Living Outside the Stacks

Navigating through life away from the library


Some of My Favorite People are Librarians

How about you? Do you know a librarian who deserves recognition for running a reading program for preschoolers? Or a librarian who recommends the best books evar? Or, perhaps, your librarian greets you with a smile when you walk through the door. Whatever the reason, you can nominate your favorite librarian for the Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award!

Up to ten librarians will be recognized with $5000 at an awards ceremony hosted by the New York Times.
I met my favorite librarian when I was attending junior high school at Aviano Air Base, Italy. His name was Mr. Wolford and I thought he had the most incredible job – running the high school library. During the day, I would wander into the library and help Mr. Wolford arrange books on the shelves and, in return, he would set aside books for me that he thought I’d enjoy. During my ninth grade year, Mr. Wolford became a librarian in Bahrain and I lost track of him but he left a lasting impression on me.
There are almost as many different types of librarians as there are genres of books, and in an effort to educate people about the responsibilities of librarians, Bobbi organized a “Library Day in the Life” meme that has taken on a “life” of its own, becoming an annual event. So while you’re thinking about nominating your favorite public librarian, school library media specialist or academic librarian, please take some time to find out about the lives of other librarians.


"I blame the internet!"

My head whipped around so quickly I thought for sure I had sprained something. This comment was uttered by my son as we witnessed a mild case of road rage while driving to Lowe’s to pick up some paint. “How do you figure?” I asked him, not expecting the well-thought out answer that I received.

“Well, you know, people post things on the internet and they expect an instant reaction, ya know? They expect people to reply to what they say and if they don’t get the response they want, they either keep posting crazier and crazier stuff or they get really angry and leave.” I looked over at him expectantly because I kinda liked where he was going with this. “When people drive, if you’re going too slow, they ride your bumper until you move or they pass you and jump in front of you quickly to show their anger. They want an instant reaction, some sort of acknowledgement of their frustration.” Hmmmmm, my son may be on to something….
I hadn’t really thought very much about how the internet has changed the way we interact with each other, but it has. The internet provides some people with a feeling of anonymity that allows them to do or say things they wouldn’t otherwise do or say in public (think about the popularity of talk radio, especially shock radio, when callers would go on and say all sorts of stuff). People seem to think their vehicles provide this same sort of anonymity – the if-I’m-in-my-car-no-one-can-see-me-picking-my-nose mentality, therefore, they are allowed to act like idiots. I guess they don’t realize that we can see them through those glass encasements known as windows.
This same sense of anonymity has translated into other public arenas too. Take the movies for example. My husband and I decided to go see Star Trek and, I have to tell you, I was stunned by the rudeness of some of my fellow attendees. One woman and her three children kept walking past my husband and me throughout the movie without once ever saying “Excuse me” or “Pardon me.” Finally, I got tired of it and left my leg in place, thereby blocking her access to her seat. Ok, I know, equally rude, but still… Do you believe she and her kids stood there for about 30 seconds before she said “Excuse me”? Really, how hard is it to show a little common courtesy and respect for those around you?
The other day I watched an interview on one of the morning talk shows about how parents should handle unsolicited advice and the “expert” said parents should be allowed to raise their kids without the input of others until that child’s behavior starts to infringe upon the safety/comfort of others. Um, what? Behavior that is acceptable inside the home will generally be considered by children to be acceptable outside the home. The only way to counteract the anonymity/rudeness that has been offered by the internet is for people to slow down, take a deep breath and remember that anger may offer instant gratification but politeness leaves a lasting impression.


I’m Getting Physical

Ok, really, I’m not trying to bring back the leg warmers but I am trying to move this thang (come on, you know you totally jammed to this back in the day). I have gained about eight pounds since I left my job almost a month ago. Yeah, I know, scary!

I figure if I keep up that trend I’ll be, well, I’ll be much heavier and a lot unhealthier than I want to be. Now I’ve tried different exercise programs before:

*Curves – quit going after a couple of weeks because my schedule was so hectic that I just couldn’t find the time to keep up a regular schedule

*Walking around the neighborhood – there was a bear spotting and that ended that

*Step machine – got totally bored with stepping on and off the platform

I had been begging my husband for a treadmill but upon looking around the house I realized I don’t have anywhere to store it. Correction, I don’t have anywhere I want to store it. What to do? What to do? On a whim, I ended up buying the Wii Active.

I used the Wii Active for the first time this morning and, let me tell you, I am impressed. I know other people have been on the Wii Active/Wii Fit band wagon for a while now but I love being fashionably late. I like the clear instructions (except for the whole nunchuck/remote thing – ok, you have to be smart enough to know the difference and apparently I am not because it took me a minute to figure out it out). I have it set to the 30 Day Challenge with the hopes that I will be excited/interested/engaged long enough to make the entire 30 days. What do they say, it takes 30 days to drop a bad habit? Hopefully, I can pick up a good habit in less time.

My stats for today are:

Calories burned: 104.2

Work out time: 23:25

Exercises completed: 16/16

Exercising and adding more water to my diet should put me on the road to a healthier and happier lifestyle, right? Right.


I’m Making a Delicious Change

Since I ended my job, I noticed that I’ve become a lot more sluggish and that I drink a lot less water and much more soda. So I was thrilled when I came across this challenge at Cutie Booty Cakes.

Experts agree that people should drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. Not only does it keep you hydrated, but it’s good for your skin too. And drinking water also promotes healthy weight loss.

Furthermore, by joining the challenge, you will help Crystal Light improve the lives of people in the U.S. and all around the world who do not have access to clean, safe drinking water.

So if you’re like me and you need a change, I challenge you to make a delicious change. While you’re there, don’t forget to Test Your Water Wisdom. And don’t forget to grab your nifty little Water Way Challenge Widget!

I did not receive any compensation for this posting, I’m just looking to make myself healthier and in the process encourage others to do the same.


Looking in the Mirror

There’s been a pretty significant time lapse between my last post and this one, soI know you’re wondering what I’ve been doing? Or, at least, I’m hoping *someone* out there wonders. Smile. Kinda.

Well, I’ve been going through a period of self discovery. I needed to separate myself from my career as a librarian/archivist and try to rediscover who I am as a person. Honestly, I don’t have it all figured it out but I did come to the realization that my career does not define me. Trust me, this is big!
Leaving my job was a bit like watching my kids leave the nest. My career was something that I had nurtured and developed from infancy to, well, maybe not maturity, but at least to the teen years. So letting it go left me feeling a bit empty and unsure of my place in the world. Parents whose children have left home understand the feeling. You look around at this empty house and think What next? You look at your spouse and wonder Who are you?
Much of my life, both online and f2f, centered on being a librarian or being an archivist. All of my friends are in the field. My writings are primarily dedicated to some form of librarianship. So now I have to try to develop outside interests – something that keeps me connected to the things that I love (reading, finding answers, research, etc) but also encourages me to move outside of my comfort zone.
I’m going to take this time (while job hunting) to try things I’ve never tried before. Maybe enroll in some classes just for fun. For example, I have always wanted to learn to knit and I know that the craft store offers basic knitting classes, so maybe I’ll enroll in that. Or join one of the book discussion groups at one of the local bookstores.
Of course, I’ll blog about my experiences and let you know how things are working out for me. But if I should find myself wandering through the stacks again, I really wouldn’t be disappointed at all.
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