Wednesday, January 30, 2008

YA Warholized.
23 Things

Letter James is on of those sites that lets you make picture e-cards with you own message in the image. Calendars and whatnot available, too, but you need to pay in pounds. . . .

The theme for this Thing is "generators." (How are they different from mashups? Oh, maybe because they are built from scratch.) The item going around at work this week, Slogan Generator -- another British site, I note -- fits this category. P started it, with the challenge to use your name. I got "New Thinking. New Lisa." A blog full of generators, here.

It's cool stuff, but it's not making me feel in touch with my patrons. When I notice what patrons here are up to, it's not this sort of thing. I see: poker games, social networking, tons of simple cartoony games, e-mail, and job applications. We're still pretty Web 1.0 at my Lib.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Read: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. (I've been meaning to read this for an age.) Freakin awesome S/F adventure set in a world where at 16 everyone has an operation to be made uniform -- and pretty. I put a hold on a copy of the next book in the series, Pretties, just now!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Quite a Day, Here!

The public PCs were dead at 9:25, when I walked onto the floor (10:00 opening time today).

The PCs came back up by opening time. Good thing, because Porn Peeper was one of the first in the door.

When I sweetly told Icky Patron 1 to talk on her phone outside, she told me it was a radio, not a phone. (Well then quit talking to yourself so loudly!)

Some glitches printing to his nice paper.

"This computer went off by itself."

Yes PCs are filtered for minors. Yes, even something on YouTube could be filtered.

War and Peace for a kid who might be a middle schooler, but looked 10.

No, no Bionicles books available.

Next in the "people are still into that??" file: More books in Fear Street series.

Nice Grad Students had me running my feet off. But, they were nice. They even apologized for leaving the light on in the study room they had just vacated.

Yes the computers are full. The computers are full. No, there aren't any PCs right now.

Two people needed Angela Bassett's book and I could not find our copy: it was hiding on a display!

Nice Tutor wanted to know the name of the current release of Windows -- "Vista, right?" I double checked. Yes indeed. "Good, I need to update this joke before I pass it on: it has Windows95 in it."

And now, Coworker earnestly is telling me what smells like an urban legend about the origin of the word s---. But she says she got it from a good source.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Trading Card

For my librarian trading card, use "search for a person" on Flickr with the name "LisaLib."
I-Could-Have-Written-That-But-Didn't Dept.

On reading The New Yorker via Library Stuff.
Sash Cord Replacement

(No, I am not doing it myself!)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Someplace to Park

I could say any number of things on the subject of parking. I could talk about:
  • the use of "I'd go, but but there's nowhere to park" as a euphemism for "there are too many poor and/or black people in that part of town"
  • the way developers prefer to level an old building for surface parking, rather than rehab it, or, at least build a deck, so there would be no gap in the streetscape
  • the fact that when one arrives by plane or auto, a traveller is welcomed to Richmond by squat, dullish parking decks
  • the de facto observance -- or pointed non-observance -- of "the boss's spot" in technically unassigned lots
  • or even the current parking battle in my 'hood.
But other than sometimes grudgingly calling some decks "not bad," I'd never given much thought to the architecture of storing cars. Architect Shannon Sanders McDonald has thought so much about it, she had to write a book on parking decks: The Parking Deck: Design and Evolution of a Modern Form. Sunday's Washington Post gives a nice account of a talk she gave at the Library of Congress on her subject (Philip Kennicott, "Stacking the Decks: How Parking Garages Got Ugly"). Early parking garages were handsome: the article includes a picture of a D.C. that reminded me of our town's Capital Garage (now apartments). Some designers advocated for tall structures with car elevators; attendants would store and retrieve your car. Sadly, in the U.S. we are all about do-it-yourself, thus almost no one participates in communal kitchens or sends their laundry out or drops their car off to be parked in a skyscraper. Sturdier cars -- ones that needed less protection from the weather -- contributed to the move from enclosed garages to more open decks.

McDonald (or reporter Kennicott) must have observed parking decks "welcoming" people to other cities, too: "... garages, in general, give you no sense of entry to a building, or a city. The grand galleries of old rail stations provided a spiritual sense of transition to the city. The garage is always a nuisance, with no sense of drama, or flow, or grandeur."

