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Celebrated the Saturday before Labor Day, International Bacon Day!  Bacon Day has been celebrated since 2000.  Below are some great books I recommend taking a look at to celebrate today.  Enjoy, I’m off to make a BLT for lunch.

 

The Bacon Cookbook by James Villas cbaconontains more than 100 recipes for using and making bacon.  This collection includes options for breakfast, soup, appetizers, pasta, main courses and even desserts.  The short introduction covers the history of bacon, explain what bacon technically is (apparently turkey bacon is not considered bacon), and touches on international styles of this versatile meat.

 

 

 

pork a history

Pork: a global history by Katharine M. Rogers follows the history of the most widely eaten meat in the world.  From the Roman Empire to pioneers – the use of all parts of the pig make it a mainstay of many different types of cuisine.   The book is divided into the history of pork in different geographic locations and ends with the mass-production of pork in current society.  This is part of a series called “Edible” if you are interested in the history of other foodstuffs.

 

 

 

 

 

cleaving

Cleaving by Julie Powell is a follow up Julie and Julia.  After finishing her year-long project of cooking every recipe in

Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Powell takes up a new passion, butchery.  Not strictly pork-related, but a good addition to this book-list.

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Sorry for the unannounced absence but I wanted to take advantage of my last days without classes for the summer and I resolved not to go on the computer at home after work.  Now that the school year has started again I’m basically on the computer all the time, at work and at home so I can post again but it’s made me thankful for the break.  I was able to catch up on some of my reading and I have some partial posts that I hope to get up later this week once I’ve had a chance to edit them and make them fit for publication.

It’s going to be a wonderfully busy semester.  I’m taking Digital Curation, which so far has been interesting.  We’re basically going over the history of digital curation and looking at the arguments to centralize information or use a repository and at some different types of digital databases.  It’s always fun when the samples are ones I work with, and we started looking at the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae as one of our examples.  I’ve helped them order books through ILL but haven’t had much reason to really poke into their site prior to this and I have a deeper understanding of what they do now compared to my general ideas from before.

My other class is Knowledge Management in Libraries.  I’m still warming up to this class.  The three articles from this week are nearly ten years old and I’m going to have to do some digging on my own to see of the ideas proposed in these articles held up or if they’ve changed with newer technologies and work habits.  It would also be interesting to see how these companies may have changed after layoffs and other restrictions of the last few years, if they are still emphasizing personal networks or if they’ve begun looking at a new codified approach to managing their internal information.  Or if the companies that use a personalization network of sharing have lost information when people had to leave either through layoffs or retirement.

I am doing some volunteer work with I Need a Library Job starting tomorrow, I’ll be helping with the digests.  I don’ t have my own state but it’s going to be good to see what libraries are looking for in job postings so I can start getting my skills up to par before I start applying when I finish in May.  I’m continuing on with RASL and with SCARLA.  There was a call for officers from the RUSLA (special libraries) but I think I’m stretched thin already as much as part of me wants to volunteer for everything.  I need to hold some energy in reserve if I’m chosen to help with the ALA groups I’ve volunteered for.

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Yesterday was my first day at ALA and it was strange to go to a convention at the Anaheim convention center that wasn’t the REC.  I was reassured by fellow conference goers that Friday is a slower day for meetings and updates from vendors and that I would see the conference hall packed to the gills again for the remainder of the conference. 

For what is supposed to be one of the slower days at conference I still saw a lot, was re-introduced to some familiar faces I’d met at CARL and learned new things about programs I use every day.  I attended the OCLC updates and learned more about OCLC than I was exposed to just using it for work.  I loved talking to the other people at my table who use this program so differently than I am used to.  Some of the new RDA options for OCLC seem like they are useful but I do not catalog on a regular basis so I won’t be able to say for sure until I do, but for those of you waiting, better RDA defaults are coming!

From there I went to a NMRT Conference 101 session that provided some wonderful tips and lightning round type networking.  At the end of the session I had the chance to chat with the representative from EBSS who gave me some tips on improving my tutorials when I get back to work!  When that finished up early I was able to squeeze in a visit to the RUSA 101 and am very excited to get involved with them as well.  I love the publications coming out of ACRL but I am particularly excited to hear about STARS and to meet some ILL people from different institutions, as well as to make a connection to one of the ILL staff from UC Berkley.

I caught the tail end of the emerging leaders poster session and was very impressed with everything I saw there, though I’d missed a bit since I was in other meetings.  I was able to make my way to the exhibit hall and pick up some freebies.  I will make it a point to cover the ARCs I picked up in this blog so I did not take the publisher’s books for naught, though I have little opportunity for reading advisory currently but perhaps in the future this will be good practice.

I finished up the night at the NMRT mentoring social.  My mentor had some great tips about the conference and how to start working towards giving presentations.  I met some great people I hope to see again after this conference. For a slow day I got a lot done.  I will be back tomorrow to tell you of Saturday’s adventures!

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Trying to cast a vote

Today is California’s Presidential Primary.  I have voted in every election since my eighteenth birthday and I enjoy going to a polling place to vote, though I’ve voted a few times using an absentee ballot as well.  I think that voting in every election (primary or otherwise) is important and should be fairly easy.  While listening to NPR this afternoon (between 3-4 PST) the announcer mentioned that less than 5% of Orange County voters had cast a vote.  When I went to look at the Registrar’s page, voting trends for Orange County for the past few years elections turnout has been dismal to say the least – 30% on average for the last few elections.  A part of this, I’m sure is because many people had the same problem I did today in locating a polling place.

Today my problem was I could not locate easily locate a polling place near work.  This morning I got out the door a little later than expected and my polling place had moved since the last election and I got lost trying to drive to the new polling place.  After driving in circles for 15 minutes I decided I would come to work and go vote on my lunch break.  I live about 30-45 minutes away from work with light traffic; my commute is just long enough that I cannot realistically go home, vote and return within a 1 hour lunch break.  And on Tuesdays, I have dinner with friends after work which means I’m usually not home until 9-10pm.   One of my coworkers has a similar problem, his commute is quite long and he has to leave his house at 6 to get to work on time and often does not return home until the late evening.  I can only imagine the difficulties in voting if you have to work several jobs or if you are a student without access to a car.

So, I went to the OC Registrar of Voters page and used their “Find your polling place”  feature and the first glaring problem is you need a street address to find a polling place instead of being able to browse by city.  Langson, like many of the UCI buildings does not have a street address, so I put in the Law Library’s address.  This address gave me an error message.  So I sought help using the chat option, to no avail; the helper was unable to help me and did not seem to have any information beyond knowing the basic layout of the registrar’s website.  She could not even provide a link to take me to the find your polling place tab.  I consulted with one of my colleagues in reference who was able to find a polling place by making up an address in University Hills, a neighborhood near the campus.   She was not able to find a list of polling places on the website or elsewhere on the web.  I finally decided to use my friends’ address since they are about 10 minutes from campus.  I’m sure I passed a half dozen polling places on my drive to the one near my friend’s address but I could not say for sure without a list or a map.

The volunteers who run the polling places are wonderful, and they really made my day.  They were very helpful but they could not help me find anything beyond what was immediately in their vicinity.  I understand that polling places cannot always remain the same from election to election because the place is staffed and provided by volunteers.  That said, some places are more public than others and should have a polling place available – the university being one of them.  While some place providers would (understandably) object to being on a publicly available list, libraries, Boys & Girls clubs, senior centers, schools, etc. where voting is often hosted should be fine with providing their information so voters who are away from home can cast their ballot.

I found a real time results page here.  (If you click before 8 pm, there are no results until they begin tallying the votes.)  If you can put together something this elaborate, you can cobble together a list of public polling places so I can vote from work without jumping through hoops.  If people are able to find a polling place easily they would be more likely to vote.  For a number of reasons, I do not think moving toward online voting is a good option at this point in time, so please make it easier for me to exercise my civic duty.

