Saturday, October 31, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/31/2009

A portrait of Samuel Johnson by Joshua Reynolds showing Johnson pulling a book's cover back and concentrating intensely on its words. It also, Johnson felt, shows his weak eyes. 1775

Daily Thoughts 10/31/2009

I am reading Small Unit Leadership A Common Sense Approach by Col. Dandrige M. Malone. I am not a military person, but I find this book to be quite interesting. The author uses oral accounts of people who experienced combat. Right now, there are two different American soldiers giving accounts of their unit leaders as they experienced them in Vietnam. The language is in the vernacular, it is full of expletives, but it is also very real sounding. The book is very readable.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/30/2009

Reading Woman, August Macke (1887-1914)

Daily Thoughts 10/30/2009

I read some more of Sandman Slim during lunch. It is very entertaining. I am almost finished reading it. It might be a bit too dark for some people. It is also a bit profane so some people may not like it. The story is very good though and the writing is excellent for the type of story it tells.

This morning, I did a display of mysteries from the storage area. I was trying to come up with a set of words that would simplify the word storage and sound good. We actually call the storage area, the mezzanine. I pulled books by authors like Dashiell Hammett, Agatha Christie, Wilkie Collins, Erle Stanley Gardner, Sherlock Holmes Pastiches, Simenon, Rex Stout, and others to display. We let people check out books from our displays and replenish them most of the time.

Two new bookmarks were also printed up, one for writing books and another for poetry books. Hopefully, people will take them and find something worthwhile to read.

This morning, I was reading the review magazines. They are coming out with more titles like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The latest one that I have seen is a holiday book; It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Zombies by Michael P. Spradlin.

I picked up a few items to take home, mainly videos, Little Lulu Potato Kids, The Color of Magic which is also an entertaining fantasy book, and Blade Runner the 2 Disc Edition, I have seen Blade Runner many times, this edition includes material on the making of Blade Runner. Blade Runner is based on the book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick. It is possibly the best science fiction film ever made.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/29/2009

François Rabelais lisant, Anonymous drawing, beginning of 17th century

Daily Thoughts 10/28/2009

I was reading Sandman Slim A Novel by Richard Kadrey on the train this morning. It is a fantasy novel about a man who escapes from hell to seek his revenge against some magicians who killed his girlfriend. It is an interesting premise. It reads like noire crossed with urban fantasy. Very gritty, dark and intense.

Today has been fairly pleasant. I have a variety of projects going on; having library aides shift the nonfiction and preparing a plan to rearrange the fiction in the storage area so it is more orderly. I also have ben looking at displays for the new books section and thinking about choosing a graphic novel for the graphic novel club.

I read some more of Sandman Slim. The book is engrossing. It holds my attention quite well. I almost missed my train stop on the way home. I can only say that it gets better as you read the story. The challenges get harder for the main character as he progresses through the novel.

Web Bits

There will be a manga library with over 2 million manga opening in Japan in 2015.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


King Alfred the Great was fond of reading and learning.

Daily Thoughts 10/28/2009

Today has been a very slow day. I am looking to pick out a graphic novel for a graphic novel club. I am also thinking about the film which will be shown this weekend.

I did not do a whole lot today. I am looking at a book on Small Unit Leadership A Common Sense Approach by Col. Dandridge M. Malone, USA (Ret.).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/27/2009

Taganrog Chekhov Library & Museum (built in 1911) by Fyodor Schechtel

Daily Thoughts 10/27/2009

I finished reading The Art of Innovation by Tom Kelley. It was a satisfying and entertaining read. I think I may have gotten some useful insights from reading the book.

Today, I talked about doing shifting with my colleagues. It was quite interesting.

Web Bits

A plan to make libraries open to the public, both public and university in Nova Scotia, Canada.

A coming new obsession: how to handle a smaller print-book business.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/26/2009

China Miéville at Picadilly Waterstones, 26 April 2006, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0Photograph taken by Andrew M. Butler, Found On Wikimedia.

Daily Thoughts 10/26/2009

I read some more of The Art of Innovation on the train to and from work. It has a lot about breaking down barriers and being very creative. The pictures are entertaining and the book is well designed. I am almost done reading it.

I watched The Beatles Yellow Submarine yesterday. There was a lot which I picked up which I did not understand before. I especially like the sequence on Nowhere Man. It reminds me a bit of myself in some ways. The cartoon was very psychedelic and interesting. I don't think that there will be anything quite like it ever produced again.

