Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Personality Tests (for Management)

Well, when I first went to take these, my laptop's internet browsers (yes, browsers plural!) kept telling me that both sites "timed out" every time. Turns out it was something with the on-campus wireless. I don't know if my frustration with this reflects something about my personality, but there it is!

While I was trying unsuccessfully to get to the Myers-Briggs type test, I found another Myers-Briggs type that I took instead. It was interesting in that it didn't just give me one type. It said I shared 77% of the profile for both ISFP and ESFP, 76% with ESFJ, and 75% with ISFJ. One thing that doesn't surprise me about this is that I tend to be right on the line for I/E. I see this in my life: sometimes I just want to be left alone to read my book, but sometimes I don't want to be alone at all, even if the other person and I are just going to sit next to each other engaged in "parallel play" with occasional comments to each other. Apparently, this shows that I'm on the line for P/J, too, which is weird, because when I finally got to the "official" practice test for class, I came off as a very strong "J." I'm not sure what really defines the judger vs. the perceiver; however, when speaking about my overall type, ISFJ according to this test, it talked a lot about being concerned with propriety, and that definitely defines me.

Both the information from the Myers-Briggs and from the Enneagram, where I got the highest score in the "helper" type, talked about liking to help others, but more in a low-key, from the sidelines way. That is definitely true. I don't think I want to be the CEO. I don't mind the idea of being a branch manager, but I don't ever want to be the library director. This is partly because of the weight of responsibility, but also because I like to be a "big fish in a little pond." I like to help people in my little universe, fixing things that can actually be fixed.

One somewhat funny result, considering this is Management class and we're talking about Leadership this week, is that I got a 0 for the "Leader" type on the Enneagram. Granted, the description looks like it's talking about a more high-profile leader than some of what we've discussed in class, but I thought it was funny.

Overall, since I've taken personality tests before, I was unsurprised by the results. Still, it's nice to see that I tend to be consistent in different personality tests given at different times--seems like there may actually be something to them! :-)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ethical Principles (for Management)

1. As the community library, we treat each patron with the same respect and committment to high service.
-This means that each patron's request is just as important as every other; do not show partiality.
-Show respect and helpfulness even to patrons who are difficult to get along with.
-Children are patrons, too, and should have their information needs treated with the same respect as adults.

2. Be honest.
-This seems self-explanatory, but is important to remember, and includes some of the situations below.
-Do not use library supplies for personal reasons.
-If you can not help a patron, explain why and seek another solution rather than trying to hide a difficulty.
-Give reasonable estimates on when broken machinery will be fixed.
-Seek help when needed.
-If you encounter a dilemma, consider which option will allow you to uphold the highest standard of honesty.

3. Keep patron records confidential.
-This directly supports ALA Code of Ethics, Article III. Maintaining confidentiality is becoming increasingly important in a society in which the Internet makes confidentiality less certain.
-Confidentiality can not always be extended to children under 18, but parents and guardians must have a reason for requesting information and be able to show their identification.

4. Show support for the library's mission and policies.
-When asked for an opinion on a policy change by a member of the public, give a neutral answer.
-Report concerns and complaints through proper employee channels, not to patrons.
-Maintain an understanding of current library policy and apply it to your work life.

5. Give patrons and staff the benefit of the doubt.
-Realize that everyone has a bad day and that you may also need the benefit of the doubt sometime.
-Help your co-workers when you can.
-Recognize when exceptions should and should not be applied.

The last principle was an actual part of the code of ethics at one of my jobs, and I really liked this. It reminds us that we are all humans and need a break sometimes, and, I think, led to a smoother and happier work environment. It also made "problem patrons" easier to shake off!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Elevator Speech (for Management)

I gave an elevator speech aimed at showing my qualifications for a part-time media specialist permission at a nearby elementary school that serves as a magnet school with an IB-Primary Years Programme. I spoke to one of my library school friends, who is also interested in school libraries and had her provide feedback. Here's the written text of the speech that I prepared beforehand:

"I think I would be an excellent match for the part-time media specialist position at Covington Farms (name changed)Elementary. I have a great deal of experience working with elementary school age children, most notably from a year as a
third grade teacher, but also from earlier jobs and volunteer opportunities. I have specific school library experience
through an internship in a middle school media center. I enjoyed getting to know the middle schoolers, but I truly love the
elementary school setting. I am comfortable working with students of all ability levels and would welcome the
academically rigorous environment of an IB program. I especially like working with other media specialists and teachers,
so I know I will enjoy the collaborative atmosphere of Covington Farms."

