Thursday, May 28, 2009

Food For Fines

Reduce your fines and help your community! From Monday, June 15 through Saturday, June 20, for every non-perishable food item brought to the library, we will credit $1 to any fines on your account. The food collected will be donated to Mukwonago’s two food pantries. Maximum reduction of fines is $20, and the reduction in fines does not apply to lost or damaged item fees or to fines from other libraries.

Food pantries can really use our help, as the economic crisis (recession? What are we calling this thing these days, other than "really scary"?) continues to disrupt livelihoods all across America. Of course, if you wish to bring in non-perishable food items even if you don't have fines, or in amounts greater than your fines, that would be most excellent as well.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Video Rant or Rave: The Hobbit

Well, here is my first attempt at a video/YouTube version of my Rant or Rave feature:

It's okay, I think, but I did learn quite a bit from it. Namely, make sure the lighting is okay or you'll look like a reject from a Night of the Living Dead movie.

Additionally: Don't do this when your dog is around and wants to play tug-of-war with you. This is a recipe for disaster, and will likely require you to redo the whole thing several times. And sit up straight.

You'd think that having had to do it over a few times, I would've improved the lighting. You'd be wrong. Sometimes I have to be hit over the hard several times before my brain kicks into gear.

Anyway, hopefully this will be a more common occurence here, so let us know if you like the video embeds or no.

What He Said

Hard to expand on this article, detailing the importance of libraries. Also, the dangers libraries often face during municipal budget cutting phases. Key bit:

If education and information are going to provide the means as America digs itself out the great big hole we are in, the public library is handing out the shovels. Cut or kill the libraries and you yank away a shovel.

So please, Mayor IT Guy. And Mayors anywhere else, for that matter. Leave the libraries alone. Believe me. They are not a luxury, but a lifeline.

Michael Bloomberg may be the ultimate IT Guy. Okay, maybe that's still Bill Gates. But the point is, Michael Bloomberg took Information and Technology and made himself an empire with Bloomberg News. T...
Michael Bloomberg may be the ultimate IT Guy. Okay, maybe that's still Bill Gates. But the point is, Michael Bloomberg took Information and Technology and made himself an empire with Bloomberg News. T...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Listen to the 2nd Graders

My eight-year-old son wanted to visit a website yesterday. I figured it was a page full of various flash games, or perhaps something along the lines of Club Penguin. I asked him what the website was, and he replied, "" Leaving me puzzled and wondering if I had misheard him.

"This is sand?"


"What's it about?" I ask.

"Sand," he replies. Totally deadpan. Sometimes I wish I hadn't taught my children the concepts of sarcasm and facetiousness.

"What do you do with the sand?"

"You can change its color and make little mountains and stuff."

"Okay," I said, thinking that it sounded rather dull and wondering what the attraction of sand is for a second-grader. A sandbox, sure, both he and my daughter both still enjoy the sandbox, but a website for colored sand?

Turns out, it's a hoot. It shouldn't be-- make sand-looking pixels appear on the screen with your mouse and let them "fall" down the screen to make hills and such. Change the colors if you'd like (using the C key). Repeat. Sounds dull.

It's not. Try it out-- it really is a lot of fun. Very creative, yet amazingly simple and a lot of fun to mess around with. Then check out the gallery. And imagine how long it must have taken to create some of the images. Yikes! I did this one last night. Who thinks of this? Well, go to the blog to find out.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Libraries Can Make You Healthier

So says the March 3, 2009 Woman's Day magazine, and thinking about it, I'm not really very surprised. The public library was Google long before computers were even conceived of, much less the internet. There is information available at the library on nearly everything-- and not just any information, dependable, critically-reviewed information. And not just information, but people willing to help you find the information you need.

Money quote from the article:
"It's funny, I was always told to be mindful of my health. Luckily, the library taught me that the way to good health is to have a mind that's full."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Coming Soon: Video Embeds

I attended a session at the annual WAPL (Wisconsin Association of Public Libraries) last week about embedding short video feeds into your web and/or blog pages. Seemed pretty straight forward. So, a free account on YouTube later, I am just about ready to create my first Mukwonago Community Library video Rant or Rave. Hopefully either this evening or tomorrow. If it goes well, I hope to be able to do more of them in the future, and possibly add other video content from around the library. Possibly from events or activities happening here.

