Monday, December 31, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/31/2012

Edward Poynter, A Day Dream, 1863

Daily Thoughts 12/31/2012

This morning I read some more of Management Basics for Information Professionals. I am reading about managing technology.  Part of this is getting accustomed to change.

I also checked the Facebook and Twitter for the library.  The library is open a half day today from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m..  It is closed tomorrow for New Years.  I checked the displays and the new books.  I also spent some time finishing putting away my portion of the holiday book displays.

I am following the budget crisis.  There is an opinion piece on the Mount Vernon budget, but nothing which includes the library right now.

I checked out the book, The Lost Stars, Tarnished Knight by Jack Campbell which is military science fiction.  I also have a copy of The New York Times Book Review to read.  I have started reading it.  It is about a rebellion on a syndic or corporate world where everything is controlled by appointed businessmen.  There is a kind of hard edge to the story.

On the way home, I finished reading the section on managing technology in Management Basics for Information Professionals.  I am learning why it is often necessary for managers to receive extra training in technology as new technology is introduced.  They remind the reader that this should not be from a book, but instead come from in person training preferably.

The library did not get cut this time.  It looks like it may be audited though.  Mount Vernon Reaches Last Minute Budget Deal.

There was an earlier announcement in the Journal News.

It is a relief for me and my coworkers.

I finished reading The Lost Stars, Tarnished Knight.  I rather like the name of the main character Artur Drakon.  I also liked how the battles were described.  One of the interesting parts of the story was that the characters lived in a society where everyone was under constant surveillance.  There were also some interesting references to naval history peppered throughout the story.

I am feeling decent.  The fiscal cliff did not get me yet as well.  My job is safe.

I also saw this article from Tech Crunch.  Innovation Where We can Go From Here? A Lot of Places
This reminds me that in fifteen years I will be able to call for an automated car pickup, set the car alarm and be woken up at my destination for a fixed monthly fee not much more than subway service.

Web Bits

Was It “Write An Article About Libraries” Week? | LJ Insider

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/30/2012

Where the Water Lilies Grow; signed and dated 'J. Aumonier' (lower left), inscribed with title, artist's name and address (on old label verso); oil on canvas; 50.5 x 70.5 cm, James Aumonier, by 1911

Daily Thoughts 12/30/2012

I read a little more from Management Basics for Information Professionals.  Right now, I am reading about managing money; specifically about fundraising from outside sources.  This includes, grants, fundraising, fees for research services, bequests, and other activities.  I sometimes talk to the Friends of the Mount Vernon Public Library about the book sale.  Currently, we do not have an active foundation.  Part of reading this material is learning what should be happening.  The next section is on Managing Technology.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/29/2012

Hugo Burkner, Lesestunde, 1873

Daily Thoughts 12/29/2012

I have been reading more about Managing Budgets in Management Basics for Information Professionals.    I am learning about how the different types of budgeting work.  Most of what I have seen are line item budgets. Things are very tight right now.  We cannot print out flyers, we charge for computer printouts, we have stopped giving out pens and pencils and only give out golf pencils.  We only give out scrap paper at the reference desk. We focus on our electronic calendar to reduce paper costs.  We have to check in the business office to get pens and basic supplies.  There is a public fax machine; it takes credit card payments.  We try and get programs that will not cost us money.  The public computers at cybercorner have a print management system with a coin box.  There is a collection agency attached to our fines.  We do our own in house processing for materials.  Our budget is so tight now, that the library does not have enough money to be open on weekends except for once a month.

While I was sitting at the city council meeting, I had a brief discussion with one of our former employee.  The conversation was focused on "What is an essential service?",  "Are libraries an essential service like firemen, police, and teachers?"  There are numbers of arguments for why libraries are essential.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/28/2012

Photograph of the "Public Library of the City of Chicago", 1920

Daily Thoughts 12/28/2012

On the way to work I read some more of Management Basics for Information Professionals.  I am reading about budget management.  Budgets often determine what will be done during a forthcoming year.  Something which I like to have happen is have some of the collection monies available throughout the year.  There is quite a bit of time sensitive material which needs to be purchased.  For example it is good to buy extra copies of the Police Officer Exam if we know the exam is happening in a month.  Another example is being able to buy assignment books for the schools at the same time they are being assigned.  The New York Times Book Review is also a weekly release of the newest titles, something which we should be able to get very quickly to stay on top of what people want.

I checked the displays and the Twitter and Facebook accounts for the library.  I also checked the gift books and spent some time looking at the new books.  There are some new professional books like Defusing The Angry Patron, 2nd Edition by Rhea Joyce Rubin.  There is also a Jack Campbell book, The Lost Stars, Tarnished Night.  It is military science fiction in the same setting as his lost fleet series.  The story is about rebellion on the Syndic or corporate worlds.

I also spent some time looking at news stories on CNN and Yahoo News for the current events and biography display.  I started putting away some of the holiday books from the displays.  I also spent a bit of time checking the African American fiction setting and the fiction paperbacks.  I have been filling in some of the books written by popular authors like Mary Monroe, Brenda Jackson, and Dean Koontz.

This evening, I am going to the City Council Meeting at 7:00 p.m. on the Budget Estimate.  Sometimes, it is important to repeat yourself.  The meeting was canceled tonight.  There appears to be an impasse right now.  Mount Vernon Officials Still Haggling Over Budget.

Web Bits

Libraries are More Relevant than Ever

Failing to Close the Digital Divide

Print Book Reading Wanes as E-reader Use Surges

Telling the Story of the Public Library

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/27/2012

Rudolf Ernst later exhibiting as Rodolphe Ernst (Vienna, 14 February 1854 - Fontenay-aux-Roses, 1932) was an Austrian-born orientalist painter in Paris. The Reader

Daily Thoughts 12/27/2012

This morning, I read a little bit more of Management Basics for Information Professionals, 2nd Edition.  I am reading about performance appraisals and how people are reviewed.  It is interesting material.

