Tuesday, May 31, 2011

play to your strengths

Libraries have:
real, professionally trained staff that help, a bias towards quality, geographic proximity with communities, alignment with learning or community goals, hard copy and electronic resources, a bias towards patron privacy and confidentiality, bridges across the economic and ability divide, trust

Google has:
more stuff, a neat algorithm, a unified brand, a mobile strategy at the point of need, only focuses on the big stuff

and we are mobile too:  UofS Library App

Monday, May 30, 2011

finding your page

Today we deal with the consequences of the 'children' who find the trip to the photocopier so onerous that they just have to rip out the page(s) they need for their work.  In that case there is nothing to do but contact another library and get replacement pages.  However they often come single sided; makes for a tight fit, twice as much paper in a narrow space.  But with the coming of double sided printers, scanners, and my personal fave, Photoshop!, a much more pleasing outcome can be attained.

Working in Photoshop it is especially easy to line up your back to back pages by having them on different layers, changing the opacity of the top layer and moving it into alignment with what is now visible below.  You can also clean up all the ugly edges and black photocopy dots that come from the pages faxed over to you.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Today's count

A billion white crabapple blossoms, one tiny blue butterfly, and a magpie, wings and tail spread in a startling view of black and white feathers against the back drop of the white blossoms.

Paperback novel part lV

Notice how agile I am with Roman numerals?  Since this was a single strip new spine, and not a whole new cover, or wrap around spine, I added tape.  Clear heavy duty tape.  Regular packing tape isn't thick enough. Keeping your fingerprints off it is the biggest challenge.  I like to lay/lie the book down on my gridded cutting matt.  That way I can use the lines to guide me into placing the tape on straight.  Run a bone folder, or plastic spatula like tool such as in the picture, to make sure there are no air bubbles and the tape is firmly attached.  Then I flip the book over and starting in the middle use my thumbs to press the tape evenly onto the spine.  Pull it over onto the back cover in a similar manner and smooth out the tape with the tool. 

To finish off, make a cut, angling inward, from the edge of the tape to the edge of the text block at the point the cover opens away from the pages.  Fold the tape around the cover top and bottom front and back, then cut flat to the spine ends the remaining tape.

Volia, she's done.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

summer in Saskatchewan

Amazing what 12 hours can do.  But we can be happy that it did not snow. And I am happy it rained because the plumbers forgot to turn the outside water back on, so I am hauling from three floors up to keep my newly planted tomatoes happy.  My planting them is not the reason the weather turned.  Honest.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

slapping season has begun

Where you to ask me my favourite seasons they would be: in spring:  spring, fall, winter, summer; in fall:  fall, spring, winter, summer.  In the crabapple grove today I can say that summer has arrived.  The mini vampires are loose with a vengeance and I slapped my way all the way to the river and back. I can also report, though, that the leaves are spreading out in their full pale green spring colour and sounding against each other as the wind blows.  The wind has also scattered the cloud cover of the last few days and blue is back and wide.

Paperback novel part lll

Thought I'd left ya with a half cooked book didn't ya?  Soooo, after you have squashed the book you need to apply several more layers of glue.  The first several should be applied while the book is still in the squashed position.  A paint brush is good for this.  From the squashed angle it can get at the edges more easily that the special tool.  Once you have a few on you can upright the book again and apply two or three thick layers (with the special tool).  It can take a day or so for the thick layers to dry.  Just let them do their thing.  When you are finished it should look like the picture.  A nice thick layer which will give the pages the support they deserve.

You are now ready to apply the new spine art that this time you did not need Photoshop for, but rather just a word processing program from the competition.  You know the one I mean.  It does this kind of simple design quite nicely.  Though I prefer to scan the original spine in if I can, it was in this case a wreck and I had to improvise.  As I said in part 1, remember to keep the original call number tag if you are doing this for a library.

Remember to apply the new spine first and then the call number tag. Or you will never find the silly thing again, that's if its shelved in the right place in the first place.  And you guessed it, you put more glue on the spine and then put the spine on top.  Clever you.  Print your spine from a lazer printer.  Ink jet blends with the wet glue and looks less than professional.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Walking back from the crabapple grove I see that the university has deemed the moment nigh for the use of sprinklers.  I managed to skip through the on slot in front of the entrance to my building with only a slight misting.  The bike rack, where my girl awaits our ride home, is completely soaked. Good thing I keep a bag on her seat or I'd be embarrassed. :-)

In the crabapple grove a shortage of robins, only three.  But there were two magpies, which might account for the dearth of robins, as well as two brown white wing tipped butterflies and a ladybug.  And the grass, ohh, so nice on the bare tootsies.  There is this most beautiful blue green tussock grass. It is especially soft on the feet.

