31 January 2009

Road Map:: Animoto Jumpies, Part Deux

SAPL branches galore!
Or, as many as would fit within 30 seconds.

Road Map:: Animoto Jumpies, Part Un

Thanks to groserita for reminding me about the existence of Animoto.

And here is something I've been wanting to do for a long, long time. These jumpies are from Colorado, New Mexico, New York, Texas...

30 January 2009

YA Author:: Interview with James Kennedy

During the ALAN '07 conference, John Green called his spiel "OMFG. Can we please give teens some credit? OMFG!"

During a presentation by M.T. Anderson (which you can listen to for free if you subscribe to the Seattle Public Library Teens Podcast), Tobin insisted that he felt he didn't have to dumb down his Octavian Nothing novels for a youthful audience. After all, teens can read inquisitively and intelligently too.

For further proof of the sheer brilliance of teens, watch the Evanston Public Library Teen Advisory Board interview award-winning YA author James Kennedy, soulful creator of the fantastic novel The Order of the Odd-Fish.

I mean, wouldn't you agree that these teens ask pretty damn good questions? Well done, seriously, guys.

For more Odd-Fish fun, try looking through these reviews: O D D

Road Map:: New Orleans

This is the way many of us want to remember New Orleans:

The light shining just right. Bourbon Street being called "Rue Bourbon." Iconic buildings.

My husband and I were so looking forward to our trip there to, you know, do our thing. Take pictures. Explore. Eat lots! We wanted to inhale Creole and Cajun and everything we had yet to discover. Alas, that was not our experience.

The food was expensive and not all that exciting. The service was, well, just okay. A man with an eye twitch asked me where I was from, and I rarely answer this type of question honestly, but I did tell him I'm from San Antonio. What ensued was an uncomfortable silence and my secret wish to be a better liar. I should have used Poteet, Laredo, Waco, anywhere! Just not the city that shamefully tried to steal their football team as they struggled to keep their community together.

And keeping it together is exactly what they're working so hard to do. How can I really complain about my "diminished New Orleans experience" after what the community has endured?

All I really could do was take my library jumpies and be on my way. The thing is, though, that I know I simply must go back in the future. The community needs the support and I do appreciate how the library realm is doing its part, in a way. The 2011 Annual ALA conference will be in New Orleans, and I do believe ALA was the first conference to go there after Katrina back in '06.

We traveled long and hard on the day we went to New Orleans, so I could not fully appreciate their library by going in. Still, here's the finished product.

a) New Orleans Public Library
New Orleans, LA (06.05.08)

Road Map:: Alabama and Mississippi

a) Ben May Main Library
Mobile, AL (06.05.08)
b) Biloxi Public Library
Biloxi, MS (06.05.08)

Our rather credible source told us that the library in Biloxi was here, but when we arrived, it was obvious that it was no longer there. A passerby informed us that there was a library trailer nearby, but seeing as how I suck at directions, we simply took this pic in front of the old building. This was my attempt at doing a trapezoid mouth, so common in manga, to vent my frustration. After what the area went through during the Katrina disaster, though, I wonder if this picture is a bit... inappropriate. Still, I'd rather document and not censor our experiences during our adventurous library travels.

29 January 2009

Road Map:: Florida

[As some of you know, I go to libraries around the world and take a picture in front of them in mid-air. This seems a bit too whimsical in light of the possibility that Florida libraries may no longer get state funding. I want to remind people, though, how essential libraries are to our communities! --vg 05.02.09]

a) Volusia County Library Center
Daytona Beach, FL (06.01.08)

b) Robert Morgade Library
Stuart, FL (06.01.08)

c) Pensacola Public Library
Pensacola, FL (06.05.08)

YA Lit:: 999 Reading Challenge Part Deux

Thanks to my GoodReads account, I'm able to verify that I'm already ahead on some of these.
  • 9 teen books with multicultural characters
  • 9 teen award-winners
  • 9 graphic novels (non-manga)
    ~The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci
    ~Janes in Love by Cecil Castellucci
  • 9 blogs
  • 9 webcomics
  • 9 Overdrive audiobooks
    ~Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
    ~Something Rotten by Alan M. Gratz
  • 9 picture books
    ~Dad Runs Away with the Circus by Etgar Keret
  • 9 non-fiction books
  • 9 titles I never thought I'd read
    ~The Coffee Trader by David Liss
    (I mean, it's a historical financial mystery. Not my average fare, fo' sho'.)

