Summer Reading!

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Best YA Reads

I don't want to become a blogging failure, so let's resuscitate this thing with a list of my favorite YA reads this year. Some are 2008, I know, but it took me awhile to get to them. I don't want you to make the same mistake!

In no particular order...

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Taylor tries to work out the connection between her Mother who left her, her relationship with Hannah, a mysterious military man, a boy who visits her dreams, and the story of five friends who lived on the Jellicoe Road years ago. This was one of those books that you just can't really figure out for the first 100 pages and then after that you can't put it down and then when you finish it you want to tell your friends to read it, but you don't know how to explain it to them.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
This is the sequel to The Hunger Games, so I won't reveal a lot about the plot, but Katniss has inspired a revolution and the Capitol is pissed. An amazing series.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house for years. One yellow-eyed wolf is different. He is her wolf. Sam lives two lives. In Winter, he lives with the pack. In summer, he gets his chance to be human until the cold turns him wolf again. Grace and Sam meet and must fight against the chilling temperatures that threaten to take Sam away forever. This book is your Twilight antidote.

Pretty Dead by Francesca Lia Block
Francesca Lia Block has been my favorite author since I was thirteen. I own and have read every book she's published. I know vampires are the thing right now, but this book is a must-read because it is FLB's Los Angeles vampire-style. These vampires drink good wine, eat good food, and have regrets. This book is a return to FLB's Weetzie-era form.

Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
Jenna wakes up from a coma and doesn't remember her life. As memories slowly return, so do more and more questions. Is she still the same girl she was before the accident? This book makes you consider some big issues: the human soul, medical ethics, religion vs science. How far would you go to save someone you love?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Listening Library - Fantasy Road Trip Contest

Listening Library - Fantasy Road Trip Contest

I'm not sure if I have any teen readers, but anyone who reads this who knows a teen who is creative and reads should encourage said teen to enter this contest. (Especially for the Libba Bray books...those are AWESOME!)

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

The obligatory RIP John Hughes post

Duckie was the one. Andie should've never picked Blane. A smart girl should always pick the Duckie!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Ultimate Showdown @ Your Library THE ULTIMATE CHAMPION

And the Ultimate Champion, by a vote of 21-16, is...

Jellyfishing, meowing pet snail, friends galore, on-air longevity, employment...all reasons the kids used to decide that SpongeBob was their Ultimate Champion!

We had an amazing Showdown and an amazing summer! Thank you to everyone for participating. We can't wait to do it again next summer!!! We're dreaming of a bigger and better Ultimate Showdown! Get excited!

The Ultimate Showdown @ Your Library FINAL FOUR RESULTS

Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow!

Today was the finale of the FLYP summer program and it ended with so much fun! We had a No Contest Talent Contest and the performances were amazing! We also had two final rounds of The Ultimate Showdown...the Final Four and the Championship Round!

We decided to shake things up a bit for the final battles. We knew the voting would be tight, so we had volunteers stand up and advocate for their champions.

Final Four Battles...

Phineas & Ferb vs Curious George

"Phineas & Ferb use their imagination and they bother their sister."

"Phineas & Ferb build things."

"Phineas & Ferb have a pet platypus."

"Curious George visited the library and Phineas & Ferb didn't."

Phineas & Ferb move on! Sorry, George!

Aslan vs SpongeBob

"SpongeBob is friendly."

"SpongeBob lives in a pineapple."

"Aslan defeated the White Witch and rules Narnia."

"Aslan is very brave."

SpongeBob goes to the championship battle! Goodbye, Aslan!

As I said, WOW! There you have it! Your championship battle is decided...


Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Ultimate Showdown gets a visit from the press

Check out these photos from last week's Ultimate Showdown rounds! We had a visit from Carol Jones from the South Marion Citizen newspaper. She caught some of the excitement on film!

Kids voting for their favorite characters!

The Elite Eight characters. Who would get YOUR vote?

Your librarian, explaining the rules of the Showdown.

The Ultimate Showdown @ Your Library Round Three and Four *RESULTS*

I am so sorry for the delay in posting. I had to take a day off from the library so I could go see the new Harry Potter movie. Yes, I squee'd after the Ginny/Harry kiss and I cried at the end when everyone at Hogwarts raised their wands to the sky. Sniff, sniff, waaaaaahhh!

So Thursday was the day for Round Three - The Sweet Sixteen! I surprised everyone with a double battle day. We also battled Round Four - The Elite Eight.

We're now down to the Final Four, which will take place next Thursday at the FLYP Finale before the No Contest Talent Contest. What's your talent? I might read a poem.

We had some amazing surprises and upsets in the last two rounds!!!

Sweet Sixteen Battles:

Dorothy Gale in a surprise upset moved on past Spider Man!

Phineas & Ferb used their imaginations again to out-wizard Snape!

