Monthly Archives: March 2006

Be prepared

No, I’m not a Boy Scout. And it seems a bit odd to be thinking about this, with another eight inches of snow coming our way. But Jessamyn West at Librarian.Net has a wonderful posting and reminder on how to deal with a tornado at your library, prompted by the tornados that hit Kansas recently.

For those of us in the Midwest where tornados are a real threat, this is a reminder to be prepared. Have a plan. Train the staff. If, God forbid, something happens, you’ll be glad you took the time now.


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Filed under Libraries and Librarianship

Absolutely incredible.

This street artist has done unbelievable things with his sidewalk art. Definitely worth a look.

H/T Readeriam

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Filed under Miscellaneous, Things that make you go, "Hmmm..."

Or not.

Blowing and drifting snow. Freezing rain. Weird thunder snow.

The robins must be wondering what happened.

Welcome to Minnesota.

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Spring arrives

It’s truly spring.

I know, it’s still only 36 degrees, and there are threats of snow or freezing rain.

But the yard was full of robins this morning. There must have been 50 of them, looking around for their breakfasts. Interestingly, there was what looks like a robin with vitiligo, which is a condition people get that destroys the pigmentation in skin, causing white areas. This robin looked like it had the same thing – large white areas of what otherwise looked like a robin.

I heard a red-wing blackbird yesterday. And the feeder is full of sparrows and cardinals and finches. I know the last group doesn’t migrate, but they tend to lay low – at least in our yard. Not this morning.

And then there’s Phil. DH gave him that moniker, after seeing him walk slowly around in the tall weeds next to our yard, sneak s-l-o-w-l-y out into the yard, and then make a mad dash for the other side. Phil is a Pheasant. I’m hoping he’s scoping out the place for a nest.

It’s wonderful to be awakened by the chirping and vocalizations of the songbirds. It’s wonderful to be awakened by sunlight.

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Pete’s Mag

Casey’s friend, Pete, has taken up the challenge and created his own magazine:

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Filed under Me and mine, Miscellaneous

Not so great moments in education

In Chicago, even blind high-school students are required to take driver’s education.

You read that right. Required.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Mayra Ramirez scored an A in driver’s education this year, but sitting through the 10-week class felt like a bad joke to the Curie Metropolitan High School sophomore.

Ramirez is blind. She knows she’s never going to drive. She can think of a lot of things she’d rather be studying than rules of the road, but she didn’t have a choice.

Chicago Public Schools requires all sophomores to take the class and pass a written road-rules exam–a graduation requirement that affects about 30 blind and visually impaired students in specialized programs at Curie and Payton College Preparatory High.

“In other classes, you don’t really feel different because you can do the work other people do,” said Ramirez, 16. “But in driver’s ed, it does give us the feeling we’re different. In a way, it brought me down, because it reminds me of something I can’t do.”


H/T OpinionJournal

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Fight of the Century

I attended Catholic schools for most of my educational career. In grade school, we had the School Sisters of Notre Dame. In high school, it was the School Sisters of St. Francis. Grad school was the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Agnes.

I’ve never been a nun myself, though I remember wanting to be one in 5th grade – mainly because I thought the outfit was cool. They switched to short skirts and veils the next year, which took all the mystique out of it for me. The closest I came to being a nun was playing Sister Hubert in Nunsense for a number of years.

So, with that background, imagine how I felt about this story.

Nuns vs. Librarians?!!?

There are so many places I could go with that one, I’m rendered speechless by sheer smart-aleck overload.

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OK, I’ll admit it. I don’t use RSS feeds. (pause for collective gasp of disbelief…)

I’m intrigued, I guess. But it’s just another thing I need to do, or it’s too much work, or….you get the idea. Frankly, it’s just not on my radar.

But the ever-helpful folks at Lifehacker have again directed me to an article that may make me see the light.

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Filed under Libraries and Librarianship, Techie stuff

Children’s Hour

From Lifehacker, a site that offers audio stories for children.


StoryNory offers children’s stories, ready to be downloaded to an MP3 players, burned to a CD, or just listened to from the site. How wonderful.

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Filed under Libraries and Librarianship, Techie stuff

If you can’t beat ’em….

I attended a librarian meeting this morning. Part of the meeting was a presentation by a book rep for a publisher of children’s material.

Now, my particular forte is reference work; I’ve never worked as a children’s librarian. I don’t know much about children’s books, though since I will be a grandmother this summer (eek!) I’m finding myself looking more closely at children’s materials than I had before.

Most of the material seemed to be fairly typical children’s stuff. There were books with neato tactile areas. (Oooh! Fuzzy! Scratchy!) There were books with handy features like big tabs, so little fingers could more easily turn the pages.

The thing that made me sit up straight and pay attention, however, was a marriage between a number of these books and the Internet. There’s a whole selection of these books – primarily geared towards an older audience of elementary-age children – that features Internet links as a path to additional information. Want to know more about the pyramids? Want to know more about Canadian cooking?

Now, there are a few things about all this that I find fascinating. First of all, instead of following the path of denial and disavowing any knowledge of or interest in the Internet and all it has to offer, this publisher is embracing it. This “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” approach is not only brilliant, it’s good sense. In my recent grad school experience, there were a number of library “experts” who were bemoaning the emergence of the Internet into our lives. There was much wailing and moaning and gnashing of teeth over the imminent demise of the library as a result. One of our textbooks even had this viewpoint, for crying out loud. It was incredibly refreshing to see a publisher that, instead of whining about this new competitor, was working to see how they could take advantage of the new technolgy.

Secondly, if you wander around the links provided, you will note that this is not original material. A number of the sites are the work museums, colleges and universities, and government entities. Why reinvent the wheel? All in all, brilliant.

Now, we all need to take another look at how we’re looking at the Internet and all of its resultant technological whiz-bang. Are we wringing our hands, wondering when our libraries will be redundant? Are we digging in our heels, vowing to never blog/allow IM/offer wireless/play games? Or…are we looking at ways that we can not only embrace the new technology, but take advantage? How can we leverage our knowledge and expertise with this new resource, to the advantage of our libraries, our patrons, and ourselves?

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