Category Archives: library stuff

Things I Am Doing

Seems like whenever I write a brooding life post it stays up as the latest page for an unfair amount of time. Probably gives the impression that I am miserable 100% of the time which simply isn’t true! I’m merely miserable most of the time. There is like 20% of my time spent happy or content. Maybe up to 30%! Here is some of that 20-30%.

I...I can't make a joke about this because it is far too good for as little time as I put into it. Oh if only Walker could have made this movie.

I…I can’t make a joke about this because it is far too good for as little time as I put into it. Oh if only Walker could have made this movie.

Media Consumption And Hobbies

Last week I saw Brick Mansions with my sister. It is absolutely absurd and I loved it. The action is great and the story doesn’t pretend it’s not awful and stays out of the way. After leaving the theater I decided it is the film version of Saints Row, which will either make zip or perfect sense to you.

Haven’t had much time for video games, lately. I’m dipping my toes back into Titanfall. It’s been long enough that everyone playing is now vastly more experienced than myself but it’s parkour and giant robots so still a thrill.

I’m in a bookclub, of sorts! The two teens from my previous job’s bookclub are going to try to keep it going via email exchanges. We’ll see how well that works. We’re supposed to have up to chapter two read in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Sunday. (I haven’t started yet.)

All my plants are dying.

The world's oldest eraser. It was old when I was a kid. I don't know why I still have it it is basically a tiny brick of rubber by now.

The world’s oldest eraser. It was old when I was a kid. I don’t know why I still have it. Basically a tiny brick of rubber by now.

The Continued Ceaseless Quest For Dejunkification

Long time readers will know about THIS one. You’d think after what must be nearly a decade now I’d be able to live out of a cardboard box. Luckily, the upstairs bathroom flooded and took out some boxes I had stacked in my second bedroom. More stuff to throw away! Nothing important. Just. Valueless mementos of happier times. Trinkets, worth nothing but the peace of mind their memory brought. Pure GARBAGE, really, TRASH that surely DESERVED to be soaked in toilet water.


I also got rid of a couple more boxes of books and a big box of art supplies I won’t be using anytime soon.

Work Stuff

AHA this post was just a trap to tell you about things going on at work. Shameless self-promotion. Fun fact: promoting your work from a personal social media account is SUPER risky because then you could be liable via the association of your personal and professional life. Keep that in mind, all you Godless, obscenity prone children’s librarians. That is meant to be sarcasm but really it’s not much of an exaggeration. Now excuse me as I ignore my own advice. (All opinions mine and not that of my employer because I am way smarter and prettier than them OBVIOUSLY).

Next week I’ll be getting a new metadata project. The project I had been working on was semi-interesting to me (a bunch of landscape architecture cutsheets, some from places I know well in the Vegas area) but didn’t make for very good sharing. Not like MARY. In fact, some of it might be as swoon worthy as the dreamy Ellison, so watch out ladies!

But. BUT. If you want to follow the updates, check out @usuarchive on Twitter. I’ll probably still post some of the stuff to my own Twitter account but I want to feed content into the Special Collections account. Hopefully I can tend to it better than my plants because I’d like it to be able to sustain itself long after I’m the one updating it.

Another account you could follow is @metropolotania. It is…work related? Kind of? And more specifically…sort of related to the work I did with Mary’s diaries? And…later it could involve you? I dunno it looks pretty crazy to me. CRAZY ENOUGH TO GARNER UNDESERVED MEDIA ATTENTION, PERHAPS? (crossing my fingers).

The chicken is the national bird, animal, and natural resource of Metropolotania. Because it is very noble, not because it is the only animal that manages to still survive there.

The chicken is the national bird, animal, and natural resource of Metropolotania. Because it is very noble, not because it is the only animal that manages to still survive there.


Storytime Craft: Doctor Bag

Nothing clever for an intro today, just enjoying ice cream and building up an archive of Flannel Fridays. SO LET’S GET TO IT.

Got yourself a boo boo? Well Doctor Seth will fix you up. You’ll have to get the medical kit together first, though.

Good old fashion coloring! For this craft you’ll need the medical supplies (seen above) and the doctor bag. Kids fold the bag, and they can either just keep the stuff in it (as I intended) or you can follow the lead of a smart mom in my storytime who didn’t want to chase around a bunch of paper and glue them down inside the bag. LINKS FOR PDFS BELLLLOOOOOOOOW.

Doctor Bag

Medical supplies

Now, I gotta say. I spent actual YEARS redesigning this. Years putting it off, one afternoon to fix it. The original was ugly and a pain in the butt to cut out. I hope this is much easier for you guys.

