Tuesday, March 29, 2005

It's here.. and it's going to be a blast...i hope..

well.. not often you get a book that come close to the Harry Potter craze... hrrmmpp.. early reviews from Septimus Heap seems to say that it's going to be really big.. and guess what? The book's in Singapore.. available at Kinokuniya now!!!... the book even comes with a CD.. wonder what's that about. haven't heard anything about it. But to be honest.. it's quite expensive for a kid's book.. in the range of the Potter's books as well, retailing at S$31.86. And you know .. if you buying stuff over S$50... free delivery.. it's not too bad the website... just in case you are a bibliophile like me. .. can't wait to get my hands on the book... :) yup yup.. and you have been alerted here....

i hope to get mine by the end of the week.. so watch out.. maybe i'd be writing a report on the book.

8.5 ritcher scale earthquake in North Sumatra

Ok.. i know now that it's not just me who felt the tremors. It's just been reported on the news (channel news asia) that there is a earthquake in North Sumatra. Apparently, it's caused by the same plates that devastated much of Asia over Christmas. It even trigger a tsunami warning.

They even had a guy on the show staying near my place to say how he evacuated his family when he saw his fish tank was shaking.. hee hee...

i would like to think that my place is safe...

Tremors felt in Singapore.. did you feel it?

was doing my work and about 10 mins ago.. i thought that i was sliding off my chair.. anyway.. didn't think much of it until my sister, who's staying in East Coast called. She had to walk down 23 stories cos her building was swaying cos of tremors.. hrrmmpp.. nothing's been reported on the news yet.

i wonder if anyone else felt it.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Totally irks me...

i was in library school sitting through some presentations by a couple of my juniors. There were several things that i didn't agree on with them during the presentations.. i guess alot has to do with the fact that they were actually full-time students with no library experience... they have a different concept of library operations and had so many loop holes in their presentations. But what totally irks me out was that given that these people are yonds younger than me and are supposedly to be the next gen's librarians... both of the presenters coincidentally put up the presentation using graphics of the same image depicting a librarian... a STEREOTYPICAL librarian (may i just add).. see the image used below...

(image was taken from animationfactory.com)

It's funny cos after the contact and interaction that they would have had with the professors and lecturers and fellow classmates who are working in libraries... they'd know that none of us look like that at all. Even my lecturer commented in class that there was (sorry.. it's IS) a stereotype of librarians.. My question to the presenters is.. "Do you think that you will conform and transform yourself to become that image once you get your certification and become a librarian?"

Years ago, when i just started on my job.. i came across this ad that i thought was the coolest ever... i craved for the car since then.. but given the high costs of car ownership in Singapore and my pay.... i had to abandon my dream... doesn't stop me from dreaming about this car or this car either. Maybe i'm strike lottery or something...

The ad for the Honda Accord V-6 Coupe described the car as : "The automotive equivalent of a really hot librarian. Good-looking, yet intelligent. Fun, yet sophisticated. All in a very eye-catching 200-horsepower package."

i would like that think that that's so very me!!! So i forwarded the ad to my friends.

One of my friends replied my mail and sent me this picture back.

i went "how did you get this picture?"... He replied, "Oh... it was the first picture that came out when i used google images for 'librarian'". Now... i tried to look for that image today.. and you know something... i had to go through 30 pages of results before finding this image again... and going through the results.. a lot of the librarians aren't like the stereotype at all.... Bespectacled with a chain link... hair in a bun.. grounchy.. middle to old aged woman. Instead.. they look happy.. smiley... youthful... just like anyone walking on the street... found this feature in a local magazine recently..

Guess who's a librarian here?

So why then this image still persists? i have no answer to that... one thing for sure is that if we didn't raise our objections to the images used in class during that presentation... maybe my fellow classmates might have continued using that template for the rest of their school term???? :P

if you are keen to explore more on the stereotype image of librarians.. here's a link, go to http://www.ibiblio.org/librariesfaq/sect7.htm

Meanwhile... if only 1 can get one of these tees to wear to work.. i'd go to work happy!!

This tee can be bought from www.estorescanada.com/librariangear/products/0503.html. Cute librarian tees can be bought from librariangear.com or here. Seems that the link is not working today though.. check it out some other time. they have really cool stuff there..

Hint: Anyone thinking of buying me presents.... go there!!! :) *i'm shameless*

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Time to go a hoppin' and boppin'

I now realise why i was having bunny fever and thinking of bunnies left and right... it's EASTER weekend this week...no wonder i've been seeing bunnies everywhere.. even my poor Stitch became a not-so-happy bunny overnight!!

Let's go and munch on some chocolate easter eggs now!!!

Hrrmmpp.. should i go into work this weekend wearing my bunny ear hairband and bow-tie... be Ms Bridget Jones?

