The Very Busy Bookaneer

Ahoy, mateys!

It’s been a busy week for the Bookaneer, preparing for the Sock Hop, learning more about library school, getting ready for the Rugged Maniac, and then spending my weekend crazy sore!!

First of all, the Valentine’s Sock Hop was swell. I played awesome 50’s music for two and a half hours, people came and danced, and almost everyone went home with a blind book date! I got lots of compliments on my sock hop outfit, too, which turned out really well! My friend MW let me borrow her poodle-style skirt (which had music notes and a treble clef, no actual poodles involved) and made me a sweet petticoat out of basically thin air. I spent some time skipping around the library, delivering My Little Pony and Minnie Mouse valentines to my coworkers. It was a lot of fun!

Check out that high pony and awesome neck scarf!

Check out that high pony and awesome neck scarf!

Of course, the set up went a little wonky, and my laptop wouldn’t work, so I had to borrow one last minute from my department. It all worked out in the end though, and the decorations turned out really well!

The welcome sign: I was going for a "high school dance" feel.

The welcome sign: I was going for a “high school dance” feel.

Everyone liked the Blind Date with a Book theme, though it took a couple girls a few times explaining to get it: “no, you can’t open it to find out.” “It’s a surprise! Go check it out!” They seemed happy with their choices in the end though; I hope they have a great date!

Adorable library-themed conversation hearts really complete the decor.

Adorable library-themed conversation hearts really complete the decor. My favorite is “Dewey Match?”

My friends SD, CC, and AT showed up as well, and we had fun dancing together and talking about books. AT even signed up for a library card that night to check out one of the blind date books! I was SO. PROUD.

SD showed up in costume and we had a lot of fun dancing!

And SD showed up in costume and we had a lot of fun dancing!

All in all, it was a really great time and I’m glad my first program went off without too much of a hitch.

Friday morning, I went to a NEFLIN training on “Getting the Most Out of Grad School”, which turned out to be more of a recruiting program, but I still learned a lot. Dr. C Koontz gave a great presentation, and she used me to give examples to the other attendees about how online grad school works. She was really cheerful and supportive, and it was a genuine pleasure to meet her! I hope I get the opportunity to take some classes with her in the future!

Dr. Koontz lives dangerously and wears FSU garb in the Gator Nation...

Dr. Koontz lives dangerously and wears FSU garb in the Gator Nation…

On Saturday morning, the Brash Librarian and I headed out early with our friend OH to the Rugged Maniac Obstacle 5K. It’s 3.1 miles of mud, fire, high walls, rope nets, freezing water, and the reward of a cold beer at the end!

Here's our nice and clean before picture...

Here’s our nice and clean before picture…

And the AFTER! We had so much fun!

And the AFTER! We had so much fun!

Spent a nice cold morning getting dirty, and I got the T-shirt to prove it!

It's on the shirt, it must be true!

It’s on the shirt, it must be true!

I spent the rest of the weekend recovering. I’m running in the Disney Princess Half Marathon this coming Sunday with my friend TG, and I’m not sure I’ll be ready! Eek!

Coming up this week: pictures of displays, and hopefully a read-along video? I have a couple picked out. We’ll see!

Keep bookaneering!

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Valentine’s Day Sock Hop + Blind Date with a Book!

Ahoy mateys!

I have mentioned this on Tumblr and Facebook, but I wanted to expand upon it here: my very first program is coming up next week! I’m throwing a Sock Hop on Valentine’s Day, and I’ll also have a display set up for “Blind Date with a Book”!

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This is the handbill for the event. My coworker LF came up to me and said, very seriously, “There’s something wrong with your handbill.” I gasped. “What is it? Is something spelled wrong?” I was terrified, since I’d already printed the whole batch. “No,” she said, “they are just TOO CUTE!” Aaah! Don’t scare me like that! I AM pretty proud of it though, I hope the program goes just as well! I’ve gotten a lot of interest about the blind date books, which is good because otherwise I’d think I’d gone a little overboard with the book selection…

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These are the piles of “elegantly wrapped” books for the program, sitting on my kitchen table. I still have about ten more to do, but thankfully I had my friend and coworker DW to help me wrap them at my craft night last night. We did have a few moments of “wait, what book is this? I can’t see, I don’t remember what it was! Oh no!” but we ended up figuring them all out. Each book has a few vague descriptive words like “nonfiction” or “mystery” but are otherwise wrapped in festive pink, white, and red wrapping paper so you can’t see the title or author. If you grab one you should be able to just scan it via RFID to check it out. Surprise! I grabbed the idea from tumblr, and I can’t wait to see it in action.

I did have some trouble choosing the books; there are SO MANY available and I tried really hard to pick books besides just ones I’d like to read. I have a wide range of tastes though, and I got several recommendations from a few of my coworkers, so I think it will turn out fine. I’m really excited!

I’m working at the library this weekend, so I’ve got to go to bed now so I can wake up early and finish my homework before work (grad school is hard!). Feel free to stop by and say hello!

