Monthly Archives: June 2009

3M Is Suing Envisionware

I have to thank my boss, Rob, for bringing this to my attention.  And now I’m bringing it to YOUR attention, my dear library friends – you should be concerned.

3M is suing Envisionware for patent infringement.

You can read more about it here.

Did Envisionware infringe on 3M’s patents?  I don’t know.  But it seems to me that maybe the library world should be a little more than concerned about this.  Be prepared – you can bet the cost of RFID and similar services will most likely go up.  3rd party vendors that use RFID and similar products that 3M is suing over are going to be hiring lawyers to help protect themselves in this case.

As a profession that prides itself on providing access to information and resources, why aren’t we upset about the availability and cost of the resources provided to us?

The economy and teen services, plus, Chicago food…yum

First off, I’m working on an article for YALS about teen services and the economy.  If you’re a teen or tween services librarian and would like to put YOUR two cents in, please leave a comment!  How has the economy been affecting your library services?  Are more teens coming in?  What are they coming in for?  Media?  Books?  To use the computers? To ask for work or chances to volunteer?

Now in other notes, it’s pretty clear that I haven’t blogged recently.  Let me tell you a little something – going to conference is a tough thing if you’re a librarian.  But if you’re a librarian who works as a vendor – wow – there’s a lot to do.  Massive amounts of documents, displays, prizes, and other materials have to be arranged, shipped, printed, received, noted, counted…well, you get the idea.  When I was a librarian I used to walk past the vendor thinking they had it so easy, they just had to stand there!  Oh what a haughty fool I was!

So what am I going to do in Chicago to give myself a pat on the back for all of my hard preparation?  Why eat, of course!  Here are my recommendations in Chicago –

  • Rosebud on Rush – great Italian food – white table clothes, great wait staff – go in nice clothes, but I’ve seen folks there in jeans.
  • The restaurant at the Palmer House – I have no idea what it’s called.  And I’m too lazy to look it up right now.  Bu they have lemon breakfast pancakes that are to die for.  When I was 12 my grandfather took me there and I wasted an entire order of pancakes because I insisted I wasn’t hungry.  Looking back, I am appalled at my 12 year old self for passing up the lemony, powder sugary goodness of those fantastic pancakes.  I’ve made up for it during every visit to Chi-town since.
  • A coney island.  Any coney island.  I want a chili dog with onions and mustard and a side of fries.
  • Beer and brats at Wrigley Field.  I don’t know if I’ll have time to catch a game, but something about that combo is ever better at a ball game.

Well, happy eating and conferencing.

100+ Alternative Search Engines

Saw this article on Delicious today:

Looking for PDFs, books, music, video, or search file sharing sites?  Take a look – with all of the options listed, you’re sure to find something of interest!


Check this out:

A fun resource!  You won’t get any hits if you get the title even a tad wrong or misspell, however.  But that is certainly fair.

Pass it on!

Please don’t touch other patrons’ legs.

I don’t care if they aren’t attached.

While subbing at a library in the Kansas City area a while back, I had the following exchange with a patron:

Patron: “Um, Miss, someone left their leg and their back pack near the seating area over there?!”
Me: “Yes, I see that,” I say, as I glance over to see a prosthetic leg and brightly colored backpack.  “Well, I suppose they will come back for it.  They must have left it there for a reason.  I imagine they are here somewhere.”
Patron: “Well, should we hold onto it or just leave it?  What if they forgot it or something.”
Me: “No, Sir, I think we should leave it, that doesn’t seem something that is easy to forget, plus there is a back pack near it.”
Patron: “Well, okay, I won’t move the leg.”
Me: “Yes, please don’t move the leg.  But thank you for letting me know.”

An hour later I looked up to see that the leg and bag disappeared as mysteriously as they had shown up.

Proof that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

Food for thought…

There has been the most amazing conversation happening at the YALSA general discussion listserv about two of my favorite things – FOOD and BOOKS.  Someone asked for ideas about books with food themes so that teens could come to book club and actually cook the meals made in the books.  I love these and really wanted to share.  It’s a fun idea for any age.

(The post that started the conversation) We are going to try changing our teen book club to a cooking/book club for the summer.  Each time they meet they will cook a recipe related to the book (i.e. Chicken Enchiladas and Twilight).  We are having a hard time coming up with some book/food choices.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Below are the some of the ideas that were shared – names and libraries excluded:

It might be fun to read one of the survival type books (i.e. How I Live Know, Life as We Knew it, Hunger Games, Hatchet) and make a meal out of some of the types of foods the characters lived on.

You could read The Fold by An Na and make bibimbap (spelling varies) as Joyce does.

Soul Enchilada by Gill
Nothing to Lose by Flinn (some kind of carnival food)
Cupid: A tale of love and desire by Lester (ambrosia)

The first thing that came to mind was actually the Percy Jackson series and for food you could make Ambrosia. I also thought of /13 Little Blue Envelopes/ and making food relevant to the countries she visits. Also, /Al Capone Does My Shirts /and lemon cake.

What about cooking a diner-style breakfast to go along with “The Fortunes of Indigo Skye.”

Maybe you could make something that you think the character would probably eat, based on everything else in the story or the location, even if it is never explicitly stated.  A story taking place in Philadelphia could = Philly cheese steaks, for instance. 

