why is it that i never really know what i'm doing?

i went to school. got the 27k in debt to prove it. they taught me all kindsa nifty stuff.

and yet, what do i do when an 8 year old pees on the floor in a stream from the self checks to the kids computers? (and just how big is an 8 year old's bladder anyway?) what do i do when a man with garlic and steak breath professes his undying love to me. again. for the 3rd time today.

this is a chronicle of what i did, when the crazy happened. which, in a public library is much more often than you'd think. and which, they also don't teach you about in liberry skool.

oh, and there's also a book review or two.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

minecraft shminecraft

so, last summer i got this honorarium check for speaking about disconnected youth to the wisconsin library association. i get requests 1-2 times a year and if i want to go to there, i accept. except that the places are always wisconsin or some other mid-west town and it's always freakin' january. who the hell wants to go to wisconsin in january?

so, i proposed a webinar. cuz i'm a genius. and they paid me some money, which, as a representative of my city, i am not allowed to keep.

so then, i was like, what should i spend this awesome money on? tools? PLA for our 3D printer? soldering irons to burn myself with? one of my employees said, 'dude, get minecraft. if you build it, they will come.' and i was like, 'wtf is minecraft?'

so, i looked up minecraft, i played a demo and i got stuck in an ocean and couldn't get out. what the hell is this pixelated crap and why the hell do i want it in my library? i considered buying lots of guitar strings. and i did more research.

basically, minecraft is a game where kids MINE things and use what they mined to CRAFT other things. also, they kill zombies. and lots of libraries and schools are on board. like this dude. and these people.

also, every single teen in the entire teen center was on minecraft one day. we have 18 computers! so, probably they will come.

so, i spent the cash on minecraft edu licenses for our maker space, MACH1.

man, i was sooooooo gung ho about having those minecraft licenses too. we have 12 computers. we could have at least 12 kids all working together diligently towards a common goal! we could send the kids on adventures and have them do scavenger hunts! we could build replicas of our library in the world with the kids! we could challenge them to learn more about chemistry, space, geology and more!

aaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnddddddddd then we couldn't get the damned things to work. first, i didn't have permissions to load software onto the computers, then the IT guys loaded it and couldn't get the computers to talk to the server. then the versions needed to be updated and the computers lost the server IP address every time we restarted. and blah blah blah. such is the way of technology at the library. fortunately, though i am not actually a real genius as i implicated above, i am stubborn as fu*k.

so, i finally got it working and the kids came! they came in droves. they RAN AS FAST AS THEY COULD INTO THE ROOM AND SLAMMED INTO THEIR SEATS.

so, yes, they come. but do they collaborate? do we set scavenger hunts? have we built a replica library????


we do absolutely nothing educational. not. one. single. thing. all we do is try to stop them from killing each other as they scream about who stole their diamonds and complain about how they're stuck in the nether and they want the entire game restarted. (what the HELL IS NETHER???)

*sigh* can't win 'em all.

at least i'm keeping them off the streets and out of your yards with spray paint cans. holla!

ps, if you are dying to start doing minecraft in your liberry or school check out this stuff:
EduCrew Youtube channel
World Library
Minecraft Edu
Minecraftedu Wiki
Beautiful Libraries Built in Minecraft (SEE, someone is doing it!!!)

Monday, April 14, 2014

never walk away from your 3D printer

so, back to that 3D printing being hard.
confession: the makerbot was locked away for MONTHS because i busted it. i printed a big job and walked away. unfortunately the build plate wasn't completely level and when i came back the next day, a HUGE glob of PLA was glomped all up on the extruder and had gone up into the fan and other parts and then dried.

the insulator and instructions
what was left of the glob from one side
i turned the printer back on and heated the extruder and was able to get the bulk of it off, but the remainder was still there, still stuck, still red as hell. why did i pick red PLA? red is the color of my mistake.

so, i called makerbot and asked them to send me some new insulator. the insulator material just goes around the extruder. it in no way at all was needed at this point, but i had to do something. then, i waited for it to come in and thought about how the hell i was going to get all that PLA off the extruder, fans and such.

soldering iron, meet PLA!!
so, after 2 months i finally hit on the brilliant idea of melting it off with a crappy old soldering iron. we got new soldering irons with lovely new tips, so who cares what happens to this one! yay! i am a freakin' genius. so, i plugged it in and started melting. and it worked. ok, no, it didn't work at all.

this looks worse. much much worse.
turns out that PLA is designed to melt at a very specific temperature range. once it is out of this range, it immediately cools and hardens. i totally knew this already. so the soldering iron melted the PLA, but not for long enough for me to pull it or scrape it off. so i held it there longer.

and i set it on fire.

yep, fire.

as in flames and smoke. in my office.

And I print too!!
so, when my husband called to ask what we were having for dinner, i was SUPER frustrated to say the least. bless him, he came down after work and helped me. he melted, he pulled, he scraped and he cussed and now, i have a clean 3D printer! here is the evidence:

Look at me! I'm so clean!!

So, the moral of the story is thus;
don't get a 3D printer unless you are married.

Friday, April 11, 2014

things that make me love my job the mostest

so, i just had a very stoned teen get into the elevator with me. he proceeded to explain to me what the arrows actually meant as opposed to what people thought they meant. there was a lot of pointing and 'do you understand what i mean?'
i told him i totally got it.
sadly, this was a gigantic lie. i am pretty sure he was saying that the elevator up arrow will bring you up and the down arrow will bring you down.
isn't that what they are supposed to do?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

where monsters dwell

a murder in virginia at the edgar allen poe museum is much too similar to a murder in trondheim norway several weeks later. in both, the victim is skinned alive and the clues are strange or absent. as detective felicia stone works the case she discovers that both cases are related to an old book made of human skin. a great mystery full of twists and red herrings, not too gory (even though the subjects were skinned). i've been reading a ton of authors from that part of the world lately, must be the whole girl who…series that raised them in popularity, but i'm glad, i really liked this book. if you enjoyed it, try kristina ohlsson's unwanted.

suitcase of stars

in the enchanted emporium aiby's family keeps track of, protects, trades in, and sells magical items. items such as enchanted pants that walk for you, swords that embody famous fighters and more. when the emporium and aiby's family appear in a sleepy scottish seaside town finley is dying to meet aiby and get to the bottom of mysterious happenings. finley and aiby have to protect the emporium from threats they never knew could exist. a fantastical read that kids are sure to love, full of action and adventure, a look at scotland and friendship. 

ninja librarians

The Ninja Librarians: The Accidental KeyhandThe Ninja Librarians: The Accidental Keyhand by Jennifer Swann Downey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

dorrie and her brother marcus are accidentally transported through their local library into a magical library of libraries. here, lybrarians are trained to go through magical doorways in time and help save the written word, and protect people's rights to free speech. these lybrarians are also trained in swordsmanship, hand to hand combat, stealth and more. dorrie and marcus are dying to become lybrarian apprentices, but the head of security is suspicious of them and about how they arrived. while they wait for the lybrarians to make a decision at the upcoming lybrarian's summer conference, dorrie makes friends with cyrano de bergerac and begins to learn swordsmanship so that she can deal with a bully in her home town. when dorrie finally makes it home though, she learns that the bully isn't really as important as she thought. original, fun, packed with action, i really enjoyed this book. and not just because i am a liberrian:)

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