Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Quotes from 'Why I Love My Library' Event

Each February the Library does a display for Valentine's Day. Students fill out paper hearts saying why they love their library and they receive candy as a thank you.

I Love my Library Because...
  1. It gives me a quiet place to work.
  2. It has fast computers, good headphones and study rooms.
  3. The computers are up-to-date.
  4. There is always a free computer. 
  5. Charging stations are very convenient.
  6. It is open on the weekends.
  7. It's quiet and I can focus.
  8. It's sweet.
  9. It's simply beautiful.
  10. It has magazines and journals.
  11. Everyone has been so helpful, patient and resourceful.
  12. Everyone is nice and helpful.
  13. I love books.
  14. The staff is always willing to listen.
  15. It gives me the ability to study.
  16. I love movies.
  17. The people are kind.
  18. My mother works here.
  19. Barbra and Sabina work here.
  20. It has comfy chairs and Wi-Fi.
  21. It is super comfortable and clean.
  22. It is a quiet place to gain knowledge and to be successful.
  23. It's my only quiet place!!!
  24. It's so legit.
  25. Love the study rooms for my LPN study group.
  26. Great place for homework.
  27. Great place to study.
  28. It's quiet, comfortable and easy to focus while I study.
  29. The staff are super helpful.
  30. Macs.
  31. Love the hours.
  32. I can study better and be more productive than I would at home.
  33. It shows creativity at work.
  34. I like the Wi-Fi and Books.
  35. Equal access to education = socialism.
  36. Books and more books.
  37. It's where I can get away and actually focus on my school and study time.
  38. You guys are always really, really helpful and have great attitudes!! And It's quiet for study.
  39. Love the new look.
  40. Charging stations.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink

By Dwight Hunter
Perhaps, for people who were born after 1996, Elvis Costello is only a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and the husband to jazz musician Diana Krall.  But Costello was a part of the punk rock wave in the 70s and early 80s with quirky, intelligent lyrics. As for me, it was the album, Armed Forces, I most identify with as Costello music.

In his memoir, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, Costello writes about life as a musician, about some of his song lyrics, and about his early childhood. The book is a new addition to KLIC.

As fate, would have it, Costello’s dad worked as a dance hall crooner for an orchestra and was a jazz enthusiast as was Costello’s mother. Costello recalled listening to his dad practice at home.  Jazz enthusiasm, it seems, played a heavy influence on Costello’s music. Maybe that’s why he played a Fender Jazzmaster guitar throughout his punk rock days?

Three things from this book worth considering. One, the effect of being a rock musician on marriage. Costello described his first marriage as filled with his unfaithful commitment, while his second marriage, despite lasting for 16 years, was barely even mentioned in the book.  In his current marriage, he found his soul partner in Krall.

Secondly, the moving part of the book was about his father battling Parkinson’s and dementia.

Then, third, there was the story about the song Alison – the dark song with an upbeat tempo. My aim is true is repeated at the end of the song. What was Costello writing about has long been open to various interpretations. In the book, Costello explained the lyrics as the beautiful face of a grocery store clerk, who he saw in a moment, her youth draining away as she checked out a can of beans and that less-than-honorable men would tell her lies to keep her trapped.  Wow – that’s powerful, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from an Elvis Costello lyric. 

Throughout the book, Costello weaves good storytelling with smart self-assessment. Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink is available at KLIC. Find out about a rock hall of famer who has entertained many by his music and powerful lyrics.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Isaac Ingram - The Stars at KLIC: Journey Story of our Staff

By Isaac Ingram  
The journey of my career started with an Atari 2600. 

When my cousins and I weren’t running around the land on which my aunt and uncle were building their house, we were in the trailer home succumbing to Hulkamania or playing Keystone Kapers. Professional wrestling didn’t stick, but I was hooked on video games early in life. Perhaps after enough quarters were spent in arcades to justify the cost, a Nintendo Entertainment System came home. Subsequent generations of game consoles followed, but one day when I was 12, if I recall, I was at a barbecue where I witnessed the host’s son piloting an X-Wing on his 486DX2 66 MHz PC. I was sold; we saved up and eventually got a PC of our own. My curiosity of electronics up to that point quickly turned to resolve when I realized the joystick connector in my PC was not installed correctly. I began a self-study, reading what books I could get my hands on to learn about hardware, operating systems, and applications.

