App of the Week: Yours, Vincent

Name: Yours, Vincent: The letters of Vincent Van Gogh
Platform: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
(Requires iOS 3.0 or later)
Cost: FREE!

A while back I discovered that various museums have free apps, and since then I’ve been eagerly filling an iPhone folder with museum guides from around the world. While some, like the Explorer App for the American Museum of Natural History certainly informed my recent visit, others, like Your’s Vincent, make the actual visit icing on the cake.

Pentimento’s Your’s Vincent app created by Antenna Audio for the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam uses Van Gogh’s own letters as a guide to his works. The app combines image, video, and sound into a personalized and detailed examination of the artist and his art.

Organized’ chronologically, the museum website claims that Your’s Vincent “features many of Van Gogh’s sketches and paintings from the Van Gogh Museum collection, video interviews with the museum’s letters experts and new picture galleries that showcase his art.” ‘ Better yet, the app delivers on these claims. The app in engrossing and detailed and is able to stand alone from its exhibit. I have yet to visit Amsterdam or the Van Gogh museum, and this app gets me close to that possibility while still enticing me to actually visit (wistful sigh).’  Continue reading App of the Week: Yours, Vincent

App of the Week: Epic Win

Title: Epic Win
Platform: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
(Requires iOS 3.0 or later)
Cost: $2.99

Let it first be said that I am a list maker. Before my iPhone, I loved using my daily calender to keep my lists of things I needed TO DO. And with my iPhone, I’ve tried various TO DO programs to keep myself organized, but usually end up back with real sticky notes. ‘ I ‘ keep sticky notes by my desk at both work and home so I can add more things to my lists. Trouble is, my little sheets often unstick themselves, disappear, or end up deep under the pile of other notes on stickies. ‘ So I am always on the hunt for a better TO DO app. One that really fits my way of trying to keep organized.

So you can’t imagine how happy I was when I learned about Epic Win when a friend showed me this Pre-Release Trailer. Finally an app that lets users turn their own life into the epic quest it really is. ‘ This app is a To Do List / RPG mash up, and it’s kept me on task for months now. Continue reading App of the Week: Epic Win

30 Days of Back to School: The Playlist

Many of you, like me, have made a shift from one job to another this summer. Kudos to each of you who still managed to get their posts in during September. Me, I’m just now getting to my desk to write this. (I just now have a desk in my apt!!) During this transition, a few earworms have made their way in. I imagine others have found certain songs rolling around their brains this last month too. With Teen Read Week‘s theme being Books with Beat this year, and our blogmaster giving her students a weekly playlist, I thought it only fitting to put down some of the beats that have been in my head lately.

Here’s my playlist: Continue reading 30 Days of Back to School: The Playlist

Dear Teens at My Desk,

Just as I was about to begin writing my long overdue blog post on the YALSA website you bounded to the circulation desk and challenged me to a duel of wits. “Anything can be linked to Harry Potter” you exclaimed. With such confident swagger and determined stares, how could I NOT take you up on this challenge?

How was I to know that asking’ you about HP’s relationship to formal poetry, chemical engineering and Antarctica would lead to talk of Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events, Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why, and Geraldine McCaughrean’s The White Darkness?’  I don’t know how it happens that I’ve never seen the Harry Potter musical on You Tube though you aren’t the first to try to show it to me. And I’m proud of you for returning to the text to find evidence to support your assertions.

Still, how could I predict that two more would ‘ join your forces– adding environmental sustainability and William Golding’s The Princess Bride into the conversation equation? And why did I’ believe showing you this MeowFail was relevant? Was I linking Winston to Crookshanks? How is it that over an hour passed while we talked? Finally looking back at my screen, I see that ‘ I only have’ a partial’ sentence written for my post:

“While this post is arriving part of the way through National Library Week”

and I’m sure that really just won’t do. Didn’t you all come to the library to do some work or something? Continue reading Dear Teens at My Desk,

What a Librarian Can Learn from Chess

A few years back I bought a chess board for our library, the kind with a magnetic board that makes it a bit portable, and one where I hoped students wouldn’t lose pieces too easily. I placed it on a spare student-sized desk near the library’s entrance with two nice chairs on either side. Teachers and students began sitting down or huddling deep into a game while waiting for a class to end or during a free period. I placed our few books about chess next to our game and hoped the board would help welcome in more library users. Then the school year ended.

When the new school year began, I put the chess board back on its desk. Three days into that school year, a handwritten notice was found under the board: Continue reading What a Librarian Can Learn from Chess