A Day in Digitopolis, Part II

Who knew infinity could be so beautiful? I’ve returned with Part II of the Digitopolis event post (Part I can be found here) and thought I would start it off with one of the stars of the show! The above image was taken inside an Infinity Box, one of multiple creations by Los Angeles-based artist, Matt Elson. Matt’s boxes have been exhibited at colleges, science centers, festivals, and museums. He generously loaned us two (titled Radiance, and You & Me Together) for our math event.

The boxes are designed to be infinite, interactive environments that play with your perception and inspire inquisitiveness and wonder. They were in constant use during the event, and there were lots of shrieks of amazement, enthusiastic explosions of “Cool!” and long, drown out utterances of “Woooooow…” Continue reading

A Day in Digitopolis, Part I

We’ve all wanted to jump into books. Who doesn’t, for example, want to go to Diagon Alley and hit the shops? Join Hazel and friends for stories in the Honeycomb? Explore Babilonium with Candy Quackenbush? Or sail the skies with Matt Cruise on the Aurora? Part of my job at the Cotsen Library is to bring these places to life for kids, and this month, we headed to The Lands Beyond to visit Digitopolis, the mathematical kingdom in The Phantom Tollbooth.

The event was intended for children ages 4-10, and my goal was to make it a day full of exploration, demonstrations, games, challenges, unexpected connections, and flat out fun. And by the four million eight hundred and twenty-seven thousand six hundred fifty-nine hairs on my head, I think we did it! Continue reading

The Dyslexic Librarian

You all know Marissa, right? My artistic assistant, friend, and go-to companion for donut binges. You might also recall that Marissa is currently in library school at Rutgers University. But what some people do not know about Marissa Warren is that she is severely Dyslexic. A Dyslexic librarian? Is that possible?

What I’ve learned is that when it comes to Marissa, ANYTHING is possible.

In 2016, Marissa did a fantastic presentation for local parents called “Marissa Can’t Read.” It detailed her journey through childhood (she couldn’t read until she was 11!), her progression to college (she majored in History and learned Greek!), and what she hopes to accomplish in the future (ultimately, being a Youth Services librarian!). After her talk, many parents, teens, and kids came forward to thank her for giving them hope and inspiration. She also received thank you cards, e-mails, and personal letters.

Yup. That’s our amazing Marissa.

I caught up with Marissa recently to get her insights on literacy, libraries, and being a Dyslexic in the kingdom of words. Continue reading