Sunday, July 31, 2011

Daily Thoughts 7/31/2011

Jim Collins (James C. Collins), an American business consultant, author of "Built to Last" and "Good to Great". By Mangoed on Wikmedia, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

Daily Thoughts 7/31/2011

I have been reading more of The Successful Business Plan this morning and doing the exercises.  Two of the exercises are very interesting; they are creating an ideal customer first as a consumer customer, then as a business customer.  It is interesting because it helps give you a sense of what people actually do in the publishing and book business.

Some of the publications they might read are: Publishers Weekly, LIbrary Journal, School Library Journal, The Bookseller, Slate, The New Yorker, The Huffington Post (They have written a number of articles in support of libraries), The New York Times, Slate, Editor and Publisher, and the New York Review of Books for consumers.  For companies, I would add Fast Company, Inc., Crain's New York Business, Forbes, and Teleread.

Part of the profile includes websites that they might visit:   Mashable, Locusmag, Romantic Times, Library Journal Online, LIS News, Mediabistro, Galleycat, O'Relly, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Strand Books, Tools of Change For Publishing, Book Expo America, Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Meetup.  I would furthers add subsections of Linked In like (Ebooks, Ebook Readers,Digial Books, and Digital Content Publishing), Ebooks In Libraries, and Tools of Change for Publishing.  For Meetups, I might add Content Strategy New York City,  Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art,  Digital Book World New York City, and others.

This is not the first time that I have done this kind of exercise.  For a while, I sold some books on Ebay and ABE (Advanced Book Exchange) to see what it was like, I also used to pick books and comics from flea markets and garages sales when I had more time to trade a long time ago.   I still get the family discount from Rogers Time Machine in Manhattan. This is too time intensive now.  Also, I used to price sometimes for a small bookstore that no longer exists.  Several months ago, I was also working on the beginnings of an idea for a startup for about three months, but it did not work out.

I put the book Nonprofit Management 101 by Darien Rodriguez Hayman on hold.  Darien Rodriguez Hayman was the director for the Craigslist Foundation.  I saw the book listed on the Social Media For Nonprofits Conference New York which is on August 4, 2011.

I spent some time talking to a close friend today, David Grayson.  He is writing a column on The Haiku Foundation called Religio about religion and haiku which is rather interesting.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Daily Thoughts 7/30/2011

Portrait of Leo Tolstoy

Daily Thoughts 7/30/2011

I spent some more time reading The Successful Business Plan this morning.  I also took some notes and added to a document I have started writing which is slowly taking form.  I am not in an incredible hurry.  I might have something ready by the beginning of September. I also put the books Six Weeks Start Up and Successful Business Research by Rhonda Abrams on hold.  The writing is very easy to follow.

I also spent some time looking at social networks for books, specifically, Bookmesh and Red Lemonade which is a publishing network 

This afternoon, I looked through Publishers Weekly, Teleread, and Mashable for articles.  I also logged into our library network and took some time to look at EBSCO.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Daily Thoughts 7/29/2011

Riley, James Whitcomb: “An Old Sweetheart of Mine” (1902) Study, Chair, and Bookcase

Daily Thoughts 7/29/2011

Today, I checked the Twitter account, checked the book sale, and checked the displays.  I spent some time talking to our new sales representative from Better World Books.  I like to think of Better World Books as a more acceptable way of letting our discards go.  They take old library discards and sell them.  I also like to think of the book sale next to the circulation desk as a way to generate good will.

I read two copies of the New York Times Book Review today and checked the purchase alerts to see what people are placing on hold.  I also placed the book The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan on hold.  It was reviewed in the New York Times Book Review.

We also got some more donations today.  There were a few young adult books worth adding.  I also compiled the monthly statistics today.

On the way home, I read some more of The Successful Business Plan and did some basic exercises to outline questions about the type of business I would be interested in doing.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Daily Thoughts 7/28/2011

Claude Raguet Hirst, The Bookworm's Table, circa 1890

Daily Thoughts 7/28/2011

I am reading The Successful Business Plan by Rhonda Abrams, 4th Edition.  I usually read books on business in general, not specifics for plans.  The book is quite detailed with lots of exercises.

This morning, I checked the displays and updated the Twitter account.  There is going to be a reading from 1:30-4:30 p.m. in the community room for Kabiru Mohammed who has two books which he self-published Life's Passion, a book of poetry, and The Tragedy of Ethelia, a play.  Some libraries don't encourage self-published books.  We actually have some staff members who have self-published books. Also a number of the members of the Writers Networking Workshop have self-published their poetry books.  James Fair the host for the Writers Networking Workshop at the library edited an anthology of local poets called Blood Beats In Four Square Miles of Mount Vernon, New York poets. 

