Saturday, September 12, 2009
Hear me, oh journalistic ones! Today I was helping a twenty-something man place a hold on a book. He asked me when he could expect to get the ASVAB book on which he had a hold, and I told him he was 6th on the list and so it depends on how quickly the people in front of him on the list return the book. But I was not done. As he turned to walk away, I asked him if he has Internet access at home. He doesn't, but he comes into the library a lot. So I showed him how to access practice tests from a database we subscribe to. He was amazed. I turned around, and another man asked me for the gardening section. Off we were to the 635s! After he found what he was looking for, a young lad approached me about placing holds on DVDs. After we achieved success there, his father informed me that the lad got his library card when his Boy Scout troop all got cards. Now the boy makes his dad bring him to the library every single week. When I congratulated them on this, I thought I might have the chance to sit down. Ha! No, one lady just got a puppy, and she needs to learn how to train it. Off to the 636s, and I even found her a Cesar Millan book since her friend recommended the "Dog Whisperer".
So, all you doom and gloom types, realize that the library may be changing, but it is not changing THAT much. As for me, I am glad to help all those people today...their smile is my reward.
And for those interested in a business opportunity...see anecdotaltotal.blogspot.com. :)
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I, unlike my friend akajill, tried the exercise of placing a hold on "Twilight" while at work, and I clicked the mouse 3 times. Yea, me! I did do some health research after getting some bloodwork results. They (Sutter) should make the notifications of results a little more user-friendly because I did not quite understand what some of the abbreviations were. I did find some money saving advice. I could add one: potty train your kid as soon as possible! I did not need to peruse our site for job resources. It seems I am using that information all the time. I just hope I don't need to use it for myself any time soon! :)
I will have to double check, but I think I have one more "thing" after this. But I am sure I will find things to post until the end (and maybe after!) just to keep from getting rusty.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
John introduced me to Eddie Izzard's comedy, and that guy (Eddie, well, John, too) can be just hilarious. Makes me glad I took French when he slides into that language during his stand-up routines. Anyway, he seems to really like tweeting about the weather in England. You just never know when that info will come in handy on the reference desk! Plus I learned a new bit of slang, which, unlike the slang John recently learned, is socially acceptable. Apparently to label something "pants" (Eddie tweeted that he heard the weather in LA is pants) is to say it is bad. I don't know how that meaning came about, but I'm looking forward to working the term into a conversation soon.
Several articles I read about Twitter said it is best to not use the web interface, and it seems I will have a lot to learn before I stop looking like the newbie I am. However, because I cannot access the web on my phone--I have enough bills as it is without upgrading to a more expensive cell phone plan although John and I have about a billion rollover minutes so why can't we trade those in for text messaging credits or something--I am not sure how convenient this will be for me. I'll keep working with it, though, just to try to stay current and hip. Especially since Valley Girl talk went out ages ago! Fer sure, fer sure!
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I took five years of French in school. I got a 97 on the statewide exam (in 1984). But when I was at lunch with John and Chris the other day, I could only make out some words here and there of the conversation of the people speaking French at the next table. The rest of it was bleh blah di bluh bluh....I can read it much better than speak and hear it now that I am so far removed from actively learning it.
So am I going to be fluent in German using Mango? No, but it is a good place to start. You can get a feel for the language and then move on to more intensive instruction.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Someone who works for SPL posted to Twitter recently about the new Melrose Place and how she wants to be left with her memories. I completely understand that as I am incensed that somebody decided to tamper with one of the greatest shows of my childhood: Land of the Lost. While I agree that Will Ferrell is a logical choice, the trailer is completely horrible and stupid. John laughs his butt off every time the commercial comes on and I go into a rant. I'm sorry. The show is pure cheese, and you just can't replicate it. It is just wrong. For those of you who know nothing of the show (like John) or who do remember and want to reminisce, here is the intro:
(unfortunately, the embedding is disabled upon request, so you'll have to click on the link)
What do you think? Did you get your weekly calcium intake just by watching that? I remember my little sister and I glued to the set each week before doing our Saturday chores. It just doesn't get any better than that.
Friday, May 22, 2009
I am going to attempt to write this in Zoho Writer and then post it to my blog. I think I like Zoho very much, although I would need to really play around with it before feeling comfortable that I can take advantage of all its features. I liked the invoice option and other applications, but, again, how often will I need those since I have (most of) those functions covered in different applications? I can really see the value in this for writing shared reports--like the million (okay, it seemed like a million) papers I had to write in library school. John recently posted that his son, Christopher, was having some issues at school. Chris called John to ask his advice, and John wrote a letter and sent it as an email attachment to Chris. If they had been familiar with Zoho, then they both could view and edit the document to exactly fit the details as Chris understands them, and then Chris could print out the letter, sign it, and send it to the other party in the dispute. The way it happened was fine, but it might have been faster and done with a little more finesse with Zoho. I am definitely going to keep this in mind for future situations.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
I also looked at mothersclick, which looks very interesting. I have seen many similar sites, but this is nicely organized. The only problem I have is that, as a mom, I just don't have much free time during the day to look at this site. I'd much rather play with my son.
