Friday, December 31, 2010

Daily Thoughts 12/31/2010 (Budget, ebooks)

Morning perusal, Antonio Parreiras, 1916

Daily Thoughts 12/31/2010 

The Mount Vernon city council adopted the new budget with a $500,000 cut for the library. There is a prediction that the building will be closed midyear.

On a personal level, this means I have to look for other options.  I am watching a slow descent for the library over the years.  There has been a pattern of continuous cuts in small amounts, as well as continuous underfunding.
I am looking at the Certificate in Digital Publishing right now.  It seems like a very interesting course.

Web Bits

I spent some time looking at Google Books. It did not impress me.  They probably could have a deeper taxonomy as well as better display technology.  I find it a little too simple looking.

Libre Digital is developing another social ecommerce platform for books.  Things are just starting in this arena.

I see a lot of large social commerce platforms for ebooks, but no specialty social platforms for ebooks.   I can see openings for smaller more focused specialty ecommerce social platforms for ebooks in specific genres.

I also found another aggregator of electronic information, which allows people to create their own book mashups.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Daily Thoughts 12/30/2010 (Kickstarter, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web)

Eigen scan uit Het doel der Vereeniging; afbeelding uit 1892 auteursrechtvrij.  I am not quite sure what it says, but I do like the image.

Daily Thoughts 12/30/2010

I tried to watch the original Planet of the Apes but just could not do it today.  The costumes somehow seemed a little bit dated.  The story is based on the novel, Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle.

I also could not get myself to read The Autiobiography of Mark Twain.  It was a little bit too much.

I also decided to not write any reviews today.  Sometimes, you need to not do things to keep it all in perspective.

Finally, I decided not to go to the final public session about the budget.  I think I will hear about it tomorrow.  I need a break from this stuff.  Hopefully, I'll have one until the new year starts.

I have been fooling a little bit looking on the web.  I rather like , a lot of the small creative projects which are on it are publishing oriented.

I started reading Information Architecture for the World Wide Web , 3rd Edition by Peter Morville and Louis Rosenfeld tonight.  It is about designing the information framework for large scale websites.  I think I need to learn a little bit more about website design both for content and structure.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Daily Thoughts 12/29/2010 (Letting Go Of Words, Get Glue, The Big Sleep, Advocacy)

Raymond Chandler  

Daily Thoughts 12/29/2010

I read some more of Letting Go Of Words Writing Web Content That Works today.  It reminds us that websites are not a way to push out information.  They are designed primary to pull people in and provide the information they need.  There is another term that goes with pull.  This is the term stickiness.  In addition to pulling people in, a website should stick with the person and draw them in.  It should give them reasons to come back and use the site repeatedly.  You want your people to check in regularly to see what is new on the site.  An excellent example of this is   The entire site is designed to stick and pull people in.  The site asks people to check-in, review, and explore.

I watched The Big Sleep today starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.  I enjoyed it even more than Casablanca.  The Big Sleep is based on the novel by Raymond Chandler.  It was a very enjoyable noir film.   One of the screenplays writers is Leigh Brackett who also helped write The Empire Strikes Back.  I like Leigh Bracketts science fiction; The  Sword of Rhiannon and The Hounds of Skaith.

Tonight, I am going back to go to the meeting for the vote on the budget for the city of Mount Vernon.  Hopefully, they will change things, but I am not that certain.  It is in city hall at 7 p.m..

I went to city hall tonight to see the public vote session on the budget.  A city council member told us that the public vote session was cancelled, we should go home.  It was originally announced  for today on Wednesday, December 29 for tonight at 7:00 p.m.  They are still having the discussion session tomorrow on December 30.

Several of my colleagues were there including the library director and a few people from the community.  The gentleman who ran the Mount Vernon Inquirer was there as well.

I also finished reading Letting Go of the Words on the train home.  I found some of the ideas to be quite interesting.  She talks about how splash pages and flash are generally detrimental.  I can agree on this completely.

12/28/2010 Mount Vernon Public LIbrary Advocacy

Laurits Andersen Ring, 1898, At Breakfast

Daily Thoughts 12/28/2010

There is an article today from the Mount Vernon Inquirer  that covers the budget hearing last night.  It says people talked about the library going belly up.

There are numerous reasons for supporting public libraries.  These are the reasons for supporting the library from the New York Public Library website.

  • Keep our shelves filled with books and materials that are in high demand.
  • Provide free computer access and Wi-Fi service at all of our 89 locations
  • Make possible daily classes that teach New Yorkers basic computer skills, job search techniques, and reading skills
  • Purchase items to add to our world-renowned research collections to advance scholarship
  • Preserve fragile manuscripts and rare books that have been placed in our care

These same ideas provide an excellent core set of reasons to keep a library open.  There are some thoughts I would like to add to this.

People come in to check out our new material.  They also come for our special collections.  There is a job information center and a large business section.  This helps people find jobs and start businesses in Mount Vernon and Westchester county.  It also keeps the community informed.  There is also no bookstore in Mount Vernon where people can sit and read and purchase books. We are the defacto center for media in Mount Vernon.

We provide  free computer access and wifi to people who do not have access to this.  For poor people, it is important to have access to computers.  Many people cannot get government information except for through a computer or apply for jobs.  I have talked to several patrons who have come in specifically to search for jobs on the internet computers.  There are several people who use the wifi for their business tasks.  Having access to a laptop is enough for many computer people to work from anywhere where there is a wireless connection.  There is no cybercafe in Mount Vernon that I know of.

Mount Vernon Public Library has a literacy center run by Nancy Fitch who helps people to learn to read.  We also have a program called College to Careers which allows young people to work towards their GED and get college preparation.  We also support the schools for their reading assignments and maintain an extensive of classic material for school assignments ranging from Shakespeare to Huckleberry Finn to Pride and Prejudice.  This helps improve the literacy of the students in the schools in Mount Vernon.

On the weekend we have a computers for seniors class which helps seniors learn to use the computers in the computer lab.  We also have a job information center which provides material on how to apply for jobs, houses the listings for Westchester civil service openings, and has a career counselor who helps people get jobs.

Our collection includes a very extensive reference collection.  This includes a legal reference collection, a business reference collection, a government documents collection, a multicultural reference collection, a young adult and childrens reference collection, and numerous databases for the support of research.  Some of these databases also help find jobs like Learning Express.  In addition to the reference collections we maintain special collections for the job information center, foreign language material, periodicals room, parenting material, and an extensive new materials display.

Our library houses the local history collection for Mount Vernon, there is also a separate collection for Westchester history in the mezzanine. We also have the Daily Argus on microfilm which is the local paper going to back to the 19th century.  This is used extensively for genealogy.   In addition, we have a very large collection of oversize books, many of these are out of print or rare art books.  We have been the last copy collection for the last 100 years for the Westchester Library System.  This means we have an extensive amount of 19th century books in our mezzanine storage area which are not available anywhere else.

