Tag Archives: Library


My entry for lion has to be Fortitude and Patience, the lions that stand guard at the New York Public Library’s main branch since its official dedication in 1911..


(CLICK HERE to read more about Fortitude and Patience)



NELLS 2013, or, A Week At Library Camp

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending NELLS 2013 - the New England Library Leadership Symposium, a weeklong retreat focused on various aspects of leadership, management, and personal development. I was one of 28 librarians (plus...

Blowing in to ask a question

You know the "Stump the Chumps" segment on Car Talk, where they revisit a past call to see whether or not their advice was correct? I wish we had something like that here in ReferenceLibrarianLand. Our regular patrons will often...


With a title like "searing" you might think I'm talking about the ridiculously hot weather we had this week, but no.  Rather, I'm talking about the eyeball-searing yarn I bought the other day.


Seriously.  Eyeball-searing.  Especially that pink!  It's marginally less painful to look at in person, but only just barely so.  That's a bunch of skeins of Red Heart Super Saver from Walmart...yarn I'd normally never buy from a store I never shop at.  But, as the picture would suggest, it's for yarnbombing -- and if yarnbombing isn't a good use for obnoxiously-colored Red Heart, I don't know what is.  

This summer, a coworker and I have organized a yarnbombing group and we're going to cover our library in yarn.  All the participants are REALLY enthusiastic, and if they follow through on even half of their ideas, it's going to be AWESOME.  I can't wait to see what everyone does!

I knitted my first little tag the other night: it was meant to go on one of our barcode scanners (which is why it doesn't fit particularly well) but we decided that this little vase would, for now, be more visible.  But, in due time, the barcode scanners will get cozied up, too.  Oh yes.  Yes, they will.  


Spring into…everything.

I always forget -- until it comes around again -- just how busy I always am in the spring!  This year has seemed even crazier than usual, though, for some reason.  And to think that Ian isn't in school, so we don't even have end-of-the-school-year craziness (or, really, much of anything that is Ian-centered) to add into the mix.  Yet.

So, what HAS been keeping me so busy, and keeping me from writing anything?  My last couple of months, in bullet point form:

Knitting: Is, at the moment, not happening, but since last we spoke I did knit a Wingspan shawl (though mine is more scarf-sized) and I liked it so much that I started another.  And I sold a little bit of yarn from my stash (thanks to people asking nicely on Ravelry!).  That's about all the yarn action that's happened around here.  I didn't go to Maryland Sheep & Wool; I thought about Massachusetts Sheep & Wool this weekend but couldn't work up the motivation.

Reading: I'm still on pace to make my 52-book goal for the year!  I love the Goodreads widget that keeps track of my progress for me.  (As of right now, I'm one book ahead.)  I read a couple of prepub books on my Kindle (thanks, Netgalley!) that I really must review; and Book Expo America is coming up next week!  I won't be lacking for things to read, that's for sure.  Even my husband is getting in on the book review action -- the only difference is that, assuming it meets their specifications, HIS is going to be published in an actual print publication that you've probably even heard of (he's frequently published in places you HAVEN'T heard of).  Ah, the benefits of being practically-a-PhD and Knowing People In Your Field.  

Anyway, right now I am still working on book 2 of the Game of Thrones series -- I had every intention of keeping ahead of the TV show, but that didn't happen.  Oh well.  I let it languish for a while, but over the last couple of days I've been picking up speed on it.  Maybe I'll manage to read Book 3 before Season 3 starts!

Ian: Is TWO.  I know, I can hardly believe it myself.  If I were a better/more organized mother, I would have written a heartfelt birthday post for him, but instead I am a busy mother so it'll have to wait.  I have so much I could write about him; I'll save it for its own post.  But I love that he's now at an age where he is clearly listening and taking things in, to the point where we are even able to reason with him these days (inasmuch as one can reason with a toddler).  I mean, he seems to understand the word "later," which was an amazing breakthrough in our dealings with him.  :-)

Work: Is crazy.  I've been serving on a task force for our library consortium, which has necessitated all kinds of demos and webinars and a lot of driving around to different libraries.  Plus, spring is Conference Season, between the Book Expo and the CT Library Association conference and a few smaller other things.  AND I've been teaching a lot of classes at the library.  Between all the time out of my office and the time I've been devoting to preparing for, and teaching, my classes, I feel like I barely have even touched my "normal" job responsibilities lately!  And now summer reading is upon us...woohoo.

Running:  Yes, you read that right.  Running.  I started up a couch-to-5k program again.  I've started (but never finished) a program multiple times over the last few years; I think the last time was the summer I ended up getting pregnant, and when it got really hot I used that as an excuse to quit.  For whatever reason, I seem to be much more motivated this time around.  Today I did week 4 day 2 (there are eight weeks, 3 days per week) so I'm nearly halfway through the program.  It's starting to get difficult for me...but I guess that if it took four weeks for it to feel like a challenge, that's a good thing. Right?

