Thursday, December 20, 2007
My young adult literature and services professor told us we should try and touch every book in our collection at least one year, and 10 months in I think I have finally accomplished that task. I finished weeding biographies yesterday. I tossed one on Hillary Clinton from the late '90s that speculated what she might do when her stint as First Lady ended. Would she return to her law practice? Would she become a judge? Would she someday run for public office? I'm not sure why I find out-dated books hilarious, but I do.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I wish there was a way to embed this:
Myself and Others in ElfYourself
Go here to make your own:
Sunday, December 9, 2007
I've spent the weekend in the suburban country (Westminster, MD) and now it's time to head back to the big city.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
I wonder if someday I'll stop finding new books exciting. Hmmmm ... doubtful.
Friday, November 30, 2007
I also have the following messages:
-Reading Is the Gift That Keeps Giving.
-2008: Resolve to Read More
Now, it'd be great if some of books I ordered ages ago would arrive so that I could place them on the display.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
If I had to pick a favorite Thing post-launch, I'd probably go with Bloglines. It's not that I necessarily love Bloglines, but I am a convert to feed aggregators. RSS had always been something I couldn't quite "get" but now I do. My favorite Thing pre-launch was del.icio.us, and I've enjoyed adding things to the ql.things account as we go along. Moreover, my favorite Thing to watch y'all do is probably the image generators.
I wish now that we had tailored the program more for beginners. I would have probably made it two things per week, with 12 weeks worth of Things, and cushion of two weeks at the end. I might have even tried to match people with buddies or created clusters. I wish more people had participated. I had the number 200 in my head and only 125 signed up. I don't understand why there wasn't more cross-participation and comment-leaving. I left 8 million comments. I hope that I left at least one comment on each person's blog.
The program was so easy to adapt that I know it was worth doing. I can't believe it hasn't even been a year since I graduated from library school. Hmmm ... At this time last year, I was finishing up my practicum research and presentation (on library design), throwing together a YA bibliography (on Death, Grief, and Loss), and wondering if I'd ever find a job. Oh shoot. Gossip Girl is one. Catch you later.
Hood and Hat
When I was preparing to drive to Maryland two weeks ago, I decided to take advantage of the free trial audible.com has been advertising on the subway. I selected Shannon Hale's Austenland because I though it would be short enough to fit on my shuffle. (Audible, unlike many digital library offerings, is compatible with the iPod line.) Despite many valiant attempts, it would not squeeze onto my shuffle so I've been listening to it as I pack, clean, fold, plasticize, and bedbug-proof all my belongings.
I already had the Overdrive software on my computer from my dealings with BPL's digital offerings. (How awesome is it that as residents of New York we have access to three library systems full of stuff! And, so much is available online!)
For this exercise, I downloaded David Levithan's Boy Meets Boy, and I plan to start listening as soon as I finish up with Jane Hayes' adventures.
"It's very weird to succeed at 39 years old and realize that in the midst of your failure, you were slowly building the life that you wanted."
I did a search for "Writer's Almanac" on podcast.net and it came up! I added the RSS feed to my bloglines account. I also did some clicking around on this site and the others mentioned, but I didn't really come up with much I wanted to listen to.
Podcasting is something I want to do with my teens. For $100, you can set yourself up with a nice program. I'd love to incorporate it into the summer reading program as well as the volunteer program. Besides, I'll need a new project when QL L2.0 closes shop on December 24th and I am no longer monitoring 120 feeds.
It seemed like a video made for me. It's just a random dude chatting, unable to make proper eye contact with the camera.
The sad part? He never once mentions umbrellas. Or, he did and I missed it. Then, of course, there's Rihanna's "Umbrella" video, which I would have trouble labeling "work safe." Don't click!
In the end, I knew this was the video to share:
Who knows Dutch? Babel Fish translates the summary to: A documentary/promotion small film concerning the only real storm-fixed umbrella. Storm-fixed. I like that better than won't-break-in-the-rain.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Reading Rants 2007 Top 10
Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande
Bloodsong by Melvin Burgess
Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron
Before I Die by Jenny Downham
This is What I Did by Ann Dee Ellis
Repossessed by A.M. Jenkins
Another Kind of Cowboy by Susan Juby
Dramarama by E. Lockhart
Tamar by Mal Peet
The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
2007 Teens’ Top Ten (YALSA/Teen Read Week)
New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles
Maximum Ride: School’s Out – Forever by James Patterson
Firegirl by Tony Abbott
All Hallows Eve (13 Stories)by Vivian Vande Velde
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
River Secrets by Shannon Hale
Bad Kitty by Michele Jaffe
Road of the Dead by Kevin Brooks
Top 10 First Novels for Youth: 2007
By Stephanie Zvirin
First published November 15, 2007 (Booklist).