Stay tuned!

Friday, May 15, 2009

We Got Bear!

As a lifelong Packers' fan, I am generally resistant to all things bear related; but Mukwonago is the "Place of the Bear Clan" and the village has adopted the bear as its unofficial mascot, so it seems right that the Mukwonago Community Library should have a bear. And now we do!

Thanks to the generosity of Mike and Sue Graczyk, and the talents and kindness of Bob Younger and Lee Wegner of Younger’s Woodery, the library has a new resident in our lobby. Bob and Lee have created a fantastic sculpture for the lobby, an adult black bear reading a book atop a pile of other books. It is too cool. Mike and Sue donated the money for the bear, and Bob and Lee also donated most of their time in creating the sculpture.

Additional pictures of the bear can be found at the Younger's Woodery website, but to really appreciate the bear you need to see it in person. Bring the kids and check out our new library mascot. We hope to work with Bob and Lee in the future to add a few bear cubs to the lobby to keep Mama (Papa?) Bear company.

A huge thank you to Mike and Sue Graczyk for donating the funds for the bear, and to Bob Younger and Lee Wegner for their amazing work and their kindness in putting so much extra effort and time into creating the bear.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Rant or Rave: The Sopranos Final Epidsode

Slight spoiler alert-- though I will not discuss the Sopranos Episode in detail in the post, there are some spoilers regarding the content and tone of that episode. So-- be warned, there are some things discussed below that you may not want to read if you have yet to watch the finale of The Sopranos but someday hope to do so.

I do mostly raves, not so much with the rants. Not sure if that's because I'm such a naturally jovial, half-full kinda guy or because I avoid reading and watching things I know will annoy me, but there it is. Well, here's a big old Rant of the "Wow that was awful kind".

After watching-- and thoroughly enjoying-- all six seasons of the The Sopranos (available at the Mukwonago Community Library, btw), I was both looking forward to and dreading the final episode. Looking forward to it because it was the final episode, the series finale, with all that usually implies. Dreading it because a) I didn't want it to be over and 2) I was worried it wouldn't be worthy of ending such a terrific show. More so the a) since I trusted that the final episode would carry the show's terrificness all the way through to the end.

Not so much, imho. Oi, was number 2 realized. That was a terrible ending! Even knowing a fair bit about it-- given the amount of publicity it received at the time, picking up some details was fairly inevitable-- I was hugely disappointed. And I knew the ending was fairly ambiguous ahead of time, yet was still terribly let down by the complete nothingness of that final scene.

Here's my initial response: The build up to the final scene in the restaurant was great. Tension was built, much was resolved, but the final fate of the Soprano family still hung in the balance. And so it does to this day. The ending, contrary to critical opinion, was in my opinion awkward, unsatisfying and completely unworthy of the rest of the series.

Overtime, my opinion has softened a little-- it wasn't completely unsatisfying, nor completely unworthy. But I still think it was a poor ending to a fantastic series-- one of the five best TV series ever. I guess it was all part of David Chase's artistic vision, and I have trouble ripping the man since his was the genius behind the show from start to, almost, finish. But personally, his concluding vision left me cold and disappointed. Which is all the more painful and difficult to digest because the rest of the series was so blasted visionary, exemplary and just a blast to watch.

Still, I am glad I watched it through to the end. It was a tremendous ride and often a riveting production. Though I wish the ending had been other than it was, I do not regret commiting myself to the roughly 80 hours that is The Sopranos, beginning to end.

Culver's National Day of Caring

Today, Tuesday, May 12, is Culver's National Day of Caring. And this year (and next!), the owner of the Mukwonago Culver's, Greg Landon, has selected the Mukwonago Community Library as the recipient of the National Day of Caring donation. This means that today, and today only, 10% of all sales at the Mukwonago Culver's will be donated by Greg and Culver's to the Library's expansion fund.

Thanks, Greg! Thanks, Culver's!

So, if you are looking for lunch, dinner or dessert today-- make it Culver's in Mukwonago and benefit the Library while enjoying a delicious meal or tasty custard.

Monday, May 4, 2009

H1N1/Swine Flu Resources

The county and state library systems have compiled a list of online resources for people concerned about the H1N1 strain (more commonly called Swine Flu) of the flu and its possible dangers and impacts. Here are a variety of links that should help: