Archive for April, 2008

Passion Quilt Meme: Perspective, Perspective, Perspective

Michael Stephens tagged me for the “Passion Quilt” Meme. (Post a picture from a source like FlickrCC or Flickr Creative Commons or make/take your own that captures what YOU are most passionate about for kids to learn about…and give your picture a short title.)

Original Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/2222523486/

I found it difficult to narrow this down… (I guess that’s the fun of the meme). In the end I cheated and chose two quotes that, taken together, get the heart of what I’m passionate about; taking responsibility for our perceptions, thoughts, feelings and actions. We look out at the world through our eyes and think that we are seeing reality with a capital “R”. Uh-uh. Nope.

Everything outside of us is just data, and there’s a whole lot of it. Our perceptions are therefore highly selective. First we choose which data to focus on. Then we process that data through filters such as our past experiences, our preconceptions, our expectations, our wishes, our fears, our needs, our desires, etc., etc. Then we generate a thought/judgment/evaluation about the filtered, selective data. Then we may have an emotion or feeling in response to the thought about the filtered, selective data. Then maybe we move into action.

This all usually happens with very little awareness, and it is empowering to bring these processes to a more conscious level. In fact, choosing what to look at and how to look at it can be not only empowering but transformational. Limitations start to seem less solid. As we make more choices, it becomes harder to operate out of a consciousness of victimhood and we see new paths and new options opening up before us.

Becoming aware of our own filters also creates space for us to be present with conflicting viewpoints and disagreements. If I can acknowledge that I do not see things as they are, but as they appear to me after being filtered through my own unique perspective (colored by factors including: cultural, religious, political, gender and age to name a few) I become less vigilant about protecting my version of reality. I may not understand why others see things differently, but I can accept that my perceptions are not necessarily THE TRUTH.

Simple things that we usually take for granted as “true” can reveal themselves to be simple convention. You may have noticed that the picture of the Earth (above) is upside down. We all know that the North Pole is the top and the South Pole is the bottom, right? That’s reality. But that’s no more true than saying Bermuda is the top and Perth Australia is the bottom. It’s a matter of perspective. So it is my passionate wish that we learn see more deeply, more broadly and

But hey, enough of my yakkin’. Let’s hear from some others. I tag the bloggers of CEBuzz:

April 29, 2008 at 12:30 pm 7 comments

Nordstrom Quality Customer Service

Old news, but I never posted it to LG. And hey, good customer service ideas are timeless!
—————————————————————————————

Good for the “New Seasons” Grocery store, which is taking a page out of the Nordstrom Employee manual, “Use your good judgment in all situations.” The New York Times Reported:

[New Seasons] employees are given “get out of jail free” cards with the instructions to do anything a customer wants. Mr. Rohter said one young clerk opened 81 jars of mustard for a customer to taste. Then he went to his supervisor, handed the card to him and explained what happened.

Printed on the back of the card:

Dear Supervisor: The holder of this card was, in their best judgment, doing whatever was necessary to make a happy customer. If you think they may have gone overboard, please take the following steps:

  1. Thank them for giving great customer service.
  2. Listen to the story about the events.
  3. Offer feedback on how they might do it differently next time.
  4. Thank them for giving great customer service.”

“We never reprimand someone for helping a customer”, Mr. Rohter said

From NYTIMES, January 4, 2006: In Oregon, Thinking Local

April 24, 2008 at 10:28 am 1 comment

At least its not the roof . . .

I came home from Minneapolis with the thought that I was going to “reorg” my life. I have way too much going on and not enough time or energy to do it all. So I decided that I needed to start thinking about the things that were really important to me and what I really wanted to focus on.

In my effort to do this, I am posting my progress here to keep me honest. I’ve been back from Minneapolis for a little over 2 weeks and I haven’t gotten far. But I have started making lists of all the things I am currently involved in and what those obligations represent in time/ effort/ energy. The next step is to decide which of those I want to continue, which I can gracefully bow out of or fulfill my current obligation and those that I want to stop immediately if not sooner! And this isn’t just about work. It is about valuing my time. And learning to say no, which I traditionally have a hard time doing, especially if its something that I could be interested in or think I SHOULD be interested in.

What I realize is that this is about me being the most productive and useful in a handful of activities, committees, etc and not over-extending myself. As I start training for 3 sprint triathlons this summer, I don’t need obligations weighing me down!

Help keep me on track! If you have suggestions or want to follow the progress, I think I might try to revive my personal blog to keep track of the reorg as it goes.

