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Archive for January 2009

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Why did it take them so long to make something like this? The Knit Kit is the perfect little thing to stick in my purse with all the doo-dads I might need for almost any knitting project. OMG! It will be available in March, just in time for my birthday, and should retail for around $19.95. I paid more than that for my TSA approved scissors. And this whole kit is TSA approved, so you can take it when you fly. How perfect is that?!

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  • Although this really is a very basic, easy scarf pattern, it does have a few nice features to make it stand out from a completely boring stockinette scarf.
    (tags: knitting)
  • I'm not a big Martha Stewart fan, but she does have some cute tutorials on her website from time to time. Fingerless mittens are perfect for working, knitting, etc. And they're a quick and easy knit.
    (tags: knitting)
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Well maybe it wasn’t buckets, but Marley and Me was such a sweet movie that I couldn’t help shed a few tears…especially towards the end. I also laughed a lot because some of it was so familiar. Like the part with the drywall eating. We had a dog who did that once!

I took my driver from last week out to lunch today at the furniture store here in Kewanee. No, it wasn’t a picnic. The store has a wonderful restaurant in its lower level. While we waited for a table, we wandered around the shop down there. I saw some cozy looking socks that I might have to go back for some time. I have a great love of wool socks. I’d have more if I ever finished the pair that’s still on my needles.

I took care of grocery shopping after lunch and the movie. It was strange being without a car last week and I feel like I’m finally getting myself reorganized. I’ve felt rather scattered most of this week since I knew the laundry was piling up, the fridge needed to be cleaned out, and my apartment hadn’t been properly cleaned for a couple of weeks.

Tonight I’ve been finishing up laundry and watching Miss America. The main reason I like the pageant is for the dresses the women wear. There is a small part of me that likes all the glitter and glitz.

The other big thing I’m doing is staying warm. It’s in the low single digits at the moment and isn’t supposed to be much warmer tomorrow. I think tomorrow may be a good day for reading and hot tea. I might finish up my hanging towels also. And I plan to make some meals ahead for the week. It’s nice to come home from work and not have to worry about making a complete meal from scratch. My Aerogarden has enough lettuce now so that I can start having some fresh salads. Yum!

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  • "Despite the internet's origins as an academic network, when it comes to finding a book, e-commerce rules. Put any book title into your favourite search engine, and the hits will be dominated by commercial sites run by retailers, publishers, even authors. But even with your postcode, you won't find the nearest library where you can borrow that book. (The exception is Google Books, and even that is limited.)"
  • Free pattern for a cute Kufi-style hat. Perfect if you just need something to cover the top of your head. I like the pictures of the ones made with variegated yarns.
    (tags: knitting)
  • "Stay connected with programming resources with Programming Librarian, an online resource center for all things related to presenting cultural programs for all types and sizes of libraries." Another great resource for librarians. I don't anticipate doing many programs at my current library, but I can translate some of the ideas into online and physical exhibits.
  • I don't watch the Oscars generally. Watching award shows is akin to stabbing myself in the eye with a knitting needle. However, I am always interested in the nominations and, ultimately, the winners. I'm not surprised the Benjamin Button got so many nominations although I'm not sure it should have. There are some other interesting items on the list.
    (tags: news movies)
  • The Brazen Careerist has another great post on how to improve those dreaded first impressions. Something fairly simple and almost painfully obvious. But how many people walk in a way that doesn't leave a good impression?
    (tags: advice)
  • I've hesitated to buy any sort of e-book reader knowing that the technology is advancing quickly. Looks like I might wait a bit longer until this new reader is released. Of course, the other part of why I haven't bought one is the expense. Wonder how much this will sell for?
  • This is another way to keep track of your spending. I think it might be time for me to try something like this. It would be interesting to really see where my cash goes each week, month, year…
    (tags: web)
  • "The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition Digital Collection features books, pamphlets, invitations, reports, speeches, maps, articles and more. It includes items from the collection of the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI)."
    (tags: library alaska)

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While waiting for the train last week, I was able to read Mary Poppins. Yes, it was a book way before Disney ever made it into a movie. The book is quite a bit different than the movie although all the same characters pop up. What I found most interesting was Mary Poppins being portrayed as a cranky, vain woman.

