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Tuesday Fun

February 25, 2014

Happy Tuesday, dear readers! I hope your week is going well. I can hardly believe we are coming to the end of the term in a few weeks on my campus and that we are almost to the end of February already! Time is truly flying. But let’s take a break from time flying away from us to enjoy some fun.

First, I love this how-to on folding a towel bunny. They are so cute and perfect for spring decorating.

Then check out this amazing house renovated for cats. It is incredibly and I’d love to see a video of the cats running all over the ramps and ledges. Somehow I don’t think I’ll be renovating my apartment to look like that, though, any time soon.

Finally, in case you needed a reminder to not check work email before bed, head over to this Lifehacker article. Then, get some sleep.

I’ll be back soon with more news, notes, and thoughts. Allons-y!

Tuesday Fun

February 11, 2014

Happy Tuesday, dear readers! I hope that your week is going well. Today I have just a couple of fun things to share so you can take a break in your busy day. So let’s get to it.

First, as always, I have to share the lovely This week in fonts. Just makes you want to go out and design something, doesn’t it?

And this amazing post from Gizmodo on old selfies that make Instagram look like a joke. I love photography and old photos, so this post was a wonderful thing to see. Everything old is new again.

Finally, I leave you with this new Simon’s Cat video to share with someone on Valentine’s Day. It is just perfect.

Have a wonderful day and I’ll be back on Friday with more news and notes. Allons-y!

Staying Current

February 7, 2014

Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope that you’ve had a lovely week. My week has been productive, but very busy. So when I was thinking of what to write about for this post, I thought a lot about what I do to stay current with trends, technology, and news in librarianship. I think it can be very easy to get overwhelmed with all the avenues of information in the world and it is definitely easy to feel information overloaded, too. So today, I thought I’d share some of my favorite blogs and websites that I use to keep updated on things. This list is by no means comprehensive and I’d love to hear about your favorite sites in the comments. So let’s get to it.

For tech news and tips, my favorite source is (no surprise) Lifehacker. The writers post timely articles and good snippets of advice for technology and productivity. While I don’t always agree with everything posted, it is a great one-stop-shopping for tech news.

I’m also a fan of Gizmodo, but less for tech news and more for the crazy stories about technology and other random pop culture things. Definitely a must for skimming through at the end of the day for me.

Also, I adore danah boyd’s work and blog: danah boyd ǀ apophenia. Lots of interesting writing and great research. I’m looking forward to reading her new book, It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens.

In library-focused blogs, I really enjoy INFOdocket for keeping up with what’s happening all over the world in libraries. I’m also a fan of Stephen Abram’s Stephen’s Lighthouse, mainly for the interesting infographics and graphics he shares. And it is always good to remember that really important news items and trends are blogged about by multiple blogs so you are sure to catch a piece of noteworthy news somewhere. (I remind myself of that so I don’t try to keep up with 500 blogs!)

I really do love typography, so naturally the I Love Typography blog is a favorite of mine.

For lovely, clever comics that come in handy for information literacy classes, my favorite is definitely xkcd. Always awesome when there is a new biology one I can use.

And because I love his work and his blog is a bunch of fun to, I highly recommend Neil Gaiman’s Journal.

A newer favorite thing is definitely Welcome to Night Vale. We enjoyed listening to the podcast driving down to see family this holiday season and always look forward to a new episode. I’d recommend giving it a chance, especially the summer reading program.

Finally, I love to bake and therefore love Joy the Baker’s blog. Tons of wonderful recipes to bake and to share. Our student assistants at the library are particularly fond of the chocolate bundt cake.

I leave you with 28 beautiful quotes about libraries from Stephen’s Lighthouse. Absolutely lovely.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend full of whatever you want it to be. I’ll be back next week. Allons-y!

Tuesday Fun

February 4, 2014

Hello, dear readers! I hope that your week is going well. I just wanted to share a couple of videos to give you a work break for the day. So let’s get to it.

I can’t resist a cat video, so here is one to watch to see a cat do some awesome skateboard tricks.

Also, I’m a sucker for videos that compare current and historic urban landscapes, so I had to share this video of what London looked like in 1927 and 2013. It is really quite lovely.

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

Maps and Tea for Friday

January 31, 2014

Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope that your week is going well and you have a lovely weekend planned. I apologize for not posting anything on Tuesday; I’ve had a cold all week and have been slower than usual in my work. So today, we have a mix of fun in the forms of maps and tea, with a useful bit of news thrown in. So let’s get to it.

