Saturday, January 29, 2011

Blog Challenge #27

Alright, I'm putting my blog challenge into effect right now. My first topic is #27- How Woman Use Social Media. But I'm changing it slightly. I will be writing about how men AND women use social media... or something along those lines.

While doing research, I came across a few articles that stated that women tend to use social networking tools more than men (57% of Facebook is women), and that women often use social networking tools to make connections and share personal items from their life; whereas men use them as a means to gather information and increase their status. Alright, I'm calling "bologna" on that. I won't disagree about the women, but the men, really?! If by "gathering information" you mean finding out who broke up with who; and by "increasing their status" you actually mean comparing their conquests. Men do NOT use Facebook to gather information; comeon, it's not Google here! You don't go to Facebook to learn about anything other than a person's business.

Even if there isn't much of a difference between men and women when it comes to how they use social media, there is a difference between the age groups and what they are doing. We can all agree that ages 15-24 have the highest and heaviest usage rates, especially when it comes to mobile phones. I'm definetly one of those people. I'll check my Facebook and Twitter anytime...even during class (I know, I know, I should be paying attention; blah blah).

Older people (45+) typically use social networking to keep in touch with family and friends.  I set up Facebook for my grandpa and that's what he uses it for (even though he barely knows how to use it and asks me a million questions about how to do things). But there are a lot of older people who are tech savvy as well (also called Silver Surfers). I have come across videos of seniors who post regular videos onto youtube (Geriatric 1927, and Great Depression Cooking). I think it's fantastic to see that kind of social networking in seniors; considering my grandfather asks me to transfer his digital camera pictures every time I'm over.

Anyhow, back to the original thought; which has changed to how different age groups use social networking for different reasons. That is a textbook example of the Generation Gap: the difference in values and attitudes from one generation to another.  It makes sense that the older people use social media for keeping in touch with people, because it's basically uncomplicated. My generation (X and Y) is consumed by social media; whereas the Veterans (for the most part) are just beginning to step into that massive, unknown world.

Blog Challenge

 Alright, so it's Saturday. I'm sitting here drinking my coffee and waiting for my brain to start functioning, and I'm trying to think of something to blog about; so I start Googling. The Google gods have presented me with a blogger by the name of Chris Brogan and a blog topic of his called 100 Blog Topics I Hope YOU Write. Now my brain is slowly kicking into gear and says "hey, what a great idea, write about this!" So here it is: I'm presenting everyone with a challenge. Since Jordan presented the reading challenge, I'm offering a type of writing challenge; the blog challenge. Starting today, until the end of March (when I finish at the library), I challenge everyone to pick a topic off of the list and blog on it. I present this challenge to the library staff and encourage our readers to participate as well. If you don't have a blog, make one (it's me).

On your marks.

Get set.             


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Reading Challenges 2011 - I Challenge You!

Weekly upkeep of a blog, as I've learned, is a difficult task! It's hard to keep things interesting, unique and relevant to the audience. In my search for the next great blog topic, I discovered the multiple "Reading Challenges" online. Avid bloggers from all over have imposed challenges on their blog's followers, and since it's still early in 2011, I've decided to challenge you!

My challenge is a combination of two challenges that I've seen: the A-Z Challenge, and the "Reading from my Shelves" Challenge.

The rules are as follows:

• Read a book with a title that begins with each letter of the alphabet.

• If you have a book that has been sitting on your bookshelf, unread, that book takes priority. For example, I've had The Time Traveler's Wife sitting on my bookshelf for a while, so that would be my book for the letter T.

• If you have a blog -- blog about it! If not, leave us a comment on this blog, and let us know what you read and if you liked it.

• If you read a book you enjoyed, suggest it to someone else!

• You have until the end of December 2011 to complete this challenge... Hopefully you can succeed!

If you choose to sign up for the challenge, leave your name and URL below!

If this challenge does not interest you for whatever reason, a simple search for “2011 Reading Challenges” on Google will provide you with a whole list of other challenges that surely will! Also, check out will help you keep track of books you might be interested in, books you intend to read and books you have already read. Registration is quick and painless!

