Posts Tagged ‘blog’

Friday Fun! (My Dad, Amazon Associate)

June 18, 2010 6 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  The invasive species removal on the Charles last Sunday was lots of fun!  It was overcast, so we weren’t sitting in the direct sun for hours, and the river was so peaceful and beautiful.  Removing the water chestnuts wasn’t so hard, but it did give me some splinters and blackened my fingernails, so I wound up with manicured fingernails for once this week to cover it up, haha.

The rest of the week was a bit rough for me.  My dad had a triple bypass last year, and when he went in for his annual cardiac check-up they decided to check him in as an in-patient.  He had a bit of an angina and other symptoms they were worried about.  They put a camera in his leg up through to his heart (a procedure he’s had many times) and checked out his heart.  Apparently some of the arteries that used to be completely blocked up now are losing blockage due to the bypass, so they put in stints.  After that, they adjusted his meds and warned him he needs to quit his job as it is bad for his heart.  He’s now home on short-term disability and trying to figure out if he can get long-term disability or change to a type of job that wouldn’t be bad for his heart.  He’s spent his whole life doing machine tooling/carpentry/construction all of which is too stressful for his heart, so it’s unlikely he can find a job that won’t be bad for him.  Although it all turned out well, the original phone call from my brother certainly sent me into a panic as we only knew that he’d been checked in, and the last time that happened he wound up getting the triple bypass.  Given my mental issues, it takes me a bit to calm down and return to normal functioning after being that level of worried.  I’m still a bit off today, but I expect the weekend will smooth the last bit of anxiety over.

In other news, I have a brief blog announcement.  After a lot of consideration, I’ve decided to become an Amazon Associate.  I waffled on this for a while until I saw that several book bloggers I highly respect are Amazon Associates.  Additionally, if a reader decides they want to buy whatever it is I have reviewed, it will be easier for them to do so with one click than by opening another tab and going off to wherever they buy from.  My reviewing style will not change beyond adding a link to buy the item.  My reviews will stay the honest, cheeky style they’ve always been, and I promise to keep any Amazon links as unobtrusive as possible.  I hope you all understand my decision and will still respect me as a blogger.

Happy weekends all!

I’m on the Kindle!

June 17, 2010 2 comments

Hand holding a kindle.

If you have a Kindle or the Kindle app for iPhone/iPad, you may now download my blog directly to it to read at your convenience, just like a newspaper or magazine!  You may subscribe by going here.  Excitement!

Note: If you do subscribe through your Kindle, I will receive a small percentage of the subscription fees, but I’m not offering this for the money.  I just thought it’d be convenient/cool for those of you who enjoy eReaders.

Prolific Blogger Award

February 3, 2010 10 comments

Cartoon character sitting at a computer typing.One of my fellow bloggers, Jessica of The Bookworm Chronicles has passed the Prolific Blogger Award on to me.  It goes to those bloggers who “read voraciously, blog tirelessly and have made the blogging community such a vibrant place,” according to the creator of the award, Hazra of Advance Booking.

I am pleased and surprised to have won my first blogging award, and I feel honored that it comes from one of my most loyal commenters!  I do put quite a bit of effort into this, so the recognition feels good.  Thanks Jessica!

Part of receiving the award is passing it on to 7 others.  So without further ado, here are my nominations:

  1. Meghan of Medieval Bookworm.  Although she now lives in Britain, I first met her in undergrad.  Reading her thoughtful reviews of literary fiction, historical fiction, nonfiction, romance, and more make me wish we’d known each other better then.
  2. Debbie of Different Time, Different Place.  She’s one of the few book bloggers I’ve stumbled across who predominantly reviews nonfiction.  Her reviews give you enough of a taste of the style and content of the book without trying to tell you everything you’ll learn from it.
  3. Katie of Read What You Know.  She’s a fellow librarian, and her blog reflects her enthusiasm for the ya lit she encounters in her day to day work as a teen librarian.  Her reviews take into account the perspective of adult and teen readers of ya lit alike.
  4. Ana and Thea of The Book Smugglers.  They not only take turns reviewing books, but also do joint posts.  I like that in the posts you can see the interaction and learning that comes from sharing a reading experience, plus they’ve added to my scifi tbr pile quite a few times!
  5. Nymeth of Things Mean a Lot.  She reviews an eclectic mix of books, but my favorite are her reviews of graphic novels.  She includes shots of the art, and her reviews were a part of what spurred me on into the very enjoyable graphic novel land.
  6. Helgagrace of Title and Statement of Responsibility.  Another blogger I know in real life, due to the fact that we’re both Massachusetts librarians.  I enjoy sharing reading stats with her.  Her reviews read like a conversation, and I’m not just saying that because I’ve actually spoken to her. 😉  She also talks about life and library issues.
  7. Last but not least Rob of Books Are Like Candy Corn.  He’s based in Hawaii, so his blog is kind of like a tropical vacation for a frozen New England gal like myself.  His reading choices broaden my horizon, as he is not only older and at a different stage in his life than most of the book bloggers I read, but also is male.  (We are a predominantly female group).

It’s kind of odd to me to have the power of bestowing an award, but there you have it!  At the very least, if you’re named above, you know I’m a loyal reader of your blog.  If the above-named recipients choose to take part in the award, please go check out the rules.

If you’re a reader of my blog, but not the type to comment, please let me know if you have your own blog.  I’d love to check it out!

The Library as Virtual Place

Last week, a patron walked through our library door and excitedly exclaimed to us, “I haven’t been here in forever! I’ve been living electronically.”  He went on to explain to us that he’s been conducting most of his research in his office via our library website.

In my graduate classes, we often talk about the library as place.  By this the professors mean establishing the library building as a place the community thinks about.  “Let’s go to the library” should be as natural a thought for a group of friends as “Let’s go to Starbucks.”  Yet a library doesn’t only possess a physical space, they also possess a virtual space patrons frequent.  Often far less, if any, thought is given to branding the library’s virtual space.

Most libraries have some sort of home page in addition to the online catalog (OPAC).  Many also have a few pages directed toward certain patrons, such as a teen page in public libraries or research help for the humanities for academic libraries.  The more cutting-edge libraries might also have a blog and a link to a twitter account.  In my exxperience, there is no cohesiveness among these pages.  There is no clear brand that this is Noname Library’s virtual space beyond perhaps a bar across the top of the page with the library’s name on it.  Although I know a lot of effort is usually put into designing these pages, they often seem haphazardly thrown together.  There is no cohesiveness.  Worse, especially for a public used to the cutting-edge of technology, many libraries are using old, out-dated, and even proven inadequate website design theories.  It’s like the designer has paid zero atttention to the research conducted in the last decade showing what works best for making a website browsable.

Thus, while Noname Library may have the most up-to-date chairs and the best seating arrangements at the actual library, their website screams the 90s, and most likely turns off at least a few users from coming back.

Libraries should think about themselves the way social networking businesses do when it comes to their presence online.  There should be a symbol that automatically makes the user think of the brand, like Twitter’s bird.  Although pages may look different from each other, they still should be recognizable as belonging to the same website.  There should be space on the library’s website for patrons to socialize with each other, even if it was something as simple as a blog members of the book club were given guest accounts for so they could blog about the current read.  Finally, and probably most importantly, the library website should consistently be assessed for browsability.  Outdated web design ideas should be cleared out from the website, leaving clear, modern space.

While the library as physical place is important, the fact of the matter is, most of our patrons do not solely live their lives in the physical space.  They also have virtual lives, and libraries should be a go-to place in that area of patron’s lives too.