Find Me at Whole Heart Local

Librarytour has cast off to sunnier shores at www.wholeheartlocal.com.

This blog will remain online as a reference.

January 8, 2012 at 8:41 pm Leave a comment

New Blog!

So.

I’m experimenting with expanding on the focus of what I write about here on the world wide interwebs. Part of my experiment involves taking a hiatus (permanent? unclear) from Librarytour to see if I can combine my library obsession with my love for the local and interest in connection and whole-hearted living.

What does that mean exactly? Drop by and find out!

NYPL lion

See you there.

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September 21, 2011 at 12:34 am 2 comments

Guilt = Checking Out New Books When You Haven’t Finished The Old

Does this ever happen to you?

It’s a nice day.  Tootle-loo.  You’re walking along, just stopping by the library after a full day’s work to spend some time on the internet.  Doing your thing.  Innocently, you pause in front of the new books non-fiction.

Uh, oh.

It happens: you see one compelling new book.  You pluck it off the shelf, leaf through.  No need to worry.  You’re just looking, right?

Mind you, in addition to copious amounts of cat hair and dust, your apartment back home is chockfull of reading material: owned books, magazines, comics, community newspapers, pretty circulars from Whole Foods . . . other library books you’ve barely even cracked.

And yet.

One, two, three, four new books.  At the self check-out.  In the bag!

Oh, the gluttonous guilt.

Does this ever happen to you?

IMG_4457

August 12, 2011 at 12:20 am 2 comments

Princeton Public Library

This past weekend, my parents (the original library-lovers in my life) and I visited the Princeton Public Library in Inscription near front door of Princeton libraryPrinceton, New Jersey.  It was one of those places that I immediately felt jealous of and wanted to have in my own neighborhood.

As the three of us wandered the three floors and took turns enjoying the third floor patio (lots of threes), I was impressed by the sense of light and space created by thoughtful architecture and systems for organizing.  At one point I passed the newspapers, tucked away in wooden shelving (cubbies, perhaps?) and thought, “Wow.  Now that makes so much sense!”

For me, the single disappointment was the teen section, a semi-distinct space at that far end of third floor children’s room.  Unlike the rest of the library, it gave the impression of being dark (though with floor-to-ceiling windows, how could that be).  While there, I spotted one teen, tucked quietly on the floor in the stacks.  My opinion not-withstanding, the room is obviously attracting it’s intended audience.

My Princeton Public Library favorites:

  • Outdoor patio
  • Quote inscribed at the front entrance “Libraries are not made; they grow” by Augustine Birrell
  • Fireplace seating areas
  • Swan in the children’s room
  • Children’s playroom
  • Huge, swoon-worthy new books section with lighted shelves and a special area for book-club selections
  • Microfiche reader machines
  • Serious, friendly, curious, and helpful staff
  • List of YA books that adults might like created by the teen section staff (?)
  • Wall of tiles
  • Connections magazine
  • Donors plaque (a big book in the front lobby, really a work of art)
  • The stairwell

Sadly, my camera died, so I’m reduced to disposables, which just don’t cut it in terms of expressing the look of feel of what I saw through the viewfinder.

If anyone has tips for how to make the best of a bad camera, I’m all ears.

August 10, 2011 at 9:39 pm Leave a comment

Camera Down!

Last month, my less-than-trusty Canon S series point-n-click experienced it’s last click. Tis no more. Poor timing for me, as I’m finally getting my sea legs in terms of posting to my blog.

What’s a girl to do?

Go disposable, seems to be the answer at this juncture. So, I bought my first super cheap (but also oddly expensive) disposable camera from CVS. Here’s a shot of Lincoln Public Library (admittedly cropped and altered in Photoshop) that I took during last weekend’s bike ride to Walden Pond.

August 4, 2011 at 8:08 pm 1 comment

Library + Park = Faint Worthy

This spring my partner David experienced car trouble (squeaky brakes, anyone?) so we took his vehicle to the J & P Garage off Harvard Street, beside the Honan-Allston library.  We paid a lot for those repairs, but we also gained a little something standing in the dirt of the street near the garage on a busy weekday morning.