I worked on talking to people about shifting the collection. It was a very challenging, interesting, and somewhat sad day today.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/25/2009

Inlaid mahogany break-front bo... Digital ID: 1642902. New York Public Library

Inlaid mahogany break-front bookcase. Designed by Thomas Sheraton for "The times" newspaper, and now the property of "The times" book club. Mahogany pedestal centre table. From the "cabinetmaker's drawing book" published 1791-94. Mahogany high-case clock, late eighteenth century.

Daily Thoughts 10/25/2009

I have been reading some more of The Art of Innovation. Right now, the author is writing about how to lay out offices for creativity and make sure work places have both open areas, quiet areas, and closed in conference rooms. He also describes things that encourage innovation like boxes of different unique materials used by engineers. It is entertaining and interesting.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/24/2009

Library of Columbia University... Digital ID: 836477. New York Public Library

Columbia University Library, New York, 191-

Daily Thoughts 10/24/2009

I did more weeding of the trade paperbacks today. I am almost done with the main area. Then I have to do the urban fiction. I may have to get a colleague to help. It is not my strongest subject.

Another book came in for me, Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey. I am also going to watch The Beatles Yellow Submarine Starring Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. This will be the third time I have watched this film. I like the animation. It is really interesting.

I tried out Learning Express computer training database but found out I had to load Adobe Flash Player 8 in order to use the program. Maybe, I will get to do it on Monday.

I read some more of the Art of Innovation. It is talking about how to form teams, brainstorm, and prototype what you plan on doing for the future. There is a lot about breaking down barriers to getting things done. Most of the book covers different products which Ideo designed.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/23/2009

Benjamin Franklin. Digital ID: 465978. New York Public Library

Benjamin Franklin. Martin, David, 1737-1797 -- Artist, Stipple Engraving, New York Public Library Digital Image Gallery

Daily Thoughts 10/23/2009

I started reading The Art of Innovation this morning on the train. It has some very nice color photographs in it of design. I find design to be rather interesting.

I did more weeding in the fiction room, this time focused on the trade paperbacks. There is a lot of overflow from all the new books we are ordering lately. I'll probably be doing the urban fiction soon. It is getting very crowded as well.

This evening I read a little bit more of The Art of Innovation. There were a few interesting sections on brainstorming and teamwork.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Quiet War by Paul McAuley

The Quiet War by Paul McAuley

This is a science fiction novel about low intensity conflict set in the 23rd century a.d.. Earth is ruled by a set of rich families who are trying to fix the environmental depredations of the previous centuries. Brazil is the rising military power.

On the opposing side are the democratic colonies of moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Mars was previously in a conflict with earth where the martian colonists were wiped out.

Both sides have strong ideological differences. There is spy craft, subterfuge, sabotage, and political maneuvering which eventually leads to full scale war.

The novel is hard science fiction. The author, Paul McAulety is a botanist by training; he includes a bit of biotechnology and ecological engineering. This makes the descriptions quite interesting. This is especially true of the descriptions of the Brazilians trying to clean up a despoiled earth.

My favorite character is Macy Minnot, a biome technician, who is caught up unintentionally in the conflict and does some very entertaining heroics. The ending makes me wonder if there will be a next novel. If there is I will definitely read it.

Paul McAuley has been nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, is on the 2008 Locus recommended reading list, has won the British Fantasy Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, and is a wonderful writer. His website is

Daily Thoughts 10/22/2009

Brownie Books Digital ID: 1258874. New York Public Library

Brownie Books, Palmer Cox, 1893-1924, New York Public Library Digital Gallery

Daily Thoughts 10/22/2009

I am off today. I am thinking a little bit about the trade paperbacks. The last librarian who was ordering books ordered a number of specialty books in our fiction trade paperback collection; african writers, caribbean writers, international writers, literary writers from small presses. This makes it challenging sometimes in weeding. There are some titles that are part of obscure series based on modern classics or avant garde writing. I have found a few university press books, Dalkey Archive Press, and Black Sparrow Press books which are quite interesting. There are also a number of classic quality writers I am moving into storage because although they do not have tremendous circulation, they are representative of early lesser known works of very prominent writers.

