Sunday, November 30, 2014

Daily Thoughts 11/30/2014

Daily Thoughts 11/30/2014

I checked the library Twitter and Facebook this morning.

I finished reading Cibola Burn by James S. Corey last night.  It had an unexpected ending which united the opposing human factions and made them work together to create a colony.  I liked the descriptions of space combat.

I spent some time playing a gamebook which is a combination of game and book.  It is a basically a choose your own adventure book with a game built in.  This one was called Destinyquest Infinite published by Adventure Cow.  The difference between this and the older game book is that the only versions are less cumbersome with built in game mechanics.  An older example of this is Project Aon with the Lone Wolf series  

I have noticed there is renewed interest in choose your own adventure type books.  Recently a book called Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography was on the New York Times bestseller list. Because I was interested, I took a look around there are some Kindle Choose Your Own Adventure e-books.

I also see that a number of computer Gamebooks have been released through a company called Tin Man Games in Australia.   What I am seeing is mainly in the United Kingdom and Australia.

I have written about this before when I spent some time reading a Visual Novel from Hanako Games.
Part of why this is interesting is that it shows what you can do with an e-book graphically, with music, and with branching content that is not being done that much by mainstream publishers.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Daily Thoughts 11/29/2014

Heinrich Vogeler, Martha Vogeler Lesend, circa 1905

Daily Thoughts 11/29/2014

I watched a documentary on Irish Writers last night.  It was interesting.  There was quite a bit about plays.  I liked the sections on James Joyce and Oscar Wilde.  The documentary was published by Kultur.

On the way to work, I read some more of Cibola Burn by James S. Corey.  The corporate colony ship has declared martial law over the existing settlement because some of the settlers blew up their landing pad and killed some of their security people.  In the background, there are intimations of a dangerous alien presence.

I checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library.

I put the book The Resurrectionist the Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black by Elmer Holdspeth on hold.  It looks rather macabre.

I read a copy of Publishers Weekly.  I put the book, Bad Paper Chasing Debt from Wall Street to the Underworld by Jake Halpern on hold.

I spent some more time working with the oversize books.  I also spent some time working on programming.

Web Bits

Libraries on Film

TNT Debuts A New Trailer for Their Upcoming Series the Librarians

Westchester Library System Empowers Communities, #lohudcares

Friday, November 28, 2014

Daily Thoughts 11/28/2014

Sebastian Stoskopf, Still Life With Books

Daily Thoughts 11/28/2014

I checked the library Twitter and Facebook this morning.

I have started reading James S. Corey, Cibola Burn. It is about space colonization focusing on the story of who controls the process of the push outward.  There is a conflict between United Nations colonies supported by corporations and groups of loosely affiliated settlers.  The flood gates of the universe have opened when rings were discovered which allowed people to transport spaceships to different solar systems.

Web Bits

A 24 Hour Bookshop Thrives in Asia

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Daily Thoughts 11/27/2014

Daily Thoughts 11/27/2014

Happy Thanksgiving.

I finished reading Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand.  Louis Zamperini goes through a bout of alcoholism after returning from the war.  Then he finds redemption and eventual forgiveness for his captivity.  The last part is worth reading to understand the meaning of forgiveness.

I also checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library.

I read the graphic novel Barbarian Lord by Matt Smith.  It is black and white with grey tones and washes to the panels.  It looks like a cross between an Icelandic saga and a 1980s barbarian comic book.  The saga part includes poetry contests, talking ravens, spirits of nature and magic, and fights over lands and livestock.  The barbarian part is the classic sword battles, fights with sea serpents, trolls, and men driven by treachery and berserk rage.  It is thoroughly escapist.

Web Bits

Love Letters to Libraries Chris Riddell

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Daily Thoughts 11/26/2014

Woman On An Armchair, Federico Zandomeneghi, 1908

Daily Thoughts 11/26/2014

I checked the library Twitter and Facebook this morning.

On the way to work, I read some more of Unbroken.  Louis Zamperini's plane goes down and he spends 47 days on a rubber raft at sea and then is finally captured by the Japanese and put in a special interrogation camp.  It is a description of one harrowing thing after another.

I checked the gifts and the displays this morning.  I am clearing one of them for a new display.

I posted a Friends of the Mount Vernon Public Library event.  On December 6, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., there will be an an Estate and Antiques appraiser at the Mount Vernon Public Library in the Grace Greene Baker community room.  General admission is $3, or $5 per item with an appraisal.

I spent some time with a colleague working on this months e-book order.

I also did a little bit more work with the oversize books.

The December Bookpage has come in.  There is a book by Louis Zamperini the protagonist of Unbroken written with David Rensin, Don't Give Up Don't Give In: Lessons from an Extraordinary Life.

