Thursday, March 31, 2011

Book 15: Perceptions of Libraries, 2010

TITLE: Perceptions of Libraries, 2010: Context and Community
AUTHOR: Brad Gauder (ed.)
STARTED: March 14, 2011
FINISHED: March 22, 2011
PAGES: 108
GENRE: Library Science

FIRST SENTENCE: Eight years ago, my colleagues and I began work on our first OCLC membership report, The 2003 OCLC Environmental Scan: Pattern Recognition.

SUMMARY: [From OCLC] OCLC's newest membership report, Perceptions of Libraries, 2010, a sequel to the 2005 Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources, is now available. The new report provides updated information and new insights into information consumers and their online habits, preferences, and perceptions. Particular attention was paid to how the current economic downturn has affected the information-seeking behaviors and how those changes are reflected in the use and perception of libraries.
This OCLC membership report explores:
  • Technological and economic shifts since 2005
  • Lifestyle changes Americans have made during the recession, including increased use of the library and other online resources
  • How a negative change to employment status impacts use and perceptions of the library
  • Perceptions of libraries and information resources based on life stage
The report is based on U.S. data from an online survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of OCLC. OCLC analyzed and summarized the results in order to produce this report.


THOUGHTS: This report is the current library statistics bible. It shows hard numbers on library use, trends, and patron wishes. It's hard to write a review about statistical analysis, but this one was well written, easy to follow and understand, and shows the current library environment.


RATING: 6/10 [Good]

Links and Stuff: March 31, 2011

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

BOOLEAN: Colors and Stripes

I'm beginning to think The Sartorialist has a knack for finding fun tights. The blog posted this picture earlier this week.
I wonder where she purchased these?

The hat is pretty awesome too.

Send your BOOLEAN pics and links to BOOLEANgroup@gmail.com.

Useful Things: Ingredients

What meal do you make when your cabinets and fridge are nearly empty and you don't feel like take out or shopping? Creating a great dish out of the dregs of your pantry can be difficult (one should always keep soup on hand for such occasions), but Recipe Matcher can make your job a little bit easier.

Just input your pantry items into the Quick Search tool, select a cuisine style, and click search. The website then spits out recipe ideas for you to use. I find it fun to throw in random stuff just to see what the site spits back out... usually I end getting casserole recipes.

Anyone can use the tool to conduct a recipe search or browse recipes, but Recipe Matcher has more features for those who create a (free) account. Users can submit recipes, set-up an epantry, and watch tutorial videos. Recipe Matcher also has a social component where you can friend others and share recipes - which would be really awesome for those who host dinner parties.

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Read-a-thon: One More Book

I've added one more book to my readathon pile: Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach. I don't know why, but I've had this book on my mind ever since I started thinking about read-a-thon material. Lucky for me, it was still on the shelve at my work library.

I heard good things about this book.

Now I just need to grab two more graphic novels and another "back-up" book from my personal shelves and I'll be all set.

Well, all set except for the snacks. I'm thinking about making oreo truffles to munch on.

BOOLEAN: Warm and Cozy

Winter is still hanging on. Let go and bring us spring, Mother Nature! No one likes a clingy parent. Alas, I had to stave off the morning cold (at least there's abundant sunshine) with warm and cozy tights.

Who doesn't love cable knit?

Send your BOOLEAN pictures and links to BOOLEANgroup@gmail.com

YouTube Tuesday: Fashionable



But what about the pencils through our hair buns?

Monday, March 28, 2011

On the Job: Mistakes Happen

I never understood why people say they are "perfectionists" in job interviews. No one is perfect nor should they be expected to be. If you seek to get everything perfect, all the time at work you'll only end up beating yourself up. Mistakes happen and that's okay.

When it comes to overcoming a mistake at work, I follow three simple steps:

1. Take a few deep breaths
2. Formulate a plan or work around
3. Get back to work

That's it.


Very few mistakes are irreversible or impossible to overcome. When things do go wrong, it's best to remember that you are a capable employee, one who can take the time to figure out what went wrong, why, and how to fix the problem.

Mistakes happen all the time. The key to being a good employ and boss is knowing how to handle problems when they arise. Stop beating yourself and creating unreachable expectations.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday Errands

The Read-a-thon is near!

There are only two weeks between me and a day filled with reading and snackage. It turns out that I may have to attend a friend's birthday celebration that night, but I'm prepping as if I get read and read and read all day. This time round, I have no plans for the day after the read-a-thon so I can actually attempt to stay up all night.

