Friday, February 28, 2014

Daily Thoughts 02/28/2014

Maria Sacchi Reading, Umberto Boccioni, 1907

Daily Thoughts 02/28/2014

Last night, I read the Fables in all the land.  I read Fables for the writing.  Bill Willingham does a fantastic job of writing for comic books.  This graphic novel has a lot of different illustrators with a number of short interconnected stories.  It is the writing which pulls it together.

I went to the Simon and Schuster, Inc.  Summer 2014 Educator and Librarian Preview.  It was the first time I had been to the Simon and Schuster building.  Most of the events that I have attended with publishers have been in other venues like the McGraw Hill Building.

It was a pleasant event.  The coffee and breakfast sandwiches were good.  The program ran a half hour over, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m..  They gave us a bag of advanced reading copies mostly coming out in June, July, and August from the different Simon and Schuster imprints like Atria Books, Gallery Books, and Touchstone Books.  Most of the material was new bestsellers from major authors like Stephen King, Mary Alice Monroe, Martha Grimes, Philippa Gregory, Brad Thor, and other major authors.

I like that the editors slipped in a few of their own favorites like the nonfiction book, I Heard My Country Calling by James Webb, and All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr which were not in the program book.  There were a lot of advanced reader editions, but a few of them I had to request because they were not there yet like Born Reading Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age From Picture Books to eBooks and Everything Inbetween by Jason Boog  and Dear Leader by Jang Jin-Sung.

Each of the editors of the different imprints from Simon and Schuster discussed their books.  Something I found interesting is that some of the editors were cultivating writers to move from the midlist to the bestseller lists like Lisa Jewell.  I think many of the books that were discussed will be New York Times Bestsellers.

When I got back I spent a little time working on programming.  I also checked the displays.  Tomorrow is Women's History Month.

Annhilation: A Novel by Jeff Vandermeer came in for me to read.  Also, the book, Words Will Break Cement The Passion of Pussy Riot by Masha Gessen came in for me to read.

Web Bits

Audiobooks and the Return of Storytelling
For some reason I never listen to audiobooks.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Daily Thoughts 02/27/2014

Dante Gabriel Rosetti, 1880, The Day Dream

Daily Thoughts 02/27/2014

I enjoyed reading What W.H. Auden Can Do For You by Alexander McCall Smith.  This book is very much a homage to W.H. Auden's poetry who the author praises in the classic english manner of Robert Graves.  The writing is beautiful. 

Alexander McCall Smith includes some commentary by George Orwell on W.H. Auden's writing on the Spanish Civil War during the 1930s which is of interest to me.  He also calls Auden's later work pastoral and Horatian.  

I rather like the visits to Auden's literary critics.  Alexander McCall Smith describes visiting Edward Mendelson who is known for writing about Auden.  He even writes in Mendelson as a character in one of his books.  I was surprised at both the style, prose, and depth of this short book of 137 pages.  It is just the right size to read on a subway trip.

This morning, I checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library.  I also checked the displays and the gift books.  I spent some time preparing for the scheduling of a film, adjusting the public computer class schedule,  and on another book discussion group.  There was an article on Auden in the latest New York Review of Books.  I still have several copies of the New York Times Book Review to look through and a copy of Bookpages to sort through.

I placed a hold on No ordinary time : Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt : the home front in World War II by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

I am going to a reading at Rockefeller Center in the Simon and Schuster building tomorrow.  I will hear several present their works and hopefully should get a few books for the library as well.

Web Bits

The book, Expect More: Demanding Better Libraries for Today's Complex World is now a free download.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Daily Thoughts 02/26/2014

Daily Thoughts 02/26/2014

This morning on the way to work, I reread RASL by Jeff Smith.  The graphic novel is fantastic.  You have to read it twice to catch all the details.  For example, the main characters name, RASL means Romance at the Speed of Light.  RASL loves Maya which is another allusion to the illusory nature of the world.

The book is a wild mix of conspiracy, alternative science, and action.  Mix in a solid dose of lots of sex, plenty of gunplay, and a bit of art thievery and it makes the story over the top.  The back story includes the history of Nikola Tesla and his confiscated notebooks which the United States government holds at a secret location.

I enjoyed reading this.  Some people might find it a bit much.  The main character travels through a variety of alternate worlds with only slight differences between his and our own.  For example Bob Dylan never changes his name from Robert Zimmerman, or the main characters car is in a different location.

This morning, I checked the social media for the library, and checked the displays and the gift books.

I had the Brown Bag Nonfiction Book Club today from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Trustees room.  Several of the Friends of the Mount Vernon Public Library attended.  We were reading Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters' First 100 Years.  There was a much better turnout than during the day after the snowstorm.  We are planning on reading a book on Eleanor Roosevelt for March which is Women's History Month.  Someone suggested No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

I did a little shifting in the oversize books as well.  The latest Bookpage came in today.