Family: Our big family news is that my sister Kayte finished her RN!  YAY!  She's been going to school while also juggling multiple jobs, multiple sclerosis, and single-motherhood, so it was a long time coming, but she is finally DONE and she just found out a couple of days ago that she passed her state boards, so it's all official and everything.  I am just so proud of her I could bust.  I even got to go to her graduation: the last time (when she got her LPN) I was just days from delivering Ian, so opted not to drive all the way to New Hampshire for the ceremony.  

Gardening: My perennials all came back (except for, oddly enough, the coneflowers -- I would have thought they'd be pretty indestructible) and have spread well and are just generally doing quite well.  Yesterday I bought some plants and some seeds, and Jim got the vegetable garden all planted.  There are a few more odds and ends we want to add to the vegetable garden, and I'd like to add a few more flowers to the perennial beds, but everything is in good shape for this summer!

I think that's all the big stuff.  You see why I've had no time or inclination to blog!  


The weather has just been so strange these last couple of months.  Yesterday it was nearly 70 degrees. A month ago, though, this is what we had to deal with.


(Ian's reaction when he looked out the window: "Whoa!"  Yes, indeed, little dude.  Yes, indeed.)

The snow started here just after noon on Saturday, October 29.  Our power went out just after dark (and it would stay out, though we didn't know it yet, until the following Sunday night).  All that night, all we could hear were branches snapping all over the place.  Usually weather doesn't phase me too much but I was more than a little nervous during this storm.  We woke up in the morning to clear blue skies and nearly two feet of heavy, wet snow.


Definitely the craziest October weather I ever remember.


Because it was October, there were still leaves on the trees, which is what caused so much damage -- the poor trees just couldn't take the weight.  My poor lilac was one of the casualties.


It needed a good pruning, but it didn't need to be THAT good.

On Sunday we ran the fireplace all day (mostly useless for heat, although i did make some awesome baked potatoes in it).  We decided to venture out to my library -- there's a generator there because the community center (where the library is located) is the town emergency shelter, and since we had no power, no phone, no internet, and no cell service, we really wanted to get an idea of how bad things were, not to mention check in with our families.  That night, it was supposed go to down into the 20s, and we weren't sure how to keep Ian warm enough...so when we got to the library and discovered that they were opening up the shelter, we decided to stay there.  But since we're not residents, we didn't want to use cots and other supplies that we weren't entitled to -- plus, why not take advantage of whatever privacy you're able to get? -- so instead we set up camp in my office.  I have often joked about sleeping in my office, but I assure you, I never thought I would actually, literally, sleep there.  We had Ian in his pack-and-play, and Jim and I slept on an air mattress.  Crazy. 

Truthfully, it's too bad Ian won't remember this whole episode -- because what kid doesn't secretly want to sleep in the library??  Here's our little camper, in his jammies in the library very very early in the morning, long before other people came in:


We slept in my office, cooked and ate in the staff room, washed hair in the sink in the story room...it was an adventure, to be sure.  And I worked.  A lot.  We kept the library open lots of extra hours -- for a time, it was, literally, the only place in town with power -- and holy smokes, was it busy.  People coming in to charge things, check their email, use the phone, get coffee (we were brewing it by the gallon), and just warming up....I couldn't believe how many people were in the library, literally crammed into every available space.  It was quite the experience -- we'd keep the library open till 9:30, I'd go change into pajamas and read for a while, we'd set up the air mattress and go to bed, then I'd roll out in the morning and empty the bookdrop while still in my pajamas....Surreal doesn't begin to describe it.

The storm and power outages effectively cancelled Halloween, but the town parks and rec department organized trick-or-treating for the kids staying at the shelter.  So Ian got to rock his little robot costume after all (and we didn't have to trick-or-treat in the cold and dark! WIN!)



The senior citizens who were handing out candy declared Ian absolutely adorable.  I was handing out candy in the library so I didn't get to walk around with him, but I am told that he was very polite and well-behaved, and even though he's too little to say "trick or treat" he DID say "BEEP!" whenever prompted, just like a good little robot should.

Luckily Jim's mom got her power back quite early -- on Halloween night, actually -- so our library camping adventure was relatively short-lived, and we stayed at Camp Grandma until our own power came back.  It was a crazy week-plus, let me tell you.  But I have to say -- everyone was in the same boat, and the whole experience really brought people together.  Our part of CT was the hardest-hit, and even after the power had been out for a week people were still, by and large, cheerful and optimistic and looking out for each other.  On the Friday of that week, as the library crowds were dwindling as more and more people got their power back, a man who had been there working daily (needless to say, telecommuting was not working from his house!) said, wistfully, "we should have a reunion in a few months! This has been fun!"  And you know, really, it was.  It was a giant pain, to be sure, but there's nothing like some good old-fashioned Yankee stiff-upper-lip and can-do and a healthy dose of community spirit to give you the warm fuzzies.

But it is REALLY nice to have my power and internet back.  Really nice.