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I’m feeling a little guilty.  I just ended a google+ conversation with “You obviously know nothing about what libraries do, so I will just end this conversation here.”  And I added a little passive aggressive smiley face.

Why do I feel guilty?  My fellow public librarians know.  I should be using the opportunity to educate the public.  I should smile and tell about all the wonderful services we provide to those who need them.  But when you tell me that “they” should take 25% of the public library budget to create a free 4G network so that people can download books for free?  How does that provide access for all?  That serves the upper middle class single male.

I should have told him about all the free digital books we already provide–for free–as well as about the great services we can provide him when he loses his cozy coding job over at Acorp.  Living out of your car?  Get a shelter address and you can have access to 90 minutes a day of computer time, take advantage of the free wireless and download books to the e-reader you bought just before you got that pink slip.  At least till you sell it for food money.  Don’t think it could happen to you?  Watch The Company Men.  The only thing saving Bobby Walker from life on the street is a loving family.

I recently read Rotters by Daniel Kraus.  It’s a hard to believe tale about a boy who’s mother dies sending him to live with an unknown father one town over who turns out to be a grave robber.  Yes, the story is a bit unbelievable, but the situation of going from a living wage family to being practically homeless is not.  This is what our middle class male that works in tech forgets.

And what about the other people they have to share the earth with?  What about the elderly patron who can’t use a mouse?  Those who can’t imagine reading on a screen?  Those who need audiobooks on CD because they are blind and can’t see the readout?  There are many more scenarios, but I think you get my drift.

This description applies to two of my brothers and my brother in law.  I find them to be a bit more enlightened about society than many, but they still don’t quite realize how good they have it.  Doesn’t everyone have extra money every month?  And I know I shouldn’t just pick on men, but they are the majority that have these blind spots and are in the tech field.

My excuse for not educating this guy?  Google+ comments didn’t seem like the place.  It would have taken too long and too much space on someone else’s post.  Internet etiquette (netiquette?) tells us to blast away on our own forum, so here I am.

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Despite being tired it has been an excellent day. Someday I will grow up and realize that I should not stay up till all hours reading.

However! I got to make up my listening session with our interim City Librarian. There were only 3 of us there this morning, and her, and I really felt heard. I have high hopes that there will be things happening soon. Things that should make us all a little happier. We should hear more next week.

And! I got my funding! For my advisory group! I am so excited! Can you tell!?! Pizza for everybody!

And I moved all my new books to shelving where there is more room, because there are too many of them.  It seems like every month I have more new books than the last.  Don’t get me wrong, this is a good thing, but where to put them all?  Next I am going to have to read fiction again.  I have been enlisting the help of my awesome LAIV to help me do dusty shelf lists–it makes it easier to let them go if I just read over the titles after he’s pulled them.  If I handle them all, I want to keep them.  We have more of a connection.

What am I reading? I have been super lazy about updating goodreads and netgalley. I hope they will forgive me for another week or so. But I have been reading. When don’t I?

I am trying to finish Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin because it is due tomorrow. I heard about it from a friend who wrote a blog post for the library. It intrigued me enough to use one of my precious 25 hold spots for it, although the library didn’t have very many copies so it took a while to get it. In the mean time, I totally forgot why I put it on hold. I finally remembered today when I was talking about it with my manager.  This series was first published in the late 70’s and details life in that time in San Francisco.  As you can imagine, there is a lot of love going on, love of all kinds.  It is San Francisco after all.  I think one of the reasons why the description of this book was so appealing was because my uncle ran away to San Francisco when he was young, in the 70’s.  I hoped to see a little of what his life might have been like then.  He came back later, with a life partner and aids.  I loved him very much, even though I didn’t spend time with him until his return.  There was one visit to see them in San Fran when I was a kid, but I really only remember stuffing chicken in my cheeks.  I was going through a phase where I didn’t want to swallow food.

I can’t know if this book gives a window into what he experienced.  He’s been gone for a while now, and his partner several years later.  There’s no one left to ask.  I hope he enjoyed it.  Tales of the City makes it sound like it could have been fun, and if not, then seriously interesting.  The characters are deep, although you don’t realize it at first, and Maupin has a crazy way of making all of them interconnected.  Toward the end of the book, where I am now, you come to realize there is a mystery. I don’t know what it is yet, but I think I will very soon.  It might be another late night.

I am occasionally… well… silly?  And I don’t mind saying so, yes I am sure there are more pertinent words.  Sometimes my mind doesn’t make word associations, or I can’t think of the word that I want.  Luckily I work and live in places where I can look things up constantly.  In fact, that is about 50% of my job.

So, I was out with family last night after my dad’s choir performance and the boys were talking about Starcraft.  That is a foreign language to me (I seriously didn’t know most of the nouns and verbs they were using).  My sister and I just found other things to talk about, between throwing napkins at them, until I brought up the subject of BFD.  I was explaining to her about why I called the place where my son lives that acronym and she said “yeah, or you could mean BFD.”  I was lost, and she explained and I was flabbergasted.

You all probably thought of that right away and thought “she sure is going a long way to make this stuff up.”  But really, honestly in all the years I’ve been blogging never thought of Big F*ing Deal.  Never did.  Until now.  My reference is ruined.  I will have to think of a new moniker.   Any ideas?  Something that won’t give the actual place away?

What am I reading? Well, my sound recording of the newest Bloody Jack book has let me down.  Somehow it ended at the end of chapter 53 (yes, there are a lot of chapters) and it wasn’t over yet.  I have to find out what happened to my missing chapters.  However, I have heard enough to be cautionary to younger readers.  These books get a bit promiscuous.  This one has a whole ship of prostitutes and the captain has some interesting views.  I still love it, but will be more careful about recommending the series to young readers.

Nothing to Envy is still holding my interest. It takes me longer to read real adult books, but I am 2/3’s of the way through, so will have a report for you soon.

I am rewatching rab ne bana di Jodi.  It is the first real bollywood movie I saw after Slumdog Millionaire.  I forgot how much I liked it.  The dream dance sequence is sublime. Forgive the ad.

I can’t let my readers scare me.  I know there are some who are reading my blog in hopes to find some thing to report; to shame me or to prove that I dislike my son’s other family.  Just so you know, if you find some thing that fits your criteria, you have fabricated it to be so.  While we have our differences in parenting styles and social mores, I don’t think badly of them and in fact really respect the things they have accomplished since I have known them.  If the circumstances were different, if we didn’t have the history, I believe we could have been friends.

I ran from my last blog, which had a healthy amount of followers, when I found that some were scouring it for “bad things” to pass on.  I hated the idea of being watched like that.  I akin it to living in a small town, knowing all your neighbors and somehow garnering a bad reputation so that the local past time becomes spotting your next transgression.  It’s enough to make you want to pull up stakes and move out of town.  That is the cowards way out though and I won’t be doing it again.  If  you want to know what I am up to, you can continue to find out right here.  Hopefully the neighbors will get bored and start minding their own business, but I’m not counting on it.  I am also not making my Twitter private, as I think it takes away from the point of it all.  I will block trolls though.

I like this blog.  I plan to make it better and maybe stop being lazy and start including more pictures–at least of book covers.  I admit that I hate finding a cover, downloading the picture then uploading it again.  I wish there was some photo repository in the sky (or the cloud) where I could just link to the url.  Maybe Goodreads will let me use theirs…

Oh, and yes I have learned my lesson.  No more sarcastic twitter posts about misspellings.  Be nice and let the person know.  These days you can’t assume you are shouting into a void.  And I should help my friends, not mock them, however anonymous it felt at the time.

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.