Amazon Prime Day(s?) Today!

Hey Friends!

It’s that time of the year again where Amazon celebrates its anniversary and tries to get everyone shopping: Prime Day! I first covered it when they started Prime Day back in 2015. Ah, it nearly felt like yesterday. Several other companies are having sales right now to counter it (Cyber Monday in July, etc) and it’s kind of fun watching them all fight for our dollars. Given that Amazon’s site has already crashed a couple of times in the last few hours, I’m going to take a wild guess who is winning.

Given that it was the first time, there were a few problems that made it a bit of a flop – mostly related to the deals and giveaways, but Amazon has mostly recovered and figured out what people want (and don’t want) out of Prime Day. However, I noticed a few things that seem a little different this year:

  • Prime Day is now 36 hours. I noticed that a few deals and offers stretch over into tomorrow, July 17th. Maybe this is something they did last year that I just didn’t notice.
  • The actual Prime Day deals don’t start until 3 p.m. Eastern time. Again, I don’t recall them waiting until 3 but maybe I just didn’t notice. In previous years, Prime Day started at midnight and ran for 24 hours.
  • There’s way more prizes being given away this year. Multiple big screen TVs, video game systems, super expensive cameras and tech gadgets. I’m still waiting to see an Instant Pot on there, but hey.
  • There’s also A LOT more furniture giveaways this time around. Living room sets? Sofas and love seats? Dining room table/chair sets? I’m not sure who asked for this, but wish granted!
  • Also, lots of designer shades and purses. Gucci bags, Fendi bags, Prada bags, Tom Ford sunglasses. I don’t know who asked for those either, but I’m cool with it. I entered to win all of them because a $1200 purse should really impress a girl! (Just kidding, I’m selling it on eBay.)

Why do you care about Prime Day, and why are you telling us?

Because I’m a kind and caring guy, that’s why! Like any savvy shopper, I want to check it out for any good deals on stuff I’ve been needing or wanting. Nothing has really been jumping out at me, so I’ll probably sit this one out…but that doesn’t mean you have to. Though if you see an Instant Pot for like 50% off, let me know.

That’s all for today! Let me know if you guys buy anything, and I’ll do the same!

 

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian

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Summer Updates

Hey Friends!

Just taking a few minutes to let you all know that our Summer Reading Program (SRP) is going very well. As usual, I got to do my renowned magic show at our branches and had record attendance. This year’s theme for summer reading is Libraries Rock!, which is pretty cool!

It’s not as cool as the year we had superheroes in my opinion, but most of you know I’m a little obsessed biased when it comes to superhero stuff. Right?

If you haven’t seen it, Thor: Ragnarok is fantastic.

However, we do have some super-charged prizes for summer reading. Sure, there’s cool things like guitars and stuff, but an Asus Chromebook? A Mini Super Nintendo? Samsung tablet? Go Pro? We got the good stuff this year!

 

Summer reading aside, I’ve had my hands full with school. I was looking at what class to take during the summer and a class on Social Media Marketing and Networking popped up that caught my attention. Well, it isn’t offered in the Fall or Spring, so I’d have to take it now…I do my own social media, so it wouldn’t hurt to learn things and up my social media…

So good news! I’m learning alot.

Bad news! ALL THE ASSIGNMENTS ALL THE TIME. You kinda forget how compressed a 5 week class is until you’re approaching week 5.

I wouldn’t call myself a social media guru yet, but I’m feeling like I know a great deal more than I did a few weeks ago.

Me learning the social media secret formula for success.

Alright, time to get back into my finals/papers/group projects. I’ll be finishing up next week, so I’ll have a post-class update to follow! In the meantime, I’ll be working to keep my FacebookTwitter and Instagram updated with stuff when I have a free moment here and there.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian

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Obligatory Happy Birthday Post!

Hey friends!

Happy Birthday from the Brash Librarian!

Wait…I’m writing a post, so it’s technically from me…but it’s my birthday, so shouldn’t it technically be “Happy Birthday to me”?…I don’t know, I’m getting lost. Eh, I’ll do it both ways.

