Monday, March 31, 2014

Daily Thoughts 03/31/2014

Woman reading, about 1890 National Media Museum - Kodak Gallery Collection

Daily Thoughts 03/31/2014

I checked the library social media this morning.  The trains were messy again this morning.  There was a mechanical breakdown on a train in the tunnels so it took a while for me to get to work.

I spent some time shifting oversize books to a new location.  We are replacing some oversize library shelving.  I also placed an order for new books this afternoon. I also checked the displays and the gift books.  We are waiting for some books to do a display of books on autism.

I spent a little time discussing computer troubleshooting with a colleague.  Today has been a quiet day.  This made things pleasant.  It gave me a little time to think about the upcoming library vote.

On the way home, I read Michelle Obama An American Story by David Colbert. This book is a very clean, straightforward story.  It reads like a campaign piece for the 2008 elections.  There were a few interesting things that were in the book like Michelle Obama's Gullah heritage and her going to a magnet school in Chicago designed to increase diversity and opportunity.  Michelle Obama's schooling reminded me a little bit of Sonia Sotomayor's description of her schooling.  But, mostly it was a very positive story of a successful, focused woman.

Web Bits

You Can't Buy That The Great Ebook Royalty War by Michael Chabon

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Daily Thoughts 03/30/2014

Daily Thoughts 03/30/2014

This morning, I checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library.  I also spent a little time looking at the Save New York City Libraries campaign website
and the Urban Librarians Unite website
 I am going to the Urban Librarians Conference on April 11, 2014

I finished reading The Second Machine Age Work, Progress, and Prosperity In a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAffee.  Most of the content I had read about in other places.  It is a very nice synthesis of many near future trends in technology, especially digital technology.  The section on digital education was a solid reminder of how much people need basic education with digital technologies.  It is no longer enough to have reading, writing, and arithmetic.  People need to read discerningly, be creative, and innovate in their jobs in greater and greater numbers.

Web Bits

Printing Wikipedia Would Take 1 Million Pages But Thats Sort of the Point

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Daily Thoughts 03/29/2014

Daily Thoughts 03/29/2014

This morning, I checked the displays and put some more poetry books in the displays.  I also checked the dvd player for the film program which I had in the afternoon.  It was quite interesting watching the documentary, Slavery by Another Name which was about peonage of African Americans, forced prison labor , and debt bondage immediately after the United States civil war.

I spent some time talking about computers.  I also discussed Bookletters with a colleague.

I read some more of  The Second Machine Age. Erik Brynjolfson and Andrew McAfee are describing how a team of a human and a computer nearly always beat a computer alone or a humans alone in a chess competition.  The idea is that people are good at innovation and ideation and machines are not good at creating new things or ideas.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Daily Thoughts 03/28/2014

Bernard Van Orley, Portrait of Georg Zellie, 1519

Daily Thoughts 03/28/2014

This morning, I checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library.  I also checked the displays.  I printed some flyers and emptied some of the display cases.  I have to put in some poetry books in the display cases tomorrow. I am showing a film tomorrow, Slavery by Another Name at 2:00 p.m.

We had a management meeting this morning.  We also had a special meeting in the afternoon where we discussed the coming budget vote for the library.  There were a lot of people including staff, patrons, and the Friends of the Library.  We discussed things like mailings, phone calls, emails, and posters to support the library budget vote and vote for the trustees.

I spent some time thinking about the oversize books.

Web Bits

Code Academies Caught In the Government Sausage Factory
I find this interesting because I learned some of the basics from for HTML and CSS for free.  However, I basically hit a brick wall when I tried to do Javascript.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Daily Thoughts 03/27/2014

Daily Thoughts 03/27/2014

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

This morning, on the way to work, I read some more of the Second Machine Age. The authors are describing the winner take all phenomenon with digital technology.  There is a concentration of wealth where the top companies can push out everyone else.  The authors describe the distribution as like Pareto effect where 80% of the wealth in a digital industry tends concentrate in 20% of the industry.  They are also describing how increasingly the middle class is disappearing as part of the process of a move to a digital economy.

April is National Poetry Month.  I am going to do a display of poetry books.

The library budget vote is coming very soon.  This is an article on the budget vote coming in the April Mount Vernon Inquirer by Tamara Stewart who is a supporter and patron of the library.  It also includes information on how to become a library trustee.

I spent some time working with the oversize books.  I also spent a little time working on scheduling and printed up some flyers for events.

Artswestchester was here tonight to talk about a Mount Vernon Arts Initiative. 

