The time Blogger went down

In my mind, two of the best (free) blogging platforms are WordPress and Blogger. I’ve tried both, and while Blogger is definitely more user friendly (at least in my opinion), I went with WordPress for this blog so I could experiment a bit more and try to expand my technological horizons (does that make sense?)- WordPress makes you work for your results (i.e. in my experience, creating a blogroll is more difficult in WordPress but once you know what you’re doing, you’re good to go).  And I know that I still have a ton to learn about WordPress in general – baby steps.

sidebar: like how to respond to comments that people leave – I’ve completely drawn a blank on it for some reason today.

At any rate, Blogger had a big redesign recently and apparently that temporarily disabled their site. It was all over Twitter and the Blogger website – fortunately Blogger is on Twitter so they were able to keep everyone updated. However I can only imagine the havoc it caused so many people who are soley devoted to Blogger. Are your posts all lost? How do you back up posts? Will it still schedule your posts that you set before the crash? Ay yi yi!

But, as with all things technical – glitches happen – and most typically, they are resolved, in a timely manner – in Bloggers case, about 24ish hours.

Hoping that all of you who use Blogger are up and running again! And safely backed up your files!

How do you deal with glitches in technology? Changing platforms? Re-evaluating your use of a certain platform?

For me – I try to stick with what I started unless forced to make a change (i.e. in the case of Bloglines – I switched to Google Reader), which after a bit of time I got comfortable with.

I try to asses the pros and cons of each platform – in blog-land, and libraryland, I felt WordPress would be better for me and I’d learn a lot more. Sometimes its good to put yourself out on a limb and force yourself to work on something that is not so user friendly. So far, so good!

As for Twitter – there are a gazillion platforms: tweetdeck, hootsuite, seesmic,, social oomph. The list goes on and on and on. What do you do then? Hey, why not give’em a whirl, read the ‘about’ section, watch a demo, see what works best for your needs. I prefer Tweetdeck and Hootsuite although they are rather similar. Social Oomph is cool but a bit overwhelming for me at least at this stage of the game.But I have not lost all hope in it and intend to get back to it and really look into their offerings.


Is social media too personal?

So in the world of social media, some people have multiple facebook and twitter accounts – one for professional use, one for personal use. Makes complete sense to keep the two separate – the whole “don’t mix work and pleasure” thing.

That leads me to wonder though – how personal is too personal on Twitter or Facebook specifically?

For example, I started following some baby related companies on my  Twitter account and I occasionally tweet about baby related things  – is that wrong? unprofessional?

To me, I see it as an outlet for learning, expanding my network, a way to help others in the knowledge that I gain. A little give and take you know.

So it doesn’t seem wrong to me – but I do see that there is a fine line – which leads me to wonder about how fine that line in the sand is drawn and how quickly it can vanish with one wave of water.

When it comes to work, what you divulge about your own job, about yourself as a librarian, as a Mom, as a human being, says a lot. And with social media being on such a huge and constantly growing boom lately, it just seems that more and more is being put out there.

What are your thoughts on this? Is it an issue for you?

I always say “If I couldn’t say it to my mother’s face, or I’d be embarrassed if it ended up on the front page of the newspaper, it shouldn’t be said … by me at least”.

Getting my library ducks in a row

If you follow me on Twitter you know that I am expecting my first baby next month! I can’t believe it! Such an exciting time! And, I might add, such a great work environment for me with super supportive and helpful coworkers!

I’m getting my ducks in a row in preparation for my maternity leave. It is a big task so I’m taking it one task at a time (that’s the normal way right – we don’t have to multi-task EVERYTHING).

My department has worked together to divvy up my main duties while I’m out and I’ve debriefed my coworkers on said tasks and we keep up with one another in regards to questions that come up, and ideas for the future etc.

My collection development catalog pile is starting to shrink (I never thought this would happen) – my lists in iPage are up to day and I’ve even worked ahead a few months to make sure I’m covered on some extra new works coming out.

I’ve scheduled and promoted a couple of webinars between this month and next.

I’m  (wo)manning the reference desk, fielding questions, phone calls, technical help, but after this last computer class session, I’ve bowed out of teaching because really, our May session is iffy for me to commit to since you know, babies come when they want. I wouldn’t want to commit to teach a class and then be a no show. Oops!

