Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Daily Thoughts 8/31/2010 (Acquisitions Web, Trustees )

19th-century painting representing Alexander I's visit to the Russian National Library on January 2, 1812.

Daily Thoughts 8/31/2010

Today has been another steady day.  I worked on a bookmark for starting a business with a list of recommended book titles.  I am also thinking about doing another one which points to different web sites for business.  I also looked around a little more in the storage stacks.  I still have to look at our electronic ordering.

http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/home/886292-264/every_reader_a_reviewer_the.html.csp An article from Library Journal on how reviews have spilled out of the professional journals to all over the web. 

I found the new website for Acquisitions Web which is a resource site for acquisitions and collection development librarians.  It has a lot of useful information on the site.  The site is designed in Drupal which is an open source content management system. http://www.acqweb.org/ 

I read a little bit more of Common As Air. It is a very philosophical book.  The author is very focused on ideas. 

My library is seeking two trustees.  I am hoping the board chooses someone with strong fundraising skills, a sense of customer service, and strong ties with the local arts community.  The address to apply is in the briefing.  http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=20108240337  

I added the month of June to my list of book reviews.  I am thinking of what comes after this.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Daily Thoughts 8/30/2010 (the Facebook Era, Tragedy of the Commons )

Drawing of Elizabeth Siddal, June 1854, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Public Domain, From Wikimedia

Daily Thoughts 8/30/2010

On the train to work, I finished reading the Facebook Era which of course is on Facebook under http://www.facebook.com/thefacebookera .  I also started reading Common As Air.  The main focus is on intellectual property and what is in the commons for everyone to use freely.  This is a very interesting topic because it touches on genetic maps, seed crop genomes, media, law, fair use, and copyright.  On the way home, I read some more.  He describes the feudal commons in England.  It is a very different interpretation of the history of the commons than what you might read in the seminal essay, The Tragedy of the Commons by Garrett Hardin http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/162/3859/1243

Another book came in for me to read today, Self Esteem, A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self Esteem by Matthew McKay, Ph.D. and Patrick Fanning.

Today has been a day to write reports.  I am writing something on shelving materials, preparing some material for the monthly report, and making some suggestions about a vendor.

I also did a little bit more looking around in the storage area.  I like going downstairs sometimes to look at the old books. Books catch your eye like Waverly by Sir Walter Scott or Jurgen by James Branch Cabell.  It is satisfying handling older material.  I also sat down with a colleague and looked at some of the old black and white photographs of our building in the local history room, the reading room in 1909, the reference desk in 1938, the technical service area in 1975.  In November it will be the anniversary of our library.

I decided to finally break down and bought a domain name.  I bought http://www.bookcalendar.net/ It should go into effect soon.  It will be a process to include metatags in my next submission to search engines.  I want to confirm the difference between having my own domain and not having my own domain.  I also want to have a chance to add some stronger meta tags. 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bring On The Books For Everybody How Literary Culture Becomes Popular Culture by Jim Collins

Bring On The Books For Everybody How Literary Culture Becomes Popular Culture by Jim Collins.

Jim Collins is a professor at the University of Notre Dame. This book is published by Duke University Press in 2010. Jim Collins is writing for a popular audience. The word choice is quite interesting and wonderful. He uses terms like lit-lit, bibliotherapy, adaptation film, and superstore. There is melding of the academic with the popular. Jim Collins easily moves between subjects like Ladies Home Journal and modernist literature. The juxtapositions are striking.

The writing is at times funny, ironic, and witty. The author is describing how literature is transformed into a popular medium and taken out of the academy. He describes adaptation films (films adapted from literary works,), the New York Times Book Review, Oprah's Book Club, and chick lit.

Jim Collins explains how literature is treated as both a form of self cultivation and self actualization. Many people read the classics to be better people. We get a of an Oprah Winfrey episode of television where Oprah encourages people to read Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, the classic Russian novel. It is at times appalling, fascinating, and poignant.

I espcially liked his sections on books to film. Two of the books which he spends quite a bit of time on are The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje and The Hours by Michael Cunningham both of which were turned into excellent films.

Jim Collins is describing the packaging of books into a complete line of products; books, films, furniture, and other products. Books become a brand unto themselves. This is an article that explains the phenomenon with the book, Eat Pray Love. http://www.mercurynews.com/fashion-style-headlines/ci_15797294?nclick_check=1

Classic literature becomes swept up in the process as well. Shakespeare becomes books like Shakespeare In Love and Jane Austen becomes The Jane Austen Book Club. This marketing is exploited by companies like Target, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other super shopping sites. Henry James and other writers become commodities.

I am not completely comfortable with this. I find some of it goes too far. For example, books like The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger are clear attempts at romantic consumerism; a mix of buying the right stuff, sex, and relationships.  Sex and the City for literature.

This is a very interesting book. It is quite topical for librarians, booksellers, and people interested in books. It even mentions Nancy Perl and her segment on books on National Public Radio. The book is well indexed and has an extensive bibliography. I highly recommend reading this book.

Daily Thoughts 8/29/2010 (The Facebook Era, The Oxford English Dictionary )

Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) studying the cycloid, engraved on the tablet he is holding in his left hand; the scattered papers at his feet are his Pensées, the open book his Lettres provinciales. Exhibited at the Salon of 1785; the plaster model was exhibited at the Salon of 1781, Louvre, PublicDomain, From Wikimedia
Daily Thoughts 8/29/2010

I read another chapter in the Facebook Era by Clara Shih.  She was writing about social media as a recruiting tool for business.  Businesses are looking for candidates through Facebook, Linkedin, Ryze, and other networks.  If you are a recruiter who is interested in the social media side of recruiting, there is http://www.ere.net/  Electronic Recruiting Exchange network which has a very nice set of articles on the subject.  They also have a national conference every year.  I still get invites to it, even though I haven't been in recruiting for many years.

I think I might be working on some bookmarks and a flyer next week for small business books.  We are having a five session long program on entrepreneurship in September presented by the Womens Enterprise Development Center, the mayor is doing a small business expo part of it is going to be held at the library, and we have been purchasing quite a bit of material on small business lately.  Plus it coincides with my own interests.

I added some more book reviews from August 2009 to my book review list. This is a steady long term project.

The Oxford English Dictionary is moving online only.  The last time I used this was to find the etymology of some words for someone.  It is not very practical for modern usage.  I can understand why it is going online.  Still, I think it should be available through print on demand for a considerable fee if someone wants it. http://www.nwcn.com/news/Oxford-English-Dictionary-may-be-going-online-101756313.html 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Daily Thoughts 8/28/2010 (metatags)

Open Book with Victorian Border and Blank Page , Quin, Liam: “Pictures of old books” (2003)

Daily Thoughts 8/28/2010

I have been going back and pulling my old reviews and slowly adding them to my book review list.  I finished adding September of 2009 today.  Each day I will do a little bit until I am done.  I found out I am listed in a blog search engine called http://www.tamazu.com/  It is giving me a lot of traffic from their literature section.