I was off today because I work Saturday. I walked over to my local library and picked up The Art of Innovation Lessons In Creativity From Ideo America's Leading Design Firs by Tom Kelley and Jonathan Litman.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/21/2009

[Liseur.] Digital ID: 1158705. New York Public Library

Jacque, Charles Emile, 1813-1894 -- Etcher Title Liseur, From New York Public Library Digital Gallery

Daily Thoughts 10/21/2009

I am about to order some civil service tests for the library. We currently have people requestsing Accountant, Court Officer, and Police Offer tests. I sometimes think that some books weigh heavier in garnering good will from the people who come to the library. Books which get jobs are critical.

I also did some more weeding in the trade paperback fiction. I am also moving some of the books to storage. There are some older trade paperbacks by quality authors which are no longer available.

A list of the Top Independent Bookstores on Twitter.

I finished reading Sunflowers A Novel of Vincent Van Gogh by Sheramy Bundrick. At the end of the novel in the afterword, she says she got the idea for the novel while visiting Vincent Van Gogh's grave. The novel posits the question who was Rachel, the prostitute who Vincent Van Gogh gave his ear to? It is at once a love story, a story about art, and a story about madness.

It is not a light easy story to read. There are many historical references throughout the novel that are directly borrowed from Vincent Van Gogh's life. Sheramy Bundrick even has a bibliography of the works she used to compose the novel. There is an authentic feeling to the writing which shows she has visited many of the places where the novel occurred.

It is a beautifully described novel as it draws from the paintings which Vincent Van Gogh painted with their vivid contrasting colors. It is a story that is very full of life. The author cites the paintings which she described in the back of the book. As the story includes both Sunflowers and The Starry Night, it is very pleasing to read. The Starry Night is one of my favorite paintings.

At the same time this novel is very human. It is a story which touches on some very dark subjects, prostitution and madness in addition to love which can never truly come to a good end because of the protagonists limitations. The story is a tragedy. But, it is a very poignant tragedy. I especially like the imaginary letters between Mlle. Rachel Courteau and Vincent Van Gogh, they can be quite touching.

This is worth reading. It is a reminder of how even the most tragic lives can produce great beauty.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/20/2009

Carter Stone checks out his copy of the new Marvel Comic book geared specifically for U.S. servicemembers during an unveiling ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. on April 28, 2005. Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Cherie A. Thurlby

Daily Thoughts 10/20/2009

Today is another quiet day. I put the displays in order this morning. I also am preparing to do some more weeding. There is a resume workshop in the Job Information Center going on now.

One of our staff requested us to order Fledgling by Melissa Scott. She says it is very enjoyable.

Sunflowers is turning out to be an amazing novel. At this point, Vincent Van Gogh has opened a studio with Gaugin and is arguing with him while he is drinking absinthe. He is in a relationship with a young lady of the night and is falling in love. His brother is sending him money. It is just really interesting.

Cory Doctorow is writing a new column for Publishers Weekly. I am looking forward to reading it regularly just like I read his column in Locus Magazine.

I looked at Peter and Max, A Fables Novel by Bill Willingham, illustrated by Steve Leiloha. The illustrations are in black and white. It includes a graphic story at the end of the novel. The novel is printed by DC Vertigo which is a first for the imprint. At the back of the book, there is a summary of each of the Fables graphic novels. I like to think of it as a hybrid of a novel and a graphic novel. I am looking forward to reading this.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/19/2009

Pierre Auguste Cot, Ophelia, 1870, Oil On Canvas

Daily Thoughts 10/19/2009

I have been doing a little weeding this morning. I just finished with my first look through the mass market paperbacks. In addition to use, I also looked at condition. Some books were falling apart. I am probably going to start on the trade paperbacks later today.

I put Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey on hold. It is supposed to be similar in style to Neil Gaiman.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/18/2009

Viktor Vasnetsov. The Flying Carpet (1880). Oil, canvas. 165x297 сm. a depiction of the hero of Russian folklore, Ivan Tsarevich, on exhibit at the Nizhny Novgorod Art Museum

Daily Thoughts 10/18/2009

I started reading The Sunflower last night.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/17/2009

Calligraphy example by Barbedor. Look at this example of calligraphy closely, it is different than the way most modern calligraphy is taught, there are lots of loops and cursive motions, one letter flows into the next. It is not the same as the fixed style which most modern calligraphy is taught with. I remember being shown something similar to the way this is taught when I was younger.