For younger teens, you could do Project Mulberry and have them eat KimChi.

Another good one that combines growing up and food is Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer.

Library Day at Comerica Park

Go Tigers!

Go Tigers!

It’s summer time! You finally have Sundays off while school is out and wouldn’t it be fun to catch a ball game PLUS see all your library friends? Well, you can!

Announcing Library Day at Comerica Park on Sunday, August 9 at 1:05 PM as the Tigers take on the Minnesota Twins!

You’re going to need a special order form, which you can pick up here:

Tickets are $12 and children ages 3 and under are FREE!
(Assumes the child will be in your lap – if you’d like to have a seat for them, then you will have to buy a ticket. )

Deadline for the order form is July 10!

Here are some FAQs:

Who are you and why are you setting this up?
My name is Christine Ayar.  I’m a Wayne State Grad, I was formerly a clerk and substitute librarian at Salem-South Lyon and was Library Director at the Adam Cardinal Maida Library.  Now I work for Evanced Solutions in Indianapolis.

I love baseball and I think librarians need to get together in public places to demonstrate to people that a) we exist and b) librarians don’t just sit around and read all day.  Plus, it’s just plain fun.

Is this in conjunction with any association or company or specific library?
No, it’s not.  It’s just me.  I set it up, contacted the Tigers, got the order form ready, etc.

Who can attend?
Anyone.  I called it “Library Day” because I didn’t want to limit it to just librarians.  Bring your librarians, your clerks, your pages, their families, their neighbors, your library board, their cousins – whomever.

What should I expect at this game?
Well, baseball, mostly.  The Tigers told me that if we get enough attendees, they will put us on the big screen and do an announcement for us about how folks should visit their local library.  I was also thinking of setting us up with some fun signs – like, the Dewey number for Baseball or something silly and fun. 

Where are the seats?
Seats will in the Upper Reserved area Sections 338-344.

How do I access the order form?
Visit the link above.  You will want to download the form from there.   Sorry if it looks funky – the Internet was not kind to my creation!

Is my money going to be safe?
Your money and associated communications go right to the Tigers.  There isn’t any mark up and the ticket rep there will hold all of the information to get your tickets to you.

When will I get my tickets?
You will receive your tickets via U.S. Postal Service within three weeks of your order.

How can I contact you if I have more questions?
You can email me at chrisayar at yahoo dot com

What are the directions to the ball park?
Here’s all of the information you might need:

What if I miss the order deadline?
You can order through the Tigers after the Library Day deadline, but there is no guarantee you will be sitting with other library people.

Can’t I just call the box office?
You can, however, there is no guarantee you will be seated with the other library-type folks and doing so will limit our chances of getting the announcement.  And that would make every one sad!  You don’t want to make everyone sad, do you?!?!

Bringing library results to the forefront of your website…

I love this website for the way it highlights questions:

Scroll down to about the middle of the homepage and you’ll see questions that people recently posted to bulletin boards. But wouldn’t it be great if the same thing could be done by librarians as they answer reference questions? They’d have to ask the patron if it is okay of course, and I wouldn’t post the more sensitive ones but what a cool way to share knowledge and also show the community what you are fielding on a day to day basis!

Busy Bee

Bzzz Bzz Bzzz

Bzzz Bzz Bzzz

I can’t stand bees.  I’m highly allergic.  Just thinking about them makes my throat more than a little itchy.  ACK! But I can’t think of a better parallel to how life has been in recent days. So, yes, dear readers, I will say I have been a busy, busy bee.


Here’s a report of library type things that I haven’t been able to keep my hands out of recently:
I’m writing an article for YALS about how the recession is affecting teen services in libraries.  Anyone care to comment?
I’ve been working on the Infoquest text messaging reference pilot project, set to launch in the middle of the month.
My Emerging Leaders project might just cause me to snap, but do you know what saves me?  My very cool team and the fact that the responses we are getting are pretty fascinating.  I’ll be sure to summarize what we find when the project is done.  (We’ve been researching how rural libraries build community relations and what resources they use to improve those relations…)
And I’m preparing for ALA Annual Conference.  Dear reader, let me tell you:  Conference is a tad stressy if you’re a librarian.  When you’re a vendor, it’s just flat out stressy.  I never appreciated how much work goes into pulling together a booth and such, and I’m not even doing the lion’s share of the work (yay for great bosses).  Perhaps part of it is that I am presenting several times (all for Emerging Leaders) plus working at the booth. 
If I can say anything about Evanced it is that we love our presentations.  You show us a good presentation topic and we’ll show you a staff that’s willing to present.  I am looking forward to it all, however.  A girl needs a good adrenaline rush and my goodness – to be busy AND be in the bustling Windy City – oh how cosmopolitan it all sounds!  (Note to self, channel inner Katharine Hepburn for the week…)
In non-library related events, I’m taking a cheese making class.  A girl needs cheese, right?  Will report back on that one as well.
And in blog stats, the things that make my blog most popular, in the order of most popular to least:
  1. Amelia Earhart
  2. My semi-mockery of a prayer for Librarians
  3. Libraries and sustainable design

I can’t really make that up.  It’s true as true can be.  Maybe I just need to focus on an Amelia Earhart blog.  If my cheese post becomes most popular, then I’m really going to question my career choice. 

Have a rockin’ week my friends.