Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year -- Seth and Eric's 2008 in Review

Happy New Year, plus a belated Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas

Hi everyone! We hope you have enjoyed the holidays are all enjoying the holidays. Despite the ups and downs of the year, it is finally ending on a nice note. The Bookey Family gathered in Great Neck for our annual consumption of Aunt Elaine's latkes and pot roast, and on Christmas Day, Eric and I made our annual pilgrimage to visit his parents and brother, and to celebrate the holiday by gorging ourselves on the bounty of the Borgata Buffet.

But it wasn't all just overeating in 2008! Let's look at the Year in Eric and Seth...

The biggest news of the year was Ma Bookey's stroke, which has caused her left side to be permanently paralyzed. Luckily, she is not in any pain and she can talk, and her dementia keeps her from fully realizing how horrible her physical situation is. She is at Sands Point Nursing Home and has had several trips to the hospital. Her underlying health is pretty good, so she has gotten out of the hospital without getting worse each time. Her sense of humor is also sort of there. She was saying that Seth's father was a great guy. When Seth asked, "What about me?" She said, "You're nice too, to some extent." She does think Eric is terrific.


The other big news is that Seth moved into his childhood home in Great Neck, due to his Mom moving into a nursing home. The home will soon enjoy Mom's income, so two incomes cannot support three homes. Seth is currently subletting his flat to a fellow genealogist. Eric and Seth spent many weekends packing boxes and moving things to Great Neck. It is amazing how much stuff one can accumulate in 19 years.

The house in Great Neck is about 80 years old and needed a lot of work. Between January and June, the gutters were replaced, the rotting garage extension was fixed, the sagging, cracked support beam was jacked up and the floor is level again.

The house now has modern, water- and energy-efficient appliances the likes of which Mom never would have been able to figger out.

Seth also discovered just how lucky he and his Mom have been to have good neighbors, who helped look after the house a bit between Mom's stroke in January and the time Seth moved into it in September.


Seth's Library at the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society closed and gave its collection to the New York Public Library. While he was supposed to be laid off in September, he is still there, indexing a 7000-page manuscript. Things could be worse. He has also been working part time at ABC News, working on a fact-checking project for a video-on-the-Web project.

Seth was able to help a lot of people find a lot of genealogical data before the NYG&B shut down the databases. It's amazing what's out there.

Seth has also been job hunting and interviewing since March. It has not been easy.

Eric is still working at Dow Jones Customer Service, and he is working from home. Sometimes, he works from Seth's home in Great Neck. Eric is also going to be working alternate Sundays as a reference librarian for the Clarence Dillon Public Library in Bedminster (NJ) starting Jan. 4. Thanks to Google Calendars, we can keep everything straight.

Seth and Eric also worked together on a project for earlier in the year.

Work-related, but not work: Seth and Eric have been getting involved with the Special Libraries Association (SLA). Eric is the co-convener of the GLBT Caucus, and is President of the SLA New Jersey Chapter. Seth has been going to some of the networking events held by the SLA NY chapter.


Seth and Eric went to Seattle in June for SLA 2008, staying in a very nice suite at a hotel near the convention center. We got to see a lot of people we know in the information world, and meet new people. We also visited with cousins in Seattle, and we met Eric's Aunt Dorothy and cousin Barbara and her family in Portland, Oregon. The Cascades train from Seattle to Portland and back was quite lovely, with views of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Saint Helens and Mt. Hood on one side, and Puget Sound on the other.

Eric and Seth have also criss-crossed the tri-state region, and in keeping with the Depression 2.0 times, we have been turning the basement into a canned-goods warehouse and having fun doing more cooking at home. Thanksgiving in Great Neck turned out pretty well.


Eric went to his 20th high school reunion on Black Friday and had a great time, once he found the Greate Bay Country Club and later, Stumpo's bar and karaoke hangout, both in Somers Point, N.J.

You can see him cutting a rug with his Holy Spirit classmates on Facebook and here with his lovely dance partner, Lesley Mottola.

Speaking of Facebook, both of us have had online reunions with a variety of people, from old classmates to hitherto unmet cousins. It's all sort of amazing.


For the first time in years, Nero has had to learn to use the stairs. The old boy is 14 and has enjoyed a year of perfect health, tolerating the daily insulin shot around which Seth's whole world now revolves.

In June, Nero flipped out on a visit to the vet, so for the move to Great Neck, he was tranquilized, and eventually wobbled around to discover that life is now bigger than a studio apartment on the Upper East Side. He has a new routine to wake Seth up at ungodly hours to get fed.

