I'm Liz, and I'm a librarian (duh)

Monday, December 31, 2007


So I've been thinking about the future of this blog, and whether it will have a future going into 2008. As long as I was doing my learning 2.0 exercises I had ready-made topics for rumination, but I've been sort of deliberating about which direction I should be steering this thing. Ideally I'd like to talk about books, because if I get going about the day-to-day library stuff I'll just start complaining, and while that's fun for me I realize that it's not much fun for anyone else. Then, I went onto my library's blog today and heard about someone who is doing a Book a Month Challenge--one you sign up, on the first of the month you'll get the month's genre "assignment," and then you can read whatever you want and relate it to that genre however you see fit. And children's/teen books are allowed! The blog is http://bamchallenge.wordpress.com/ and since today is the last day of the year, I expect that before the end of the week I'll have my first assignment. I know you are probably thinking that reading a book a month is not exactly a stretch for a librarian, but you'd be surprised how little reading gets done some weeks--if it wasn't for my commute I'd have no reading time at all. So I'm starting out with high hopes and good intentions...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Oh, there's no one in the library for the holidays...Everybody sing along!

Is there a quieter, lonelier place than the children's room of a library in the weeks leading up to Christmas? The shelves are full to bursting, the computers are abandoned, even the phone isn't ringing, except for the occasional toddler's mom, trying to sign up for next month's storytimes (wait till January!). Oh sure, every once in a while someone passes through to check on myspace, or to find a book about vampires, but overall we are not the place to be in December. On the face of things this is good, as it should mean I am weeding my collections and clearing off my desk, but one thing I have learned about myself is that I work better under pressure. I am a procrastinator in my bones, and if I don't have a deadline hanging over my head, I just won't finish my project. I'm not proud of this because I think it actually means I am lazy, but old dogs and all that.
In fact, I have been weeding, and I have been gazing adoringly over at the section I just did, that's how good it looks. All neat and spacious, I'm woozy just thinking about it. Too bad I still have about 75% of the collection left to go...
Tomorrow I have my last class visit of 2007, less than a week before xmas. Odds are these first graders will be a little wound up and not exactly library-minded, but there is a chance the teacher will threaten to withhold parties and treats, so I might make it through the program in one piece. Still, it might behoove me to plan for less talk, more action. We will sing and dance the hour away if need be!
Okay, late breaking news: our internet was down for about a half hour earlier this evening, and somehow the word got out to the public and we were actually busy! With people looking for books and information! In the last 35 minutes I have had kids looking for books about Native American drums, Ferdinand Magellan, maps of ancient Egypt, the Korean war, and rocketry and Sally Ride. Everyone wanted books! I even had one mother thank me over and over for finding so much in various reference books (this was the Native American drum person). Which was kind of nice. But alas, time has passed and the flurry of activity is over. Everyone in the room is hunched over a computer and if they're not playing a game they're im-ing. Order has been restored to the universe.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Doesn't he usually go down the chimney?

In the unlikely event that anyone reading this doesn't know where I am, they will now because I think my library is located in the only town around with this particular event. I speak, of course, of the traditional event where Santa rappells down the tallest building in town along with Rudolph and some other celebrity daredevils (I hear that last year, Rudolph's girlfriend was there). Why do a boring old tree lighting when you can watch Santa hang off a building? The thing that cracks me up is that everyone in town loves this--it starts in 20 minutes and people are all lined up to buy their commemorative $12 balloons and whatnot, despite the fact that it's freezing out, not to mention intermittently snowing and raining. Maybe it's the thrill of wondering whether he'll make it down in one piece that draws the crowd. Or, more likely, maybe it's special guest Jose Feliciano--all I have to do is read his name and I'm singing Feliz Navidad for hours. See, now I'm so distracted by humming the song that I lost my train of thought. Maybe NYC will catch on to our popularity and do a nightly rappelling event in Rockefeller Center instead of putting the tree up. It would be a greener thing to do (no cutting down ancient trees), and possibly more ecumenical, since they could rotate representatives of different faiths doing the dangling.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Mental Note

