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!
Happy Friday, dear readers! Can you believe that we’ve finished up a week in November already? I can’t. Anyway, today’s post is a grab bag of tips and interesting reports that I wanted to share today. No real theme other than I thought these were interesting and/or useful and wanted to share.
This Lifehacker article is both useful and something you could do this weekend: how to make your entire internet life more secure in one day. Always good to be up on internet security.
For a couple of reports that I recently read (and really enjoyed), I thought I’d share California Digital Library’s CDL Strategic Themes and CDL Annual Report 2012-2013. I’m super-biased when it comes to the CDL and the OAC because I’ve never had anything but good experiences with the people there, our university archives is part of the OAC, and I really just think they are doing an awesome job at all their programs and are super-generous with sharing and helping out other, smaller institutions (like ours). So it was great to read a couple of documents that were easy to understand and outlined both accomplishments and goals for the coming year. I can’t wait to see what else gets rolled out and am looking forward to getting more of our archival documents into the OAC in the coming year. Nice work CDL.
I thought this was a nice article on 3 mental tricks to deal with people who annoy you. We all get annoyed, but these are some ways to at least downgrade the annoyance.
Also, because I really do enjoy being productive and getting things done, I wanted to share this infographic on how to productive. It’s quite a lovely infographic and distills a lot of very good advice into one easy to read graphic (which I know is the point of all infographics, but this one actually works).
I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I’ll be back week with more. Allons-y!
Happy Tuesday, dear readers! I hope your day is going well. Today I just want to share some more fun to get you through your Tuesday.
For your viewing pleasure, the awesome halftime performance by the Ohio State University Marching Band:
And, because this is a use of a 3D printer that I can totally get behind, check out this lovely, tiny letterpress.
Plus, who doesn’t love this week in fonts? If you don’t, please don’t tell me. I love seeing examples of new fonts.
Have a lovely rest of your week and I’ll be back on Friday. Allons-y!
Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope that your week has gone well, you’ve been as productive as you’ve wanted to be and have something fun planned for the weekend. I also hope you had a lovely Halloween, if you partook in celebrating it. Today I want to talk to you about something that has been pinging around in my mind for the last few weeks. I want to talk about caring and I want to tell about why I’ve been thinking about it so much at work over the last few weeks.
So I was feeling in need of some inspiration a few weeks ago and requested a copy of The Big Moo again through the library lending service at work. I really enjoyed reading it a year or so ago and there was a chapter in it I wanted to especially re-read. Unsurprisingly that chapter was entitled, “Care!” [Also, an aside, even if you don't like marketing books, I recommend The Big Moo, it is quite good]
So I’ll let you in on why I was thinking about caring so much. At my university we are going through a lot of assessment processes at the moment, and gearing up for WASC accreditation visit. And I believe in assessment and figuring out how to do what we do better and connect more with our students and keep the morale of our staff and faculty up and really be the best we can be. What I’m not quite as much a fan of is writing a lot of reports and having complicated forms to fill out, whether that is at work or just filling out forms at the DMV. I know reports are important, and I also do my best in filling them out, but I agree with the author of “Care!” that basically things will take care of themselves if you care and hire people that care because it shines through in whatever they do.
Books and reports can only tell you so much if you want to improve your services or products, no matter if you are a library or a giant corporation. You really have to care and you have to talk with people to see what they like, what they need, what confuses or frustrates them, and how you can help. You may think you know what people need, but you really don’t until you ask and they’ll only tell you the truth, well most of them, if they can tell that you actually care.
I care deeply about what I do. It comes through when I’m on the reference desk and when I’m teaching, when I’m on committees and when I’m researching. It doesn’t matter if I’ve answered the same question twenty times today, it is the first time that I’m answering the question for this particular student. While I may be tired of answering printing questions, it is of the greatest importance to the students trying to print their midterm exams. When I’m teaching, answering emails promptly, reviewing tricky concepts in class, and taking the time to talk with students about the concepts that are giving them problems demonstrates caring. Enthusiasm shows people that you care. I might dislike committee work when meetings seem to eat up the majority of my day, but they are vital if run properly and vital to actually look people in the eye and say that “I hear you” and that we are going to work together to get things done. In my research, I care about being truthful to my data and to my respondents and caring in how I suggest implications for improving practice or theory or learning.
