Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/30/2011

Kyōka hassen sono ni. Print shows three men and a woman (poets); one man is standing behind a low screen, reading; another is sitting on the floor in front of the screen, feeding a turtle from a bowl; the third man and the woman are standing on the left.   Date Created/Published: [between 1818 and 1824] 

Daily Thoughts 11/30/2011

I updated the Twitter and Facebook accounts for the library this morning.

The library has the Graphic Novels Club today .  I am bringing in a few things to show including The First Kingdom, an issue of Star Reach, Parsifal illustrated by P. Craig Russell, and a few other ground level comics.  There is also some material from New York Comic Con which I plan on showing.  The club runs from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. today.

We had the Computer Lab for Academic Use today between 2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.  I also spent some time learning how to modify the website calendar.

I read some more of Survival of the Beautiful.  There is a lot on the aesthetics of birds focusing on plumage, nest building, and song.  The author focuses a lot on the bowerbird, nightingale, bird of paradise, and peacock.

This afternoon, I spent a little more time getting the graphic novel club material ready.  I also worked a bit with a colleague on a press release announcing the amnesty for lost items from the Mount Vernon Public Library which runs from November 22, 2011 to January 31, 2012.  Hopefully, we should get quite a bit of our material back.  It is now up in the Mount Vernon Inquirer.

In addition, I printed a variety of flyers for different events coming up in December.

I put the book, Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman on hold.  It is on the 10 Best Books of 2011 from the New York Times.

I also put the graphin novel Zahra's Paradise by Amir (text) and Khalil (illus.) on hold.  It is a story set in the disputed 2009 election in Iran.

Web Bits

Occupy Wall Street Library

Pathetic: Grown Men Cry Over Occupy Wall Street Library Demolition
A little note on how some of the world sees this.

Lessons from the Occupy Wall Street Library

Once I Understood, the "Occupy" Movement, I Saw How it Fits the Common Core

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/29/2011

Portrait of Maria Adelaide of France in Turkish-style clothes, 1753, Jeanne Etienne Liotard

Daily Thoughts 11/29/2011

I checked the displays this afternoon and updated the Twitter and Facebook accounts this morning.  I also picked out some graphic novels for the Graphic Novels Club tomorrow which is on September 30, 2011 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 pm. 

We have two sessions the Intermediate Computer Class tonight; one from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and another from 6:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. in the Computer lab.  I spent a few minutes making sure the lab was set up for tonight.

Sometimes Blogger does inexplicable things.  I am not sure why there are blue lines on my picture.  I got rid of them this morning.  They were some anomalous html code.

On the way home, I read some more of Survival of the Beautiful.  I am learning that this is a radical scientific argument which is not generally accepted.  The author, David Rothenberg is bringing the idea that there is an aesthetic sense in nature which is part of natural selection to the public.  He is taking his argument outside of the scientific community to gather support from the public.  This book has a similar feel in a way to The Tao of Physics which Gary Zukav used to popularize quantum physics which was a radical idea at the time the book was published.

I also started reading And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut A Life which I am not yet convinced is on target.  The author, Charles J. Shields, did not have permission from the Vonnegut family to use Vonnegut's letters.

Web Bits

Occupy Wall Street Library Releases Writing Prompt
This has a link to the poetry anthology from Occupy Wall Street.

The Occupy London library spreads its wings.

Occupy Toronto Encampment Ends Peacefully-- 11/23/2011
There is something mildly odd about there being a library yurt.  It is rather hard to imagine.  At least in this instance the protest library was removed intact.

A People's Digital Library and Prefigurative Politics

One of the thing I am not doing is creating any kind of real archive or bookmark list.  This is more of a catch as catch can list.  It is free form.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/28/2011

 William Morris Age 53, Taken by Frederic Hollyer

Daily Thoughts 11/28/2011

This morning I updated the library Twitter and Facebook accounts.  I also took an hour course from called Effective Email Marketing Strategies.  The most useful part was on how to create good subject lines for email.

I have been reading a little bit more of Survival of the Beautiful. David Rothenberg is arguing that there is a close tie between art, natural history, and science.  He tells us that there are mathematical and physical forms that are more likely to occur in nature which are aesthetically pleasing.

I also spent some time watching Encounters at the End of the World a movie produced by Werner Herzog.  It is a movie about Antarctica.  I very much enjoyed watching the divers swimming under the Antarctic ice.  It had a very otherworldly quality.

Web Bits

What is Needed to Educate Future Digital Librarians 

"A Bit Amish" Comics Legend Alan Moore Goes Online To Honor Harvey Pekar

I rather like the writing of both Harvey Pekar and Alan Moore.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/27/2011

A Man Reading by Thomas Sword Good, 1827

Daily Thoughts 11/27/2011

I put the book Free ride : how digital parasites are destroying the culture business, and how the culture business can fight back by Robert Levine on hold.  

This afternoon, I read some of Survival of the Beautiful, Art, Science, and Evolution by David Rothenberg.  David Rothenberg is arguing that is there an adaptive aesthetic sense among animals.  He is arguing about how things like beauty, camouflage, and complex birdsong have an adaptive advantage outside of sexual selection or natural selection.  It is something different than I usually read about.

Web Bits

10 Recommendations on Green Ebooks for Cyber Monday

Two Libraries at NASA Center to Close and Go All Electronic
There is a definite truth to this.  Technical information is increasingly moving online.  This is predictive.

Occupy Wall Street Library

Biblioteca Acampada del Sol (In Madrid)

Star Books: Occupy Londons Protest Inspires Improvised Library

The Occupy Archive of photographs and other things.

