Happy birthday Harry Potter!

On June 26, 1997, after many rejections, a little book called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published in the UK. That was just the beginning. Soon more books came out, a total of 7 about Harry, but other books, movies, plays, rides at the amusement parks, clothing, a new broomstick game played around the world, new words for the dictation, toys, and other memorabilia soon followed. Very much like Star Wars, Star Trek, or Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter managed to bewitch his way into the global psyche.

I vaguely remember seeing the first two books in 1998 in bookstores and reviews in various magazines. Finally one day I saw a display at Barnes and Noble that had the first two books displayed and I thought, “well I should read the damn things as I keep seeing them everywhere.” I started reading and I was hooked. I soon started to purchase the British versions of the books to get them sooner and they were always a little bit different than the American copies. Over the years I stood inline at midnight bookstore parties, ordered extra copies to see which one would get to me quicker, and one year the power went out and I was reading Harry by candlelight! Hay it was new and needed to be read. I also had friends pick me up foreign language copies on their travels around the world. When the movies came out with their midnight shows, I attended them because its always fun to be in a theater filled with crazed fans who loved Harry as much as you do.

Now 20 years later, Harry’s story has been told (maybe), but we continue to learn more about the wizarding world with Newt Scamander and other stories. It will be interesting to see what the next 20 years bring for the wizarding world, muggles too. But Harry will always remain at the center, a little orphan kid who just wanted a home and some friends and ended up saving the world. Always.

There is always room for one more Harry Potter book! Celebrating the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone! #HarryPotter20 @pottermore @jk_rowling

Happy 40th Star Wars!

Star Wars turns 40 years old today! Do you feel old?

When your cat might secretly be a Jedi knight, but she refuses to discuss those clone war years.
How many versions of Star Wars do you own? #StarWars40 #Hanshotfirst
Forty years of collecting Star Wars merchandise

Boreas Certificate!

For the past few years I have been working towards the Boreas Leadership Certificate. Boreas, which is part of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, allows graduate, professional students, and post-doctoral fellow to work towards the certificate, which “offers students the opportunity to delve deeper into the challenging world of leadership and change making. By pursuing the Boreas leadership certificate, students build on the skills and networks developed in Boreas programming and practice leadership through a leadership project. Students completing the requirements receive a printed certificate, are recognized on the Boreas website, and may reference the accomplishment on their resume or CV. Like other Boreas programming, the certificate is offered at no cost” (http://environment.umn.edu/leadership/boreas/).

So I learned today that my certificate went through and that they even posted it to the website (how nice is that!) http://environment.umn.edu/leadership/boreas/certificate/

My Boreas certificate project was “Having Your Voice Heard”

Having your voice heard

It is becoming clear that in today’s society individuals need to be able to communicate and have their voices and opinions heard. Building upon Boreas workshops that I have attended, I decided to examine two ways that individuals are able to have their opinions heard: the more traditional newspaper opinion piece of the ‘Letter to the Editor’ and the new digital audio podcast. For the first part of my project, I sent ‘Letters to the Editor’ to three newspapers – two (national and local) traditional print newspapers and one local online newspaper. Then for the second part of my project, I contacted and met with two local podcasters to discuss how they get their views across in the podcast format. The expected outcome is to become more confident in expressing my opinions in the public arena and to learn about podcasting – a format that allows everyone to have a voice.

Part 1: I wrote three Letters to the Editor
1) Letter to the MinnPost: “In praise of the political podcast.” MinnPost.com (April 18). https://www.minnpost.com/letters/2017/04/praise-political-podcast
2) Letter to the Saint Paul Pioneer Press: “Close Unethical Schools.” Saint Paul Pioneer Press (April 19): 10A http://www.twincities.com/2017/04/19/letter-pedestrians-can-help-their-own-cause/
3) Letter to The New York Times – not published
Part 2: Talking to Two local Podcasters
-1) Stacy Verdick Case, the host of the podcast ‘The Not Boring Book Show’, which is also a MyTalk 107.1 podcast, http://www.podcastone.com/the-not-boring-book-show.
-2) Derek Kosky, the host of podcast ‘Off The Shelf’ https://www.mixcloud.com/derek-kosky/


An lovely new book on THE CARD CATALOG by The Library of Congress has arrived during #NationalLibraryWeek and purchased with some of my birthday Amazon.com gift card. Its very beautiful and fun and it even comes with its own checkout card! Not that I would ever loan it out, but still fun to have. What other wonders await inside this book?


