Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March Favorites

Because memes. 

My most popular posts from the month of March.

  • Job Physics
  • UnBlock
  • Welcome
  • 7th Annual Picture Book Extravaganza
  • Ponderings
And yes the meme always makes me smile, no matter how many times I look at it.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

What About Me?


The title makes me think, 'well what about you?' I've slowly been working on a thought.  It's been in my cranium crock pot for awhile.  The truth is I don't think I should be a librarian full time.  I don't want to be a librarian full time either.  What I mean by that is I do want to work 40 hours a week.  I do want to be on desk and off desk.  I want to be out in the community and going to book club. I want to participate in ALA Think Tank and Teen Think Tank while I'm at work sometimes when I am off work too.  I will always be a bookworm.  I will watch nerdy tv and get my geek on for things non-librarians might be puzzled about.  I will continue  to get inordinately happy about office supplies. 

Thanks, Tennyson.  I'll do that.
But at a point I am drawing a line.  I need to be firm with myself and those around me.  I cannot be a librarian 24 hours a day.  I need a break.  Somewhere along the way I put on the propeller beanie of Dewey Decimal wonderment, and I never took it off.  This became really apparent to me as I updated my 2015 New Year's Goals post.  I know the blog is about being a librarian but I am a human who evolved into a librarian.  I need to do things that make the human happy even if they don't directly correlate to my professional self. In a nutshell I was living to work, not working to live (I might have that backwards, it sound wrong no matter how its written but I think you get the idea).  My goals reflect that, they are all  professional.  So what about me?  What does my humanity get out of all of this?  The plan is to make a list of personal growth goals.  Would you believe nearly all my  extracurricular activities and hobbies are  library or literacy related? In my free time I'm blogging, reading youth lit or professional development. 

I still want to make a portfolio of my library work.  I still want to take some online classes, attend more conferences and invite more people to book club. However I also want to try some new things and look for some new hobbies.  I want some sort of creative outlet.  I love my blogging but its writing which is like reading which relates back to literature and books and libraries and oh dear here we are again.  I need to run and bike more.  I need to come home from work and not do more work.  And I definitely will never check my work mail from home ever, ever again.  Thats a cardinal sin. 

So about that list, I'm not sure what else will be on it but here is the beginning:

  1. Visit people.  For all the times people have said you should come and see us.  Well now I'm going to do it. There are people I haven't seen and places I've never been because things always conflicted with work.  Work is just gonna have to wait. 
  2. ???  
  3. sportsing, just kidding.  probably not.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

News You Can Use - HOMAGO


Yesterday I heard the word HOMAGO. The word was used in the context of youth services at the library.  Now to me this sounds like a sushi roll.  It makes me want to have a lovely egg and rice tamago roll right now honestly.  But I digress.

HOMAGO is an important aspect of youth services and questions on the topic are being added to the standard repertoire of  interview questions; so its a good time to brush up on your library vocabulary. 

Essentially HOMAGO means 'Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out.'  HOMAGO  is also being used to design spaces in schools, museums, and community centers as well as libraries. 
Hanging out, messing around, geeking out (HOMAGO) is the battle cry for today’s teen librarians. The research shows that, for adolescents, socializing, learning, creating, and just having fun are not separate activities. Teens can roll it all into one. In fact, combining these activities results in more successful learning for today’s young people. (Connecting Youth: Teen Learning in 21st Century Spaces)
One of the best explanations I've seen is "Do you seek ideas on how to turn your library from a grocery store to a kitchen." (USL Online Learning Lab) Instead of just being a space with things that you take home and use for other things, the resources in the library are used immediately to create and not just when a specific program is scheduled.  HOMAGO  can be seen at a library as "mentor-led activities, offered in partnerships with various community organizations: a spoken word workshop, a video game program and a makerspace, or workshop, where teens create birdcages, duct tape wallets and other art projects." (CNN)  So fear not, you may use using this concept already or you may have programs that can be morphed into this new ideal. 

Extra Reading :
Do You “HOMAGO”?


Sunday, March 22, 2015


Sometimes I'm deep in thought.  Sometimes its just the cold medicine making me a little slow. When I'm sick there are things I should not do.  I know I will mess them up and have to start over once I'm well.  Unless its book reviews. Those I write anyway and read later because they are hilarious. I've gathered some job hunt musings that seem pretty legitimate now that that I'm feeling better. 