Books that i can't wait to get my hands on to read - an update

Contrary to popular belief... people who work in the libraries often don't get the first dips on new books that come into the library. Often, the books are out on the shelves before we realise it. How come this happens and why? Weeeelllll... even though i do scan the latest book releases, recommendations and reviews from various sources like publishers, book stores and stuff... it still takes some time for the books to come in. Unless one is willing to pay for reservation fees.. (yes... we have to pay the fees if we are so desperate for them).. and honestly.. i don't pay... cos why? cos i don't believe in 'donating' my money back.. cos they are only giving me so little money.. hee hee hee.. but the truth is that i'm a keeper of books... i love having my own books.. so i'd rather buy them to keep and also to re-read. i have got books since my childhood that i'm still holding on to. My sister is forever saying that i'm stuck in a time warp...

Obviously i disagree with her.

Anyway.. i digress... i started this post cos i found some really cool books that i can't wait to get my hands on... however, these books are not available in Singapore yet. Trust me.. i have checked...

1. Septimus Heap, Book One: Magyk (Septimus Heap) by Angie Sage, Mark Zug (Illustrator)

2. Runny Babbit : A Billy Sook by Shel Silverstein (Illustrator)

3. The Book of Bunny Suicides by Andy Riley (this book is available... but was out of stock til recently. i have yet to go down to the shop to get it. i got a copy of the sequel Return of the Bunny Suicides for Christmas and it was hilarious... so i can't wait to see the book that started it all)

Now.. from the reviews and the blurbs on Septimus Heap made the book sounds really captivating.

The seventh son of the seventh son, aptly named Septimus Heap, is stolen the night he is born by a midwife who pronounces him dead. That same night, the baby's father, Silas Heap, comes across a bundle in the snow containing a new born girl with violet eyes. The Heaps take this helpless newborn into their home, name her Jenna, and raise her as their own. But who is this mysterious baby girl, and what really happened to their beloved son Septimus?

At the same time.. Shel Sliverstein (1930 -1999) has a new book out. i've been a big fan of his books ever since my friend gave me one years and years ago.... i love his simple yet quirky line drawings... so yeah... a humorous tale about a bunny filled with orginal word play.. a poem that both the young and the young at heart will enjoy.

Runny Babbit lent to wunch
And heard the saitress way,
"We have some lovely stabbit rew --
Our Special for today."

oh.. and check out Shel Sliverstein's website... got cute animation of the bunny. :)

What's with me and the bunny books today? When can i get a copy to read and keep????!!!?

Made me feel very fatal attraction...

Friday, March 25, 2005

Regular library patron jailed for 2 years

By Selina Lum, 11 March 2005, Straits Times

Oh... having been reminded of the previous post that i wrote on banning people from our libraries.. one of our regular patrons who has harassed a few libraries and lots of library officers and librarians, your truly as well, has been jailed.

Weelll... it's not something that he did in the library... i wouldn't say that i was happy that hear about him being jailed.. but it's more of a "whom did he harass this time now and oh well.. wouldn't be seeing him for a while in my library". Not to mention.. how dumb can one be in Singapore to make such hoaxes... always remember.. Big Brother's watching!!!

Are we on the wrong track?

Got this article from someone...

A recent research from one of the largest study of its kind, published by the Royal Economics Society claims that "computer use in schools does not seem to contribute substantially to students' learning of basic skills such as maths or reading." Thomas Fuchs and Ludger Wossmann of Munich University, reported that the more pupils used computers, the worse they performed. Rather, pupils make more progress in 3Rs without the aid of computers. And just in case you are wondering.. the 3Rs refers to Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic

Now.. given that libraries are in the business of the 3Rs... at least very much involved in the first big "R" for Reading.. should we then be concentrating on establishing the basics first before going into information literacy? i wonder then how competent are kids' reading skills before they embark onto computers?

i had had so many encounters with kids who are unable to sign up for the computer services at our public terminals. My question is .. are they unable to read and thus unable to comprehend the instructions.. or is our website that crappy... i believe it is both.. but then.. i highly suspect that kids nowadays don't have the patience to read. Instant gratification...it's the "i'll just try until something happens" attitude... if push doesn't work.. i'll just pull... no need to read instructions first.

Sometimes i can't help but to compare the kids in the library with my own nephew (he's 7, just in case you are wondering)... i believe that alot come from nurturing... but it's also a whole lot of little things that one can do despite of all the distractions around. A lot depends whether parents or caregivers take the effort to expose or teach their kid. i believe that every effort helps.

Like any normal kid.. my nephew loves his television... he's like a zombie in front of the television.. but since he was young.. whenever he's watching dvds.. i'd switch on the subtitles for him to read.. i figured no harm.. just try to get him to look at some words.. and maybe he'd gain some word recognition down the road. Anyway.. one day... while i was watching a *ahem* pirated Incredibles with him (that was before the licensed dvd came out.. and FYI, i bought the wide-screen collector's edition once it came out)... he turned around and asked me, " What is the meaning of duplicate?" At that point in time.. the screen on the tv was flashing a huge DO NOT DUPLICATE!

i was flabbergasted..

first reaction was.. my god.. i shouldn't have bought a pirated dvd and corrupted him with it.. he'd think that i'm a terrible aunt for partaking in criminal activities..

second was.. how do i tell him that i didn't do anything wrong.. or that rather.. it was wrong to be duplicating the dvd.. try copyright laws and stuff

third was.. how do i explain to him wat duplicate means..

and fourth was... AH!!!.. i can now get him his own dictionary and teach him how to look up meaning of words by himself.

