Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Winter (December '08 Board)

December '08 Board
Originally uploaded by hood and hat
I tried to be as generically holiday as possible with the blue and the silver, but I'm not even sure I'm fooling myself. The silver is a bit too shiny, but the people of Forest Hills will just have to live with it.

Last year I had the volunteers make paper chains with the titles of all the "best of" books. I guess I'll do that again. I'll post the list once I've compiled it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

right more, write now

It cannot be a good sign that I claimed in my last post, nearly two months ago, that I'd planned to post more. Over the past few months I've been pulling in words, but not pushing them out. I'm hoping that changes as I've got some exciting library things coming up. For Emerging Leaders I'm on "Team L" and we're going to "to study recruitment of millennial generation into library-related professional organizations." I'm also on a couple of other committees. Library, library, library.

Eh, we'll see if the posts come on not.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ctrl ALT Delete

I haven't posted in a billion years, but that's going to change. I was appointed to a library technology task force for my 'brary system. We had the unfortunate name of Library Applications for Technology Task Force (LATF), but we decided to rename ourselves "ALT" ... here's our logo:

We meet every Friday for two hours and talk about what we'd like to see the library do. We've been joking about making the motto, "Bringing the library into the 21st Century," but decided we didn't really want a motto. Logos are much cooler anyway.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Road Trip (August/September 2008)

Titles include:

Defining Dulcie by Paul Acampora
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
Rules of the Road by Joan Bauer
Hit the Road by Caroline B. Cooney
The Wanderer by Sharon Creech
In Search of Mockingbird by Loretta Ellsworth
Whirligig by Paul Fleischman
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Becoming Chloe by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Night Road by A.M. Jenkins
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Born to Rock by Gordon Korman
Train + Train
Are We There Yet? by David Levithan
How to Be Bad by Lockhart, Mylnowski, and Myracle
True Talents by David Lubar
Guyaholic by Carolyn Mackler
Rainbow Road by Alex Sanchez
Trouble by Gary D. Schmidt
Finding Lubchenko by Michael Simmons
Zig Zag by Ellen Wittlinger

Thursday, August 21, 2008

scrabble down your fines

We have an excellent program at my library where kids 16 and under can read down their fines and fees. I have a teen who is in the midst of reading down more than $30 and he's been coming into the library a few days a week to tackle the sum. Yesterday he wanted to know if he could go on the Internet and I said "Yes, but we prefer you stay away from sites like MySpace." Next he asked if reading about sports was okay and I responded, "Yes, definitely." Then he eyed the board games on a cart next to me. "What about games. Can I play a game?" I laughed and said, "No." He thought for a moment and said, "How about Scrabble? That's a learning activity." As my friends know, I am completely nuts about Scrabble and still mourning the loss of Scrabulous, so I gave him the thumbs up.

And thus, Scrabble Down Your Fines was born.

Friday, July 25, 2008

all together now ... again

School Library Journal is running a Learning 2.0 program, and I thought I'd join up. Even though I adapted one for Queens Library I thought it might be fun to do as a participant. I'd love for us to re-run QL L2.0 and I thought it might be fun to see how the program has been tweaked over the last year. We're in cohorts according to place and it was fun to see all the SLJ staff (based in NY) joining in. I've added all the NYers to my bloglines.

Eep! A customer just asked me what I was reading and I had to fess up and tell her I was "between books." I don't know why I feel guilty. The last thing I read was a "sample" of Sherman Alexie's forthcoming YA novel, Radioactive Love Song. It won't be out until Spring 2009 and I'm not sure I can wait that long to read what comes after page 29.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

book review

A teen just posted this review to our summer reading website. I had to share:

i LOVED this book. it described the characters and their feelings so well. it was so good, it got a Newberry Medal! i picked the right book, right when i needed it most. i needed a good story, and i got one.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

submerged leader

It is quite possible that I will never leave my library system (or even apply for a promotion)because I absolutely loathe updating my resume and writing cover letters, personal statements, or any other response to a career-y prompt.

That said, I finally finished my application for ALA Emerging Leaders, a program designed for librarians under 35 or those with less than five years experience. I'd like to land the gig because I don't have any side projects on the horizon, but I can continue to apply the next three years.

