Saturday, April 30, 2011

Daily Thoughts 4/30/2011 (Tamerlane(

Voltaire at his desk with a pen in his hand. Engraving by Baquoy, ca. 1795

Daily Thoughts 4/30/2011

I have been reading more of Tamerlane.  It is an interesting story about how a man rose from obscurity to become a conqueror.  There is a certain majesty and cruelty that go with the story.  Other than that, I have been relaxing.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Daily Thoughts 4/29/2011 (the earthshakers, advocacy)

The future George III of the United Kingdom (right), pictured with his brother Prince Edward, Duke of York and Albany, and their tutor, Francis Ayscough, Dean of Bristol. The Prince of Wales sits regally, as befits the heir to the throne. Near his left hand is a globe and a volume bearing his crest, the Prince of Wales feathers. His brother symbolically serves him by offering him a book (albeit in a playful and distracted manner). Richard Wilson, circa 1749

Daily Thoughts 4/29/2011

I finished the first part of The Earthshakers this morning.  This first half was originally titled The March of the Barbarians.  The ending describes the fall of the Mongols.  It was quite interesting.  The Mongols attacked Japan and were thoroughly routed.  They also attempted to invade Vietnam and won the battle in the cities, but ended up fairing poorly on horseback in the jungle.  I am starting on the second part, Tamerlane.

Today has been another quiet day.  I updated the Twitter account, checked the displays, checked the gift books, and turned in my monthly statistics for programs, email reference, and now Twitter.  I have to work on the bimonthly report.  I also spent some time on getting ready for future programs.  Things like a mortgage workshop for seniors, and adding a few more open hours to the computer lab.

We did a few minor things to the web site like an adding a search inside the site box.

Web Bits

Advocacy: Public Library as Amenity and Necessity

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Daily Thoughts 4/28/2011 (the earthshakers)

Construction of the Thomas Jefferson Building of the US Library of Congress from July 8, 1888 to May 15, 1894. Composite image assembled from LOC source images on April 12, 2006 by Jim Harper. Any copyright ownership of the composite image is hereby released to the public. Source images are identified as public domain and can be found in this collection,

Daily Thoughts 4/28/2011

Today was a steady day.  I read some more of The Earthshakers.  I am reading about how the Mongols were driven out of the Islamic world by Baibars-- (Lord Panther) who was a mamluk who seized the sultanate in Egypt.  It is a very interesting story.  Baibars was reviled by the crusaders and is considered a national hero in Egypt and Syria.  Baibars was also Kipchak Turk and very familiar with Mongol methods of warfare.

This morning, I updated the Twitter account, checked the displays, and checked the gift books.  Most all of the gift books go into the library book sale.  I make a few exceptions.  For example, I added a 2009 Phil Mickelson book called The Short Game on golf.  There is a simple truth here.  The better books you put out for the book sale, the more likely you are going to get better donations.  I like to think of the library book sale as a good will gesture to the community.

I called a few people about programs in the afternoon.  We are having another poetry program on May 5, 2011 with a speaker on memoirs.  I also put in a few more surveys this afternoon.

Two more books came in for me to read, Spade and Archer The Prequel to Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon by Joe Gores, and All The Lives He Led by Frederik Pohl.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Daily Thoughts 4/27/2011 (The Earthshakers, earth week)

Be kind to books club Are you a member? /
Poster showing a group of children with their book club banner.
Date Created/Published: Chicago, Ill. : WPA Illinois Art Project, [between 1936 and 1940] 

Daily Thoughts 4/27/2011 

It is interesting reading The Earth Shakers.  At this point in my reading, Harold Lamb is describing the Mongol invasion of Russia.  There a lot of quotes and individual stories of survival peppered throughout the account.  Genghis Khan has passed away and his spirit is supposed to reside in the mongol banner.

This morning, I checked the donations, made sure the Twitter account was updated, put in the surveys, and made sure the displays were in order.

We had three bike racks donated to the library from Habitat For Humanity today for Earth Week which is from April 25 to April 30.  They are going to do some landscaping on the building this week to make it a little prettier.

I also met to discuss some use of the computer lab.  Things might change a bit.