The saying is really true that no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. That is why I believe that it is important to be caring in all that we do (or at least try, because we are all human). Caring will show up in policies and in how we treat not just our patrons, users, or customers, but our colleagues, supervisors, and supervisees. Communication is, as it always is, key to building and maintaining good relationships and caring allows one to do this.
So bring on the assessments and reports, give me the opportunity to tell you why our people make this library vibrant and vital, but please show me that you care and that we’re people to you. Caring makes it all worthwhile and much more pleasant, too, when deadlines loom and there is so much to get done.
And because one needs to care for self as well, here’s a lovely photo that will hopefully help you feel calm as you finish up the work week and hopefully plan some time for yourself this weekend:
I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I’ll be back on Tuesday with more. Allons-y!
Happy Tuesday, dear readers! I hope that your week is going well. Can you believe that it will be November at the end of this week? I can’t either. But luckily getting into the holidays means it is time for wonderful food and hopefully some fun. So let’s get into the fun stuff for this Tuesday.
I am a fan of Joy the Baker and excited to be able to start making all her cold weather-type recipes now that it is getting chilly in the Bay Area. Her recipe for honey chai roasted almonds sound perfect as an autumn snack and pretty easy to make, too.
Also for your Tuesday enjoyment, check out this lovely TED Talk video, Apollo Robbins: The art of misdirection (then share it with your friends to blow their minds).
Hope you have a fantastic day and week. I’ll be back on Friday with more. Allons-y!
Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope your week has gone well and you are looking forward to a lovely weekend. With the weather turning chilly, it seems the perfect time to turn our talk to books to end this week. Because really, what is much better than curling up with a good book, a blanket and a cup of tea/hot chocolate/coffee/your favorite drink when it is chilly outside? Autumn is a fabulous time for this lovely pleasure and so let’s talk books and libraries, or rather let’s read about them.
If you haven’t yet read Neil Gaiman’s talk on libraries and reading and daydreaming yet, you really should. Also, if you haven’t heard of it, you really need to update your channels for libraryland news. It’s no secret I’m a fan of Neil Gaiman’s work and his speaking. I spent hours waiting to have him sign my books when he was in San Francisco promoting The Ocean at the End of the Lane (absolutely fantastic, by the way). I eagerly try to lend out my copies of his short stories and poems to friends that haven’t yet read his work and am always excited to see when he has a new blog post up.
One of the things, apart from his writing, that I most admire about Neil Gaiman is his vocal support for libraries and reading books. (Not surprising I know, but true). This latest talk is absolutely wonderful and I love thinking about books as being sharks, perfectly adapted so why bother evolving? (Especially makes me happy as I’m working with a biology course this quarter and they’re learning about natural selection pressures at the moment.) I think his talk is an eloquent argument for the value of physical libraries and physical books in a time when so many have been swept away by the “shiny” of technology and promise of everything being better online. But I think, when the digital bits settle down, we see again and again the ability of physical books to transport us and allow us space away from the multitasking atmosphere of being online to a place of reflection and wonder.
I love using technology as much as the next person and fully embrace its use in libraries, archives, and the classroom, but in ways that make sense and not as a panacea for all. I think Neil Gaiman reminds us of why humans and paper and daydreaming are as important as knowing the latest technology. Books give us the room to dream and imagine, which we can translate into new and creative tools and technologies. So nice to read about the love of books from one of our current rock star authors.
In other non-library news, I’m looking forward to trying this lovely recipe from Joy the Baker now that we have a waffle iron at home: mashed potato cheddar and chive waffles. Sounds absolutely perfect for the crisp fall weather we are getting.
Finally, if you are like me and are concerned with privacy or teach about privacy and using technology, you’ll probably appreciate this comic from xkcd. I can’t wait to use it with my students during the next quarter:
Have a fantastic weekend full of good reads, good eats, and good fun. I’ll be back next week with more. Allons-y!
Happy Tuesday, dear readers! Can you believe we are into another week already? The time really does fly, and I think it flies faster in autumn with the lead up to the holidays. So today I have a bit of fun for you, especially if you like printing presses and typography!
I love printing presses and all things letterpress. Therefore, it is no shock that I love this article and photos of the smallest printing company. Amazing.
Also, it is probably not surprising that I’m not a fan of Comic Sans. So I really enjoyed this list of 15 crazy fonts from Stephen’s Lighthouse that are even worse than Comic Sans. Enjoy the craziness!
I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day and week. I’ll be back on Friday with more. Allons-y!