It's more clearly Kennicott's voice closing with the reminder that "The parking garage is an enabler for an auto-dependent society." He concedes, "McDonald finds beuaty in her subject and has some sensible solutions about how to improve her favorite building type. But in a better world we would enjoy their occasional beauty with nostalgic hindsight, in books as well as well researched and illustrated as McDonald's, or after they've been converted to lofts or torn down altogether."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008


According to Sunday's Washington Post, Carytown is Richmond's "Mile of Style."

Capital City weather: about 20 degrees and windy yesterday when we foolishly decided to walk through C'town to get to Ellwood Thompson, home to NY bagels and out-of-town Sunday papers.
Watching: The Simpsons, season 3

On Sunday, w paid our first visit to the restored Capital. It turned out quite well. Visitors enter through the underground addition (above). There's a gift shop, gallery (with a simple, temporary exhibit for now), lunch spot, and meeting rooms for the GA. I suppose you could call all that limestone "austere" rather than classy.

Inside Mr. Jefferson's temple to democracy everything is fresh and crisp, though the floor still creaks in spaces like the Old Hall of the House of Delegates -- as it should.

Houdon's Washington.

See also:
Ed Slipek's review in Style.
"Designing the Capitol" at the Library of Virginia's website.
Site recording the progress of the renovations.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Capital City: A Minor, Minor League Town

After 41 years of AAA ball, Richmond has lost the RBraves. News coverage suggests we might get a AA team, instead. The RBraves' own site wouldn't come up; here's the TD. I am so annoyed at our feckless city leaders for letting this happen.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cool Stuff

From library blogs. (I started with this list of top LIS blogs.)

One Minute Critic.
Book by Its Cover.
RSS explained; hints offered.

**** this list interrupted by the 17 year-old who was mad that we block MySpace. "This liberry wack." "Sucks." ****
What's Going On?

That lady make the fourth request for Bibles or Christianity, today!

Sunday, January 13, 2008


All [fiscal] year long, I have been working towards a goal of reading across "all" genres of YA lit. ("Goal" as in "performance goal": that's how cool my job is. My boss asked, "What skills will you work on in the next year?" and I got to answer "read more.") This December, on a quiet afternoon, I pulled out my copy of my goals to see what quantities or specifics I'd set: to see how I was doing. Imagine my surprise when I saw the goal was to read genre fiction for adults! I quickly grabbed a mystery novel involving a cat, to put myself back on track.

Next on deck: David Baldacci. Only, I'm going to have to renew that volume, because I let a slender paperback by Henry James distract me. Yup, you caught me reading literature. The book, Washington Square (1880), could easily be recommended as a read-a-like for Jane Austen, or even sold simply as a romance, but I don't know that my patrons would fall for that.

In the novel, a young man about to be married tells of "the great advantage" of purchasing a new house: "... you get all the latest improvements. They invent everything all over again every five years, and it's a great thing to keep up with the new things. I always try to keep up with the new things of every kind."

Back Yard Birds

Like everyone else, we mostly get squirrels. Also since we put the feeder up in the late fall:
song sparrow
mourning dove
downy woodpecker
carolina wren.

Since we pulled up the pond* (we maintain a bird bath, so as not to cut off anyone's favorite watering hole), we haven't had waxwings. I really suspect that's what attracted them last year. Too bad, too, since now I have nice digital camera to record any cool visitors.

*In the pond's space, I planted bulbs. They've shot leaves up, since it's been so mild!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Monday, January 07, 2008

Some Links (via LII)

75 years ago: the New Deal.

LoC geeking out: Library of Congress staff talk about cool stuff in the collection.

Google Patent Search.

Random: a compliment tonight from a patron: Thanks for your help this semester; I got a good grad on my research project.
Capital City Weather: sunny and, like, 70 degrees.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Where We've Been

In Baltimore, we went to a New Year's party at Dan's house and met a neon sign collector. We also poked around Inner Harbor (below), and visited the American Visionary Art Museum (below) -- where we saw the whirlygig (above) on a glorious, windy, chilly morning.