Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Back to web site grindstone

The mark of a successful Halloween is getting through the day without anyone mentioning your costume, especially if you are not wearing one. Well, that and getting some good candy. I have to report for the first time since I started working in an academic library students wore costumes to class. Not a lot of them, but I did see Cruella De Ville with an exceptional wig and a lovely princess complete with crown. If it hadn't rained again today, I may have seen more.

Today being a frightful day, it was time to get down to the nuts and bolts of the web site redesign. Most of the design decisions have been made regarding the new pages. Now I must go back through the existing site and look at current pages, pdf handouts, and images to determine what stays and what goes. I have been dreading this endeavor. Why? When I first got adobe acrobat professional I was enamored with creating PDF items. As a result, the number of handouts bordered on astronomical last year. I have weeded the handout collection furiously in the last six months, but the list was destined to be lengthy.

I ventured into the web folder (the irc folder is one part of the entire library web site) and set the page view to "by type" to get everything in it's proper place. Then, I started my list and indeed checked it twice. By lunchtime, with a break for crawling on the counters to update the book review bulletin board, I had a completed list. Here goes:

  • html page total = 129
  • image total, jpegs & gifs = 201
  • remaining pdf handouts = 100

Naturally, I created a spreadsheet with three worksheets, one for each item type, and determined to list the names, page where the item lives (except of course for the html pages themselves), a description, and quick verification of if it stays or goes. Most of my afternoon was spent describing those 200 images, the bulk of which were mock Caldecott session shots. In some cases it was simple to determine what pictures should go, others will be a bit of a chore. I still have to match the pictures to the web pages and make sure planned updates work with what photos are getting the boot; that's what is on tap for tomorrow. It will probably take into next week to identify all of the other key elements. After that, I will be looking at the university web statistics. I plan to balance what I think should go with what the statistics support.

The IRC web site is well used, both on and off campus. The stats will let me know not only how the pages fair against the rest of the library web site, where many of the pages are consistently in the top ten, but also how they stack against each other. I already know I will not be getting rid of the children's author and information web pages. That alone narrows down the 129 html offerings by half. It is certainly easier to create the web site than it is to redesign an existing one.

It's time to go watch Emmit Smith dance and maybe vote for my favorites. Change that to definitely vote, the judges are annoying this evening!

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Watching the clock

Looking at the magic of three. In retail, we displayed things in groups of three to give the eye something to look at, an interesting balance of sorts. It's still something I do, sometimes without thinking, when creating library displays, web pages, and even groups of photos at home. Today was a three day, only I noticed it in regard to time. Specifically the change to daylight savings. I won't whine about getting an extra hour sleep or being able to drive to work in the daylight. I will say I feel like a baby who has had her sleep pattern disrupted because it's only 9:30 pm or so and I am soooooo sleepy.

I am still updating various clocks at home to reflect daylight savings. Thank heavens the computer and my alarm clock update on their own so I at least have two places with the right time. I cannot seem to find the directions for changing the time on the CD player so the car has been an hour ahead all summer. It does not really matter since I use it to play music, not to know what time it is, but I have to admit it was sometimes disconcerting to get in the car if I was running late and not be sure ... now it has the right time. If only I had set my watch.

After publishing the previous post I viewed it to see how things looked, it's a sickness, right up there with the statistics obsession, and noticed the time stamp on the post, 2:54 pm. Interesting, I never noticed before by Blogger does not date stamp the time a post is published, but the time it was created. I wrote/compiled/created that post at home this evening, but added the photos from work and saved it as a draft because the Internet connection is vastly superior to what I'm using now (shocking). I don't know that it really matters, however it is interesting.

Mid-way through lunch today, about 1:45 pm, it dawned on me I had a meeting scheduled at the College of Ed building at 2:00 pm. I rushed my last bite of Fritos, filled my drink (needed the cola fix) and rushed back to the library to get my stuff, only to find my calendar said the meeting was at 4 pm and not 2 pm. I was so sure. Enough so that I call the queen of all important matters, the administrative assistant, to verify times before I went running over for a nonexistent meeting. Praise be the meeting was at four and I found remembered the two o'clock meeting time is for the 13th, a different committee at the College of Ed.

Time is on my side and I'm beat. I may just turn in early in an attempt to get things back into rhythm for tomorrow.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves - and - Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Another day, another two books reviewed on the children's blog at work. I've been whittling down my shelf of books to read and/or review before spending a lot of time on the web page redo. Between time sheets, updates, hours updates, and meetings, pretty much all I did accomplish today were the book reviews and a quick addition to my personal library page. The two today not only interesting, but just plain fun. The first, Eats, Shoots & Leaves may have somewhat limited use, but it is so cleverly done the book itself is amusing and worth reading regardless of the language arts lesson applied. Additionally, I am a bit of a comma queen (in case no one has noticed) and it would behoove me to take a few of these lessons to heart!

“Commas can create havoc when they are left out or are put in the wrong spot, and the results of misuse can be hilarious.” This smart picture book takes a unique look at commas and the important function they provide in English language sentence structure. Each set of pages displays the same sentence with and without commas, or with commas placed in strategically different positions. Cartoon illustrations accompany the text, providing witty representations of both sentences and aptly displaying the different meanings resulting from comma placement. In one set of pages sure to get a laugh, you see people outside of a gas station filling up their cars, “Eat here, and get gas.” The corresponding page depicts a restaurant serving beans, “Eat here and get gas.” Truss provides an introduction to the text, as well as explanations at the end regarding all the sentence structures used.

The second book today, Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road, is just brilliant. Each of the fourteen artists have answered the question in their own way. I spent several days pouring over the different pages and still haven't found my favorite. Since I'm a David Catrow fan, obviously his is at the top of the list. However, the lush beauty of Mary Grandpre's chicken crossing the road and the sweet picnic from Jerry Pinkney, just add to the well rounded collection. Each illustrator has a style of their own and that, combined with their wit, makes this a great book for anyone who loves children's literature to read and enjoy.

Fourteen children’s book artists answer the age old question, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” and embellish greatly concerning what is on the other side. Each artist has a double page spread, illustrating his or her artistic interpretation on the query with spectacular results. Though not a wordless picture book, text is sparse and well placed. From John Agee’s chicken and possum to Chris Sheban’s baseball game gone awry, from the chicken eating in David Catrow’s “Diner Across the Road” to Christopher Raschka’s chicken questioning the sphinx, each illustration is unique to the artist, rich, colorful, and humorous. The book ends with a “Scoop from the Coop” where a question of a different kind is asked of each artist: “Why did the artist cross the road?” Students would enjoy using their own artistic talents to answer the same question.

