Sunday, November 24, 2013

Inside my work brain

In case you were wondering what goes on in there.

On the front burners, requiring constant stirring:
On the back burners, simmering away happily:
  • Bookmobile outreach: LEGO at Bayshore (photos!), the pop-up at City Hall which reached over 200 people this summer, our "Win a Ride on the Bookmobile" prize to celebrate Summer Reading Club and our 60th birthday year: we picked young Rebecca up from school with the bus, drove her around the Experimental Farm, and took her for ice cream... A good time was had by all! 
  • A developing/deepening partnership with Frontier College in coordinating homework clubs and conversation groups at the library
  • Working with the City, who recently launched the amazing City of Ottawa Immigration Portal
  • Launching, along with other City depts and teams, a new online volunteer database later this month (which meant I spent my summer re-writing all our related policies and procedures. A great job done but time-consuming and nit-picky).
Swimming around somewhere in the oven:
  • Library of the Future Project: Imagine Campaign (see preliminary report here). My lovely Newcomer Services team helped OPL colleagues collect focus group feedback for the campaign from newcomers and groups serving newcomers this fall.
  • Attending special events for outreach, such as our recent booth at the CNIB Technology and Services Exhibit.
  • Thinking about things in new ways: we recently hosted Volunteer Fairs at OPL branches: the inspiration for these events came out of the recent IMAGINE campaign at OPL. We're also adding some readers' advisory to our brochure for Newcomer Services.
+ 7 million other things I just forgot about right now. Let's file those under "getting scraped off the bottom of the oven with oven cleaner and rubber gloves." Sigh.

See, kids? This is why I haven't blogged a lot about work. For one thing, you probably find this really boring! For another, so much is ..... un-publishable!

I'm still having an amazing time in the new role: it's fulfilling, demanding, exhausting, and endlessly rewarding. It puts me to bed by 10pm and saps my weekend energy, but that could just be a "Year 1" phenomenon.


'Cause it's not like I'm getting any younger!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Read recently, the "rhymes-with-witchy" version

Ok, so upon re-reading, this may be a mean version of this regular post on my blog.

  • The World We Found by Thrity Umrigar: if you like effusive, self-absorbed characters and overplayed plot twists, you'll love it.
  • Accusation by Catherine Bush: meh.
  • Extraordinary by David Gilmour: double meh.  
  • My Notorious Life by Kate Manning: an excellent, meaty historical novel to bring on a series of tedious flights and layovers.
  • The Twins by Saskia Sarginson: weird but moving. 
  • Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth E. Wein: It has to be said: Rose can't hold a candle to Verity.
  • Night Film by Marisha Pessl: bizarre, amazing, frustrating, gifted.... don't read alone at 2am without the lights on.
  • Minister Without Portfolio by Michael Winter: Language: I'll get killed for this, but it's Hemingway-esque. In a mostly good way. Plot: kind of annoying.
  • Almost English by Charlotte Mendelson: Booker Prize longlist alert! This is a jewel of a story with all larger-than-life characters, from Marina, a 16-year old girl who lives with her mother, grandmother and two great-aunts and struggles to fit into modern London and a new private school despite her half-Hungarian background, to Marina's mother, Laura, who is hiding something, to the grandmother and great-aunts, who both act as one entity and have distinct personalities and their own secrets to tell. Everyone is lonely despite being crammed into a basement flat together.
  • We Are on Our Own by Miriam Katin: It probably doesn't bode well that I just had to Google that one to refresh myself on the plot, right? Don't read two WW2 graphic novels in a month, kids! This one is about an incredible story of going into hiding in Hungary. 
  • Shakespeare's Tremor and Orwell's Cough: Diagnosing the Medical Groans and Last Gasps of Ten Great Writers by John J. Ross: can you tell which books I bought while at Stratford this summer? If not, keep reading. Anyway, this was an utterly entertaining (as in, exclaim out loud: "ewwww!") read.
  • The Property by Rutu Modan: funny, moving graphic novel about WW2 secrets and lies
  • Canada by Richard Ford: odd. Somewhat tedious. Congrats for being oddly tedious in a Canadian way, Ford!
  • The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman: strange, captivating novel about a child lost and found, a couple desperate to have a child whatever the cost to their souls, and love unbound by moral or legal codes.
  • Studio Saint-Ex by Ania Szado: entertaining but forgettable
  • Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard by Laura Bates: the Library Journal article made me cry more than the book, which could have benefited from an editor with a red pen.
  • The Empty Room by Lauren B Davis: hard to read but tremendously moving.
  • The Archivist by Martha Cooley: I wanted to slap the main characters upside the head. All of them.