Category Archives: Technology

Pokémon GO at the Library

Before I start, I must give credit where credit is due: amazing librarians Chantel Theunissen and Pam Jones of New Zealand for their awesomeness and inspiration to do something with Pokémon GO here in Titusville, PA. They helped me see what libraries are all about once again….people, conversations, and connections. It was perfect timing. I was getting a bit negative there. (sorry)

The idea was simple: purchase a few lures, set a time, set off those lures, and tell people to come to the library. Once they came, the thing that would connect us and start conversation would be Pokémon. We had some books out and about but the real goal wasn’t circulation…it was community building. And it sure did happen.

One helpful way of promoting this event was to target Facebook groups. In my semi-rural neck of the woods I found 4 Pokémon GO related groups. There’s probably more but that’s all I felt that I needed to find to help promote the event. Of course, we also used our own library Facebook page and got our awesome paper the Titusville Herald to also help us by running a story.


Our Youth Services Librarian Ashlee Norwood hangs out with a new library patron and chats about Pokemon GO.



We had a blast running the program for our community. It was two hours full of conversation, sharing, and community building. Will we do this again? Of course! We will do whatever we can to start up amazing conversations with our community.


It rained a bit so we went inside. No worries though! We still had a blast.

Social Media, 2016



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 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.



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.



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 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.


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.


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.



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!


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.



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.



Today’s the day where we unveil our maker-type things at the Benson Memorial Library. We’ve got the 3D Printer, iMac, Snap Circuits, iPads, Ozobots, and more. It’s an interesting moment for both me personally and for the library.

For the library, it’s a neat step into some stuff that is rather way out there new and exciting for this community. Titusville is a unique place. It’s a small town with a great deal of history behind it that really hasn’t fully come into the 21st century. At times, it feels like it’s in the 50’s or 60’s. That’s not entirely a bad thing…this kind of feeling gives the community a really enjoyable relaxed feeling. It is something I really love about living here. Most people around here don’t know what a 3D Printer is and if they do it almost seems like a dream to them, something that could not come true. But here it is, right in front of everyone now! We’ll see how they use it. We’ll see what they think of it. Every time we try something new in our library it is a great experiment where we learn stuff as we go along. It is not unlike any other library that I’ve worked at, but at the same time it feels different.

For me personally, it’s a weird moment because I’ve been through the whole makerspace/3D Printer/creation thing at the Chattanooga Public Library and with this project at Benson Memorial Library it’s a bit of déjà vu. To do something very similar to that here in Titusville feels….well it feels like I’m repeating myself, and that’s not something I’ve ever wanted to do with the things I am involved with. But it’s not about me at all…it’s about the community, and as I said above this is something very new for them. I’ve gotta keep that in mind as I move ahead.

All in all, we’ll see what happens. Innovation is different everywhere that we go, and I thak Chantel, whom I met at LIANZA 2015, for reminding me of that.

RIP Social Media 2004(ish)-2016

Sparky is my pet name for social media JK who the hell would give social media a pet name

In my almost 36 years on Earth I have learned to trust my gut, and for the past two years there’s been this feeling in there every time I sign onto Facebook or Twitter that all of this is all over and that it is time to move on. Social media has been co-opted by the mainstream media and has become yet another tool in the belt of capitalism. No longer is social media a tool for the people, a place where we can connect and share with our family and friends. Nope, those days are over. These days, social media is a tool used by others to sell us things, tell us who to be and what to watch, and to shape an entire culture. We post photos and ideas for our friends and family and in turn all of these are taken and analyzed and sold back to us. Sorry to sound like such a crazy conspiracy theory mid-30’s white male nutcase but SEARCH YOUR FEELINGS YOU KNOW IT TO BE TRUE 

Will I keep using these services? Probably. Facebook is really the defacto way to get in touch with people these days. After all, who really knows each others email addresses and phone numbers anymore? Facebook has killed those. I just changed my phone number recently and guess who wanted my new phone number? My mom. That’s about it. To many, email is just a service that collects junk mail and advertisements and is used to store files as attachments. Twitter is good for sharing links and quick ideas. I wish Branch was still around to take these tweets and have a conversation around them.

The only thing that’s changed is how I will personally approach these services. If I wanna talk to you or get an idea out to you, it’ll either come directly fro me in a message or via this website. If I wanna see what you’re up to, I’ll go directly to your page and check that out. No more News Feeds, no more Timelines, no more Suggested Articles.


Destroy the News Feed


Let’s face it: when the Facebook News Feed started filling up with recommended articles, targeted ads, and gave users the option to unfollow certain people, it made the idea of the News Feed suck even harder. Now everyone was either being told what to read by Facebook, what to buy via ads, and made it so easy to self select a certain life POV by making sure some friends rose to the top and others remained very quiet. It took a neat thing and turned it into a giant vacuum where we can all now post about the things we love and get hearts and nonstop positive feedback from those just like us while Facebook analyzes all of that data and spits out even more things that hit our happy button. The News Feed has become a place where we now all go to get our incestuous feel good “I’m a good person and I have an opinion and all these people agree with me” vibes. Let’s destroy the News Feed.

Facebook news selection is in hands of editors not algorithms, documents show is an interesting article to read, but isn’t all news in the hands of just a few editors who basically tell you what you want to see? Also, you can destroy this feature by using this Chrome Extension. I recommend it because I know that I’m just like all of you and that the possible news of”CELEBRITY A tweeting about CELEBRITY B discovering a new planet but not really because once you click on the link you realize that someone is just really good at writing headlines”is way too enticing to NOT click.

To do so, there are a few steps you can take. I like the Google Chrome Extension News Feed Eradicator because it not only wipes everything away but gives you a random fancy quote instead. You can also unfollow everything, but if you’ve been on Facebook for at least 10 minutes you’ve probably already become friends with 168 people and have liked 2,358 pages. You will never unlike and unfollow all of these things, but have fun trying.

Let’s all destroy the News Feed. Let’s get back to challenging ourselves with many different points of view instead of self selecting and letting Facebook decide what we want to see.




These are the days of my life in the first quarter of 2016

  1. I do not want to see any political posts on social media. I get it! You are passionate.
  2. If I sleep in a way that is just very slightly off, my left shoulder/neck hurts the next day. If I sit too long, my left knee hurts.
  3. See above, but I’m calling it: 35 is the age where we all fall apart.
  4. I can’t do everything. Neither can everyone else.
  5. Some people are going to be that way.
  6. I don’t give a shit who you are or what you do or where you come from: be nice to each other.
  7. iPhones/Mobile phones are the worst/best thing ever.
  8. We need to figure out a standard price for internet service in America and get everyone on the same page.
  9. I do not understand the stock market, investments, etc, and at this point I will not even try.
  10. Haley and I own a house and an old church and it is going to become Fidelia Hall and even if that doesn’t work out in the future we own this giant plot of land with two really cool buildings and gardens and a parking lot and everything is fantastic.
  11. Even though my physical form isn’t in tip top shape my mental form is better than ever and I love being able to look at everything that comes at me from a balanced point of view.
IMG_0218 (1)