Much to the dismay of the tween girls, Aslan (loud cheers from the kids in the front) sent Edward home to Forks.

Hermione! Hermione! Hermione! Girls ruled and Bill Nye the Science Guy was out.

We had to count the vote twice, and though some wild fans screamed NO!, Pikachu cuted it up and Indiana Jones was done.

The Queen of the Library heavily campaigned for her, but Alice in Wonderland was no match for our friend and library-visitor, Curious George!

The vote was clear. The voices were heard. SpongeBob is king! Bella is sent following Edward back to Forks.

Again, there wasn't much of a fight for this battle. Harry Potter is really The Chosen One. Lyra got in Lee Scoresby's air ship and floated back to Oxford.

Elite Eight Battles:

We were amazed how far Dorothy went in the Showdown, but her battles are over. Phineas & Ferb are going to the Final Four!

This was a squeaker! We had to recount the votes a few times. Sadly, the smartest girl wizard is done. We love you, Hermione, but Aslan is an amazing character. He goes on!

Oh the mighty cute have fallen! The monkey wins the battle! Pikachu goes home to Ash. Curious George is a Final Four contender!

And this was one of the toughest-judged battles so far...Harry Potter vs SpongeBob. There was drama, there was yelling. We had to use the whistle to calm everyone down. And the decision? SpongeBob!!!

So there you go! Your Final Four in The Ultimate Showdown:

Phineas & Ferb vs Curious George
Aslan vs SpongeBob Squarepants

Could YOU have predicted this? I know I couldn't have!

See you next week when we reveal the ULTIMATE CHAMPION!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Ultimate Showdown @ Your Library Round Two, Part Two RESULTS!

Our program day was a huge hit as usual. We learning all about visual art today! Picasso, Matisse, Michelangelo, Disney, ice sculptures, finger painting, macaroni necklaces, and a special guest artist named Austin who taught us all about the art of Pokemon Sprites. We all learned something new today!

And when we announced it was time for today's round of The Ultimate Showdown, a loud cry of YES! was heard from the audience! They were SO EXCITED for Round Two!!!

So here's how it all went down...

There was really no contest and nearly naked Captain Underpants fell to the cutest ever Pikachu!

Even though we tried to argue for his win, Winnie the Pooh's heart and sweetness was not enough to match the popularity of Mr. Indiana Jones.

And even though it was a very close vote, the Pigeon who drives the bus drove it off into the sunset because Alice in Wonderland is moving on to the Sweet Sixteen!

Even though a few LOUD fans were CHANTING for Charlotte the Spider, she was not as favored as Curious George and so the monkey moves on!

Again, the fans were chanting RAMONA! RAMONA! RAMONA! but the vote was called for SpongeBob Squarepants. He is so fashionable.

In a close vote of 14-13, Bella Swan vamped by Jedi Luke Skywalker.

We had a great discussion about the next battle, but Lyra and her alethiometer were championed over Frodo and his ring.

And finally, it was his week. There was no arguement. Harry Potter took down Spock.

SO THERE IT IS! The next round is the Sweet Sixteen!!! We are already down to the wire.

Here's who is left in the Showdown:

Spider Man, Hermione Granger, Dorothy Gale, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Phineas & Ferb, Aslan, Snape, Edward Cullen, Pikachu, Harry Potter, Lyra Belacqua, Indiana Jones, Alice in Wonderland, Bella Swan, SpongeBob Squarepants, and Curious George!

Who will be the Ultimate Champion? You decide!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Ultimate Showdown @ Your Library Round Two, Part Two!

Aaaaaaand we're back! We are so lucky that this summer's program theme is Be Creative because we have been so creative with these battles. Our thinking caps are screwed on tight!

Tomorrow's battles are the last of Round Two! Can you believe it? We will be entering the Sweet Sixteen by Saturday. It is getting intense!

Here are tomorrow's battles:

Captain Underpants vs Pikachu
Winnie the Pooh vs Indiana Jones
The Pigeon vs Alice in Wonderland
Curious George vs Charlotte the Spider
SpongeBob SquarePants vs Ramona Quimby
Luke Skywalker vs Bella Swan
Frodo Baggins vs Lyra Belacqua
Spock vs Harry Potter

Tomorrow's theme is Now You See It. We'll be learning about all sorts of visual artists...painters, sculptors, cartoonists, computer animators, you name it. We hope to SEE some amazing battles!

SEE YOU next time with the RESULTS! Yay!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Boy Who Rocked

The Boy Who Rocked

I saw a Harry and the Potters show at a teeny rock club in Arlington, Virginia with one of my librarian friends. They were totally awesome!

Voldemort can't stop the rock, indeed.

Go check out this video: WROCK!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Ultimate Showdown @ Your Library Round Two, Part One RESULTS!

We had a bit of a subdued crowd of Showdown fans today, but Round Two began anyway. The battles were judged very closely with some battles having to go to recounts to declare winners. We are Florida voters, after all.