Web Bits

Crown Publishing Bookish Art Pinterest Board

Where Have All the Workers Gone

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Daily Thoughts 02/25/2014

Pink Note, The Novelette, James McNeill Whistler, 1894

Daily Thoughts 02/25/2014

I took some time enough this last week.  This morning, we had a customer service training meeting.  It was focused on improving how we worked with the public.  Part of it was preparing for better community relations before we had a vote on our budget.  It was a surprisingly pleasant experience.  When I got back, I saw my picture on one of the posters in support of the library.  I also did a video interview today for about seven minutes which is a fairly long cut for video.  It was not too bad.  I don't find myself to be that uncomfortable in front of a camera or video.

I returned my books and checked out two books that were waiting for me.  What W.H. Auden Can Do For You by Alexander McCall Smith and a graphic novel, RASL by Jeff Smith who is famous for the comic Bone.  

I read a copy of Library Journal, a Booklist, and a copy of the New York Review of Books.  I put the book Annhilation by Jeff Vandermeer on hold.  I am also looking forward to reading Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff Vandermeer.  I also put a hold on the book Words Will Break Cement The Passion of Pussy Riot by Masha Geshen on hold.  They have been in the news quite often in Russia.

I made sure we had some extra copies of Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters' First 100 Years for the nonfiction book club tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.

I spent a little bit of time checking the Facebook and Twitter for the library.  I also did some shifting in the oversize books and checked the displays.

Web Bits

2014 Advocacy Slideshare

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Daily Thoughts 02/18/2014

Portrait of Emile Zola, 1868, Edouard Manet
Daily Thoughts 02/18/2014

This morning, I checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library.  I also checked the gift books and the displays.  I spent some time ordering new books.  There were quite a few new mass market paperbacks on the bestseller lists.

I have a program today.  The library is showing Prince Among Slaves in the community room today followed by a discussion from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.  There is also a reschedule for the Women's Enterprise Development Center today because of the snow.  They will be coming from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. today.

Web Bits

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Daily Thoughts 02/15/2014

Henri Fantin-Latour, 1866 Still Life.

Daily Thoughts 02/15/2014

I checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library this morning.  I also checked the displays and the gift books.  My colleagues are working on the website.  I spent some extra time on the reference desk so they could focus on making sure the website got worked on.

I am looking at the Top Ten Black History Nonfiction Titles from Booklist for 2014

I placed a hold on The second machine age : work, progress, and prosperity in a time of brilliant technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson.  It should be topical.

This afternoon, I wrote the monthly report covering last month and summarized the statistics.

Web Bits

Romance Writers Offer Sweet Thoughts for Valentines Day

I am fan of Elizabeth Lowell.

The Literary Origins of Valentines Day

Connecting your library and government information.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Daily Thoughts 02/14/2014

Jurisprudence, Edvard Munch, 1887
Daily Thoughts 02/14/2014

This morning, I checked the libraries Twitter and Facebook account.  The library was open a little bit late today because of the weather.  I had to fill in in the Computer Lab from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m..  I spent quite a bit of  time helping a person look for jobs.

I ordered a few electronic audiobooks which had patron holds on them from Overdrive Advantage, mainly bestsellers like Sycamore Row by John Grisham and The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan.  I also checked the displays and the gift books section.  We are working on the website.  Also, there is going to be an open house on Monday, February 24, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. for the Mount Vernon Public Library.

I had a program today from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., a nonfiction book club for Sonia Sotomayor's My Beloved World.  I still have to gather the monthly statistics and write the February monthly report. It has been challenging with the weather in New York.

The Women's Enterprise Development Center is rescheduled for this coming Tuesday night from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on February 18, 2014.  We are also showing the film, Prince Among Slaves from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the community room.

Happy Valentine's day.

The Mount Vernon Public Library hosts screening of The Loving Story.  This is at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 15, 2014.

Building a Bridge To Literacy for African American Male Youth: A Call to Action for the Library Community.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Daily Thoughts 02/13/2014

Daily Thoughts 02/13/2014

Today there is snow and ice and more snow and ice outside.  It is cold inside.  I have been reading a little bit more of UI is Communication.  It is about both mobile and regular websites.  The focus right now is writing with clarity.

I read the libraries Facebook and Twitter today.  It is very quiet outside.

Web Bits

Are New York Publishers Still Relevant

Who Needs Books a  q&a with the Bookless Library Head Librarian

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Daily Thoughts 02/11/2014

Daily Thoughts 02/11/2014

I have started UI is Communication.  The viewpoint is that web pages are a form of communication and they should be easily used and understood.

This morning, I checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library.  I also checked the displays and the gift books.  We had a patron request an ebook copy of Sycamore Row by John Grisham.  I ordered a few ebooks today.  I also ordered some bestsellers this morning as well.

This afternoon, I did a little more work with the oversize books.

