First Day Back

I’m exhausted from coming home from work and sewing for 4 hours, so I’ll make this short:

  • Caught up with my coworkers.
  • Managed to deal with sorting/managing most of my email.
  • Made up two panels.
  • Tweeted on the website.
  • Accompanied a coworker to investigate a sound problem.
  • Sent off feedback forums for a class.
  • Followed up with patrons.
  • Went to a two hour meeting on how to “be the person in charge.”
  • Bridal shower — such a blessing since I won’t get to have one with my friends back home.
  • Other stuff that I’ve forgotten!

Internet Librarian 2011 Notes

Can you hear the sea lions?

Monterey, CA

I did not blog this past week about work because I took off on Sunday for Internet Librarian 2011 in Monterey, CA. Wifi connection was spotty at best with my main online access being to Twitter via my phone. So, please forgive the posting of my notes post-conference. For the most part, I believe my notes are pretty self-explanatory, so please check them and then ask me any follow-up questions that you may have.

The non-note takeaways for me: Continue reading →

Stanford’s Introduction to Databases Week 1

I am about half-way through the videos for the first week (due date 10/16) for the Introduction to Database course. The class is open and available for free to all who wish to spend their fall learning about databases. On their Twitter account, they mention that they have 70,000 people signed up. The class is taught by Professor Jennifer Widom.

Class Structure
The class consists of two primary portions: watching videos and taking quizzes. In the videos, Professor Widom presents slides (available for download as PDF or PPT) with the pertinent information typed on them. As she talks, she writes on the slides in different colors to highlight certain aspects. Her head occasionally bobs in and out of existence in the lower right corner. I find it distracting to watch someone looking off-camera at a monitor that lights up their eyes like smoky lamps. The only quiz I have come across was embedded right into the video. You are given multiple chances to answer and then offered an explanation. There seems to be a glitch since I have only come across one quiz while my fiancé has had more quizzes appear. If you have one of the four suggested textbooks, you can follow along in more depth.

I do not own any of the textbooks which might be hindering me. I find the videos within a section to be fluid as I go from each one, but otherwise the videos jump around. For instance, at the end of the relational databases video, she talks about her recommendations on watching the relational algebra and SQL videos. Then when you go to the next set of videos, you are brought to XML. The other two topics are further along.

My Study Method
I am using Microsoft OneNote to screencap slides with information that is new to me. I am also annotating a little bit defining concepts in further depth. The vocabulary that is sticking out most to me right now is tuple = row.

Mixed Bag Chasing Thoughts

I have the Stanford free database class to attend tonight, so I’ll be brief:

  • Setup the tech center for the eBook Summit 2011
  • Began work on producing a video from last night’s footage from Diana Abu-Jaber’s visit
  • Answered emails
  • Called people on the waiting list for technology classes
  • Got myself involved to appear in a Public Library Association (PLA) webinar as a panelist
  • Worked on Help Desk for two hours. An hour of which was spent doing one-on-one basic computer skills training
  • Went to one webinar from the Summit. Afterwards, I asked a lot of questions of the people in the room
  • Attended an amazing eBook Summit session which gave me lots of thoughts about things I wish I had the time to tackle
  • Started revamping my first Contactology template while making plans to work on the next one

I wish I could find some great examples of Contactology template designs…

Winning at Digital Signage

Before work this morning, I wandered around the Town Hall building looking for the entrance. Why? I had been guilt-tripped into getting a flu shot. It stung, then felt like ice water was running down my arm within two minutes of walking away. A short time later I was standing back on the step-stool working on the Mac Minis. The rest of my day was spent becoming familiar with the digital signage software as I removed panels, added new ones, and figured out how to set the timings. Once I got that hammered out, I set about making multiple new signs (3 or 4?) to post up. In-between this, I did the usual activities of emails, looking up details for my forthcoming trip to Internet Librarian, managing the website’s front page and monitoring the social media. The other highlight was a patron calling to see when I’d be in the computer lab next. He said I was very patient and did not make people feel bad for being confused. Four years of retail will give you patience.

The point of all this? I did not know that my arm hurt until I went to put my lunch in the microwave. Now off to sleep and hoping I don’t turn over onto my sore arm!

Back and Brighter

I’m about to fall onto my keyboard so a summary:

  • Finished getting the last of the Mac Minis updated.
  • After getting them all back into place and on, the comments were that the screens were more vibrant in color and brighter.
  • Emails, updating website, updated a website button
  • Read about some new HTML5 elements and some more from the responsive web design book
  • 3 hours in the computer lab and boy, did people keep me hopping!


(For Friday’s workday)

I managed to get two more Mac Minis upgraded bringing the total to four of five. I tried to put them back up in place for the weekend, but of course the second panel did not want to come on. The third Mac Mini has less RAM than its siblings so it’ll cause problems in a couple months when I need to do another upgrade.

Otherwise I had a meeting for my library’s promotion of National Novel Writing Month. I wrote up one post and published it to the front page of the Library’s website. I am also talking to a local NaNo organizer to invite him to write a guest post (one every Friday!) and set up a write-in one Sunday in November.

Finally, I was honored by being requested to join a second meeting concerning a Big Deal project for my library.

(I’m feeling fairly tired right now from sewing for 8 hours today on my wedding bodice/corset. The post title is a reference to me standing on the step ladder trying to get the Mac Minis back into place. One gentleman asked me some questions about it so I had the opportunity to explain that the tv screens are being used as giant monitors.)

The Most Important Drupal Admin Links

From my email to the new ICL webmaster dealing with Drupal 6…

  • Comments — so you can remove spam
  • Content — manage all the content on the site
  • Content types — you can make a template dedicated to different areas of the site. For instance, the blog content type usually only has a title, tags, paragraph, and an image field. One of the resources would have author, publication date, publisher, etc.
  • User permissions — who can do what
  • Blocks — see the “block” of links on the front page? Those are examples of blocks of content. You also have them on your profile
  • Custom breadcrumbs — a lot of work went into getting these babies working correctly. Breadcrumbs are the things that say Home > Educational Resources > Blogs (for example)
  • Flags — how we monitor for spam. If so many people click something as spam, it is unpublished and notifies us that it needs to be reviewed (I think)
  • Modules — the second real engine of the site. Think of them as “apps” which extend the basic functions of Drupal
  • URL aliases — Instead of a page URL being a random string of numbers, you set a pattern here which will make URLs that are logical. Works with the Clean URLs link.
  • Views — the main engine of the site. It controls the searchable database which is the whole reason I learned Drupal to make this site.