Friday, December 28, 2007

Blog discoveries

Two blogs I have recently stumbled upon and really love:

Unclutter

I love it because I'm constantly evaluating my state of clutter at home and work. It's much more difficult to do at work since most librarians tend to be pack rats.

Work Matters

Ah, lovely, lovely management and work in general stuff. I just can't get enough of it.

Back in November, I applied to Synergy: The Illinois Library Leadership Initiative 2008. They will be announcing the participants sometime in January. Man, oh, man, I hope I get included. If not, then I'll go back to dreaming about The Disney Institute.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Ah, dearest Jesus, Holy Child,
Make thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart that it may be
A quiet chamber just for thee.

Merry Christmas to all Fred Poets, wherever you are!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I'm a Talent!

You're a risk-taker, and you follow your passions. You're determined to take on the world and succeed on your own terms. Whether in the arts, science, engineering, business, or politics, you fearlessly express your own vision of the world. You're not afraid of a fight, and you're not afraid to bet your future on your own abilities. If you find a job boring or stifling, you're already preparing your resume. You believe in doing what you love, and you're not willing to settle for an ordinary life.

Talent: 44%
Lifer: 41%
Mandarin: 44%

Take the Talent, Lifer, or Mandarin quiz.



I don't really understand this quiz, especially since it all adds up to 129%. But it does reinforce the fact that I consider myself very centrist.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Are libraries relevant?

Thank you, Annoyed Librarian!! Just when I start to think that I'm the only librarian who thinks that most librarians have their priorities out of whack, you come along with something brilliant:
This debate is similar to all the guff about how we have to bend over and grab our ankles to make libraries "relevant" to people. Libraries are relevant or they're not. The people care, or they don't. If people don't want what libraries provide, then libraries will go away, but that's more of a problem for the librarians than it is for the people. What if all "information" was available for free online, search engines had perfected search, "information literacy" was universal, and computers and Internet access were available to all? If that happens, public libraries will probably be unnecessary for the most part. Is that a problem for the people, or for the librarians?
I really could not have said it any better. Truly.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Prediction

I would just like to make a prediction.

I am currently reading The Cider House Rules by John Irving and I am sure I can see the big cathartic moment in the novel, even though I am only on chapter 5.

To be fair, I have seen snippets of the movie version, but not the whole thing. So I know that Homer Wells will ultimately assume Dr. Larch's responsibilities at the orphanage. However, I just got to the part where Homer declares that while he respects Dr. Larch's decision to perform abortions, he will never perform one himself.

So here's my prediction: Homer will leave the orphanage and go to school or work or something and meet and fall in love with a girl. The girl loves Homer -- but only as a friend. They are inseparable until the girl meets some rich guy who she loves, but he's really a jerk. So the girl ends up pregnant and begs Homer for an abortion and Homer has a huge internal conflict. He doesn't want to perform and abortion, but he does for the girl he loves, even though she rejects him. He is devastated and heads back to St. Cloud's and takes over for Dr. Larch.

We'll see if I'm right....

The future of library cards

I wonder how long it will be for the flap to get out about this.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Disney photo love

I just discovered the Disney Theme Parks Best Shots group over at Flickr. Gorgeous! Only 15 more days and I'll be there myself!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

New PBS kids show

I haven't watched any of the kids shows on PBS since the Teletubbies. But this new show, Super Why, caught my eye because I think it looks a lot like Animal Crossing!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Monday, August 27, 2007

Disney updates

It's now 24 days until Disney, and I have a feeling that fastpasses are going to be essential for riding the Haunted Mansion.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Finally, proof that Second Life isn't all it's cracked up to be

I wonder how many 2.0 librarians have read this? Wired magazine reports:
"Second Life partisans claim meteoric growth, with the number of "residents," or avatars created, surpassing 7 million in June. There's no question that more and more people are trying Second Life, but that figure turns out to be wildly misleading. For starters, many people make more than one avatar. According to Linden Lab, the company behind Second Life, the number of avatars created by distinct individuals was closer to 4 million. Of those, only about 1 million had logged on in the previous 30 days (the standard measure of Internet traffic), and barely a third of that total had bothered to drop by in the previous week. Most of those who did were from Europe or Asia, leaving a little more than 100,000 Americans per week to be targeted by US marketers."

