As a library vendor/salesman/person who wants money from the library, this is not the way to charm me:

Him: "So you're the new boss, huh? You took over from that guy?"

Me: "Yes, I'm the interim director. May I help you?"

Him: "Well, you're just gonna be one busy little girl trying to run that big ole place by yourself, ain't ya?"

Me: *silently bites her tongue and fumes at the "little girl" comment*

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

This was another recommendation from Nathalie, which I have been putting off for a while, as I haven't been in much of a "chick lit" mood.

This book put me right back in it!

Rachel and Darcy have always been best friends, and Rachel even introduced Darcy to her future fiance, Dex. So what happens when Rachel finds herself falling for the groom only months before the wedding? Heartbreak for sure...

This book has a surprising amount of emotion and depth, and not the typical frothy chick lit romance. I ended up flying through the pages, dying to see how things turn out in the end!

Great characters, great development, great emotion, great story!

Note: This book has a sequel, Something Blue, which is going on my TBR list!

Magical Thinking: True Stories by Augusten Burroughs

I've never read anything by Burroughs, but he's been "on the list" for a while now, and wow, he's well worth the wait!

These stories are by turns funny, horrifying and "that's too weird to be true". Burroughs is probably tired of comparisons to David Sedaris, but they are inevitable (quirky gay man with quirky short stories that are both funny and weird).

However, I really fell into Burroughs' style, and found myself reading this collection of stories in no time, without "getting tired" of the stories, like you can when you read a short story compendium all at once.

I highly recommend this book, and plan to read Burroughs' other work soon!

All the cool kids are doing it...

theloudlibrarian trading card

See the entire Flickr group right here...

Well, the NASCAR Nextel Cup season is over.

Even though I'm glad the kinder, gentler Tony Stewart won the title (right now, my hometown is probably going nuts), I'm heartbroken that Jimmie didn't.

Always a bridesmaid...

Still, a great season and a valiant run for the title, Lowe's Beaus. Here's to next year!

Some of the best links I've run across this week...

  • This one is for Erica, and her forbidden Vin love. I haven't laughed so hard all week. What's your favorite?

  • Rick gathers his additions to IM lingo...for Monty Python fans. ;-)

  • This is an absolutely fascinating survey on the BBC's page...your job is to spot the fake smile. I got 18/20 right, which makes me feel pretty good. I've always thought that a key part of reference is not only hearing what they ask, but how they ask, their body language and intonation in order to find what they REALLY need.

  • And the winner of the best link emailed to me this week, courtesy of my fellow-NIN-worshipper, Jen. The link is from the Christianity Today website, and features this question:

    I have a friend who listens to Nine Inch Nails, and I really don't think he should. Are there any Christian groups that sound like NIN?

    I appreciate your concern for your friend. And you're right. Nine Inch Nails is a band to avoid. Trent Reznor, NIN's chief songwriter and frontman, spews out lyrics of hopeless rage, generously sprinkled with profanity and sexual vulgarities.

Naturally, we couldn't just let THAT sit between us.

theloudlibrarian: Yeah. That's WHY WE LOVE IT!

jen: sprinkled with profanity and sexual vulgarities - it's the icing on the beef cake

jen: There's something magical about whipping into the parking garage at 8:20am blaring "your god is dead" out the windows, well the three that open

theloudlibrarian: Lately, I've been blaring in listening to Wish - it gets me pumped for the day to hear Trent scream about no souls and big f*%&ing holes. ;-)

I may be going to hell, but at least I'll be among friends. ;-)

(Sorry for the profanity, Mum)


So long, boss.

Good luck and happy trails in Washington.

You'll be missed!

Love My Rifle More Than You by Kayla Williams

I picked up this book yesterday morning, intending to read a chapter or two and then go off to start on my ever-growing to-do list.

Instead, I spent the next several hours absolutely absorbed in this book, which I finished later in the day.

