Thursday, July 26, 2007

Week 8, Thing 18

Having an online word processor is a very useful tool for libraries such as ours that do not have access to Word documents on computers designated for online use only. These types of programs will be especially beneficial to those who need to create and send business letters and resumes online for job applications.

The above paragraph was brought to you in part by Zoho Writer and my mad typing skillz. With special thanks to Mrs. Walker who did not fall out the window in our typing class.

The word processing program is pretty neat and it has all of the things that Microsoft Word has, and lets you work on saved documents anytime and anywhere. And costs a lot less. Though, you have to make sure you actually log into your account to keep the documents from being deleted! But, for when you are in a pinch or at a place where there is no access to Microsoft Word (or similar word processing programs) it's quite good.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Something to sing about.

I'm beginning to wonder... could this be the best week ever?

It started last Saturday night when I went to the National Symphony Orchestra concert at Wolf Trap. There, not only did I finally get to hear Aaron Lazar sing in person (he was Fabrizio in the PBS broadcast of Light in the Piazza) but, I got to meet him in person backstage!

It was another example of why being crazy sometimes just doesn't work out. Now, I had my own flight of crazy earlier in the day when I chased down the local post woman so I could get my personal copy of Harry Potter. Being nice and patient has its rewards. Take, for instance, fifteen years ago when I went to see a baseball game in Montreal. It was the Expos vs the Mets. The Mets were doing warm ups on the field. I was standing next to my brother (wearing an Expos cap) and a man who decided the best way to capture a baseball and the attention of all of the security guards was to jump the field and run around a bit. And there I was, standing, hoping. And, wouldn't you know, Sid Fernendez came up to me and gave me a baseball. My almost 11 year-old self was paralyzed with astonishment and so I forgot to ask to get it autographed. SID FERNEDEZ IF YOU READ THIS I HAVE A BASEBALL FOR YOU TO AUTOGRAPH!!!!! Ahem.

Saturday night, there were all sorts of middle-aged people yelling out to Marvin Hamlisch that they were his long lost cousins and that he should really come over and take pictures with them. We stood and looked at them with shock and dismay over the general pushiness of people. We were asked who we were waiting to see, and said Aaron, but were told that he had about fifteen family members backstage with him, including his grandparents. So, we were doubtful that we would even get a chance to see him (we did see him going into the theatre pre-show, though). But, shortly after, the guard lady came back and told us that if we didn't mind waiting a bit more and promised to behave ourselves, we could meet him backstage. And, so we waited, and met him, and even though he called me Kristie (I have the problem of going quiet on the last part of my name, I admit) he was so sweet and lovely and so nice to actually meet him. Not to mention that his "Music of the Night" was to die for.

And, today, is Jasper Fforde Day!!!! And it's been declared that day on the calendar for several months now. Finally, after five years of reading his books, I get to meet the man. I'm so very excited, even though it means I have to drive through crazy DC traffic to get there. I first read The Eyre Affair whilst travelling through France and I nearly wanted to not go out and see Paris so I could finish reading the book. That's a problem, isn't it? So The Eyre Affair is probably my most well travelled book in the history of ever as it went on my spring break "tour of Europe" back when I was in Wales. In fact, I collect the UK editions, so my friend was studying at Cambridge bought me a signed copy of the UK edition (which I have discovered is actually missing some text) and I'm going to get her a signed copy of the US edition, which she collects. Win all around.

Hopefully this coming Saturday, I shall finally get to meet Robert Hunt, who is probably my favorite Javert and get to see Michael Minarik (of frolicing through four lanes of traffic in Boston fame). So, now you can see why it is the best book/musical week!

Week 7, Thing 17

Mass hysteria was created when I posted my blog to the Maryland Libraries Sandbox. Ok, I'm sure it isn't that bad, but I was confused where I should post the link. Should it go under the heading "Eastern Shore Regional Library" or did I dare create a new heading for "Queen Anne's County Free Library" as people from libraries on the western half of Maryland did. I dared.

Of course, some of this daring was caused by pure ignorance. As a non-native to Maryland, I still haven't quite sorted out all of the county names and where they are located (a problem when entering out of county patrons into the system). For the moment, however, the Queen Anne's County Free Library is free ranging it!

