Category Archives: Library

The Myths of Innovation | R. David Lankes

Worth a listen. Supports my feelings about the trending “maker spaces” and what libraries need to do to remain relevant.  In David Lankes’ words it is the library’s place to “facilitate innovation”

Source: The Myths of Innovation | R. David Lankes

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 LibraryReads May 2016 Top 10!

Source: Announcing the LibraryReads May 2016 Top 10!

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A year of silence

Its been quite some time since I have posted on my blog.

Two reasons: I have been diligently working on a blog/dashboard  for work and have been posting work related issues, employee information, and generally keeping all staff updated on daily business. It was fun designing, I learned a lot about WordPress and how I can keep a blog within a private forum. It seems to be working well, there are tweaks I learn all the time and I am continually building them into the site. I actually just figured out how to access this blog, which I just successfully signed into again (I thought I lost it ! :/)

The second reason is my mountaineering adventures have been curtailed due to a knee injury, and a good part of my contemplative time is spent on our hikes and time in the mountains. I am happy to say these will start up again soon!

Balance between work and home-life is key.

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Overdrive app explained


I have puzzled over this for months, finally there is an explanation that clears up my questions!

For those of you who enjoy ebooks, and get totally frustrated when asked to sign up or sign in with Facebook after having using overdrive  in the past this article from No Shelf Required explains what the difference is.

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The Overprotected Kid – The Atlantic

Great Article that will go against the grain of today’s parenting style. It raises good points, and reinforces the importance of “playtime”. Everything is relative, danger is danger and was around for generations. There was, and will always be the threat of a stranger, the rusty nail sticking up from a broken piece of wood or danger of  the  scraped knee. A new kind of playground, exposes kids to a seemingly unsupervised chaos but allows them to work out the boundaries for themselves. 

The Overprotected Kid – The Atlantic.

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Leisure Time: Redefined


It’s funny how different “leisure time” is defined in the 21st century.

Back in the 20th Century, believe it or not, television was in early stages of development for home use. Small monitors sat in large consoles that housed glowing tubes of every size and “color” TV was a piece of rainbow acetate that stuck to the screen, until technology actually developed into RGB . My house actually NEVER had a color TV because my father didn’t enjoy seeing green hair and orange faces. Can’t say I blamed him, black and white was fine.RCA TRK12

Looking back now, not only the television was primitive, but the programming which was brought into the home, now visually rather than an audio radio cast was in early stages as well. What did people want to “see” when they wanted to be entertained.

I remember, watching re-runs of I Love Lucy,  (in fact, they are still re-running!)  classic “funny” and the weekly series shows like “Lost in Space” Lost_In_Spacethat somehow seem so corny now, and I think to myself  “how silly I was to think this stuff was entertaining” But the truth of the matter was that it was simple, mindless fun and that is why I turned on the TV in the first place. At least I was able to unwind, and settle in for bedtime. Now if I want to veg a bit in front of the TV my choices are: forensic crime, dysfunctional families, brides-to-be that come from Hell, shoreline antics on spring-break, paranormal activities, and WHY has everything become a COMPETITION?

Julia Childs would teach me how to filet a chicken, John Nagy would teach me how to draw and Mr. Wizard would unveil the mystery of science, and it was interesting! Now I am totally stressed watching chef challenges, restaurant makeovers and best “natural talents” being swept up by celebrity mentors…Who can sleep wondering who will be voted off the show? not to mention  I would have been thrown into insomnia wondering how I could successfully cook up a gourmet meal with nothing but an artichoke, a box of vanilla wafers, animal intestines and a package of cinnamon candies?

“Leisure time” is no longer leisurely if you want to watch TV.

That is why I stick to books.

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Infographic: A look at Goodreads in 2013 |

Goodreads: one of my favorite sites

Infographic: A look at Goodreads in 2013 |

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einst_7“Curiosity is more important than knowledge.”― Albert Einstein

A colleague and I were comparing observations we have noted over time working in the library. One of the most disturbing    things noticed was that the younger patrons, teens and young adults specifically, if seen in the library at all, seem to lack curiosity.

