Family, Libraries, Life

The Goal

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Statues inspire me. I want as many of them around my property as I can get my hands on. This guy is a weird one but I love it. He sits in our strawberry patch and just looks on at whoever comes to our backdoor. He’s magical.

Life in our modern society is a pretty freaking weird thing. We have an overall system in place that works actively to help promote individual growth and also to thwart that same growth. We are creatures that strive for change through accomplishments and advances, but that change comes so slowly that in the day to day it feels like nothing ever changes. What we hear from each other, those in power and those with fame are usually positive and sugar coated in nature, but underneath those whispers of “oh yeah everything is alright” is a much larger story with complex moves like a chess game, ups and downs, and things flying all over the place.

The minute after I think I have my “aha! So that’s the answer!” moment is the minute that I’m back to the drawing board. You can go through this entire blog and see that evolving and growing day by day, year by year. The best thing to realize at this point, for me at least, was that the answer will never be there and then someday I’ll die without the answer and melt back into the nutrient ecosystem and be born again as a tree. That happened a few years ago and, boy oh boy, did things feel a lot better for me once I realized that. Cue Elton John and that Lion King song. It makes sense.

A nice holiday break to end 2017 helped end a year that was a bit confusing on a clearer note. I woke up when my body and mind were ready to wake up. I engaged in the pursuits which felt natural to me (music, video games, reading). I stayed in pretty much the same location for quite a number of days, surrounded by people that I wanted to be surrounded with. I went outside and used the snowblower to make nice little paths for people to walk along the sidewalk. There are great joys in the simple, mundane things. The seismic shifts which once fueled my days are no longer necessary. I am getting a lot better at understanding and enjoying the little stuff.

Claude Debussy’s piano music is a good musical representation of what I feel in my head and heart these days. When I listen to the piece above (a collection of six solo piano pieces composed between 1901-1907 titled Images) I feel a sense of ease, wonder, excitement, and content wash over me. It feels right to listen to this music. There is so much wonder and beauty in these compositions. My mind wanders and I think about Debussy and what he may have been thinking and feeling when he wrote these pieces. What is it that compelled him to create such a beautiful thing?

What I want is a life full of creativity. Creating something is the best things humans can do in this world. Make some art, make some music, plant some flowers, have some children. The end result does not matter; the act is what matters. It is the act of creation that is really the only thing that makes sense to me these days. In a world of falsities and sugar coating, the act of creation feels more real than ever. When I write words in a document, record some music, or capture some sounds I feel free and I feel happy. There’s really nothing better than that experience. It fills up my soul.

THE GOAL is to live a life of happiness, to spread positivity and kindness, to create beautiful things, and to do work that gives back to people. I want to find the truth and honesty in all things. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I want this whole thing to be one huge adventure. I am happy where I’m at right now and I will be happy with where I go.

 

 

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Family, Life, Titusville, PA

My Life

2016 hasn’t been a great year for a lot so far for a lot of reasons and it has really affected me. The negativity and unkindness that is out in the world seems to have risen to the top, casting a shadow over all of the positivity and kindness out there. I never realized how much everything that’s out there can have an effect on a person’s life until 2016.

Your point of view has a huge effect on how you go about your daily life. I am going to do my best to alter my day to day point of view. A lot of this will rely on me largely ignoring the news, social media, and almost everything else happening in the outside world. I’m not going to be horribly ignorant of what’s happening, but at the same time I am just not going to let what is happening consume me. This is my life and my chance to make an impact. I will not let others destroy it.

Recently my days have been filled with the feeling of “I don’t know where to go or what to do”. I love the home that we have built in Pennsylvania. It feels great and the future potential for both Fidelia Hall and Fidelia Home are bursting through the seams. I am part of a greater community: the world. Yet at the same time I have smaller communities that are in my life. One of these is my family and our home. I have a lot of happiness when it comes to these things. I will continue to surround myself with them and let the positivity that exudes from them fill up my soul. Every moment that I can spend with my family is precious and I will not get those moments back. This is our time.

I got kinda lost there for a moment and let the anger and negativity in the world get a hold of me. I will do my best to not let this happen again!

Libraries, Library Director, Management

KINDNESS

I know there are probably studies out there that help prove that just a little bit of kindness can go a long way and that kindness does in fact have a monetary value. I know that the whole “be nice to everyone and in return kindness will come to you” is a bit of a hippy dippy idea but I still believe in it. And here’s a good example of that in action

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An organization was looking into one of our meeting rooms and inquired about if they’d have to pay to use the space. In the end, it all came down to the idea that they’d have to pay the $20 meeting room fee. I was hesitant to charge them the feed because I always want to do my best to help people out and money can complicate things, but in this case the fee was something we could not avoid. We talked about it and everything moved forward with the $20 fee in place.

