Jenny Hodges. Tampa Librarian. Book Lover. Slow Runner. Mom to Irish Triplets. Living and Traveling in the Autism World.

29. September 2016 14:19
by jennifer

Florida Prepaid Scholarship Giveaway

29. September 2016 14:19 by jennifer | 0 Comments

Do you believe that your child will go to college? Now is the time to invest in his or her future! Learn how you can win a FREE Florida Prepaid College Scholarship and worry less about your child's future. This post is sponsored by the Florida Prepaid College Board through my role as a Believer Blogger. All thoughts and opinions are my own.   As 2016 is quickly approaching its end (HOW DID THAT HAPPEN???) now is a great time to think about how you can prepare your child for college. With 3 kids (5th, 6th, 7th grades) paying for college is coming up for me sooner rather than later.  And with the cost of college rising every year, how can families prepare? I'll tell you investing in the Florida Prepaid College Fund. As soon as each of our children was born, we opened an account for each of them. We chose the option to pay if off over the course of 18 years. But we've been very good with our money and this year we paid off ALL of the college plans, a full 6, 7, and 8 years AHEAD OF SCHEDULE!!    My kids are smart. My kids are funny. My kids talk about wanting to go to college. But where will they GO GO GO? It's exciting for me to think about where they will end up studying. Have you started to save for college? Regardless, YOU can take a chance to WIN 2 YEARS OF FREE COLLEGE!!   Scholarship Giveaway!  Would you like to be one of ten Florida families who will win 2 FREE years of college from the Florida Prepaid College Foundation. The giveaway runs from September 19, 2016- October 23, 2016. So go enter!!! And enter daily!This coincides with National College Savings Month and the mid-October launch of Open Enrollment, the annual period when families can purchase their own Florida Prepaid Plans. You can enter the scholarship contest and learn about the benefits of saving early for college- from getting more motivated to prepare academically for college, to avoiding the burden of student loan debt.Registration takes place at  You get chances to earn extra entries by answering questions, learning more about saving for college, and sharing on social media.More and more families across Florida are looking into the Florida Prepaid College Plans. And saving early really is feasible, with a little planning and budget consideration. A family can purchase plans all at once, over five years, or in monthly installments.  Open enrollment begins October 15th, 2016 and ends February 28, 2016. For more info visit But don't wait until October 15th.  Head over to  and start learning about the program and enter for your chance to win!!! Florida Prepaid Scholarship Program: –      What: Florida families have the opportunity to win one of TEN 2-Year Florida College Plans –      When: Register between September 19 and October 23 –      Where: Go to –      Eligibility: Open to legal residents in the state of Florida with children or grandchildren between the ages of newborn through 8th grade.     “Hear it straight from last year’s winner! Every entry counts for a possibility to be one of 10 to win a FREE 2-Year Florida College Plan, courtesy of the Florida Prepaid College Foundation. Enter daily through October 23!”

8. August 2016 10:33
by jennifer

Jonathan Auxier at the ALA Annual Conference 2016 #ALAAC16

8. August 2016 10:33 by jennifer | 1 Comments

I had a fantastic time at the ALA Annual Conference held in Orlando June 22-28. I attended on Friday June 24th and Saturday June 25th. My agenda was packed full of roundtable discussions, informative presentations, and of course, the exhibit hall. This year I broke from my tradition of going to conferences alone and brought along my two oldest children. Both avid readers, and lovers of the library, I wanted them to be able to experience some of the joy and wonder that I experienced when I was their age and my parents would take my sister and me to the International Pizza Expo. I loved wandering through the large exhibit hall as a young girl, sampling all sorts of wonderful pizza. I imagined the same experience for my daughter’s but with books and tech instead of pizza. I was right. They were both in utter and total awe. My girls loved ALA. The highlight for both of them was the chance to meet one of their favorite authors, Jonathan Auxier. Jonathan is the author of the 2015-2016 SSYRA book The Night Gardner, but my daughters love him for his debut novel, Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes. Haley admittedly is his biggest fan, and when I noticed she wrote him a note on an exhibit hall table I quickly snapped a photo, tweeted it to him, and received a reply with an invitation to stop by for his meet and greet. #Number1Fan   We may have been the first in line J Not only did Haley and Ella each receive a brand new hardback copy of his newest release (the sequel to Peter Nimble) Sophie Quire and the Last StoryGuard (and not an ARC, either!) but Jonathan drew a personalized photo for each of them in the front of the book and posed for a photo with them individually, too. Jonathan told us two things: 1)   He only poses for photos with people who will act like monsters. 2)   His personalized drawings will be gory. He asked Haley what her favorite animal is, real or mythological. She told him a unicorn. He drew a photo inside her book of her being impaled on a unicorn’s horn. He drew blood drops and everything.   He asked Ella what her favorite animal was in the Peter Nimble book and she told him the sea serpent. He drew Ella hanging out of the mouth of the sea serpent.    Jonathan spent close to 10 minutes with us and it was an experience that I am sure Haley and Ella will never forget, and I will always remember hearing the girls say “this was the best day EVER.”    

4. May 2015 07:20
by jennifer

Take Your Child to Work Day 2015

4. May 2015 07:20 by jennifer | 1 Comments

This is a guest post by my 11 year old daughter, Haley. Last year I was working full time as a lifestyle blogger and Haley was able to come with me to Lowry Park Zoo. You can read her recap about last year's experience HERE. But this year...this year I'm working full-time as a senior level librarian with Tampa-Hillsborough Public Libraries, so in 2015, Haley got to spend the day with me seeing what it's like to work as a librarian. Guest post by Haley Hodges, age 11. Take your child to work day is a great day to spend time with your parents. I learned that working full-time and having a family is REALLY HARD and very time challenging. But there are also a lot of benefits. One way that it's challenging is that my mom has so many things to do during the day. Her morning starts early when she has to not only get herself ready for work, but get me, my sister, and my brother ready for school. She makes our breakfast, makes sure our homework is signed and completed, and that we have everything we need for our day. And then she drives us to school, and then she has to drive to work. I never realized that there was SO MUCH traffic in Tampa in the morning. My mom loves to listen to audiobooks, so we listened to one of her stories on the way down to visit with the bookmobile. THE BOOKMOBILE is so COOL!! I loved meeting all my mama's staff, but once they left for the day we drove down to another library for mama to work. That is another challenging aspect of my mama's job. She moves around a lot to help out at different libraries. At the Bloomingdale Library they had a gift bag ready for me! It had bookmarks, coloring pages, crayons, pencils, and the COOLEST USB that you wear on your wrist like a bracelet. That thing is AWESOME!! My mama has to do a lot at the library. She works the reference desk, helps people with computers, had to unload books, process books, put books in order, it was a lot of work. My favorite part of the day was working on the reference desk. I really liked being able to watch my mama in action, answering the phone, helping people find the answers to all sorts of questions, teaching people how to use the computer and printers. My least favorite part, which started off really fun, was processing the book returns and delivery. Every book has to be checked in, and if the book is on hold, a special sticker is printed up and it goes on the book spine label and then we have to put the books in alphabetical order by patron last name, and then those have to go on a special "holds" shelf out on the public floor. It was a lot of work, and after an hour or so my brain really started to spin. I didn't want to do that anymore. And then at the end of the day, we still had an hour or so drive home where my mom still had to cook dinner, check homework, and get everything ready for the next day. She told me that she normally tries to go to the gym on her lunch break so she can get in her run. My mama really seems like she can do it all. The benefits to working as a librarian are that you get to help people all day long. I like helping people, and I know that my mom does, too. I thought Bring Your Child to Work Day was very fun. But I'm not sure I want to be a librarian when I grow up.