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

2 + "I'm not Bobby"

Last weekend I was shopping at the outlets and went into the Book Warehouse. Much to my dismay, they were having a "store-going-out-of-business sale." I purchased many children's book there for my niece, including the three pictured on this post. The first Jules Feiffer book I bought was I Lost my Bear. I was working at the public library as a children's librarian and did many story times at two library branches. You can always tell when a book has been enjoyed at storytime when the children want to know if they can take the book you just finished reading home. After a while, the Monday storytimers knew to come in
after Friday storytime if they wanted a particular title. Since any book being used for storytime was checked out to me, it was also possible to request the title from another library and they would probably have it before the end of the week. I Lost my Bear was one of those books. It rang true to any child with siblings, or had lost a favorite toy. The illustrations, especially when the young girl found her bear, glowed with emotion. Despite Feiffer's propensity to use the phrase "I'll kill you" in his children's books, something that bothered me more than the kids, this remains a favorite of mine as well. I have my own copy, bought one for my niece, and got one for the library here when I started working.

When Bark, George was published, I bought it for the library and again, my niece. I think it is clever and sweet without being cloying. The illustrations in this offering are large, colorful, and uncomplicated. It's a great read-aloud title because children can tell what's coming next and want you to keep turning the pages to see if they are correct. The ending is classic and I won't spoil it for anyone by giving it away here. I've never read this book that someone doesn't ask for a second read before leaving the group.

Last weekend I found I'm not Bobby at the Book Warehouse. Perusing the shelves for a quick purchase, the Jules Feiffer name in print jumped off the book spine. Bobby, and a recent (to me at least) Herman Wouk title A Hole in Texas, were my purchases for the day. Bobby is hungry, cranky, and ignoring his mother's increasingly insistent calls to come home. Text and illustrations detail Bobby and his imagination. As he moves from lion, to airplane, to monster, and back, he becomes the things he imagines. One of the best sequences in the book is Bobby in space. He takes off in a rocket and we see trepidation and courage. In space his expression is one of utter joy, "This is what I wanted my whole life!" Turn the page and Bobby is alone, hungry, decides, "Space is stupid," and is worried about getting home in time for dinner. Throughout the book, the mother's words are deftly juxtaposed in and around the illustrations and the size of the text shows her increasing annoyance with Bobby, "You're in big trouble now, young man!" We don't see what happens, but we learn you can go home again.

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Saturday, October 28, 2006


Changes? I mean the weather, not the song that is now stuck in my head (wow, it was David Bowie from the 70's! and I don't want to think about why I would remember that from my childhood). Today while I chased my trash can down the alley it was snowing. On the way to the post office is sleeted and hailed. While at the ATM, there was some lovely rain. And on my way back home after snagging some yummy chocolate treats I felt I deserved after paying and mailing bills, the sun was shining. Amidst all of this the wind was blowing enough that there are power outages reported and one of the newscasters said he saw people actually blown over by the gusts.

Today is one of those days I really don't have anything intelligent, witty, or even sarcastic (believe it or not) to contribute to the blogosphere, but I am valiantly trying to keep the promise I made to myself concerning writing at least a little bit every day. Doesn't it count if I posted coherently on another blog? I think so. Unfortunately, I have the attention span of a five-year-old waiting for recess and do not care.

For heavens sake, now all that pop's in my head is that cartoon based on a Maurice Sendak book with a little boy named Pierre who sang a little ditty called "I don't care." It had to have been an after school special thing. Whew, found it. Seems it was a soundtrack from a television special based on Sendak's work and called Really Rosie, one of the songs was "Pierre."

Huh, that will teach me to blog when I am somewhat incoherent and have nothing to say. Even better, blogger won't save or post this entry. My Internet connection has been spotty, to say the least, today with all the windy weather. Either that, or my computer is conspiring to keep me from publishing drivel. Thank heavens there is an extra hours sleep tonight with daylight savings.

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Around the House the Fox Chased the Mouse & Alphabet Explosion

A cheater post today, I spent some time doing book reviews for the blog at work, and am going to post them here as well; Around the House the Fox Chased the Mouse: A Prepositional Tale, and Alphabet Explosion: Search and Count from Alien to Zebra. Yesterday my web page work fitting a Library Thing book widget on the resource center web site. It works beautifully, I chose to have the most recent book viewed on the widget and now every time I update a new book in my newly created library, it automatically displays the new title first. I am once again infatuated with using Library Thing.

Around the House the Fox Chased the Mouse, written by Rick Walton and illustrated by Jim Bradshaw:A rousing chase between fox and mouse, enhanced by colorful, cartoon like illustrations, teaches students simple prepositions. Throughout the story each page portrays a preposition and accompanying illustration ingeniously support the phrase. Text is simple and effective with the preposition highlighted with a bold, colorful font. Students will enjoy the comical reactions of observing farm animals and the double page spread for the word “until” is priceless! A surprise twist at the end tops off this story and begs rereading. This book could be just for fun, but is a nice classroom introduction to prepositions for young children and a possible refresher for older students.

The illustrations quite simply make this book and the ending begs for a sequal to be written detailing more adventures of fox and mouse. The link to more information on Jim Bradshaw go to his blog. There are additional pictures from the book available there on his post My 2nd book is here.

Alphabet Explosion: Search and Count from Alien to Zebra, written and illustrated by John Nickle: Not just another alphabet book, this captivating title combines the alphabet with a visual treasure hunt. Each page features a single letter, a collection of things beginning with that letter, and a numerical clue. For example, “S” has 47 items pictured including a snake, snail, squirrel in a show on skis, and a sheep wearing socks. Acrylic and spray paint illustrations range from lush representations of animals to simple pen and ink drawings, all clean and crisp making the items easy to find. Instructions and tips are present at the beginning of the book and a book ending answer key provides relief with explanations of each page. This would be a great rainy day activity for the whole class; some of the more difficult pages may require a collaborative effort.

Now is the time to admit just how much time we spent this morning pouring over this book with paper and pencil trying to find all of the things. I was a bit stymied with the "Impala" for letter "I" and had a student say she thought "E" should have one more because the elephant appears to be "elevated." Brainstorming with another student we thought it would be a cool beginning of the day or after recess activity. Put the book on an elmo and let the whole class particpate. All in all, both of these books were a great edition to the juvenile collection.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

TV mini-rant

I finish my evening "chores," wash the gray out of my hair in record time (it's a stunning bronzed, or is it Brazilian, brown), and settle down to watch a fresh episode of Gray's Anatomy on ABC. The one they showed scenes from after last week's episode. WRONG! Sure there are two episodes running back to back this Thursday night. BOTH are repeats. I'm all for counter-programming the World Series, even more so if I cared who wins or planned to watch, but what purpose does scheduling repeats in October serve? ABC runs the show again on Friday night (what's up with that anyway), so anyone watching the game tonight could watch Gray's Anatomy tomorrow evening.

For heaven's sake, I'm stuck watching Deal or No Deal and last week some idiot woman passed up over $200,000.

OK, I'm done.

Short, sweet, and seriously annoyed.

Hey, another post with 150 words.

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Foil art in the library

A lot of interesting items get left in library. Besides the regular items of disks (not so much now with pen drives), pictures in the scanners, notebooks, projects, and the occasional pair of glasses, we often get the same things you find in a classroom when winter arrives, hats, gloves, scarves, umbrellas, and the like. Last week someone left a dirty bowl and a fork. I understand a bowl and spoon, but a fork? Anyway, this morning as I was powering up computers I noticed the lovely foil swan pictured to the left. I have to say this is the first time anyone has left us art. It made me chuckle and I left it out there for the next person to get a laugh.

It is Halloween treat bag morning. After filling twelve of the suckers, complete with Ellison letter pumpkin shaped name tags. I am a bit sugared up from sampling the goods and wondering if before nine is an appropriate time for Halloween candy. Usually I would say any time is a time for chocolate, but I can feel the buzz in my head and am grateful no one has any questions for me and my chocolate breath. Anyway, the treats are not only fun, but also a pick-me-up from surviving finals week. There are no breaks now until Thanksgiving and sugary treats are good for morale.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Slightly chagrined ... really

Today is day 14 of the IRC web site redesign. To date, I have made seven different logos, three different sets of buttons, and six different image maps for the main page. I have changed my mind about the color palette twice, modified the IRC blog colors to match, and nattered incessantly about the page to anyone brave enough to enter my domain while the effort is in process. I have even made sure to ask opinions of people who will not simply tell me what they think I want to hear, updated the boss regarding progress, and solicited opinions from a professional graphic artist and the university web master. Last, but not least, I have tested the sample pages in IE, Mozilla, Netscape and Safari (a friend's contribution), looked at the sample page and graphics on three different pc's and a mac (same friend), and checked four different monitor's to judge how all the elements appear on large and small displays.

All of this and I have two pages done.

I had a quick email response, actually two of them, from the university Webmaster this morning. Even out of town this week, she answered my inquiry regarding a check of the web page design. Her response was gracious and included the following request; just send me the link and I'll look at it this morning. Yes indeed, that made me look brilliant. I replied quickly, restated my thanks, and included the correct address. She mentioned a couple of things I originally considered changing, but did not. One was to remove a jpeg of some text on the page and use simply text. Even though the jpeg text box (for want of a better discription) was used to make all the text be the same, logo, image map, introductory welcome text, the paragraphs were not 509 compliant. I either needed to adjust the "alt img" tag to reflect the entire paragraph, or work out a way to use simple text in the table data field. I removed the picture and use simple text. The second recommendation was to adjust the links to move to another page and not open a new page. I had already made that change because when checking things at home last evening, I realized how much I hate pages that continually open new windows when I don't want one. It definitely makes navigation more difficult. She told me the page looked nice.

I can live with nice.

Tomorrow some more work on the Internet resources page and some tweaking to the secondary pages. With a little bit of luck, I'll be able to start the change over in early November. I will have to burn a copy of the existing page for my records, make any updates that would be pertinent through the end of the term, like hours update calendars, and start the building of the site. It means making a list of all existing pages, images and pdfs and determining what stays, what goes, and what needs redone beyond the update.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Image maps, my nemesis

Post sarcasm meter: High

I just looked back through the last few posts to verify I had not recently whined about my new Frankenstein monster, also known as the web site image map. While I have indeed "discussed" the logo creation at length (breaking news: it's been enlarged to 750 pixels wide and 100 pixels high) I have yet to blather - wait, I need a better word - I have yet to prattle on about the image map. Obviously I will be rectifying that now.

Yesterday I put the finishing touches on the image map for the main page. This map will only be displayed on the front page; the buttons (also revamped with third change in size) will serve as tools navigation within the site. I took at least three-dozen pictures inside and outside the resource center looking for the best shots to use. Problem is, the center is oddly shaped and finding good shots with ample lighting was challenging, to say the least. I finally narrowed the field to five and cropped, sized, and auto brightened each of them. Text was added to the pictures, a task easier said than done, and hot spots created on the image map and corresponding welcome text image. With the exception of the text on the photos it was ready for testing. I slapped it on my university web space and gleefully headed home.

Anxious to see how it appeared on my lovely monitor, and slightly apprehensive concerning load time of the images using dial up (yes, I said dial-up, I'm a creature of habit), I booted up my computer. Success! It loaded quickly and none of the hot spots on the map worked. Yes, yes, yes, bloody fabulous. I was instantly overjoyed, made note of changes to make, and emailed myself the options as work. It was very Scarlet O'Hara of me, but I kept thinking tomorrow is another day, plenty of time for another map.

This morning I was blissfully on my own for several hours, if you count a room full of students working on computers alone, and redid the image map and hot spots. I redid the table holding the images, inserted the images, and posted the page. It worked on my desk computer. I checked a gateway by the door. It worked on the Gateway. I checked the Dell on the other side of the room. I worked on the Dell. I asked a student, one of my regulars, if I could check the page on his computer so I could see that it worked with someone else's login. I worked on his computer. I restrained myself from shouting "success" at the top of my lungs; I do work in a library after all, and continued work on the links page while counting the hours until the ultimate test. Up next, testing my home computer.

About a half an hour ago I turned on my lovely six year old HP Pavilion, connected to the Internet at a whopping speed of 48,000 bps complete with 4.79 speed dial savings, and pulled up the page. Success! Woooo-hooooo! Tomorrow, I await email responses from the university web master and a friend who is a graphic designer. I have requested professional input before moving along.

As the song goes, sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug. Today was a good web day and I was the windshield. Maybe a bit dirty and smeared, but the windshield none the less.

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Notes from the Midnight Driver

I don't usually talk about the cover's on YA novels, not because they aren't worth mentioning, but because in my opinion the old adage of judging a book by it's cover is never more true than when looking at YA books. In the case of Notes from the Midnight Driver, by Jordan Sonnenblick, the cover art is exactly what the book needed. Pictured is a teenager, spotlighted in front of a police line-up, and placed next to a garden gnome. It has a graphic novel appeal, as do the different varieties of type setting within the book. It also captures the essence of the book.

One evening, Alex Peter Gregory, a sixteen year old high school junior living with his mother while his parent fight through a less than cordial divorce, puts in to motion what he feels is a brilliant plan. In his words:

"The plan had a certain elegant simplicity, too. I would drink one more pint of Dad's old vodka, grab Mom's spare car keys, jump into the Dodge, and fire that sucker up." (Notes, p. 3).
On the way to his father's house he wrecks the car in a neighbors yard, beheads a garden gnome, and is arrested for DUI. The end result is a night in the hospital with stitches and a concussion, teenage humiliation, and a judge who orders Alex to perform 100 hours of community service at a nursing home with a notoriously difficult patient Solomon Lewis. One of the most intriguing aspects of this book is the way Alex refuses to take responsibility for anything he has done. This alone could make him simply another teenager with angst who is forced to learn a lesson. However, author Sonneblick has a wonderfully realistic view of the teenage mind and instead crates a believable main character that matures significantly without loosing what makes him, well, Alex.

Not everyone in this book is perfect. Alex's parents are not infallible, he has friends who are normal, and the character of Solomon Lewis has to be read and enjoyed. He is every crusty character you have ever known and yet he too is kept from being a cardboard cut out of a nursing home resident. Sol has wit and his own cross to bear. Three differing points of view are represented throughout the book; Alex, Alex through the letters he writes to the judge, and the judge herself. Pay attention to the subtle foreshadowing so you don't miss critical elements in Sol's history. Don't forget to read the back flap of the book's dust jacket. Sonnenblick details a day in his classroom that serves as inspiration for this book. Then, just sit back and enjoy.

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Blogging is for kids

I just finished reading the post New UK Student Bloggers from Will Richardson's Weblogg-ed News. The post links to a minimal blog created for the session that includes links to the student blogs. Will asked readers of Weblogg-ed, and there are over 3,000 of them using bloglines, to take a few minutes to look at and possibly comment on a few of the blogs. So, I did.

As an adult I get caught up with "professional" blogs, making sure all the "i's" are dotted and the "t's" are crossed, and sometimes forget one of the things that drew me to blogs ... they are fun. I read through all in less than twenty minutes as most had short posts, none are as wordy as I tend to be. I found it reassuring that boys will be boys, the bulk of the blogs created by the male students had the same two topics, cars and football (soccer to me). I left a couple of comments because it is cool to get your first blog comment. If memory serves my first comment on this blog was from Will Richardson when I blathered on about his book in a post on April 25th. Actually, after browsing through the April archive, my second blog comment was from Will as well, what a pal. It only seemed fitting I pass it on and comment on the UK student blogs.

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Friday, October 20, 2006

The difference a day makes, redux

Intriguing .... adding the exact same Technorati tags to yesterday's post, as well as talking about Ms. Dewey, had no effect whatsoever on the stats for this blog. Perversely, me looking for results more than either blog, the collaborative blog project had another 50 hits yesterday and though significantly fewer today, all of the hits went to the same posting. Go figure.

Hah, look, only 75 words today (not counting tags). It’s a bloody blog post miracle.

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

The difference a day makes

Tomorrow is the deadline for poster session submissions for ACRL's 13th National conference in Baltimore, March 29 - April 1, 2007. I had submitted a group session and been turned down earlier this fall. We, everyone who did not have proposals accepted, were advised to resubmit our proposals as poster sessions. The two other librarians who were going to present opted out and I was waffling about presenting the topic alone. I had pretty much decided to do a poster session submission on blogs, but was not sure I wanted - or should - submit two proposals. My goal for today was to make a decision and submit. I did, it's done, and I'm good. They were not brilliant. But as with the ALA poster session, I will not embarrass myself if accepted (fingers crossed).

I wanted to include the collaborative blog project as a part of one poster submission, so I emailed my colleague and ask if she minded. All is well with that and she was very positive looking at is as an opportunity to drum up more blog traffic. And, because blog traffic, aka statistics, are part of the presentation as well I took a quick look at my StatCounter accounts this afternoon at work. Holy cow! What a difference a day made on our traffic. The blog had been averaging a dozen or so hits a day, not much for viewer ship, but we are new, no one specifically important, and just starting. Imagine my surprise seeing 59 hits for yesterday and 48 so far today. I had added two short posts on Tuesday, one on a Chronicle of Higher Education article, the other on a cool little search engine called Ms. Dewey that I'd read about on another blog. Neither post all that exciting or even controversial. Plus, there were no comments.

I looked at the "recent came from activity" on my account because it shows came from and landing page statistics. Sure enough, with the exception of six hits, each of the 107 results came from the Technorati Tag on the Ms Dewey search engine post and landed on the post itself. Odder still was the breadth of countries from which the queries were sent; in no particular order, from Maine to California in the U.S., plus England, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Korea, South Africa, Netherlands, Bahrain, Australia, Italy, France, and Israel.

Out of morbid curiosity, I'm adding Ms Dewey to this post and it's corresponding tags.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

More books for me

Like many Nora Roberts, aka J.D. Robb fans, I am waiting impatiently for the next installment of her "In Death" book series. This one will feature the birth of Mavis and Leonardo's bundle of joy. Even though I am biding my time reading the recent paperback Circle Trilogy, Born in Death, due out November 7, is at the top of my can not wait to read list. I was THRILLED to get a reader email today with links to an excerpt from Born in Death! I gleefully read it before lunch, sitting at my desk, tempted beyond all measure to print (I didn't). It's a fifteen page pdf and makes me even impatient to have the book in my hot little hand. Here are the links from Nora's page to the excerpts:

Now it's time to go see who got voted off of Dancing with the Stars (I miss Sara Evans), see the murder caught on Criminal Minds, and find out who wins season 3 of Project Runway!