I did not get a huge amount of reading done today.  I made a few adjustments to this blog.  I added some metatags which were not there before after the header using Google Adwords to pick out the right words.  I also watched The Bourne Ultimate on dvd.  This was a book by Robert Ludlum before it was a movie.  Robert Ludlum's books are very popular.  It reminds me a little bit of James Bond except for without all the gadgets and silliness.  It was fun to watch. I have also been watching the Star Wars Clone Wars cgi cartoon which I am finding enjoyable as well.  People who read a lot also tend to watch a lot of media.  There is a term that is now part of the library profession called visual literacy.

Joe Wikert on his Linked In feed mentioned a book coming out on Kindle in September called I Live in the Future and here's how it works by Nick Bilton.  It looks fascinating.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Daily Thoughts 8/27/2010 (online classes, publishers weekly)

nisse writing

Daily Thoughts 8/27/2010

I read some more of the Facebook Era on the train to work.  It is describing how to use social networks as a way for businesses to manage their customer relations.  The main focus right now is how sales people can qualify leads and prepare better presentations before calling people.

This morning, I did some more spot checking of the shelving sections from which I am ordering for damaged material, orderliness, and other things.  I also checked the storage area to see that it was in order and spent some time talking about shelving.  I also checked the displays to make sure they were in order.  We try and display material that can be checked out.  This increases our circulation.  We have been trying different ways to increase circulation.  We are starting to list items in our catalog as on order so more people will place our books on hold. 

We are also putting the September Is National Library Card Month public service announcement on our website.

I have been reading the latest issues of Publishers Weekly.  There are a lot more novelists who are writing for graphic novels now.  Two graphic novels that were highlighted were The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Nigffenegger and The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel by Diana Gabaldon.  Another book which caught my attention was The Box: Tales From the Darkroom by Guntner Grass.  This looks like it will be an excellent collection of short stories.  Another book which caught my attention was Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution by Sara Marcus.  This should be interesting.  The author is a Brooklyn author plus there is a connection to graphic novels and rock music. There also was a release of Jorge Luis Borges On Writing in June of 2010 by Penguin. We have a 1973 edition of Borges on Writing which should be very similar.

The book Common As Air Revolution, Art, and Ownership by Lewis Hyde has come in for me to read.  He is talking about the cultural commons.  Looking in the index, he does mention copyright and creative commons which are two reading interests of mine.

I registered for the October Fundamentals of Acquisitions class from ALCTS.  Hopefully, it should be useful, it is my third online class this year.  I took Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management and Readers Advisory 101 both of which were very good.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Daily Thoughts 8/26/2010 ingram, the facebook era, acquisitions

KAST kast designed by Marcel Douwe Dekker in 1992: The KAST kast is a interior sculpture build with the letters K, A, S, T on their side (This picture was first published in Viva magazine The Netherlands, 18 sept 1992), Creative Commons Share Alike Attribution 3.0

Daily Thoughts 8/26/2010

It is interesting times again.  My library is going to be open on Sundays for half a day instead of a full day Saturday.  http://www.lohud.com/article/20100826/NEWS02/8260346/Yonkers--Mount-Vernon-public-libraries-may-remain-closed-on-Saturdays-in-fall

Today I talked to two other libraries about Ingram which is a distributor.  People have used them for standing order plans and to get new books.  Apparently, they have very fast turnaround time in delivering new material.  It is something to consider.  Ingram uses BISAC (Book Industry Standards and Communications)  for their classification scheme which is what is used by the publishing industry and bookstores. Public libraries tend to use the Dewey Decimal classification scheme, and academic libraries in the United States use Library of Congress classification.

I also spent some time updating the Bookletters web page for recommended widgets, created a form for tracking missing items and made sure the new book displays were in order.  Today went very smoothly.

I read a little more of the Facebook Era.  The author is writing about how to create connections in networks like Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter.

I am considering taking the Fundamentals of Acquisitions Class in September.  It is a four week course.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Daily Thoughts 8/25/2010 (Bring On the Books For Everybody, the Facebook Era)

English: Interesting Story, 1898, Laura Muntz Lyall (1860-1930)

Daily Thoughts 8/25/2010

I have been reading more of Bring On The Books For Everybody.  I like Jim Collins description of many of the newer womens novels being "romantic consumerism".  It fits nearly perfectly with books like The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger.  He also uses another term postliterary novel for books like The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Jay Fowler which has a nice ring to it.  He is showing how books and films are tied in knots together.  I can see how shows like Sex and The City are a natural extension of modern "chick lit". 

On the subway home, I finished reading Bring On The Books For Everybody. Jim Collins excerpts a paragraph from The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon in the final chapter of the book.  It is about the "cemetery of forgotten books" one of my favorite places in literature.  The author is challenging the idea of Fahrenheit 451 in the final chapter, offering us a vision of popular culture which combines literature with visual mediums like film and television.  It is much closer to my own view of the future of books.

Today was another quiet day.  We discussed vendors today.  I am going to take a look at Ingram.  Ingram has slightly better discounts than the other vendors for hardcover and paperback books.  We also discussed how we are going to keep track of missing books.  I spent quite a bit of time on the floor helping patrons with reference. 

Last night was kind of interesting.  I had to work on cleaning up a trojan on my machine.  There were a lot of attacks on computers focused on companies spoofing other peoples machines and asking them to buy their antivirus software.  The warning comes as a popup, then says your machine is not properly protected.  I went through Computer Associates, Microsoft, and another company to get my machine back up.  It took many hours to clean up.  Microsoft had me use a company called Esoft to finally clean up my machine.

I also had a chance to read a bit of the Facebook Era.  There is a concept which is introduced called the "online social graph" which is a map of all the people on the internet and how they are connected.  Clara Shih reminds us that the internet is about people.  In her view social and consumer networks are beginning to merge and old fashioned advertising is no longer working.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Daily Thoughst 8/24/2010 (Book Reviews, facebook, collection development)

Copperplate originally in Jacques Gamelin: Nouveau reueil d'ostéologie et de myologie, dessiné d'après nature..., Toulouse 1779. 

Daily Thoughts 8/24/2010

While I was looking through the August 22, 2010 New York Times Book Review, I placed on hold on The glamour of grammar : a guide to the magic and mystery of practical English by Roy Peter Clark,
reviewed by Ammon Shea. I am a big fan of Ammon Shea. His essays on the Oxford University Press blog are quite interesting. http://blog.oup.com/?s=ammon+shea&Submit.x=0&Submit.y=0  . I also placed Common As Air, Revolution, Art, and Ownership on hold as well. 

I am also looking at The Facebook Era Tapping Online Social Networks to Build Better Products, Reach New Audiences, and Sell More Stuff by Clara Shih.  I am interested in the reach new audiences part right now.

Today has been another quiet day.  There are two meetings which I am preparing for.  Tomorrow we are discussing collection development, and on Thursday we are having visitors from the people who run our computer systems visit our library.  This morning, I took some time to check the accuracy of the labeling of the new books.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Daily Thoughts 8/23/2010 (Bring On The Books For Everybody )

Child Reading A Book, Public Domain Clip Art

Daily Thoughts 8/23/2010

I like reading Bring On The Books for Everybody.  The language is fantastic.  I like his word choices; teleliterary, postmodern fiction, adaptation films, and bibliotherapy is just some of the language.  The writing has a slightly humorous, slightly edgy wit to it.

He talks about taste makers for books.  His section on Nancy Pearl and Oprah Winfrey is right on target.  Jim Collins is describing how classic literature is turned into popular taste.  I think it is very relevant for booksellers and librarians.

I also like the writing on adaptation films.  He describes the words in films like Shakespeare In Love or The Jane Austen Book Club as being special effects.  These film create a link between the book, the movie, and all the ancillary forms of communication.   This is even becoming more true because films are now digital products, just like ebooks are a digital product, and MP3 books are a digital product.

Today I checked books on back order and looked at the displays.  Our computer catalogs are down for maintenance.  This means I had a little more time to do reference work.  I also printed up a few flyers for a program this month.  It has been a very quiet day.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bitter Angels by C.L. Andersen

Bitter Angels by C.L. Anderson

Field Commander Terese Drajeske works for the Guardians a  special wing of the united earth government. Her job is to prevent wars from happening throughout human space. The philosophy of the Guardians is one of precise use of force.

This means that there is quite a bit on nonlethal methods of combat like glue guns, ambush tactics, fear, and focused  controlled fighting in combat. They also preempt fighting with espionage and political tactics.

The Erasmus system where the story takes place is a kind of slave state. People are controlled through a combination of debt bondage, control of essential resources like water, inherited position and holding family members in bondage, and government surveillance.

This book focuses on soft power. Ways to control people through intrigue, political manipulation, economic repression, and slavery. It is a combination of military science fiction and espionage.

The story is not predictable, has many twists and turns and does not end the way you might expect. It is also very emotionally dark.  I liked this book  because of the complex story. This will not agree with everyone. If you are looking for a traditional military science  fiction story or space opera, you may not like it.   I picked up the book because of a blurb on the cover by Linnea Sinclair.

Daily Thoughts 8/22/2010 (News Feed, Book Review List )

Johann Peter Hasenclever: Das Lesekabinett, 1843

Daily Thoughts 8/22/2010

I am trying something new with Feed Informer.  This is a feed of different news from various book news sites.  It is on a tab next to the Home button. http://bookcalendar.blogspot.com/p/book-calendar-news-feed.html

I am also thinking of creating a review list as well. The pages feature in Blogger In Draft will let me test a few ideas which I have.  I have started the review list.  It may take me at least a week to get everything in it properly.  http://bookcalendar.blogspot.com/p/book-review-list.html 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Daily Thoughts 8/21/2010 (Winning Grants, Barnes and Noble, Bring On The Books For Everybody

Photograph of the "tower room" or "Owl's Nest" at The Wayside in Concord, Massachusetts. This room was added by author Nathaniel Hawthorne and is where he did his writing while living in the house. It was redecorated by Margaret Sidney when she became the home's owner. Date 1904

Daily Thoughts 8/21/2010

This morning I finished watching the Screencasts on the dvd that came with the book Winning Grants A How To Do It Manual For Librarians.  What this book talked about a lot was how to plan before looking for a grant.  The steps in creating a vision, planning, and getting support from outside organizations.  I think that I might have an idea based on corporate and community sponsorship more than grantwriting after reading this book.

After going to the supermarket, I stopped by Barnes and Noble.   There were a few titles that caught my attention, in the large print I thought the Danielle Steel book Family Ties would go well, the title Ice Cold by Tess Gerritsen which is a mystery just got turned into a television miniseries,  the book Halo The Fall of Reach by Eric Nylund will be popular because of the video game, also there is manga Bleach Official Bootleg Color Bleach which will popular.  For fashion, Nina Garcia's Look Book should be very popular.  The Four Fingers of Death by Rick Moody looks fantastic it is a literary comic novel about horror and science fiction.  It is something which I will definitely be reading.  Also there was posthumous mystery novel by Dick Francis and Felix Francis called Crossfire which caught my attention.

I have been reading more of Bring On The Books For Everybody.  It is very enjoyable.   Jim Collins is describing the concept of self-cultivation in literature.  The idea is that people should "Read only the very best books."  This will make them more cultivated.  This self-cultivation is for people who are not part of academia.  It allows them to attain a certain cachet.  I find it interesting.  There is a constant back and forth between popularity and quality and what we should get in a library.

I am a firm believer that many high quality books can become very popular if promoted and introduced correctly.  People want to improve themselves.   There is a genuine cultural value in reading that extends beyond the academic.  In fact, if you have a computer or even a cell phone and an internet connection, the classics and most of the canonical books should be available to you, not just the western cannon, but also many quality titles from all over the world in places like Project Gutenberg or the Internet Archive.  Most of the western academic literary cannon is already freely available for anyone to interpret any way they like.

This includes doing horrendous unique things like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, or having amateurs recite the classics at Librivox, or adding video content to classic works like the $1.99 Sherlock Holmes Experience which combines text and video on Vook  http://vook.com/the-sherlock-holmes-experience.html

Some of the commentary is truly entertaining.  For example, Virginia Woolf owned Hogarth Press so she was much freer in her ability to write what she wanted than many other authors.  I also like the description of the book becoming a much more social object.  People talk much more about books recently than they did before. I am on P. 66 and do not think I will hurry through reading this book.  There are so many things that are entertaining to me in this work.  I even like the photographs of Barnes and Nobles and Borders.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Daily Thoughts 8/20/2010 (winning grants, ingram, donations)

Koninck, Salomon, Der Eremit, 1643

Daily Thoughts 8/20/2010

On the train to work I started reading Winning Grants A How To Do It Manual for Librarians by Pamela H. McKellar and Stephanie K. Gerding.  Right now, they are talking about planning and vision statements.  They have a bunch of steps to go through before the grants are actually applied for.  I read most of it on the train home.  The book included a lot of information on how to organize a team to create grants not just a single person.  I find one of the grant projects particularly interesting http://www.getgraphic.org/ which is a literacy program through graphic novels.  There is also a cd rom which comes with the book.  This includes a presentation on a subject relevant to each chapter in the book as well as a variety of forms to fill out.  It helped me think of an idea for business sponsorship. I still have quite a few video clips to watch.

We had a gentleman from Ingram come in to talk about his vendor services.  It was kind of interesting.  Ingram owns Lightning Source http://www.lightningsource.com/ the largest print on demand services as well as has a number of small imprints exclusively distributed through them.  They are the largest distributor of books in the world.  They also distribute video games which is interesting. 

