Sunday, September 30, 2007

92 Some of My Thoughts About Books

Don't usually respond on this blog to the various memes floating around, but this one that I saw over at Goddess of YA made me think a lot about books and I thought I'd share my thoughts...especially since some people out there suspect I don't "read" because all they ever see is me "on the computer"!!

1. Hardcover or paperback, and why?
Hardback because they are “real” books to me…do I practice what I prefer—no. Practicality does not allow me to do so…and many books are only available in paper now anyway. But if I could make a law…books would only be hardback with rich papers and beautiful tradtional covers…and they would not cost a gazillion dollars to be like this!

2. If I were to own a book shop I would call it…
The Book End…had a newsletter of the same name several years ago because the library was at the end of the hall…would want the shop at the end of the street or row of shops in the shopping center!

3. My favorite quote from a book (mention the title) is…
Can’t help it... 3–part answer!
A. The newest one from Gordon Korman’s recent book Born to Rock:
"There are two kinds of people in this world--those who have had a cavity search, and those who haven't. This is the story of how I wound up in the wrong category."
This is just so Korman…and so bizarre that it makes me laugh…a lot!

B. Another favorite from a few years ago…again humorous and made even more special because the author Gary Paulsen can NOT read these short stories from How Angel Petersen Got His Name without laughing out loud himself.
In talking about the extreme sports of his youth, he states:“I want you to remember two important facts— 1. We were quite a bit dumber then. 2. There wasn’t any safety gear.”

C. And one more that came from a life-changing book for me, The 7 Habits of Highly Efffective People where Covey states:
"We are free to choose our response in any situation, but in doing so, we choose the attendant consequence.”
A sort of “for every action, there is a reaction”…I have often thought about which set of consequences do I want to deal with when trying to make a decsion on which way to go.

4. The author (alive or deceased) I would love to have lunch with would be ….
Living: Frank McCourt…to talk with a “real” Irishman who also happens to be a teacher who tells such wonderful stories
Dead: Mark Twain and Louisa May Alcott and Harper Lee and…

5. If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except from the SAS survival guide, it would be…
a laptop or gigantic I-pod type device full of all the books I would want around me…1 book—you gotta be kidding me—impossible mission!

6. I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that….
Can’t for the life of me think of anything I need unless it would be something even better to accomplish #6…and make the content “feel” like it was in a real book.

7. The smell of an old book reminds me of….
Wonderful memories reading books from my parents’ shelves, some which belonged to my grandmother. I know they are now considered unhealthy, but “old” books are like old friends.

8. If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be….
Josephine March
of Little Women...or one of the children from the original Boxcar children stories. I thought would have been cool to live in a boxcar…or Atticus Finch

9. The most overestimated book of all times is….
This one will probably get me in trouble…it is SUCH a classic, but, hey, we are entitled to our opinions aren’t we…Gone with the Wind.

10. I hate it when a book….
takes 90% of a book to draw out the story with great descriptions, wonderful character development and lots of action, only to have the author realize he/she only has “X” number of pages (as set by the publisher or page police) to finish everything up and so zooms thru to the end, forgetting to continue the great descriptions, wonderful character development and action to the last page. Can I think of a title as an example? not at this moment, but it happened to me so often, I have almost given up fiction because of it.

I welcome anyone to respond...looking forward to your selections!

098.1 Banned Books Week: Free People Read Freely ®

This week, Sept. 29th – Oct. 6th is the official week to reflect on the freedom to read and think about how to provide that right to those who come under our influence. ALA’s theme for the event this year is Free People Read Freely and as usual the organization’s website is full of all kinds of information.

It amazes me that in this day of fighting the battle of access to the Internet and its resources riches, that we as librarians still need to be sure our patrons have that same access to the printed word! When reviewing the list of the most banned books over the years I always find some of my very favorite books (To Kill a Mockingbird, Fallen Angels, The Face on the Milk Carton, On My Honor, Huck Finn)…some long-time authors…and as always some new titles -- HP!

