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Biking and running have worn me out this month. I was just about half way through and felt like I hit a wall with both. Like I couldn’t improve no matter how much I tried. It’s been a little better since I lubed my chain and made a few other adjustments to my bike and took a couple of days off from running.
I was also convinced that a week in May wasn’t there. I had superimposed this week with last week. I told people I had meetings I didn’t have, gave the wrong days off to one of my TAG kids when he wanted to come in and meet with me. Luckily I realized in time and was able to rectify my mistakes, but I felt silly. Otherwise I felt pretty sharp, conversing with colleges and getting things done.
I didn’t feel much up to blogging, which is why I only posted the lame one before this. I am in a reading funk–trying to finish The Scar before it’s due in a couple of days and failing miserably. Usually I can read a book in a day or two, a week sometimes for adult fiction, but here I am at the end of a 21 day check out less than half way through. This would make sense if I didn’t like the book, but I do.
In Libraryland I posted a link to a blog post by Seth Gobin at work, hoping to start a discussion, pulling this quote for the headline:
mere clerks who guard dead paper
We did have a good discussion about the post, and a good response by another blogger was posted. It wasn’t until later that night when I went to Facebook that I found out that some had taken the quote too literally and hadn’t clicked through to read the article. Sometimes circulation staff are referred to as clerks and so some of them took this as a personal affront. I am not sure if I should feel bad about the misunderstanding. I do regret that feelings were hurt, but I also wonder why they didn’t click through and see what the post was all about. He isn’t insulting clerks, he’s telling librarians to get off their asses and get with the times. And even though the post contains quite a few misconceptions about what libraries and librarians are doing and how easy it is to find information on the internet, he is entirely correct on that point.
In other library news, as you may have seen in the paper we have a new City Librarian. He was the best of the three candidates, in my opinion and I’ve decided to be optimistic until he proves me wrong. Ha, that doesn’t sound very, does it? He has a good attitude, is a great public speaker and doesn’t seem to be bringing any baggage with him. Long live MT.
Ooh, and we teen librarians have a pretty awesome summer reading program planned. I can’t wait to start!
Tomorrow’s the big day. Budget announcements. I probably won’t find out about my specific job for a couple more weeks after that, but we will have a much better idea of where we stand tomorrow. The City Librarian told us on Thursday that the cuts have decreased to 8% and managers tell us that at their meeting on Friday, they were told 7%. That is certainly good news, but still a lot more than the budget cuts we have faced over the last couple of years. Most of those were 1.5% and could be answered by eliminating empty positions and a week long furlough. This is definitely not that.
One of the fear making issues during this budget cut time is the secrecy that the Mayor’s office puts around the decision making process. I am not sure what the reasoning is behind this, but McGinn is not the only one. Nickels really started the whole thing. I found out recently that not only do the plans have to be secret, but our library council is not even allowed to talk to each other about it. What? Really? These are the people who have to approve a final budget. Is the Mayor hoping that by keeping them from talking to one another…trying hard to pull this out…that they will make better choices? Or won’t have time to be informed enough to make different choices than the Mayor laid in front of them? Can he really care that much about what cuts the library makes? His comments up to now show he really doesn’t care about the library much at all, although he does like to use it himself occasionally.
In Libraryland, I keep on trucking. Teen Advisory went great and we are well underway planning our first event. I hosted Danger: Books at the middle school in my area recently and as usual, it totally rocked and inspired me. The actors are so great and I love hearing my favorite books acted out. I taught my first computer class in over a month and it went really well, with a full house.
What am I reading? I finally finished The Broken Teaglass a few days ago and found it a nice change in scenery. The writing is dry and the characters are shallowly defined. The only person you really get to know is the main character and at first he is one of the biggest mysteries of all. Billy is new to Samuelson, a company that compiles dictionaries. He feels lucky to have a job, being a newly graduated, but isn’t sure that being a lexicographer is for him. He is also a reluctant mystery solver when a strange citation falls into his lap and it appears that someone has been murdered, but his new friend Mona talks him into taking the plunge.
I am almost done with The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller. I was looking forward to this because I really liked both Kiki Strike books. Don’t get me wrong, I do like this book…mostly. I like the strong female protagonist, I like the story line: people who are born again and again because something is drawing them back, I liked the characters. Sigh, I don’t like that the main character, Haven, can’t seem to tell when the others are lying to her. Ever. She is tricked time and time again by the same people. Haven needs a big gong rung that says “trick me once, shame on you, trick me twice, shame on me.”