Week 7, Thing 16

Wiki! Wikis! My first experience using (and by using, I mean actually contributing) a wiki was during grad school. It was my records management class, and one of our wiki assignments was to be a "definition taker" for a certain class period and we had to find definitions to the various words we discussed during class. I always lived in fear that I would get some tragically hard word and end up looking stupid. Though, goodness knows, I don't need help for that! Now that wiki was password controlled, so only members of the class were able to access it. What was especially nice with it, was that at the end of the class, we were left with a permanent spot on the web of everything that we learned over the course of the semester that we could go to for reference.

My second use was an on the job experience at Wheelock college where the reference librarians had their own wiki (as did the circ staff). This kept all of the reference librarians up-do-date with various questions asked, questions that were still being worked on, and things that we could do when there was nothing else to do. Once tasks were complete, we could cross them off the list so others would know that they could move onto the next task. The wiki also included useful guides for things such as filling ILL requests.

Wikis can pretty much include whatever the users want, on a variety of topics. They could be used within libraries for librarians to share useful links for reference sites/article discussion/reviews/etc.

Does this sound like a good textbook answer?

Week 6, Thing 15

As I read the articles provided about Web 2.0 and Library 2.0, I can't help but think about small public libraries like where I work. Especially during the article by Rick Anderson, "Away From The 'Iceburgs'". He questions the role of "collections" in this article as he promotes the Library of the Future that will be able to provide the local community with electronic access to pretty much anything, all without needing to come into the library. Now, you can call me an old-fashioned stick in the mud (and I'm only 26!), but, I have a hard time believing that there will ever come a day that we could do that, simply based on the cost. And, of course, some of the technology really needs to improve (such as book readers) before I'm willing to give up on my paper books. Patrons may expect to find everything digitally, but until we can afford such a thing, they probably won't get it.

Granted, I am also an archivist, and this archivists needs her paper!

I will be the first to admit, however, that a more interactive cataloguing experience would be love. Especially if they would always provide plot synopsis and reviews.

Monday, July 23, 2007

There are times when I should really think.

Thanks to Hailey Abbott's book Summer Boys, I now have a new pick-up line for the rest of summer.

"It's summer. It's hot. It's time to hook up."

Of course, now Lauren wants me to say that to the next person who walks in the door, and that just is not going to happen. Ever. At all.

This one is for the memories.

Note: I have not read this book, just the back cover.

Week 6, Thing 14

Tagging is my friend. Except, I've apparently been using the "wrong" tag for this blog. I use "23 Things" to mark entries relating to the 23 Things course I'm taking, but it seems that the prefered term was actually "mdlearn2"? Well, I'm not going to change now! My problem with tagging is that sometimes I forget the ones I've used before and end up using something slightly different, thus creating an onslaught of tags. Mountains, believe me. That said, I enjoy searching for "23 Things" in Technorati and finding my blog. Of course, on days like today (July 23), you have to type it in with the quotes otherwise, good luck. And, yes, the searches are different depending on where you search.

It comes as no suprise that "harry potter" and "deathly hollows" are some of the most popular tags at the moment. What makes it more fun is the fact that I am now free to read them without worrying about spoilers. Not that I actually have time to read them or even really want to read all of them. That would be frightening. It does concern me, however, that one of the top 100 blogs has something to do with "hot asian teenage girls" or some such thing. I obviously did not look at that one, either. Does that count as interesting?

Week 6, Thing 13

Now that the Harry Potter madness is over for me (as far as reading the book unspoiled), I can now go back to reading blogs/watching the news without fear that I will stumble across something that I didn't need to know about too soon.

Which is why I can now talk about, the social bookmarking manager. Something that will prove instantly useful this week as my home laptop is beomg sent out to California to be repaired. Taking with it all of the bookmarks I saved on that computer. And, pretty much everything else in my life the past two years. I know, that isn't that dramatic.