This morning I received payment for the meeting room use which (as you can see above) went above the $20 fee that was originally requested. It put quite a smile on my face and in my heart to see this extra donation to the library as well as the kind note that came with it. Yes, I can honestly say that this made my day.

When we have an open communication with others and be positive and kind, good things come in return. Libraries, please keep this in mind as you grow, create policy, and work with your community. We’re in this TOGETHER.

Family, Kids, Life, Things, Titusville, PA

A List of 47 Amazing Things

In the order that they come into my brain. Of course family and friends are amazing things, but for this list I’m going to think about little things that are not always mentioned. These are the things that I find amazing. I know you may disagree with some of these. That’s OK.

  1. Homemade Bread
  2. Day old Movie Popcorn
  3. Red Rose Tea with a little bit of sugar
  4. Writing professional emails and telling people that they’re awesome and that you appreciate what they do
  5. Going to dentist and having my teeth cleaned really well
  6. Doing 5-10 minutes of yoga with Haley in the morning
  7. Really average soft rock from the 70’s and 80’s
  8. Buying toys with Finn and Aero at Target
  9. Seeing the art that Haley creates
  10. The number three
  11. Music that inspires me
  12. Drinking water out of my S’well canteen
  13. New Zealand
  14. Wearing a nice shirt that makes you feel proud
  15. Prince outtakes and rarities
  16. Growing older and realizing that everyone else all around you is doing the same thing as you: making it all up as they go along and trying their best
  17. Balance
  18. Haley and her mom’s cooking
  19. Shelving, straitening, and shifting books in the library
  20. Pilot G-2 07 pens
  21. Glitch art GIFS
  22. Hockey
  23. Kickle Cubicle
  24. Amiibos
  25. Creativity
  26. Burger King every once in awhile
  27. Well made headphones
  28. Podcasts
  29. Pajamas
  30. Having a home that allows my family and I to spread out, relax, and express ourselves
  31. Forward motion
  32. The moment before you fall asleep
  33. Recycling bins
  34. Rearranging furniture every once in awhile
  35. Working with people who realize that I’m just trying to do my best
  36. Noticing the personalities of many different people and doing my personal best to understand who they are and what makes them happy
  37. People who enjoy their jobs but not take them too seriously
  38. Time away from work
  39. Paying bills
  40. Both the sunshine and the rain
  41. Snowfall that really covers the ground and creates a nice winter landscape
  42. Trees
  43. Really nice sticks
  44. The color pink
  45. Watching the amount and type of food that I put into my body but at the same time not completely cutting things out
  46. Creative and inspiring uses of technology
  47. Talking to someone that really cares about you
Libraries, Teens

THREE LIBRARY THINGS

I want passion! I want excitement! I want bold and inspiring statements and ideas from human beings! This month, Library Journal delivered in THREE ways. Here they are. Read them, share them, and be inspired to be a great positive force in your world.

Adversary or Ally? The trouble with fines and fees by Rebecca T. Miller

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COPY AND PASTE all text by Rebecca because this is very important: Ultimately, we must reflect upon our bond with the people libraries are designed to serve. Interactions with patrons can become about the fine or fee, instead of the need addressed by the service. This risks turning librarians and clerks into cops and collection agents and diverting backroom capacity to fee and fine maintenance. In the process, it can set up an adversarial relationship between the library and its users rather than forging an alliance that supports a vibrant interchange. I vote for the library as ally rather than as adversary. Read the full article here. Good job Rebecca.

Barbie Bod Mods by Lisa Mudrakoff and Sasha Schertzer

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A program that is not only FUN but a program that engages youth and gets them to think is a library program that I love and want to sing about from the rooftops.

Over the course of the program, we witnessed participants building a community of young people from all over the city, with relationships developing naturally as the teens worked on their dolls side by side. Some older teens, still working through their own identities, nevertheless found themselves mentoring the younger teens as they talked about their questions and struggles.

FANTASTIC JOB Lisa and Sasha. Read the full article here.

Speak of the Devil by Michael Stephens

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The term devil’s advocate is defined as a role meant to encourage discussion of an issue from all sides by taking an unpopular approach. However, I fear it’s become something different. Many have come to understand that when we say “play devil’s advocate,” it’s a passive-aggressive way of bringing a point up without it looking like it’s our own. Same goes for those who blanket their opinions with, “Others are saying this about that….”