Visiting the Occupy DC Library  11/14/2011 

Much of this comes across as symbolic and utopian to me.  It comes across as a mix of ideas that are not quite coherent but very intriguing. It has an odd feeling of a movement focused more on transparency than actual protest.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/26/2011

Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan in 1898. On the left Helen Keller and on the right Anne Sullivan.
 Daily Thoughts 11/26/2011

I finished reading The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker this morning.  I enjoyed reading the book; it is very rational and humanistic.  The book argues that giving women rights reduces violence because it makes women more valued.  It also tells us that war is mostly caused by competing violent ideologies like communism, fascism, theocracy, and other ideas.  Reason, trade, education, democratization, improving the rights of women and minorities all lead to less violence.  I can sympathize with this view of the world.

This morning, I updated the Facebook and Twitter pages for the library.

While I was reading Ebooks in Libraries on LinkedIn, I noticed that some libraries were securing E-readers with a security cable to a table.  This is a different approach.

I watched the first half of the biographical documentary Mark Twain produced by Ken Burns.  I am enjoying watching it.  It is very colorful.  It covers his first books, The Innocents Abroad, Roughing It. The Gilded Age, and Tom Sawyer.  Mark Twain reminds me quite a bit of Kurt Vonnegut.  There is a dark humor in both of them.  They even look similar.

The second half of the documentary about Mark Twain was very dark.  It included failed business deals, deaths of relatives, and eventually bankruptcy.  At the same time, it had pathos or feeling to it which is hard to describe.  It is well worth watching.

Web Bits 

Poor Kids Experience App Gap

Occupy Wall Street Library 

Authors, Publishers, and Supporters React to the Seizure of the People's Library
This article has a number of author and library quotes.

Occupy Protesters Hold Dirge for Ruined Lit

The People's Library of Occupy Wall Street Lives On

Occupy Boston Gets Legal Cover, But Not All Protesters Like It

This is an interesting idea. Because Dewey Square next to the Federal Reserve Building is considered a traditional Public Forum it cannot simply be evicted.  This means that the Occupy Boston Library has become in an odd way, a kind of sanctioned public statement in Boston, Massachusetts. Not all of the protesters like it.

Zucotti Park in Manhattan, New York was never a legally sanctioned public forum. Zucotti Park is a Privately Owned Public Space. I am reading about the concept of POPS-- Privately Owned Public Space.  It seems to be a bit of an oxymoron.

This is very interesting because Occupy D.C. Library is in McPherson Square which is also a traditional public forum.  Occupy DCs Library A Collection as Broad as Its Movement.  This is a bit on the decision not to shut down Occupy DC.

This interestingly says depending on how the space was used previously that the protesters are on determines whether they are an officially sanctioned protest...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/25/2011

Jeune Fille Lissant, 1868, Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Daily Thoughts 11/25/2011

Today has been a quiet, steady day.  Maintenance sent out our shipment to Better World Books on Monday.  I also updated the Twitter and Facebook pages for the library this morning.  I checked the displays this morning as well.  I spent a little time updating the current events display.

This afternoon, I spent some time discussing grants for the E-readers.  We may be working on a grant to get subscriptions to electronic magazines and newspapers.  I am going to try with local organizations first.

I have been talking to a few people about programs.  It should be interesting in the coming week.

This evening on the way home, I read some more of The Better Angels of Our Natures. I am almost finished reading the book.  I like his ideas about how democratization, trade, and the international community reduce war.  I also like Steven Pinker's focus on reason and science in this book.  I am not sure that I agree that classical liberalism reduces violence.  It does create a focus on rational discourse though.  I also believe that smarter, more educated people tend to be less violent.

The book, The Collapse of American Criminal Justice by William J. Stuntz has come in for me to read.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/24/2011

Guy De Maupassant, Bibliotheque Nacional de Paris, taken by Nadar

Daily Thoughts 11/24/2011

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Right now, I am reading more of The Better Angels of Our Natures by Steven Pinker.  Steven Pinker is writing about self control.  He describes how self control leads to less violence.  He also describes a concept called ego depletion where mental tasks can make people more tired.  Part of this description is the idea that one can increase their self control through exercise, diet, better habits, better control of ones language, and willingness to abstain from alcohol, drugs, and tobacco.

I started on the Blogger training video, but found it to be a bit out of date.  So I am passing on it.
I will be working on Saturday, December 3, 2012.  We are going to be opening on the first Saturdays of each month.  There is also an amnesty at our library right now for lost and overdue items.

Web Bits

Occupy Wall Street Library

Occupy Wall Street Round Up, Day 68 from the New York Times City Room Blog

OWS 79% of Books in Peoples Library Reportedly Missing, Wrecked

Occupy Wall Street's Librarians Make Demands at Rally

Occupy Wall Street: NYPD Orders Officers Not to Interfere with the Press

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/23/2011

Pultschreibschrank („Neuwieder Kabinett“), aus der Werkstatt David Roentgen und Peter Kinzing, Neuwied 1779; Detail Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin, Inv. Nr. O-1962,24
 Daily Thoughts 11/23/2011

This morning, I read some more of The Better Angels of Our Nature.  Steven Pinker is writing about how ideology affects violence.  He makes a persuasive argument that openness, transparency, free travel, and trade reduce extremist ideologies.  He also describes how evil actions are banal and commonplace and reinforced by groupthink.