Web Bits

Library: the Most Beautiful Word

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Daily Thoughts 03/26/2014

Georg Michael Schneider, Mann, lesend, circa 1890

Daily Thoughts 03/26/2014

We had the book club meeting today for a book on Eleanor Roosevelt.  It was interesting.  One of the club members read Eleanor Roosevelt's My Day which is a collection of her newaper columns.  We are reading a book on Michelle Obama for a meeting on April 29, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m..  I plan on reading Michelle Obama An American Story by David Colbert.

I spent some time talking about the computer classes with a colleague.

This morning, I checked the displays and the gift books.  The April Bookpage also came in.

On the way home, I read some of The Second Machine Age.  I am reading about how productivity is affeced by digital goods and information technology.  The authors describe how there is a tendency to concentrate wealth with digital products to a few people who made the product and no one else.  This is a different style of generating wealth than before.  They also discuss the conundrum of free products which increase productivity and creativity and how they would be counted in traditional economics.

There is a tension right now which pervades where I work.  On May 6, 2014 our budget goes up to vote.  We are preparing to request that people help support the library. 

I read a little bit more of The Second Machine Age tonight.  I am reading about machines substituting for labor.  In economic terms this would be capital substituting for labor.  There is a pattern which is not being described in this book where first jobs are outsourced overseas from the United States to other countries where labor is cheaper, then they are brought back when new capital equipment becomes cheaper than labor. 

This happens equally with things like customer service, where jobs are sent overseas, then they are brought back when people can use noise canceling headsets and work from home on their home computers at minimum wage which is called home sourcing. Substituting capital for labor very often concentrates wealth.

I question the answer in this book which says it is education for creative jobs and social jobs. Assuming that the majority of people are suited for these jobs is questionable.

Web Bits

Why Libraries Should Look Beyond Library Card Ownership as a Measure of Support

How US Libraries are Becoming Community Problem Solvers

Surging Rents Force Booksellers from New York

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Daily Thoughts 03/25/2014

Portrait of a Man Writing in His Study, Gustave Caillebotte, 1885

Daily Thoughts 03/25/2014

I read some more of The Second Machine Age this morning.  I am reading about innovation and how the expansion of the internet increases innovation by making it easier to combine ideas together.

This morning, I checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library.  I also checked the displays. We got a large donation of books.  There were a few things worth adding.  I try and be very selective about what I decide to add to the collection.  Most of the books go to the Friends of the Mount Vernon Public Library for the Book and Bake Sale which is on May 2 and May 3, 2014.  Tomorrow, we have the book club from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Trustees room.  We are reading a book on Eleanor Roosevelt.

I spent some time preparing an order of new books this week.  I have a few magazines to read.  I did a little bit of checking in the oversize books.  The book, The Heathen School A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic by John Demos came in for me to read.

There are two computer classes tonight, a 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.   The computer lab was open earlier from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m..

Web Bits

New York Public Library Partners With Zola to Offer Algorithmic Book Recommendations

Examining Library Spaces Through A “Kindness Audit”

Inflatable Space

I sometimes like to write about the concept of inflatables in space or near space.  I recently saw this Google plans to build a giant high altitude balloon network to cover the world for internet access.

The goal would be to provide cheap internet access for everyone in the world. 

Project Loon

Larry Page Talks at TED About Building a Better Future, The NSA, and Google's Project Loon

A Turbine Powered Future 

This is just something that interests me.  There have been recent advances in superconductors.  Smaller and Lighter 10MW Wind Turbines May be on the Horizon.

High Temperature Superconducting Breakthrough

Another breakthrough has occurred in addition to the superconductor.  Some companies are developing lenses to focus the wind.  Wind lens triples turbine output. 

It is interesting to read that some people believe wind power could provide all of the United States energy.  I can easily see a company developing a wind lens turbine that uses superconductors.  This would change the equation for wind power. I like the idea of a society powered by wind and waves.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Daily Thoughts 03/24/2014

Jean-Etienne Liotard-- Lady In a Turkish Dress Reading, between 1740 and 1742
Daily Thoughts 03/24/2014

I spent some time checking the Facebook and Twitter for the library.  I also read a little bit more of No Ordinary Time. There is about Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt deciding who would focus on the atomic bomb.

I spent some more time reading The Second Machine Age.  The book is writing about how Moore's Law applies not to just to computer power, but all the different peripheral devices around computers like batteries and sensors.

I read a little bit more of The Second Machine Age in the laundromat.  I am reading about how digitization has become ubiquitious.  It is not just about digitizing information, it is about the increasing amount of digital sensors that surround us.

Web Bits

Where the President’s Budget Would Leave Libraries
The goal is to grow digital infrastructure.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Daily Thoughts 03/23/2014

[Theodore Roosevelt seated at desk, reading, roses in vase at right]
Date Created/Published: c1907 May 27. 

