You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2011.

I keep trying to figure out why I like Glee, when I hated High School Musical.  It frustrates me, with the shallow story lines and the patterns of idiotic behavior.  But then they go and point out the idiocy and own it.  And they sing songs I know instead of some craptastic ballad that just makes me want to rip my hair out.  So yeah, I like Glee.  High School Musical…not at all.  I am just starting Season 1 Part 2 and I spent the first half of the first episode feeling tired of the corny plot and the second half invigorated with they ways they used the Madonna theme move the story in new directions.  Oh, and I got it at the library.

Twitter seems ok.  It’s like Facebook, but with less stuff.  No imbedded pics, links, but no preview.  I’ve found a lot of cool things there; a video about why Twilight is popular (ha!), that my favorite authors have funny and witty things to say in less than 140 characters and that The Onion posts A LOT.

I biked to work today and ran around Green Lake with my brothers.  It kind of wore me out, but in a good way.  Hopefully I will add more running to my routine and keep it up.  I bottled some more ginger ale when I got home.  The last batch was super yummy, but tasted more like sparkling ginger lemonade than ginger ale.  I tweaked the recipe and split it in two, one with some ground ginger and the other only with fresh, but with a bit less lemon juice and sugar.

What am I reading? Like the Percy Jackson series, Iris, Messenger by Sarah Deming integrates greek mythology, but that is where the comparison ends.  Iris has a terrible time at school, and her parents just don’t understand her.  Then one birthday she gets a mysterious gift that leads her to find out that the Greek gods have moved to the burbs and have all kinds of problems of their own. The gods tell their stories (popular Greek myths) to Iris, building up to a final message that enlightens her in ways she never would have guessed.  This is a good story for younger readers (except for the ending…), and while it is a quick read, it lacks the frenzied pace of Percy.

The file for My Favorite Band Does Not Exist had a fatal flaw and would not go past page 18.  I am hoping to get a chance to read it later, as the beginning was pretty good.  I am currently reading Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood, which was recommended by my sister.  It is also based on a Greek myth–Penelope of the Odyssey.  I am constantly amazed by the breadth and depth of Ms. Atwood’s writing.  To think this is the same author that wrote Oryx and Crake.

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And just as I say I am not going to try any harder, I got a twitter account.  I decided if my library system could finally bite the bullet, so could I.  I did sign up a while back for about a week before it all became too much information and I shut it back down.  I suppose I’ll add a link here when I get around to posting something.  Right now, I am trying to get a hang on what all the @ and # and acronyms mean.  I am not learning this as quickly as I usually do, probably because of the large amount of information that can be packed into 100’s of 140 character tweets.  I might need a tutor.  Luckily I seem to have a lot of friends on there.

I am encouraged with how things are going in Libraryland.  My new manager is fantastic, when I get to see her.  Her response time to email is a bit slow, but I am guessing that has to do with all her moving around.  She is in charge of 4 branches and I have only seen her twice since the beginning of January.  However, my concerns about expanding teen programming at my branch have been allayed and I am very hopeful that I will be able to have another regular monthly program along with a few add ins.  Teen Tech Week is coming up and I am hoping to host a Scratch program.  Our system participated in trying out this program along with a few others around the US.  “Scratch is a programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art — and share your creations on the web.”  I have tried it out a couple of times and it is a lot of fun and it is easy to create some really cool simple video games and animation videos.  This one is pretty cute, for example (I didn’t see a way to embed the project).

As for a second monthly program (the first being TAG), I am thinking about simple gaming.  I would bring a Wii and we would have table games and snacks.  Just for Teens, although we also talked about having a quarterly all ages gaming day as well.  I have to talk more about that with my children’s librarian.  For future stand alone programs, I was thinking about a Teach an Adult day, where we could have the computer lab and the video games set up and the TAG members could teach adults how to use Facebook and other technologies.  With me as their fearless leader, of course.  It would be a lot like a day at the reference desk.

