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Arduinos, and LEDs, and Fiber Optics, Oh My!

October 4, 2015

I’ve spent the last week immersed in research surrounding building a makerspace, and I have learned a lot about e-textiles. They’re super amazing.

If I had the time and the funds, I’d be building an LED cross-fading bustle right now. Wild horses couldn’t stop me.

Check some of this stuff out:

Fiber Optic Dress by 

smart ballet

Ballet shoes that track a dancer’s movements by Lesia Trubat

Turn signal jacket by 

So many cool things! I think I need a new Pinterest board for this stuff…


July 15, 2015

My current display up at the Saddlebrook branch of OPL is “Extraordinary Lives, Extraordinary Journeys” and is in line with the Escape the Ordinary Summer Ready Program theme. In it I have uplifting travel and “year in the life” type books, but compiling my choices for the display and needing a new book of my own to read got me thinking.

There is a lot of classic science fiction that I have never read.

Sure, I have a working knowledge of Verne, Asimov, and Heinlein. I’ve read some of the Hitchhiker series, but not all of them. But I should. I really, really should. I should really just buckle-down and actually read Dune. Not because it will earn me some ephemeral geek-cred points, but because I think I would enjoy it. And even if I don’t, I know it will help me better understand modern science fiction.

I read 1984 during Banned Books Week last year. I’d never read it before – my school’s AP curriculum had us read weird stuff, like Brave New World instead of Animal Farm, and Julius Caesar and Macbeth instead of Romeo and Juliet.  But when I finally read 1984, I was struck by how many subtle references to it I had missed in modern pop culture – specifically, the “there are four lights” scene from ST:TNG. How many more references am I only half-getting, or not getting at all?

This, plus the desire for blog-fodder has me wanting to attempt to read 100 Classic Science Fiction novels, as compiled and ranked by James W. Harris using crowd-sourcing. He has an interesting essay on his methodology too.

I sorted Harris’s list by year, and the earliest work of classic science fiction is Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. This is an excellent one to start with – I have a working knowledge of Gulliver, seen a number of film adaptations of the story, and even studied a section of it in college, but I have never actually read it.


Movin’ Up and Movin’ Out

July 8, 2015

First of all, I just want to say how happy I am to have been part of the Omaha Public Library system. It’s filled with awesome people who have really amazing, grand-scale ideas about librarianship and our role in the community. I’m excited to be part of this place. Like, jump up and dance all crazy-like excited.

I started at OPL in March as an Aide. “Aide” is OPL’s term for “page” or “shelver.” That’s right – I went from managing a village library’s online presence and other digital services to putting books away and doing other materials handling tasks.

And you know what? That’s okay.

Not only do I think there is merit in moving your way up through an organization from the proverbial “mail room” to the “board room” (but ohmygosh I don’t know if I ever want to be an actual board member), but there are things about a library that you get a better understanding of when you’re walking the proverbial front line. What workflows work best? What times of day are the busiest for various departments?

At some point, you need to walk away from the collection development Excel sheets of data (and you know I love my Excel sheets of data) and walk through the stacks. Take some time to shelf-read, as tiresome a task as that can be. Face out some titles and see if they’re still face-out a week later, of if they have been snatched up.

OPL promoted me to Adult Library Specialist in May, which means I get to do reference desk work as well as plan programming. So, of course, I have a monthly gaming program planned to start in September, as well as a Dr. Who craft planned for August.

Unfortunately, I won’t be around to see either of these programs to fruition – we’re moving this month to Alabama. I’m sure that had we stayed here in Nebraska, I could have climbed the library ladder into a professional position, but I’m getting the feeling that this move means another slide down the chute to start again at a lower level.

But hey – I don’t mind getting my foot in the door by shelving books. I know I’ll climb up again given time and the roll of the dice.