I did a little more spot checking in the 300s.  I also took a bit to look at the oversize 300s.  Like every morning, I checked the displays to see if they were in order. 

This is an article on book donations which I found kind of interesting.  http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/ask-ala-librarian/book-donations

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Daily Thoughts 8/19/2010 (Book Blogger Appreciation Week)

Daily Thoughts 8/19/2010

I am breaking my usual reticence and signing up to be interviewed as part of Book Blogger Appreciation Week.  It should be interesting.

Today has been quiet and steady.  I did some spot checking of the shelving to make sure things are in order and checked the displays.  On Friday, I am going to start weeding again in the oversize books.  I also took a little time to print up some flyers for some upcoming programs, an Open Book Chat, and the Graphic Novels Club next month.  One of our patrons suggested it would be better to call it an open book chat than a brown bag book chat.  There is also a business program coming up from the Women's Enterprise Development Center which comes every year.  It is called First Steps.  It is a combination of checking your entrepreneurial spirit and learning basic computer skills for business.

We finished our second year doing a program for Adult Summer Reading on August 17, 2010.  We had a few events associated with it; author talks, book chats, and a final literary tea.  It went well for our first time combining program with adult summer reading.

We did a little shifting of the audiobooks and checked the labeling.

I also checked out Starting an Online Business All In One For Dummies 2nd Edition by Shannon Belew and Joel Elad.  Hopefully it will explain valuation for online setups.  It is 814 pages long.  The book so far is a basic outline of how to start online.

 I read some more of Bring On the Books For Everybody by Jim Collins.  He is talking about how literature is becoming a source of deep personal satisfaction.  He cites Harold Bloom with his book How To Read And Why.  We get a lot of copies of Blooms Notes which are like Cliffs Notes   except for with Harold Blooms name on them.  When I checked the index there was no citation for librarian as a subject.  However, he did have a section on Nancy Pearl.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Daily Thoughts 8/18/2010 ( Bring on the Books, graphic novels )

Reading room of the library, U.S. Naval Academy, 1901, Detroit Publishing Company
Daily Thoughts 8/18/2010

I finished reading Bitter Angels last night.  It had a surprise ending and a unique story.  It is something I'll definitly be writing a review on later in the week.

Today was another steady day.  I read over some of the requirements for a conservation grant.  There are a number of questions I have to find out before applying.  It was interesting finding out what people wanted to know.  I also learned that I  will be using the acquisitions module directly built into our catalog.  This allows EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) of our orders.  It also shows when items are on order.

I had the Graphic Novels Club today.  We are getting more people coming to the club.  I think we ended up with fourteen people today which is not bad.  There were quite a few books checked out.  They picked out a few books on cartooning, Battle Angel Alita, Naruto, Inu Yasha, Scott Pilgrim which just came out as a movie, The Incredible Hulk versus X Force, as well as a few art books which I had brought in-- one on Mucha, and one on Maxfield Parrish as well as a book on How To Draw Manga.  One person brought their sketch book.  We also gave away free comics from Con Edison called The Power of Green  Go Green Save Some Green featuring the Green Lantern about saving electricity.

I also got a book on interlibrary loan called Bring On The Books For Everybody How Literary Culture Becomes Popular Culture by Jim Collins. It is an academic title.  I am finding the book very entertaining.  He is writing about how Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Oprah Winfrey, beach reading, book superstores, and digital culture are creating a new open view of literary reading.  It is a different approach to the classics with a different vision of the meaning of literature. He asks why the Pulitzer Prize puts a book on the New York Times Bestseller list.  

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Daily Thoughts 8/17/2010 (Bitter Angels, Westerns, Programs, Graphic Novels )

Owen Wister friend of Theodore Roosevelt and author of the American Western-style novel, The Virginian photo from the Owen Wister Collection of the American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming. 

Daily Thoughts 8/17/2010 

I finished reading The Outlaw Josey Wales by Forest Carter on the train to work today.  It looks like there might be a little bit of a resurgence in interest in westerns, especially Max Brand and Louis L'Amour who are still both very popular.  There is a set of reviews for westerns in Library Journal online.  http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/home/885858-264/collection_development_not_ready_for.html.csp

Another article How Libraries Ensure Ongoing Freedom In America by Martha Randolph Carr.
http://politicallyillustrated.com/index.php?/news_page/iw/1654/  I rather like the cartoon.

Today was a bit busier than usual.  We had the final Adult Summer Reading Game which is the first time we are doing this.  We talked about the books we read during the sumer, had punch or tea, raffled off a bag of books and bookish items, and gave away a few books to attendees.  It was a nice afternoon thing to do.

I also got ready for tomorrow, picking out a number of graphic novels for the program tomorrow.  This time I went into the storage area and pulled out some of our older material; Peter Arno, Chas Addams, Gary Trudeau, Herblock, Gahan Wilson, and a few other classic cartoonists.  We even had one of the old fashioned cartoon instruction books from the 1930s.  I like to pull material that is related to graphic novels, not just graphic novels, record cover art, illustration, fasion design, storyboarding, drawing comics, and writing comics.

I also finished going through the trade paperback fiction to make sure things were in the right place.  We now have a much expanded section for African American fiction.  I'll probably be going through the hardcover fiction section next.

I also have some work to do with BWI to check on the Electronic Data Interchange.  Our first orders are going through them soon. 

On the way home, I read some of Bitter Angels by C.L. Anderson which is a science fiction novel which mixes space opera and espionage.  There is a blurb by Linnea Sinclair on the cover who writes romantic science fiction.  Linnea Sinclair is an author which I like a lot.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Daily Thoughts 8/16/2010 (book communities )

Ständebuch & Beruf & Handel & Buch & Buchhandel, 1698, From Deutsche Fotothek
Daily Thoughts 8/16/2010
I finished reading How To Write A Business Plan, 9th Edition by Mike Mckeever.  It shows that I have to do a lot more research before I do anything else.  I have ideas, but they need clarification.  I also may have to learn some more about web design and programming.  Joomla and Drupal don't look that easy.

I am reading The Outlaw Josey Wales by Forest Carter.  It is very much a classic western.  It is the basis for the movie starring Clint Eastwood.

I am looking at book communities.  There is Redroom which is a little bit literary http://www.redroom.com/, Book Blogs http://bookblogs.ning.com/  one of my favorites, Shelfari  http://www.shelfari.com/  this catches some librarians attention,  Goodreads which is my favorite so far http://www.goodreads.com/, Librarything, my library belongs to this http://www.librarything.com/ , Bookcrossing which allows you to register then release books http://www.bookcrossing.com/ I am a member now, I just joined and looked at http://www.anobii.com/ which is interesting.  In other words there are a lot of book related communities. Here are a few more.  http://www.revish.com/   -- Interesting but small site. The Book Rabbit is a United Kingdom book site. http://www.bookrabbit.com/ 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Daily Thoughts 8/15/2010

Vincenzo Foppa, The Young Cicero Reading/Le jeune Cicéron lisant, c. 1464, Fresco

Daily Thoughts 8/15/2010

I am reading How To Write A Business Plan, 9th Edition.  I like what he calls business money forecasts SWAG (scientific wild ass guesses)  please excuse the language.  I am reading the material on cash flow and forecasting and it is starting to make some sense.  I am used to the idea of Ebay, you have something to sell you put it up on a website, someone bids on it, ebay takes a small percentage, and you get the check or payment when the material is sent to you. 