So without further political delay, here are the RESULTS!

Spider Man weaved a web of Ultimate around saucy Jack Sparrow.

Kansan runaway Dorothy Gale tornado'd her way past sweet Amelia Bedelia.

Phineas and Ferb used their amazing imagination to out sleuth Nancy Drew.

Edward Cullen sparkled his charming self over happiest of happy Mickey Mouse.

Aslan the Lion roared and that was it for dreamer Gemma Doyle.

Bill Nye the Science Guy concocted an experiment that stumped Alaska Young. (Though this was a squeaker! We had to vote about four times before declaring a winner!)

And finally, Hermione Granger cast a spell and Optimus Prime left planet Earth.

Amazing! Just amazing! What an opening for Round Two! We can't hardly wait for next Thursday to find out who else moves on to the Sweet Sixteen battles. Can you???

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Ultimate Showdown @ Your Library Round One, Part Four RESULTS!

We had over 80 kids and teens and adults who participated in judging today's battles! We had another round heated debate and a few surprises!

And now the results...

In the Epic Battle of the Cute, Spongebob Squarepants out-cuted fuzzy Elmo!

Ramona Quimby, age 8, was too awesome for Percy Jackson and his Grecian powers.

In the Battle of the 1970s Hairstyles, Luke Skywalker used the Force to outlast Troy Bolton. We had to vote on this one three times before we had a winner!

And to stress out all you Twilight fans, Bella was voted in over Jacob!

In a shocker, Frodo Baggins of the Shire epic-journeyed past Ron Weasley!

The younger crowd was a bit unsure about our next battle. Your librarian hopes they will read these great books in the future. Lyra was chosen over Arnold Spirit. She's friends with armored bears, is all I'm sayin'.

Spock was a clear winner over Laura Ingalls, who went back to the prairie.

And sorry to Anne of Green Gables, but Harry Potter ruled over the Muggle in this battle round!

So there we go! Round One is OVER! Tune in on Saturday for the beginning of Round Two! ULTIMATE SHOWDOWN WOO!

The Ultimate Showdown @ Your Library Round One, Part Four

Here we are, Showdown Maniacs. It's time for Part Four of Round One! We're down to the last battles of the first battles. Next week we go head to head in Round Two. Get excited!

Here's a rundown of today's battles:

Look out for the battle of the cuteness! Spongebob Squarepants vs Elmo!

Ramona Quimby, Age Awesome vs son of Greek god Poseidon, Percy Jackson!

Master of the Force, Luke Skywalker vs East High dreamboat, Troy Bolton! Do they have the same haircut?

BELLA VS JACOB! I can't make this stuff up. I promise the battles are randomly matched!

Frodo Baggins of the Shire vs Ron Weasley of the Burrow. It's magical!

Two characters on the verge of YA greatness, Lyra from The Golden Compass vs Arnold Spirit from The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

It's prairies vs protons as we battle Laura Ingalls vs Spock!

Battle of the orphans! With magic and without! Harry Potter vs Anne of Green Gables.

Ohhhh, I can feel it! Today's battles are going to be goooooood! Check in later for the results.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Time Warp Chucks

So whenever I go back to my parents' house, my Mom asks me to take another box or bag of stuff out of my old bedroom. A few weeks ago, I took a box of old artwork, cassette tapes, (oh Joni Mitchell, Nirvana, Ani DiFranco, and Jane's Addiction, etc) prom photos (yes, I married my prom date) and other random stuff from my teen years.

But the best things in the back of my closet?

My original Chucks from 7th grade. They are awesome and I will NEVER THROW THEM OUT! They are mine forever.

Cool beans is right.

The Great Debate on VH1

You should be watching The Great Debate on VH1.

It's sort of like our Ultimate Showdown, but for young adults and grown ups.

For example: Who was a meaner school principal?

Mr. Vernon from The Breakfast Club or Mr. Rooney from Ferris Bueller's Day Off?

I'm not telling who won, but I'd vote for Mr. Vernon. I mean, look at him! He scares me! I would never want to be in detention with him in charge!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Ultimate Showdown @ Your Library Round One, Part Three RESULTS

Holy rusted metal, Batman! Round One, Part Three was AMAZING!

(I'll tell ya, Showdown fans, this was the best and most exciting group of battles yet! It was the kind of program day that made your librarians' hearts burst with glee! The kids were SCREAMING with delight and everyone participated and loved the game. Everyone should have an Ultimate Showdown @ Your Library!)

So without any more stalling...hey is that a pigeon driving a bus...oh...nevermind...the results are in!

Captain Underpants's powers were too much for the indie cred and love of Nick and Norah!

Pikachu out-cuted super criminal Artemis Fowl!

It came down to a narrow vote, but Winnie the Pooh moves on over the Very Hungry Caterpillar!

