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Joanna Nelson Rendón Author Archive


Email: jrendon@ppld.org   Twitter: @VibrantLib

Joanna Nelson is the Teen Services Cooridnator for Pikes Peak Library District in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She is the co-chair of the Colorado Association of Libraries Leadership Development Committee and presents at workshops and conferences regularly. Joanna is currently reading The notorious Benedict Arnold by Steve Sheinkin.


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An IFLA Congress Experience

Librarians from 147 countries descended on Columbus, Ohio, last week (Aug. 13–19, 2016) for the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) World Library and Information Congress, and I was fortunate enough to be there. IFLA, founded in 1927, is dedicated to helping libraries around the world achieve great things for our local and global communities. Every year there is a World Library and Information Congress in a different country. Last year it was in Cape Town, South Africa, next year it is in Wrocław, Poland, and in 2018 it will be in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!

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Tough Topics for Teens

Working with teens in a public library is one big great adventure! There are the fun moments when teens from different schools become friends, the I-am-a-super-librarian moments of finding a teen the perfect book at just the right time, and the tough times when we know that a teen is not thriving because of a lack of resources, an identity crisis, or relationship issues. When these tough topics arise, public library staff are often not equipped to deal with them. Although teens may not want to talk to adults, they do want to learn.

Free Comic Book Day in the Library!

Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) is always the first Saturday in May, and there are so many fun programs and activities that can be done to celebrate! At Pikes Peak Library District, we have joined forces with our local comic book store, Escape Velocity, to organize great events throughout the district. This year celebrates the fifteenth anniversary of FCBD! The comic book industry uses FCBD to promote the joy of reading and learning through comics: Comic book fans can get special issues of comics, and people new to comics can try them out—all for free! Escape Velocity donates the comics to the library for us to give out.

Ally Condie

Ally Condie Visits Pikes Peak Library District

Ally Condie is the author of the best-selling Matched series and the recently released stand-alone novel Atlantia. She visited Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) (Colorado Springs, Colo.) on Friday, November 14, 2014 to give three presentations at our new library. The day was packed! Two presentations were for students and one was for the public. In total, 1,108 people attended! It was a truly amazing day.

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Ace the Interview

Why do interviews make us so nervous? They really shouldn’t, but, alas, they really DO! Being judged by a panel of people we hope to work for is nerve wracking! Preparing for an interview is one of the best ways to ensure that—at the very least—we appear relaxed and confident.

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Reading Maps: Readers’ Advisory on Steroids

Ever read a book and want to learn more about the place, the event, the person, or the activities? Yes? Well, that happens for patrons, too! This is where readers’ advisory comes into play. Librarians are in a position to help patrons find that next good book. We use booklists, displays, and word of mouth to help patrons find materials they will enjoy. These great readers’ advisory tools are useful and necessary, but are limited in what they can offer.

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Eleanor & Park – In My Heart

Not many books bring on peals of laughter and move me to cry big, fat tears. But recently, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell did just that. Too bad it is being removed from school libraries.

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Online Writing Lab Provides Style Guidance

Hoot! Hoot! Hoot! Hoot! Would you ever expect to get great citation information from an OWL? No? Well, Purdue University has created the Online Writing Lab or OWL. It provides students and the general public with writing guides for APA, MLA and Chicago. These online writing guides are easy to use because they are fully keyword searchable (unlike a book!), provide great examples, and use language that writers at all levels can understand.

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Breakin’ It Down – How Does All That Stuff Work?

Looking for clear explanations? Unbiased tell-alls? Fun information about everything? If not those lofty goals, how about a great time waster?! You can find it all at HowStuffWorks.com.

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Tech of Ages Features New Gadgets and Older Technology

The process we use starts with an email plea for help. We ask staff to be generous lending old technology that will really shock those young’uns! We typically define old as more than 10 years old (and that isn’t really that old!). Our staff has provided typewriters, Walkmans, Discmans, record players, cannon ball, ink and quill set, 1940s radio, Atari console, avocado green rotary phone, Super 8 video camera and floppy discs.

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A World of Information in the CIA Factbook

Who wants to be a spy? Come on, don’t be shy…you know you (and everyone you know) would love to be a stealthy ninja who knows the secrets of the world. With the CIA World Factbook, you can! In fact, you might already be one…

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The Hub Reading Challenge Part 3

Taking part in YALSA’s The Hub Reading Challenge is an adventure! The Challenge consists of reading 25 of the 83 award winners by June 22, 2013. I have 17 of the titles read, so I am on track! By reading these award winners, I’ve discovered new authors and have current, great books to suggest to teens. This is my final blog post about the Challenge and I wanted to share a bit about a few of the books I’ve read so far. The selection of books represents just a few in the Challenge.

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The Hub Reading Challenge – Part 2

The teen book publishing is booming and that makes for quite a few teen books to read (I know, huge understatement). Making the decision about which title to read next can be difficult, especially when I want to be able to recommend teen books to sixth graders through adults. I like to be able to talk about the popular books that are flying off the shelves. I also want to be able to suggest read-alikes that are not as well known. To be able to do this I have to read regularly (my Goodreads goal is to read 85 books this year), and, luckily, I found The Hub Reading Challenge to help me achieve that. So, welcome to the second installment on my experience with YALSA’s The Hub 2013 Reading Challenge! In this post, I will continue to explain the awards that are a part of this Reading Challenge: Schneider Family Book Award, Stonewall Book Award and YALSA’s 2013 Top Ten Amazing Audiobooks, Best Fiction,Great Graphic Novels, Popular Paperbacks, and Quick Picks.

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Award Reading Challenge

As a teen librarian, I strive to read numerous books of a wide variety. I do this for several reasons: to stay current with new books, to find great books to recommend, to chat with teens about books, and to present booktalks. I also find myself discussing teen books with parents. They are quite interested in what their children are reading, and award winners get them excited every time.

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A Wolf or a Ram? What is Wolfram Alpha?

Want a new way to search the web? WolframAlpha.com is a perfect place to go to find calculated answers from a variety of data. In fact, they state that it’s not a search engine, but a “computational knowledge engine” that helps people find what they need (WolframAlpha, 2013). It uses “built-in knowledge curated by human experts to compute on the fly a specific answer and analysis for every query” and the results are really interesting (WolframAlpha, 2013). That is what makes WolframAlpha different from Google, which indexes and displays web pages.