Daily Thoughts 03/23/2014

I spent some time checking the social media for the library.  I also read a little bit more of No Ordinary Time.  There was a bit on the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II as well as discrimination against African Americans in the United States navy.

I started reading The Second Machine Age, Work, Progress, and Prosperity In a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfson and Andrew McAfee. I am reading about how the idea that machines are better at computation and humans are better at pattern recognition is starting to unravel.  I am also reading about how machines are being designed so they can do more tasks that are accomplished by humans.

On Tuesday, May 6, 2014, there will be an election for four of the Mount Vernon Public Library Board of Trustees positions.

Web Bits

American Libraries Learn to Read Teenagers

How Public Libraries Are Solving America's Reading Problem

Is the World Ready for a... Comics Truck

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Daily Thoughts 03/22/2014

Daily Thoughts 03/22/2014

We have a trial of Comics Plus Library Edition from the Westchester Library System.  It is mostly independent publishers and comics like Archie, Classics Illustrated, Peanuts and Papercutz.  I enjoyed reading the children’s comic Annoying Orange as well as the Classics Illustrated Rob Roy.

I checked the libraries social media this morning. I read a little bit more of No Ordinary Time this morning.  I am reading about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Daily Thoughts 03/21/2014

At The Writing Desk, Childe Hassam, 1910
Daily Thoughts 03/21/2014

This morning, I checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library.  I also spent a little time discussing the computer lab.  I worked a little bit with Bookletters.  Bookletters can link to Overdrive Advantage.  I also learned today that we can purchase streaming media for Overdrive.

I spent some time checking the oversize books today.  I also checked the displays.  I did a little preparation for summer reading as well.

I have been looking at some of the different email marketing services like Constant Contact, Aweber, and Mailchimp.  Amazon Web Services has an email marketing platform called Sendy that costs $1 for 10,000 users.

Web Bits

I hang out at Libraries Even When I'm Not Looking for a Book

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Daily Thoughts 03/20/2014

Kazuenokami Katō Kiyomasa Observing a Monkey with a Writing Brush (Image 1 of 2) Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (Japan, 1839-1892)

Daily Thoughts 03/20/2014

This morning, I checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library.  I also read some of No Ordinary Time.  I spent some time thinking about the computer classes today.  We probably need more basic classes including a Mouse and Keyboard skills class.

Overdrive came by to demonstrate their new streaming services today.  We watched a Madeline children's cartoon.  They also showed us their new children's page for e-books.

I spent a little time looking through Overdrive Advantage. Bookletters can generate lists E-books, DVDs, CDs, and CD Audiobooks.

Web Bits

The University of the Public Library
This is something interesting.  Many people are taking their degrees online. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Daily Thoughts 03/19/2014

The Pensive Reader, Mary Cassatt, c1894
Daily Thoughts 03/19/2014

This morning, I checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library.  I also placed a couple books on hold, The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Early Republic by John Demos and My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag... And Other Things You Can't Ask Martha by Jolie Kerr  I found articles on them on Facebook which grabbed my attention.

On another note, Somers Library in Westchester does a very good job with their social media.  They have a very nice Pinterest board.

I have been reading a little more of No Ordinary Time.  It is a very large book.  Right now, I am reading about Eleanor Roosevelt's syndicated column and her autobiography, This Is My Story. 

I have been listening to Abbey Road by the Beatles on Youtube.

Web Bits

NYLA's Take Action for Library Legislation Web Button-- Contact Your Elected Officials

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Daily Thoughts 03/18/2014

Daily Thoughts 03/18/2014

This morning on the way to work, I read a little bit more of No Ordinary Time.  I am reading No Ordinary Time for the book club on Wednesday, March 26. 2014 at 1:00 p.m..  I checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library this morning.  I also spent some time on Bookletters putting in a list of new dvds for the website.  I am looking at doing a list of audiobooks as well.  We have been working on improving the website.  I also spent some time discussing the collection this morning.

I checked the displays and the gift books.

I registered for the Urban Librarians Conference today which is on April 11, 2014 in Brooklyn.  I also registered for Library Journal Day of Dialog which is on May 28, 2014  I have always liked Day of Dialog.

I am covering the computer lab today from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Web Bits

Humble Bundle Releasing Doctorow Audiobook
I rather like the idea of authors bundling different electronic content to help raise money for charity.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Daily Thoughts 03/17/2014

Daily Thoughts 03/17/2014

This morning, I checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library.  I also checked the displays. I printed up some flyers for a program.

I also spent some time checking the oversize books.  I have quite a bit to go.  I updated the Bookletters page for poetry.  April is National Poetry month.  I also spent a little time going over Bookletters with a colleague.

On Thursday, I will be talking to the people from Overdrive about their new streaming service.

