Thursday, December 15, 2011

I've been thinking about genre fiction. Pull it out in separate shelving? Cover library book spines with little heart and spy glass and vampire fang stickers? Use tagging on Teen Scene to point readers in the right direction? Beyond those mechanics, there's the stuff I didn't get in library school, much of which seems to have to do with using expressions like "appeal factors" and "pacing." 

Explorations, serious and not, have caught my eye, too; the most recent is Adam Gopnik's piece in The New Yorker, "The Dragons Egg" (December 5, 2011, p. 86). He explores high fantasy, with just a few titles as touchstones: The Lord of the Rings, The Once and Future King, Eragon, and he throws in Twilight as a contrast. The appeal factors of high fantasy include "cool parts" and complicated mythologies; "gratification comes from the kid's ability to master the symbols and myths of the saga, as with those eighty-level video games, rather than from the simple absorption of narrative." Meanwhile, "the genius of the narrative [of Twilight] lies in how nearly the familiar experiences are turned into occult ones. . . . [t]he tedious normalcy of the 'Twilight' books is what gives them their shiver. . . ."

I want to keep processing tidbits on genre fiction, so I'd better make myself a blogger label.
Waiting on Wednesday

I'm a day late, but I feel the urge to play along with the meme that asks, What forth-coming book are you eagerly awaiting?

I did some book ordering today, and Cinder, by Marissa Meyer sounded swell to me, and had good reviews already in place in our book dealer's database. Our Teen Advisory Board kids get a chance to read 2 - 3 publisher blurbs and "vote" on books they'd like to see in the library. Maybe one kid (out of 6 in attendance) marked this title. But my gut reaction is to agree with Abby the Librarian who sums up the appeal this way, "What if Cinderella was a cyborg? (I mean, seriously, if that question doesn't intrigue you, I don't think we can be friends.)" So, I've ordered one for my library.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

I bought my first string of fairy lights at the Woolworth's in Northampton, Mass., on a solitary trip, a bus ride away from my own college town. I grew up in a lovely/eclectic colonial revival house, in the windows of which we put a single white candle-light each Christmas. Our tree featured a string of big, colorful bulbs. Tiny white lights seemed new, special, mine.

On that same trip, I bought, somewhat sheepishly, some women's magazine or another, telling myself that the cut-out gift tags inside would be Useful for the presents for my family I imagined wrapping at school and flying home to Richmond with. Whether I didn't use them was because I didn't buy presents before leaving, or because I eventually realized that it could be ruinous for the look of wrapped gifts to fly with them, I no longer recall. I think, really, I bought the magazine for a nostalgia for looking at magazines with my mom, especially at Christmas time. There were even a couple she'd saved so we could look at them over and over - and refer to that one that had ALL the good cookie recipes. I remember one one with a sweet cartoon story -- if not by Maurice Sendak, then by someone else with a similar style.

So magazine and lights and other sundries in hand, I felt grow up: I felt like a shopper in "Silver Bells." Nine times out of ten, the verse that begins "city sidewalks," brings Northampton to mind. My new lights hung in our College Street-facing window of Northy Rocky; and they graced the bay window of the room in Abbey. In my memory of my MacGregor single, that bay window is so sunny and dogwood tree-filled, I almost imagine I would have skipped the lights, but I doubt it.

At college, every spring I'd take sweaters to be stored at the dry cleaner's, and I'd pack up books and knicknacks and my fairy lights and flannel sheets and store them in next year's dorm basement. Senior year, even having drawn a rather good number in the housing lottery, I followed the outstanding Noreen to 1837 Hall. The Ramada Inn of dorms needed the help of my fairy lights most of all, and they were up and plugged in most of the year. In December, 1988, they spiffed up my first apartment, a swell place on Park at Strawberry St.

That first strand lasted a surprisingly long time: Mississippi and back, I believe. Maybe it was one of two that hung year-round in the dining room on Mulberry St., making it possible to brighten any gray day, make every party sparkle. I do remember that when it finally stopped working, I thought, Well, that was good long run.