I put 63 documents the government doesn't want you to read by Jesse Ventura on hold.  It is #7 on the New York Times Nonfiction Bestseller list.  There were several New York Times book reviews which I read during my dinner hour.

I also noticed that there is new A. Lee Martinez novel out Chasing The Moon.  I like his humorous fantasy novels.

Web Bits

Overdrive Amazon Kindle Integration for Libraries

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Daily Thoughts 4/26/2011 (The Earthshakers, Gifts)

Illustration of "The Rock" Gold Blocking and Inking Press, no. 4, from an advert for Kampe & Co of 78 High Holborn, London as printed in The Art of Bookbinding by Joseph William Zaehnsdorf, 1890

Daily Thoughts 4/26/2011

This morning I read some more of The Earthshakers by Harold Lamb.  The book was originally published as The March of the Barbarians and Tamerlane.  It has that old fashioned feel of history written with an upright Rome, an exotic East, and pillaging hordes of barbarians.

Today has been quiet and steady.  I checked the displays and checked the gift books.  We received some donations of books on music.  One of the books, The Beatles Anthology written in 2000 is the first book by the Beatles on the history of the Beatles.  It is a quarto book and has lots of photographs.

As usual I updated the Twitter account and entered some more surveys for the library.  We are going to be ordering again soon which should be a nice change.

I put the book, All The Lives He Led by Frederik Pohl on hold today.  It is his newest book.

I am thinking ahead about a discount to Book Expo America which is on May 23-26 this year.  It should be excellent.  I registered for the May 23, 2011 Day of Dialog Today

Web Bits

Librarians at the Gate an article from Publishers Weekly on Book Expo America

Monday, April 25, 2011

Daily Thoughts 4/25/2011 (The Earthshakers)

1891 NorthReading public library Massachusetts

Daily Thoughts 5/25/2011

Today has been a quiet, steady day today.  This morning, we met with the Sony Reader person to discuss how we were going to set up the three donated readers for the public to use.  We got some more marketing material, and he promised to send us a dummie reader.

I just got back from vacation, so there were quite a few surveys to talley this morning as well as a bit to catchup with on the Twitter account.  I also went through the gift books.  There were a number of nice art books which are going to be added to the collection.

I also checked the displays to make sure they were in order. The book, The Earthshakers by Harold Lamb came in for me to read.  It is a history of the Mongols.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Powering The Dream The History and Promise of Green Technology by Alexis Madrigal

Powering The Dream The History and Promise of Green Technology by Alexis Madrigal

This is a history of alternative energy technology. It is a story of failure as much as it is a story of success. We learn that the ideas behind green technology are not new. There are many historical examples of early green technology in this book. For example, an attempt to build a 1 megawatt wind turbine was done in 1951. We also learn that many of the failures are not about the technology. It is as much about politics, philosophy, and business practices whether or not a new technology fails. The first battery operated cars hd horrible customer service and maintenance.

Alex Madrigal also compares other energy sources to renewables. Most notably he describes how the nuclear industry created a view that it was our future. We get a sense that history repeats itself with different energy sources being touted at different points in recent history. The historical examples are not what you might expect.

We learn that there were solar water heaters in 1930s, solar homes in the 1950s, wind energy was used in the American West to pump water, there was a wave energy demonstration plant in 1906 in San Francisco, compressed air was considered as an alternative to electricity as a way to store energy, and that historically green energy was part of a number of philosophical movements like transcendentalism. This is a very different picture than what is presented in the mainstream press.

In this book, green energy is as much a state of mind as a technology. For example, Google has a program called RE

We learn that only after many tries did wind become a viable renwable energy source, and that Luz solar concentrating power went through a variety of different companies selling the same technology with slight improvements over time.

The black and white photographs in the book are quite interesting. There are pictures of the first solar hot water heaters, first 1 megawatt wind generators, articles about wave generators from 1906, and pictures of other energy technnology.

This is an excellent book both from the viewpoint of a history of technology, and as a review of the philosophies underpinning renewable energy. I especially liked the first book on renewable energies title, The Paradise Within The Reach of All Men, Without Labour, by Powers of Nature, and Machinery An Address to All Men by John Etzler written in the 1830s, which described early forms of wind, wave, and solar power. It reminded me of Lewis Mumford's ideal of a "technic civilization" built on wind and wave power.

Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor for the Atlantic. There is a blog which is related to this book on the history of renewable energy.

Daily Thoughts 4/24/2011 (Marshall McLuhan)

James Joyce. Photo by C. Ruf, Zurich, ca. 1918

Daily Thoughts 4/24/2011

Today, I finished reading Marshall McLuhan: You KNow Nothing of My Work! by Douglas Coupland.   The book made me want to read Finnegan's Wake by James Joyce.  I have not read anything by Joyce before.  It also made me want to try to read something other than The Medium Is The Message by Marshall McLuhan.  The Gutenberg Galaxy sounds interesting.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Daily Thoughts 4/23/2011 (Marshall McLuhan)

Faced with information overload, we have no alternative but pattern recognition. -Marshall McLuhan, 18 May 2007, by Vergel Bradford,  GFDL (Gnu Free Documentation License), Attribution.  From Wikimedia

Daily Thoughts 4/23/2011

I am enjoying reading Marshall McLuhan: You Know Nothing of My Work by Douglas Coupland. It is intteresting learning that Marshall McLuhan was a professor of classic literature: Shakespeare, Chaucer, and other high literature.  He also hated television and did not watch it much.  Douglas Coupland also adds his own commentary which very much seems to be.Blue Sky Thinking

Friday, April 22, 2011

Daily Thoughts 4/20/2011 (Board Meeting)

Daily Thoughts 4/20/2011

I really did not have a chance to write much today.  I did spend quite a bit of time thinking about my future.  I did go in to the library for the board meeting at night.

Web Bits

Amazon to bring Ebook Lending to Local Libraries

Daily Thoughts 4/22/2011 (You know nothing of my work!, The Forgotten Founding Father)

Title page of "A Dictionary of the English Language," written by Noah Webster. Image courtesy of the Yale University Manuscripts & Archives Digital Images Database, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.  1830-1840

Daily Thoughts 4/22/2011

I enjoyed reading The Forgotten Founding Father, even though it is written as a popular biography, it uses a lot of primary source material for its research.  It took eighteen years for Noah Webster to write An American Dictionary.  He wrote it by himself.  This is an amzing feat.  Nowadays dictionaries are written by a team of people.

I am looking at Marshall McLun You Know Nothing of My Work.  It is sitting on top of The Forgotten Founding Father.  Both are biographies about people who understood words and meaning.

Marshall McLuhan is famous for the concept of the "Global Village" and "The Medium is the Message."  What is stunning about his work is that it predates the internet and at the same time seems to explain many of the things which are currently happening.  The constant change, the unpredictability, and the fear that go with not knowing what is going to happen next are eloquently described by Marshall McLuhan in terms of television and electronic media.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Daily Thoughts 4/21/2011 (American Vampire, The Forgotten Founding Father)

Noah Webster, 1911

Daily Thoughts 4/21/2011

Yesterday was far busier than I imagined.  I stopped by my library and picked up two more books, American Vampire by Scott Snyder, Stephen King, and Raphael Albuquerque.  I learned that Joe Hill is Stephen King's son which is interesting.  I really enjoyed reading American Vampire.  It is a graphic novel which starts in old west and then moves into the early film era of the 1920s.  I especially like Skinner Sweet, the main character, a vampire and gunslinger with a sweet tooth.

The second book that I picked up was Marshall McLuhan You Know Nothing of My Work by Douglas Coupland.  It is a biography with a different style.  Douglas Coupland adds a touch of pop culture writing to the work.  Marshall McLuhan is best known for his quote, "The Medium is the Message."

Last night, I went to the board meeting for the library.  The place was packed with people.  There was a lot of commentary on the way the library was being run. People were mainly asking for the library to reopen on the weekends which is what most patrons are asking for.  It is the most asked for thing on the library survey.  Part of the discussion was opening the library on Saturday in June for the book sale on June 10 and June 11.  The Friends of the Library are asking for this.  It is more than just about funds.  This seemed to be the focus of the evening.  There was also some talk about the director.  It was an interesting session.

