May 29, 2006

New Addiction

I discovered this game the other day and now both S and I are completely addicted (and even Dad looked tempted by it when we showed it to him)...


Warning, it can eat up hours and hours...

Posted by Emily at 10:20 PM | Comments (2)

Weekend Photos

A few photos from our weekend with Dad and Jane. We had lunch Saturday downtown at Just Breakfast and dinner with some colleagues of S's down in Prunedale. Sunday we saw the Davini Code, explored the mushroom festival some more, went out to Super T for dinner and watched some movies on tv. Monday we slept in, toured one of S's strawberry fields, had fish & chips and things in Moss Landing, and hit some of the garlic and fruit stands (including the Giant Artichoke, the Cherry Hut and Garlic World) and the jelly belly outlet on the way back home.

Posted by Emily at 10:17 PM | Comments (1647)

May 28, 2006

Library Web Cam

Watch the construction of our new library -- live web cam!

Posted by Emily at 10:01 AM | Comments (0)

Happy Birthday Betty!

Happy birthday today to my sister Betty!

Posted by Emily at 09:41 AM | Comments (0)

May 27, 2006

Refgunt, 5/27

3 hours J, 4 hours A today. Pretty quiet with the holiday weekend and the big downtown mushroom festival going on. Here are some of the questions/requests:

joke books
pictures of stomachs
famous buildings
tooth care
coloring sheets
princess books
siberian huskies
german shepherds
books with Star Wars characters
DMV info
other movies the girl from Runaway Jury is in
Johnny Cash CDs
what's going on downtown?
silk flowers
who played the flather tht was killed in Runaway Jury?
Congressional Rep's address
Kid Galahad

and a few more but I seem to have left the last page of notes at the library (along with the two books I had checked out, doh)

And Dad and Jane are here visiting and got to see my library and we ducked out for my lunch hour and checked out the mushroom festival.

Posted by Emily at 07:39 PM | Comments (0)

May 25, 2006

May Book Roundup

Before I forget all of them, a rundown on some of the recent books I've read or listened to:

Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones
First novel in the Chrestomanci quartet -- another fun one with a boy discovering magic powers (yes, I'm in a rut of those)
And how cool is it that the School Library Journal review posted on that Amazon page is by our very own deputy county librarian!

The Prophet of Yonwood by Jeanne Duprau
The prequel (50 years before its even built) to the City of Ember, which I had written my culminating paper on (planning a visit for the author at our local library). I had preordered it ages ago. I definitely liked it, especially the end when we connect up with what we know from the later books. There's an excerpt on the Amazon page.

Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods by Suzanne Collins
Third in this fun series and just as satisfying. Next up is Gregor And The Marks Of Secret which the library doesn't seem to own yet (darn!)

Funny in Farsi : A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by Firoozeh Dumas
This is our bookclub pick for the month (we meet the last wednesday of each month at lunch)

Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata [CD]
Narrated by Elaina Erika Davis
A Newbury medal winner

The Mask of the Black Tulip by Lauren Willig [CD]
The sequel to the The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, another fun historical espionage/love story. Definitely a guilty pleasure. (ooh, a new one is due out in November - The Deception of the Emerald Ring)

The Plot Against America by Philip Roth [CD]
Narrated by Ron Silver
Since we had about 12 hours in the car last weekend we polished this one off. I had heard about it for ages but the idea really didn't appeal to me. But it was worth listening to.

I think there were more... I have to get back into the habit of blogging them as soon as I'm done!

reading now: Dead Days of Summer
in the car: Eldest (Inheritance, Book 2) (though its due back on Saturday and I have over half the CDs left to go, so I'll probably end up reading the rest)

Posted by Emily at 08:42 PM | Comments (0)

Gore on SNL

I completely missed this, but had to share just in case any of you missed it too:

Video: If Gore Had Been Elected: Al Gore Presidential Address on Saturday Night Live

Posted by Emily at 07:39 PM | Comments (2)

Congrats Janete

Congratulations to my wonderful office-mate Janete who was sworn in yesterday as a US Citizen! (so of course today we had to have cake!)