Now I live in the second house I've owned, and for the first time ever I've hung lights outside (in the contorted filbert, visible through the french doors in the family room). They're hand-me-downs from Mom, who decorated outside at the farm where they live now for the parties they threw for several years. I love the way tiny lights make the dark part of the year sparkle, and I love the string of memories they invoke.

(later): Am I in danger of collecting links on Christmas lights? Here's Seth Godin on lights and community.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I can neither confirm nor deny that I have had the book mentioned here in my hands.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My first job after graduating from college was at Richmond's Valentine Museum, where I served as assistant curator for the photograph collection for a couple of years. At about the same time, my brother worked part time at A & N, but not, I think under this sign:

In recent years, the Val has also added this sign, below, from the Mill End Shop to its fine neon collection. The fabric store remained in business on Cary Street through the early years of its gentrification -- or as I saw it, the transformation from a street full of useful shops to a street full of Boutiques. The former being much more useful to an actual Fan / Museum district resident than the later. Thank goodness for the staying power of Mongrel (ne Cards, Cards, Cards) and Bygones.

But, I digress. Phil and I went to the Museum for a special Henrico County 400 open house. We enjoyed a small photo exhibition, curator talks, a quick Wickham House tour, and a behind-the-scenes tour. A new collection included the workers' newsletter for a factory at Seven Pines; there was a handbill from the opening of Byrd Field, and a booklet from the 1930s(?) touting Sandston as a lovely suburb. 

Confession: my favorite part of behind-the-scenes tours there is finding photo storage boxes with my handwriting on them.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

An Old Family Recipe
(Which is odd, because we're not a very old family)

Cookie Cutter Cookies

½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour

Cream the butter and sugar. Blend in the egg and vanilla. Sift the dry ingredients together and stir into butter-sugar-egg mixture with a wooden spoon.

Chill dough.

Using about ⅓ of the dough at a time, roll on a lightly floured surface ⅛ inch thick (can be thinner if using plain cookie cutters). Flour solid cookie cutters before using. Re-chill scraps.

Bake on lightly greased cookie sheet in (preheated) 400 degree oven for 8 - 10 minutes.


Friday, October 21, 2011

"Avoiding the Path to Obsolescence," by Steven Smith and Carmelita Pickett. American Libraries, Sept./Oct. 2011.

In short: be nimble, responsive.

Learn from two key failures seen as Blockbuster collapsed:
- "internal constituency . . . couldn't believe those days [whatever they are for your org.] were gone for good"

- "'once decision-makers invest in a a project, they're likely to keep doing so, because of the money already at stake.'"

Respond to "customer wants and needs in a timely and efficient manner, even at the expense of letting go of past practices and tools no matter how cherished or successful.'"

New model possibilities:
- connect users to lots of things, across formats
- just in time better than deep inventory
- convenient formats
- variety of spaces: both quiet and lively
- flexible space available as close to 24/7 as possible
- look for new initiatives, ventures

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Triple Threat

Skull Appreciation and submission for Cake Wrecks party and a little gel icing heart. (Does Cake Mate see a jump in sales in each town Jen visits on book tour? After a failed attempt at a tiny homemade bit of frosting, I had to rush out an buy different colors than the lone green I found in the pantry.)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ref Desk Random

Enjoying this Audubon game; wondering how to attract virtual birds to CCD. Linkage, perhaps? I see Richmond Audubon's page has a visitor.

We have nice bird books, and other field guides, at this lib. I haven't been asked for one in a while, though.

Posting a birdhouse today for the Audubon Society's online birding game.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Hose Heart

It's a warm and sunny day so I bought yet one more mum and poked around in the yard a bit. These new allergies of mine have been awful for a month now, but I really needed to unblock the gutters in strategic spots. So I did that, but little else. Watered (above) and spent two minutes just observing the monarchs on the butterfly bush. The paper said the drought in Texas could make this year's trip extra rough. I wished them luck.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Hidden Heart

On Sunday, I wrapped two gifts for Phil to give to friends. One was a record, and I put it between two pieces of cardboard, masking taped together. A little masking tape heart jumped in on that action. I photocopied the owl and  mask decorations from a book of vintage Halloween goodies.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Idea 174: Work only with kitchen tools. A Found heart, rather than a created one, to be sure.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Idea 237: make a bookmark. And yes, I will slip it into a book when I get to work. Perhaps something by Sarah Dessen or Lurlene McDaniel