I spent a little time this morning working on ordering books.  I am mainly focusing on fiction titles.

The Day of Dialog for Book Expo America was announced this morning.  I try and go to this.

On the way home, I read some more of No Ordinary Time. Apparently, even though he had polio, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a bit of a lady's man.  I am reading about the destroyer for navy bases exchange which Roosevelt arranged with Winston Churchill in the early portion of World War II.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Daily Thoughts 03/16/2014

The great Latin poet, Virgil, holding a volume on which is written the Aenid. On either side stand the two muses: "Clio" (history) and "Melpomene" (tragedy). The mosaic, which dates from the 3rd Century A.D., was discovered in the Hadrumetum in Sousse, Tunisia and is now on display in the Bardo Museum in Tunis, Tunisia.

Daily Thoughts 03/16/2014

I spent some more time reading No Ordinary Time.  I learned that Franklin Delano Roosevelt had an affair early in his life and had a very interesting relationship with his secretary Missy.   The book can be a little salacious in places.  I am reading about Roosevelt's decision on going for a third term as president.

Web Bits

Library lovers are less lonely, Pew Research Report Finds

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Daily Thoughts 03/15/2014

Daily Thoughts 03/15/2014

This morning on the way to work, I read some more of No Ordinary Time.  The book describes how ill prepared the United States was initially to enter World War II.  It also describes how Franklin Delano Roosevelts first priority in the war was to help arm the allies, not just build up the United States military.  Eleanor Roosevelt also insisted that in addition to military progress, social progress should not stop.

I checked the Facebook and Twitter for the Mount Vernon Public Library as well as the displays this morning.  I got a call with a question about the program today on Sterling Cleveland's walk across America in support of diabetes that is happening at 3:00 p.m.  There is a lot of interest in the program.

I spent a little time looking at the Poets House website

Poem In Your Pocket Day is on April 24, 2014
You can request a poster for National Poetry Month which is in April.

I set up a program today for Sterling Cleveland who talked about his Walk Across America for diabetes.  It was quite interesting.  He raised over $25,000 for the American Diabetes Association.  He had a lot of photographs from his trip as well as memories to recount which were positive and uplifting.  He talked from 3:00 p.m. to 4;30 p.m. today.

Web Bits

Happy Pi Day!  6 of Your Favorite Authors' Favorite Pie Recipes

Beyond Ebooks

Friday, March 14, 2014

Daily Thoughts 03/14/2014

 An 1886 Paris portrait bust of Victor Hugo by the famed French sculptor, Auguste Rodin in the Gulbenkian Museum.

Daily Thoughts 03/14/2014

I spent a little time checking the Twitter and Facebook for the library.  I also checked the displays. I did a little updating to Bookletters. I also did a little bit of weeding for the oversize books.  Next week I am meeting with Overdrive to discuss their streaming product on Thursday.

I read a copy of Library Journal and drank some tea at my desk.  While I was looking through the patron requests for books on meditation, I found out that Russell Simmons has a new book, Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple.  I find it intriguing that he would write this book.

Web Bits

From Distant Admirers to Library Lovers and Beyond

Turns Out Most Engaged Library Users are Biggest Tech Users

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Daily Thoughts 03/13/2014

Woman Reading In a Garden, 1902-1903, Henri Matisse

Daily Thoughts 03/13/2014

Yesterday, I finished reading The Good Spy The Life and Death of Robert Ames.  The last part of the book focuses on the April 18, 1983 United States Embassy bombing in Beirut in which Robert Ames dies.  It follows up with a bit on the founding of Hezbollah and the subject bombing of a U.S. marine base on October 23, 1983.  The book is fascinating, it is full of details on historical events that are often in the shadows and not very well explained.

I started reading No Ordinary Time Franklin Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II by Doris Kearns Goodwin.  This book touches on the Roosevelts personal life and living arrangements during World War II.  I am reading it for a nonfiction book club the library is holding on March 26, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m..

This morning, I checked the gift books, checked the displays, and updated the social media for the library.  A lot of new books went out from a donation of books from a local reviewer.  I am thinking a little bit about programming right now.  The person who teaches our computer classes at night is doing a program called Path to Entrepreneurship on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m..  It is through WEDC Women's Enterprise Develpment Center and needs registration, the number is 914-948-609 x15.

I checked the flyers to make sure the adult program flyers were all printed and refilled the bulletin boards on the second avenue side of the building.  I also spent some more time weeding in the oversize books.

There is a Beginning Microsoft Powerpoint class from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the computer lab.  There is also a special meeting of the Board of Trustees tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the Trustees room.

Web Bits

"You're Not a Real Fan:" What Libraries Can Offer Fandom