Brash Jobs: Google’s 5 Traits For Success

Hey Friends!

In the information world, we’re often told that reference and providing information is happening less and less in the library because of Google. True, finding things is easier than ever, but as author Neil Gaiman said, “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.” However, that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from Google; they’re still the closest thing to a librarian outside the library, and are often seen as innovators in technology and employee management.

Just a day or two ago, Google released their findings on Huffington Post about a study consisting of “more than 200 interviews conducted over the past two years with Google employees, plus an analysis of various attributes and skills on different teams at the company.” This is part of Google’s new shared learning website, re:Work, which is dedicated to sharing their secrets and strategies for making the happiest and most productive work force. As a librarian, I really appreciate their open access of information.

Google’s study focused mainly on teams – what makes them work, what makes them fall apart, etc. Notre Dame’s business school had a similar study that monitored six different teams (all at different companies) and concluded that work groups do better when members are motivated to help each other. Makes sense to me…If I like my coworkers and want to help them, then I’ll probably work harder on that project.

While these were meant for businesses, I think all these traits apply to library professionals as well. You have a primary team (your department) and secondary teams (other departments) which you work with to make the library work; if you don’t have a good support network with these five traits, then your group might not be at its best:

google traits

I think these can all apply to an individual as well, particularly number one. Psychological safety is not only necessary to your team, but to each of us as individuals. I’ve worked for tyrants where “do this or you’re fired” was the only motivation I and my team got – I hated that job because I was constantly worried about losing my job. Even if a boss just jokes about firing you, it can really mess with your head. Me losing my job, my source of income, my ability to pay for my rent is funny to you? I’m single with no kids, it must be 10 times as terrifying when you have to worry your house/bills/car/wife/kids are in constant jeopardy. No, NOT funny.

Right now, I’m in the best job I’ve ever had and one of the main reasons is because I feel very secure in my job. My boss and my director are very nice and laid back people who don’t use threats of firing me to get the job done – not only does that make me more loyal and motivated, it also helps me sleep better. I’ll admit, I occasionally get PTSD  “oh no, they’re about to fire me” flashbacks when I get called into somebody’s office. So far, it’s been all positive – ask me questions, give me assignments, things like that. Looking back, I can definitely say feeling secure in my job makes me feel more dependable.

Whether it’s confidence or “fake it till you make it”, being dependable makes for a better team worker. When I join a team for something and I feel competent and dependable, I feel like I’m able to communicate more clearly. You can’t have that structure and clarity without clear communication, right?

As far as meaning  and impact go, I’d say those are the easiest ones. We work in libraries! We’re helping children learn to read and develop, teaching young readers to become adult readers, helping turn the jobless into employed citizens, helping people of all ages better understand technology, or even just helping find a book. I see the meaning in what I do every day, and I see the impact I make in somebody’s life. I’ve helped a little girl become a voracious reader, I helped an old man get a Facebook account and see his grandkids for the first time in years; if you don’t find some meaning or don’t see any impact working in the library, then I don’t know where you find it.

That’s all I have this week folks. How do you feel at your library? Do you think you guys have a solid team? Let me know your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram because I’d love to hear them!

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian



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Brash Jobs: What Library School DOESN’T Teach You (Part 4)

Hey Friends!

This week, it’s another fun episode of things you don’t learn in library school!



How to become a master of resumes.


You’re lucky if you even get that.

So you need a resume? Yeah.

What do you want to put on it? I don’t know.

My current favorite?

*Patron brings in a tattered/stained resume* Can you help me edit this?

Sure! Do you have the original file? Huh?

The thing you originally typed it out on? Nope.

Maybe on a flash drive or email? Don’t have an email. What’s a flash drive?

Okay, let’s scan it and hope for the best.

Does my resume look good? For liability reasons, I really can’t tell you anything. We don’t want you coming back in a week later saying “I didn’t get the job because I had a bad resume. It’s the library’s fault!”