Once upon a time D and I were Friends of the Honan-Allston library.  He lived nearby in Lower Allston, so we were frequenters.  We attended one library celebration party in particular where we won two prizes in the raffle!  One of those prizes was a free oil change at J & P Garage.  David has been getting his car repaired there ever since.

How do these stories relate to a faint-worthy park?

Well, on that dusty morning, I noticed a little something behind the library.  D and I peered through the chain link fence and discovered this treasure.

 

August 2, 2011 at 3:13 pm 3 comments

Blog Dreams

This evening I’m sitting at the Cambridge Public Library, researching and planning for my next move in blog-land. My head is full-up of lessons learned from WordPress Wordcamp, and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. There seem to be so many decisions to make:

  • Start a new blog or try to continue using Librarytour (I’m leaning towards a new blog, especially since I bought a domain)?
  • Use a free WordPress blog, or stretch my wings and skills by paying to have a site hosted?
  • Which theme to use?  What elements do I want to feature?
  • What to do about the fact that my digital camera broke and I’m grounded for a while in terms of access to new photos (of my own making)?
  • Will people like or be interested in my new blog?  Do I want them to be?!
  • Is it wise to devote my time to developing an professional/thoughtful online presence instead of working on the third draft of my middle-grade novel?

Last, and perhaps loudest in my head/heart, is the wish to just be in it already!  If there’s one thing that makes me uncomfortable (rest assured, there are many things), it’s being new.

Chalk drawing of the Copley Square Church

 

July 29, 2011 at 12:41 am Leave a comment

Thoughts on Goals

A few years back, I started a habit of setting goals for events and situations that folks perhaps would consider out of the usual range of goal-setting.  Examples: a week’s vacation in Maine, a potentially contentious meeting with a co-worker, family holidays.  I’ve found, if I put thought and intention into how I’d like to behave, what I’d like to  experience, it makes a big difference in my overall satisfaction.

So I set some goals for the first day of this weekend’s WordPresss Wordcamp -my first experience among other bloggers and WordPress users.

  1. Notice people and smile
  2. Embrace awkward
  3. Appreciate
  4. Wear nerdy shoes
  5. Talk to at least one person of color

I find conferences (or camps or tradeshows) a little awkward: all those strangers, spending hours indoors in just a few rooms, all that sitting and listening.  As much as I looked forward to attending Wordcamp, I knew there were some potential pitfalls that I wanted to avoid, hence the first goal.

Goal number two was inspired by a blog post by Berne Brown, the author (speaker?) of my favorite Ted Talk.

Number three is one of my standards, often interchanged with “practice gratitude.”

Number four was just for fun -most of my shoes are nerdy!

Number five is the elephant (in the room): I’ve come to understand that being one of just a few brown faces means I need to actively seek out the other brown faces.  Once upon a time I thought it didn’t matter so much: I like diversity, and all people are equal right?  However, lately I’ve started to wonder if there’s something a little funny about the Northeast (as a Yankee, I can’t really speak for other parts of the U.S.) -I’ve attended many conferences, concerts, and parties where other children of the African disapora keep such a distance from me, I wonder if there’s some magnetic force propelling them away.

So those were my goals for yesterday.  What will today bring?

(Thanks to Charles Williams for the photo snagged from Flickr.)

July 24, 2011 at 2:26 pm Leave a comment

WordPress Wordcamp

I’m excited to attend a wordcamp here in my own neighborhood! Hoping for lots of inspiration and good connections that can help me improve not only my own little blog, but also the website I manage for work.

 

July 18, 2011 at 9:40 pm Leave a comment

National Poetry Month



Every year since 2007, I’ve sent “poemcards” to friends and family in celebration of National Poetry Month. This requires me to scour books of poetry, searching for short, pithy gems. I squirrel poems away all year long, saving up approximately thirty to send in the month of April. I also need a stockpile of postcards, which can get expensive, so I usually pick up free ones around the city when I can (hint: lots of postcards available in the windows of cafes, at gallery openings, and in postcard kiosks at bars).

Last year, I got my hands on this postcard book that, yes, I admittedly paid for. Check it out, though, it’s collection of photographs of libraries! Cambridge Public Library and the Boston Public Library are featured numerous times, as is one prison library, and some impressively boring photos of people hanging out in library stacks. Overall, though, a lucky find!

April 8, 2011 at 8:37 pm 1 comment

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