I'm about to visit Austin for the bazillionth time in the past seven years and Susan promises we will do the two things I have never done: see the bats and visit one of the libraries. She also claims she is going to take me to the some place called "Hobby Lobby," which I'll probably post about on Squid vs Squirrel, a craft blog I do with my friend Milwaukee Megan. There will also be the usual assortment of biking, swimming, breakfast tacos and cheap beer.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Foam Monster Robots

Foam Monster Robots
Originally uploaded by hood and hat
This was too cute not to post. It's from a "That's Crafty" a couple weeks ago and made by one of our regulars (Nancy) in the children's room.

Friday, June 6, 2008

the groove, the grid

Normally working on a new board guarantees happiness, but as my Facebook status indicates, it was a "horrible no good very bad day." (Apologies to Alexander.) I managed to upset a customer so thoroughly that he complained to my supervisor three separate times. He was -- of course -- an adult and it was -- of course -- related to the computers. I hope to finish the "ya theme" grid by Monday.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

tuesday night club

I'm having a hard time deciding what to read tonight.

, , or finish up ?

I lead such an exciting life. In my defense, I am a poor poor girl until Friday when I get paid and receive my economic stimulus payment.

Friday, April 18, 2008

manic monday

I'm going to be staffing the book mobile on Monday. I am, of course, very excited. I need a day away from the lovely customers of Forest Hills. I'm going to take a Flip camera with me. Apparently things are usually pretty slow, so I'm going to try and work my way through the teen summer reading list. I've only read a couple of titles.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

the wrong of right

Yesterday I was on the reference desk the last half hour of the day when a woman called to inquire about paying her fine. She wanted to confirm the library remained open until 8 p.m. and when I informed her we closed at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays, she insisted the recorded hours stated we were open until 8 p.m. The proper customer service response would have been to assure her I'd look into it, perhaps even thank her for alerting me but I knew in my perfectionist heart that she was wrong.

I record the message, and each time I do so, I read from a script and then I listen to it at least once, more often two or three times, to make sure it's correct, clear, and paced well. I couldn't even fathom that folks had been listening to a bum recording since President's Day, so I said that I was sure it didn't list the library's hours incorrectly. It was the end of a long day, and I wasn't thinking clearly. We squabbled about the matter for a few moments and then she hung up on me to listen to the recording again. Then she called back to let me know she was right. I rushed downstairs to our recording device, listening to both messages, and it says very clearly Wednesdays 10-to-6.

She called back! To tell me she was right! But she wasn't!

Welcome to public libraries. Happy National Library Week!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Tech Buddies: No Buddies (Week 4)

I haven't been posting about Tech Buddies because to do so would mean I'd have to admit failure. I've been trying to recruit the seniors through the computer classes we offer. They seem so excited, they take fliers and applications ... and then they don't show up. I've been joking about re-naming it "Tech Teens: No Buddies."

I know that it's a pilot program and that part of experimenting means accepting that failure sometimes comes before success. It was just such a great idea, one that filled two needs of the community: technology training and volunteer opportunities. Who knew that the seniors would be so unreliable? I've been thinking about ways to modify the program. If we do it in the summer, maybe I'll have it in the morning. (That's when the computer classes are.) It's obviously not an option when the teens are in school. Maybe I'll take the program to the senior center (outreach!).

The teens are great. During our last meeting we storyboarded for a video to highlight the summer reading program. This week my famous hacker friend is going to come and talk. I'm also going to show them the DVD of the Channel 7 news clip.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

on not doing the dumb stuff

Session: Reference In the Age of Google
Speaker: Joe Janes, Information School, University of Washington

(I think I'm just going to type out my notes and I might polish the entry later.--kk)

Reference saves the money of the individual.
Reference saves the time of the individual.

While we often make the argument for the first, we do not highlight the second.

Quote from the mid-40s about reference: "Ensures the possession of facts which by themselves they cannot obtain."

Google is good at searching for the specific; it is the "rough equivalent" of ready reference. Google gets 700-800 million hits a day. Google means, "You don't have to do the dumb stuff any more."

Google is "free, quick, easy, good enough." That is not what we are. We cannot be freer, quicker, easier ... so we have to be better.