The computer lab was open from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m..  We are starting to collect usage statistics for the computer lab.  There are also two computer classes, a Beginning Microsoft Word class from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 pm., and a Fundamentals of Computer Operations class from 6:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

Women's Enterprise Development Center is a doing A First Steps for Small Business class in the Fiction room from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. tonight.   There is also a reception in the rotunda for an art exhibit, Multi-Cultural Expressions which is a mix of photographs and paintings tonight.

Web Bits

This is What a Librarian Looks Like

Friday, February 7, 2014

Daily Thoughts 02/07/2014

Daily Thoughts 02/07/2014

On the way to work, I read some more of The Ministry of Guidance Invites You Not to Stay An American Family In Iran.  This is about an American family who spends a year in Iran.  Hooman Majd, the author has a very interesting background, he is a journalist, and his father was a diplomat under the Shah of Iran which makes for a very politically challenging book.  It is more than a political book, however, it gives lot of details about everyday life. Some things  which he writes about like Iranians love for children,  the pollution in Tehran,  the ready access to satellite television, and constant surveillance by the state create a intriguing view of Iran.

This morning, I checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library.  I also checked the displays and the gift books.  We had a management meeting this morning.  There is going to be an open house for the library on February 24.  Our 501 (c) 3 has been restored which allows us to order discounted software from Techsoup  which has a nice selection of discounted software licenses for libraries. Our budget is going out for vote in April most likely.

I had another meeting this afternoon to discuss March and April's computer classes.  I ordered a few art books from the Distribution to Underserved Communities Library Program.

I spent a little time putting out tax forms for a colleague today.  I also put out some pamphlets from the Federal Trade Commission on things like buying a used car, identity theft, and buying a franchise.

I spent some time working with the oversize books.  I will probably doing some shifting in the oversize books soon.  I also checked out the book, UI is Communication How to design intuitive, user-centered interfaces by focusing on effective communication by Everett N. McKay.

Web Bits

Pew Internet Advocacy Tools for Librarians

I am thinking about going to the Urban Librarians Conference

Who Says Libraries Are Going Extinct?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Daily Thoughts 02/06/2014

Daily Thoughts 02/06/2014

This morning, I checked the gifts and the displays.  I also checked the social media for the library.  We had a program this afternoon based on the book, Discovering Black America by Linda Tarrant-Reid.  She did a slide show with lots of different facts about different African Americans in American history.  It was quite interesting.  We ordered several additional copies of the book.

20 additional copies of  Having Our Say: The Delaney' Sisters First 100 Years came in today.  There is a play being done on them at our library this Saturday and the Friends of the Mount Vernon Public Library are selling the book.  We are having quite a few programs for Black History Month which is this February.

It has been quite busy today.  I always make an urn of coffee, and get some cookies for the programs, make sure the projector is working, and check on the room set up for the program.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Daily Thoughts 02/04/2014

Daily Thoughts 02/04/2014

This morning, I finished reading Star Trek  The Fall Peaceable Kingdoms by Dayton Ward.  It is a comfortable formula which is fun to read sometimes.  It read like a techno thriller in space this time.  The formula seemed like they had modernized it a bit to more closely reflects trends in thriller writing.

This morning, I checked the displays and the gift books.  A colleague is putting in a display for Pete Seeger who died recently.  I have a program on February 6, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Linda Tarrant-Reid will be showing a slideshow based on her book, Discovering Black America.

I have a copy of the New York Times Book Review to read.  I did an order an order this morning for bestsellers and patron requests.  This included ordering several books for the fire department exam from the city.

New signage is being put in right now for the Fiction room and the New Arrivals section.

I checked out the book, The Ministry of Guidance Invites You Not to Stay An American Family In Iran by Hooman Majd.

The computer lab is open from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m..  There are also two computer classes; a beginning Microsoft Word class from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and a Fundamentals of Computer Operations class from 6:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

Web Bits

Mr. President: Where Have Libraries Gone?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Daily Thoughts 02/01/2014

Lenoir, Charles-Amable, The Novel, Before 1902
Daily Thoughts 02/01/2014

This morning, I finished reading Orfeo by Richard Powers.  It is very much a tragedy, Peter Els, the main character is very good at making his own life difficult. Most of the time he creates his difficulties in the name of art or music.  Even when he becomes a wanted man and a suspected bioterrorist, a large part of it reads like a series of poor decisions by an eccentric man.  The tragedy this generates is very ironic and entertaining.  I found the decision at the end by Peter Els to be satisfying.

This morning, I checked the displays and the gift books.  I also checked the social media for the library. I spent some time discussing the website with colleagues as well.  It is slowly improving.  I am going to be working with the oversize books this afternoon.

The Mount Vernon Budget was approved this Thursday.  Mount Vernon Approves $96 million dollar budget, 7.78% tax increase.

Web Bits

The User is Still Not Broken