Know the Code!

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We’re taking a fun course designed to help librarians keep up with technology called “23 Mobile Things“. There are 23 great ideas presented through this self-directed course, and we can take it at our own pace. It’s meant to showcase programs and apps that are currently useful in the library setting, such as Twitter, Instagram and Haiku Decks. We’ve been downloading, trying some of the new technology out, and grumbling over a few things we realize we’re not good at. But this week, they’ve stumped me.

If you have any experience in coding or HTML for websites, this is probably an easy course for you. Codecademy is a BRILLIANT site, which is now being used in school settings throughout North America more and more, to help people learn the art of coding. This is probably especially important for the younger generation coming up. They present the basics of many types of computer languages and how to use them, from baby steps on up.  And the fun thing about it is that it “rewards” you with badges at every step of the way.

I started the basic HTML course this week as part of the requirements for our course…..and found myself staring at the keyboard every time I had to type a simple command. All of the <:/!p> stuff just doesn’t sit in my head, or at least, not yet. I’m hoping that will change.  I’m in awe of programmers who can whip together a sheet of code that looks like someone just sat on a keyboard, and actually make beautiful, responsive websites. Good for them! For now, I’ll keep going in order to earn my basics badge, but I don’t expect anyone will be calling me any time soon to re-design their website!

If you’re interested in learning anything about computer languages (and they say you can design a gorgeous site by the end of the final courses), then you might want to give this site a try. It’s free, and you can work at your own pace, and trust me…there is LOTS of help! Give it a try. We’d love to hear what you think of it!

Bathroom Fun!

It’s Frivolous Friday again, and I have something very frivolous for you today! (Or maybe this will change your life….who knows?)

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If you don’t have enough to keep you busy, I’ve got the perfect solution…towel origami!  Surprise your family or guests with wild creations made out of your everyday towels! It might be a great way to coax those little ones into the bath each night, if nothing else.

We don’t own this book at the library, but we’d love to order it in for you on interlibrary loan if you’d like to give it a try. Just drop in and we’ll get the order started!

 

Paper cutting or Drawings?

I love looking at illustrations.  It is a big part of my job when it comes to selecting picture books for the library collection. Illustration plays a major role in this type of book and can often make or break a story.  And a trend we’ve been seeing more of in the last few years is paper-cut illustrations. The artist uses paper and cuts in intricate ways to make gorgeous pictures that seem to jump off the page. That’s what I thought when I saw the work of Eiko Ojala.

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Ojala uses his computer to digitally render these illustrations….no paper involved at all! Of course, paper art is his inspiration, and you’ll love looking through the various examples on his website. While the digital world has dramatically moved forward in making realistic images (CGI, anyone?), does this take away from the “real” art of paper cutting?  I don’t think so. It has merit on its own, I strongly believe.

Take a few minutes to wander through the site. You won’t be disappointed!

Batman Fans Rejoice!

In the past, we’ve had quite a few young readers come to storytime dressed in costume….on a regular day of the week. So I know there are a lot of superhero fans out there!  How about this great shelf idea for someone who loves Batman? This Etsy seller makes two versions, both of which would look great in a young boy’s bedroom (although I love how they stack adult books into these ones).

shelfWhere do you put your books?

Typing, the New Way!

The library had a typewriter in use up until only a few years back. I remember one young man who stopped in his tracks when he heard the click-clack of the keys as Judi worked on a library card. He looked back and asked what that sound was. We thought it was hilarious, but like most kids from his generation, he had never heard one in use. Yes, it made us all feel old.

But the beautiful old typewriters were quite impressive. The original ones weighed about a million pounds, and of course, there was no such thing as correction tape. If you made a mistake, you needed to either strike out the word, or start all over again. Can you imagine how accurate we’d be as typists today if auto-correct/spell-check and correction tape had never been invented? (Actually, maybe we better not go there. I’m sure we wouldn’t be any further ahead, and probably more frustrated.)

The typewriters made right before computers were much less impressive, and geared toward efficiency, not beauty. They were often quieter, but certainly didn’t inspire anyone by their form. But what if you could have the beauty of a typewriter, with the function of a computer? How about a USB typewriter??

il_fullxfull_410105148_88tj_largeThis is such a neat idea! The company provides conversion kits, completed typewriters or custom builds—including your choice of paint jobs! How fun is this?! (It’s so fun, I can’t stop using exclamation points!)

Now I want one of these.

A Book by Any Other Cover…

“I read this book already, but I didn’t recognize it.”

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We’ve heard this on a number of occasions, when someone has taken out a book and then brought it back, only to have already read it. It’s not that they forgot; the cover is different! This happens quite often when books are released in other countries…the covers will often change. And while we don’t usually purchase books in other languages, sometimes we will get copies that have been released in England. Sometimes, even the title changes!

You can see a fun list of identical books (inside the covers, at least) right here at The Millions. Have you read any of these? Have you read any a second time by mistake?

What Will They Make?

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We’ve got paint. We’ve got glitter. We’ve got stickers and glue and markers. Today is Mini House Design at the library for our young friends aged 6 – 9. We expect everyone to leave here today with a mini-house, perfect for fairies, gnomes or even birds! We’ll post some of our favourites on our Facebook page later this week, so don’t forget to check back! We’re getting creative at the library during the March Break!