I am going to the Association of Community Based Artists of Westchester  tonight on 128 South Fourth Avenue tonight representing the library.  They are holding a Writers Networking Workshop there tonight from 6:00-8:00 p.m.  I will be bringing over some flyers and other material from the library to the workshop to discuss.  We had a Writers Networking Workshop at the library on July 21, 2011 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.  It is important to reach out to local arts organizations.

I spent some time in the computer lab today helping patrons do very basic things.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Daily Thoughts 7/27/2011

Emperor Nicholas I's Visit to the Public Library. 1853

Daily Thoughts 7/27/2011

This morning, I read a bit more of Mindwalks by Mary H. Frakes.  It is an interesting and contemplative book.
Today I updated the Twitter account, checked the displays, and printed up some more flyers for programs including the Womens Enterprise Development Center program on August 24 and 25 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Is Entrepreneurship Right For You?  I also printed up some more flyers for the Computer Class on Tuesday nights.

I am going to the Association of Community Based Arts of Westchester Writers Networking Event tomorrow from 6:00-8:00 p.m. as a representative of the library doing outreach.  This should be interesting.  I will be bringing flyers and discussing the relationship of the library to this particular group.

We are also doing more outreach.  We are going to be at the Farmers Market in Mount Vernon.  We spent some time picking out music to play at the farmers market on Thursday.  This was a little bit different.  We are also going to bring some books on cooking.  It was interesting talking about this.

Web Bits

Ebooks Accelerate Paperback Publishers Release Dates

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Daily Thoughts 7/26/2011

Cover art by Frank E. Schoonover from The Warlord of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1919.

Daily Thoughts 7/26/2011 

Last night, I finished reading Germline by T.C. McCarthy.  It is military science fiction with some very interesting twists and turns and a unique setting. 

This morning, I updated the Twitter account, checked the displays, and contacted some people about programs.  I am going to the Association of Community Based Arts of Westchester Writers Networking Workshop on Thursday night.  It should be interesting to see how it is done outside of the library setting.  I have not been to the Association of Community Based Arts of Westchester before.

People seem to be interested in extending the computer class which is tonight.  We are getting good attendance so far.

I also spent some more time thinking about the web site survey and what it means.

Last night, I went to Developing Entrepreneurial Ideas at the the General Assembly which is an entrepreneurial training space.  I enjoyed the session very much.   The teacher, William Reinisch was was quite interesting.  It was the first time I have taken this kind of class.  I have visited a number of entrepreneurial spaces like New Work City and gone to various Meetups, but this was quite different.  General Assembly just opened this year in January of 2011.  They had a business card and a website, but no brochures.  The space itself has a very wide open feel to it which is quite comfortable.

On the way home, I read a bit of the book Mindwalks by Mary H. Frakes.  It is a series of short one to two page statements about walking meditation which is a form of active meditation different than sitting meditation.  It is more focused on paying attention to your outward surroundings, breathing while moving, and being aware of your body in motion than sitting meditation.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Daily Thoughts 7/25/2011

Charles Antoine Coypel, Portrairt of Moliere, 1730

Daily Thoughts 7/25/2011

Right now, I am reading Germline by T.C.  McCarthy which is military science fiction.

This evening, I am taking a class on Entrepreneurship; specifically on ideas and entrepreneurship.  I am looking forward to it.  I have had some ideas regarding social books, social reading and social publishing for quite a while.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Curation Nation How To Win In A World Where Consumers Are Creators by Steven Rosenbaum

Curation Nation Why The Future of Content Is Context How To Win In A World Where Consumers Are Creators by Steven Rosenbaum

Steven Rosenabum is describing a major shift in how media is being delivered.  Consumers of media are increasingly becoming prosumers and creators of their own content.  People create a variety of sites based on their interests from cooking to baseball.  Steven Rosenbaum runs which aggregates video content on the web so many of his ideas come from his direct business experience.

A prosumer is a consumer who proactively chooses what and how they will consume.  A good example of a prosumer might be someone who buys green products, or only buys from the Better Business Bureau.  Increasingly prosumers are becoming creators of their own content based on what they are interested in. 

The tools of content creation are becoming cheaper and easier to get access to.  Social tools like Twitter, Youtube, blogs, podcasts, and other social media tools are easy to get access to.  It is not just the software and web which is becoming cheaper, people now can easily afford smart phones, laptops, and inexpensive video recorders.  People can use these tools to spread their ideas and opinions.

The difference between this book and other books is that Steven Rosenbaum takes it one step further.  He describes how to curate content, picking out and organizing materials for blogs and websites.  He even describes content strategy citing Kristina Halvorson's book Content Strategy.

Then Steven Rosenabaum talks about how curation scales with aggregation mixed with selective content on websites like The Huffington Post, Blog Her, and Linked In. This creates a larger picture of curation both on the small individual level and on the larger scale of big commercial websites.

None of the material is particularly new.  However, how it is presented is new. This is a solid overview of how to organize social media tools.  It pulls many disparate threads together to create a picture of a strategy to manage and organize social content. The book can be a bit diffuse at times.  This book would be useful for people interested in new media.

Daily Thoughts 7/24/2011

"Orphans" (oil on canvas - Tate Gallery, London), 1885

Daily Thoughts 7/24/2011

Gail Carriger is coming out with a new book in March of 2012, Timeless which should be interesting.  Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord won the Mythopoeic Award in July of 2011.  It is well worth reading.

I updated my selected links page with a few sites including Fictionaut, Urban Librarians Unite, Ernest Cline, and Feedbooks.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Daily Thoughts 7/23/2011

Langston Hughes

Daily Thoughts 7/23/2011

Today I watched Def Poetry Season 2.  It was a series of Spoken Word Poets.  Mos Def was the host.  Russell Simmons was the producer.  The show was originally on HBO.  I liked seeing Maggie Estep and Bassey Ikpi.  The other poets were not as interesting.  It was interesting seeing what Spoken Word was about for a popular audience.  I found it a bit politically charged and angry.  It was still fun to watch.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Daily Thoughts 7/22/2011

Daniel Webster, 1782-1852 Full lgth., standing, facing left; left hand on books on table. 

Daily Thoughts 7/22/2011

This morning, I checked the displays and updated the Twitter account.  I also added 18 more ebooks to the Ereaders from Sony.  I rather like the site because it has cover illustrations that are decent for free material.

I also signed up for which is a video tutorial company for computer training.  The Westchester Library System is making this available to staff.

On the train home, I worked on two poems focused on a color for August 18, 2011.  It is our writing exercise for the next Writers Networking Event at the library from 6:00-8:00 p.m. It is fairly easy to write on a notepad on the train.  There is another Writers Networking Event at the Association of Community Based Arts of Westchester from 6:00-8:00 p.m. on July 28, 2011.  I am thinking about going.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Daily Thoughts 7/21/2011

Photo of American Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson, seated in a chair and reading a newspaper.
Daily Thoughts 7/21/2011

We had our Adult Summer Reading Book Chat.  I discused The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.  Two other books thate were discussed were The Believing Brain and To The End of the Land.

This morning, I updated the Twitter account, checked the displays and checked the ereference.  There were some queries about the ereaders in the ereference.

We are having the Writers Networking Event from 6:00-8:00 p.m.  I am looking forward to reading some poetry and hearing some poetry.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Daily Thoughts 7/20/2011

Print shows the poet Henjō with two other women reading poetry.
Date Created/Published: [between 1795 and 1801, printed later]

Daily Thoughts 7/20/2011

This morning, I read some more of Curation Nation.  The author is describing how people are beginning to switch from being only consumers to being prosumers which are consumers which proactive choices about what they will buy.  He also is describing how many consumers are also beginning to produce material using blogs and other mediums.

Today, I checked the Twitter account, looked over the displays, checked the donations, and checked the ereference in the morning.  I also took some time to look through the Local History room drawers on the library.  There are quite a few interesting images of the Bookmobile from the 1920s and other pictures which are from the library.

I did my tour with the Red Hatters.  It was a little different than the standard library tour because they had special questions about the collection like what the genealogy and black history resources are as well as about the art and historical objects were throughout the building. For example, they asked about the United States flag from the Citizens of Mount Vernon presented to the 4th Battalion, 8th Coast Artillery, N.Y.G. presented on July 3, 1919 in the library.

Web Bits

10 Unconventional Bookstores for Your Browsing Pleasure

Content Farm Cartoon. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Daily Thoughts 7/19/2011

Lesser, Ury, Im Café Bauer, 1887

Daily Thoughts 7/19/2011

I read a bit more of Curation Nation this morning.  The author is talking about how it is important to keep close tabs on customers because anyone can create complaints then publicize them widely using the internet.

This morning, I made several telephone calls to remind people about programs, specifically the Computer Class tonight and a Writers Networking Event on Thursday.  I also updated the Twitter account and checked the displays.

I also visited the local history room to look up information on our library.  We were started in 1854 as a school library with 200 books which could be taken out by the adult community.  The current building was built as a Carnegie Library in 1904.  I learned we originally circulated sculptures, toys, and pictures in addition to books.  I rather like the idea of circulating sculptures.

