Archive for the ‘meta’ Category.

So long… Farewell…

OK, no surprise to anyone, but this blog is now officially defunct. It’s been de facto defunct for quite a while, but I figured I should add closure here: Farewell.

This is largely because I’ve moved on to other ventures. If you’d like to follow those, head over to my totally unrelated site at I’m still around… I’m just not still around here! Guess I took that whole alternative career thing just a little too far. :)

Price drop — Point, Click, and Save

Go figure! Amazon just dropped their pre-order price on Point, Click, and Save: Mashup Mom’s Guide to Saving and Making Money Online down to $13.46! (Not that I’m obsessively looking at my pretty book cover on Amazon or anything…) I wasn’t going to mention it again already, but thought I’d note the price drop. I’m not sure if I should be pleased that maybe more people might buy it, or sad for the lost royalties. :)

Not just for librarians anymore!

And now, for something completely different! If you’re reading this, you probably know that I tend to write stuff. For librarians. Well, now I’ve written something for everyone! So I hope you’ll pardon the brief detour into self-promotion, especially those of you who are public librarians, because… your patrons need this book. ;

So what’s it about?

Point, Click, and Save: Mashup Mom’s guide to saving and making money online addresses the best way to ride out today’s turbulent economic times. It talks about everything from finding and using coupons to their best effect, to playing the grocery and drugstore games, to sorting out legitimate online work-at-home opportunities; it explains how to mash up your money-saving and money-making strategies to find the balance that works for you and your family. The book honors the reality that taking the time in to strategize, coupon, and plan is in itself a job, and the fact that many “stay-at-home moms” also bring in an income through side work. It recognizes that the internet provides our best resource for connecting with each other and finding up-to-date information, coupons, and deals. Lastly, Point, Click, and Save focuses on realistic ways to save and change our spending habits, rather than highlighting exceptional shopping trips staged for tv cameras.

I’m so excited to have the opportunity to share these strategies with others! If you’ve been following the Mashup Mom blog, Point, Click, and Save will be a good wrap-up and reference — and if you’re new, or if there are others you want to get into couponing and saving, it can help you get a good start!

Options, we like options.

Preorder Point, Click, and Save

Check it out! Or… order it for your library so others can check it out.

/end shameless self promotion

I resemble these remarks

Yet another one of Pew’s endless reports — this one from a survey done in April 2009 — talks about the increase in wireless Internet usage. The part that interests me is that about mobile devices:

The report also finds rising levels of Americans using the internet on a mobile handset. One-third of Americans (32%) have used a cell phone or Smartphone to access the internet for emailing, instant-messaging, or information-seeking. This level of mobile internet is up by one-third since December 2007, when 24% of Americans had ever used the internet on a mobile device. On the typical day, nearly one-fifth (19%) of Americans use the internet on a mobile device, up substantially from the 11% level recorded in December 2007. That’s a growth of 73% in the 16 month interval between surveys.

Hey, that’s me they’re talking about! Before I got my piPhone in March, I had an old brick of a phone that basically… I know, how silly… made phone calls. Now, I read email or look things up or otherwise go online on my iPhone just about every day — and after just four months, you’d have to pry the thing away from me.

And that’s some serious growth in less than 1.5 years. Some interesting stuff for libraries piloting mobile services.

So what do you talk about, Rachel?

After yesterday’s post, I got a message on Facebook asking: So what do you speak about, anyway? Well, that’s a reasonable question. So, here are a few recent topics:

  • Career building in a down economy
  • Alternative careers for librarians and info pros
  • The cross-generational library workforce
  • Writing for publication
  • Accidental library management
  • Getting unstuck

I also do local classes on saving money with coupons, so if your library is in the Chicago area, drop me a line about that! I’m happy to chat about rates, other topics, and your group’s needs, so email me at, and we’ll talk.

And, if you’re reading this and don’t know who the heck I am (thanks!), here’s:

  • My bio, and
  • My resume, listing all the workshops/presentations I’ve ever done, ever :) .


I just received a fundraising letter from Dominican University. It begins:

Dear Rachel,

In 2005 on the occasion of GSLIS 75th Anniversary, you were selected as one of 75 Notable Alumnae/i by Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science….

It goes on to ask me to consider a gift of at least $100 to help establish an endowment to fund scholarships, faculty and professional development, and “other endeavors.” And ends with:

PS: If you consider earning your MLIS degree a life-changing achievement that put you on course for your notable career, we hope you’ll join us in making a gift so others can earn this degree and embark on their own notable careers.

What’s notable here is this is the first I’ve heard about being selected back in 2005. You’d think someone would have mentioned it at some point over the last four years before using the topic to solicit donations. Just saying.

(But I feel so notable now! Someone buy me a drink at ALA ;) )

Snakes alive!


I’m in Madison this morning, about to go give a talk to the support staff section of WLA. I’m away less than a day, and apparently we already have a new pet in the house.

In all the recent discussions about becoming a competent library presenter, I’ve never seen any advice on keeping your home reptile-free in your absence. Hmm… :)

Was the art THAT good?

Imitation is the sincerest form of what, now?


This is the third LIS-related use for this cover, by my count…

Handout for getting unstuck folks

This one’s for those who attended last week’s “Getting Unstuck” presentation in Springfield — the handout of resources I promised!



So, last week my cell phone died — it was about 5 years old, I’d been out of contract for some time, and after being finicky for a while it just stopped charging. Since I didn’t want to travel without a phone on Monday, I shopped around on Saturday and ended up with… an iPhone! I have been coveting an iPhone since they first came out, particularly since my husband has one through work and tends to taunt me with his.

Mine’s a refurb, but still not so frugal — especially because the data plan will cost about $35/month (including taxes) more than what I was paying for my previous phone-only plan. How do I justify this? We poked at the numbers and figured that if we could cut at least $35 out of recurring monthly bills to come out even, we’d go for it. Here were our steps:

  1. The first thing to go: long-distance home phone service, saving around $10/month. (The iPhone gets great reception in the house — we’d been holding off on dropping long distance because my old phone, well, didn’t.) Total savings: $10/month
  2. Then, we called DirecTV, asked for the cancellation department, and made noise about switching to cable. Savings? A one-time $25 credit and $10/month off our bill for 18 months. Total savings: $20/month
  3. We then dropped down a Netflix tier to save $4/month — we’ve been holding onto movies way too long and watch fewer DVDs since we  have streaming, the library, and Redbox as options. Total savings: $24/month
  4. Then, we called Comcast, asked for the cancellation department, and made noises about switching to DSL. They dropped us to a slower tier — still faster than the DSL service we can get in our area — saving $20/month. Total savings: $44/month

So, iJustify the iPhone (which I’ve nicknamed piPhone because it was purchased on 3/14) by saying it is saving me $9/month :) .

What should we have done? Cut all of the above and not bought an iPhone. But I do think there is a case to be made for not being frugal all of the time — I’m not a go-out-and-buy-every-new-gadget type of person, but my gosh, do I love my new iPhone.

What sorts of things do you splurge on?

(xposted at mashup mom)