Two Videos For The Price Of One

First, a very good (50~ minute) presentation for OCLC about copyright in cultural institutions, primarily the LAM part of GLAM. Very good presentation for anyone interested in the multi-faceted way copyright and related issues like fair use impact our daily work as well as our work with specific communities.


And here is a short original animation based on the video game Kirby Star Allies, because it is adorable and sweet and bright and never fails to cheer me up, even on the darkest, gloomiest days.


Video: Dealing with Angry Customer Behaviors

I found this webinar video from RAILS at a good time in my pre-professional library career, although I think anyone who works directly with customers/patrons can find a lot to learn from this. This is especially useful for public library employees. I don’t think I agree 100% with everything, but I find enough of it to be immediately applicable to what I do at the front desk.

Note: it’s over one hour long. It’s a good video to let run in the background while working on other things, if you don’t mind missing visuals (the slides being presented can be downloaded separately at the RAILS website).

Image: A pair of hands reading a book. A tree is in the background.

Favorite Books Read In 2017

(Or some of them, anyway. I can never make a definitive list!)

  • Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer. Teenagers in a small town start going boom. I reviewed it here.
  • Galaxy Love by Gerald Stern. The latest collection of poems by Stern, steeped in memory and history, personal and otherwise.
  • Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me by Janet Mock. The second memoir by Mock talks about love, marriage, aspirations, and navigating the big city as a trans black woman.
  • Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz. A young woman in recovery for an eating disorder makes a new friend while struggling with her dreams of dancing.
  • Tuva or Bust!: Richard Feynman’s Last Journey by Ralph Leighton. The true story of a famous physicist’s wish to visit the country of Tannu Tuva.
  • Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis. Two people bound by their subconscious, linked across two worlds, are drawn into each other’s lives. I reviewed it here.
  • Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee. A delightful middle grade novel about a girl discovering she’s bi, the girl she has a crush on, and a near-disastrous staging of Romeo and Juliet.

Things To Do In 2018

A list for myself but really for anyone who wants it:

  1. Give up on media that bores you, or aggravates you. Stop listening to music that doesn’t excite you. Drop any book that doesn’t have a good hook or an interesting build-up. Don’t watch a TV series if it does nothing for you after a few episodes.
  2. Write something once in a while that isn’t for a school assignment. Maybe it’s fiction, or creative non-fiction, or an article, or just a list of things (meta!). Don’t force it. Don’t try to do it every day. But, sometimes, write.
  3. Allow yourself the freedom of saying, “I don’t know what that is, but I’d like to learn”, and variations on it. Be okay with admitting that you don’t know everything.
  4. Experiment with computer languages you’ve never worked with before: R, Ruby, Rust, et cetera. Think about computer programming for apps and mobile devices. Think about SQL applications and the millions of ways Python can be put into Excel. Maybe brush up on your HTML/CSS?
  5. Go see a movie at an actual movie theater.
  6. See music being performed live, whether it’s a band on stage or a talent show at the local library or someone playing guitar at an open air market.
  7. Don’t worry so much. Seriously, you don’t need to worry as much as you do right now. Everything will be okay.

Thinking About Access

SR Ranganathan's Five Laws of Library Science, typed out in blue and green on two identical sheets of paper.

Five Laws of Library Science, blue and green. Image by rochelle hartman at Flickr.

Some scattered thoughts about access to cultural institutions and GLAM (gallery, library, archive, museum) spaces that have been rattling around in my head for about a month, mostly questions.

When we say access, what kinds of access are we addressing? What kind of barriers to access are we focused on?

Intellectual access: Specifically as barriers, such as illiteracy, active illiteracy, untreated intellectual disorders, under-educated/poorly educated. Are our instructional staff reaching out and teaching these crucial skills? Are our tools and visual guides too hard to read for people who are low reading levels or for whom English is not their native language?

Physical access: Is this something that is in compliance with ADA/disability guidelines, but also impoverished areas that don’t have GLAM spaces, or places that aren’t easily reachable by public transit and aren’t part of anyone’s homebound route or bookmobile route? Can people get inside the building easily, and once inside, can they navigate around and access materials and exhibits without requesting aid?

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Wednesday Briefs: Disassembly Required (Part 4)

I hope everyone is enjoying the Disassembly Required story so far (and if you need a refresher or haven’t started it yet, you can start with part one here), because I’ve finally written the fourth installment! This week, at least one question gets answered, Beatriz remains awkward, and I find new ways to remember that she’s holding a dang skillet one-handed the entire time.

Disassembly Required, part 4. Prompts used: mist, motorcycle, emerald, bar.

When she opened her eyes, Beatriz thought she was somewhere else. She no longer saw her own car, but the parking lot was now filled with other vehicles. The fog had lifted, revealing a cloudless blue sky. She could hear music and conversation in the distance.

Has the machine worked after all?

She turned and saw Frank’s Dining, well-lit and alive with activity. Figures moved behind the neon-framed glass. The jukebox must have been working, because strains of an old rock and roll song drifted out every time the front doors opened.

Beatriz made a complete circle of the packed lot. She was grateful that she still held on to the kitchen skillet she’d stolen.

“Allen? Are you here?”

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Wednesday Briefs: Grump Quest (1/?)

Listen, between moving into a new dorm, summer classes ending, and um, (gestures vaguely at the world), all of this, I haven’t had time to properly plot out the next installments of Disassembly Required. So y’all are getting some goofy Game Grumps fanfiction instead. Hey, it’s not as bad as you might think!

Grump Quest (1/?). In which there is a fairly generic RPG setting, Arin has a wand, Dan has a sword, Barry is God, and some goofy good podcast boys show up even though it’s not an Adventure Zone crossover.

Prompts used: “Did you see that?” and a harpsichord. Content warning: as per any Game Grumps episode, there is a lot of cursing (mainly from Arin).

“Did you see that?” Dan waved his sword vaguely at “that”. “Wow, man!”

He turned just in time to see his partner get the shit knocked out of him. A cascade of earth swirled across the air and smacked a small cloaked figure from the sky. It landed in a heap at Dan’s feet. The heap quickly popped upright, and sorted out its crumbled cloak and pointy wizard hat before scowling at Dan. A huge slash across his face was quickly healing itself with green and blue sparks.

“What the fuck, Dan? I thought you said this dungeon was easy?” Arin waved his wand at Dan’s towering figure. The gesture would have been more threatening if it wasn’t a gold bedazzled star on top of a stick.

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