I am prepping for a tour I do tomorrow for the Red Hatters which is a womens society.  Mainly I am going over the art in the buiilding including the murals in the Doric Hall entranceway.  On one side is the Ruins of the Parthenon and on the other side I think it is the ruins of Vesuvius done by Edward Gay in 1924.  We also have copies of the Unicorn Tapestry which is in the Cluny Museum in Paris as murals in the rotunda where we show art.  These were done by Louise Brann.  There is also a mosaic glass ceiling in the Doric Hall done by Alfred H. Freeman.  It looks like by Tiffany glass, but is not.

I also spent some time going through the clipping files looking up some of the local people that they were interested in.  We have extensive clipping files in the Local History room as well as lots of old photographs.  They probably should be digitized and organized a little better.  It was interesting looking at the old library bookmobile photographs from the 1920s.

On the way home, I read some more of Curation Nation.  It reminded me of how little time I spend in front of video camera.  I should probably get a smart phone and a video camera, but they cost a decent amount of money.      

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

This is a literary novel.  The writing is very well crafted.  The story focuses on Victoria Jones, a foster child who has just turned eighteen and been emancipated.  Part of the authors goal in writing this novel is to expose the abusive nature of the foster care systems in the United States.  At times, the novel can be quite difficult to read.  There is a lot of tension in the story.

A major theme in the novel is the Victorian language of flowers, which is a language of emotion expressed through flowers. The author includes an addendum at the end of the book called Victoria's Dictionary of Flowers.  Different flowers express different emotions in the book.  The flowers add color, tone, and feeling to the writing.  The writing uses all five senses.

The action and scenes also take place in very green spaces; a vineyard, a flower market, a flower shop, a floral greenhouse, and a park are some of the settings.  This makes the book very alive.  There is also some sex and quite a bit of writing about the meaning of love.

The characters have an edge to them.  They wound each other emotionally and have a creative edge.  Victoria Jones as she progresses through the novel creates a photographic dictionary of flowers, she selects flowers for weddings, dates, and lovers.  She relates to people in her life with plants.  It is a life at points which is on the edge of homelessness and madness.

The writing is both strong and beautiful.  It is the authors first novel. There is an interview in the back of the book.  The novel is coming out on August 23, 2011.  This was an advanced reading copy sent to me by Library Journal.

Daily Thoughts 7/18/2011

A Writer Trimming his Pen, Jan Ekels

Daily Thoughts 7/18/2011

I finished reading On Leadership today which is part of Harvard Business Review's 10 Must Reads series.  A lot of it was about self management and self-awareness.  It basically says unless you have yourself organized you won't be able to organize other people.  I also started reading Curation Nation by Steven Rosenbaum.  I like the idea that we are all curators of everything we put online.

Today, we finished a five foot banner in Microsoft Publishers for the CD Music collection.  I checked the Twitter account and the displays as well.

Our Sony representative came by and opened the display for the Sony Readers.  We now have three circulating sony PRS-350 ereaders.  These are the first circulating cataloged ereaders in Westchester county.  One of them has already gone out five times on the new record for the PRS-350.  The checkout is for two hours at a time.  People are coming and using them to find out how an ereader works or want to see how the Sony E-reader is different from the Kindle or Nook.  We have a user agreement for the ereaders.  We got the Sony grant for the three free ereaders.  They also sent us a lot of promotional material.

We are not using Overdrive to fill the ereaders.  Right now, we have started by downloading 108 free books from the Baen Free Library, Project Gutenberg, and other sites.  We will be adding more free ebooks slowly and may eventually start purchasing books for the ereaders.

I read some more of Curation Nation.  The author is specifically talking about curating content on the web.  This means organizaing and selecting specialty information for websites.  This can range from cooking sites to books.  The author describes how The Huffington Post rose to prominence by aggregating content from a variety of sources as well including their own content editors.  

Daily Thoughts 7/17/2011

The Tycoons Messengers Reading the Sentence by J.M.W. Silver Photo from "Sketches of Japanese Manners and Customs", by J. M. W. Silver, Illustrated by Native Drawings, Reproduced in Fac-simile by Means of Chromo-lithography, published in London in 1867

Daily Thoughts 7/17/2011

I spent some more time on Google+. The service is currently restricted to 18+ in age and is in beta test.  I am enjoying it in some ways.  It takes a little bit of time to start using these things correctly.

I read some more of On Leadership. I am learning that a lot of the articles focus on self understanding in the context of work.  They also talk about how it is important to think strategically about what you are doing.