This is one of those times I’ll thank Microsoft for having resume templates in Word. Speaking of Microsoft…

How to effectively deal with the demon known as “Internet Explorer”.

"It's because you're using Internet Explorer."

“It’s because you’re using Internet Explorer.”

90% of all problems can be fixed by simply using Firefox or Chrome. 40% chance their email ends in – show of hands?

How to figure out what a patron actually wants.


EVERYBODY gets this person. I’ll give you their lines and you fill in the rest:

Yes, I’m looking for a book…no no, not just ANY book. It’s this one book I remember seeing the other day…or was it last year?

Anyway, I don’t remember the title…or the author…or what it’s about…or when it was published…I read a magazine that said it was good. Maybe it was Oprah who said that…

…But yeah, it’s really important I find it. Like, now.


How to get anyone to do almost anything with food.

I’ll admit, I’m not always the most skilled at everything. Sometimes, I just flat need help. For example, I’m not the greatest artist. However, my coworker, Lily, is an amazing artist. I also happen to know that she loves my homemade cream of mushroom and chicken. She gets food, I get the artwork I need for a project. In the workplace, bartering is your friend.

This is exactly how it went down.

This is exactly how it went down.

Got a movie that the library doesn’t have, and neither does Netflix? I loan you said movie and you do small favor for me in the future.

Have another talent or skill you can trade? Do it. I’d say “skills for bills”, but this is just “skills for skills”.

How to handle that one coworker who has it out for you.



Disliking people happens. Friction happens under pressure. Remember to try and view them as a person who might have just had a really bad day. Otherwise, everything they do looks bad. “Ew, look at how Sarah eats those crackers and cheese…what a jerk.”

If you need more laughs, don’t forget to check out the previous installments:

Did any of these hit close to home? Got any stories you want to share? Comment here or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and they can be included in the next library jobs post!

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian



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The Library Presents: Comic-Con!


Strap in, friends! This one’s a doozie.

So a few weeks ago, I was on vacation and had a comic book convention coming up at my library. I promised that I’d make up for it by posting about both vacation time AND about our convention. A week or two ago was part one, the vacation…this week it’s part two, the comic book convention!

Thankfully, we have a fairly active teen demographic and we wanted to pull even more teens and tweens. With the increasing popularity of Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, video games, anime, comic books and other “nerdy” interests (also known as “fandoms”), we thought it would be fun to host a comic book convention, or “comic con” in the library!

You might be asking, “What is a Comic Con? Are they popular?”

For the sake of those who are not part of the comic convention world – yet – I’ll be breaking down some of the lingo and culture. Comic cons refer to just about any convention (or con) out there; however, the official Comic Con is held annually in San Diego, California. According to their website, Comic Con San Diego describes itself as “a nonprofit educational corporation dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular art forms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture.”

Just about any gamer, nerd or geek will instantly know this logo.

Just about any gamer, nerd or geek will instantly know this logo.

Like any other convention, you have booths selling items, round table discussions, photo ops, guest speakers, panels, etc. At a comic con, speakers and panels may include famous writers, comic artists, actors, directors, and more. Most panels are now used to preview upcoming movies, TV shows, video games and whatnot to get people excited. Another Batman/Star Wars/Star Trek/etc movie coming out? Chances are they’ll reveal it at a comic con with a panel of the cast from the film answering questions from fans and press (also known as a “Q and A”). Some other famous cons out there include:

“But Justin, is this stuff actually popular? Only kids and 40-somethings living in Mom’s basement go to these things, right?”

Actually, NO.


Atlanta closes down entire streets for the Dragon Con parade. We’re talking CITY BLOCKS being closed.

Comic Con has topped over 130,000 people in past years and Dragon Con broke 70,000 this year – and it’s not slowing down. That’s right, tens of thousands of people in costumes, running around and having fun.

Speaking of which, one of the most fun and creative parts of any convention are the costumes. Whether it’s your first time and your costume is made from cardboard or you’re a professional who does it for a living, people love costumes. The art or making/wearing costumes is also known as “cosplay” – costume play, get it?