I placed the dvd Brain Games Season 1 published by National Geographic on hold.  I also checked out the book Cibola Burn by by James S. Corey which is science fiction and the graphic novel, Barbarian Lord by Matt Smith.

I read some more of Unbroken on the way home.  I am reading about Louis Zamperini's time as a prisoner of the Japanese.  It describes him being beaten, denied adequate food, and enduring a variety of different cruelties.  It is a story of enduring.  The descriptions of being liberated with American bombers flying overhead makes the history of World War II much more real.

Web Bits

Library Futures: From Knowledge Keepers to Creators

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Daily Thoughts 11/25/2014

The Poet or Half Past Three, March Chagall, 1912

Daily Thoughts 11/25/2014

I checked the library Twitter and Facebook this morning.

I checked the gifts and the displays this morning.  I also spent some time on scheduling.  I finished checking for books that are listed as missing with holds on them.

In addition, the book, Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand came in for me to read.
I read a copy of the New York Times Book Review.  I did a little work with Bookletters.  I have some more to do tomorrow.

I started reading Unbroken.  It is the story of Louis Zamperini an olympic runner and bomber crewman during World War II.  I learned that the 1940 Summer Olympics were canceled due to the outbreak of war and were originally planned to be held in Tokyo, Japan.

Web Bits

What Kids Are Reading

Love Letters to Libraries: Alexander McCall Smith

Monday, November 24, 2014

Daily Thoughts 11/24/2014

Robert Henri, The Reader In the Forest, 1918

Daily Thoughts 11/24/2014

I checked the library Twitter and Facebook page.

I was at Barnes and Noble today.  I walked around and looked at books.  There were a few things that seemed interesting.  I placed the book Leading the Life You Want Skills for Integrating Work and Life by Stewart D. Friedman on hold.  Another book which looked interesting is @War The Rise of the Military Internet Complex by Shane Harris.  I also bought a paperback copy of Starhawk by Jack McDevitt which is science fiction.

I am enjoying reading Starhawk.  Jack McDevitt has a wonderful sense of the ordinary.  Even with aliens, far off planets, worlds with collapsed civilizations, the basic condition of being human does not change.  Jack McDevitt can easily switch between an astronaut visiting an alien planet and then talking to his mother.  Another thing which is interesting is that most of the aliens are no big deal, in fact some of them are kind of boring, and others are just incomprehensible.

Some of the themes are also interesting.  Exploring alien worlds, experiencing alien art, and opposition to terraforming as a form of environmental destruction.  I rather like Jack McDevitt's writing.  It is well rounded and deep.

Web Bits

Growing Young Minds How Museums and Libraries Create Lifelong Learners

Faster Broadband for Schools and Libraries

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Daily Thoughts 11/23/2014

Amazing Stories, May 1930

Daily Thoughts 11/23/2014

I checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library.

I have been reading some more of The Goliath Stone.  Part of the story is about nanotechnology meant to mine an asteroid becoming self aware.  Nanotechnology is the deus ex machina for many improbable things in this novel.

I finished reading The Goliath Stone this afternoon.  I enjoyed it.  It is lighthearted with numerous references to other science fiction and fantasy writers from Robert Heinlein to Douglas Adams to Terry Pratchett.  It has a libertarian streak to it focusing on individual freedom, life extension, and nanotechnology.  There is also a bit on the idea of space planes, turbines, and asteroid mining.

Web Bits

Next Year, One Billion Works Will Be Free to Use Online

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Daily Thoughts 11/22/2014

Amazing Stories, Scientifiction, September 1928

Thoughts 11/22/2014Daily 

I checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library.

I read a graphic novel this morning, Blacksad Amarillo by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido.  The characters are different types of animals.  The main character is a black cat, Blacksad who is trying to escape from his life as a detective.  The series is in a noir style 1950s.  This was a fairly dark story.  I especially liked the character Chad, a writer with a homicidal streak who ends up killing some especially ill intentioned villains.  Neal Adams did an introduction praising the style.  The comic is a translation from Spanish.  I enjoyed the different animal characters; parrots, hyenas, lions, elephants, and dogs. I put the previous book, Blacksad A Silent Hell on hold.

I started reading The Goliath Stone by Larry Niven and Matthew Joseph Harrington.  It is a near future thriller set in the 2050s with nanotechnology and asteroid mining.  You can recognize our earth with some changes in the politics.

Web Bits

How Libraries are Advancing and Inspiring Schools and Communities

Do Men Read Books Written by Females? INFOGRAPHIC

Neil Gaiman and Ursula Le Guin at the National Book Awards

Friday, November 21, 2014

Daily Thoughts 11/21/2014

Marguerite, Guy Rose, 1918

Daily Thoughts 11/21/2014

I checked the library Twitter and Facebook accounts.