Williams takes you inside the war in Iraq, but from the perspective of one of the few females. At first her writing seems crass and shock-value-y, but then you realize that's the reality, and that's how it's presented. Williams details her own road to the Army, then her time in Iraq as a linguist. You meet colleagues, come to love and hate some of them, hear about the trauma and drama, and really get pulled into what day-to-day life was like in the desert.

I was fascinated by her experiences, her struggles, and her straightforward way of telling it "how it is". And incredible book, not only from an Iraqi war standpoint, but from a woman in a man's world standpoint.


Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock

This book was recommended to me by my friend Nathalie, and it's taken me ages to finally get to it on my TBR (To Be Read) list.

What an amazing read.

Told entirely from the perspective of the eight year old protagonist (which echoed To Kill a Mockingbird for me), we are led through the life of Carrie Parker...her poor family, her abusive stepfather, her attempts to cope, to run away, to survive, and her tangled relationship with her mother.

The only constant in Carrie's life is her little sister, Emma. Emma and Carrie are inseparable and help each other through each terrible day. You come to cherish the relationship between the two, and the way they look out for each other. The book has a lot of twists and turns, and an absolutely amazing ending. Because the language is childlike, this book took no time to read, and was well worth it!

Highly, highly recommended!

The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

This has always been one of my father's favorite books, so I wanted to read it and see what it was all about. :-)

This novel takes place in the Regency era, and focuses on Sophia Straton-Lacy (The Grand Sophy, as her friends dub her), and the absolute havoc she wreaks when she comes to stay with her cousins and their family. She is not a typical Regency girl...she rides horses, she carries a gun, she's a matchmaker and she has a pet monkey. among other character traits.

Sophy is a delightful character, and though you know the end before it happens, you enjoy the journey there. Recommended for fans of Pride and Prejudice or Emma!

Things They Never Told Me in Library Science School Would Happen at a Public Library, #86:

That I would come to know the intimate workings of both a 150 gallon and a 300 gallon boiler, and how to keep it together when a grand total of none of them are working.

Bring a sweater and pray for parts.

Need a spiffy new pair of pants or a new sweater? Be sure to check out my latest sale...

Nothing like cleaning our your closet...and that of your sister! ;-)

I was thinking about this post of Michael's the other day, as I was discussing all the technogeek stuff I learned at IL05, and decided it was time for a review of how my library has progressed on the technology front.

Note that Michael's article was written a year ago, and we had barely scratched the surface...

(bold are Michael's words/suggestions, regular are mine)

10 Things A Library Can Do to Boost their Techie Stuff*

(*without breaking the bank)

Blog! I began the APL blog in May of 2004, and it's still going strong. I know I will go a few days without updating at time, but I do the best I can to keep it interesting and updated. Unfortunately, at the present time, I am the only contributor, and I would like that to change eventually.

Send out your Web content via RSS. Our blog offers RSS, though the rest of our site does not. In the coming year, I'm going to explore an RSS-friendly front page of our website, as well as continuing to promote some of our newsletters, and trying to tailor those to our specific library.

Use IM to answer patron's questions. I was finally allowed to kick off IM reference in August, and so far, the staff and the patrons have reported nothing but positive to me. I hope this service continues to grow in the coming months and years!

Investigate WiFi. We began offering WiFi in April of 2004, and were the first library south of Indianapolis to do so! Woot!

Meet and greet with other tech folks and librarians in your city, county, region. We all regularly attend ILF, ALA, IL05 and more, thanks to our ever-supportive Board of Trustees. We Hoosier librarians seem to cover a lot of ground. ;-)

Educate the staff about all the cool new things this post is about. It's been an upward battle at times, but I'm working to educate all staff on some of the cool techie stuff out there. My biggest success has been getting my reference assistant on board with things like Bloglines, Firefox, IM reference and more. She's gonna be a technogeek soon too, if I have anything to say! ;-)

Conferences are expensive but try to send some folks. See the answer for "meet and greet", above.

Let your new librarians stretch their wings. I'm the NexGen-librarian on staff, but I would LOVE to see more of the staff hop on the technology train and bring ME cool things to check out!

Visit Web sites like Webjunction to take advantage of all the FREE stuff they offer. Admittedly, I haven't used this as much as I could, but there's always a first time!

