Sunday, March 26, 2017

What I Read This Week: March 26, 2017

This week was all over the place. There were many (many!) meetings of various sorts. There was a lot of pie at work. There was dinner with Lady B that involved some delicious udon noodle soup. There was scanning many little boxes of microfilm and packing them in bigger boxes for digitization. There was space lecture. There was a train ride to Baltimore for a day trip to the ACRL conference. There was a trip with the Husband to a winery we love. There was just a lot of things... and next week looks just as busy.

  • Books
    • I'm still working my way through 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I'm very much enjoying the story but what I really need is a night or two where I can read for an hour straight. That's not going to happen until April, but I am determined to make it happen.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Friday Find: Swing

Hat Tip to Lady KS for sending me the link to this awesome library swing skirt. It's so retro and awesome. I want to get it simply so I can flounce through the stacks in it.

You can but one from Unique Vintage.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Sunday, March 19, 2017

What I Read This Week: March 19, 2017

This was a weird week. Instead of covering all of it, I'll just talk about the moment that stands out the most... the moment 6 firetrucks came to the library.

Early Thursday, someone detected smoke in our main reading room. We evacuated the building and let the firefighters do their job. As the Head of Preservation, I feared the worse as I saw the two ladder trucks deploy while people ran into the building with hoses. Books do not mix with smoke, fire, and/or water. In the end, nothing was too wrong. Turns out one of our HVAC units had an issue and a belt started smoking. We just had to vent out the space of the haze and burning rubber aroma.

I would call that one of the craziest moments of my working life.
  • Magazines
    • Washingtonian, January 2017 - I was not looking forward to reading this issue... given the cover subject. Aside from my distaste for the new president, however, this was a fine issue. There was a great story about the local Flying Dog brewery and I also enjoyed the guide to newcomers in Washington (the advice was quite spot on). Normally, I skim the home section, but this issue had a nice piece about an attic redone as a study.
    • HGTV, April 2017 - I merely flipped through this issue, but I did love all the colors. It was a very bright issue that was pleasing to the eye. The last article, on sweet
      smelling flowers for your garden, was also nice.
  • Books
    • I'm surprised by how easy it is to read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Normally, books from this era have "stodgier" language that it takes me awhile to adjust to. Not so with this translation. It's really easy to dive into the story. I think I might have to set aside some time this weekend to really focus on the book.
  • Other

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Friday Find: New Uses

Many libraries have decommissioned their card catalogs. These large, usually wood pieces of furniture are now being turned into many awesome things. I've seen card catalogs turned into rolling coffee tables, recipes boxes, wine holders, and sideboards. What I have never seen was one turned into this most excellent end table. It's not a stretch from the other uses, but I love how this turned out.

The best part of this table... it splits apart and becomes modular. You could have extra seating!

You can buy this from Merles Vintage on Etsy.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Why I Love... Reading During a Meal

It's a little thing I never paid attention to until yesterday, but I love reading while eating a meal. Yesterday was a snow day so, during lunch, I grabbed a book while I ate lunch at the table. It was only twenty minutes, but it was twenty minutes of enjoyment.

I ate my cucumber and tomato salad while reading a few pages of Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under The Sea. I'm not too far into the actual story yet, so I relished getting a few extra pages in since I don't bring my book to work. The moment was simple but maybe that is why it was so enjoyable.

I had spent my morning working on a massive to do list I gave myself (website creation, laundry, shredding, filing, etc). I knew I would spend the afternoon also tackling that list, so I decided that I need a break during lunch. I'm normally an eat-at-your-desk sort of person, but yesterday called for something different. So, I turned off my background noise of Netflix stream, I walked away from my computer, and I gave myself a real rest. Those twenty minutes were a true break from work. I could disconnect from what needed to get done and focus on myself and the book in front of me.

I think these breaks from the everyday are what make reading so enjoyable. Particularly when you're reading a high-interest book. Sometimes, the simplest things are the best.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

YouTube Tuesday: Snow Day

When you need to seek refuge in a library from some horrible winter weather. Seemed appropriate for those of us on the East Coast today.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

What I Read This Week: March 12, 2017

This week, I discovered that the only read clothing I own is related to the Washington Capitals. Since I had to work on the #ADayWithoutAWoman, I want to represent my position by wearing red. Lacking clothing, I DIYed some holiday ribbon and made a pin to wear. It wasn't much, but it worked. I work in a profession that is predominately women and our staff are mainly women. We happened to have an All Staff meeting on the day of the protest, and I loved that our (male) library director wore a red tie and gave a shout out to all the women. It was a brief moment, but it really made my day.