Michael is spot on here (he usually is with his ideas. I enjoy him very much). Don’t be the person that brings negativity into an otherwise healthy situation. I believe in debate and discussion and openness, but it doesn’t have to happen all of the time. Roll with the positive.

 

 

 

Family, Libraries, Life, Travel

8720-9657-9344 NZ/AUS/PA

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The answer to the question “Are you excited to be visiting New Zealand and Australia” is yes, I am excite. However, being a human being makes the situation more complex. I have thoughts and feelings about traveling so far away from my family. I am going to miss them a lot. Think about how much growth and fun my family will go through in 2 weeks. I won’t ever get to have a chance to experience that. I am dealing with that mentally right now.

I have also watched the entire series of the TV show LOST and I know that they’re flying into Sydney from the USA on that show. While I am open about possibly landing on a time traveling island, what I really want is to get home to my family.

What does one do on a flight that leaves the USA on Thursday and arrives in New Zealand on a Saturday? I have a list.

  • Play Animal Crossing: New Leaf
  • Possibly communicate with my family (right?)
  • Watch stuff (the list!)
  • Figure out how to sleep on a plane
  • Drink water
  • Use the restroom
  • Eat vegetarian meals
  • Select a book or two to read
  • Finish writing a piece for Information Today

I hate to get morbid and everything but if I don’t make it back to my family and my life, please take care of Haley, Finn, and Aero for me please world please please do that for me. I don’t know how but I know you can pull together and do this. Make sure they are happy and healthy and at the ChurchHouse and everything is good. This is all that I want in the world and I love all of you and I know you can make this happen.

Haley! I love you very much. You are the greatest person that I have ever met.
Finn and Aero! I love you very much. You do know that you two are gonna change the world, right?

These are the songs you can remember me by:

I know! I sound paranoid! I am!

If you are in NZ or Australia and are reading this, I do want to meet you! Let’s share ideas and have great memories and do positive things for the world.

NOTES
8720 (miles from Titusville, PA to New Zealand)
9657(miles from Titusville, PA to Sydney Australia)
9344(miles from Titusville, PA to Brisbane Australia)

Libraries, Three Things, Video Games

THREE THINGS (1.26.15)

1. I am currently in the Atlanta airport on my way to Pittsburgh, PA for my first ever “I’m doing the business travel thing but I’m business traveling to my hometown” experience! I will be taking part in the Supporting Making in Museum and Library meeting happening in Pittsburgh, PA.  I am honored to be a part of this! Late last year, I met Peter Wardrip & Lisa Brahms from the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and gave them a tour of the 2nd and 4th Floor at the Chattanooga Public Library. It was great to share ideas with them back then and I am looking forward to sharing more with them and many others over the next few days.  The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh was one of my big inspirations when I started on the 2nd Floor of the Chattanooga Public Library. It’s neat that I get the chance to go back to that same place and learn and share more ideas.  Here are some photos I took the last time I was there.

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The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh in cooperation with the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) have launched a field-wide initiative to better understand, advance, support, and connect makerspaces in museums and libraries. This project, in partnership with Maker Education Initiative, Chicago Public Library, the Exploratorium and North Carolina State University Library is holding a convening to advance our efforts in supporting learning in these space and programs.

2. I can’t wait till Megan Emery blogs more about her ideas on libraries, programming, parallel programming, volunteers, and more.  I guess this is kind of my nudge to get her to write about those things!  Ha!  Seriously though, Megan is (IMHO) doing the best work in public libraries at this moment.  From Camp EtsyNooga to linking programming between Chattanooga Public Library’s 2nd and 4th Floor to writing a book on library programming, everything Megan is doing is inspiring and community first. Go ahead and think that I’m a bit biased because I work pretty closely with Megan…you’re right, I do work pretty closely with Megan. But read about her programs and ideas and you’ll see what I mean. Go Megan go.

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3. I am currently on the sixth dungeon in The Legend of Zelda.  This time around I am playing it on my 3DS in little moments of inspiration. I almost forgot how good this game is.  I find the grinding aspect of the game to be quite rewarding. I haven’t played a game where I need to dedicate a good chunk of my time to getting rupees and preparing for my next adventure in such a long time. If you haven’t played this game in awhile and are looking for something to do, pick up a 3DS and buy it for a few bucks on the Nintendo eShop. You’ll find yourself quite happy!