Things I just don't understand:

Jobs where you can mail in your application or apply in person.  What year is it?  Lets use the resources available to us.  How about email or fax? Anything would be faster or more efficient. It makes me wonder if this type of place that mails rejection letter or postcards.  I've received a few of both but not recently. 

Jobs that use email correspondence but then state within the email not to reply to the email.  If they would rather call me and have me call them, that is ok too.  I find the switching of contact methods confusing and honestly its harder to keep track of who you talked to and when.

Any website on which you have to supply information that must fit a certain set of  parameters (incidentally I often get parameter and perimeter confused) but said rules are not offered in the  beginning so you inevitably type the data in the wrong format. This will of course delete what you just typed, delete the entire page and possibly delete any attachments so that you get to do it all over again.  

Businesses that tell you they aren't hiring when a job board or their own website states something different.  If you are only hiring part time work its ok so say that.  If aren't hiring at all that should mean no one regardless of pay scale, title or hours worked. 

Job boards that don't allow you to filter out volunteer openings and internships.  These positions can be great springboards but if they aren't what you are looking for there really needs to be a filter option to remove them.

Jobs that clearly list the city where the position is located but not the state.  This is especially true when the city name is common like the same of a president or utilizes commons descriptors like center,or middle. This can also be massively confusing if your city has the same name as another more famous city but you are not in fact that well known location.  If you are the Los Angeles of Idaho you need to state that, clearly.   

Job descriptions that are less than three lines long and are filled with business management mumbo-jumbo.  Great so I'll be doing the things and the stuff.  Now I understand  These postings usually have no formatting and tend to not list a salary either. 

Job descriptions that don't link to the job requirements but instead link you to another page where the jobs are in a less than obvious spot.  Is this a way to test my research skills?  I'd prefer to use that time polishing my cover letter. 

Position postings that state correspondence will be via email but you have to mail or hand in your application.  Making me think they have an email that would work for the  purposes of receiving said application packets electronically. 

Businesses with profiles on LinkedIn that are private.  I'd like to learn about your company. My profile is public.  Show me what you got.

Getting a call about a job only to realize they are reading from a script and its all some big pyramid scheme where they charge you for your training and you never actually make any more.  Don't do that.  These same jobs also tend to employe callers who are overly  enthusiastic about weird things "wow you are still employed that's great."  No, no its not and you are full of baloney. 

Typing out your employment history and skills so many times that after awhile even you bore you.  That old chestnut? 

How can you misspell Librarian? I mean ok fine it wasn't in a job posting it was in someones resume but it was on LinkedIn and isn't that pretty formal. Oh Wow!

Why does my job application need to know my grade school, social security number or references of my neighbors? 

I like this poem.  Its all about perspective.  It also makes me want to wander around and sing "I'm Not Your Steppin' Stone" by The Monkees.  


Friday, March 13, 2015


"If you stop pushing the rock you might realize it's inclined to roll another way." 


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

7th Annual Picture Book Extravaganza 2015


A lot of librarians have been asked, at some point in their career, if they like just sitting around and reading books all day.  As if this all that being a librarian amounts too.  This Saturday at the 7th Annual Picture Book Extravaganza 2015, reading for hours was exactly what I did.  Multiple copies of over 200 picture books, board books and pop-up books were arranged by topic.  Attendees could take books back to their table, over to nearby desks or plant themselves on the floor.  A quiet reading room was also available for the most serious picture book lovers. 

The crowd favorites were :
Maple by Lori Nichols

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat

The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky's Abstract Art
 by Barb Rosenstock 

Many of the books available are arranged in a montage below.  To see the entire collection of books at the PBE,  follow the link to my the GoodReads shelf of everything we read. 