I have been reading some more of The Forgotten Founding Father.  I am learning about the career of Noah Webster.  His main education was as lawyer which he failed at.  He ended up succeeding in the newspaper business starting the first daily paper in New York, the American Minerva.  An interesting fact I learned was that the New York Post was started because of rivalry between Alexander Hamilton and Noah Webster.  The biography is quite interesting.  Noah Webster had some fine characteristics; natty dresser, political essaysist,  lady's man, public speaker, newspaper man, lexicographer, lawyer, and lover of dancing.

Web Bits

What Are Libraries For?  by Hugh McGuire

Sculpting With Words, This Week is Dutch Book Week

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Daily Thoughts 4/19/2011 (The Forgotten Founding Father)

John Frederick Peto, Take Your Choice, 1885

Daily Thoughts 4/19/2011

I started reading The Forgotten Founding Father Noah Webster's Obsession and the Creation of an American Culture by Joshua Kendall this morning.  Joshua Kendall places Noah Webster with Benjamin Franklin and George Washington.  Noah Webster is important for his standardization of American english.  Noah Webster wrote, An American Spelling Book Containing An Easy Standard Pronunciation Being The First Part of A Grammatical Institute of the English Language.  Webster roots his patriotism in a nationalistic view of American english.

Web Bits

Book Bind Public Libraries Feel Strain of Budget Cuts

Monday, April 18, 2011

Daily Thoughts 4/18/2011 (The Desert of Souls)

Simon Luttichuys, Still Life with a Skull, 1635–1640, Oil on canvas, Gdañsk, National Museum

Daily Thoughts 4/18/2011

I am on vacation today.  I spent most of the day reading and relaxing.  Right now, I am reading The Desert of Souls by Howard Andrew Jones.  It is a fantasy novel set in the caliphates..  There are references to the marsh arabs, the caliphs, the lost of city of Ubar, and the Magian sect.  So far, it is entertaining.

This evening, I finished reading The Desert of Souls.  The author, Howard Andrew Jones makes reference to two authors being his biggest influence, Robert E. Howard and Howard Lamb.  Howard Lamb looks interesting.  He wrote a number of biographies including ones on Genghis Khan and Tamerlane.  He also wrote quite a bit of historical fiction.  I think I may read some of his work.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Daily Thoughts 4/17/2011 (bookstore visit, Getting more

Engraving of a Huguenot bookstore in Amsterdam, 1715

Daily Thoughts 4/17/2011

I went to Barnes and Nobles today and looked at the science fiction and comic books.  A few books that caught my eye were American Vampire by Stephen King and Scott Snyder which is a graphic novel and Spade and Archer The Prequel to Dashiell Hammett's Maltese Falcon by Joe Gores.  They were showing Neil Gaiman's American Gods which is being optioned for television as well as George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones which is currently a television series.  I am looking forward to the release of the final book in the series soon.  T

here were a few things which my library system didn't have which I want to read, Fables: Cinderella and Fables: Rose Red which are both graphic novels and two science fiction paperbacks, Embeded by Dan Abnett and Alien in the Family by Gini Koch.  The other book which I am looking forward to my library system getting is The Crippled God by Steven Erikson.

I have been reading some more of Getting More. The author is writing about how to use standards and written agreements to get what you want.  He is talking about how not to be accusatory and at the same time getting people to follow up on agreements.

This evening, I finished reading Getting More.  It is very much an incremental process which the Stuart Diamond is describing.  It is about finding out what people want and then exchanging things of unequal value.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Daily Thoughts 4/15/2011 (Getting More, Ebooks)

Portrait of Ferdinand III, Archduke of Austria and Grand Duke of Tuscany sitting in his library,
Joseph Dorffmeiste, 1797

Daily Thoughts 4/15/2011

I am thinking about different website management tools from Google, Google Webmaster Tools, Google Site Search Engine, and Google Sitemapper.  I think these could improve the quality of the library website along with some remapping of the website.

Today, I checked the Twitter account, checked the displays, and checked the surveys.  Things are in order.  I am going to be on vacation next week, so I will probably write a number of book reviews.

I am attending the May 13, 2011 Westchester Library Assocation conference.  Seth Godin is the keynote speaker.  It is something which I am definitely interested in hearing.  The title for the conference is Fearless Librarians: Inventing the Future.

