Monthly Archives: August 2008

Cool Mary Engelbreit stuff…

Depending on your taste, you may be very, very excited about what I’m going to tell you.

Michael’s Craft Stores has put some of the Mary Engelbreit collection on sale…and some of it is library oriented. Including: a couple of really cool posters, genre signs (science fiction, poetry, myths, non-fiction, etc), and some other neat stuff.

Of course, Mary Engelbreit’s stuff is kind of on the busy, girly side, but I think they’d be good in the juvenile department.

One time I downloaded a Mary Engelbreit wallpaper for my desktop and after it loaded, I couldn’t see my icons. Yikes. Now that’s busy.

I don’t want to say I told you so…


Here is a recent article from American Libraries Direct about the increased usage of libraries during recession:
Many great factoids in it that you might want to use for presentations and publications.

Hmmm, it kind of reminds me of an article that I had e-published:

I just noticed that the rough draft of my article was printed – with spelling errors.  Tres, tres professional!

Kitchen Fanatics

Hmmm, I have noticed a trend in public library staff kitchens.  (Keep reading, this is professionally relevant…er, sort of…)

1 – High quantity of signs – including at least one that demands all staff wash their dishes because ‘your mother does not work here’

2 – Most food and packaging has a date written on it in permanent marker.  Usually in very neat teacher handwriting.

3 – A freezer packed with ice cream and popsicles – some from as far back as the early 80s. (Because people tend to not throw out the items with the dates written on them.)  Generally these are leftovers from some story time or teen activity.

4 – A very large container brimming with pop cans.  Because librarians do have the tendency to consume massive quantities of caffeine.

Hmmmm…yes.  That about sums it up.  OH!  I almost forgot the magazines.  Lots of magazines.  And catalogs.  Many non-book related catalogs.  Mary Kay and Avon catalogs.  Never seen any hunting or sports gear catalogs.  Poor male librarians.  Poor, poor guys.

I take comfort in knowing that those are the regular sights in most, if not all library kitchens.  If anything, we’re kind of predictable creatures.

Pecha Kucha

So last week, I went to Pecha Kucha in the D. For the uninitiated, using Powerpoint, Pecha Kucha allows presenters 20 slides, with 20 seconds dedicated to each slide on any particular topic.  In one evening, some of the brightest and most creative minds in photography, architecture, sculpture, design, and technology speak.  The quick format provides a brief synopsis of topics and is great for presenting the arts, but if done correctly could fit any profession.

I read about Pecha Kucha in Presentation Zen and as the book states, you can do a 6 minute and 20 second presentation followed by a 45 minutes of in-depth discussion, or a lengthy 45 minute presentation that leaves little time for follow up.  I like the follow up discussion more, myself.

But Pecha Kucha is a bit of an art and to be effective it must be done well.  I think it would be fun to teach this to librarians – it would be effective as a sales pitch at Chamber of Commerce meetings, Town Hall meetings, Board meetings…just meetings.

If you’ve been to Pecha Kucha, what do you think?  Is this something our profession can do and do well?  I hope so…I believe it is boosts of creativity like this that we need!

Filtering the Internet

now with a new title “Cyberwarfare”.

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Custom Woodworking Options

Hey all – if your library needs custom cabinets, shelving, wood restoration or other things, check out your state Department of Corrections.  Almost always, they will have a woodworking shop where you can get amazing stuff custom made for a very low cost.

In Michigan, the number to call is 517-241-7352.

Book overload.

And multimedia overload in general. My friends are recommending DVDs, CDs, and Books in quantities that are becoming ridiculous. I appreciate their kindness, knowing full well that they wish for me to be entertained, intellectually involved, and well, just happy, darn it. But honestly, sometimes I feel like recommending books to a librarian is a bit like giving health advice to a doctor.

Glancing at my floor I see…

Marly and Me
The Master Butchers Singing Club
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night
The Painted Veil (the DVD)
Organizing Your Home Office for Success
many, many, many mentorship books

I secretly revel in it, but regret giving things back to my friends un- watched/listened/read. Slight pangs of guilt ensue. But I recover quickly.

I’m reading the newest Mary Doria Russell book. I was hitting a terrible drought of reading ADD, unable to find anything that would really capture me. And then sweet Mary saved the day, as she always does. The woman is incapable of writing a bad book. Awesome.

Sexy Library Totes

A while back I was talking about the green movement in libraries and such. I was trying to remember what library had amazing totes. It was Canton PL!

Laurie at Canton Public Library, in Canton, Michigan sent me a pic and well…I think it speaks for itself.

Love it! The library is not selling them for a profit, instead, they want to make the world a bit greener and end the scourge (and annoyance) of plastic bags. They are selling like hotcakes! I can see why…forget Justin Timberlake…Canton PL is bringing sexy back! 😉

A Need For Speed – and Lower Standards

I have known for a while, but finally confirmed, two facts about librarianship:

1 – Patrons are beginning to have less and less patience and want things immediately.
2 – They will settle for information that is not quite right or thoroughly researched if they can get it quickly.

Hmmm, how will we ever compete with this need for speed?  It’s cultural and not just library related, I know.

Perhaps it’s time for required reading for all humans.