Posted by Emily at 06:43 PM | Comments (0)

May 24, 2006


After I so enthusiastically gave blood last time (and mostly because I apparently have a very useful blood type), the blood center wrote a few weeks ago to recruit me for apheresis (automated blood collection) to give platelets instead of just regular whole blood. It takes about 90 minutes and its a much more involved process (i don't want to gross you out by explaining it if you're squeemish) but doesn't feel too much different than your usual blood donation (though it takes significantly longer, so they give you headphones and your own tv) and actually doesn't leave you feeling as depleted as I usually do after giving blood (since really they only take part of your blood and give the rest back).

And now I have a tshirt that says: "Take your blood for a spin! Donate ABC"

Posted by Emily at 09:35 PM | Comments (3)

May 22, 2006

Getty Photos

A few of my favorite photos from the Getty

And we had tickets to the Selected Shorts reading there in the auditorium. We heard:

"Grandfather Knows Best" by Calvin Trillin, read by Isaiah Sheffer
Trillin talks takeout: an essay comparing the takeout scenes in San Francisco and New York City.

"How to Tell a Fine Old Wine" by James Thurber, read by Raphael Sbarge
How to become a great wine connoisseur—or learn to fake it.

"I Was Really Very Hungry" by M.F.K. Fisher, read by Christina Pickles
A fantasy meal in a French country inn.
(which was really fantastic!!)

Posted by Emily at 07:30 PM | Comments (1)

Laurel's New Film

Thank you to Jane for sending along this clipping about Laurel's current documentary project:

No. 1,096: 'You can't think about death.'

Patricia and filmmaker Laurel Spellman Smith are now editing the second in the series, "The Corporal's Diary," which focuses on Jonathan's videos and diary excerpts, read by his brother Jared.
Posted by Emily at 04:16 PM | Comments (0)

Interesting Library Clippings

2 interesting local library clippings today:

Librarian Still Lacking in SBC
Apparently Hollister is having trouble recruiting for the job of their head librarian, prompting the following comments: "Librarians, in fact, are a scarce commodity in California, according to Solano County Director of Library Services Ann Cousineau. There is a dearth of librarians in the state because fewer people are choosing being a librarian as a profession, she said." For those of us fresh out of library school and interested in entry level librarian jobs, which are in very short supply here in California, especially near the largest library school in the country, it seems so crazy to hear about the shortage of librarians in California.

and then a scathing op ed piece in the Gilroy Dispatch against the upcoming library referendum urging people to oppose the library funding because people can surf porn sites. Sheesh.

Posted by Emily at 07:59 AM | Comments (0)

May 21, 2006


Some photos from our weekend visits --


I have about 100 photos from the Getty museum to sort through and then will post a few. I absolutely fell in love with the place!

Posted by Emily at 09:37 PM | Comments (0)

May 20, 2006

Mini SoCal Adventure

We're heading on a mini roadtrip down to LA (to see cousins David & Michelle and finally get to the Getty Museum) and then to San Diego (to see Paul, Aimee, Seth and Fiona before they move to Switzerland). Back late Sunday night.

Have a good weekend!

Posted by Emily at 05:49 AM | Comments (0)

May 19, 2006

Voter Reg Deadline

Reminder: This Monday is the deadline for registering to vote in the June 6th Primary (here in CA). Your county elections office must receive new voter registrations no later than May 22nd.

Posted by Emily at 05:28 PM | Comments (0)

Mistaken Identity

Strange experience today... all day people I didn't know kept IMing me. I thought at first it might be Betty or Liz or someone (since they often seem to change their screen names and can talk the proper IM lingo) but these people all seemed to know me and I had no clue who they were. One finally asked if I was Emily, i said yes, and if I had a profile on myspace. I quickly checked and no where on my new profile (which I made last week as part of my exploration of how the library could use the site) did I give my IM address and I have no friends linked over there so no one would have found me through there... then I did a search and realized that there's a highschool girl with my IM screenname as her myspace id... another emily of course... so it totally explained why they thought I was her... and their other disbelief that I didn't know who they were and what they were talking about. That Emily has a whole lot of IMing friends!

