Thursday, August 31, 2017

FOSS Kits, special-delivery to SRCSA classrooms

Two-decker push cart, laden with two boxes in top compartment and one box in the bottom. The boxes are decorated with an all-over black and white marbling effect.

Active day for this “textbook librarian” at Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts, with a delivery of “Full Option Science System” Kits.The several-box Kits feature hands-on components for science education. I sorted boxes delivered from-district into complete sets and then delivered them to classrooms: two for second grade and two for sixth.

‘Asshole Survival Guide’ by Robert I. Sutton

Book cover, 'The Asshole Survival Guide, How to Deal With People Who Treat You Like Dirt.' Cover image depicts an antacid tablet fizzing in a glass of water, with other tablets arranged next to the glass.
Regular readers will know that I place ongoing importance upon the subject of bullying, which is not merely confined to childhood. Adults can be the targets and perpetrators too.

Since writing his book about “building civilized workplaces,” The No Asshole Rule, author Robert I. Sutton was besieged with questions by readers about what they should do to deal with abusive people at work. In The Asshole Survival Guide (Houghton Mifflin, September 2017), Sutton shares strategies and tips that he developed over the years.

Sutton cautions readers that there is no one strategy that will work for every type of jerk, nor easy and instant relief; his intention is for readers to decide for themselves, “which survival tricks and moves are best for navigating the particular ugliness you face.”

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Autism symbology: Puzzle connotations are negative

Blue puzzle piece with beveled edges, such as that used as a logo by Autism Speaks
A study finds that the puzzle-piece representation of autism creates associations that are overwhelmingly negative: “imperfection, incompletion, uncertainty, difficulty, the state of being unsolved, and, most poignantly, being missing” — all of which are regularly exploited by “Autism Speaks” propoganda.

The study asks, Is it time to ditch the puzzle piece as a symbol of autism?

In the authors’ words: “If an organization’s intention for using puzzle-piece imagery is to evoke negative associations, our results suggest the organization’s use of puzzle-piece imagery is apt. However, if the organization’s intention is to evoke positive associations, our results suggest that puzzle-piece imagery should probably be avoided.”

Friday, August 18, 2017

Cataloging textbooks: mobile set-up brings librarian to the books

Laptop computer open to library-catalog listing of individual items associated with a title. Piles of barcoded textbooks are next to the laptop.

This librarian is mobile! At Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts this week, I began cataloging textbooks in our resource-management system. Portable set-up lets me bring my work after-school into classrooms, where I can create item records and then check items out to educators.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

RVUUF hires new developmental minister

Among my professional commitments, I serve as web content editor for Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Ashland, Oregon. This morning I updated its website to reflect the recent hiring of Rev. Sean Parker Dennison as developmental minister for RVUUF. Welcome, Rev. Sean!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

JOANN’s ‘Cut Above’ customer-service award

Silver-colored scissors pin bearing the words 'A Cut Above' on its upper-blade and 'JAS' on its lower. The pin is attached to resist-dyed, patterned fabric in shades of blue, purple and black
I wear my newsboy hat out of resist-dyed fabric with my JOANN uniform
Recently earned “A Cut Above” award working as a Team Member at JOANN Fabric and Craft Stores. This silver scissors-pin is awarded for providing good customer service — and as this is something I strive to do in all of my professional relationships, it really means a lot to me, to have earned this recognition.

Back-to-school prep in SRCSA library

Finished out a busy week preparing for the new school year at Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts. By the end of my shift on Friday in SRCSA Library, I’d successfully located boxes of curriculum from a large go-through pile. I compared these resources against a check-list of items that had been requested by teachers. Then I loaded items onto a book-cart, and delivered them to classrooms. The “other side of the coin,” of course, is clearing away out-of-date items. With a book-truck and cart, I removed items from a classroom in preparation to send them back-to-district.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Escondido considering outsourced library management

For the San Diego Union Tribune, reporter J. Harry Jones relates that the Escondido Library Board of Trustees unanimously decided to recommend that the City Council not outsource library operations to Library Systems and Services.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Bicycle in SRCSA library

My blue Specialized Sirrus Sport bicycle with yellow and multi-striped bicycle helmet clipped to the trunkbag, parked in front of cupboards and counter-tops in an office-type setting

Brought my bicycle to work with me on Wednesday in the library at Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts. Once we’ve fully effected our move, this workplace scene will be a daily reality. I’ll be able to commute every day on foot, via public transportation, or on bicycle.

Also posted to Librarian on a Bicycle

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

‘The Blue Girl’ by Charles de Lint

Charles de Lint is one of my favorite authors, for his infusion of magic and fantasy into everyday modern cityscapes.

Having recently read and enjoyed The Cats of Tanglewood Forest, it was an unexpected treat to discover an uncorrected bound proof of The Blue Girl (Firebird, 2006) in my favorite second-hand bookstore.

This book is ideally positioned for inclusion in a Young Adult library collection. The protagonists, Imogene and Maxine, face bullying from the “popular” kids, plus having to deal with their growing independence while living under a parent’s rules.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Sorting textbooks in SRCSA library

Stacked clear bins with white lids, containing miscellaneous items, along with books in stacks or upright inside lidless boxes covering a large table-top surface

I returned this week, for the new school year, to Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts, where I work as a “textbook librarian.” (My official job title is “Instructional Materials Technician.”) Feels great to be at the renovated campus and in SRCSA Library, where I’m wading through math curriculum. I just feel so at-home when I am working in a library, and I’m grateful for this opportunity that allowed my family to return to northern California.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

‘In Real Life’ by Cory Doctorow

Anda, a teen girl who has just moved to a new school, is inspired to join a guild in a massive multiplayer role-playing game, at the invitation of the guild’s organizer, who came to speak to her high-school computer class.

A more experienced player soon invites Anda on missions with real-world earning potential: money will be deposited in her PayPal account if she kills “gold farmers” in the game.

At first, Anda is excited by the opportunity to earn easy money; she dispatches gold farmers, and has money to buy snacks for her Sci-Fi Club at school.

But Anda discovers that the gold farmers she is killing are not game-generated “bots,” but people who make a living under grueling conditions: during 12-hour shifts at computers, they direct their in-game avatars to collect artifacts. Their employer sells these resources to players who want to “level up” or acquire online possessions without putting in their own effort.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Xian Yeagan, arts council web master, dies

Head and shoulders view of Xian Yeagan wearing a straw hat and jacket against a backdrop of trees with a rock wall behind them
Source of image: Xian Yeagan’s Facebook timeline

Sad loss to the arts community in Lake County, Calif.: Xian Yeagan died at 7 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1, in San Francisco (according to posts on his Facebook timeline).

I knew Xian as an artist, and also worked with him through the Lake County Arts Council. He was its web editor, and I edited “ArtNotes,” the arts council’s quarterly members’ newsletter, from 2006 to 2010. I greatly valued his prolific contributions of photos and informative articles.