These are all reasons to support the Mount Vernon Public Library.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Daily Thoughts 12/28/2010 (Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, budget)

Bookplate for the Canadiana collection at the Toronto Public Library, 1914

Daily Thoughts 12/28/2010

I  am reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  Right now, I am heading out to the budget hearing for the City of Mount Vernon.   I finished it on the way to the city budget hearing.

I went to the budget hearing for the City of Mount Vernon tonight.  Not one of the public spoke in favor of the proposed budget.  It would be a disaster for the library.  We would be cut $500,000.  Last years budget was $4 million dollars. The vice president of the board of directors for the library spoke and said that we would be in dire shape and would most likely run out of funds by midyear.  There might be staggered layoffs.

We had a number of people speak in favor of the library.  Some suggested that we might need a change in how decisions are made.

I usually don't speak.  This time, I did.  I said that the cuts in funding are leading to cuts in services to the library.  Less people are available to help people and we are now closed one day a week.  There is now one person serving at the reference desk most of the time.  There is also often one person covering the circulation desk.

Without more funding, we could also lose our status as the central library for Westchester county.  This loss of central status would lead to further cuts, we would no longer receive extra money for material and databases as the central library.

 A lot of our material was purchased with central library funds.  If another library takes on central library status, they can claim the material that was purchased with central library monies.  This could affect our law collection, our job information center, our foreign language collection, our reference collection, and some other parts of the nonfiction collection.

It was imperative to reconsider how the library was being funded.  Grants would not cover a $500,000 cut in budget for a single building.

Note:  We are part of a library cooperative.  Each member library is funded separately by the city they are part of.  We pay money to share resources through the Westchester Library System for interlibrary loan, reserves, cataloging, an integrated library system, computer purchases, internet access, and other technology resources.  In our case, the central status gives us specific responsibility and extra funds to serve the county through CLDA (Central Library Development Aide) which is administrated by the New York State Library

It is also important to understand that there is another $350,000 being charged against the library for retroactive pay that was put into effect in 2010.  This is a statement from the board of trustees.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Daily Thoughts 12/27/2010 (Budget, Girl With Dragon Tattoo)

Soviet 1-ruble coin (reverse side), released in the USSR on September 17, 1987 to commemorate 130th anniversary of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky's birth. The foreground shows Tsiolkovsky's sculpture, which is a fragment of the To the Conquerors of Space monument in Moscow (1964), and the background shows a flying rocket, stars and satellites' orbits.  He is best known for his 1903 work The Exploration of Cosmic Space by Means of Reaction Devices

Daily Thoughts 12/27/2010 

I started reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson last night in addition to Letting Go of Words.  I am planning on catching up on my popular reading.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is quite enjoyable.  It draws you in slowly and becomes more and more gripping as you read the story.

The Alternative Budget is up on the city website.  It leaves the $500,000 cut in place for the library which would very likely shut the Mount Vernon Public Library down.

I plan on going to the budget meeting tomorrow.  It feels like a kind of last stand.  But, at least I know I've done everything I can on my part.

Web Bits

I like the idea that the movie publicity people bought books in bulk then shipped them to different people to make True Grit a bestseller.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Echo An Alex Benedict Novel by Jack McDevitt

Echo An Alex Benedict Novel by Jack McDevitt

Echo is part of a series of novels featuring Alex Benedict, a recoverer of antiquities in the far future. In this novel, Alex Benedict is following the trail of an inscription written in stone which is part of no known human language. The inscription makes for an excellent gimmick.

The characterization is better than his earlier novels. I especially liked Sunset Tuttle, an explorer seeking alien civilizations for philosophical reasons. He creates an excellent back story for the book.

Alex Benedict's adversaries are more tragic than evil. The novel is more about how mistakes can lead to horrific consequences. The one exception is the sociopathic assassin bent on killing Chase Kolpath and Alex Benedict. However, the assassin is more subtle and devious than a brutish adversary.

This novel successfully combines mystery, exploration, archaeology, and suspense into a superb science fiction novel. It is the fifth in the Alex Benedict series. The third novel in the series, Seeker, won the Nebula Award.

Daily Thoughts 12/26/2010 (Letting Go of Words)

Writing My Master’s Words (detail), Alighieri Dante: "La Vita Nuova (The New Life)" (1910)

Daily Thoughts 12/26/2010

I am reading Letting Go of the Words Writing Web Content That Works by Janice (Ginny) Redish.  There is an introduction by Steve Krug who wrote Don't Make Me Think.  It is about user centered design and writing for web pages.

It is snowing outside very heavily.  I had just enough time to go grocery shopping today, but then came home and found a blizzard outside.  I took some time to read CEO Reads and enter their holiday grab bag contest.  I also am looking through the blog roll on Powell's blog.  It should be interesting.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Daily Thoughts 12/25/2010 (net profits, SEO, jack mcdevitt, echo, social media, library budget)

Houghton Mifflin and Company’s Holiday Books for MDCCCXCV, 1895, Chromoltihograph.  This is one of the few images that I have chosen to use more than once.

Daily Thoughts 12/25/2010

During the last week we've watched The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg several times.   It is an excellent christmas movie.  It is a break from watching Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer. I really enjoyed the Polar Express.  It is also a childrens book which is very beautifully illustrated.  I am also fond of The Garden of Abdul Gasazi which is very beauftiful.  Chris Van Allsburg has a nicely illustrated website

I have been reading more of Net Profits by David Soskin.  He is writing about how he opened his company in the United Kingdom and then expanded into Canada, the United States, and Europe. There is a lot to think about here.

I also read Jack McDevitt, Echo  which is a mix of archaeological science fiction, mystery, and disaster story.  It is a very complex story with lots of twists, turns, and skulduggery.

The week has been very relaxing.  I also watched something pretty mindless but entertaining, the series, Wolverine and the Xmen on dvd.  It is not Marvel's best stuff, but I enjoyed it.  The original Xmen series is much better.

The budget issue with the library has not ended.  There is going to be a revised budget announced on Monday, December 27, 2010, and a hearing on Tuesday December 28, 2010 about the budget.  If you are interested in the library please attend. 

Web Bits

I have also been thinking of free SEO tools. It is a way to review free methods of search engine marketing.

There is Addme, which is a free tool which submits to 20 engines.

There is also Google Pagerank Checker

Google Adwords has a free keyword analysis tool.

Statcounter is a fairly reliable hit counter that is free.

There is also Google Webmaster Tools which allows you to have free analyics.

This is an automatic link checker which allows you to determine if you have broken links on your site.