Indiana Jones whipped his way past poor Mary Lennox.

Everyone's favorite Pigeon (yep, we let him drive the bus) didn't stop the bus for Frankie Landau-Banks.

Alice in Wonderland used her imagination to outlast Princess Mia.

And, are you ready for this one? In a classic upset, Curious George knocked out the Jonas Brothers!!!! And some tween girls weeped. (No, not really.)

Charlotte the Spider weaved her web around Nobody Owens, who didn't spook very well today.

So there you have it, Showdown fans! We're taking a holiday break, but the next Showdown day is July 9. As always, stay tuned to this blog for updates!

The Ultimate Showdown @ Your Library Round One, Part Three!

Heyyyyyyy Showdown Fans! It's time for Round One, Part Three!
And do we have some top-choice battles for you today!

Hipster teenagers Nick & Norah vs
Captain Underpants (super fashionable)

Teenage criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl vs
Ridiculously cute Pikachu

Hunny-eater Winnie the Pooh vs
Leaf and stem-eater the Very Hungry Caterpillar

Petulant gardener Mary Lennox vs
Nazi punisher and archaelogist Indiana Jones

That Pigeon who drives the bus vs
Secret society crusher Frankie Landau-Banks

OMG she's a Princess Mia vs
Tea-drinking, drama-causing Alice in Wonderland

Curious George (friend of the library) vs

Graveyard-dwelling Nobody Owens vs
Farm-dwelling, pig-loving Charlotte the Spider

We can't wait to see who goes down today. It should be a great round!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Ultimate Showdown @ Your Library Round One, Part I and II RESULTS

Our Stupendous Saturday attendees have spoken and we have some surprising results so far in Round One, Part I and II!!!

Part I

Jack Sparrow was victorious over The Cat in the Hat. Welcome to the Caribbean, Cat.
Spiderman triumphed over Harriet the Spy because of his huge heart.
In a shocking upset, Dorothy Gale of Kansas knocked out Captain Kirk. The kids didn't even have to think about it!
Amelia Bedelia won out over Octavian Nothing due to her sweet nature.
Phineas & Ferb bested Coraline because of their smarts and inventive ideas.
Nancy Drew took out Kermit the Frog.
Iron Man shut out Wolverine. They reasoned his brain power was better than Wolverine's strength.
Snape overtook Desperaux after a heated discussion by our group. It seems Snape's intellect was judged higher over Desperaux's heart.

Part II

Edward Cullen was chosen over Ms. Frizzle, but there wasn't much discussion. The girls sighed and that was that.
Mickey Mouse moved on instead of Stanley Yelnats.
Aslan easily coasted past Cinderella because he came back from the dead.
Gemma Doyle's witchy powers bested Weetzie Bat, but I think we might have convinced some readers to give both book series a chance.
Bill Nye scienced his way past Eragon because Bill Nye knows all about computers and experiments.
Alaska Young topped Dora the Explorer.
Optimus Prime was too much for Prince Caspian.
Hermione Granger moved on to the next round, taking out Bone.

Next Thursday, we'll continue with Part III of Round One. Stay tuned to see who will become the Ultimate Champion!!!

The Ultimate Showdown @ Your Library Round One!

Okay, so in the excitement of our first day, we forgot to have Round One of The Ultimate Showdown. Shame on us for having so much fun!

So today we're having double the battles in order to catch up.

In no particular order, here are today's matchups:

Cat in the Hat vs Jack Sparrow
Harriet the Spy vs Spiderman
Dorothy Gale vs Captain Kirk
Octavian Nothing vs Amelia Bedelia
Phineas & Ferb vs Coraline
Kermit the Frog vs Nancy Drew
Iron Man vs Wolverine
Desperaux vs Snape
Edward Cullen vs Ms. Frizzle
Mickey Mouse vs Stanley Yelnats
Aslan vs Cinderella
Weetzie Bat vs Gemma Doyle
Bill Nye vs Eragon
Dora the Explorer vs Alaska Young
Optimus Prime vs Prince Caspian
Bone vs Hermione

Remember, we're judging on Hearts, Smarts, Originality, Game Changer, and Coolness Bonus.

Stay tuned to see who moves on to the next round! Let the battle begin!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Ultimate Showdown @ Your Library!

During March Madness, a lot of libraries and YA book blogs were running bracket-style tournaments to battle great YA books. I wanted to do something like this at our library, but I always worried about long request lists making it impossible for our teens to read every book.

I have already posted the video awesomeness that is The Ultimate Showdown, but watching it again gave me an idea. This summer, the kids who attend our summer program will participate in an event featuring battles between characters from pop culture- books, TV, comics, and movies!

Our very own Ultimate Showdown!

