Thursday, March 31, 2011


Well everyone, this will be my last blog post, as my time with the Powassan Library is up. Through these last 6 months, I have met many wonderful people, made friends, shared laughs, and learned. Who else could say that they could paint on windows, make slime, and blow up pop at work?

The Powassan and District Library has helped me grow. I've learned a lot working here, much of which will help me in my future ventures. Not many people can say that they've worked on websites, blogged, and learned a bunch of new technologies while at work. I've gotten to attend meetings (and eaten lots of homemade goodies while at them), assemble computers, make posters, and teach cybercamps.

After working in security for the past two years, the library was definitely a huge change of scenery. But I didn't know that working here would make me so happy. Who knew that this little library; with its (cramped) rows of books (some of which are older than me) could have so much character?! I was not prepared for this little library to steal a piece of my heart. But it has. And it's hard to believe that this will be the last day that I will come in and crack jokes with Alfie, chat with Helen, or laugh with Kristy and Debbie. The library can't get rid of me, even if it wanted to (Seriously.. Doctors are still working on a cure). With that being said; this isn't goodbye, it's see ya later! (Literally, because I live a  block away.. and I have books checked out, so I have to bring them back).

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kids, Knowing, and Creativity

Following Jordan's blog post on Three Beautiful Things, I've starting following the TBT blog daily and have also decided to do a library edition.

1. Kids
- When I started school again in January, I took over the Cybercamp on Saturday's. Now for those of you who aren't familiar with Cybercamp: it's 1 hour of learning and fun for kids (and me!). For the most part, I have the regular kid, who I've gotten to know, and look forward to hanging out with on Saturday's. Every week his dad brings him in, and tells me how much fun the boy is having and how great of a job I'm doing. I won't lie, this makes me feel great. It makes everything worthwhile.

2. Knowing
- Part of my job is helping people on the computer. We have a fair amount of patrons that aren't as tech saavy as the majority of our staff here, and it always feels good when I have helped someone after they've stared at the computer screen for a good 10 minutes trying to figure out a solution to their issue. It makes it even better when I don't have a clue as to what I'm doing either, and we solve the issue together! Yeah teamwork! But it's always a beautiful thing to know the answers to things. Who doesn't love feeling smart? (the glasses help the smart look too hehe)

3. My favourite part of the job that has grown since starting, is allowing my creativity to blossom. I get to be creative when it comes to writing this blog, making my cybercamp, doing posters, and especially painting the windows. I have come to love making excuses to paint on the windows.

There you have it, Lisa's 3 Beautiful Things. What are your favourite beautiful library things?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Three Beautiful (Library) Things

Recently, I discovered and was inpired to create a Three Beautiful Things, Library edition.

1.  Meeting new people in the community.

Powassan is a small town, and although you would think that everybody knows everybody, this isn't always the case. The library is a great place to meet new people, and in my beginner computer classes, the same group of people spends five weeks together working together to develop new skills. Recently, I had my last class with a wonderful group of ladies. As they left, they thanked me and expressed how much they love coming here and getting out of the house. This made me smile. This was a beautiful part of my day.

2. Seeing familiar faces.

As all libraries do, the Powassan library has it's fair share of regulars -- people who are in as the library opens to use the computers, restock with new books to read or read the paper. It's not just meeting new people that makes our library enjoyable, it's seeing the same people everyday. They're the ones that help create the sense of community that is so present in our library, and they're the ones we can count on to brighten our day.

3. Presents. (Okay, packages)

Everyday is Christmas at the library. Kind of. Once in a while, we get these lovely boxes and padded envelopes delivered to us, and inside are unopened books - sometimes just one, sometimes ten or more. I love processing these books and seeing what's new. I imagine what kinds of people will read each title, and how it might help or comfort someone. I also enjoy that new book smell!

Sometimes, there's a lot of negativity around. Today, you've likely noticed that an earthquake and a tsunami brutally hit Japan, and other tsunamis are expected to occur. You'll notice that the headlines constantly spotlight people who are unfortunately struggling. I think it's great to focus on the Three Beautiful (Library) Things around you and be grateful for the little things.

March Break Events!

When I was in elementary school, I used to count down the days until March Break. For me, March Break represented a whole week where I could wake up and begin playing as early as possible, and try and stay up late as long as I could. March Break meant building awesome snow forts because I could stay outside longer, and sipping hot chocolate when I came inside to warm up! I have really fond memories of March Break, as I'm sure most people do.

We're offering a couple programs at the library over the March Break because we want all of the children in the area to have the most memorable March Break possible!

For the elementary school audience (ages 6-12), we're offering a Pirate March Break Camp. Cool, right? Kids will do a whole bunch of pirate crafts that will almost make them real life pirates. They will play pirate games and find out more about pirates on the computer. They'll even get to go on a real treasure hunt (within the walls of the library). Even better, this March Break camp is totally free. It takes place Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of the March Break from 11:00-12:00 pm. If you, or someone you know, wants to sign up, just give us a call at the library as we want to have an idea of how many aspiring pirates will be here!

