Happy Tuesday, dear readers! I hope you had a lovely, relaxing weekend and are having a lovely week. I can hardly believe we are in December and am in a bit of a panic about getting all my holiday baking done in the next two weeks. But that is neither here nor there. Let’s get into some fun to help us on our Tuesday!
So a couple of weeks ago “The City” aka San Francisco got taken over for the day by Batkid. It was wonderful to see some happiness in the news and see so many people come together to make a child’s wish come true. Someone even made an awesome “teaser trailer,” The Batkid Rises. Enjoy!
Also for your enjoyment today, check out CatAcademy teaches you a foreign lanugage with funny cat photos. Best use of Lolcats ever! I really do hope it comes to Android soon and expands to multiple languages. So fun.
I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day and a fantastic week. I’ll be back on Friday with more. Allons-y!
Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope that you had a lovely Thanksgiving, if you are in the United States, and a lovely Thursday anyway, no matter where you are. This Friday, I just wanted to share a short article and a few thoughts between relaxing and enjoying some time with family and friends. I hope that you have some good plans for the weekend, too. So let’s get into it.
I recently read this short blurb on Lifehacker that is basically quoting Theodore Roosevelt, “credit belongs to the man in the arena”. I’ll wait here while you go and read it. I think that it is a good reminder about the difference between creating and critiquing, among other things, but I’m going to focus on this dichotomy for a bit today.
As we all know, it is very easy to critique something. Even with helpful critiquing, it is easier than the creation. Anyone who has ever written anything knows that before you can edit, you have to actual write and that is often the harder of the two parts. Criticism, effective and helpful criticism, is essential in scholarship and in life. One of my hats I wear is as a member of the Evidence Summaries team for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice and I critique current research studies. Critiques are important as peer review is important, but it is also important to remember the reason for critiques and the time and place for critiques. Also, we always have to be mindful of how easy it is to slip into complaining or tearing down instead of offering suggestions to make writing, research, or programs better, more engaging, or more meaningful. Bad, hurtful critiques are easy to say or to write. Helpful suggestions are harder, but creating is hardest of all.
Whether you create paintings, programs, creative writing, or research studies, creating is always hard, personal, and hopefully honest work. Every piece of creation, whether considered fiction or non-fiction, in song or in photography, is a creative work that you have literally put down, made visible or audible for another person to experience. It can be exhausting work; it can mean showing failures to others, or half-formed ideas that need not a sharp critique, but a friendly ear and a willingness to suggest improvements instead of tearing down incomplete creations.
I truly do believe that those who create, who share with the world new applications, new ideas, new thoughts, and new works are the ones to whom the credit should go. Not to the critics who often have not tried to create on their own for years, but relish trying to puncture the enthusiasm or the courage it takes to share what you create with others.
So basically what I’m saying is be kind to yourself and to others who create, who strive to do more, create new things, and share them with the world, whether that world is online, in the office, or in a gallery. Let’s support each other in our creating and in our disseminating of new ideas, products, and papers. The world needs both those who create and those who do not just critique, but support and suggest to make the next prototype better, the next draft more illuminating, and the next story more engaging. When we define the two as relational and connected, rather than separate and competing, is when we will be able to celebrate creating knowing that we will be supported when we ask for reviews.
In other words, be kind, be bold, and for goodness sake keep creating whatever you were put on this earth to create. Oh, and if you a person who “knows great enthusiasms” and “spends himself[herself] in a worthy cause” the library and archives fields need you to help us keep creating spaces and places that allow everyone to learn, to create, and to become more through using the libraries and archives.
Have a wonderful, relaxing, inspiring weekend. I’ll be back next week. Allons-y!
Happy Tuesday, dear readers! I hope that your day is going well and for those of you in the United States, I hope you get a short week so you can enjoy Thanksgiving with family and friends. In honor of giving thanks, I have some recipes to share and my usually annual list of things I’m thankful for this year. So let’s get into it.
One of the things I’m thankful for is Joy the Baker’s blog. Never let’s me down and has tons of yummy recipes like bonkers awesome candy bar cupcakes and persimmon prosciutto and Brie grilled cheese that would be wonderful for making with family and friends visiting. Seriously, if you are stumped about something new to make for the holidays this year, check out her blog.
After you get done drooling over all the lovely recipes, come on back and I’ll share a short list of things I’m most thankful for this year. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
2013: 5 Things I’m Thankful For List
1. My husband. It has been a crazy, fast-paced, work and fun-filled year, but the thing I’m most thankful for is to be married to my best friend and partner this year. Here’s to many more wonderful years together.
2. My friends. Weddings are great excuses to get everyone together and have fun. I love my friends and totally wish I had a TARDIS so I could visit those who live across the country and on other continents more often. But even with distance, my friends make my life richer and keep me going. Plus, they do amazing things, like presenting original research at conferences, leading children’s story times, and doing plover rescue and research, that inspire me and make me feel like the world is a good caring place.
3. My work. I’m incredibly lucky, I think, to be working in a field where I truly feel like I can make a difference in the lives of students and in my profession through my research and publication. I love teaching, in all its formats, whether at the reference desk, in research consultations, in the classroom, or in a workshop, and that’s what keeps me going when there just seems to be way too much to do and not enough time to do it in.
4. Used bookstores that feel like an adventure. We recently went to Powell’s City of Books in Portland, which is amazing, and I’m definitely thankful for used bookstores where one can get lost in the stacks and find amazing things to read. I love libraries and bookstores and amazing used bookstores definitely make me feel like a kid in a candy store who must be stopped before buying up the entire store.
