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Archive for January 2009

I finished reading The Art of Racing in the Rain this week while I was not-busy being sick.

The premise of the book is the story is told from the point-of-view of a dog. Enzo is an unusual dog in many ways, but is still limited by the fact that he’s a dog. While the story isn’t particularly unusual, the way the story was told was quite unique and interesting. I found it hard to put the book down.

Two paws up.


Posted on: January 31, 2009

  • "Microsoft Word is full of tools that can help you work faster and smarter—but only if you know about them. Here's a list to remind you of just what Word can do for you. You're probably familiar with some of these. Your neighbor knows a few, too, but not the same few. Time to learn something new!"
    (tags: technology)
  • "Getting Things Done, also abbreviated as GTD, is a popular time management productivity method created by David Allen.

    The method is just as popular today as it was back in 2007 when we ran our GTD Ninja post featuring more than 50 apps to help you be more productive and organized. But there are a host of new applications out there to help you be even more productive this year. Below are more than 100 of them."

    Apparently, Remember the Milk was left off the list and I did find this helpful before I started using Outlook's task feature at my new job. I think it's important for people not to get too bogged down in this types of applications though, because you can waste a lot of time making lists. The thing is to find what works for you and stick with it.

  • "Recognizing the importance of professional experience is, I feel, a key ingredient to the success of a library science graduate program, however, each program’s understanding of their students unique needs and scheduling constraints is equally vital." Interesting post from a MLIS student.
    (tags: library)
  • It's a historic time in Illinois. Not necessarily the type of historic time most of us want to see…but historic nonetheless. Or maybe it's hysteric. Hmmm.
    (tags: news politics)
  • "A gold find at Livengood is one of the largest new discoveries in the world in the past decade, an exploration company said."
    (tags: news)
  • "photology helps you navigate the flood of digital photos on your computer by finding photos using simple and intuitive filters like faces, sky, color, location, and time of day." Like a Google Image search on your own computer. Interesting.
    (tags: photo freeware)
  • We all need more junk on our desks…right? While you're sitting on some boring conference calls, why not make it more exciting by folding one of these great paper toys?
  • Do more with your pictures than just share them or print them. I haven't tried this yet, but I plan to check it out and give you a review. The main attraction is it's FREE.
    (tags: photo freeware)
  • I'm all for free tools. Especially if the one you'd have to buy is expensive. I'm lucky to have photoshop on my work computer, but for those who don't, here's a nice option. You don't get all the bells and whistles…but it's FREE!
    (tags: photo freeware)
  • The site is in French, but you can still read the charts. Somewhere in there is a sheep chart that is very cute.
    (tags: crafts)

Take everything I listed yesterday and put it on today. I’m playing catch up since I was out sick yesterday. Throw in my supervisor’s retirement party and it’s a busy Friday.

(This cartoon has nothing to do with anything.)

Friday’s around here are generally fairly quiet. It’s dress down day, so I wear jeans and a college sweatshirt of some sort. The college went to a 4-day class schedule this semester, so there aren’t many students around although we do have a few in the library using our computers. The whole atmosphere tends to be a bit more laid-back though.

I was going to wait until Monday to weed our new book shelf, but I might add that to my to-do list today since it looks like it’s getting a bit stuffed. Or I’ll do a bit of shifting on those shelves. It’s one of those things that seems picky, but the books won’t move as fast if the shelves are too full. One of those visual aesthetic things. And I want our books to move.

There is a tour coming in on Monday afternoon. My instruction schedule is picking up now. So, I’ll spend a bit of time this afternoon preparing for that. I don’t like last minute prep because I tend to forget things, so when I have some advance notice, I take advantage of it.


Definitely not a typical day for me. I’m home sick. Seems that I’ve caught the creeping crud. I was feeling pretty nasty already last night – sore throat, achy, headache, exhausted, etc. – and woke up this morning with a congested cough and even less energy. I debated for a bit and decided that it would just be better to stay home and rest. I’ve got a dr. appointment tomorrow anyway, so if I’m still sickly, I can always chat with her about it.
If I was at work, my day would have involved this stuff:
1. Taking care of overdues
2. Pulling interlibrary loans
3. Working on the LRC brochure (we don’t really have anything cohesive currently)
4. Making up a new books poster
5. Starting work on a new display for mid-February
6. Beginning some work on National Library Week (in April)
7. A web training session on putting together a technology plan
(from our system and I can do it at a later date)
8. More ordering
9. Doing the online sexual harassment training required by the college
10. More work on the interesting reference question

A couple of the things I might do from home this afternoon if I perk up a bit. If not, there is nothing that can’t wait until tomorrow. For now, I’ll just be drinking lots of fluids and hanging out on the sofa reading and knitting. Just don’t have the energy for much else. The good thing about colds/flu is you do get better.

Typical morning. Unlock office, turn computer on, get coffee, check email and day’s task list, work on overdues, etc.

This morning I have a training. So, I had to check emails to see what room we’re meeting in. Looks like it will be over in one of our computer labs. I also had to print directions for my afternoon meeting.