Second Life has always been one of the pet projects of the 2.0 bunch. They maintain that librarians should be spending their time establishing library services in Second Life. I say, what rubbish! At least libraries aren't pumping as much money into Second Life as these big corporations are -- or are we?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Another first day of school

Tomorrow is the first day of school again. This year the girls are supposed to get on the bus at 7:15 am, which means they need to be out of the house by 7:10 am! Spleesh! That's hard for a night owl like me. But I've been slowly trying to force myself to go to bed a little earlier every night for the past few nights.

It's hard, though, when you're a reader. Once you're into a book you just don't want to stop. At least I don't. Right now I'm reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I haven't been a big HP fan since Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. That's where I thought the whole series went downhill. But I've dutifully read every HP tome, just like all my librarian colleagues.

So far, I really can only say that I'm bored. HPATDH is just tedious. Well, every once in a while there are brief moments of action, of something that actually moves the story line along, but those are over all too quickly and we're back in the forest hiding again. Ugh.

I figure it's just Rowling's way of making the climax of the book happen in the spring like all the other books. Plus, now Harry and the gang know about some stone that will let them talk to deceased people, so at least Rowling has made it possible for her to use the same book structure as every other HP book, that is: a whole bunch of confusing things happen and then Dumbledore explains everything in the second to last chapter. Dumbledore always explains why bad is actually good, why up is acutally down, and why nothing is really going to be explained until the end of HPATDH. *sigh* Only 300 or so more pages to go....

(Hm, what did that have to do with the first day of school? Nothing, really.)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Have a magical day!

The Disney Blog has announced that it's having a contest! So here's my entry:

What is your favorite or most useful tip for guests of Disney's theme parks?

I don't know how useful this tip is, but I think it's something that is overlooked. Visitors to DW have such high expectations about being treated extra special that they don't consider their role in the scheme of things.

My tip is this: be nice to the cast members.

I know it sounds simple, but really, if you smile at cast members, acknowledge that they are there, they will treat you right. Never, ever turn away if you see a cast member heading towards you. Especially if they are wearing a white vest!

Once in MGM Studios, we were leaving a shop and I was tired and all of a sudden I saw a cast member with a camera approaching our family. My first reaction was "Oh great, one of those annoying 'may I take your picture' people, with the stupid photo card, yadda, yadda." But then something kicked in and I told myself that they were only doing their job and it wouldn't be right to just frown and turn the other way. I mean, how would I feel if someone did that to me at work?

Anyway, I quickly put on a big smile and looked right at the photographer who said "How would you like to be the Family of the Day?" Would we? Are you kidding?

It didn't turn out to be anything huge, but we did get a free 5x7 photograph of the whole family in front of the hat. And I always like to have pictures of the four of us at DW. Plus, I knew that it would be a good picture, since it wasn't like we just stopped someone on the sidewalk and asked them to snap a photo. (Sometimes those don't turn out so great.)

So while this may not seem to be a big thing, I do make a point to people I know that they should try to be just as pleasant to the cast members as they are to you. Who doesn't love to tell someone "Have a magical day!"

Monday, August 13, 2007

38 more days!

Until another fabulous Disneyworld trip. Yeah, 38 is an odd number to mark, but I just realized that means it's less than 40 days until the trip! (Which means it's even fewer days until school starts!!)

Most of our arrangements were made back in April, especially dining arrangements. I think we made those immediately upon deciding on the trip dates. But we have to do that since we are going during the free dining promotion. Last year we tried to change a dining reservation with only 4 weeks to go before trip day and nothing was available even remotely close to what we wanted, so we stuck with what we had.


I've been just trying to prepare myself mentally for the next two weekends when I'm playing the piano both Saturday night and Sunday morning. What a stupid thing to do. At least once I get through August, I'm dumping one of my churches. Yeah, they pay well, but it's not worth the hassle to me anymore. Life's too short to spend working a job you don't enjoy and don't need -- carpe diem!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Librarian stuff

Oh please, oh please, Annoyed Librarian, give me a post about this drivel. I was so glad you posted about this rot.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Only 91 more days until Halloween!

Why am I thinking of Halloween?