Daily Thoughts 10/17/2009

I finished reading The Quiet War by Paul McAuley this morning. It reads like there will be a sequel. I am very much interested in there being one. I really like the character, Macy Minnot. Tomorrow, I'll write a review of the book at the laundromat.

I also just finished reading Warfighting by the U.S. Marine Corp, the 1989 edition. It is published by Cosimo books. I sometimes read books on military strategy because I find it interesting. I have read both Carl Von Clausewitz and Sun Tzu. There are often interesting insights in these books. One of my favorite books of philosophy is Miyamoto Musashi's A Book of Five Rings. Most all of these books include insights on life which you would not find anywhere else.

This is an excellent article about ebooks and the brain from the New York Times.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/16/2009

This is a Walter Crane illustration for Bluebeard. I have seen Bluebeard in play form, comic book form, and fairytale form.

Daily Thoughts 10/16/2009

I spent some time weeding today in the paperbacks. Right now I am weeding the romance paperbacks. Romance is the most popular style of fiction. I am checking labels, condition, and circulation. I spent several hours going through the paperbacks today.

Two books came in for me to read, Sunflowers A Novel of Van Gogh by Sheramy Bendrick. The author is an art historian. She lists the paintings which she writes about in the novel in the back of the book and the museums they are currently in. She also has a set of questions for reading groups at the back of the book. I found this kind of interesting. The other book which I checked out is Warfighting by the U.S. Marine Corps. I occassionally read books on military strategy.

Last night I was watching Jules Verne, Mysterious Island. My favorite scene so far is a fight between the shipwrecked Americans and a giant crab where they knock the crab into a geyser and it boils. I like Ray Harryhausen's Superdynamation.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/16/2009

Henri Fantin-Latour The Two Sisters 1859

Daily Thoughts 10/16/2009

I am thinking about doing Fahrenheit 451 The Authorized Edition by Tim Hamilton as the choice for the first graphic novel book club. It might go well with the film as well. There is an interesting line in the novel, Fahrenheit, about people choosing comic books over books. The theme matches with the content. I still have not finalized this. I may choose another title with more copies of the book in the system.

I have my new bookmarks for Poetry and Writing on my desk. I also talked to a local poet who writes a column in the small newspaper we have in the city. I am thinking it might tie in with the slam master we spoke to earlier.

I selected some large print Danielle Steel books to order. I also did some weeding of the fiction paperbacks. As part of the weeding of the paperbacks, I am also making sure they are labeled by genre correctly. It is a short reprieve before I go back to weeding the 800s.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/15/2009

The lion statues at the New York Public Library, with a mantle of snow during the record December 1948 snowfall. Public Domain. A lion in winter.

Daily Thoughts 10/15/2009

I finished reading Confessions of A Radical Industrialist by Ray C. Anderson. This is a reminder that there is a better way when it comes to sustainability and clean technology. He calls for large scale home insulation, more efficient energy appliances, benign chemicals to replace toxics, better recycling technology, more renewable energy, a new transmission infrastructure for electricity, and new hybrid vehicles. I would add greener cities, more green buildings, more urban agriculture, and more locally focused businesses.

This is an excellent book if you want to understand large enterprise and how it relates to sustainability. Earlier in the book, he reminds the reader that General Electric, Toyota, and Cisco Sytems are moving towards sustainability and Google has a program to make electricity cheaper than coal from renewables.

Today is another quiet day. I am working with a colleague to get some signage removed. I also contacted someone about doing a poetry program. I am going to be ordering some Danielle Steel large print for the book mobile because people are asking for it. The book mobile is going to
use the patron request form soon as well.

We started counting the books in the Job Information Center. It has been a steady day. Nothing revolutionary. Some more of the signage is going to be changed. I am thinking about doing a graphic novel book club. I am trying to find something which is available at a lot of different libraries that not everyone has read. It might have to be something a little older.

Paul J. McAuley has won the Philip K. Dick Award, The Sideways Award for Alternate History, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the John W. Campbell Award, and the British Fantasy Award. His writing is superb. I hope he wins the Hugo Award or the Nebula Award eventually. I am reading his book,The Quiet War. It is hard science fiction. He uses a lot of biology in his stories, much more so than many science fiction writers. He is trained as a botanist.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/14/2009

Fratelli D'Alessandri "Rome - Reading woman"., 1860

Daily Thoughts 10/14/2009

It is a quiet day today. We started shifting books to create space to move the fiction collection. It will be a big project. I tried to talk to everyone before the project started.