In other news, I am been a magazine-backlog-reading bad-ass. I've caught up on all of my subscriptions save for one (Washingtonian). I hope to keep up with my activity and finish of the rest of the backlog soon. I never realized how much reading I got done on metro until I had to UBER/Lyft to work for a month.

  • Work
    • College and Research Libraries News, March 2017 - I almost skimmed through the entirety of this issue but I did stop to read the brief piece on digital scholarship centers and building relationships.
  • Magazines
    • National Geographic, March 2017 - On the whole, this was just an "ordinary" issue for Nat. Geo. I enjoyed the cover story on Vikings but I wish it had spent more time on how they're use technology to help uncover settlements. A more intriguing piece was the expedition story on caving in one of the world's deepest caves. The one piece I loved in this issue was the picture story on the wisdom of trees. The images were fantastic and it as a great
      reminder that trees were here before us and they will be here (hopefully) long after us.
    • Real Simple, March 2017 - Two of the articles in this issue were placed many pages apart from one another, but I think they actually go together. The first article was on how to become more resilient. Grit. It's a good thing. The second piece was about how to stop being a martyr. I recognized a few traits of the martyr in myself, so I'm going to try to put a few of the recommendations in this piece to work. On a less serious note, the article where design pros give their best tips for purchasing furniture could come in handy if The Husband and I ever get around to buying a place.
  • Books
    • Well... I am finally making headway on the actual story in my edition of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea... but this edition comes with footnotes. A lot of footnotes. I could be reading this book forever. At least the actual story is good and the footnotes provide context and relevant information.

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Friday Find: Super Cool

When I can't quite think of anything in particular to post in this feature, I always go to Etsy. This time, I searched "librarian gifts" just to see what would pop up. There was a ton of great stuff, but I was really drawn to this mug. Its message speaks to me.

You can find your own in the MikaMugs shop.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Links and Stuff: March 9, 2017

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Check Out This Pinterest Board

My friend, Kathleen (also known as Lady K), is a prolific user of Pinterest. I follow her because we are friends (and I like all of her stuff), but I think you just might want to follow her too.

I would like to draw attention to her Design - Libraries board. On this board, she collects wonderful images of libraries. They come in all shapes and sizes, from multi-story wowers to the tiniest of reading nooks. Kathleen has an eye for pinning images of places you just want to go to. They invite you in and you will want to sit and stay awhile. With a book. Obviously.

I think what I love best about this board is that it shows all the ways we present our love for reading and books. No two libraries are alike because no two readers are alike. We all enjoy reading different things so we all display our books differently. Some readers like organization and deep, dark wood while others like haphazard stacks of books and piles of pillows. Kids love to read in tents and nooks (and, if I'm being honest, adults like me do too). Some readers can build extravagant rooms in their home dedicated to books while others make do with a smaller space or use their local library. Libraries are wonderful because we can make them our own.

Here's just a taste of some of the wonderful images she has collected.

If you liked this sample, you should really head over to Kathleen's board and look everything. And she's adding more every day.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Book 4: Digital Preservation

TITLE: Digital Preservation
AUTHOR: Gail McMillan, Matt Schultz, and Katherine Skinner
STARTED: February 27, 2017
FINISHED: February 27, 2017
PAGES: 158
GENRE: Library Science

FIRST SENTENCE: ARL member libraries increasingly create, acquire, disseminate, and curate both digitized and born digital content.

SUMMARY: [From Amazon] This survey explores the strategies that ARL member institutions use to protect evolving research collections and the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders. The survey asked ARL libraries about their digital content, their strategies for preserving that content, and the staff, time, and funding they currently devote to digital preservation. It also asked each responding library to compare its digital preservation activities of three years ago to current activities and project three years into the future. In addition, to better understand the roles of research libraries in the emergent field of digital curation, the survey sought to identify issues that are and are not being addressed through current practices and policies.