When I actually delivered the speech, I didn't read it, since I would never do that in real life, so it didn't come out exactly as written. I felt very weird giving this speech in an entirely unrelated context, and I explained the setting for my friend, which was also a little weird. I think it was good practice, but I definitely get the most out of practicing for an actual upcoming interview or speaking requirement.

I was very glad to have read over the text several times before delivering it, because some of my initial drafts just sounded ridiculous to me out loud. The idea of "selling myself" is still hard for me, and I think it was even harder in a straight speech from me, without the usual give and take of an interview. I actually think that, in real work situations, I would be better able to deliver an elevator speech about a project or a goal that I supported, because I could focus on the external "thing" that I wanted to accomplish, instead of squarely on myself.

The main feedback given was that I need to speak slower (I had "one minute" ingrained in my head and seemed to think a buzzer would go off) and that I should also have mentioned volunteering at another elementary school's media center regularly last year, since that would tie together my elementary school and library experience.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Fire Plan (for Management)

I chose to write a plan for fire prevention and management, partly because fires are disasters that can happen anywhere at anytime, and partly because they are a disaster that is very easy to plan for if you invest the time and effort!

Fire Prevention (at all locations):

1. Install smoke detectors and fire alarms that are equipped to automatically call the fire department. This should be done every time a new branch is built, and is the joint responsibility of the branch manager, the branch coordinator, and the builders.

2. Check smoke detectors and fire alarms every six months to ensure they are working properly. It is the responsibility of the branch manager to schedule this check with maintenance, and the responsibility of the branch coordinator to check in with branch managers to ensure adhereence to schedule.

3. Review the library's fire insurance policy once a year. This is the responsibility of the library director, in consultation with the library's legal counselors.

4. Train all new employees in the following procedures:
-Turning off the fire alarm (in case of false alarm)
-Evacuating the building
-Contacting headquarters after evacuation of a building
-Referring media to the appropriate person for comment
-Assisting in emergency room delivery/pick-up of co-workers and the public
-Contacting materials management for initiation of material recovery procedures
This training is the responsibility of the employee's immediate supervisor, in conjunction with other managers (such as Librarian 1s) as needed.

5. Hold a fire drill at each branch during open hours every six months. At least 2 days prior to the drill, review above procedures with all employees and inform them of the date of the drill (but not the time). Refer to evacuation procedures below for the order of drill procedures. Schedule drills so that they occur at different times of the day, to allow for employees who work different shifts to be part of the drills. Scheduling and organization of these drills are the joint responsibility of each branch's management team (branch manager, assistant branch manager, 2 Librarian 1s).

6. Back up data on HQ servers once a week. Backed up data will be stored at county headquarters, possibly also (in small amounts) on branch servers. This is the responsibility of the IT team.

7. Copies of all personnel files should be kept in fire-safe storage provided by the county. This is the responsibility of the HR department.

Fire Management (at a branch other than Headquarters):

1. If the fire alarm sounds, determine whether or not it is a false alarm. If it is a false alarm, follow the instructions for turning off the fire alarm and call the fire department to alert them (any branch employee). If the fire alarm has been pulled, determine who has pulled it and speak to them (branch manager).

2. The following are signs that the alarm is NOT false:
-any smell of smoke
-any sight of smoke or flames
-unusual heat coming from any part of the branch
-patrons/staff coughing uncontrollably or quickly exiting a portion of the library
If any of these signs are noted, the building MUST be evacuated.

3. Make an announcement that everyone must exit the building, instructing all parties to meet at the branch's entrance sign (or another designated spot that is better suited for that branch). If conducting a drill, announce that it is a mandatory drill. If not a drill, announce that fact. Assign one staff member each to check the bathrooms and the children's area, and adult area, and assist patrons who need help exiting.

4. If your branch holds a special collection in the workroom, assign one employee who is already in the workroom to cover this collection with a fire blanket, then exit the building (assuming the collection is not the source of the fire).

