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.

check out my YouTube Channel for live videos of liberry craziness!

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

Friday, May 22, 2015

an enchanting tale

A Nearer MoonA Nearer Moon by Melanie  Crowder
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Gr. 5-9
Luna lives in a swamp. It didn’t used to be a swamp. Back in Granny Tu’s time, it was a lovely flowing river, filled with sprites and fairies and magic where all of the people of the village were happy. Now the fairies are gone and the magic has turned dark and there is a sickness in the water. Or so they say. Luna doesn’t believe a word of it. She only believes what she can see and touch and hear. When Luna’s beloved younger sister Willow falls into the swamp and catches the river sickness, Luna’s family is torn asunder. Willow has three weeks until she wastes away and dies, just like their father did years ago. Luna’s brave journey to save her sister takes her to places her mother told her never to go and to the very heart of the dark magic. Told in alternating chapters of the past fairy time and Luna’s present, the reader learns how the swamp was made, but how will Luna unmake it? This meandering tale highlights the power of sisterly love in a truly enchanting way. The book is an easy read and will appeal to lower level/higher interest readers but it’s charming narrative will be sure to captivate everyone.

-Terry Ann Lawler - Phoenix Public Library, AZ.

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Guest Blog on the Making and Learning Blog

I recently was asked to write a guest blog on the Pittsburgh Children's Museum Maker Shop Blog, Making and Learning. Here it is for your reading pleasure:)


Thursday, March 26, 2015

future tech - 3D printed hands!

Future Tech – 3D printed hands

this summer MACH1 will be working with Project eNable, so this week Alex 3D printed a test project so that I could put it together and get a look at it.
here’s the basic lowdown for those of you who don’t want to follow a link:
-we use a pre-designed hand that we 3D print in parts in MACH1 and assemble
-we work with local teens to modify the 3D design to fit a kid who doesn’t have a hand, we get their measurements and find out what they want the hand to look like
-we give the new hand to the kid and boom, they now have a cool cyborg hand that they can *actually use*

so, there I was with a bunch of plastic parts on my desk and some wire and a computer tutorial:

 dudes, this tutorial is over an HOUR long!
this is when I discovered that putting together a 3D printed hand is *hard to do*

those tabs inside? man, they had to be hammered in, and the space to work in  was like 2 inches. the knots that I had to tie in the string… not easy either! I spent 2 hours working on the tension to get all the fingers to come down at the same time. needless to say, I got very sweaty and I cussed a little.
but, check this out: 

 it’s a hand, and it works!!! a kid could actually wear this hand and use it!! isn’t this world rad?
here’s the hand with Katie, daughter of the Scientific Mom:

 and here it is with Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton:

next stop? we are going to be looking for someone who can teach teens how to modify the files in a CAD software (a free one) and we’ll start printing hands this summer!
in case you are interested, here’s the parts list for all of the non-3D printed parts. if you happen to have any of it laying around, send it our way!

special thanks to my new friend sarah and her awesome high school students who have inspired us to do this project as well! check out the news article about her and her students!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

hot H2O spurts

so, the joys of running a make-shift makerspace never end. ever. literally ever.

ok, that's sarcasm. i don't mean to be sarcastic, but when i've just spent an hour rinsing plastic cylinders in a sink that has a push button water flow and the flow lasts EXACTLY 3 SECONDS and the floor is concrete and i'm wearing 3 inch heals, then i end up wanting to kill someone.

probably a plumber first.

the thing is, our makerspace wasn't built for makerspacing. it was a part of the library. and for many years it was a room full of books and very quiet people. now, it is 5,500 square feet of awesome, noisy mess. and we do amazing things like density columns where we drop random liquids into graduated cylinders and see where they settle.

then we add paint.

then we add screws and paperclips and plastic spiders:)

and then i have graduated cylinders that are full of oil, tempra paint, bakingsoda clumps and some hair. and i don't have a bottle brush.

and all i have is a sink in the employee area that does hot water in 3 SECOND BURSTS. for the love of all that is holy, who the hell can even wash their hands that fast????????

and then, i remember that i am the gal who did this when i forgot my  hand mixer at home:

so, when you come up to our space and you see the handle of the sink completely covered in duct tape, you know i needed to clean some cylinders.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Story Thieves

Story Thieves (Story Thieves, #1)Story Thieves by James  Riley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Gr - 4-6
When Owen sees Bethany climb out of a book he learns that she is half fictional and is searching for her missing father. While Owen sympathizes, he also immediately sees the possibilities for fame, fortune and glory. Owen’s real life is boring, his mother works too much, his teacher gives him stupid assignments and his classmates don’t get him at all. If Bethany would just take him into the new Kiel Gnomenfoot book, he’d save the day and be a hero! When Owen sneaks into the story and sets in motion a series of really terrible events, he realizes he wasn’t really ready for fame and glory. Owen learns a lot about how to be a true friend and what courage really is in this fast paced, action packed tale. A fun book that fans of Riley’s Half Upon a Time series will not be disappointed in.

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High Crime Area

High Crime Area: Tales of Darkness and DreadHigh Crime Area: Tales of Darkness and Dread by Joyce Carol Oates
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

8 new short stories by Oates tell the tales of several seemingly unrelated people. A terrified professor who thinks she’s being chased, a rich man who is at the end of his life, a sister who tries to help her brother out of a desperate situation, all people who are facing personal demons and who may or may not be fighting the right one. In several stories Oates investigates some of humanity’s less desirable traits such as racism and classism. Read by Julia Whelan, Ray Chase, Donna Postel, Luci Christian, Tamara Marston, and Chris Patton, this full cast creates a variety to the stories and gives the audiobook depth.  The strange and unusual tales don’t always make sense and aren’t really frightening, but Oates fans will enjoy her famous sparse prose and and tense style.

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HydeHyde by Daniel   Levine
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hyde, brutish and frightening; the monster we all know, or the misunderstood victim? At the end of his life, holding the confessions of Dr. Jekyll, Hyde finally gives his perspective, differing greatly from Dr. Jekyll’s. Hyde protected Jekyll as a child from an abusive father and seems to have been brought back to protect him again as a middle aged man. As the tale unfolds, the listener is left wondering, who really is the evil one? Is it Jekyll, is it Hyde or is it the mysterious person who seems to be stalking them both? A unique take on a beloved tale, Levine incorporates traditional techniques to create an authentic narrative bringing the seedy underbelly of Victorian London to life. Narrated by John Curless who captures both Hyde and his surroundings. This dark and suspenseful re-imagination of the iconic classic will be pleasing to fans of the original.

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