Entering a new fandom

Not that I needed to find another series to become completely fascinated by, but I did and quite by accident.

Harry Potter has been out on my radar for many years, when the books first came out I felt that reading kiddy lit wasn’t my thing so I never really found any desire to read them. I had a passing knowledge of the story and the movies. A close friend of mine absolutely loves both the movies and the books and while on a trip with her, we watched part of one of the movies. Which one, I still couldn’t tell you. My mom, who I call the Queen of rummage sales, found DVDs of the first three movies and a couple of the books, but still I had not read or watched.

A few weeks ago, after a conversation with a co-worker about the new movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, my interest in the world of Harry Potter became so overwhelming that I jumped in.

For years I had heard comments like, “I’m surprised you haven’t read them/watched them.” being that I love fantasy worlds, dragons, works by Tolkien, etc.  In fact, it surprised me as well. So a few weeks ago, I checked out the first in the series and began a magical journey into the wizarding world.

I plan to review all of the books and the movies in due time. I’m currently on the fifth book.

82nd IFLA World Library and Information Congress

IFLA_logo_with_themeI’m over the moon for the upcoming International Federation of Library Associations and Institution’s (IFLA) World Congress in Columbus, Ohio. It’s less than two weeks away and in one of my favorite cities!

There’s just so much to be excited about for the IFLA conference–networking, learning about international libraries, informative sessions, vendors, and I’m sure things I’m leaving out. This will be my first major conference since joining the WV Library Commission in March and I cannot believe my luck in scoring a trip to the conference.

I’m already to commence the countdown!

Cleveland Rocks!

13566948_10208114346628805_4456991868580032407_nNot because of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or because Drew Carey said it did, but for the initiative public library system in the city of Cleveland. Earlier this month I had the great opportunity to attend the annual summer field trip for the Ohio Digital Interest Group (Ohio DIG) this included a presentation about the creation of the Cleveland Digital Public Library, the Ohio stop of the First Folio tour, CPL’s Tech Center, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Archives and Library. In all, two days of library awesomeness that inspired and invigorated me about technology and public libraries.


I found out about Ohio DIG a over a year ago when I was networking and learning more about the library field in Ohio, particularly the Columbus area. My goal, at the time, was to find a librarian position in central Ohio since the area has some of the most innovative  libraries in the nation. While I’m happy at the WV Library Commission, I still keep up with happenings with my neighbors in the Buckeye state. So, I remained on their listserv. Lucky for me I did and since the group is open to everyone, they let this non-Ohio librarian in the mix. Yay!

Cleveland Public Library (CPL)

The digital library project begin from the campaign to renew CLP’s levy and its 5-year master plan. This plan included five overall goals, two of which—to form communities of learning and to fight community deficits—were addressed through the creation of the digital library. A large part of accomplishing the creating communities of learning goal occurred by working with public K-12 schools to design digital projects and programs. Work in preserving cultural heritage, bringing awareness to the historical contributions of different ethnic communities within Cleveland, and increasing foot traffic downtown served to meet the fight community deficits goal.

The Digital Hub, Learning Commons, Touch Wall, Exhibitions, and Preservation Lab all make up CDLP and are located on the 3rd floor of the main library downtown.  Equipment purchased for the Digital Hub‘s public service area came from a LSTA grant through Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) and the State Library of Ohio.

Programs and services 

Outreach is a cornerstone of the CDLP’s mission, as a result, most of their programs and services are designed to engage the community. A large portion of CDLP’s service is offering use of equipment in the Digital Hub free to library patrons. Those wanting to use any of the scanners make an appointment in two-hour time blocks. A staff member trains patrons to use the equipment, which has a user-friendly interface.

Another method of outreach is through Common Heritage Projects. These projects are a means to make the digitization of materials a regional, local, and in some cases hyper-local showcase for unique items. Local organizations are encouraged and often sought out to bring in materials for digitization. There have been projects centered around local churches, civic clubs, veterans groups, community newspapers, historical societies, artists, and public schools.

Working with the city’s public schools was another part of CLP’s master plan; therefore, projects to aid teachers in creating and delivering lessons on the required Ohio history content were developed. Another interesting and local project was to digitize school newspapers and yearbooks.

Other community projects discussed in the presentation included an oral history with the local branches to tell the story of Cleveland’s ethnic areas, a VFW post that digitized letters to soldiers, and children’s art collected by several branches to display on CDPL’s Digital Fridge.

TechCentral and Special Collections 

The rest of the day had tours of two other departments—TechCentral and Special Collections. TechCentral houses 90 public access computers and workstations for other services available in the center. MakerSpace has two 3D printers, vinyl printing and cutting equipment, large format printers computers, ipads and laptops for checkout, and music and video production software. Staff in TechCentral provide one-on-one computer assistance, larger classes related to software and equipment in the center, MakersLab (classes on tech related crafts), and a rapid mobile device charger.

Special Collections houses an array of unique materials but its primary focus is with collections of chess pieces and related items (Alice in Wonderland, for example). Additionally, folklore/mythology from many cultures, Orientalia, signed original documents from notable historical figures, miniature books, and rare books are in the collection as well. It is also the location for the Ohio stop of the William Shakespeare First Folio fifty state tour.


Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Archives and Library


The second day of the field trip included a tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Archives and Library. The facility is located in a different location from the Hall of Fame in downtown. The library is open to the public for research and use of materials; however, the entire collection is non-circulating. Anyone can obtain a library card. Research times are scheduled with staff or patrons may walk-in during public hours.

The archives department process donated collections from variety of sources such as defunct record studios, record industry executives, artists, media outlets, and collectors. In rare cases, some items are purchased through the Hall of Fame’s foundation. Items in the archives are used for both by researchers and for Hall of Fame museum displays.

There are two floors of climate controlled rooms where papers, recordings on several formats, publications, rare and autographed books, and other memorabilia are stored. Although the collection is non-circulating, there is a large selection of books on the main library floor. They also have databases, a substantial collection of serials, and commercially produced recordings ranging from records on 45 rpm, 33 rpm, 78 rpm, video, and compact discs.  The Library’s website has an assortment of LibGuides for inductees, music movements, and other related subjects. http://library.rockhall.com/home/resources/research_guides

The Reading Corgi

I’m a bit late in posting this but it’s been sort of hectic for me lately. For National Library Week (April 10-16) this year the public library system here in Charleston had a Pets Caught Reading interaction on their social media. Of course, I had to jump in being a pet lover, corgi mom, and librarian. Perfect storm, right?


As it happened, I was planning on reading The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. Shocking that I had not read the series before now being a huge King fan and lover of fantasy worlds. But I haven’t. I thought it would be fun to incorporate the first book in the series, The Gunslinger, in the photo as well.


What I think makes this a super fun photo is that my dog, a corgi, is named Roland. Yes, Roland. Unfortunately, he was not originally named for the main character of The Dark Tower series Roland Deschain. Instead, he was named for the Warren Zevon song, Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner.


Additionally fun is that King also has a corgi, Molly the Thing of Evil. She’s an adorable black-headed tri Pembroke.


So here’s the Pets Caught Reading graphic the folks at the Kanawha County Public Library posted from my photo.



Book Reviews

Thinking of a few things to add to this blog. An obvious one is a book review section. Books are my bread and butter, if you will, as a librarian. However contrary to popular belief, we librarians don’t all just sit around reading. In fact, my job is as a Research Librarian and reading all of the titles on the New York Times bestsellers list isn’t exactly whabkt I do. Now if you need to find a copy of the bestsellers list from 1968, then maybe I can help you.


But I digress–something I’m good at doing by the way.


The idea I have is to review some from my current reading list, old favorites, things I run across in my work, and anything else that I find worthy of a review. So, this should be a lot of fun and very interesting because I run the gamut on reading. Anything from non-fiction, mysteries, sci-fi, graphic novels, and more. I might even read a romance or two.


Currently, I’m working on a cozy mystery series by Spencer Quinn. The Chet and Bernie Mysteries are a fun and cleaver as they are told from a dog’s point of view. That’s Chet, by the way. I read the first book in the series, Dog on It, years ago after learning Quinn is actually Peter Abrahams and seeing his book recommended by Stephen King didn’t hurt either.


A had read a book by Abrahams, Down the Rabbit Hole, in a young adult lit class in library school. Having enjoyed that story, being a fan of mysteries, and a dog lover I had to read it. I wasn’t disappointed. At present, I’m on the sixth installment of the series.


So be on the look out for a few book reviews in the coming weeks.

My library honeymoon

Well a little over two weeks into my new position with the West Virginia Library Commission and I have to say the honeymoon is definitely not over. In fact, I’m pleased and excited to come to work everyday.


b202727ec4c5cae02946a3427152aa16The awesome thing about this job is that it will be different each day. I work a regular two-hour shift on the reference desk every day. This is something that I love, and that I loved at my previous library job. On the ref desk you encounter the people who use ours services and their questions, so what’s not to love? Especially for a reference librarian!


The department I work in, State Library Services, has many things to offer libraries and librarians around West Virginia. Part of my job is working with K-12 schools. At one point, I wanted to be a school librarian but because WV requires school media specialists to have a teaching degree, I could never become one. Now I will be working closely with the school media specialist/librarians in the state.


Right now, I couldn’t ask for a better experience in my first two weeks at the Commission. I’m excited about the coming days and weeks as I learn more about my job, get new assignments, and meet other librarians we serve. Exciting times for certain.


I plan to blog as much as I can about the job itself and the other stuff in my head related to reading, writing, books, and libraries. And, of course, the things related to dieselpunk, steampunk, and cyberpunk.



The New Journey Begins

998182_10200774059886224_783310912_nI’m pleased and excited to announce the following…

Beginning in March 2016 I am now serving as Research Librarian for the West Virginia Library Commission. My new duties look to be exciting and rewarding. My new job is primarily based at the Culture Center on the state capitol complex in Charleston, W.Va. but some travel across the state will be required. I’m looking forward to getting out of the stacks and visiting parts of my beautiful state.

After ten years at an academic library setting, I look forward to switching gears into the work of K-12 and public libraries. In addition, I will be serving at the reference desk in the State Library in Charleston. Stop by!

As I learn more about the new job and the duties with it, I plan to blog more. This is an exciting new chapter.