Picture Book Montage

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend
All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom
The Amazing Travels of Ibn Battuta
And Two Boys Booed
Anna & Solomon
Any Questions?
As An Oak Tree Grows
Baby Bear
The Baby Tree
Bad Bye, Good Bye
Bad Dog Flash
Bad Kitty's Tasty Treats
Baseball Is . . .
Bear Sees Colors
Beautiful Moon
Beauty and the Beast
Bedtime for Chickies
Behold the Beautiful Dung Beetle
Ben Franklin's Big Splash: The Mostly True Story of His First Invention
Benny and Penny in Lost and Found!: TOON Level 2

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Job Physics


Canary Pete Images
Being unemployed has innumerable negatives; not the least of which are loss of income, sleep and professional purpose. I have a concern that stems from high school physics, in which we learned about forces and work.  If you exert force but nothing changes, you technically didn't do any work.  This is my worry.  If I job hunt all day but I do not find a job to apply for or I do not get a call about a job or interview for a job; does that mean I didn't get anything done?  It sure seems that way.  It is hard to quantify an activity for which there is no obvious outcome.  I may get a call or email about a job that I applied for, but it may be weeks or even months.  Its progress that is very hard to track. 

Another challenge is employers who can't or won't give you any feedback about your resume or interview.  I jokingly asked one day "Do I smell?"  I truly wonder some days if a subliminal message is hidden in my resume or cover letter that suggests I am a danger to myself and others. 

A conundrum I recently uncovered is the full time vs part time issue.  If you interview for a job that is part time, you cannot lie and say yes you want part time.  Clearly you are a full time professional and your desire is for a 40 hr work week.  So in being truthful you rob yourself of the potential of at least being underemployed instead of unemployed.  I could fib and say that part time work is my heart's desire but wouldn't I be in a pickle later on when full time work came my way?  

I am completely befuddled by employers who clearly sympathize with how tricky the job market has become but are disinclined to offer work based on the above predicament. If you are aware of the issue and you have the power to make a change to that would better someone's situation, why then continue down the path of inactivity? 

Two very peculiar things have happened to me this week.  First I got a phone call about an interview.  We didn't get a date since I was starting a new job and didn't know my schedule yet. The interview had a  presentation  requirement, so I got started on the homework.  About two hours later I got a call telling me that the whole company had just started a hiring freeze and they had to cancel my interview.  That was a pretty strange scenario but its almost as weird as my morning. I had two shifts on the schedule, today 10-2 and tomorrow 10-2.  I got up, packed a lunch and pondered what to wear.  Then I get a phone call from work saying they weren't supposed to hire me and please don't come in. Thats two times awkward.  Now I really don't know what to do with my day.  

One bright spot, I didn't call Job and Family Services to update my employment status yet.  Procrastination for the win. 

Should I be looking for job and filling out applications? Most  definitely. Am I starting to feel like each time I reach for a cookie I am going to get my hand slapped? Yes to this as well. I'd dearly like to know whose coffee I spit in  because  clearly  my karma needs an overhaul. 

Before you go, here's a little inspiration and motivation.  Nothing moves me quite like comedy.  Cussing doesn't hurt either. :)  All these quotes are from a set of 40 so I hope you like them; I plan on using every single one.



Monday, March 2, 2015


Do you ever find that it takes a long time to make a decision? 

Does it take so long to choose a task that nothing gets done? 

Maybe its too late to work on what you want to do or other work came up?   Do you wish you had a way to take the guess work out of prioritizing? Do you wish you could have a task to start on  immediately instead of procrastinating? Think how much more productive you'd be with a tool that would take the guessing out of how to tackle your in-box or to-do list. 

I have made just such an item to simplify your day.  Clue cube was taken so I call my device the UnBlock.  I have made a prototype out of paper.  I'll get to the upgrades later. So how does the UnBlock work?  I chose 6 tasks that I had trouble focusing on and committing to.  

I labeled the UnBlock : 
  1. Blog - my own blog or a YALSA post, book reviews for SOYAMRG or VOYA
  2. Jobs - job boards, update resume, LinkedIn, applications and cover letters
  3. Exercise - yoga, meditating or running up and down the stairs
  4. Clean - something around the house or myself
  5. Plan - make a date with a friend or plot meals and what I need at the grocery store
  6. Read
Anytime I feel my focus faltering or I've spent too much time getting on target, I simply toss the UnBlock and I do whatever the top note says.  Its an adult Magic 8 Ball.  My first version has a few flaws.  The most obvious issue is the sticky notes will fly off when you toss the UnBlock.  I want people to be able to change what the sides say so I think a block with write and wipe sides or sleeves for cards you can rewrite would be a good idea.