Read your favorite tech magazines but also the mainstream entertainment/computer/lifestyle stuff. Does People magazine count? ;-) I try to browse the current mags, but I find the best librarian tech information comes from superknowledgeable folks like Michael, Sarah, Jenny, Aaron, Jessamyn and Steven. These people rock my world, and I thank you.

And that's the end of the list. Not too shabby for a lil public library in Southern Indiana, I would say. And with any luck, more advancements to come soon...

Not in Kansas Anymore: A Curious Tale of How Magic is Transforming America by Christine Wicker

This was a really interesting nonfiction read. Wicker, a magical skeptic at best, decides to explore the "hidden underbelly" of magic.

She encounters self proclaimed practicioners of hoodoo, voodoo, elves, vampires, werewolves and more in her travels, and this book reads like a fascinating and weird travelogue through secret places.

Though few conclusions are drawn, she had done her research and tries to fairly portray her experiences in a very real, funny, interesting way.

A fascinating read!

Some of the more interesting links I've run across lately....

  • Harlequin is due to start producing NASCAR-themed titles. I am so there. :-)

  • As always, the J-Walk Blog perfectly summarizes Sony-BMG's new End User License Agreement. In all seriousness, I'll be reading up on this agreement to see how it may affect public library CD collections.

  • I've recently started using Planzo (first heard about it at IL05) as a way to have my trusty wall calendar in my office always available when I'm elsewhere. Also, big fan of the to-do list function. Of course, it's still in beta. ;-)

  • Which Serenity character are you? I was tied as Captain Mal and Inara (the tiebreaker made me Mal). Rawk!

  • So, then...what IS up with Jerome of NIN?

Twins by Marcy Dermansky

This was a spectacularly weird book, and yet, I couldn't stop reading it.

Sue and Chloe are identical twins, and this novel tracks their lives together from ages 13 to 17, through tattoos, pills, fights, abandonment, basketball, love and sex.

Initially, I despised Sue, and never really "got" her, though she's a fascinating character in her obsession with Chloe. By the same token, Chloe begins as the "favored" character, but by the end, you don't have much love or respect for her either. These are some seriously weird twins, and the story of their seriously weird adolescence, though this is definitely NOT a YA book.

Weird and startling, I recommend this. I think.

Thanks to all for the emails and phone calls in the last few days regarding the awful F3 twister that tore through Evansville on early Sunday morning.

I'm okay, as is TinyTown...the tornado was JUST south of us, on the other side of the Ohio River, and could have easily turned into TinyTown, but it continued on to Newburgh and Boonville. We called friends at the Boonville Library on Sunday morning to check in, and have been tracking progress of friends in Newburgh.

It's just an awful, awful situation, and incredibly bizarre to see OUR little corner of the world dominating CNN, MSNBC and more. Too bad it's for such a terrible reason...

Ironically, I heard the sirens go off about 1:30 on Sunday morning, and saw the HORRIFIC lightning, heard the wind kick up, then the pounding rain...but I had no idea what lay just south.

We were lucky.

In any case, we have power, our homes, and our friends and family. Thanks to all concerned enough to check in with me. I'm still kickin' in TinyTown. :-)

The Secret Lives of Fortunate Wives by Sarah Strohmeyer

This was just a FUN book. :-)

Full of catty details, funny situations, designer duds and the "dream life" we all want (but not really), I tore through this book.

With affairs, scandals, white collar crimes and the search for the perfect pepper jelly, the ladies of Hunting Hills (no hills, no firearms allowed), Ohio have very full days. When Claire Stark arrives on the scene as not only an outsider, but a working woman with a new husband, things will never be the same.

Recommended - the perfect beach read!

101 Things To Do Before You Turn 40 by Kristin McCracken

I know, I know...I can't help it. I love the lists of things to do. Maire is laughing at me right now. ;-)

This is a fun and really fast read, each "suggestion" taking up just one page. Some of the suggestions are funny (eat the worm in the bottle, make out with the best man, etc), and some are pretty interesting and though provoking.