But, it explains how perfect a tool can be when used "for the greater good" (HP!). I can, therefore, access my bookmarks elsewhere, or be reunited with them when I am reunited with my computer and no harm done. Then there is the additional bonus of the tagging and being able to see other people's bookmarks and how they are labled so you can find other sites that might be of interest to you that, otherwise, might have been unfoundable. Unfoundable? Maybe hard to find, then. So, I can see it's uses for things other than personal. That is, of course, if the bookmarked links are reliable sources and that depends on the user. Like so much of everything on the internet, it is helpful to be a little bit wary.

As far as Harry Potter goes, Snape = Neville. That's all I'm saying (and not Neville Longbottom).

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Ok, I don't know how much help I was, but, I did find the "expert" on Eastern Shore baseball history. Or so I think. I mean, he did present a paper on the early history of baseball on the Eastern Shore at Cooperstown. That has to count for something, right? I also found another person who is writing a book about semi-pro baseball in the mid-Atlantic region. A book that, when it is published, should go on our "to be purchased for the library" list. And, this person is a former Expos player. Double points.

So, I gave the patron all of the info I found when he came in, and I know that he has contacted the first person, as I received an email back from them saying they had been contacted by the patron. All I can say is score points for reference! Ok, so it took several hours to discover this, but, it happened.

Speaking of baseball, let's see how the Mets are doing...

... and, they're losing. What a suprise.

To make it a perfect day, the same cute little girl who waved at me in the Food Lion parking lot came up to me and gave me a hug whilst I was talking to Julie. And a little boy came up to me while I was working on my reference question and gave me a very colourful drawing to hang from my desk. I am adored by the little people! At least today I was.

Week 5, Thing 12

Rollyo! Just saying that is fun. The unfun part of it was staring at the screen, trying to think up what I wanted to roll (or is it rollyo?). I finally decided, that since this blog features musicals as much as books, that I would do one of theatre news sites. This is supposed to be about play, isn't it? So, I'll cop out of the "work" mode of "I really should have used useful ready reference sites" and have some fun. Who knows if it would even be useful.

Find the sites to add was not a problem. Finding the link to my Rollyo project was. Thankfully, Julie pointed me in the right direction, so you can find my Theatre Rollyo search engine here. It features sites relating to Broadway, West End, and French theatre. I've done a few searches, and it seems to be useful. For my own personal interests, though. This one won't cut the mustard at work.

Well, let the 10 o'clock onslaught begin! I need to find information about the Eastern Shore Negro League. It's being rather difficult and mysterious. Woe is me.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Week 5, Thing 11

I've known about LibraryThing for a while now. Known about it, but haven't used it. Part of the reason, I suppose, is that my books were scattered across three states at the time. Actually, they still are. But, instead of FL/NY/MA, now it's FL/NY/MD. Florida books have mostly come home to roost, but my New York ones are causing me a spot of bother, as, apparently, I have too many of them. Already, my mom has packed away nine boxes, and that just from the two bookcases in my bedroom (and not counting my entire L.M. Montgomery collection which was brought down to me a month ago). I still have boxes of my childrens books that were packed away during a previous move. I am being told that I must go through these boxes when I'm up there visiting in a few weeks and weed my collection. It will be the saddest day of my life. Ok, probably not that bad.

Did I have a point?

Maybe. Or, maybe not. Most likely not.

But, here I am, with a LibraryThing account! A very limited catalog, yes, but, I'm trying to remember books I like. Some of them I haven't seen in years. It is all quite tragic. What I like best is trying to find the exact edition that matches, which, unfortunately, I wasn't able to do for all of them. I need to go home and find the ISBNs for some of them to get it all straightened out. Of course, that will take extra effort on my part. Perhaps, too much. I did, however, break into one other LibraryThing user's dream world of being the only one to own a copy of The Story of Naughty Kildeen, so take that! I own it too. And I got it for a song ($5). Ok, so there are some page rips, but, the illustrations are hand painted and you don't get that quality anymore for $5. I'm such a snob.

Is it sad, though, that the majority of the ten books I have listed at the moment have the tag "young women"? I guess you can figure out pretty quick that I like to read books about smart young women. There, to make myself feel better, I put up a book with a tag of "young men". That should balance it out!

Week 5, thing 10

You know, with a week entitled "play", one would think that I would be blogging like crazy because, after all, it should be fun.