This morning, I checked the Facebook and Twitter for the library and the displays.  More new books are coming in.  I got a call about ebooks this morning.  We get our electronic materials through the Westchester Library System which has Overdrive, Freading, Freegal which is a downloadable music service, One Click Digital which is a service for downloadable audiobooks, and Tumblebooks which are animated children's picture books.

I also checked the gift books.

There is another Special City Council Meeting on Friday morning at 10:00 discuss the budget.
There is also a meeting at night at 7:00 p.m. to discuss the annual estimate as well on the City of Mount Vernon website.  I am going to the 7:00 p.m. meeting to show support for the library.

On the way home, I read some more of Management Basics for Information Professionals.  I am on the section on managing budgets.  The concept of a budget as a control device is new to me.   I have some idea of how to read financial statements, but not how they are made.  Hopefully, it will be enlightening.

I watched the original animated version of The Hobbit with John Huston as the Voice of Gandalf the Grey which was made in 1977 tonight.  I remember seeing it as a child.  Now there is a nice live action film which is out.  I will probably wait to see it on dvd.

Web Bits

Watch Junot Diaz on Myths and Libraries

Libraries and E-lending: the 'Wild West' of  Digital Licensing?

Libraries Try To Update the Bookstore Model
The issue with this story is that bookstores are changing their model.  The traditional bookstore model no longer works that well.  It is not a good idea to adopt a big box strategy in an internet focused world.  There is a new model for bookstores being created by a group called the Kepler 2020 project

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/26/2012

Edward Lamson Henry, Library Interior, 1900

Daily Thoughts 12/26/2012

I read some more of Management Basics for Information Professionals.  I am reading about the hiring process.  Most of the book is an outline of the basics of management in a library setting.  A lot of it is common sense.  The writing is very general, does not give examples, and a bit dry.  However, it is aimed at having complete coverage of the topic, so it is very detailed even if it is general in tone.  The book is aimed at someone with little experience or reading knowledge of administration.  It is useful to me because it is a complete overview.

This morning, I checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library.  I also checked the displays.  We are getting lots of new books.

The computer lab is open today from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

I am looking at Jane Austen, Emma, An Annotated Edition edited by Bharat Tandon.  It is beautifully illustrated with commentary and pictures.  The pictures include artists like Arthur Rackham, John Opie, Vincent Van Gogh, and caricaturists like John Gillray.  There are also a variety of poems in it like Grays Elegy.  I like the design of the book.  This book is part of a series coming from Harvard Belknap Press.  There is also The Annotated Frankenstein and the The Annotated Persuasion published recently by Harvard Belknap Press.

I have a copy of the New York Times Book Review to read and a copy of Publishers Weekly.  While reading through Publishers Weekly, I saw a book called The Art of Freedom: Teaching the Humanities to the   Poor by Earl Shorris.  It interested me because it is about a program focused on teaching philosophy, art, and literature such as Plato, Dante, and Cervantes to poor students of all background.  I like the title.

On the way home, I read the rest of The Lovely Horrible Stuff by Eddie Campbell which is a graphic memoir focused on money.  The first part concerns Eddie Campbell's difficulties with money as an artist.  It also goes into personal details about his families finances.  Throughout the book there is a discussion about money as an abstraction.

The second part which was very enjoyable is about his trip to the island of Yap.  There, Eddie Campbell collects stories and legends about the islanders use of big stone disks as money.  The stories are both historical, the Irish Captain O'keefe and the invasion by the Japanese during World War II,  and legendary-- trickster tales about heroes sculpting the most stones.  Eddie Campbell sees a metaphor for sculpture in the Rai stone disks.  The pictures are quite colorful and include descriptions of his fellow travellers.

Web Bits

The Short But Effective Window Where Ereaders Changed the Industry

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/25/2012

Postage stamp celebrating 300 years of Finnish book printing
Daily Thoughts 12/25/2012

I checked the Twitter and Facebook accounts for the library this morning.  Happy holidays.

I also spent some time today finishing reading Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, A Novel by Robin Sloan.  It is set in San Francisco and involves a strange bookstore and a bookish cult.  It has a mix of literature and technology in it which is different.

I like how Robin Sloan combines the history of print with book technology like book scanners and e-readers.  There is a mix of bookish and techie humor throughout the book.  At least part of this book has to do with typography and codes as well.  I read the book because the New York Librarians Meetup plans on discussing it on Monday, January 28, 2013. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/23/2012

Wormhole travel as envisioned by Les Bossinas for NASA, 1998

Daily Thoughts 12/23/2012

This morning, I took a break from reading serious things and read a near future science fiction novel, The Cassandra Project by Jack McDevitt and Mike Resnick.  The story was gripping and I read it one sitting.  The background story was of a secret moonlanding before Apollo.

I liked that the story was not a violent story and had a lot of thought put into it.  It also touched on the issues of commercial space travel and NASA.  The characters were excellent, especially, the main character Morgan Blackstone, the billionaire entrepreneur.  The story was both a mystery and a hard science fiction story.  It was worth reading.  It also described a scenario for going back to the moon by the United States.

I read some more of Management Basics for Information Professionals.  There was a bit on how to tell people what to do without being pushy or offensive.  I finished the Background section and now am starting on the section on Managing Resources.

I also looked at Facebook and Twitter later in the day today.  Sometimes, there are questions to answer on Twitter as well as Facebook.  I also do the email reference.

Web Bits

Amazon Tackles Review Problem, Deletes Wrong Reviews

Giving Mom's Book Five Stars?  Amazon May Cull Your Review

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/22/2012

Looking West at Mount Vernon Municipal Building on A Cloudy Morning, March 13, 2011 taken by Jim Henderson, listed as Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication from Wikimedia
City Council Chambers is on the third floor of the building.

