Wednesday, October 08, 2008

help me brainstorm!

I'm attempting to make the YA section a bit more interesting and I have some space I want to fill. Until I can meet with the Teen Advisory Group (December) I want to put up some random quotes from YA books, movies, tv show etc. So, gimme some quotes, bit it from The Outsiders, Sixteen Candles, or Gossip Girls! Funny, thoughtful, strange (just PG so I don't get in trouble!!!)

The more the merrier! Than I can rotate them. Everyone knows a YA section should never be static for more than a few weeks.

Friday, October 03, 2008

empty canvas, blank page

So, after a day of training, I snuck over into the Young Adult section to sort of figure out the sitch with the layout and such. The librarian that is training me told me I could pretty much do whatever I wanted to with the area. There are lots of cool spots of displays and such. The wall of the end of the shelf is pretty much a giant display board, there are similar spots above the book cases in one area, and then a large bulletin board on the wall.

There is also a really creepy mannequin that they apparently acquired from Talbot's for the heck of it. She's dressed as a cowgirl. Every time I walked into the area, she freaked me out because I thought she was a person! She's taking up a valuable seat, so I think I will move her somewhere else. I'm wondering what other poses she could do...

ANYWAY - I need to start brainstorming what sort of stuff I'd want decorating the area. I need lots of ideas because, as everyone knows, any area designed for teens needs to be changing and updated constantly to keep them coming back to check it out. I'm thinking of using some Unshelved comics (probably the Sunday Reader's Advisory ones). Need to think of a way to decorate for Teen Read Week...

yeah, seeing the YA section and thinking of all the stuff I can do to it makes me excited about this job. The endless training of stuff I already am familiar with is just wearing me out. I wish they could have just asked me what I knew already before hand because I'm getting a little tired of saying "yes, I know that." Ah well, next week is pretty much all floor time, plus I get to attend the Children's Librarian meeting. Perhaps we can play some programs for the tweens!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

training training training

Well, it has been a very busy couple of days and I am totally wiped out. The weirdest part is that I've been in training, which means sitting in a room and being talked at a lot. Most of it is stuff I'm already familiar with. I'm so itching to get out onto the desk and be a librarian again.

There's a small pile of papers on my desk at work with meeting minutes and such. Looks like I'll be playing an active part in the collection development process when it comes to the YA collection. "Active" meaning they send in lists of items that need to be repurchased every few months. HCPL still has branch by branch collections instead of a shared collection like AACPL has, so I'll have to get used to that. Both forms have their advantages and disadvantages.

I learned how to navigate their catalog system. They are using Horizon, which is made by SIRSI, the same people that made Workflows, which is what I've been using for the past 4 years. A few similarities, more so with the new version of workflows that I saw briefly before leaving my LA position. A few more ways to narrow your search, which is always helpful.

One of the librarians is planning a Beatles program for November. I'm so going to try to help out with that because The Beatles pretty much got me where I am today. Talk about full circle! Anyway, need to brainstorm up some activities for that.

Tomorrow, I think I get to actually work the desk for a little bit instead of just shadowing. Here's hoping that there are not any microfilm questions. *shudders at thought of fiddling with that machine*

Monday, September 29, 2008

down by the river...

Survived my first day. Most of it was signing papers and having forms explained to me. I have to pick my health care coverage. You know, they should really train stuff like that in school. I'm looking at the forms thinking "hm...yeah, I'll take the cheapest and hope for the best." I know that's not how to do it but whatever.

Also had a mini-computer training. This system doesn't do paper memos anymore, everything is e-mail. On the one hand that is very Green and cool. On the other hand, I opened my email for the first time today and I already have 169 messages.

Of course, it doesn't help that the branch I now work at has 60+ employees. YES THAT'S RIGHT -- OVER SIXTY PEOPLE! BDN had 7 full-time staff, 2 part-time, 2 job-share, and 8 Pages. Hardly compares.

