Nicole\’s got a library blog (again)

small vacation
July 19, 2006, 3:55 pm
Filed under: Food & Dining, New Jersey, Nicole, Pine Barrens, Sea Isle City, vacation

Wharton Forest

This doesn’t have much to do with the information world, but I wanted to tell a little bit about my little mini vacation this past weekend. I’ll even give away my secret favorite Jersey shore beach location! After the jump! Continue reading


A weekend and a bit on gaming

I decided not to make this blog much about my personal life, but to include reflections here and there in order to make this blog as honest and open and possibly, complete, as possible. 

Philadelphia has been nothing but rain over the past week or so with destructive consequences. I wish nothing but the best for those who are undergoing the unpleasant and emotional task of cleaning up following the flooding. Luckily for me, my life was more or less untouched. 

I had a fantastic day on Thursday working at the zoo again for the first time in such a long time. I did a Zoo On Wheels program entitled “Built to Survive” at a summer camp sort of in the Kensington/No Libs section of the City. I don’t want to say that I forgot how great it feels to present in front of all those kids, because I hadn’t forgotten – but I definitly experienced some emotion that I haven’t felt in some time. 

Since Saturday was my only real weekend day last week I of course wanted to go to the beach. The drive to Sea Isle City down Route 55 to all of the small pine barrens roads bouding Belleplaine constitutes one of my favorite drives. I’m normally so excited to get to the beach however that I get impatient even through the thick of that forest. A nice time was had although the water was absolutely shockingly freezing! 

I’m looking forward to posting following the Fourth of July since it will be my first Fourth of July spent in Philly. Usually on the Fourth I end up someplace else although Philly is home but this year will be different. I’m looking forward to the fireworks and of course whatever it is that is going to happen when Lionel Richie takes the stage. 

After a busy weekend and a bloglines loaded full of clippings, I’m going to be spending the next hour or so posting some of those clippings. Not too mant because I tend to clip something and then upon review wonder what I was thinking.

The YALSA Blog posted the following on June 28:

Technology of Gaming

Posted by Jami SchwarzwalderTeens and TechnologyEli Neuberger
Why games are a good fit
84% of kids 12-17 are internet users
Of these users:
75% are using IM
81% are playing games

Its not just about gamers. Its common cultural currencies.
From 2000 to 2004 the number of teens playing games jumped from 66% to 81%

Its an $11 billion business world wide
Fundamental part of Media appetite

Video games are older than video cassettes

Try to have something for everyone

It reaches boys, 95% of teenage boys play video games

Only 12% of games sold in 2005 were rated M
There are a lot of adult books on public library shelves as well

ESRB ratings are a great standard

Sometime in Mesopotamia a librarian said “this is a library not a place for paper”

Look at the garbage on our shelves
Libraries are in the content business
Games are content too.

We need to meet the recreational needs.

If we stake our business on recreational reading we may miss generations of users

Games are literacy activities.

Its important to not think of video games a mentally castling activity.

Having a video game event at your library, it takes something someone does alone at home, and turns it into a social event.

This is not outside of a core services. Do we consider story time as a lost leader.

Parents do not complain. Resistance is internal.
Outstanding way to become a focus of the teens enthusiasm.

A great way to promote library materials, but don’t hand out bibliographies. Just have the books on the table and displays.

A way to say we are about social events. Offer a non commercial space.

Seen sportsmanship like he has never seen before.

Audience: Do you have behavior issues?
It’s a library it should be loud. With a tournament you have a build in equality so there isn’t as many issues. When you have these events you develop a relationship with the teens, so when you have issues you can just go talk to the person, and say “You need to calm down or I’ll have to ask you to leave” which works

You don’t have to buy anything. A tradition is that at gaming events gamers bring their own equipment. You just need a projector.

If you buy the equipment you can have partnerships, but this will be used by more people than the books in Print catalog. You can use old TVs , if you have 8 it allows the teens to each have them on their own TV, so that they are completely immersed.

AADL-GT run a tournament with Mario kart and Supper Smash brothers.

Email Eli if you want a copy of the DVD he made about the first drama, that captures the excitement, the drama, interviews with the kids, and color commentary.

Teen blog


Entire prize budget came from friends.

Matt Guillete

This generation are producers. For more information read RenGen

We can be more than just a collection.
Place people can develop social interactions and people can create things

The Amazing Beth Gallaway

Search institute came up with 40 developmental needs of young adults

Teen developmental need is that they need to be able to be physically active, they need to be social.

Teach ethical issues.

There are elements of story in games. If you can get kids talking about the movies, tv shows, or video games, you can get them to tell you about what they enjoy about the media.

Let them play with tools and see how to use it. Then ask how it went, and give them hints and tips. Meet them in their space.