5. Assign another 1-2 employees who are in the workroom to retrieve the first aid kit, and any employee belongings (keys, purses) that are easily accessible (assuming these items are not near the source of the fire, and ONLY if sufficient time exists for employees to complete these duties and exit the building quickly).

6. When the branch manager exits the building, they should attempt to bring the fire plan, current schedule, and cell phone with them.

7. Meet employees and patrons at designated spot. Determine that all employees and patrons have exited safely. (If conducting a drill, allow all to re-enter the building at this point.) If anyone is hurt, call 911. If the fire department does not arrive in 10 minutes, call 911 or the fire department.

8. Call Headquarters to appraise them of the situation. Request that a branch coordinator and public relations manager come to the scene.

9. Assist the firefighters with any information that might be helpful when they arrived. Allow unharmed patrons to leave once the fire department has arrived.

10. If media arrive on the scene, all staff should direct questions to either the library public relations manager (if present) or the branch manager. All that should be given is a description of what happened (the alarm sounded, smoke was sighted, etc.), the evacuation steps that were taken, and the information that all people are safe.

11. The branch will remain closed for the rest of the day. If the fire is contained with a relatively small amount of damage, staff should stay for the end of their shifts, helping to clean up the branch. If there is extensive building damage, library staff (except for the management team) will be sent home.

12. Books that are damaged will be sent to Headquarters to determine whether they should be preserved or discarded. If a large number of items must be discarded, multiple titles can be floated to the branch from other branches once the building is cleared for operation.

13. The branch management team, the branch coordinator, and the fire marshall will determine what repairs need to be made to the building and when it is ready to be reopened. Funds for relatively minor repairs (new shelving, new carpet) will come from the library emergency budget line item. Funds for major repairs will be diverted from funding for new branch construction. If the branch has to close for an extended period of time (longer than 3 days), the staff will be reassigned to other branches in the interim.

Fire Management at Headquarters:

1. Evacuation should proceed as it would at any branch, with the following changes: staff working in materials processing should each carry one box of new materials out with them, as they are able and only if there is adequate time. IT staff should be sure to close the fire safe door to the servers, assuming the fire has not already spread to this part. Additionally, they should initiate an emergency back-up sequence as they leave the building.

2. If there is major building damage, the materials processing staff will be relocated to one of the branches with meeting rooms. All other staff will be relocated to other branches as space is available. Executive staff may be relocated to the county government building.

3. The branch coordinators will call the branch managers, using the phone tree, to determine if ILS service has been disrupted at the branches. If so, IT staff will be sent to both the county headquarters and to branches to attempt to use back-up servers to re-initiate the system.

4. Major building repair funds will be diverted from funding for new branches. Other repair/replacement funds will come from the library's emergency budget line item (necessary server space, reorder of new books that were destroyed).

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Termination Checklist (for Management)

Before Termination Decision:
1.) If for unsatisfactory job performance, ensure that the employee has received the following performance warnings (and there is a record in the employee's file)
-3 verbal warnings (including at least one in-depth meeting to discuss problem)
-Written employee improvement plan
-Written notice of failure to meet specified goals, with timeline in which they must be met
2.) If for misconduct, ensure that the employee has received the following warnings (and there is a record in the employee's file)
-3 verbal warnings and a written warning with behavior-change due date if for minor misconduct
-unacceptable conduct letter/suspension notice if for major misconduct
3.) Meet with Human Resources to show evidence of termination cause, and arrange for an HR representative to attend the actual termination meeting.

Before Termination Meeting:
1.) Obtain employee's final paycheck, termination notice, and explanation of separation packet from HR.
2.) Schedule termination meeting on a Monday or Tuesday morning.

During Termination Meeting:
1.) Request that employee come to your office, make sure to close door.
2.) Explain, succinctly, the decision to terminate, reason(s) for termination, and next steps to the employee. Make sure to emphasize that the decision is final. Advise them of what will be said if GCPL is called for a reference (position and dates of employment only).
3.) Allow employee to respond, ask questions--do not allow employee to draw out an argument or plea to keep job.
4.) Offer the employee the option to complete an exit interview at the present time (you will leave the office for this) or to come to Headquarters at a date later in the week.
5.) Have employee sign necessary forms--answer any questions they may have about the forms.
6.) Request employee's keys and nametag, advise them that their e-mail account will be cancelled at the end of the day. Allow them to forward e-mails in their work account to their personal account (supervised).
7.) Step out for exit interview if employee chooses this option.
8.) Wish former employee the best of luck. Give him or her time to clean out locker and mailbox and to say good-bye to co-workers, if desired.