They have a very cool Intranet too. They've got a staff e-zine that everyone can add to with updates about themselves or their families. I think that is pretty spiffy. Didn't really have a whole lotta time to browse it. They did snap my photo for the online staff directory. They did not have a make-up artist or hair stylist on hand so I'm sure I look scary.

The last half of the day was spent wandering the branch and learning random tidbits from the manager on the system and it's philosophies. I'm very excited!

COOLEST THING: The Friends group bought a Wii for the branch!!! In fact, when they meet next month, the manager wants me to show them how to play Wii! And then I'm supposed to set it up and show the staff how to play. I <3 my new job.

commuter tunes: Kill The Alarm, John Denver, Bob Dylan, R.E.M., Fiest, Jump Little Children, Whitlams, & Dixie Chicks

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

to purge or not to purge

Part of me wants to delete all of the contents of this blog so I can start from scratch with this new project...another part of me is scared that as soon as I do that, someone will ask me for proof that I completed the "23 Things" project.

I guess I have a CEU form that says I completed it.

And I could do it all again in about 5 seconds.

Yeah, I'll probably purge this before next week. (oh the lulz if this post is still around after that)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

you're wondering now...

Well, if you've seen the memo, you know I'm running away, off to a brand-new adventure! Which means, as you might guess, I won't be in charge of the Exploration blog anymore.

As always, I want to say thank you to our initial group that signed on and was so enthusiastic about the program. Keep that enthusiasm and help out the new staff members joining us online.

This blog is coming with me for a revamp and it will soon by my YA librarian blog, an attempt by me to chronicle my first year in this new position. So, if you're curious about what I'm up to, feel free to add it to your RSS feed reader (I know you have one...or will have one soon). I'll still be Twittering away, as I'm addicted to that little device, so you'll probably see me around the Internetz.

toodles for now. And best of luck!

Thursday, July 31, 2008


I saw an article about BiblioCommons, a new "social discover system for libraries" in Hotline and was intrigued. I can't wait to hear how it goes now that it is in beta testing.

Here is the article from Library Journal.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

School Library Journal Twitter Article

If you're craving a good ol' fashioned magazine after all this Web 2.0 madness, you might want to pick up the most recent issue (July 2008) of School Library Journal. There's an interesting article about Twitter.

Or, if you don't feel like dragging yourself away from the computer, the article is available online through our EBSCO subscription.

(Thanks to Jeff Ross for alerting me to this article! If only we could get him to join the 2.0 fun!)

Also, we just had another batch of new explorers don their Web 2.0 pith helmets and head into the wild. Make sure you stop by and say hello. :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Thoughts on Web 2.0, community, and privacy

TomLATI's post this week got my thinking a bit about Web 2.0, community, and privacy.

I think everyone uses these tools for different reasons, and these motivations will effect how much of the default privacy settings they will want to modify. Personally, I tend to use my blogs and other Web 2.0 sites to meet new people with similar interests to me that I might not meet otherwise. After spending almost 7 years on Livejournal (omg, is that right? whoa, scary) I have made lots of new online friends, people I would never have met otherwise. Fellow Star Wars fans, Buffy fans, book fans, and so on. Now that I have met so many people, I like to leave my blog open so more can find me. So far I haven't had any incidents. I did mark my Facebook and MySpace profiles private, mostly because they link to other people and my real name is displayed on my account.

For this project, we talked about making blogs private and things like that, but the idea was for us to create a little online community to support each other through the training, and I was worried that adding the extra steps to create private blogs and send out invites (that subsequently might be eaten by spam filters) would not encourage new users to continue the exploration. So we just suggested that, if you were concerned, to use some sort of pseuodonym. Plus, who wants to use their real name online? It's fun to experiment with identity, and I think we have a relatively safe group here.