Gamers are technology enthusiastic.
Keep up with the gaming industry.

Try some games.

Treat it like story time, and make it an event for all ages. =


a backbone
June 28, 2006, 3:22 pm
Filed under: About Me, Nicole

I’ve only been a public librarian for a short time so far, so I do speak with some of that “newbie” arrogance, and I’m completely aware of it. With that said, I remained focused throughout my Drexel time on library service to immigrants in various forms. I think its important and seems to be a good place to begin applying my broader interests pertaining to the library and public service.

I knew that the immigrant issue was a ticking time-bomb of sorts below the surface some time ago — but little did I expect for it to explode so suddenly into the public consciousness as soon as it did.

I was happy to see that the Pew Charitable Trusts Hispanic Center published important data pertaining to the characteristics of immigrants in America today. I will link to the original pdf’s later (since I’m enjoying a lull in the chaos on the ref desk right now). Here’s some of the stats that I noted a few weeks ago:

From the report entitled Size and Characteristics of the Unauthorized Migrant Population in the U.S.:

    About 7.2 million of the unauthorized population were employed in March of 2005, amounting to 4.5% of the total civillian labor force. However, they are :

24% of the total workers in farming occupations.

17% of the total workers in cleaning

14% of the total workers in construction

12% of the total workers in food preparation

The following is from the Pew Hispanic Center and Kaiser Family Foundation public opinion poll of 2003/2004:

 Latino immigrants are slightly (57%) more likely to say that immigrants have to learn English than native born Latinos (52%). This is held constant irregardless of education or income.

 Foreign born Hispanics are more fervent that English be taught to immigrant children compared with native born Hispanics (96% to 88%).

Like I said, I’ll post the actual links when I get the chance!

A beginning
June 26, 2006, 2:57 pm
Filed under: About Me, Nicole

Once, when the well known and award winning librarian blogger Joyce Valenza spoke to my Resources for Yound Adults class at Drexel University, she told us not to write until we had found our “voice” in blogging. In my opinion, a persons’ blog shouldn’t simply be another aggregator. Additionally, I don’t know how much commentary or editorializing is too much. To be honest, I don’t know if I have that much to say.

With that said, I’m giving it a whirl. I’ve come to WordPress after using it on two projects in the past: 1) BigStereo and 2) Firsts. I was using Mac’s iLife software and my .mac account to play around with blogging for a little while but don’t have as many opportunities to post when I use that eventhough, (hush) I prefer it’s interface! I don’t use macs at work, so my potential blogging time was limited to home only, which simply isn’t all that convenient. I should give iLife and .mac amazing praise though (and probably will continue to do so) because I do use both to maintain my professional portfolio and my iDisk (although I won’t tell anyone where they are found!)

   So here I am wordpress. Its going to be interesting while I learn how to import my RSS feeds and stuff like that. I’m forcing myself to stick with this now because I feel like I “talk the talk but don’t walk the walk” as I am a vocal advocate of new media and web 2.0 in the workplace and in everyday life.

   To begin, I want to lay down my goals of maintaining a blog, which of course is an absolutly pointless task and busy-work. However, I’m not ready to do that quite yet. So give me a week or two and I’ll produce some kind of a mission statement on what  plan to do with this and what I plan to cover.

about me
June 26, 2006, 2:57 pm
Filed under: About Me, Nicole

For someone who is trying to be a promoter of information, I sure lack a lot of it about myself. I’m not a big photo person and rarely have a variety of photos of myself. So that is that. I end up using the same photo for everything. Someone take new pictures of me please!

I’m currently a public librarian at the Levittown branch of the Bucks County Free Library System. I’m considered part-time reference staff and although I’ve been in the position for a relatively short amount of time, I feel like I have a more important role in my branch and I feel like I’ve been there for some time. That is important to know. I would love to have more time to do my work at my library (hint, hint).

I just completed my Master of Science degree in library science from the Information School at Drexel University in early June of this year. I entered the program wanting to be (although I didn’t know there was a name for it at the time), an Outreach librarian for an urban public system. Early in my degree program I fluctuated between fields: sometimes I wanted to be an academic librarian, sometimes something else, sometimes not a librarian at all. Those times reinforced, along with a stint at a research library, what I’d really like to do and what I really should do: be a public librarian. Which is what I do now. I just want to do it full time and you know, be able to go to the dentist once in awhile (I will stop beggining now).

Periodically, I will post some thoughts on some of the major assignments that I completed in my coursework, because they are each important to me and really important to understanding who I am as a budding professional.

I reside in center city Philadelphia, in the G-HO section of the city (although some will debate that I actually reside in Fitler. but I don’t care, either are great. maybe I live in G-HO-ilter Square? Nah….)