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Life as We Knew It

As of lunch today, I am about half way through Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. I am not familiar with her work, though a quick look at her Random House web page makes me wonder why not, and was somewhat hesitant to pick up the book as I am not a fan of diary format. But, the premise was intriguing and I have not been disappointed.

Miranda is a high school senior with divorced parents, two brothers, lives with her mother, and has just learned she is going to have a younger step sibling because her father and stepmother are expecting. At school, Miranda and her friends Sammi and Megan are finding their way through losing a friend to disease. Sammi is acting out, Megan has found God, and Miranda just wants her old friends back. The novel is Miranda's diary, a new project to help settle her thoughts and learn more about herself.

Instead of this being another girl diary book, this book is set apart by a significant happening; everyone is waiting to view a meteor hit the moon. Similar to waiting for Haley's Comet or gathering to watch a meteor shower, townspeople have planned parties, classes in school are teaching about the occurrence, and the event has a party-like atmosphere complete with astronomers from CNN. Something cataclysmic goes wrong, instead of bouncing off the moon the meteor hits the moon and knocks it out of orbit. It lurches closer to earth and begins to effect life as Miranda knows it and everything changes.

Anyone who has gone through a winter snow storm and witnessed the mad rush to stores for toilet paper and milk, or worse lived through hurricanes and tornadoes, will recognize the life changing effect this happenstance has on the town, the state, and the country. When I left Megan today, her family was cutting back to two meals a day and fasting one day a week to save food for the winter. Hope is dwindling and the panic and pressure felt by Megan, her mother, family and friends.

A serial end-of-the-book reader, I am forcing myself to read the book and not skip to the end. At this point, my biggest fear is a quick happily ever after. I do not think that will be the case as Pfeffer has worked hard to keep the tone and pace of this book realistic while building suspense for what happens next.

Update: 10/20/06

** Spoiler alert ** End of book information **

I finished today and after rereading the beginning of this post I wonder if my expectations were too high. The book remained readable and the hardships Miranda, her family, and her friends endured were neither sugarcoated, nor embellished for the sake of drama. I applaud the effort made by the author not to produce a pat "happily-ever-after" ending, it would have been unrealistic and an insult to the integrity of her work. With that said, I was disappointed at the constant events of death, suicide, and illness throughout the last half of the book. Some was natural, even understandable if that term may be applied, but as the body count grew I began to wonder if the end of the book was really going to be the end. Period.

It's reaching to say the book ended on a high note, but Pfeffer did leave readers with hope.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Midterm mania

It is midterm week, joy and glory hallelujah. I did not need to consult my academic calendar or crystal ball, I only needed to note three reams of paper gleefully sent through the printer before 11 am (and in case anyone wonders, that is 1500 sheets of paper from 15 computers and rounds out to 100 sheets per computer in less than three hours with little or no student turnover from said computers) two additional reams for the copier, and a set of 500-foot roll (s) of laminating film finished in three weeks. Yes, the semester is indeed half over. Yes, it also means the chance of my completing any serious work until December is dwindling. I work in an open area, no office or break from the mayhem, except for lunch, throughout the eight-hour day of reference, managing the resource center and creating web pages.

Blah, blah, blah.

It is not an easy feat to work constructively with students consulting, and gluing, and cutting, and coloring, and working, at tables less than three feet from me. Don't get me wrong, I'm only whining a little bit (really!) because I am a victim of success. Looking at this philosophically, five years ago the quiet could be overwhelming. No students, no professors, just a few unhappy souls. Praise be, this is no longer the case. I do, however, on occasion remember the quiet time fondly.

I also have to admit to a few tunes running their way through my head during the day. Consider the following lyrics from the chorus of Love You, a current Jack Ingram tune:

"Love you; love this town; Yeah, I'm sick an' lovin' tired of all your lovin' around There's only one four-letter word that'll do: Love you."

Or, maybe even Bon Jovi, Have a Nice Day:

"Ohhh, if there's one thing I hang onto,That gets me through the night. I ain't gonna do what I don't want to,I'm gonna live my life.Shining like a diamond, rolling with the dice,Standing on the ledge, I show the wind how to fly.When the world gets in my face, I say, Have A Nice Day.Have A Nice Day."

Maybe even an old Bill Engvall "song", Here's your sign:

"I just hate stupid people. They should have to wear signs that just say I'm stupid. That way you wouldn't rely on them, would you?You wouldn't ask them anything. It would be like, "Excuse me...oops, never mind""I didn't see your sign."

I can hardly wait until tomorrow!

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Juvenile collection: Christmas

After going through the SLJ offerings, I did select five or six possible Christmas titles to add to the juvenile collection. I will check additional review sources on my selections and see how they may, or may not, fit in to the current collection. Out of curiousity, I performed a quick catalog search, simple subject headings, for juvenile Christmas titles. Here are a few of the results:
  • Christmas - juvenile literature = 10
  • Christmas - juvenile poetry = 13
  • Christmas cookery - juvenile literature = 2
  • Christmas cards - juvenile fiction = 1
  • Santa Claus - juvenile fiction = 30
  • Santa Claus - juvenile literature = 3
  • Santa Claus - juvenile poetry = 3
  • Jesus Christ Nativity - juvenile fiction = 10
  • Jesus Christ Nativity - juvenile literature = 7

It's important to keep in mind several of these subject headings could easily be duplicates as many of the books in questions might be Christmas and Santa Claus or Christmas and Jesus Christ Nativity. With this in mind I broadened the search in one regard by using keyword for "Christmas," narrowed the returns to "juvenile," and retrieved a total of 246 titles ranging in publication dates from 1893 (2) to 2005. The two 1893 titles are A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, illustrated by Arthur Rackham (2 copies), and Christmas every day: and other stories, by W. D. Howells. A closer look at the publication dates for the last five year, my tenure at the library, shows the following breakdown of numbers between 200 and 2005:

  • 2005 = 12
  • 2004 = 12
  • 2003 = 22
  • 2002 = 20
  • 2001 = 15
  • 2000 = 18

That is a total 0f 99 Christmas books, or roughly 40% of the current collection, has a publication date within the last five years (I didn't buy this year yet!). That percentage could easily be bumped up because there is no guarantee the Christmas book purchases within that five years were books published in that time frame. I know I purchased a significant amount from a listing of books I selected for the public library three years prior. While this is an insignificant amount compared to the entire juvenile collection, it is easy to see why I am considering pulling back some on the holiday purchases; especially when this is only a sampling of Christmas titles. Consider holiday, Kwanzaa, and Chanukah.

