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Archive for August, 2011

Yesterday morning I started my day from my balcony, enjoying the rain and even the humidity. Yes, when it is under 75 degrees outside, even the humidity feels good. Trees, corn, tomatoes, even old people things benefit from the added moisture. You can tell that my own personal tree in front of my own personal balcony was very pleased.

Today it was back to the library. Spent some time correcting broken links on a webpage. Not really my favorite task, but I love to fix something and sit back and see the results. Eureka! Done! That grand feeling of accomplishment when completed.

Also met with a new professor to prepare for librarian instruction for three of her classes. And you know what? I’m really getting excited about this new academic year. I’ve been here a year now and not so nervous. Plebes are settling in. Other midshipmen will be returning this week since classes start in seven days. The library will be filled again. It’s like being 6-years-old again and waiting for Christmas!

Before I sign off tonight, I want to add another picture I took today while standing in front of the library. Shining skies from the east, stormy skies to the west. Beautiful!

Tonight is a quiet night at home, with an episode of Upstairs Downstairs (thank you Netflix!). Talked to family on the phone and emailed with a few friends. And tomorrow it starts all over again!

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Last night there was my end-of-work-week-out-to-eat-supper. OH my goodness YUM! Chicken wraps and fries at Nados Peri Peri at the Annapolis mall. When I go out to eat I like to get something a little special and different, and their chicken wraps meet the criteria! “Why?” you may ask. “What’s special about a chicken wrap?” Well, to the chicken meat they add a spicy-sweet chili jelly, yogurt sauce, and lots of crispy lettuce. Not the usual mayo. Plus, you can decide on mild or medium or hot for the spicy. Hmmm . . . I believe the other half will become my breakfast. There is jelly on it after all.

It’s been a wonderful but very busy week for me at the library. Plebes week, plebes tours, and subject guides for our website. I’m trying to make proficient economics and political science online guides to help midshipmen locate helpful resources when they begin writing papers. For some librarians this work doesn’t take very long, and the more I work with the software the easier my work becomes. However, it is a new software for me so the beginning is a little slow. Because it’s not just typing the right keys to add the resources I want to add – there is also lots of time spent deciding on which resources are the most important to include. We don’t want to overload with too much, because then the page can become too cumbersome. You know, “not too much, not too little, but just right!”

When I need a few seconds breather from this work, I like a short walk around the stacks. But sometimes I simply enjoy staring out the glass wall of my cubie:

Pretty, huh. At least I can work on this project from home today. And the other good news about my web creations? The more I work with new software the easier the work becomes. And the quicker I move along. AND !! It’s really fun to learn something new. tru dat. 🙂

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Early in the morning, sitting on the balcony since it is not so hot and humid today. Thinking about the day ahead. Plebe Library tours – happen every year about this time at the U.S. Naval Academy. And we’ve pulled if off by golly! Just a few more to go this morning, and then we save the experience in our heads (and on paper for many of us since librarians like to over-list everything!!) from which we learn for next year.

I’ve gotten questions like, “Will we have time to read for fun when classes start?” and “Ugh. All these books. I never read.” To the last remark I replied that when he starts reading books and journals for research papers, in print and via databases, hopefully there will be topics he finds interesting and he will enjoy the reading. He said he thought he would. 🙂 And then even he smiled!

Another said that he was library illiterate and wondered if someone would really show him how to best use the library. Oh absolutely!! A newbie – the ones that leave in total awe!

Families of the plebes begin arriving this week to see their sons and daughters for parent’s weekend, after having no face-to-face contact for the past five weeks. The pride everyone feels shows in huge smiles on the many, many faces. I love this time of year!

And speaking of things I love – how about being a grownup and having whatever I want for breakfast? This morning is was my usual coffee, two peanut butter crackers, and my scrumptious homemade vegan vegetable soup! Yes, life is good.

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Library of Congress (LOC). Pretty much there all day long yesterday. Arriving at 9:00am, breaking for lunch, then back in the Main Reading Room until 4:00pm.