I have always had to deal with this issue within the framework of the school setting…a little different perspective than a public or academic librarian. I always tell school librarians—
1. KNOW YOUR COMMUNITY and select materials that go along with the curriculum where you can. Have choice available so that all concerned can find something that fits their parameters, whatever they may be.
2. KNOW YOUR BOOKS and be able to explain the good (and bad) points of the books and the authors who wrote them. Keep up with the recommendations, both from professional reviewers and colleagues in our business…a huge benefit of the blogging world!
3. ENCOURAGE CHOICE and make sure the teachers you work with understand that concept. No child should have to read one particular book…or be singled out as the only kid not reading the “class novel.” Multiple choice just makes sense…groups reading various books just makes sense…and the benefit…kids are exposed to even more books thru group discussions, projects, etc. (And advise a teacher to be sure and READ the book(s) he/she wants to "teach"--YES, I have had to advise more than one teacher of this!)
4. BE PREPARED and have a procedure in place for those time when parents and others may question one of the books in your collection. Careful reconsideration policies usually can defuse a situation and bring about a solution that pleases all.

Some other places to check information about the freedom to read…
Judy Blume Talks about Censorship
As If
– YA Authors Support Intellectual Freedom (includes YouTube video)
ALA’s Banned Book Week in Cyberspace – some of these sites will be blocked, but hopefully the general info won’t be…guess we will see
Celebrate the Freedom to Read post from Google blog
Banned books and the Presidents
Chicken Spaghetti's short observation
Fahrenheit 451: Banned Books blog

Thursday, September 27, 2007

025.04 Google: A Celebration

Happy 9th birthday to Google...can you believe it!

From the site:
Google opened its doors in September 1998. The exact date when we celebrate our birthday has moved around over the years, depending on when people feel like having cake.

I really don't remember BG (before Google!) I have certainly taken advantage of much of its growth and development. Here's the timeline from the site itself!

P.S. Don't you just love the clever artwork each and every time on special dates? I would love to know those creative they are fun!

Monday, September 24, 2007

025.4 Cataloging Discussion: Access, Accountability and Other Thoughts to Ponder

I got to do one of my favorite things again this to a group of library school students, some practicing librarians and some still in classrooms, ABOUT cataloging, not how to catalog.

The professor, a former school library colleague, asks me and my office colleague each semester to speak to her students on a number of subjects in introductory terms. My topic is always cataloging and tonight's group contained about 50% cataloging surviors and about 50% still waiting to take the class. (Aren't they a nice looking group?)

Two points I always stress are how access to and accountability of any and all items are the main reasons for the cataloging procedure. Knowing what is available and where something is, are key to the item being useful to the student, teacher, parent, or community member needing the information contained in it. If these users don't know about its existence and where it "lives," then the library might as well not have it to begin with!

Accountability comes into the picture in these days of shrinking budgets, rising prices and more and more needs. When something is needed in our district, because of our union catalog, anyone can determine if the item already exists, who has it currently, and track usage. That way, t can be determined whether more copies are necessary expeditures or luxuries. Duplication of items can be avoided because it is possible to know ahead of time where and when an item needs to be purchased.

Careful cataloging...lots of keywords in the description or contents notes and lots of subject headings, allows for better collaboration between teachers, and between teachers and librarian. Cross-curricular use of the material can occur and an increase of materials available can occur when everyone can check on availbility.

I brought up several cataloging tools available to all librarians that make this "often-described as painful" process more palatable, if not more pleasurable.

1. Vendor records: Let the pros do it for you...not matter the cost. Have you ever figure the cost of cataloging if you do it? Figure 20 minutes per book and an hour per AV item...calculate your salary per 2o minutes or an hour! YOU are an expensive commodity...vendor records are not!
Time with your students and teachers is much more valuable.

2. Cataloging software: There are several out there. I am only familar with the Mitinet product currently known as Marc Wizard. It IS worth its annual subscription rate. Whatever your school or district has available, use it, and continue the subscription. Once again, let the pros help you in a much more efficient manner so you have more time with students and teachers!

