Tag Archives: website

The old Artist Widget resurfaces

Previously I had a widget with a rotating Artist of the Month. Unfortunetly it was cluttering things up visually. I’m a liker of art type of guy so when I finally put the effort into retooling this blog’s layout Art got moved to it’s own page. The official possibilites are now: Endless.

Here’s the list that began it all:

Septmeber’s Artist: Sveta Dorosheva (Ukraine). This links to Sveta’s website . I chose Sveta Dorosheva for the spark of life that she infuses her drawings with. I’m a fan of the stark contrast between B&W she uses and am struct with a bittersweet nostalgia for my childhood when, perhaps,my powers of creativity where greater in scope and energy.

August’s Artist:Bev Doolittle (USA).
This links to Bev’s website . I chose Mrs. Doolittle because she has both great technical skill; her paintings are very detailed and look like the stuff they’re supposed to look like! Plus, she has a great mind/eye/Mind’s Eye for the art of illusions. Most (if not ALL) her work contains an illusion or two. Treat yourself, go to her website and check her art out!

July’s Artist:David Blackwood (CAN).
This links to David’s website . I chose Mr. Blackwood because he’s an AMAZING printmaker and printmaking along with oil painting holds a reserved part of my heart… a place where only the finest of artistic crafts are respected 😉

June’s Artist:Kimberely Dodd (CAN).
This links to Kim’s website . I chose Kim because I have finally gotten over the hump of being exclusively “a cat person.” Also it was in June that I first met Kim, so I figured she should get a shout out. Shauna, if you ever read this, get your site up and running and I’ll feature you too!

May’s Artist:Mark Vallen (USA).
This links to Mark’s website . I chose Mark Vallen because the scenes he depicts are the scenes that the Canadian and US governments don’t want you to see. Remember that the comfort in our lives is often created at the expense of anther’s life and comfort.

April’s Artist:Elizabeth Thompson (UK).
This links to Google Images of her work. I chose her specifically because I think it’s very important that we think about how we continue to portray images of war.

March’s Artist: Howard Hollis (USA).

February’s Artist: H.R. Giger (Swi).

January’s Artist: Edward Burtynsky (Can).


The Vlogbrothers

Green, J. & Green H. Vlogbrothers Channel [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/user/vlogbrothers

I consider myself lucky to have the friends that I have. In addition to being awesome generally they are all very good at constantly recommending stuff for me to check out… and no they are not ALL librarians, although they are all adults*. Not that being a librarian is a suspect thing. Librarians posses a very wide breadth of knowledge and generally are capable of navigating the interconnected infrastructures of information… also they can be authors, geologist, military personnel, or ninjas** in addition to being librarians which is friggin’ sweet.

The point is, a friend of mine recommend I watch some Vlogbrothers action on Youtube. Of course upon her initial suggestion I was like “Yea! Sounds awesome, I’ll check that out for sure!” Fast forward four or five months… and bang! Boom! I check that shit out! And you know what? It is great.

Reasons the Vlogbrothers are great:
1. They are funny
2. They are smart

(Warning: Can get QUITE nerdy at parts. As an amateur snob it is with relish that I deride some of Hank’s “character” voices. BUT, if you watch enough episodes of both Vlogbrothers and you will learn things that will make you a better person, both academically and socially.)

3. John is a writer and it is really cool to have a tangible sense of “knowing him” by watching him and his brother interact. This intensifies the reading his of books a great deal, or at least it did for me.
4. According to Johns calculations Vlogbrother videos have been viewed 122 000 000 times. In fact their Youtube channel has more subscribers than Operah…Pwned!!!

My favourite episodes are too numerous to list, in addition to the fact that I haven’t watched all of the 820 videos uploaded, nor have I seen all of the episodes of Brotherhood 2.0, the experiment that began this whole online brother phenomenon.
Still I would recommend the episodes where John plays Google auto-fill, the two episodes involving Hank setting the punishment for John missing his turn at sending a vlog entry and the subsequent video of John eating a fat sandwich. And John defending himself from claims by fanatics that he is a “pornographer.”

I’ll be done John Green’s Paper Town in a few days. I’ll tell ya how I feel about by and bye. (So far it’s awesome, can you believe it).

PS – They also have a website for Nerdfighters and other open minded folks. Don’t forget to be awesome!

* They have their own jobs, houses, cars, and grey hairs can be found randomly across their heads.

**Okay so, I don’t know anyone who is ACTUALLY both a ninja and a librarian. However according to this infographic Martial arts ranks above blogging in librarians interests. I find this a highly dubious statement.

Public Libraries Teen Pages

Previously they were the most neglected age group of patrons, but service for teenagers is now becoming an integral focus for public libraries, and what better way to reach out to and interact with teens than through the web. I’d like to take a brief aside from discussing physical material to talk about outreach and access from the libraries website.

Hennepin County Public Library (HCPL)

As you may have noticed one of my Links of Interest takes people to a page of HCPL’s website where teens can post their own reading lists. The HCPL is know for being ahead of the curve when it comes to utilizing technology, and their teen page is no exception. As you can see from the screen shot they have a very capable web designer working on this site. It is very visually appealing, and I am mildly surprised to find that one of the first descriptive words that comes to me when trying to describe this site is…cool! In addition to which a quick scan of the teen page and it’s links contain some valuable, though out content. Beauty and brains are a winning combination! However, I feel this site is a little too cluttered and with so many visuals I suspect that teens may just click on images that appeal to them rather than taking the time to read all the headings and figure out what exactly is going in in the site.

This clustering of images is contrasted against theMilton Public Library (MPL). As you can see from the screenshot of the MPL their teen page still has similar content as the HCPL page has, however I find the MPL’s page to be MUCH easier to access. There are still visuals, as any good website needs, but they are small and serve more to enhance the written content rather than overpowering it.

These are both pages from libraries that physically exist (which means they have funding of some kind beyond what ads can generate… unlike this next site). When searching for Library sites for teens I stumbled across theAwesome Library (online only) and I have to say it is the site I am using as an example of what NOT to do! While the first two sites have comparable screen shots of their homepage the awesome library homepage for teens is a big turnoff. It’s too bad because the content isn’t terrible. There is clearly an effort here to provide kids with up to date, reliable info, but the site is hampered by google ads and the content isn’t always the most academic, for example I wouldn’t be overly confident in citing MSNB.com as my sole source of information.

So, some quick lesson for your Teen page of you public library:

  1. Use visuals, but don’t make the site as cluttered as a teenagers room (not all teens rooms are cluttered, I’ll admit… just 99.9% 😉 )
  2. Make the page inclusive, HCPL has random polls and the book lists for teen input and MPL has the Reader rants section.
  3. Don’t use web design that looks like it’s from the 1990’s (most teens were barely even born in that century)… I’m pointing the finger at you “Awesome” Library.