The other thing which I am thinking of is social media campaigns.

There are the big three; Linked In, Twitter, and Facebook.  Depending on what I am thinking about in the near future with something more oriented towards books, there would also be Book Blogs on Ning, and a blog associated with various book sites.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Daily Thoughts 12/24/2010 (Ebooks, Net Profits)

WPA Poster.

Daily Thoughts 12/24/2010

Coverage of an ebook unconference. I found this going through the Digital Book World Conference site   Digital Book World is on January 24-26, 2010.

Description of an ebook unconference.

Today, I am on vacation.  It has been a very relaxed day.  I read some more of Net Profits and relaxed a lot. Net Profits had some interesting material on selecting keywords, creating metatags, and search engine optimization.  It talked about how it was necessary to take full advantage of both adwords and other pay per click systems for business.

There is more than one conference which I would like to attend, The Tools of Change Conference and the Digital Book World are both in New York.  I can't go to everything which I would like because of expenses and time.

Right now, I am looking over my options.  I will know next week what has happened in terms of layoffs.  I have some indications that more people will be laid off. Quite frankly, it does not look very pleasant.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Daily Thoughts 12/23/2010 (Advocacy, Net Profits)

Per Eskilson 1820-1872, Reading Loud, 1856, Oil On Canvas

Daily Thoughts 12/23/2010

I tried to read more of Unmarketing by Scott Stratten this morning.  However, it became too fluffy.  The point where I felt that I had to put the book down is when Scott Stratten started writing about the difference in flavor between McDonald's coffee and Tim Hortons coffee.  It just did not fit well with my thought processes.  I have started reading Net Profit How To Succeed In Digital Business by David Soskin who was the CEO of Cheapflights which is a British company.

This morning, I spent time talking to a patron about the library and also talked to the Friends of the Library about how to send in the form letter to our city council representatives.  I have been following everything very closely.  I am hoping things will turn out differently than I expect they will.

I also checked the displays and did some spot checking for the shelves.

One of my colleagues recommended that I read True Grit by Charles Portis.  The film by the Coen brothers looks very good.

I started reading Net Profit on the way home from work.  It is different because the author is a British author.  He does not recommend you go open source and reminds you to protect your intellectual property.  He also does not hype social media.  He focuses more on usability and design than marketing.  An excellent, usuable website is the foundation of a successful internet business.

I am on vacation starting tomorrow which will be a nice break.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Daily Thoughts 12/22/2010 (Locus, Advocacy)

Woman Reading a Lette, Gerard ter Borch, 1660-1662

Daily Thoughts 12/22/2010 

This morning, I finished reading Keith Richards, Life. It was a very enjoyable autobiography.  I have started reading Unmarketing: Stop Marketing.  Start Engaging. by Scott Stratten.  So far, it is focused on creating relationships through social media.  It starts with the big three; Linked In, Twitter, and Facebook.  A colleague asked for Keith Richards, Life so it is moving on to one of my colleagues.  It is an excellent book.

This is the City of Mount Vernon information from the Mayor Clinton Young's who is talking with Comptroller Maureen Walker on the budget.

Locus Magazine just launched a digital edition for its magazine.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Daily Thoughts 12/21/2010 (Keith Richards, Life, Library)

Wilhelm Menzler (1846–1926): Ein Plausch im Park. Signiert. Öl/Lwd., 65 x 50 cm, 1918

Daily Thoughts 12/21/2010

I checked the displays this morning. I also spot checked the shelves.  I might try and do a job search hour for job boards on the internet as a program for the library patrons.

I also spent some time reading Booklist and Publishers Weekly.  Hopefully, it will keep us ready for when we start ordering again.  There is always hope.

I also spent some time talking to the Friends of the Library about all the different articles on websites from the Mount Vernon Library Website to the Mount Vernon Inquirer to the Westchester Journal news.

This is a link to the talk which Keith Richards gave at New York Public Library about his book Life on October 29, 2010.  It is one of the reasons I am reading this book.

Notice of Open Trustee Positions, Mount Vernon Public Library

Monday, December 20, 2010

Daily Thoughts 12/20/2010 (With A Little Help, Life, Keith Richards, Ebooks)

Lesender Mann beim Lampenlicht (Man Reading by Lamplight), 1814 Georg Friedrich Kersting, Oil On Canvas

Daily Thoughts 12/20/2010

I am finishing weeding my section in the oversize books.  I'll probably start weeding in the storage area or mezzanine as we call it.  As always, I checked the displays to make sure they were in order and read some newsletters on publishing in my inbox in email.  The newsletters give me heads up on what is being talked about in the media for books, especially Shelf Awareness and the Ingram alerts.

I am thinking of reading the e-book version of With A Little Help by Cory Doctorow.  Right now, I have a little bit too much to read.  I have a pile on my desk, and a bag at home of books which I have not read yet.

Our library system has added the ability to download public domain ebooks from Project Gutenberg in alliance with Overdrive.  This means most of the classics will be available as ebooks in our library system.

Library Value Calculator from Mount Vernon Public Library

On the way home, I read a little bit more of Keith Richards autobiography Life.  There is a very steady rhythm to the writing almost like the steady movement of a train.  It is very smooth.  At times, it can abruptly pick up speed especially when the writer is talking about violence or sex.  There is sex, drugs, and rock and roll; but there is also violence, guns, lawyers, and a strong streak of anti-establishment behavior and actions.  We learn about the Rolling Stones global network of lawyers and how they were expelled from one country after another during the 1960s.

Some things surprised me.  Right now, I am reading about Keith Richards spending time in Jamaica with the Rastafarians.  It is more than a little over the top.  The pace can be relentless.  Keith Richards describes times where he doesn't sleep for days.  This is not for people who don't want to be shocked.  At the same time it is shockingly libertine, it is also full of life and music.

This is an article from the London Times, Its Only Books N' Shelves But I Like It.  Keith Richards makes the claim that he loves reading in this article.  In a couple of other articles he also visited New York Public Library.  In the book Life, he also describes reading history books several times and lending them to people.

Web Bits

Zen and the Art of Self Publishing by Cory Doctorow

The Future According to Tim O'Reilly

For the record, I am a fan of both Cory Doctorow's and Tim O'Reilly's articles on publishing and copyright.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Behemoth by Scott Westerfield Illustrated by Keith Thompson

Behemoth by Scott Westerfield Illustrated by Keith Thompson

Behemoth is a mixture of alternate history and steampunk written for young adults.  It is the second book in the Leviathan trilogy.  The title Leviathan in the first book refers to a giant living airship.  Leviathan won the 2010 Locus Award for Best Young Adult Novel. I think it is quite readable for adults as well.