Batgirl, Robin, Harley Quinn, Catwoman, Joker…A good example of group cosplay!

The biggest question we had when we first started this endeavor was what to name it…How do we come up with a cool/original/easy to explain name? That’s when one of our staff came up with a brilliant idea! Our library is based in an area known historically for its strawberries, but we thought “Strawberry Con” was a little confusing; my coworker looked up “strawberry” in Japanese and learned it was “Ichigo”. After a unanimous vote, it was settled:  Ichigo-Con!


After that, things started rolling fairly easy. My library is blessed with very creative and/or nerdy people who have been to cons before and had lots of great ideas for crafts and activities.


  • Tin foil hats – just need cardboard, aluminum foil and sharpies.


  • Make your own Lego head supplies holder by painting small jar candles. We bought small candles at the dollar store; simply heat them up for a minute in the microwave to loosen the wax, pop it out with a table or butter knife, rinse them out and they’re ready for cheap yellow paint and sharpie markers.

Everything is awesome!

  • Pokemon balls were pretty easy and cheap to do, just markers and styrofoam balls.

I made one with Starbucks and mustaches on it to capture hipsters.

  • Make your own Tetris magnets! Just a few pieces of wood from the craft store (or a big piece and a saw if you’re handy), markers, magnet strips, and you’re in business!

Arrange them on your fridge!

  • Our epoxy resin class was a pretty big success! Simply mix and pour, add anything you want, then let your creation harden into something beautiful. I was lucky to play with this a few weeks earlier when we first bought it.

Ah, the perks of being a librarian.


  • The Houston Doctor Who group Cosplay Gallifrey Houston was in attendance giving out 3D glasses, jelly babies and sharing their love of Doctor Who as well! There’s a fair chance you have a similar group near your library, official or not.
For those who don't know, jelly babies are a candy the Doctor likes.

If you’re confused, jelly babies are a candy the Doctor likes.

  • Houston Community College had all manner of technology including a 3D printer and static electricity ball! Holy moly, that thing could zap.
cc snap

That’s some sweet 3D stuff.

  • Local ghost story author Vickie Howard talked ghosts and had copies of her new book The Deer Park, Texas Hauntings available. Feel free to learn about it on her Facebook page!

deer park_n


  • First and foremost, we used this as a way to pull in people for our book sale. All of our flyers for the event had a coupon for one free book. We give books a good home, they probably buy a few books as well, and everybody wins!
  • Our Steven Universe panel was pretty cool…I wasn’t really there for it, but I saw it had like 20 kids in there.
  • One of my coworkers who is an eBay expert gave a workshop on how to sell things on eBay. I heard the turnout was under 10 people, but the people who went were very satisfied.
  • A green screen photo op booth let kids take photos with friends; since the screen was just made from green construction paper, kids could write on it!
  • Needed to take a break? People could rest in our Japanese film gallery. In a nutshell, it’s a few hours of Japanese commercials and short cartoons. Fresh popcorn served free while you watched!
  • The Anime Panel had kids talking about their favorite anime books and cartoons, and had around 15 or 20 kids when I poked my head in.
  • Our Doctor Who panel had teens, kids and adults talking about their favorite Doctor, favorite episodes, themes, and the science of time travel.
  • My nerd trivia contest had them laughing and learning about their favorite movies, tv shows, and books. I used to host trivia at my favorite bar in Florida, so this came pretty easy!
  • The costume contest made people bring their game face. Some seriously cool cosplay was going on!

While we had about 200 people in costume, I can only provide a photo or two for privacy reasons to protect our patrons. Thankfully, some of our kids wore masks, wigs, makeup or a mix of the bunch.


I didn’t recognize these kids, and I see them all the time. Well played.

Special shout out to Burch Tree Photography for running around taking photos all day! If you’re in the Houston area, check them out on their Facebook page and reserve them for weddings, sporting events, graduations, engagements and anything else you need photos for.