3. Among several online resources is the Library of Congress catalog for downloading records AND its authority records for finding appropriate (and correct) subject headings. Free to anyone and everyone. Another source that has recently become available is WorldCat from OCLC...a tremendous resource for children's literature that hasn't made it to the LOC yet or professional teaching materials that never will. I am still trying to understand the lack of downloading process (that WAS available from some locations very early in the game), but subject heading are easy to find and MARC records acan be copied and pasted with greatest of easy. Ask me--I'll show you my multiple screen process. Again all for free!

Included in the discussion were some points about the Dewey Decimal System. I tried point out the same things as I did here and I issued them the same challenge as I did to the librarians in my sphere--check the signage in the library of your world. Can you as a patron navigate around based on the signage alone? Can you find your favorite book or topic?

A few more points...

why records in a union catalog must be consistent while holdings can be more individualized to meet the campus' needs.

why a librarian must always remember she/he is merely a temporary caretaker of the collection and NOT do something to the records taht would make it harder for the next librarian to comfortably use the records...i.e make up subjects, use "strange" call #s.

the differences between stand-alone and union catalogs as far as using the information.

AND online catalogs vs cards! (yes, there are a few libraries out there that still use cards!)

Links with interesting and useful stuff in addition to the ones included above are:
Cataloging post here
Cataloging post here
Catalogablog (David Bigwood)

All in all, a successful evening. I learned a lot as I always do. It was another good adventure LP...and thanks LA...I look forward to it again soon I hope!
P.S. Class members, please feel free to comment about the discussion or any points within!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

FIC The Outsiders: A 40-Year Run and Still Going Strong

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton celebrates 40 years this year.
Here is a NY Times review discussing its longevity.

All the secondary libraries in my sphere have multiple copies and a nice number of copies are currently checked out. Good stories are timeless.

"The Outsiders is definitely my best selling book; but what I like most about it is how it has taught a lot of kids to enjoy reading."

More background available at Wikipedia.

155.2 Nerd Test: Where Are You on the Scale?

Ok...I bit on another one of these because of a blogging big surprises here...technically I am not a anyone in their right mind would think I would be!
One field does indicate I do have some expertise/knowledge...duh, been studying it for 40+ years! Calls me a "cool geek"....hummmm?

If you are a "techie" or a big sci-fi fan, this is probably the test for you, for sure! says I'm a Cool History / Lit Geek.  What are you?  Click here!

It was fun...and did make me think about some things!

Caution: it is a tad long, but not too time-consuming.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

027.8 Collaboration: Popping Up Everywhere

In checking out a new resource (to me), Teaching PreK-8, look what I spied in the menu.
What a great idea!

Nice group of activities and lessons in many other categories as well!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

005. 2 ANIMOTO: Free Video Web Application

Oh, boy! I found another fun little FREE program!
Make a movie out of your photos in less than five kidding...with music and all kinds of flashy moves!

this link is the movie I made to learn the process using the only batch of pictures I had handy...hence the reason for it only being 26 seconds long.
If it doesn't play because of a password issue, try one of theirs...I saw a cool little movie about skateboarding in the preview pane. It is a simple 1 - 2 - 3 process.

Of course, at this moment, I am not sure it will be available inside my school district...guess I will find out tomorrow.

All the interesting techniques with the pictures, Animoto did does ask you to highlight a few of the pictures for extra punch...and you can choose one of their music files...not too many to my taste, but,'s free!! and it does all the work for I am not complaining! (You can use your own music file--be sure you are not violating copyright!)

Go have some is E-A-S-Y.

P.S. It took me longer to create this post than it did my little movie...of course typing can be a bit of a problem when your space bar all of a sudden decides to stick! o, is fickle, isn't it?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

305.868 Hispanic Heritage Month: Multiple Ways to Learn & Celebrate

Today begins the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. In 1968, President Johnson first declared a week for observing the culture, history and contributions of Hispanic Americans and their ancestors. Twenty years later, President Reagan extended the time period to a month.

The date, September 15th, is Independence Day for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico celebrates September 16th and Chile's day is the 18th. The month also encompasses what used to be the Columbus Day holiday on October 12th, in honor of the Italian who flew under the Spanish flag on his adventure to the New World. October 12th is also known as Día de la Raza in many Latin American countries.
There are SO many sources for information, actvities, lessons, biographies, books. I am including some of the major collections and highlighting a few things included in each, but be sure and take an indepth look at each site....there is SOOOOOO much!
Smithsonian including the Latino Center that includes music radio files, bilingual materials...the Treasures of Mexico...a Puerto Rican carnival, information about lowriders, stories of Latinos' achievements...
Scholastic's celebration which includes famous Latinos of today and in history, interviews on the meaning of heritage, teacher resources...
Education World's list of activities including some common Spanish words in English, some stats for graphing exercises, a list of famous people, lesson plans...
For more biographies...Hispanic American Hall of Fame...
Mexican folklore: legends, sayings beliefs...
Understanding Hispanic/Latino culture. history thru children's literature including a list of books...
and please check out La Bloga for all things about current Latino literature and authors...great reviews, wonderful list of author links.
P.S. To the Librarians in my sphere of influence---try using the keywords Hispanic and Latino to see all the wonderful resources you have will blow you over!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

383.4973 Postmaster Trivia: The Fun Part of Cataloging

During a large portion of my workday, I work on catalog records. Occasionally, I have to "original-catalog" interesting items that the district librarians send me...and I get to see and read the most interesting stuff!

Recently, I worked on some career materials for some high schools and got to read a little about the post office and people who have had the job of postmaster for their community before becoming much more "famous" doing something else.

Of course, "everyone" knows that the multi-talented Benjamin Franklin served as the country's first postmaster general. Presidents Lincoln and Truman served as postmasters. Did you know that John Brown, abolistionist; Bing Crosby, entertainer; Walt Disney, cartoonist; William Faulkner, author; Rock Hudson, actor; Adlai E. Stevenson, govenor/presidential candidate/UN ambassador; Bill Nye, the Science Guy; and Charles Lindbergh, pilot, were also postmasters?

And people say cataloging is not fun!

The list came from an Institute for Careers Research c2007 pamphlet.

P.S. More interesting stuff about Postmaster General Franklin that I found while researching for this post.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

973.931 Where Were You...

...six years ago?

The babies are first graders.
The first graders are in middle school.
The sixth graders are seniors.
The seniors are part of the grown-up world.

My personal touchstone...Alan Jackson's song...I still have moments when it comes on the radio.

Comments from the early morning news shows made me ponder...
Are we safe? Probably not.
Are we safer than we were? From the depths of my being, I hope so.
Are we the same? NO

912 U.S Map: Can YOU Move It Fast Enough

Another online US map (48 states) practice website...Statetris
similar to the old Tetris game...I wasn't good at that either!

Beginner level: 10 minutes 30 seconds.
I couldn't get Montana to the west far enough before it ran into other states!

Two other levels where the states "spin" as well as drop.

There are versions for Africa, Europe, France, UK, Netherlands. Nope, haven't tried them yet...still trying to untie the knots in my fingers from the US version!
Another US map game.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

92 The Davy Crockett Letter

Say it ain't so, Joe.
Recently, the Texas Historical Commission purchased what was described as the last letter the Texas hero and American legend Davy Crockett wrote.

Almost immediately, the news sources and internet came out with information about the letter being less than authentic!

Being someone who thrives on pretty much anything "historical," especially if it can be "touched," this set of circumstances is not good! (Ask anyone who happened to be with me a few years ago when I got to touch a Jefferson letter and pick up the oldest known Alamo photo during a special presentation at the Center for American History in's a big deal to me!) The final decision has not been determined, but the evidence seems to be leaning towards a sad outcome.

Doesn't lessen the man's contribution, but does put a damper on the "excitement of history" least for me. Guess we will just have to wait and see what happens.
If you want to see the original news articles about the purchase and don't have access to the local paper's archive, you can get the articles from sources such as EBSCO...if your library subscribes. I checked...they are there. You can "google" Crockett + letter and get all the various reports and discussions about it being fake.
The Fine Books blog has a whole series of posts discussing the evidence that is piling up.

92 Madeline L'Engle: Thanks for the Memories

Madeline L'Engle passed away late last week at age 88.