Nero got into the basement only once and freaked out. He also is skittish when it comes to visits from Theo and Melody. But he has his special snoozing spots and remains ever-loving. However, he now has a Facebook page and seems quite sassy there.


We celebrated both Chanukah and the birthday of Sandy (Seth's brother) on Dec. 21. In one photo Sandy is cutting his cake while Aunt Elaine and the kids look on.

The other photo shows the fully lit menorah on the eighth day of the Festival of Lights, Dec. 28.

In the middle of Chanukah this year was Christmas. Seth and Eric and the Schwarzes (parents Claire and Eddie, and Eric's brother, Frankie) celebrated with a feast at the Borgata and a visit to the home of Gigi and Frankie in Brigantine. (Gigi is Frankie's canine friend.)

And that's the year that was. We're not sure what 2009 will bring, but having President Obama's inauguration ahead is a bright spot. Until then, we're following Suze Orman's advice and stockpiling canned goods.

Philly-nomenal Library News

Eleven libraries in Philadelphia will not have to close starting Jan. 1 after all. Mayor Michael Nutter had proposed the closings because of budget reasons, but the Court of Common Pleas overruled the decision.

Read the WCAU-TV 10 report. Or the story, legal analysis and editorial from

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Even More on Lucie Arnaz

I didn't mean for this to be the Lucie Arnaz blog, but the Paley Center has posted two nice articles on her career, including YouTube clips:

It's Not Where You Start - It's Where You Finish

Lucie Arnaz: The Lucy Years

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend Lucie's talk at the Paley Center on Tuesday evening.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

More Lucy/Lucie at the Paley Center

Lucie Arnaz will visit New York City's Paley Center (formerly the Museum of Television and Radio) Oct. 28 to "share memories and screen clips" of performances of her and her mom from the 1970s.

I don't think I'll be able to go, but I am really happy to hear that many more Lucie and Lucy performances will be available for public viewing at the center's locations in NYC and Beverly Hills.

More great news from the center: The catalog of the center's TV, radio and advertising collection is finally online! So if you want to screen a Lucy program (or any other), you can plan your trip beforehand. (There is a limit on how much time you can spend per day on personal screenings. It's been a while since I've been there, so you should check with the center before visiting.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Birdland Photos

Seth and I got a nice photo with Lucie at her Birdland show Saturday, July 19. Photographer Duane Menor was kind enough to take it:

And ├╝berfan Glen Charlow has posted photos from Lucie's show on her birthday, including a nice group shot of the Luckinbills (Joe, Lucie, Kate and Larry).

Friday, July 18, 2008

Lucie Redux

Seth and I are going to see Lucie again, this time in NYC, at the famous Birdland Jazz Club. LA's birthday was yesterday, and she's made it a tradition for a few years now to celebrate at Birdland. I've seen her perform many times, but this will be the first time I've seen her at Birdland.

An Appreciation of Journalists at a Tough Time

If you're in the newspaper business (editorial or business side, or an investor), things are getting really bad here in July 2008. My local newspaper, The Star-Ledger, has combined sections on the only two days I subscribe (Sunday and Thursday), while still trying to keep roughly the same amount of content. (I love the paper, I just don't have time to read it more often.)

You'll cry if you read

In the past two days, there's been news about layoffs at the Orlando Sentinel, Baltimore Sun, Wall Street Journal, Honolulu Advertiser, Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press Democrat and Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Most of the other corporate news is pretty glum, too, for GateHouse Media, Gannett, Journal Register, Media General ... and several shake-ups in the top ranks (editors and publishers).

To cheer up a little, you may want to visit Yoni Greenbaum's Editor on the Verge site. (Yoni has a lot of great ideas for making helping reporters and editors do their job well, as they face a ton of challenges.) You can also check out the SLA's News Division to see what some really smart and enterprising information professionals are doing to keep the news industry humming.

I work for Dow Jones, which is a newspaper company, though I have nothing to do with the newspaper (WSJ). Whether you like or dislike the recent changes in ownership and content of the paper, WSJ is better situated than some other newspapers -- its pending layoff is smaller than that of other papers as a percentage of staff.

Before becoming an Info Pro, I worked as an ink-stained wretch for multiple papers in New Jersey (as a reporter and as a copy editor). I have a great deal of respect for journalists, who are held responsible for covering everything in their towns, while being fair to their readers and their sources, staying up to listen to one interminable school board or planning board meeting after another, and keeping one ear cocked to the police scanner the next morning as they roam around town trying to find a unique story.

