Monday, March 31, 2008

Here it is, the last day to finish 20 things and I wait until 8:45 at night to finish up. Granted, I had a tooth emergency today, but really I could have finished this over the weekend.

2o Things has been a good experience for me. I experimented with things I found fun - editing pictures, Library Thing and flickr. I am using Library Thing at home (I became a life member) and flickr is helping me figure out my pictures from Israel.

I am not sure I will ever look Rollyo again, but others have told me that they really like that. And please someone help me understand Technorati - I just haven't figured out how to use it.

I want to thank all the people who worked hard to make this a good experience. Fran, the other Sls, the reference department all helped with this project. Special thanks to the staff who played, finished or at least tried to finish. Life long learners are fun to work with.

Can't wait to see what other ways we can play on the Internets - Readers' Advisory blogging, anyone?


Sunday, March 30, 2008

I have been a weaver for almost 30 years and the number of knots I have tied on the loom are definitely fewer than 1000. The narrator of this story, The Blood of Flowers could do 1000 knots in less than an afternoon. I love to weave, but I have never been interested in creating rugs. Knotting rugs is a tedious, but amazing process – one I now know more about, thanks to this incredible historical novel by Anita Amirrezvani.

It was the rug making that helped me choose this book for the BAM challenge for March. (See the blog for this at: We were to find a book for National Craft Month – using any meaning for the word craft.

However, it was the “yarn” that the author spun that kept me reading. Amirrezvani uses Iranian folk tales to seize the reader’s interest. The very first line caught me and held me – “First there wasn’t and then there was. Before God, no one was.” The narrative proceeds to tell us a folk tale that links directly with the heroine’s life.

Amirrezvani has created the story of a very unusual girl who is living in 17th century Persia. This unnamed heroine has bad luck that exceeds any you could imagine -from having no dowry, to relatives from hell, to a best friend who might not be such a good friend after all. Then to top it off, she is headstrong and determined to make her way in a man’s world – weaving and knotting rugs. Once I got involved in this story, I had to know the ending. I had to know how this young woman was going to make it through life.

I read to discover new worlds, to meet new people and to feel like I have lived in those worlds with the characters. This book taught me about a period of time I knew nothing about. I was drawn into the life of a character I could not have imagined on my own. I did not want to leave 17th century Persia. This place and the heroine caught a special place in my heart. The yarn told by Amirrezani will weave its way into your heart also.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I am on a real roll here and have just done my third thing in one day. Only one more to do after this.

Podcasts are something I have been using for awhile. I can't always listen to my favorite NPR shows when they come on our local station, so I have listened to Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me and This American Life among others on my computer.

I just finished listening to the podcast that Nancy Pearl (super librarian) does for a Seattle radio station. I couldn't figure out how to download that RSS feed, so I downloaded the RSS feed for the New York Times podcast.

Podcasts seem to have become ubiquitous. If you search book reviews - podcasts on Google, there are lots of choices. I can't even imagine how many hits you get if you just search podcasts.

Okay, now I am up to the 18th thing.

In my usual fashion, I did not pay attention to Carolyn's warning that with so much to explore, we should just start with one.

She was right - I just lost about two hours looking at a variety of sites. I spent much of my time on Etsy. People's defintions of handmade are a bit elastic.

Also, I found some clothing that I think Humbert would have liked seeing Lolita in. I decided not to think too long or too hard about why this might be a popular clothing line.

However, there are lots of beautiful things and I could easily spend a lot of time and money at Etsy.

So, now I have looked at Google Docs and I really can understand why people find these things so useful. I wish my mom knew how to use this - we could edit her thoughts about Israel on the web and then we could both use it.

I think I will try to create my trip presentation here so that I can have it with me wherever I go. I would like that ability rather than trying to remember to e-mail it to myself or putting in on a flash drive.

