Frivolous Friday at the Library

This week, our Frivolous Friday post means a lot to a couple of us here at the Carleton Place Public Library. And it’s all because of a wonderful library patron and her husband.

After striking up conversations on Tuesday nights with a lovely patron, Veronica, about our favourite TV show, Coronation Street, we had a bit of a surprise. While Veronica’s husband made the odd trip to England for work, he’d bring her back newspapers with articles about the cast of Corrie. And after reading them, Veronica would pop into the library and generously share the papers with two other enormous Corrie fans….Judi and myself. After a good chat, we’d often talk about what it must be like to visit the set on one of the famous Corrie tours, and then we’d wait for our next Tuesday night chat.

Recently, as a surprise birthday gift, Veronica’s husband treated her to a special gift…..a trip across the pond to visit her favourite show and see the set. But not only did they do that, they took along a special banner….and took photos at all the famous Corrie haunts:

20150519_195218Thank you, Veronica and Jim, for the amazing banner, the Corrie mugs and backstage passes, and just for the general amazingness that you would do this for us. You are truly generous people, and we can’t thank you enough!

Now it’s time for a cuppa…….

The Art of Tidying

tidyRecently, we’ve had several patrons ask us about books about decluttering. The one that keeps coming up (and is pratically being fought over at the library) is Marie Kondo’s THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP : THE JAPANESE ART OF DECLUTTERING AND ORGANIZING. Until I saw a YouTube video about this on the weekend, I didn’t know what all the fuss is about. Apparently, I’ve been missing out.

Kondo takes the simple idea of loving items to the world of organization. You have to love something, or feel that it makes you happy, in order to keep it. Everything else is clutter.  She begins by showing how to do this with clothing—taking everything out of your closets and going through it item by item. If you don’t feel happy when you look at the item, you et rid of it.

Sounds simple enough, right? But what about all of those sentimental attachments we have with our things? That baby-soft t-shirt with the holes in it that we’ve worn since university. Those shoes that always give us blisters, but boy, were they a great deal! That ugly painting you got for your wedding from Aunt Marge that she did herself.  All of these things can have an emotional pull that we can’t get past.  But Kondo explains how to thank the items for their usefullness, and then learn to discard.

You can watch her Google talk about the idea right here:

As it turns out, many people have done their own YouTube videos based on Kondo’s ideas. Not sure if this is the right way for you to declutter? Check out one of the many fun and informative videos to see if it might work for you. Even if it doesn’t, there is a certain satisfaction in watching someone else purging their items. You might get inspired.

Place a hold on this book at the library….it’s quite popular!

Who Edits?

PaperTowns2009_6ATheTeen Book Club at our library (aka The Nerd Herd) read and discussed John Green’s PAPER TOWNS. In it, a character obsessively edits a fictional online resource very similar to Wikipedia. His complusiveness is a funny part of this book, but it seems that real life has taken a page from John Green.

Recently, at a presentation regarding Wikipedia and its users, employees were asked who actually edits this site?  If you’ve ever used Wikipedia, you’ll know that it is full of great information—some true and some not—most of which is contributed through user content alone. That means someone out there who knows a lot about a subject has taken the time to add his or her knowledge to the site regarding that topic. Is it always correct? No. Which is why many schools ban the use of Wikipedia when their students are doing research.

But for the most part, the content is probably pretty strong. However, the Wikipedia people set out after this presentation to find out exactly who was editing their site. And they came up with some very interesting facts. First, they conducted interviews with people who regularly contribute to or edit the site. They learned that a lot of these people were happy to work on a variety of subjects—whatever pleased them at the moment. Others were more specific and moved in one direction….like a user named Giraffedata, who had more than 15,000 edits to his credit…all for the same incorrect use of the term “comprised of” in articles. The Wiki people were VERY interested in Giraffedata, almost a God to some of them in the world of edits. So, they set out to find the person behind the screen name in hopes of honoring him with their own version of the Oscar in the Wiki editing world…a Barnstar.

And it turns out, Giraffedata is a 51-year-old software engineer names Bryan Henderson who has contributed more than 47,000 edits since 2007. And most of them are simply that one correction…..”comprised of”, which he replaces with “composed of” in proper form. He goes through articles systematically, week by week, and makes the change, determined to rid the world of his singular pet peeve. He even wrote a piece of software to help him find the newest additions to Wikipedia, and does his corrections each Sunday night. It won’t change the world, but in his own way, he’s making a mark in a unique way.

You can read more about Mr. Henderson and his quirky connection to Wikipedia right here. The article is full of pie charts, photos, and fascinating information not only about why Henderson does what he does, but how it impacts what you read. And if you are interested in making your own changes or additions to the information website, you can find out how to do it…well, on Wikipedia! It’s an arduous process, but once you learn how to do it, you’ve got a new skill. Give it a try!

Do You Confuse Words?

nyplToday, on the New York Public Library website, they have a wonderful post on the common misuse of words—even by bookworms! I know it drives me crazy when reading Facebook posts that contain simple grammatical errors—don’t even get me started on incorrect words. But the NYPL has listed the 14 words most commonly misused, along with their proper meanings and when to use them.

Allude vs elude?

Indeterminate vs indeterminable?

These words and many more made the list. Do you use any of them on a regular basis?

 

The Winners are Announced!

Forest-of-Reading-LogoWhile we had our official Forest of Reading® Voting night back in April, the final totals were sent to Toronto to be tabulated along with results from other libraries and schools across the province. Last week, the final winners of each category were announced. And the winners are……………

 BLUE SPRUCE

kindergartenTHE DAY MY MOM CAME TO KINDERGARTEN by Maureen Fergus

 

SILVER BIRCH EXPRESS

 chickenKUNG POW CHICKEN : LET’S GET CRACKING by Cyndi Marko

SILVER BIRCH FICTION

gardenerTHE NIGHT GARDENER by Jonathan Auxier

 SILVER BIRCH NON-FICTION

 carrANNALEISE CARR : HOW I CONQUERED LAKE ONTARIO TO HELP KIDS BATTLING CANCER by Annaleise Carr as told to Deborah Ellis

 RED MAPLE FICTION

threeTHE RULE OF THREE by Eric Walters

 Our library didn’t do too badly, picking a few of the overall winners. If only we didn’t have to wait until December to start reading next year’s nominees!

Scratch-Off

Last summer, our adult readers had a lot of fun with our “Goodies for Grown Ups” adult summer reading tickets. After joining the program and reading books, they were given special scratch-off tickets to win prizes that were donated by several local businesses. It was a big hit!

scratchoffmap2So, when I came across this Scratch-Off World Map, it reminded me of our program. The “I Was Here” map is a unique item designed by the Art. Lebedev Studio Shop to help travelers keep track of places they’ve been. It begins as a large, grey world map, but once you visit a place, you scratch off the country and the colour is revealed underneath. How is that for incentive to get visiting the world?

This gives me ideas for our upcoming summer program…..