Blogging Reference

10:51  Very quiet so far.  It was cool and overcast as I rode to work.  Now the sun is out.  There is a huge football game here today, FSU plays Oklahoma.  It's thought that up to 35,000 people will come from out-of town.  The Goodyear blimp has been droning around since yesterday.  The "Downtown Get-Down" street festival suffered a drenching rain last night.  A good day to lie low if you are not going.

A flurry of requests this a.m. for Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, whose PBS program, "3 Steps to Incredible Health!" has been broadcast.

Also a lot of interest this week in Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy, edited by Caroline Kennedy and Michael Beschloss.  It's being heavily promoted, Caroline Kennedy appearing on The Daily Show:

 MC groaned when I mentioned the requests.  It is a slipcased book/8-CD set, a fragile format for libraries, and pricey at $60.

He wants books about African Americans in television.  Couple of titles by Donald Bogle, Blacks in American Film and Television:  an encyclopedia and Primetime Blues:  African Americans on Network Television.

Someone donated a box of new-ish poetry, all published by the local Anhinga Press.  Maybe we can use some of them.

11:44  Made a round of the second floor.  Still quiet.  Came back to find E. the retired cataloger telling SE about his e-book reader again.  He's just thrilled with it.

12:40  Back from lunch in the park: a ham & cheese sandwich and The Palace Tiger by Barbara Cleverly.  Hoping to get a shot of the blimp, I took my camera, but no.

It's a little busier, but there are still public PC's open.  SE goes to eat.  I've got the floor to myself for a half hour.

Phone:  Anything on flag football?  Flag Football by John Ferrell, a YMCA Skills Manual in junior non-fiction.  Transfer him to Youth Services.

Young man in garnet & grey FSU hoodie, sleeves pushed up, dyed-purple short mohawk haircut, grown out blond on the rest of his head, pale complexion, stubbly beard.

South Asian man shows me CD set of Dead Watch by John Sandford, wants the book.  Take to shelf.  "The lady downstairs said I can listen to it in the library.  I listen on my own computer", (patting his bag).  He goes to a carrel.  Must be learning English.

Woman wants information about parking in our auxiliary lot for jury duty.

Process some requests:
Working South:  Paintings and Sketches by Mary Whyte.  New, 2nd request for this.  Send to purchase.

The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL by Eric Greitens.  We own, place hold.

The Race by Clive Cussler.  We own, place hold.

The Lazy Couponer: How to Save $25,000 Per Year in Just 45 Minutes Per Week... by Janie Chase.  New, send to purchase.

Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President by Ron Suskind.  New, send to purchase.

Your Self-Confident Baby: How to Encourage Your Child's Natural Abilities -- From the Very Start by Magda Gerber.  1997, send to interlibrary loan.

Walk-up:  Martha S. wants Isak Dinesen:  the life of a storyteller by Judith Thurman, and From Where You Dream:  the process of writing fiction by Robert Olen Butler.  Place holds.

He needs help finding his computer, signing on.  Then requests Astronomical Papers of the American Ephemeris by S. Newcomb, (1888), and Gravitation and Cosmology: Principles and Applications of the General Theory of Relativity by S. Weinberg.  Send to ILL.

Edwin asks how I am doing, reserves a computer.

2:15  Still no rush.

He wants to find the name of a doctor who treated his wife 15 years ago.  Show him the old city directories and telephone books.

CD stops in with his "super awesome dog".  He is our Adult Services game-goer.

Printer is printing ascii garbage.  Cancel job.

Phone:  Carolyn from branch, woman coming to get our copy of the Torah.  Pull, trap hold, take to circulation desk.

Repair manuals for hybrid cars?  Only the Auto Repair Database, no books, I think, but S. finds the Chilton annual volumes for 2010 and gives them to him.

She wants a book about the missionary, David Livingstone.  Elspeth Huxley's Livingstone and his African Journeys is available.  Take to shelf.

Dad & son pass by heading downstairs.  Boy has short hair on top combed up with some kind of gel into a not-very-convincing mohawk look.  "Scalp 'em Noles", I guess.

He wants The Executive Dilemma:  handling people problems at work by Eliza Collins.  Take to shelf.

He wants a book on learning Portuguese.  There is nothing on the shelf.  He doesn't have a library card, is staying at the homeless shelter, so I can't reserve materials for him that are checked out or at branches.

3:30  An hour and a half to go.

She thinks the copier has taken her dollar.  It's on stand-by, wake it up.

Phone:  questions about the cast of the television series, The Big Valley.  Did Victoria Barkley ever get married on the show?  According to Wikipedia, her husband died six years before the series begins, but I don't have information about whether she might have been engaged or married later.

This happens a lot.  People are at home, watching television, and they get to wondering about the show they are watching.  I most often get questions about soap opera episodes.

Woman asks to see Consumer Reports on cars.  Show her the annual April car issue.

Torah Woman is here, wonders if The Torah:  a modern commentary by Gunther W. Plaut can be checked out.   No, is a reference book.  She takes it to a table to read.

Phone:  The Big Valley again.  She saw the name Eugene Barkley in the credits, who was he?  According to Wikipedia, for what it's worth, (no citation):  "The youngest Barkley son was Eugene, a medical student studying at Berkeley, played by Charles Briles...He was seen sporadically in only seven first season episodes and then written out... In real life Briles was drafted and sent off to Vietnam."