They are also tattletaping the books to make them more secure. This is a huge project as well. We have over 500,000 items in our collection. So they are going to be ordering a lot of security strips.

I went and picked out a variety of books for the bookmobile; mysteries, books on Kenya, toy soldiers, historical battles, the Inspector Morse mystery series, and a few dvds this time. We are getting a lot more requests for the bookmobile.

Tomorrow we are going to take a look at the signage to make some adjustments. I did not read any library literature today. I will probably have some bookmarks made tomorrow to refill our bookmarks for graphic novels, as well as the new bookmark for poetry and writing.

They are upgrading our public access computers today as well. We may also be getting a package to teach software on our databases from Learning Express. It is definitely something I am going to look at carefully for a trial. I might even take a refresher in Excel.

I am almost done reading Confessions of a Radical Industrialist by Ray C. Anderson. He mentions two other books which are quite good reading, Jared Diamond's Collapse and Paul Hawken's The Ecology of Commerce. Paul Hawken's book is what caused Ray C. Anderson to follow the path of clean technology for his company. I find clean technology very interesting.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

Paolo Bacigalupi is a Locus award winning author. He was also nominated for the Hugo award for his short story, The Calorie Man. This novel is set in the same setting as the short story, The Calorie Man. He has also writen another book which I reviewed earlier on this blog, Pump Six and Other Stories.

The setting is a dystopian future. The world has run out of oil and global warming has devastated the environment. Giant agricultural companies use crop plagues to control the food supplies. The setting is in Thailand one of the few places that is not under the thumb of the agribusiness giants.

I like the characters; they are very diverse. Andersons Lake works for the calorie companies, Emiko is a genetically engineered servant, and Hock Seng is a Chinese refugee and business man. The characters are portrayed differently than most science fiction stories I have read. They are more fleshed out and human.

There are plenty of interesting ideas; mastodons used to power electrical equipment, coal powered tanks, and environmental troops used to protect the borders. The descriptions of the future technology are completely believable. The book is in a near future setting.

I hope that Paolo Bacigalupi continues to provide other interesting novels. If you want science fiction in the new style very much tied in to now he fits in with Charles Stross, Cory Doctorow, and Bruce Sterling. The book is published by Nightshade Books. Paolo Bacigalupi's web site is called Windup Stories

Daily Thoughts 10/12/2009

The Walk of Ideas In Berlin, Germany by Scholz & Friends Sensai, agency of "Walk of Ideas“, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

Daily Thoughts 10/12/2009

I read some more of Confessions of A Radical Industrialist today. Ray C. Anderson mentions two other books, the first is Wining The Oil End Game, Innovation for Profts, Jobs, and Security and the second is Cradle to Cradle Remaking The Way We Make Things by Michael Braungart. Both are very interesting books to read.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/11/2009

The original Superman as done by Max Fleischer

Daily Thoughts 10/11/2009

I watched several episodes of the early Superman cartoon by Max Fleischer. I was watching Superman The Ultimate Max Flesicher Cartoon Collection. There are seventeen episodes on this dvd. There were a few which I had never seen before including The Mummy Strikes, The Underground World, and Terror on the Midway. It of course had my favorite episode, The Bulleteers. Sometimes it is fun to watch the old cartoons. They are very different than the modern ones.

I am also reading Confessions of A Radical Industrialists. He is writing about how it is cheaper to use transportation that uses less carbon. Rail transport and cargo ship are cheaper than trucking and airplanes. He is also describing steps which are being done to reduce the cost and energy use for freight trucks. It is quite interesting.

This afternoon, I watched a little bit of Disney's Fantasia. My favorite part of the animation is The Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky. The animation is quite beautiful to look at.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/10/2009

Russian National Library Building 1800

Daily Thoughts 10/10/2009

I read a bit more of Confessions of A Radical Industrialist today on the train to work. I also checked my ordering to make sure it was in proper shape.

After seeing Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, I decided that I wanted to see Mysterious Island which is based on another book by Jules Verne. The animation in the film Mysterious Island is done by Ray Harryhousen. I really like watching Ray Harryhausen. It is a lot of fun to see the old stop motion animation. I also requested Pinocchio. I have never seen Pinocchio. It is by Carlo Lorenzi whose pen name was Carlo Collodi.