I also spent some time on learning LinkedIn.  This allowed me to get a better sense of who to ask for recommendations as well as some ideas on how to expand my network.  I was at 95% complete before I started the LinkedIn class.  Now my profile is complete.  There are quite a few training modules for social media on I finished the LinkedIn training today and redid my profile.  I also checked and they have a Google Blogger Essentials training module which I may go over to improve this blog.

I finished updating the Twitter and Facebook account this morning for the library.

I also put the book And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut A Life by Charles J. Shields on hold.  I like Kurt Vonnegut's writing.

Web Bits

Occupy Wall Street Library

Press Conference Addresses City's Destruction of Occupy Wall Street Library 

The Occupy Wall Street Library: Librarians Display the Ruins 

Destruction of Occupy Wall Street People's Library Draws Ire

Occupied ALA Ignored Cuban Librarians
A little opposition is good for the soul.

What is an American Library?
Another opposition piece.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/22/2011

 France in 2000 year (XXI century). Future school. France, paper card. 1901 or 1910

Daily Thoughts 11/22/2011

This morning I spent some time updating the Facebook and Twitter account for the library.  I rather liked doing it.  I also read some more of The Better Angels of Our Natures by Steven Pinker.  Steven Pinker is writing about peoples inner demons and how they lead to war.  He describes how overconfidence can lead to nations attacking each other, how labeling other nations as evil is often inaccurate, and how people and nations strive for dominance.  The bit on dominance reminds me of the concept of "missile envy", where whichever nation has  the biggest missile wins.

I read some of Spontaneous Happiness by Andrew Weil, M.D. this afternoon.  Andrew Weil focuses on the practice of integrative medicine (combining natural medicine with the biomedical approach to medicine).  He is writing about dealing with depression and emotional resilience.  In addition to exercise, diet, sleep, and social relations he is also talking about things like meditation, acupuncture and other therapies, touch, being outdoors, getting sunlight, and resetting your inner equilibrium so it is more focused on serenity than vibrant happiness. 

I think the Reader's Den from New York Public Library is kind of interesting.  It is an online book discussion group from New York Public Library.

I decided to do something for my own future with  I am taking some time to learn about LinkedIn. This will give me a chance to update and review my profile which has not been done for a while.

Munseys has a lot of the old pulp fiction books available as free downloads.

Web Bits 


Embattled Intellectual Historians Make a Stand

Why It's A Great Time to be a Reader

Occupy Wall Street-- Library and other issues.

13 News Organizations File Complaints with NYPD Over Treatement of Journalists
This is important because it is about freedom of expression and information.

The Implicit Critique of Technology In the Occupy Protests

There is an announcement on the Occupy Wall Street Library website, but I am waiting for the press release to be picked up by the main stream media.  It looks like there could be some points which need to be clarified.  I changed my mind, this is the announcement in a cleaner format.

Library Press Conference The Peoples Library

Canadian Library Association Dismayed by the Seizure of the Occupy Wall Street Movement Library 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/21/2011

Books are weapons in the war of ideas : books cannot be killed by fire , 1942., United States. President (1933-1945 : Roosevelt) / United States. Office of War Information.

I wrote this in honor of Veterans Day and read it at the Mount Vernon Writers Network.

The War of Ideas

In the war of ideas
we are all foot soldiers

Before the first shot
is fired men and women
march in the streets

War begins and ends
in the peoples minds

Be prepared to listen
keep quiet, be vigilant
our nation depends on you

Terrorism, extremism, fascism
wait for the unwary

A citizens duty is
to defeat demagogues, tyrants
before they are chosen

Remember books are weapons
ideas matter, you're responsible

Stand up straight, march
move forward and learn
the battle never ends

War and peace begin
in the peoples minds

The person who speaks
with heartfelt sorrow
and proper timing wins

The person who holds
their tongue save lives

The gold soldier conquers
the peoples hearts and minds

Office for Emergency Management. Office of War Information. Domestic Operations Branch. Bureau of Special Services. (03/09/1943 - 09/15/1945)

Daily Thoughts 11/21/2011

The Mount Vernon Writer's Network now has a website.  They are also incorporated as a nonprofit.  Things are getting better organized.

I have been reading more of The Better Angels of Our Natures.  Steven Pinker is writing about animal rights and the changes which have led to different approaches to animal experimentation, livestock handling, and food consumption.  He writes about vegetarianism and its moral underpinnings.

I finished taking Microsoft Powerpoint 2010 on  I am going to take a little break from this.  I think I have covered most of the major Microsoft Office products.

In Westchester county, art funding is being cut by 50%.  I see cuts in funding to the arts and education.  These go together.  They are part of civil discourse.  I see many of the questions going forward are not just economic, but who will support and education.  Currently, our library has a Rotunda gallery where art is shown.  This could be greatly reduced.

Web Bits

Occupy Wall Street Library

Amy Goodman: Brave New World of Occupy Wall Street
This is a bit different.  It is from a reporter who was at the site.

Image of the Day Occupy McNally Jackson-- From Shelf Awareness

Occupy Wall Street Libraries Around The World In Pictures

311 Campaign In Support of OWSL
It is rather interesting that the city is blocking the Occupy Wall Street Library from setting up in the park again.

For Occupy readers library fits intents and purposes
No shortage of classic ideas Aeschylus to Zinn-- from the Boston Globe

Occupy Wall Street Put The Coverage on the Spotlight
This is a bit on the coverage in the main stream media.  It is kind of interesting.  There is a sensational feel to it.