Web Bits

Libraries Torn as Public Need Soars, Public Funds Tighten

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Daily Thoughts 7/16/2011

Pierre Auguste Renoir, Gabrielle Lisant, 1906

Daily Thoughts 7/16/2011

I finished reading Out of the Dark by David Weber. It was light entertainment.  I can't really recommend or not recommend it.  If you like military science fiction, you might like it.  It could have been more convincing.  I thought the vampire element was unnecessary.

I am trying out Google+, it feels a bit like Facebook without all the games.  I can't stand the games on Facebook. I'm just not a Farmville or Diner Dash type of person.  This is a big plus for me.  I went through and invited people from my Linked In and Facebook accounts.  There are already some things that I see that are better than Facebook.

Today, I watched Scott Pilgrim versus the World on dvd.  It is also a six book manga series from Canada which is quite popular.  I enjoyed it a lot.  One of the reasons that I liked the film so much is that the main character had some very flawed qualities.  I also liked how the fights in the movie were a mix of battle of the bands and kung fu video game style fights.  It is a bit different.  To get the girl of his dreams, Scott Pilgrim must battle seven of her evil ex lovers.  It was very silly.   It has an indie rock feel to it.  Scott Pilgrim is in a band called sex bob omb.  The manga seriew won the Harvey and Eisner awards.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Daily Thoughts 7/15/2011

Scholarly Tools, A cobweb drapes a scholar's tools in what appears to be an abandoned desk. A vintage globe, telescope, books, pen and ink sit on a desk in this great black and white household image.1852

Daily Thoughts 7/15/2011

This morning, I read some of the book, Out of the Dark by David Weber.  It is an alien invasion story.

I also spent some time cleaning my desk and organizing files.  It has been a while.  I brought up some promotional material from Learning Express and Playaway for patrons to take.  I also updated the Twitter account, checked the displays and got ready for an ordering meeting this afternoon.

This afternoon, I worked on the design for some new signs for the cd collection.  I also spent some more time gathering information on test books to order from the central library district money.

On the way home, I read more of Out of the Dark. The aliens are pack creatures and have a hard time understanding humans.  They also can bombard human civilization from orbit, but have poor ground forces.  It makes for an interesting story.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Daily Thoughts 7/13/2011

Reading woman, by Albert Edelfelt, 1885

Daily Thoughts 7/13/2011

This morning, I finished reading The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.  The book is coming out in August.  The main character was a foster child.  This makes for a sad and challenging story.

Today, I checked the displays, updated the Twitter account, and checked the gift books.  Right now, I am working on an order for civil service books.  I took some time to look through the human resources section of and also read the The Chief Civil Service Leader The Civil Service Employees Weekly newspaper. The Chief lists many of the open positions around New York City as well as things which are happening around the state with civil service employees.

I put Gail Carriger's book Heartless on hold.  I am also looking forward to reading Machine Man by Max Barry.  Max Barry is known for creating the online bulletin board game, Nationstates.  The book Microstyle: the Art of Writing Little by Christopher Johnson also looks quite interesting.

There is a new book from ABC-CLIO called Listening to the Customer by Peter Hernon and Joseph R. Matthews which is about customer feedback in libraries which looks very interesting.

Daily Thoughts 7/14/2011

[Group of young women reading in library of normal school, Washington, D.C.]
Date Created/Published: [1899]

Daily Thoughts 7/14/2011

I read a bit more of On Leadership on the train to work.

This morning, I checked the Twitter account, got a donation of books, checked the displays, and checked the Ereference.  There were a number of interesting donations; Catullus the Complete Poems, The Life of Pi by Yan Martel, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, and Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson were a few of the books worth adding to the collection.

I received an invitation to Google+ in my email this morning.  Hopefully, it should be interesting.

We added a set of eight more pictures to our Historic Library Images, Adult Circulation Through Time...

We have two programs.  One is a Wills Workshop where wills are being discussed.  We are also opening the computer lab on Thursdays from 2-4 p.m. to help with the overflow from the cybercorner.  People seem to mainly be doing job search online.

The books, Curation Nation Why The Future of Content Is Context How To Win In a World Where Consumers Are Curators by Steven Rosenbaum came in for me to read.  This is a book on content.   Also the science fiction book, Out of the Dark by David Weber came in for me to read.  It is a book about alien invasion of earth.

Web Bits

What skills does a Digital Archivist or Librarian Need?

The 5 Most Stolen Books by Gabe Habash

Monday, July 11, 2011

Daily Thoughts 7/12/2011

The Reading Room, 1843, Johann Peter Hansclever, Oil On Canvas

Daily Thoughts 7/12/2011

On the way to work, I tried starting Esmerald Santiago, Conquistadora, but I found the book told the story more than it showed they story making for dense reading.  I am going to try another book.  I read the chapter, What Makes an Effective Executive by Peter Drucker in On Leadership.  Part of his idea is that an effective executive delegates well and runs excellent meetings.  Peter Drucker wrote the book, The Effective Executive.