I checked out two films, Fantasia and Alice In Wonderland. Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll makes many references to mathematics and logic. The Annotated Alice is a fantastic book to read because it identifies the literary, mathmetical, and logical allusions in the book which are very entertaining.

I read a bit more of Confessions of a Radical Industrialist by Ray C. Anderson. He is writing about recycling in business now. He describes how his goal is to recycle absolutely everything. It costs money to buy new materials and send garbage out. He wrote about RecycleBank which is a company that gives incentives for people to put their recyclable bin. People receive points translatable into coupons for local businesses. He has five Rs for recycling, reduce, repurpose, reuse, recycle, and redesign. The book is not easy to read even for someone with an environmental ethic. He is very gung ho in his philosophy.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/9/2009

Copperplate engraving of Augustus the Younger, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg in his library, 1650

Daily Thoughts 10/9/2009

I received some complementary copies of large print books this morning from Center Point Large Print. They are regularly sending me catalogs. I also have been going through the purchase alerts this morning for titles which we should have.

I also received an email newsletter subscription from this morning which comes from Kirkus.

I did a little bit more adjusting for the signage this morning. I still have to figure out a few signs to order. I am not that happy with Demco, Gaylord, and Highsmith which are the main library suppliers for furniture and signage for libraries. I also took some time to clean up my desk and organize paperwork.

On the train home, I read some more of Confessions of A Radical Industrialist by Ray C. Anderson. He is writing about the concept of resource efficiency in the business setting. He describes how it is possible to increase revenue by reducing waste. Another word for this is lean manufacturing. He also describes how it is more important to first reduce waste then to recycle. Then he describes how it is more important to first introduce energy efficiency to cut costs then to introduce renewables. It is a process of reducing costs then instituting renewable processes. He claims that Anheuser Busch recycles 99.1% of their waste in their factories turning it into animal feed, ethanol and other products.

I picked up a copy of the Max Fleischer superman cartoosn to watch at the library. There are a few episodes which I still have not seen on the dvd which I borrowed.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/8/2009

The Princes' Flower Alphabet, 1893

Daily Thoughts October 8, 2009

I am off today because I am working on Saturday. I am taking it easy. I watched Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea. It won an academy award. It was quick fun and nicely escapist. It is not as good as the novel, but it provides a different kind of entertainment. It is amazing to think how predictive Jules Verne was sometimes.

I am also playing a lunch break style game called Strange Adventures In Infinite Space. It is designed to play very quickly in 5-20 minutes. Digital Eel is giving it away for free. I played the demo before but not the whole original game. Like Computer Games Strange Adventures In Infinite Space is free now. Plays in 5-20 minutes quick fun game

I did not read that much today. I took a little break to let my mind rest. I let it do that sometimes.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/7/2009

Library of the monastery of Nová Říše, south Bohemia, Czech Republic.

Daily Thoughts 10/7/2009

This morning I wrote a rough draft of a review of The Windup Girl while I was on the subway coming in to work. I always try and get a seat. Sometimes, I have to miss a train. It is hard to read standing up in the subway. I find it comfortable enough to read or write when I am sitting down.

This morning, I adjusted some of the signage for the "New Arrivals" section. I am going to order some signage for the tables for the current events display. I also looked at the headlines in the news and picked out a few titles on modern day piracy. There is an especially good book called Dangerous waters: modern piracy and terror on the high seas by John S. Burnett. There is a little bit on Somali and Indonesian piracy in the book. I find it kind of interesting in a ghastly way.

There is an article on the Espresso Book Machine in the October 5, 2009 Publishers Weekly. In the next six months 40 of them are supposed to be put into production throughout the United States.

I am going to shift from weeding the 800s to weeding the mass market paperbacks and trade paperbacks. This is going to be part of a large shifting project which will start soon. I spent some time with a colleague looking at the best way to move books. It should be a fairly large project.

Right now I am looking at a book called Confessions of A Radical Industrialist Profits, People, Purpose-- Doing Business By Respecting the Earth, by Ray C. Anderson with Robin White. He owns Interface, Inc. one of the greenest companies around. The book is printed on recycled paper, uses soy based ink, has no dust jacket, uses biodegradable and recyclable glue, and uses varnish instead of plastic laminate. In other word it is designed to be a green product.