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

New Yorker Heart

Book idea 142: cut holes in a magazine page.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Something else that happened in 2003 was a visit from Hurricane Isabel. Not to be outdone, this late-summer brought us Irene. The bottom of this twig heart fell like that; I had to create the top. I'm not sure what plant that heart-shaped leaf blew off of. As we picked up in the yard on Sunday morning (a 90 degree day with hundreds of thousands in metro-Richmond without power? Whew.), I noted that there's a nature discovery activity possible by tallying leaves from species that aren't in our own yard - that blew in.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wow, graduate school was seven years ago?! So that other earthquake that happened "really recently" in my mind shook Capital City seven years ago.

This year's tremble found me on the reference desk at Dumbarton, trying to prioritize (oh crap: aftershock) ... trying to prioritize: tell people to get out of the aisles of books first or away from windows first? Also of concern: people had been waiting for public PCs a minute ago: would the people who stayed inside immediately grab the computers of people who moved to flee the building -- and would I have to mediate that? By the time I took a step to move towards the man who seemed to choose the bookshelf aisle, it had subsided. It felt loud: "skateboarding on the roof?! No, banging the book drop?! You kids... Oh, wait. I felt this before."

As in 2003, I relied in the US Geological Survey's website: I told the mom using a computer Yes, that was an earthquake: you can go to this website to show her more. I finished circling the room to check stuff, told a man whose often too that it had passed and he if wanted to keep talking loud maybe he'd like to go outside (unspoken: 'cause I know hour are on hour 3 of your 2 hours / person / day on a computer). Back at the desk a woman smiled and announced that she's 88 years old and that was her first earthquake! "I guess I will find out about it on the news tonight." - "Oh," I said, having torn myself from FB updates seconds before, "the USGS says 5.8, and look, here's the epicenter, between Richmond and Charlottesville - so, Louisa, I guess." "What do you know! And where's this library?" And so I showed her and she went away very pleased.

This year and in '03, I blogged right quick. This time, for work (not that we seem to have many kids using that site). Of course, not many people were reading my personal blog then (fewer now), but FB really connected me fast today (which I've always sort of held against it). When people first raved about it, I always thought, "but my blog does those things." Not well enough, obviously.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Winged Heart

Couldn't get close enough to this little critter, on the window frame that's over the stairwell for the basement, and a storm's abrewing so the light stinks. What's interesting is that it struck me as a heart as soon as I spotted it.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Garden Flip-flop Heart

Though I adamantly oppose the wearing of flip-flops outside of casual, recreational settings (pool, camp showers, beach house deck), I like them for puttering around the garden or taking out the trash. With the youngsters wearing them all the time, it's harder to get them at out-of-season prices, but these were cheap -- and they are more purple in real life.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Once, I participated in an awareness exercise that included the challenge to complete the sentence "Black fathers ___." And the group the group talked about various images that arise and how one manages oneself in the face of any negative images. At work for the past several years, every single day I see dozens of kinds of dads: black dads, Asian dads, white hipster-dads, Spanish-speaking dads, new Americans of all types -- all of them doing something interesting with their kids. You could take any of those generalized types and complete their sentence with:
- read with their kids.
- take their kids to soccer practice then the library.
- participate in baby story time.
- color with their kids.
- help their kids with their homework.
- pick out comic books with their kids (ok, sons).

You know what, though? I can't say I've ever noticed any two-dad families, or, for that matter two-mom families. But so much of the time, only one parent takes the kids to the library while the other gets time off or is schlepping some other kid or however it is families cope -- so, how would I really know?

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Nice Things

Trying to cancel out the bad feelings from the 8 minutes of the day when there was no public PC access, I was the only librarian in the building, people needed the meeting room, a boy needed his summer reading prize. The computer outage went on for an hour, but stuff settled down. Mostly.