Best of Luck!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Utlimate Social Climb

Nerd, Bookworm, Dork, Dweeb, Techie, Trekkie, Weirdo. Whatever the choice of word, we all know one. The word and it's meaning has changed over the years; evolved. What we knew to be a nerd in high school is not the nerd we know of today. In high school, nerds are at the bottom of the social food chain; outcasts. Exiled for their superior skills or intellect. Socially rejected. They were the ones who got tripped in the hall and laughed at. They were the same guys that got cheated off of in class, and were spoken to only if it involved homework. Nerds were once portrayed in the media as wearing big thick glasses (probably with tape holding them together), wearing pocket protectors and running around reciting the periodic table. Now, suddenly, they're sexy? I believe two major aspects have fuelled this transformation.

Technology is really important to us. And the people who create it, develop it and know it become more important and are seen more throughout society. Just look at Bill Gates and Steve Jobs: The Ultimate Nerds. The rise and coloassal success of these two is the real life "Revenge of the Nerds." Whose laughing now? The nerds, because they're raking in tons of money using their brains; which they were once teased for. A 4 letter word, and a 6 figure income. Bill Gates was quoted saying "Be nice to nerds, chances are you'll end up working for one."

Television and the media have been exploring the lives of the nerds. The show "Big Bang Theory" has made women look at nerds in a whole new light. They've become attractive to us.  This attraction has grown and spread into the fashion industry (nerd chic) and now everyone loves nerds! Those cliched glasses have become a fashion statement, and cardigans are trendy and not something your grandmother wears. Now it's okay to be attracted to intellectual and smart men, and suddenly librarians are even more sexy (lucky for us who work at the library!)

Since these two aspects is something people see more regularily, we've begun to accept it more and more. We've been conditioned, in a way. Pavlov would be smiling. I'm happy for the nerds! It's the ultimate social climb. Win!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Classic Novels: Defaced or Face-lifted?

I recently reached out to my Facebook friends asking for ideas on blog topics, in which they all let me down; except my super nerdy and incredibly intelligent friend Matt (whom I adore, since he'll be reading this). He sent me some links and offered the idea of modern pop culture changing our perception of classic books.

The links that he sent me were of articles showing the new cover of Emily Bonte's, Wuthering Heights. This new cover looks like it's part of the Twilight Saga and has "Bella and Edward's Favorite Book" on it. Now, I am all for creating a new book cover that will grab someone's attention but this Twilight thing has gotten wwwaaaayyyy out of hand.

The vast majority of people have read the Twilight books (whether they would like to admit it or not). But what does Twilight have to do with Mr.Darcy, Elizabeth Benett, or even Romeo or Juliet? Nothing! It's basically false advertising. Now I'll tell you, one of my favourite movies is Pride and Prejudice(2006) and I'm one of those people who screams "books are always better than movies." I have tried time and time again to read Pride and Prejudice but I never get far. The English always stops me. It's like reading Shakespeare, you have to be able to understand the English. So really, if this classic novel now appeals to the Twilight crazed teens, buying the book probably won't get them far if they can't understand the language it's written in. 

Along with revamped (he he pun intended) book covers, we have also been introduced to (fueled by the Twilight phenomenon, of course)the re-written books of classic novels. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies came out in 2009, followed by Sense and Sensability and Sea Monsters, Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter. In theory, these books are a good idea; they take away the language barrier of the Old English and add a modern twist that appeals to people. Yet, to play devils advocate; it's lazy writing and kind of an insult to the original author. You wouldn't want to write an epic novel only to have someone just sprinkle some zombies into it and call it their own. Some might say that Bronte or Austin are rolling in their graves at their works of art being defaced.

I also believe that these 'Modern Classics' are a little overkill. It seems like every classic novel has been re-written. Yes, it's so lovely to ride on the coattails of the Twilight phenomenon and milk the idea for all it's worth. But seriously, everything is good in moderation; so stop. I don't want to start seeing Romeo and Juliet turning into vampires and dancing with werewolves while fighting off zombies.