After Termination Meeting:
1.) Hand-deliver employee's file to HR, making sure all the termination forms are properly filled out and signed.
2.) Meet with assistant branch manager and librarians (librarian I position) to explain the situation, have them give the explanation to the rest of the staff.
3.) Answer staff questions without providing specifics into the performance problem or misconduct incident.
4.) Determine whether the position will be replaced, if so meet with HR to fill out position request forms.
5.) Report any unauthorized or unusual returns to the building of the former employee to HR and, if safety seems threatened, the local police.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Madeleine L'Engle

My favorite author, Madeleine L'Engle, died on Thursday, September 6, 2007. You can read more information about Madeleine at her official website,

I loved her books because she seamlessly wove the "real world" and the wider spiritual world, because Christianity and science were not contradictory to her, because her characters seemed to share both my background and my fears/hopes, because God was obviously present to her in her writing, and because Madeleine herself seemed so real and human.

Some of my favorites among her books (I am purposefully not listing A Wrinkle in Time because, although I loved it too, it was not one I reread for "comfort reading," and everyone knows it anyway:

Many Waters
A Ring of Endless Light
A House Like a Lotus
Meet the Austins
The Moon By Night
The Arm of the Starfish

Some that I read for the first time this summer, and loved:

Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art
A Circle of Quiet
The Summer of the Great-Grandmother
Certain Women

If you have not yet read any of her books, do!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Branch Librarian Position (for Management)

Branch Librarian

Works with the branch manager and assistant branch manager to ensure smooth daily branch operation. Individual tasks may include working at the reference desk, assisting with collection development, maintaining branch displays, organizing branch programs, organizing special projects, training employees, and assigning work among staff.

Education: MLS from an ALA accredited program.
Experience: One to two years work in a library setting. No prior management experience needed, but prior teamwork experience is a must.
Skills: Strong reference and reader's advisory skills, extremely strong interpersonal skills, initiative, and a love for libraries and people.

"GCPL" will provide management training as well as matching the successful candidate with a mentor to encourage personal career growth. The selected candidate will have the chance to work with his/her branch manager and assistant branch manager to match the librarian's interests and strengths with needed tasks. Opportunities exist to work on system level projects and we encourage employee advancement in our library system.

Compensation and Benefits:
Salary Range: $41,900-$47,500, depending on previous experience
Benefits: Health, dental, vision, life, accident, and disability insurance; vacation days and sick leave, sick leave bank, employee assistance program (counseling)

Outstanding candidates should send a resume and cover letter to hiring manager Wanda Job via

a) Standard post: Wanda Job
Hiring Manager
1234 Fake Address
Sometown, SS 98765


b) E-mail: wjob (at) fakeemail (dot) org.

Applications will be accepted until 5:00 PM, Friday, September 21, 2007.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Interviewing Practice with Stacey (for Management)

I wasn't sure how useful this exercise would be, since I knew it was "pretend." But once we got started (Stacey L interviewed me first), I realized that I had the same small butterfly knot in my stomach that I get when I interview for real! This surprised me, but it help me make the most of the practice. I feel like I interview reasonably well, so the butterfly knot is more of a "put me on my toes" thing than a "I'm so nervous I'm going to crack" thing.

I definitely think I should go through my past and choose examples to pull out, especially from my recent work, and especially of overcoming challenges. This question always directs my mind to teaching first, which so far has probably been the most challenging experience of my entire life. However, I'd rather choose examples from work experiences that were positive overall, and I'd like to be a little more prepared with a "ready-to-tell" example.

That said, the "describe a challenge you've overcome" question didn't unnerve me as much as a question about where else I'm applying (which I basically deflected instead of answering directly) and Stacey responding to many of my responses by saying, "Good." This last made me nervous because she didn't say it every time, so I wondered if the silences meant what I had said was not good.

