Category Archives: Libraries

Let’s Talk About Approach

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Every blog post should have an image and I couldn’t think of anything for this topic other than the approach of shaking hands.

I’m not that into the idea that “first impressions last a lifetime.” For me, I believe we should always be neutral and kind when we approach someone for the first time. From there your interactions with a person can increase and after about a year of knowing someone you can really tell who they are and how they’ll act in certain situations.

One of the things I’ve learned a lot while working in libraries over the past 10 years is how important it is to approach an event/situation/interaction with a positive attitude, kindness, and an openness to hear all sides of the story. When you do that, your chance at success greatly increases and all sides will have a pleasant experience.

I’ve found this website to be most helpful when it comes to kindness: Random Acts of Kindness. Sometimes when I am overwhelmed or in need of some guidance I turn to this page, give it a quick read, and let the ideas fill up my soul.

As we work with our community in both our day to day interactions and our long term projects, it is important to remember how we approach all of our situations. Fill them with positivity and kindness even in trying situations. Be patient with the other side of the story.

 

Social Media, 2016

FACEBOOK

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Facebook has become one of the, if not THE, main form of communication. Sharing, messaging, and now live video are the way that we communicate with each other. It is our email, texting, and our own little website. I have ups and downs with Facebook myself. I recognize and respect how important it is, but at the same time have a strong dislike for the service. Sometimes I just don’t want everyone and everything to be in my life. Over this past year I’ve gone from around 1500 “friends” to 770. I want Facebook to be the space I share with the people that I really know, value, and need to have in my life. Gone are most if not all the librarians who I just know because we’re both librarians and gone are the fringe “I think we met once we should connect on Facebook” type of people. I need my net of close friends and family and this is where that happens.

TWITTER

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Twitter has become a news platform and I am happy to see it accepting that role. This is where anyone can go to share links, ideas, and real time events. Periscope, which was acquired by Twitter in 2015, seems to be the future of social media. There is an excitement around Twitter for me these days that I haven’t felt since I first joined the service back in 2008.

INSTAGRAM

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I’ve started and deleted about 5 Instagram accounts. I appreciate what it does and I love seeing beautiful photos that everyone posts, but I just don’t want another place to post my photos. My Facebook profile documents everything from 2005-Present and I also have about 20 years of photos in my Google Photos. Instagram just feels like another step that I should cut out. I do, however, recognize how neat it is for a business. As Haley and I start Fidelia Hall we have used Instagram to share the messages we are putting up on our sign in front of the building. It’s been really neat.

TUMBLR

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Yahoo seems to have sucked all of the fun out of Tumblr. I wasn’t very much into Tumblr in the first place, but I have really come to love how it brings together fringe and passionate groups of people. If you have an interest but you can’t fine a community around that interest…well, try Tumblr. For myself, I use it to “collect” things that make me happy.

MIITOMO

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Miitomo was the big thing for 3 days and then everyone forgot about it. I can’t blame them, as the experience of using Miitomo is kind of clunky at best. This is something that I hope Nintendo really works on (it has gotten better). I probably keep coming back to it because I love all things Nintendo, but I also really enjoy seeing some folks answers to the questions. I feel a close connection to these people and I look forward to reading what they have to say every day.

BLOG

I still believe in the power of blogs and blogging services like Medium. I love how they give everyone who decides to invest time in them a chance to develop their writing and share their ideas.

THINGS I MISS

I mostly miss Branch and Potluck, as I loved the communities that sprung up around those services. I found myself talking to different people and I think it was great for expanding my world view. I know that most of those teams are now at Facebook and I am curious to see what they can bring to the table there.

Destroy Your Idols

I will destroy your idols and your sacred stones from among you; you will no longer bow down to the work of your hands. -Micah 5:13

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The bible has some amazing quotes about destruction. This is a pretty good one.

Think about everyone that you’ve admired at some point in your life, be it a relative, a musician, author, a friend, or someone else. Now think about yourself. Think about all of the times you’ve fucked up. Maybe you’ve said or done something wrong, or maybe you’ve put something out into the world that just wasn’t up to your standard level of quality. There is a chance out there that someone looks up to you. Now think about your idols. Smoosh all of this together and what do you have? You have the realization that idols are false and that we should destroy our idols.