We dreamed up a list of 64 characters like Wolverine, SpongeBob SquarePants, Harry Potter, Alaska Young, and Harriet the Spy. Haven’t you ever wondered who would win a battle between Curious George and The Jonas Brothers? I know I have.

We also included some lesser-known, but incredibly amazing book characters. We can’t miss the opportunity to talk up a good book!

So I know you’re wondering how these characters will be judged.

The 64 characters are judged not on their fighting skills. This is not that sort of battle. Instead, the characters are judged in five categories:

Hearts (what’s inside, do they use their heart?) 1-3 points
Smarts (do they use their brain?) 1-3 points
Originality (are they totally unique? Is there no one else like them?) 1-3 points
Game Changer (everyone knows them) 1 point
Coolness Bonus (is this character just really cool?) 1 point

The kids who participate will debate and discuss each battle, come to a group decision, and the winner of each pair will move on to other battles until we have an Ultimate Champion at the end of the summer.

We will have rounds of battle on Thursdays and Saturdays through the summer program.

June 25, June 27, July 2, July 7 - 64 characters, 8 battles each day
July 11 and July 16 - 32 characters, 8 battles each day
July 18 - 16 characters, 8 battles (Sweet Sixteen)
July 23 - 8 characters, 4 battles (Elite Eight)
July 25 - 4 characters, 2 battles (Final Four)
July 30 - 2 characters, 1 battle (Ultimate Champion!)

Visit this blog often for updates!

Let the battle begin!

Credit is due to the original creator of The Ultimate Showdown song and video, Lemon Demon.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Give YA and peace a chance

If you're not reading books because their cataloged as Young Adult. Please, get over yourself, and pick one up. You're missing out on some amazing writing.

A lot of YA authors also blog some completely wonderful stuff. Please take a moment and go over to Libba Bray's blog and read this post. I promise you won't regret it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Google Reader funnies

I'm completely amused that my very own blog appears in the Google Reader "Top Recommendations" as a possible feed to add to my list.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

A public service announcement

The Most Dangerous Game - Library Style

Sure is quiet around here...

I subscribed to a couple of fun librarian-centric blog RSS feeds. If you haven't seen A Librarian's Guide to Etiquette, you're missing out on some funny.

In, Blending

Librarians should not wear clothes with pictures of books on them. This "library-camouflage" may hide you as you wander in the stacks, but it makes you a target for nerdhunters as soon as you walk out the library's front door.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

23 srovalf and then some!

I just completed the survey and thus, my 23 Things journey is concluded. I'm actually sad! This was a fun project.

I'll try to keep this blog going with library and technology related posts. If you want to start following me over at Livejournal, the topics are more personal there, but it's a public journal, so read away! There is a link over in the sidebar.

Good luck, everybody!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Passover 2.0

Elijah is a bit tipsy, but off to a good start. 30,000 households down, and it's only 6:30!


Moses is departing Egypt: A Facebook Haggadah

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny

This made the rounds a few years back, but I still find it quite awesome.

(Heads up, there is some cartoon violence.)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Twenty Two! <3

My top 5 Favorite Things and, no, I'm not talking about brown paper packages tied up with string, though I love those, too...

(image yanked from

1. Google Reader (hearts and love and rockets and Care Bear stares...)
2. Reading others' posts. You guys are awesome.
3. The Common Craft Show (I'm using it all the time now.)
4. My hopes and dreams for a library FB or MySpace page.
5. Social media, as a whole, really. Web 2.0 Show and Tell. Is it snack time yet?

So, huzzah for the 22 Things we've learned and the 23rd yet to come!

Twenty First Thing

Is it poor form that I'm feeling kind of whatevs toward Thing 21?

The University of Minnesota's calculator is pretty cool. It's a 2.0 version of the information search process. We were discussing these in school a couple of weeks ago. I argued that students should be taught to be information literate but not in a way that they are so aware of it. Information literacy should be incorporated into every lesson kids are taught in school.

That being said, I still think these calculators would be cool for people who have a need to see the progress they are making on a school or work project.

Thing 21, I'm just not that into you. Let's just be friends.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thing the Twentienth

I read that NY Times article Literacy Debate: Online, R U Really Reading? and I do agree with the literacy experts who said that not every kid is going to read Pride and Prejudice but they might go and read blog posts or read fan fiction online. So what if it's not great literature? They are reading. That's the point.

When my husband was a kid, he hated reading. He loved cars. His mother's friend, a teacher, said, "Get him car magazines." Soon after her suggestion, he couldn't read enough car magazines. To this day, that's pretty much what he reads; car magazines AND things online. Yes, I'm a librarian married to a guy who doesn't like books, but he's still a reader. And of course I still love him.

And look at Twilight. (I'm ducking my head here...) That series of books is by no means great literature. Are we going to fault the meeeelions of teenagers who read that instead of, I don't know, Romeo and Juliet?