But, then there's me. Luckily, tonight at work is finally slow, so I have time to do fun things like create avatars:

And then, use other image generators to create things like this from previously created avatar:

As you can see, I did have fun. The first was created at Yahoo! Avatars, while the second image was created at FD Toys. They should probably both be dedicated to my friend Rachel. As I met her over in England/Wales (why I went for the UK theme, I was tempted to add the Welsh flag, but that might be overkill) and the second Warhol-esque image because she adores Warhol. I even endured the Tate Modern to see a Warhol exhibit they had. The exhibit was fine, but afterwards? Going around all of that modern art makes me twitchy (I'm such a Renaissance/Raphael fangirl). That's why I love visiting the National Gallery of Art in DC because I heart Raphael's St. George and the Dragon they have. So much better than his version in the Louvre.

And now that I've wandered off into the art world...

Here's a link to a story about my friend Carol and her exhibit she designed for the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Conneticut. It sounds tempting, doesn't it?

::hunts in drawer for chocolate::

Monday, July 9, 2007

Week 4, Thing 9

I have fallen shockingly behind in my "Things" post. So, prepared to be stunned with the massive amounts of updates today! That doesn't mean that I haven't looked at what I was supposed to be doing, I just got a little delayed with other things that happened last week.

I hadn't heard of MERLIN before, so it was nice to have that highlighted as a thing to do/place to see this week (or, two weeks ago). It has been added to my bloglines. Out of all of the blog finding tools, I am most familiar with Technorati. I did like, however, how lets you view news articles that are related to your community/city. That's very useful for finding all of the juicy stories that Terri and Lynn like to read.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Ca alors!

Julie was suprised when she saw that Cathy had a picture of the two of us bhangra dancing at Mitali Perkin's book launch last week. Even more shocking? A youtube/google video has surfaced, featuring... us! Well, thankfully not us specifically, but, we are there, and we are dancing badly. To you, gentle reader, I present... bhangra dancing!!!!

If you can, then pick us out. Otherwise, that's too bad. I'm not going to tell which one of the dancers is me!

I took yesterday off, which meant I read lots of books. Well, three and a half to be more specific. They were: The Lady's Not for Burning by Christopher Fry (this is actually a play), Dairy Queen and The Off Season both by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, and Looking for Alaska by John Green.

I had picked up The Lady's Not For Burning thanks to my read through of Pamela Dean's Tam Lin. The plot does resemble Tam Lin a bit, at least as far as the girl ends up saving the boy from death. Thomas, in this case, went looking for death while she was attempting to avoid it (she was to be burned as a witch, he wanted the magistrate to hang him just to die). But, there at the mayor's office they met and he lost his heart and was willing to give her fifty years.

Dairy Queen and The Off Season go together as they deal with the same character. I had to go back to my FLA conference notes because I went to Murdock's discussion about Dairy Queen without having read the book (oops). Now the two things her children said after she finished reading it to them make complete sense.

Daughter: "The movie will have two kissing scenes."
Son: "You mean it was all a stupid English paper?"

I was glad for the ending of The Off Season. It wasn't the typical "happily ever after" type ending because, really, how real is that? Life isn't perfect, but there is a big world out there with many other options. D.J. saw a glimpse of that when she visited college with her brother Bill. I do wish that we could see her in the future, though I know that Murdock's next book is a fantasy novel. Perhaps more someday soon, though!

I should have more to say regarding Looking for Alaska after dinner. That's where I'm off to now.

Week 4, Thing 8

RSS feeds! And bloglines!

Firstly, here is the link to my current bloglines: I know, very exciting. It pretty much consists of the links I have listed here plus a few others that I threw on there for fun. But, everyone wants subscribers, and now I can at least further my stalking of co-workers when I'm not glaring at them from my reference desk (it's a talent we reference librarians must cultivate to mainatain our street-cred/certification).

Bloglines is a useful feature, because I'm forever checking out different blogs/news feeds to see if there has been an update, and, voila! now I can do it all in one place. If that isn't exciting then you haven't been inside a library in a while I don't know what is.

Onwards and upwards, because I have lots of things to blog about (and lots of goodies to eat).