Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Been in the Garden

In case you've been wondering about the slowdown here it's because I've been out in the garden and working on THIS.

I've planted two large beds and one 20 foot sycamore. I still have more to do with each area, but I'm taking a break for the week. I've also been focusing on the tomatoes, peppers, lime tree and basil plants. By next year I should have a pretty good spread in the back yard, and plan to be working on some shade in the front yard.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Team Destroyers

When I'm thinking about work recently I'm thinking about this:

"Watch Out For Team Destroyers!

Here are some of the problems that can rip the team-building process apart.

Jealousy. Be on guard for jealousy whenever a new member is hired into the group. Go out of your way to tell other team members how much their work is appreciated.

Cynicism. Some people are just negative by nature. Others might feel your company can't possibly prosper or they just don't like small companies, big companies, or whatever . . . . Be sure you are emphasizing the company's positive achievements to the group as a whole. And don't hesitate to confront any openly cynical individual and demand their behavior change at once.

Lack of confidence. Some people lack confidence in themselves and view attacks on their opinions as attacks on themselves, responding with statements like "Are you telling me my fifteen years of experience don't matter?" Stop any discussion like this immediately and, in a private one-on-one meeting, patiently point out the defensive behavior"

More at:

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Geograghy of Organizations

Some organizations are like glaciers, some are like springs. Some organizations are like lava and some are just rocks. Think about them:

Glaciers--big, cold, slow moving :: occasional changing but otherwise just pushing obstacles out of the way over a few million years

Springs--attractive and cool :: provide life and sometimes create their own micro-environment where plants and animals survive that cannot otherwise live in the surrounding ecosystem (think of an oasis)

Lava--slowly flowing but hot :: creates something new as it settles into place and begins cooling

Rocks--created by year after year of adding new sediment and years of constant, intense pressure :: static-only changed by some outside force

Which one of the above best describes your organization? I'd like to think that where I work is like a spring or lava--things change over time as we work to create a new environment. I think we're like a spring when we work to make the library a community center where people come to read, learn, and share. Then again we're like lava when it comes to some old-school library things like date due stamping (we're working at a slooooow shift away from the stamps).

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The back-end

How can one quantify all that is done on the back-end of a project, program, or other creation to others?

A lot of our time is spent working on those one-hour events or one-page newsletters, but how do you get that across to those who are either simply unaware or are critical of the time spent.

I know one thing some people do is just continually changing the way that something is done or adding new "features" to be able to show off. This is unsustainable. I know that things in life change, but we can't just constantly "upgrade" or change just to change.

Monday, March 9, 2009


The brain hasn't been working well recently.

I think I've been pre-occupied with baby stuff, gardening, being constantly amazed by people at work, etc.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009


I bought a lime tree today to have as an indoor plant...for now, though, I have to stay with the grocery store limes.

I've had great luck so far with the basil, tomato, bean, onion, and pepper seeds I planted last week. I have a good selection of everything germinating and turning in to some nice little seedlings.

The plan is to have basil and a pot of peppers in the kitchen. Outside I'll have a at least two tomato plants, one or two bean plants, and a pot of peppers. It looks like I'll have a few good pizzas over the course of the summer...yum.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sliding House

Nothing to do directly with libraries...but it is a neat rethinking of something we all think we fundamentally understand. Even basic ideas/structures can be re-thought and re-created to make something similar to what we expect, but completely different at the same time:

Learn more about the sliding house at bd online

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Book Ranching

Some call it collection development, but I think Book Ranching could be a term that more people can understand.

Think about learn who produces the best, you occasionally go look for bargains in stalls (cattle auctions or library conferences), there needs to be regular culling of the heard to keep things healthy, and you always want to be sure that you've got the leanest, meanest grouping you can get.

What do you think?

Friday, January 2, 2009


Do people rearrange the furniture in their houses as much as they do the furniture in the library?