P.S. I can't imagine my opinion here would be too controversial, but to be clear, it's mine and only mine.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Cool Seattle, Cool SLA

Seth and I are in Seattle for the SLA conference. 60-something-degree weather in Seattle is a nice change from 90+ in NY metro area last week. The Homewood Suites hotel is very nice -- great to have a fridge, too. Some construction, so no pool for this trip. )-:

I've been doing a lot of blogging for NJSLA and even trying Twitter instead of here.

Posted 'LinkedIn a Box' module on this blog's sidebar. Let me know if it works/makes sense.

Seeing Seth's family later this week in Seattle/Carnation, and my mom's cousin next weekend in Portland, Oregon.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Tech Tools (a plug for the NJSLA blog)

Check out the NJSLA's blog, where I've posted a list of three tools for info pros: one offered by SLA, one e-learning site, and one site with lots more e-learning opportunities.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Lucie in Phillie

Photos from our trip to see Lucie, and other pictures from Phillie, are here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Girl Singers Galore

Seth and I have the next two Sundays blocked off for our (well, my) Girl Singers:

Lucie Arnaz with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops (in Philadelphia, of course): Sunday, March 2 at 3 p.m.

Everything Is Rosie (a tribute to Rosemary Clooney), in Garden City, Long Island, N.Y.: Sunday, March 9 at 2 p.m.

If you're a friend or just a fan, hope to see you there.

Lucy's Cow Tureen

I waited more than a month to start posting about Lucy, which might surprise those who think of me as a Lucy nut ...

Lucille Ball had really nice taste in her kitchenware. Her son and daughter-in-law are auctioning a cow soup tureen to raise money for their nonprofit Boulder City Ballet Company.

(Photo credit: Arnaz Family via eBay and

Read about the tureen or see more photos and bid. Unfortunately, I don't have the space to properly display this lovely item, so I won't bid on it.

You can see another example of Lucy's taste in home furnishings in Tom Watson's article about the "wrap event" for Universal City Studio's "Lucy: A Tribute" in Hollywood.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Keep the Knowledge Coming, says Star-Ledger

Originally posted Jan. 30, 2008
Updated Feb. 9, 2008

The Star-Ledger wrote Jan. 30 about the battle to retain funding for the New Jersey Knowledge Initiative, and offers its editorial support. Funding for the Knowledge Initiative, which funds, will end Feb. 29 for want of $1 million.

Patricia Tumulty, the NJLA's executive director, posted the Star-Ledger articles on the NJLA blog. (Go to the entry for Jan. 30.)

The State Librarian, Norma Blake, spoke Jan. 30 to Rutgers MLIS students, and NJKI funding was a hot topic. Ms. Blake noted that being named as as Librarian of the Year by Library Journal gives her more visibility, and a bully pulpit (in the best sense of the phrase) to keep NJKI going. (Video of the dinner honoring Ms. Blake, from ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia, is on the Library Journal site.)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Photos from the SLA Leadership Summit

I've posted my photos from the SLA Leadership Summit, held Jan. 23-26, 2008, in Louisville, Kentucky.

I took pictures of our table at our Friday night dinner, plus a few others of Barbara and me.

I got lots of pictures of exhibits and signs at the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, partly because I wanted to share the photos with my baseball-fan brother.

And if you want to see the odds-and-ends, there are a few of the outside of the Louisville Science Museum, and of a paint-can sign.

How Much Does Your Kid's Teacher Make (in New Jersey)?

Note (May 5, 2008): The Courier News has moved its site from to Thus, the CN links below won't work anymore. (The Asbury Park Press links are fine, as is the site


Original post from January 27, 2008:

The Gannett New Jersey newspapers have established the site

The local Gannett paper for Somerset County, the Courier News, promotes the database as a way to research genealogy. I think, though, that people will be much more interested in the salary and school information.

The salary information covers the federal level, and in New Jersey, the state, local and school district levels. Plus Rutgers University.

Note that there are at least two versions of the site, which look different, and offer entries to information you won't find on the other:

I've sometimes criticized local newspapers for being superficial, but this project is really a terrific service and a great use of mash-up technology taking advantage of public information.

To bring it back to a library theme: can be a resource for public library patrons, but also for special libraries researching New Jersey government statistics (along with some federal stats and general information).

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tech Tools Coming for SLA

I'm here at the SLA's Leadership Summit in Louisville, Kentucky. (Barbara Burton and I are representing the New Jersey Chapter.)