The LOC has miles and miles of shelving, and to be sure that these books are available for years to come, patrons such as myself cannot roam the stacks. Instead, we use the online catalog (and some print indexes) to see what is available. I requested three books via the Internet on Friday, and when I arrived Saturday morning they were waiting for me!

After signing in, I had a question for the reference librarian, which he answered right away. He asked what I was researching, and I told him Twiggy, the English fashion model from the 1960s. I then walked into the reading room, gathered my three books, and sat down at “my” desk. Soon the reference librarian was bringing reference books that had brief biographies about Twiggy. I felt like a queen! I’m not sure that they always have time for such service, but Saturday morning the Reading Room was not yet busy. I typed my bibliography but wrote my notes by hand – thank goodness I was of the generation that learned cursive! I would never have gotten so much done that day if I had not.

After reading for about an hour, I decided to look at older fashion magazines, so I requested a few. In about another hour (they were housed in another building), there they were!

At the end of the day, I used the Microforms Reading Room to read and copy ($.25 per page) an article from a 1967 New Yorker about Twiggy’s first visit to the United States and an interview with Twiggy published in The Saturday Evening Post, also from 1967. There were several other researchers utilizing microfilm as well. One had not used the machines in several years and was having troubles. Since the attendant that day was not very available, I was able to help her several times. It was really fun! I cannot explain it, but even though that task is part of my everyday job as a librarian, I find great enjoyment in showing other people how to use those machines. go figure 🙂

The Microforms Reading Room is wonderful, filled with the opportunity to read what has not yet been published electronically or is too old to read in print (preservations concerns). But the Main Reading Room is absolutely breath-taking. Truly one of the most elegant and amazing interior spaces ever. Surrounded with several floors of open stacks with reference books I was able to browse if I wished. Every time I stopped reading and just looked up to take a ten-second break, I was reminded of a scene in Yentl, when Barbra Streisand’s character walked into a room full of books, knowing she would finally have the opportunity to learn and read them all if she wanted. Her first lines:

There are moments you remember all your life
There are moments you wait for
And dream of, all your life
This is one of the moments

For me, the Main Reading Room provides such moments.

And speaking of great moments, did I mention lunch? I only could eat about a third of this individual pizza and had to toss the rest, because I couldn’t take it back to the LOC and save. Such a waste. But here is the picture. Yum!

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Made my first visit to an Annapolis dentist yesterday morning. Busy office but only one person to check in and check out patients and answer phones. Maybe someone called in sick? I will go back in a few weeks anyway, because that one-person desk was very into customer service skills and practices. The dentist was great, and he thought I was so beautiful that he had me stand under a machine that took x-rays of my whole head. 🙂 OK, so maybe he does that for all the patients, but I got really silly under that thing. I felt like I was in a space ship simulator and seriously giggled like a 3rd grader. And no, drugs were not involved.

And the rap music. Never been to a dentist that had rap coming through the speakers. Oh my gosh it was great! What I call light hip hop and rap – rap in the rhythm of the lyrics, only they weren’t about killing people and smacking women. While Vladimir (seriously – this Vladimir looked exactly like a younger version of former Pres. Putin) was trying to check out my teeth I was concentrating on keeping my head still. You know, rap music (if you like it) makes you want to bob your head from just below the neck. Right? And stick out that right arm with the palm out. Right? Everybody does that, right?

After the music and the space ship, I went on to work to get started on new subject guide web pages for the coming semester. Alexis is helping me a lot because she is the techy guru in my life. And she’s just the kind of person that likes to help folks when she can. She is also quite patient and doesn’t roll her eyes or shake her head at me until I leave the room. Andy has also been a big help, so I’m hoping by the end of the day I will have one completed with three more to go.

Sure, I’ve done webpages before at K-State, but here we are using LibGuides, which is a new software for me. Learning the beginning concepts of a software can sometimes be a challenge, but for each one I’ve ever learned, once I got it, I ran with it! As I was leaving the library yesterday afternoon I felt like I was starting to sprint a bit.