And i got out the dictionary and show him wat the word is.. and how he could look it up himself the next time he didn't know a word... of cos i had to add in the thing... it is a criminal offense to be making copies or copying the dvd. Make sure that you never do that... err.. i left out the part if we should or shouldn't be buying and watching pirated dvds... hee hee hee ..

The very next day, i went to the bookstore and got him his own dictionary...

Can't say that he uses the dictionary much... the last time round i checked... he said that it was difficult to use... and hasn't tried to look up much words... hrrmmpp... my consolation is that at least he knows what a dictionary is for... just get his mum/dad to guide him along now.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Coming to you in the near future..

Read about the Wesley's clock in Harry Potter?? How, instead of having hour, minute and second hands, the clock has hands for each member of the family.. and around the clock.. it has places/locations.. eg.. office, school, home.. whatever.. and so.. the hands for each member will be pointing to the locations.. or even in mortal peril (if ever caught in the situation).

Sounds a bit far fetched? Seems that it might be a reality in the near/distant future. Microsoft researchers recently showed off a digital clock that is like that.

Seems that that project was truly inspired by the Wesley's clock.. and there's no doubt that if that clock truly becomes available in the market.. we'd have lots of things to answer for..

"Why were you at XXX's when you told me that you'd be at work??""


Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Colour your world

create your own visited countries map

Found this project on the net... it colours the countries that you have visited..... it's pathetic that in my life, i've only been to 8 countries, including 4 states in USA (so the big shaded red part is kinda misleading) . i need to be better paid to travel the world...

Monday, March 07, 2005

Must reads A to Z?

Came across this article a couple of weeks ago in Singapore's Sunday Times... it was very interesting.. and got me thinking along the lines of .... what A to Z books would i get someone to read to get insights in to what i'm thinking, the kind of values and beliefs that i hold dear. And then, it went further along the lines of what A to Z books i would remember someone by... and worse still... what A to Z events/things i would remember someone by.

Did try to sit down for a while to do up an excel spreadsheet on my A to Z books... then it grew to my A - Z movies (which i'm nuts about.. if you haven't got it from my previous posts)... and then.. went on to my friends' A to Z books and A to Z things/events that i remember them by...

It's not easy at all.. especially when you have to sit down and think really really hard... and for certain letters of the alphabet... you either get alot.. or you get none.

Then again.. maybe so much time shouldn't be spend on compling a list like that... i really wonder what use will it come to in the end... maybe one day for my eulogy... someone would get hold of my A to Z books and get well/bad - wishers to read them (buzz word now in the libraries now is reading clubs.. i'm so pro-library that i'm going to get sick myself???!! Har har).... maybe it'd be good.. or simply too late... i'm too complex and confusing... i don't even know myself at times.. hee hee :D

Maybe someday.. i'd make known my list.. or maybe not... might be too private after all...

In the meanwhile... if you are looking for lists of books to read.. how about UK top 100 reads? Where's one from Singapore?? :P

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Libraries, audio books and Ipod Shuffles....

Hrrmmpp.. interesting news... came across this piece of news from the tiny little librarian's blog. This is amazing... libraries are lending out audio books on ipods... and not just any ipod... even the latest ipod shuffle loaded audio books to load out to patrons.

To a certain extend.. it is appealing.. however.. i wonder how does the copyright issue work and also.. how does one administer the circulation of such things...especially in Singapore.

In the first place.. the libraries here don't have much audio books... the concept of having audio books is pretty unfamiliar. We used to have a collection and it's not maintained and kept. However, in view of the aging society and the need to cater to people with disabilities... i feel that the libraries need to look into it. But then again... what is the appeal of the audio books in Singapore?

I have a few audio books of Harry Potter ... however, somehow.. when i listen to it... the story doesn't sink it at all... i'd be so busy multitasking.. either reading or driving, watching tv or doing work so much so that basically it becomes background noise. Another reason could be that i'm familiar with the books and hence don't pay attention at all. i really don't know how other's feel about audio books.. but that's just how i reacted to it. Then again.. i don't rely on it at all for my needs... i wonder if i would be captivated by any audio books... maybe i should try a few on my ipod shuffle.

And with the ipod shuffle... hrrmmpp... it's interesting... questions.. does the librarian load the audio book into the shuffle when the patron requests for it? What if the patron goes home and deletes the file and use the ipod for his own purposes? One can just easy plug the shuffle in to the computer and delete the file. Is the audio file mean to be deleted at the end of the loan period??

Questions.. questions.. and more questions... wonder if ever our libraries will ever implement things like that... and at what type of costs... hrrrmmmppp...