Home life has been slow and peaceful. The Mister’s dad and step-mom came to town and we tried out Smokin’ Pete’s bbq. It is so much better than Gabriel’s Fire! All of the meats and sides were scrumptious. A common complaint of mine…the cornbread was really dry. I love good cornbread, but don’t make it at home because it is so bad for you. The bbq sauces didn’t rock my world, either, but I often find that I don’t care for bbq places bbq sauce. Probably a product of eating the over sugared version from the store for so many years.
I had a good friend over on Wednesday. I was a bit hyper from it being my last night at my small branch and after a couple of gin/sage/grapefruit martinis I totally lost track of the conversation. I keep thinking back on it and wondering what her response was to that question I asked her. Did I ask her about that? Where the heck was my brain? Ah well, we are catching up again this week and I can just ask her all over again. Stress tends to make me forget things.
Libraryland: I spent half the day yesterday at iYouth, a small conference put on by a student group at the iSchool at the University of Washington. I shared my panel with a school librarian turned PhD student, who will be a regular at the branch I am transferring to next week. She started an after school gaming club at the boys school she was head librarian at in New Orleans. It sounds like an amazing success–sometimes getting kids into the library is what it is all about. My part was about having a teen blog at your library.
My part went well and everyone asked really good questions. I didn’t get nervous, even with several of my colleagues in the audience. One of my coworkers was there and I called on her to help me with some of the questions, for a different perspective. I attended her panel on zines and I was able to lend her a hand as well. I have a small donation based zine collection at my bigger branch, which I will be leaving behind. There are so many things I will be sad to leave. In some ways, my new collection will be a challenge because of its size, but there really isn’t anything unique about it, and the need really isn’t there to make it so.
What am I watching/reading? I just finished up Torchwood season 2 and I have already seen the last season/mini series so I am done until Doctor Who shows up. We watched Princess Mononoke last night and I was surprised by the stars in the cast–Mini Driver, Gillian Anderson, Claire Danes and Billy Bob Thornton? I hadn’t seen it in years. We also watched I Love You, Man which was ok, but in great need of a final edit. I am finishing up Columbine (due in 3 days!) and have two audio books that I am looking forward to: Marcelo in the Real World (up for all kinds of awards) and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters (by the same publisher as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies). The first is on CD and the second is an audio download from the library that I put on my iPod shuffle that has been pretty much been taken over for that purpose. I love that service.
Yesterday I spend the day in my comfy clothes and didn’t leave the house after arriving home from the airport. I worked on my presentation for tomorrow (practice today! Yikes!). This is probably why we were given so much group work in college, so that we could do these things and make them coherent even if we are spread all over the state. So I worked on my slides, and realized that my two fellow presenters had put notes on them… about 2 weeks ago. Oops. So I added mine and responded to their points. Thank goodness for Google Docs because I was able to just email them so they could take a look at my additions.
To distract myself from the work I should have been doing (namely my book talks) I helped my Google group (I sound like an ad for google, don’t I?) put together a list of questions for our union. There is an e-board meeting this Friday and we plan to raise a lot of issues. Funny how fast things can change when just yesterday I mentioned we weren’t really getting anything accomplished.
When I first heard the word “e-board” , I assumed that meant they meant they met virtually. Turns out it means “executive board”. Heh, silly me. So they meet in person and members are welcome to come.
Tomorrow is my first day back to work after a 2 week vacation, so I will be buried alive in email and books that need to be processed. I will try to update you on that fun on Wednesday, unless there is some breaking news that I just have to let out.
What am I reading? I finally finished Very LaFreak by Rachel Cohn. I just sat down last night and read the over half that I had left. I have mixed feelings about this book. I don’t believe that there is such a thing as “technology addiction” which is a main premise, but maybe that is because I have this addiction and am in the denial stage (ha!). She goes to rehab after trying to kill one of her friends for damaging something her dead mother gave her. The item was a piece of technology, but I felt that the sentimental value was dismissed. Author knows best? Some of the other rehabbers did such cheesy things to get in, credibility was lost (one boy addicted to an underwater MMORPG reportedly tried to jump off a bridge to continue the game in the river below–and forgot that he didn’t know how to swim…). There was also a lot of product and store name dropping, although the press wasn’t always good so they weren’t advertising like some authors have done. It was still distracting. I liked the writing though, and I liked the main story of Very finding herself, working out her issues with the past, realizing who really cared about her and who she really cared about. But then the book let me down again when the ending seemed too easy and I was left with a sour taste at 1:30am when I finished the book.
I heard a rumor that this was actually Rachel Cohn’s first attempt at a novel and that it was rejected originally. I did enjoy the book, but I am not sure who I would sell it to. Maybe teens on the same road, or those who like a juicy story and watching others self destruct.