With all this cosplay and photos going on, we wanted to get in on the fun, too. Our teen librarian, Tinachris, was Chun-Li from the Street Fighter series.


She can knock you out, for reals.

“Stop right there, Justin! What if somebody has a really revealing costume or brings weapons with their costume? That sounds like a lot of liability…”

No worries, anxious person! All of our flyers and promotional items prior to the even clearly states no inappropriate attire and no weapons of any kind.

Didn’t get the memo? We’ve got you covered.


Right at the front door.

Surprisingly, we didn’t have to turn away a single patron for inappropriate attire or use the box even once.

Who did I go as, you ask? I went as Chris Pratt’s character Owen from the new Jurassic World movie.


That handsome devil.

If you haven’t seen the movie, he’s a park ranger and Velociraptor trainer who trains four raptors – Blue, Charlie, Delta and Echo – as hunting dogs to catch the film’s new big bad dinosaur.


Handling raptors like a boss.

If you haven’t read last weekend’s Halloween post, I have sweet pics of it there. If you want to see something AMAZING, take two minutes and see it before reading further. (You’ll thank me, I promise.)

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

The rest of the post will be here when you come back.


A quick commercial break!

Ready? Now back to the good stuff!

Our children’s library guru and artist-in-residence Lily was Tina from the Bob’s Burgers cartoon show. She injured her ankle the day before, but showed up and took it like a champ!


Whoa, that side ponytail.

The headmaster/ringleader of all this and programming coordinator, Mark, kept with Bob’s Burgers and came as Bob himself!

He even shaved his beard down to a mustache. THAT is dedication.

He even shaved his beard down to a mustache. THAT is dedication.

My adult reference colleague Angelica went all out as Miss Marvel. She made the outfit herself – even her mask is custom foam she molded to her face and used special glue to keep it on. Yes, she GLUED it to her FACE. Don’t worry, she still has eyebrows. Oh, and how about those sweet boots?

That mask is literally glued to her face.

Amazon, ladies.

Also, a special moment of silence for Angelica’s papier-mâché K9, the lovable robot dog from the Doctor Who series.

We actually had people to buy it.

We actually had people try to buy it.

So with all of these kids and teens in costume, how to do you host a good and fair costume contest? We took a route using wrist bands to vote. Here’s how it worked:

  • Every patron (costume or not) that came in was given two of those rubber jelly wrist bands – one for you to keep, one to give to your favorite costumed person. The wrist bands are really cheap, like 100 for $1 from Oriental Trading Company.
  • At the end of the con, everyone entering the contest turned in all their bracelets to be counted by staff members; since most of the other activities were finished, we had about 3 or 4 people counting.
  • Once counted, we drop them into manila envelopes and wrote their name along with how many wrist bands they collected.
  • Organizing them on a table or floor is easy if you start early with the first bag. If bag A is bigger than bag B, put B in front of A. If C is bigger than A, put it behind A, and so on…when done, they’ll be filed from smallest in front to biggest in the back.

Why did we do it this way? Easy to control, non-biased and objectively backed by numbers; it was about as level a playing field as we could make.


For some of the smaller events and games, we gave out nerdy buttons people could wear including Doctor Who, Batman, Star Wars, Sherlock and more.


Haters gonna hate Adam West.

For the costume contest, we awarded the top 14 or so highest voted costumes with sweet prizes. The first kids took home movie and book posters, and the runners up got tin comic book signs. They’re about $8-10 a piece, so it’s not TOO hard on the budget.

Look at all that 3D printed stuff!

I really wanted the Batman or Iron Man ones.

Our 1st place contestant won the big prize of the day – a Kindle Fire HDX! I believe he had about 120 wristbands, in case anyone was wondering.


Aw, yeah. Look at that green screen.


Final Thoughts

I gotta say, I think we did really well for our first time doing this. Both on the business side (getting speakers, vendors, prizes, etc lined up) and the patron side (activities, crowd control/flow, participation), I don’t think we could have done any better. Aside from a few logistical hiccups and finding enough room for every activity, it went very smoothly.

