Thursday, April 30, 2009

The laundry is talking to me: Thing 22

I am embarrassed to admit that, English degree and all, I have never read Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I know, I know. It's humiliating. And, should I continue to work in a library, I have to do it. It's not that I don't want to, it's just that my reading gets sandwiched in between everything else. Which is fine for books you don't have to concentrate on (I just finished A Great and Terrible Beauty). But if my mind can't hold on between the kitten knocking over yet another lamp and finding the ringing cell phone, and chaos, chaos, before my husband comes in from his run, it's not getting read. Unless it's an audio book -- which I can use to keep me from going insane while folding laundry (on my Favorite Things to Do List, folding laundry is right next to getting paper cuts and slamming my index finger in the car door). Making them download-able means less planning for me, which is also good because I generally don't plan to fold laundry. It just becomes a necessity I am shamed into when the pile becomes large enough to eat small pets.

Image: Jane models my laundry face.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pod People: Thing 21

Because I am a nerd, I already have a favorite literary podcast. I've been listening to it for years. Although, since a certain dark wizard was defeated, I have not listened to it much at all. Being library people, I feel you won't judge me too harshly. My (used to be favorite) podcast. If you haven't heard the Christmas songs, you're in for a treat.

I'm sure there are many uses for podcasts at the library, specifically for book discussions with visiting authors, book group discussions and I would love to form a teen book podcast, produced and hosted by and for teens.

Now who wants to make me a teen associate so we can get this show on the net?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What do you mean you've never heard of Marvin Suggs? Thing 20

I knew right away what video I wanted to post. A fabulous little diddy from my childhood that far too many people have never seen. Let's see if it works.

One isn't always lonely: Thing 19

One sentence. Of the Web 2.0 Award Winners, this was (of the ones I had not previously explored) my favorite. It's the writing-major in me. I love projects like this. Create a story in one word. It appeals to the Keep It Simple Stupid method of writing that was enforced upon me by Strunk and White, my favorite English professor , and every editor I ever had.

I enjoyed reading through and wondering which ones were real. In a way, it reminded me of Overheard in New York.

Here's a few:

On especially quiet mornings I jolt awake because I am reminded of the morning I wasn't awoken by your tiny cries.

skankin' rob
My boss, who has no college degree and can barely utter a coherent syllable let alone an articulate sentence, is the supervisor of a Yale Graduate with far too much debt.

prom sucked.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Killer rabbits, killer chefs: Thing 18*

Google Docs. Love it! I made a simple (we're talking Sandra Lee simple) document, saved it and, yay! Document!

Genius. I love it. I will be using this to save the knitting patterns and recipes I create and post them to my blog. Love it. If I can remember only one thing from 23 Things (and I hope I have more room in my brain than that), it will be this.
*For this header to make sense, you have to open the document. Even then, it's a stretch.

Friday, March 27, 2009

It's P.B. Wiki Time! P.B. Wiki Time!

Well, that was fun! Like answering one of those fill-in-the-blanks emails without all the ">>>>>>"s to remove and spam your friends.

I entered my favorite wine, favorite vacation spots and favorite restaurant.

I can see this being an excellent resource for reader's advisory, book groups, craft groups. My first thought was that it would be great for teen groups too -- but you never know what sort of havoc may be wreaked when you combine teen angst with an anonymous forum. Hummm........

You ARE useful, aren't you? Thing 16, wiki

My gut reaction to wiki was always an eye roll. Uttering "Wikipedia" in a room of journalists results in groans and eye rolling. It's notorious for being complete nonsense, totally unreliable. And you shouldn't so much as look at it, less ye be tainted with its filth.

So I never really thought about a wiki's uses in other forums. But of course, its weakness when fact-finding (anyone can publish their so-called "facts") is a strength when you are actually searching for opinions and suggestions.

And I've always known that -- I just didn't know that was a wiki. Poor wiki. Scandalized by it's infamous cousin "ipedia."

I love the idea of using it for lists of favorites and suggestions. For conferences? I don't know. I wouldn't want to rely on it for actual important facts like What Time Is Lunch and Where. I've known too many people who give strangers made up directions to places in a attempt to be helpful, i.e., "The bank building? Oh,, head up to that KFC and take a right. Then go straight. You can't miss it." (Is that a Southern Thing? Too polite to say "I dunno"?)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Oh! Oh! Thing #15: Library 2.0 & Web 2.0

Earlier today, I was speaking to someone who was considering a job in the oil industry. After pondering, she said. "Well, not that that industry has any future since we're all going to be driving hybrid cars in a few years." I disagree. Loudly.

For all the talk of new energy sources -- solar power, hybrid cars, wind farms -- the fact remains that not a single jet has been designed to fly on anything but jet fuel. I'm sure the same is said of many similar energy-reliant products. So although we are (thankfully, belatedly, mercifully) headed towards renewable energy sources, the oil and natural gas industry isn't going to disappear in my lifetime. Will it change? Absolutly. Disappear? No.

