard cover books on orange background

Book Club Survey Offers Insights for Libraries

BookBrowse, an online magazine for book lovers, combined responses from its annual survey last summer with its fifteen years of experience with book clubs to create the white paper entitled, “Book Clubs in the USA.” The results may give libraries some insight into how they run or provide for local book clubs.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (left) watches artist Shepard Fairey sign a replica of LA’s first artist-designed, limited-edition library card at the press launch on April 19 at the Central Library. The card is available at all 73 locations of the Los Angeles Public Library.

Los Angeles Public Library Updates Twenty-Year-Old Library Card Design

As part of its National Library Week Celebration, the Los Angeles Public Library teamed up with artists Shepard Fairey and Cleon Peterson to re-imagine their outdated purple and orange card. The new green and black design is a stylized illustration of the Central Library in downtown L.A., which is celebrating its ninetieth birthday this year.“Our city is the creative capital of the world—and this collaboration between the Los Angeles Public Library and Shepard Fairey is a great expression of how art can enliven our civic institutions,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti at the April unveiling of the LAPL’s first limited-edition artist-designed card. “It is a beautiful design that will raise awareness about the wealth of resources that our libraries offer, free of charge, to Angelenos of all ages and in every community.”

person holding a book and a cup of coffee

25 Nonfiction Titles for Guys Who Aren’t Big Readers

I’m a children’s librarian at a smaller library with one reference/circulation desk, so I make recommendations to people of all ages. One of my favorite patrons is the guy who gets a new library card because he now has some time on his hands maybe due to a surgery. Or the guy who gets dragged into the library by his wife who insists he has something to read on their beach vacation. I can identify with this guy because he sounds an awful lot like my husband. As an electrical engineer, my husband reads manuals at work all day. When he’s home, he’d rather work in the yard or catch a game if he has any downtime. But what kind of librarian would I be if I didn’t bring him home books occasionally?

Library of Congress Shares Rosa Parks Collection

.A collection of 7,500 manuscripts and 2,500 photographs relating to civil rights icon Rosa Parks is now available for public viewing, thanks to the Library of Congress and the Howard G. Buffet Foundation. The Foundation has loaned the collection to the Library of Congress for ten years. Buffet, son of billionaire Warren Buffet, bought the items at auction after a long legal fight between Parks’ heirs and friends. Parks died in Detroit in 2005. At the time of purchase in 2014, Buffet told the Associated Press, “I’m only trying to do one thing: preserve what’s there for the public’s benefit. … I doubt that she would want to have her stuff sitting in a box with people fighting over them.”

#1000BlackGirlBooks Campaign Exceeds Goal

Last fall, Marley Dias, with help from her mother and two friends, set out to collect a thousand books with relatable, black female lead characters. They are planning on donating the books to area schools that both Marley and her mother have attended. In an interview with People, mother Janice Johnson Dias said, “This movement is obviously very personal to Marley, but it also highlights the need for diversity in literature.” So they started collecting books and held a book fair. As the momentum grew, so did Marley’s profile. She appeared on Fox29’s “Good Day Philadelphia” then landed a spot on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, where Ellen and photo-giant Shutterfly gifted her with a check for $10,000.

St. Paul Public Library Publishes Picture Books

The St. Paul Public Library in Minnesota is proving that the public library is one of the most valuable places in town, especially for an under-represented immigrant population — the Karen. In December, mayor Chris Coleman announced that the library had curated and published two Karen language children’s books, which were then handed out at a special book launch and read at a December storytime.


The Library: A Powerful Memory for One Filmmaker

What are your childhood memories of the library? Maybe you recall story time, or getting to select books by yourself. As you got older, did you study there after school? Maybe you passed notes to a boy or girl at another table, careful not to get shushed by the librarian.
Filmmaker Jason LaMotte was so inspired by his memories of the library in his hometown of Houston, Texas that he directed a new short film, The Library. LaMotte, having filmed The Library in the United Kingdom, told The Guardian in an interview that his story “initially came from wanting to explore the relationship between memory and place.”


Closing the Drawer on Library Catalog Cards

It happened on October 1st in Dublin, Ohio. You may not know, unless you read the news release on the OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) website or saw the short article on cnn.com. Maybe you thought that this event had already taken place, possibly even years ago! OCLC held its final print run of library […]


When There Is a Library at Home, Everyone Wins

More children from low-income families in the Cincinnati area will be getting books for their own personal libraries, thanks to some philanthropic groups. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has partnered with Reach Out and Read to help deliver a free book each month to children from birth to age five. The philanthropic groups have created a venture fund called Every Child Capital, which has goals to ensure more donated money goes towards programs that are working. This program has committed to giving nearly $1 million with the hopes that it is successful, in which case the Cincinnati Public School system will take over the program.

stacks of books

The Latest and Greatest Middle School Reads

‘Summer Reading’ time may be over, but students will need books to read for school before you know it. Here are some recent titles that are perfect for those in-between middle school students who are moving on from the grade 4-6 books but not quite ready to plunge into the sometimes scary ‘young adult’ section. We’ll call them ‘YA-lite’—kids will just call them great reads.

children's books at a library

Observations from Serving on a Children’s Book Award Committee

I’ve been a children’s librarian for almost seventeen years, but 2014 was the first time I participated in a book award committee. While the award might not be as well-known as the Newbery–publishers were not inclined to print our potential choices in paperback just because we were going to select them as nominees- our committee nevertheless had a daunting task.