One thing I wasn’t expecting? For my trivia contest to be so dang popular. I figured I was going to get maybe 10 or 15 kids/teens, but I had kids, parents, grandparents, volunteers (when they weren’t busy working) and just random people who trickled in for a round or two. All told, I probably had about 40 or 50 people.

My favorite part beside hosting the trivia was getting to dress up in costume. If you’ve been following Brash Librarian for any stretch of time, you know that I LOVE dressing up. However, I saw a lot of kids that were clearly nervous about their costumes and were having second thoughts about showing up. If you’re one of those kids or a parent of one of those kids, I have a few things to say to you.


“I get to dress up???” *Goes crazy*

In my experience on the whole, people are very welcoming when it comes to costumes. Got a great costume? People will love you and want to take photos with you. Got a horrible costume? People will still applaud the effort. If it’s fairly creative or original, people will want to get photos with you – and Ichigo was no different.



Putting those makeup classes to good use!

How and what people are cosplaying can tell you alot about them! The character they pick can often tell you what fandoms they like and their personality in real life. Sometimes, the most quiet people can have the most amazing and outrageous costumes. It’s also a great way to make new friends.


The 10th and 11th Doctors from Doctor Who – at a Renaissance Faire, no less.

When I do a costume, I’m a huge nerd about detail. Can I get this item that [character] wore/used? If it doesn’t exist or is too expensive, can I make it? When I was building a costume for a birthday party/Megacon a few years ago, it took four months from start to finish. 90% of the costume I made myself, and other 10% was tracking down the rest of the pieces in order to buy them.

Some people are into it waaay more than me, and some waaay less than me. One of my friends spent 3 years building a costume, while another one threw theirs together inside of an hour. On both sides of the coin, I admire the former for their painstaking attention to every facet of the costume, yet I admire the latter for being ingenious enough to assemble something in 45 minutes.

mad scientist5_o

Not exactly a costume, but lab coats are pretty fun to wear during a science show.

Either way, I always appreciate their efforts and love how much they get into it. There’s a huge difference in being a perfectionist with an eye for detail, and just being a judgmental costume snob – don’t be that person. It’s all about the appreciation of your fandoms!

But Justin, I don’t have any skills like that or money! I’d look stupid if I make something out of cardboard…

Take that thought, and toss it out the window. Some cardboard and tape is a great start. The only thing that limits a good costume is imagination. If you can dream it, YOU CAN BUILD IT. Believe me, you’ll be proud of it.


Cardboard, tape, black and yellow paint.

If you’re still on the fence about having a con at your library or dressing up, I’d like to leave you with a great quote from comedian/actor Nick Offerman – you probably know him as Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation. If you ever feel like cosplay is too nerdy for you or other people think it’s a stupid hobby, remember this quote:

Get a hobby or as I call it, “a discipline”…making things with your hands is not only NOT nerdy, but it’s sexy…if you want to, like, up the delicious factor in your life, find out what you love to make, and it could be so many things – food, music…Whatever it is, whatever you love to do, that is the sexiest part of you. And it hits a button when you see somebody making something; it just hits that like nesting button of like, “Oh, you’re knitting?  Do you wanna like, make a nest and stuff?”

That’s all I have for this week. If you want to host a con at your library and you have more questions or comments, feel free to hit me up on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and I’ll answer them!

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian







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Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, Friends!

I hope everyone is enjoying their Halloween weekend! It’s been pouring here, but I’ve been lucky enough to wear my costume twice now! Once yesterday for work, and once in our comic book convention that I will cover next week.

Who did I go as, you ask? I went as Chris Pratt’s character Owen from the new Jurassic World movie. Now available on DVD and Blu-Ray!


That handsome devil.

Owen is a park ranger and Velociraptor trainer who trains four raptors – Blue, Charlie, Delta and Echo – as hunting dogs to catch the film’s new big bad dinosaur. Remember those names, because it’ll be important in a minute.


Look how he handles Blue, Delta and Echo.