 

Happy Birthday to/from the Brash Librarian!

While Monday birthdays aren’t always the greatest thing, the past two weeks were incredibly stressful and didn’t help either.

Yeah, my birthday was on May 21st. I feel like I’ve been writing this post for like three weeks, but everyone and their grandma has had an issue. So far:

  • People were out sick, including the delivery driver. Guess who delivers the books to branch when he’s out?
  • People were on vacation – hey, better now than during summer when we’re slammed.
  • Crazy people causing all kinds of commotions, cops getting involved, and lots of paperwork.
  • Our internet went down here and there, and our computer management software has been dodgy since installing new payment stations for printing.
  • One of the payment stations fell off the truck and severely damaged the unit. JOY.
  • Our DVD machine broke. Guess who has to repair that when it goes down, too?

Basically, I’m 11 days into being 32 and I’m ready to be 33. If there was one shining good thing from the work, my team bought pizza and a birthday card for two of us having birthdays this week.

Also, I won two trophies in the local parade and accepted it in front of 100-something people on Friday, so that was pretty cool!

Also another fun thing I’ve been trying is a new wi-fi hotspot from T-Mobile. I got a hold of it a few weeks ago and have been testing it for library use. We’ll see how it goes!

 

Of course, I’ve been getting lots of people asking, “So how old are you?” these days. I recently watched a great video featuring Bryan Cranston, Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne making parodies of 80’s dating videos, and I love Benedict’s answer: “I am…somewhere over 30”. If you haven’t seen it, watch this slice of fried gold below!

 

Okay, I’m gonna send this out before another crazy event pull me away from my desk. Don’t forget, you can always follow the action on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to stay informed on all my adventures between posts!

Have a great Friday!

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian

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Book Returns and TLA and Weddings – Oh My!

Hey Friends!

Every time I think I’m starting to think I’ve caught my breath from the last rollercoaster, it starts up all over again. While I wish this would happen at Disney and Universal more often, I’d prefer it to not happen during my daily routine as much.

That’s right, Universal. I’m calling you out. The Hulk rollercoaster is way too short.

I wasn’t the only one who’s been out of sorts. Even my colleague Yaika over at Glasses Attached has been backlogged as well – but more on her later!

We installed a new book return at one of our libraries!

Last year, we purchased an automated book return/book sorter from Lyngsoe Systems. We liked it so much, we installed another one at our other branch! (Review coming soon)

 

Since this was my second time helping install one of these, I had a much better idea of what I was doing. Last time, most of the programming was already completed in advance; while most of the programming was completed, there were a few things that needed to be changed. Since this was a 3-bin sorter and the sorter we have at our central branch is a 5-bin sorter, we had to reconfigure a few rules to make sure books were going in the right places. After we started re-configuring the rules in the sorter programming, I got the hang of it very quickly. What would have taken 2 or 3 hours for our installation tech to do by himself, we finished together in about 45 minutes! Not gonna lie, I kinda felt like Tony Stark for the library.

Yeah, that feels about right.

If you are interested in getting a sorter for your library, please feel free to ask me any questions you might have. As I said, I’ll be doing a review of their sorter in the not-so-distant future. After everything was in place and fully operational, I was ready to pack my bags for a week of fun at the Texas Library Association (TLA) conference! (or TXLA if you want to be picky).

As always, TLA is a great place to learn, teach, make new friends and see old ones. This time, I had the pleasure to hang out with my good friend Yaika and catch up. I’ll also take this moment to congratulate Yaika on her new job as a circulation manager! Like me, she now shares in the joys of helping patrons and endures the occasional angry person who insists they returned their book last week.

Like many of my previous posts involving conferences, this one starts out with food!

Rolls, salads, sandwiches, wraps, chips…even the occasional drink if you’re lucky. Keep in mind this was just one table. Elsewhere, there are cakes, truffles, and desserts to be had. Places like the American Library Association (ALA) conference even have liquid nitrogen frozen popcorn!