On the way home, I read a little bit more of Getting More.  The author is writing about how to negotiate salaries, promotions, and getting hired.  He tells you that a lot of it is about building relationships and finding out about who works in a company.  He also tells you that it is about finding out what people want before you go into an interview with specific goals.
Web Bits

The Merger of Telecoms and Utilities: Is It the Future?
I thought this was interesting because it is a way to deal with smart grid technologies and controlling electricity and phone services.  If we had a smart utility company, it would probably be better for a library because we could negotiate a package covering all the different serviees, electricity, wireless internet, fiber optic internet, and telephones.

Ebook Sales Tripled in the Last Year

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Daily Thoughts 4/14/2011 (Poetry, Getting More)

Sibyl reading a book Print showing the Cumaean Sibyl, full-length, seated, facing right, reading a book by the light of a torch held by a child.  Date Created/Published: [between 1500 and 1530]

Daily Thoughts 4/14/2011

Today has been fairly quiet.  I read some more of Getting More on the train to work.  The author is focusing on building incremental steps to get you want.  He is describing how to systematically come up with goals, find things which people value, and get solutions to common problems.

I also had a chance to update the Twitter account, check the book sale, and enter a few more surveys.  Things are moving steadily along.

Our library book sale is coming up on June 9 and June 10, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

We had a late program tonight for the Writers Networking Event.  It ran from 6:30-8:00 p.m.  There were more people than we originally expected. It was enjoyable to sit and listen.  Right now, I am mainly facilitating the event so it happens; getting the snacks, making the coffee, making sure the room is set up, making sure everything is put away, giving a brief introduction, making sure people are comfortable.  James Fair is moderating.  I am thinking we may have to have a more moderated structure with specific time limits, a bell, and more formal rules.

I read some more of Getting More on the train home.  The author is writing about trust and cultural differences. He points out that in many countries where the legal systems are not strong people are much more careful about who they are willing to do business with.

Web Bits

The State of America's Libraries

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Daily Thoughts 4/13/2011 (The Forgotten Founding Father, Mount Vernon Public Library)

This picture was taken from Jérôme Patureau à la recherche de la meilleure des républiques (Jérome Patureau in search of the best of republics), by Louis Reybaud, illustrated by Tony Johannot. Paris, 1849.

Daily Thoughts 4/13/2011

Today has been a quiet steady day.  I put in a survey, checked the Twitter account, checked the gift books and made sure the book displays are up to date.  I have a program today at 4:00 p.m.

I am going the Book Expo America Annual Librians Luncheon on May 24, 2011.  It should be excellent.  I am considering going to the Day of Dialog between Librarians and Publishers on May 23, 2011.  It is the first time that they are charging for this event. The fee is $39.95

Historical pictures of the Mount Vernon Public Library

The book, The Forgotten Founding Father Noah Webster's Obsession and the Creation of an American Culture by Joshua Kendall came in for me to read.  It should be interesting reading if you like things like dictionaries.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Daily Thoughts 4/12/2011 (Getting More, Social Media)

For greater knowledge on more subjects use your library more often.  Poster showing a mortarboard and a pair of glasses superimposed over a globe, promoting use of libraries. Date Created/Published: Chicago : Illinois WPA Art Project, [between 1936 and 1941]

Daily Thoughts 4/12/2011

This morning, I read a little more of Getting More on the train to work.  Today has been a steady day.  I checked some items for discard, updated the Twitter account, and checked the displays.  I also put in my program schedule for May and June.

Our new BWI (Book Wholesalers Inc.)  representative came by for a visit and I gave a tour of the library and explained our ordering process.  They are supposed to have a list of grants available to libraries on their website.  They also said they were visiting Queens Library and would provide us some information on their gifts program.

Hopefully, tomorrow we should have the image gallery from the Local History Room ready.  The slideshow looks quite nice.

I updated the current events display and checked on the gifts.  Things are caught up right now for me.

On the way home, I read some more of Getting More How to Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals in the Real World.  There was one comment that I especially liked. The author cites Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham as an excellent book on persistence, possibly the best one written.  The book also describes how to focus on goals and people, not facts and statistics.  A lot of decisions are not rational.