For Their Children Many E-book Fans Insist on Paper

How Will We Read In Public Libraries

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/20/2011

Art piece at title page of William Blake, painter and poet by Richard Garnett Publisher: London, Seeley, 1895

 Daily Thoughts 11/20/2011

This morning, I did some more practice on for Microsoft Powerpoint 2010. I also updated the library Facebook and Twitter accounts.

I read a little bit more of The Better Angels of Our Natures.  Steven Pinker is discussing children's rights.  He touches on infanticide, corporal punishment, and child abuse.

On June 30,  2011 there was property tax cap legislation put in place.  This will probably affect libraries in New York.  I am not quite sure how though.  It will definitely mean there is less money available from property taxes.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/19/2011

At Breakfast, Laurits Andersen Ring, 1898

Daily Thoughts 11/19/2011

The Better Angels of Our Natures is one of the years ten best books according to Library Journal.  It is excellent writing mixed with superb analysis.

I read a little bit more of The Better Angels of Our Natures.  The author is describing what he calls the rights revolution.  He is describing how because people are more focused on civil rights and womens rights there is less domestic violence and ethnic violence.  Steven Pinker backs all his statements with statistics covering different time periods and amounts of violence.

I updated the library Facebook and Twitter account this morning.

I also took some time to look at grants.Library Grants Blog --
and Scholastic Library Grants --  list quite a few grants for libraries.  There are a few things which we apply for each year.

I also put the book The Collapse of American Criminal Justice by William J. Stuntz on hold.  I also spent half an hour on learning Microsoft Powerpoint 2010.

Web Bits

Occupy Wall Street Library

First They Came for the Library...
This is an Advocacy Group for libraries that is tied in with social media. It is in New York.

This is also posted on The Desk Set blog.

Bloomberg Bibliocide a hashtag on Twitter!/search?q=%23BloombergBibliocide

There is another hashtag on Twitter, this time it is OWS Bookmobile!/search/%23owsbookmobile

Wikipedia Article for the People's Library-- of course it is not neutral.... but then ...

There is even a link to an Al-Jazeera article on the library which seems to be an almost novelty in the Wikipedia entry.  I am really not sure what to think of this.

The People's Library and the Future of Occupy Wall Street

There is another side to this story which is not being covered that much.  If you are interested in information, the laptops supporting the Occupy Wall Street movement were being supplied by 2600 which is a very distinct hacker group.  Most of the laptops in New York were destroyed in the raid as well as the most of the library.

This shows a willingness to destroy things and it makes me keenly aware that it is not that physically safe to be around the Occupy Wall Street protests at some points. The violence seems to escalate at night.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/18/2011

Der Zeitungsleser, signiert Carl Zewy, Öl auf Leinwand, 46,5 x 58,5 cm

Daily Thoughts 11/18/2011

I read a little bit more of The Better Angels of Our Nature.  Steven Pinker is describing why most terrorist organizations fail.  He is also describing how terrorism is becoming less prevalent.

I updated the Facebook and Twitter pages for the library this morning and checked the displays.

On Wednesday night, November 16, 2011 I stayed late and listened to the Board Meeting after my late shift on the reference desk.  The library was talking about having an amnesty for overdue books.

The staff spent some time discussing circulating Museum Passes which is a rather interesting idea.

The book, Survival of the Beautiful Art, Science, and Evolution by David Rothenberg came in for me to read.  It is a science title which mixes art and philosophy.  I rather like this.

I have been cleaning my desk off for the short vacation I am taking during Thanksgiving week.

I spent some time watching a training video for Microsoft Powerpoint 2010 Essentials on  It is part of my aim to be completely trained in Microsoft Office by the end of the year.

Web Bits

HackLibSchool on Occupy Wall Street: How Do Libraries Fit In?

Part of watching the Occupy Wall Street Library is trying to get a sense of what it means.  In some circles, especially Europe there is a different meaning to challenging Wall Street than in America.  Some see it as a challenge to capitalism, not as a means to reform capitalism.  Because there has been no direct discussion on reform, rather protest, it still leaves me questioning what exactly is being said.  An open discussion about reform and ways to make things better might help things at this point.

High Beta Rich Seized by Police in OWS Raid
Some more irony. 

There is a strong sense of irony and political satire in how things are described.  Fahrenheit 451 is mentioned in some of the articles as a book that was thrown out.  Also, the Guy Fawkes mask come right of the graphic novel V for Vendetta which many of the protesters are wearing.

American Library Association Defends Occupy Wall Street Library

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/17/2011

Ein kleiner Bücherwurm, signiert Eduard Swoboda, Öl auf Leinwand auf Malkarton, 47 x 38,5 cm, 1902

Daily Thoughts 11/17/2011

I read some more of The Better Angels of Our Natures.  Steven Pinker is describing why democracies have less wars and why trade also reduces the amount of warfare globally.

The book Spontaneous Happiness by Andrew Weil, MD came in for me to read.  I like the style of his writing.

Last night, I finished reading The Death Ray by Daniel Clowes.  There is a certain darkness to the tale.  A man gets superpowers because he smokes cigarettes.  He also has a death ray gun given to him by his father which he uses to dispose of the men who cheated on his wife.  It successfully satirizes the superhero genre and makes it seem very ordinary.  I enjoyed reading it.  One of my colleagues is reading it right now.   She likes the copyright page.

This morning, I updated the Facebook and Twitter accounts.  We also got our first check from Better World Books which is nice.  I also checked the displays.  One of my colleagues has a display of holiday books up.

This afternoon, the computer lab is being opened between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. for Academic Use.