YA Lit:: 999 Reading Challenge

I love making lists. Filling them out and-- *drool*-- crossing them out. I'm all about a sense of accomplishment.

For those of you who also crave a little structure you may think about taking up the 999 Reading Challenge. No, you don't need to read 999 books. You are, however, encouraged to read 9 books in 9 categories in '09. You know, if a similar challenged had been cooked up back '01, I would sooo have been there.

So here are the categories I'll be sure to revisit later in the year:

9 teen books with multicultural characters
9 teen award-winners
9 graphic novels
9 blogs
9 webcomics
9 Overdrive audiobooks
9 picture books
9 non-fiction books
9 titles I never thought I'd read

What might yours be?

28 January 2009

SAPL 23 Things: Cosa Numero 23

Yay! Now I can go back to blogging about the things I normally discuss: library jumpies, personal experiences, and the like.

You know, I'm glad I've been doing these 23 Things because:
a) it got me blogging again on a regular basis
b) I now have more experience with certain things I'd ignored like Rollyo and Google Reader

I have to say I wasn't originally so interested in doing this program because I technically already knew a lot of this. However, the prizes were definitely a nice incentive and I did surprise myself by finding new websites-- ie, obsessions to explore ad nauseum. Yes, if there were another program like this, chances are good that I'd do it again.

My favorite activity, by far, was the image generator. To commemorate this awesome Cosa Numero 5, here's my very own LOLcat image.

SAPL 23 Things: Cosa Numero 22

An exercise in hatred and love.

I pretty much despise NetLibrary. I think it's a fantastic resource but one I would not use personally. I'm just not an e-books gal. The techie revolution is not a bad thing in my mind. I love printing out online articles so I don't have to mess with a copy machine. I love listening to audio books that I can easily download. I will *not* read a book online. I would read it too fast and not really absorb as much as I would on the printed page. So yeah. Maybe I could deal with DailyLit but no NetLibrary for me.

Overdrive, however, is a blessing. Yes, it's clunky, and yes, the titles aren't always the best, but I *luv* listening to books while cooking/cleaning/driving. When sick, I just download one of those babies and press play. Oh, it's glorious.

I continue to be an Overdrive fan. In fact, it's my goal to listen to at least 9 titles this year, as part of a self-imposed 9 books in 9 categories in 2009 scheme, thanks to the folks over in Children's. Upon checking my trusty GoodReads account, I can see that I've already done 2 this year: The Dairy Queen, which is fabulous, and Something Rotten, which is based on Hamlet, so it's also pretty good.

SAPL 23 Things: Cosa Numero 21

We've gotten to the techie part that's currently running my life. Podcasts. Specifically, Stuff You Should Know and Stuff You Missed in History Class, which you can get from the How Stuff Works website, under the podcasts tab. I've just been getting them off iTunes for the past couple of weeks, but I suppose it's easier to do it through Google Reader.

My absolute fervor over podcasts is unequalled, except maybe for when I discovered Facebook. Maybe. It's relatively easy to log on to Facebook. Getting a podcast to my phone or wimpy mp3 player is slower, like a religious tradition. In knowledge we trust.

When did I get this nerdy? And wait, there's an Ask a Ninja podcast?! YEAAAAHHH~!

27 January 2009

SAPL 23 Things: Cosa Numero 20

Throughout my intimate history with YouTube, I don't think I've found a more rad video than this one.

Kudos to Sister Salad, who I now feel I know personally.

I chose this video because it's an entertaining and hilarious take on English grammar and how it's being butchered by the so-called YouTube generation. You know what I love best about this video? It's done by a couple of beautiful and talented young women.

SAPL 23 Things: Cosa Numero 19

Wow. So apparently everyone can be Rachael Ray.

I'm Cooked is the first place winner by Web 2.0 Award in the food category. You can share recipes and even videos of you cooking up a storm. Of note are the videos by "muscle meals." He is prolific and, man, does he love to be seen wearing a muscle shirt. I suppose it's his shtick. He has a recipe for goat cheese po... I'm salivating so much I can't even type it. Goat. Cheese. Polenta. *drool*

A while back, one of our librarians at our department hosted vegetarian cooking classes for our teens. I can see how she could have filmed herself and participants could have gone over her "performance" on a computer if she had an account with I'm Cooked.

I love that it's like Goodreads but with recipes. There is something powerful about a site that allows you to amass your own posse.