So things are moving along – more rapidly each day it feels like! Excitement and joy is in the air at work!

It’s a great place to be!

If you’ve had to take a leave from work for any reason, what sorts of things did you do to prepare?

How much computer is too much computer?

I’ve gotta admit, one of the reasons I’ve not been blogging as much as I originally intended when I started this blog, is because it is so darned hard for me to get back on the computer at home, after being on it all day at work. There are a lot of posts swirling around in my head that I just need to sit down and tap out.

But that leads me to wonder – how much computer is too much computer? Or iPhone, iTouch, Netbook, any other device that can take time away from other activities?

It’s all about time management I suppose.

In a webinar I recently hosted at work, the presenter mentioned that you can spend 1 hour on the computer in the morning and get all of your business done for the day. That’d be great if that worked for me – but when I sit down to the computer after work, it’s usually to go through my emails, catch up on Facebook, blog, catch up on my Google Reader and others blogs, research baby stuff (at this point at least lol), Skype, and get things in order. And it is usually done in conjunction with making dinner, doing laundry, and doing other odds and ends at the same time. Again with the multi-tasking. A great skill to have, but are you really giving 100% to any one task when you have multiple going on?

So all that being said – I’m going to try and be better about blogging on here. It is important to me to share my thoughts about the library profession and my job in particular because really, being a librarian is kinda the coolest gig around! Dontcha agree! 🙂

How do you manage your time to blog and have it not take away from other important activities while not at work? Clearly, I’m taking advice here 🙂

Tax Season!

Is officially over at my library! We extended it one day, having walk-in appointments only on Monday April 18 from 9a-4p.

We have our extension forms out at-the-ready but as far as taking appointments, re-directing tax questions about forms etc, we are d-o-n-e!

We even got a cake to celebrate this fact earlier this week!

Cake always makes me happy – how bout you!? Did you do anything to celebrate the end of tax season?

Now on to boxing up the forms – eek! Lol.

My thoughts on Social Media

I read a blog post recently about how some people consider social media to be a hobby. They hop on Twitter and/or update their blog at night or in their free time, as a way to wind down, or feel connected, and have some ‘me time’.  Using social media as their fun outlet instead of something else, like reading or cooking or running or whatever else people consider hobbies nowadays (they vary so much)!

For me, ever since I got myself a Twitter account, I feel that a whole world has opened up in my profession. Other librarians are so willing to share, and offer advice and really to become friends, all in 140 characters. And for my blog, which I do on my off time from work, it makes me think more, exercises and flexes my brain muscles to really think about my field and how I fit in and what I learn everyday.

So for me, I feel that it is a hobby within my profession, and it is fun for me,  if that makes sense. And I feel that being in the field of librarianship, we are some really lucky people – getting to experiment with these different technologies and play with them and then in some cases, teach them to other people! Whoah!

Wondering others thoughts on this? Do you consider sitting in front of a computer, building your online community of professionals and friends via Twitter or Facebook or your blog to be a hobby, or a professional obligation for work or fun?

My ‘smartphone’

So I have an EnV3 cell phone – and recently I’ve learned how to twitpic and how to email my cell phone pics to myself. This is big and exciting news people! You’d think for being a reference librarian, I’d have known how to do these things waaay before now. But no, actually my friend showed me how to email my cell phone pics to myself just the other week (it!), and my twitter buddy told me how to twitpic AND get the text to go in the tweet – for the longest time (well, okay, maybe twice but it felt like for-ever), I tried to twitpic and put the text in the body of the message rather than in the subject field. Ah-ha! That’s the way to do it! Now a whole new world has opened up!

Granted I only have a $9.99 data plan on my phone, and it’s not a super fancypants droid, nor does it have Swype technology or a touch screen even but I love my 25 megabytes of internet each month (barely scratch the surface of using them), and my handy lil phone that is simple to use (odd I wouldn’t want something fancypants, but I tried an LG Ally for a hot minute and almost fell to pieces at its complexity – researching and owning are two different things!)

Why…because being a librarian and learning new things everyday and then getting to experiment with them is one of the coolest parts of the gig! I mean you all agree right!?