Blue shirt? Check. Leather vest? The real official vest is about $130, but Amazon had a pretty sweet vest for under $20. (I ain’t made of money!) Jeans and boots? Check.


Boom! We’re in business.

Like any smaller, nerdy character, many people can get mixed up. NO, I am not Indiana Jones. NO, I’m not a biker. NO, I’m not a cowboy. NO, I’m not a vigilante cop. NO, I’m not Australian, but I’m flattered that you confused me for Hugh Jackman. Come on people.

To alleviate this problem, I made myself a pretty awesome way of identifying myself: a Jurassic Park Ranger badge!

Yes, I'll make you one if you ask nicely.

Yes, I’ll make you one if you ask nicely.

Every time I got the “Who are you supposed to be?”, I’d just point to my badge clipped on my vest; the responses would either be, “Oh, that’s awesome!” or “I don’t get it. Aren’t you supposed to wear a fedora?”…seriously, It has a T-Rex and JURASSIC WORLD on the top. On the plus side, it really let me know who the real movie nerds were in the library! There’s nothing quite like teenagers coming up to you after Mrs. Fedora there and saying, “Hey man, I know you’re Chris Pratt from Jurassic World – and  that costume is baller, mad props on the ID.”

So, internet, you tell me…


jurassic compare

Meet my book carts Echo, Delta and BLUE.

Let me tell you, it’s not easy to find a blue cart on the fly. According to my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the general consensus seems to be in my favor. To be fair, I know I’m playing a biased pro-librarian or pro-Justin crowd of people…and the group that wants me to make them Jurassic World IDs.

Now off I go to get candies and celebrate Halloween! Post your costumes on my page or link them to me and I’ll put them in a coming post!

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian

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Hey Friends!

Sorry for the no-post the other week, I was on vacation and had a wonderful time! I know I promised you a double pow in last week’s post, but I had waaay too much stuff for that. If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram lately, then some of these pics will make more sense to you!


No, not THAT kind of vacation.

So what does a brash librarian do on vacation? Well, first I start with a teaser photo to let my peeps know I’m on my way.


Guess who coming to Florida!

After landing in Orlando International, I decided to grab some Panda Express while waiting for my friend Jovon to come pick me up. What do I get in my fortune cookie? GASP – an actual fortune!

fortune cookie n

My brother’s girlfriend is Chinese…

As my friend Sean pointed out, “there are no fortunes in fortune cookies anymore…they’re more like statement cookies now.” Not this time, Sean!

To make things even more awesome, I posted about it on my Instagram and got liked by THE Panda Express company. WHOO!

panda express

Internet famous, right here!

After some Instagram stardom, Jovon picked me up and away we went to have fun! We met up with her boyfriend Scott, had dinner, desserts (yes, that’s plural!), drinks, more drinks, and introduced Scott to the glorious 80’s cinematic triumph known as The Monster Squad. If you haven’t seen it, think The Goonies but they take on Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, Frankenstein and the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

You're welcome.

It’s on Netflix now. You’re welcome.

A few hours of quality sleep later, it was time to hit the annual Food and Wine Festival at Epcot in Disney World! But first, a quick tour through the Boardwalk Hotel right next to Epcot. Our bellhop tour guide walked us around the hotel, showing us letters and postcards from the 1920’s, history of the boardwalk, centerpieces and hidden Mickey symbols. You’re not aware of hidden Mickeys, they are subtle things that come together and form a Mickey Mouse head. In fact, there is an entire organization devoted to finding them.


Everything in this place had a story.

Does starting a beautiful day at Disney with food and drink from a dozen different countries get any better? Why yes, it does! I was lucky enough to have my brother Alex, his girlfriend Stephanie, and my old roomie Caitlin drive in to have fun with us!


Caitlin, AKA “Gus” and “Lady Bro”.