Much of the discussion today centered on how the SLA and the units/chapters can serve their members electronically. The SLA has implemented some new technology tools, and is working on even more. You can read a little about this on the SLA IT's division blog.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Librarian Honoring Dr. King's Memory

As we approach Dr. King's birthday, a librarian in California has been honored by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Foundation.

Though I take issue with the headline writer's idea of "average librarian," I'm happy to share this article about Lani Yoshimura: Better than your average librarian.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Great Minds Think Alike

Check out Aaron the Librarian. I didn't get the idea for my site/blog name from Aaron, but good ideas are meant to be stolen.

As a reporter in a previous career, and now as a customer service agent, I try to speak clearly on the phone, especially when identifying myself, but I've been called Aaron, Derek, Alex, Erin, etc. My favorite is "Alec Suarez."

The original (no relation) has gone all 404, but you can see something he put up in 2004. I remember reading his wedding tales, but I never contacted him to express my URL envy.

Follow the Leader

All along I thought followship was a 30 Rock joke. But followers can also be leaders, and it's nice to see some examples as published in The Wall Street Journal's Career Journal.

And Peter Bromberg writes in Library Garden about the lost art of listening to new co-workers: Ten Questions to Ask Every New Employee.

Librarian Blogs Galore

Of course, I knew that there were thousands of librarians blogging. (I could go to one of the blogs to find out a better number, but I've already spent enough time tonight looking at some great ones.)

For my new blog, I've featured with its own feed, plus a few other blogs in a list.

Now LISNews tells me that there are 10 best (no more, no less). I had already put Stephen's Lighthouse in my list ... and now I have nine others to check out. I'll try not to overburden this site with long lists ...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Few Good Men

Upshur County Hires First Male Librarian

Are guy librarians really that rare -- or is this a case of a copy editor looking for an "angle" on the story? The other applicant is a guy, too, so I guess the male librarians may soon take over Upshur County, Texas.


Male NextGen librarians remain a rare breed, Rachel Singer Gordon wrote in a 2004 Library Journal article: NextGen: The Men Among Us.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

From the Front Lines of the Public Library

Shhh! No talking, drinking or fighting -- people are trying to read

There's nothing too surprising about Don Borchert's memoir of librarianship: Librarians and customers come in every form. But the article is fun reading.

Monday, January 14, 2008

SLA Leadership Summit in Louisville

The SLA's GLBT Issues Caucus invites you to dinner during the Leadership Summit in Louisville, Jan. 25, 2008.

When: Friday, Jan. 25, 2008, at 7 p.m.

Where: Browning's Restaurant and Brewery, 401 E. Main St., Louisville, KY 40202. (East Main Street at North Preston Street). - Phone 502-515-0174. (Directions below.)

Description from the SLA Kentucky Chapter's Restaurant Guide: "This restaurant at historic Slugger Field offers informal pub grub with a good selection of entrees. [$30 range for dinner]."

RSVP/Contact: Please reply to Eric Schwarz by Thursday, Jan. 17. Email me at eric "AT" ericthelibrarian "DOT" com. Guests are more than welcome.


Directions: From the convention hotel (Louisville Marriott Downtown, 280 West Jefferson Street). Map.

Walking Directions:
Distance: 0.7 miles
Estimated time: 13 min
1 Start in 280 W Jefferson St, Louisville, KY 40202 going
towards S 1st St 0.2 mi
2 Turn Left on S 1st St 0.0 mi
3 Turn Right on Congress Aly 0.2 mi
4 Turn Left on S Floyd St 0.1 mi
5 Turn Right on Billy Goat Strut Aly 0.1 mi
6 Turn Left on S Preston St 0.1 mi
7 Arrive in 401 E Main St/Us-31E (W), Louisville, KY 40202

Driving Directions:
Distance: 0.9 miles
Estimated time: 3 min
1 Start in 280 W Jefferson St, Louisville, KY 40202 going
towards W Liberty St 0.0 mi
2 Turn Left on S 3rd St 0.1 mi
3 Turn Left on W Liberty St 0.3 mi
4 Turn Left on S Brook St 0.3 mi
5 Turn Right on E Washington St 0.2 mi
6 Turn Right on N Preston St 0.0 mi
7 Arrive in 401 E Main St/Us-31E (W), Louisville, KY 40202

Attendees as of Jan. 24, 2008

  • Ard, Constance
  • Burton, Barbara
  • Dollinger, Michelle
  • McBee, David
  • Mulready, Chris
  • Schwarz, Eric
  • Shea, Ann
  • Shea, John
  • Vargha, Rebecca