What am I reading? I finished Reckless by Cornelia Funke and it was a wonderful dark fairy tale.  However, this is listed as a J book and it really shouldn’t be.  The characters are adults and there is nothing light hearted in the story.  It is tragic and dark, sex and attraction is alluded to and the characters are deeply flawed (as people are) and I think this book belonged in the teen section.  /rant

Jacob Reckless lost his father to the mirror years before he learned to follow him to the land beyond, and now he has lost his brother as well.  Will is being taken away before his eyes, a slow casualty of a war they know little about.  The dark fairy has given the Goyl, a race of stone people who are embroiled in a war with humans, the power to turn any human they harm into one of them and Will was injured by one.  Jacob must save him before the stone takes over.

There is love and longing, magic and adventure, all of it dark and brooding.  I think it would be scary for anyone under 12.  The references to fairy tales is distracting from the story–the unexplained premise being that the magical items that Jacob hunts for and some of the characters and circumstances in the alternate world explain Grimm’s fairy tales.  I think a little more introduction to this would have helped.  There are also some parts where the translation is choppy (from the German) which could have been fixed with a little more editing.  Otherwise this book is enchanting and engaging.  Definitely worth the read.

Since making angry noises on David Lee King’s blog, when he proposed that librarians should be required have their full name and picture posted on library web sites for a customer service angle, I have been evaluating having an online presence.  Up until now I have been pretty careful with my identity on the internet.  I just haven’t been ready to trust the world to leave me alone, partially due to having an ex who takes everything I say online very seriously and usually wrongly.  I was even surprised recently that his wife, who I thought was fairly savvy on the internet, saw my online prattling to mean that I spent a lot of time at happy hour and getting massages.  Since these people are already seeing me online and judging me by what I say here, why not let the world?

So I have opened up my Google profile (and so my Reader posts)  to be public, linked to my Linked-In profile and vice versa and to this blog.  I partially made this decision because of an article I read recently (which of course I cannot find now) about how prospective employers expect you to have an online presence and how if everything is locked down, you must have something to hide.  My Facebook is still pretty locked down, although you can find my name on there .  Even though I made my Google profile searchable, it isn’t coming up in a search–the fact that I have a pretty common name probably doesn’t help.   My linked-in profile is on top if you include my profession and city, but the MySpace hit is for someone else–probably because I have been inactive on there for so long.

I’m not going to do anything further to make it easier to find me right now.  Baby steps.  Most references you can find of me on the web, if you can weed them out of the b-actress hits, are from when I helped with local conferences.  Most library related things only show my first name and most comments and such use my couple of screen names.  I will see how this goes, then maybe open up a little more.  I still don’t agree with David’s premise that all librarians should be required to give up full names and pictures on a public website, but I can see the usefulness in doing so on a voluntary basis.

I’ve had the last few days off and spent the time taking my brother and his girlfriend sight seeing and to visit other family members.  We went to the Boy’s basketball game on Friday and he came home with us and he is still here now.   Yesterday was spent wandering around Pike Place Market, and of course we went to the Central Library.  We stopped at Dick’s in Queen Anne on the way back–the only place where you can get two filling meals for $10 (not something you want to do everyday, as I believe you will start having hamburger shaped protrusions emerge from your abdomen in a short time).  We took the bus around, which always lends to interesting people watching opportunities.  It’s fun being a tourist in your own city and even more fun to show off the highlights to visitors.  Next time we will have to get to the zoo and aquarium.

What am I reading? I finished The Atomic Weight of Secrets by Eden Unger Bowditch.  It was a fun book and will be great for kids (or adults) who like A Series of Unfortunate Events.  The adventure is set in 1903, and 5 children are thrown together when their scientist parents are needed for some super-secret project.  The project is so super-secret that the kids don’t know where they are or why they have been separated and go about inventing things to help them get away from the school they have been sent to and to find their missing parents.