So if our patrons want to check out Playaways or if we start offering e-books to download, or if people come to use our wifi to download titles to their Kindle, are we going to stop them? Are we going to snub them and say, "If you don't want something that's on paper and bound, you're a loser?" Um, no.

Another thing...

You know how dorky things eventually become cool? Rachel Maddow wears spectacularly nerdy glasses. Women I know (me? maybe?) have crushes on total nerds like Ben Gibbard and Colin Meloy. Dwight Schrute has become an anti-hero. The Strand bookstore in New York City is a tourist destination. It's kind of hot to be a nerd right now and books are nerdy.

There is going to come a day when someone will put down their Kindle and feel like picking up a physical book. Of course, they will be jamming to an mp3 on their new iPhone (I would die for one!!!) while they are reading, but I will embrace their choice, and point them to the bookshelf where they can find a book that makes them happy.

PS: Anyone see this blog post? Timely!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thing Nineteenth

I'm on this Ning...and I love John Green and his puppy.

Visit Nerdfighters

Eighteenth Thing

I joined MySpace a few years ago after some of my friends did, but I deleted my account last year because of the creepiness factor. I see the people who use the site at the library and honestly, to think of myself in their company on MySpace? No, thanks.

On the other hand, I do love Facebook. I didn't have any enemies in high school. I wasn't picked on. I was captain of the softball team and editor in chief of the yearbook. Sure, I look back and I don't count those as the best days of my life, but I love finding people on Facebook whom I haven't seen since graduation.

I popped a Facebook widget over in the side bar, so add me as a friend, if you'd like. If I don't know you in person, just let me know that you're a NEFLIN library person in your friend request.

I really wish we had a Facebook or MySpace page for the libraries. They have become essential communication tools for everything else, why not libraries, too?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

They only want you when you're 17, when you're 21, you're no fun

I suppose I have podcasted before. LJ has a voice post option that you can access via your phone. I've called it a few times when I've had something to blog and I'm not near a computer.

I'm not really a talker. I'm more a listener and a writer, so podcasting probably won't be my social media of choice, but it's nice to know it's out there.

I added a feed to WOXY's Lounge Acts podcasts. Great live sets from some of the world's best indie rock bands. Put on your best ironic slogan t-shirt and your favorite pair of Chucks and prepare to rock out.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Thing Sixteen? Already?

In 2007, brothers John Green, amazing YA author, and Hank Green, amazing green blogger, communicated only through web videos. Brotherhood 2.0!

I love most of the videos, but this one really got me last year. John's book, Looking for Alaska, was going to be added to curriculum at a high school and was being challenged because of sexual content. Obviously, this made the author upset. It's not the -ography!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thing the Quince

I created a Rollyo search widget and it's sitting over there on the right. I generated a list of craft idea sites (it's called So Crafty) and now anyone can search for craft ideas using that widget.

Remember when you were in kindergarten and you made stained glass with tissue paper and glue? I'm trying to find instructions for that. Anyone have any ideas? Cheap ideas?

Thing Fourteen

I just looked at my iGoogle page for the first time in probably two years. On there, I have widgets for Washington, DC weather, Fark's RSS, the Buddhist Thought of the Day, my daily horoscope, Reuter's Oddly Enough RSS, and Top Stories news.

I wish I'd made more use of that page. I need to fancy it up a bit. Some of those widgets are stale!

I've already talked up Pageflakes in a previous post. I think that site is awesome. I've used it for school research. Someone has probably put up a flake on your research topic, why reinvent the wheel? See what someone else has already dug up.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lucky Number Thirteen

I escaped the bug going around the library system, but caught a bug from the various modes of NY public transit. Planes, trains, subways, ferries, was inevitable I'd come back with a stuffy nose.

So excuse me if this post isn't up to my usual standard of blogging excellence...

I've been using GoodReads for about a year, so I'm not going to set up a LibraryThing account. You can see my GoodReads widget over in the sidebar. Those are books I've read.

I could envision using these sites for readers advisory or If You Like... Patrons can be nosey. Why not show them what their friends and neighbors are reading? It's like a shelving cart but with Flash.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Thing the Twelfth

I don't remember the first wiki I ever stumbled upon, but I do remember the first wiki I edited.

On September 15, 2006, my favorite-amazingly-awesome-Internet-Indie Rock radio station, WOXY, went dark. Incredibly depressed, I logged onto their Wikipedia page and edited it to add a list of the final three songs the DJs played before silence. Songs by Oasis, Public Enemy, MC5...

WOXY has since returned, having risen Phoenix-like from the ashes after being saved by a kind-hearted business person. And I've noticed that people have edited the page, removing my edits, and have added all sorts of new information.

This is the beauty of wikis. They are collaborative and social and anyone can edit them. I think it's very difficult to add wrong information. There are too many hardcore wiki editors out there who will swoop in and make things right. And another beauty is, wikis can revert to their previous state before edits. So if anyone completely destroys a wiki, you can time travel back to before the destruction.