Daily Thoughts 12/22/2012

This morning, I checked the Facebook and Twitter for the library.  I also spent a little time reading Management Basics for Information Professionals.  Right now, I am reading about leadership.  There is a reminder to understand technical and management jargon for libraries as well as read library literature.

I have been following the local papers.  This article very much gives the feel of last nights meeting.
Mount Vernon Residents Angry Over New Proposed Tax Hike.  I was sitting and listening in the front of City Council Chambers with my colleagues.

This is another article from Mount Vernon Daily Voice, Mount Vernon Library Warns About Impact of Budget Cuts.

Final Public Hearing on the Budget
I left at 9:30 p.m. on Friday after the public portion of the hearing.  The description is apt from the Mount Vernon Inquirer.

Web Bits

Pew: Community Reading Habits Mirror Demographic Trends

Friday, December 21, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/21/2012

Identification on verso (handwritten): Mural executed in true fresco for Mount Vernon Public Library, Mount Vernon, N.Y. Designed and executed by Louise Brann. Louise Brann], ca. 1936 / unidentified photographer. Photographic print : 1 item : b&w ; 25 x 21 cm. Federal Art Project Photographic Division collection, circa 1920-1965, bulk 1935-1942.
This image is a work of a Works Project Administration employee, taken or made during the course of an employee's official duties. As a work of the US Federal Government the image is in the public domain (17 U.S.C. §§ 101 and 105).

Daily Thoughts 12/21/2012

This morning, I had the day off because I had a floating holiday I had to take by the end of the year.  I spent a little bit of time reading.  At 5:00 p.m., I left and took the train to Mount Vernon, New York so I could go to the city council meeting.  I did not read much on the way; instead I thought about what I would hear.

Proposed Cuts Leave Mount Vernon Library
I am observing how things are going.  I learned today that the last time a library in New York state was closed over a decade ago when the Corning Public Library closed.  They reorganized and reopened.  It is odd being in what would be considered an unprecedented situation.

Mount Vernon Library Board Chief Meets Davis Today; Mayor Wants Big Funding Cut

I was at Mount Vernon City Hall in council chambers today at 7:00 p.m.  It was not as packed as it was the last time I was there.  There were still quite a few people who were standing.  People spoke for 2 1/2 hours on the budget.  The city council had proposed a 6.7% tax hike which many people could not afford.  The social security payments went up 1.7%.  Many people are on a fixed income and cannot afford the increase.  Some people were describing how they might have to abandon their property or go into forclosure.

I recognized reporters from the Mount Vernon Inquirer and the Mount Vernon Daily Voice.

There had to be a special vote by city council to bypass a 2% cap on property taxes.  Not a single speaker from the public in the entire 2 1/2 hours was for the proposed budget.  There were lots of questions about how money was being spent and who was being hired.

The current cut of $250,000 might be enough to shut our doors. It could also lead to additional cuts because we might lose the Mount Vernon Public Library central status.

People spoke from our union, our board, and the public spoke for the library.  Another concern is that we are a landmark building from an institution that has existed for over a 100 years.  The YMCA across the street from us which is now closed was also over a 100 years old.

The library had quite a few employees there.  I was there to observe.  It is hard to be impartial when your livelihood and the livelihood of every single person you work with is at stake.  I get reminders from a variety of people every single day to keep my head down, work hard, and not say anything.  I try to follow what happens every single day.  I also realize that what is happening is much more than myself; it requires people who work in the library to stick together, gather support, and be positive.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/20/2012

The Curtain Rises... Contemporary Plays and Books on the Current Theatre, WPA, Between 1936 and 1941

Daily Thoughts 12/20/2012

This morning, I checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library.  I also read a little bit of Management Basics for Information Professionals.  I am reading about concepts around leadership.

I am still thinking about the library budget.  There is a hearing on the city of Mount Vernon budget in Council Chambers of City Hall at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, December 21, 2012.  I will be there, but not as a speaker.

The graphic novel, The Lovely Horrible Stuff by Eddie Campbell came in for me to read.  I opened the book and started reading it.  The design is very interesting, it uses a combination of photography altered with colored ink which is very unusual.  Also the layout is very nontraditional, and the lettering looks like it was written with a fountain pen.

The computer lab is open from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. today.

I am reading the Adult Summer Reading Manual for 2013 which is titled Groundbreaking Reads.  One of the suggestions is to do displays on underground cities like the catacombs of Paris, the subway tunnels of New York, or the London underground.

Web Bits

Overdrives Next Generation Websites Now Live at 22 Libraries
I am hoping that this is easier to use than our current version of Overdrive.

Books for Young Latinos Exist Just Not In the Classroom

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/19/2012

Be Kind to Books Club Are You A Member? Gregg Arlington, WPA, between 1936 and 1940

Daily Thoughts 12/19/2012

This morning, I checked the library Facebook and Twitter accounts.  I also got a letter of support for more computer classes in the computer lab.  It is nice when I see these kinds of things.  The patrons like the computer classes.

I also checked the new books and the displays.  We have some people who will be helping with the computer lab.  This could help us out considerably.

This is an article on the library budget where I work.  It says on a personal level I may not have a job at the end of the month, on a community level, it says that the library as an institution could close.  There is a Mount Vernon Public Library Board of Trustees Meeting on December 19, 2012 at 6:30 p.m.  If you live in Mount Vernon and support the library please come to this meeting.

I spent some time checking the 800s in the mezzanine or storage area.  I also checked the computer lab and said hello to one of the people who is a regular at the computer classes.  There are now two quilts up in the Rotunda Galley exhibit of Grace Before Dying.