I'm going to play around with some more of these. I know the man who used to own the domain name for Mog, so it was interesting to see that on the list, too.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
I next looked at the Blogging Libraries wiki. I was hoping to see a listing for the libraries in towns where I have lived (besides Central's), but I didn't. Oh well. I wanted to see what was being done to serve communities that I was well familiar with instead of just picking a random one, but it is still useful.
Then I looked at the Library Success: Best Practices wiki. I am going to have to delve into this deeper. It looks really interesting, and, looking at the wiki user list, I saw some names that I recognize from listservs, journals, or other professional sources. (I was also secretly hoping to see the names of some of my FSU classmates, but I did not recognize any.)
I was trying to think of ways SPL could benefit from a wiki for staff. Splat articles are static but can be taken down and then newer versions put up relatively quickly. I know some of us who would not mind the ability to go in and correct the spelling or grammar on a form or article, though. To my knowledge, sharepoint is the closest thing we have now to a wiki, but, if there is someone who uses it regularly, I don't know about it. Most people view it as one more thing to log into and ignore it unless it is absolutely necessary. If we do start a wiki, it should be somehow prominently featured on splat so it does not get lost in all the other things.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
In Rick Anderson's article, the statements "During the print era, if you wanted access to pricey indexes or a collection of scholarly journals, you had no choice but to make a trip to the library. It wasn't a good system, but it worked. Sort of. That is to say, it worked moderately well for those privileged with a good library." Hmm...as most of you know, I grew up in another state capital: Albany, NY. There were plenty of libraries to go to if one was not meeting one's needs. But then I thought about my sister, Carolyn. She currently lives in Podunk, NH. Okay, not really Podunk, but close enough. It has about 2,000 residents, and so you can imagine that the library serving her and her sons is not large nor really convenient for her to patronize. I can't speak to what services they do provide for folks beyond the bricks and mortar stuff, but I hope that it does offer some of the same services SPL does. My eldest nephew will be starting school this fall (yikes!), so he'll need information for school reports soon enough. Michael Stephens wrote that the 2.0 librarian "bases all planning and proposals for services, materials, and outreach on user needs and wants." I know that this has generated a lot of controversy in the past for SPL. Remember everybody all up in arms about SPL buying copies of "Jackass" on DVD?
"What are we, Blockbuster?" "We're a library, not Burger King! Why do we have to get trash instead of good literature just because they want it?"
But that concept is more than buying stuff the public wants. It is finding ways to get information in the hands of users regardless of when or how or even if they think they want it. That's what we all struggle with, isn't it? I don't see that ever going away, no matter how technology evolves.
One statement in that same paragraph jumped out at me: "This librarian does not create policies and procedures that impede users' access to the library". Oh boy! Ladies and gentlemen of SPL, this is something that has been a thorn in the side of many of us. There has been many changes (some work, some not) to the policies and procedures in the past few years. Fine structure, fine threshold, collections procedures, library card applications, borrowing limits.....and each have been hotly debated, whether at an individual level, a branch level, or an institution level. Some folks don't like change because they just don't like change. Some feel it is unfair to the folks who abide by the rules to let others "slide" a bit. Others think that by fixing one thing, you are breaking another. Regardless of the argument, no policy and procedure is going to be perfect, and what works in 2009 might not work in 2019. In the social work world, we say that if we do our jobs right, we put ourselves out of a job. Pretty idealistic, but not a bad thing to strive for. I think good policies and procedures that work right now (and continue to keep them current) are a worthy goal for us to strive for.
More musings in a post to come....
Saturday, May 2, 2009
I used to think this guy was yummy--until he cheated on his wife with her sister-in-law. That spoiled my digestion. (Back to Tums from an earlier post!) And, what's worse, the team did not make it past the Hurricanes in the playoffs!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Last week, I signed up for Library Thing and Rollyo. (Can you roll a Rollyo to your friends?) Neither of which impressed me terribly. I did put five titles into my account on Library Thing, and perhaps it might be useful to know what shopping sites interest Debra Messing but I doubted it. Well, today I thought I was being very unfair in my initial impression, so I decided to play around some more with both. I have a better idea of Rollyo, and I created my own list of shopping sites. I see where it can be useful although I am not sure how much I will use it. I am glad to put it in my bag o' tricks though.