 Good things that happened:
  • gave 2 summer reading club prizes
  • made an older gent really please/proud when I showed him he had already correctly commented on a friend's FB post
  • had books on personal finance on the shelf!
  • had the sort of horse books a woman wanted for her kids who are going to volunteer at a theraputic riding program
  • 3 older woman (different times of the day) saw I was running to keep up and said kind things along the "you're doing great" lines
  • deaf-as-a-post man was happy with the books I pointed him at, so I did not have to talk at 11 for very long

Friday, August 05, 2011

"My Check is Enclosed"
(based on idea #42)

I do like visiting Colonial Williamsburg, and have been there several times in the last two years. Probably, I bought something with my credit card, et voila: regularly, I get note cards or stationery from CW's fund-raising wing as an enticement to make a contributions. The charities to which I donate are pretty well set. I am good about being firm. Yet this mailing promising a little stuffed toy lamb - to celebrate a heritage breed they are raising - really had me wondering if I couldn't spare another $35! Because stuffed animals are what a 45-year-old really needs. I roll my eyes at myself.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Burger Time!

Processed foods + home grown cukes, dill, tomato.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Suggestion #140: Create a Rebus

Depending on your browser, the space between pictures gives you a couple of guesses!


Saturday, July 09, 2011


These greeted me this morning when I arrived at work. They belonged to the teen collection. Coincidentally (or not) the teen Suggestion Box brimmed with gems like "worst f***ing library i ever been to," "get some new books you broke bitches," and "f*** you Lol?"

Let's begin with the first one:
Sir or madam, that is not a suggestion, it is an observation, and a shallow one at that, suggesting to me that you have not been to library systems that neighbor us, some of which tend to be crummy. Please, get out more. Furthermore, it is preferable to capitalize the personal pronoun "I," and to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition. Lastly, like a stereotypical English teacher, your use of vulgar language neither shocks nor offends me, it just makes me sigh that people have such a weak command of their native tongue that hackneyed swear words are the best they can offer.

Two. Meh, I give up. I feel better already. Thanks for listening!

Monday, July 04, 2011

National Park Heart

Hawksbill Mountain, Skyline Drive National Park. Skyline Drive celebrates 75 years this year! We hiked, and enjoyed a really good historical exhibit at Big Meadows.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

State Park Heart

We camped out at James River State Park for a few days this week - tubing, sunshine, bird watching. Bandannas are vital camping gear: I packed three -- and found a fourth in the little bag I use to carry my bird book -- for a two-night trip. 

Cool nature moments:
  • From inside the tent, I could see the silhouette of a sizable bug, so I crawled out to take a look. It turned out to be a fresh cicada, just out of its brown former shell! Neat.
  • Met a snake while hiking; probably a black rat snake.
  • Best bird - yellow-breasted chat, high in a dead tree in a wetland, singing in the morning sun.
  • Clouds overhead while tubing.
  • The fence lizard that comically scampered across the High Bridge trail.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I (heart) Coffee

Inspired by pirate a day. I thought about spilling mine on the floor, too, as it needs cleaning, but I am home sick today, and I am not sure my achy, snotty self is going to be up to hauling out the vacuum and mop.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Reading Notes

"Building a Foundation for Teen Services," by Natalie Houston. YALSA Winter 2011.

- involve and train all staff
- use visual cues to brand the teen area [check]
- Volunteers. . .
- Teen programing cycles: kids often need us briefly, that's OK; reinventing happens
- Keep teen program schedule simple -- This is what JSC was saying. How can we do this? Quarterly signature events (Scare; New Year; Poetry; SRC [beach parties?]) Series - movies; crafts; pizza & pages
- TAB [check]

Sunday, June 05, 2011

I'm trying to learn to crochet so I can  make amigurumi. Let's pretend this blob is a heart!


Monday, May 30, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

Circle Heart

For the last 4 or 6 weeks, I've been working on spending a nice chunk of money from the Friends of the Library to redecorate my Teen section. These green circle curtains (fabric scraps, above) were on sale -- but needed hemming. Sewing, I find, is mostly prep work and relatively little actual stitching. I put them up, pinned them up in place on the window (just out of view, sadly, in that shot below, which is all I have handy), took them down, measured and pinned and fussed, pressed, eyeball measured, pressed under the raw edge -- then sewed. They turned out more even than most things I hem!