Have you learned anything new about your cell phone lately? Do you have a smartphone? How do you like it?

sidenote: I learned today that the EnV series is no longer but the closest one to it is the LG Octane – which I checked out earlier today just to see what it was like while I was there trying to get my mobile email to work – oh yeah, that’s another thing I learned that I had – and at no extra cost! Mobile email kinda rocks and is super fast on my lil non-android technological phone 😉

When the researcher does her own research

The nature of a librarian is to research….mainly for other people.

However there comes times in life when the librarian has to research for herself.

Or if you’re me, your Dad family all the time ocassionaly asks you to research things tvs, triathalon training, good books, for them. And you obey, because, it is in your nature 🙂

Then there comes the time in your life where, if you’re like me, you want to start a family of your own!

Yep, a baby on the way!

And research takes on a WHOLE new meaning!

Being surrounded daily by top notch databases, a PLN full of other knowledgeable librarians, books, and a computer at your fingertips! It’s a great thing! An amazing, very fortunate field to be in!

Yet the tables are turned, when I walk in the door at home (yes, I’m human, I work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and blog on my off time), and sit down to my own laptop and attempt to find the best of the best (with the huz’s help) for my child in the way of books, products, etc.

There comes a time when the reseracher needs to take off her research hat for just a minute, and know that not everything needs to be researched. That children are unpredictable and no matter how much research goes into finding “the best” bouncy seat or swing – hey, guess what, the baby may not care and may not like it lol.

Have your tables been turned? Have you had to take off your research hat when it comes to researching things in your non-work life? How do you turn off your librarian nature? Or do you not?

Tax season memories

I got to talking with a twitter buddy of mine the other day about this and got my brain to thinking, which transferred into blogging!

I know I know, we’re in the midst of tax season – and if you work in a public library, things are in full swing, restocking forms, making appointments for our free tax assistance services , answering (directional) questions, not advising patrons on what to fill out, where, and when because frankly, we aren’t cpas 🙂

However, memories are formed everyday!

Sidebar: I just read that my baby (25 weeks pregnant today) – starts establishing memories at 30 weeks in the womb! A shame they don’t remember enough to tell us when they come out huh. But I digress…

My favorite memory thus far:

Finally receiving our 1040 instruction booklets! Do you have any idea how happy this has made so many people who stop by the reference desk and/or call the reference desk, with wary in their voice, preparing to cringe / gasp / rejoice 🙂

Y’all know I love a good mail call! Working in ILL, everyday can be like Christmas, and during tax season, that is quadrupled with the constant incoming tax forms!

Best memory to-date. More to come I’m sure.

Wait, is it April yet haha!

The time I talked for an hour and a half straight

Yes, I said it, and I NEVER thought that I would be one to talk (think: lecture) for an HOUR and a HALF! IN ONE SITTING! What! That’s like a whole college / grad school class period! That is LONGER than a high school class period!

Needless to say, I was um kind of impressed! And I owe it to the awesome students in my Introduction to the Internet class yesterday!

I haven’t taught this class in a while so I spent a few days earlier in the week brushing up on the power point presentation and prepping how I would toggle between the different screens (firefox vs IE, blogs, news websites, etc.). And I swear in going over it all, in my head, at my lil desk, it did NOT take an hour and a half – this is the FULL time alloted for both the class AND the practice exercises. Gyah!

And, I got to thinking that maybe I was a motor mouth or the students weren’t as inquisitive the last time I taught the class, but it did not take that long and actually timed out rather well with a good 30 minutes for them to work on the ‘Internet Scavenger Hunt’ that we had prepared. This time they had to practice a bit after the class was over and I reiterated that they can call or set up a one-on-one appointment with our reference librarians if they have additional questions as they are going through the exercises.

At any rate, the students were great – it was a FULL class! 22 total I think! Which is sweet considering we have 24 computers! And they were so gracious with their questions and encouraging words at the end, coming up to me to tell me how much they learned and appreciated my teaching! Wow! THAT is why I went into this field – I swear it is the most rewarding field EVER!

So next time I’m teaching Introduction to Twitter – I made the presentation in power point myself  – first time since grad school- 33 slides (yesterday’s class was 29 slides) – so maybe we’ll allot 2 hours just in case / depending on the turnout? Oh AND I’m teaching Introduction to Email on February 11 a couple weeks before my Twitter class.

Shew, between tax season, classes, and collection development, this librarian is on her toes! And lovin’ it!