Billie Standish Was Here by Nancy Crocker
The Black Book of Secrets by F. E. Higgins*
Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat by Lynne Jonell. Illus. by Jonathan Bean*
Epic by Conor Kostick
Every Crooked Pot by Renee Rosen
Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller by Sarah Miller
The Swan Maiden by Heather Tomlinson
Tyrell by Coe Booth
Useful Fools by C. A. Schmidt
*For younger readers.
Karen’s Picks - 2007
The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Cures for Heartbreak by Margo Rabb
Boot Camp by Todd Strasser
Memoirs of an Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin
Best Books of 2007: Teen
The Arrival by Shaun Tan
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
Undercover by Beth Kephart
Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron
A Crooked Kind of Perfect Linda Urban
The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks
Friday, November 23, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Believe it or not, I read every post every participant makes, keeping up with it through my Bloglines account which now has 133 feeds. I won't claim I read every post closely, but I like keeping tabs on what people like and don't like. It should be easy for me to write about Library 2.0, right? I should be one of its biggest fans, right?
When Stephen Abram talked about Library 2.0 last March, he spoke about many things related to the library experience and its users. One thing he noted was that Generation X, my generation, had been lost. For whatever reason, compared to other age-groups, we simply weren't fans of going the library. Part of my interest in wanting to bring Learning 2.0 to Queens Library had to do with wanting to figure out how to reach those that do not traditionally come through our doors. If we used MySpace, Facebook, Second Life, and YouTube, would we reach that set that considered the library irrelevant? Do they think of the library as anything other than storytime, books, and shushing librarians?
I think of Library 2.0 as just Tomorrow's Library Today or perhaps Today's Library Tomorrow. Even as much as we'd like to be on the edge, we're probably always behind. In "Library 2.0: Service for the Next-Generation Library, " the authors state, "Libraries have a tendency to plan, implement, and forget. Library 2.0 attempts to change this by encouraging the development of a schedule that includes regularly soliciting customer feedback and evaluating and updating services." Put simply, that's just good business and not quite the revolutionary statement some would have you believe it is.
Library 2.0 isn't just a library with a Web 2.0 mind-set and the accompanying technologies. It's a library that evaluates its communities needs and wants, builds its library resources, and utilizes the Web 2.0 toolbox (if necessary) to connect the need/want to the resource. In the same way I believe in the right book right person right time, I believe in right technology right audience right time. We must be careful to not introduce services and technologies that the customer will not use.
In "To better bibliographic services," John Riemer writes:
"Relevance ranking techniques should be driven by much more than the mere revalence of keywords in the bibliographic record and be fed by a wider range of metadata, such as circulation activity, placement of materials on class reserve lists, sales data, and clicks to download, print, and capture citations."
Now that's the kind of "too and oh" I can get behind.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I set up a Facebook profile with my pictures, videos and events and I want to add you as a friend so you can see it. First, you need to join Facebook! Once you join, you can also create your own profile.
Facebook is spreading to the far corners of the world. My sister-in-law is now a stay-at-home mom -- her listed "interests" are traveling, reading, and my nephew -- and I suspect she joined to stay connected. I registered on Facebook (see me here)* just before we launched QL L2.0, and I've been slow to add applications and friends. I've resisted the vampires, werewolves, and zombies. While I like to read about them, it all seems a little silly to me. I added the Scrabulous application, which Entertainment Weekly just declared "in."
I normally wait for people to find me on these types of sites, but I just sent out about 15 invitations. Four confirmations so far! Of the library-friendly applications I added Books iRead so that I could share with the world (in one more place) all the books I plan to read. Facebook lets users gather all their web 2.0 things in one spot (Flickr, delicious, search boxes), but I like having separate things separate. I have a couple of wacky friends and I enjoy seeing them change their status messages. (Example: Sara is still thinking it isn't fair that there is only one Samuel Beam.)
This is another entry I'll probably add to as my experience with Facebook continues.
*Must be signed in to Facebook.
Someone recently posted favorite eating spots to QL Chat. I've often dreamed of a staff wiki where each community library and central have a page that lists information about the area, including food and transportation.