Hemming isn't creative, but I feel like decorating is. My rockin' predecessor covered and hung those fabric bulletin boards and acquired the blue and orange little bookshelves at left. I picked up on and expanded the pallet and worked with blues, greens, gray, and orange. The circle decals came from Walls Need Love and arrived with alarming directions in a tiny font. Luckily, the circles weren't the kind that needed ultra-careful handling: I worked out air bubbles easily and lifted and repositioned them readily. I think they look swell. I had just calmed down from being pleased with myself over the circles when our fancy beanbag chairs arrived! The orange and gray (the footstool thing at left, by the bulletin board) match just fine and finish branding the area as for teens. 

The kid who was in an armchair in Teen yesterday when the beanbags arrived has been camping out with us for 3 or more weeks, having been thrown out of school. "Want to be first to try out our cool new beanbags?!" I gushed. He looked at me with more than usual disdain, turned his back and continued dozing. I sat on one beanbag, decided it worked, and left the second one in the middle of the space. Much later on (after dinner and a turn at the Children's desk), I found him showing off for a noisy threesome splayed all over the beanbag chairs. Once they left, two high schoolers (their junk, pictured) took over. I declare the beanbags a success! 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Very Late Heart

Snuck out onto the loading dock on a work break with Principles of Information Systems (Stair & Reynolds, 6th edition) for this one.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Did that caller just say, "Hang on, I'm in class," when I asked for her library card number to place a hold?! You know what: probably. I read to Horoscope Man earlier so I know the full moon is nearly upon us.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Bellwood Flea = broken heart.

Well, it wasn't that bad, but we didn't find the amazing random thing for the garden that we might have. I am in danger of whining about how much better thrifting and flea markets were back in the day, here. Here's an upbeat way of looking at it: Cool things I remember getting at Bellwood include my ICE sign, a book by Richmond author Mary Johnston, and the black spikey lamp with a ball (that I painted aqua) in the middle.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

 This week's Mulch Heart goes out to all the folks who helped us bring Mulch Mountain down to size!


Saturday, April 30, 2011

Over dinner last night, I explained to Phil why the last hour at work on Saturdays feels so hectic: that's when (at our location) the extra staff person has gone home, and that's when three or more of these things happen:
  • a fellow or two with greasy hands come in needing a Chilton's to finish that repair job
  • a parent comes in dragging a kid by the ear: kid needs 3 book sources about an obscure animal for a report
  • a returning-to-school student tries to begin college-level research not at a college library, but here
  • the copier breaks
  • a couple comes in with shrieking kids to check out DVDs
  • 56 people materialize out of thin air, needing our approximately 30 public computers. Having successfully logged on, two stomp back demanding to know why they have only 44 minutes on the timer, not their full two hours! ("Because it's counting down til closing time.")
But, surprise! A not-yet-grease man has already been in looking for a Chilton's! Does that mean the day will end easier for my colleagues? (I opened; I get to leave first, today.)

Full Ref Grunt-ing:
  • Chilton's for 1991 Toyota Truck
  • forms for a personal budget (MS Word as a pretty good one as a template)
  • Yeah, when I say "type in your whole library card number," I mean all of the digits; you can't leave off the last four.
  • Printing
  • Architecture and decorating books for a man who says he's teaching a class and ran out of questions for the quiz with the books he has at home. We agree that Richmond's Main has the deeper collection of art and architecture books, but he finds things he can use.
  • Clancy
  • At about 11:10 a woman arrives looking for a meeting that's scheduled for Tuckahoe. Scheduled from 9 - noon. She leaves us to drive over.
  • Add a woman to long waiting lists for literary fiction
  • Color printing
  • Find basketball and wrestling books for a boy of 11 or 12.
  • Self-check machine
  • Mouse and keyboard are sticky; I clean them for her.

    Thursday, April 21, 2011


    I met author Candace Fleming at a Virginia Library Association conference a few yers back. I hadn't read her books, yet (my lib classifies them as JUV). She was receiving a prize and gave a wonderfully funny history-nerd speech. I bought two books, and when she signed them I told her "you're a kids' book-writing Sarah Vowell!" And I meant it.