My brother Alex and his lady Stephanie!

france library

I had to stop in France for something. ;)

We toured England, Japan, China, Mexico, Norway, France, Morocco, Germany, Canada and Italy for the whole day…Best drink of the day? France’s Grand Marnier slushy. Best food of the day? Whew, tough call. France’s escargot was unique, but Canada’s filet mignon and hearty cheddar cheese soup were pretty hard to beat. Oh, and Ghirardelli’s chocolate display was super tasty. Piping hot chocolate, almost as thick as syrup – the nectar of the cocoa gods.

When the sun started setting and night started creeping in, we all decided it was time to part ways. My brother and his girlfriend went back to Gainesville, Jovon and Scott went back home, and I rode with Caitlin back to Tampa to continue my Florida tour. Before leaving, I got a great boardwalk picture with Jovon.


Good times!

The next morning, we got up nice and early to meet up with an old college friend of ours, Anne. Anne pretty much does it all: cosplay, comic conventions, stage combat, live action shows, balloon artistry, aerial acrobatics, professional stage acting…the only thing I haven’t seen her master is her gluten allergy. One of her newer side jobs is teaching these acrobatic skills alongside her boyfriend at the Shinobi School for Parkour, Circus Arts, and American Ninja Warrior training. This place has all kinds of stuff – jumping platforms, a foam pit, balance beams and logs, rings, walls to practice climbing, a salmon ladder, the works.

Caitlin and Anne are really good at the lyra hoop, a hanging hoop for aerial yoga. Since I’ve never tried it and saw all the cool stuff they could do, it was the first thing I wanted to try. I tried a few different positions and learned some of the basic skills before Caitlin started showing off her mad skills. She just goes flipping backwards and bracing her legs against the hoop, hanging upside down with only her body weight keeping her from falling. Was I going to attempt something that cool/kind of dangerous?

Of course I will.


lyra hoop

It’s kind of in the job description.

It was a little scary at first and I’m pretty sure I popped my back in about 20 places, but it was totally worth it. It was like putting something on the bucket list while crossing it off at the same time!

All this jumping, climbing, swinging and stretching got us pretty darn hungry. Since I didn’t know the area, Caitlin recommended a local Japanese place. I love Japanese food, so that worked out for me. However, things got interesting when I saw the sign.


In case it wasn’t clear, it says endless sushi and hibachi. ENDLESS.

For about $15, I ate three different large sushi platters, two plates of hibachi steak and shrimp, two plates of crab/cream cheese rangoons, a plate of fried dough balls rolled in cinnamon and sugar, and some of Caitlin’s green tea ice cream. I’m pretty sure there was around 5 pounds of food in me when I left.

Now that I was stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey, it was time to go see my sister Ashley! You might remember her with husband Nigel and my nephew Alistair from my Tampa mud race a while back.


Alistair is getting so big!

Playing with blocks, watching kid shows, playing video games, playing card games, catching up with everyone, and just enjoy time with family. Some of that time included ironing fabrics for Ashley’s totally sweet Etsy shop, Phoenix Fire By Ash. Is it weird that I like ironing?

Kitties and puppies!

Something satisfying about getting the wrinkles out.

If you haven’t checked it out, it’s pretty much a bookworm/librarian/nerd’s dream come true. Scarves, tote bags, aprons, pillows, oven pads, walker bags, bedding, and more in all your favorite nerdy things. Doctor Who, Star Wars, Star Trek, Batman, Avengers, Pokemon, video games – you name it, she’s got it. And if she doesn’t have it, she does custom orders as well. I’ll actually be writing a post about her shop in the future, but you can like her shop on Facebook in the meantime to get updates on all her new stuff!

There’s one cutie who always loves to snuggle with me every time I visit, and that’s Leeloo. She’s such a cuddle pug!


I woke up and found this sleepy girl.

Eventually, I found my way back to Gainesville where I spent the rest of my time with family and friends. While I’m not usually one for pics of food, I had to take a pic of a local place in Starke that served up “The Plank”: a piece of French toast that’s so big, it doesn’t fit on the plate. Add syrup and cinnamon butter, and we’re in business.

the plankenn

I regret nothing.

