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Posts Tagged ‘library’

Continuing on in the afternoon, I walked up Columbus Ave for a bit and then walked Broadway. This territory was new to me, because with my only previous walk up to Columbia University I took the subway.

Finally made it to Broadway and W 120th St to Joe Coffee to meet with the head of the Journalism Library. I met Starr through the Government Documents Library Round Table (GODORT) within the American Library Association (ALA) several years ago. I read once that Starr used Twitter to work with journalism students when they are out and about in the city “doing their thing” on any given day. Now, as an information specialist myself :-), how could I not be intrigued!

I always view NYC as a crazy busy city, but since today was grad day at Columbia – whoa! But I found Joe Coffee and ordered a decaf to drink while sharing a table with a few proud parents. While others chatted, I looked through a recently purchased jewelry book about the “how-tos” of wire work, something I hope to try soon.

Soon Starr found me and we talked a bit about our work and how our duties are similar and how they differ. Then we strolled through the building before arriving at the Journalism Library. Small but obviously very efficient! The Journalism Library utilizes off-site storage for much of it’s print. And it is surely easier to tweet using online info! Libraries continue to offer amazingly unique services and resources. Yay us!

Walked through Morningside Park to find the perfect subway station. I did not realize how beautiful Monrningside would be, and who knew Manhattan had so many hills?!

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Just a few more blocks to Frederick Douglass Blvd and off again on the subway!

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Yesterday was a great day at work. Some reference. A little collection analysis and management via weeding. Working on the biennial survey regarding the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) – which is an important part of offering free access to U.S. government information. Yippee! Because I am all for transparency when it comes to a government by the people for the people!

OK, back to calmer thoughts. Since we Nimitz librarians are often not at our desks, we have dry-erase marker boards on our office doors to let people know where we are and/or when we will return to the office. Lately I’ve been drawing pictures on mine (and sometimes even my neighbor’s board, but shhh…. don’t tell her it’s me!). Not really sure why, because as creative as I like to think I am, drawing is definitely not a talent I possess. But for some reason, I cannot seem to stop this new obsession! Anyway, yesterday morning I drew a caricature of myself at the reference desk. Silly as it may look, I will share it anyway:


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And of course there was food! For supper I had fresh Maryland corn with just a little salt. Green beans from my mother-in-law’s garden, and you’ve heard me brag about her garden. Still one of the best ever found on this earth! With onion sprinkled on top. Half of a whole wheat roll. I also made a small salad with apple, raisins, pecan pieces, and vegan mayonnaise. That fruit salad was so good it felt like dessert!
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The Christmas Season is slower, giving me time to think and decide what to do better next year. I don’t make New Year Resolutions, but because of the slower times, I tend to start the year with a new pep in my step. Even though I returned to work the day after Christmas, the library has been mostly quiet and I have been weeding some materials from the stacks that haven’t been used for quite some time, something librarians occasionally do to make room for new materials. I’ve also had time to sit quietly in my office and prepare for the new semester. For this reason, I’ve had time to think.

Last year I began with the idea of again being a pescetarian, with the hopes of becoming a vegan in a few months. I called it “working toward vegan”. The fish I gave up entirely before the end of March. I’ve been a vegetarian ever since. However, as the year progressed I was eating more milk and cheese. There were about two eggs a week and lots of cream soups made with a little heavy whipping cream.

Now I will try harder. Coffee Mate I like as a substitute for Half Half, but besides being heavy with sugar, there is also a milk product included. The list of ingredients states this dairy product, but elsewhere on the label it specifies dairy-free, but that would not be true. From what I understand, they get by with that deception because the product no longer chemically resembles milk by the time it makes it to the rest of the powder. However, if it comes from milk, then in my mind it is dairy. Period. I’ll keep looking, but I’m going to finish up this container in the meantime.