I’m looking forward to the afternoon meeting. It’s a reference librarian meeting for those in the system. I haven’t had a chance to meet many librarians in IL yet, so I’m excited about getting a bit more connected. I’m also looking for ideas of how to reach out more to the students here. We don’t get many reference questions and I know that it’s not because they don’t have questions. I’ve got some ideas percolating right now and plan to try something out in the next few weeks. And this is a monthly meeting, so it will become a regular part of my schedule.

Before I get immersed in the morning training, I do have a reference question to work on. This one came over the state’s virtual librarian system and was referred to me since it directly relates to our campus. I’m not sure what I’ll find, but it should be an interesting search.

I also need to work on staff schedule this morning. I try to put out a month’s worth of schedules at a time, but we’ve had a few changes due to some meetings and other things. So, it needs to be updated and some things changed around so I have coverage when it’s needed.

Once I get back in town this evening, I plan to stay home. Normally I’d be in the Quad Cities for Stitch and Bitch, but I don’t feel like doing more driving today. (The afternoon meeting is in East Peoria…the opposite direction.) Tonight I plan to make some chili and relax a bit. I’ve got a stack of books that are waiting to be read, so I hope to have some quality time with a good story. I also haven’t picked up the knitting needles this week and have a project I need to get stitching.
I’m glad that I’ve got a full day in the LRC tomorrow. There are a couple of projects that I’ll be focusing on. More about that tomorrow!

All sorts

Posted on: January 28, 2009

  • Some interesting info in Elsevier's newsletter. Will have to take some time to read this.
    (tags: library)
  • Simple, but beautiful looking markers made with polymer clay.
    (tags: crafts)
  • Want to increase your followers? Do you even twitter? Do you even care? While I'm not too concerned about have thousands of followers, this is interesting. I think I'm going to start using hash tags for some of my content, specifically library and knitting stuff.
  • We don't have 3-D photos yet…but you can make something fun that gives you that effect. This would be a great thing for a gift for someone. I like the idea of combining different photos. Think how unique you could go!
    (tags: crafts photo)
  • I like bean sprouts. They're great in salads and on sandwiches. But I can rarely find them at the grocery store. Now I don't have to worry about that. I can grow my own right in my apartment. They'll go well with my Aerogarden lettuce.
    (tags: food)
  • I've been looking for some simple Valentine's crafts that aren't too supply intensive. I found some cute fabrics in my stash the last time I was in KS and think they would work well for this project. Just have to pick up some batting at the quilt shop and a spool of ribbon. If you don't like the unfinished back, I think you could easily cover it with a piece of fabric, decorative paper, or posterboard.
    (tags: crafts)
  • This is very easy-to-understand tutorial for a very cute quilt. I kept staring at the picture trying to figure out how the zig zag's were done. It's really simple! Now I'm seriously thinking about bringing my sewing supplies back to IL after my next KS visit.
    (tags: crafts)

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January 2009


Mar. 10 - Photography Class

Mar. 11 - Quad Cities SnB

Mar. 12 - Lincoln Reenactor performance at BHE

Mar. 13 - Annual budget due

Mar. 14 - SnB trip to Galena

Mar. 16-21 - Spring Break

Mar. 16-18 - On the Front Lines library conference in Springfield

Mar. 19-22 - In Kansas

Mar. 23 - Orientation in Quad Cities

Mar. 24 - Photography Class

Mar. 26 - Spring Break for Academic Librarians workshop in Peoria

Mar. 27 - Supervisor Development in Quad Cities

Apr. 2 - Using Social Technologies in Library Instruction workshop

Apr. 6 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 6 - My birthday

Apr. 7 - Photography Class

Apr. 9-12 - In Kansas

Apr. 10 - College Closed

Apr. 12 - Easter

Apr. 13-19 - National Library Week

Apr. 13 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 14 - Photography Class

Apr. 16 - Evening Instruction Session

Apr. 17 - Information Literacy Summit

Apr. 18 - A Day of Books and Quilts at Toulon Public Library

Apr. 20 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 21 - Photography Class

Apr. 22 - Renegade Reference meeting in Bloomington

Apr. 23 - Illinois Library Day

Apr. 24 - Quarterly Supervisors Meeting

Apr. 27 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 28 - Photography Class

Apr. 29 - Supervisor Training in Quad Cities

May 5 - Photography Class

May 12 - National Library Legislative Day

May 25 - Memorial Day - College Closed

June 4 - RSA Users' Group meeting in Peoria

June 6 - SIL's birthday June 6 - Brother and SIL Anniversary

June 8 - Nancy Pearl at Bradley University

June 13 - WWKIP train trip to St. Louis

July 3 - Holiday - College Closed

July 4 - Independence Day

July 10 - Mom's Birthday

July 10-15 - ALA Annual Conference in Chicago

July 17-19 - Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair in Crystal Lake, IL

July 31 - 10th Anniversary

Sept. 7 - Labor Day, College closed

Oct. 6-9 - Illinois Library Association Annual Conference in Peoria

Nov. 23 - Brother's birthday

Nov. 26 - Thanksgiving Day, College closed

Nov. 27 - College Closed

Dec. 7 - MIL's birthday

Dec. 18 - DH's birthday

Dec. 25 - Christmas Day

Dec. 26 - Dad's birthday

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