    At my old branch I helped people of all ages, all day, so knowing good JUV authors is helpful; sadly the county doesn't get many of Fleming's books, and most are at the big libraries. Now I work at a big library, and when I spotted Amelia Lost on the children's librarian's desk and went "ooh," she let me have it first. It took awhile to pick it up: "I know how it ends," I whined to myself. "It'll be sad."

    Well, it is sad, but, wow what a good read! I love how Fleming builds excitement by weaving in one-page (usually) descriptions of the day the plane lost contact and all the people who thought they picked up distress signals from Earhart. Fleming even takes time to explain radio technology and culture of the time so that makes sense. The book is illustrated with period documents, ephemera, and photos. A great, suspenseful tragic read that I'll recommend to kids in grades 4 to 8. (Or, really, older. Even a high schooler who can hack an adult bio would enjoy this; it doesn't present little kiddish.)

    P.S. I don't often blog about books anymore, but I want to turn in this book before the weekend. I like to make notes before returning so I'll know if there's swearing or sex or whatever before suggesting a book to a kid. But I couldn't make notes today because Shelfari is down, and has been since about 3:00. Shelfari -- now a subsidiary of Amazon (more rightly named than we knew? A giant monopoly in the making?) -- to add insult to injury, is suggesting I amuse myself by downloading something for my Kindle while I wait! Some damn nerve.

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    "Lots of Cats"

    Here's the puzzle that goes with Sunday's heart.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Puzzle piece heart - another idea from the book. After I made this, I had to go ahead and put it together for real. We did tons of stuff today - yard, groceries, awesome outing with Janet and Mark. By the time I got back to the puzzle, it was dark out - so, no picture. I'd lost one piece: the corner with the last half of the artists's name. Anyone recognize it just from this picture? 

    Wednesday, April 06, 2011

    In Which a Dose of Perspective Puts Me Right in the Middle of the Road.

    Sometimes when I go places, I feel a little self-conscious about my car. It's kinda new (2008) and compared to what else might be in the grocery store or City library parking lot, and kinda fancy (Honda Accord!). Today, I had to go to the Far West End, the richer part of town. I felt self-conscious about my car. It's not really that new, it's way smaller than some of those mammoth SUVs, it's really not that expensive a make, and it lacks private school bumper stickers. Travel is so broadening.

    Sunday, April 03, 2011

    Weeds or perfectly good flowers? We've lived here a year, now, and I still haven't decided. I like them in the mulchy areas, but not so much in the lawn. I used to have a blue glass ink bottle that I found in the woods at the house I grew up in that was just right for displaying tiny violet bouquets. Sadly, I broke it when I lived (yardlessly) in Williamsburg. The company that ran that apartment complex sprayed for bugs several times a year and the ink bottle dropped in one of my rampages to empty cabinets to prepare for the exterminator. 

    Wednesday, March 30, 2011


    I suspect any number of folks are trying A Heart a Day. Here's Jaros Designs. Note to self: be on the lookout for found hearts.

    Tuesday, March 29, 2011

    Tangram: Better Late Than Never?

    Being indulgently lazy on Sunday seems to have disrupted my usual goal of posting a heart by Sunday evening. This time, I didn't even think about it until Monday. And here it is Tuesday. So I grabbed our copy of the 365 Creativity Journal for an idea. Idea 65: "Work with only the classic tangram shapes"! Hey - I have a tangrams set right here in the storage part of the coffee table! Experts will see I left out a piece. :-/


    Sunday, March 20, 2011

    After taking the picture for Phil's Picassostache, I played with my food for my weekly creativity. I think food is the medium for many of my hearts.

    Sunday, March 13, 2011


    We agreed to be on a neighborhood garden tour in May, so I'm extra-focused on details when we work in the yard this spring. That focus helped me finally begin to see things like the difference in the types of hydrangeas we have.

    This attention to detail, plus this 365er Noah highligthed, led to this week's heart. There really are a lot of dandelions blooming already, if you just look.

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    Ref Grunt

    She wants to print out 114 emails.