If you are a used bookseller it is also fairly straightforward.  You buy a used book for 10-20% of the cost of the book which you are going to sell it at.  The used bookseller goes to a garage sale, a library book sale, a church rummage sale, or gets someone who wanders in with some books.  They might also go to an auction or advertise for people to bring in books.  They buy the books then they sell it.  If they sell online in addition to the store, they might use ABE (Advanced Book Exchange ) and pay a flat fee to have thousands of books listed.  If they find something particularly interesting they might sell it on Ebay or in a special catalog with a higher price and a little bit of advertising.

Most business plan books don't describe online businesses that well.  A lot of the selling online is dropshipped from the manufacturer, or is a downloadable file.  The manufacturer is giving the business person a percentage of the value of the merchandise in exchange for marketing their item, doing customer service, and selling the item.  They do not charge you that much to list the item.  If you are using affiliates it can be pretty low, a commission of 4% of the price of the book from Amazon.   This means there has to be a relationship with a distributor of goods if you are going to make any money.  There are three which stand out for books, Ingram, Baker and Taylor, and Book Wholesalers Inc.  It is not hard to figure out.

I like the description of the consultants office costing $30,000 in How To Write A Business Plan.  What single person office nowadays is going to pay $2000 for a copy machine, $1000 for a fax machine, or $1000 for a telephone system.  It seemed a little absurd.  I am thinking of what it must look like for people building small internet sites.  They are probably sitting in a corner office with a printer, a phone, and a desktop computer on a big desk.  They might have an office chair and a few bookshelves, but most likely it is very bare bones.

I remember a description of Amazon when it was first starting.  The desks were doors on top of chairs with a computer on top of that.  I also wonder what garage offices look like for many startups.  They probably aren't that pretty.  There probably are pizza boxes and diet coke.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fundraising When Money Is Tight A Strategic and Practical Guide to Surviving Tough Times and Thriving In The Future by Mal Warwick.

Fundraising When Money Is Tight A Strategic and Practical Guide to Surviving Tough Times and Thriving In The Future by Mal Warwick.

This was a very quick read. I read it in the morning. Now I am writing about it. Mal Warwick describes how to focus nonprofit fundraising efforts in times of recession. There is both less money to raise funds and less money available.

He argues that it is necessary to be more focused in fundraising efforts, focusing your activities on things which have worked before. He suggests cutting out activities that don't raise much money and asking more from fundrasing staff.

A few of the suggestions I liked were that telephone, internet, and direct mail are not separate. For example it is often more effective if you first send a person a letter, then make a followup phone call. I also liked his idea of going back through your old donor lists for the last three years and contacting all the people who did not give this year.

Mal Warwick makes nine major points in this book, reassess your donation process, strengthen your case for giving, stick to what you have in hand, be selective in cost cutting, go to where the big donors are, stay close to your donors, understand your donors personally, step up your online efforts, and get cooperation throughout an organization for raising funds.

I found some of his ideas on raising funds online interesting. Google has a few charitable programs that are interesting. We recently added a donation button for our foundation to our website.
This is a very quick read with many constructive ideas on how to raise funds. Mal Warwick has written 18 previous books on raising money. http://www.malwarwick.com/

Daily Thoughts 8/14/2010 ( business plans )

The Alchemist, Sir William Fettes Douglas, 1853

Daily Thoughts 8/14/2010

I am reading How To Write A Business Plan, 9th Edition by Mike McKeever.  I find books which require you to create imaginary numbers difficult.  The idea of forecasting future amounts of money does not work well for me.  Setting down what you are supposed to do is not that difficult for me. Thinking of different ways to market products or coming up with new sources of cash flows is not hard.  I may have to get back to it later. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Mental Health, Naturally The Family Guide to Holistic Care for a Healthy Mind and Body by Kathi J. Kemper, MD, MPH, FAAP

Mental Health, Naturally The Family Guide to Holistic Care for a Healthy Mind and Body by Kathi J. Kemper, MD, MPH, FAAP

Kathi J. Kemper writes an overview of different actions a person can take to maintain physical and mental health. Her book is very practical. She reminds us to get enough sleep, exercise for 45 minutes to an hour every single day, take a complete vitamin and mineral supplement, reduce exposure to environmental toxins like lead, mercury, and pesticides, eat a healthy diet consisting of mainly plants, and actively seek ways to reduce stress.

The sections on relieving stress and communication give many suggestions on how take care of yourself. For example, there are numerous short meditative exercises and examples on how to talk to yourself positively. She also describes how prayer, music, and art improve mental health. The descriptions were basic and exact.

The book has sections on alternative medicine. Kathi J. Kemper does not automatically endorse different therapies. She describes what the medical research shows on different treatments. There is a section on herbal supplements where she states several of the popular herbal supplements for improving moods are not effective. She also discusses how to use vitamins safely. She cites the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine http://nccam.nih.gov/  as a reliable source of information on alternative treatments. She also describes the training process for homeopathy and acuptuncture.

As a book on mental health, the author focuses on five different areas; interpersonal communication, stress, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, anxiety, and depression. She does not attack the medical profession in the book. She reminds people to see a healthcare professional. In the reference section of the book, there are numerous citations from recognized psyhchology, psychiatry, nutrition, pharmacolgy, and alternative medical journals. The book is very much a book on integrative medicine.

I found Mental Health Naturally to be a very easy book to read. It was extensively referenced with lists of professional associations, a bibliography of recommended book titles, an index, and extensive notes for each chapter. It is one of the better books I have read on integrative medicine.
Dr. Kemper is nationally recognized pediatrician, doctor, and specialist in holistic medicine. This is a link to her biography. http://www.wfubmc.edu/Center-for-Integrative-Medicine/Media-Information/Dr--Kathi-J--Kemper.htm

Daily Thoughts 8/13/2010 ( Paperbacks )

The Fair Maid of Perth This sculpture by Graham Ibbeson sits at the east end of the pedestrianised High Street. It refers to the novel of the same name by Sir Walter Scott, although the maid herself seems to have lost interest in her book.10 August 2007, Lis Burke Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 2.0

Daily Thoughts 8/13/2010

Today has been a quiet day.  I mainly worked on checking the paperbacks to see that they are in their proper place.  I picked out a few books to change location for mass market and trade paperback fiction, african american fication, romance, urban fiction, mystery, and science fiction titles.  I also read a variety of reviews.