This has basically nothing to do with learning 2.0 or libraries, but I wanted to officially have this somewhere, so next year when Christmas rolls around I remember the horror and don't make the same mistake twice. If anyone who knows me hears me say that I am going to have my daughter's picture taken at some mall studio for Christmas, for god's sake, stop me! Especially if I say it after Thanksgiving! I spent two hours in the studio yesterday for a 15-minute photo session and about 15 minutes of looking at the proofs and choosing poses. I thought as a children's librarian I had probably seen the gamut of children and parent behavior, but this was eye-opening even for me. All I can say is, whatever the photographers working there make, I hope they're getting big holiday bonuses.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Ta-da! I made it, number 23! I have really enjoyed this whole exercise, not only learning about all the new applications and websites and stuff, but also blogging and reading everyone else's blogs as they chug along. I feel like I have a whole new vocabulary now. And I am making a concerted effort to actually use all these new things, if not in my professional work then certainly in my personal life. Facebook is a big favorite, which is a surprise for me. I was so distainful of mySpace and never expected to like social networking, but there you have it. I also regularly subscribe to podcasts, which I never did before. And LibraryThing! Totally loving that. Most of all, I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy about my blog. I know no one is reading it, except those of us in our learning exercises, but even so, it's been so much fun I'm thinking I may continue even now that I don't need to. You never know, the holidays are coming, maybe I can con one of my unsuspecting relatives into checking me out online.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Second Life--Almost as bad as the first

Let me start by saying that I am glad I checked out Second Life, but I don't think I'll be a regular user/inhabitant/frequentor/whatever. Just before Thanksgiving I signed myself up, picked out a snazzy new name and downloaded the software (this part actually took a ridiculous amount of time--then as soon as it was finished I was told that I didn't have the most up-to-date version, and needed to download it immediately--grr). So I'm finally all logged in and I appear in Second Life-land with a bunch of other lost souls, one of whom was about two inches away from me--naked! And of course I don't bother learning how to do anything, I just see that if I press this button I can fly, so I press the button and get stranded hovering over everything with no clue how to get down. I figured at the very least I would fall back down to earth, but no such luck. It was at this point that a co-worker wandered up to my computer and with her help I was back on the ground, but I was already off to an inauspicious start. Second Life is kind enough to have a tutorial for losers, ahem, beginners like me, so we can learn to walk and stuff, but I was having a tough time even with that. So I start by walking to the target, okay, so far so good, and then I'm supposed to find something to ride, okay, there's a scooter or something, I get on that, but this is where things go horribly awry. I'm on my scooter thing and this guy comes up to me and greets me in Italian. I ignore him as I am trying to turn a corner on my scooter and there's a taxi in my way, but he is persistent. Somehow I end up off my scooter, the scooter disappears, this guy is still talking to me, and I now have to figure out how to get across this bridge thing with no vehicle. Italian guy is getting more annoying, he figures out that I don't speak Italian and asks to be my friend in English, which I decline, because I just need a ride now and he is not going to help me. I retrace my steps and see that there is another scooter, so I hurry to get it, but some other newbie steals it out from under me. I have figured out that the scooters just keep coming so I wait until another one shows up and try to get on it. But Italian guy is back! He races to the scooter, gets on it and then starts trying to run me over backward so I am forced to flee. Bastard! or should I say bastardo! This is why I don't want to be your friend! Either way, I am now hopping mad and decide I am going to hijack this car I see, thinking I can get in the same way I got on the scooter--but instead I am sitting on the roof of the car, which is not what I want, and the people inside are probably thinking I am a freak, which wouldn't be too far off the mark--who sits on the roof of a car? At this point we are weeping, I am laughing so hard my sides hurt, and I am thinking that aside from the smoking hot avatar I would doubtlessly have as my alter-ego, this is maybe more trouble than it is worth. But I did get to fly and at least I wasn't naked--I hope that poor girl got herself sorted out.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A-Twitter about Twitter

The web 2.0 winners list is so overwhelming, there's so much good stuff out there. Although if you look closely at all the individual sites you can see that many of them get high marks for being social, not so much for usefulness. I was trying to find one that I hadn't already used--thanks to these learning exercises we've had exposure to some of the winners and runners-up on the list--and that was possibly applicable to work, not just fun. After a little exploring, my finalist is...Twitter! Working in a department with six full-time staff, almost 20 part-timers, two desks to staff and programs almost every day, not to mention in-house meetings, outreach, off-site meetings (you get the picture), I can see the value in knowing where everyone is or if someone is running late. Of course it's only valuable if everyone who needs to know is hooked up, and this is also fundamentally a social tool, but since I did my little I-love-Google dance in my last post, I didn't think it was fair to reprise it here again.