The idea that the children of super intelligent parents will also turn out to be brilliant didn’t sit that well with me, but otherwise the story was great.  A scene where a teacher is beaten by a bad guy for information and the history of neglect by the parents of the children are a bit disturbing, so I wouldn’t recommend it to sensitive children.  I’d say the age is 7-12, but that anyone would like this book.  I am only sorry it doesn’t come out until April so I can’t start recommending it right away.

I am reading Reckless by Cornelia Funke, and while I like it, I don’t see that it is a children’s book.  It is dark, all the characters are older and I think most kids would find it scary.  It should have been put in teen or adult, but in our library system it is in the J (juvenile) section.

No complaints, no changes to the appearance.  Perhaps everyone gets updates through a reader these days.

I realized that I hadn’t posted the link to the podcast my TAG members made back in October–although it wasn’t live until early December.  So here it is.  Some of the sound is a little low; there was a fan going in the room that I couldn’t shut off without turning off the lights. 

It is supposed to snow today, but I think that Wednesday is more likely.  We never got the snow last week I was hoping for.  The temp today is holding at around 37* but it’s supposed to get much colder by Friday.  Too bad for my garden, which has managed to survive so far.  I should probably go pick all the collard greens and the little cabbages that are trying to get bigger.  The only casualty to the freezing temps last week was the rosemary.  It was growing so well previous to that, I thought it would make it through.  There are a few other things that I will turn under when Spring returns that just don’t look that edible right now.

What am I reading?  I just finished Dreadnought, which was lovely if somewhat unbelievable.  The zombie element gives things an interesting twist, but I just can’t quite get behind it.  I still enjoy the story though and it gives the impression of a well written penny-dreadful.

Tonight I will start Reckless by Cornelia Funke.  I have heard good things and can’t wait to see if they are true.

Does anyone find the text on here hard to read?  I realize that it might be a challenge, the small gray print.  Let me know–I don’t see it as often as you do.

My New Year weekend was very nice.  The Mister came into town to surprise me–at the library with flowers!  I had to restrain myself from throwing my arms around him right there.  We had a very laid back weekend.  He drove out with me to la-la-land to gather The Boy, I made us a couple of hearty dinners and breakfasts (they were on their own for lunch…) then sent him on his way Sunday afternoon.  The Boy spent most of the time doing geometry.

Libraryland is bustling right now after a week long slow down because of the holidays.  We are seeing a lot of people who got ereaders for xmas or Chanukah and are turning to libraries to fill their reading needs.  That means more competition for our digital materials and more frustration trying to use the service for the first time.  Usually once they get it to work once, they are golden, but the initial set up can be confusing.  Occasionally there is some kind of glitch where Adobe Digital Editions gets hung up over the ID and even if you put it in correctly and Adobe accepts it, permissions won’t transfer.

It is a bit depressing around here today.  Many of my coworkers in teen services are those who are affected by the budget cuts and today is their last day in their librarian positions.  Some of them are becoming assistant managers–a scheduling and circulation sort of management position–others are becoming Library Assistants–this particular position has some elements of librarianism, but is not professional and they have to try to stop themselves from doing the amount of reference they were doing up until today (it is hard to do less when you are helping the public, but they won’t be paid for that level of professionalism and if they do continue, they might be eliminating the need for more librarian positions).

What am I reading? I have started two books and I like them both.  Dreadnought, the third steampunk novel by Cherie Priest, is scratching my adult fiction itch.  The main character is nicely developed and the story is fun, somewhat suspenseful and action packed.

The other is a children’s book, along the lines of A Series of Unfortunate Events.  The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black by Eden Unger Bowditch is about 5 inventor-type children who’s parents are missing.  The children are at a strange school with a nice teacher, but where the Mysterious Men in Black visit.  I have really just started this one so I can’t tell you any more…except that it doesn’t come out until March 15th.