When looking for employment last year, I used the "Looking for a Job" page of the Library Success wiki. I also like using wikis to search for booklists, like the ones on TeenLibWiki.
A week or so ago I modified the formatting of a booklist on the YALSA wiki, only to have it later modified by another user. Potato, potato. This is probably why I don't tend to contribute to wikis.
*This is paltry entry. I'll probably add more later.
To be honest, I love anything that ranks. It pains me that I've been knocked out of the #5 spot on QL Chat since I've been on vacation. While I am enough of a loser to note such things, I am not so loserish that I will post there during this period. I swear I only checked to see if the holiday hours had been posted. They had not.
I was surprised to see Friendster listed among the top searches. People still use Friendster? Seriously? I was happy see PostSecret, one of my favorite sites, rank high for blogs.
I just spent a ridiculous amount of time looking at videos made by YA authors, using the video search and the term "ya literature." It would appear in this time, Friendster has been thrown out of the Top Searches, restoring my understanding of the world around me. Technorati is one of those things I never think to use but I should, especially for pop culture information. It's very good at telling you what's hot right now.
I've been using del.icio.us for about a year. Like many of the QL L2.0 things, it was included in my technology class during my last semester of library school. I try to be consistent in my tags, but a quick scan reveals teen and teens, blog and blogs, and widget and widgets. I also cannot seem to pick between "YA" and "teen" -- which is a common problem confronting those of us serving the 12-18 set. Similar to spring cleaning, every so often I'll take a look at the list and edit tags and links, tidying up. One nice thing about delicious is the ability to annotate links. On the other hand, many times the annotation is nothing more than a summary or quote.
I haven't yet utilized the social networking aspects of delicious. Very rarely do I look at what other people have said about the common links we have selected. I see it as a portable collection of bookmarks -- something I can use whether I'm on one of the desks, in the workroom, or at home.
What else? I'd love to set up an account for my community library but it's just one more thing on the long list of things I've been meaning to do.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
I ended up removing www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists after a test search for "Deadline" (meaning Chris Crutcher's newest book) turned up too many links about ALA deadlines. The next search produced much better results with 4 of the first 5 being relevant:
And with that I am finally all caught up and I can get back to the fun stuff: reading in bed.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I have high hopes for today. I think I'm (finally) going to tackle Rollyo, put up the backdrop for my next teen board, and call all my November volunteers. Would it be unethical to have a couple of volunteers assemble the parts for my Halloween costume? It is literary-themed, and I will be wearing it in the library.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
I added the random books from my library widget to my blog. If you're interested:
1. Go to Tools and select Make a Standard Blog Widget.
2. Scroll down to Choose Style. (I picked the third option, "Random Books" and kept all the other defaults: no tags, 12 books, etc.)
3. Copy the HTML code that appears to the right.
4. If you have a Blogger blog, go to your Dashboard and select Layout.
5. Click on Add a Page Element.
6. Select HTML/Java Script (third down, on the right.)
7. Paste the HTML code and Save.
8. Click and drag the "element" to where you want it to appear. The default, I think, is the top.
One of the librarians at FH likes to use the LibraryThing Suggest for readers' advisory. I've started playing around with it and found it to be helpful.
It seems I have acquired exactly five new books since I originally set up my account, so I was actually able to add 5.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Perhaps the type is a little hard to read. It says, "Down with 'brellas! Hoods and Hats!" I made it with the Billboard generator, one of the many things listed on the fd Flickr Toys. One of my friends made this over the summer:
Simpsonized ourselves, and then Megan (middle right) brought us together. It was all the rage to have your Simpson-self as your Myspace pic for about two seconds in August.
Most of of the time generators are just a silly way to waste one's time, but they can be handy for creating eye-catching images. Lastly I made this image with the Post-It Note Generator to remind ya'll to come to Forest Hills in November when we celebrate 50 years with a heap of family fun events:
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Much of what we consume (information, entertainment, food) comes down to preferences. I took one look at Topix and decided, "No sir, I do not like you one bit." You can blame the stuffed head, the confetti of strewn tissues, and the little red pills, but I fancied the Bloglines Search, Feedster and Technorati.
Through the Bloglines Search, I set up a feed for 'queens library.' I also made my Bloglines public and added it to my list of links on Hood and Hat. I tried to add a feed of my favored daily horoscope, and I was told, "No feeds were found. Please verify that the website publishes an RSS feed."