While I had a few programs, panels and sessions that interested me, I probably had the most fun at a graphic novel panel – and not just because my friend Yaika was on the panel, but because the group was excited and nerding out over comic books. It’s also where I met John Shableski from Udon Entertainment, a company that does amazing work bringing graphic novels and anime into libraries and the hearts of people everywhere. One area that held great interest to me was their Manga Classics series, wherein they adapt classic literature into modern manga books.

Same classic books, slick new presentation.

That’s right – perfect for kids who like anime and manga, but don’t want to read what they consider the old boring stuff. Dracula, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Scarlet Letter, lots to choose from.

Oh, did I mention they even have lesson plans? That’s right, teachers – they give you customized lesson plans.

After a great time at TLA, it was time to drive 5 hours back home in the library Prius, followed by Ubering back to my apartment…so I could pack again, sleep, get another Uber to the airport, and fly to Florida!!!

Once again, I’m back in Florida for another wedding and to visit family. I flew in just in time to be picked up by a concierge car – courtesy of Chateau Du Mom. Staying with moms is invaluable. Especially when they have your favorites waiting!

After that, it was time for some rest, relaxation, and a hair of shopping. THEY EVEN HAD HAMMOCKS!

There was a little bit of shopping, a little bit of relaxing, there was this seafood dinner when I shucked, like, 30-something oysters…yeah, it was good to relax a bit. It was great to see friends, family, and to attend the wedding of a family member. Congratulations, Chris and Rabya!

Oh gosh! I almost forgot…Happy Star Wars Day!

That’s all I have this week, stay tuned and May the 4th be with you!

 

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If there’s only one thing I’ve learned while working at the library, it’s…

Hey Friends!

This week, I thought I’d dive back into the bottomless pit of, “did you learn that in library school?”. If you’ve missed any previous posts on the series, be sure to check them out:
Only this time around, I’d shake things up and asked YOU the librarians for input. I reached out on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to ask: What’s the one thing you’ve learned working in a library you didn’t think you’d learn?

 

Boy, did y’alls answer range. You did not disappoint! Let’s get right into it, shall we?

 

fire

Forged in the fires of the front desk

Some of you went for the more technical route:

Don’t be afraid to use the Delete button.

-Elke

Avoid teen projects involving glitter if you want to stay on good terms with the custodial staff.

-Susan
Truth

Old people: Don’t know how to print, but do know how to use a stapler. College students: vice versa.

-Janis

How to pull paper out of a copier without getting covered in toner.

-Susan

A few responses were a bit more library related:

Reading is hard. Particularly signage or directions.

-Andrea

We hate fines more than you do.

-Nicole

That even with a careful, precise system for keeping track of books, you will still have a surprising amount of books inexplicably go missing.

-Caroline
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How to smile, nod, and say “I don’t think that’s an actual thing, but I’ll look.”

-Howie

What the teacher ACTUALLY assigned and what you are TOLD that the teacher assigned, are rarely the same.

-Janice

Some of you went straight into the gross stuff:

The bathroom will *always* smell.

-Jamie

If it looks like poop, it probably is!

-Brandi
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If it’s wet and not yours, don’t touch it.

-Shannon

Do not reach into anything you can’t see into.

-Jennifer

People can make a bathroom out of any piece of furniture.

-Ryan
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Some of y’all were just random and made me wonder:

How to spell “Stiefvater.”

-Nic

Toddlers are stronger than you think.

-Susan

When you say “there’s more than one way to skin a cat”, and they proceed to tell you the three ways to skin a cat.

-Iliea
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Don’t use powdered spill cleaner (the stuff that soaks up biohazards!), on carpets. Ever. Just use paper towels to soak up the liquid, and wipe with lots of cleaner.

-Katie

How to type without a keyboard. Desperate times, man.

-Marion

Learning which schools give you the best swag for showing up on Career Day.