I am happier to talk about Library Thing. Now, regular readers of this blog will remember that "Dune" by Frank Herbert is one of my favorite books, so I put that down. Another one of my favorite books is "A Swiftly Tilting Planet" by Madeleine L'Engle, so I put that down. One of the books that is getting read over and over again in my house is "The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!" by Mo Willems. Two more, two more.....oh, so another plug for Mr. Bruno and "Into the Pit 1" and I decided to create my own record by inputting "Walt Whitman in Australia". It is a rare title, and I think there are only two copies that survive in its entirety. So, when I entered these titles last week, I thought "big deal" since I already know about them, etc. (Nice attitude, huh? I claim sleep deprivation induced grumpiness) I was pleased to return to the books in my "library" and see a popularity ranking ("Dune" is ranked 45th with 12,235 members, and "Walt Whitman in Australia" is ranked 3,433,020th with 1 member), an average rating, reviews, recommendations, and the libraries that are most similar to yours. Ah! So I can discover new titles that I might not have known about--always a treat for a librarian--and can help with reader's advisory! I'm starting to like this Library Thing! My concerns are that a) many (though not all!) of the recommendations are other titles in the same series so it is not that helpful at times, and some of the recommendations are a little, shall we say, off-base? Recommendation number 6 for "The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!" is "Wringer" by Jerry Spinelli. I loved "Wringer" when I read it, but it seems like an awfully big leap to go from reading a cute picture book about a clueless pigeon finding a hot dog to a chapter book about a 9 year old boy who does not want to turn 10 because the town tradition is that 10 year old boys wring the necks of pigeons wounded in the annual Pigeon Day shoot. I get the connection--pigeons--but sometimes technology can only do so much. That is why the world needs librarians. Now I just need to work on my superhero costume. Maybe Barbara Gordon can help me.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Oh, and that guy behind me with the guns? He goes around to households where there are overdue materials and "politely" asks for them back. Some suspect it is John, but I'll never tell...
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Speaking of my little (rambunctious) angel, I started playing with Image Generator. Check this out!
Isn't this cute? Of course, that isn't a real motorcycle. But my cousin Matt's eldest daughter, Elena Myers, does race motorcycles, and she's pretty good at it! Check out her website.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Fast forward to a few minutes ago. I am checking out Topix to provide fodder for this blog (unlike the last post--that was for fun), and I learn that the"Craigslist Killer", Phil Markoff, is also an alum! I don't want to know that! Stupid technology! (just kidding)
I also learned that some streets in Albany are being closed to film a car chase scene for the latest Angelina Jolie action movie, "Salt". So it all evens out.
Right now, I like Topix, and I prefer Google Reader over Bloglines.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Piggybacking on John's post about technology/progress, today I was assisted with the task of seeing the branch with new eyes. (No, it wasn't anything like that disgusting scene in Minority Report with Tom Cruise). It's easy to stagnate when bogged down in the mundaneness of everyday tasks, but I want more. I want this place to be getting Better Every Day. I just heard a mom comment to her daughter, "The library is an exciting place to be." as they were exiting our all ages movie program. That's what I want to hear every single day.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
But what touched my heart the most was the closing exercise of the meeting. Everyone stood in a circle and held hands. The group leader asked that we think of an adjective to describe ourselves that begins with the same letter as the one in our first name. Then we went around the circle and said that adjective and our name. After thinking a bit, I said "Lighthearted Laura" when my turn came. Then she said that all of us are all those things, and we went around again and said just the adjectives.
Compassionate, angelic, nourishing, amazing, jovial, magical, jazzy, tender, lighthearted....
We are all those things and more.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Anyway, technology. I suffered a loss recently, and one of the folks in the support group I found talked about creating a website as a memorial. Hmm, I thought. I could probably do that. I took a HTML class in grad school! Then I remembered that, unlike all my other classes, I was glad that Florida State was adamant that everyone work in groups. Why, you ask? Because I had an honest-to-God website developer in my group! Our group assignment (to create a website for a fictitious businessman) turned out to be the best of the class, and I got an A for learning hardly anything about HTML. Nice for my GPA, but now what do I do?
So I googled "free websites" just for the heck of it, and I landed on weebly.com. It is quite easy to set up a very basic site--even the mourning doves in my backyard could do it. (and why not because the nest they are trying to make is never going to work!) I don't know how much time I will spend on it, but it is nice to know I have the opportunity to do something like that without spending hours learning programming first.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
It is hilarious. I wish I'd thought of it.
This photo is during the Tulip Festival in Washington Park. My friend from high school once got more than a little inebriated and climbed onto Moses' arm. I can't remember which one, but I had to climb up after her to help her down. Some people need a designated driver. I was a designated climber.
The photo to the right is from the Indian Ladder Trail in John Boyd Thacher State Park. John, I want to take you there someday on a day much like the one in the photo. It is a time honored tradition to walk this trail. This is the scene of one of my many stories that makes you laugh.
Thanks for letting me share some of my favorite places. Thanks to the people who took these photos and posted them to Flickr. But now I am homesick!! :)
Friday, April 10, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
One thing that struck me was the statement that we give our signatures away every day, so we should commit to ourselves with our signature on a learning contract. As someone who signed legal documents and credit card receipts on Sunday, the reminder that our signature is committing a piece of ourselves was something to think about.