4:19  Park Avenue is lined with cars of game attendees heading to the stadium on foot.  The game is at eight.

Phone:  Ann P. wants Deviant Children Grow Up by Lee N. Robins and High Risk:  Children Without Conscience by Ken Magid.  Don't own, create requests with delivery at the Parkway branch.

4:52  Finally got our rush at 4:40.  That's it for today!


Codices and Daleks

I attended an online course today, with a bunch of other librarians, about OverDrive Mobile:  installing and using the OverDrive Media Console "app" on Apple, Blackberry and Android devices to download OverDrive e-books and audiobooks directly, without a PC.

At the beginning of the class, the instructor asked how many owned smart phones.  A little over half the attendees owned one.  Smart phones are projected to outsell PC's in 2012, and many more readers of e-books will read them on these devices than will buy a dedicated e-reader such as a Kindle or a Nook.  DS joked that she had a "dumb phone" that only made calls.  I don't own any kind of mobile device.

It was interesting, then, to read Lev Grossman's piece in the NYT Book Review, From Scroll to Screen, a capsule history of the book.  While accepting the inevitability of the transition to electronic formats, he maintains that an e-book is more like a scroll than a codex of bound pages, losing non-linear reading functionality:

Trying to jump from place to place in a long document like a novel is painfully awkward on an e-reader, like trying to play the piano with numb fingers. You either creep through the book incrementally, page by page, or leap wildly from point to point and search term to search term. It’s no wonder that the rise of e-reading has revived two words for classical-era reading technologies: scroll and tablet. That’s the kind of reading you do in an e-book.

The Guardian has a story, Dalek collector enters Guinness World Records.  Over twenty years, Rob Hull has collected 571 Dalek models.

Hull, from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, said: "I've never been a fan of the show, but I have been enchanted by the Daleks ever since I saw one in a toy store as a child.  "My mum wouldn't buy it for me, but I swore at that moment that I'd have my own one day."  He said he bought his first Dalek at the age of 29 and since then they had slowly taken over the house.
But his 43-year-old wife, Dawn, will not celebrate her husband being the newest record-holder.  She said: "I hate the bloody things and I've got a feeling this is only going to encourage him."

I was mildly bitten by the Dalek bug when I discovered a cult of hobbyists who build full-scale Daleks.  But I resisted the temptation to buy a Dalek model.  The only thing I collect are editions of the Rubaiyat.  Daleks  are quaint, compared to today's computer-generated nightmares, with their toilet-plunger arms.


To Largo Once More

R. and I returned to Largo on Friday for the memorial mass and burial of her Uncle Ray, who died last Tuesday.  We joined R.'s Aunt Pat, in the company of her extended family, in honoring the passing of this kind and generous man.  He was remembered as a pillar of the Church and as a military veteran.

We stayed again at the Hampton Inn.  I brought my camera, but I didn't have the leisure to take pictures. I would have liked to get some shots of the quaint old cinder block and stucco houses in the neighborhoods of Largo, with their sandy yards and tropical plants.  These views from our fifth floor room at the back of the Hampton, looking out on Missouri Avenue, will have to do.  It is common in the St. Pete/Clearwater area to find northern place-names, such as Missouri.  Many retirees from the north and mid-west have settled there.  Mobile home and RV parks often fly Canadian flags.  We passed one place called the "Empty-Nester Diner".

After the mass on Saturday morning, we took part in our first ever funerary motorcade, processing from the church to the cemetery, which was a lovely park with old water oaks shading the burial site.

Afterward, everyone wanted to change clothes before gathering at Aunt Pat's, and we went back to the hotel.  The staff at the hotel recommended the Thirsty Marlin, nearby, for lunch.  I devoured a cheeseburger, fries, and a large slice of dill pickle.

We went over to Pat's house, and sat with her on the back porch, along with R.'s uncles Art and Ernie and their wives, drinking sweet iced tea.  After a couple of hours, everyone was clearly flagging, and we took our leave.  Back at the hotel, I had a nap.  R. went online in the hotel's computer room and found a local Italian restaurant, Alfano's .  We went there for supper, and it was excellent.

We wanted to get an early start Sunday morning, so we went to the eight o'clock mass at St. Cecilia's, checked out, had breakfast at the Largo Family Restaurant, and were on our way out of town by 10:30.  We took the causeway over Tampa Bay and got on the Veterans/SunCoast Parkway, a toll road that lets you avoid the sprawl of Highway 19 north of Clearwater.  Up to Homosassa Springs, through Crystal River, over the barge canal bridge and out of Central Florida altogether.  Through Chiefland, Old Town, Cross City, Perry, and into the hills, Lamont, Capps, and Waukeenah, where roadside stands sell fresh pecans.  And home to Tallahassee, our Shangri-La.

It wasn't long after that the rains of tropical storm Lee arrived.  R. baked a frozen lasagna and made a salad for supper.  We said the rosary, and settled in to watch an Inspector Lewis mystery on PBS, retiring to bed for a soothing rainy night, and looking forward to the Labor Day holiday on Monday.