Mouse on a Gruffalo

As I was checking in our library’s copy of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s The Gruffalo, I had a sudden inspiration. Then I had to wait until my lunch break to turn the inspiration into a reality. And did I ever make it real!

BEHOLD:

A silly inspiration guaranteed to get the "Guy on a Buffalo" song stuck in your head: it's Mouse on a Gruffalo!!! | Hafuboti.com

If you don’t get the reference, then check out this awesome music video.
Fair Warning: you will get that song stuck in your head.

And you’re welcome to everyone who now has that song stuck in their head. Heh.

The Golden Library Card Revisited

The Golden Library Card Revisited: a short story written by me and illustrated by my husband. Perfect to give out to trick-or-treaters while promoting public libraries | Hafuboti.com

Several years back when our library first participated in All Hallows Read, I had collaborated with my husband to make a very short comic story to give out to trick-or-treaters. I wrote about it extensively in this post. This year is the fifth year that our library is participating in All Hallows Read, and it has become a community favorite, but we now budget for a wide variety of published books to hand out.

If you don’t already know, then you should know that I have a strong belief that public libraries shouldn’t promote holidays – Halloween included. My Director views this issue a different way, and that’s cool. I hope that we’ve found a decent balance at our library. After all, I never want to be a complacent punk rock book jockey, and I recognize that this topic can be emotionally draining for all points-of-view.

The Golden Library Card Revisited: a short story written by me and illustrated by my husband. Perfect to give out to trick-or-treaters while promoting public libraries | Hafuboti.com

And that’s one of the main reasons that I wanted to revisit this little comic. While I’m not comfortable with bringing holidays into the library, I am thrilled to bring libraries into my personal holiday celebrations. And Halloween is one of my favorites. Unfortunately I can’t afford to buy nice published books to hand out to trick-or-treaters at my house, but hey – I have this comic!

The Golden Library Card Revisited: a short story written by me and illustrated by my husband. Perfect to give out to trick-or-treaters while promoting public libraries | Hafuboti.com

The main change that I made from the earlier version is that I simplified the process of putting the book together. Now you can print out the cover sheet on white cardstock and cut it out like the rest of the booklet. Print out the story pages on both sides of a sheet, cut out the pages and cover, fold everything, and then staple. Voila! Now you too can participate in All Hallow’s Read!
Whatta treat – amiright?!

Click on the images below to get your very own copy of The Golden Library Card:

The jpeg of four covers to The Golden Library Card mini comic for anyone to use and distribute | Hafuboti.com

The pdf of the entire The Golden Library Card mini comic pages for anyone to use and distribute | Hafuboti.com

I do need to acknowledge that I used the clichéd “shushing librarian” for a part of the story; it wasn’t an easy decision to make. The thing that swayed me to use it was that it’s a great creepy sound to read aloud that could either be a ghostly librarian or the wind. Spoooopy…

And yes, it’s a silly story, but it can have an impact. A lot of times I put things like this into the world and don’t get any feedback. This time around, I had an unforgettable experience that melted my heart: a few weeks after Halloween last year a mom and her two boys got my attention at the library. They had trick-or-treated at my house, and they were excited to tell me how much they love reading the story to each other. HOORAY!!!

It’s my hope to create a new mini-comic for next year. So if you have a fun all-ages idea or two, then please share it with me! No guarantees that I’ll use your idea(s), but you never know! Spoooopyyyyy…

Leaf Piles @ The Library

Leaf Piles @ the Library | One of the most enjoyed passive programs at our Children's Library which was created as a solution to an annoying problem | Hafuboti@gmail.com

This fall our Children’s Library will be losing it’s large Ash tree that is home to our library dragon. We’re ready with an addendum to our dragon’s story (he’s grown so much that he has to use our entire row of Bradford Pear trees as a home), but we’re even more sad about losing its autumn leaves.

For the first several years that our Children’s Library was opened, we dreaded the approach of fall because it meant an endless battle with the yellow leaves that would blow into our building and just make a mess throughout the neighborhood. It felt futile to keep sweeping leaves back outside, and we didn’t want to bring out the vacuum several times per day.

And then a magical thing happened. It looked a bit like this:

Leaf Piles @ the Library | One of the most enjoyed passive programs at our Children's Library which was created as a solution to an annoying problem | Hafuboti@gmail.com

Ta-da!!!!!!!!

Let me explain: three years ago Ashlynn, one of our awesome team members, decided to take matters into her own hands and grabbed a rake. She made three decent-sized leaf piles on the side yard and told us that she’d keep raking them up in case kids wanted to play in them. This solved the problem of the rogue leaves getting everywhere, and was a HUGE hit with both kids and their parents/caregivers. After all, many of our patrons live in newer housing developments that don’t have mature trees, and although playing in leaf piles is great, it does double lawn work.

Sadly, last year there wasn’t really an autumn. We left work one evening and there were leaves just starting to turn yellow, and we arrived the next day to a bare tree and no leaves in sight. A big freezing storm had rolled through overnight and didn’t leave us enough leaves to even make an ant-sized pile.

But this year? It is AWESOME!!! We decided to do two larger piles, and within hours families were frolicking in our foliage. Heh.

Here’s a few photos for you to see how we do it (there’s a second smaller pile on the other side of the tree – it’s pictured above – you just can’t see it in any of the following pictures). And if you like what you see in the photos, then keep scrolling because I’ll share some resources and more information in case you want to try leaf piles at your library!