I know, I shouldn't have my IM client open at work, but we're using jabber internally now and I had the faint hope that one day someone would ask me a work question (plus I chat with Mom sometimes)

Posted by Emily at 03:51 PM | Comments (0)

May 17, 2006

Israeli Film Fest

5841.jpgSaw 39 Pounds of Love (documentary) and Sliding Flora (12 min short) tonight as part of the The Second Silicon Valley Israeli Film Festival in San Jose (we went last year too). Interesting films -- I loved the short, the documentary was good but pretty heartbreaking.

I'm definitely going to have to go visit the monster (Mifletzet) slide (where the short film takes place -- they turned it into a restaurant!) when we finally get to visit Jerusalem.

Posted by Emily at 09:59 PM | Comments (30)

The other kind of weeding

Some of our team at work did a community service/team building morning helping to weed the heritage rose garden -- and then we all went out to lunch. it was a gorgeous day to be outside!

Posted by Emily at 09:08 PM | Comments (0)

May 14, 2006

Last West Wing

For the last 7 seasons, The West Wing has been my favorite show on television (even when the plot got way off track when Zoe's kidnapping and when it lost its nice Wed night time slot). Its really sad to see it go!

Posted by Emily at 06:08 PM | Comments (2)

Looks like Cat

We were watching Breakfast at Tiffany's last night and realized that our cat is a dead ringer for the no-name Cat in the film! I can't find a good still online that really captures the likeness, but it was fun to watch. Our cat has learned all sorts of new tricks, like getting on top of the highest bookshelves and hiding under the plants in the garden.

Posted by Emily at 01:31 PM | Comments (0)

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy mother's day!!!

Posted by Emily at 12:57 PM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2006

MH Library Groundbreaking

A few photos from today's groundbreaking for the new Morgan Hill Library! The best part was that they mapped out the floor plan on the ground so you could really get a sense of what the new space would be like. Great fun -- there were speeches and rootbeer floats as well, but I could only stay for a minute because I had to get back to the reference desk so I missed out on those.


Views of El Toro

Some of the staff remembered to bring their shovels!

Our county librarian and Kay, former library commissioner now library intern

and some entertainment!

Posted by Emily at 06:48 PM | Comments (1)

Refgunt, 5/13

Busy day at the library because of the ground-breaking and what-not. I was on the adult side all day (8 hours) and found out that I only have one more Saturday booked with them which is very sad because I absolutely love working at this library. Oh well, I'm sure I'll find other things to do with my Saturdays. I did get the opportunity to draft a proposal arguing for a MySpace profile about the libary which was fun to work on.

Here are some of the questions/requests from today:
Child Abuse and Neglect video
use laptop to print? (no, but if you have a flash drive that might work-- it did!)
what is EDT?
help printing x3
use own paper in copy machine? (no)
how do you see the number in the catalog (you have to click on the title -- I was remembering a great quote someone blogged yesterday somewhere about if people had to be trained to use Amazon or NetFlix, they'd be out of business... so why does our catalog have to be so darn non-intuitive?)
disk full, lost changes
city job postings?
Driving Miss Daisy
Sleepless in Seattle
Adrian Mole: the Cappuccino Years on CD
Music of the Sun/Rihanna
Cookbook/Missy Elliott
Curtis Brown CD
Korean DVD dramas with English subtitles (turned out to be much harder that I though, most were in Korean with Chinese subtitles! Ended up sending them to CU for Christmas in August)
St. Petersburg
Raggae music (under INT)
town map
modern art
abstract art
art techniques
Stephen King books and DVDs based on his books
Elvis Presley CDs
"walk slower!" (I apparently go to fast when taking people to the stacks)
tissue x2
Runaway Jury
cost of pianos (but they hung up on me)
CA gold rush
1982 Mercedes transmission repair manual
local driving directions
Children's DVDs
The Sun Also Rises
Layer Cake (DVD)
2 books off the Chinese book list
directions to address in downtown SJ
Hello! magazine current issue

Posted by Emily at 06:36 PM | Comments (1)

May 12, 2006

Poker @ the Library

Very cool -- Texas Hold'em Class for Teens at Los Altos Library. What a fun program to offer!

(hmm.. it'd be even cooler if the blog entry also included links to books for people interested in the subject but unable to attend) I bet there's even a good list of fiction in addition to all the how-to type things (i remember when Eduard was visiting and I took him to a bookstore and told him I'd buy him any book he'd like as long as he would read it -- and the only books he was at all interested in were non-fiction tales of poker players... I think he's expanded his reading list a bit by now...)