Of course we want to cater to our teen audience as well, who are also on March Break. Tuesday evening will be devoted to teens, as Jadie McDonnell will be at the library to share her experiences of living in Japan and travelling throughout Asia! If you're a teen who wants to travel, or just learn more about other countries and cultures, this event is for you. Again, this event is free. Also, refreshments will be provided... yum! Drop by at 6:30 on March 15th and check it out.

We hope everyone has an excellent, safe March Break and hope to see all the area kids around the library! :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

How To Be Single

So, I'm on my March Break/Reading week this week and have been reading a lot! I just finished the book How To Be Single, which I remember putting the bar code on it in the fall and thinking it sounded interesting. So, with that being said... it was a good book! The author worked for the show, Sex and the City, which is my FAVOURITE show, so the book has a certain SATC feel to it with the girl bonding. I read reviews of this book on Goodreads (which I've become a member of after reading Jordan's blog) and not a lot of them were good, some said it made them feel bad they were single and should get married right away. Give me a break! Julie Jenson, a single thirty-eight-year old book publicist, is on her way to work when she gets a hysterical phone call from her friend Georgia. Reeling from her husband's announcement that he is leaving her for a samba teacher, Georgia convinces a reluctant Julie to organize a fun girls'' night out with all their single friends to remind her why it is so much fun not to be tied down. But the night, which starts with steaks and martinis and ends with a trip to the hospital, becomes a wake-up call for Julie. Because none of her friends seems to be having much fun right now: Alice, a former legal aid attorney, has recently quit her job to start dating for a living; Serena is so busy becoming a fully realized person that she can't find time to look for a mate; and Ruby, a curvy and compassionate woman, has been mourning the death of her cat for months. So, fed up with the dysfunction and disappointments of being single in Manhattan, Julie sets off to find out how women around the world are dealing with this dreaded phenomenon. From Paris to Rio to Sydney, Bali, Beijing, Mumbai, and Reykjavk, Julie falls in love, gets her heart broken, sees the world, and learns more than she ever dreamed possible. Back in New York, her friends are grappling with their own issues -- bad blind dates, loveless engagements, custody battles, and single motherhood. Through their journeys, all these women fight to redefine their vision of love, happiness, and a fulfilled life. It's a great feel good, chick lit book!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Me and Mr. Darcy

Well, I've finished another book: Me and Mr. Darcy. An older (not that old, just 'weathered' from circulation) book that has caught my eye a few times while re-shelving books. Since I had nothing esle on the go, I decided to bring it home since I had nothing else on my plate.

I devoured this book in two days. Nothing else existed. It's typical chick lit, with the storyline about a woman who manages a book store and whose first love is Mr. Darcy (from Pride and Prejudice). She upbruptly books a trip to England on a Jane Austin tour where she is the only person under the age of 50 other than an obnoxious journalist who she hears saying rude things about her. The book then does a Kate and Leopold (see movie) and she somehow goes back in time and meets Mr. Darcy, and throughout the remainder of the book she goes back and forth between times. I'm not going to reveal the rest because I'll ruin it, but it's a nice romantic book that leaves you smiling at the end of it. It's not the ending you would have expected at first, but it's still very satisfying.. in a chick lit, melt the heart kinda way.

Open the Paper, Read a Book

For those of you who don't read the North Bay Nugget, they recently introduced a project to promote reading within families. The project is called North Bay Reads Together; and every Saturday the Nugget will publish chapters from the book called "Three on Three" in section B12.

In theory I believe this is an excellent idea for the local paper to do, but I have an issue with the book. I looked it up on Chapters and it doesn't seem like the kind of book that a lot of kids these days would be interested in. First off, it was published 12 years ago and the trends in novels have obviously changed as the years go by (as does everything else). Other than that, I think that's a great idea to promote literacy in the community, and bringing families closer together by providing an activity to do together on a Saturday.
Perhaps a better choice of book next time?!


Two major parts of working in a library are:
a) Keeping up with books, and
b) Keeping up with technology.

As new books are always being released and technology is constantly changing, this can be a bit of a challenge. I've just found a website that actually combines both books and technology. keeps an online list of what you've read, as well as what you're currently reading. It even records what you want to read in the future. This works out great for me because I constantly pick up books on the shelves and think, I've really got to read that someday, and then of course I forget about the book and never end up reading it.

I have 27 books "on my bookshelf"... so far. 19 of these are favourites that I've already read. Why keep track of books that you've already read? Well, on Goodreads, you can share your bookshelf with friends. The next time one of my friends asks me for a book recommendation, I'll send them to my Goodreads page, where they can see what I've read and what I've rated it. It'll definitely save me a lot of time!

Ì have one book, Shopoholic & Sister, on my currently reading shelf. As I keep reading, I have the option to put in periodical reviews and update other users of Goodreads on my progress so far.

That leaves seven more books, all of which are in my to-read pile. I'm going on vacation soon, and this list will help me decide what books I want to fill my suit case with. As soon as I start reading any one of these books, I'll move it right onto my currently reading bookshelf, and of course when I finish it, I'll rate it, maybe leave a review and move it to the read shelf.