In the end, I sit on the fence with this subject. I believe that the changes made to the classic novels are both defacing them and face-lifting them. Although I personally cannot grasp the language of the classics, doesn't mean I don't respect them. They're classics! You don't mess with the classics!  Yet, if the sales of these books have gone up and people are actually reading them, then that's great! But there's a difference between changing a cover to appeal to people, and re-writing the content of the book and putting your name on the page. But I know that alot of people don't share the same opinion. You decide, let me know. Share your comments.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Why I Love Working at the Powassan and District Library – Jordan’s Version

Please Note: I won’t always steal borrow Lisa’s blog topics! This one is fair game though, considering she borrowed it from someone else. And of course, I have a whole different set of reasons why working here is so enjoyable.

My love of reading started when I was a kid. In fact, I was the kid who could walk in a straight line with her nose in a book, and who spent my recesses in a shady corner speed-reading trying to finish the last few pages of the book before class started. In fact, one time, I promised my mom I was going to try and only read a chapter of a book each day… because the book was really good and I wanted to “save it.” This adoration for books meant a lot of trips to the local library. I learned as a child that the library didn’t just mean books though. It also meant the TD Summer Reading program (stickers for reading books – cool!) and playing on the computer in Cyber camp. When I started looking for a second job in June 2009, I had a brilliant idea. Cue the light bulb above my head…. The Powassan Library.

I love working at the library because I still get to participate in the TD Summer Reading program… except now I give out the stickers. And I still get to play on computers in Cyber camp… except now I’m the one showing the kids how to do cool stuff on the Internet. Despite the slight transition in my role at the library from my childhood to the present, I still get the same enjoyment out of this place that I always did!

It’s hard for me to narrow down some of the best times at the library because I now have almost two years of great memories… these are some of the highlights though:

·         When I came to the realization that my freaky organizational skills (I’d say borderline obsessive-compulsive) were actually useful in my new workplace… there are always books to be shelved, and things to be labelled!
·         Showing seniors how to play Wii on the Seniors Day as they laughed and cheered each other on
·         The day Critters and Kids came to the library and I got to have a snake around my neck… I bet that doesn’t happen at too many workplaces
·         Watching kids sit down and read, laughing into the pages of the book they’re reading
·         Being able to recommend books that were once my favourites to younger patrons (Baby Sitter’s Club!)
·         Meeting new people every day and explaining to them all that we have to offer – They’re always surprised to learn of the services we have here
·         Doing paper mache with twenty kids wearing garbage bags… Messy? Yes! Awesome? Definitely!
·         Seeing the look of satisfaction when patrons realize they do know how to use computers after five hour-long classes
·         When I was emptying the paper shredder and somehow missed the bag… Confetti everywhere!

I look forward to going to work every day, and I’m thankful for that because I know not everyone can say that. The Powassan Library is not only a great environment to work – but it is a great place to be!

From My Bookshelf -- Jordan's Favourites

From My Bookshelf – Jordan’s Favourites: Volume 1

If you’ve been following our blog at all, you might remember a “From My Bookshelf” post written by Lisa. Since I’ve accepted some of the responsibility of this blog, I thought providing a list of my favourite books would be an appropriate way to start.

Ellen Hopkins – Identical, Glass, Burned, Impulse
à The first thing you’ll notice when you pick up an Ellen Hopkins book is her unique writing style. Her books don’t read like normal novels – they’re really a bunch of short poems telling a story. This didn’t appeal to me at all at first, but after reading a few pages, I’d forgotten about the once-distracting layout and could not put the book down. Hopkins uses her teen characters to explore many controversial subjects: drug use (Glass), abuse (Identical) and teen suicide (Impulse). While her books are clearly aimed at teens (you can find them here in the Young Adult section), I find them compelling and

John Grisham – A Time to Kill, Bleachers, A Painted House, The Innocent Man
à When anyone asks me what my favourite book is, I answer A Time to Kill by John Grisham immediately. If you haven’t read it, read it. I don’t want to give a summary of the book, because I don’t feel as though I could possibly do it justice, but I will say read it, read it, read it! Other favourites include Bleachers and A Painted House which are two of Grisham’s novels that surprisingly do not involve a court room. The Innocent Man, Grisham’s non-fiction book, was also excellent.

