Queen Anne

Queen Anne: The Politics of Passion

Queen AnneAs the last Stuart monarch of England of Scotland, Queen Anne reigned during a dramatic time at home and in continental European history. Although she had a reserved personality, the Queen left her own mark on British history. In a new biography, Queen Anne: The Politics of Passion by Lady Anne Somerset, Anne’s life and the world she lived is told. Originally published in the UK, the book was released here in the US in the fall.

I knew a little bit about Anne from reading Jean Plaidy’s reissued novels about the Stuarts a few years earlier.  When I saw this book, I was curious to read more about her.  The biography is well-written and detailed.  The author drew on unpublished sources as part of her research. I was impressed there was more to Anne then what is usually described about her.  For example, she could make decisions at crucial times. Anne’s inspiration was Queen Elizabeth I, and she liked to emulate the Tudor Queen.

As Queen, Anne attended council meetings regularly. She was able to work well with Parliament which hadn’t been easy for her Stuart predecessors.  The Whigs and Tories were active during Anne’s reign, beginning the two party system.  In 1707, Scotland and England became fully united under one crown.

On the European continent, the Queen was involved in the War of Spanish Succession. During this time period, John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, became famous for his military achievements.  Some early American colonial history is mentioned as well.

For many years, Anne was close friends with John’s wife Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough who held important posts in the Queen’s household.  Their relationship deteriorated because of political differences and petty arguments. Of interest to longtime “Masterpiece Theater” viewers, the Churchills were the subject of the historical drama “The First Churchills” in the 1971-72 inaugural season on PBS.

Charles Boit, Queen Anne and Prince George Anne’s husband was Prince George of Denmark (1653-1708) with whom she had a loving marriage.  He had a nominal role during her reign. Unfortunately none of their children survived to adulthood.  When the Prince died, she mourned him deeply.

There is more to Anne’s story so I’ll leave it to readers to find out!

Of interest to those live or work in Maryland, Anne and George have places named in their honor.

Queen Anne was awarded the 2013 Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography in the UK.

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Interview Questions

What do you think is the best question you ever asked when you were interviewing applicants for a position?

What haven’t we asked you?

Tell me about the best boss you have ever had. Tell me about the worst boss you have ever had.

Tell me about a team or group project you have worked on and how you contributed to it.

Describe your most difficult work experience.

Think back to a time when…

Have you ever been faced with a situation where…What did you do?

Why do you want this job?

Tell me about the first job you ever had.

What do you like best about your current position?

What do you like least about it?

What’s your astrological sign? (shows how the candidate deals with the unpredictable question/customer)

If an alien landed his spaceship in your back yard and asked you to get in and fly away with him, would you?

If a teenager wanted to check out ’50 Shades of Grey’ what would you do?

Describe one of your best job related experiences.

Describe one of your worst job experiences.

What will your references say about you?

What are your favorite resources for staying current professionally?” (or … for staying current with local and national news?” depending on the position)

Death Star Owner’s Technical Manual

DEATH STAR Owner’s Technical Manual

128 pages
Published on 7th November 2013
ISBN: 9780857333728

Uncover the secrets of the Empire’s Ultimate Weapon

It has been 36 years since the first Star Wars film was released and the public got its first glimpse of the iconic  Death Star – the evil Empire’s technological terror. Now you can find out how the battle station worked, from its superlaser all the way down to its tractor beams, thanks to Star Wars: Death Star: Owner’s Workshop Manual, a new nuts-and-blaster-bolts Haynes manual out later this year.

Conceived as the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the station was heavily shielded, defended by TIE starfighters and laser cannons, and was invested with firepower greater than half of the Imperial fleet’s.

The Empire’s leaders had every reason to believe that their technological terror would induce fear across the galaxy. But the Death Star had one flaw.

This Haynes Manual  traces the origins of the Death Star, from concept to a top-secret project that began before the foundation of the Empire, which drew design inspiration from the Trade Federation’s spherical warships.

In this manual, the Death Star’s on-board systems and controls are explained in detail, and are illustrated with an astonishing range of computer-generated artwork, floor plans, cutaways, and exploded diagrams, all newly created by artists Chris Reiffand Chris Trevas - the same creative team behind the Millennium Falcon Owner’s Workshop Manual. Text is by their Falcon colleague Ryder Windham, author of more than fifty Star Wars books.

