Friday, March 27, 2009

Um, Me?

Crabby Lady: I can't find any of these books on the shelf with the novels. They're for the book club.

Me, looking at list: Oh, book club! Well, this first one is a kids' book we're discussing . . .

CL (with disdain): Uh. I don't know who picked these books.

Me: Well, the librarians make suggestions and the members of the book club, too. I suggested that one.
Local library blog to follow: Library Lady.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Good News Everybody!

I declared myself a library Shover & Maker this morning. I'm too old for Style's Top 40 Under 40, and too B- to be a LJ Mover & Shaker, so this will have to do!

If you're in the library field, click on over and write yourself the pat on the back I know you deserve!

Shovers and Makers 2009: I’m a winner! (So are you.)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Birding - James River Park, Wetlands

wood duck
red-shouldered hawk
bald eagle
mourning dove
pileated woodpecker
common flicker
red-bellied woodpecker
yellow-bellied sapsucker
downy woodpecker
eastern phoebe
american crow
blue jay
carolina chickadee
tufted titmouse
carolina wren
american robin
hermit thrush
yellow-rumped warbler
pine warbler
white-throated sparrow

Watched: Nalini by Day, Nancy by Night (About call centers in India. Very interesting.)

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Way back in 2006, Stephen Abram wrote about 43 tech things to try. This in turn inspired a library system in North Carolina to train its staff in 23 tech things to keep folks up-to-date. In 2007-08, I made doing 10 or so of their 23 things part of my work goals, and kept very brief blog notes about it.

Sadly, no patron ever asks for help starting a blog, or doing a mash-up, or joining Flickr or Twitter or Facebook. Sometimes, the tools suggested in these trainings have behind the scenes applications, such Delicious bookmarks for use at whatever reference desk I am on, or a blog for ref desk staff to leave each other notes. (The former is used only be me, the latter started strong but faded.)

This year is my library system's year for 2.0 training and I started out as that pill who said, "I know all of this, can I test out?" But then I shaped up and got in the team player mode. This past week I pushed myself far into the optional part of the training and did a teeny tiny podcast of the sort I would love to have library teens do. Since I had some trouble understanding all the things I needed to know and do to make it work, I am rather proud of myself.

I am trying not to let the fact that I have yet to conquer the movie-making software the county bought bring me down. After all, maybe some teens won't be camera shy and we can do Minute Critic type reviews, too!

At the Byrd on Friday: The General and a great Wurlitzer concert (a Theatre Organ Society event)
Read: Cairo: A Graphic Novel, a great, well-told story of adventure and mysticism (language and violence warning)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"Really Most Surprising"

From an article by Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker on Damon Runyon:

So Runyon's key insight into American slang is double: first, that street speech tends to be more, not less, complicated than "standard" speech; but, second, that slang speakers, when they're cornered to write, write not just fancy, but stiff.

I believe I have seen that in cover letters I have proofread for patrons.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Four Days Later

Not pictured: temperature around 65.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Like any respectable Southerners, one of the first things we did this morning was dash out with our cameras to capture the snow before it's gone!

Snow drifting in the doorway at World of Mirth.

Non-snow picture on Phusband's blog.

Capital City weather: snow taper off; cold and clear over night
At the Byrd:

Snow Day Bird List

house sparrow
mourning dove
white-throated sparrow
carolina wren

Sunday, March 01, 2009


Like most of you, I don't read my spam, I just mark it as such and move on to reminders from legitimate businesses Snapfish and Talbots that they would like more of my money. But how could I mercilessly trash something with the subject line "Offers authentic-looking fake university_Dip1oma/ price offer!" My tiny Mount Holyoke diploma looks completely inauthentic to most people: maybe I need to look into this?

Apparently, with just a little "personal motivation," I will find that "[t]o buy a degree is quite easy these days. Nevertheless most students just sit around in their usually boring local University classes, wasting money." And to think I went to usually fascinating college classes to get a degree.

The grammar and the logic deteriorate from there. On the one hand, Denita Xiao writes about verifying life experience to get the degree, as if the target audience has worked for a while, and just needs some degree. But then there's all this guidance counselor stuff, as if it matters what you "studied": "Having a University degree is very important these days, and as always in life you should only stick with something you want."

As for why we lucky folk getting this email never got a "diploma certificate" before, maybe we were too far from the degree we needed:
The actual reason why people buy a life experience degree is because they can not go to a institution in their surrounding area that offers the diploma program they are heading for: For example, if you live near a College which only offers renowned marketing degree, then this doesn't help you a bit if you're looking for a marketing degree.
I'm pretty certain the word "not" belongs in between "you're" and "looking." And so you see, it is for this grammatical slip-up -- and that reason, only, not because I disagree with the statement "Buying a degree is nothing harmful. It's a win-win situation for the Colleges involved as well as for you, getting the degree you dreamed of" -- that I will not be calling the 718 area code at the bottom of the email. Thank you for your attention to this blog.