I really love traveling, not flying, but traveling and so I quite liked looking at these 20 awesome stickers from when your suitcase told stories. Makes me want to start planning a trip already.

And although this map won’t help me with planning a trip abroad, it is still a wonderfully detailed map of the internet. It reminds me a bit of the maps created by xckd and are just lovely, too.

Speaking of maps, I am rather partial to this map of world’s biggest tea drinkers. We in the United States need to do better with our tea consumption. I always enjoy traveling in countries that drink a lot of tea as it is always easy to get a good cup of tea. And also, in tea news, I just wanted to share the link to the online home of one of my favorite tea shops, Tealuxe. Massive thanks to my friends still in Boston who keep me stocked with my favorite teas!

And, finally, because we should have a bit of useful tech news, the classic Bic pen now works on your smartphone. I think this is just a lovely combination of the physical and digital worlds, even if it is a bit pricey. Very nifty.

So I’m going to go now and hope that my voice doesn’t give out while teaching and then go drink lots of tea with honey this weekend. I wish you all the best, dear readers, and will be back next week. Allons-y!

Good Customer Service

January 24, 2014

Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope you’ve had a lovely week and are looking forward to a relaxing weekend. Today I just want to talk a bit about customer service and then leave you with the wonderful Idea Channel Video from this week. So let’s get to it.

I was thinking about customer service as I was sitting in a bank earlier this week. My husband and I needed to speak to someone about our accounts, so I dutifully made an appointment online for after work thinking this would make it a short, easy trip. Unfortunately, when we got to the bank, we saw a goodly number of people waiting for appointments and a sign-in sheet. So we signed in and noted we had an appointment where asked on the sheet and took a seat. About twenty minutes after our appointment time and after about a handful of people went before us, I was able to get the attention of one of the bank employees and ask about when we would be seen because we had an appointment, had signed in, and noted our appointment time as asked on the sheet. He looked at my appointment form that I had printed out, at the sign in sheet, and said we were next so it would be whenever they got to us and that next time we should say we have an appointment to be moved up. Then he walked away. He wasn’t unpleasant or rude, but it was an unsatisfying customer service interaction. Happily when we were seen by another employee, she was very helpful and nice and apologized for us not being seen sooner when she saw the alert on my account that I had an appointment. Apparently their systems don’t line up so she and the other employee helping people with their accounts never see the appointment alerts until they actually sit down with a customer, which is less than ideal.

All this gets me to the point that customer service and clear signage and directions are really important. We really appreciated the employee who helped us with our accounts, but the first instance of interaction left me a bit annoyed and thinking how much more impressed I would have been had the employee acknowledged we had an appointment and then helped us himself as there were open workstations at that time. In 10 minutes he would have taken care of our accounts, we would have left on time and with a very positive customer service interaction that would likely have us recommend them to other people.

It all ended on a very positive interaction, so all is well that ends well, but it got me to thinking about libraries and how much I appreciate that in my library we always try to help people. I often stop as I’m walking around the library to help any students that look lost or if I see that there is a line at the reference desk. I love that people who work in libraries seem programmed to always help and make sure that our patrons get what they need when they need it and we don’t make them wait. I love that we try to make directions and signage as clear as possible and work to decrease the number of hoops and red tape it takes for people to get access to information and sources that they need. To me that is not just good customer service, but what we should be doing. And caring about the people that we help is what makes libraries such wonderful places to work at and be in. And that’s what I’ll be remembering when I’m on the reference desk in the coming weeks, that everyone wants a great customer service interaction and that means being present, being mindful, and being willing to help out, even if your shift is over.

Finally, I want to leave you with this great Idea Channel video, The Experience of Being Trolled. I think I’m going to use this in my information literacy class as it may create an interesting discussion about privilege and experience:

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

Tuesday Fun

January 21, 2014

Hello, dear readers! I hope you are well and your week is going well. Today’s post is all about fun with fonts and typography. So let’s get into it!

As always I Love Typography blog has a great this week in fonts post.

If that inspires you, check out this tutorial on transferring type and logos to a chalkboard. Now I want a chalkboard in my home to try this on.

If you like making jewelry, this is a lovely tutorial on making a paper ring. I’m not sure if I could actually cut up a book to do this, but I still like how it turns out.

And, finally, check out this adorable printable paper desk calendar that’s a miniature typewriter. Amazing.

I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week, dear readers. I’ll be back on Friday. Allons-y!

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