We have the Mount Vernon Writers Network today from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m..  It will be in Aisle 7 instead of the rotunda.  We are each writing a poem about veterans.  We mostly discussed the incorporation of the group into a nonprofit organization, publicity, and setting up a logo.  At the end several people read poems about veterans.

I read a bit more of  The Better Angels of Our Natures. Steven Pinker is describing how governments killed many more people with democide (systematic killing of citizens by government forces) and genocide during the 20th century than with war. 

Web Bits

Occupy Wall Street Library

At Occupy Cal Let Books Take The Place of Banned Tents

Another ironic statement.

NYPD Targets Occupy Wall Street Library Again

Occupy Wall Street Library Targeted Once Again

ALA Alarmed at Seizure of Occupy Wall Street Library

Peoples Library at the Brooklyn Bridge -- It is in Push Carts
There is something existentially satirical about this picture.

Another Equally Ironic Push Cart Library Picture 

Occupy Wall Street Library Goes Mobile

How I Helped Rescue OWS Library

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/16/2011

Daily Thoughts 11/16/2011

I read some more of The Better Angels of Our Natures this morning.  The author is writing about the concepts of wars of attrition and pyrrhic victory where very little is won by either side.

This morning, I looked over the website committee report for technology.  It is going over issues like the website, databases, E-readers, and telephones.  It also mentions the Services Survey which should be finished by December.  I also spent some time talking to the head of the periodicals department about possibly getting some electronic newspapers or magazines for the E-readers.

I checked the displays and fliers and printed out some flyers including a flyer for the Learning Express Popular Software Tutorials which is a set of online video instruction for Microsoft Office and Adobe software. 

I also checked the Twitter and Facebook accounts for the library.

This afternoon, I spent a little bit more time learning Microsoft Publisher 2010 on  This afternoon, I opened the computer lab between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. for the public.  I helped one of our regular patrons with the Popular Software Tutorials from Learning Express.  He wanted to learn Microsoft Excel 2010.  There were a few other people looking for jobs and writing letters.

The graphic novel, The Death Ray by Daniel Clowes came in for me to read.  I also have the New York Times Book Review, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly to read.  I am finding that I have read many of the articles or similar articles online.

Web Bits

Libraries in Cris-- Huffington Post

Occupy Wall Street Library
The Occupy Wall Street Library Regrows In Manhattan

Update: State of Seized Library Items 

The Life and Death of the Great American Peoples Library

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/15/2011

Understanding, mural by Robert Lewis Reid. Second Floor, North Corridor. Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, D.C. , 1896

Caption underneath reads:

Daily Thoughts 11/15/2011

This morning, I read some more of The Better Angels of Our Natures.  The author is describing how literacy increases empathy leading to less tolerance for violence.  Reading allows people to reflect on other peoples thoughts.  It also increases civility.  Literacy also helps create an information network.  With ships, letters, and correspondence it was possible to spread ideas across the whole globe in the 18th and 19th century.  With the advent of the internet and telecommunications there is now a global sphere of learning creating the possibility of a "global university."

This morning, I checked the displays, updated the Twitter and Facebook accounts, and spent a little more time looking at programming.  One of my colleagues gave me a copy of the March-April 2011 Calendar of Events.

This afternoon, the library is having the Biography Book Club from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., I am looking forward to talking about The Letters of Robert Frost to Louis Untermeyer.  Hopefully, it should be very interesting.  I bought some snacks during lunch time.  People talked about Vachel Lindsay, Claude McKay, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and Alexander Pushkin.  It was interesting hearing about the different poets lives.

We are also having the Intermediate Computer Class today from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. in the Computer Lab.

Kabiru Mohammed dropped off flyers for his play The Tragedy of Ethelia which he is showing on January 26, 2012 from 5:30-8:00 p.m. in the community room.

On the way home, I read more of The Better Angels of Our Natures. Steven Pinker is describing the statistical decline of the total amount of wars in the 20th century.

Web Bits

Occupy Wall Street Library

It was interesting that the library was at first thought destroyed, then found to be safely stored away.  This has a very dramatic feel to it.  Sometimes it makes you think  There have has been discussions but still I hear no solutions among the noise of the media.

Occupy Wall Street Library Evicted
I find the idea of a digital Occupy Wall Street Library interesting.

Occupy Wall Street Library Reportedly Thrown Away by NYPD

Occupy Wall Street Library Removed as New York Evicts Protestors

ReOccupy Writers Stand in Solidarity with OWS Tonight at 6:00

Monday, November 14, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/14/2011

Kinchaku to kusazōshi Print shows a coin purse and two books, one with a portrait of a man on the cover.  Date Created/Published: 1824. 

Daily Thoughts 11/14/2011

This morning I checked the Facebook and Twitter accounts for the library.  I also wrote my bimonthly report.  I am focusing on training my Microsoft Office skills and trying to work with the computer lab a little more.

All of the old discards and left over books from the book sale are packed up and ready for Better World Books.  I checked the displays and the gift books this morning.

I made reminder calls for the Biography Book Club and the Mount Vernon Writers Network.  I have been thinking about programming for next year.  I have the last two years worth of programming calendars in my desk.  I have a fairly good idea of which programs have been repeated year after year.  This is the second year we have had the Adult Summer Reading Program, we also have been doing poetry programs for the last couple of years, and we have been doing quite a few entrepreneurial programs as well with the help of the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce and the Women's Enterprise Development Center.

