Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Love Me, Love My Books?

After reading an interesting article online "Have You Ever Fallen For Someone's...Bookcase?" it got me to thinking...
If you love me do you love my books?
I've written lately about my personal book collection and while some of my books are rare and unusual others are definitely "chick lit". Sure I also have shelves full of travel books, history and biographies but very little popular fiction, no mysteries and only a few dogeared classics. I do have a few trashy books about Hollywood scandals(including pictures)and celebrity deaths and a few left over law school text books but really nothing too impressive. It makes me wonder what impression my book collection would give to someone who didn't know me. I think in my case I'm lucky my husband puts up with the stacks of library books that I bring home every week, they definitely reflect who I am and what I'm interested in at the time (kitchen remodeling, healthy cooking, chess etc).
I'd have to say if you love me, you love my passion for reading and knowledge not my ever changing book collection.
What about you? Do you peek at someones bookcase the way some people peek at anothers medicine cabinet? Would the books they collect change your opinion of them? Could you fall in love with them because of what they like to read?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Getting Ready for Synergy

Late last year I applied for Synergy the Illinois Library Leadership Initiative and was chosen as 1 of 30 librarians in the State to participate. Tomorrow is the first day of the first 3 day session, with a 3 day session in August and the final 3 day session in November. I'm looking forward to meeting the other participants and to work on leadership skills. I'll blog from Starved Rock Lodge where we are staying.
For more information on Synergy check out the website at: http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/whats_new/synergy2009_ann.html

Friday, March 27, 2009

Flash Back Friday #23

So I am TOTALLY addicted to the UK version of The Office. Ricky Gervais is simply brilliant and here is a clip of one of my favorite scenes. Ricky as David Brent, the regional manager of Wernham Hogg paper company singing Freelove on the Freelove Freeway during an office training session.
"I got some hot love on the hotlove highway"

Monday, March 23, 2009

Reading and Watching as Escapism

Jade Goody died yesterday. Jade was the 27 year old British reality star I blogged about a few weeks ago (http://livelylibrarian.blogspot.com/2009/02/reality-star-is-dying.html)who was dying in the public eye. The news that she lost her fight with cancer and left her 2 young sons, new husband and family and friends truly saddened me, but somehow also relieved me. Once her very large and public funeral takes place in the next week or so her stories will be taken off the front page and her family will go on without her larger-than-life personality. I truly hope she found peace and that the reality driven life she led benefits her boys. Financially Jade left her sons a comfortable legacy, emotionally no one can predict how they will be affected from her very public lifestyle. Regardless of the controversy, Jade was a devoted mother and lived life on her own terms and I will miss reading about her antics.

During the media siege over the tragic news of celebrities dying over the past week (Richardson and Goody) I felt the need to retreat a bit into make believe. On Saturday I hosted my favorite 4 year old for a tea party. We dressed up, drank "tea" with our pinkies up, watched a Disney Princess video and wore lots and lots of "diamonds". I really can't think of better escapism than Disney, although Jane Austen comes in close.
On Sunday I watched the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice (with Keira Knightly as Elizabeth Bennett)and when my husband walked into the bedroom last night and heard, "Mr. Darcy" uttered on screen he said, "Mr. Darcy? Is that what we saw at the theater last weekend? Haven't you had enough?". I answered, "No I can never have enough, it's the perfect love story".
In between my Princess tea party and Pride and Prejudice I retreated into my historical romance novels and for an hour or so I'm a heroine during the Regency era. In the pages of my favorite books, everything is left to fate, love prevails and there is always a happy ending. No one dies in a skiing accident, cancer doesn't kill young women and motherless children grow up to find love and happiness.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lookin' for answers

As a librarian I'm in the answer business and I like it. I answer questions all day long, no 2 days are the same and usually no 2 questions.
Over the past few days it seems like everyone who has seen the news or followed the story online is asking the same questions...How can a vibrantly alive woman fall down, hit her head, shake it off, talk and laugh afterwords but wind up dead within hours? I'm talking about the actress Natasha Richardson who woke up Monday morning and decided to practice skiing and after a seemingly minor stumble ended up brain dead within a few hours.
Why? Why did she fall? How did she fall? Why didn't she rush to the hospital? Why did she die? Did she suffer? Did she say her goodbyes? Sure a few people know the answers to some of these questions, maybe her ski instructor, or the emergency room doctor or her husband. Through the invasion of the modern media we will know some of the answers in the coming days but will the fundamental questions that we all fear ever be answered? Can it happen to us? And what happens after you die?

I woke up in the middle of the night last night and do you know what the first thing that popped into my head was? Is that beautiful woman/mother/wife/artist/friend/ daughter/sister lying in the morgue? Sure I'm a prime example of too much media but it also serves the purpose of awareness. Awareness of the morality of someone like Natasha Richardson which somehow makes a senseless tragedy like hers larger in our consciousness.