This is very interesting.  It is a picture of the $35 tablet from India, they are aiming to bring the price down to $10 with open source software.   http://www.fastcompany.com/1681277/indian-tablet-gets-tv-debut-but-still-hard-to-believe

I checked out two books today, Fundraising When Money Is Tight by Mal Warwick and How To Write A Business Plan 9th Edition by Mike McKeever, published by Nolo Press.  I also checked out the dvd for the book Iron Yoga Combine Yoga and Strength Training For Weight Loss and Total Body Fitness and the dvd Fuel Change Your Fuel.... Change Your World.  This documentary won the Sundance Best Documentary Audience Award and is also a New York Times Critics Pick.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Smart Start-Ups How Entrepreneurs and Corporations Can Benefit by Creating Online Communities by David Silver

Smart Start-Ups How Entrepreneurs and Corporations Can Benefit by Creating Online Communities by David Silver.

David Silver is a venture capitalist and an author of over 30 books on business. This book varies between being a strategy guide to start an online community and a stream of ideas for starting a variety of online businesses. The book describes online communities as being both on the internet and on mobile phones.

I found the sections on how to start an internet company quiet interesting. He was focusing on social networks like myspace.com and twitter. Social networks are described as being successful because of the ability to generate mobs of people and focus on user generated content. David Silver describes them as requiring very little capital to create.

He argues for a different strategy in creating communities. His view is that it is important to be part of the crowd, not appear to have a lot of money, ask for tips, try to encourage people to provide content for you, and create services which people will pay for.

Part of the strategy he is describing is appearing to be in opposition to large media companies. For example if you are selling ebooks, you might tell people why you don't like paper books, or if you are selling music downloads, suggest why compact discs are obsolete. Being persuasive and generating controversy, even lawsuits will generate even more interest in your sites as well as money.

Where the book did not do well with me was the constant stream of ideas which he proposed. It is easy to generate ideas but it is much harder to show how to execute on them. David Silver talked about everything from online legal arbitration societies to social sites on how to reinvent the American car. This was distracting. The sections on strategy and implementation were much better than the suggestions for new businesses.

I liked his ideas on how to create an online business strategy. It very much describes how to think like a social networking business person. The book was written in 2007 and seems to have been right on target for 2010. If you can get past the constant stream of suggestions for new businesses this book is worth reading.

Daily Thoughts 8/12/2010

A cartoon from Drawn at a Venture by Fougasse (1922)

Daily Thoughts 8/12/2010 

Today has been quiet and steady.  I put up some of the shelf talkers.  I will wait and see which people like them.  One of my colleagues opened a Library Thing  http://www.librarything.com/ account for our library which should be interesting.  It was fun adding a little bit about our library to the site.  It is a bit different than Goodreads. 

We are also cleaning up a section of the storage area.  My job is to mainly get a few things out of the storage area.   I also spent some time discussing the bimonthly report with the director.

We also had an open book discussion for people to discuss what they were reading during the summer.  It was interesting and a bit different.  I think it will turn out well.  We are going to do another one next month in September.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Daily Thoughts 8/11/2010 (Budget, Advocacy)

16th Century Decorative Alphabet.

Daily Thoughts 8/11/2010 

Paintings of different peoples Ideal Bookshelves.  http://idealbookshelf.typepad.com/

We had our order meeting today.  I also read a little bit on preservation from a few websites. I am printing up the shelf talkers for tomorrow right now.

I finished reading Smart Start-Ups and Mental Health Naturally on the way to work on the train.

Things are getting rather interesting in the book trade.  It seems that Amazon is now challenging Barnes and Noble with ebooks.  It looks like things are very much up in the air in the book world.  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/12/business/media/12bookstore.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&src=busln

I feel a bit perplexed.  Recently there has been talk about budget shortfalls in the city of over $4.4 million dollars by the end of the year.  This makes it look like we will need to be even more ready than before by the end of the year.  There is talk of retirement packages.  I am not sure what to make of this.  People cannot collect social security until they are 66 which is a rather interesting conundrum.  It is eye opening. 

The math is rather interesting.  We received $250,000 until the end of the year out of $400.000.  This leaves 150,000 in debt leftover.  If we were $400,000 in debt July of last year and did the exact same thing we would be $550,00 in debt by the same time next year.  If you add in inflation of 5% to a 3.8 million dollar budget, you would need another $159,000.  Add $550,000 to $159,000 and you get $709,000.  I am not sure if this makes sense.  Lets say the city decides to cut the library funds by 3% because of a need to save money, that would be another $100,000.  I can imagine an $800,000 shortfall by next year.  This would be an absolute worse case scenario.

This is why people need to find ways to save money as well as generate revenue, get more people into the building, get donations, and get grants.  This is a possible truth of what we may be facing.  It is also a reason to think about advocacy and other things.

On the way home,  I read something a little bit different, a 55 page print out of the guidelines for a conservation/preservation grant from the New York State Board of Regents for libraries.  I was reading the section on photographs.  We have some interesting old photographs in our library.  A number of them have been used in books.  There is a box of old photographs of our library.  The box of course is a greyish acid free cardboard.  The photographs would make for an interesting display in our lobby.  The foundation date of our library building is on November 16.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Daily Thoughts 8/10/2010 ( programs, local history )

Peter Dell the Elder: Portrait of Jakob Woler; Würzburg 1529; boxwood

Daily Thoughts 8/10/2010

On the train to work, I read a little bit more of Mental Health Naturally.  The section I read was on the communication; how to talk to yourself so you don't put yourself down as well as change negative conversations.  I also took a little bit of time to read some more of Smart Start-Ups.  I was reading about how to keep a low profile, ask users for funding, and generate interest in your site.

While reading through Shelf Awareness an email newsletter, I saw an interesting book on books, Bring on the Books for Everybody: How Literary Culture Became Popular Culture by  Jim Collins.  None of our libraries have it yet.  I am going to request it through interlibrary loan.

This morning I spent a little bit of time in the local history room.  There is a fairly large photograph collection in there.  Many of the photographs are not yet identified.  There are also a lot of photographs of our building dating all the way back to its founding.  There is even a painting of the library from 1906 with a picture of a horse and buggy in front of the library. 

I also spent some time in a meeting for planning the events that are happening in the next two months.  We are going to have the Graphic Novels Club and the Brown Bag Book Chat as ongoing events because they have been working so far.  I have to work a little bit on better publicity for these events.

I was reading through Publishers Weekly and came across something a little bit unusual.  There is a zombie novel written for teenagers written in a haiku style by K.A. Holt and illustrated by Gahan Wilson called Brains For Lunch.  It is a curiosity to me to see it in the books for teens section.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Daily Thoughts 8/9/2010 ( Mental Health Naturally, Geek The Library, Smart Start Ups )

Astronaut Reading

Daily Thoughts 8/9/2010

Today has been a quiet steady day.  Worked on a bookmark, distributed some fliers for the Brown Bag Book Chat, and shifted some holiday books to a new location in the storage area.  I also have the requirements printed up for a Preservation/Conservation grant printed up from New York state.  It is kind of interesting to look at.