My dad and I are fairly big science fiction nerds, so we went to see The Martian starring Matt Damon. It was fairly good! Between Saving Private RyanInterstellar and this movie, hasn’t the US spent enough money saving Matt Damon?

The Martian Launch One Sheet

Don’t even get me started on the damages incurred in the Bourne movies.

I really had a fun time, and I look forward to spending more time with my friends and family again soon.

That’s all I’ve got for this week, folks. COMING UP: I’ll talk about how my library’s comic book convention went! (Spoilers: it went really well.)

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian
























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Vacation and Updates!

Hey Friends!

Sorry for no post last week, I’ve been on vacation! So what’s up this week, you ask?

Well, I’ve got some good news and some bad news.

Bad news: I got sick on my last day of vacation and most of my department was out this week. Be it funerals, sick day, vacation or other stuff, our staff of 10 has been more like staff of 3. Playing catchup + skeleton crew + being sick = No time to post for Brash Librarian.

Normally, I’d write it right now and tell you about my vacation and such, but I don’t have that kinda time this week. My library is hosting a comic book convention this Saturday, which means I’ve been super busy with stuff as well today!

Good news: I’ll get to talk about my vacation AND tell you how our comic book convention went next week.

Sound like a fair deal? Cool.

Now I have to get back to work building our Tardis! (Because Doctor Who is cool.)

I can’t wait to tell you all how it went!

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian

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Brash Jobs: Apps! (And Reasons To Love Them)

Hey Friends!

This week, I wanted to talk a little about apps. When I polled you guys in a recent post, you said you’d like to know more about useful databases. Since I covered a database last week, I thought I’d cover apps this time! Most of us in the world today own a smart phone, tablet, phablet or other mobile device and are fairly familiar with apps. Sure, many of them are games or just ways to pass the time, but some can be incredibly powerful tools that help make your life WAAAAY easier. A good knowledge of apps can save you time, money, and headaches.

This week, I’m going to save you a little money at the pump with GasBuddy!

gas buddy

GasBuddy is a free app and website that helps you find the cheapest gas prices anywhere with just a few taps on your phone, tablet or computer!

(USA and Canada only, sorry international peeps.)

“But Justin, what does this have to do with librarians and libraries?”

Fair question, voice in my head. Let me ask a few questions:

  • Do you and your patrons like saving money?
  • Are you and patrons always trying to find ways to save money?
  • Have you ever been asked reference questions about the nearest/cheapest gas?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then I rest my case.

Just simply download the app, open it up and BOOM! Tap to find the cheapest gas in your area.

gas buddy phone

No, I’m not JT.

“But Justin, how do I know those prices are accurate?”

Because they are updated by users like you! Sign up for a free GasBuddy account and you can log gas prices wherever you are. Why would you take the time to update prices? Because you earn points for prizes and you’re entered to win $100 of free gas. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Think you can take 2 minutes out of your day to earn points and win $100? At current prices, I could fill the tank almost 3 times.

fill up gas

Whether checking by list or map, finding and reporting gas stations is super easy. Even if you’re not sure how to get there, just click the one you want and you can set GPS directions to get there on your smart phone!


Just think: if you can save just 10 cents a gallon filling your tank, it would be worth it. Take me for example – according to my Honda manual, my car’s tank that can hold 17.1 gallons. For this example, I’ll just make it 17. Assuming I’m saving at least 10 cents per gallon and filling up twice a month, the math should go like this:

gas price saving

And that’s with saving only 10 cents. If I were to save 15 cents, it would be over $90! Many places offer an additional discount if you pay cash, so you could easily save over $100 in a year.

“But Justin, I’ve heard of GasBuddy – this week’s post was a waste of time.”

WRONG. I guarantee that for every person who says, “I’ve already heard of GasBuddy”, there will be two people who go, “OHMYGAWD! HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS?!?” and will be saving bookoo bucks this year.

Did you know about GasBuddy? Got any cool apps you want to recommend? Comment here or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for exclusively Brash content and to share your thoughts!

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian




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