Friday, November 30, 2007

December Board (Year End Lists)

I've put up the backdrop to my December Board. Each of the quadrants will feature a year-end best-of list. Once again, the photo is unable to capture the full glory of the sparkle.

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

the blue bus is callin' us/driver, where you takin' us (#23)

My favorite part of the program has definitely been reading all the blogs. Each time someone thought something was neat or did something new, it warmed my librarian heart. And, even though it's pure cheese, my favorite part of being a librarian is helping others make connections. Push, push, nudge, nudge.

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, 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

the sounds of sigh-lence (#22)

I started listening to audiobooks a few years back when my daily commute (which involved driving, the metro, and walking) hovered around three hours. At the time my local library had just started lending out pre-loaded MP3 players that you could check out for three weeks. The set even came with an adapter for your car and batteries. The program has since been discontinued, but that's how I got hooked.

When I was preparing to drive to Maryland two weeks ago, I decided to take advantage of the free trial 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.

podding around (#21)

Every morning I receive the Writer's Almanac, an e-mail that contains the text of the same-named podcast done by Garrison Keillor. It always contains a poem and information about various writers and artists. I'm always forwarding the poems and other bits to my friends, like the September 6th episode that contained the following quote from Alice Sebold:

"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 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.


I did a search on YouTube for "Umbrellas" and saw one with the title, "A Job! Karen! Umbrellas!!"

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

GoogleDisappoint (#18)

Edited to add: I originally posted this list from GoogleDocs. I thought it would post the name of my doc as my blog title, and I hoped it would link to the actual doc (see here) like Flickr does when you post a photo to your blog from its site. Nope and nope. I'm a bit disappointed in the Big G. In any event, I've been assembling a list of Top Tens and favorites for teen lit from 2007. See below for various picks, including mine (so far).

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

statsaholic anonymous (#19)

I used statsaholic to compare the websites of the three NYC library systems. We may be #1 in circulation, but we fall behind, if you believe statsaholic, when it comes to web traffic.

Monday, November 19, 2007

mayday mayday

The following things have occurred over the last 10 days:

1. The beginnings of a Facebook addiction.
2. My car is dead. (Probably the battery.)
3. Hello bed bugs; Goodbye sleep.
4. My bloglines is malfunctioning.

Dog and Duck Bathroom

Dog and Dug Bathroom
Originally uploaded by Lil Red Terror
From my vacation in Austin, TX. It's library-related! Go ahead, read it.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

the too and the oh (#15)

Happy Thanksgiving from Westminster, MD! Since I won't be here for Thanksgiving, my mommy invited my brother and my step-sisters and their families over for a big turkey meal. Tomorrow, I go to the Ravens game with my dad and brother. Tonight, I write about Library 2.0 on my mother's annoyingly Vista'd computer.

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

Facing the Book (#17 1/2)

Yesterday, I received the following from my sister-in-law:

Hi Karen,

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.

wikis and wikis (#16 and #17)*

I tend to be more of a user and less of a contributor with regard to wikis. It's probably a combination of laziness and self-consciousness.

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.

i claim, you claim; we all waste time (#14)

Well, I claimed my blog. I also went ahead and claimed Queens Library Learning 2.0 on Queens Library's behalf. QL L2.0 has a much higher rank than H&H. Surprise, surprise.

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.

mmm' mmm' good (#13)

My car, appropriately named the Evil Death Mobile, would not start this morning. Instead of driving to Maryland today, I will take the bus and not leave until tomorrow. I might as well catch up on my Things.

I've been using 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

so long, farewell

These days I do nothing by stare at my Vacation Countdown. I've got a couple of things to wrap up so I will return to posting on November 20. Ten days! No work! No things!

Friday, November 2, 2007

roll call (#12)

I finally made my Rollyo. I called it Teen Lit, and used mostly blogs, many of which I have syndicated through my livejournal (Worth the Trip, Cynsations) and I few websites that I visit frequently like Reading Rants and Recently someone on the YALSA-BK list asked for the blog addresses of folks who wrote about or reviewed teen literature. I went digging through my g-mail archive and found it. I had more than 25 sites -- Rollyo only allows up to 25 -- so I cut a few.

I ended up removing 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:

As others have noted, it took me a couple of clicks around to find the link for my finished Rollyo. The search was a bit slow for my tastes, but I plan to actually use my roll. I like the idea of continuing to tinker with it, adding and removing sites to cull the best results.

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

how much do i ROCK?

how much do i ROCK?
Originally uploaded by hood and hat
I have a friend. She has a digital camera. I will be using this camera to document Forest Hills 50th celebration. You should come celebrate with us.