Janet Evanovich – One for the Money, Two for the Dough, etc.
à Meet Stephanie Plum: a middle aged woman living with her hamster, who doesn’t care much for her personal appearance and is a definite klutz… and a bounty hunter? Yep. You might have noticed that I enjoy books with a law and justice theme. This series falls into that theme, but unlike my previous choices, Janet Evanovich’s books have a quite hilarious tone. Evanovich now has sixteen titles in this series, and while I will admit I’m not quite caught up with the escapades of Stephanie Plum, I certainly intend to finish reading the series… someday.

Jeannette Walls – The Glass Castle
I haven’t read a whole lot of non-fiction books, and when I do, it’s usually something from the 364.1523 section. For those of you who don’t speak Dewey, that’s the true crime section. (I know, surprise, surprise…) One day, when I was browsing the Chapters website, I saw this book and ordered it. I loved it! Now, this book holds an esteemed position on my shelf of favourites.

And there you have it, my current favourite books. Feel free to comment – you could leave the titles of your favourite books so I could check them out, or let me know what you thought of the titles above!

Friday, January 7, 2011

How the Library is getting better, by the day.

The Powassan and District Library is improving everyday.  We're like a camelion; adapting to the changes in the world around us, yet staying exactly the same.

Within the last couple months, we've seen the unveiling of the CNIB Daisy readers, and Overdrive eBook services. We're "hip" and "modern" with the new technologies that are available. Times are 'a changin', but we can keep up.

Speaking of keeping up with the times; computers, technology, eBooks. We teach computer classes ALL THE TIME on different topics.  If you're a beginner and barely know how to operate the computer you're on, we have a class for that (January 25th.) Want to know Internet Basics? We have a class for that. Want to have fun with your digital photos? We have a class for that too! See, we're keeping up with the times; and we want to help you keep up too. Just ask one of our lovely employees and sign up for a FREE computer class.

Along with the CNIB Daisy readers, we've also got a ton of new Large Print books. What other new books have we got? We got in close to 100 new Westerns. Along with those, we're constantly ordering new titles to add to our shelves. We're getting so many new books that there's barely any room on the shelves. You actually might've seen me shifting the shelves (more than once) in order to accomodate all the books. Soon we're really going to need to build that addition that we're hoping for (donations, donations, donations!) Even after the massive weeding and discards, we STILL don't have enough room. But we can accomodate you.

We're catering to our community by thinking of YOU and bringing in what YOU demand (not that we'd respond well to demands, but you get the point.) We're anticipating of your needs and we're doing our best to satisfy them :)

Social Media: The Good, The Bad and the Potentially Hazardous

Facebook, Twitter, Blog, MySpace, Youtube, Skype.....and the list goes on. And on. And on. And on.

Social media is fun, engaging and definetly addicting. Its numbers have grown substantially in the last few years. I remember being talked into Facebook in 2007, and here we are 4 years later, with 10 times the amount of social tools at our fingertips. I'm on the fence as to whether social media is good  or bad for society.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE social networking. I love my Facebook and my Twitter. It's convenient to keep in touch with friends on Facebook, especially when it comes right to my Blackberry. Which brings me to another point. I've gotten so used to communicating by texting, or email or Facebook; that I hate having to actually use the phone to speak to someone. I'm very social when it comes to social media, but I've lost my personal touch when it comes to the actual telephone! Ridiculous right? I know what the problem is though; I've gotten lazy (and it's not just me.) It's just so much easier to text someone than to take the time to call them. Convenience=lazy. Social media is definetly good when it comes to networking. Businesses and companies have begun to network and advertise using the social media tools. Yet, it's not necessarily always for the best. There have been horror stories about companies who have had bad publicity through social media.