Now, I'm no where NEAR 40, but I think it's always time to try and live a little. :-)

Lulu Dark Can See Through Walls by Bennett Madison

I've been wanting to read this YA book since scoring a cute bag with Lulu on it at ALA. Sadly, I liked the bag more than the book.

Lulu is an okay character - not a ditz, not a bitch, a little stuck up, but otherwise alright - but the more and more I read into this book, the more I disliked her. I just can't get on board with a book where the lead character doesn't somehow resonate with me.

I admit it...I skimmed the last few pages just to get done with it. That's never a good sign.

Jessy, our YA librarian, loved this book, so don't be discouraged - it just wasn't for me.

Anyone who's known me in the last few years has probably noticed something different about this November for me.

I've barely said a word about NaNoWriMo.

NaNo, the National Novel Writing Month, has been a part of my autumn for three years, and I have three completed novels (within the constraints) to show for it.

This November, however, I made the difficult decision not to participate.

Some of you know, and many do not, that my director announced his departure from APL a number of weeks ago. I have been named the Interim Director of APL, in addition to my normal duties as Assistant Director/Head of Adult Services/Webmistress.

He leaves in two weeks, and I've been desperately trying to get up to speed on taking over the reins in what I hope will be a smooth and successful transition. As such, work (and the recovery thereof) has dominated my October, rendering me useless when it comes to plot development, character development and more. I have a plot, I have characters, I even have the website ready to go, but I don't have "it" - the fire and excitement I normally have for NaNo. Right now, I'm too damn tired and overwhelmed to really do it well, and I really WANT to do it well.

I have elected not to apply for the directorship, much to the shock and dismay of my family and people who don't me very well. I have my reasons, some which are well understood, some which are not by those folks.

I like what I do. I genuinely like what I do right now, and I think I'm just gettin' good at it. I like collection development and reference, I like experimenting with new technologies and working on our website. God, sometimes I even like programming. I like my department, and I'm so proud of what we've done since I've arrived. And I have a lot of things yet to do - things I'm excited about, geeked about, and ready to tackle.

I like the people I work with, and the relationship I have with them. I truly believe that I can be a better advocate for this staff, and for maintaining our cohesiveness with a new director, if I can serve as a conduit between the staff and the new administration. Right now, I'm in between, and it works.

I'm young, and I have years and years to go. Some folks tend to forget I've only been doing this for three years - hell, I'm barely qualified for the job as it's advertised. I'm not even 30 yet. There's time for all this - because I know I'll be a director someday. So why not enjoy what I love doing right now, and leave the administration work until I know I'm ready and willing and wanting to take it on. I know I will, just not yet.

I know I'm going to kick ass as Interim Director. I know I'm going to kick ass in transitioning in a new director. And I know I'm going to kick ass in maintaining and cheerleading this staff of whom I'm so proud. I know I will - because I kick ass in general. ;-)

I'm sorry to those who are disappointed in me, or upset with my decision, but ultimately, it is mine. My own. (My precious.)

Some have said "yeah, but the money would be better, right?"

Yes, true, the money would be better.

But my psyche, my quality of life, my friendships and my general happiness might suffer, and a few more dollars to me isn't worth that. I know that about myself.

I just thought you all should know.

Anyhoo, back to NaNo....I've decided I'm still going to do NaNo - same rules, same regs. I'm just going to change the date a bit; instead of November, I'm thinkin' January. Stay tuned...

Thus, this autumn, it's NoNaNoWriMo. ;-)

After returning from Monterey last week, I received upsetting news from my sister.

Abby, her beloved Sheltie - my niece and one of my parents "granddogs" - succumbed to old age.

I cried and cried when I found out.

Abs and Alex (brother and sister) joined the family 13 and a half years ago, and have been part of every family gathering, holiday and visit, and (I believe) are partially responsible for healing wounds that were rent in our family.

She was a willful girl, right to the end, and we'll miss her.

Abs and Alex Abs

Our ProgramLast weekend, we hosted a murder mystery at APL entitled "Murder By the Book".