I am thinking I amight do an informal session on social media at the library. A lot of patrons come in to use Facebook and Linked In on the library computers.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Daily Thoughts 4/11/2011 (Swann Gallery, The Alchemist, Getting More)

"Die Vorlesung", Öl auf Holz, signiert, datiert: 1879, rückseitig alte Londoner und Münchner Klebezettel, 38 x 30 cm
Daily Thoughts 4/11/2011

I took some time off from writing here for a few days.  I have a stack of six books to review in the living room.  It was a short breather. 

I wrote a summary of my experience of the visit to the Swann Gallery with the New York Library Club on April 6, 2011.  It is a work in progress.  It is up the New York Librarians Meetup blog.

This morning, I checked the displays, updated the library Twitter account, and entered some more surveys for the library.  It has been a quiet, steady day.  The book, The Alchemist by Paolo Bacigalupi came in for me to read.  It is a novella.

I also took a few minutes to refill the book sale and pick out graphic novels to show for the Graphic Novels club on Wednesday.  We are not ordering anything new so it has slowed down a little bit.

We are working on the slide show gallery of the library from the Local History Room.  It is taking shape.

On the way home, I finished reading The Alchemist by Paolo Bacigalupi.  It was an excellent novella. But, then all his works have won prizes.  I also started reading Getting More How To Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals in the Real World by Stuart Diamond.  It takes a psychological approach focused on peoples emotions and real world actions.

Web Bits

A Rare Look at the Vatican Library.
I watched this at the laundromat last night. It was a 60 Minutes episode.

South Korea to Open 180 Libraries, UK to Cut 400
You sometimes wonder where the priorities are.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Daily Thoughts 4/6/2011 (Swann Galleries, Powering The Dream)

A man reading, Oil on Canvas, Giovanni Battista Piazzetta, From 1740 and 1754

Daily Thoughts 4/6/2011

This morning, I read some more of Powering The Dream.  The author describes the failure of the first electric cars in the 1890s was a result of poor customer service and maintenance.  He also describes how people were using solar hot water heaters in the 1950s in Florida and California.  I find it fairly interesting.  A lot of what we call renewable energy is not that new.

Today has been fairly quiet.  I updated the Twitter account, entered some more surveys, and checked the displays.  I also made some calls and emails for our Writers Networking Event on April 14, 2011.

I took some time to go through the gifts and separate out some books for the book sale.  We got a fairly large donation of childrens books today.

We also opened the computer lab so people could search for jobs today.  Several people came in to look for jobs on the internet.  Part of this includes making sure they have an email account, reminding them to get a flash drive so they can upload resumes, and showing people how to search job sites.

This is a 3D Catalog of the contents of the auction from the Swann Gallery which is tomorrow April 7, 2011 at 10:30 a.m.  It was very interesting at the preview on April 5, 2011 with the New York Library Club and the New York Librarians Meetup.  I will be writing a full description shortly.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Daily Thoughts 4/5/2011 (Swann Gallery, Metatropolis)

Bowery: Reading room of 10 cent Lodging House

Daily Thoughts 4/5/2011

This morning, I checked the displays, updated the Twitter account, and added one more survey.  The amount of surveys we are getting is slowing down.  I think most people took them during the first month.  Towards the end of the day, I added a few more surveys.

We had our annual harassment workshop with the city human resources department today. It was better than last year. The films were watchable.

I also found an interesting review of a title, Payback: Why We Retaliate, Redirect Aggression, and Take  Revenge in the April 1, 2011 Library Journal.

I am going to the Meetup at the Swann Gallery with the New York Library Club as part of the New York Librarians Meetup.

Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art New York Festival is on April 9 and 10  It is very inexpensive $12 for two days.  I enjoy it because it is mostly independent comics.

This evening, I went to Swann Gallery showing of books.  It is something that is going to take me time to write up.  It was an incredible experience.  I got to see and hold early books with Arthur Rackham illustrations, Walter Crane illustrations, and see original works by La Fontaine.  The selection was stunning.  The Walter Crane illustrations were for a version of the Faerie Queen.  This was a superb set of books to see.  Many were illuminated manuscripts and incunablia.

On the way home, I finished reading Metatropolis edited by John Scalzi.  The stories mostly focused on future green cities.  The most prominent city was Cascadiopolis, a future city built around the Portland Oregon area.  The last story, To Hie From Far Cilenia by Karl Schroeder was about a virtual city created on the internet which interacted in a very real way with the every day world.