So wikis can be fun. I just edited the Neflin 23 Things wiki to add that I think peanut butter wikis are yummy.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thing the Eleventh

You know, the whole idea behind blogging is for people to be social and to share what excites us with other people. So it's only natural for us to want to share news articles, blog posts, videos, and whatever else with friends, too.

My only experience with this kind of thing is when I share articles or blogs I like. It's so simple to click on the little Share button to zoom something cool to my Mom or my BFF. Have I read about a tasty recipe at The Kitchn? Click it and send it to my hubby so he can pick up ingredients at Publix on his way home from work. Did I read something feministy at Jezebel? Digg it up, ladies!

I'm not sure about using this bit of Web 2.0 in the library. If we had an official library blog, we could post about events or new books and provide a Share link or a Digg link so patrons could alert friends to anything interesting.

That's about all I can imagine right now. It's very dreary out and my coffee is too weak this morning...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Thing the Tenth

Tagging and stuff...

I'm a fan of tagging. On my LJ, I began to use tags as soon as the developers added the option. I even spent what seemed like a month going back through four years (at the time) of my blog archives to tag old posts. It's fun for me to go back and see what I wrote about a topic.

Por ejemplo:

Bad Idea Bears - 1 use
Conspiracies - 23 uses
Librarians - 7 uses
Mitzvot - 1 use
Nerds - 43 uses
Why I Hate the Dentist - 1 use
Yay- 99 uses

So, yes, tags are cool. And Delicious?

I like the social networking aspect of Delicious. I think it could be a handy way to share web resources without having to print out a list of links for someone, which sort of seems like an extra step in the process that puts you on paper and then back on the computer.

I created an account, which was easy enough. Then I had a brain fart. I followed the instructions for importing my favorites. It wasn't moving them over. Suddenly, my brain decided to kick on. "Dummy," said my brain, "You don't have Favorites, you have Google bookmarks!" So, click click, point, click, a-ha! and my bookmarks now live on Delicious and Google.

I'm thinking about creating Delicious lists for students in my computer classes. They can apply what I've taught them and do some homework.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Own Things

Here are a couple sites I think are worth your time...

Pageflakes is a social homepage site. I stumbled upon that one during a search I had to do for library school homework. It's a pretty cool alternative to something like GoogleReader. I might set one up. allows me to update all of my accounts like Livejournal, Facebook, Twitter, etc, at once. I've enabled my GChat so that I can send a ping to update everything. Very cool.

Thing the Ninth

Image hosted @

Again, I'm becoming a big huge fan of Big Huge Labs. I used their mosaic maker to create an image using some old photos I had in my Flickr account. It was easy to link my BHL account with my Flickr account for some seamless sharing.

I had fun going through my old photos. So many good memories of my former life in DC. I miss that town.

I think these tools could be used to present photos taken at library events in a really fun way. Photo albums? Please. Those are so 1.0.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Thing the Eighth

Keeping in touch through Web 2.0...


I teach the computer classes out here at my branch. One of my classes is called Next Step: The Internet and in it, I cover the anatomy of the web browser, basic web searching using Google, and I help anyone who wants one to set up an email address. I give them the options of any of the major free services, but I personally use GMail, so I like it best.

I like that you never have to delete anything in GMail and I like how it organizes emails in a chain of conversation. I also love GChat.


GChat is simple and I like that it's browser-based, so it's always there when GMail is open. I recently found out that I could import my AOL messenger list into it, so I have even more contacts in the same place.

At a former job, we used IM for inter-office communication. Rather than pick up the phone or walk across the building to speak to coworkers, we would communicate by IM. I think we were more productive that way. It cut out a lot of wasted time.

I think it would be cool if we could use IM in the libraries this way. I imagine sending an IM to the Children's department at HQ to ask if they have a book or to quickly find out about storytime schedules. It would be so quick and easy!

We do have Windows Messenger installed on all the staff computers, but I never sign on and I don't even know how many of my coworkers actually use it. Does anyone who reads this post want to chime in on that?


I'm skeptical about using SMS for reference help, but I can see how it would be cool to broadcast library information via text. My university uses texts to send out emergency alerts. I think that is brilliant. Why don't we text patrons if they have overdue books?


Twitter Challenge

Already did it. I'm ahead of the game. :P

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Thing the Seventh

There were so many cool generators out there that it made the decision a difficult one. Which to choose?

Witty Comics - At the offices of Bunny and Monkey...

I created a comic using WittyComics! through a link at The Generator Blog. It was pretty easy and mostly a time suck just because I was thinking of a good punch line.

(Please ignore the typo in the third panel!)

Okay, now back to work...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Thing the Sixth, another go

L californ I a B Wood Scrabble Tile R a r42 y

Flickr spelling is fun and something I think kids could really get into. I'm imagining a wall or bulletin board full of kid and adult creations.