We had an outstanding cast (yes, yes, of course I was one of them), a great audience, and a fantastic time putting on the show! Any libraries out there, I highly recommend this as a fun program to put on!Marissa AKA Jessie Jones

Be warned, if you put on a murder mystery, it does require a little prep time. ;-)

In the course of several months, we bought a script, tweaked it, began rehearsals, promoted the program, created programs and "guess the killer!" sheets, bought a smorgasbord of food, engaged some "plants" in the audience to help us along, got props, and did some set dressing to the library itself.

Murder by the Book FinaleIt was a blast!

(Not to mention, I got to be a really, REALLY overethusiastic cop - sweet!)

Next year, we're planning to combine it with our Annual Gala - a big Friends fundraiser. Should be good times. :-)Dramatic Death

Plus, bonus, we got to kill off our director and one of our part time employees. Dramatic deaths, both, and FABULOUSLY acted. ;-)

(To see all the photos from the set, click here)

Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth by Andrew Smith

As you all know by now, I'm a big honkin' space race nerd.

I'm fascinated by the race of the 1960s, by the astronauts who flew, by NASA and all the problems and technology and time crunches they had to overcome to get us to the moon.

This book fell squarely into my radar path, naturally. ;-)

Smith catches up with the remaining astronauts who actually walked on the moon and then returned to Earth, and then had to live again - carve out lives, careers after NASA, relationships and more.

Some are reticent to talk (Neil Armstrong is famously quiet on the moon missions), some are eager to spread their word (Ed Mitchell founded a religion upon his return), some are still just thrilled to have been there and paint scenes of the moon every day (Alan Bean), and some are still conflicted about the whole mission (Buzz Aldrin). These complex, brilliant, rock star men are surprisingly normal, and have had the same struggles many do to come to grips with LIFE.

The book is intercut with Smith's own childhood, and his perception of the Apollo mission, which at first was jarring from the story, but which eventually grew on me. I really enjoyed this new "inside" look into the lives, brains and spirituality of these Moonmen.

A great read!

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

I was skeptical of this's been hailed as the latest Secret Life of Bees or Five People You Meet in Heaven, the book being hailed as THE must read, the book that book groups are clamoring for, the book that is being hand sold across the country.

When something is that hyped, I become less interested. Weird, I know.

Still, Gail and Nathalie (my colleagues) both said it was amazing, so I grabbed a copy for when I went to Monterey, and I have to was really, really good.

I was frustrated and angry through 3/4 of it, but that's because the author did his job of twisting emotions and NOT going where you want him to go. I was disappointed, sad, angry...but in a good way.

You come to love AND hate some of the characters, while still understanding their journey, and that is a rare gift in an author.

This is an eye-opening, culturally diverse, interesting read, and I'm glad I got past the stigma to enjoy it. Recommended!

Ten Big Ones by Janet Evanovich

The latest entry from Evanovich, and woohee! It's a fun one!

Ranger leaves town, leaving Stephanie to fend for herself as she is targeted for "elimination" by one of Trenton's gangs. Lula and Joe are still by her side, and a sidekick from a previous book makes a reappearance - one of my fave "guest" characters. :-)

Will this be the book Stephanie finds the batcave? Could it be? Would it be??

A fun, fast read with lots of intrique. Loved it! :-)

Note: I listened to the audio version, narrated by the unparalleled C.J. Critt. I find I can't read these books...I HAVE to hear her narration. She's wicked awesome.

Happy (belated) Halloween!

Per tradition, some of the folks at APL got into the costumed spirit of the season. Wanna see?

For the first time this year, instead of a Halloween party, we had trick-or-treaters come into the library for a treat bag. Good reception for our first we got to see cute costumes all evening!

And in the "oh god, my folks are going to see this" category...Becca and I coordinated outfits this year. Sister Becca and naughty schoolgirl Marissa. Classic.

Naughty and Nice


Naughty and Nice



The nun and the underage schoolgirl go bar hopping after work. Classic.

Happy Halloween!