I am looking forward to the training we will be having with Google Docs later this year.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hurray - I am finally tackling the 16th thing - wikis. I have been using Wikipedia for some time. There have been things for which is very helpful and other things that I just can't believe that anyone would post on.

Did you know that if you go to Wikipedia, you can find "To Kill a Mockingbird in popular culture"? This will tell you what comics, movies and television shows have referenced Harper Lee's book. How many people need to know that Debra in Everybody loves Raymond wrote her college thesis on this book? Since I don't watch this show, I can't even imagine why this might be a plot element.

So what else are Wikis good for? I would think that some of the collaborative work we do on policies and procedures might be done on a Wiki. I did see that a library did their long range plan on a wiki and I would like to know more about that. I need to get to our 17th thing and figure out why we might use Google docs instead of Wiki. That is next so I will write about that after I do that work.

By the way, I found this to be quite useful:
I also liked their zombie animation.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Second Life

Unfortunately, neither the library or my home network really has enough bandwidth to show Second Life to its best advantage. Sometime, I would like to get on the site and really play around. However, I am not sure about that flying part :>)

I did go to U-tube and check out several videos. Some of them were just plain weird and some of them told me how to make objects on Second Life. I don't plan to get that involved with SL. However, I liked this video. It was sort of like a vacation (as promised):

I was glad to hear from Jaime that her professors were using Second Life. I do think it has some very practical as well as some very fun uses.

For me, if I am going to spend time on the web, I am looking for mindless activities like Bubble Shooter or Tetris. I work my brain hard enough at other times.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Library 2.0

Looking at all those articles that Carolyn suggested, I feel like we are very far behind. Most of them were posted in 2005 or 2006. So I went looking for some other things. I went to Taming the Web; Library Crunch; I googled Library 2.0. Once again I was looking at many things from 2005 and 2006. Is this all old news? Should I retire and give it up? I decided not.

I read on one of the blogs (Library Crunch) some comments on "radical trust". And I was glad to realize that I am not the only one to think that libraries have been doing this for quite sometime. When I was 10 and went to the public library by myself and the library staff let me check out that I was totally responsible for- that was radical trust. How did they know that I would even manage to get those books down the hill to my house, let alone back to the library several weeks later? I hope that this is one part of Library 2.0 that I have under control. I hope I never stop trusting our patrons. I also hope that I never stop trusting our staff either. That will definitely be the time for me to retire. We can't run a library system without the assistance of everyone and I mean everyone.

The other thing I read was that Library 2.0 involves constant change and evaluation. I think I may have a bit of experience here too. I hope that the changes we have implemented at Pamunkey during my tenure have been mostly good. The evaluation process may need some work, but change has been an integral part of doing good business at Pamunkey.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

What did you know about New Orleans before Katrina hit? Had you visited the city? Maybe for Mardi Gras? I had never been to New Orleans or even Lousiana. Neither had my husband.

However, after Katrina, my husband, two colleagues and a group of students went to New Orleans the January after the hurricane to tear down houses. It changed Bill's life. It gave both of us lots of questions about why such things could even happen.

Heart Like Water by Joshua Clark has given me more food for thought. It also gave me an opportunity to see into New Orleans at its most trying time. Clark stayed in the French Quarter for the whole terrible mess. He saw things that I can't even imagine.

As Kirkus says this is a "difficult and joyless read". It probably wasn't the book for the month of hearts and love. But thanks to the Book of the month challenge, I found it and I am not sorry to read it. I just hope and pray we can avoid another tragedy like this in our national history.
Here we are in our last month of Pamunkey's 20 things. I want to check all the other staff blogs and see who finished their 20 things. But first, I am going to finish my own.

I have just looked at the post on Technorati on our library's 20 Things page: ( for the second time. I think I have finally figured out what Technorati does. And I guess your average blogger wants the rest of the world to see their blog. So Technorati is helping a lot of people.

However, once again, I am not sure how I feel about the whole public/privacy thing. How much of my life do you really want to know?