Let’s think about this for a moment. Think back to your own childhood, and reflect on the benchmarks, the moments of learning and discovery came out of play, and teaching moments either by a parent or teacher. Play, conversation, experimentation are all part of education. But presenting a fact, or simply memorizing is not what education is about, its much deeper and richer.  Education is fulfillment of a curiosity. Question+Research+Answer=Education.

Students will ask for assistance with projects, that is a positive thing, however after pulling resources with enthusiasm and inspired interest, the response is basically “all I need is one book”


Even launching into the speech about its OK to gather MORE than you actually need, hone down, organize and outline…”all I need is one book, this is great..yeah, thanks”  The wind really takes a long time to leave the sails though, as a librarian its just not that easy to let it go. Still, we read on and over some of material…because now OUR curiosity is peaked, we laugh to ourselves and shrug our shoulders.

Fat books…bad, bad, fat books. God FORBID…you read beyond the little bit of information you need is found. Since when is a book judged by its length? If you are reading for facts, or to understand a concept, what difference does it make how long a book is? How is it that all curiosity is so squashed?

My only thought is that there are so many other things that are distracting their train of thought, the dance lessons, the softball games, the social networking windows opened tenfold on the computer screen. There is not enough time in their day to actually spend it on one topic. Multitasking is a way of life for them. Even the television programs that babysat them in their early years would flash dozens of images rapidly on the screen would teach them the art of scrolling and scanning. There isn’t any time to sit and think and reflect on a comment, or an image. No time to formulate questions, or wonder, or just to stop and “smell the roses”

What should a parent do? Do they even realize what they are doing when they make a comment like “take this book it’s thinner” Or do they even realize that they are not helping their children by doing their projects for them? I believe they have the best of intentions, but I really can’t say if its going to end the way they planned it.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. But I would suggest perhaps there should be a step taken back. A moment of hesitation.Quiet time. Have kids do puzzles,  Draw with a pencil. Watch a butterfly land on a flower. Garden with the kids. Make cookies and bread together. Teach them to see, to really see shadow, light, color. Compare and contrast the colors of the seasons. Play.

Sometimes doing things the old fashioned way may not be the fastest, but its a good way to see just how things are done, and hopefully children can stop long enough to watch and want to learn more, rather than learn “just enough”


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January 11, 2014 · 4:22 am

Passive Agression in the Workplace


Passive agression in the workplace has to be one of the most frustrating forms of aggravation and stress there is. Political correctness rules, and so, many issues are glossed over or worse, discussed with other employees behind the offenders back.  Situations are made worse, employee moral is chipped away gradually until one day it all backfires and there is an all-out staff meltdown.

Psychology Today states procrastination, and stalling are all classic passive aggressive tactics at work. How many times did you take time off, and a colleague states to a supervisor within earshot “I would have preferred that week for vacation, but we didn’t firm up plans until now” Perhaps vacation plans could have been part of a casual discussion prior to committing to dates? Being PRO-active rather than RE-active might have avoided the entire situation. A little conversation goes a long way. Passive aggressive-types omit giving out information until the last moment, or claim they didn’t know. 

This is not something that just appears at the workplace, it has been a learned habit over time. These same people are the students of the dreaded “group project”, the one that never pulls their weight in the group, the one that brings the entire grade down because of lack of enthusiasm, or falls short of their end of the work applied. No, this type of personality thrives on political correctness to escape all blame, all responsibility for trashing situations. The professors in this case, merely blame the other students for their lack of leadership skills, as you see this is a life lesson that must be learned in school. 

The way to foil this kind of behavior is to address the situation as it happens, don’t let it fester, don’t talk to other staff. There is extensive information, links and references in this article by Signe Whitson. 

Passive agressive behavior is unacceptable, in the workplace, in school, at home. Politeness, and political correctness do not necessarily mean that a person has to subjugated to bad behavior of others. Talk things over, confront the issue head on. It may seem uncomfortable at first, but in a long run the health of the employees and your workplace will be better off. A good supervisor will be tuned into this right away, clearing the way for a more serene and happy workplace so everyone can do their best daily.

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Focus on People, Not Tools | The User Experience

A solid reminder that the library is made for the people and by the people,  the technology is important, but humans must still connect

Focus on People, Not Tools | The User Experience.

Look up and greet people. There is no replacing that.


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