This morning I checked the Twitter account, checked email reference, looked over the displays, and printed up some batches of flyers and bookmarks.  We make bookmarks using cardstock on a variety of different subjects; inspirational fiction, graphic novels, writing books, poetry, and many other subjects.  We are having our second session for beginning computers this evening at 6:00 p.m.

I am going to read The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.  It is another advanced reading copy provided by Library Journal.  The language of flowers refers to an English Victorian idea that flowers each have different meanings. The book is coming out in August of 2011.

I am enjoying reading The Language of Flowers.  The imagery of flowers juxtaposed against emotions makes for a very strong story.  The writing is beautiful.

Daily Thoughts 7/11/2011

The Four Philosophers, Peter Paul Rubens, Between 1611 and 1612

Daily Thoughts 7/11/2011

I read some more of On Strategy on the way to work.  The chapter I am reading now is called Using The Balanced Scorecard as a Strategic Management System by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton.  The writing is the trade language of management.  It has a lot of euphemisms, big words, and power statements.  It is the kind of language which a corporate board or CEO uses.

This morning I checked the reference email, Twitter account, made sure the displays were in order and checked some boxes of donated books.  It was a solid morning.  I also sent a list of professional development oriented publishers to a colleague; Amacom, Jist Works, Career Books, Impact Publishing, Ten Speed Press, Adams Media, and McGraw Hill are a few of the publishers.

I put the book, Out of the Dark by David Weber on hold.  Also, the book, Conquistadora by Esmeralda Santiago came in for me to read.  Esmeralda Santiago wrote an autiobiography called When I Was a Puerto Rican which is on the high school assignment lists.  I had to read it when I was starting my career in Brooklyn Public Library as part of a list of books to read as new librarians.

In the afternoon, I worked on a display for the Adult Summer Reading program.  I focused on mainly adding trade paperback books to the display of foreign authors; Paulo Coelho, Kenzaburo Oe,  some Europa edition trade paperbacks, and a few others.  The theme for Adult Summer Reading this year is Novel Destinations.

I finished reading On Strategy, now I am starting the book Harvard Business Reviews 10 Must Reads on Leadership.  I plan on ordering Harvard Business Review's 10 Must Reads on Managing Yourself
The series is very well done.  I picked up several sample copies of the series at Book Expo America this year.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

How The Hippies Saved Physics, Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival by David Kaiser

How The Hippies Saved Physics, Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival by David Kaiser

David Kaiser is a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  This book is a history of science book.  It is also a popular science book. The book describes how quantum physics which many considered to be fringe science became accepted science.  It is a very strange, eccentric, and interesting story.

The book focuses on a group called the Fundamental Fysiks Group which held sessions at the University of California Berkeley.  Berkeley California is known for its eccentricity and counterculture.  The Fundamental Fysiks Group was instrumental in making quantum mechanics acceptable science.

The cast of characters in this book is very different; Jack Sarfatti, Paul Sirag, and Nick Herbert are the central people covered.  There is also quite a bit in the early chapters on Werner Heisenberg, Albert Einstein, and Erwin Schrodinger.  There are also numerous scientists spread throughout the book including Richard Feynman and Fritjof Capra who wrote The Dancing Wu Li Masters.

The story is very eccentric and outright strange to the point where it is funny.  There are very surprising sources of funding for the experiments which helped establish quantum physics.  There is the Esalen institute a New Age retreat in California, Werner Erhard and Est who were part of the human potential movement,  Henry Dakin the philanthropist and supporter of paranormal research, and the CIA with its remote viewing experiments.

The experiments themselves are very interesting to read about. They prove things like quantum encryption, nonlocality, and entanglement.  Some experiments do not succeed like faster than light communication.

This is a fascinating history about a very unusual topic which most people have a difficult time understanding.  It shows a process where fringe science is made into accepted science.

The book is very easy to read.  It mostly focuses on the people behind the story, not the physics.  The writing is very clear. There is an index, extensive notes, and bibliography.  There are numerous black and white photographs and easy to understand diagrams.  I found it to be a delightful book to read.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

This is a dystopian novel set in the year 2044.  You could also call it a quest novel, a coming of age novel, or near future science fiction.  It melds many different themes into a unique, funny, and exciting story.  The one common theme that seems to unite all of it is geek culture, video games, and the 1980s.

Wade Watts the main character, is a geeky kid who spends most of his time in the virtual world of OASIS.  Virtual reality in this setting is extremely realistic.  Wade Watts even goes to school in the virtual world.  The virtual world he escapes into is infinitely better than his horrific, crowded, dangerous trailer park existence in the real world. The theme of bits versus atoms pervades this book.  In the real world, even virtual money is worth more than most national currencies.