I spent a little time looking at the Purchase Alerts list and the Collection Management Sheet for patron requests.  There are a lot of requests for urban fiction right now.

On Friday, December 21, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. there is a Board of Estimate meeting on the city budget in Council Chambers at Mount Vernon City Hall.  I plan on going.  It is open to the public.  I am not going to comment.

I could not go to the board meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m. because I was working.  My hope is that things quiet down and that there is a solution to the budget issues.  I think that the library is of tremendous value to the community.  This value is focused on creating jobs, educating people, and creating access to computers.

Web Bits

Cornell Puts A Lawn In a Library

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/18/2012

Gregg Arlington, WPA Poster, Between 1936 and 1940

Daily Thoughts 12/18/2012

This morning, I checked the Facebook and Twitter for the library.  I also checked the displays and the gift books.  There is an exhibit in the rotunda called Grace Before Dying which is a set of captioned photographs from two different prison hospices, one in Angola, and one in Louisiana.  There is also a beautiful quilt being exhibited.  The library also has a display case exhibit in the reference room with old postcards from Mount Vernon, New York.

I have the December 17, 2012 Publishers Weekly to read.  I also spent some time talking to the Baker and Taylor representative today.

Web Bits

Don't Hide Your Harlequins In Defense of Romance

Monday, December 17, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/17/2012

WPA Poster, Gregg Arlington Artist, between 1936 and 1940

Daily Thoughts 12/17/2012

On the way to work, I read some more of Management Basics for Information Professionals.  Right now, I am reading about listening and customer service.  Some of it is focused on angry patrons.

This morning, I checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library.  I also checked the new books, the displays, and the gift books.  I got a few questions about Freegal this morning which is a download service for music.

I have the latest New York Times Book Review to read.  There is a review of the fiction book All Men Are Liars by Alberto Manguel.  Alberto Manguel wrote two nonfiction books which I liked; The Library at Night and A Reader on Reading.  I also read the latest Publishers Weekly, there is a novel by Woody Guthrie called House of Earth coming out in February.  The novel has introduction by Douglas Brinkley and Johnny Depp.  The December 10, 2012 Publishers Weekly also has a large section on African American publishing.

The library is having WEDC Women's Enterprise Development Center do a workshop on entrepreneurship in February.

I got the book, Communicating Professionally today.  I also received the Romance Sells catalog from the Romance Writers of America.  Romance is one of the most popular categories in our library.

I am reading through the 12/15/2012 Booklist.  I placed the graphic novel, The Lovely Horrible Stuff by Eddie Campbell on hold.  It is a nonfiction graphic novel about money.  I also spent some time looking through the craft books that are being reviewed.  Crochet and jewelry making are very popular.

On the way home, I read some more of Management Basics for Information Professionals.  They are rehashing different ideas on motivation including Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs and Theory X (command and control) versus Theory Y (self-actualization).  I sometimes think that the idea that a person with a solid liberal arts education and common sense has better management skills than most MBA's is often true.

I spent a little time thinking about the budget today.  There are articles appearing in the local papers, the Westchester Journal News and the Mount Vernon Daily Voice.  I see things a little different this time.  Last year, we had a budget crisis with the library as well.  I am hoping that people are informed more than anything else.

Web Bits

Tablet Readers Don't Want Interactivity Says Hearst President

Ether for Authors Can We See You?
An article about how hard it is to count the number of ebooks being produced.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/16/2012

Chicago WPA Poster

Daily Thoughts 12/16/2012

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

I have also been reading more of Management Basics for Information Professionals.  I am reading about professional communications.  There are a few excellent reminders.  People have a tendency to interpret some communications negatively if they are requests to do things.  It is best to be very careful when you comunicate via email.  There was a book that caught my attention while I was reading which I placed a hold on;  Communicating Professionally: A How to Do it Manual for Library Applications by Catherine Sheldrick Ross and Patricia Dewdney.

I also read some more of The Signal and the Noise.  Nate Silver is writing about weather forecasting.  An interesting tidbit is that if humans watch the weather patterns, it makes precipitation forecasts 25% more accurate and temperature forecasts 10% more accurate than if the forecasts are done purely by computer models.  This is a nice reminder that computers need to be checked by people to make them more accurate.

Web Bits

So What if You Have Big Data?  Without Data Driven Processes It's Useless
I sometimes wonder what the meaning of data scientist is?  It would seem to me to be closer to information science.  Big data and linked data is being covered by ASIST.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/15/2012

E. Phillips Fox, A Love Story, 1903

Daily Thoughts 12/15/2012

I joined ASIS&T (American Society for Information Science and Technology) today.  I also joined their Digital Libraries special interest group.  I had been to one of their meetings and found it very interesting.  It is a change of focus for me from joining the American Library Association.

I also spent a little bit of time checking the library Facebook and Twitter pages.

I am going to try and go to the New York City Data Business Meetup this Tuesday.

I am also interested in other librarian and publisher oriented events, especially those that crossover between publishing and libraries.

This afternoon, I read some more of Management Basics for Information Professionals.  Right now, I am reading the chapter on communication.  I rather like the description of how library jargon is often not understood by library patrons.  There is a lot of technical language which can be confusing.

I keep track of what is happening at the Mount Vernon Public Library using Google Alerts.  It is useful.

Web Bits

Tablet Use, Ebook Sales Grow Beyond Amazon and Nook

Friday, December 14, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/14/2012


Daily Thoughts 12/14/2012

I spent a little time this morning checking the Twitter and Facebook for the library.

On the way to work I read some more of Management Basics for Informational Professionals.  I rather like the statement on P.238:

Our experience indicates that a quality information service is one that is community-focused and places its emphasis on continuous, incremental improvements in its services by means of staff involvement  (both professional and support) and operates some form of participative management.