-Murphy

A few responses were a bit more philosophical:

A little kindness goes a long way.

-Hillary

Most of the things I screw up, I can fix. But only if I remember to slow down for a minute, take a deep breath, and think.

-Nicole

ALWAYS ask. Doesn’t matter what it is.

-Lindsey

Compassion and respect are the keys to authentic connection.

-Sara

 And finally, my personal favorite:

The hidden first question in any patron interaction is, “Is this person’s need informational or emotional?” Knowing the answer will save you a ton of grief.

-Karl

Which ones did you like? Which ones didn’t you like? Let me know in the comment below! If you’d like to have your name featured, be sure to follow on social media!

 

Until next time,

Justin Brash, Brash Librarian

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Need Help This Valentine’s Day?

Hey Friends!

It’s that time of year when flowers, chocolate, and anything red is triple the price. If you’ve been thinking about what to get the librarian or bookworm in your life, look no further! If you’ve got Amazon Prime and 2 day shipping, then I’ve got some last minute ideas for you!

love me6

Don’t let your S/O feel this way!

 

A Portable Massager

Whether your darling is a librarian, office assistant, construction worker or a human being in general, they will appreciate a heated massage pad that can work their neck, shoulders, back will help them forget this Valentines Day falls on a Wednesday. Grab one for them here, or grab one for yourself. (Judgment-free zone here.)

 

Librarian T-shirts

Let’s be honest – if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance your other half is a librarian or loves libraries. Why not give them a sweet shirt that indulges them and makes them feel that hardcore-nerdy-cool? Pick one up for them. Heck, even I might pick one up.

 

Chocolate Flowers

Valentine's Day Red Sweetheart Roses Solid Milk Chocolate Bouquet (12 Pcs)

That’s right. Chocolate AND flowers, combined into one awesome package! I think my favorite thing about this gift is that you get a dozen roses for less than $20. You can buy this one-stop shopping here before they sell out!

 

A Library Card Pouch

 

out of print

Guys! Does your lady love books and need something to help her purse stay organized? This little baby has a 4.5/5 average review! Reviewers have said it’s great for makeup, ID and credit cards, samples, phone/earbud cables, or maybe even…your library card? THAT’S SO META. Available in white and yellow, get yours here.

 

Himalayan Salt Candle Holders

Himalayan salt is all the rage right now, and for good reason. According to Buzzfeed, they’re anti-bacterial, purify the air, taste delicious (so say the Amazon reviewers), and just plain look cool. This set comes in a 2-pack, so you can give something to your loved one that says “Let’s be healthier, happier, and lick chunks of salt together!”

 

A Color-Changing Kitty Night Light

For the crazy cat person librarian in your life, look no further than this adorable rave kitty that will delight and entertain. Some reviewers take them to parties and sleepovers, because they put the “crazy” in “crazy cat person”

 

Marshmallow Cereal

Do you have someone that loves Lucky Charms and wishes it was just the charms? Then pick up a bag and surprise them! If nothing else, you’ll get an A for originality.

 

A Silver Rose

For the person in your life who’s ever complained, “I don’t want flowers, they always just die!”, try getting them a silver-plated rose that lasts forever. If you need the glass dome so you can get all Beauty & The Beast on them, you can get that here.

Now hurry up while there’s still time!

no love

Don’t let this happen you.

Do you have any special gifts you’d recommend? What are you getting your loved one this year? Let me know in the comments below or on FacebookTwitter and Instagram and I hope you have a great V-Day!

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian

 

 

 

 

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The Brash Librarian Returns

Hello again, my friends.

This might be the longest hiatus I’ve ever taken, but for good reason. For most of you who have been following me, you know that I took a break from my usual posts here to focus on my finance class. Long story short, I took finance twice in undergrad, failed both times, and had to take two finance classes for my MBA program. The one thing that kept me from getting a minor in business came back nearly a decade later to haunt me. With hard work, dedication, literal blood, sweat and tears (especially tears), I conquered both classes. With an A.