I have been looking at a few different programs.  In September, the Women's Enterprise Development Center is coming to do a set of programs on entrepreneurship.  They have come once a year for the last four years.  Also, a gentleman called about doing a program for disabilities law which could be quite interesting.  The schedule for September and October's programming is coming up soon.  I will probably continue doing the Graphic Novels Club which is working out fine.  One of our regular patrons asked me to continue doing a book chat.  He liked it.  The preparation for the literary tea is moving along nicely.

Sometimes, you don't get to finish things.  I'll probably work on the shelf talkers tomorrow.  I also have to look over my ordering for Wednesday's ordering meeting.

Another book came in for me to read, Smart Startups How Entrepreneurs and Corporations Can Profit by Starting Online Communities by David Silver.  I got this through interlibrary loan from a local college.  Nobody had it in the public library system.  I am also looking at Problogger Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six Figure Income, Second Edition by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett.  I read the first edition.  Most of it is very commercial.

This morning, I finished another section of Mental Health Naturally by Kathi J. Kemper.  The focus on this section was different means of reducing stress.  It went over meditation which they described as focusing your awareness with intent.  It is an excellent description.  There were also bits on affirmations, changing the language which you talk to yourself with, listening to music, imagery and biofeedback.  The main focus was how to reduce and limit stress.

In a bit of good news, The Camden, New Jersey Library System may be saved by joining the county system.
http://www.lisnews.org/hope_camden039s_libraries  There seems to be a pattern where there are threats of closures and compromises all over the United States for libraries.

I am reading Smart Startups How Entrepreneurs and Corporations Can Profit by Starting Online Communities by David Silver.  The book describes some new ideas for me to get a grasp on, user generated content is a big one.

Geek The Library is one of the more entertaining library advocacy groups. http://www.geekthelibrary.org/

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Daily Thoughts 8/8/2010 ( Copyleft, Mental Health Naturally, Book Review Blog Carnival, Iron Yoga )

Ex libris Siegfried Bresler, tecnica: acquaforte, Titolo: "L'angolo del fotografo", misure, mm.58x62, anno di produzione 1997, autore: carla Fusi. This image is copyleft. Copyleft: This work of art is free; you can redistribute it and/or modify it according to terms of the Free Art License

Daily Thoughts 8/8/2010

I have been reading a little bit more of Mental Health Naturally. The section I am reading right now is on exercises on feeling gratitude, hope, compassion, and other positive emotions.  The book is very much focused on people who want to live a natural lifestyle:  wear natural fibers, be careful about household chemicals, use natural cleaners, eat locally, take vitamin supplements, and practice meditation.

The 49th edition of the Book Review Blog Carnival has been published at Proud Book Nerd.


I finally got around to buying some 3 pound handweights.  This is for me to try the exercises from the book Iron yoga : combine yoga and strength training for weight loss and total body fitness by Anthony Carillo with Eric Neuhaus.  I had read it earlier.  I am going to read it again.  There is also an Iron Yoga dvd which runs for about an hour which I'll watch.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Daily Thoughts 8/7/2010 (Mental Health Naturally, ebooks, Friend or Follow )

The Bookman Digital ID: 1258847. New York Public Library
[Men and women in overcoats and hats carry packages while walking through snow], The Bookman, February 1899
Daily Thoughts 8/7/2010

I am reading Mental Health Naturally The Family Guide to Holistic Care for a Healthy Mind and Body by Kathi J. Kemper, MD, MPH, FAAP.  The approach of this book is very much complementary medicine using both holistic approaches and contemporary medical approaches.  It reminds us to exercise regularly, sleep for at least seven hours, and eat locally grown food preferably that is organically harvested.  Right now, I am reading about the benefits of taking different vitamins.  The author reminds us that the vitamin industry is not as well regulated as the food industry and claims are not always accurate.  I am finding the book to be fairly practical. One of the reasons I am reviewing this book is that there are not a lot of reviews for books focused on psychological health.

Last night, I tried the website, http://www.friendorfollow.com/ for Twitter which allows you to look at different ways people are following you on twitter.  It helped me identify who I was following me that I wasn't following.

I learned that Dorchester Publisher is going digital for most of its paperbacks.  The article is a little misleading.  It says the paperbacks will now be available for print on demand as well.  This is very much the wave of the future.  The book starts as a digital document, then if you want a hardcopy, you request a printing of it on demand.  It makes sense.  Dorchester makes one of my favorite series, the Hardcase Crime paperback imprint for hardboiled mysteries.  Hopefully we will still be able to get this as print on demand.  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703309704575413611289773690.html?mod=wsj_share_twitter

Cherie Priest has a new steampunk novel called Clementine coming out which should be enjoyable.  I liked her last novel, Boneshaker.  The pace of her novels is very fast with lots of action.

Camden New Jersey will be the first library system in the United States to close all its branches. http://networkedblogs.com/6BRxP  It reads like the barbarians at the gates.  We have to sell all the books because they are a fire hazard.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Daily Thoughts 8/6/2010 (shelf talkers, readers advisory, ebooks)

Christopher Amberger, Portrait of A Man, Oil On Wood Panel, 1540-1560, Wawel Castle, Krakow

Daily Thoughts 8/6/2010

A brief look at a social network http://bookcalendar.wackwall.com/  I found Wackwall on the Ning Bookblogs.  It is interesting to look at.

I worked on selecting authors for more shelf talkers today.  These are small signs which you put next to a particular author indicating three to five similar authors.  I focused on initially picking out authors who are popular with a lot of books in our library.  People like Jodi Picoult, Debbie Macomber, W.E.B. Griffin, David Weber, Elizabeth Lowell, John Irving, Philip Roth, Joyce Carol Oates, and others.  I will be doing the mystery section once I am done with the fiction.

I also did the monthly requests for the book mobile today.  There were a lot of requests for Daphne Du Maurier, specifically Jamaica Inn and Rebecca.  They also requested Rebecca as a dvd.  Michelangelo is also a very popular topic.  We get requests for books on him almost every time.  They also requested Erma Bombeck and a few other humorists.

In addition, as always, I checked the displays to make sure they were up to date.  I also wrote a flyer for the Brown Bag Book Talk which we are going to have on August 12, 2010.  Someone also asked for us to do a discussion about ebooks in the library setting.  It might take me a little bit to figure out more about this.  I am thinking about signing up for the Ebooks Libraries at the Tipping Point conference on September 29, 2010.

I inished up my class for Readers Advisory 101 online today.  I sent in my final assignment for the class today.  Soon I'll probably get a certificate for the class.  I handed the certificate for the library advocacy class I took online as well.  It has been an interesting time taking the class.  I'll probably go back and look through the transcripts of the chat sessions again for the Readers Advisory 101 class.