First, the Laughing Librarian linked to Boing Boing who linked to these awesome haunted books. I love decorating for Halloween and this kind of thing gets me going.

Second, my kids have already decided on their Halloween costumes. Michelle wants to be Link, and Hannah wants to be Midna. Link won't be too hard, at least, but I have no idea how to make a Midna costume!! HELP!

Monday, July 30, 2007

If I were running for president (which I would never do)



You're Huckabee-Giuliani!


As Mike Huckabee, you feel a strong, almost ancestral link to Bill Clinton despite vast disagreements with his views. You have been running against the tide of your environment for as long as you can remember, and it's only made you stronger. You've shown an immense ability and willingness to change yourself, even down to your personal habits, for the sake of improvement. Deeply religious, you draw your inspiration from Christianity more than any other source. And now that you've lost weight, you may take up running.

You select Rudy Giuliani as your running mate because the world changed on September 11th.



Take the 2008 Presidential Ticket Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Spider-pig, Spider-pig


Does whatever a Spider-pig does. Yes, we went to see the Simpsons Movie yesterday. My review? It was excellent.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

3-D photo kit

This looks like fun!

Monday, July 09, 2007

The drama

I swear I went back in time to high school yesterday.

My niece got dumped by her boyfriend of four years and so she wanted to spend the day at our house to get her mind off of it all. That's all fine, she's a delightful young woman and I was more than happy to be there to support her.

We had a nice day and she got a lot off her chest and I think she was feeling pretty good when the ex sent her a text message. He wanted to get back together with her and would she meet him that night, etc. I told her -- no! Don't do it. We "talked about it" for a while and I think I sent her off feeling pretty good about herself and prepared not to make any rash decisions. Hm, while I don't want to get sucked into a huge long conversation again, I do wonder what she did last night.

But during the day we discussed my upcoming 40th birthday and how I wanted to go to Disneyworld but my girlfriends who were also turning 40 did not want to go. So then the light went on -- my niece and I could go together. Perfect! Her birthday is a week after mine and she actually seemed excited about the idea. (Stay tuned to see how that turns out.)

But while my niece was still over, a friend of Dave's and his wife stopped in to pick something up. Now this guy's wife has the same birthday as I do -- the same year, too! So she thinks it's just great and that somehow she and I ought to spend ALL our birthdays together. I've only known her just a couple of years and while I get along with her, she's not in my top ten of people I want to spend my free time with.

She got back on the topic of "what are we doing for our 40th" and I tried to laugh it off saying that my niece and I had just decided that the two of us were going to Disneyworld! (Stupid, stupid, stupid!) So she says "Oh great! I'll come, too!" Um.... no, no, NO! Why did I open my big mouth. I back pedaled and said that I was holding out for my regular girls to plan a get together, that we were just thinking about it, etc. Argh! I am NOT spending my 40th birthday with anyone I don't want to spend it with! Is that so hard?!?!

Twilight Princess - defeated!

The long journey has come to an end. I have once again defeated Gannondorf and made Hyrule safe for another day. The girls had been bugging me all day to play Twilight Princess and so finally at 10:30 pm, I caved. Actually, I had been dying to play all day as well, but there was too much other drama going on. (More on the drama later)

As for the final, final boss battle, it was totally fun! There are four stages to defeating Gannondorf:

Stage 1: Gannon's puppet - Zelda. No Legend of Zelda game is complete without a little tennis match and TP is no exception. But in this stage you have to actually fight against Princess Zelda! Gannon inhabits Zelda's body and shoots energy balls at you. Just avoid her attacks and hit the balls back and forth. You don't actually hit Zelda with your sword or anything.

Stage 2: Dark beast - Gannon. Gannon morphs into this big bull-like creature. He runs around and tries to smash you and everything else. This was a fun stage as you had to smack him in the forehead with an arrow then run around to his side to hack and slash. But at some point during the battle you have to switch to a wolf and Midna helps you to grab on to him to bring him down. Now I had Hannah there telling me what to do, so it wasn't that hard, but I don't know if I would have figured out how to defeat this stage on my own.

