This is How It’s Done

My friend Royce Kitts is the director of the Tonganoxie Public Library in nearby Tonganoxie, KS. The library has redone its website, and it looks fantastic! Check it out!

The site has a definite look to it, but it’s not overdone. It’s comfortable and appealing. It’s easy to find things. I love the picture of the old card catalog at the catalog search box. I absolutely adore the “world’s nicest library” tagline. And the first post at the top of the page? A listing of library rules and guidelines for staff. Sheer brilliance! I think it sets a new standard in transparency.

I’m floored at how simple and wonderful this site it. Well done, Royce!

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Words of Wisdom

From my dear friend Mary Carmen Chimato:

If life were easy and didn’t scare us from time to time it wouldn’t be nearly as fun or adventurous. It also wouldn’t provide us with the opportunities to change, evolve, and grow. We can choose to look at the hard times very negatively or we can choose to endure, persevere and try to learn something from the experience. It’s easy to do the former and requires much much effort to do the latter. You’re on the right path. If you weren’t you’d feel a thousand times worse. Sometimes the right decisions start off feeling like wrong ones, but that’s usually because we’re scared.

Right Back Where I Started From

I just flew in from San Francisco and, boy, are my arms–sorry. Let’s not go there.

A couple of months ago, in the heart of an extremely cold and snowy winter, I suddenly had an urge to be in San Francisco. I was born there, but we moved away when I was about a year old or so. I’ve been back a couple of times since then, but the last time I was there was 25 years ago. Why I had this urge to go back, I can’t really say, but it was there. My girlfriend, Berkie, had never been. We both looked into airfares and hotel rates, discovering that a trip was actually affordable.

And so we went. 5 Days and 4 nights in the city of my birth. We had an amazing time. I’ve said before that San Francisco is my favorite American city. This trip confirmed it. Berkie and I were terribly sad to leave the Bay Area.

We stayed at the San Remo Hotel, which I highly recommend. It’s cozy and beautiful, with very friendly staff. It’s in North Beach, a few blocks from Fisherman’s Wharf. Across the street is a fabulous coffee shop, Caffe Capriccio, where we had breakfast every morning.

While in the Bay Area, we geeked out outside of Mythbusters HQ, visited the grave of Emperor Norton, discovered why people are so fanatical about Trader Joe’s (because it’s awesome!), checked out City Lights, saw the house in Berkeley where my parents lived when I was born, met some online friends in person for the first time, saw some college friends I haven’t seen in 15 years, and ate loads of incredible food. We traveled around the Bay Area by foot, bus, trolley, BART and car. We fell in love with the restaurants and coffee shops, the architecture and design, the multicultural mishmash of people. If I didn’t have so many friends and family here in Kansas City, and if the Bay Area wasn’t so freaking expensive, I’d move there in half a heartbeat.

I’ve posted my vacation snaps to Flickr. Check ’em out, if you’d like.

Movin’ & Shakin’ & Rhymin’ & Stealin’

Now it can be told: in January, my good friend/partner-in-crime Steve Lawson and I were notified by Library Journal that we were among this year’s Movers & Shakers. I was honestly very surprised and conflicted. Of course it’s a huge ego-stroke. And it’s flattering that other people nominated us for this. (Whoever you are, THANK YOU!) But this is also kind of an “establishment” thing, which Steve and I usually set ourselves outside of. And to be honest, I don’t feel like I really did much moving and shaking this past year. (Surviving, yes. Moving and shaking, not so much.)

But it is sincerely flattering, and it’s really nice to be recognized for the work (and play) Steve and I put into the Library Society of the World. And it’s a huge honor to be included among the other Movers and Shakers. Congratulations to all of you! And here’s a public high five with my fellow carping nerdboy, Steve Lawson! I’m so glad I know you and get to make mischief with you! You, sir, rock the block!