Then again, what's a dozen books in the big scheme of things? If they are quality books they are a good purchase and a positive collection development step regardless.

It is a puzzlement.

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Juvenile holiday books

It's that time of year. Time to decide how many and which picture books should be added to the library's juvenile collection? To be specific, by holiday I mean Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and all other residual holiday falling between October and the end of December (no disrespect intended). When I first started working at this library, I ordered a large quantity of holiday books because it was an area in need of serious collection development. Five years later, I am lucky enough to limit my purchases to some of the "best," picking and choosing from what various review sources have to offer. I also have to start wondering, is there a time where I have enough holiday books in the collection?

Don't get me wrong, holiday books are an integral part of the existing juvenile collection. One of my main functions in purchasing children's books is to support the college of education and this includes having holiday books for student teachers to take into the classroom for Halloween and Thanksgiving in the fall, and Valentine's Day and Black History Month resources in early winter. But since we are on break from early December through the MLK holiday, December holiday books are not used to any great extent. Today I have the October 2006 issue of School Library Journal at my disposal (a bit late in the month for the October issue, but I should not complain) and inside there are no fewer than fifty-five reviews for December holiday books. Included within that fifty-five are four different versions of Clement C. Moore's The Night Before Christmas. A quick look at the university catalog reveals four copies of this story are already part of our collection. How many copies are enough? Let's consider budget constraints, I have a finite amount of money to spend throughout the year and each dollar is to support the education curriculum. What portion of that should be spent on books that have their highest circulation rate during a season when the students are not here to use them?

When I worked at a public library, this time of year we pulled holiday books and changed their circulation period to one week so more people would be able to enjoy them. The holidays were very much a peak circulation period and the more children's holiday books we had, the higher our numbers would be. It was pretty much a no-brainer to spend money on books that are going to be used by patrons. Shouldn't the same be true when making the purchases for academics? This is not to say I will not buy December holiday books, but usage must be taken into consideration.

I'm going to look through the reviews now and, with an open mind, choose what will enhance the existing collection. Yes, this is something I do regardless of the time of year, but when I am "waffling" between buying and not buying, saving money for math or fairy tale purchases later in the year may take precedence.

Before I forget, the October SLJ had two really good articles:

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Books for me

Shopping for a floor lamp this afternoon, I love Target, resulted in a nice lamp and two books for me. I have just finished assembling the floor lamp and, as usual when combining my skills with this type of lamp, results show an end product listing left a bit. I am going to delude myself into believing it is because the carpet is uneven next to the bookshelves, much simpler than disassembling the lamp and starting over. It could also be because I spent as much for the "five head floor lamp" as I did for one of the books. Whatever the case, my office needed a lamp, I needed to stick to a budget, and in the end we both got what we needed.

I also got a cute Maxx of NY purse at TJ Maxx, it is barrel shaped, amusing, and was ten dollars. I'm not sharing. I put up the old sheers after assembling the lamp, that's enough.

Back to the books; one is older, The Body of David Hayes by Ridley Pearson. It was a bargain bin purchase at Barnes & Noble, I never mind spending $6 for a hardback. The second title is the new Janet Evanovich title, Motor Mouth. I have Evanovich's Metro Girl and enjoyed it but found it very similar to the Plum Series, kind of Stephanie in Florida. I'm hoping Motor Mouth proves to have the standard Evanovich wit and charm without too many Plum elements. Either way, Motor Mouth is first on my read list after finishing my current book.

A miracle post, one under 600 words!

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Button, button, who's got the ....

After asking every student worker and the boss, I made a final decision on the new resource center logo. It was the one I liked best with the simple addition of the library address added. Seemed to be the prudent thing to do. The logo, which is 725 pixels wide and 75 pixels high, is comprised of a three-picture library image montage and an information address panel separated by a blurred purple line. Since I have chosen a dark purple background, the logo has a significant amount of white space for visual impact and is centered on the page. While 725 pixels does not seem very wide, especially on my 17 inch laptop at work, it completely fills the screen of my monitor at home. Theoretically the average screen is still 800 X 600, though most everyone has larger viewing areas, so this will be a one-size-fits-all proposition. It is centered on the page, so a bigger screen will simply show more of the background color.

With the logo in place, I moved on to navigational buttons. I want a button and rollover for the main navigational bar (not the image map). The main button displays white and the rollover will be yellow/gold. This means making at least two buttons for everyone single navigation image; the first display's as is and the second identical button changes color on mouse-over, hence two images. If I lose my mind and consider an active button, making three movements, a third color option will have to be made. Right now, I'm pleased enough with the look I have with a simple mouseover. Sometimes less is more. There are seven button options under the main logo with a combined width of 725 pixels centered below. Naturally, seven does not divide evenly into 750, so the buttons, all having different words, vary in length from 97 pixels to 115 pixels. It does sound like a big range, but a less than 10 pixel difference in size on the buttons is hardly visible. Each button is 25 pixels wide, and they are aligned horizontally. All of the sudden, the old web page looks very tired. That spurs me on to complete the cosmetic changes so I'm able to get to the meat of the site.

Next up, the image map for the main page. It will also be 725 pixels wide, but divided vertically with one side having a welcome message (left) and the other an image map of five pictures of the resource center. Pencil, eraser, ruler, and paper are still the best way to go when sketching out dimensions and sizes for the front page of the site. I have exactly what I want size-wise and will weed through new photos to select the best. The five will be combined as one large image that is destined to become my image map, complete with working hot spots!

I am feeling more secure using Fireworks for the graphic elements. Just this afternoon I finally figured out how to optimize the .png to make it a .gif or .jpeg without inserting in the web page first and having to work from there. It was so simple I was a bit chagrined it took such a long time. Now that I have learned the .png image is editable, I simply save a .png image to make duplicates and optimize as many different shots as I want. I'll delete the large folder of unused ideas when the page is finished. I really want to get the image map finished, so I brought home the laptop and may do some work over the weekend.

Then again, maybe not.