Monday, November 19, 2007

This post brought to you by Google Docs

Oh my god! Why did I not know about this before?? Actually, it's because I have never gotten around to fully exploring all the bells and whistles of Google...but this is like a dream! All the anxiety about losing documents from faulty disks, ahem, crashing computers, etc., gone! Okay, maybe it's not realistic to think I'll be saving all my documents in here, but it means I don't have to worry about what version of word is on which computer I'm working on, or if word is even there at all! My husband and I have been mulling over the idea of getting a mac for some time now, and my main reason for holding out is that I was worried about not being able to open documents from PC-using folks. This changes everything! Maybe I should see what else Google has up its sleeve...is there anything they can't do?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Blogger's Best Friend

I'll tell ya what, I am definitely learning new stuff in this exercise. I am in the generation that totally fell through the cracks in terms of the internet and technology. Here's a scenario--when I started library school there was no internet as it exists now, but by the time I finished 18 months later, netscape was born and I was using it at my first (part-time) library job. Wanna laugh? One of my core competencies for technology in grad school was knowing how to FTP! I don't even remember exactly what that stands for, but I bet no one needs to know it anymore! Anyway, I am young enough that I grew up with some computer technology (I remember the old floppy floppy disks for PCs but I used a Brother word processor until my senior year in college) but old enough that I am having to educate myself on pretty much everything internet related, unlike every kid entering middle school these days. It's the reason why it's not second nature for me to explore all this new stuff on my own, so I'm glad to be led along through all these exercises.

Technorati was totally new to me, but I love the idea of being able to link a blog up to the bigger world so people know about it! I mean, why go to the trouble of blogging if no one but you is going to read it? Except for the whole cathartic diary-esque thing. But still. And of course, if you are blogging with a purpose, you really want to get people hooked up. I am not laboring under any delusions of people adding me to their rss feeds or anything, but maybe someone somewhere will think what I'm writing is worth reading, or at least more interesting than staring off into space. Of course this means that I have to go back and do tags for all my blog posts. Tagging is still not second nature to me, but I see the value and I've just gotta try to remember to do it! I'm a librarian, this sort of thing should be a piece of cake--don't we love subject headings?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mmmm, social bookmarking...

Ack, I am falling behind! The last time I checked it was sometime in May, and now it is MID-November. Is anyone else feeling super-overwhelmed (would that be overoverwhelmed?) and frantic? Hmm, must just be me...Also, is today a holiday and no one told me? It's eerily quiet in the children's room this afternoon at 2:20 pm. I may live to regret even thinking those words, but for now I'm wondering where everybody went.
I must confess that I am not a very good tagger. Does this mean I am inherently uncreative and boring? Maybe. Probably it means I can't be bothered. But I like the idea of tagging, i.e., I like to see the tags other people apply to things. And I'm noticing tagging everywhere now--I bought some stuff on amazon the other day and there were totally tags all over the place. But that figures, since amazon always likes to tell you what other people looked at and bought. Monkey see, monkey do. I am definitely intrigued by del.icio.us because I like the idea of taking my bookmarks with me from home to work and vice versa, and it's kind of fun to see what other people are checking out regularly. It'd be interesting to have a social bookmarking account for our whole department, say, so we could see what everyone's favorite databases and search engines are for different assignments. In a perfect world, with lots of time and nothing else to do, this could be totally addicting. That's what I should do for my Second Life--I'll be a person who does nothing but plays on the internet. And can fly. But never does because she's always on the internet.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Fulfilling my Obligations

Well, I guess I kind of feel like I have contributed to the library's Learning 2.0 wiki, since I did in actuality add my book and my movie and my fun website--but it wasn't the empowering experience I thought it would be. Maybe that's because not too many people have added yet, and I didn't have time to be all creative and add a new page. But I did it, that's the important thing. Ho hum, it can't all be fun and games and podcasts.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Wiki wiki wiki