Overall, though, I felt positive about the interview, and Stacey said she would have hired me, so that makes me happy! :-)

It took me a few minutes to get into being the interviewer--I was at first just as nervous about that, but then I started to have fun with it. It must be neat to learn about all the different people if you've got a good pool of applicants, and Stacey was an awesome applicant! Her answers and examples were great (one example of her helping get a little kid to go off the diving board by realizing that the kid was afraid of getting up on the board, not jumping off made me want to hire her right there and then!).

I found myself conscious of wanting to be as friendly and encouraging as possible while still asking the questions I needed to ask, and at one point, I was relieved when Stacey elaborated on an original answer without prompting. The question was about overcoming a challenge, and she mentioned working with a variety of people to get information she needed from each of them for her clients. I would have asked her to elaborate simply because I was interested, but I always feel a bit more on the spot when asked to elaborate, so I was glad I didn't have to do that.

I think it was a good, and even fun experience, and it was especially nice to get "out of character" and talk about what worked and what could be improved upon at the end (and to hear Stacey's other stories!).

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Introducing My Organization (for Management)

Our first assignment is to introduce the organization (of our choice or creation) of which we are the new head. I have decided to work on the premise of managing the Gwinnett County Public Library system, which is located in Gwinnett County, GA, northeast of Atlanta. Before I start, I figure I should include some disclaimers. I used to work for GCPL, and I had a great experience there, which is why I'm choosing to use it. However, I no longer work there, and my comments have no endorsement from anyone who does currently work there. Another reason I chose the system is that I was able to witness changes and problems that arose, so I may include some criticisms of the system. Again, they are mine alone. Overall, I think it's a great library system and a great place to work!

So, Gwinnett County is a very large county outside of Atlanta, and a good deal of the population commutes to Atlanta (I had the good fortune of commuting FROM Atlanta, and the difference in traffic problems is enormous!). I would say that it is a fairly affluent county overall, although there are certainly parts of the county that are more affluent than others. The population also leans somewhat to the conservative side of the political viewpoint scale. The county truly values its library system: much of the library's funding comes from local taxes, which the citizens have regularly voted to levy. The library is well-funded and growing. It currently has 14 branches, one of these has been opened in the last year and another was opened a year and a half ago. A fifteenth branch is currently under construction.

The library has no main branch; each branch offers the same hours and basically the same services. The library headquarters offices are located at a centrally located branch, in the county seat of Lawrenceville. I would estimate that the library has about 300 employees (I am not a great estimator, so this could be wildly off!). The structure of work at the branch level has changed somewhat since I left, but I believe the branch level management structure is basically the same. Each branch has a management team that consists of a branch manager, an assistant branch manager, and two librarians, all of whom hold an MLS degree (this would be the position that I would really be more likely to aim for, especially in such a large library system--but it will be fun to pretend to be the big boss for a semester!). Most of the other branch employees are either library associates (who must have a bachelor's degree) or library assistants. Associates are trained to do all of the branch functions, including responding to reference and reader's advisory questions, the many circulation tasks (checking books out and in, shelving books, pulling books for holds, monitoring holds for expiration dates), serving on branch or system-wide teams, helping with special branch projects, and holding branch tours and storytimes. Assistants are officially trained to do circulation tasks, although many of them know how to do, and help with, other tasks.

Because the system is so large, many jobs are taken care of at headquarters for the whole system. These include collection development work, cataloging and processing, information technology, staff training, human resources, public relations, and events and outreach. Headquarters also houses a couple managers who work with all the branch managers and assistant branch managers, and, of course, the library director. Centralizing this work has advantages and disadvantages. As a former branch employee, I'm VERY glad that we didn't have to process all the new books that came in, because there were always large numbers. A disadvantage was that, if a patron/customer (we used customer; I have heard that there are raging debates over which one is best, but I feel that it is not an extremely important controversy) wished to request a book be added to the collection, the process took longer.

One organizational choice GCPL has made is to use teams to achieve some of the work of the library. These include permanent teams for ongoing decision-making, and temporary teams that formed to examine or take care of specific questions that came up. I served on a team for part of my time, and found that it was a very good experience. I felt a greater unity of purpose from the members of the team than I have on almost any other group or committee that I have served on, but the process was fairly time consuming. One of the best things about the team was that our members included some people who had been with the system for a very long time, some (like me) who were pretty new, and we came from all different branches. This helped me get a better picture of the system as a whole, of its history, and of some of the challenges that go along with making decisions for such a large library system.