Exciting a book binding library assistant

Well, at least if I get to do the soldering.  I have been thinking seriously of taking the back off my retired mac. The thing I like about being a book binder and repairer is that I actually get to do the work, so if librarians get to start teaching people neat stuff, I am in.  In this article by Seth Godin he talks about the future of librarians not as keepers of the books (he keeps saying dead, but like calligraphy, book making will step gracefully into being an art and it will never die), but as being connectors bringing data and people together.  Sounds like community.  I think we'll start with a potluck and I will show you how to take some of your favourite data and turn it into a work of art.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Today's count

Back from the crabapple grove.  Ten robins, two gophers, a crow, a bumblebee (my second today), and a black butterfly.

This is a free bumble bee that you can colour.

Paperback novel part ll

Working with the glue and the special tool.  Once you get the text block all banged down so all your front, top and bottom, surfaces are even and you have secured same with the totally illegal elastic/rubber band, place the block between two sturdy objects.  I only have one brick left (don't ask)so for this I will use discard legal volumes. 

Then apply the first layer of glue.  And voila, the special tool.  Handy, works in concert with other like tools to accomplish endless other functions (don't ask), and is completely washable. Will not shrink in the dryer. (Remember the hanny dryers when you were a kid, when your mom would hold out the towel for you to put your hands in and then she'd rub them quick and silly?)  Use the special tool to spread the glue evenly over the spine of the text block.  This tool is the best one I have ever found for this work.


Let the glue dry a bit with the text block in the upright position, which allows it to nestle a bit between the pages, then squash it.  Bricks are great for this.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

why am I not surprised?

Gender bias has been discovered in a survey of children's books from 1900 to 2000.  Apparently "males are central characters in 57 percent of children's books published per year, while only 31 percent have female central characters."  Since that is only 88%, what on earth are the other 13%?

ps:  grrrr, once again my link is not showing itself.  Click on 'Gender bias' for the link to the full article.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Paperback novel part 1

This book came back split in half.  I could have stuck some tape on the spine and plastered some tape down the middle, creating a hinged book, but I decided I would use it to show you how to repair  a paperback.  The first step I did not actually catch on film.  Very shy paperbacks are during early surgery.  Strip off the paper of the spine. Library people, its good to save the call number tag if you can.  Then shave off all of the old brittle glue.  You can damp it, it helps to keep the dust down.  When you are done and each page is separate, DO NOT shuffle them like a deck of cards.  Unless you are trying to cause the Head Librarian a nervous breakdown.  Instead, bang the pages down as a whole, onto the front of the text block as shown below.  If you look closely in this picture the front few pages are shorter than the rest of the block.  This will disappear into the spine, but if you bang to the spine the front of your book will look, well, like crap.

Secure the book with rubber bands.  Yeah, I know they say never do that, but this book is not 150 years old, trust me, it can take a well placed, a gently placed, eased into position, rubber band.  Bang again to be sure your front and sides are all even.  Next time, we will apply the glue. There is a special tool for that.

It's alive!

But don't get so close it can actually breath on you.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Recumbent upon my sick bed


I had hoped to be better by now, but not so much.  I'd show you a picture of me, but I am hard to see under all the pillows and blankets, empty tissue boxes and mounting halls wrappers.  So I am awake and having my chicken soup so I thought I'd check in before the official end---since I am not as sure as I was two days ago that I'll be back before the end.  Keep hoping.  I do.

Wordle.  The calligrapher in me loves it. I have been at it for several weeks now, in secret sneaking ahead.  But the one I printed out to scan in so I could show you, cause darned if I can figure out how to make the think connect to the blog, I left on my desk before I left on vacation.  There was a vacation in all this somewhere.  Anyway, wordle is loooooooootttttttts of fun.

LibraryThing.  I quick joined up and check it out a wee bit.  I think I am going to like it.  More later.

Smilebox looked like fun.  I will play with that when I get back.

To complete the circle I will say of 23 Things I have enjoyed it very much.  It has loosened me up a bit in terms of the world in the box.  A hands on experience is so much better than a theoretical one.  Like Data asking Picard if it was different actually touching the historical space vessel (when they were back in time) as apposed to just reading about it.  "Oh yes" he said.  Oh yes.  Though I do not forget that the common denominator in the box is the same as the common denominator out of it.  Being inside the box does not make you somebody and people outside it nobody.  It just means you are in the box.  I will be happy to visit you there.

Once more unto the bunk dear friends.