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Fear of Friday the 13th! And, how close to triskaidekaphobia is paraskevidekatriaphobia (check the links to the Urban Dictionary)? I began to wonder this morning about the orgins of Friday the 13th, and I do not mean the movies:
  • ABC News: Is Friday the 13th a Reason to Stay in Bed? A couple of interesting reasons are cited in this news article dated May 13th, 2005. "One of the origins is believed to come from Christianity. There were 13 people at the Last Supper and Christ was crucified on a Friday. Also, Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th guest at the Last Supper. In ancient Rome, witches reportedly gathered in groups of 12. The 13th was believed to be the devil. " (Rose Palazzolo, ABC News, 10/13/06)
  • Why Friday the 13th is Unlucky. This article is from the urban legends section of About.com and and discusses myths, legends, and mystique of Friday the 13th.
  • Here's Friday the 13th from Wikipedia (and everyone knows what you find there is always the truth).
  • The Labor LawTalk Dictionary details Friday the 13th Definition complete with originas and occurances of Friday the 13th in the next few years.

It's interesting that today's Blogthings question was: How Much Wrath Do You Have?

Your Wrath Quotient: 34%

Sometimes you get really angry, but nothing out of the norm.

While you may wish someone harm, it's pretty unlikely that you'd actually do anything about it.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Fireworks, logos and polls

I have to thank The Buried Editor over at Buried in the Slush Pile for her use of luckypolls.com to create a short poll on her recent post Who Are You? I admit to not taking the poll, mostly because while I am a blogger and am still waiting, but not bitterly, for my first journal article to be published, I am not an author in the traditional sense of her blog. I did look closely at the cool little poll widget. Since I can be quite the widget slut - no need to clean it up, I sometimes need to call things as I see them - I was thinking most of the day, "How can I use this poll on a blog?"

Looking at this post, it seems I am also a bit of a comma queen. I digress.

I spent most of today working with Macromedia Fireworks (not version 8, I'm using Dreamweaver MX 2004 and whatever edition of Fireworks was part and parcel of the package) creating logos for the new resource center web site. Though definitely unfamiliar with the intricate workings of the software, I did manage to create four nice logo possibilities. For me it is necessary for to create the "pretty," visual, elements of logos, banners, buttons and the like, before moving on to the nuts and bolts. It saves massive amounts of time because I get carried away. Sort of like when doing PowerPoint, I can spend hours picking the right font, clip art, and slide template for a simple one hour presentation that takes me fifteen minutes to create accompanying content.

You know, content, the important part of any presentation.

I posted the four possibilities on my personal server space at work because it doesn't go through the staging server before displaying and so I can check how the logos look from home on my scary CRT monitor and see how long they take to display with my less than stellar dial up connection. I then began quizzing student workers, regular patrons in the resource center, a graduate assistant, and my boss, as to which one looked best. For sure I cannot choose one of the four because the boss told me portions of it resemble an eye exam chart. Unfortunately, at second glance it does indeed have that look. Hold the applause, it looks as if I have a winner. So, how does this relate to the polling?

As we were looking at the selection, there was a niggling thought in the back of my mind. How cool would it be to post these four logos on the collaborative professional blog and see if anyone in the amazingly small readership would take time to vote? Okay, okay, it also gives me a chance to play with the new technology toy. I admit to the weakness. I went to the web site, created a short poll, loaded the four logos on the blog, attached the poll, published, and was finished in a wonderfully short period of time. All I need now are a few opinions.

Tomorrow, buttons for the web site. Many buttons. Tonight, just a few more minutes until it is time for Grey's Anatomy.

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Yes, snow.

While I was having lunch it was falling gleefully from the sky; kind of bouncing around on the ground. The sun was shining the whole time. That's just wrong. Even stranger, on the way back to campus I saw a student wearing mittens and flip flops.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

What counts as a post?

I'm pretty sure updating the sidebar with children's books I will be reading in the upcoming days does not constitute an actual post. This is one of those times when I slightly understand the discipline to write every day when you simply just don't want to do so. In the interest of keeping it short, a few miscellaneous points:
  • It's raining and the weather people said a bad four-letter word .... snow (and added two hateful words, "lake effect").
  • Jerry Springer is still on Dancing with the Stars (why?).
  • Criminal Minds is on right now and I'm missing it (Shemar Moore, dang).
  • It is almost time for the next to last episode of Project Runway (Love Tim, Jeffry annoys)!
  • Someone mentioned the old TV series Moonlighting on another blog earlier today, or maybe it was yesterday. I need to get that show on DVD (used to love Bruce Willis).

That's it, other than to say I did read a book at lunch today. A new one, what could be called a "chapter book," with illustrations by Paul O. Zelinsky. Very nice.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sugar, caffeine and ssshhh!

Three hours in the car today, interspersed with the second of two Dreamweaver classes that included using CSS and navigation bars, ends now with six hours in the library working reference at the main desk. While the class was interesting, enough so that my brain is about to explode with the information presented, the high point of the afternoon was lunch at Wolfgang Puck Express on Lane Avenue (OSU west campus) where I was able to partake of Pesto Chicken and dine alfresco with a workshop companion. The sugar portion of this post includes mention of two exceptionally rich cookies, chocolate and pumpkin sugar, from Cheryl & Company after lunch. These cookies were preceded and followed by several diet cokes (diet pop cancels out the exorbitant number of calories present in the iced cookies). Since I do not usually consume caffeine, three of them resulted in a bit of a brain buzz that was exacerbated by the sugar. The inevitable crash has not been enjoyable, but the head spinning has stopped and now I could use a nap. What about the sssshhh? A simple, pithy observation follows.

Why is it that students never realize they make more noise in the library telling their friends to sssshhh than they do talking in the first place?

Lastly, because the sugar crash is inhibiting my ability to form meaningful coherent sentences, there is a group of young men sitting at the table next to me discussing how they used to be too fat to do flips and cartwheels. One is trying to convince another to do cartwheels in the library. I've suggested they wait until I can get the digital video camera from the resource center so we could send the video to utube. His friend said not to worry, he'd take pictures with his phone and send them along.

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Web pages and color

I was reading Monkey Bites, one of the Wired News Blogs, Saturday morning and noticed an interesting link to Color Palette Generator, @ Degraeve.com. What does it do? It will generate a color palette from any picture online. How does it work? "Enter the URL of an image to get a color palette that matches the image. " (degraeve.com, 10/07/06). My interest in this, beyond something fun and new to play with, is the redesign of the resource center and library web page project I will be undertaking sooner than comfortable. Saturday I used a picture of the university web logo and found the color was dark blue instead of purple. A bit stymied, because I wanted purple, I tried the university seal and met with success. I sent the color print out for both upstairs, but since the generator gives you the necessary six-digit hex code it was admittedly redundant.

I'm currently attempting to upload a picture so I can show how cool this site works, but blogger is not cooperating with the process. Usually not an issue, though it takes longer because I use a dinosaur modem connection, I have tried both IE and Mozilla and get error pages intead of photos as the server continues to "wait for blogger."

Uh-huh, I'm waiting. Third try a charm and, ta-da! My PNC Park photograph appears in the upper left corner of this post. I need to publish to give the photo a url and will return to finish the lovely demonstration.

After a bit of cut, paste, crop, create, and impatient waiting for blogger, here is the color palette recommended. Maybe not what I would have selected, but a nice representation of what is in the photograph. I especially like the options for "dull" and "vibrant" presented with the results.

The next few days here will be mostly web stuff as I attend the second Dreamweaver workshop at "the" OSU campus and grapple with setting up a template for the resource center page. I have a rough sketch of what I would like and it entails a photomontage I can use as an image map for the front page. We did get another cart of children's books on Friday ...

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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Tech classes and iMovie

I am not "mac-ophobic", but as a pc user the lovely iMacs are certainly not my first option for computers. Over the summer our campus discontinued updating the mac lab, actually I believe the lab is gone, and all that remain are a few g4 power books housed at the college of ed and at the library reserves desk. Personally, my iMovie skills are limited; okay, they are abmismal. I attended a short workshop four years ago and taught it once two years ago as an adjunct tech instructor. I was excited, and somewhat relieved, to learn of the mac lab demise since it would theoretically mean the end of iMovie. Alas, one of the instructional technology professors is continuing to use the laptops for an iMovie assignment this term and I have spent a good portion of the weekend assisting students using mac laptops with iMovie. Luckily, they are using still photographs as opposed to digital video this term so that flattens our learning curve somewhat. It is good experience to use macs, some schools are only equipped with apple computers, but dual platform capability makes the kids cranky (me, too).

It continues to intrigue me how much of my daily duties, whether at the reference desk or in the resource center, are filled with technology questions. I understand it more in the resource center because I facilitate an instructional technology lab and we have scanners, digital cameras, a small computer lab, and other like items. It follows if we offer the technology someone knows how to use the stuff. Either way, the best part is actually answering the question .... correctly.

Sure I wish they were using Movie Maker, but that is just selfishness.

Later the same day ....

It seems like cheating to start another entry on the same day when all I am doing is blathering a bit more about the same day. It has been a very odd Sunday evening. About an hour ago the main floor was overflowing with students doing assignments for tomorrow. I spent a lot of time exlaining where the serials stacks were, why they are called stacks, and how the journals are placed on the shelves. The professor in charge of the lesson actually called the shelving stacks, that's unusual. One young man was having issue with Dewey decimal and Library of Congress when finding a book. Oddly enough, his big complaint was no one ever told him why it was called Dewey. When I explained there was an actual Melvil Dewey behind the Dewey decimal system, he was happier. Go figure.

Now, I'm finishing up some web work and listening to the Steelers via an online Fox radio station. They are winning and it's closing in on half time (10 - 0, 2 minute warning). I was hoping to get home to see the fourth quarter, but as quickly as this game is progressing it seems to be a hope in vain. Two minutes later, it's 13 - 7 Steelers. Leave the computer to do reference work for a couple of minutes and see what happens?

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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Saturday ... in the park

It wasn't really Saturday in the Park, however work today was a bit of a walk in the park. I did field several reference questions from students in a children's literature class, they were researching professional reviews for books they have chosen for an assignment. Since EbscoHOST's Academic Search Premier (database) has Horn Book Magazine, Booklist, Book Links, School Library Journal, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, and Publishers Weekly, all of which the professor has authorized for use, it was one stop shopping. The biggest issue was finding some of the dated journals for those who selected books published in the late 80's or 70's. Earlier in the week I used a dusty Book Review Digest for this assignment, but that's another story. Throughout the rest of the day I had a couple of interesting projects and (or) distractions, it all depends on your point of view, to keep me busy.

Probably the most productive project was the Ellison Die Library. On Thursday, while surfing the net looking at other CMC web sites, I found one in Michigan that was using this resource. Since I just bought $2000 worth of Ellison dies last month, it immediately caught my interest. After a quick sign up and login process, it is possible to create an online library of Ellison Dies you have in your collection. Excellent. I set up two libraries, one for the alphabets and numbers, and a second for the general dies and borders. Not only is this a great online resource, it's now on my web page and blog, but it is also a great way to keep a running list of the dies I own. Yes, I already had an excel spreadsheet of my collection, but this library has pictures and die numbers as well. I spent several gleeful hours inputting the collection and updating the resource center web site to reflect this new gadget.

Another fun tool was something that was posted on Monkey Bites, one of the Wired blogs, a Color Palette Generator. This generator, from Steven DeGraeves, allows you to put in the URL of a photo on the web and it will create a palette of dull and vibrant colors to compliment the photo. With the imminent web page redesign in mind, I grabbed a photo of the library and ran it through the generator. It was interesting to see several of the colors I had chosen for the current page were part of the palette created. I will probably put the university logo into this gadget to see what might work well for the new page.

Last, but by no means least, was an intriguing post on Read Roger, the Horn Book Editor Roger Sutton's blog. Titled "Cheering the Home Team," the post discusses a couple of important trends in YA literature. The first links to an article by Boston Globe editor David Mehegan about the newest Tolkien publication; a works compiled by Tolkien's son. The second links to an article by Anita Silvey and concerns the road YA literatuare is currently traveling. I will be sure to check back tomorrow and see what others have to say.

Tomorrow is the last Sunday of work for this term! The weather forecast is sunny and a possible high of 70. I am hoping to get a few exterior photos of the library to use on the resource center site web design, a photomontage to be an image map. I have the page drawn out on paper and now need the nuts and bolts necessary to make it work (salute to Project Runway's Tim). Well, that and the second Dreamweaver class I'll be attending on Tuesday.

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