Covering history, development and prototyping, superstructure, energy and propulsion, weapons and defensive systems, hangar bays, security, service and technical sectors, crew facilities, and with information about the Death Star II and its planetary shield generator, this is the most thorough technical guide to the Death Star available.

This Haynes Manual is fully authorized and approved by Lucasfilm.

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DC During Shutdown – Part 2

DC – Epilogue

US Capitol DomeThe shutdown entered its third week.  On October 15th, DC city government opened as usual, and paychecks for city employees went out as scheduled. Frustration about congressional inaction continued.  How long would this go?

On October 16th, Mayor Vincent Gray and his peers in Maryland and Virginia held a press conference at the John A. Wilson Building (our City Hall)  in downtown DC. Each of them explained how the shutdown impacted their respective jurisdictions and called on Congress to act. It will be some time before the final tally on the economy both here in the DC area and the country at large.

At last, the uncertainty ended after 16 days. Congress voted to end the shutdown and reopen the government, DC’s budget was included. Permanent budget autonomy, however, hasn’t been granted.  Mayor Gray has expressed disappointment about the matter.

It’s over–’nuff said!  I’ll leave the media commentators and editorial writers to it…

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DC During Shutdown – Part 1

US Capitol DomeFor the first time since 1996, the federal government shuttered October 1st.  When that has happened in the past, D.C. city government closed down too. Why?  Because the city receives direct funding from the federal government, it is treated as if it is a federal agency.

This time, Mayor Vincent Gray announced he would use the city’s contingency reserve funds to keep the city government in full operation, good for 2 weeks, granting an exemption from the federal shutdown. In the 1995 and 1996 shutdowns, this option wasn’t available.  (Both times, DC city employees were able to return to work after a few days)

As the days wore on, the Mayor became worried as the fund became low.  On October 9th, while Senator Harry Reid was winding up an afternoon press conference, Gray went to speak with him on the Capitol steps after doing his own press conference not far off. D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton was also present.*  Their conversation was on candid camera for the local evening news.  At the White House later that day, she spoke with President Obama about DC’s budget.  As of this writing, nothing has yet to materialize.

For this blog post, these are my observations of the shutdown on the city.  With local and national media outlets covering the shutdown, I’ll leave it to them.  The “Washington Post” started a live blog for shutdown updates.

October 1st

On Tuesday morning, we opened with extended hours system-wide.  Phone calls come from patrons asking if we are open.  (Yes, until 9 pm!)  When I arrive for the evening shift, there are few patrons.  As the day continues, more arrive.  An evening yoga class bustles in.  As the week progresses, more people are taking advantage of our new hours.  For example, there’s an increase in room reservation requests for this month into the next.

The morning commute

On Monday morning (9/30) driving down I-270 is slow going. The traffic reports on WTOP take a few minutes to call since many major roadways in MD, VA, and DC are experiencing heavy volume and problems.  Once I’m in the access ramp to Shady Grove Metro station, I quickly pick up speed at last. On Wednesday morning, it appears to be no worse than usual.  In some stretches, I’m driving slow, others are at speed. I don’t have far to drive to locate a parking space in the Shady Grove Metro station garage.  Usually I’m on the 3rd or 4th level.  On the platform, the half the volume of the commuting crowd is waiting.  As a new week begins, traffic still is heavy in spots.  Because I leave home early on Friday (10/11), I miss the trucker protest convoy on the Beltway later that morning.

Cleveland Park/Woodley Park

On Connecticut Ave in the mornings, there’s a steady volume of traffic through the Cleveland Park area heading for downtown. (Not so much outbound)  It doesn’t appear to have been much of a change. People are still out and about during the daytime. While walking to the Woodley Park Starbucks location on Friday morning (10/4) I see the gates at the National Zoo are closed with large signs posted.  There are several Zoo police officers on duty and restricted admission to the parking lot next to the main entrance.  When I drive by on my way to Saturday evening Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle Church on Oct. 12th, there’s light foot traffic in that area.  Some people are sitting outside the Starbucks and other eateries.

Penn Quarter/Chinatown

DC Public Library Book PlateOctober 7th: I have a mandatory training at MLK Library that morning. As I come off the Metro at Metro Center station, I observe there are half the number of people transferring to the Blue and Orange lines downstairs or leaving the station.  Outside on the street, it’s lighter foot traffic.  Later, as I walk to Lawson’s for lunch, I see fewer food trucks parked along 12th & G St. by Macy’s (formerly Hecht’s).  Business hasn’t been great for them.