Posted by Emily at 05:57 PM | Comments (1)

Another new library to visit

Ooh! I can't wait to see it! I love new libraries!

The Almaden Branch opened in 1971 and underwent complete reconstruction, reopening May 13, 2006

Too bad I'm working during their grand opening celebration (Sat, May 13, 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM) but I'll definitely try to check it out some day soon.

Posted by Emily at 01:03 PM | Comments (0)

May 11, 2006

Groundbreaking Saturday

This Saturday is the groundbreaking for the new Morgan Hill Library! If you're around, please stop by -- and bring your shovel!

Groundbreaking for New Morgan Hill Library
Celebrate with food, music, prizes and treasure hunt for kids. Bring your own shovel and help dig! West of City Hall at Alkire and DeWitt Aves. 2 pm. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library and the City of Morgan Hill.

Here's a nice article from the Hollister Freelance News: Morgan Hill Library Groundbreaking to Feature Activities, Fun ("Shovels and books never had much in common - until now.")

Posted by Emily at 08:15 AM | Comments (0)

May 10, 2006

Happy Birthday Uncle Doug

Happy birthday to Uncle Doug, and happy anniversary to Doug and Barbi!

Posted by Emily at 07:42 AM | Comments (32)

May 09, 2006

Merc Endorses Prop 81

Say yes to library development bonds

Many California communities' aging and antiquated libraries face a similar plight. And, like Gilroy, they would be able to expand and modernize through Proposition 81, a $600 million state library bond issue on the June 6 ballot. Voters should pass it to keep California's public libraries open and thriving.
Posted by Emily at 07:09 PM | Comments (401)

Library Survey

We've been getting an increasing number of phone calls trying to sell us things, so I've been more and more reluctant to actually answer the phone rather than just letting the answering machine pick it up. But since I work with a team of market researchers (and have always been a sucker for a good survey), I tend to agree to take phone surveys (if not in the middle of dinner). I'm extremely glad I stayed on the phone for today's, because it was about using the library! I'm a tad concerned I may skew the results a bit (having definitely heard of all the services offered and having been extremely satisfied with my interactions with the librarians and staff I encountered) but hopefully their sample is big enough to account for actually ending up with a librarian or two in the mix.

Embarrassingly though, I didn't have a good answer for "what service would you like to see offered at your local library that they don't currently offer?" I mean, really, I should have a whole wish list of things ready (if nothing else, i would need them for a library job interview if someone asked me what new services I would want to introduce!). I was tempted to say IM reference, since I'd like to see us offer it, but I don't think I'd use it as a patron so I didn't want to put that. All I could come up with was that it'd be nice if they (erm, we) were open later on Friday nights, since that's when I'd want to go and hang out at the library more socially.

Hopefully the results will be available at some point... I'd love to see what people said -- though it was mostly about awareness rather than real feedback...

Posted by Emily at 06:32 PM | Comments (22)

Brian and Karen visit Albert

I'm so jealous that Brian and Karen got to see Albert (and his parents of course) on their London visit! Hanna sent along these great photos:

Posted by Emily at 07:59 AM | Comments (2)

May 07, 2006

Steve visits Lisa

Steve and Del are blogging their RV adventures (how cool is that??) and just recently visited Lisa and John in DC so there's a nice sneak peak at some of the very cool Lisa-Type Things on display in their house.

Posted by Emily at 09:45 AM | Comments (0)

KM and Libraries

Interesting post from Library Crunch on Managing Our Expertise which goes well wih a number of points raised by our Dev't Day speaker on Friday.