The story is centered around a contest to gain control of the world wide virtual world called OASIS.  To do this, the entrants must solves riddles that were part of the creator of the virtual world's childhood.  The childhood is a kind of super fanboy and geek festival filled with 1980s references; everything from Duran Duran to Star Trek to the video game Joust.  It is very funny.  It reminds me a bit of my own childhood.

The book adds in many tropes: a love interest, an evil corporation, and plenty of action.  It moves very quickly from scene to scene and makes you want to find out what happens next.  The book made me laugh and smile while I was reading it.  It is lot of fun especially if you are nostalgic about the 1980s, liked roleplaying games, video games, comics, and listened to rock music.

Ernest Cline has a website  .  The book Ready Player One is coming out in August of 2011.  I was reading an advanced reading copy sent to me by Library Journal   I think this book will cross reading genres and be appealing to a wide audience.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Daily Thoughts 7/9/2011

The Jack London Writing Tablet, "Old Buck" by Arthur Putnam. Photo by Brianne Cross, 1903

Daily Thoughts 7/9/2011

I tried starting to read The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn.  This book would be something you were assigned to read in college.   It is very dry and academic.  I'll probably go on to read a different book.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Daily Thoughts 7/8/2011

Exilium Melancholiae, painting by Bartolomeus Hopfer, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Strasbourg, After 1643

Daily Thoughts 7/8/2011

On the train to work, I read a little more of Child Wonder.  The main character Finn is on vacation at the beach.  I also read a little bit more of On Strategy.  The authors are writing about Blue Ocean Strategy which is also a book by W. Chan Kim.

This morning, I updated the Twitter account, checked the displays, checked the ereference, and checked the gift books. I usually mostly add classics and assignment titles for the teenagers. There were copies of Death On The Nile, Oliver Twist, The Iliad, Dracula, and a few other titles.  I also sent in the bi-monthly report for my department.

I was reading Publishers Weekly and came across an interesting book.  It was by Dan Fante who is the son John Fante, the writer.  John Fante corresponded with the poet and writer Charles Bukowski.  I have read many of  John Fante's and Charles Bukowski's books.  The book is Fante: A Family's Legacy of Writing, Drinking and Surviving: A Memoir by Dan Fante.  It will be coming out in September.

On the way home, I finished reading Child Wonder a novel by Roy Jacobsen.  It is a very sad novel about growing up.  

I also read #1-4 of  Stan Lee Presents Conan The Barbarian by Roy Thomas and Barry Smith full color paperback comics based on Robert E.Howard's character.  These were published by Marvel in 1978.  They are the classic barbarian with a sword comics.  I especialy like Roy Thomas's editorial style.  The comics have lots of action, blood, and gore.  They would not fit well with todays fantasy writers.

Web Bits

The Ipad Could Revolutionize The Comics Biz or Destroy It.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Daily Thoughts 7/7/2011

 Photograph of Robert Louis Stevenson with King Kalakaua in his boathouse, February 3, 1889

Daily Thoughts 7/7/2011

Last night, I finished reading Ready Player One by Ernest Kline.  It is an immensely enjoyable novel especially if you like games and geeky things.  This morning, I started reading an advanced reading copy of Child Wonder by Roy Jacobsen.  It is a novel told from a child's perspective on the adult world.  The novel is a Norwegian novel.  The english translation will be released in October of 2011.  I tried to start reading Rule 334 by Charles Stross, but found some elements of the novel to be distasteful and a bit kinky.

This morning, I checked the Twitter account, checked the reference email, and went and got some snacks for the book chat this afternoon, and checked the displays.

The book chat went well.  It is part of the Adult Sumer Reading program. We did a round robin where people discussed the different books that they were reading during the summer.  Three books that were especially intereseting to me were Bloodlands Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder, another was Curation Nation How To Win In A World Where Consumers are Creators by Steven Rosenbaum, and a third was Bronx Primitive by Kate Simon.

The book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn came in for me to read.  I am enjoying reading Child Wonder by Roy Jacobsen.  Childhood is different enough in Oslo, Norway to make things have that slight otherness which can be captivating as compared to the United States.  The story is quite sad.