I read a bit more of The Book of Forgiving by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu.  I am finding this book useful on a personal level.  It is about a process of forgiving people.  I am not sure how to write about the different exercises and thoughts in this book many of which have a bit of both religion and ethics in it.  The bits about South Africa and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission are interesting.

I checked the gifts and the displays.  I also did worked a bit on scheduling and programs.

I spent some more time looking through a list of missing items today.

I placed the book, Unbroken : a World War II airman's story of survival, resilience, and redemption by Lauren Hillenbrand on hold.  We are reading it for the next book club.

Web Bits

Neil Gaiman: Libraries are cultural ‘seed corn’


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Daily Thoughts 11/20/2014

Three Women at the Table by the Lamp, August Macke, 1912

Daily Thoughts 11/20/2014

I checked the library Twitter and Facebook this morning.

I have been reading more of The Glass Cage by Nicholas Carr.  One of the things he correctly points out is that industry prefers to make automation more efficient and require less labor.  This is the phenomenon of capital replacing labor.  The other option is to make machines that improve the quality of production which require human input.

I checked the gift books and the displays.  I also spent some time checking for missing books that had holds.

I read a copy of the Times Literary Supplement.  Some of the more popular books which we got as gifts from authors like James Patterson and Zane are being processed.

The Friends of the Mount Vernon Public Library are bringing in an antiques appraiser on December 6, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. who is going to be doing appraisals in the Grace Greene Baker Community Room.

I read a copy of Booklist.  There is a book which I am hoping to read which is coming out in January, 2015, Tesla A Portrait With Masks by Vladimir Pistalo translated by Bogdan Raki and John Jeffries.  Tesla is very enigmatic.

Web Bits

Association of Library Services to Children (ALSC) Graphic Novels Reading List K-8

A Field Trip to America’s Public Libraries

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Daily Thoughts 11/19/2014

Allegory of Poetry and Music, Angelica Kauffman, 1782

Daily Thoughts 11/19/2014

I checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library.  I also checked the displays and the gift books.

I have been reading more of The Glass Cage.  Nicholas Carr is describing how automation and computers have simplified architecture in some ways and removed complex hand drawings.  He views this as removing some skills from a profession.

I did a little checking of missing items that have holds.  I also spent some time today talking about the survey and programming with the Friends of the Mount Vernon Public Library.

The graphic novel, In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang has come in for me to read.

There is a Student Recital for the Mount Vernon Poetry Workshop tonight from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m..  I have to help setup for the program. I went and got refreshments for the program.  It was the final piece of the Mount Vernon Poetry Workshop.  I enjoyed hearing people recite.  Arts Westchester was at the program.

There was also an Intermediate Excel computer class from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the computer lab.

The Mount Vernon Public Library Board of Trustees met tonight as well.

I finished reading the graphic novel In Real Life. It was a quick, enjoyable read.  I liked how the game was drawn, the artistic style had Chinese motifs and symbols in it.   Also, the parents fear that their child was spending too much time on the internet was well done.  The writing was very clear and had a moral to it.  I like Cory Doctorow's writing.

I also read a bit more of The Glass Cage on my way home.  I am reading about the idea of human centered computing, ergonomics, and adaptive automation.  These are all ways to make humans the center of progress rather than technology. Nicholas Carr makes an argument that progress is about improving human society, not just making advances in how technology works.

Web Bits

Starred Reviews from 2014 for Adult Books Publishers Weekly

The Difference Between Search and Inquiry

This Map Shows the Most Famous Book Set In Every State

Why Going to the Library is One of the Best Things I Do for My Kids and the Planet

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Daily Thoughts 11/18/2014

Daily Thoughts 11/18/2014

I checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library.

On the way to work, I read some more of The Glass Cage.  Nicholas Carr is describing how pilots in airlines have their skills atrophy in flying when they use autopilots without practicing without them.  He is describing a process of losing skills and paying less attention when we rely too much on automation.

We have a late opening today due to water issues at the library.

I spent some time reading the New York Times and visited the Mid-Manhattan library on the way to work.  I took some time to look at some of the new books and the computer books section.

I have a copy of the New York Times Book Review and the New York Review of Books to read.

I ordered the book Digital Media Labs in Libraries by Amanda Goodman.

We had the book club focused on Mount Vernon Revisited.  In addition we looked at other books about the history of Mount Vernon.  The next book we are reading is Lauren Hillenbrand Unbroken.

I spent some time double checking for missing material that was listed as on hold.

There are two computer classes tonight, a Fundamentals of Computer Class from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and a Microsoft Word class from 6:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

Web Bits

Greenstone-- Software to Create Digital Libraries

De Blasio’s Time to Lead on Libraries                                                

Monday, November 17, 2014

Daily Thoughts 11/17/2014

Charles James Richardson, Interior View of a Library In Gothic Style, Drawing, 1860

Daily Thoughts 1/17/2014

I checked the library Twitter and Facebook this morning.