Hmmm, it is fun to say wiki. And I totally love that it's Hawaiian. Not sure why that makes me happy, but it does. Before reading up I admit I was a little wary of wikis (hee hee) because of the whole everyone's-a-contributor thing. That makes me such a librarian; I like there to be an authority who is the definitive responsible party for my information, but I know that is 1.0 thinking and I am working to change my attitude. I guess what I sort of object to is the wikipedia, since in my mind there's always the chance that someone would intentionally or even unintentionally put wrong information out there. But I know this is irrational, I mean, we read reviews for books all the time that are printed with errors so of course it's bound to happen in the online environment as well. Working with kids and the internet you always find yourself telling kids that they have to trust the source so they can determine whether something they've found online is really good and accurate information, mainly because the kids don't realize that unlike publishing a book anyone can throw something up online with no editing, nothing. If I say I'm a leading authority on kangaroos and here's my website documenting all my research, who's gonna say I'm not? But wikis by and large seem to exist in pretty closed environments, like for a company's staff or a library's users so their applications can be tailored and specific to their audiences. I particularly liked the one library that used a wiki so their patrons could review books they liked (or didn't like) and people could browse by genre as a reader's advisory tool. In fact, there's been a lot of talk about blogging about new books as part of the library's webpage, so that staff could do some reviews each week or month or whatever, but I really like the idea of starting a wiki because then we could get the ball rolling with some of our favorite books and then have the patrons get in on it and post some of their own recommendations and then before we know it we've got a bona fide database going. Maybe if we start small, like for summer reading, it'll get off the ground. But in the meantime, I never thought I'd say this but I think I'm pro wiki.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


In case anyone is interested, I almost made it to November without further mechanical mishap until yesterday, when the brake line in my car sprung a leak. To date, my car is the biggest thing I've ruined in October, so next year I am totally living in a yurt for 31 days. Of course with my luck the yurt will have wireless internet access, so maybe that's not such a good idea. For now, I am hoping that my poor beleaguered husband can fix it in time for me to drive to Canton tomorrow for a meeting. I could try it without the brakes, but I did that last night on my way home from work and it was just a little too much of an adrenaline rush hurtling down 95 at 70 mph in the dark and I'd just as soon not try it again.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Liz 2.0.1

Before I got ready to write this entry I did a little reading online about Library 2.0, because I wanted to get a real definition of what the term means. Probably like everyone else who works as a librarian I get a lot of non-librarian guff from people who think they are funny and say things like, "Librarian, huh? It's all about computers now, soon you'll be out of a job." Har dee har har. It's been ten years now, and that joke is still funny. What I learned from my reading is that Library 2.0 isn't just about technology, it's about the evolution of libraries and how we change in order to stay relevant, which isn't something that just happened with the advent of computers, but has been happening for decades, if not hundreds of years. True, technology means that we change quicker now, but I like the "constant beta" philosophy--try something, and if it doesn't work, or if something better comes along, then nothing is carved in stone and you tweak, or adapt, or totally drop it, whatever. And by the way, as the trucks and trucks of returned books in my department will attest to, books aren't going anywhere either.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Customized Search Engines

Before getting into these 23 things I had never heard of Rollyo or any other customized search engines, although it definitely makes sense. If you can tell a search engine like google to look for whatever you want, you should also be able to limit that search by telling the search engine exactly where you want it to search. I fooled around a little and set up my own Christmas shopping search engine, where I put all the places I usually go to look for books, video games, toys and kids clothes. Truthfully, I don't know how much I'll use it, but some of the preloaded limited searches Rollyo offered looked more promising. For instance, I liked that I could do a focused search in either health or parenting, which are two kinds of searches I do frequently. Of course I have my own favorites sites to search, but some of these were included in Rollyo's search so I didn't have to jump around from site to site if I didn't see what I wanted on the first try (plus I could always add my sites to theirs). Here's my embarrassing admission for the day: I have been pronouncing Rollyo as "rolly-o" in my head, and it became clear when I looked at the site closely that they would have me say it as "roll yo." I know, it's semantics, but "roll yo" sounds a lot less dorky than "rolly-o." 50 Cent knows what I mean.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Finally, Something My iPod is Good For

Actually, this title isn't really fair because I love my iPod and it's really good at the thing I most want it to be good at, which is playing all the music I love. But there was some initial disappointment after finding out that I wouldn't be able to take advantage of the library's free eaudio books. Ah well, the benefits have outweighed the drawbacks all in all. But here's how dumb I am: until I really sort of started looking into podcasts (what they are, how to access them, subscribing, etc.) it never occurred to me that they are really kind of what iPods are made for. I mean I never wondered what the "pod" in iPod stood for, but the penny finally dropped--you know, what makes it different from an mp3 player. It's kind of cool to have a device to watch/listen to for portability's sake. The train has totally gotten me addicted to all these audio gizmos, and I'm willing to try anything, so this is one more way to spend my tedious commute. It'll only become a problem if it starts cutting into my books per week average!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Frustration, or Google Owns Everything