If someone asked me at my library what the cause of her death was I could direct them to resources that explain what an epidural hematoma is (the medical examiner of NY says that is what killed Natasha). Question answered. If someone asked me what happens to you after you die I could direct them to any number of resources including medical, religious and philosophical. Maybe question answered. If someone asks me, can it happen to me? Question unanswered.

Here is what I know. She fell down. She got treatment. It wasn't enough. She died. She's in the morgue. Hearts are broken. The media is intrusive. The public has an insatiable appetite for tragedy.
No one anywhere has the answers her family wants. I don't like that.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Segment on Library Production Studio

A month or so ago Library Production Studio was at my library filming a "Do You Know" segment on libraries. The focus at our library was on the resources we provide for people who are job searching and one of our regular patrons was interviewed. Without much warning he asked me to participate and so I filmed a small section about my computer classes. FYI he has been a regular in my computer classes where we've worked on his computer skills and he was recently offered a new job!
I'm about 4 minutes 30 seconds into the video. For more information on LPS visit their website at: http://www.libraryps.com/

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Moms Going Back to Work

There is an interesting article in Time magazine about stay-at-home Moms who are going back to work out of necessity during our unstable economic crisis.
I was never a typical stay at home Mom but I did have the luxury of being home with my son until he started school. After he was born I ran a business out of my home that allowed me to be home with him and it really was the ideal situation. I know a few stay at home Moms, most are parents to a large number of young children and I don't know what would be harder, remaining as a 1 income family or having 2 incomes but paying for child care. Whatever the situation, it can't be an easy decision.
To read the article click here: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1884849,00.html?cnn=yes&iref=werecommend

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pride and Prejudice at The Rep in Milwaukee

This past weekend I went to Wisconsin to see the The Milwaukee Repertory Theater's production of Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice. Having immersed myself in everything Austen (Austen works were the subject of my final 2 projects in grad school before my May 2008 graduation)I was anxious to see P&P on stage instead of the small screen. The production was beautifully staged in a "theater-in-the-round" theater which enabled the actors to move around freely and utilize multiple entrances and exits. The set was beautifully done with merely the moving of a bench, a table or chairs to represent different scenes. The costumes were absolutely gorgeous, Darcy's long coats swept the floor and the ladies gowns were simple but changed with merely the addition of beautiful wraps or jackets.
The actors were very well cast, the very young woman playing Elizabeth Bennet was the right age and showed Elizabeth's spunk while the actor cast as Mr. Darcy was everything remote and attractive. Other standouts were the actors cast as Elizabeth's parents Mr. and Mrs. Darcy as well as Mr. Bingley and Mr. Collins. I found the young woman who played Lydia Bennet to have an annoyingly bad British accent which distracted from the character and the woman cast as Lady Catherine de Bourgh had a commanding stage presence (her gorgeous costumes helped) but didn't display the moxie needed for the imposing and formidable "Lady Catherine de Bourgh". Overall the cast was wonderful and stayed true to the beloved characters of Austen's most popular novel.
Milwaukee is a short drive from Chicago (no more time than what I usually spend in traffic to the city) and a nice change to the larger Broadway productions currently popular in Chicago right now.
We ate at the most fantastic restaurant, Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro which is situated directly on the lakefront of Lake Michigan in a city park. The views were stunning and the food was one of the best meals I have EVER enjoyed. For more information visit their website here: http://www.lakeparkbistro.com/
For information on The Rep Theater visit there website here:
(The actors shown in the publicity for Pride and Prejudice are not the actors in the production)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Flash Back Friday #22

Remember when scary movies were still original and actually scary?
Here is the trailer for the 1980 version of Friday the 13th.
Campground, drowned kid named Jason, psychotic mother, shudder ... oh and yes that is Kevin Bacon!

Geez, this movie scared the crap out of me back then!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

RLA Program

As fellow librarian Richard commented on my previous post I will be presenting a program to the RLA (Reference Librarians Association) with my colleague Alex about online shopping.
The program Beyond Consumer Reports is described here:
The RLA Continuing Education Committee has presented some of the best programs I have attended relating to libraries, I hope mine is equally helpful.
Thanks for the PR Richard!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Yup there goes my tax refund...

So as many of you know from my previous posts, I am a shopper. An abiding love of shoes, coats and designer bags is my cross to bear. I'm not in the category of Rebecca the character in Confessions of a Shopaholic but like her I am lover of high quality but happily without ANY credit card debt (Rebecca's descent into debt is a large part of the book).
At my library I teach an online shopping course and many of the websites I show the patrons are great bargain shopping sites. I'm a bargain and comparision shopper and hate to pay full price although as my standards of quality go up alas...the opportunities to get a deal go down. I've definitely learned with quality you get what you pay for, so shop well.
I'm feeling frivilous and girly today so I'll share with you some of my favorite shopping (more like browsing) websites and the latest entries on my long-term-investment-shopping-wish-list.
Back in the 80's there was a fabulous flea market near my family's vacation home in Florida and it was a regular weekend destination. My favorite stalls were the high end designer knocks offs like Gucci and Louis Vuitton. I had copies of their bags through high school and college but it wasn't until I was much older that I could afford my first authentic bag.
On my first trip to Italy I dragged my husband through every Louis Vuitton store in Milan until I finally found the perfect bag and it was well worth the wait (no my husband does not pay for my shopping trips I just popped into shops inbetween grabbing a few beers with him). I'm currently adding a piece of their iconic luggage to my wish list (see the famous ad of Sean Connery on a beach in the Bahamas with a Louis Vuitton duffle)
To browse their website click here:
Oh boy, then there is Dior. I want a Lady Dior bag. I just do, no excuses. The fabulous new ad with Oscar winner Marion Cotillard hanging around on the Eiffle Tower with her Lady Dior practically makes me weep it's so perfect. Go ahead and take a glimpse here:
Who hasn't passed a Hermes boutique in a major international airport? Sure I browse but I have yet to buy one of their classic scarves. Their website is quirky and fun to browse and one day I will find the perfect scarf and commit. Don't even get me started on Hermes Birkin bags, I will have one someday but until then reading books like Bringing Home the Birkin will have to do.
For a lovely look go here: http://www.hermes.com/
The iconic and classic Burberry is a favorite indulgence, who hasn't envied the perfectly cut trench cut. So London. For a peek: http://www.burberry.com/
And then there is Jimmy Choo. Just holding a pair of stilettos makes me shake. Crazy huh. To drool, click here: http://www.jimmychoo.com/pws/Home.ice

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Need a good giggle?

I don't know about you but sometimes I just need a good laugh.
One of my favorite websites that NEVER fails to make me laugh out loud is the brilliant Go Fug Yourself.
This fashion/celebrity skewing site written by the hysterical Jessica and Heather is fresh, totally original and so so so funny.
I have Go Fug Yourself bookmarked on my ITouch and during the times I am trapped in a boring meeting or class I access the fugness and try and contain my giggles. The ladies regularly feature such fugly offenders as Lindsey Lohan and the Olsen twins and occasionally a celebrity who is fab not fugly.
"Prodding the Faye" is my latest catch phrase. Read the Fug and you will understand.
Check out their FAQ page for the definition of "fug".
The fugness is here: http://gofugyourself.celebuzz.com/

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Social Networking-How Much Is Too Much?

A friend remarked to me the other day about her concerns for a mutual friend who is apparently addicted to social networks. She was a little irritated that someone would constantly update their Twitter and Facebook status feeds about the most mundane things and really didn't want to know that many details about a casual friend's life. That got me to thinking...in social sharing when does "sharing" become too much?

I've read numerous articles about the fine line concerning sharing ones personal life with everyone else you know who is also social networking. If someone posts something risque or controversial on your profile page for all to see do you edit their comments or pictures? Do you have the right too? Do you want to add those you work with as "friends" through Facebook or Myspace allowing them access to your status, posts, pictures and news feeds? If a library or organization has a fan page, does the owner have the right to edit comments posted on the wall?

I have my personal privacy settings set as strictly as the sites allow and have not had the need to delete a friend although I have deleted a friend's insensitive comments and honestly instantly regretted it. I believe in free speech and as a librarian it is a priority professionally and personally. But there is that thin line that I have to address as the administrator of public pages. Professionally I haven't had the need to monitor inappropriate or harmful comments but don't doubt that in the future I will. Personally I have faith that those I allow access to my personal social networking sites post contemplatively and respectfully and those comments I would never censor. In regards to my above mentioned friend's concerns, I agree that it gets more than a little annoying when I get nearly hourly updates on someones diet or love life but I do enjoy knowing that those I chose to share with are just a click away. I guess with the access comes the risk and sometimes the tendency to overshare. In my opinion if that happens address it privately before you choose to censor someone else's thought.

I host a computer group at my library every month and in February my topic was social networking sites. The most common questions I get concerning networking (whether it is with Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, Bebo etc...) are about security. How do you hide your personal information? Can you restrict access to parts of your profile? Can you delete a friend?
The choice of how much to share is a personal one, if you still wrestle with the decision as I do here are a selection of good articles:

10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know at:

10 Social Networking Security Trends to Watch at: http://www.crn.com/security/208401887;jsessionid=H4LY0QHOENXMUQSNDLPCKH0CJUNN2JVN?pgno=1

Social Networks Thrive, Now What? at: http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/159992/social_networks_thrive_now_what.html?loomia_ow=t0:a16:g12:r2:c0.408799:b22047710

Monday, March 2, 2009

Rockin Librarians

Well I'm back from a few days at Kohler Spa in Wisconsin and catching up on my emails. My friend Lisa (a fellow librarian) sent me the link below about a group of librarians who are in a bit of trouble for playing Rock Band at their library.
Many libraries are using game systems like Nintendo and Wii to attract younger patrons and I know when our library has hosted Wii days during our reading programs, they are a big hit with patrons and staff.
Check out the article and YouTube video here: http://www.joystiq.com/2009/02/26/coolest-librarians-ever-in-trouble-for-playing-rock-band/