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I’ve long wanted to read Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. When I found it on my library’s shelves, I had to check it out even though it’s not one of the books I originally chose for the 52 books challenge. This was an incredibly strange and fascinating book. I can’t really say much more about without giving anything away. But I do recommend reading it if you haven’t already.

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Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar is an autobiographical novel of the writer’s life. This was one of those gem’s that I’m surprised I’ve missed reading for so long. Despite the time period she lived in, this book really is timeless. I’d imagine lots of people could identify with that feeling of hopelessness and inertia that Esther experiences. Maybe even more so these days. Another book that I’d recommend although it’s more of a read for women.

I’m now onto The Art of Racing in the Rain and The Seventh Well (which is another not on the original list.) It’s supposed to be cold this weekend and I’ve got some things to do around the apartment, so it may be a good weekend to spend time curled up with a good book.

  • An online magazine about Alaska. Discovered this thanks to an Alaskan librarian who I follow on Twitter. Social networking the awesomesauce because of stuff like this!
    (tags: news alaska)
  • Some weekend instead of playing around on FB or FF, I'm going to spend some time looking around this site. The women behind some of the country's most famous men is bound to be fascinating.
  • How did I manage to miss this for so long? What a great resource!
  • It's time for the fruit embroidery pattern of the week. I'm seriously tempted to start making these on some flour sack towels. And I would actually use them instead of putting them in a drawer because they're too pretty.
    (tags: crafts)
  • If you're like me, you probably have tons of t-shirts laying around. Most of my old t-shirts have a stain on them somewhere, so I can't give them to Goodwill (or I won't). But this is a great idea for using those old things. It's also a simple enough crochet project that even a relative noob like me could handle it.
    (tags: crafts crochet)
  • A slide-share of a presentation by Lauren Presley. Provides some great information on this growing area in librarianship.
  • Great resources for the progressive librarian in all of us.
    (tags: library)
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Now that I’ve started a new job, it seemed an appropriate time to write a new post about a typical day in my librarian life…if there is a day you can call typical.
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Most mornings I get up around 7 am. I’m still not a morning person, but it’s nice to have more of a routine again. By 8:15, I’m at work.

The first thing I do when I get into my office (yes, I have an office with a door!) is turn on my computer. So much of what I do for the rest of the day will involve the computer.

After that I go find some coffee. If it isn’t already brewing, I’ll get it going. My full-timers are generally here before me, so they’ve already got the library opened up for the day. Often there are morning distance education classes, so one of my staff is somewhere in the building at that time making sure the classroom technology is working properly.

After pouring a cup of coffee, I sit down at my desk and check the library’s Google mail account. This is where we get our intralibrary loan lists and the overdue lists. If our part-time person isn’t here that day, I’ll take care of pulling and preparing the books for ILL. I always take care of looking over and printing the overdue notices, which I then set out for one of the evening part-time people to double check. She makes sure that we don’t have the book on the shelf before the notice is sent out. When she’s not here, I take care of that myself.