This leads me to the cons of social media. One thing I hate about Facebook or Twitter, is when someone writes their life story on their statuses every 5 minutes. Nobody really cares. No-one want a play-by-play of your life; it's annoying and gets in the way of seeing what other people are up to.  Also known as Creeping. Facebook Creeping has become part of our vocabulary as social media has flourished. Urban Dictionary defines Facebook Creeping as: an act in which one looks at a friend's/stranger's facebook profile, pictures, and recent activity. Everyone denies their involvement in this act (when in reality most people do it when bored), then in turn accuse someone else of doing it later. What a hilarious definition. I literally just laughed out loud. Because it's true! Social media has turned everyone into a 'creeper', and it's socially acceptable.
People who can be coined as 'creepers' are usually mildly addicted to Facebook/and or any other social media tool they use. I know when Facebook was becoming popular for my generation in 2007, it led (and still leads) to procrastination. School work being put off. Not good. Even relationships have suffered when it comes to social media, which leads back to the fact that people are slightly addicted. 
Some people don't even think before they post things like statuses or Tweets. Don't assume that your statuses won't go beyond your friends, or don't forget that you've added your boss onto your Facebook. People have  been fired over Facebook statuses or Tweets. And some people just go waaaayyyy too far with the information they share; whether it be TMI (too much information) or whether it be blatant bullying towards another person.  Even identity theft has occured through social media.

In the end, I love social media and believe that in moderation, it's okay. Use it for good, not evil. Remember, the old saying goes "think before you speak".... or Tweet. Or Facebook, Youtube, Skype, etc. Use your head. At the end of the day your only protection with social media, is your sound judgement.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Why I Love Working at the Powassan and District Library

I've been researching blog topics for the last hour or so, and I have virtually come up with no ideas (so if you have any, let me know!) I re-read the Callander Public Library's first blog post on why she loved working at her public library; so I decided to do my own version.
Before I started at the library, I had been working in security for the last 2 years; and I hated my job for the most part. Now every time I talk to a friend or family member, they ask how I like my new job... and my answer is that I love it. Granted that it isn't as exciting as arresting someone, it makes me happy.  You always hear that it's the little things in life that bring you joy. It's true. Not only do I get to wear "normal people clothes" (compaired to an unflattering uniform), but I get to be in an atmosphere that I LOVE (filled with books and happy people.) Working at the library, you get to know the regulars, and you bask in the simple joys your job brings you; the little smiles that make your job worthwhile.

The twins that come in after school and play games.
Hearing the knitting group laughing downstairs on Friday mornings.
Our library regular who comes in and tells us that we're late for work.
Having a couple of the regular men tease me when I'm sitting at "their" computer.
The one morning when our CAP centre was filled with Amish men, and they made a joke about not letting any more Amish in.
Simply hearing children laugh and play in the kids section.
The family that comes in and takes out some DVDs for the weekend.
Being able to help people with the simple (and slightly more complex) computer problems.
Seeing the beautiful pieces in our Art Gallery.
Hearing the excitement in someone's voice when you call to tell them that there's a book here waiting for them.

The Powassan and District Library isn't just filled with books. It's filled with laughter, knowledge, fun, opportunity and community.

To get back to the Powassan Library home page:

Did you get an eReader for Christmas?

Since Christmas ended, we've been getting a lot of inquiries about eBooks. Clearly the Christmas gift of 2010 was an eReader device. At least once a day, the library staff is explaining to a patron how to transfer their borrowed eBooks to their device. Now, not to say we're not glad to assist; it's always rewarding to have been able to help someone!

If you have a new Reader device and you aren't sure how to use it, or aren't sure how to use check out library eBooks (Overdrive), then we have JUST the solution.

Jordan will be holding an Overdrive class on Monday, January 10th at 1:30pm. I will also be holding a class in the evening the following week (once I figure out my school schedule.)

Feel free to bring in your Reader device, your laptop or a notepad (so you can remember how to do it once you get home.)

Call us at the Library @724-3618, or stop in to sign up!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Powassan Purls

Everyone keeps asking us about our tree. Isn't it lovely?! You're jealous. You wish you had a tree as awesome as ours!

Last Friday, I arrived at work to see a group of women gathered around the tree. I wondered if we were giving something away with the amount of people waiting to get inside! Then I noticed that they were hanging things in, and around the tree. I kind of wondered what was going on, but figured that there had to be some sort of explanation as to why our tree was being dressed.Of course! It was our knitting group, who had come up with a name for themselves; the Powassan Purls. They gather every Friday morning, bright and early (well, 10:30 when we open).

I always enjoy hearing those ladies downstairs, laughing and having fun while working on these beautiful creations. In addition to our (wicked) tree, there is more to see in our display case inside! Come in and see the handiwork of the Powassan Purls :)

To get back to the Powassan Library homepage: