It is funny to me that as I age two things seem to be happening to me. These two things, racing away from each other in opposite directions, have some kind of connection that is found in the distance they’ve created in between each other:

  1. My physical body starts to break down and in turn I’m dealing with aches and pains that my body hasn’t felt before.
  2. My mind grows and expands, and I’m entering a period of your life where I feel sharper and more focused than ever with my thoughts.

I’ve been a pretty lucky person when it comes to physical ailments during my lifetime. I’ve had cuts and scrapes along the way, but nothing major at all save for the time I fell off a ten-speed bicycle while visiting cousins in Virginia when I was 10. I banged up my knee pretty well back then and I think the aches that are prevalent in my left knee during my thirties are a result of that. The lack of physical ailments in my youth have caused me to see that the ones that now hinder my physical movements at certain points of the day are age related. I accept these age related physical ailments, as they are a weird badge of honor that comes with aging. Like generations past, I have now earned the right to make a comment about “my achin’ back” and how hard it is to get up from a kneeling position on the ground.

But the real perk that comes with this badge of honor is in the fact that since the physical ailments of age have slowed me down a bit they’ve created a space in my life that has given me more time to think, to ponder, and to feel. These moments, compiling themselves in seconds that over time have become minutes, hours, and days, have given me a chance to dive further into thoughts about what’s in front of me, what’s behind me, and what everything means when it is all smooshed together. I’ve always enjoyed some alone time with only me and my thoughts, and as I get older these moments are even better than before. Gone are the days where I’d spend my time wondering if i’d “make it” (I’m still alive so yes I think I’ve made it) or that I’d get to where I needed to be (where I am right now is where I need to be). I’m happy I no longer have to use my mental energy on those questions, but I’m glad I got to experience having those thoughts and working through them.

My sharpened mind turns towards the idea that we are constantly building the world around us. The physical version of the world has set boundaries and limitations. Human beings bring something else to the table. Our always racing minds are actually changing the world around us. Our thoughts, ideas, and actions are building a new layer onto the physical world. Over the past 200 or so years, the industrial revolution and now the information revolution we are currently living through have tossed and turned the world. Every day we give birth, destroy, and rebuild the world around us with our thoughts.

I think about how every single action that any of us takes has an impact on something in the world. We are all together in building this world. It may seem like the actions of some folks have a greater impact on the world around us than others, but I like to think that there are levels to this. Some people will have an impact on that moment, and over time that impact fades. Why? Because their impact was not pure. Their actions came with stipulations that were greedy and thoughtless. They made their move, had a brief moment in the spotlight, and then over time the truth behind their action was revealed. I do not believe this is the path forward. I see the path forward as one where actions are pure and the only stipulations that they come with are ones that are positive and for the greater good of our world.



LJ/SLJ Tweet Clarification


Earlier this morning I half-jokingly sent this tweet out into the world. It seems like some people agree with me!

Now don’t get me wrong: I think Library Journal does some great things. I like their digital events, SLJ’s Day of Dialog, their professional development opportunities, some of the columns that they offer, and pretty much every staff member that I’ve met that has come through LJ/SLJ. I’m not too into most of the opinion pieces, the awards, and most of the features. They just feel a bit tired and fall flat once the latest issue comes across my desk and I feel a lot of disconnect from the features. A lot, if not all of the ideas and initiatives in the features are great but I have trouble seeing how they could relate to the library where I am: and this isn’t just with my current library but the three others I have worked at full time.

What I think I am trying to get at (and thanks to Meredith Schwartz for nudging me to think on this for a bit. She is one of the awesome people at LJ) is something that is a lot more immediate and comes in mini daily bite sized packages (no, not a Tumblr or a Twitter). If money was not an object and everyone could get this zapped right into their mailbox everyday, I’d love the LJ Mini Daily to be a zine like thing that was just slapped together and packed full of great things that may otherwise be overlooked. LUCKILY! We have the internet and these things can be slapped together and sent out like BOOM BAM DONE IT IS THERE RIGHT IN YOUR EMAILS OR ON THAT WEBSITE!

LJ Mini Daily (I’m just gonna call it that instead of “that thing I thought of”) would be just one page and it would be full of neat little things that would’ve get a mention any other way. For example, take these things that came through my feed today and smoosh them into something and share:

Top that all off with a few words of encouragement, a few neat and easy to do ideas, and boom. You have LJ Mini Daily.

Thanks for listening.


Fidelia Hall, Life, Titusville, PA

The Platform


The Nintendo Entertainment System is a video game system that you enter video game cartridges into in order to play a game on the individual cartridge. Sometimes these video games are made by Nintendo themselves, and other times they are made by other companies (such as Capcom, Square, and others). The Nintendo Entertainment System is a platform that allows users to play video games that are either made by Nintendo themselves or by another company/organization. The games that are able to be be played on the Nintendo Entertainment System platform are approved by Nintendo. The Nintendo Entertainment System (like other video game systems out there) is a platform.

Nate Hill turned me onto the idea of platforms. I can’t thank him enough for these ideas and this influence on my life. As Haley and I have dove into work building and envisioning Fidelia Hall, the idea of the platform has came back into my mind.

Two big things that drew us towards purchasing this property were:

  1. The location, which sits at a wonderful intersection in Titusville PA
  2. The former chapel space (now know as The Great Hall) and the downstairs community room and kitchen (now known as The Gallery and Artist Studios)

With so much space and so many options with those spaces, it would be silly of Haley and I to think that we both could fill up that area with activities and ideas at all times. We will be using the space to execute our own personal ideas from time to time (think of Fidelia Hall as our own personal canvas), but the idea behind Fidelia Hall becomes even stronger when we work with others who can use the space as a platform for their ideas.

What does this mean? I think it can mean a lot of things. It can be as simple as an individual coming to us with an idea and then themselves executing that idea within Fidelia Hall. It could be a group or business using the space for a fundraiser, a private event, or something open to the community. This would also create a revenue stream for Fidelia Hall, in that the individual or group would be using our space for a fee. As the owners and directors of Fidelia Hall, it would be then on Haley and I to create a set of guidelines for acceptable use of Fidelia Hall. With the space acting as our home, our work, and a community center, we will want to exercise control as to who uses the space and what they’re using it for.

As I write this, my mind images what a day at Fidelia Hall may look like. This is all pure speculation:

In The Great Hall, a musician works with a producer using the space to record an album of original music. They were attracted to Fidelia Hall because of the acoustics in the Great Hall. Downstairs in the Gallery, we have a monthly exhibit from a local artist. This event is free and open to the public, and is part of a collaboration between Fidelia Hall and a local arts organization that we have chose to partner with. In the Artist Studios, we have quite a few things happening at once: a visual artist rents out one of the rooms on a monthly basis as their art studio. In another, Justin is running a retro video game day. Folks can come into the space for a fee and play Nintendo games from Justin’s personal collection. In another room, there’s a businessperson meeting with one of their clients.

What we have in the above paragraph to me is a good balance of what the platform at Fidelia Hall may look like. It has art, it has meetings, it has gatherings, it has events. It has a lot going on at once. The events listed above would bring in income to Fidelia Hall, which could then be used to do the following: to pay the utilities for the space (water, garbage, electricity, gas/heating, internet), to pay a salary so that Fidelia Hall will have an employee (this will most likely be Haley to start), to fund more community based initiatives (income=what we can use to pay artists for exhibits, performances, etc), and to pay for the upkeep of the building (145 year old buildings need a lot of love).

At present, we’re still working towards all of this. Our heating system half works at the moment and winter is near. The gallery just had its carpets and drop ceiling removed to reveal the original hardwood floor and tin ceiling. Those will be fixed soon. On the plus side, we’ve got almost all the details sorted out to begin our process to become a business or non-profit (we’re still thinking about the pros and cons) and we’ve got the handicap accessible roof and drainage system working. We’re making small steps towards a bigger idea. Patience. We will get there….and once we do, this platform will do its best to make our small community an even better place to live.