I think the same holds true of books, and for that matter, libraries. They will not disappear, they will continue -- but in a hybrid fashion. As evidence, I have yet to work one day in an empty library. Ever. But looking around, the view is certainly different from the libraries of my youth. Most obvious are the computers. Some would argue that's not what libraries are for. But look at what people are doing on those computers: reading, researching and playing. All that stuff libraries were designed to help people do. Is some of it fluff? Junk? Sure it is! The same could be argued about many books in any given library (*cough* especially near the paperback rack *cough*).

Libraries were, are and will always be places of knowledge. How we receive that knowledge may change, but our need for knowledge will not.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Technorati Makes Me Think of Illuminati: Thing 14

Way back in the beginning of my Internet career, we used to have to provide our copy editors with a list of keywords that they would imbed into the HTML code of our stories. This way, search engines could find us. But scam sites and advertisers would do the same thing. So searching for a particular topic would bring up a slew of unrelated junk trying to sell you something or leech viruses onto your machines.

Then along came Google. The reason Google works so well is that it ignores keyword tagging. Instead it uses a method of how many other sites link to a particular site when using a certain word.

Technorati, like the search engines in the old Internet, uses keywords -- which is both good and bad. Good, if you are an honest blogger trying to get your writing a larger readership. Good, if you are looking for knitting blogs (A found a TON more that I had never heard of). Bad in that you may waste quite a bit of time not finding what you are looking for -- just finding items incorrectly (or loosely) tagged that way. For example, when I searched "library," the top pick was Miscellaneous Mom, who has no association with libraries except that she recently visited one. So the keyword tagging relies upon the honesty of the tagger. Hummmmm.....

However, the "Popular" feature is a great way to find new blogs that people (other than the blog owner) like. In that way, it's a lot like Digg.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Delicious: Thing 13

I love Delicious! Especially seeing as how I move from library to library and from computer to computer, this is going to make things so much easier. I have a flash drive that I keep with me at all times -- it's been good for toting around documents and projects I'm working on -- but it's rather cumbersome for bookmarking Web sites. So I had started a file in my Outlook that I use for pulling up remote access to meeting room calendars, etc. (don't worry Library -- that one is not publicly shared) But this is much more user friendly -- and unlike Outlook, Delicious doesn't log me out every few minutes.

And as an added bonus, I can stop trying to remember how to spell "Icanhascheezburger." It's filed under "cute."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rolling with it: Thing 12

I have been putting off Rollo Day. Probably because, in my years as a journalist, I became very adept at searching for legitimate answers on the Web. And this was Not One of Them. My main problem being that using Google, the Grand Poo Bah of searching, yields a lot of junk but it also leads you to new legitimate sites you may otherwise never have discovered -- something that will never happen with Rollo.

But ignoring this site forever wouldn't be very progressive of me, would it?

So I put it off for a few days. And tried to find a rationale for my aversion. And that turned into weeks. And then we got a reminder email.....

And then it dawned on me that without using the darned thing, I couldn't have much of an opinion. So today, I tried to make it relevant.

In a short time (days? weeks?) my new niece, Lucy, will be born. Her mother, my sister-in-law and dear friend, has had many, many complications leading up to this birth. With every new complication, I would hit the net, trying to learn more. Generally, this search would turn up a lot of hits on message boards: "I have this problem. Does anyone know the answers?" Mostly, these would be followed by posts of "Me too! Anyone know the answer?", repeated over and over. I quickly learned to find actual answers using a few pregnancy sites and WebMD.

Finally, I understood the usefulness of Rollo. If I only plan to search specific sites -- and want no information outside those sites, this is a Good Thing (as Martha Stewart would say). With this in mind, I created the Rollo search Nervous Mama, a combination of, and Perfect for finding out causes of horrible lower back pain, sans frantic repetative postings.

But I'm not sure when else I might need a similar search tool. The great thing about the net is how much information is out there -- and how much new information appears every day. Rollo restricts this, so, unless one is annoyed by excess information (and if you are in the library profession, that's probably not you) it seems only to limit learning.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Thing 11: Library Thing

I must admit, I was biased against Library Thing, seeing as how I am already frighteningly involved in Shelfari. However, at first glance, I have to admit that Library Thing may be a better program -- it's faster to load, clearly organized and the forums are much easier to follow. That being said, Shelfari is, well, pretty. On Shelfari, you can arrange books on your virtual shelf by date read, reading progress, favorites or manually shuffle them around to your heart's content. It appeals to the manically ordered part of me. Library Thing seems a bit more utilitarian.

Any Library Thing followers want to convert me?

Image courtesy of the Fighting Librarian.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Image is Everything: Thing 10

Wordle: amyslibraryblog
© 2008 Jonathan Feinberg

I love how the instructions for Thing #10 urge us to "be tasteful." But it's so harrrrrrrrrrrrd with image generating. So here' s me in a valiant attempt to remain tasteful while exploring the links one can find on The Generator Blog.