The setting in this part of the series is an alternate history Ottoman Empire.  There are ornate clockwork mechanical walkers and intricate steam powered machines.  The year is 1914.  In this world, the English and Russians are Darwinists masters of genetically engineered beasts and the Germans and Ottomans are Clankers makers of complex clockwork machinery.  I like that in this world, the Americans do both.

This makes for wonderfully ornate illustrations by Keith Thompson.  His website has some of the art from Behemoth The illustrations are wonderfully ornate in black in white with touches of Victoriana, Art Deco, and even Middle Eastern motifs.

The reader encounters living airships, articulated steam elephants, a steampunk library, and an alternate Orient Express.  This transports you to a very different world.  The descriptions are inventive and eloquent.  We get to imagine Iron Golems in the Jewish quarters of Istanbul, fallen nobility in grand hotels, and an air of revolutionary change.

There is constant action, intrigue, hair raising escapes, and suspense.  Tension is created between the main characters; a young woman posing as a boy to serve in the English air corps, and an aristocratic German who is trying to pass himself off as a commoner.

The design of the book is superb; it is set in Hoefler text.  The line spacing and layout are very easy on the eyes.  The jacket design and photo illustration are by Sammy Yuen, Jr.

This is highly recommended, especially for people who read steampunk or atlernate history.

Daily Thoughts 12/19/2010 (First Break All The Rules, Unmarketing)

“Dig” / Sadie Wendell Mitchell. 1909. LC-DIG-ppmsca-15753, Found on:

Daily Thoughts 12/19/2010

I read a little bit more of First Break All The Rules. I also put Unmarketing : stop marketing. Start engaging by Scott Stratten on hold.  It is about viral marketing and other word of mouth techniques.

While I was at the laundromat, I rewrote my review of Behemoth by Scott Westerfield I had written it last week, but was not satisfied, so I rewrote it this week.  This is one of the first times, I have not just put something out immediately for people to read.

I am still thinking about ebooks.  I am also thinking about the Meetups which I went to.  I remember some advice I received from Ron Suarez from Loud Feed while I was at the Content Strategy Holiday Party on Thursday December 9, 2010 at Eight Mile Creek about starting something new.  He told me that I should not try and do something on the bleeding edge, find something you can do and start while you still have a job.  Make sure you are not the first one doing it.  Find a niche which people really need.  It has to be a need.

The other piece of advice which I received was from Peter Chislett one of the founders of the New York Coworking Community at Tech Drinks XXMas.  It was to dig deep and find something that you really like doing.  Find something you can identify with that you know, focus on something where you can show your knowledge and use that to generate what people want.

I have found the meetups to be very interesting. They are a very good way to network and talk to people.  A number of the meetups have been about learning something.  The Future of Digital Books at New Work City was fantastic.

It is also an excellent way to meet people in your profession.  I met a number of people in the New York Librarians Meetup.  They gave me the impetus for methods to speak up for libraries.  I learned a lot from them.  They helped me understand groups like and
They also helped me start building connections through Linked In and Facebook which are steadily growing into a network.  It helped me understand social networking much better where people were there that you met face to face, not just through an online connection.  It also helped me understand Twitter as a communication tool, more than just a marketing tool.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Daily Thoughts 12/18/2010 (ebooks)

Still life with plaster torso, a rose and two novels, Vincent Van Gogh, Paris, December 1887

Daily Thoughts 12/18/2010

This morning, I checked the displays and did some more weeding in the oversize books.  I try not to just weed.  I also like to check for items that need mending or cleaning.

We have our first set of foreign language films purchased with central library district money.  I am checking out a Jackie Chan film, Black Dragon.  I also am taking out the Tim Burton film of Alice In Wonderland starring Johnny Depp.  I always liked reading Alice in Wonderland, especially The Annotated Alice which describes how Lewis Carroll created Alice in Wonderland from the moves of a chess game.  I thought Tim Burton's film would be based on the original story in the book.  The film disappointed me considerably.

I am thinking about Contentville again which I posted about three years ago.  Ebooks have changed a lot since I posted about this a while ago.

There are plenty of opportunities right now to change the ebook field.  The standard classification structure of bookstores, BISAC (Book Industries Standards and Classification) is designed for physical stores.  It is not designed for the internet.  However, ebooks are still classified using a very old standard.  This is also true of the dewey decimal classification.  It is designed to be used with card catalogs.  There has been a slow switch to merchandising; creating special collections inside libraries in addition to dewey classifications.  Also, the way which ebook sites are displaying books has not been explored that much.  There could be significant improvements in classification and display for ebooks.  An obvious example which someone has implemented is 

We are also at the beginning of transliteracy where people share books and other information through multiple devices and formats.  A book is a device just like a phone is a device or a computer is device.  We are at the beginning of things like Bookglutton  and The Copia which allow shared note taking. 

In addition how things like vooks and book applications are sold with other ebooks has not been well considered.

There are new ways that ebooks can be shared, ordered, displayed, categorized and integrated with other media.  Right now, even if the publishing industry is being shaken up, there are a lot of oportunities.

Web Bits

Museum and Library Services Act Passed by the House by Michael Kelly.  To me this is a relief.

Thomson-Shore Buys Bessenberg Bindery

Friday, December 17, 2010

Daily Thoughts 12/17/2010 (Budget, life)

Angela Georgina Burdett-Coutts, Baroness Burdett-Coutts 1840

Daily Thoughts 12/17/2010

I have been reading some more of Keith Richards Life.  It is a wonderful book; honest with music, soul, and hard driving ambition.  He does not leave out the harder bits and the darker side of life which makes it even more intriguing.

This morning, I spent some time putting together a list of job links for the website.  I tried to focus on local job resources in Westchester County and New York.  I also did some weeding and checked the displays.  I still have to work on a how to section for the website with my colleagues.

In the afternoon, I've been working with a colleague on a how to section for the library website, or in computer terms, a f.a.q. (frequently asked questions) section.

I sent some follow up emails to the people who were at Tech Drinks XXmas today.  I always like to followup.  I am thinking about my experience.  I will probably write a little more tomorrow.


Sometimes, you find interesting statements in places.  There are issues which need to be brought out into the open.  In November 2010, the city decided that money that was paid out to the staff for raises was not appropriated from November of 2009.  It is a sudden move that was unexpected.  The money was already paid out in January of 2010.  I distinctly remember getting the check with back pay.  This would amount to an additional $350,000 which was already paid out to the staff.  This would add to the debt from the city. 

There was also the $180,000 year end charge this month in December which led to termination of three staff, three retirements, and six demotions.  This brings the actual to cut to over $1,000,000.