I did not have time to read reviews today.  It was simply too busy.  It is evening and I am typing this up.  I did not read anything on the train this time either.  Instead I took the time to write my thoughts down in a journal.  I keep lined journals where I write up my reviews longhand before I put them in the computer.  I take notes in them while I am reading but never go back and read them again.  I have three blank journals right now in my shoulder bag.  I have a Manhattan Portage LTD shoulder bag which I use all the time.  It is the second one I have bought.  They have proven to be very sturdy and good for carrying books to conferences and other places.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Daily Thoughts 8/5/2010 ( readers advisory, yahoo style guide )

Depiction of the Venerable Bede (CLVIIIv) from the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493

Daily Thoughts 8/5/2010

I am looking at Pligg which is an open source system for building social networks.  It looks quite interesting.  You would probably need a fairly skillful technical person to implement it. http://www.pligg.com/ It reminds me a little bit of Digg.

Today, I checked the displays and talked with some people about doing programs and working on some cleanup in the storage area.  I also finished my Readers Advisory 101 Class this morning doing the final interview.  We had to do a simulated readers advisory session with a patron.  It was interesting.  I ended up suggesting several hard edged detective authors, Max Allan Collins, Mickey Spillane, Robert Crais, Robert B. Parker, Donald Westlake, and Sara Paretsky.  My compatriot in turn recommended some techno thrillers including Stephen Coonts and Craig Thomas. He also recommended Keith Laumer who is a science fiction author who I really like.  It was an enjoyable thing to do for an hour.

I also finished reading The Yahoo Style Guide in print.  It is also on the internet http://styleguide.yahoo.com/writing .  One point that really stuck out for me was that I need to rewrite my headers so search engines will find what I am writing about.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Daily Thoughts 8/4/2010 ( yahoo, literary tea )

Harper’s August Digital ID: 1131229. New York Public Library
Harper's August 1898
Daily Thoughts 8/4/2010

Today has been a steady day.  We talked about doing a "Literary Tea" for our end of Adult Summer Reading program where we would serve tea, cookies, small sandwiches, and fruit.  The Friends of the Library would be there to help.  People will sit and discuss the books they read during the summer.  Then we will hold a raffle for a bag of books and goodies for those who participated in the Adult Summer Reading program.  It should be interesting.

I spent some time going through my orders, reading Library journal and Publishers Weekly,  and looking over grant materials.  There is a preservation grant from New York state which might be worth doing. 

I also put the book, The Outlaw Josey Wales by Forrest Carter on hold.  It is the book which the film starring Clint Eastwood is based on.  I sometimes like reading a good western.  The paperback was released in February 2010.

This morning while I was on the train, I read some of The Yahoo! Style Guide.  There are numerous exercises on how to determine what your ideal user is.  This is a sample of a model user. I wrote it for both entertainment value and what I think a user might be like.

  • Name: Adam Finney
  • Age: 40
  • Gender: Male
  • Education: Bachelors with some works on an M.F.A. in creative writing.
  • Family:  Married with one child.
  • Hobbies: Likes to read, build toy robots, draw comics, and blog.
  • Work: Works as a production manager for a publishing house, sells toy robots on ebay.
  • Technology:  Very technically savvy, has fiber optic internet, wireless laptop, smart phone.
  • Disabilities:  The reader wears glasses and has an anti-glare screen for his computer, his eyes are light sensitive.
  • Web savvy:  The reader can put together a wordpress blog, participates in social networks like Book Blogs on Ning and Facebook.  His family is listed in Facebook.  His wife coauthors his blog.
  • Business or Personal Goals: The reader hopes to start a small business combining building toy robots, comics, and books.  He has trademarked a couple of characters for the business.  He is also probably setting a goal to read 24 books a year and improve his writing skills.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Daily Thoughts 8/3/2010 ( Librarians Social Networks )

Copyright catalogs at the Library of Congress. Located in room LM-404 of the James Madison Memorial Building, Washington DC. The pre-1978 indexes to the copyright records were manually entered on 3 by 5 inch (76 by 127 mm) cards that were stored in file drawers. 30 April 2009, Michael Holloway, Public Domain.  Card catalogs drawers which are emptied of the cards are the perfect size to store audiocasette containers.  These of course are also obsolete.  Now they make nice places to put items in for art projects.  They use card catalogs drawers to put items in the childrens room of Poets House in New York as part of an art display.

Daily Thoughts 8/3/2010

I am reading The Yahoo! Style Guide The Ultimate Sourcebook For Writing, Editing, And Creating Content For The Digital World by Chris Barr and The Senior Editors of Yahoo.  It is also available online at:

Someone asked about social networks for libraries on Fuelmyblog.  Here are a few which I have seen librarians use. I am on Twitter with many library connections...

http://www.twitter.com/bookcalendar dig around you might find a few. Anyways here is a bit more...


ALA Connect-- Social Network. The main use I've found for this online classes...


New York Librarians Meetup Blog


Urban Librarians Unite


Book Blogs on Ning


Book Bloggers Convention

http://www.goodreads.com/ Goodreads


Linkedin American Library Association

Undress For Success The Naked Truth About Making Money At Home by Kate Lister and Tom Harnish

Undress For Succes The Naked Truth About Making Money at Home by Kate Lister and Tom Harnish

The central focus of this book is telecommuting. It does not promise the reader that telecommuting will be easy or pay a lot of money. The authors describe the practice of homeshoring where people are hired from home to do customer service work at low pay. The book is honest. The descriptions of lower pay for comparable jobs in an office compared to working at home are covered. Tutors earn $12-15 hour, customer service workers earn $10-12 an hour, and online help technicians $18-20 an hour from home. Low pay for the advantage of working from a home office. Working from home doing research also does not pay as well as in an office.

The book lists a lot of real companies that offer work at home jobs; Tutor.com, Alpine Access, Team Double Click, Smart Thinking, writing for About.com, and other jobs. The jobs that are most lucrative are computer programming and web design jobs. There is also discussion of telemedicine. They also give real job boards for work at home jobs as well as freelance job sites. Rat Race Rebellion and Dreamjobs
Inc are two websites that they suggest for telecommuting job hunting.

The descriptions of teleworking are of being more productive, having more flexible hours, getting paid less and getting less recognition. Telecommuters have to be very technically savvy, they are using the internet to to do their jobs.   Even the customer service jobs require knowledge of how to use computers, hands free headsets and have some ability to type. The better paying jobs require more complex equipment including digital cameras, cell phones, different software packages, and cable internet. This equipment is mostly bought out of the teleworkers salary.  Having a home office with a computer  is often a prerequisite to applying.

The authors preach the environmental benefit of working from home; you don't have to spend money on the commute, are comfortably at home, and you don't pollute as much. They also describe how it costs the company less to hire people from home because they are not paying for real estate or equipment for a person in an office. 

This is an excellent, honest overview of telecommuting jobs. It is comprehensive in scope and covers all kinds of resources associated with telecommuting.  There are many benefits and disadvantages of working from home.