The Electric Lady

I didn’t like the idea of therapy at first,” she continues. “In the black community, nobody goes to therapy. You go to your pastor or you go to the Bible. There’s a stigma.” Monáe, who grew up in a devout Christian family, still says grace before meals. “But I think God blesses us with brains to find medicine, to find cures, and I don’t believe in not using that. Therapists are there to listen.”

Janelle Monáe in a (very) well written feature in Pitchfork. The bleeding edge design, while frustrating, is fitting for an artist who defies convention the way shedoes.

Facebook and Library Patron Engagement – A Question

A graph showing Facebook interaction

Overseeing the creation and maintenance of the library’s social media accounts is one of my many responsibilities. Recently, one of the staff in the Children’s and Teen Services division asked whether we could set up Facebook fan pages for library staff so that staff can communicate with at-risk youth. It seems these teens use Facebook messaging for communication far more than email (which totally makes sense and isn’t surprising), and creating patron-centred services is something the library values very highly.

Yet I’m not sure that creating individual fan pages is the right way to handle this kind of interaction. My question for you is — how does your library handle Facebook messaging between library staff and the public? What sort of best practices have you put into place to ensure that these discussions are captured, tracked, and counted toward your library’s reference statistics?

Respond Via Twitter?

I enable comments on a post-by-post basis on this blog because I don’t tend to get very many comments these days. I’d like to keep some sort of feedback loop going, though. I’d love it if there were a way to replace the comment form with a “respond to this on Twitter” form. Does such a thing exist?

Crowdsourcing the Name for a New Social Intranet

I know this idea makes sense, and it’s an ingenious way of getting staff excited about the intranet and committed to being a part of its success, but I live in fear of bad library puns. I do like that they included “Please no!” as one of the voting options.

Try One On For Size

a Rivendell Betty Foy bicycle in a field
Rivendell Betty Foy in Pemberton, BC

If you’re anything like me, you try a lot of things on for size as you go through life.

Maybe you’ve gained, lost, (and in my case, regained) weight. As our bodies fluctuate, we sometimes lose sight of what size we wear at any given point in our lives. Vanity sizing only complicates matters, so if you’re buying anything but the basics, chances are you have to try on clothes before you buy them.

If you’ve moved from one town, one state, or one country to another, you may play with different identities, or try on a new outlook on life. When a person’s physical geography changes, I find that their mental geography often follows suit.

I’ve tried on a lot of different bicycles over the years. I’ve owned a Norco hybrid, a Trek comfort bike, a Batavus Fryslan Dutch city bike, a Rocky Mountain road bike, and, most recently, a Norco City Glide bicycle. While each of these bikes held a special place in my heart, I was always in search for the perfect bike. I wanted a bike that could take me anywhere and everywhere I wanted to go, and I didn’t want to have to worry about tire size, or bike weight, my own fitness (or lack thereof).

Why am I writing about this? Maybe it’s to justify my bicycle obsession, but that’s not the only reason. I want new cyclists to understand that trying a lot of different bikes and riding styles on for size is completely normal, and is part of the process of becoming a more confident rider. As your skills mature, it’s highly likely that your needs might change. Go with that. Don’t try to make do because you’re afraid of seeming flaky or indecisive. You might have to buy — and sell — a lot of bikes until you find the one(s) that work best for your type of riding. There are as many different kinds of bikes as there are riders, and you won’t truly know which style fits your life until you try one or more on for size.

(I haven’t yet decided whether I’m going to do a full review of the Betty Foy. All I know is that she rides like no other bike I’ve ever owned, and I fell deeply in love with this bike at first ride.)

Using Google Fonts In Your WordPress Theme

I’ve used Google fonts with various levels of success in WordPress themes before, but this method used by Natalie MacLees, which involves editing your theme’s functions.php file is easier, and it follows WordPress’ best practices for adding styles to a theme.