Thing the Sixth

Alright, so with Flickr mashups, I can get my lolcat cake and eat it, too.

Using the generator at Big Huge Labs, I made my own cat macro using a photo of my cat, Blanca.

Blanca has several aliases, including Blanca bin Laden, Blanca bin Soup Ladle, and Kitty Terrorist. She attacks first and may or may not ask questions later.

My husband works in emergency management and had brought home a rescue dummy from an exercise. I returned home from work that night. It was dark and all the lights were out in the house. I opened the door and flipped the light switch. Laying on the couch in the front room was this dead/bleeding dummy. Scared the bejeesus out of me.

Later that night, the cat decided to take action.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Thing the Fifth

books with bite 007
Originally uploaded by Erin Doyle
My first struggle!

Finding the place to grant new blog permissions was kind of annoying. Who would have thought that "Extending Flickr" under the Accounts page was the place to add blogs?

I almost posted this Thing to my LJ. My friends over there would have been scratching their heads.


Here's a photo I snapped last month of my monster shelf in YA. I decorated it for Teen Read Week. Lots of vampire books, mind-munching books, tech books, and other books the teens gobbled up.

That shelf looked mean!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thing the Fourth

Again, another way to save time...RSS.

I find RSS feeds a good way to keep up with comics, news, and some of my favorite blogs. I wrote about Bloglines in a previous post, so I'm not going to rehash.

I added feeds for Bookshelves of Doom and Alternative Teen Services to the sidebar.

I also added a feed of my Tweets. So now everyone will know what I'm thinking when a patron comes up to the reference desk and he smells like a bong. Fun times, I tell ya.

Thing the Third

From one of my Top 5 All Time Favorite Movies The American President:

Louis Rothschild: People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand.

President Andrew Shepherd: Lewis, we've had presidents who were beloved, who couldn't find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. People don't drink the sand because they're thirsty. They drink the sand because they don't know the difference.

So I think the web is kind of like a desert. It's seemingly endless. People can get lose their way trying to get through it. When they do find something, they cling to it, even if it might be a mirage. They might go back to it again and again, because they know it's going to be there.

Say you type "politics blog" into Google because you want to know what bloggers are saying about political happenings. The first hit is DailyKos. This is a good hit, if you're on the left side of the aisle. So you go there and read a bit. But what if you want to know what others are saying? Going through a whole list of Google hits is going to take forever.

On the other end, what if you're like me and you already have a list of blogs and websites you regularly visit. If I opened a browser tab for every one of these everyday, I'd have no time to get any work done and I'd forget what I've visited and when.

How do I search through the bajillions of blogs to find anything relevant, coherent, amusing, mind-alteringly-brilliant? How do I find my way through the desert to find genuinely good blogs?

Two blog search tools I like are Technorati and Bloglines.

I signed up for a Technorati account a few years ago for a pretty vain reason: I wanted to see if anyone was linking to my blog. But Technorati is also useful to find out what other people are talking about in one quick look.

Bloglines is a little more fun. I like that you can subscribe to feeds based on interest. There is even a library feed! I also added a feed from my friends' popular sports and pop culture blog Hugging Harold Reynolds.

Tools like these can help us to find what's new and interesting, but more importantly, can help us save time!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Thing the Second

I Twitter. I blog. I'm on Facebook. I use GoodReads. I play with Flickr. I used to MySpace until it got too annoying. I subscribe to RSS feeds. I'm a nerdfighter.

I'm the youngest employee at my branch. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who knows about these things.

I have been dreaming about setting up a MySpace or Facebook page for the libraries for a long time. It would be so easy to send out information on events. We could set up LibraryThing with lists of books that kids might like to read on various subjects. We could even Twitter anything and everything any exciting happening at the library.

My head is swimming with ideas to attract attention for our libraries.

Now that everyone is going to participate in 23 Things, they are all going to learn how cheap and easy these goodies are to use. I'm not going to feel alone anymore! For me, that's the most exciting thing about this project.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My vote for Thing 24: lolcats

Alright, so the I Can Has Cheezburger widget didn't work for me. I have a sneaking suspicion it has something to do with my computer's out of date Flash version. So I put up a Good Reads widget in the sidebar so everyone can see what's currently on my bookshelf.

I'm sloooowwwlllyyy getting through One Hundred Years of Solitude so I can finally get my Dad off my case for not reading it.

So if I can't have a continous loop of lolcats, here is a classic for you 23 Things followers. Enjoy!

more animals

Monday, January 12, 2009

Thing the First

Hello, Blogspot. I'm Erin, a blogger who has used Livejournal for the past seven years. Since I'm not used to how things work around here, I'm going to have to play around a bit. Let's see how many fun widgets we can find to decorate this space. Weeeeeeee!