I am also hearing a number of different opinions on the city budget.  There was a tax increase of 5.54% which is higher than inflation which in November was 1.1%.  The Fire Department and the Police Department budget stayed close to the same as last year with new equipment and there were increases in the Department of Public Works which went from 12,505,756 to 12,563,153 and the Recreation Department went from 1,859,817 to 2,335,874.  The two departments that were hit hardest were the Department of Planning which recieved an approximately $1million dollar cut and the library which recieved an approximately $500,000 cut.  There were also ten new positions added including an Inspector General position which some people question.  On November 19, 2010 the mayor promised no layoffs for people who work in the city. 

The library is in a kind of nebulous state between the city and the school district.  Next year, the library may come up for a vote. The vote would remove the library from the cities control and make it a school district library which would have a budget that was voted on and a board of trustees that was voted on. The budget amount of the vote will be based on the last years cost of the library.  The city could be trying to cut the total amount being voted on next year.

 This budget is not about pain, it is about priorities.  Do the taxpayers want recreation and infrastructure like streetlights, bridges, and roads or libraries, education, and planning.  It seems infrastructure building and  recreational activities are what people want right now.   Not everyone feels the pain in this budget. 

Mount Vernon City Budget

A Message From The Board of Trustees of the Mount Vernon Public Library

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Daily Thoughts 12/16/2010 (library, budget)

Robert Martineau, Last Chapter, 1863

Daily Thoughts 12/16/2010

Today is a quiet day.  I checked the displays and am going to be speaking with the SCORE small business counselor.

There is a certain amount of trepidation in not being able to go to the board meeting last night because I was working.  The board meeting ran until midnight.  There is a lot which I would like to know about.  Maybe, I will learn it later today.

Ernie Garcia who writes for the Westchester Journal News was at the City Council Budget Meeting on November 14, 2010.  I am waiting for an article to come out on the meeting in the paper.

If you have not done so, please consider sending a letter in support of the Mount Vernon Public Library

I am going to try and get to the TechDrinks XXmas! party at Amity Hall this evening so I can do some networking.  I think it will be useful.  It is part of the New Work City Coworking Community.

Sometimes you wish that you can afford some of the latest conferences.  I wish I could have afforded the Mediabistro Ebooks Summit this Wednesday, but I have to be careful with my money.  Right now, I can afford many of the meetup type presentations and some of the other one day conferences that are sponsored by different companies.

Hit and Miss and More: Mediabistro's Ebook Summit Returns

When I came home from the Meetup, there was an article posted on the Lower Hudson Political Blog on the Mount Vernon Public Library Board Meeting.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Daily Thoughts 12/15/2010 (programming)

Nature morte aux fleurs, Pierre Laprade, Oil On Canvas, Date Unknown

Daily Thoughts 12/15/2010

I started reading Life by Keith Richards.  It is very funny, rebellious, and full of life.  It is hard to imagine Keith Richards being a boy scout, but he was.  His first record was an Elvis record as well.

Today, I checked the displays to make sure they were in order.  I also did some weeding in the oversize books.

I had to put together a list of suggested activities for the year for programming.  I went back through my email and pulled out several different workshops that I had invited to the library, Westchester Residential Opportunities, Womens Enterprise Development Center, and others.  I am hoping that we can also have a few art workshops and some storytelling workshops.

I am also thinking it might be nice to do an editor talk where they come in and talk about getting published as well as a cookbook author talk where they bring in recipes and food in addition to books.  It should be interesting.

There are also seasonal activities; earth week, holiday events, and the adult summer reading program to think about.

Web Bits

End of Days for Bookstores? Not If They Can Help It.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Talking Points Memo 12/14/2010 Mount Vernon Public Library, Mount Vernon, New York

This is a memo from Mount Vernon Public Library, Mount Vernon, New York

To provide clarity on the library’s present state of affairs:

• A $3,500,000 proposed 2011 library budget, for the year falls short of what is necessary and does not take into account the additional short fall of 2010 (This amount reflects an 11% decrease from the adopted 2010 figure [posted by the City Council] and a 14% decrease from the 2009 allocation). In following procedural steps, to balance the budget, the library will need to cease to provide service at the end of business, December 30, 2010, and close.

• A $4,185,216 library budget for 2011 is required to meet the minimum hours of operation if the library is to remain open to the community. The services lost to the community would translate to much more than the $685,216 it would take to restore the Library’s budget to the 2009 level.

• The minimum number of “open to the public hours”, required by the NYS Education Department; Office of Library Development, to serve our population numbers (25,000-99,999 residents) is 55 hours.

• The library cards of over 26,852 MV card holding patrons will become invalid. MV Residents will have NO access to any library services in Westchester County.

• MV Library is the only library in the system that is at risk for closing.

We are asking: 1) to retain the 2010 budget (see above) and 2) Consider the working efforts and positive results of the library working closely with the city these last three years to turn the library around, 3) forgive the past years of deficit. The library as a not-for-profit and due to low funding has no mea

28 South  First Avenue, Mount Vernon, NY 10550     Phone: 914 668-1840    Fax 914 668-1018

In Westchester County, you should go to the City Council meeting in Mount Vernon, New York
, December 14, 2010 at City Hall, One Roosevelt Square, Mount Vernon, New York at 7:00 p.m. .

Daily Thoughts 12/14/2010 (budget hearing, library)

"Le bibelot de Chine", oil on canvas, 1930, 38 x 46 cm, François Barraud

Daily Thoughts 12/14/2010

 I am trying to think today is just another day and maintain my sense of humor.  I did a little weeding this morning and made sure the displays were in order.  I also checked some of my email newsletters from Booklist, Baker and Taylor, Shelf Awareness, Ingram, and other places for reviews.

This is a form letter in support of Mount Vernon Public Library through the Westchester Library System

This evening, I went to the Budget Hearing for the proposed budget of City of Mount Vernon.  There were a lot of people from the library including the library director, the head of the union, several clerks and librarians, and a lot of library supporters.  I was glad to have gone.

I am just thinking about some of the things which I heard.  I am not naming names and of course, what I hear is how I interpret things.

The message that the library gave out was that it would be terrible to see the library close; a $500,000 cut would make it impossible for the library to meet state standards and be open for 55 hours a week.  The business office manager said it could lead to another 45% of the staff being cut by years end.   It might lead to the library being shut down.  This would be the only library being shut down in the county.  Even during the great depression libraries were not shut down.  Libraries are needed more now because people need jobs and education.  Some staff members talked about how the Mount Vernon Public  library had been part of their lives since childhood in Mount Vernon.

One attendee said he got a job because he used the libraries computers.  Another attendee, Bones Malone, said he was a writer and used the library regularly for many hours a day.  Bones also talked about how the library was a gem and a historic Carnegie building.  There were others who talked about how they needed the library for their children in school and to use the computers.

It was the first time in a long time that I saw the staff and library supporters united.  The new head of the library board of directors offered to sit down with the city and try and solve the libraries problems.