5. Great customer service. So I’ve had to be on the phone a lot over the last month with changing things due to being married now and I can honestly say that I appreciate great customer service even more now. It makes all the difference in the world and if I could, I would have everything route through a couple of companies that simply have amazing service. I’m so grateful when I can call in, get to talk to a person easily (without going through 10 levels of an automated phone tree; thank goodness for the trick of hitting 0), and the person is friendly and knowledgeable and able to help me, instead of having to call back numerous times. It makes me thankful to work in a library that truly values great, friendly, helpful service to our library patrons so we are not one of the places that makes me sad through bad customer service.
6. Bonus: I’m thankful for this buttermilk pie crust from Joy the Baker. Truly, best pie crust ever and will make you friends if you bring in pie using this recipe. Word.
Finally I leave you with this tutorial on how to make an edible apple swan. These would be fabulous for Thanksgiving Day tables.
Have a wonderful day and week. I’ll be back with a post for you to read post-Thanksgiving on Friday. Allons-y!
Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope that your week has gone well and you have a lovely weekend planned. Today I have a grab bag of tips to share as we get into both the happiest (and sometimes most stressful) part of the year. So let’s just get into it.
Airport travel seems inevitable this time of year. Unless, of course, you find yourself on a road trip. But if you are flying, you should really check out Lifehacker’s article on how to make the airport less crappy and more fun. I completely agree that airport time is much better if you are not rushed and if you already know the layout of the airport. Also, if the airport has free wifi, that always makes things better.
While a lot of us are getting into the holiday mood, we still have to be productive at work and so I share Lifehacker’s article on a 3 step alternative to a machine like workday. This really is a must read and more importantly, a must implement strategy. I’m a huge fan of single tasking and creating a schedule, when possible, that matches your productivity and energy peaks throughout the day. While this is not always possible with meetings and service point schedules, it is good to maintain an overall balance so you can get more done without falling into the trap of burnout. If nothing else, step away from your email. You’ll be amazed how much more you get done without the constant notification of an incoming message every few minutes (and you’ll also be able to respond in a timely manner; waiting a few hours for a response is not the end of the world and if it really is urgent, the sender will call you). Also, remember to breathe!
If you are in higher education, or just read the news headlines, you can’t escape hearing about MOOCs. So it is great that you can find a Compendium on MOOcs by Educause. I still need to go through all the resources, but it is really a good place to get more information about MOOCs and educate yourself if your library is considering implementing and/or supporting MOOCs.
Finally, I had to share this Kickstarter for the Book House. Yay for bookstores and helping independent bookstore owners!
I hope you have a fantastic weekend full of relaxation, fun, and good food. I’ll be back next week. Allons-y!
Happy Tuesday, dear readers! I hope that your day is going well. Today I have a few fun things to share that should brighten your day. So let’s get into the fun!
First, I love this story of how a Lego wheel turns tortoise into bionic turtle. Way to go veterinarians–awesome use of Legos!
Also, it is nearing Thanksgiving here in the States, so I am constantly on the lookout for tasty recipes. Joy the Baker’s fresh herb and Gruyere puffs sound like something that will have to be made in the very near future. Any excuse to go to the Cheese Board Collective is a good one!
Hope you have a wonderful rest of your day and I’ll be back on Friday. Allons-y!
Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope your week has gone well and you are ready for a fun weekend. Today I want to share a couple of productivity articles and a couple of other links to blogs and posts I’ve enjoyed recently. Hopefully you’ll enjoy them, too. So let’s just get into it.
First, a couple of productivity articles. I quite like this idea to set aside prefrontal Mondays for thinking and planning. Makes a lot of sense and I’m going to see how it works in action for me on this coming workweek. Although it will have to wait until after Monday since Monday is happily a holiday! (Also, Happy [early] Veteran’s Day.)
I also enjoyed the article on Marie Curie’s best productivity tricks. Good advice for anyone in navigating the political environment when trying to get things done and a good reminder to always be professional.
And then on to my hat tips to some excellent blogs and posts. You should go read does this sound like fandom to you? Great post and really, we all should be helping to create spaces where it is safe to be a fan, love fandoms and fanfic, without worrying about getting bullied. Really, what’s up with that? (Also, another note, I’m incredibly biased about you going and checking out this blog as it is written by one of my best friends who also happens to be married to one of my other dear friends whose blog I told you to check out on Tuesday. Just ’cause I’m biased, doesn’t make it not a good post to read and a fun blog to subscribe to).
My other online shout-out is to the new blog, Stories for my wife. Go to read it for a couple of lovely short stories written by a librarian and archivist and creative writer. (Again, incredibly biased about this one, too, as it is written by my husband. Again, just ’cause I’m biased, doesn’t mean it isn’t a lovely read.)
Finally, for happy thoughts of vacation and island fun, check out the photo below:
Have a wonderful weekend full of whatever you’d like it to be full of. I’ll be back next week. Allons-y!
Happy Tuesday, dear readers! I hope your week is going well and you had a lovely weekend. Today, I just want to share a few fun things to help you take a break today. So let’s just get to it.
First, did you know that Amazon will donate part of your purchases to your favorite charity? That’s pretty nifty and you don’t even have to do anything other than shop to help out.
Also, autumn is in the air, which makes for great photographs as Anna shows us in her from neighborhood: autumn sights post. Love the photos. Also, you should subscribe to her blog; it’s fun and insightful, plus she is a librarian and archivist. (Full disclosure, I’m incredibly biased about this as she is a dear friend and she is married to one of my best friends, but that doesn’t make her blog any less of a good read).
Finally, what would a Tuesday be with out something typography related? A sad day indeed. Luckily for us, Gizmodo has this lovely article with photographs on 12 monumental structures made from type. Pretty amazing work.
I hope you have a wonderful day and week. I’ll be back on Friday. Allons-y!