The last day of school for students was June 15th, and the last day of work for teachers was the 16th.  I, however, being an 11-month employee, work quietly here in the Library through the very ass-end of June and return prompt-as-you-please on August 1st.
          Few souls are left on campus during this time.  The Registrar in the counseling office across the quad, the assistant principal and the attendance clerk in the main office on the OTHER side of the quad, and me over here in the Library.  It's like we're stranded on three separate islands of solitude.  But I kind of like it that way, and rarely venture outside the Library.
          Tuesday I worked from 7 am to 3:30 pm without ONCE seeing another human being.  It's like my own bookish version of "I Am Legend."  Luckily I leave before sundown.

Don't get caught in the Library after dark!
          We've been having total June gloom, too, so not only is it silent as the grave in here, but it's also rather DARK.  Our Library has two meager rows of very high windows, so I can't see any humans from them, and don't even get much sunlight.  It finally dawned on me that half the blinds were closed, which was part of the problem, so I opened them.  Hopefully that will help.
          I've been playing my little blue iPod docking station pretty loud, but somehow it still seems too quiet.  Despite the cathartic screaming of riot grrls, the hammering of Rammstein, and the rattling noise-rock of The Kills, I can somehow STILL hear every little mouse fart echo through the cold emptiness.
          Speaking of the mouse as a symbol for silence, let's think of some famous literary mice, shall we?

          Hide the cheese...


          On Monday one of my Library assistants told me that Brian Jacques had died (on February 5th), and asked if we were going to do a display of his books.  I was like, "Oh, wow.  I'm glad I thought of that!"
          Brian Jacques is of course popular for the "Redwall" series, which is a multi-volume medieval epic about talking/fighting bunnies, squirrels, mice, and other cute animals.
The article I printed out is from School Library Journal
          In case you didn't know, Jacques is pronounced "Jakes."  Be cooler than the other kids and say it correctly.
          On the back side of the display I put out books by other authors who write in the "animal fantasy" genre.
Examples from our library:

The "Deptford Mice" series by Robin Jarvis
The "Dragonback" series by Timothy Zahn
Fire Bringer by David Clement-Davies (deer)
The "Firebringer Trilogy" by Meredith Ann Pierce (unicorns and griffins)
The "Guardians of Ga'Hoole" series by Kathryn Lasky (owls, recently made into a movie)
The "Land of Elyon" series by Patrick Carman (hyper talking squirrel and other animal friends)
The "Mistmantle Chronicles" by M.I. McAllister (squirrel)
Raven Quest by Sharon Stewart
The Sight by David Clement-Davies (wolves)
The "Silverwing" series by Kenneth Oppel (bats)
The "Swordbird" series by Nancy Yi Fan
The "Warriors" series by Erin Hunter (cats)

          Another obvious "Read If You Like..." title would be Watership Down by Richard Adams, but we don't have that in our library.  We should probably get it.
          I remember when I was a kid I read Felix Salten's (author of "Bambi") wrenching novel, Fifteen Rabbits.  Those poor rabbits' lives were so fraught with terror and death, and he wrote very convincingly from a rabbit's perspective about how huge and scary humans are, with our big mangling hands and loud voices.  My heart bled for those bunnies and I never wanted to imprison a bunny, guinea pig, or hamster as a "pet" again.
          I did not go on to Watership Down, or Animal Farm.  The "Redwall" books seem less likely to scar me emotionally, so I may eventually read one.