(I actually started this post last night when I couldn’t sleep and I was trying to type it on my iphone. At 3:30 in the morning, when it was not working I thought that I couldn’t be more frustrated!! I realized, though, that at least what was keeping me up was this plan I had for reorganizing my life and not the roof at the library!)

April 16, 2008 at 2:49 pm 5 comments

Friday Fun … the best band name for librarians

If you were in a band with a bunch of other librarians, what would you call it? Would you refer to your profession in the title?

Personally, if I were to be in a rock band with fellow librarians, I would go with:

The Dewey Decibel System

If it were an alternative band, I think it would favor:

Mending Potter’s Spine

So, let’s have a little fun this Friday; what are some great band names you can come up for the profession?

April 11, 2008 at 11:14 am 44 comments

Bamboo: Great tool for a great price

Check it out! Look what I can draw on my computer!
Well, yeah… I know it’s not Mona Lisa but, hey, it was my first try. It deserves some credit, right?
Bamboo is marketed as the affordable and ‘fun’ drawing tablet for the recreational artist. At $79, they were right on the money with affordable. As for fun, I am having trouble putting the pen down.
The learning curve for using Bamboo is pretty low. If you know how to hold a pen, and have a semi-steady hand, there really isn’t much else to learn.
Installation is a piece of cake as well, essentially a plug ‘n’ play device. The pen can double as a mouse and the tablet can be used in leiu of the primary mouse. Every button is customizable, which makes it very convenient to the user. As you can probably guess, I have the second button on the pen set to Control-Z in order to quickly erase those all-too-common slips of the hand.
The box also comes with Adobe Photoshop and Corel Ink. Both are solid quality image softwares that should appease most users.
If you are looking to provide a little ‘something more’ for your patrons’ computer resources, Bamboo might just be an ideal purchase. As for programs, it is a great addition for any graphic novel club, Photoshop instruction, and even handy if you wanted to create a digital signature.
You might want to come up with some check-out or anti-theft attachment for the pen and mouse though, both could easily walk.
That said, I know exactly what new tech toy I am going to be pushing at my library.

April 8, 2008 at 3:39 pm 1 comment

You can never guess what will offend someone

While in Minneapolis for PLA I had an opportunity to visit the Minneapolis Public Library and I picked up one of their t-shirts. The back of the one that I bought reads: “If a public library is doing its job, it has something in it that offends every single person.”
What are the first things you think about when you think about “offending” someone in the library? Popular controversies are things like Harry Potter, comics and graphic novels in libraries, unfiltered internet access, etc. The usual intellectual freedom issues.
Each year we have a Dr. Seuss story time at the beginning of March, in conjunction with Read Across America and Dr. Seuss’s birthday. This year we had 2 elephant shaped pinatas, to go with our “Horton Hears A Who” theme. The kids had a great, if sometimes difficult, time getting into the darn things!
However, I recently heard from a board member that a parent who attended with their child mentioned that they were disturbed by the pinatas. Because we were
“teaching children that its ok to hit animals with sticks.”
Who knew that of all things in my library what would offend someone would be pinata?!?! Of course, I have the usual fears that I really did misstep with this one. I’m not a parent and I don’t think I would be offended by something like this. I talked to number of other parents who attended and they told me they were not offended, nor would have even thought about being offended. But I recognize that not everyone has the same outlook!
Its a great reminder that it isn’t always the most obvious thing that will offend your library users or the public you serve . . . it really can what you thought was the most innocuous thing. It could be a pinata!

April 6, 2008 at 11:46 am 6 comments

Friday Find

This post could also be called “Reason #132 that I heart SlideShare”.

I went to SlideShare this morning to upload the slides from my recent presentation at PLA 2008 in Minneapolis and got sidetracked by the featured “Slideshow of the Day” — and also by the response that someone has made. I often get sidetracked by the featured slideshow and in this case both the feature and the response are great teaching tools to show the evolution of e-communication.

Here is featured slideshow: “Peak Email” posted by Engineerswithoutfears

Here is the response: “Squiki” posted by plambe

Doesn’t that make you want a squiki?

Oh, and if you are interested in what I and the other panelists (Michael Porter and Stephanie Gerding) on the “From Hype to Help” session had to say at PLA, a few bloggers have made nice summaries (for which I am thankful) — you can find them here and here. My slides are now posted at SlideShare under my user name JanieH.

April 4, 2008 at 9:57 am 1 comment

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