Generators I played with other than the one used above include:

Cheese Rating! Apparently my is "Neufch√Ętel."

My Chuck Norris Random Fact is "Chuck Norris sleeps with a night light. Not because Chuck Norris is afraid of the dark, but the dark is afraid of Chuck Norris "

And my pagan name is Callista Emerald Bard (which is funny because my last name is already actually "Pagan" so....yeah).

Feed Me! Thing 8

So for Thing #8, I subscribed to Bloglines. After going berserk and subscribing to about a zillion different feeds, I received a nasty awakening: I was NEVER going to read all this. I started frantically deleting them, like junk mail -- or really, like email newsletters that I never intended to read.

So I scaled it back to six feeds: NYT Book Review, Publisher's Weekly, the Shifted Librarian, Yarn Harlot, Word of the Day, and Tulsa Weather (careful readers will notice that's actually seven feeds -- I added one while typing this).

My initial reaction? Great idea. But I'm not thrilled with the application. Bloglines was constantly logging me out, or shoving me into their Beta version which wasn't communicating with the previous version. To find the "1000 most popular" feeds button, I had to log out and log back in. Yuck.

I've had RSS feeds before and, much like my Martha Stewart Craft A Day email, most got deleted before I read them. But not all. We'll see what survives.

Oh, and in the spirit of Thing 8, I've added an RSS feed for this page. So click the thingy on the left if you want me to feed you.

Friday, February 6, 2009


I told you I was the geek in the front row. Please note my Shelfari shelf on the left side of the page. Um, ah, do I get extra credit for this? (waves hand wildly from the front row)

One of the teens at the Broken Arrow branch showed Shefari to me. Now we can swap reading recommendations, even when I'm not subbing there. The obsessive-compulsive part of me loves adding books and shuffling them around. I do the same thing at home, but the online version annoys my husband less.

Oh, OK. If I don't get extra credit, I guess this is my blog for Thing #7. So here's my favorite quote about technology:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Arthur C. Clarke, "Profiles of The Future", 1961

I try to keep that in mind when teaching the Really Basic Computer Class. And it reminds me of the first time I logged onto the Internet in college. The Microsoft butterfly, batting it's wings, looked so cool to me. How old does that make me? I also remember when web pages would just deadend. End of page -- no link out. Too funny.

Pictured: Not really me.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Picasa Day

So today is Picasa Day. My first impression is that it is a cross between National Geographic, Facebook college-student postings and Blair-Witch leftovers -- but most of it is of the National Geographic sort, like this, this and this.

I was very happy to find the Yup'ik tribal mask. That's the tribal area where I lived in the Southwestern Bush of Alaska.

I played Where in the World with a final (dismal) score of 617. But on the up side, apparently I know Texas -- even when the photo only shows tree tops and clouds. How odd is that? I must have spent a lot of my time in Texas looking to the skies, hopefull for an alien abduction. (And if you believe in that sort of thing, this was written about the neighborhood I lived in while in high school. And the author was spoofed in the episode of the X-Files which featured Alex Trebek).

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

7 1/2 Habits

As someone who will be starting a MLIS program soon, I can't see any of the 7 1/2 Habits as "difficult." I've always been a lifelong learner (only I think I have always described myself as The Geek in the Front Row of Class Waving My Hand Wildly In a Pick-Me-I-Know-The-Answer-Way). And I have been chomping at the bit to get my Master's for quite some time.

Oddly enough, the only time I thought it was "too late" and I was too old to go to grad school was a year or so after I had graduated from college (yes, I was ancient in my early 20s).

So if I had to choose a "most difficult" I would say it would have to be "Play," as going to grad school and working at the same time (and reading, and knitting) will more than likely leave little room for "Play."

I see all the other Habits as easy, but I guess I'm most excited about Teach/Mentor Others. As I've said before, I luuuuuuuve to teach people. It gives me endless joy to see the Oh-I-Get-It-Now-Look shine on someone's face.

Pictured: the hands of my teen Knit Wits

Confession of a blogger

So this isn't my first blog -- it's one of many. My most active being KnottyLady, my knitting blog that has morphed into my knitting-and-life blog. As a life-long writer, I find making metaphors of things suits me, and I'm able to find a connection to knitting with most things in my life.

I'm not a permanent library person (yet) but I did have the pleasure of having a long-term sub situation at Broken Arrow recently and was able to start a knitting and reading club for teens. I've always encouraged my knitting students to teach others to knit and so on. In that sense, it's easy to tie our connections visually, imagining them as a long scarf that goes on and on and on through generations, sort of like the blanket Aunt Tita makes in Like Water for Chocolate. It's a cliche', but it makes me happy.

I'm looking forward to learning new tech tricks with 23 Things and figuring out how to weave them into my library work.

First post

This is my first Con Ed course with the Library. And since I'm a sub, I'm not gettting "credit" for it, per say, but I am looking forward to learning a few new things!