Hmmm. What else? I used Feedster to search for YALSA and subscribed to the YALSA Blog. Then, I searched "queens library" on Technorati and this is one of the things I found:
And That's Why We Have the Rule from OiNY.
I have a bunch of feeds set up through my livejournal account, including a feed of Animals Have Problems Too, which I adore (see one pictured below). Do I want to migrate all my feeds from lj to Bloglines? I think I'll hold off for now.
Friday, October 19, 2007
There must be some way for me to post my feeds so that ya'll can easily snatch them. I'll look into that later and share when I figure it out. Chime in if you know. I'm not new to RSS, but this is my first time trying out Bloglines.
Now if I am at a desk I keep my Bloglines open so I can get instant updates when ya'll post. I had just been clicking through the long list of links every couple of days which isn't the most efficient way to keep up.
Hood and Hat is watching you, she sees your every move ... watching you watching you watching you watching you.
Perhaps the sleep-deprivation-inspired silliness is setting in. It's about time for me to go post Thing 9 anyway. One last thing: I've been using this site to resize images (like the screen shot above): http://www.shrinkpictures.com.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
The librarian duties have been updated, and I am no longer assigned to Reserves. At Forest Hills we get between 50 and 200 a day, and the mountain of manila envelopes can try one's soul. My fellow librarians always pitched in when they could (as I plan to now that I am free! free! free!), but there were days when I just didn't want to make the dough nuts. I'm now on 7-Day and New Book duty. Being a YA librarian I generally pay no attention to these much-coveted books so this is good for me. Now I might even have time to get around to RSS feeds.
The above picture was taken a couple weeks ago. In addition to the books pictured, we usually have one to two overflow carts around the side.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Author Name Pronunciation Guide
I listened to Avi, Holly Black, Jack Prelutsky, and Lara Zeises (who posted a link to the site in her livejournal).
It can be handy for booktalks, but it's just neat to hear writers talk about their names.
A couple of days ago I went to my local Keyfood for just a few items and I ended up purchasing: two frozen pizzas ($1 a pop!), a bag of frozen onion rings, a six-pack of Tecate, an onion, a bottle of Real Lemon juice, and a small tub of egg salad. I had meant to just grab the onion I need to make a turkey pot pie, but I went after work and I was hungry -- a grocery store no-no. Earlier that day I had received the most delightful e-mail: FreshDirect, an online grocery store, had lowered its minimum order from $50 to $30. They added the tagline, "You asked ... we listened."
As evidenced above, I am not the most savvy shopper. When I shop in-person, I end up with a lot of crap even if I am working from a list. With FreshDirect, I put things in my cart, I take things out of my cart, I think about what I can take for lunch and make for dinner, and I do it all while sitting well-fed, in my pajamas, and at my computer.
FreshDirect just celebrated its fifth anniversary. You might know them from their commercials featuring famous New Yorkers like Spike Lee and Sex and the City's Cynthia Nixon. When I lived in Bushwick they didn't deliver to my area, but now that I live in Woody Sunnyside I can order as often as I like, especially with the lowered minimum order. FreshDirect sets the example by surveying its customers and responding to the feedback, something all organizations and companies must do in a 21st century economy.
The following will be delivered tonight between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., hopefully while I'm finally putting together the aforementioned pot pie.
- Coffee-Mate Fat-Free French Vanilla Non-Dairy Creamer
- FreshDirect Deli Value Pack (Muenster, Roast Beef, Roasted Turkey)
- Seviroli Large Round Portobello Ravioli
- Prego Chunky Mushroom & Green Pepper Pasta Sauce
- Quaker Raisin & Spice Instant Oatmeal
- Lightlife Smart Ground Original
- Green Bell Pepper
- Green Zucchini
- Peeled Butternut Squash
- Red Bell Pepper
- Portobello Pesto Pizza
Monday, October 15, 2007
I worked Saturday and Sunday, but I still managed to squeeze in a bit of fun. I'm thinking about making this my new user pic:
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
I have a bit of a reputation for my biblioboards, so when my ACLM spied the F.Y.I. highlighting Pomonok's Pink Ribbons of Hope campaign, she asked if I could do something similar. I did my best not to grimace. I was in the middle of 8 million things (school visits, volunteer management, Banned Books Week board followed by Teen Read Week board followed by Forest Hills 50th Celebration board) in addition to my everyday librarian chores and duties. I prefer to be overly rather than underly busy so I said, "Sure, sure." Someone said to me a couple weeks ago, "Have you noticed the more work you do, the more work you do?" Word.