Google is changing how people think about searching and how they are thinking about information. Thinking about information differently means people are thinking differently. This is turn changes the way people view the world.

Things Google does not do (well) (yet): gathering, evaluating, deciding, understanding, helping, and providing depth and accuracy. Google also does not offer a highly sophisticated search, nor is it part of a community.

Where do we fit?

The reference interview is done about 50 percent of the time. We should try asking:
  • Can you tell me more?
  • Was that what you wanted?
  • Are you looking for anything specific?
Janes quoted (to much laughter), "They will choke and die before telling you what they want."

He then pointed out some Google searching tricks:
  • OR
  • * (wild card)
  • inurl:
  • filetype:
  • view:timeline
  • GooFresh (added today)
We do a poor job of telling people what we can do. We need to simplify the language we use.

The average search time is 11 minutes.

When Janes said the following it really resonated with me, so much so, I'm going to type it more than once:

People ask you reference questions because they have failed.
People ask you reference questions because they have failed.
People ask you reference questions because they have failed.

We need to make ourselves (and the ref desk) less frightening.

People live in lots of different places at once. We've got to be there.

Janes said most of us got into this business for one of two roles: the social worker and the treasure hunter. I'm a little of both, but I probably am in it mostly to help folks. Whatever our reasons, he challenged us to re-energize and re-engage our reasons for becoming librarians.

Janes said, "We are made for better things." We provide quality, instruction, depth, literacy, and (unlike Google) we are based in our clientèle.

He added, "We can put all these things together better than anyone else." We connect them with information that can change their lives.

Our traditional strengths:
  • service
  • determining/understanding context
  • knowing when to stop
  • evaluation
We have to be better online. We need to extend the notion of the library. "The library has to be somewhere and everywhere."
I left the session wanting to provide reference. I'm going to try to make it my goal to ask "Can you tell me more? Was that what you wanted? Are you looking for anything specific?" when on the desk.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Gimme a P, Gimme an L

I've got tons to write about PLA ... just give me until Tuesday. Yesterday I drove 342 miles so I could visit my friend in Milwaukee. The woman at the car rental agency told me I had the lowest one-way one-day rate she'd ever seen. Being the good librarian that I am, I researched all the possibilities for travel between Minneapolis and Milwaukee.

Apparently the Tech Buddies spot did run last Monday. A dvd of it will probably be at my library when I return on Wednesday. I'm still horrified at the idea of watching it, but I'm glad I'll be able to show the seniors and teens when we meet again.

Friday, March 21, 2008

from the communications department ...

"The Tech Buddies program will be featured on Channel 7 Eyewitness News "In the Morning" this coming Monday, Mar. 24. It can theoretically air anywhere from 6 - 8, but it's almost always around 7:20 am."

Yesterday, a French librarian came for a visit. I told him about Learning 2.0, our staff forums, and I showed him this here blog. He knew what a hat was, but explaining "hood" took a few tries.

It's been non-stop excitement here at the QL at FH. I want to write a longer post about the second week of Tech Buddies (and the news crew), but maybe I better wait until I'm off the desk.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

eep! eep!

Channel 7 news is coming tomorrow to do a short spot on Tech Buddies. It's only our second meeting, but I asked the teens to bring in all their gadgets and the seniors to bring in something pre-1990. Then we'll do a bit of show, tell, and play.

If everything goes according to plan and it isn't horribly embarrassing, I'll post the video of it here.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Tech Buddies: Week 1

Even though I am still recruiting, we had our first meeting during Teen Tech Week. I'm referring to it as a "soft launch" of the program. I'm pleased with how things are progressing, and I was surprised to learn that none of the teens had Wii'd before. That means it's something the teens and seniors can explore together, and makes the idea of the tournament at the end even more appealing.

I'd never look a gift horse in the mouth, and I'm very excited to have received the TTW grant, but I think recruitment might have been easier during the summer months. Finding teens available on the same day of week has been challenging, and the moody weather of March kept some of our seniors away.