I am not as slick as I thought I was. My superstar status is downgraded to D level. I've come up against my first techno-wall, as I have been trying in vain to get a video from Youtube viewed here in my blog. Woe alas. I thought it'd be a piece of cake since blogger and Youtube are both owned by Google and should be all simpatico but I'm having trouble all the same. *sigh* It's still October... I know there's probably some really easy way to do it and when I finally figure it out I'll be smacking myself in the forehead, but in the meantime, grr.
Youtube is sort of a quintessential time-waster. I can view commercials from the '70s, teasers from bands and TV shows, all of which are entertaining, but for about a week I had an RSS feed on the top 100 or whatever Youtube videos, and they were all either foreign sporting events or porn (occasionally foreign porn). So I unsubscribed to that...
I guess I will take a break from trying to hook up some video clips here and try again in a week or two, on a day when I haven't spent six hours in meetings.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Revvin' Up for a Rant

Ugh, I have actually been dreading blogging about this, because I know I sound like lead grouch-keteer under normal circumstances, but there's no avoiding it. This is October, known to many as breast cancer awareness month or Hispanic heritage month or even just the 31-days-of-Halloween month, all of which are good things. But for me, October is the month where, year in and year out, one or more of my various and sundry pieces of technology craps out on me. This year is no exception, as my computer crashed on October 7 and I have spent the last two weeks trying to recover all the things I lost. The good news is, I haven't lost anything tremendously important except hours of my life sitting trying to figure out where things might be hidden. Last October my cell phone died--just died, no new batteries or anything, which meant I lost pretty much every phone number I need. Two years ago in October of 2005 I really lucked out, as I got a new computer from Gateway which had all kinds of problems and required no fewer than 3 angry phone calls to their customer service department (this actually ended up getting me a free flash drive for my troubles, so that wasn't too bad). The reason I got the new computer that year was because I got an iPod nano for my birthday, which didn't work with my old computer's Windows 98. That nano was returned less than a month after I got it (also in October) because it wouldn't hold a charge. That very same month, my work computer contracted some virus which resulted in my having to get a replacement computer there, too. So I am basically the angel of death to anything with a plug. My only consolation is that we are almost to the end of the month, when it will be safe for me to watch TV again.

Monday, October 22, 2007


I don't mean to brag, but I am a superstar. This weekend I downloaded one of the library's audiobooks and it was totally easy. This saga goes back, golly, over a year now, to when we had a meeting here at work about the ebooks and were given a "tutorial" about how to instruct patrons in how to download and listen/read. At that meeting I took about 2 pages of notes, including instructions on how to register your device/reader, blah blah blah. I came down to my office from the meeting, thinking everything was fresh in my mind so I should be able to do everything easy peasy, but NO! When push came to download shove I was unable to get my computer to download the file--this may have been because I was doing the download inside the library, but staff computers are not subject to the same restrictions as the public computers (i.e. deep freeze therefore nothing gets saved on the hard drive, ever), so I never figured out what the matter was. Of course, I never really pursued it either, because I have an iPod and can't download any of our ebooks to it anyway, so the whole exercise was sort of academic.
So, flash forward to yesterday, when I had a few minutes to spare and was online at home and thought I would give it another go, since it is part of our 2.0 training. At the very least I could blog about how traumatic an experience it was. But it was delightfully trauma-free--I did have to get myself a new account, since the one I set up all those months before was no longer valid (or else I forgot my username and password, either way), but once I did that it was smooth sailing. My best guess is that in the intervening year they maybe streamlined the process, or else I got smarter. I was even able to listen to a little bit of it already.
One thing I noticed as I was looking for something to download was that they don't appear to be getting much use. Almost all the titles I browsed were available for download, but I will go on record as saying that I don't know what the use statistics are and that I have no empirical evidence to back up this statement, just what I saw on this particular day. And the pickin's were slim, but you can't have everything. I was able to borrow part three of a trilogy, where we own the first two books on CD but don't own the 3rd one on audio at all, so all's well that ends well. And god knows I see enough people on the train plugged into to one or more devices, so it's not that people are technophobes. Maybe they are (shudder) buying their audiobooks? I wonder what it's like to have disposable income...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I don't feel the Flickr