Part of me wishes I could invite "guest bloggers" from outside our system, state, or country, just so everyone could experience the chance to connect with someone outside the group. But another part of me hopes that those of you enjoying this project will keep playing around with the tools here and maybe bump into other people online with similar tastes and interests and make a virtual friend.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

my apologies

I stop checking the main site for a week and EVERYONE signs up for the training! Welcome to the new explorers and I'm so sorry it took me so long to add your names to the sidebar list. I think everyone is up now. :)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Library has YouTube contest to promote The Big Read

Jefferson Madison Regional Library had a contest for kids to post videos on YouTube as part of The Big Read of To Kill a Mockingbird. You can check out the results at the J-MRL Big Read website.

I think this is really cool but my only concern is what patrons have the ability to do this? I'm not sure if the library had a camera for the kids to use or if they had to provide their own. It's not really fair if they have to provide there own because those things are expensive!

It's the same way I feel about schools requiring kids to do PowerPoint projects while they are still in elementary school or middle school. That's not a cheap program and just assuming they will have access to it is not thinking of the range of incomes and tech knowledge that is in each community.

I suppose this is something that applies to all of these Web 2.0 goodies. Who has access to them and who does not?

Just pondering...don't mind me....

Thursday, July 10, 2008

update to Exploration blog

I changed the sidebar of the Exploration blog. Instead of using the link list function, I created a Blog Roll (Blogger's code for an RSS reader) of all the explorers' blogs. The only problem is that the order will change based on who updated the most recently. Which means each time I do this, my blog will go to the much for lurking!

Anyhoo, if any of you want to use the sidebar as your RSS reader for Exploration #4, it totally counts and is much more convenient than having yet another site to go to (though your blog could get a bit messy if you add to many...up to you).

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

wikis in action

Two new Wikis I found through the Never Ending Search on SLJ:

Reading 2.0 - a wiki to help school librarians (though I think public libraries could use it to) use Web 2.0 technologies to promote the "low-tech art of reading"

Bookleads - Reader's Advisory sites for young adult books. in action!

Just read the SLRC newsletter and Enoch Pratt is working on creating sites for each of their Subject and How-To Guides. Here is the main network page ( You can see all the epflslrc links on the right side, one for each department participating. Click around and see what they are up to.

Also found this cool blog post where someone is attempting to keep track of what libraries are using and how. I'm going to add this link to the Exploration since it provides a variety of usage ideas.

Monday, June 30, 2008

I'm not standing about, I'm lurking - it's a whole different vibe

So, this is my old MD 23 Things blog. After being a part of the pilot group for that program, I was recruited into developing our current Web 2.0 training for the system. So far, we have a great group of individuals exploring all of the new tools available online and pondering their uses (or lack their of) in the real world.

Since I made the training, I'm not really doing the training. But I wanted to leave comments and monitor how it was all going. Plus, what fun is blogging if you don't have any comments?

Being someone raised in a very techno-joy household, I'm relatively comfortable with computers and technology. I'm not a pro, but I occasionally go in and fiddle around, testing out new online toys. I got hooked on blogging while in college as a way of communicating with my high school friends and seeking out new friends with my similar interests.

Just a reminder, to get your CEUs, you need to email our SDC coordinator with your blog URL so she can see that you have completed 3 of the Exploration. Don't worry, she will protect your secret identity. Think of her as the Alfred to your Batman. Or the Xander to your Buffy, the Uncle Owen to your Luke Skywalker!

Anyway, keep going team! You guys are doing a great job with the explorations and encouraging your fellow teammates. Isn't it fun interacting with staff that you might only talk to one a year at GSM?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

here I go again on my own

Well, since I helped create this crazy Web 2.0 training for our system, I felt I should take part in it and be an active reader and commenter (is that a word?) of our Explorer's blogs. I have to say, I am thrilled so many have already started to participate!

I hope everyone learns something new. I know that Web 2.0 isn't for everyone and I don't expect you to all end up with 5 different blogs scattered across the web (like me) but I'm hoping the experience will leave you feeling more confident about discussing the different sites and their services available online.