I also checked the displays and the gift books this morning.

We had a job workshop in the computer lab.

Then the building shut down at 12 noon because of plumbing issues.

On the way home, I read some of The Glass Cage Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr.  It is a critique of our unthinking use of computer algorithms and automation to make life easier.  Nicholas Carr describes the problem of technological employment.  He also describes how it is eating into the middle class.  Unlike Nicholas Carr, I don't see driving as a pleasure.  I look forward to having automated cars in the near future.

I put the book, One Lucky Bastard by Roger Moore on hold.  I think James Bond can be interesting and my view is that Roger Moore played him best.

Web Bits

4 Tech Trends Every Librarian Needs to Know

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Daily Thoughts 11/16/2014

Daily Thoughts 11/16/2014

I checked the libraries Twitter and Facebook accounts this morning.

I finished reading , The Peripheral by William Gibson.  It is partially about the future taking over a possible past through technology, financial manipulationand skulduggery.  I liked that the future and the past could only contact each other by telepresence.  Imagine a future person contacting a person from now in the virtual simulation second life.  The whole book reminded of the idea of alternate reality games which are not necessarily video games.  They can be things like games focused on geocaching or treasure hunts using virtual clues, or any of a variety of different games.  ARGs (Alternate Reality Games) are a theme in both William Gibson and Cory Doctorow's writing. Both Cory Doctorow and William Gibson use transmedia storytelling or telling stories across multiple types of media.

I plan on reading Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang's In Real Life which is a young adult graphic novel about a young girl who games.  It follows the pattern of writing about being in a game and being in real life.

Web Bits

A New Lending Library for Your Kitchen

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Daily Thoughts 11/15/2014

Edouard Manet, The Reader, 1861

Daily Thoughts 11/15/2014

I checked the library Twitter and Facebook this morning.

I also checked the gifts and the displays.

There is a play this afternoon, at 2:00 p.m. at the library, Love, Loss, and What I Wore in the community room.  It was fairly well attended.

I spent some time working with mailchimp.  I also contacted someone about doing an immigration program.

On the way home, I read some of The Peripheral by William Gibson.  It is rather interesting.  The story is our reality with two twists, one is a parallel reality very similar to our own, and the other is a near future setting with many recent advances that we would recognize today.  Sometimes people call this genre near future thriller.  It is on the cusp of science fiction, but not quite.  It makes the story puzzling, a bit disconcerting at points, and at the same time recognizable.

Web Bits

Russia to Launch Rival to Wikipedia

Library Love: Anatomy of the Book

Friday, November 14, 2014

Daily Thoughts 11/14/2014

Still Life With Letters, 1925, Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin

Daily Thoughts 11/14/2014

I checked the library Twitter and Facebook.

Last night, I read some more of Yoga Lean.  One of the nice things about this book is that the asanas or poses don't include the ones which require you to twist into a pretzel like the lotus position.  I also like that Beth Shaw incorporates some current fitness into the workouts.  She also includes some recipes with eggs and fish as part of the diet plan.

I checked the displays this morning and the gift books.  I spent some time working with the oversize books and did some more shifting in the 900s.

I also wrote up a report on the grants committee meeting yesterday.

The book, The Peripheral by William Gibson came in for me to read.

I spent some time looking through a list of items with high circulation.  Computer books, books on the bible, graphic novels, mysteries, and African American are very popular at my library.

I did a little more work on the survey today.

Web Bits

6 Ways to Become A Power User of the Public Library

Love letters to libraries: Share Your Tribute to Your Favorite

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Daily Thoughts 11/13/2014

Marc Chagall, The Spoonful of Milk, 1912

Daily Thoughts 11/13/2014

On the way to work, I read some more of The Book of Forgiving.  It has exercises and meditations at the end of each chapter focusing on how and when to forgive people.  I also read a little bit of Yoga lean by Beth Shaw.  It is a book on diet, yoga, and exercise.  What is a bit different is that this includes some material on using light free weights as well as a bit of philosophy on dieting in the context of yoga.

The book, The Glass Cage Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr came in for me to read.  As always I have more books than I will ever finish.

I checked the library Twitter and Facebook this morning.

I also checked the gift books and the donations today.  I spent some more time working with the oversize books.  Hopefully, I should be ready to do some more shifting soon.

I did a little bit of work on programming  as well as some updating on some of the grants I am looking at.

I have to get back to working on so we can get the survey done for the library.

Web Bits

Financial Times Business Books of the Decade

Why Fiction is Good For You

So You Got Funded: Bookish Kickstarters That Delivered