SAPL 23 Things: Cosa Numero 18

I've been using Google Docs-- especially the document and spreadsheet features-- for almost a couple of years now. I'm currently sharing some of my files, but I'd rather not publish them. They're personal and top secret. Mua ha ha.

I have used Google Docs both at home and work. In fact, the friend who married my husband and me sent his rough draft of his speech to us through Google Docs so we could review it. Ah, good memories.

I did run into a problem with Google Docs, though. You can share your document with specific people, but you can upload a document to share it with the general public unless they have a Google Docs log in. This kind of made matters a bit difficult for us, but Zoho Viewer was much easier to share in that respect.

SAPL 23 Things: Cosa Numero 17

Well, this was kind of exciting.

I was able to create a list of my favorite restaurants in SA on this wiki. You'll be able to tell which is mine:

Favorite Restaurants:: San Antonio, TX
Guillermo's Deli
El Milagrito
Niki's Tokyo Inn

I think I captured a pretty good blend there: glorious sandwiches, Mexican, Mediterranean, Japanese... Man, now I'm starving.

Bad, bad idea.

SAPL 23 Things: Cosa Numero 16

Ah, wikis. They make me think of Chewbacca the Wookie.

The Book Lovers Wiki by the Princeton Public Library is one that I find could be very interesting and useful, although on a personal level, I would love to see some teen reads. Go Librarian Chick wiki! Thanks for giving some love to young adult literature.

I've found wikis about library conferences uber useful. I was able to find a roommate that way, so rock on. What a way to take the edge out of planning for a conference trip. :D

25 January 2009

SAPL 23 Things: Cosa Numero 15

I've recently heard someone describe a co-worker as being "very 2.0." Fascinating. It's amazing how technology affects day-to-day terminology.

I'm all for Library 2.0, especially when Michael Stevens refers to the library as human. Absolutely! As Jennifer Velasquez frequently says about teen services: "We're not in the book business. We're in the relationship business." Brilliant!

I'm still a relatively new librarian so there is much that I'm willing to learn and explore. Bring it on.

SAPL 23 Things: Cosa Numero 14

Let me just say that I hate the way the Technorati website looks, but I do think it's an amazing website.

So part of the exercise is to do the following: "Explore popular blog, searches and tags. Is anything interesting or surprising in your results?"

Yes. I'm always amazed at the top searches. Like when you keep seeing Britney on Yahoo's top searches when she hasn't done anything interesting for months. (And I realize that the term "interesting" is subjective when it applies to her.) Although check this out. Technorati Top Search #4: Jennifer Garner. Really? I mean, I know she just had a baby and she is pretty awesome. But #4? Really? I'm surprised that Vanessa Minnillo is on the list but Stephenie Meyer is not. Am I missing something?

On a positive note, I commend Technorati for having decent, legible Captcha words during the registation process. MySpace insists on having users fill out Captcha fields when they're not real words and the letters run together.

Okay, rant over. That is all.

SAPL 23 Things: Cosa Numero 13

I can see why social bookmarking is hot. I really do. I just haven't caught on to it. A year or two ago, a friend sent me an invitation to use StumbleUpon. A few months ago, another friend sent a pretty wonderful bundle of links. Eh. To this day, I haven't done anything with Delicious or StumbleUpon. It's useful. It's informative. It's easy to use. I still ignore it.

However, poking around websites led me this fabulous Nancy Pearl Flickr album. I feel like a bit of a tool for becoming her latest fangirl but I simply bask in her glorious author podcasts. And hey, she got an action figure made by simply being awesome and not kicking ass in the literal sense. Go Nancy!

I have to say, though, I love that first video on the 23 Things site explaining social bookmarking. It does a beautiful job of making the whole aspect of tagging not confusing.

SAPL 23 Things: Cosa Numero 12

My Rollyo, which I'm experiencing for the first time, has been one of the more difficult projects because I would have loved to do a manga one, but that was already one of the examples. I want to be different! So I chose to do one on hot teen reads. You may think that this was easy for me since all I do is breathe teen vibes all day long but it took me awhile to really get the creative juices flowing.

That may be 'cos my kitten wants lots of love right now, though.

SAPL 23 Things: Cosa Numero 11

This entry is dedicated to Goodreads, the online catalog I've been a fan of for the past year. I have a LibraryThing account-- in fact, I've had it for several years-- but I love how accessible and friend-friendly Goodreads is. I love to see what other people are reading, how often, and all that. I love lists so knowing that others can see what I read definitely kicks my reading booty in high gear.