On the way home, I read some more of The Better Angels of Our Nature.  Steven Pinker is describing the process how torture, public corporal punishment, and the burning of heretics became unacceptable practices. He is describing how reason and valuing human life reduces violence.  He also touches on how reducing cruelty to animals reduces violence among people.  The book is thoroughly researched and includes lots of historical citations.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/13/2011

Émile Verhaeren (1855-1916), Belgian poet, by Theo Van Rysselberghe

Daily Thoughts 11/13/2011

This morning I checked the Facebook and Twitter accounts for the library.

I finished taking Microsoft Publisher  Essentials 2010 today.  I plan on taking Microsoft Access 2010 Essentials and Microsoft Powerpoint 2010 Essentials all from  I will have finished most of the office productivity basic courses.  In addition, I am hoping that I can finish taking Illustrator for Adobe next. This will allow me to be trained in most of the essential office software by the end of the year.

I read a little bit more of The Better Angels of Our Nature this morning.  The author is describing how nation states reduce violence.  He is describing the transition from medieval thinking to modern thinking and how it makes us more civil.  Right now, Steven Pinker is focusing on England.

Web Bits

Library to Get Hackerspace
This is something which has been discussed a lot but not implemented until now.

Unusual Library Finds A New Home
I like this because it speaks for libraries taking on more local material.

Open Library

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/12/2011

A U.S stamp with the picture of the poet Robert Frost.

Daily Thoughts 11/12/2011

I updated the library Twitter and Facebook account.  I also finished reading The Letters of Robert Frost to Louis Untermeyer this morning.  The letters were published after Robert Frost died.  Robert Frost wanted to wait until he was no longer around to express some of his opionions.  I think I'll probably read some of Robert Frost's poems.  I read this in preparation for the Biography Book Club on Tuesday, November 15, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Each member of the club is reading a different biography of a famous poet.

I also watched some more of the BBC Documentary Life narrated by Oprah Winfrey.  It is very beautiful nature imagery.  I found out about it because a patron was checking out the BBC Documentary Planet Earth.

I have been thinking about programming a bit. I also spent some time on today studying Microsoft Publisher 2010.

I read some more of   The Better Angels of Our Natures today.  The author is describing how violence has declined as people have moved from tribalism to centralized governments. He describes how people in primitive times were much more likely to die from violence.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/11/2011

Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784): Poems on various subjects, religious and moral. By Phillis Wheatley, Negro servant to Mr. John Wheatley, of Boston, in New England. London: Printed for A. Bell, bookseller, Aldgate; and sold by Messrs. Cox and Berry, King-street, Boston. 1773.

Daily Thoughts 11/11/2011

Happy Veterans Day.  I updated the library Facebook and Twitter account this morning. I also took some time to look over the different programs that have been happening at the library.  There are a number of organizations that have worked with the library directly; AC-BAW Association of Community Based Arts of Westchester, Westchester Arts Council, Womens Enterprise Development Center, the Triple Hill Arts Council, and Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce.

Sometimes I look on Get Glue to see what is popular.  They often have titles that libraries do not have.  Two books that caught my attention are Word Hero by Jay Heinrichs which is about writing viral copy and Back to Work by Bill Clinton.

I watched some of the dvd Earth which is narrated by Oprah Winfrey.  Oprah Winfrey does an excellent job describing the actions of the animal kingdom.

I read a bit more of The Letters of Robert Frost to Louis Untermeyer.  It reads like a different world without all the accoutrements of computers and modern electronics.  The feeling is one of a much simpler, cleaner life.  I also read some more of The Better Angels of Our Natures.  The author is describing the violent nature of ancient Rome and biblical Judea.

Web Bits

What Do Americans Want from Their Libraries?  Heres  our Chance to Find Out.
If you are a library patron with a smart phone or E-reader please consider becoming involved.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/10/2011

Still Life With a Lighted Candle, Peter Claesz

Daily Thoughts 11/10/2011

I read some more of Supergods by Grant Morrison on the train to work this morning.  I also read a little bit more of The Letters of Robert Frost to Louis Untermeyer.  I am looking forward to the Biography Book Club next week on Tuesday from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  We are also having the Mount Vernon Writers Network on Thursday, November 17, 2011 from

This morning, I checked the Twitter and Facebook accounts for the library.  I also printed shipping labels for the Better World Books boxes.  The boxes are packed and labeled for Monday. 

We opened the Computer Lab from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. for academic use.  There was a person who was doing some research on Phillis Wheatley and another gentleman who was looking for a job.  It was fairly quiet today.

I spent some more time on studying Microsoft Publisher 2010.  It has become a lot easier for me to help people with basic wordprocessing questions.

I also read the latest Booklist magazine.  

On the way home, I finished reading Supergods by Grant Morrison. Much of the book covers the authors experiences as a writer for superhero comics.  He has firsthand knowledge of what he is writing about.  It was an enjoyable.  I also read some more of The Letters of Robert Frost to Louis Untermeyer.  This is much more down to earth than most books I read.  Robert Frost was a farmer in addition to being a poet.  He has a very old fashioned sensibility to his writing.  I also started The Better Angels of Our Nature Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker.  This is an argument for how civilized behavior reduces violence.

Web Bits

The Public Library Completely Reimagined

Build A Digital People's Library-- From Galley Cat

Occupy Comics Kickstarter Project

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/9/2011

Unknown Dutch Master - Still-Life with Books (ca. 1628, Oil on wood, 61,3 x 97,4 cm)

Daily Thoughts 11/9/2011

On the way to work I read some more of Supergods by Grant Morrison.  Grant Morrison wrote briefly about Todd McFarlane and the comic book Spawn.  I am not fond of mixing superheros with horror.  It does not match my taste.  The Image comics which I liked were Invincible and The Savage Dragon. 

