Inner thoughts of a librarian

prehistoric-googlingSo I was going to write a post about collection development and how we decide what to add to the library collection, until I realized how uninspired I was to talk about it today. So I’ll talk about that another day. My personal life lately has been absolutely crazy, which is possibly why I was feeling a case of writers block. So bear with me as I try to free myself from my creative block.

On Sunday I was driving around with two of my best friends from high school, its been over ten years since we have done anything like this, and we talked about books we read and how we remember the old card catalogs. One friend shared a story with me about some kids on her bus who were talking about something and she overhead one of them say “just Google it”. As I was listening to her tell the story and how she suggested to the kids they go to the library the next day to find a book to answer their question, it made me think of when we were children and our lack of Google and technology at our fingertips. I pondered this throughout the day as we drove around going from shop to shop, using our phones for GPS instead of a physical map. On our way to one store the GPS misdirected us and it struck me to go through my “passport” to see if there was anything for directions or landmarks to help us find our way. Thankfully there was and we were quickly able to locate the shop within a few minutes.

To my amusement, across the street from the store was the local library. Throughout our drive we either saw signs for the local library or drove past the library which greatly amused me. All in all the day was a lot of fun and it was great to spend some time with friends who I do not get to see very often. Lets hope I can overcome my writer’s block soon.

TTFN!

P.S. It might come as a shock to some people but librarians don’t actually live at the library. Try to let others down gently if you choose to share this surprising fact.

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Books in series: how to keep track

bookshelfHave you ever picked up a book, started reading it and realized it is the third book in the series? Believe me I have done this several times. Today there are many authors for adults, young adults, and children who create a character(s) and continue to run with them for a number of books. So how do you keep track of what books are in which series and in which specific order do they go in. You could check the most recent title in the series and hope all the books are listed in order in the front of the book or you could keep endless lists of the different series. This can get overwhelming, I know from personal experience.

There are many ways to look up where a book is in a series. There is always the handy use of Google and Wikipedia which you can easily access from anywhere. There are also websites with the books broken down by author and their possibly numerous book series. Yes I am talking about authors like James Patterson, Erin Hunter, Charlaine Harris, Nora Roberts, Janet Evanovich, etc.

One website I use on a daily basis at work is: http://ww2.kdl.org/libcat/whatsnext.asp  This is a great site as it breaks it down by author, series, book title, category, and genre. This is especially great when you are trying to figure out the placement of a kids book such as 39 clues which have several different authors writing for the series. Another website I have found to be helpful with children’s book series is www.kidsbookseries.com You can use Amazon and Goodreads, if you use both sites on a regular basis. I will say if you a series you have enjoyed has ended Amazon and Goodreads are great resources for looking at books which are similar to the one you may have just put down.

One thing I have sslloowwllyy started to do at the library where I work at, is to label the series and placement of a book directly on the spine label and in the record. So far I have gotten positive feedback from other staff members, volunteers, and patrons who appreciate seeing the series and number in a visible spot while perusing the shelves for a new book to read. This is very slow work given the fact I am re-cataloging the books in my free time when I am not processing new library materials, answering the phone, helping patrons, or you know just running up and down the stairs for a wide variety of reasons.

Until next time!

P.S. As I am writing this blog post I am actually sitting at my work computer eating lunch and working on other projects. Multitasking at its best.

 

Google docs and you

GoogleSo if you haven’t yet noticed in my other posts my darling little sister is going to get married in a few short months. Not only do I get to continue to do my job as her older sister, I am also her maid of honor. I am excited and also nervous about taking on this new role in our relationship, don’t get me wrong like most siblings with an age difference we have had our share of fights, but at the end of the day she is my little sister. One of the challenges in this endeavor is we both work full time and we live forty-five minutes apart from each other, so getting together when we are both free is a difficult thing for us. One way we have found around this is to use e-mail, text messages, and Facebook to communicate with each other and other members of the bridal party.

Now you are probably wondering why I am going on about my sister’s wedding when the title of this post is “Google docs and you”. Google has a number of great features which is proving to be a very useful resource for me at the moment in both my professional life and my personal life. In my personal life, I am able to type up to do lists of everything I want to remember and create spreadsheets for all of the different guest lists to see who is going to be able to come or not to different events we have planned for the wedding. The benefit of creating these documents using Google is I can share the documents with other members of the wedding party where ever I am, the reason for this is because the documents are saved in the cloud and are not restricted to a single computer.

Google documents are similar in the layout and shortcuts to to the same ones I use in Microsoft works. Its user friendly and I find it is easier to manage than Open Office. It has the added benefit of not having to purchase and update software for your computer. An additional bonus to using Google docs is you can share documents with others to edit and add. This is great to use with co-workers to collaborate on a project or within an organization. You can easily download an app for your smartphone but there are some limitations of what you can do with the app.

Until next time everyone!

Lesson # 12

P.S. Don’t worry not all of my blog posts will talk about my sister’s upcoming nuptials. This is a very big day for us as a family and she is my Smurfs. Not to mention in the upcoming months I have a lot of birthdays to celebrate in the Spring and Summer months. smurfette-clipart-2