I met with Stacy Verdick Case, the host of The Not Boring Book Show podcast, today to discuss podcasting. Stacy is a author of three mystery novels set in Minnesota and her latest podcast The Not Boring Book Show is a MyTalk 107.1 Podcast. The lady knows her podcasts. Despite my sneezing (I have a bad cold) I learned a lot about the crazy world of podcasts. Stacy called it the Wild West and it totally is! Besides the gift of knowledge, which is always the best gift you can give, I received an autographed ‘The Grand Mystery’ and some cool The Not Boring Book Show swag. Thanks Stacy!

Christmas with the kids!

Celebrated Christmas with my favorite niece and nephew and their way cool Mom (she told me to say that) tonight. I received some fantastic Harry Potter socks, some soda with amazing flavors – which includes bacon and one that’s like butterbeer, a soap with caffeine in it, and some yummy holiday treats. Yes, everyone knows of my Harry Potter obsession. I gave the kids their annual autographed book. This year its the beautiful “Vietnamese Children’s Favorite Stories” by Phuoc Thi Minh Tran, who is the first Vietnamese librarian, and from Minnesota. I also got Julian some Doctor Who Legos, Louisa some Shopkins, and they also got a lump of coal (a marshmallow covered in chocolate). Yes, their favorite librarian aunt really does give the best gifts.

A HathiTrust Thank You

One of the projects I have been working on in the library this year has been with the HathiTrust. The HathiTrust “is a partnership of major research institutions and libraries working to ensure that the cultural record is preserved and accessible long into the future. The mission of HathiTrust is to contribute to research, scholarship, and the common good by collaboratively collecting, organizing, preserving, communicating, and sharing the record of human knowledge” (https://www.hathitrust.org/about). Basically what I have been doing is reviewing UK books and looking to see when the author died and when the book was published to see if the books is out of copyright and can be put into public domain. Its been a very fun project and I have looked at official reports of the sinking of the Titanic, books by Richard Burton, and lots of odd little books. The project is getting ready to end and they sent out a very nice letter of commendation. I am sure everyone got a letter, but its nice to be thanked.

I was even listed on their website as participating (https://www.hathitrust.org/copyright-review):

Thank you HathiTrust

Taking your MLIS Abroad

I discuss my time as a Librarian in Honduras (2002-2003) in the new book Taking your MLIS Abroad: Getting and Succeeding in an International Library Job by Lara Seven Phillips & Katherine G. Holvoet which was just published on November 30, 2016. From what I have read so far, its a great book and gives honest answers (the good, the bad, and the ugly) about working as a librarian abroad.

Lara and Kate had a call/announcement looking for librarians who had experience working out of the country and then sent those individuals a questionnaire with 15 questions. Later other questions were asked via email. I did not, as many people know, have a good experience working in Honduras and I don’t mind sharing. All the answers that I gave for the book where things that I have told family, friends, and co-workers over the years.

This was my favorite sentence that I submitted (and its something that I always say) and sadly it did not make the editing cut is: “not every adventure is a good adventure.” This is so true. I had many trips before Honduras around Central and South American and had wonderful adventures, but this was the fist time I was in a situation that was truly horrible. I hated it and I wanted to leave every day I was there. But I stayed one year and left at the end of the school year.

The whole passage I submitted was: “I came to realize that not every adventure is a good adventure. Some adventures are terrible and they suck and you will end up hating them and that’s totally ok. It’s ok to have a bad adventure, learn from it, and leave. Even if you have a contact, don’t be a martyr, as no one cares. Get out of it what you want to and then leave.”

What ended up in the book: “It’s ok to have a bad adventure, learn from it, and leave. Even if you have a contact, don’t be a martyr, as no one cares. Get out of it what you want to and then leave.”

Taking your MLIS Abroad is a fun book and I am quoted a few (I think I counted 13) times, so buy the book or get it from your local library.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was finally released today! The screenplay arrived on my Kindle Thursday night, but the movie and screenplay were officially released today (aka Friday November 18). I wanted to see the movie before I read the book, so while it was tempting to read it last night, I did hold off and devoured the book today. The book designers did a wonderful job with the artwork in the book, but I was hoping for a bit more backstory. As with screenplays, you always want more and with the world of Harry Potter a screenplay is just the trip of the iceberg.

So an extremely busy day filled with appointments, a snowstorm, and a new Harry Potter movie. Overall a fantastic movie and book and I am one happy Muggle.