I updated the Twitter and Facebook accounts for the library this morning.  I also checked the displays and the boxes which need to be sent out to Better World Books.  I am writing a flyer for Learning Express as well.  In addition, I spent a little time studying Microsoft Publisher 2010 on

This afternoon, we had the Computer Lab open from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.  There were not as many people as usual.  I think that many people are out because of the holidays.  I have a stack of magazines to read, Publishers Weekly, The New York Times Book Review, and Booklist.

I put the book Boomerang: Travels In The New Third World by Michael Lewis on hold.

Web Bits

Build Your Own Digital Media Lab

F.C.C. Push to Expand Net Access Gains Help

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/8/2011

[Tuskegee Institute bldg., Tuskegee, Alabama: Library(?); table strewn with books] 
Date Created/Published: c1906. 

Daily Thoughts 11/8/2011

This morning, I checked the Twitter and Facebook accounts for the library.  I also did some practice on for Publishers 2010.  In addition, I read a little more of The Letters of Robert Frost to Louis Untermeyer.   The book reminded me that I should probably read some of Emily Dickinson's poetry which I have never read.

Web Bits

Occupy Wall Street Library

Berrett-Koehler's Occupy Wall Street Book Ships
I find it interesting that the author is donating 500 copies to Occupy Wall Street Libraries.  It seems to be a way to brand himself as part of the movement.

Bangor Public Library Lets 'Occupy' Protestors Camp on Library Property

A Truly Public Library

Fagin, Henk, and Loeb at ALA Midwinter on Building on the OWS 'Peoples Library'


Charleston Conference 2011: Big Ideas Big Challenges

Library Delivers Direct to Cty Teachers in Manhattan, Staten Island, and Bronx
The Daily News is a local New York paper.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/7/2011

Photo of American Transcendentalist and writer James Freeman Clarke, seated and reading a book. Cropped version.

Daily Thoughts 11/7/2011

I read some more of Supergods this morning.  Grant Morrison is writing about Alan Moore and Frank Miller.  I rather like Alan Moore.  Watchmen was an interesting book, but I liked The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen much better.

This morning I also checked the Facebook and Twitter accounts for the library as well as the displays.

The Friends of the Library are packing up the books leftover from the book sale to be sent to Better World Books.  We are also sending our discards over to Better World Books As Well.  Better World Books is paying the freight.  Having a book sale is more than just about making money for the library.  It is also a way to generate goodwill for the library which can seem a bit intangible to some people, but is very important.

I also spent some time on the website learning to make minor adjustments as well as watched a bit of the training videos for Photoshop CS5 and Microsoft Publisher 2010.

Two books came in for me to read, The Children of the Sky by Vernor Vinge which is science fiction and The Better Angels of Our Nature Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker.

On the way home I read some more of Supergods. I also switched back to reading The Letters of Robert Frost to Louis Untermeyer. The book of letters is very slow reading.  The thinking and style is very dense.  Each letter condenses a lot of living into a very small space.

Please go out and vote tomorrow.  Election day is on November 8, 2011 in New York.

Web Bits

Saving Libraries but Not Librarians Blowback

This is a reflection on how people are thinking of things.  Our profession has been facing a lot of changes for some time.  We are also increasingly facing competition from the business world who would like to make libraries less able to deal with a digital future.  Other people are trying to label our profession as superfluous.  It is important that we get better control over technology and start advertising the access we offer.

Net Neutrality Is Under Attack Email Your Senators Before Tuesday's Vote

Net neutrality ensures open access to the internet.  It is important to ensure free access to information.

Sign Online Petition to Save School Libraries
 This is another example of how libraries have been challenged.  I can understand asking people to change their skills and offer retraining for relevance, but that is often not what is happening.

Pulitzer Prize Winner Jennifer Egan Just Showed Up With Jonathan Lethem At Occupy Wall Street

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/6/2011

Wow Comics No.38, Cover Art by Jack Binder, Fawcett Comics. The character is "Mary Marvel."  

Daily Thoughts 11/6/2011

This morning, I updated the Twitter and Facebook account for the library.  I also spent some time on studying Publisher 2010.

I read some more of Supergods by Grant Morrison.  Grant Morrison references David Hajdu's The Ten Cent Plague:  The Great Comic Book Scare and How It Changed America.  The Ten Cent Plague is a very entertaining book.  There are also references to Frank Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent where Superman is seen as a fascist and Batman is considered indecent.  Grant Morrison's writing is changing to a seductive mix of pop psychology and counter culture memes while he is writing about this.

I read some more of Supergods in the laundromat.  It has become very entertaining.  I rather liked Garnt Morrison statement that he would rather see people building Mars colonies and spaceship than going to war.  It resonates with me.

Right now, I am reading about the beginning of Grant Morrison's career in Scotland. He mentions two of my favorite comics.  The first is Star Reach which was a series of science fiction comics that had adult content and mature stories based on authors like Arthur C. Clarke, Roger Zelazny, and Michael Moorcock.  Star Reach featured some of Richard Corben's early artwork  Grant Morrison also mentions the Adventures of Luther Artkwright by Bryan Talbot which has a very counterculture feel with a psychedelic psychic superhip hero that reminds me a bit of Michael Moorcock's character Jerry Cornelius in The Condition of Muzak.  This all ties in with the "New Wave" in science fiction

Web Bits

A Trip to the Worlds Largest 'Art Museum' In Print 

Fighting For Literacy Library By Library

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/5/2011

Old Corner Bookstore First Brick Building in Boston 1909

Daily Thoughts 11/5/2011

Sometimes your posts go missing.  I am redoing this post.  In the morning, I updated the Twitter and Facebook page about the Book and Bake Sale which is today, November 5, 2011.  I very much enjoyed going to it yesterday.  It is an excellent way to support our library.

