Christopher Saving a Life

(NOTE: this is a repost from March 22, 2013 at 8:30am from

Christopher, my youngest son, was six-years-old when we lost his father to bone marrow transplant complications. He turned 20 in January, and is a sophomore in college.

Last year there was a bone marrow drive at Lehigh University for the National Marrow Donor Program. Chris joined the registry at that time. In December we got a phone call from the registry that he was a potential match. He had further testing and he was a match for a 46-year-old woman.

He donated stem cells last month on February 7. Chris had Neupogen injections for 5 days prior. His blood was taken out of one arm, run through a machine filter which removed stem cells (and apparently a lot of platelets), and then it was returned via his other arm. It took about 5 hours.

By 2 o’clock they had finished the stem cell harvest. A courier arrived who put it in a cooler and took it to be delivered to the recipient. I don’t know the volume of what was taken but it seemed to be a lot to me. It was certainly more than the pint that one might give when one donates blood.

Chris did very well. He felt well enough to go back to campus, and we dropped him off shortly after 5.

Chris is my hero.

Website Design

Our WordPress website design and development includes search engine optimization and visitor conversions. We want to help to help you create a web presense that is focused on your customer, and how this creates revenue and ROI.

Our websites are designed using responsive web design. Responsive websites respond to the the devices the user is using when visiting the website. The layout changes based on the size and capabilities of the device. This eliminates the need for a different design for every possible device.

If you have a vision, let’s talk!

Database Driven Applications

A database driven web site is one that uses a database for collecting and storing information. This can include contact information, products, images, etc. In a database driven website, all information is stored in databases on the server, and a content management system (such as WordPress) generate pages that are showed on the site as usual HTML ones. A WordPress website has an admin panel with a user-friendly interface where you can manage the site content stored in the database. You can update your site easily whenever you need it. Additionally, we can create forms so that your website users can also store information in the database.

If you have something unique you’d like to create, the solution can include custom post types, relationships, hierarchies, and/or taxonomies, tailored for your application.

eCommerce Solutions

Do you have a product or service you wish to sell? Raise the bar for your customers with an online experience that enhances your ROI.

WordPress is one of the popular development tools used by eCommerce website design firms. WooCommerce is a free open source eCommerce WordPress plugin. It offers an incredible number of extensions and applications, both free and premium, with which we can create just about any eCommerce application you can imagine.

We Have a Contract!

Westhampton Library Staff Association

Last month the union negotiating team and the library board team finalized a tentative contract. Our staff union voted last week to ratify this contract. Tonight the library board did also. The final signatures will be added tomorrow, November 16.

We look forward to working with management to create a safe, secure work environment with fair and just wages and benefits that reflects the teamwork that is at the heart of what makes the Westhampton Free Library in Westhampton Beach New York unique and beloved by patrons and staff alike.

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“It’s Cronyism, Stupid…”

Oh, wait that isn’t what James Carville said.

But it is true. Cronyism is at the root of all that is wrong with our society.

It is cronyism that creates an electoral system controlled by unelected bureaucrats. Both the DNC and RNC have produced candidates who, if it weren’t for their powerful crony supporters (whether it be the DNC itself or the Fox “News” political action committee) would not be the choices presented to the American public.

Cronyism results in political and economic tyranny.

Cronyism creates an environment where freedom and  human individuality are frowned upon. Individual rights and liberty are squashed by cronyism.

Cronyism is corrupted capitalism.

Cronyism creates a collectivism that thrives in the form of hyper-nationalism and socialism. It loves to whip the masses into a socialist or nationalistic frenzy to further the goals of elite power.

Cronyism attempts the control the masses using fear. It discourages free thought and self education. While creating the illusion of choice, it controls what those choices are “for the good of society.” The only thing cronyism is interested in is its own power structures remaining intact.

And don’t be deceived – both major parties collude together to maintain their power. Coke or Pepsi?

Three out of five Americans want to see a third-party candidate at the debates. The undecided voter deserves to see all of the options on the debate stage. However, through the manipulation of the polls by minimizing the impact of voters under the age of 35, or restricting valid replies to those who already belong to either major political party, the appearance of lack of interest in third party candidates was created by the bi-partisan (NOT non-partisan) Commission for Presidential Debates.


Collaborative Tools for Libraries – How Can We Use Them?

Collaborative tools for libraries are quite trendy right now.  I recently read two books from the Tech Set Series: Wikis for libraries by Lauren Pressley and Effective blogging for libraries by Connie Crosby.

These books help librarians understand and implement “essential technologies and tools” to reach patrons and the general public.

Blogging initiates a conversation with the public. For example, a library could use a blog to stream upcoming programs. It could announce book releases. A readers’ advisory blog could critique popular books or DVDs to stimulate interest in the library’s collection. The patron is free to “pull” whatever information he desires, either by reading the blog directly, or receiving it via an RSS feed. This is different from, for example, mass emailing. Email is an example of information push and the patron has no choice but to receive it (whether he reads it or not is another story).

The most obvious example of a Wiki is something like Wikipedia. However, that is only one specific use of this technology. Wiki software, such as the Semantic Wiki, can be used to create web sites. A library or other organization can create a professional web presence knowing minimal HTML. Staff can easily collaborate on content; for example the YA librarians can create their own content, while the childrens’ staff can do the same. This would not eliminate the need for a professional webmaster; but she could focus on the technical issues and not have to be concerned with content.

Using software such as Drupal, both can be accomplished simultaneously.  For example, I used the Drupal software to create the South Bay Bible Fellowship web site. The blogging aspect of this software is used to add Pastor Tim’s Bible study content to the web site.  I used the wiki features to create the static web pages.

How are discovery systems similar to Google? How are they different?

A comparison between discovery services, such as Summon, and Google:

… similarities include the holy grail of “the one search box” that searches “everything” (or close enough) and heavy focus on relevancy ranking to surface desired results.

As a sidenote, relevancy ranking isn’t really new to library catalogues by now (for example our “next generation catalogue” Encore, has relevancy ranking and ……

… Read More in Musings about librarianship

RDA, Cataloging, and OPAC Displays

The problem with the OPAC is not the bibliographic metadata. In this digital information environment, good cataloging is more important than ever, authority work in particular. It is the software that we are using that is the problem. Library software for search and display is light years behind the rest of the world.

In general, librarians understand metadata. It is the rare librarian who understands software, and its potential.

One of my favorite Twitter librarians, Aaron Tay from the National University of Singapore (@aarontay), pointed me in the direction of this article….

“…Disentangling bibliographic data from UI engineering is one of the greatest promises of the linked-data movement for libraries. The sooner that concept gets across… well, the better discussions we’ll have about rda, bibframe, and linked data.” … Read More

via Gavia Libraria (the library loon)

The “Library Loon” takes the discussion of software further – from search to the user interface. Nothing loony about that!

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