Need some books about injuries and whatnot? Check out my injury tag on Shelfari! I’ve got a few good ones (and one or two iffy ones) but I’d love suggestions if you have them!


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Editing History

I remember when I was much more active in photography there was always a controversy over processing photos with software like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom. I was always on the fence about it. While I hardly ever edited my photos, digital processing CAN make a GOOD photo look AMAZING. But, it also goes a bit too far (see HDR) where it becomes plainly a stylistic choice rather than “improving” on the “correctness” of a photo. Which I put in quotes because really no photo is a true recreation of reality, no more than a portrait is 100% accurate reflection of the subject.

But that’s art. What about history?

Take this scanned photo of a man and a dog on a horse.

It doesn’t show up so well so I tweaked it in Photoshop before uploading to Twitter.

Now you can see that adorable doggy’s face!

Is this an accurate portrayal of a historical artifact? Even the slight edits I made would be enough to get me disqualified from a nature or news photography contest.

For some random picture of a dude and a dog on a horse it probably isn’t that important. But what about important photographs? Governments have cropped and edited photos to better represent their interests or to erase traitors from history. And what about written material? Junior novelizations are a great way to get kids interested in classics, but let me tell you, the kids version of Moby Dick is WAY more interesting than the actual book. Also, if we were concerned about historical accuracy, shouldn’t someone paint old Greek statues just as artists and preservationists clean and touch up old paintings?

Perception is an important thing when it comes to learning from history, and it’s easily altered. We already bring personal bias into everything we observe, and usually what we’re seeing is a second or third hand representation, creating an endless game of nonfiction telephone. And when social media makes it so easy to share brief impressions of a topic, it’s probably rare for anyone to do the independent research, so the version they see last becomes the reality. And then it becomes a majority rules issue and your mom is sending you emails from her Yahoo account about the latest fictional political scandal she saw on Facebook. (Not MY mom. My mom is smarter than your mom. And she uses Gmail.)

The roundabout point I’m making is use caution and critical thinking when telling a story or when listening to a story, both from the past and in the present. There is no such thing as objective fact, and it’s up to you to decide what percentage of truth is in a truth.

Generally this would be the part where I’d ask your opinion, but people hardly comment on here anyway. And, to tell you the truth, my real purpose was to get a better look at the dog.

I mean. LOOK AT HIM.

dog on horse crop

Maybe I should make that my new avatar.



Storytime Craft: Alligator and/or Crocodile

Man! This craft! This is probably the first storytime craft I made in Adobe Illustrator. Put off uploading it for so long because it needed to go through a few updates to make it easier to cut out a few dozen at a time. The first one had pointy claws on each feet.

That was not fun to cut out.

PDF Link Be Here:

gator craft

Need a flannel story to go with it? Here’s one from a ways back.

Need some books? I got books. Check out my alligator tag on Shelfari. Notice it’s not alligators/crocodiles. Because kids don’t care about the difference.

Nobody cares.

As a final aside in my post-storytime life, I have to say that the alligator storytime was always one of my favorite. There are probably dozens and dozens of themes from my early years before I kept track that I long forgot, but this was always a go-to theme.


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Storytime Activity: 6 Creepy Closets

Well here is ONE creepy door.

I don’t have a printout or examples for this counting activity. This rhyme was made an hour before the storytime, and I didn’t have time to make anything fancy. So I fired up [insert your preferred search engine], did an image search, and printed out six doors. Then I did an image search for the thing which go behind the doors and printed each out on the opposite sides of the door pages. Simple! Not as classy as a handcrafted flannel but great if you need a fun activity in a pinch.

6 Creepy Closets are hiding their secrets

One started glowing and behind it was a…flashlight!

5 Creepy Closets are hiding their secrets

One started leaking and behind it was a….mop!

4 Creepy Closets are hiding their secrets

One began to shake and behind it was a…. washing machine!

3 Creepy Closets are hiding their secrets

One started shrieking and behind it was a….vacuum!

2 Creepy Closets are hiding their secrets

One started growling and behind it was a….dog!

1 Creepy Closet is hiding its secret

It began to giggle and behind it was a….monster!

It was playing hide-and-seek and you won!

This activity would work great with my Monster Closet craft. Almost like I meant for that ha ha! It’s funny because I used the same joke on the Monster Door post. Oh wait. That makes it less funny.

Need monster books? I have a ton of those. Got a bunch of scary books too.


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