Breast cancer awareness is important, but it hits a little too close to home so I went no-frills. I didn't give the board as much thought as I normally do. Pink construction paper background, black letters spelling "Breast Cancer Awareness Month," and index cards with glued-on printed-out paper pink ribbons. I lifted the some text from the e-mail sent about Go Pink Day. I had a couple of my go-get'em-est volunteers cut and assemble the parts. At the bottom of my craft bag, I found these neat metallic thumbtacks (pink, purple, silver, gold) that I picked up at the beginning of the summer from the dollar store.
I filled out one card so that people would know what to do: "In honor of my grandmother, who died of breast cancer, and my mother, two-time breast cancer survivor, I pledge my support." The board was started late Thursday, and it was finished by the time I took my 5 p.m. reference desk shift on Friday.
Anyway ... thanks to Pomonok for the inspiration.
P.S. This post was done through Flickr's Blog This.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Replicating the program from PLCMC required such a minimum of effort that I am pleased with the numbers so far. However, that doesn't stop me from pushing the program on everyone I encounter. The new labor relations manager came to hang out at my library as part of his Library 101 training. I handed him a flyer and said, "I couldn't help but notice you hadn't signed up yet." I have no shame. I have managed to hold myself back from sending encouraging e-mails to folks I've met from trainings, Sunday service, and various meetings. When I start my new librarian training at the end of October, I will be suggesting the program to my fellow newbies.
Before QL L2.0 launched, I made a presentation to the library managers. I was nervous, but I told myself, "No adult audience is scarier than thirty restless eighth graders." Whoops! Guess what I'm doing Tuesday and Thursday morning? School visits at the local junior high. We played library bingo last time, and to keep things fresh, I'm going for library jeopardy this time. I'll conclude with book talks of the following:
Then if we have more time, after answering their questions, I'll ask them what they like to read so that I can stock the library with their favorites.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
*Link from American Libraries Direct 10/3/2007
I'd write more but it's time to retrieve my laundry from the washer and then gear up for my late night.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
I picked "hoodandhat" because I am vehemently opposed to umbrellas, and it also happens to be my Flickr name. I have a livejournal, and though I sometimes write about work and library things there, it's mostly a way for me to keep in touch with college and Baltimore friends. Since this week is "blog" week, a few of my favorite librarian and writer blogs are:
Registration is officially on. About 10 people have sent us links to their blogs. I debated sending an e-mail from my work account to ql.things@gmail, but then I realized it would just be too silly. I did add myself to the spreadsheet of participants so I can snag my gift card and any other "surprises" along the way. I wonder how many people will register this week. 50? 100? I think PLCMC had just under 200 people signed up at the end of two weeks.
Friday, September 28, 2007
As one of the adapters of the QL L2.0 program, I have experience with most of the Things. Even though I won't be experiencing them for the first time, I hope I'll still be able to look at them as opportunities to think about how we can use these applications with each other and our patrons. One of my goals for this program is to figure out better ways to communicate with my colleagues, or at least figure out a way to gather us for an unofficial happy hour.
I don't have much to say about Thing #1 other than it seemed to be very confusing for people that although the program started this week, they wouldn't register until next week. Someone even left a comment that it seemed counter-intuitive -- which I completely understand -- but I knew it would make things easier on the QL L.20 Team's end if we had the blog links at the time of registration. It was selfish and the process will probably be changed if we repeat the program.
As for Thing #2, I think I wanted to be a librarian because I am in love with lifelong learning. You cannot work at a library and not learn something new every day. I liked the tutorial because it highlighted how important it is to commit oneself to learning new things. Out of all the habits, it is probably hardest for me to set goals and to maintain confidence. Learning new things puts you in a vulnerable position, and no one likes to feel stupid.
I have absolutely no issue with seeing learning as "play" or fun, and I love teaching other people new things. I am very much about tricking people into learning and disguising it as fun. I did school visits near the end of the year and I gave seventh and eight graders a blank "library" bingo card. I told them to fill in the squares with all the things you might find or do in the Forest Hills Library. I had prepared slips of paper with about possible 40 responses. As each slip of paper was pulled (Community Service, DVDs, Read Down Your Fines), I explained it. By the end of the visit, (hopefully) they knew all the things the library had to offer them.