That’s right, I exorcised those demons with two A’s.

THE POWER OF SPREAD SHEETS

But I didn’t do it alone. I had help, and lots of it. I had a professor who cared more than any professor I’ve seen at this college. This man would literally give up his nights for us. Study group from 8-9pm? He kept going until we ran out of questions around 11:45. By study group, I mean online web chat. Think Skype, but with 10 kids who were blundering in the dark and a professor who shared his screen and walked us through the methods to the madness. Needed help via email? He was quick on the draw, none of this “wait 3 business days to reply back” nonsense. Had a problem? He worked with us tirelessly. Banging your head on a problem? Don’t worry, he’s banged his head on it, too. If you’re an MBA student at A&M WT and you need to take finance, look no further than Dr. Ammerman. I have unparalleled respect for this man. If you’re reading this, thank you for all your help.

After gaining about 15 pounds, drinking enough coffee to fuel the Colombian economy, alienating family and friends, and giving up most social time, I was ready for a break. Some serious sleep, Netflix, laundry, working out, and general mental health was needed.

How I felt entering December.

 

I gave some serious thought to my resolutions for 2018. Sure, I could do the “I’m gonna work out more” or another “I’m gonna write more for Brash Librarian“, but this year feels a little different. Between work, school, family and friends, I’ve decided to do more for myself and for those around me. With that in mind, I came up with some fairly simple but powerful resolutions to try.

Resolution 1: Consult with Mr. Spock

I recently stumbled upon an interesting way of using Star Trek to keep oneself calm, as described below:

A nifty tip for dealing with invasive irrational thoughts.

Pretend Spock is standing by your shoulder telling you it’s “illogical” or something.

Getting invasive thoughts that everyone you know secretly hates you? Spock is there to be all, “That is statistically improbable, Captain. Several of your friends have told you many times that they enjoy your company.”

Paranoid that you’re going to hit by a car every time you walk by a road? Spock is walking beside you, calmly explaining that, “You are most likely not going to be hit by a car. You’re walking on the sidewalk, and there are no cars in sight.”

Is someone not messaging you back right away, and part of you is terrified that they’re dead in a ditch somewhere? Spock is there to be all, “Captain, your friend is currently at work. They are probably helping a customer, not dead.”

Seriously, I spend a lot of time now pretending that Spock is blandly telling me why all of my irrational, invasive, and paranoid thoughts probably aren’t true.

“Spock, someone is watching me.”

“Captain, you are alone in your apartment, Everything is fine.”

I thought it felt a little silly at first mentally asking for Mr. Spock’s opinion, but taking a moment to analyze a situation has been very effective – along with making me feel like a Captain. After trying it for the first few weeks of 2018, I have to say it’s very helpful, calming, and dare I say…

logical

How most of my self convos end now.

Resolution 2: Replace “I’m sorry” with “Thank you”

Being in Texas, so far away from most of my friends and family in Florida, I sometimes find myself apologizing. I’m sorry I don’t text more, I’m sorry I didn’t answer your call the other night, I’m sorry we haven’t Skyped this week, I’m sorry we haven’t played games or had a Netflix binge together lately, I’m sorry for many things. Then I came across this on my Facebook the other day:

thank you

I’ve seen this posting before, but it didn’t resonate with me at the time like it does now. To all those I’m sorry I haven’t talked to as much as I should have – Mom, Dad, Bill, Alex, Dylan, Ashley, Nigel, Caitlin, freaking everyone – thank you for being such loving and amazing people.

 

Resolution 3: More Fun Stuff

More polls, more guest stars, more stuff from fans and collaborators. I started this site with a “me, me, me” mentality, and I know I need to share and partner up more. While I don’t like playing second banana to anyone, it’s not so much fun if you’re the only banana.

 

That’s all for today, guys. Hopefully, this semester won’t be as difficult…

 

I suppose we’ll see! In the meantime, make sure to follow me on on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to catch all the exclusive stuff as it comes out!

 

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian

 

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