I also have The Quiet War by Paul J. McAuley in front of me as well. I'll decide which one to read on the train.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/6/2009

Anton Ebert (1845–1896): Lesende junge Dame, Öl auf Holz, 35 x 25,5 cm; fotografiert im Dorotheum Wien

Daily Thoughts 10/6/2009

This morning, I am working on creating a poetry bookmark. Some of the authors which I am thinking of listing are Maya Angelou, Taylor Mali, Langston Hughes, Sylvia Plath, W.S. Merwin, and William Carlos Williams. I have the titles chosen which I am going to use. It will be a matter of finding appropriate public domain images.

I put The Quiet War by Paul Mcauley on hold. I actually saw Mr. Mcauley a couple times when Dixon Place hosted a science fiction reading series. I have not been there in a very long time.

Life is funny sometimes. I am still looking for ways to update the displays. I may actually buy some signage. The director wants me to buy a sign for the current events display which is interesting.

Alice Fantastic was a very interesting book to read. In some ways it stretched my limits. The story had a tremendous amount of sex, lots of dogs, and very odd characters. The lifestyle described was even more bohemian than most anything which I have read about. Somehow, I found the writing a bit transgressive; purposely staying at the exact edge of what most people would take in a novel.

For example one of the characters lives off the paycheck she receives from the city of New York because she fell in an open manhole; another has a rather indiscreet lesbian romance; another is dying of cancer; and another watches her boyfriend push someone under a subway train.

There are a lot of very eccentric place descriptions as well. Alice, the main character makes her money by betting on horseracing which means she spends time at the horsetrack which is a place full of colorful characters.

There is a sense that all the characters live at the edge of madness, being just charmed enough to avoid falling completely off the edge. Alice's family seems to get by by rescuing stray dogs and stray people. This gives the novel a genuine charm which makes the novel bearable among the madness of the story.

Some people will love the writing. This is the kind of novel for someone who likes Jack Kerouac at his most extreme or Charles Bukowski or Diane Wakoski. It has the feeling of being all the way on the edge. I liked it, but had a hard time reading it. It made me uncomfortable in a good way.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/5/2009

La Grammaire (1892) by Paul Serusier, 71.5 x 92 cm, Musée d'Orsay

Daily Thoughts 10/5/2009

I went and straightened up some displays this morning. I also did a bit more weeding in the 800s. I have a copy of the magazine Booklist on my desk to read.

I have started working on a bookmark which lists several different books on writing including Writing Begins With The Breath, The Elements of Style, Spunk and Bite, The Reader Over Your Shoulder, and other titles. I am about half way finished putting it together. Microsoft Publisher is becoming more familiar for me to use.

On the way home, I read some of Alice Fantastic by Maggie Estep. You can read the influence of Charles Bukowski in this work. The main character, Alice bets the horses which reminds me a bit of Charles Bukowski. Also, the author, Maggie Estep is both a slam poet and a novelist. The poet and novelist combination has that Bukowski edge to it. The characters are also bohemian in their lifestyle. There is a lot of sex. This also reminds of the poetic character of Charles Bukowski.

Running out of tags is rather interesting on Blogger. I can't use the term Maggie Estep in the tags because it goes over my tag limit.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/4/2009

Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron Dunsany (1878-1957) The fantasy writer.

Daily Thoughts

I watched a bit of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. It was kind of entertaining. It was only for a few minutes.

I also spent some time reading more of Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl. It is quite enjoyable to read, but it is not like most science fiction I have read. It has a lot more cultural variety than most science fiction. There are Chinese, Thai, Japanese, and American characters. There are also some interesting religious images from buddhism as well. There is also quite a bit on biology and ecology in the story. It is hard science fiction from an ecological and biological standpoint. It is not as much about big machines that fly into space. It is also a near future book. This makes it have a unique feeling to it. I read it mainly in the laundromat.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Cost of Bad Behavior How Incivility Is Damaging Your Business And What To Do About It by Christine Pearson and Christine Porath

The Cost of Bad Behavior How Incivility Is Damaging Your Business And What To Do About It by Christine Pearson and Christine Porath, Foreward by Warren Bennis

This book is about how civility effects performance in a business setting. It describes the consequences of uncivil behavior; reduced productivity, lost work hours, and increasing employee attrition are a few of the consequences.

It is more than just about people being treated uncivilly. It is also about the consequences to people who are acting uncivil; lack of promotion, loss of sales, and bad reputation. No customer likes seeing employees arguing or acting inappropriately.