Another important feature of GCPL is that it has an extensive list of policies and procedures, but that within the policies, front-line employees are given a certain amount of discretion. This particularly comes into play when customers wanted to contest their fines, check out more items than the limit, challenge a book, etc. I found this to be great--I loved having policies, because once I learned them, I could use them to explain the reasoning behind our rules and to back up my decisions. However, I was also allowed to make exceptions where I judged them to be worthwhile. I think the organization shows a fair amount of faith in its employees, and that was one thing that makes it strong. I think the robust policies are both a result of the system being so large and a necessity for keeping the large system going--there are enough employees to devote time to creating policies, and it allows consistency across the system.

For me, keeping the well-being of an entire large system in mind would be one of the most challenging things about being a library director in Gwinnett County. This is another reason why I have chosen this county--managing such a large system is not a job I expect to seek out, but I think it will help me stretch my thinking about management over the course of the semester.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

New School Year, Back to Blogging

Well, I haven't written all summer, but I've been too busy doing other things. Now it's a new school year, and I have library school related things to share. The most important is that this semester, I'm taking an online management class that will involve blog posts--a ready made way to keep using this blog! Many, if not most of my future posts this semester will therefore have to do with management.

Before I start with management posts, however, here are some fun summer pictures:

In July, we were hardly in NC at all. We first traveled to Montreal, where Mark took an organ class and I explored and practiced my French. Here's a pretty picture of the Hotel de Ville (City Hall) and a picture of me in front of the public library!

In between trips, I made my sister come down for the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Release. We made a whole weekend of it, getting our books, reading all day, and then going to the newest HP movie. Here we are at the Borders waiting around with all the other crazy people.

Our final trip was to London and Edinburgh, courtesy of my parents, who were celebrating my dad's retirement. Mark took a postcard perfect picture of the Edinburgh castle, as seen from Princes' Street Gardens.

And now, back to library school...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

ALA Rocks!

Ok, I haven't been in class for about 2 months now, and, as my husband points out, I don't really have much to say that is worth adding to the vast informational morass. So I'm at least going to try to keep posts library-related. But now I have a library related topic to write about!

I went to ALA this past weekend with my mother--a school librarian--and we had a super time. Here were some highlights for me:
-Getting to see and talk to Madeleine L'Engle's granddaughter, Charlotte Jones Voiklis

(This was definitely THE highlight for me.)

-Running into a bunch of people from UNC

-Seeing other authors, including Judy Blume, Jack Gantos, Mo Willems, Jon Scieszka, John Green, Lois Lowry, and others.

-Lots of free stuff at the Exhibits (and buying cool T-shirts at the Unshelved booth!)

-Hanging out with my mom.

-Hearing the Caldecott and Newbery winners speak at the dinner in their honor.

I definitely feel like this conference was more "fun" than "serious learning" for me, at least in terms of librarianship. I do always feel that I learn a great deal when I hear authors whom I admire speak, but it's not necessarily related to being a librarian. However, I got something out of just seeing all these librarians come together and navigating through the conference.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

High-speed Internet coming to our household...

Well, we've finally taken the leap and decided to pay for high-speed Internet. And we're going to make it wireless, which will be fun for me on my Mac. I put in the order today, and we're supposed to receive the "stuff" in 5 business days. Then the real test will begin: how long will it take us to figure out how to install the modem, etc., and actually get up and running?

Stay tuned...

(P.S. I'm at UNC right now, using their wireless network--our dial up was too slow to go through with ordering something!)

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Harry Potter fun.

A Harry Potter quiz (you can take it too!):

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Hooray! I've finished all my work for the semester, and survived an incredibly busy weekend. Tomorrow, I spend one last day at my field experience (which is very sad!) and then start my summer projects:
-Spring cleaning (scary but necessary)
-Get some photos printed and scrapbooking
-Reading as many kids' and YA books as possible
-Brainstorming and deciding on a topic for my master's paper
I'm sure others will crop up as well.

To celebrate I'm going to put a picture or two in. :-)

My favorite recent picture of Mark and me (on Easter).