So today, except for my morning coffee, it has been vegan with every mouthful! Started with creamy oatmeal with a little brown sugar and a few raisins. Dinner in a few minutes will be a quick and easy pasta dish with tomato sauce, onions, green peppers, and mushrooms. For snack today I had a few vegan ginger cookies, some peanuts, and some junk food – potato chips.

I just gave away a brand-new unopened container of Breyers low-fat ice cream. AUGH!!

Lunch was delicious! As you can see from the picture below, the New Years Southern tradition – black-eyed peas, collards and kale cooked together, a garnish of tomatoes and onions, and cornbread. It was so very very tasty! I need to work on the cornbread recipe, though. I just took my regular recipe and substituted rice milk for cow’s milk. And I did not include an egg. It was rather crumbly (as you can tell from the picture) but OK, and I’ve packed a piece for lunch tomorrow, but I believe it can be improved!

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7:30am – Yesterday was an extra-long day at the library, so this morning I am going in a little later than usual. Thus, extra time for my blog!

Even though we are getting closer to the Christmas Holidays for the midshipmen, last night we were very busy at the Reference Desk. Computers were all utilized pretty early in the evening. Even though I did not have many questions last night, the ones asked took more time than usual. Most of the questions I received delved into the sciences – not my strength. But each interaction ended successfully! Just took a little longer than normal. Therefore, there was NO down time – but still all good time. Left late last night feeling that fantastic type of exhaustion – when you feel like you’ve spent your time doing something helpful and positive. You know what I mean! Now. . . off to work again. . . .

1:20pm – Just finished listening to two of the economics honors students present their papers to economics faculty – sorta the half-way mark. These papers will be due the end of next semester, and this week they have presenting what they have so far with critical feedback from faculty, which will play a huge role in their completing their year with a successful paper. Last week I was able to listen to several of those in political science present their half-way mark papers as well.

AND !! I’ve listened to students in several other political science classes present their end of semester papers as well. I’ve learned about Ulysses S. Grant, Ronald Reagan, Fidel Castro, the economy of various African countries, North Korea, trade, politics of Indonesia, and so much more. I took tons of notes because it was all so interesting! Also talked with a few mids about more resources (for those honors students who still have work to complete).

3:00pm – Just got off the Reference Desk – covered an extra hour for a colleague. Still busy. Had more than the usual number of questions for a Wednesday afternoon. But I was up to the task!

7:15pm – Left work a little after 4:00, stopped by the grocery store for just a few items, came home and tidied up just a little, put on comfy clothes, prepared and ate a few tacos with meat and beans I cooked a few weeks ago and placed in the freezer. Oh my yum!! Added a few chopped tomatoes and raw onion, torn-up lettuce from the salad bar that the grocery, and then shredded cheddar. Felt like gourmet tacos for sure! Now I’m getting ready to drink a cup of super-delicious decaf coffee with a piece of pineapple orange cake purchased from the bakery at the grocery store. Yes….. life is wonderful tonight!

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This past week was filled not only with work but also time spent with old friends and new acquaintances. And, of course, there were delectable foods!

I attended the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) conference in Arlington, where I learned more about possible changes in our future. Ways to hopefully manage this most important program on our tighter budgets without harming the free access to government information it brings to all Americans.

This discussion spilled over into just about every conversation, even when we were supposed to be breaking from the meetings/educational sessions. When I happily talk about my work during “off” times, I realize what a fantastic fit this librarian gig is for me!

There was a coffee break with a friend from UNC at Chapel Hill. A breakfast buffet (yum!) with new friends from Louisiana. A cobb salad lunch with three members of the Depository Council and someone from GPO. A soup & salad meal and a steak dinner with a good friend from Kansas. Even though some of the time around the table was spent talking about books we’ve recently read, movies, and current events, there was always conversation regarding our libraries and how we are dealing with keeping services as viable as possible when money is disappearing from every direction.

Friday after leaving Nimitz Library, I took the metro back into DC to meet others from UNC at Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science. Many were completing their first year and were in Washington visiting other libraries. Some were graduates like myself. We met at the BlackFinn on I Street NW where we, again, talked about libraries and the positions some of these students would like to find after graduating. Many seemed focused on public libraries – and I say, “Good for you!!” I love ’em, and we all benefit from public libraries, even if we each individually do not use them. Our country benefits from a more educated society, and public libraries play a major role in providing this education.

The BlackFinn was fun and loud and full of vibrant energy. Toward the end of our time there we were all having to yell at each other to be heard. But I did not mind – the liveliness of the place was almost as wonderful as the fried haddock I ordered (fish & chips plate). Not until I moved to Annapolis did I try haddock. I’ve decided it is one of my favorites, and this restaurant served some of the best. Must go back and have it again sometime. 🙂

No pictures of the haddock, but recently I put together a meal from the already prepared foods from Whole Foods, and I have a picture of that meal. Fried fish, fish cooked with sweet potatoes in a Thai coconut sauce, curried cabbage with white potatoes, piece of whole-wheat pita bread, small green salad with a lemon/olive oil/garlic dressing, then finished off with a vanilla cheesecake from their bakery. Probably one of the best cheesecakes I’ve ever devoured! Thus, the reason for such a small salad. So glad I didn’t eat too much salad – may have interfered with my appetite for the cheesecake!!

This second picture is from the McPherson Square Occupy DC location, also on I Street NW. Took the picture of the person snoozing with the blanket over his/her head – a way to keep the sun out of the eyes! Thought it was a practical yet humorous move, but when I got home I realized it was also a snapshot of the Occupy’s library. The sign says: “Library! Feel free to take a book and bring it back to share when you’re done. Remember – KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!” To which I reply – Absolutely!

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Great week so far at the library. Met with the new chair of the Economics Department for quite some time, talking about his classes, his personal research, and some about communication within the department itself. As most subject librarians know, I want to be part of the communication hotline so that I know what is going on but not so much that I’m “in their business”. It is sorta a fine line to walk to get it just right. But I’m up to the challenge, and he seemed to make it sound like it will be an easy walk. He’s not new to the department, just new to the chair position.

Then I spent some time welcoming a new Econ faculty member to the US Naval Academy – delightful few moments. I love my job!

AND!! Today two professors from the Political Science Department contacted me wanting a few new books for the library, so I was able to help with that task as well. To do something I actually find fun and then have people thank me for it – what could be better, right?

On to food ….. Still in my New York state of mind, and still so terribly hot, I wasn’t hungry for much supper. But I was still hungry for something special! So I bought Stilton Blue at the grocery and dipped out the last of my white fish spread I purchased in NYC at Citarella on the Avenue of the Americas at 9th street. (I had taken a little cooler with me and just brought it back on down the rails to Annapolis!) Added my staple of Ritz crackers, a few tomatoes from a friend’s garden, and some simple green olives. Wanna see a picture of my delicious meal?

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Looking forward to another day in the library. Plan to work two hours at the reference desk, which is the favorite activity of my job. Won’t be very busy since it is summer, and pretty sure I won’t get any fun “investigative” questions, but I like to be out on the main floor of the library where the students come to study and work together on projects.

Yesterday I walked out of our office area twice and saw a group of students gathered around a table talking and deciphering over a large map. They seemed to be seriously engaged with their work as well as having some fun. Political maps can show us the names of cities and towns and sometimes the distance between; topographic maps show us the landscape, helping us better understand why a country may have a certain agriculture system; historical maps can show us land changes over time (particularly around rivers). Midshipmen, of course, are also very interested in the oceans. Don’t know what these midshipmen were studying, but they were there for several hours and it was all I could do to not walk up to them and ask, “whatcha doing?” I’m a librarian. I’m so curious about everything!!

And what is a day without a delicious lunch? I’m thinking today I will try to gather a few colleagues and go to out to lunch. Even as hot as it is here in Annapolis right now, a creamy tomato basil soup sounds good to me, and I know just the place to find some!

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