There are some examples of companies who benefit from having employee conduct standards; Disney, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and Starbucks relate how civility has improved their bottom line.

The writing in the book is grammatically tight, polite, and gratifying.

The last section of the book is on how to solve problems related to poor employee behavior. I especially liked the chapter on how manners effect ones future social and professional status.

This is an excellent and timely book.

Daily Thoughts 10/3/2009

Read Clips and .... Digital ID: 1258935. New York Public Library

From New York Public Library Digital Gallery

Daily Thoughts 10/3/2009

Today I am at my local library. I returned three books and did not see anything which I wanted to check out. Right now, I am sitting at the public computers.

I also picked up a few bookmarks. One is on green jobs and another is on jobs based on the stimulus package. They look like something which we might want to redesign for our library. I like picking up material from other libraries occassionally for ideas. It is a practical thing to do.

I am reading The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. This is a different kind of science fiction with strong social commentary. It is a dark future where giant agribusiness companies control the food supply with crop plagues and genetically tailored seeds. Smaller countries try to keep control of their seeds and food. The sea levels are rising, and money is measured in calories. The setting is in Thailand which makes it even more interesting.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/2/2009

Leonard Bernstein seated at piano, making annotations to musical score 1955

Daily Thoughts 10/2/2009

We have an art gallery in the rotunda in our library which is currently showing paintings by local artists. There are four cases on the walls. We put in a display of oversize art books this morning. I like to think that the best books to display are those that are visible. You should first see them from about seven feet away, then be drawn to the cover of the book by the artwork. After the cover is seen, you should be hooked by the content of the blurbs and copy enough to start reading the first chapter of the book. Usually, reading the first chapter of a book is what determines whether or not you want to continue reading the book. This is why many bookstores let you sit and read the book in a cafe. Bright colors and interesting artwork for the cover and inside flaps are a very good idea.

We chose oversize art books on Dali, Modigliani, surrealism, saive art, Klimt, Japanese brush painting, and Caribbean art. The art work in the rotunda is a very interesting mix of different paintings.

I also did some more weeding this afternoon of the 800s. I am looking forward to reading a large graphic novel, Locas II: The Maggie & Hopey Stories by Jaime Hernandez next week. I already have quite a bit to read right now.

On the train home, I finished reading The Cost of Bad Behavior. The last chapter on how civility leads to higher social standing was rather interesting. I also am looking at Noah Wyle, The Librarian Quest For The Spear on dvd. It is an Indiana Jones style adventure with a librarian as a lead character.

I found out that Google limits the number of labels that can be used to search a blog to 2000. This means that I have to eliminate some of the labels I used for previous entries. It also means that I cannot review more than 2000 individual titles. It is an interesting quandry.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Daily Thoughts 10/1/2009

Hemingway's Desk From Key West

Daily Thoughts October 1, 2009

Today is another quiet smooth day. I handed in my monthly report today, did a little weeding, and made sure the displays were updated.

My colleagues also redid most of the displays today with banned books week book displays. I was not part of this set of planning. There was a display on censorship, a display on teen banned books, and a display of adult banned books in the front entranceway. It was very thematic.

I am still reading The Cost of Bad Behavior. The book is describing the cost of incivility to customer service right now. It describes how incivility can drive away customers and even affect stock prices in companies. A rude conference call with stock analysts does not lead to good corporate performance.

There is a very interesting article on Book Industry Standard and Classification versus Dewey classification for libraries. I have never seen BISAC in a library, but I have visited many bookstores with this classification scheme. It is far better for browsability, but it can fail when looking for very specific books. Dewey is much more granular than BISAC. I really liked the idea of partial categories for books using BISAC and individual dewey labels for specificity.

I am a big fan of merchandising for the purpose of increasing circulation. The issue with breaking the collection into smaller categories is that there are many more places to look for a book. Also there is a lot more work in processing materials. At the same time, it creates very nice browsable categories and increases circulation. We merchandise our displays; pulling displays for career books, graphic novels, and other categories. Also our "new arrivals" section is merchandised into romance, science fiction, mystery, audiobooks, dvds, and fiction books.

Building separate special collections is a big task. We do have separate sections for African American fiction, mystery, audiobooks, job information center books, short stories, and romance paperbacks. There is also a separate Local History room, law collection, multicultural reference collection, reference collection, and periodicals collection.

I enjoyed reading the article quite a bit.