Stage 3: Gannon horseback battle. Frustrating! You and Zelda get transported out to Hyrule field. Gannon's on a horse and Zelda is on Epona. You have to ride around to Gannon and Z-target so that Zelda can hit him with a light arrow. Then Gannon's defenses fall and you have to ride up and whack him with the sword. The hard part was just getting close to Gannon. He jogged back and forth so much that I lost track of how many times I got knocked off Epona when I was soooo close. Grrrrr.

Stage 4: Dark Lord Gannondorf. Finally. Link and Gannondorf in a sword fight to the end. (Well, is it ever really the end?) This part was pretty fun, but you have to wait for the A button to change to "chance" so that you can lock swords and push Gannondorf over backwards to really get a good chance to hack and slash, and, ultimately, finish him off. So while it was fun, I found myself just watching the "A" button the whole time and not watching the action.

The cool thing is at the end you get to see Midna in her true form as Twilight Princess. She's cool -- oh yeah, she's a redhead too, so she's ultra-cool.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Indulge me a bit

Permit me to brag a little about my daughter, Hannah. This summer she has taken over the job of mowing the lawn. We pay her $10 every time she mows, and she actually does a good job with a minimal amount of complaining. (shocking!)

She has enjoyed having the spending money and blew her earnings right away on The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Action Replay. But now there's not that much that she wants and she's just earning money with no concrete plans for spending it.

So last night we went to WalMart because Hannah needed new swim shoes and goggles. She was prepared to spend her own money on these items, mostly because she left her old swim shoes and goggles at camp. But as we were working our way around the store she says, "Can we stop and look at the play food. The church nursery has hardly any good play food." (She volunteers in the church nursery twice a month.)

So we picked out three different play food sets and I could hear her counting out loud trying to add up what she would spend on the shoes and goggles and how much she would have left over to spend on the new play food.

I told her not to worry about it; that I would pay for the shoes and goggles. If she wants to spend her lawn mowing money on new toys for the church, then I'm willing to pretty much buy her anything she wants.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Office-y goodness

In addition to trying to participate in The Office Olympics, (I'm on team U-S-A!) now I've gotta make sure I enter The Office Summer Scavenger Search!

It's gonna be a long weekend.

I'll be putting in a full day Saturday at StarCon, so I'll only get a one day weekend. (But I love to build up that comp time!)

Sunday we're up at the crack of dawn as we all have to be at church by 8:00 am. My flute choir is playing two patriotic songs. Here's hoping people will make the connection to the upcoming holiday.

But Sunday afternoon is going to rock. I'm taking the kids to see Ratatouille. I love this snippet from a Mouseplanet column:
There are no movie spoofs, no TV spoofs, no popular music montages. It is pure story, and once it has you it doesn't let go until you've seen the last credit scroll by and you're still just sitting there amazed at what you've seen.


Sounds good to me. And, to top it off, LaughingPlace reports that you can bring in your opening weekend movie stub to the Disney Store and get a free pin! Cool!

Monday, June 25, 2007

No surprises here



You scored as Heart of Gold (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy),
You are a light and humorous person.
No one can help but to smile to your wit.
Now if only the improbability drive would stop turning you into weird stuff.


Heart of Gold (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

94%

Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)

69%

Moya (Farscape)

69%

Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)

63%

SG-1 (Stargate)

63%

Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)

63%

Enterprise D (Star Trek)

63%

Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)

56%

Serenity (Firefly)

56%

Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)

56%

FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)

44%

Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)

38%

Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)

31%

Which sci-fi crew would you best fit in with?
created with QuizFarm.com

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Happy Summer!

Fred Poets, make the most of this Enchanted Night!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Phone envy

How can I go on using my crappy old phone when this is available??

Zelda recap

What is it with water temples? Why do they have to be so annoying? In every Legend of Zelda game I've ever played, I hate those water temples the most. It just always seems like there's so much backtracking, or raising and lowering of water levels, or else I just stink at making Link swim. Seems like I always resort to using a walkthrough of some sort.

Contrast that with Arbiter's Grounds in Twilight Princess. I just finished that section the other night. SUPER fun!! Maybe a tiny bit too easy? The spinner totally rocks!!

Last night I stayed up way too late playing Twilight Princess. But I had too -- I got to the top of the Snowy Mountain and got to snowboard down! How fun was that? Hope I get to do that again!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Goals

No, this isn't another one of my countdown posts. (Although it is 104 days until our next Disney trip.)