I know I read her most popular titles including Wrinkle in Time, but remember better my time with her stories like Meet the Austins and Camilla...more my style.

Although her most popular books were not on my personal favorites list, I have many fond memories of giving them to students and watching them devour the stories and come back wanting more. These books have stood the test of time and would even pass the muster even if the covers were a little less appealing than the "new" books...once hooked, readers don't much care for packaging if the story is good!

I am sure many of you will have special memories with her various offereings. I hope they bring you a smile as you think about them. Here is a list of her titles. She has touched readers for 6 decades!

Here is some of the reaction to the author's passing that you may want to read ...and maybe share with her newest readers!
Madeline L'Engle's Official Website
CNN Report
Publisher's Weekly
Chair, Fireplace, Tea Cozy blog
Amazon Bookstore blog

Friday, September 7, 2007

342.73 Constitution Day: Resources for All

Here are some resources for the upcoming Constitution Day on Monday, September 17th. The document was ratified on this date 220 years in 1787.

Constitution Day, Inc. -- history behind the day, video, reading of the preamble (couldn't get it to work on my computer...hope it does on yours!)

National Constitution Center -- interactive resources including a timeline, Founding Fathers info, clause-by-clause explanation of document.

This site also has a series of podcasts in the We The People Stories that go way beyond the boundaries of Constitution Day and would be useful for many other activities and research.

Although it is too late to order the free poster for this year, here is a lesson plan and a Bill of Rights game (elementary level).

Some of these and other helpful sights including the one from LC American Memory are also available here.
Here are some books that will also be informative and useful if you have access to them:
The Constitution / Finkelman c2006 Nat'l Geo Society
The Constitution / Pierce c2005 Abdo
The Bill of Rights / Pearl c2007 Picture Window Bks
La Constitucion / Armentrout c2006 Rourke
The Constitution: the story behind America's governing document / Graves c2004 Chelsea
Creation the U.S. Constitution / Nardo, ed. c2005 Greenhaven Press

Thursday, September 6, 2007

333.9 Texas Energy: It's Blowing in the Wind

I took these pictures of the newest wind farm in West Texas...just north of San Angelo and outside of Sterling City along Hiway 87. The turbines look closer than they really are...the first picture gives a better perspective as to how far from the double-lane, divided hiway they are.

And yes, I stopped the car to take the pictures! I was interested in taking a picture or two because I drive this road pretty regularly and NEVER saw the construction of these HUGE objects (see facts below) until July...and I was almost past them before I "saw" them. This time I was watching carefully... and when they were wrapped in a beautiful early morning ground fog like a bride in yards and yards of tulle, it took my breath away! Friends and family often wonder why I enjoy the rather lengthy drive from Houston to the area...well, wonder no more...this is just one reason! It was a beautiful late summer morning.

I saw my first wind farm years ago in Southern Cailfornia along I-10 as you cross from Arizona into Cailfornia and was pretty impressed then too. I have seen a couple of older locations in Texas, but no matter how often I see them, I am always impressed with the size of the turbines. From a recent San Angelo newspaper article:

Sterling County’s first wind farm has:
- 415-foot turbines that stand taller than the Statue of Liberty, which is 305 feet tall from the ground to the tip of the flame.
- Each generates 2.3 megawatts of electricity. A megawatt, or 1 million watts, can power 400 homes at any given moment.
- The housing for the turbine atop the pylon, called a nacelle, is the size of a school bus.
- The generating equipment inside the nacelle weighs 25 tons.
- Each blade weighs 14 tons. Its tip speed of 220 mph powers a drive shaft through the three-stage gear box that produces 18,000 revolutions per minute.

If you would like some more information about wind farms and wind power, check out this site. It includes a video clip, a powerpoint presentation, and lots of photos from another wind farm site near Abilene, Texas. Found this slide interesting!

Ironically, as I was making three return trips from the Dallas area going south on I-45 in August, coming north on the freeway were oversized trucks carrying these huge blades. I wondered at first what in the world these items could be and then the light bulb came on...blades for these turbines headed somewhere north...not sure where, since they were travelling up I-45, but anyway, figured they must have come by ship from somewhere and were off-loaded at the Houston port. According to the article, it looks like my theory was correct...and they are constructed in Denmark.