THOUGHTS: Our library, like many libraries, hopes to go full-speed ahead on digitization and digital preservation soon. I picked up this book to get a basis for our current digital preservation endeavors. While the book itself is more of a survey of current practices (circa 2011) the appendices are full of supporting documents of what libraries are doing. I like being able to refer to those and use them as templates. So, this is not some much a "read" for me. It's more of a resource.

RATING: 5/10 [Meh.]

Sunday, March 05, 2017

What I Read This Week: March 5, 2017

I declare this the week of productivity. I knocked every task off my work to do lists, every task off my home to do list, AND I put a massive dent in my magazine reading back log. I still have a chunk to get through, but I hope to be caught up by the end of March.
  • Work
    • American Libraries, March/April 2017 - There was an important article in this issue about how libraries can (and should) fight fake news. Rather relevant for these times don't you think? In the same vein, the cover story was about where libraries find themselves in this current social landscape and what that means for our future. Finally, there was also a nice story about therapy dogs in libraries. Puppies are always welcome!
  • Magazines
    • Cooking Light, December 2016 - This magazine has been sitting around in my TBR pile for quite some time. I am so glad I finally got to read it because it was fantastic! I pulled so
      many recipes to try later because they were different and they all looked so good. On top of the tasty food, there were a few great articles. The first was about how to put together a winning cheese plate. And, to go with that, there were a bunch of holiday recipes. Finally, there was a sweet peace about Dorie Greenspan baking cookies with her son.
    • Cooking Light, January/February 2017 - Cooking Light is on a roll! This was another great issue. I saved several more recipes to try. I also liked the long article about eating for your body. Those pieces always come out this time of year, but this piece included some ideas which were new to me. I particularly liked that they mentioned how to eat clean, eat for immunity, and eat
      for detox - all of which went beyond the usual healthful eating habits.
    • Cooking Light, March 2017 - This issue was all about breakfast. My favorite! I could eat eggs and bacon and casseroles and really any other breakfasty/brunch dish everyday all day. They really are my favorite noms. Aside from drooling at all the recipes, this issue was a quick flip through for me. None of the articles jumped out at me.
    • The Atlantic, March 2017 - The cover story in this issue was simply terrifying. I say that because the Trump administration has already made several moves specified in the article. I well and truly fear where we are headed. Aside from that scartastic
      piece, the story about the American who has (possibly) become a high-up member of ISIS was utterly fascinating. The author did an incredible job tracking down and sharing information. Finally, the stories about the Hollywood blacklist (for scripts) and Megyn Kelly are both worth a read.
  • Books
    • I finally finished the academic essay that starts off the edition of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea I'm reading. I finally get to start the actual story. Huzzah!
  • Other
    • Article Club met this week and we had a brief discussion about a Buzzfeed tiny houses article.
    • Last year, The Husband and I vacationed in France. We visited the town of Albi and found it to be utterly charming. When the NYT posted this story, I was surprised to learn that the "Frenchness" of this town (and others) is disappearing. 

Friday, March 03, 2017

The Friday Find: Color

I'm into the adult coloring trend, so I thought it was awesome when Lady C (and her hubby) gifted me a Jane Austen coloring book for the holidays. This is a great coloring book because it's a mix of easy pages and hard pages. I also love that the pages are detachable. It means you can frame the quote pages after you color them. It's an activity and wall art!

If you're into this trend, you can grab this coloring book off of Amazon.

As a bonus, here's the first page I colored.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Why I Love... Window Shopping

I live within walking distance of three independent bookstores. All of these stores have HUGE windows letting me peek inside. The stores don't use most of their window space for deliberate book displays but, instead, they do something better - the leave the windows open so you can see inside. You can see customers browsing the shelves. You can see customers reading on the floor. You can see customers buying books. You can see how cozy and happy everyone looks. That's the best marketing a bookstore could ever ask for.

These windows invite you in off the street. A simple look in and you'll want to stop for a moment to check out what's inside. My favorite of these stores (Kramerbooks... where The Husband and I even took some engagement pictures) even has a cafe known for it's pie. You can peek the pie counter from outside. It's nearly impossible for me to walk buy without wanting to pop in for a book and a slice of goober pie deliciousness. (I've even taken to walking on the other side of the street to decrease my temptation.)

Window shopping often has to suffice for the only shopping I do that day... but it makes me happy. I know that, in the future, I will be one of the customers on the inside, perusing the shelves, and finding my next read.