The D.C. area is expected to receive up to an inch of snow tomorrow. (Eek!) The Boyfriend and I decided to run errands this morning so that we could enjoy the abundant sun before it disappears tomorrow. So, I donned a nice pair of BOOLEAN socks and we headed out.

Blue stripedy socks!
The main purpose of our trip today was to hit the library. The Boyfriend's book (Brian Greene's The Hidden Reality) was finally available for pick-up. I tagged along because I wanted to start amassing read-a-thon material. It took me awhile, but my search was successful.

Small pile... so far.
The current titles I've got waiting for me are:
Death of a Cad by M.C. Beathon
The Reader by Bernard Schlink
The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
Deogratias by J.P. Stassen
Last Day in Vietnam by Will Eisner


I still need to grab another book or two before I feel like I have enough items on my table for that day. I think I shall grab two more graphic novels and one more work of fiction. Worse comes to worse, I still own more books that I can peruse that night. Once I've got all my books on hand, I will sort them into order so that I can simply work my way down the pile on Read-a-thon day.

Now I just need to figure out what snackage I want to have on hand. Any ideas?

So excited.

(Squee!)

Friday, March 25, 2011

BOOLEAN: Friday Fashion Find

It may be cold today, but the sky is bright blue and sun filled and the trees are budding. To celebrate the coming spring season, I'm posting these fanciful blue tights. On their own, they are simple, but paired with a fun colored skirt or top, you've got a fun spring outfit.

This pair reminds me of a spring misty rain.

These tights are available at Urban Outfitters.

Send your BOOLEAN images and links to BOOLEANgroup@gmail.com

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Variations on a Theme: Ch-ch-ch-changes

Spring is here! Or, near. Whatever.

Spring is not yet warming, D.C. but I can feel it in my bones that spring is coming. (That and they just mulched my apartment complex and the stinky sweet smell of manure is in the air.) To honor the coming season, I bring you books about change.


Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is HardSwitch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard
Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Changing is not easy, yet life constantly asks us to adapt. In this book, the Heaths showcase how people change all the time. They buy new gadgets, enter new relationships, and move to new locations. The authors discuss how we think differently about types of changes, and how we can learn to view "major" changes with less fear.


Influencer: The Power to Change AnythingInfluencer: The Power to Change Anything
Kerry Patterson et al.

The authors of this book prove a framework by which the reader can influence their family, friends, and community. They discuss the  many methods one can employ to influence those around them - including philosophies steeped in psychology, sociology, and other 'ology' terms. To back up their evidence, the authors cite examples from corporations and individuals. You have the power to mindwarp. Muhahaha.

Wings of ChangeWings of Change
Franklin Hill

I'm stealing the recap from Amazon because it's too perfect not to use. "Wings of Change is the story of Anew, a contented little caterpillar who is afraid to become a butterfly. After experiencing some puzzling dreams, he turns to Faith, a wise old snail, for advice. She gently explains, 'As the world turns, so do you. When you change for the good, you change the world too.' This tender, humorous story follows little Anew as he learns to release his fears and embrace his destiny. Dr. Hill, an acclaimed educational futurist, has created a dynamic medium for exploring the timeless topic of change"
 
Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our LivesEvolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives
David Sloan Wilson

What's a better example for change than evolution? Sloan discusses how the theory of evolution is relevant to our everyday lives. Our languages evolve. We create new technologies. We redefine culture and morality on a daily basis. Evolution of human life is all around us. Sloan draws connections between divergent topics to show that evolution goes beyond Darwin's finches.

My, Oh My--A Butterfly!: All About Butterflies (Cat in the Hat's Learning Library)My, Oh My -- A Butterfly!: All About Butterflies
Tish Rabe

Butterflies are the poster-animals for change. Their transformation form small caterpillar to gorgeous butterfly is a dramatic example of change. This Dr. Suess book teaches children about the metamorphosis, eating habits, and life of butterflies.




History Of The United States Mint and Its Coinage (History of the U. S. Mint and Its Coinage)History of the United States Mint and Its Coinage
David W. Lange

Coins... change. Get it. Change. Ha. ha. I crack myself up sometimes. (I think the title is pretty self explanatory on this one.)