ANOTHER reason I love my various road trips that I take! I just get to see all kinds of interesting things and learn "new stuff"...did you know the Texas rest stops have wireless internet? !!!

Anyway... do you need some new books on wind power for your renewable energy collection?Wind power of the future : new ways of turning wind into energy / Tecco c2003
Wind / Naff, ed. c2007
Wind power / Petersen c2004 Children's Press
Generating wind power / Walker c2007 Crabtree
Wind power / Morris c2006 Smart Apple Media
Wind power / Sherman c2004 Capstone

Key words/Subjects: wind power, wind farms, wind power plants. Other call #s 621.31, 621.45

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

025.431 The Dewey Decimal Classification System: A Very Useful and Relevant Tool

Ok, I have contemplated, and thought about, and stewed over, and thought about, and wrangled and wrestled with, and even got steamed up over, and thought about this topic long enough. I am prepared to take my stand…although judging by the number of articles going the other way, it going to a lonely vigil.

There is nothing wrong with using the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system in your average every day school library (and the above average ones, too!) Although I have an opinion about the effectiveness of this system in small public libraries and of the LC system in other libraries, I won’t speak to them in this essay because I am only formally trained and many-years experienced in school librarianship.

All of the news stories and articles that have come out about libraries that have abandoned (or are planning to abandon) this tried-and-true method of locating materials in the library are missing the point….IN MY OPINION.

As far as I am concerned the DDC system is merely a system of markers, or addresses if you will, to WHERE the items are in the library with some organizational pattern behind it. The Dewey numbers are no more significant in one way than such markers as 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, 90210, or 36°30'.

Do the Dewey numbers mean more to a librarian than to a patron? Probably. Most library patrons do not know the significance of 398.2, 597.8, 636.7, 796.33, and 976.4 (and librarians outside of the great state of Texas might not recognize the last one!) But if the patrons use these numbers as addresses or markers, once they get to the spot, they certain will know that they have found what they wanted and/or asked for.

And I will agree with the nay-sayers, there in lies the rub…the REAL problem at hand. Can the patrons take this well-established set of DDC numbers and find what they desire. They can. ..if and ONLY IF…the librarian has provided signage.

I don’t really care if the librarian chooses to make lots of signs with the actual Dewey numbers and lots of appropriately placed arrows. Or if librarians choose to use key words or subjects related to the Dewey numbers on their many signs with appropriately placed arrows. And I will even admit that most elementary librarians probably should use pictures or symbols to represent the addresses of their books, etc.…with appropriately placed arrows. Symbols and pictures go for big kids and grown-ups as well. After all, even our own profession has a visual representation!

Another issue involved with the many discussions about the DDC system is that it is dated. Huh? The newest technologies have a classification. Yes, we fumbled around in the latter portion of the 20th century trying to decide whether computers should be in the 600s until the powers that be took unused numbers in the 000s and assigned them there. In the school library where I worked during this time, it was far MORE traumatic when dinosaurs changed DDC numbers than where to find computer-related materials! The DDC system has handled all the inventions, the space race, and catastrophes and disasters. I remember during the terrible time of September 2001 that the folks responsible had a “marker” for us to carefully place all of our information ready and waiting almost instantly. The DDC system grows with the times as far as I can see.

And the last point I want to cover is that of wanting to “be more like a bookstore.” Have you ever tried to find something specific in a bookstore if it didn’t start with the words “Harry Potter…” or make the NY Times best seller list. Even the people that work there can’t always follow their arrangement…even after repeated trips to the computer to see where it should be. And signs…???

[Folks reading this don’t despair—I am not talking about the small, intimate privately owned and operated neighborhood book “shops” like we are lucky enough to have in our area…my problems lie in the big box bookstores that try to be all things to all people…if you have time to browse.]

Yes, bookstores have displays placing the covers out, but we have been promoting displays in our libraries for a number of years…and we have an advantage…if a patron picks up a library book on display and wants more, he or she need only look at the spine label to know where other related books are. Not possible in the bookstore! You are left to your browsing prowess once again.

