Tag Archives: running

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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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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Even Pirates Need Vacations

This past weekend was Labor Day, where we honor the hard workers everywhere by not working at all! I was lucky enough to get a three-day weekend (thanks, government job with union benefits!) and traveled with my dad to the northern part of the South for a good old-fashioned family reunion.

We left Saturday morning, and headed toward Norfolk, Virginia for our first stop at my dad’s aunt and uncle’s house. I slept a lot of the way up, including when we passed “South of the Border”, a tourist attraction between South and North Carolina. We’ve never stopped there, but the billboards for it start about 160 miles south, and have silly sayings like “You never sausage a place! (You’re always a wiener at Pedro’s!)” Most of our trip consisted of singing loudly to the radio and jamming with air instruments, telling each other bad jokes, and reading the weird billboards.

Around 3:30pm, we “tuned in” to the Florida football game via the ESPN gamecast feature on dad’s smartphone. I get my passion for Florida sports mostly from my dad (he is also an alum) and I was in charge of reporting the play-by-play as he drove. There were a lot of agonizing moments as we waited for the page to refresh (not much 3G in the wilderness of North Carolina) and we made it to Virginia just in time to catch the fourth quarter. Aunt J watched us in amazement as we alternated between cheers and despair as the game ended and Florida squeaked out a win. Then we had a delicious dinner of chicken penne with veggies and watched more football until it was time for bed. In the morning we went for a run, and then out to brunch with Aunt J and Uncle G, and J’s daughter T and her husband C. Tragically, I left my beloved firm pillow at Aunt J’s, and it was not discovered missing until we were well on the way to North Carolina and the big reunion party. She did say she will mail it to me, for which I am eternally grateful! Thanks, Aunt J!

Sunday was the day of the reunion. We headed down into North Carolina and the Currituck Sound, to a house on the water that’s called “The Cottage”.

You Are Here

A map of where we were, complete with “You Are Here” sticker.

I haven’t been to visit this side of my family in about 14 years, and many I had never met, so I was a little nervous. However, everyone was incredibly welcoming and we all had a really great time telling stories, looking at old photos, eating awesome food and swimming and boating in the sound. Aunt B told me that she reads my blog and thinks it’s funny (Hi, B!) and my second cousin (?) M may come down for the 5K I’m running in November! I also bonded with some of the younger generation there, though we couldn’t quite figure out how we were related. We settled on the idea that I am their cousin-aunt and they are my cousin-nieces, because they are my father’s cousin’s daughter’s step-daughters. (confusing!) There were about fifty people in all, and we got a lot of photos that I can’t wait to see. Dad and I were the only ones there from our branch of the family, so we hammed it up a bit and took some silly pictures.

We stayed that night at the Cottage, then in the morning had a truly outstanding breakfast of homemade biscuits with sausage gravy and strawberry preserves. Then we hit the road to drive back to Florida.

The Cottage

The Cottage, featuring “Wild Dog” Cafe

On the way back I fell asleep again for the middle of the trip, including the way back through South of the Border (someday, Pedro!). There were a few great highlights though, including passing by a high school in Camden County, NC, that has a sign on their football field that said “Welcome to the SWAMP” (A little taste of home!) The school’s mascot, however, was the Bruins? Dad and I then scared ourselves with the idea of swamp-bears. Horrifying. In Elizabeth City, NC, we passed a billboard for a pizza place called “Itza Boutza Pizza”, which Dad found a lot funnier than I did. Dad also kept trying to come up with alternate definitions for “bookaneer”, like “when you schedule time for someone to listen to you, you book-an-ear”. Very funny, Dad. *eye-roll* I told him my favorite pirate joke: “What’s a pirate’s favorite movie rating? PG Thirrrteeeen” (Thanks for that goes to my old friend RO) I’ve got jokes too!

The trip was very relaxing, and it was nice to get away from the internet for a few days (though I did miss you, bookaneers!) Of course, getting back into the swing of things at the library today was lots of fun, since we were closed for Labor Day we had what seemed like three times the usual number of book drops and returns. It was a madhouse all day and the afternoon flew by. My favorite kind of day at the library!

Next time: bizarre tales, as promised, as well as some cute. Now I will leave you with an awesome picture of a beautiful place.

Sunrise over the Currituck Sound

Sunrise over the Currituck Sound. Gorgeous.

Keep bookaneering!

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