    Looking for Finding Thalhimers.


    P.C. Cast's new one.

    The other desk is for check-out.

    Why can't he right click. -- Who knows, but just go 'round the other way and click edit>copy.

    PIN is changeme.

    Daisy Dalrymple mysteries (thanks for the help, NoveList!)

    Watching dude who is sitting between two of our quickest-to-anger patrons talking on his cell phone. He's amazingly quiet, so I may let it go.

    Direct her to Mysteries.

    Gent is shocked - shocked! - that people don't put magazines back in the right place. I tell him we'll take care of it. (It was about time for me to circle the room, anyway, so I grabbed them. I did not know we subscribed to Truckin.)

    Computer classes.


    (Why do older gents think it's hilarious to comment on the full computers? If I point out an available machine they're all "I'm just joking." Joking about what? About how people love their FarmVille?)

    Monday, March 07, 2011

    Ref Grunt

    Q: I can never remember: which are we - central or specific?
    A: Ah, um - Eastern.

    Sunday, March 06, 2011

    A bit of a curly heart (am I pushing it if I call it art nouveau?) out of the mixer cord. Also, a birthday cake for Phil.

    Monday, February 28, 2011

    Ref Grunt

    Sorry, no, I can't unfilter the computers in Children's for you.

    Telling me you haven't been to the library "in over ten years" and asserting your are "just looking to kill time" does not win me over.

    (I switch to adult side, and forget about working on my monthly report!)

    Pursuit of Happyness.


    Computer, computer.

    Printer is where?

    Add money to print, how?

    Take the phone chat outside, please.


    Where's my print? [You gotta hit print the second time, when money management system asks, do you really want to print these x pages?]

    Teach new library member to use shelf-check. He's got an H2G2 DVD, so I am extra nice.


    Scary dude needs our phone. He is not too angry or loud at the person he calls.


    Tissues for amiable, chic woman. We grouse about allergies for two seconds.

    Hipster with ringing iPhone needs the hold he didn't come in for in time re-sent here. Or not. He can't decide.

    Books by Frank Deford, Laura Hillenbrand.

    (OMG, look at the cute red polka-dot Mary Jane sneakers on that child!!)

    Sunday, February 27, 2011

    Purple Heart

    Finally came off the needles today! I was out of practice making this mitten pattern -- the project I made while learning to knit, and that I've made a dozen or twenty times since.

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    Special Effect Heart

    This is just a bit of a cool wrapping paper that I used recently. The first picture I took triggered the flash and -- ugh! -- washed it out. For the second shot, I put my finger over the flash and got a super-red image. Third try, I held my finger off the flash half an inch or so, and that's what this is.


    Saturday, February 19, 2011

    Matched by Ally Condie

    As is the custom in the Society, Cassia goes to be Matched at seventeen -- to by video screen the man she will marry at 21. She's thrilled by the event -- then shocked and thrilled to be Matched with her childhood friend. Being Matched with someone you know is nearly unheard of. So are mistakes, in the Society, but it seems one has been made.

    Though reminiscent of a slew of great stories (Feed, Uglies, Hunger Games), Condie expresses nifty dystopian ideas quite well:

    The almost-snow reminds me of a line from a poem we studied this year in Language and Literacy: "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening." It is one of my favorites of all the Hundred Poems, the ones our Society chose to keep, back when they decided our culture was too cluttered. They created commissions to chose the hundred best of everything: Hundred Songs, Hundred Paintings, Hundred Stories, Hundred Poems. The rest were eliminated. Gone forever. For the best, the Society said, and everyone believed it because it made sense. How can we appreciate anything fully when overwhelmed with too much? (p. 29)

    Or when another character tells Cassie about the myth of Sisyphus:

    "I don't know if he's real," Ky says. "If he ever existed."

    "Then why tell his story?" I don't understand, and for a second I feel betrayed. Why did Ky tell me about this person and make me feel empathy for him when there's no proof that he ever lived at all?"

    Ky pauses for a moment before he answers . . . ."Even if he didn't live his story, enough of us have lived lives just like it. So it's true anyway."
    A thoughtful and gentle introduction to dystopias.