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Hello, I Must be Linking

I am having a blissfully good time in my new job as Community Librarian for Equinox, and just spent a grand time in Idaho talking about open source — a session that was taped, and when it is online will unfortunately reveal, in a shameful moment, that I am unclear about exactly where Idaho is (we did establish that it’s east of California and west of New York) — and in Wisconsin, at WilsWorld Camp and WilsWorld proper, where many wise people, including Roy Tennant, David Lankes, and John Blyberg, shared good stuff, and where I ate some awesome 15-year-old cheese and had a great talk with a waiter who is writing a history of the Drum and Bugle Corps.

But enough about work! I haven’t done a link roundup in ages, and have been tucking away goodies galore.

Don’t forget I’m holding a creative nonfiction workshop at Leon County Public Library on Saturday, August 9! Except — hrmm — I’m not on the calendar. No, really, I am doing this 1-4 p.m. on August 9. I will begin by reading from my essay “Range of Desire” in The Best Creative Nonfiction Volume 2 (as well as several other short works), and this is not the last time I will ask you to buy this book, review it on LibraryThing or Amazon, or check it out from your library. It’s still not in WorldCat (I’m looking at you, fellow liberrians) and doesn’t have an Amazon review, but it is in LibraryThing, where it has had five really good reviews and averages 4.5 stars.

As long as we’re talking up books, I read an early copy of Steinbeck’s Ghost, a novel for kids and other readers by Lewis Buzbee (disclaimer: former writing prof), and enjoyed it tremendously. Ghosts! Librarians! The Salinas library closure! Steinbeck! Boy protagonists! Friendship! Annoying parents! Action and excitement, a lot of it on bicycle! A trip to Monterey! Book suggestions galore! (I love a book that leads me to more books — and it takes a skilled author such as Buzbee to raise the shadow of other books amid his own.) And it’s being issued on my birthday, September 2! I love that.

(If I had to name a car, I’d call it the Galore — a much underappreciated word. The Galore: 60 mpg, and more cupholders than you know what to do with! No, I haven’t bought a car. I’m waiting for the Creator to park one in my driveway. Yes, I know I need to pull myself together and do something about that — though we’re not doing too badly sharing a car right now.)

Thinking about rethinking how you eat? I slapped together this bookbag of core books about food politics, the localvore movement, and sustainable/local/seasonal eating. What would you add? I don’t wish belt-tightening on anyone, but I don’t think it’s entirely a bad thing that we’re all far more painfully aware of what it costs to move a radish cross-country, and how we’ve been pawns of Big Oil and Big Agro. Read… and then VOTE.

Me as a Read Bookmark

I just know you want to download your own Free Range Librarian “Read” bookmark. Victoria Horst, director at Tifton-Tift Library, took this picture and ginned it up with her ALA Read Poster software. (I’m reading Pride and Prejudice.) (I’ll be darned — there’s a Flickr set for these posters. Go ALA!)

As Roy Tennant announced in LJ, the festschrift for Anne Lipow is out, with my biographical essay about her in it. Naturally, being a writer, I am critical of my writing and see all the rough spots. But the collection has wonderful writings from a great group, and you can read it online or buy the print edition for a reasonable sum. Anne, we miss you, but this book helps. *Hugging Roy*

I have a tin ear for poetry, so I am (sadly) poetry-ignorant, but this amusing post by poet Kay Ryan about attending a conference will ring a bell with even the most gregarious conference-goers from any profession. “What we have here before us is the exhilaration of bulk: bulk bags, bulk panels, bulk poets.”

While I was in Boise, Jamie Larue of Douglas County Libraries in Colorado (which is surprisingly close to Idaho, it turns out), shared his eloquent blog post defending his library’s choice to retain the title, Uncle Bobby’s Wedding. I think about librarians who believe librarianship is all about the latest sparkly gizmoes and then I read posts like this and I’m reminded of the quiet steady work many librarians do defending the right to read — “kewler” than any momentary gizmo. I’m not anti-sparkle, mind you — I’m just ever-mindful of the long haul.

Speaking of sparkly, I adore this Flickr set of Wii-playing seniors at the Skokie Public Library. My attitude about gaming is we hold programs on potting geraniums, so why not gaming?  The library should be a big ol’ info potluck — books, computers, games, and yes, even geraniums.

My buddies at My Former Place Of Work have revived their blog, The Centered Librarian. Some fun tidbits. I’ll tell you what I advised them, when they asked. When you begin or revive a blog, don’t post everything that you’ve been saving up right away. Pace yourself. Save some stuff for slow times. With a group blog, establish an editorial schedule and stick to it. If people get busy, recruit new voices.

Speaking of Blogger (which I advised them to move from, as it is really cruddified — it will do for now, but I suggest growing an exit plan), TechCrunchIT has a resonant post about Google acquiring and then slowly suffocating interesting startups. The angle that made my ears wiggle was how the employees have to learn a Google-specific group of languages, which makes them less marketable.

Sandy continues to interview with interesting churches. UCC has a placement process in which pastors file profiles centrally, which are then shared with regions the pastor is interested in. Some friends have contacted us to say they’ve heard about jobs but it’s in a church that isn’t ONA (“Open and Affirming”). Sandy has served well in several churches that weren’t (yet) ONA, but were open to change, seeking growth and leadership, and were very welcoming to us both. With the profile process, there’s a good chance we already know about the opening, but don’t let a label stand in the way of a tip-off.

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