Web Bits

This is the meeting of the Writers Networking Workshop at ACBAW, on the fourth Thursday of each month.  They are also meeeting on the third Thursday of each month at the Mount Vernon Public Library.!/photo.php?fbid=233075180051414&set=a.233075173384748.82549.232786433413622&type=1&theater

Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Goes Digital, Searchable and Free

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Daily Thoughts 7/6/2011

English: A Love Story, painting, oil on canvas, 101.8 x 152.7 cm, by E. Phillips Fox,

Daily Thoughts 7/6/2011

This morning, I read some more of Ernest Cline, Ready Player One.  The book is going to be released in August.  It has a wonderful mix of 1980s cliches and pop culture; everything from Gary Gygax to Duran Duran is mixed in a very ironic manner.  I also read a little more of On Strategy.  The article I am reading now is titled, Reinventing Your Business Model by Mark W. Johnson, Clayton M. Christensen, and Henning Kagerman.  The first model they discuss is when Apple computers business model for the Ipod.

Today was another quiet steady day.  I checked the displays, updated the Twitter account, and designed the flyer for the End of Summer Reading Tea for the Adult Summer Reading Program.  I also put together a display for the Novel Destinations theme from the Adult Summer Reading package.  I picked out some novels by international authors like Guntner Grass, Salman Rushdie, Isabel Allende, Chinua Achebe, V.S. Naipaul, and others.

Daily Thoughts 7/5/2011

Caricature of George Louis Palmella Busson du Maurier (1834-1896). Caption read "Trilby".

Daily Thoughts 7/5/2011

Today has been another quiet day.  I read some more of On Strategy on the train to work.  I also checked the displays, updated the Twitter account, and checked the book displays.

I also spent some time looking through Forecast from Baker and Taylor to look for new titles which we should purchase.  The book Rule 34 by Charles Stross came in for me to read.  I always have more to read than I can possibly read.

I started writing the bimonthly report today which is due on July 7.  Things are very quiet.

We have our first Beginning Computer Class tonight in the computer lab.  The instructor came by at one o'clock to check the lab to make sure everything was working.

I read some more of On Strategy on the way home.  I finished the chapter called Building Your Company's Vision by James C. Collins and Jerry L. Porras.  I rather liked the section in this chapter on BHAG's Big Hairy Audacious Goals.  I also started reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.  A major theme in this book is how the world of bits represented by computers and entertainment is becoming increasingly more palatable than the world of atoms represented by overpopulated, messy cities. The concept of bits versus atoms is often talked about in terms of the digital economy.

Web Bits

The Rising Cost of At Home Tech

I thought this was some interesting commentary on the cost of digital devices.  They are not cheap and they do increase the divide between those who have them and those who don't.

Blogger and Picasa are Going to Be Rebranded by Google

Monday, July 4, 2011

Daily Thoughts 7/4/2011

Aristotle depicted by Raphael, holding his Ethics: detail from the Vatican fresco The School of Athens, 1510 – 1511

Daily Thoughts 7/4/2011

I relaxed yesterday.  Today I finished reading How Hippies Saved Physics. It was an enjoyable, but odd book. The last few chapters I read were about experiments in quantum physics and faster than light communication as well as a bit on quantum cryptography which supposedly makes messages undecipherable without special codes.  There is an end chapter about how counterculture affects science.  David Kaiser reminds us that the computer revolution was at least partially fueled by the Whole Earth Catalog.

I started reading the second article in On Strategy.  It is The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy, another article by Michael Porter who write extensively on competitition.

I spent quite a bit of time reading this weekend.

Web Bits

Publishers and the Internet A Changing Role

Radical Changes: As We Reinvent Ourselves, are We Losing Our Leaders? by Margaret Tice

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Daily Thoughts 7/2/2011

Gary Zukav author of The Dancing Wu Li Masters, An Overview of the New Physics, Taken 24 December 2009 by Christopher Briscoe

Daily Thoughts 7/2/2011

I have been reading more of How The Hippies Saved Physics.  The book cites many popular science titles like The Dancing Wu Li Masters by Gary Zukav, and The Tao of Physics by Fritzjof Capra.  Popular physics titles often popularize ideas that are on the fringes of science.

In a more modern sense Michio Kaku writes popular science books which include many new ideas from science. Also Stephen Hawking writes some excellent popular science titles.  These kind of titles bring new ideas to the majority often without the filter of the scientific community.

I enjoy reading these kinds of titles.  There many references to books that I would like to read in How the Hippies Saved Physics.  For example, I placed the book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn on hold.

I read a little bit from the book On Strategy. The first article from the Harvard Business Review is What Is Strategy by Michael Porter who has written extensively on the concept of competitive intelligence.

Web Bits

Council, Bloomberg Keep New York City Library Funding Nearly Flat

Cory Doctorow-- No Endorsement --An article on 3D printed objects.

This points the way to some very interesting ideas.  I can see the book changing to include print on demand objects like metal bookmarks, clasps for hardcovers, and other book related objects.