Leaf Piles @ the Library | One of the most enjoyed passive programs at our Children's Library which was created as a solution to an annoying problem | Hafuboti@gmail.com

Leaf Piles @ the Library | One of the most enjoyed passive programs at our Children's Library which was created as a solution to an annoying problem | Hafuboti@gmail.com

Leaf Piles @ the Library | One of the most enjoyed passive programs at our Children's Library which was created as a solution to an annoying problem | Hafuboti@gmail.com

Things to know and use:

  • I used this font and this font for the sign. On the leafy font, I used Photoshop to fill in the leaves with fall colors. But if you don’t have access to Photoshop, then you can print out the wording in brown and use colored pencils to fill in the leaves for a similar look.
  • Recently I’ve been more consciously trying to point out early literacy skills in the things that we do. With this sign we hit hard the importance of play. Then on the back we share two songs that can be sung while playing. Hooray for even more early literacy skills!
  • Here’s the front of the sign’s text (minus the legal disclaimer since you’d need to make it your own), and the back of the sign. Feel free to use both or either one, and modify to your heart’s content.
  • The sign itself was one from an older event. I tore up brown butcher paper up, lightly pasted it on the front and back, and then covered the whole thing (but not the bottom) in packing tape. Then I used looped scotch tape to arrange/place the various cut outs and used even more packing tape to secure it and lightly laminate it. It needs to hold up outside, but we do plan on bringing it inside if it gets rainy.
  • We’re going to try and slowly move the leaf pile locations around the yard. The previous time we kept them in the same place and they left a circle of brown grass all throughout the following summer. Oops.
  • We do our best in counting the number of people having fun with our leaves. After all, it’s a bit more active passive program since we do need to go out and rebuild the piles at least once-a-day.
  • At some point I need to start posting about core concepts/ideas that have really helped me as someone in the library world – especially from the management standpoint. I mention this because this is the perfect example of librarian problem-solving at its best. I mean, we face lots of issues and challenges being in such a small space, and I’ve learned to reframe these things as being the perfect chance for creative problem-solving. Which we should excel at. We’re library people.

And that’s about it! Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions either in the comments, or through email (hafuboti@gmail.com).

Libraries Are For Everyone: Uzbek

Earlier this week I was contacted by Shawn, an Innovation Media Specialist at an elementary school in Illinois. One of her school’s EL teachers – the fabulous Lata Shah – had translated LAFE into three more languages!

Thank you both Lata and Shawn!!!

Libraries Are For Everyone in Uzbek featuring three diverse patrons on a rose colored background | Hafuboti.com #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1

Libraries Are For Everyone in Uzbek featuring three diverse patrons on an orange colored background | Hafuboti.com #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1

Libraries Are For Everyone in Uzbek featuring three diverse patrons on a yellow colored background | Hafuboti.com #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1

Libraries Are For Everyone in Uzbek featuring three diverse patrons on a green colored background | Hafuboti.com #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1

Libraries Are For Everyone in Uzbek featuring three diverse patrons on a blue colored background | Hafuboti.com #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1

Libraries Are For Everyone in Uzbek featuring three diverse patrons on a purple colored background | Hafuboti.com #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1

Libraries Are For Everyone in Uzbek featuring ten diverse patrons on a yellow colored background | Hafuboti.com #LAFE #LibrariesR4Every1

A NOTE: I am slowly working on getting my artwork uploaded onto the Wikimedia Commons for people to find it easier all the while making all of it “officially” licensed. That said – my entire blog here is under a Creative Commons Attribute/Share Alike license – so know that I both want and encourage everyone to download, share, modify, and have fun with my work!

I also want to reiterate what I’ve stated in the past since I can’t make it an exception within the license: I do not want my name (given or business) on my minimalist art. It sort of ruins the clean lines and elegance. Just don’t tell people that you’re the creator – I’m fine with you crediting it to “an awesome Punk Rock Book Jockey blogger” if you can’t recall either of my names. Or write by Hafuboti on the back in pencil if you’re worried about it. Seriously. Have fun.

I plan on putting this note on the bottom of all of my Libraries Are For Everyone posts so if you’ve read the above paragraph once, then you won’t need to again (unless you really want to).

LAFE Library

Looking for a LAFE sign in a particular language? Check out this LAFE Library that links to each sign set | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Looking for a particular language’s set of signs? Look for it here! I’ll be adding new languages both to this list and the original list on my first LAFE post (it’s under all of the artwork – it’s easy to miss).

Don’t see a language that is part of your community? Find a community member who can get you or me the translation and send it to me at hafuboti@gmail.com.

Spot an error on any of the translations? Comment here or email me the correction at hafuboti@gmail.com.

Thank you for spreading the message – keep up your hard but rewarding work!

Afaan Oromo
Afrikaans
Albanian
American Sign Language
Amharic
Arabic
Armenian
Basque
Belarusian
Bengali
Braille
Bulgarian
Chickasaw
Chinese
Cree
Croatian
Czech
Danish
Diné Bizaad
Dutch
Esperanto
Farsi
Filipino
Finnish
French
Georgian
German
Greek
Hatian Creole
Hebrew
Hindi
Hmong
Hopi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Indonesian
Irish Gaeilge
Italian
Japanese
Kannada
Karen
Khmer
Kiksht/Wasq’u
Kinyarwanda
Klingon
Korean
Kurdish
Latin
Lithuanian
Malay
Malayalam
Mandarin
Marathi
Marshallese
Nepalese
Norwegian
Obijwe
Odia/Oriya
Pashto
Polish
Portuguese
Romanian
Russian
Sepedi
Serbian
Sinhalese
SiSwati
Somali
Southern Sotho
Spanish
Sugs’tun
Swahili
Swedish
Tagalog
Tamazight
Tamil
Telugu
Thai
Turkish
Turkmen
Urdu
Uzbek
Welsh
Wolof
Xhosa
Zulu