There were a number of people who spoke on behalf of the library who lived in the area.  They were wondering why there were such deep cuts and how the city could say they valued the libray with so many cuts.  A couple of people asked to have the library be audited to determine how we were spending the money.  I also learned that the city had already audited the library.

There were people taking pictures of the speakers.  I think there were some news organizations present.  Not everyone spoke.

Many of the staff from the city spoke in favor of the budget. There were also a number of people asking questions about increased real estate taxes.  People had questions about ten additional positions that were added during times of financial crisis.  I took home a copy of the budget to read.  It is in my bag.

It was well worth attending..

Web Bits

Harvard Announces Research Planning Initiative for a Digital Public Library of America

Monday, December 13, 2010

Daily Thoughts 12/13/2010 (Book Expo, Budget)

Pair of Hands With A Book, Albrecht Durer, 1506

Daily Thoughts 12/13/2010 

I spent some time looking at various publishing websites.  I thought Publishers Lunch was kind of interesting.

I am once again thinking of next years conference attendance.  I plan on doing five days in May again.  There is Book Expo America on  May 23-26 , The Book Bloggers Convention on May 27, 2011, , and the Day of Dialog Between Librarians and Publishers which I think might be on May 23, 2011.  The cost for Book Expo America last year in 2010 was $75.  The Day of Dialog was free for librarians, and the Book Bloggers Convention was included in the cost of attendance to Book Expo America.  It also gave bloggers a press pass for the conference.  This was probably good for positive publicity.  There are numerous panels for librarians at this conference.  I will also probably take the time to look at the IDPF Digital Zone which is listed for May 25, 2011.

 I decided not to review Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark. It is an excellent book, but it is the kind of book where what you will get out of it and how you experience is based on how you do the writing exercises at the end of each of the fifty chapters.  To truly get the full experience of the book it would take months to finish.  I would recommend it for someone who has the time to work seriously and continuously on their writing skills.

Tomorrow night I will be going to the Meeting of the Board of Estimate and Contract of the City of Mount Vernon New York for a Public Hearing on the 14th day of December 2010 at 7:00pm at the city Council Chambers in reference to the Annual Estimate for the year 2011.  I will not be speaking, but I am going to be listening to hear what people have to say.  I did read the proposed budget for the City of Mount Vernon.  The library is definitely a point of contention.

On Wednesday, I won't be going to the Board of Trustees Meeting, I always have to work during the time when the meeting is held.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Amazing Screw On Head and Other Curious Objects by Mike Mignola

The Amazing Screw-On Head and Other Curious Objects by Mike Mignola

The Amazing Screw On Head was originally a one shot comic book printed by Darkhorse in 2002. It won the humor category of the Eisner Awards for Best Humor Publication in 2003. In this volume which includes several other stories with similar themes, Mike Mignola describes how he created the story based on the idea of a childrens toy robot with different bodies and a scew-on head. There are several new stories added to this volume.

You could say that many of these stories satirize steampunk which is often very satirical. The stories have a dreamlike quality to them. The villains have a ridiculous theme to them; Emperor Zombie, Dr. Sharp, Gung The Magnificent, the bug eyed martians, and the monster at the top of the beanstalk.

The drawings use lots of dark shadows, browns, blacks, and reds. They look somewhat like the Hellboy comics which Mike Mignola draws, but with a much less malevolent feeling to them. The stories have a fable or fairytale quality to them. The heros are more odd and curious than heroic.

The stories made me smile. They were magical, filled with irrational objects, and worth laughing at. This book was on the Diamond Comics Distributors Bestseller List for October 2010.

Daily Thoughts 12/12/2010 (Budget, Rethinking Information Work)

Joseph Pulitzer. The New York ... Digital ID: 410350. New York Public Library

Cigarette Card of Joseph Pulitzer. The New York World. (ca. 1885-1890) 

Daily Thoughts 12/12/2010 

This morning I finished checking a lot of links on this site to make sure they work. I also checked some line spacing. It is the first editing I have done in a little while.

I have started reading Rethinking Information Work A Career Guide For Librarians And Other Information Professionals by G. Kim Dority. It starts by asking the reader to start keeping a career journal and reading job postings and articles on careers.

Library Budget 

This is the statement by Mayor Young about the library.  I am not going to interpret it. There is a lot of work that needs to be done for both grants and fundraising.

If we looked at the average of all sources other than government,local, and state funds; including grants, fundraising, fines for materials, and fees, it still averages out to 8% of funds. If we were operating at the national average it would amount to $280,000 from all sources. This is if our budget is $3.5 million dollars. If we made a campaign, it still would not likely meet our needs. We would still not be able to reach $4 million, it might be likely we would be at least $220,000 in debt by the end of the year.  Our foundation is new and our friends group may need a little help. If you are in Mount Vernon please help the library.

I am hoping that there are some ways to reduce costs as well.  We already went through a cost reduction discussion for everything.

This leaves us in a position where the library has to ask for more money to keep the library running.  It will be just like the last year where we borrowed funds at the end of the year.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Daily Thoughts 12/11/2010 (Ebooks, Behemoth, Content Strategy)

Title page from “De Studio Literarum...” published in 1536 in Paris by Jodocus Badius and printed by Michael Vascosanus, illustrated by Orance Finé (or Orance Fine). The central woodcut shows a printing office; the twisted perspective is deliberate, and emphasises the turn of the printing-press handle. The words Prelum Ascensianum appear over the press, the name of Baudius’ printing house (Prelum being the Latin word for a printing-press).

Daily Thoughts 12/11/2010

I went through and checked my links on my selected links page.  They all should be working now. I did a little more link checking in the book reviews section.  There were a few things which I had to change.  I am up to the letter T in the book reviews section.  I'll probably finish doing it tomorrow.  It is sometimes good to go through and check links to make sure they work.

I finished reading Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld.  I rather like that the stories ends with the formation of an Ottoman republic which makes for excellent alternate history.  The tesla cannon was also a nice touch.

I put the book Bite-sized marketing : realistic solutions for the overworked librarian by Nancy Dowd, Mary Evangeliste, & Jonathan Silberman on hold.

I am thinking a little bit about the Holidy Party for the Content Strategy Group.  I think I have learned the basics of what content strategy is.  The content strategist puts all the content into a website where information architect provides the framework.  This is more than just being a webmaster or web editor.  It includes SEO (search engine optimization), metadata, curation and selection of multimedia (apps, video, and video) and overall design of what goes on the page where.  The person is also supposed to be able to evaluate and plan whether content inside a website will fulfill a specific need and be profitable in a variety of different web settings.
Web Bits

It is the Goodreads Choice Awards.  I really like Goodreads, they do an excellent job.