More Change Titles:
Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success - Kerry Patterson et al.
Change: A Story for All Ages - Judith Barnes and Erick James
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed - Jared Diamond
Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions - Guy Kawasaki
The Evolution Explosion: How Humans Cause Rapid Evolutionary Change - Stephen R. Palumbi
Overthrow: America's History of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq - Stephen Kinzer
Seeds of Change: Six Plants that Transformed Mankind - Henry Hobhouse
The Shock of the New - Robert Hughes
So That's How the Moon Changes Shape! - Allan Fowler
Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way) - Sue Macy
Why Evolution is True - Jerry A. Coyne

Links and Stuff: March 24, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

BOOLEAN: Smurfette

For day two of the Computers in Libraries conference, I donned a pair of smurf blue tights. There a couple other people wearing awesome BOOLEAN wear, but I failed to pull out my phone in time to take pictures. I shall try to do better tomorrow.

Conference papers and blue tights!

Smurf legs!

Did you wear BOOLEAN tights to #cil11? Send your pictures to BOOLEANgroup@gmail.com

YouTube Tuesday: Internet and Democracy



The internet, while brilliant, is not always a force for good. This video is a great take on how the internet, democracy, and dictatorship mingle.

Monday, March 21, 2011

On the Job: Develop Professionally

Today through Wednesday, I am attending the Computers in Libraries conference. Techie library nerd win! This is the second professional conference I have attended in a year. (The other was Center for Intellectual Property's symposium on Hybrid Copyright.) I picked these conferences for two reasons 1) I enjoy the subject matter and 2) they allow me to develop more professional connections, skills, and knowledge.

Professional development is a "must do" aspect of librarianship. Information forms, functions, and communities are always changing and adapting to suit the needs of society. Librarianship is not a static profession, and the requirements of our job are always shifting. To keep up, you have to take proactive steps to build your skill and knowledge base. This means reading professional journals, blogs, newspapers, and other information based publications.

In addition, one should take steps to attend as many professional conferences as possible. You may get lucky and have an employer who will fund your trips (fully or partially). While that is awesome, sometimes it's worth shelling out a few (hundred) dollars to attend a conference or two. Conferences allow you to hear current developments from the experts and professionals. These events also let you network with those who share interest in your field. These connections can add value to the work you do because you're sharing knowledge and trading professional ideas. And, should you choose to pursue other career options, professional relationships can help jump start your job search. (Always remember to bring business cards to these events.)

Conferences are always a whirlwind. You learn a lot in a very short period of time, you meet more new people than you can hope to keep track of, and you're zooming around large facilities to get to everything on your list. You will be exhausted, but it is worth it. Conferences are professional crash courses that keep you informed and connected.

Final aside: While many of these conferences offer loads of free stuff, don't take everything. A tote bag full of stuff may sound awesome, but carrying it will only be a pain and you end up tossing or giving away most of it anyway. I take only what I find to me the most relevant and interesting material (while also keeping an eye out for things my colleagues will enjoy.)

Book 14: Death of a Gossip

Death of a GossipTITLE: Death of a Gossip
AUTHOR: M.C. Beaton
STARTED: March 8, 2011
FINISHED: March 14, 2011
PAGES: 179
GENRE: Mystery

FIRST SENTENCE: "I hate the start of the week," said John Cartwright fretfully.

SUMMARY: [From Amazon.com] When a famous gossip columnist is murdered at the local fishing school, no one is ready to talk. It's up to Hamish Macbeth, with the inspiring assistance of the lovely Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, to sniff out the right rat amid all the cunning anglers with secrets to hide. But someone has baited a hook for him

THOUGHTS: I've decided to read the rest of the Hamish Macbeth series in order (if possible). Death of a Gossip is the first book in the series and, if I hadn't already read another in the series, I don't know if I would have stuck with it. This book was not bad, there was just nothing incredibly special about it.

It amazes me how long Beaton waits to kill off her victim, but the setting and story of the mystery make it okay. I though the resolution was a bit out of nowhere, but it did make sense. I am slightly uncomfortable as a reader when I don't receive all the facts and Hamish is just brilliant at the end, but I find myself trusting Beaton to not lead me astray. Her writing style has a calming, addictive feeling to it. The books just feel right and truthful, and I'm okay with not being a brilliant mystery solver.

I will definitely continue to read this series because I like how they make me feel. I enjoy the small town feeling that permeates these books. They make me feel all warm and cozy. Truthfully, I don't give a fig about the mystery component; I enjoy the character development and personal plots much more. I can't wait to see how the lives of these characters develop.

RATING: 6/10 [Good]