For a long time, I've been thinking that I really need some life goals. It seems to me that everyone I know has some goal in life, or else a list of things they want to do before they die. And I haven't been able to nail anything down.

I don't care if I learn another language. I already play two musical instruments, so I don't care to learn another. I've advanced as far in my career as I really aspire to. (Maybe...) One of my second cousins has already traced the family tree back about four generations, so I don't need to do that. I don't want to write a book. I don't have some sort of wanderlust where I need to visit a specific country or city before I die. I'm constantly in the process of simplifiying my life, so that's not a goal either.

After months of thinking about the above as possible goals, one sort of fell into my lap. (As happens quite often in my life. The right thing just seems to come along at the right time.)

While attending the Backstage Magic tour, our guide mentioned that Disney offers training in the form of the Disney Institute. They offer multi-day courses in leadership, loyalty, people management, customer service, and organizational creativity. Hm, that sounds like it's right up my alley. It's pricey, no doubt. But if money were no object, I would jump at the chance to attend one of these institutes.

So this is my goal -- to attend one of the Disney Institute courses. All I need is the funding. But that's the first step towards my goal -- to obtain funding. It would take too long saving up all the money I earn playing piano to pay for the Institute, so I need to find an alternative source of funding. That's as far as I've gotten for now. But at least I've got something to work toward.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Observations on the Baby Boomers

I'm getting ready to write a scathing post about the Baby Boomer generation. So I'm using this post to bookmark some sources I want to refer to later.

Earlier this week I attended one of these annual membership meetings of a library group I'd rather not admit to being part of. It was sort of an obligation thing, and I was hoping to booze things up a bit. Well, I got there too late for any boozing (I don't even think they served booze) and I even missed the food. Darn!

Anyway, there were awards presented followed by a program called "Dysfunction Junction". I know it was meant to be a light-hearted look at the sorry state of human behavior but by the end of the program I was actually incensed at the content.

The gist was to compare the 60's to today. The "good old days" vs the "screwed up world of today". The presenters would compare the names of popular groups in the 60's like "The Temptations" or "The Rolling Stones" to popular groups of today like "Third Eye Blind" or "Smashing Pumpkins". See, we're so crazy today that the names of musical groups don't make sense. That's why we're all living in "Dysfunction Junction".

They went on to compare TV shows, fashion, political figures, advancements in science, etc. each time demonstration that the 60's were an era of good things whereas today we're all selfish jerks. While it was sort of cute at first, I got more and more pissed off as the program wore on, because it offered no hope in the end.

When it came to inventions, the presenters pointed out that today we have the least practical, most self-serving machine in the form of: the segway. Who needs to walk anymore? The examples from the 60's were things like the computer mouse and the contact lens, you know, real things that really are useful and important. They failed to mention that Dean Kamen, was born in 1951, so that would make him a baby boomer!

That's what I want my future post to be on. For all the comparisons between the 60's and today, most of the stuff that the presenters poked fun at was actually a result of the baby boomer generation! So point the finger back at yourselves hypocrites!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Na na na na, hey hey, goodbye Dewey

There has been a little flutter of news stories and blog posts about the new Perry Branch of the Maricopa County Library District opening without any classification system for its books. And one reactionary news story defending Dewey.

I don't usually like to jump on the bandwagon, but I will say this: lighten up! I, for one, like the idea. Who says books have to be in an exact order to be usable. Just point people in the right direction and let them browse. Oh, and get rid of all the old, smelly, crappy looking books, so people will want to actually pick up the books and use them. I got a copy of a book on ILL from a neighboring library and the pages were yellow and disgusting, and the book smelled, for crying out loud! Ew!!

Plus, making spine labels is a big pain in the you-know-what. I did it for over 19 years! There's just no easy way to make a good spine label. I have typed them by hand, used a dot matrix printer, used a laser printer and even used a Brother label maker. It just plain sucks.

Where to start?

