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Into Battle!

December 5, 2014

As a librarian, I do battle.

I would gladly charge into the field to defend intellectual freedom, the rights of all to use public library resources, the importance of teaching technology skills, and generally rally to the cause any number of the arguably obvious librarian-waged wars.

But my personal battles are with code, programs, and general “getting the computer to do the thing.”

Today, I am working with Evanced.

I really like Evanced’s product. I’m especially happy that we’re making the transition from their older products to SignUp and Spaces. But it means that  I have 2,600 lines of Excel data that need to have some sense made of them, since we can’t import the old events into the new product. Which makes sense – I’m not upset about this. In fact, I enjoy battles like this. Wrestling with things like Excel are incredibly fulfilling – when I win.

What I want to do shouldn’t be that difficult. I need to separate the events out by date range (our physical year runs from June to May), then total them, then pull the total attendance. Easy peasy, right?

Except Excel is starting to be a headache for this. I’m thinking Access. Which means refreshing my knowledge of queries.


Raspberry Pis

November 24, 2014

I’ve been doing a lot of IT stuff lately. I’m not IT, but not having a dedicated IT person on staff and me being the Virtual Services Librarian means that I get a lot of IT stuff to do.  Which is fun.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been poking around at the idea of installing two additional end-cap OPAC terminals in our Adult Section. Our Admin has expressed a desire to do this, and I suggested using Raspberry Pis as a way to make the project more affordable. A RPi is about $100 after you get all the stuff, versus a $300-$600 computer. Easy choice, right?

But I wanted to make sure that both myself and our bimonthly IT guy would be able to handle it. Then I had to put something together to convince my Admin and our VS Committee that we could handle it.

Here ’tis: 

It would, of course, mean teaching myself Linux. But that’s okay. Heck, I might do it anyway, because RetroPie looks pretty sweet.

This whole reviewing books thing

October 2, 2014
Crown of Embers - Kindle Mistborn: The Final Empire - Audio The Dream Thieves - Print

I tried.  I really, really tried.

The first pre-release NetGalley I got was Bathing the Lion by Jonathan Carroll. It started off okay, but I kept wondering how it was going to get around to resembling the publisher’s description. When it “took off”, the action felt very stilted and just…I don’t know. I couldn’t get into it. Reading it felt like a chore, and that’s when I was I got stolen away by delicious YA awesomeness.

Read more…

Book Reviews with NetGalley

August 21, 2014

Today I joined NetGalley in order to read advanced copies (galleys, apparently, when they’re e-books) of books.  I’m also taking advantage of the Giveaways on GoodReads, so I’ll be posting reviews here.  Because it’s a Librarian-Thing-To-Do! And also I think it will be fun.


Awesome Box!

August 5, 2014

It’s happening, people.

So our new website has space for a “new/hot/whatever titles” feed, and after finding out we couldn’t port in the canned searches we’re configuring for our Enterprise overlay, I suggested AwesomeBox.  So now I’m writing a presentation to the VS committee.

And I found this on NerdApproved:

Library Awesome TARDIS!



Virtual Services Librarian!

August 4, 2014

I came back from maternity leave today and stepped into a shiny new position at my library – Virtual Services Librarian. I’m incredibly excited, and I’m looking forward to my new duties.

  • all the awesome Adult Services reference and collection development stuff I already did;
  • designing and contributing to the library’s web presence through social media outlets;
  • creating and monitoring of the library gateway/portal page inside our library software platform;
  • monitoring and providing usage statistics for library website, social media outlets, subscription databases and eBooks;
  • communicating with appropriate staff at the library and consortium level;
  • contributing to the library’s marketing plan regarding online services and electronic media;
  • providing select programming and classes in social media, online resources, library databases and eBooks (and a Games for Grownups program starting in September); and
  • participation in collection development in the areas of eBooks, databases and online resources.

There’s a lot of cool stuff – like a brand new website that will hopefully go live to the public later this month, the gaming program, social media management, and all the glorious statistics.  I’m making the personal/professional resolution to write here more, as well, to not only showcase what I’m working on but also to develop my professional voice. Because I have one of those now.


Preparing for my First ALA (2013)

June 28, 2013

I’ve been to professional conferences before – Library Technology Conference 2010 at Macalester University, and more Handheld Librarians than I can remember – and I’ve been to conventions, both large and small.

But something about ALA has me more than a little nervous.

It’s big, yes, but it’s a different kind of big than what I’m used to. At the biggest conventions I’ve attended, I’ve always had a group of people I could come back to.  I had a home base.  I won’t really have that at ALA.  The classes, talks, and poster sessions don’t worry me – those are pretty standard fare. The difference at ALA is that it’s a professional conference.  That means networking.

Networking isn’t something that comes easily to me in a face-to-face setting.  Networking online is totally different. I can have a circle of Library-Folk on Google+, for example, and share neat things with them and see the neat things they share, and we can talk about it in threaded comments.  This is comfortable.  This is something I’m used to.

For all my years in public services, both in circulation and at the reference desk, initiating a conversation with someone I don’t know is still a little awkward.  At the desk, there’s always the transaction to serve as a vehicle for conversation.  I don’t know if there is an ALA conference equivalent.

Part of me is a little overwhelmed that this is “me” now. I take my last class (my portfolio) in the fall.  I graduate in December. I’ll have my official “librarian” stamp, signed, sealed, and accredited before Christmas*.  This is a Big Step In Adulthood for me, which I know sounds silly, but we don’t all sprout fully seasoned and experienced Librarians and Library Professionals from the frontal cortex of Ranagathan**.

We all start somewhere.  ALA 2013 will be my first ALA conference, and I’m sure it won’t be my last.  I am using the newbie tools to keep a schedule and generally plan my two days.

As the good Doctor says, allon-sy!

*Assuming that all goes well, knock on wood, yadda yadda. Cross your fingers!

Or the Library Leader of your choice. Just not Dewey. People shouldn’t spring from his head. It’d swell his ego beyond even Reasonable For Dewey proportions.