Wish I could go to the Ebooks Summit, but not willing to shell out a couple hundred dollars right now.

Unprintable WWF File Format Goes Viral To Save Trees

Friday, December 10, 2010

Daily Thoughts 12/10/2010 (Budget, Behemoth, webinar)

Scribner’s Fiction Number. Digital ID: 1258973. New York Public Library

Scribner's Fiction Number.  I like that Edith Wharton is on the cover.

Daily Thoughts 12/10/2010

I did some follow up emails in the morning to people who I talked to at the Content Strategy holiday party.  It is always good to follow up with these activities.

I also took some time to make sure my flash drive had the files I needed for the future.  I made sure I saved all the online certificates I had gotten for taking classes from the American Library Association online.  I also saved some of the bookmarks, fliers, and bibliographies I had made.  It is always good to save your files to a flash drive.

This morning I did what I usually do;  make sure the displays are in order, do some more weeding in the oversize books and start planning for January and February events.  I am waiting for a few people to confirm events.

I went to a dinner for two of my colleagues who had been let go.  It was hard to do.  We talked about every day things and tried to stay focused. It was a break from the routine.  They asked if we were going to the city budget hearing on December 14, 2010 at city hall.  The budget is not finalized yet.  There should be people from all the different agencies of the city.  We talked a bit about the meetups also and the major library recruiters, Infocurrent, Pro Libra, and Sarah Warner.

It is budget time and all the people who work for the government are coming out to try and justify their share.  I am hoping that our supporters do a good job of justifying why we need funds to operate. Crowd Weighs On County Budget

I am looking at Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld.  The illustrations are superb.  It is a steampunk novel.  The previous novel, Leviathan won the Young Adult category from Locus magazine.  This should be very good.  I read some of it on the way home from a dinner with colleagues.  There are a lot of very imaginative devices.  There is a steampunk version of the Ottoman empire which is very interesting and ornate; giant articulated metal elephants, golems, and an eastern flavor make it different.  This is an alternate history of World War I.

In the afternoon, I listened to the Baker and Taylor Webinar on Graphic Novels

I am also starting to check all my links to make sure they work.  I am going to click through them and make sure they work.  You have to do this sometimes to make sure a website works.

Web Bits

IA launches new browser based bookreader with improved UI and support for read aloud (TTS) - Mr Darwin:  I like the design.  It is very pretty.

Tech Breakthrough Could Mean Disposable E-Readers

Early iPad users mostly men reading news.

Gift Book Suggestions for the Imaginative, the Curious, the Weird
by Jeff VanderMeer

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Daily Thoughts 12/9/2010

Christine de Pizan, showing the interior of an apartment at the end of the 14th or commencement of the 15th century. Frederick Litchfield

Daily Thoughts 12/9/2010

I spent a little time looking at the statistics generator from the Institute of Museums and Library Studies on funding.  I am looking at three other libraries with comparable population size.  In some ways we are not as well funded, in others it is comparable.

I also worked a little bit on the displays this morning.

Last night, the book, The Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1 came in for me to read.  It is 736 pages long including the index.  It is a big heavy book.  It includes a section of black and white photographs.

I took some time walking the book stacks spot checking for obvious loose material, things that were misplaced, damage to the shelves, damaged books, and similar things.  It is sometimes good to do this.

There is new signage to donate money to the library for bestsellers for the holidays.  This is satisfying to see.  I think it will help by showing we are trying to raise money by the city as well as generate some donations.

I also went to the Content Strategy Meetup holiday party at night.  It is going to take a bit to pull all of my thoughts together on this subject.  It was very informative.  It was a chance to give and take business cards.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Daily Thoughts 12/8/2010 (Graphic Novels Club, Advocacy)

Childe Hassam, Reading, 1888

Daily Thoughts 12/8/2010

Mount Vernon Heights Congregational Church on258 Columbus Avenue (btwn Millington and Elliot Streets) is hosting Vice-Chairman Lyndon Williams for a Public Meeting on the Fiscal Year 2011 County Budget in Mount Vernon on December 8, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. on 2011 proposed county budget.  This will affect our library as well.  The county partially funds Westchester Library System which is also going through cuts.  They just cut the driver for the bookmobile and the professional development manager both of which affect our ability to provide services to Mount Vernon.  There was talk earlier of possibly stopping the bookmobile service which goes to the aged homes in Mount Vernon.  The cuts also affect how Mount Vernon Public Library will receive computer training for its staff.  It is all tied together.

There is also the City Council meeting in city hall in Mount Vernon.  The library director, the head of the union, many members of the library staff, and library supporters will be there.  I hope that people will speak up in support of the library.  We are getting a lot of people who are asking about it.  They want to know if the rumors they are hearing are true. Some people have a hard time believing it.

Today, I talked to a vendor about getting reinforced shelving for oversize books.  I also did the graphic novels club.  It turns out well each time.  I have a few regular members as well as teenagers who come for the fantasy card games club that meets in the library.  I usually leave the graphic novels out for the cards club.  I checked out a graphic novel called The Amazing Screw On Head and Other Curious Objects  by Mike Mignola.  It is dark fantasy set in the 19th century.  It was on the Diamond Comic Distributors Bestseller list. I read it on the train home. The story, The Amazing Screw On Head won the Eisner award for comics in the short story category. The book is hard to describe; whimsical, very funny at points, not quite rational, a sense of being part of a toy, or in a dream.  I looked through it twice after I read the story.  Mike Mignola writes Hellboy. He has a very original style.

Even if you do not come to the library, all of the senators supporting New York as well as the assembly people are listed on the city website.  You can write them via email, or if you want to, look them up on Facebook and send them a brief positive message.
Web Bits 

Biblio-Social Objects,Copia, Mendeley, Librarything, and Mongoliad

Back Talk: We Need Big Tent Librarianship from Library Journal

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Living In A Constant Stream of Budget Cuts at Mount Vernon Public Library

Living In A Constant Stream of Budget Cuts at Mount Vernon Public Library

The proposed budget for the Mount Vernon Public Library of $3.5 million may layoff another 11 people effectively eliminating close to half of the staff. There are various scenarios here, but they are all drastic.  This could make the library not very functional. It would be a $500,000 cut from $4 million last year. There was also a recent $180,000 end of the year payment that came due.

On December 8, 2010 from 6:30-8:30 p.m., there is also a chat with the mayor @ Allen Memorial Church, 132 Crary Avenue. This is separate from the City Council. 

There is a special budget hearing on December 14, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at Mount Vernon city hall that is focused on the budget.

These are two critical events if you want a functioning library in Mount Vernon, New York. Things need to change to make things work.

We already went through a cut of $180,000 in staff.  Three people took retirement.  Six people were demoted and three people were terminated.  This was already a hard thing to face.