Posted by Emily at 09:09 AM | Comments (0)

May 05, 2006

Staff Development Day

Spent the day at the library's all-staff development day. The highlight was definitely seeing all the people -- the sheer number of us all together was very impressive, plus there are two groups of folks it is always nice to see: there's a group I think of as the next-gen librarians, a bunch of us fresh out of library school or still in the program -- and these folks get me excited about being a librarian and all the cool ideas we have. They all have so much energy and I leave conversations with them wanting to take over the world (Hi Paul, Jean, Amytha, Kelly, Lisa, Nichole, etc.). The other group I think of as my mentors -- these are the fantastic people I've worked with at various libraries who I respect and admire and its always great to chat with them, have them ask me if I'm applying for the new job openings, etc. Some of the time I feel left out being "extra help" and not really being part of any one library, but I also realized that in some ways it was an advantage since I knew a bunch of people from different libraries (while perhaps some of them mostly knew their own group). Of course mostly I hung out with other extra-help folks though, so maybe we're really our own little sub-group afterall.

The speakers were Joan Frye Williams and LiB Sarah Houghton (who I had seen at CLA talk about blogging). Nothing radically new, since the future of libraries and library technology are topics I spend a lot of time reading about every day in the library blogosphere, but it was nice to have other people tell the crew about them and reinforce what we've been wanting for ages now.

Some things that stood out from JFW:

  • its not hard to be a library futurist -- we get everything last so you just need to watch what's going on in other industries
  • we should be recording and podcasting programs
  • it should be possible to pay your library fines and fees online
  • we should be taking online donations (duh) and make it prominent, like they do in a museum web site, instead of something we're embarrased about -- and, obviously the key is really good follow-up with the donors (Margaret would like the stories the speaker used about this)
  • we should put the URL of the library's web site on the outside of the building (companies do it!)
  • people should be able to see into the library from the outside -- and see people using it (like you wouldn't walk into a restaurant you couldn't see into)
  • walk into your library -- what's the message patrons get from the start -- is there anything welcoming? or just a long list of NOs
  • museums and stores have outside signs, banners, etc alerting people to the new stuff that's going on inside -- why don't we?
  • the wording on things should be from the customer's view, about what they want to do
  • "pop-up spaces" at other events and places, temporary, bring the library to them
  • catalog toolbar (like denver's) -- we just implemented a firefox search at work to search our intranet and its super cool to have it there always
  • library mashups (boy do I wish I had time to dream up some of these and get them going)
  • recommender systems (reminded me to dig out the paper I wrote on this -- which talked about "Supplementing traditional reader's advisory service by layering user rating systems and collaborative filtering systems onto our online catalogs" -- Making it Easier to Connect with the Collection... i also want to brush off my paper on Designing for Community: Roles for libraries online and off which discussed the opportunity for library web sites)
  • "personalization makes information more powerful"
  • every library should have a wikipedia entry
  • answer questions in myspace
  • "continuous partial attention"
  • the library brand is BOOKS -- that's our pass/fail bedrock service. we own "reading" (not information --- search engines beat us there) ... "Books are just the beginning" - great slogan, it leads with our strong card
  • "real life happens nights and weekends" -- why do we close Friday night at 6pm -- I wish people could come in after work Friday nights, hang out, get movies for the weekend, listen to music, etc.
  • putting professinals on the walk-up desk to take all comers is like Supercuts haircus w/out appointment
  • every day we should pick some topic in the news and blog resources about it -- how cool would that be? it'd only take a couple of minutes and they'd all be archived for future reference. I might do a weekly one here as practice to build up a portfolio of them ... little quick bibliographies/path-finders
  • use back to school night model and invite parents to the library to learn what the library can do to help their kids get through the school year (and beyond)
  • practice "vigilante reference" - answer questions where they are (we all do this in line at the super market, etc, we just can't help ourselves.) read blogs and comment as the reference librarian with helpful tips on where to find that info, etc.
And another highlight was Amytha's lunch time craft where we made decoupage buttons from ALA catalogs and manga. I made an Emily Strage @ your library one.


Anyway, lots to think about and we'll see what happens next. I feel like it was more "exposure" than "development"... I feel like a piece of film that got shown a lot of stuff, but that the development has to happen over time as we all go back to the job and try to make some of the visions into daily practice. Or something...

Posted by Emily at 07:29 PM | Comments (1)

May 04, 2006

Brian in London

The first clippings of Brian in London are coming in...

