Thursday, May 24, 2018

Time flies when you are learning

Have you ever noticed that when you are learning a new skill or task, you lose focus on other things?  Some people call it "senior moments" while others refer to it as losing track of time, or being absent minded.  In my head, I have composed many posts for this blog but as you  know, none of them have appeared.  This past month, I am learning a new skill which really is changing my life called I'D or Intergroup Dialogue.  It is a skill I think anyone involved with engagement and government information should check out.  It requires deep thinking, deep listening, and trust in ways I have not experienced before.  Fortunately for me, I was able to work with the best, Dr. Biren (Ratnesh) A. Nagda who literally co-wrote the book on facilitating intergroup dialogues. If you are looking for a new skill, try this one.  Next, I want to learn classical guitar.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Happy New Year!  I apologize for taking so long to post.  Like many of you, I have been a bit obsessed with binge watching all my favorite shows over the holidays to catch up on what I missed.  Did you know Dynasty is back?  I love both the old and the new version.  It is just what is needed to clear my head after many days of reading the proposed Title 44 language.  If you have not taken some time to read it, please do.  GPO and ALA would like to hear about it.  Bernadine, Jim and James Jacobs, Barbie Selby, and Peggy Jarrett have each expressed their thoughts on GOVDOC-L and FGI, as will I.

In the meantime, it is a new year and time to start up with some new thoughts.  It is cold most places around the country so a good time to snuggle up with either a good book (shameless plug for our good friend Rob Lopresti's book When Women Didn't Count: The Chronic Mismeasure and Marginalization of American Women in Federal Statistics which really is a page turner) or watch a good movie (did anyone else catch the marathon of Thin Man films on New Year's Eve) or binge watch a favorite show or game (another shameless plug for my alma mater, geaux Tigers!)

Thursday, November 2, 2017

National Sandwich Day

When did sandwiches deserve a day of recognition of their own?  We also have national donut day, peanut butter fudge day, and even my participation favorite, National Absurdity Day.  To get an idea for the depth and breadth of these traditions, please take a few minutes to look at the national calendar.

This calendar may give you some inspiration for a good display of government publications.

Friday, September 8, 2017

James Smithson

One of my personal heroes was a man named Jacques-Louis Macie who was a collector of minerals and rocks. By all accounts he was also a chemist as well.  He was born at a time when it was inconvenient and frequently illegal for your parents not to be married or in his case, his mother to be a mistress to a Duke under the Hanover Monarchies and then the reign of Queen Victoria.  When Macie was 22, he changed his name to James Smithson and began his travels.  These travels led him across Europe and helped him to test scientific theories and discover new minerals including one that was eventually named for him.  More importantly, upon his death, he left his collections and fortune to the government of the United States of America.  I think his story would make a remarkable film, don't you?   Check out P.L. 89-124, which was a Presidential Proclamation to celebrate the bicentennial  of his birth. Also, there is a good online source the National Institutes of Health discussing his contributions to science at

LSTA/I MLS funding update

In the ALA District Dispatch today, we learned the Senate Appropriations Committed gave us a present with an additional $4 million in the IMLS funding.  This Senate bill will have to be voted on by the full Senate and then reconciled with the House version yet this step demonstrates positive support for libraries. We have a good step to celebrate!

Monday, August 21, 2017

225th Anniversary of the U.S. Mint

With all the excitement of the eclipse, I almost forgot another major milestone to celebrate, the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Mint!  If you have a chance to visit the U.S. Mint, they provide a fabulous tour in Philadelphia (the first mint) and in Denver.  Of course, Fort Knox is not really open to the public. For all you coin lovers, the Mint will "issue 24-karat gold coins and corresponding .999 fine silver medals depicting a contemporary design of Lady Liberty and an eagle" and you can receive newsletters about when they are available or go to their web site ( for more information.  Take a few minutes and enjoy this anniversary!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Unusual behaviors during an eclipse? We are not the only ones.

It seems that everywhere I turn, people are talking about the total eclipse of the sun - their plans to travel to Oregon or Wyoming to view the eclipse or travel elsewhere just to see it.  Is it because it is such an unusual phenomenon?  I have seen a total eclipse when I was a kid and it was okay. I was not mesmerized like my brother, who is now an astrophysicist or frighted like a friend of mine who happens now to be in the clergy.  To me, it was nature being nature.  I do not get all the fuss of going to spend all this money on something that is supposed to happen.  However, I do recognize the immense power of natural phenomena, especially how total eclipses tend to throw people into fits of crazy behavior.  People are discussing how their lives are out of sync because of the eclipse.  I certainly cannot discount it.  When nature is out of whack, we certainly can feel it, especially those of who are more grounded to the earth than others.  The media are starting to run stories about myths and superstitions around solar eclipses as August 21st approaches.  For example take a look at the PBS News Hour ( report on how life responds as animals and insects change their behavior.  National Geographic ( also posted a very interesting story in animal reactions to the solar eclipse.  Do these help understand our reactions?  A really good article is Bob Berman's article in Wired (

If you look at NASA's history of eclipses site, you will see what I mean.  For example, the most famous solar eclipse  ( was in 1133 CE when Henry II died coinciding with a complete solar eclipse.  As a result of his death, England was thrown into civil war. 

NASA also has wonderful eclipse history site  for beginners who are just learning about these events and explain the difference between partial and total eclipses. (  Sorry, they do not apply to a total eclipse of your heart all you Bonnie Tyler lovers.

So get out your GPO eclipse kit and get ready.  The next one is scheduled for 2024.