I spent some time looking through the new books.  I also spent a little time talking to our computer instructor who teaches on Tuesday nights.  I also checked the displays.  We are getting a lot more new books coming in.

I had a rather pleasant lunch with colleagues today.

The board of estimates of the city passed a proposed budget with a $250,000 cut for the library on December 13, 2012.  The initial proposal on Thursday, December 6, 2012 had a $500,000 cut for the library.  The City of Mount Vernon has the budget on the front page of the website  There is another budget hearing on December 21, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers at 7:30 p.m..  I will be there to observe what happens.   The budget hits all the departments in the city, the library, the fire department, and increases taxes for the taxpayers. Once again, if you can, please come to the Mount Vernon Public Library Board of Trustees Meeting on December 19, 2012 at 6:30 p.m..  I feel much more like someone who is quietly taking it in than the last years budget meetings.

Web Bits

The World's 54 Largest book Publishers

Can Ebooks and Libraries Coexist?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/13/2012

Daily Thoughts 12/13/2012

On the train to work, I read a little bit more from Management Basics for Information Professionals.  I finished the chapter on delegation which had quite a bit on teamwork in it.  I also read some more of The Signal and the Noise.  Nate Silver is writing about how scouts and statisticians choose which players will become major league players from the minor league teams.

I also did a quick check of the new books and the displays this morning.  Everything appears to be in order. In addition, I updated the Twitter and Facebook for the library.  I also am putting together a fiction order right now.  I confirmed that I am going to Book2Camp as a volunteer as well.

The Mount Vernon Public Library now has access to Freegal with a 3 tracks per week download limit.    In addition, the Mount Vernon Public Library has access to Freading which is an ebook download service available as Adobe PDF or Epub.

I finished reading Crisis in Employment a Librarian's Guide to Helping Job Seekers.  There was a section of examples on how libraries helped people find employment.  They included several examples of library practices which we do like help people search for jobs in the computer lab, bring in a career counselor, have basic computer classes, and have typing training programs.  There are some other ideas which are interesting as well.

I bought a few of the series of books called The Tech Set which is edited by Ellyssa Kroski and published by LITA, the Library Information Technology Association.  Book #6 is Technology Training in Libraries by Sarah Houghton-Jan.

I am looking at First Contact, Scientific Breakthroughs in the Hunt for Life Beyond Earth by Marc Kaufman.  There are some interesting developments recently which have identified planets in other solar systems.  It is something I might read in the near future.  I have too many books to read right now.

The library has the computer lab open from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. today.

This evening, I went to my union meeting.  We discussed the city budget, our director leaving, and other issues.  It was an informative meeting.  One of the staff members prepared the meal for us.  The food was excellent.  Part of it was to prepare for the Mount Vernon Public Library Board of Trustees Meeting on  Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 6:30 p.m.  If you live in Mount Vernon please come.

On the way home, I read some more of Management Basics for Information Professionals.  Right now, I am reading about Performance, Quality, and Control.  There are some ideas about customer service which are tied to quality which are worth reading.  Once again, a lot of reading this is learning the language so I can understand it.  I prefer persuasion and knowledge over control.

Web Bits

How to De-Risk Book Publishing
It has a bit of digerati speak in it. Curation Nation had some interesting things to say., NYPL Explore New Library Wide Access Model
I have access to training as a MyMetro member and as part of training through the Westchester Library System.  The online video training is excellent.  It would be nice to see this in public libraries.

New York Times to Publish Ebooks with Byliner and Vook

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/12/2012

Bertha Worms, Lady With A Magazine, 1909

Daily Thoughts 12/12/2012

I read some more of The Signal and the Noise.  Nate Silver is describing why most political pundits fail.  He also describes how focusing on a single issue or ideal is less effective in predicting political outcomes than drawing from multiple ideas and sources.  I also read a little bit more of Management Basics for Information Professionals on the train.  I am reading about how people form effective teams and work together in groups.

This morning, I checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library.  I also read some different library news sources.  I am finding that it is a slow right now on the infotainment side (information combined with entertainment), the modern version of the news.  I also checked the displays, the new books, and the gifts.

As part of my orders of new books, I ordered a variety of professional books.  I am looking at three of them right now, Building and Managing E-Book Collections edited by Richard Kaplan, Crisis in Employment, A Librarian's Guide to Helping Job Seekers by Jane Jerrard, and Publishing E-books for Dummies by Ali Luke.

The 2013 Collaborative Summer Library Program Adult Manual came in today.  I do the adult summer reading program.  The theme for 2013 is Groundbreaking Reads.

I also spent some time looking over orders today.

I am planning on going to Book2Camp on February 10, 2013 as a volunteer.

The computer lab is open today from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. I often help people with basic job search like printing applications, attaching resumes to emails, and filling out job forms.  I read little bit of Crisis In Employment, it is a short report of 66 pages.  There is an accurate description of how many people are now required to fill out job applications online who never used computers before.  Many of these positions like supermarket checker or warehouse worker can take over an hour to fill out even for part-time positions.

I spent some time putting together a fiction order in the evening.  Also, the book, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan came in for me to read. 

Web Bits

The Wrong War Over Ebooks Publishers Versus Libraries

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/11/2012

The Letter, J. Alden Weir, 1919

Daily Thoughts 12/11/2012

We had an early meeting this morning.  I spent a little bit of time checking the Twitter and Facebook for the library.  I also checked the displays and the gift books.

I also spent some time checking cancellations.  There are more new books coming in right now.  I also spent a little time reading the New York Times Book Review.   I like the review for The Book of Books: 500 Years of Graphic Innovation, Edited by Mathieu Lommen.  It is a book of examples of books with excellent typography and design.  I think design and typography effect readability.

I am thinking right now of labeling.  We updated our category labels so that they have better descriptions and more bright color in them.  This makes it easier to find things.

We have our computer classes tonight.  I spent a little more time going over cancellations.

I decided that I should not go to the Big Data Meetup this Thursday.  Instead, I am going to union meeting because of the budget issues and the director leaving.  Sometimes, it is about sticking with your colleagues.  Right now, I have to think about what I am doing.

On the way home, I read some more of The Signal and the Noise.  The first chapter focused on the recent housing bubble in the United States.  It discussed how Lehman Brothers made mistakes in its decisions.  Nate Silver cited the book, Too Big To Fail as a good source of information on the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/10/2012

Illustration de ma mère l'Oye, par Gustave Doré

Daily Thoughts 12/10/2012

This morning, I checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library this morning.  I also checked the displays and the gift books.  Our director resigned on December 6, 2012 which is stressful.  I am trying to stay focused on doing my job right now.

I spent some time going through the cancelations to see what we might reorder.  I also took a few minutes to look at the latest New York Times Book Review.

The Cassandra Project by Mike Resnick and Jack McDevitt came in for me to read today.

I also read a few pages in The Signal and the Noise, but put it down and mostly spent some time thinking on the train home. I have quite a bit to think about.  Things are changing quickly and it is time to be careful and focus on doing a good job.   It is important to hold the line and make sure every day things like reference desks and helping patrons get done.

The Friends of the Mount Vernon Public Library brought in three wreaths to brighten up the place which was a nice touch.

Web Bits

Reading Can Help Reduce Stress

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/9/2012

Old Peasant Reading, Jean-Jacques Monanteuil, circa 1850

Daily Thoughts 12/09/2012

This afternoon, I read some more of Management Basics for Information Professionals.  The authors are writing about delegation and authority.  I find the section on delegation especially interesting.

I also started reading The Signal and the Noise Why So Many Predictions Fail but Some Don't by Nate Silver.  Nate Silver predicted Obama would win the election and who would win all of the senate races during the last United States election.  He starts by writing about the explosion of information starting with Gutenberg and then advancing to computers.  He mentions big data at the end of the first chapter.  This reminds me that I should probably go to a second New York City Business Data Meetup.
I have a bit of familiarity with Infochimps one of the presenters, they have a data marketplace

There is another meetup which has caught my attention:  NY Times VP of Technology Brad Kagawa on Building the Times' Custom CMS.  It looks very interesting.

I took a break yesterday to think and relax.

I spent a few minutes looking at the Westchester Library System blog today.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/7/2012

Edouard Manet, Marguerite de Conflans, 1875 

Daily Thoughts 12/7/2012

I checked the library Facebook and Twitter this morning.  Sometimes when you are looking through Facebook, you find interesting things.  World's Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne.

This morning, I checked the displays and looked at some of the new books.

I also had an order placed today for some fiction titles.  I based it on items that had high circulation during the previous year.

Right now, I am reading some more library literature today, I am trying not to be distracted by the budget.  A book that looked like it might be a good read is The Travels of Marco Polo The Illustrated Edition edited by Morris Rossabi.

I am looking at Banksy You Are An Acceptable Level of Threat And If You Were Not You Would Know It.  It is a book of graffiti and protest art. The library has a very large collection of art books.

Library Journal sent me three advanced reading copies, Ghost Man by Roger Hobbs which is a crime novel, Child of Vengeance by David Kirk which is a novel about Miyamoto Musashi the famous Japanese swordsman, and The Andalucian Friend by Alexander Soderberg.  I always getting copies to possibly review or write about from Library Journal.

Web Bits

Return on Reading-- Backtalk

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/6/2012

Alessandro Longhi, Painting and Merit, circa 1761

Daily Thoughts 12/6/2012

I am at Metro this morning.  I am taking a class entitled Writing for the Library Press or How To Make An Editor Fall in Love With You.  The class starts at 10:00 a.m. and runs until 1:00 p.m.  It should be useful.  Right now, I am typing at one of their computers.  I am a little early. 

On the way to the class, I read some more of Management Basics for Information Professionals.  The author is describing different types of planning.  Long range planning is considered strategy, mid-range planning is considered tactics, and day to day planning is considered operations.  A lot of this is learning how to understand the language used in management.

This morning before I left, I checked the Twitter and Facebook pages for the library.

While walking to Metro, I passed by Forbidden Planet.  It has been so long since I have been to Manhattan, that I just found out they had moved their bookstore.

It was nice going to Metro.  I am a My Metro member
The class was excellent.  The teacher, Kathy Dempsey provided a complete outline of the class in a handout.  There was also a slideshow to go with the talk.  This made it easy to follow.  The teacher is sending the slideshow to people who attended.

She passed around her book, The Accidental Library Marketer, as well as copies of the April 2012 Marketing Library Services Newsletter and the September 2012 Computers In Libraries journal.

There were a few interesting points she made in the talk that were not part of the class outline.  I learned something new:

  1. Check to see if the subject of an article that you are writing was written about recently in the last three or four months in the magazine you are submitting to.
  2. Don't submit articles to magazines simultaneously.
  3. Don't hand in a full article to a magazine.  Provide a proposal.
  4. How editors view subject matter experts like librarians is different than the way they view full time writers.
  5. Internal style guides are often related to the word processing software used by a magazine or journal. for some reason this made me think of the Yahoo Style Guide

Some of the subjects covered in the class were Impressing and Proposing to Editors, Understanding the Publishing Process, and Dealing With Rejection.

The class was very interactive.  Everyone who wanted to speak got a turn to.  This introduced me to a few new subjects like MOOCs ( Massively Open Online Classes ) and metawriting (writing about writing).

I took an extra handout to bring back to the library.  I usually have to write a brief report on what I do at outside meetings.  Kathy Dempsey's website is

On the way out I had a chance to talk to some fellow librarians.