Closing note–Oct.13th: The “Post” reports that city has enough to pay city employees on October 15th.  If nothing is done, no guarantee about the next paycheck.

* Note: As a non-voting representative for DC, Delegate Norton is only allowed to speak on the House floor.  She can vote in committees which she’s a member.

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Libraries at SXSW – We Need *Your* Vote! (bestofpublib)

Please share widely!

By Carson Block

For those who already know (and we love you! :0) the SXSW ~ South by Southwest in Austin, Texas – panel picker is open and we need your vote – here’s the list of library submissions with easy-to-click-links:

http://sxswlam.drupalgardens.com/content/2014-sxswi-lam-proposals

For those who don’t yet know….to shift the perceptions of libraries from a warehouse of books to dynamic places that celebrate ideas, we need to share library innovations far and wide with diverse audiences in unique formats. SXSW Interactive is a major annual gathering of thought-leaders and funders – “fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW is the premier destination for discovery.” (Sounds a lot like the library!)

Interactive design and relationship to other fields.

Interactive design and relationship to other fields.

There are a slew of incredible submissions this year proposed by creative library and museum professionals. You can help put libraries, archives, and museums (LAM) at the forefront of this ideas-exchange by voting for LAM presentations in the SXSWi Panel Picker from Aug. 19-Sept. 6, 2013, at http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/.

Below is a list of sxswLAM panel proposals and well as sxswLAM-related panel proposals. You can also do a search by keyword in the Panel Picker for “library” or “libraries”and there are dozens more. If you believe that librarian voices need to be heard, even if you’re not attending, we need your vote to make it happen at SXSWi 2014.

Again, the handy-dandy list of library, archive and museum proposals is here:

http://sxswlam.drupalgardens.com/content/2014-sxswi-lam-proposals

Thanks!

Carson

===
Carson Block Consulting Inc.
Technology Vision. Technology Power. Your Library.
http://www.carsonblock.com

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Funding Public Libraries – Dissertation

(Please share with Library Trustees, Library Staff, and Library Fund Raisers)

By Hartwig Pautz~  University of Strathclyde

How should we fund our public libraries?  Compatibility of income generation with library ethos

Woman_readingPublic libraries, it seems, are in financial trouble everywhere. At the same time, they are expected to do more and for more people. If library revenue from taxes is drying up – what can public libraries do? They can try to generate additional income from their existing services and from new services, specifically established to make money. But are these income activities compatible with what public libraries stand for? Do charges or fee-based services violate the principle of free access to information for everyone? Would the principled rejection of charges and fees just speed up the end of the public library and is thus obsolescent at best, and dangerous at worst?

For my Masters dissertation in Information and Library Studies at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, I would like to hear the opinions of public librarians – including library assistants, managers and fundraisers if working for public libraries – on these questions. My aim is to develop a better understanding of what income generation activities are used by public librarians and what they think about the impact on these on the public library ethos. Does direct sponsoring help the organisation or does it erode its ethos and principles? How about user charges, do they sit well with public librarians? And do public libraries have targets for income generation? These are examples from the set of ten questions that are on my e-survey which is directed at public librarians in the US, the United Kingdom and Germany.

I am hoping that the outcomes of my research will help librarians addressing financial difficulties and building stronger institutions while defending principles and ethos.  All results of my study will be made public on the University’s open access repository at:  http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk  . I will disseminate the results as widely as possible also through further open access channels.

So, I am asking for your help for my research. Please take the time and follow the link below to a short electronic questionnaire; it should not take more than ten minutes to complete. The survey is anonymous and nobody will be identifiable.

SurveyLink:  https://strathsci.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_9BtLwndmU9nPQ6p

Everybody who is working in a public library context in the US, the UK and Germany is welcome to take this survey – be they library assistants, library fundraisers or managers.

Please do not hesitate to contact me via prb12163@uni.strath.ac.uk or hartwig.pautz@arcor.de .

Thank you very much for your help!

Hartwig Pautz

Postgraduate Student in Information and Library Studies
University of Strathclyde
Department of Computer and Information Studies
E-mail: prb12163@uni.strath.ac.uk
Dissertation supervisor: Alan Poulter (alan.poulter@strath.ac.uk)

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