You'll be able to see my book montage to the left here. What are you reading?

SAPL 23 Things: Cosa Numero 10

Okay, this has been my favorite activity so far. My best gal is in Pittsburgh and I miss her terribly, so I felt the need to give her this gift. She's gonna love it!

Click here if you want to use this image generator. It's made of awesome.

24 January 2009

SAPL 23 Things: Cosa Numero 9

Okay, now we're really getting rolling. Yeah!

So in terms of RSS feeds a la 23 Things, I can honestly say that I'm having a grand time with Wowbrary's presence on both my iGoogle homepage and my new Google Reader account. I've been a huge fan of Wowbrary ever since a colleague shoved it down my throat, and that's because it's AMAZING! Well, now I can view each entry, item by luscious item, through my Reader. If I had doubts about using Google Reader before, they're gone now, because I really am obsessed with Wowbrary. And really, could they have found a more lame name than "Wowbrary"?

But I digress.

I'm not entirely convinced that DailyLit is for me. I've long realized that I read books but I skim websites. Something about the screen's brightness... or maybe knowing that I have so much information in front of me... It's just too much. So I have signed up for DailyLit because I might enjoy Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (in 37 installments) or some of Rudyard Kipling's stories, like How the Leopard Got His Spots. I have a special place in my heart for Rudyard Kipling since my mother was such a fan.

SAPL 23 Things: Cosa Numero 8

Yay! As fun as the other projects have been, this is the first one where I feel like I'm learning something new. I'd heard of Google Reader but I hadn't really experienced it like this before. Thanks, 23 Things!

So I now have a Google Reader account and my eyes can rest easy. It's easy to read. Although, like my Twitter account, this will take some getting used to. Not in the sense that it's hard to maneuver-- as I find most Google stuff pretty self-explanatory-- but it's not currently in my repertoire. Maybe I can make it my homepage on Firefox for a few days so it just becomes second nature. Although, I'm going to need a lot of time to actually go through the content.

That, my friends, is something that no amount of technology can help me with. I can usually find stuff to fill my day pretty quickly. :D

SAPL 23 Things: Cosa Numero 7

Ah, technology. When I was 12, I was the family expert on recording TV and movies onto VHS. I'd bring my small stereo close to the TV speaker and record my favorite Disney songs onto a cassette tape, which I'd then slaughter by playing too often.

Now, I can listen to the "Stuff You Missed in History Class" podcast on my Bluetooth headphones and cell while I cook. I can watch a DVD on my laptop as I go to sleep. I can check my email on my phone, even if I'm driving through desolate New Mexico. Life is beautiful.

It seems like every year brings something new, you know? I've only had email for 10 years now but I can't imagine life without it. I've only had a CD burner for 5 but it's been wicked. I've only had a portable mp3 player for 1 but it keeps me happy on the bus without too much fuss.

And this is where you might go, "You've only had a portable mp3 player for one year?" Well, yeah. I couldn't afford one. I felt really out of the loop for years because it was the type of technology everyone wanted, and usually had, but I didn't. I remember what elementary school was like when everyone had L.A. Gear tennis shoes but my parents couldn't buy me any.

So while technology connects, it also divides.

SAPL 23 Things: Cosa Numero 6

As much as I loved Flickr's Montager, I truly got a kick out of the "librarian trading card." Isn't mine adorable?

The picture was taken in February of 2008 in front of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Main. We sure don't get that much snow here in SA! :D

23 January 2009

SAPL 23 Things: Cosa Numero 5

I've had a Flickr account for quite some time but I'm not a fan of having to pay once you reach the 200 photo limit. I'm a bigger fan of Picasa nowadays...

However, in keeping with the 23 Things Project, here's a recent picture of my beloved Rumi. He keeps scratching and biting, but with that face, it's hard not to forgive.

SAPL 23 Things: Cosa Numero 4

I have to say, especially at the tail end of a year, it's so easy to want to evaluate little things. How much did I exercise? How many classes should I have taken? How many books did I read?

An entry from the library blog Off the Mark makes me want to take a look at all the books I read last year, and Goodreads helps tremendously. If my math is correct, I read a total of 86 books in '08, which amounts to a little over 7 per month.

Still, the thing about evaluating a year's worth of reading, though, is that it makes you wish you'd tackled more.

22 January 2009

SAPL 23 Things: Cosa Numero 3

Cosa numero 3 is all about getting a blog, something that I believe I've already done a while back. I'd get a new one, but I really want to show off my jumpy pictures!