Disneyworld was great -- as usual. It was weird to go without the kids, but we got to ride a segway, which rocked! The Backstage Magic tour was really fun, but I didn't really learn anything new. It was interesting to see the warehouses, etc. The costuming department is basically one big library of clothing. To get your wardrobe, you actually check it out, like you do at the library. I was tempted to ask if cast members got overdue notices. We ate at the Biergarten in Epcot. Fantastic! All the meat and spatzle you could ever want!

Only 108 days until our next Disneyworld trip!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Weather alert!

You'll have to pardon my Disney-related frenzy that is about to ensue over the next week. It's 4 days until big D and I depart for Orlando. The one thing I hate about our Disney trips is the weather. I'm anti hot and humid weather, but check out this forecast:







Yeah, this is day one.

And this is day two.

And this is day three.


And this day I come home.




Yeah, I'm thinking this is going to be one great trip.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Mothers Day

Yesterday Michelle and I went to see Meet the Robinsons. I liked it better than I thought I would. Michelle thought it was funny, and it was, but it was a little bit confusing, too. The whole time travel thing complicated the plot, but not nearly as much as the cast of characters. The only problem I had with the movie was when Louis goes into the future, he meets about his future family (though he doesn't know that's who they are). But that's a heck of a lot of characters, I had trouble figuring out who they all were. But I guess it's not that important, they didn't do much keep the plot "moving forward".

I say that in quotes as that is the Robinson family motto, as well as the motto of another great man.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Yahooooooo

Don't be fooled by the above title. I'm not yelling "yahoo!" as in "Yahoo! I'm going to Disneyworld in 9 days!" (True statement, btw.) I'm singing the jingle from the ads on TV because those bastards over at Yahoo stole my thunder!

Well, sort of. Yahoo is running a commercial where two guys are hiking and they find a plant that starts eating the one guy. Then they start over, but this time the one guy uses his mobile device to search Yahoo to find out that the plant is deadly, so they steer clear of it. (I don't know if they commercial is for Yahoo the search engine, or SBC Yahoo the ISP, or the mobile device itself. It doesn't matter.

Libraries, take note! This was my marketing plan all along! We're running a word of mouth marketing campaign encouraging library users to have the library's phone number in their cell phone. That way you can call us from anywhere, any time you need information. For example, when you are out hiking and don't know if a plant is deadly or not.

Imagine instead the same commerical but this time instead of looking up Yahoo on the mobile device, the person just called the library. (Note to self: maybe we should start doing some videos on Youtube. Maybe I can get the summer teen volunteers to do it.....)

Friday, May 04, 2007

Today no one can touch me

After a day like yesterday, I encourage anyone to try to ruin my good mood.

I played the flute for my church's National Day of Prayer Service last night. After the service, I was chatting with a couple of friends when another woman approached us.

She said "Oh, you were the flute player tonight. It was so nice. Now, are you in high school or college?" Right as she was saying that, Big D and the girls came walking up, but the damage was done.

I just smiled and said she was my new best friend. I introduced my husband and kids (aged 12 and 9) and told her I had been out of college for a little while. Heh, heh.

I love to joke with the girls that they should say I'm their sister. It's nice to know that once in a great while I could actually get away with it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The agony of defeat

The library referendum was soundly defeated yesterday. Only 30% for and 70% against. Ouch! That's pretty desicive, if you ask me.

Now, there were some dirty tricks afoot, to be sure. With the local, local paper printing a huge last minute article that was nothing more than the text of a couple old memos where the staff was directed to utilize all of the shelving in the library to emphasize the size of the library collection. A couple of the "bigger" papers took the time to get comments from my boss first, but this one was a low blow.

Now, did it really influence the election? In reality, we'll never truly know 100%, but with this being the third failed referendum in four years, and a rather vocal opposition, the cards were stacked against us from the get go. I can't say I'm entirely surprised we lost.

The funny thing to me is that one staff member actually asked if this defeat meant that I was going to move on to another library. I've been making the joke: why, is Schaumburg hiring? Hm, it took me almost two years worth of interviewing to land this job, why would I leave? But maybe that's why my predecessor left. Who knows. Who cares?

Ultimately, my yesterday didn't end too badly. Two Leinies, a glass of chocolate raspberry wine, it all makes the pain go away. And after the board meeting tonight, I'm off for frosty cold margaritas!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A birth day in the life

Today is my birthday. I don't have much in the way of a celebration planned for myself, but that's okay, the day is full enough as it is.

