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Tuesday Fun

August 19, 2014

Happy Tuesday, dear readers! I hope you are having a lovely week. I can hardly believe we are in the third week of August. Where is the time going? While we can’t make time go any slower, we can try to enjoy what is left of the summer. So today I have a few things that should make you smile when you need a break today.

I think that if a person is a librarian, it is fairly safe to assume that they are addicted to reading. In any case, it is fun to take a look at this list of 50 signs you are addicted to reading (some funny animated GIFs in the list, too).

I love typography and I love calligraphy, so I found this talk, Why Write by Jake Weidmann absolutely wonderful. I’m sending you to the video via this link instead of embedding the video so you can also take a look at a lovely site if you love writing and pens, The Well-Appointed Desk.

Finally, I think there should always be guacamole and chips to eat during summer. Therefore, I’m thinking that I will have to make this delicious sounding (and looking) recipe from Joy the Baker, roasted tomato and feta guacamole.

Have a wonderful rest of your week, dear readers. I’ll be back soon with more news and notes. Allons-y!

Thinking about Everyday Design

August 15, 2014

Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope you have had a lovely week and have a great weekend planned. Today I want to take a few minutes to discuss something near and dear to my heart–design. More specifically I want to talk about everyday design. Since I’m a librarian and not a professional designer, I can’t talk about professionally designing logos or fonts or things like that, but I can talk about using good design in creating things for the library that are beautiful and functional. So today I want to share with you a few design articles, resources, and thoughts.

It is no secret that I’m a fan of the I love Typography blog. It is a great blog of font news and interesting notes about typography. I love this short video on The Sign Painter. Doesn’t it just make you want to have beautifully hand-lettered signs made for your library? I can just see some gorgeous signs painted on our windows in the front of the library welcoming students back from the summer and into the library.

Speaking of beautiful design and just beauty in general, you should really check out the winners of the 2014 Photo Contest by National Geographic. They are absolutely beautiful.

If that inspires you to think more about your everyday photography or just design in general, you might be interested in Lifehacker’s article on three basic design principles everyone can use in everyday life. Some good tips to think about.

Also, when talking about design, we can’t help but talk about Photoshop. I love working with Photoshop because it is so powerful and allows me to create what I need when designing things for myself and for the library. But I also know that Photoshop is very expensive and not in the budget for everyone and every library. That’s why I’m happy to share this article on the best free Photoshop alternatives. I’m looking forward to working more with GIMP.

I think that great design is a wonderful thing to behold and that we can all contribute to making the world a little more beautiful, at least in our library worlds, through learning design concepts and working to create beautiful and usable things for our libraries.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I’ll be back next week with more news and notes. Allons-y!

Tuesday Fun

August 12, 2014

Happy Tuesday, dear readers! Can you believe we are into the second full week of August already? Summer is truly flying by. Today I wanted to share some very random fun that has come over my feeds to brighten up your day. All Tuesdays could use a bit of fun. So let’s get to it.

I am a fan of quotes that help me feel like getting up and accomplishing things. So I rather like this list of 29 inspiring procrastination and productivity quotes. I think the quote from Stephen King is one of my favorites on this list.

Who can resist an awesome video on art and chocolate? Not me. So I share with you this video of a chocolate mill that reveals delicious changing geometry. This is just so cool, though it looks like they didn’t eat the chocolate which seems a shame. Totally want to eat some chocolate now.

Also, I had to share this multi-function hairclip. Now I don’t usually wear hairclips, but this is one I could totally get into.

Finally, I quite like this article by Lifehacker on why creative side projects are good for you. Now you have justification for spending time on your creative side projects, not that you needed that anyway.

Hope you have a wonderful rest of your week, dear readers. I’ll be back soon with some more news and notes. Allons-y!

Backing Up Data

August 8, 2014

Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope that your week has gone well and you have a wonderful weekend planned. Today I want to just share some links to help with backing up your data as it is an important and often overlooked step in protecting your files. Plus, the archivist in me just couldn’t resist passing along a couple of articles that weren’t in archival literature about backing up data. So let’s get to it.

Lifehacker has a good article on why Dropbox shouldn’t be your sole backup. While the tale is scary, it is a good reminder to back up your data in multiple locations. Happily, external hard drive prices have decreased a lot over the past few years, which makes it even more affordable to back up your files.