Web Bits

NPR The Future of Libraries in the Ebook Age in crisis: the open data movement is bigger than just one site
This is important because it is a followup to a possible shut down of the Statistical Abstracts being threatened.  It seems that we may be a facing a direct attack against open government.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Daily Thoughts 4/4/2011 (Powering The Dream, Ebooks, Metatropolis)

Woodcut showing Cicero writing his letters. This image is a detail from page 329 of Cicero, Epistulae ad familiares (“Letters to his friends”), from an early edition printed by Hieronymus Scotus (alias Girolamo Scoto) in 1547 at Venice (Venezia, Italy). On this page, book IX (nine) of the Epistulae begins.

Daily Thoughts 4/4/2011

The trainer from Sony came in to show the staff how to use the Sony reader devices.  It was interesting.  We spent some time going over Overdrive which is our provider of ebooks as well as the features of the Sony device like e-ink display technology.  We have to set up some of our terminals so we can download books onto the Sony reader which are free like the free books from Harlequin, the Baen Free Library, a few creative commons titles, and other books.  This should supplment our already large selection of books.  Overdrive is partnered with Project Gutenberg and has over 10,000 titles added from their collection of ebooks to Overdrive.  Our library is one of the 30 libraries which received the Sony grant for ereaders.

I checked the displays, updated the Twitter account, and checked on the surveys.  We did not get any surveys so far today.  It is slowing down a bit.  I think we have some excellent information to work with from the surveys.

The book, Powering The Dream The History and Promise of Green Technology by Alexis Madrigal came in for me to read.  I also read Richard Stark's Parker The Outfit Adapted and Illustrated by Darwyn Cooke on the train to work this morning.  It is a high octane mix of thievery, violence, and crime.  The story is very hard boiled noire with heists, getaways, and gun play.  It was a lot of fun to read.  The story was very fast paced.

I also called Janway to ask about a variety of products which would have our library logo printed on them.  Things like pens, mugs, flash drives, and bookmarks. 

I am looking at the program for the Westchester Library Annual Conference on May 13, 2011.  The keynote speaker is Seth Godin.  I am interested in going to a few of the sessions,  Up To The Challenge: Libraries Successfully Serving Job Seekers led by Rebecca Mazin, and The Pleasures and Pitfalls of Book Discussions led by Barbara Wenglin.

On the weekend I finished reading The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss and The Executioness by Paolo Bacigalupi.  I have several piles of books that I have to get around to reviewing.

On the train home I read some of Powering The Dream.  It sparks the imagination of what might have been.  The author describes wave energy machines being investigated in 1906, pneumatic tubes used to send mail throughout Paris in 1909, and windmills on the prairies of the United States during the 1870s. 

I also finished reading the first story in the book Metatropolis.  It is called In The Forests of the Night by Jay Lake.  The main character is named Tygre Tygre.  It is about a future green city.

Web Bits

The Library Thing E-- A special edition ebook reader.

Santa Cruz Keeps Branches Open by Replacing Staff with Volunteers

I sometimes wonder what people are thinking.  Volunteers generally do not do the same kind of job as paid workers.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Daily Thoughts 4/1/2011 (The Wise Man's Fear)

gelehrter beim Studium, deutsch, 18. Jh., Öl auf Leinwand, ca. 24 x 18 cm
8th century

Daily Thoughts 4/1/2011

I read some more of The Wise Man's Fear this morning.  The main character is learning a martial art called Ketan which is interesting.

I checked the displays, put in some more surveys, and checked the gift books today.  It has been another quiet, steady day.  We have totals for all of March for the survey.

Three more books came in for me to read, Metatropolis edited by John Scalzi, The Desert of Souls by Howard Andrew Jones, The Executioness by Tobias Buckell.  I thought The Executioness was a double novel, but it isn't.

I also have been thinking abou the supplies that will be needed for the adult summer reading program.  We'll probably have an end of summer raffle with a gift basket.

I am planning on taking Streaming Video in the Library: Trends and Best Practices—One Year Later which is a webinar available on April 19 from 12-1 p.m. through Library Journal

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