Keep bookaneering!

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Headed for Hoggetowne (Plus Moment of Cute!)

Ahoy, mateys!

I’ve been spending the last week or so in desperate preparation for the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire, which starts this weekend and ends next weekend.

Wenchy Bookaneer

I wore a “dress-code-friendly” version of my wench outfit to the library today!

The Faire’s been kind of consuming my whole life outside of work and school and it’s been a little overwhelming! On Saturday we had a wench rehearsal, and had a lot of fun. We love to laugh, and we think we’re hilarious! Then I had a meeting with a producer friend about maybe recording some songs for an EP? Which would be crazy awesome. I think we’re going to see how Faire goes before we think about spending money on professionally recording ourselves. On Sunday the Theives’ Guilde (the troupe that does the Living Chessboard each year) had their dress rehearsal for the City, and it went swimmingly. I also got to sing my song for the other producer of the show, and the actors and I worked out some cues. You can see and hear me sing a song about how great Hoggetowne is at the opening gate scene at 9:45am, just before the gates open and let the masses in. If you’re not inclined to wake up that early, I will be performing as Cherri Tart with the rest of my wenches in Just Desserts at 12:30, 2:00, and 3:30. Come high-five the Bookaneer!

Just Desserts Card

We even got business cards! (/shill)

 

Moment of Cute:

I want to share this story with you because I think it’s a perfect example of why I love my job so much. (Also because everyone likes Moments of Cute.) I had just stepped out of our work area and into the Children’s Department floor, about to head upstairs to the desk. As I walked toward the stairs, a little girl of about nine or ten approached me and said, “Excuse me, ma’am?” I asked her what I could do for her and she said she was looking for the Inkheart books. “Do you know who writes them?” I asked. She shook her head and I said “I THINK it’s Funke. Let’s go check.” I walked her over to the fiction section, explaining that they’re in alphabetical order by author (librarianing, as it is apparently called, though I just think of it as an aspect of bookaneering), and when we got to F…Fu…Fun… “There they are!” she exclaimed happily, and picked up the first book from the bottom shelf. “Thank you!” She looked at me like I was a miracle worker. “I’m glad I was right!” I grinned, and then we high-fived and it was awesome. I LOVE it when kids have so much enthusiasm for reading. I hope she hangs on to it.

 

Tonight I’m going to Cupcake‘s to try on my new bloomers, and then tomorrow is the Faire! Huzzah!

Keep bookaneering, everyone!

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The Bookaneer Works a Lot, Sings a Lot, and Goes to Grad School!

Ahoy mateys!

The last couple of weeks have been absolutely crazy busy with both library things and non-library things. I am on the display team for the Adult Services department and we’ve put up our big January display (World Music, pictures coming soon) and our February display is in the works! Our December display (Find Your Way to Fantasy, pictures coming soon) was a huge hit and I got a number of nice compliments on it! My coworker and I were responsible for most of this month’s display, and we’re really proud of how it turned out. If you’re in the area, you should stop by!

I am also on the committee for our Viva Florida 500 campaign. This year is the 500th anniversary of Ponce de Leon’s landing in Florida, and the whole state is having a year-long celebration! Our library district is going to have a speaker series, a time capsule, and lots of other cool events to commemorate. It’s been really interesting to learn some Florida history that I didn’t even know about! Keep an eye on our aclib.us website for upcoming Viva Florida events!

Another major event for The Bookaneer is the upcoming Hoggetowne Medieval Faire. I perform with a group of ladies wenches (including my friend Toni/Cupcake) called Just Desserts who sing bawdy songs and generally have a raucous good time with our audience. The Faire this year runs the last weekend in January (26-27) and the first weekend in February (1-3), with the 1st being Kids’ Day (no scheduled shows). We have three shows a day and I would LOVE to see you there! My stage name is Cherri Tart and you can be friends with her/me on Facebook!

As I mentioned in the title, I’ve also started graduate school! My friend the Brash Librarian and I are taking two classes together, since it’s his last semester and my first. We’re in Information Organization and Museum Informatics, and I’m already hooked after two weeks! I’m so glad I made the choice to be a librarian. It’s gonna be a tough road to balance both school and work, but I will make it happen!

I’ve made it my goal to post more updates, even if they are not as long as my former posts. My blog notebook is filling up with silly stories to share and it’s gonna be great! I’m also going to use my Tumblr and Facebook to interact with you all more, so be sure to follow me there as well! I also have a couple books picked out to do video readings of, and I’d love more more suggestions. Let me know in the comments if there’s anything you’d like to see!

Happy sailing and keep bookaneering!

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Happy Solstice/Hanukkah/Christmas/What-Have-You

The Bookaneer would like to wish you all a happy holiday season, and is making a promise she hopes she can keep! See you in 2013!

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December 25, 2012 · 10:52 PM

Getting Situated

There’s been a bit of upheaval in my life recently, with the promotion and everything, so I’m going to put together a kind of disjointed post here. I still haven’t learned how to segue.

The first thing I want to talk about is the new job! My supervisor and I have been talking about what direction I want to go in here at the library, and I mentioned that I really like the cross-departmental aspects, such as working with eBranch on ereader stuff, attending presentations for new ebook platforms with Tech Services, or helping Circulation on the weekends (incidentally, I recently had my last official weekend in Circulation, barring any last minute emergencies, so that part of my library career is officially over. Mixed feelings about it!) She’s been really responsive and has invited me to a couple of database and collections meetings, and I’ve recently been assigned a massive project involving our print and digital magazines. We’re going to try to find out which of our print magazines actually get read (we have about 240 subscriptions) and if there are any that we should get digital copies of, as well (we’ve only got about 90 Zinio titles). The Zinio catalog hasn’t officially launched yet, though you can find it if you know where to look on our website (Hint: it involves /zinio). So what I’ve done this week is started an Excel database of all the print and digital titles, labeled them with general categories like Fashion or Racing or Dogs, as well as how often each title is published. The Zinio catalog is complete, and since there is a lot of overlap a good chunk of the print titles are done too. The second phase of this database is to work with the Circulation pages, asking them to monitor what they pick up and put away weekly, and then forward the numbers to me to work through. In March, we make a lot of our magazine renewals, so by then I should have some good data to help make decisions. It’s not a perfect system, since patrons may actually put the magazine back when they’re done with them, but it should help in the long run.

Another aspect of the new position is displays. Since my first name is also first alphabetically in the department (B is for Bookaneer) I was picked to go first for our new display shelves next to the new quiet reading room. The only criteria was they have to be non-fiction books, so I decided to make a display of cross-stitching and embroidery books, something that is a hobby of mine. The display turned out great, and I think people have really been interacting with it since I’ve had to fill in a couple holes already!

My lovely display

My lovingly hand-crafted display sign!

I also helped with our large main display which changes monthly. October’s was a combination of Banned Books Week and Halloween: “Don’t be afraid of banned books!” This month’s original plan was to have an old-timey circus strongman holding a huge barbell with the symbols of the Republican and Democratic parties on either side. It was going to read “Exercise Your Right to Vote” (Get it?) but the person who made the lettering locked them in her desk, then went away for several days, and wasn’t going to be back until the day of the election. So we had to think fast and change it! We ended up deciding on just using the word VOTE in big letters, which would be easier to do. I was given the task of making the letters, and decided to set them against contrasting colors. It really gave the display an overall circus look, which we joked was social commentary on the election process as a whole. It turned out pretty good:

Did you vote?

The strongman wants you to vote!

Then, after the election, I made an “I” and a “D” at my coworker’s suggestion, and turned it into “I VOTED”:

I voted early!

Look at this post-election display!

So we’re already planning for December, which will be fantasy-related, to coincide with the release of The Hobbit next month. It’s going to be awesome!

One of my favorite things about my new position is getting to answer people’s questions. One great story I have from this past week is about an older gentlemen who came up to the reference desk asking about a mystery writer named McDonald, he said the author wrote about a detective who lived on a houseboat. With a little search engine magic, I found the author he was looking for, and told him that we had several different titles by him at our branch. I showed him where they were, and he looked at me like I was some kind of miracle worker and thanked me profusely. It was so gratifying and perfectly summed up the reason I do what I do.

I’m sure most of you know about NaNoWriMo: National Novel-Writing Month. If you’re unaware, the month of November has become a time to challenge one’s writing skills, and write a whole novel of 50,000 words in just one month. I’m not participating this year (since I never remember about it until the 5th or 6th) but the library is hosting a write-in every Tuesday night for people to come and work on and talk about their novels. I’m always impressed by those who do it, and I hope to be able to read some sweet finished products!

Tomorrow is  a big day for the Bookaneer, because I am running in my very first 5K with some great friends, including my pal the Brash Librarian! We’re participating in the Run For Your Lives. I’m kinda nervous, but I think I’m mostly ready. If you had asked me this summer if I would be running a 5K this fall, I would have laughed in your face. But I’m doing it tomorrow, and it’s gonna be great!

I also want to mention that The Bookaneer is on Facebook, as well as Tumblr! I’ll be posting and sharing some shorter bits and anecdotes over there, so make sure you follow me! We’ll have a great time!

So it’s time for me to get to bed, big day tomorrow. Keep bookaneering, crew!

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Happy All Hallow’s Read!

It’s Halloween! Not only is this my favorite holiday (after Talk Like A Pirate Day, of course), but it’s made even better with the addition of All Hallow’s Read! I did end up making some video readings, and I hope to do a couple more on Thursday (All Hallow’s Day :D). Here is a link to the introduction post, which has links to the actual readings in the description:

 

Let me know what you think! I had a lot of fun with these, and I’d like to do more soon. Do you have any ideas for future readings?

Keep bookaneering, mateys! I know I will!

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