You can follow me on Goodreads at Let me know what you think of the site!

Friday, March 4, 2011


In my last blog, I mentioned that I was currently reading the Shopoholic Series by Sophie Kinsella. Unfortunately, I read books fairly quick, and I know that with only a few books left in the series, it's not going to last me too much longer. So what books should I read next?
I could always turn to the well-read staff of the library for suggestions, or I could refer to one of the new databases here at the library... NoveList. NoveList is the perfect database for all of you who can never have enough books. It's composed of Recommended Reads Lists for readers of all ages who devour books of all genres. So, let's say I'm looking for a book for myself. I'll open up NoveList from the Reader's Advisory page on the website. Next, I'll identify at the left hand side of the page that I'm an adult. I enjoy Fiction, so I'm going to select Fiction A-Z. Now, I'm presented with a list of subgenres from 9/11 and After to Urban Lit. I'm going to go with Chick Lit, because as I've stated before this is what I like to read when I just want to relax.
So, the results are in... and I'm given a whole list of titles that look really appealing to me, which I will probably read... eventually.
Another interesting feature of NoveList is that you can find out what book comes next in a series. At the library, patrons are constantly asking, What comes next?! Now, you can find out by referring to this database. If you locate Series at the top of the screen, you'll be given a list of a zillion different series'. It might take about sixteen days to look through the complete list, so I'd suggest just searching for the name of the series that you're interested in. I've just searched for the Stephanie Plum series, written by Janet Evanovich and I've been given a list of the titles one through sixteen, as well as a review for each of the titles.
This website is extremely user-friendly and super useful for our patrons. Whether you're looking for the next book in a series, looking for a reading suggestion, or trying to find a book for your child (in NoveList K-8) NoveList is sure to help you out! I know I'll be using it in the future.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

One Step Forward, and Two Steps Back

So, after reading Jordan's blog post on 'The Future of eBooks', I've decided to do what I do best, rant.

As of March 7, Harper Collins is enstating a 26-limit checkout for its eBooks. So after a book, in its digital format, is checked out 26 times a library is going to have to purchase a new license to get another "copy." The lending period for eBooks on Overdrive gives you a maximum of 2 weeks, so you're saying after a year that digital copy should be thrown out? Libraries that manage on a very small budget would laugh in your face on that one. Look at us, recently I've seen books being discarded that are as old as me (23), or books that I read as a kid. We don't throw out books unless we absolutetly have to. Pages could be falling out, the cover could be ripped, it could be stained; yet beggers can't be choosers right? We repair that book until it is no longer possible. Small libraries, or libraries functioning on a small budget; have to pinch pennies, plan carefully in order to get new books or technologies, apply for grants, you name it. Hey, I'm even paid for by a grant! We have to make sacrifices, but it's all for the benefit of our community. I full understand, and support the boycotting of Harper Collins. Libaries took a huge leap foward with the unveiling of this eBook technology, now only to take a few steps back with this outrageous limit. Yes, a paper book has a life cycle, but it certainly is not 26 checkouts.

To play devils advocate, I can sympathize with authors as well, because it IS a loss of income, yet it's not as if the whole world knows about Overdrive (yet). People, (like me) still purchase paper books, or buy a digital copy for my eReader. Not everyone enjoys borrowing a book and having to give it back when they're done; many people still own novels. Espcially with Overdrive eBooks, you have a maximum of two weeks, there is no renewing it, that's your deadline. So yes, it may be a miniscule loss of income, but if you look at how libraries have thrived from this new technology, doesn't promoting literacy seem more valueable? It's not like authors make minimum wage. I've seen the enormous benefit our library has had from Overdrive announcing it's free eBooks,  and I believe that Harper Collins and its agents should walk a day in our shoes to truly understand the outrage in the library community. 

Shopoholic Takes Manhattan

I'm starting to become a liiiittle bit worried. I decided almost two months ago that I would read 26 books by the end of the year, each beginning with a different letter of the alphabet. Thing is, the last three books I've read have all started with the letter S. Whoops. Looks like I have a lot of reading to do!

The book I've just finished is Shopoholic Takes Manhattan, which crosses off the book beginning with the letter S on my list. This book is part of Sophie Kinsella's light, comedic Shopoholic series. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who was looking for an intellectual, serious read... because this book is the epitome of Chick Lit.

I really, really enjoyed reading this book. It made me laugh out loud several times, especially why reading the correspondence between the main character, Becky Bloomwood, and her bank manager. The excuses Becky comes up with in order to sustain her shopping habits, while absolutely ridiculous, are hillarious. I also enjoyed living vicariously through Becky, hearing about her purchases and expeditions through legendary shops like Sak's Fifth Avenue and Barney's (without being saddled with her massive credit card debt!)

I've just started to read the third book in the series, Shopoholic Ties the Knot, and I am pleased to say that it is equally funny as Shopoholic Takes Manhattan.