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I will be working with generationwhylibrarian this summer on a poster for SLA.  I owe you more details but she sums it up nicely here:

The Poster Session.

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I love working at a large library and working in ILL.  One of the great perks of working in ILL is you can see what people are reading and you develop a feel for what you may want to add to a to-read list.  Another great thing is the chance to work independently for a portion of the day, whether it’s banding, making records, clearing out idle requests or anything at my desk.  During these desk times I’m able to put in my headphones and listen to an audio book, music or podcast for a couple hours while I get my work done.  Lately, I’ve been having a lot of fun with a handful of podcasts and I wanted to share them with you.  Podcasts are listed in no particular order.

Up yours, downstairs presented by Kelly Anneken & Tom Schneider

Kelly & Tom recap the Masterpiece Classic series Downton Abbey and the recaps are hilarious.  I came to Downton Abbey fairly late and had to catch up with the first season on Netflix.  The show is a combination of snarky retelling of everything that occurred in given episode, recurring segments on Edwardian fashion, parts of history and show gossip.  They plan to go on to some other Edwardian related projects, either recapping other mini series or just making their recurring topics longer once they have finished the recaps of the first two seasons.  Beware while listening to these when too many patrons or co-workers are around, I found myself laughing hard enough for my eyes to tear up at some parts.  The podcasts are marked as explicit in iTunes, I can’t think of any terrible language off the top of my head but this is a headphones type podcast rather than a speakers, especially if you share your office with others.

Adventures in Library Instruction presented by Rachel B, Jason and Anna*

I just finished 35th episode “Guide on the side.”  This monthly  podcast covers topics of interest for teaching librarians.  I like the interplay between Jason, Anna and Rachel on the few podcasts I’ve listened to to date.  I am very excited about Meredith Farkas’s Technology in Practice article about the University of Arizona’s JSTOR tutorial.  I hope to figure out a way to either create something like this or at least incorporate some of the elements in it for the ILL article tutorial that has been on the back burner during the spring semester.  I look forward to listening to some of the backlog for inspiration on instruction ideas.  I know I will catch up and be anxiously awaiting more before the end of the summer.

TWiT presented byLeo Laporte et al.

This week in tech is a netcast which happens to have podcast versions available in iTunes.  It’s a great way to stay caught up on technology trends and offers a balanced overview of the pros and cons of different consumer technology.  Some of the discussions can get pretty detailed but I don’t feel out of my depth so I believe this is accessible to a beginner and mid range adopter.  I haven’t been able to watch one of their videos yet but I may at some point in the future (as I said, these are at work supplements so I need something I can listen to while processing).  TWiT offers a combination of hypothetical and hands on examples for technology questions; for example in episode 335 they discussed Twitter and when it is worth doing or in episode 351 they discuss Google glasses and Dropbox.  Their website allows you to search for past shows based on your interest, rather than limiting you to a browse feature, which is always nice.

Now that I’m out of class for the summer I’m going to try to post more than once a week and have some more fun posts. While I don’t think I will have three podcasts a week if this post is popular I’ll try making this sort of recommendation a regular feature.  If anyone has a podcast they love let me know!

*The trio use their last names in the podcast and I was able to find their full names elsewhere on the web but I decided to stick with how they present themselves in their blog.  Does anyone know the proper protocol for this situation?  Or suggest a good internet etiquette/APA crossover handbook?

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As promised, the long delayed overview of what I saw at the CARL conference.  These notes are an extended version of what I brought back to my department. Please scroll to the end of the post if you’re interested in a brief recap of what I saw at the conference. 

One of the things I’m currently struggling with coming back from this wonderful conference is how to apply what I’ve learned to the job when for the past few weeks I’ve been bogged down in my job.  I shared my notes with my coworkers and my supervisors are supportive but I’ve heard very little back from my partners in crime.  I may not have made a case for just how fun and existing the ideas or maybe we’ve just gotten to the point where we’re working so hard at the way we do things now we can’t take a step back and add more in or make adjustments. 