A couple of times during the day, I check for any loan requests that come through OCLC First Search. On a typical day we’ll get one or two requests. When they come in, I pull the books, get them ready for whatever transportation method they’re going by, and enter all the information in the ILL database I’ve created for those requests.
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The rest of the day is filled up with a variety of other tasks depending on the day of the week and how many part-time employees I have working. I do shelve books when our little cart is starting to overflow or when I’ve done something like taking books off the New Book shelf to move to the regular stacks. If an order comes in, I will often help with some of the processing involved, such as entering the received books into our spreadsheets or helping cover the books.
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Sometimes I help out when the mail comes in for the day. We tend to get mail in the morning and afternoon. It brings the usual stuff like catalogs, bills, and our periodicals. I’ll check in newspapers, magazines, and journals. This involves barcoding, labeling, and date-stamping them among other parts of that process.
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Now that the semester has begun, I’ll also be spending time preparing for instruction sessions. Since I can focus specifically on my job here, it seems like I have more time to really prepare for the individual classes that I’ll be working with. I look for reference books, periodicals, and other materials that I hope will be useful to the students in addition to databases and internet resources. I’d really like to see our print collection used more because we do have some good things even if we are a small library.

Soon, I’ll be working on our annual budget. I’ve already started doing some minor things with it, but I’ll have to complete it by April.

I also take care of the staff scheduling. This isn’t usually too complicated except when we have something going on or someone is going to be off. Most of the time, the schedule doesn’t vary much week by week.

I’ve also been spending some time most days working on ordering books. While I’ve done some actual ordering to get familiar with our vendors, one of my full-time staff does that. I do most of the selecting. Reading reviews can be time-consuming. I also have to do some digging around at times to find requested books or other materials that we should have on our shelves.

One big project that I started shortly after I arrived was the reference collection weeding and updating. It’s been awhile since that has been done and we have some things sitting out there that are out-of-date or just need to go away. I’ll also be doing some shifting in that area once I’ve got this first part completed.
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This may not sound like a lot, but it does fill up a day. Mornings really seem to fly by and there have been many days when I’ve looked up at the clock to realize it’s already lunchtime.

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  • Although I listened to as much of the speech as I could stand without gagging, I want to go back later and reread. I'm hoping that it won't sound as bad as it did the first time. I wasn't inspired as much as angered by some of the insinuations and thinly veiled criticisms that this speech contained. Personally, I've long been proud of this country and my fellow citizens because of the potential we contain and the daily good that I see. I don't need to be reminded to work to make this country strong. As a military spouse and an American citizen, I understood my duty long ago.
    (tags: news)
  • Another knitting project for me to add to the growing list of TBKs. I love the color on this sweater, but I also love the design. Of course, I'd have to actually take the time to measure my gauge so I wouldn't end up with too much ease. I don't so much love the gauge thing, but it wouldn't be a bad thing to get in the habit of doing. Wonder if I could knit this before winter ends.
    (tags: knitting)
  • I really like the construction of this vest. I still like wearing vests in those in-between seasons like spring and summer. Vests are also a great layering piece under a jacket. I originally found this pattern via Ravelry. Wondering if I have enough yarn from an abandoned project to make this. Frantically doing the math in my head.
    (tags: knitting)
  • From Poppytalk. I love labeling things. Must be the librarian in me. These labels are really attractive and great for keeping your life organized.
    (tags: freebie)
  • Switchplates are an easy way to personalize any space…even if you're renting and can't make permanent changes. Just don't lose the ones that come with your apartment. Here is an easy tutorial on how to decorate your own switchplates.
  • Free recipe cards to print and use. This would be nice to use for a wedding shower gift. Put together some cooking or baking supplies and use the cards for your favorite recipes. Personal and likely to be much appreciated.
    (tags: freebie)
  • I had no idea you could felt into polyster. And that you could use non-wool stuff to felt with if you're using polyester. Let my internal felting monster loose!
    (tags: crafts)
  • "Members of Quilters of South Carolina have created one-of-a-kind bras for Breast Cancer Awareness. The exhibit consists of forty-nine original works of art which are unique, entertaining, humorous, and beautiful to make the public aware of breast cancer, to memorialize those lost to the disease, and to honor survivors."
    (tags: crafts art)
  • Cute chart for free. It's in French, but the DMC numbers are provided, so even those linguistically challenged people like me should be able to complete it. There are several other charts available as well.
    (tags: crafts freebie)
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January 2009
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Upcoming

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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