It would be terrible to see a place where I had worked for seven years be cut back so drastically.  One of the people who retired had worked for the Mount Vernon Public Library for fifty four years.  It is hard seeing things change so quickly.  Many of the other people have lived in the neighborhood and have worked in the building for over twenty years.

There is a statement that there is no money.  It is more a matter of what the priorities are on spending.  Different people have different views on libraries.  However, if you support libraries and live in Mount Vernon, New York you should come.  The Mount Vernon Public Library is also the central library for Westchester county.  If you are a librarian in Westchester County you might want to come as well.

This is not just about performance, since 2007, our circulation has increased 52%,  our foot traffic has increased 46%.  There is even more room for improvement.

The salaries of the staff are in line with most of the salaries of other libraries in Westchester county.  Librarians have masters degrees and masters degrees cost money.  It is not unskilled labor.

  The proposed budget which was  asked for of $4 million dollars  is very close to a library of similar size in Westchester, New Rochelle Public Library which has a $4.2 million dollar budget.  There has been improvement.

The question we are facing is not just about whether we are trying to do a good job.  It is fundamentally about how the city values the library.  There are messages like we only need people to check out books and use computers.  There is a lot more value in the building.

Daily Thoughts 12/7/2010 (First Break All The Rules)

[Mother Hubbard’s dog reading ... Digital ID: 1701272. New York Public Library

Mother Hubbard's Dog Reading

Daily Thoughts 12/7/2010

Today was a fairly steady day.  I did some weeding and some spot checking in the shelves.  I am looking at an S.O.S. poster for our libraries budget.

I also read some more of  First Break All The Rules on the train home from work.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Daily Thoughts 12/6/2010 (First Break All The Rules, Learning Express, Ebooks, Apps)

Photograph of a stentor (announcer) transmitting a program at the Budapest Telefon Hirmondó, which appeared in the "The Telephone Newspaper" by Thomas S. Denison, in the April, 1901 World's Work magazine. This image is in the public domain in the United States, because it was first published in the United States prior to January 1 1923.

Daily Thoughts 12/6/2010

This morning on the train to work, I read some of First Break All The Rules What The World's Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman.  I like the authors definition of talent on P.71
Every role, performed at excellence, requires talent, because every role requires certain recurring patterns of thought, feelings, or behavior: This means great nurses have talent.  So do great truck drivers and great teachers, great housekeepers, and great flight attendants.
We had training today for Learning Express which is a test practice database.  A lot of people use this to prepare for civil service tests like the post office and the police officer test.  We went over the Job and Career Accelerator section which helps people create resumes and assess their interests for jobs.  I also spent some time going over Word 2007 looking at the formatting functions.

The trainer told me that they were planning four layoffs where she was working.  This seems to be hitting everyone.  She told me about an article about how the states in the United States are going bankrupt.  This will make it even toughter for federal employees.

I checked the displays today and read several issues of Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews.  I wish we had money to order books this month, but money is tight.

I also did some shelf reading in the fiction section, a little bit of weeding in the oversize books, and placed a few movies and cds on hold for the book mobile.

I have been thinking a little bit about the structure of ebook sites.  There are two classification schemes that I have used for practical purposes, Book Industry Standards and Classification (BISAC) which is used by most bookstores and the Dewey Decimal Classification system.  The Dewey Decimal Classification system is antiquated. 

A lot of the internet bookstores have their own classification structure.  I like the way Strand Books classifies their books.  It is comprehensive and effective.
   I also like how Powell's books creates its classification
For an interesting way to look at books, try Zoomii   I think it would be an excellent way to layout an ebook store.

Web Bits

It looks like Google Books just launched with a social books community based around an Android Reader.  This is a fast emerging trend which many people will not be ready for.
An article titled An App Studio On Fulton Street

This is surprisingly important, most libraries are simply not ready to handle apps at all.  I am not even sure that many librarians even realize they exist.

On a more positive note, there is the Bluefire Reader App for Ipad which allows Ipad users to read Epub documents.  This would Ipad users to easily use library ebooks.

This is an interesting service.  The Mongoliad is a serial novel with chapters produced each month.  It is historical fantasy.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Daily Thoughts 12/5/2010 (Social Ebooks, book apps, First Break All The Rules)

Robert de Namur reading a book and receiving a messenger of the king of France, with Jean Froissart writing, at the beginning of the Chroniques of Froissart. British Library, Royal 14 D II f. 8, 15th Century

Daily Thoughts  12/5/2010

Earlier, I had learned about the Copia  which allows note taking and sharing of books. Now, I found out about another company, Book Glutton, which allows sharing and note taking between books  There is also a new application called Social Books for the Ipad which is similar A social network book app  via Twitter

While going through another site called Get Glue, I found that there was a books section which allowed people to share likes, reviews, and check ins for book covers.

I am very interested in finding out about similar companies who mix ebooks or ebook content with social networking features. Things like note taking, shared making of stories, etc. are also interesting.

The Copia went live in November, The Social Books App also went live in November, so this is a relatively new idea. I am looking for articles, companies, and anything else which points towards this.

This afternoon I read some of First, Break All The Rules What The World's Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman.  It has helped me make some decisions about what I plan to do in the near future.

I applied to the Coordinator of Acquisitions position for New York Public Library today.  I thought why not do it.  I am probably going to look for ten places where I know I would like to work and apply there.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Joann Sfar The Little Prince Adapted From The Book by Antoine De Saint-Exupery.

Joann Sfar The Little Prince Adapted From The Book by Antoine De Saint-Exupery.

This is a graphic novel adaptation of The Little Prince. Joann Sfar is french and has drawn over one hundred books. I especially loved his graphic novel, The Rabbi's Cat about a cat that eats a parrot and then can talk. The Little Prince  is translated from French into English by Sarah Ardizzone.

Joann Sfar's drawings are vibrant. They are very good at showing emotion. I like the flow of how he draws the characters in the story. The colorist Brigitte Findaklay uses lots of earth tones mixed with some very deep reds, sky blues, and bright greens. The characters have a lot more color than the backgrounds which makes them stand out.

The panel layout is two columns of three panels. This is very easy to follow. The lettering has a neat, small hand drawn quality to it. The characters have a slightly exaggerated faces with bigger eyes, ears and some fantastic qualities, especially for the flower people.

The Little Prince has a surprising amount of philosophical depth for a childrens story. Joann Sfar successfully translates the writing which is often very surreal into clear, beautiful pictures. 

I especially like the drawings of the Little Prince talking to flowers, the fox, and the snake.  Each character the prince talks to has a seemingly simple philosophical message.

This is worth reading, especially if you like fairytales or fables. The novel, The Little Prince is a childrens classic