Simply stated, we are all just hunks of flesh and DNA that are randomly smooshed together. We do some good things and we do some bad things. At no point in time should we believe ourselves to be greater than others or that there are others out there that are greater than us. Sure, Brian Wilson wrote some of the best goddamn music on the planet (IMHO) but at the same time all that I can think these days is that this dude is the same as me and the same as you. We all breathe, we all piss, we all shit, we all go to sleep, we all laugh, and we all cry. At no point in time should any of us be put on a pedestal and worshiped as something more than a typical average every day human being.

When we create idols, what we’re really doing is creating a false reality where some people are better than others and that it is the goal of those “lesser” people to become “as great as” those idols. This goal is unrealistic and totally unnecessary. We should be ourselves and go about doing our things without comparing ourselves to anyone else. You’re not better than this person or that person, nor are they better than you.

Destroy your idols. Live in the moment. As KISS says in their 1983 song “Lick It Up” It ain’t a crime to be good to yourself

THREE THINGS 2016.9

THANK YOU TECHNOLOGY

Brief shout out to computers, the internet, and technology in general. It’s easy to be negative about technology and computers, especially since they are a bit confusing and sometimes don’t work properly. But in the long run, wow, technology helps us out quite a bit. A large portion of my summer has been spent working on budgets, grants, and building maintenance and without technology it would have been much more difficult. Google Drive allows me to keep everything I write related to grants and budgeting in one place and gives all of my proposals and work a continuity that is much needed. It is also really helpful to communicate project updates and changes with my board and the community via email and social media. Conversation and communication are key!

KISS

Thank you to KISS for all of their music and their makeup that my son Aero seems to love oh so much. Over the weekend he wanted to dress up as Paul Stanley aka Starchild from the 80’s version of KISS. That’s the version of him you’re seeing in this video. He was amazed that KISS could take off their makeup. Even neater is that he think that their song “Lick It Up” is actually titled “Pick It Up” and is about picking up toys.

SUMMERTIME

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I hope everyone reading this is enjoying their summer. We’ve been spending a lot of time with our rabbits and chickens and also watering our plants and gardens. Just last week we got to eat our first crop of the season, radishes. It feels great to live in what basically amounts to our own little semi urban farm. It fits our family.

Kindness and Positivity Always Win

This tweet is 100% the truth. How someone couldn’t get excited about taking care of a historic, much loved building and institution in the community is beyond. We work in libraries, and our job is to share and connect with our communities. Life is good.

Work can be tough and stressful at times, but it doesn’t have to be a horrible thing. Projects and programs will take up a lot of our physical and mental energy, but they do not have to destroy us. Reframe those negative thoughts and put them in a positive light. REMEMBER! You are doing great work to help your community. Kindness and compassion win over everything else in this world.

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Our latest project at the Benson Memorial Library involves renovating our historic front steps. It is a big project, but in the end it will be wonderful. It has also been wonderful to work and connect with Fiske Associates Inc. and the Greater Titusville Development Foundation. When we work together and share kindness, we can accomplish great things!

Thank you Eden for such a nice Twitter conversation.

It’s OK to…

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I found this on Reddit yesterday and had to share it with the library community. Why? It is one of the best things I’ve seen in a long time. Just imagine working in a place that put this right out there from day one and stuck to it. That would be amazing.

Sometimes this kind of stuff just has to be said out loud. I really like It’s ok to stay at home when you feel ill. I can’t tell you how many times the people I’ve worked with in the past have come to work sick. Why? You are sick! You have sick time! Take care of yourself.

I myself will be copying this list and modifying for my place of work. I want my employees to enjoy their jobs and to let them know that we’re all in this together.

One Year

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On June 13 2015, we arrived in Titusville PA. On June 15 2015, I began my adventure as the Director of the Benson Memorial Library.

It is amazing how much life changes over the course of 365 days. I am thankful for every moment of it and I look forward to everything that comes in the next 365 days and beyond.

I am very happy with my life.