As for browsing in the school library being stunted due to Dewey…I really don’t get that argument at all. Kids are experts at browsing…just ask any harried teacher on a tight time schedule. And any school librarian who is “smart” makes it easy…all the good stuff is out and about!

Am I against change? No, I have learned to adapt. Am I afraid of change? Only of change for change’s sake. Do I think the school librarians of today need to add to their never-ending list of things to do, the undoing of a perfectly good system of finding materials. NO!

Yes, I know there are people who dream of new things and new ways of doing old things and I am glad. If not, we would be cooking on open fires, using handcarts to carry our belongings as we walk beside them, doing business with an abacus, and listening to people tell their stories (o,wait we do that now…but that is another post entirely!) I just choose not to embrace this idea for change at this time.

Ok, I have had my say on something that has bugged me for awhile. And I feel better. Do I hear the unmistakable sound of a saw against the nice thick limb I have ventured out onto? Hummmmmmmmmmmmm…guess we will have to wait and see!

I do issue a challenge to the librarians in my sphere of influence…have you taken a HARD look at your library signage? Can your patrons maneuver around your library using the DDC information given for each book or item? Can they take that address and go to the “place” for the information they want? If not, then that IS a change that is needed…and I will help you!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

006.7 National Blog Day + One!

In going thru some of my favorite professional blogs (1, 2, 3...) earlier today, I realized I let National Blogging Day go by without posting about some of my favorite blogs. So I'm a day late and a dollar short in sharing these with anyone who is interested...they are still worth it!

1. Library Stuff written by Stephen Cohen who came to the Texas Library Association annual conference a couple of years ago and really hooked me into the fun of the blogging world with his talks. I had not read any of his blog before hearing him talk about it and all of his other adventures related to this thing called blogging. I had some limited blog experience (mostly teen angst) and was ripe to see the bigger picture. His blog posts are short and sweet and to the point...they take you to all aspects of the library world and points beyond. Thanks Stephen!

2. American Presidents Blog is my favorite blog for trivia type info. I look forward to any and all of the interesting facts (and stuff) the team comes up with, but I am kinda of a history nerd anyway so this might not appeal to you. But if you have ANY reason to want to delve into all things presidential, this is the blog for you! (one the blog writers also blogs at History is Elementary, another one of the first blogs I found and devour on a regular basis)

3. Karbon Kounty Moos is written by a Montana ranch/farm woman who includes the most incredible photos of the area that I can actually feel like I'm standing in her pasture looking at a horizon full of mountains that bring back such fond memories of my own high country experiences. Her posts are full of things totally foreign to my daily life, but I can so easily escape into her world for a few moments of reading. Those adventures are some of the greatest mini-vacations I have ever had. I found this blog thru my friend and colleague over at

4. Of Life, Education, Travel, E-Bay & Books who started her blog as a means of recording a special trip and by doing so let me go along for the incredible ride she had during that adventure. She has gone to write about kinds of things, especially in the world of books and school libraries from her very unique and in-depth level of understanding. She entertains me, but more importantly she makes me think. Thanks G!

5. My last entry for this post is a "group" of bloggers made up of 2 former teachers turned stay-at-home moms and one former teacher turned librarian who write about their lives and make me laugh out loud EVERY time I read them. I am not linking to them here as they are a little more personal & private in what they write than what I like to include on my professionally-based blog. Their almost-daily expressions of life itself are like reading chapters in a good book and wanting the experience to go on and on...luckily it of the grandest values of blogging. If you would like to have a peek at these blogs, let me know.

And I also must pay a small tribute to my own two daughters who used this social networking tool many years ago and introduced their mom to it in an interesting way. Neither write presently, but I look forward to their grown-up adventures if they ever do and I cherish the opportunity I had in seeing the world through their adolescent/YA eyes.

Blogging is a unique way to find yourself a way thru many venues of your choice. You don't have to write, but I do hope you experience some of the adventures in reading... and learning that are out there.

P.S. Although my blog roll is long and my bookmarks even longer...share something you think I'd like! I am always looking for something to new to "read"!