Finals, TLA, and other stuff that kept me from writing.

Hey Friends!

By Thor’s hammer, it’s been a long time. I’ve been drowning in so much stuff, that I haven’t posted in a month. I’m pretty sure that’s a record for me. (And one I’d rather not try to break.)

So, let’s try to catch y’all up on life recently.

RFID is finally coming into place.

As you guys might remember, we underwent our RFID tagging during inventory last September. Many tears, lots of insanity, it was something we’d prefer to never do again. The whole point of RFID is to get us ready for self-check stations that were coming in October…and then got pushed to December…then January…then February…you get the idea.


This is how old I felt waiting for all this stuff.

Once it finally arrived, things started crashing, computers were going offline, our branch was half-functioning for a week, and other glitches in the Matrix that made things wonky.

Thankfully, everything started coming together, things got un-crashed, and we started opening self-check machines to the public. If you’ve been in public libraries for any amount of time, you know that people don’t embrace change well. To quote a mentor, “If you move the salt shaker one inch to the left, everybody loses their minds“…boy, were they right. While some people liked how they work, many people didn’t appreciate the new-fangled technology. I mean, REALLY didn’t appreciate it. On a scale of 1 to “never coming back here”, they cranked it up to 11: Dropping their books on the counter, telling us “if we can’t have a person check us out, then we’ll go another library”, and then walk out telling staff that these machines will replace them. Did I mention some people don’t like change?

no love

That’s pretty much how it felt.

I went home for vacation.

In the longest vacation I’ve taken in at least five years, I spent two weeks going down to visit family and friends in Florida It was a very bittersweet vacation, as I also went down to help my parents pack up their house to move. They’ve been in that house since I was a teenager, filled with years of laughter, joy, sadness, and everything that comes with over a decade of memories.

I drove from Houston to Florida to help my parents pack up and move. We moved into that house when I was 17, and I’ve watched my bedroom become my brother’s room, then a utility room, and so on. I got to take home some pretty awesome stuff! Items ranged from, “Holy moly, I haven’t seen that in forever! Sure, I’ll take that with me” to, “Hey Justin, are you suuure you don’t need another bowl/pot/pan/bag/lamp/family heirloom/sweater/book/movie/thing nobody else wants or has room for?”

I was so happy I got to hang out with so many of my friends – Jessie, Megz, Grant, Kayla, Drew, Stephanie, and a dozen more – especially before some of them left town as well. My best friend Dylan is moving to DC to up his lawyer game, and my friend Cree is moving to LA to chase her modeling/acting/writing careers. (Don’t let them take your spark, girl!)

Then I went to Tampa and saw even more friends and family! I got to see Caitlin, Jovon, my sister Ashley and plenty more. If you don’t remember Ashley from my post about her Etsy shop, she’s still going strong – which I recommend you check out!

I went to TLA in San Antonio!

I went to sessions, I met some great people – Gerrye, Micki, Alan, I’m looking at you…Oh, Alan! We talked about a few directors that we both know, but I forgot to ask if you knew Lisa Brasher. That’s my mom! (Small world, right?)

I also made a new friend named Cory who I’ve become good friends with, but I’ll get to back to that.

I had finals. UGH.

In between sessions and the exhibit hall, I was writing my final papers. While advanced macro-economic theory was very interesting and helped me better understand how global economies work, I now feel like every little thing I read in the news looks like the beginning of an economic crash.

You know how a first year med student gets a headache and now wonders if they have a brain tumor? It’s like that, but with money.

I had my birthday!

Yaaaay…I’m kidding, I’m really excited, but still feel like I can do more and be more. I’m sure everyone feels like that, but still! At least I can tell people I’m on the wrong side of 30 now. :p

Renovations started.

So pretty much my entire area got gutted to become our New Book area and we got moved to a new part of the library. We’re getting a totally sweet desk when all is said and done, but that means temporary desks and tables until that comes in. My team feels like a family without a home…but like Gloria Gaynor, we will survive.

RFID Gets a Friend

I’ll be covering this more in a future post, but we’ve looking for a book sorter unit. We’ve already started automating the check-out process, so it makes sense that we do the same to the check-in process.


Just an idea of what a sorter unit looks like.

While we had decided between two different vendors and were trying to make up our minds, and that’s when I met my new friend Cory at TLA. See? I told you to get back to that.

“So who is Cory and what does that have to do with RFID?”

Well, annoying nasal voice in my head, Cory is the President of Lyngsoe, a company that produces the kind of book sorters units we’ve been looking for. A few emails and phone calls later, Cory and his team came to visit our library and demo their unit. I’ll be going further in-depth on this in another post, but Cliffnotes version: we liked it so much, we had their demo unit installed before summer reading started. We’ll get a brand spanking new one after the summer crowd has died down a little and we can install it without inconveniencing patrons.

So, talk to me, people! Does your library do RFID yet? If not, are you considering it? I’m thinking about writing a crash-course guide to RFID installations – “All the things I wish I’d known/done before RFID” or something of the sort…comments? Questions? Suggestions? Let me know!

Don’t forget you can follow these RFID adventures on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram as well!

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian



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