I keep reminding myself that there's a reason for pilot programs. I'll post more later, but all the teen content for the tri-system summer reading website is due in a few days. The committee has come up with some pretty neat stuff, including choose-your-own-adventure type scenarios. We're each responsible for writing two and I haven't even started mine.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Three important things happened today:

1. We finally got around to testing the Wii projector set-up. It works. Wii!
2. The check from YALSA arrived. I deposited it. Wii!
3. I proposed the idea of having a family event on the occasional Saturday. I want to call it Wii Are Family. Tee! Hee!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

2 down, 18 to go

I've lined up my first two teen Tech Buddies. Recruitment hasn't been as easy as I thought it would be. Since I received the grant, at least five teens have come in to request community service hours but they all have other activities on Wednesday afternoons. My manager is pretty confident the seniors won't be a problem. I'm going to do a pitch for the elder buddies during a computer class on Thursday.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tune In, QL

Tune In, QL
Originally uploaded by hood and hat
I've made fliers for both teens and seniors for Tech Buddies. Now I just need to recruit 10-20 people in the next two weeks. Wee! I mean, Wii!

Friday, February 15, 2008

hoods and a hat

hoods and a hat
Originally uploaded by hood and hat
While the details are coming together for Tech Buddies, I will continue to blog library fluff. I snapped this shot while neatening up the new fiction. I remain:
-Still hood
-full of Hat Trick(s)
-a Hood Rat

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


There are times when I cannot decided whether to post here or my personal blog. I write about library things in my personal blog and I also write about library-inspired personal things here. Like, I just cataloged (and weeded) my wardrobe. Here's the breakdown:

Shirts: 28
Skirts: 16
Sweaters: 13
Dresses: 14
Pants: 20
Jackets: 6
Other: 3*

*=Overalls, bathing suit, and jumpsuit.

I'm hoping to scale down to 75 items eventually.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

from QLL2.0 to TTW

I've decided to morph my 23 1/2 Things blog into one about my new program, Tech Buddies. I applied for a mini-grant from YALSA for Teen Tech Week and I was selected!

This was my proposal:

Drawing on the model of the successful Book Buddies program, a community service opportunity that pairs teen volunteers with beginning readers, the Forest Hills Library wishes to pilot a Tech Buddies program that matches teens with seniors who would like to become better versed in technology. The program will focus on the more entertaining and fun aspects of technology: podcasts, short video, and video games.

The teens at Forest Hills High School are required to do 15 hours of community service prior to graduation. This past fall we were able to accommodate approximately 35 individuals. The establishment of a Tech Buddies program would allow us to offer more and varied opportunities to the young adult members of our community. Further, the Forest Hills Library engages a robust senior population that frequently borrows materials, attends events, and takes computer classes. The initial program will be open to 10 teens and 10 seniors and last 10 weeks.

The program seeks:
•To bring together different segments of the community library’s users
•To expand the library’s technology and community service offerings
•To alleviate fear some seniors might have of current technology
•To help both teens and seniors “Tune In” to the varied ways the library serves its community
•To add to the teens’ (and seniors’) skills sets with regard to technology
•To encourage intergenerational communication and lifelong learning

I'm pretty excited. In other exciting news, I got an ARC of Sara Zarr's Sweethearts. It was perfect timing since I just finished Story of a Girl, which is also on our summer reading list this year.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


I honestly thought once QL L2.0 ended that I'd keep posting to this blog. It turns out I've been spending all my time playing Scrabulous, both inside Facebook as an application and on Last night I was finally able to beat Where does that leave you?, fellow QLer and QL 2.0 participant.

I've always loved Scrabble, and I own both travel and deluxe (it spins!) editions of the game.

In other news, I turned 32 and for fun I thought I would track the way people wished me Happy Birthday. These are the results:

Number of birthday e-mails: 6
Number of birthday MySpaces: 3
Number of birthday texts: 5
Number of birthday cards: 1
Number of birthday Facebooks: 7
Number of birthday phone calls: 6
Number of people who used two (or more) of the above methods: 4 (my mom, my ex-boyfriend, my best friend, and my not-boyfriend)

I'm sure glad I joined Facebook, as that's seven birthday wishes I might have missed out on.

I've been thinking a lot about those 18-30 year olds who are the library's heaviest users. Mostly just thinking. Maybe there'll be some posting later.