SAPL 23 Things: Cosa Numero 2

I realize that I have a little over a week to learn what the 23 Things should have taught me for the past 2 months, but I'm a late bloomer and I can make more time for this now. So here I am, a student of... good stuff, for lack of a better term at the mo.

As I get older I realize that I'm a bigger nerd than I could have imagined. I'm a lifelong learner, baby! So here are the 7.5 Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners.

1. Begin with the end in mind.
2. Accept responsibility in your own learning.
3. View problems as challenges.
4. Have confidence in yourself as a competent, effective learner.
5. Create your own learning toolbox.
6. Use technology to your advantage.
7. Teach and mentor others.
7.5. Play!

I have to admit, #3 may be the hardest for me. I feel like I'm not a sourpuss when it comes to problems but it would be pretty sweet to look a problem in the eye the way Clint Eastwood might. Ha ha.

As for what comes easiest, I'd say it's a tie between #5 and #6. I do seek out filler for my "toolbox" through research and trial and error. I do have a book, mp3 player, GPS, and mobile phone internet pretty much wherever I go. I also am having a blast with technology. I'm currently enamoured with downloaded audiobooks and library podcasts. I think I might have to be a Nancy Pearl fangirl!

19 January 2009

Road Map:: South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida

And so I'm back to post more luscious jumpies from the past summer.

a) Charleston County Public Library
Charleston, SC (05.30.08)

b) Carnegie Library
Savannah, GA (05.31.08)

You know? I don't remember which one this is but I can hopefully keep looking. Till then, check out this magnificent list of Carnegie Libraries in South Carolina.

c) Ormond Beach Regional Library
Ormond Beach, FL (05.31.08)

d) Holly Hill Public Library
Holly Hill, FL (05.31.08)

18 January 2009

Random:: That meme again ('cos it's so awesome)

* Get the book nearest to you. Right now.
* Go to page 56.
* Find the 5th sentence.
* Write this sentence as status.
* Copy these instructions as commentary of your sentence.
* Don't look for your favourite book or your coolest but really the nearest.

"Negi can't answer you right away so please don't ask her difficult questions."
--Love Roma, vol. 5

Road Map:: South Carolina

I had the second best BBQ in SC, at a place called Palmetto's. Student discounts. Deliciousness. *drool*

a) Spartanburg County Public Library
Spartanburg, SC (05.30.08)

Correct me if I'm wrong but I do believe this is the Headquarters.

b) Richland County Public Library
Columbia, SC (05.30.08)

c) Holly Hill Library
Holly Hill, SC (05.30.08)

Road Map:: North Carolina

In some ways, this was the promised land. I mean, Tori is originally from here. ("Do you know Carolina / where the biscuits are soft and sweet?") Plus, two of my favorite cartoonists live there. :D And they were gracious enough to spend a bit of time with us.

a) Coffee with Hope Larson and Bryan Lee O'Malley
Asheville, NC (05.29.08)

b) Pack Memorial Library
Asheville, NC (05.30.08)

c) Henderson County Public Library
Hendersonville, NC (05.30.08)

d) Soft and sweet biscuits at The Moose Cafe
Asheville, NC (05.30.08)

Road Map:: Back to Maryland and Tennessee

These pictures are from my move from up there (the northeast) to down here.

a) Elkton Central Library
Elkton, MD (05.27.08)

b) Enoch Pratt Free Library
Baltimore, MD (05.27.08)

c) Johnson City Public Library
Johnson City, TN (05.29.08)

Road Map:: DC, MD, DE

As in, District of Columbia. Maryland. Delaware. Aw yeah.

a) Ah... The Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress... Hott!
Washington, DC (05.06.08)

b) Washington County Free Library
Hagerstown, MD (05.06.08)

c) Wilmington Public Library
Wilmington, DE (05.27.08)

d) New Castle County Library
New Castle, DE (05.27.08)

Road Map:: Pittsburgh, DC, and more DC

Playing catch-up, indeed.

I usually have some kind of brief commentary with my jumpies, but I really am trying to catch up, so... Here we go.

Notice the length of my hair from Avalon to Cleveland Park.

a) Avalon Public Library
Pittsburgh, PA (05.01.08)

b) Cleveland Park Neighborhood Library
Washington, DC (05.05.08)

c) Carnegie Library/Historical Society of Washington DC
Washington, DC (05.06.08)

d) Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library
Washington, DC (05.06.08)