In high school, I failed to show up regularly; after a second attempt at my junior year, I dropped out. On the job hunt, I interviewed with Chattanooga Online, the area’s first internet service provider when connecting to surf the Web was pain for the ears and AOL was spamming the country with floppy disks. I began in user support, picked up systems administration and networking skills, and began web development. Still failing to show up regularly, I was fired. My boss told me to go get a G.E.D. and come back to talk. This was my first trip to Chatt State. I sat for the test on the second floor over in the Student Center, passed, and went back to ask for my job. They were kind enough to hire me back, and I picked back up on the web development, working a few projects.

One of the company’s contracting us was looking to bring someone on full time for development, and it ended up being me. It was a small company in Ooltewah specializing in electronic payments. There were two of us carrying the IT responsibilities, so I was applying everything I had learned up until then. I decided it was time to pursue a post-secondary education, so I enrolled in evening classes - my second trip to Chatt State. At that time, the powers that be handed me a project to develop a product to be sold and to be delivered within 60 days. I liked having a place to live, so the job took priority over school. A few years later, the company sold, and I resigned to give college another go.

Over the next several years, I put my sights on a few universities, though they did not pan out in the end. Trying to balance work and courses, I found some odd jobs and contract work, and I eventually went back to working in electronic payments full time in the evenings while I attended morning classes at Chatt State. Having to stay after hours interfered with classes, and eventually I relented to go back as a full time student to finish. I used my savings and borrowed some student loans to enroll in the Regents Online Degree Program. After earning my bachelor’s degree, I went back to work as an IT contractor in electronic payments to financially recuperate a bit for my wife and me. That company sold as well, and so my path diverged away from electronic payments once again.

On my most recent job hunt, I found the opening for a technician here at the KLIC on the TBR web site. I was ready to explore options outside the corporate world and find work with social value. I will have been here one year in April, and it seems like the time has flown. With changes in technology coming faster every year, helping to ensure our resources are continually accessible is a significant and rewarding endeavor. I enjoyed my time here as a student, and I’m happy I’ve been able to return in my career.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Dwight Hunter - The Stars at KLIC: Journey Story of our Staff

By Dwight Hunter

My career journey was typical – I wanted to be something in high school but that didn’t happen after college.

So, I wandered around not sure what I was doing with my life. Eventually, my wanderings landed me at Chatt State on a lark - a job search born out of desperation. And I got lucky on that desperate search – I found my career home. Now back to the beginning of my story.

I chose a college two states away from home because, one, no other college offered me a scholarship and, two, because it was far away from home.  Sounds typical. But as luck would have it, I stumbled onto the best learning and supportive environment possible in Le Mars, Iowa at Westmar College.  This was a good thing because I was a lousy student. I rarely studied; I rarely read any books; I skipped a lot of classes. There was one night class that began at 5:30 but I routinely showed up at 7:00 – still got a B+ because I am pretty intelligent. The biggest complaint my high school teachers said about me, ‘I never applied myself,’ was still there at Westmar.

But despite my lack of effort, I still carried a high GPA, which was good enough for me. I was a junior at Westmar when the provost asked me if I was ever going to declare a major.  I created my own major throwing in sociology courses, political science courses, history courses, English courses, and religion courses into one oversized major.  I thought that was the coolest thing to create my own major and be able to do whatever I wanted.

But, during that same semester, a faculty member really pushed me to take an off-campus semester program studying U.S. government in Washington, D.C.  And the next semester, I was in D.C. That semester was an eye-opening moment in my life. I came back to Westmar fired up as a student – made A’s during my senior year and got into graduate school at my beloved Kansas University – Rock Chalk, Jayhawk.

My experiences at KU grad school were great. I would not take that experience back for anything. But I wasn’t a journalist. I could write with the best, I knew the right questions to ask, I could ace all of the grammar tests, but I didn’t have that cajoling personality to build a network of trust.  That’s one thing that can’t be taught in a classroom.

So, I wandered. I was working, earning a paycheck, but not for any great societal cause nor contributing to lifelong learning. I did make a lot of friends – many of whom are still friends. But I wandered around for years looking for a place to fit in.

Then, I applied for a library job at Chatt State.  I really wanted the job. I thought I did well during the interview.  A few days after the interview, I received a letter from Chatt State notifying me that I did not get the job. Simply, heartbreaking. However, a few hours later that same day, I got a call asking if I wanted to work at Chatt State. I said. “Yes – most definitely!” And now 25 years later, I’ve earned another master’s degree in my field of work.  You can read about that particular journey here.

Keep looking because wandering can be a good thing, a chance to fill-up on hope. Never give up, even when desperation wants to swallow you up, keep looking.