When I came downstairs to the kitchen there were flowers and a card from my hubby and kids.

I got to work extra early because it's also National Library Worker's Day. I hung up a banner and passed out temporary tattoos to the staff. The HR person brought in Einstein Bros. bagels - mmm!

It's only 32 days until my next trip to Disneyworld -- and then it will be only 125 days until my next trip to Disneyworld.

It's also election day! The library is up for a referendum again. But I can't vote for it since I don't live in this town. But I can vote for library board members in my own town. (I just have to look up my polling place again. They changed it.)

So I will vote after I leave work -- at least I can take off early! Then it's bell choir, then Lou Malnati's for dinner, then off to watch the election results.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Easter from the frozen wasteland

Brrrr, I can't remember an Easter that was this cold! Chilly, yes, but it's downright freaking cold!

Today I got a little taste of what it must be like to be an activist. My library's friends group sponsored a "rally" to show support for the library referendum. We met at the main library and walked en masse to the new site, carrying "Vote yes!" signs and occasionally chanting.

"What do we want?" "A new library!"
"What will we vote?" "Yes!"

It was a little hard for me as a Gen Xer to really see what good this did. The route we took was primarily residential so we didn't get much exposure, and we had basically no press coverage. That's why I was there -- to write a news release about the event and submit the story to the local papers.

A couple of people asked me what paper I worked for. I don't, I replied. I find it interesting that I'm actually writing stories for the newspapers in my new job. The last time I wrote a story for a paper was in grad school where I wrote, edited, printed and distributed the semi-official newspaper for the grad school.

I guess I gotta pull out those old journalism skills again, which is fine. I always liked working for the newspaper. In a way, I've come full circle. Now I'm writing again. It feels a little rusty, but it will come back to me, I'm sure.

You want a story for the papers, I'm your girl. But you want me to walk around carrying a sign to tell other people what to do? What is this, the 60's? Get over yourselves, baby boomers!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

If I ran the library

After four months, I'm feeling like the honeymoon is over. Well, not completely, but there are more and more of those moments where I feel like shaking my head.

I know I'm nervous about my review tomorrow. I'm definitely nervous that the election is 12 days away. I'm nervous about how the staff will react if the library building referendum fails again. And it might, though I hope it doesn't. But that leads me to the title of this post. If my library's building referendum fails, here's what I would do:

Eliminate what I consider to be obsolete media formats. Yes, we still have children's music on audio cassettes, we still have filmstrips. It's time to nail the coffin on these formats.

Eliminate print college catalogs and the travel file. People are right -- it is all online now.

VHS collection: Hard and fast rule - no duplication of any kind. If we own 2 copies of a VHS title, one goes. Then no duplication between DVD and VHS. If we own a title in both formats, the VHS one gets the axe. In addition, if a title hasn't circulated in one year, it gets the axe, no questions asked. And if the last "patron" was ILL, it doesn't count.

DVD collection: More copies of the big feature movies.

Books on cassette: Same rules as VHS collection.

Kits: We've got hundreds of these horribly packaged "kits". About half are in hang up bags and a fourth are in some kind of single box, and the rest are a mishmash of things rubber banded together. Rule #1 - if you have to rubber band it to keep it together, either you find appropriate packaging to circulate everything together or you pitch it.

CD-ROMS: We've got lots and lots of these. Does anyone really use them anymore?

Puppets: It's beyond me why in this day and age anyone would want to circulate a puppet that is just asking to be a carrier of contagion. Yes! I'd love to give my baby a toy that another baby has spit up on. Get real.

Puzzles: I actually don't have a problem with puzzles, but please, weed out the old crap. Keep the collection looking fresh and new.

Book collection: Since we're so tight on space, you've got to be cruel to be kind. People don't just love bookstores for the coffee, they like new stuff. Ergo, if it hasn't circ'ed in two years, it's outta here. What?!? I know, it's blasphemy, right? What the hell do I know about collection development? Well, I know that when I use my public library and I see grubby, damaged books on the shelves, I'm not going to touch them. Give the people nice looking items.

Well, that's what I would do with the collection at least. More ideas to follow. Stay tuned! Or not!