Technology. Communication across all borders. What will happen as . . . . oh my goodness! I’m off and rambling again about a subject that will take a tome to complete! I better shut up and get moving, prepare a tasty lunch, and get to the library in time to walk before 7:30am. Then Libguides here I come!

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Been a weird week for me (and it is only Tuesday). Thinking here and there, mind from one place to the next. One night I dreamed I was preparing for two interviews at two separate Haute Couture Houses, but I don’t know which Designers. Givenchy? Jean-Paul Gaultier? All I really remember is that I was very excited and had purchased two pairs of super tall high-heeled shoes. One pair was bright red and the other was Carolina blue (Go Tarheels!). I was somewhere in a large hallway practicing how to walk in them, so when I wore them to the interviews I would look like I did it all the time. You know, smooth. Sophisticated. Ha! I’m not sure exactly the job, but it was like next-in-charge. You know what I mean – something special! Oh my goodness what a silly dream.

So now I want a pair of high-heeled shoes. Me. I haven’t worn them in many many years. What am I thinking? That I won’t fall walking around the stacks of the library, or walking back and forth between the printers taking care of paper jams? dang. Once I jammed my ankle (whatever that actually means) when I fell in the hallway in high school, simply trying to look good by making my short little legs look sleek and tall in hopes of getting that boy’s attention that sat near me in English class. Yeah. I got his attention alright! dumb. What am I thinking! This time I might break a hip. 🙂 We’ll see….

My mother used to sew my clothes, and sometimes we would pick out Vogue designer patterns. One of my favorites was a Betsey Johnson dress that had a big flowing skirt, and I wore it with high-heeled blue suede platform shoes. (lookin’ good, ya know.) And walking into the high school cafeteria one day for lunch I fell in front of everyone, books going everywhere. Well you know how embarrassing! I couldn’t wear heeled shoes back then either, and I doubt I’d be any better at it today.

But speaking of Vogue patterns, during my wedding festivities, Mama bought a Givenchy pattern, and we picked out the perfect material with antique lace trimmings. I’ve tried to sew, but I simply did not enjoy it like my mother did, and you could tell because my work was rather sloppy (Mama even majored in Home Economics in college before WWII- focusing on sewing). I gave up that hobby years ago. So I continue to look at fashion mags just for the enjoyment of the new seasonal hues, photography, bizarre hairdos and colors, and variety of fabrics. Like many of the rooms I see in design magazines, these works will not be something I will have as my own, but I can always enjoy what the fashion industry provides from the glossy pages.

Back to my real life, our new library director arrived yesterday, coming to us from the University of Richmond. He has been super busy, but I did get a glimpse of him first thing this morning. So I do know he is real!

Read some today about the debt ceiling votes, in the House of Representatives last night and in the Senate this afternoon. I have a strong opinion about it all, as do most Americans. And that’s that!

Now, which lipstick to wear with my peach-colored blouse tomorrow? See? I told you my thoughts has been flying all over the place, but it helps me take my mind off that strong opinion!

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Oh my goodness was I hungry when I woke up this morning! Yesterday just didn’t eat much. One of those days when I just didn’t want food, so I thought I would make note of that fact since it seldom happens. True dat. huh. dang. I’m not sure if it seems sillier when I type that phrase or when I say it aloud!

Gathering my wits about me and moving on . . . I was hungry and prepared a scrumptious meal this morning. Toast, two eggs, and grated cheddar, as seen below. The cup holding my delicious Starbucks Komodo Dragon was created by Robin Cage, an artist who grew up in my small community in Virginia and now lives and crafts such artwork in Richmond.


After laundry, some TV via Internet, a quick trip to the grocery, and just some usual weekend relaxation, there was supper. Bagel with cream cheese. Cornichons. Olives. Caper berries. And popcorn. “Why popcorn?” you may ask. Well, because I’m an adult and if I want popcorn for supper I can have it!

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