On a similar note, Gizmodo reports on how it only takes one bozo to kill your cloud data. Another reason to not rely on one cloud service to backup your data. When it comes to making sure you can access your digital files, it truly does come down to lots of copies keep stuff safe (but only if you have lots of copies in multiple places). Also, this reminds me of the great xkcd cartoon:

the cloud cartoon by xkcd

“the cloud” by xkcd

Finally, this is an interesting and useful tip from Lifehacker on how to test new external hard drive by doing a secure erase. I’ll have to remember to try this when I get a new external hard drive.

Hopefully these tips (and cautionary tales) will persuade you and your patrons about the importance of backing up your data. How do you back up your data? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Have a wonderful weekend full of all good things, dear readers. I’ll be back soon with more news and notes. Allons-y!

Tuesday Fun

August 5, 2014

Happy Tuesday, dear readers! I hope your week is going well. Today’s fun comes in the form of some crafts, so let’s get into it.

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I love to get cards in the mail. Emails are fantastic, texts are great, but there is something just lovely about receiving a card in the mail. One of my friends makes amazing handmade cards and I thought of her when I saw this craft. Also, crafting always allows me to unwind, so I was quite taken with this lovely how-to for a Happy Meowday card. Super-cute.

Also in the realm of cute, kitty crafts is this how-to for creating a tiny kitty plush Looks cute and easy to do. And also a sock kitty how to. Yes, it is a cat craft kind of day.

Finally, if you don’t feel like crafting, just check out this amazing blanket of geekery. I am in awe.

Have a wonderful rest of your week, dear readers. I’ll be back soon with more news and notes. Allons-y!

Thoughts on Getting Class Ready for Fall

August 1, 2014

Happy Friday, dear readers! Can you believe we are already at the start of August? I can’t. This means that I have a month and some change until Fall Quarter starts, which means I really need to get my class ready. I always revamp my class quite a lot during the summer based on feedback and observations from the previous year’s teaching. This coming year, I’m teaching in a new first-year experience cluster, Taking Charge of Your Life: Balance, which I’m very excited about and today I wanted to share a few thoughts about getting my class ready for fall.

First, I love revamping my classes. It is what allows me to integrate new, relevant content and examples for my students and, equally importantly, it keeps me from being bored teaching introduction to information literacy classes every year. I also love teaching, so that helps, too. While I tweak my classes between quarters, there isn’t enough time to do huge overhauls so those have to wait until summer. Then I have the headspace and the time to map out my ten-week class and figure out what to keep and what to change.

I’ve been teaching in the flipped classroom model for the past two years and it has been really a good change. Having lecture material as homework, mainly in the form of video tutorials, has freed up classroom time for activities and discussion. Students, overall, really like being able to review the videos to help them with their work. But not everything has gone perfectly. This year, I’m adding back in a few more traditional homework assignments as I’ve found students need more practice with certain concepts and this practice needs to be graded so the majority of my students will complete the work.

I’m also excited that I get to teach the information literacy class within the larger cluster focused on balance and making conscious decisions about your life. I’m looking forward to learning a lot from my students and being able to share some of the things that allow me to have a fulfilling and balanced (to the best of my ability) life. I’m also super-excited because it means I get to share a lot of TED Talks. So excited. I’m hoping to use the TED Talks as introductory discussion topics with my students for each class. I’ll let you know.

So what gets you excited about teaching or presenting or sharing what you know with others? If you teach, how do you go about revamping your classes or orientation sessions? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Finally I want to leave you with a TED Talk that I’m planning on sharing with my class in fall quarter. Hopefully it will inspire some of them.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, dear readers. I’ll be back soon with more news and notes. Allons-y!

Tuesday Fun

July 29, 2014

Happy Tuesday, dear readers! I hope that your weekend was relaxing, Monday was kind to you, and that your Tuesday is going well. As always, I have some fun for you to check out for a break from work today. Today’s fun comes to us in the form of typography, so let’s get to it.

The lovely this week in fonts should make you smile and want to use some new fonts in your designs. I’m loving Riga this week. Looks like a lovely font to use in the library. Unfortunately for me, my campus already has specified fonts to use for design (at least they are nice ones).

And, for those who like some guidance in mixing fonts, check out 10 commandments of typography. Handy chart to help when choosing fonts. Just remember, as one of my many typography resources said, no one ever got fired for specifying Georgia.

Finally, while not related to typography, I just had to share this amazing article on Tree of 40 Fruits. It is so beautiful and amazing.

I hope you have a lovely week. I’ll be back soon with more news and notes. Allons-y!

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