Hot Diggity Daffodil!

Only 43 days until my May Disneyworld trip.

Only 180 days until my October Disneyworld trip.

We can start making our dining reservations now!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A million monkeys sitting at a million typewriters

Okay, am I missing something here?
"Authors have choices...it's no longer a small list of four publishers in the library world that we all have to choose from. This is a good thing, and I think will result in more being published, and what is published will be of a higher quality and closer to the author's original intentions."
So if more books are published they will be of higher quality? What's the rationale for that? I've personally done original cataloging on some of those lovely iUniverse published titles, and frankly, they suck. I remember one book that took great pains in the foreward to point out that the book had not been edited in any way from the author's original manuscript, as though somehow this made the book better. I'm telling you, some people just can't write!

I personally do not think that independent publishing produces higher quality books. I believe it produces more books. What about the author with real talent who can't afford to publish their own book? This movement seems to me to widen the gap between the haves and the have nots. It's like, if you have the money, you don't have to jump through all the other publishing hoops that everyone else does. And that doesn't seem right to me.

Friday, March 23, 2007

More bad news

Today my boss and I met with the owner/CEO/head honcho of the company that does all our IT support. We hashed out a few complaints, got some updates, etc. It was mostly good, even though he stated some facts that I would take issue with.

The bad news is this: he's been working with a couple of vendors to manufacture and install bathroom hand dryers that will have a video screen on them for advertising. The hand dryers will be networked so that they can easily change the advertising from a central location. So you'll get new content every time you go to dry your hands.

Well, shiver me timbers, but I think this is horrible! (Unless they're going to show reruns of the Simpsons or something good.) The last thing I want to see when I'm going to dry my hands after using the restroom is some stupid ad for a car I can't afford, or some highbrow clothing line I can't fit into, or a tanning salon.

You watch Fred Poets -- advertisers, I'm putting you on notice! I'm going to stop shopping at places that advertise in new and "innovative" spaces! If I see your ad on a hand warmer, I'm going smash the screen and start sending you my junk mail. Ha! That'll show you!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

In Memoriam

The Fred Poets pause to remember the passing of members of our extended family:

Emily De La Desmo, mother in law to Nancy "Lulu" Lloyd De La Desmo
Flo Schick, aunt to Julie Sandor Wilder
Carmen Carson, mother to Maria Ann Carson Arndt


Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die."

John 11: 25-26a

Friday, January 26, 2007

Pimp my bookcart contest winners

I'm not a big fan of Unshelved, but I do like the entries in their "Pimp my bookcart" contest.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

More countdowns

As of today, there are:

6 days until the Top Chef season finale
10 days until the Superbowl
22 days until Wildcat Roundup
37 days until band solo competition
45 days until daylight savings time
60 days until Spring Break
73 days until Easter
81 days until my birthday (and my library's referendum!)
125 days until school's out

which takes us to approximately 247 days until our next Disneyworld trip!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

40 days of....

Basketball. That's all that remains. 40 days until the last 6th grade basketball event.

16 games
7 practices
and 1 tournament

I'll be so happy when basketball is over.

Monday, January 22, 2007

GO BEARS!

My new boss is so cool. We got this email today:

"In celebration of the Bears going to the Super Bowl, I am declaring February 2-4, 2007 to be “Football Days”. Staff may wear Bears shirts, jerseys, sweat shirts or other appropriate gear to work. No hats or sweat pants though. You may also wear clothing items that support other teams (we know who the Packer fans are) but you will get odd looks. The dress code will also be relaxed to allow blue jeans, no sweat pants. Blue jeans must be clean and have no holes. Let’s have some fun with this. It may not happen for another 22 years."

Oh yeah, go Bears!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Do you record?

iRecord!

Okay, I don't have one of these. Heck, I don't even have an iPod. But I do have one of these, which rocks!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Great article on library management

I think it applies to management in general, but this is a great article about why library managers tend to suck.

I had a terrific mentor back at Con. U. : Kevin Brandon. It's nearly impossible to put my finger on just what made him so great, but he is the reason I became a librarian. He treated everyone with respect and was infinitely patient with me. He taught me things that I never asked to learn, but ended up needing to know.