A cute Rosie the cat picture.

Monday, April 23, 2007

PBwiki and Grrr towards G-mail

Apparently we can now get more free space from PBwiki if we post information about it on our blogs, so here goes nothing:

It also spices up the blog a bit, n'est-ce pas? Basically, this is a wiki I created as part of a project on capital punishment for my Humanities and Social Science Reference class. Our group created a whole page of resources to go with UNC's Summer Reading program, at Feel free to check it out, but it's not a happy topic.

The "Grrr" directed at G-mail has to do with SLOOOOOOW service today. I thought it might be my browser/computer, but both Safari and Firefox have given me trouble, on this and on another computer. I hope it's solved soon--I didn't realize how deeply I rely on Gmail!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Almost there...

The semester doesn't end for another week and a half (classes) to three weeks (when last assignments are do). I don't have any final exams, and have just realized that if I put in good solid work tonight, tomorrow, and Saturday, I can FINISH all my work. This would be especially good because there are special end-of-semester activities going on next week that I am supposed to help with, plus stuff at church and the public library.

So I need to stop procrastinating (which is technically what this is) and get to work.. wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

To Do Lists

I'm a big fan of To-Do lists, and now I've just learned how to make them better. RP, my fabulous field experience supervisor at Culbreth Middle School (at least for a little while longer) shared the following advice. She got it from somewhere else, and I'll have to find where that is and add it.

-Separate to-do lists by place (so, one for at the computer, one for at a computer that prints, one for in the library stacks, one for on the reference desk, etc.)--this makes it easy to make the most of your time wherever you are

-Break tasks down so you don't have any item on your list that takes more than 20 minutes to complete (not always possible with graduate school work, but seems to fit in nicely with a lot of library work and lesson or story time planning)--this lets you get more "things" done, but also streamlines your work because you know what each step is that needs to be done.

I've tried it some this week and it seems to work very well!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Picture Now Mysteriously Works

Ok, I tried to rotate the picture in iPhoto and that didn't work, but just uploading the original photo from the "Modifed" folder instead of the "Originals" photo seems to have done the trick. Hooray. So here is the beautiful Davis Library in all its glory.

Let's try to put some news from this week in:

-Went to an "RTP 2.0" gathering on Wednesday VERY briefly. Had no fun. It was mainly business people and total techies; only one other SILS student that I ran into, and he was IS (Information Science rather than Library Science track). Also, it was in a bar (not my scene) and I came out smelling smoky. Yuck! Conclusion: I will monitor their blog for a bit, but I'm not going to run out to any other events.

-Had Friday off and slept in. Hooray!

-Got significant work done on my Humanities and Social Science Reference group project. We are researching capital punishment to create a website for UNC freshman. Their summer reading assignment is The Death of Innocents by Sister Helen Prejean. I'll put in a link when it's finished. For part of my contribution, I created a wiki! It of course has no discussion but can be found at

-Finished my readings and consideration papers for my Public Library class this evening after dying eggs at a friend's house. Now it's time to go to bed in preparation for tomorrow.

Happy Easter! He is Risen!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Picture attempts

Okay, I'm attempting to put my first pictures, but I have the issue of one of the pictures being turned. On iPhoto, it shows up the correct direction, so I'm not sure how to change it for Internet posting. I'll play with it for another post, but if anyone has suggestions, I'm all ears.

So, the first, rotated picture is Davis Library on the UNC campus, which has a beautiful reference room in which I spend a fair amount of time. The second building (and it was a beautiful day--I should get SILS to use this as an advertising picture and pay me! :-) is Manning Hall, where SILS is located. I spend most of my on-campus time here.

That's all for this post. More actual information to come!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Library 2.0

I would have to wait until I'm nearly half-way finished with library school before starting a blog of my time here.

However, in my Public Library Seminar class, I choose to lead discussion on, and therefore research Library 2.0, which is where I've finally learned about all this blogging hype.

So, for now, I'll look at this as a way to update my Gwinnett County Public Library friends and other select few who I don't think will laugh too much at me of my library school experience.

I actually have my digital camera with me today, so maybe I'll post pictures soon! :-)

P.S. If this ever does reach a larger audience, I should tell you where I'm going to library school: School of Information and Library Science at UNC-Chapel Hill.