Right now, I am back in the computer lab from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  I often help people search for jobs and apply online.

I plan on reading Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan.

I stayed a little late to go to the Board of Trustees meeting.  There was a special meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m. covering central library funding.  The Mount Vernon Public Library is the central library for Westchester county. 

The board meeting was short because tonight was also the budget hearing for the City of Mount Vernon.  When I got to city hall at 7:10 p.m., the lines were so long I could not even get into the room where the hearing was held or hear any of the speakers.  I did a get a chance to get a copy of the preliminary budget for the city.  The budget is a reminder that I have stay focused and keep my head down.

Web Bits

Peek at the Bookshelves of 10 Famous Readers
I rather like the bookshelf of Jonathan Lethem.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/5/2012

Book plate of William Hewer, secretary of Samuel Pepys, exhibiting the “library interior” style, 1699, Source: 
Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th edition, v. 4, 1911, p. 232

Daily Thoughts 12/5/2012

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

On the way to work, I read some more of Management Basics for Information Professionals.  The authors are describing the difference between creativity and innovation.  Creativity is generating new ideas while innovation is implementing them.

I also checked the displays and put some holiday books on display.  We are continuing to work on weeding the 900s.

The computer lab is open from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. today.

BWI closed out all their orders today.  We are getting the final shipments in from BWI this week.  Next week we have a training for Baker and Taylor for Title Source 3.  I spent a little time going over cancellations and orders from BWI.

The book, The Signal and the Noise Why So Many Predictions Fail- But Some Don't by Nate Silver came in for me to read.

I spent some time reading review literature today. Michael Pollan has a new book coming out, Cooked: A Natural History in April.  It should be very popular. Also there is a book which I am hoping to read soon, The Cassandra Project by Jack McDevitt and Mike Resnick who are both entertaining science fiction writers.  I have a stack of review journals to read.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/4/2012

Illustration of the short story A Scandal in Bohemia, which appeared in The Strand Magazine in July, 1891. This illustration appeared on page 63, and is captioned "I CAREFULLY EXAMINED THE WRITING."

Daily Thoughts 12/4/2012

This morning, I read some of Management Basics for Information Professionals 2nd Edition by G. Edward Evans and Patricia Layzell Ward.  The opening chapters are on the different types of management styles.  I am not particular fond of time motion studies and efficiency.  I rather like the idea of quality management and participative management styles which take account of all the staff.

I checked the Twitter and Facebook accounts for the library.  I also checked the displays and the gift books.  I spent some more time working on weeding in the 900s.   I am working with one of the clerks on this project.  It will be a slow steady process to do this.

I also spent some time looking at cancelations from BWI so I can determine what I plan on reordering.  Many of the items are out of print or out of stock from the publishers.

I have to read The Times Literary Supplement from November 30, 2012 and the December 3, 2012 Publishers Weekly. 

On the way home, I read some more of Management Basics for Information Professionals.  The two sections which I read were on diversity and marketing.  The marketing section had a little bit on public relations.  I liked that library advocacy was described as part of public relations.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/3/2012

Ein Besuch, Carl Spitzweg, Circa 1850

Daily Thoughts 12/3/2012

This morning, I checked the Twitter and Facebook account for the library.  I also checked the new books.  We spent some time switching some of the new books to the regular library collection.  It is nice seeing new material going into the shelves.  It helps refresh the collection.

There are a lot of very nice new books.

I also checked the displays today.  I read the latest New York Times Book review which is the December 2, 2012 holiday issue.  A holiday book that looked interesting was Vogue: The Editors Eye, Edited by Eve McSweeney. 

I also spent some time working with the clerks on weeding the 900s.  The clerks have been inventorying the main floor collection.

There is going to be a Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees on December 6, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. for the Mount Vernon Public Library.

On the way home, I finished reading Help the Helper Building A Culture of Extreme Teamwork by Kevin Pritchard and John Eliot, Ph.D.  The book focuses on concepts around teamwork.  There is some discussion of scouting and how athletic scouts pick people.  Character is very important in picking players for a team.  The authors describe the limits of metrics.  Metrics don't determine how well a player works with their teammates.  I found the sports based approach to management interesting.  I especially liked the sections on swim teams.  I was on the swim team during middle school.  I also watched a lot of baseball with my grandfather.

Web Bits

Help the Gates Foundation Decide How to Spend Money on Libraries

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/2/2012

Cartoon in 1909 Tyee (yearbook of the University of Washington). An unidentified man is shown reading a book entitled How to Play Politics.

Daily Thoughts 12/2/2012

I finished reading On Politics V.2 today by Alan Ryan.  He finishes by writing about the possibility of there being a world government.  In addition, he discusses the idea that because there are nuclear weapons we are not likely to have another world war.  There is some discussion of the poor demanding more rights and participation in government.  Alan Ryan does not think of this as being a revolution though.

In my opinion in the United States, both the Tea Party and Occcupy Wall Street are examples of people demanding more participation in government.  This demand for participation is not just in the United State,  but also in the middle east.

I liked the brief sections on corporatism, environmental destruction, and globalization.  The focus seems to be on acknowledging that people want to have more say from their government on these issues.

Some things which I took away from reading this book is that utopian political ideas lead to violent revolutions.  Mixed government forms as far back as Roman times has been acknowledged to be superior to pure governments.  As time passed ordinary people demanded more and more say in their governments.  The word democracy has become a kind of universal ideal.

I enjoyed reading this book, it gave me a lot to think about.

I spent a little time thinking about our ordering process and the switchover from BWI to Baker and Taylor.  Our final set of orders should be coming in from BWI this week.