It's becoming apparent to me that by the time these 23 things are accomplished I will have 23 new accounts I have to keep track of usernames and passwords for...not so psyched about that. After having introduced myself to flickr (I am proud to say, before beginning the 23 things), I think it's a little less useful to me than some of the other technologies/applications. Maybe it's just because I am not really a photographer--I take lots of pictures, but usually they're all of my daughter with or without various other family members thrown in. In other words, not exactly Photography Today material. And, because my daughter is the subject of so many of the pics I don't feel comfortable posting all the pictures publicly, so I have all sorts of layers of privacy so no one can see them except the people I allow in. So for my purposes, flickr doesn't do much differently for me than, say, costco.com, which is where I have been storing and sharing all my online photos. Okay, I know, that pretty much outs me as the sad example of lameness that I am. But I never claimed to be cool in any way, so this is just proof. Anyway, flickr also seems to assume that I am doing all sorts of editing to my photos before I post them, which is just not the case because, well, see above.
I have done a little exploring of some of the flickr mashups, which I will admit are kind of fun, but in a sort of I'm-sure-I-can-find-something-else-to-do-for-five-minutes, non-essential kind of way. It was interesting to see how many different representations of the letters "L" and "I" flickr could come up with when I went on a "spelling with flickr" site and asked it to spell "Liz the Librarian," for instance. But you know, jeez.
I guess my main appreciation of flickr is for seeing what great photographers other people are. A few weeks ago I saw some fantastic photos people had posted of Oktoberfest in Munich, and I guess it could be a way to see people's travel photos without the boring commentary. Maybe a more charitable way to say it would be, good for armchair travelers!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Librarian Thing

First of all, I would like to say how proud I am of myself for figuring out how to link my LibraryThing library to this blog! For probably everyone else in the world, that's no big deal, but I'm choosing to view it as a personal triumph. What can I say, it's been a rough couple of weeks and I am taking my ego boosts where I can get them.

Professionally, I don't know how I feel about LibraryThing. My library is fairly large, and the best way I can figure to use it would be for genre lists or something, or maybe some "Youth Services Librarians recommend..." sort of thing, but the fact that it links to Amazon and not our library catalog is more than a little problematic. Personally, I kind of like the chance to see what other people, not necessarily my friends, are reading, but I am not prepared to pay for my account and I am totally going to run out of free space way before I enter all the books I've read. And I am not usually into joining groups/posting to bulletin boards but I did see a few groups of interest, at least to lurk if not to post. One thing I have noticed, though, is that in order to get suggestions that are really to my taste I really have to enter a wide range of books--so far, I have only entered things that I have read recently or am currently reading, which is only 16 books, and I am getting some pretty random suggestions. I'll have to go back a little further and add some of my favorites. But you know, bottom line, I like to read and to hear what others are reading, particularly books for adults which I don't always have time for, so purely from an entertainment point of view it's pretty cool.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"Faces" on Facebook

What a funny thing--I joined Facebook for pretty much one reason only: to communicate with my cousin Paul who moved to Italy over the summer. I mean, he is family but I wasn't about to call overseas to have a two minute conversation with him. When I asked my uncle what the best way was to get in touch with Paul, he told me that there were pictures posted on Facebook. He then proceeded to gripe about why did it have to be Facebook, he couldn't get in to see the pictures without joining up, why wasn't kodakgallery good enough, and what about email...whatever. My uncle is another story entirely. So anyway, I just joined so I could say hi and wish Paul a happy birthday, and the next thing I know, some people I knew from high school and college and various jobs were contacting me, trying to be my friend. My cousin Dominic's ex-wife contacted me; my senior prom date poked me just this weekend (ooo-er, as Georgia Nicholson would say)! So my point is, despite thinking that I was too old and married and busy to have any use for a social networking site, I have been pleasantly surprised. Also, once you have your little core group of people on there, it's kind of easier to post something on there and know that everyone will see it, instead of worrying that I missed emailing something to one individual or another. Plus, no spam!
Here is the thing, though--half the people on Facebook don't use their real pictures, they use avatars or some other picture that they feel represents them, and many of the people I went to school with are married with different last names (interestingly, my prom date changed his FIRST name, but then he found me), so finding the person you are looking for is sometimes a challenge, especially if you are not sure where in the world people are living, etc.
Anyhoo--mission accomplished, I found Paul, he takes fantastic photos of Bologna and makes me jealous, and I know more about him now than when he was living in CT, so it's a bonus all around.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Feeding the Reader

