Monday, October 20, 2014

Hocking Hills

Ben, Beth, Everett

Ben carrying my niece through one of the small caves.

My niece had a huge crush on Ben, asking him to carry her
through the park. She has good taste--Ben's a gem.

My brother A3's family: Alex (8mos), Dayna, A3, Savannah
Our weekend away was lovely. I took a half day on Friday and after 3 hours of fall colors alongside the roads meandering south and east, I wound up at the house we were renting. Right around the time I finished unloading my car and stowing all the food in the fridge, A3 and company were pulling up, followed 5 minutes later by Beth, Ben, and Everett, who'd traveled from the Farm in Massachusetts. 

The weekend was typical Midwest fall: colorful, blustery, rainy at times, perfect for being snuggly tucked away in a lovely house with friends and family. We were able to find a pocket of time when it wasn't raining and headed to Hocking Hills for a couple hours of camping. The kids were EXCELLENT the whole hike and only slightly fussy as we were trying to coordinate lunch.

Such a good weekend, though it did get me missing living closer to my brother like I did when I was in the Cleveland area, and also made me miss my dear Farm friends and life in New England. If only there were more time and more ways to split myself between many places!

Friday, October 17, 2014

another fun weekend

By the time you're reading this I will be on the open road, heading northeast for a weekend I've been looking forward to for about 6 months! My brother A3, sister-in-law Dayna, and niece and nephew, and friends Beth & Beth and their baby Everett and I have rented a house for the weekend near Hocking Hills State Park.

So excited to see my dear friends and meet their new baby! So excited for lots of laughs, shared meals, time with people I love, hiking, and fall colors!

What are you doing this weekend?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

new library card holders

I joined the Association for Rural & Small Libraries last year and have really appreciated the listserv, where professional peers reach out to one another with questions, and in search of support. I thought it might be cool to occasionally share these issues/questions, in case anyone out there is in the same boat and doesn't know where to look.

Today's question: We have a regional catalog in which librarians can see the records of patrons at other libraries. Do you have policies restricting the issuing of new library cards to patrons with bad records in other libraries? How do you handle this ethical issue?

I don't always respond, but I did share some thoughts today, which are:

We are in a consortium and are strongly encouraged to not give new cards to persons with accounts past due at any other libraries within our consortium; this is a rule we adhere to.

That said, we still were getting occasionally burned by folks who'd get a card and then leave town with $100 worth of DVDs, CDs, books, etc., so I came up with a new library card setting for new card holders: "AdultProbationary" or "JuvenileProbationary." With these cards patrons are only allowed to have 3 items checked out on their card at a time. After a 90 day probationary period, IF there are no accrued fines over $5, that person gets switched to a "normal" card. We've seen a sharp decrease in problems. Hope this helps.

Coming up with policy is one of my least favorite aspects of my job.

Star Wars READS Day

This years poster
Star War READS Day was this past Saturday, but since neither Prairie Dawn or I was working, we bumped it to Monday afternoon. We had a blast(er) making themed crafts and enjoying snacks (made by my awesome friend Baker Sarah): Jabba Jiggler Jello, Jedi Juice, Stormtrooper cupcakes, and Wookie cookies.

Star Wars READs is great because different book sellers offer freebies (Abrams, Chronicle Books, Dark Horse, Del Rey, Disney Book Group, DK, Klutz, Quirk Books, Random House Audio, Scholastic, and Workman Publishing) like posters or displays, which you can use and give away (we received at least 15 of every poster) and the Jabba the Puppet display is AWESOME and will be used again for our next party.

A great way to keep abreast of things for next year is to like Star Wars Reads on Facebook!

Stormtrooper cupcakes
Wookie Cookies

Our checkout-ables: all of our Star Wars books, comics, and DVDs
The kids LOVED making this R2D2

My favorite poster

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

camping, conference wind-down

Delicious coffee at Pistacia Vera,
German Village, Columbus
After 2.5 days in Columbus I wanted to:
*Move to Columbus! I miss living near(er) to a big, happening city!
*Eat at the North Market everyday; Stuffed cabbage and chicken/cheese balls at Hubert's Polish Kitchen, sandwiches and pickles from the barrel at Katzinger's Little Deli, strawberry buttermilk ice cream at Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
*Have a roommate again--sharing a room with Prairie Dawn for a couple nights was a blast and made me miss the camaraderie of housemates
*Spend hours (decades!) at The Book Loft of German Village
*Have a croissant and quiche every day at Pistacia Vera in German Village

The conference was great, as was the digs (the Columbus downtown Hilton), and it was definitely hard to leave this happening city, but I was excited to head points north and west for a weekend of camping with ChicagoBoy.

ChicagoBoy and I met up at the State Park, Chain O' Lakes, in Albion, Indiana; the weekend was a perfect blend of fall colors: golds, crimsons, sharp yellows, and squash oranges; cold nights (36 degrees!) and warm-ish, perfect hiking days of jeans and sweatshirts; warming fires for smores; good food (cooked by me). Everything was great and we had a really good time, and going back to work on Monday was so much harder for it.

Quiche, Pistacia Vera,
German Village, Columbus

Along our hiking trail, Chain O' Lakes State Park, IN

A LOVELY field along our hike,
Chain O' Lakes State Park, IN

We stopped at the highest spot along one of the trails for a
wonderful picnic lunch,
Chain O' Lakes State Park, IN

Our picnic canopy,
Chain O' Lakes State Park, IN

post conference

Feel like I've been so busy, leading up the Ohio Library Council (OLC)'s Expo it was all about the Expo, post-Expo it's been about playing catch up with things I let slip a little.

The Expo was FANTASTIC! Not only did I make lots of new library friends, and some are actually not too far from us--SCORE!--but I also participated in my first Battledecks!

Battledecks is a competition where contestants get a certain amount of time (5 minutes in our case), 12 powerpoint slides, and a topic (ours was taken from Sessions presented at OLC). You must cohesively present your slides, describing how they fit in with your topic, and of course the slides are of the most bizarre and ridiculous pictures. It was so much fun and some of them were hysterical! Definitely want to participate in it again next year!

So, my talk? It went great! I had about 25 people attend (not terrible for 8:30a.m.) and received loads of great feedback and was even asked to consider presenting it again at one of the regional conferences in the spring. Woo hoo. I was flattered. So, maybe public speaking isn't as bad as I thought...I actually LOVED it...*gasp!*

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Prairie Dawn and I are just about to leave for the OLC (Ohio Library Council) Expo.
Did I mention I'm speaking?
Did I mention I'm nervous?!

Busy week! We're gone until Friday, then as soon as I get back I change, dump my bag and reload it with camping gear and head out. ChicagoBoy and I are camping in Indiana this weekend at Chain O' Lakes State Park (can we say it's going to be freezing?!) My only hope is that while I was packing for both the conference and camping, at the same time last night, that I put the right clothes in my bag, or I'm going to be looking pretty silly presenting...