I also spent some time thinking about what I plan to do during the coming year.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Daily Thoughts 12/1/2012

Curt Herrmann, Lesende Dame auf rotem Sofa, 1893/1894

Daily Thoughts 12/1/2012

I watched some of The Passions: Philosophy and the Intelligence of Emotions on dvd today.  I am almost done reading On Politics V.2.  Right now, I am reading about the concept of modern democracy.  Part of the argument is about participation versus representation.  I sometimes think that things would be better if more people participated in the electoral process in the United States.  There is a little bit on participatory democracy in the book.

In places like Australia, voting is required.  In ancient Athens the assembly was rounded up by Scythian slaves who carried red ropes.  People who did not want to attend would get red dye on their clothes.  The book mentions the Jeffersonian Wards.  Thomas Jefferson believe in a concept called Ward Republics where government at the local level was to be more participatory in nature, and not as representative.  It was at the national level, that representative government was supposed to work.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Daily Thoughts 11/30/2012

Okumura Masanobu,  Itinerant Vendor of shikishi and tanzaku (paper and books) 1720–1730

Daily Thoughts 11/30/2012

This morning on the train, I read some more of On Politics V.2.  The author is describing different ideas on imperialism and empires.  Alan Ryan describes the difference between colonization and conquest.  There is also a bit on the byproducts of empire, Aristotle's idea of "natural slavery", and the concept of "scientific racism".  There is also quite a bit on how nations try to justify wiping out native populations and extract resources.

This morning, I checked the Facebook and the Twitter for the library.  I did some more weeding in the 900s this morning.  I am pulling from a list which was generated.  I also checked the gift books and the displays.
The Mount Vernon Public Library Friends of the Library Book and Bake Sale is today. I am looking forward to getting a cup of coffee, a cookie, and looking at books.

I went to the Friends of the Library Book Sale and had a cup of coffee and a piece of cake.  I also bought a book, The Collected Sandman Covers 1989-1997 With a new story and commentary by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean.  It is a beautiful book.

I spent a little time thinking about weeding and ordering material.  How it is organized is important.

On the way home, I read some more of On Politics, V.2.  Alan Ryan is writing about different forms of totalitarianism: Stalinism, nazism, and fascism.  Totalitarianism is the traditional enemy of liberal democracy.

Web Bits

Publishers Brace for Authors to Reclaim Book Rights in 2013

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Daily Thoughts 11/29/2012

Piles of French Novels, Vincent Van Gogh, 1887

Daily Thoughts 11/29/2012

This morning, I read some more of On Politics V.2.  I am reading about Karl Marx right now.  The concept of proledic or the dictatorship of the proletariat is something which makes me a bit uncomfortable.

I checked the Facebook and Twitter accounts for the library.  I also checked the displays.  The Friends of the Mount Vernon Public Library are getting the community room ready for the book sale tomorrow.

The computer lab is open from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. today.

I spent a little time weeding in the 900s.

On the way home, I read some more of On Politics V.2.  I find myself not identifying with concepts like bourgeoise, or capital, or even working class.  There are some more recent terms like intellectual or creative professional which make more sense to me.  One of the organizations that I find interesting is the IETF Internet Engineering Task Force who make it a point to have to have no voting, no kings, and make decisions by rough consensus.

25 Years of IETF: setting standards without kings or votes.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Daily Thoughts 11/28/2012

Menzels Hände: die linke Hand mit Bleistift, die rechte Hand mit Pinsel. Bronze, vergoldet, 1904. Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin. Reinhold Begas

Daily Thoughts 11/28/2012

On the way to work, I read some more of Help the Helper.  The writers are writing about how to manage energy levels in employees focusing on things like employee support and getting enough sleep.  I also read a little bit more of On Politics V.2.  Alan Ryan is writing about Alexis De Tocqueville who originally traveled to America to investigate the American penal system.  Alexis De Tocqueville wrote Democracy in America.

This morning, I checked the Facebook and Twitter for the library.  I also checked the displays.  The library is having the Friends of the Mount Vernon Public Library Book and Bake Sale this Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  It should be a pleasant experience.  I always like book sales.

I am going to Writing for the Library Press on December 6, 2012 between 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Metro, New York.  I have not gone to a training session in a little while.  It would be nice to write something a little different than a blog entry.

We have the Computer Lab open between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. today.  

Web Bits

Improbables Libraries, Improbables Bibliotheques

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Daily Thoughts 11/27/2012

Claude Monet, In the Woods at Giverny: Blanche Hoschedé at Her Easel with Suzanne Hoschedé Reading, 1887

Daily Thoughts 11/27/2012

This morning, I read some more of Help the Helper on the train to work.  The authors are describing how metrics measure individual performance, but do not measure teamwork.  They describe how it is important to find people who will support the team as a whole, not just themselves.  I also read a little more on Hegel in the book On Politics V.2.

I checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library this morning.

I am thinking of doing some more Spanish practice using the BBC languages website.

I spent a little time looking over the old services brochure for the library today.  I also checked the displays and the gift books.

This afternoon, I did a little bit more checking in the mezzanine in the 800s.

On the way home, I read some more of Help the Helper.  One of the questions in the book is posed is why do you do what you do?  What motivates you?  I think a large portion of what I am doing as a librarian is both for the self education of patrons as well as myself.  I think of self-education as practical skills like home repair, reading about health, computer use, resume writing, learning the classics, financial literacy, and similar activities.  Libraries have a civilizing influence.

 Andrew Carnegie said, "You cannot push anyone up a ladder unless he is willing to climb a little."
 I also read some more of On Politics V.2 by Alan Ryan.  Right now, I am reading about John Stuart Mill.  One of the interesting things about the book is that he includes many people I had never heard of like Saint-Simon and Jeremy Bentham.  I had heard of the panopticon before, but did not know that Jeremy Bentham invented it.

Web Bits

December 1st is the Deadline to be a Host for World Book Night