So I was a little leery of setting up my RSS feed reader--not because of anything technological, but because I didn't think there'd be anything I'd want all the updates on. What you need to know about me is, I have basically no free time. I have times throughout the day when I am not really doing much, but those times are usually spent in a car or a train going back and forth to work, or totally vegged out after I have finished with the whole dinner/bath/stories/toothbrushing fandango every night. If I am lucky, I'll manage 30 minutes of some sort of exercise, but lately I've been just trying to get a little sleep. What I am usually not doing is poking around on the internet looking for news or anything else. I do need to know whether Britney is or is not in possession of her kids from time to time, but that's all.

But then I had sort of an epiphany--I don't live in the town where I work, and I don't always have time to read the paper. Voila--something to read in my downtime, and I can keep up with all the local news. And then, should I want to find out if Paris really goes to Africa or if Nicole legitimizes her baby, I can always subscribe to people.com too. Hooray!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Blogger's Block

So far, this whole blogging thing has been a breeze, except for the one thing--what to blog about? No one wants to hear a blow-by-blow of life in the department, especially because that has the potential to deteriorate into whining and complaining, and who needs to read that? And frankly, my personal life just doesn't have what it takes to hold even my interest most days, never mind anyone else's. And finally, I don't think I can go into a deep enough cover to really dish, although that would certainly be entertaining. So it's a dilemma.

Maybe I could start a "believe it or not" column, where you have to guess which patron antics are the false ones.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Art Linkletter was right!

It's been a while since I have really had a funny conversation with one of the kids, but on Saturday one of our regulars came in, someone I haven't seen all summer, and we were talking about what he'd been doing for the last couple of months. I don't remember how the subject changed (maybe he just changed it), but he wanted to guess how old I was (occupational hazard when working with kids). He made a guess, a pretty close guess, but then proceeded to tell me WHY he knew I wasn't "old." Peering very closely, really taking his time, he said that number one, I don't wear earrings like old ladies wear. Also, my hair isn't gray and it's very bouncy. So there you have it--the secrets of eternal youth. Forget botox, peels--the earrings don't lie.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Fooling around in Blogger

I was playing around, actually looking at a friend's blog today, and I noticed a totally cool feature of this blog--at the top of the page, if you click on "next blog" you get t look at some random person's blog. I stumbled onto someone blogging under then name "fat guy," that seemed to be his ruminations on being fat (his word, not mine--I'm not weightist), and another one about a Japanese woman in France, doing a tour of all the places she's been and food she's eaten. Fun! Woe unto him that gets this blog randomly...

I think I'm about to go off on a rant.

I think we should post a picture, like huge movie-poster size, in the youth services dept. of the little girl who disappeared in Portugal or Spain or wherever over the summer when her parents left her unattended in their hotel room while they went off to dinner. And under that we should post our unattended child rules--maybe then people would listen! I just spent the last 10 minutes negotiating with this person who was trying to leave her primarily French-speaking 3-year-old in the care of a 7-year-old so she could go off and use the internet. Grr. I know, here's a quarter.

Okay, I'm starting to sound like a curmudgeon. Let's change the subject.

One of the cool things about working with roughly the same population of kids over almost 10 years is that I get to see them grow up! There's a young lady here today that, about a year ago, was a total problem child. She wasn't "Bad," but she was the kind of kid that was here all the time, and when she was here we all knew that we'd spend lots of time disciplining her (keep your voice down, stay on your own computer, keep your hands to yourself, where's your mother). Anyway, she's been here for a couple of hours today and she's been nothing but respectful and well-behaved. What a difference a year makes!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hi Everyone!

This is it, my foray into the blogosphere...can you feel the electricity in the air? I know, the Ferguson world has been perched on the edge of their seats, waiting to hear my thoughts and insights. Well, the wait is over!

Today is a good day to start, because it is also the first day of my Two's Company storytime, which will run for the next 5 weeks, and who knows--maybe they'll give me some fun and interesting fodder. They always entertain me.

I am about 3/4 of the way through a very interesting book from our teen section, Freak Show by James St. James. About a teen drag queen transplanted from our own Darien, CT to the bowels of rural FL, attending a very conservative private school for ridiculously wealthy problem children. Hilarity, as you might expect, does not ensue. He's running for homecoming queen now--I'll let you know if he survives.