We Media, Me Too Media and Them Media

In the middle of each panel discussion, the moderator would cut away to Brian Reich , who was monitoring what people were talking about online in the We Media chat room and on other blogs. Reich mentioned at various points that people online were calling panelists “elitist” and “smug,” and while the panelists and moderators tried to laugh it off, the points were made. Again, it had a contrived feeling to it, similar to what you see on CNN and their blog reports, but it was at least a nod to the real world outside that was not always looking at the conference kindly.
Posted by Emily at 03:49 PM | Comments (0)

Keeping Up

I enjoyed this piece over at Creating Passionate Users about The myth of "keeping up" -- especially the graphic at the top comparing what I plan to read this week to what actually gets read. Given that I spend all day every day working with information resources - reports, web sites, books, magazines, newspapers, blogs, rss feeds, emails, etc. - I definitely fall into the trap of trying to take on more than I can possible consume -- particularly since I consider myself a generalist and have very few areas that I really feel I specialize in or focus on (at times being a generalist serves me well, but often it just leaves me feeling scatter brained and behind in everything). At least I'm not alone... It'd be nice to have the time to get through the stacks though...

Posted by Emily at 12:04 PM | Comments (0)

Open Studios

Julia has always raved about the Open Studios events, so I'm going to try to go to the South County ones on May 14th if I have time. Here's a map and a reminder to myself to try to remember to go to some. It looks like a whole bunch will be exhibiting at the community center (not as much fun as seeing their studios, but certainly more convenient to home)

Site 82
Morgan Hill Community & Cultural Center 17000 S. Monterey Rd Morgan Hill 95037
Anne Rosenzweig
Sheri Chakamian
Marge Regan
Marie-Christine Briot-Connolly
Jerri Kuehn
Dixie Lee Howe
Laurie Kruger
Satu Viitanen
Carole Belliveau

Posted by Emily at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)

May 03, 2006

Refgunt, 5/3

At the last minute I filled in for a 3 hour shift tonight on the J desk (someone had jury duty). It was a pretty quiet night, but a few fun queries. Here's some of the questions/requests:

WW2 google image from a site that was blocked (could still save it)
Newbury bookmark
use phone x4
Da Vinci
Joan of Arc
Bear's Day
computer problems
Dinosaurs A to Z
Halloweentown High
harbor seals
flour and salt maps
topo maps of California
Viking Easy to Read Level 1 books
Argentina maps
Colorado Rockies picture books, etc (we found fun stuff for that one)

I thought it was pretty funny that they asked me today, because I had a really strange dream about the library last night...

Posted by Emily at 09:33 PM | Comments (0)

Bunch of Books

I'm horribly behind in recording books here... Here's the last set of ones I've read

The Dark Hills Divide (The Land of Elyon, Book 1)
Beyond the Valley of Thorns
by Patric Carman
A great series I just stumbled upon with an 11 year old girl who ends up saving the day.

Midnight for Charlie Bone (The Children of the Red King, Book 1)
Charlie Bone and the Time Twister (The Children of the Red King, Book 2)
Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy (The Children of the Red King, Book 3) (almost done listening to it in the car)
by Jenny Nimmo
Another great series -- a fantastic Harry Potter readalike (very similar -- young boy realizes he has some magic power and is sent off to boarding school) I love Charlie!

The Geographer's Library
by Jon Fasman
I just happened across this at a bookstore in Phoenix. It took me a while to get through (with the move and all) but it was interesting. Its a bit Da Vinci-code-ish -- journalist piecing together century old mystery type thing.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (again, this time for book club at work)
Listened to it this time -- very nice recording.

and there's probably more that I'm forgetting, but at least I've recorded these now.

Posted by Emily at 05:14 PM | Comments (0)

May 01, 2006


We tried out one of our new wedding present gadgets tonight (thank you Aunt Edie and Uncle Joe) and made fresh pasta!
Not bad for our first try!

Posted by Emily at 10:07 PM | Comments (0)

Exploring the Outside World

We let Bonnie Toolah explore our little enclosed garden area and she absolutely loved it. She explored every inch of it and discovered how utterly fascinating birds in the trees can be.

Posted by Emily at 09:58 PM | Comments (1)

Happy Birthday Shulamit

birthday_bird_hebrew.jpgHappy birthday today to Shachar's mom in Israel (where it starting being her birthday way before it hit here in CA). Yom Huledet Same'ach!

Posted by Emily at 12:04 AM | Comments (1)