I love the beginning of the quarter because I see it as a fresh start to change up some minor things with how we do things in the department.  However, the last procedural change we made with our student worker’s way of processing materials petered out after a few months.  I don’t blame the students for this, but rather inconsistencies between staff members when we tell them what is and is not important in their work flow.  For example, banding books to go out has been treated as a make-work project rather than a central student worker job.  This has had several unintended consequences.  The first is that when the students do get around to making bands they do so slowly and while talking because they don’t view it as time sensitive.  Another is that the processing staff has had to regularly band material in the evening to process books for the next day.  Since I’m banding books every evening, I can’t work on the article tutorial or the stats project or other long-term projects.

How do you work with coworkers to get (and keep) them excited about possible changes to procedures? Getting the support of supervisors is not enough if not enough people on the staff commit to it as well.  My department is staffed with great people but while we all seem to warm up to new ideas, our department seems to have a problem with the follow through. 

Thursday, April 5th

Incorporating Instructional Design Approaches into Library Instruction
This talk was mostly about how to best teach material using a combination of online and in-person teaching of library material.  It was interesting but not applicable to much of what we do in ILL.  Dominique Turnbow did recommend two books on information literacy and learning theory that looked interesting.

Creating your own peer-learning community
This was an extended version of the presentation given at the SLA conference I went to in October.  The presentation improved in the extended format because we were able to network with people in the room.  The theories presented by the AULs made more sense when they walked you through the World Cafe model they used to implement discussion.

Poster Sessions
How a learning management system improved training and communication for library student assistants
California Lutheran College has been using Blackboard to help train their students for basic circulation desk encounters.  This lets the students learn much of their training material in a self paced manner, allows for consistency between trainings and give the students a chance to go back and review procedures for activities they do not do often.  They included quizzes and grades to help the staff keep an eye on which students needed to review material.  From the training module they included a link to their scheduling system so they students could go to one place to be trained, locate their time sheet and if needed switch shifts with another student.

Food for fines
I’d love to do this here, maybe at the end of the spring quarter since that’s when students get ready to move and would be cleaning out their fridges.  I don’t know what the logistics of the fine end would be but I’ve worked with the Second Harvest Food bank for a drive before and they were very helpful.  The presenters were from Pasadena City College, so they are dealing with a smaller population, though.

Friday, April 6th
Keynote speaker: Saying yes: building innovative libraries by killing fear and getting the job done
Jenica’s speech was very interesting and she had a lot of good general ideas about trying to meet patrons needs using creative imagery.  I nice speech that I think was recorded for the virtual conference.  I’ve been following her blog for a while (www.attemptingelegance.com) and she usually has something interesting to say.

#doesthatreallywork? Transforming the traditional, rethinking and letting go
This was the talk was the most access services oriented of the conference.  Sally Bryant and Michelle Jacobs-Lustig of Pepperdine shared a number of things they’ve done to make their space more inviting for their patrons.  I particularly enjoyed their points about using different marketing techniques for different audiences in the library.  I like some of their suggestions for training and using student workers.  Many of their suggestions are little things that seem to have paid off.  For example, they have their students wear name tags when they are in the stacks so patrons know who to ask questions of – an added benefit was complaints about unhelpful student workers went down and productivity among the students went up. 

They are currently using LibAnalytics, one of the statistics packages we are looking at to replace our stats system.  The highly recommend LibCal for scheduling student workers and desk hours for the reference librarians. It seemed to be a great way to schedule students who could put in which hours they are available and when they’d want to work and the program has built in reminders about putting in double shifts if the person requested one, and other common scheduling difficulties. (LibCal product overview here: http://www.springshare.com/libcal/tour.html)

So you think you can handle an institutional repository
This was a presentation given by two librarians from CSUSJ – it was a good introduction for me on what an institutional repository and I found some ideas I could borrow for my class.


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