I spent some time studying Photoshop CS5 and Publishers 2010 this morning on as well.  This takes away from my time to write book reviews.  Right now, I think it is more important for me to rebuild my computer skills.  I have been talking to other libraries that give computer classes.  People are using libraries more and more to have computer access and access to broadband.  Our library offers internet access, WiFi, and access to computers for typing papers.

This afternoon I read some more of Supergods by Grant Morrison who is a very famous comic book writer.  Right now, he is writing about the origins of Superman who he compares to Apollo.  Grant Morrison has a very interesting bombastic style of writing which reminds me a little of the old radio plays like The Shadow or The Spider.

Web Bits

The Small But Powerful Guide To Winning Big Support For Your Rural Library

All 50 State Librarians Vote to Form Alliance With Internet Archive’s Open Library

Your Own Private Librarian

This is also happening in the public libraries on a different scale.  Yonkers Public Library and New Rochelle Public Library have set up a sign up sheet for librarians for up to one hours time one on one to help with basic computer tasks like filling out forms, applying for a job, or setting up an email account.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/4/2011

Jihon-Ton-Ya was the Japanese popular book publisher and seller in Tokyo from 17 to 19 century. Original painting was printed on Edo Meisho Zue (say "Picture Book of Edo") issued during 1834-1836.

Daily Thoughts 11/4/2011

This morning, I read some more of the Letters of Robert Frost to Louis Untermeyer.  The book has a number of Robert Frost's poems in it.  They seem less finished and more informal than his other poems.  It also describes rivalries with other poets which is kind of interesting.

This morning, I updated the Twitter and Facebook account and checked the displays.  I also printed a few flyers for events.

The Mount Vernon Public Library Book and Bake Sale is today, November 4, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m..  I stopped by and had a cup of coffee and a piece of lemon pie.  They are playing the piano in the community room.  Also, I watched someone buy a few of the plants they have on sale.  There is a nice selection on the tables.  Paperbacks are 50 cents and hardcovers are $1.00.  The sale also runs tomorrow, Saturday, November 5, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The book Supergods What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, And A Sun God From Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human by Grant Morrison has come in for me to read.  I have been waiting for a while to read this.

I spent some more time updating the links on the website.  I also spent some time looking at the Learning Express Popular Softwar Tutorials which are decent, but not perfect.

Web Bits

Library Journal's Own Digital Shift
I am finding increasingly because I read about library news online, I am catching many articles and ideas before they reach the print versions of Publishers Weekly and Library Journal.

How Occupy DC Occupies Itself: The Library

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/3/2011

L'Arlésienne, Madame Ginoux, Vincent Van Gogh, 1890

Daily Thoughts 11/3/2011

This morning, I read a bit more The Letters of Robert Frost to Louis Untermeyer.  Reading letters sometimes takes a little bit more focus to read than other books because it is usually about the relationship between two people.

This morning, I checked the Facebook and Twitter account for the library.  I am also making some minor adjustments to the URLs for the library website.  I'll probably finish doing this tomorrow.

The Friends of the Library are in the community room setting up for the Book and Bake Sale tomorrow.  They also are selling plants.  One of them asked about the Biography Book Club which is on November 15, 2011 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

I spent a little more time on this afternoon learning about Photoshop.

This afternoon between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. I spent some time in the computer lab helping people look for jobs and practice typing.  I also showed some people the Learning Express Popular Software Tutorial module which has video instruction for Microsoft and Adobe software.  People seemed to like it.  It can be accessed by anyone with a Westchester library card.

Web Bits

Death to Keyboards and Monitors 

More Occupy Wall Street material on the Library.

Occupy Wall Street At Valley Forge

The Career Road of Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street Library Catalog Online

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Daily Thoughts 11/2/2011

Jean Baptiste-Camille Corot, Poetry

Daily Thoughts 11/2/2011

I finished reading Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength Willpower this morning.  I enjoyed reading it.  It gave me some ideas on how to manage my own weaknesses.  I like food a little too much.  Three ideas seemed very good; precommitting to what I would do in the future, placing a bet on how much weight I might lose, and putting off snacks.  Apparently, procrastinating on whether you want to drink, smoke, or do some other habit is a way to help quitting.

This morning I checked the Twitter and Facebook account.  I have been asked to post a little extra about our Book and Bake Sale on November 4 and November 5.  We are opening on Saturday for the event.  We even have a countdown widget on the page which reads 1 day and 16 hours until the sale.

I also checked the donations.  We had the complete Seasons 1, 2, and 3 for the television show Lost which is being added. 

I put together a display of biography books on a variety of poets including Allen Ginsberg, Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, Alice Walker and others.  We are reading a biography of a poet for the Biography Book Club on November 15, 2011 from 3:00-4:00 p.m..  I like tying the collection with programming.

In the afternoon, I was in the computer lab for two hours helping people.  I helped people look for jobs and helped someone with basic word processing he was learning as part of the Beginning Computer Class on Tuesday from 6:00-7:00 p.m.  I have also been looking at the Popular Software Tutorial package that is currently on Learning Express and is available to all of our patrons.

On the way home, I read some of The Letters of Robert Frost to Louis Untermeyer.  The book was written in 1963.  I got it from our mezzanine area.  It is very old fashioned.