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Job Help Center January 26, 2010

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Big changes have been happening within and at Main Library. The library has changed its name from Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County to Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. The Virtual Village has been closed and the computers have been moved to the second and first floors. There are now internet computers for public use on the second floor and a brand new Job Help Center on the first floor. Since the flat screen TVs have been moved also, this blog will no longer be updated.

I hope that anyone who stumbles upon this blog in the future will find the featured videos as entertaining, interesting and informative as I do.


Eufloria October 26, 2009

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This beautiful, peaceful video is a sample of a new video game called Eufloria. It’s calming aesthetic and themes of plant growth and biomechanics make it unique in the video game world.

I chose this video to add to the flat screen TVs in the library’s computer lab because, in our busy,  stressful, fast paced environment of job hunting, resume writing and application sending, it provides our patrons a chance to relax a little and enjoy some “eye candy” while waiting for a computer.

“Eufloria is an ambient game of space exploration and conquest that employs surprising themes of plant growth and bio mechanical evolution.

The game allows the player to explore a beautifully realized universe rendered in a style that is both unique and compelling. Eufloria’s aesthetics are reminiscent of children’s books like “the little prince” and the gameplay is supported by an original ambient soundtrack by Brian Grainger.

Gameplay revolves around conquering asteroids in space and using their resources to literally grow and nurture new semi-organic plants and creatures to do the player’s bidding.

The player is pitched against several teams of AI opponents that all vie for the same resources and can offer fierce opposition.”
For more information, visit the game developers’ site:

Social Media August 24, 2009

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Social media used to just be perceived as for “the kids.” A place for bands to share their music and college students to share the pictures from last night’s party. Now all that has changed. Websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have become tools as well as entertainment. Job seekers network and find jobs on LinkedIn and  companies and celebrities use Twitter as a promotional tool. If your mom hasn’t sent you a friend request on Facebook, believe me, it’s coming.

Erik Qualman, blogger and author of Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way we Live and do Business, has put together a video of surprising statistics related to social media. Many of these statistics elicit a “no way!” response. On his blog, Erik has listed the sources for all of his statistics as well as many more interesting insights and information on the trends in social media.

Social Media Revolution by Erik Qualman

Fireworks for the Fourth July 2, 2009

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Although the library will be closed on the Fourth of July, that doesn’t mean that we can’t share in the celebration! PES, one of our favorite stop motion animation artists, has created a video that just explodes with fun and festivity! Last year around the Fourth of July we displayed a video of real fireworks on our flat screen TVs. This year the fireworks are of a very different variety but they are just as awe inspiring! Enjoy!

Fireworks by PES

New Ideas, Classic Technique June 22, 2009

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Stop motion animation is one of the oldest forms of animation. Since 1998 artists have been using this technique to tell a story. Full length feature films such as The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline, and Wallace and Gromit’s Curse of the Were Rabbit were all created using this labor-intensive process. Although films such as these took many artists and hours to create, film students all over the world are using this type of animation on a smaller scale to create innovative and interesting films. Since it is a technique that relies on the motion of the objects to tell the story rather than sound, stop motion animated shorts are ideal for display on the library’s flat screens. (We have already displayed several films on the TVs, including the work of the talented stop motion artist PEZ.) The two new shorts featured on the TVs are created using simple methods, but produce a charming result. These students prove that it doesn’t take much money or technology to create a great film – just imagination.

“Stop Motion With Wolf and Pig” by Takeuchi Taijin

“Deadline” by Bang-yao Liu

National Poetry Month April 27, 2009

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April is National Poetry Month and, while the Virtual Village is not the “book department” of the library, we would be remiss if we passed up this opportunity to merge technology literacy with language literacy.

The Poetry Foundation has created a series of videos called Poetry Everywhere which is  “a series of short poetry films featuring poets reading their own work, animated interpretations of much-loved poems, and celebrities reading personal favorites, produced by WGBH and David Grubin Productions, and student filmmakers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s docUWM media center.” These films can be found on the Poetry Foundation’s website or their YouTube channel.

In celebration of National Poetry Month, we are displaying several of these videos on the flat screen TVs here in Virtual Village.

“Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden

“The Language” by Robert Creeley

And, of course,

“Branch Library” by Edward Hirsch

YouTube Goes to College April 8, 2009

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On the flatscreens here in Virtual Village, we often add “Did You Know About” slides to the rotation of informational slides. These slides highlight new websites that would be useful to our library patrons.  Our most recent addition to this list is YouTube EDU.

YouTube has launched YouTube EDU, “a hub for videos from over 100 of our leading university and college partners. Think campus tours, news about cutting-edge research, and lectures by professors and world-renowned thought leaders. There are also 200 full (and free!) courses, in a range of subjects, from some of the world’s most prestigious universities, including IIT/IISc, MIT, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and Yale. There are over 20,000 videos on YouTube EDU and growing.”

YouTube EDU is an excellent resource for high school students deciding which college to attend or adults who are thinking about going back to school.


My Summer Vacation (I Wish!) March 26, 2009

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As the spring begins, it is hard not to think ahead to summer and wish for warm days and, of course, vacation. With this in mind, we have found  the ultimate “summer camp” for those who are interested in film and/or animation production. The Vancouver Film School is offering many classes in a 5-day intensive format that are open to anyone 17 and up. This would be an amazing opportunity for any college student interested in entering the field or a film or tech geek looking for a new learning opportunity! For more information and a list of classes, click here.

In my search for content to display on the flatscreen TVs here at the library, I have often come upon the work of VFS students and it is always of amazing quality. The animated shorts created by their students provide great content for our flat screens because they are always technically pristine and have a good storyline. If you are interested in seeing more of the work produced by the talented students at Vancouver Film School, visit their YouTube channel.

Fish Wish
Created by Vancouver Film School student Josephine Gutianjo through the VFS Digital Character Animation program.

Employment Resources February 27, 2009

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As our community shifts its focus away from the entertaining and toward to the essential in this tough economic climate, the content on our flat screen TVs here at the library should reflect this shift. Whereas the focus of the content has been to entertain and provide information about technology and library programming, I feel the need now to add content that will provide information for our patrons on a topic that is bringing them to our computer lab in ever increasing numbers: job searching and employment resources.

Since the number of unemployed citizens is increasing here and across the country, a multitude of new websites have sprung up that gather job searching, interviewing and general employment information and make a variety of resources and links available on one website. Many of our patrons don’t know about these new websites. Also, I am always amazed at the number of patrons who focus on only one job search site to find and apply for jobs.

The following two PowerPoint slides were added to the flat screen displays in an effort to, in a minor way, supplement the vast array of resources we as a library provide for our job seeking patrons.

The library is more important than ever as a place of information, education and refuge for those suffering economic hardship.  As demand increases and resources decrease, our flat screen TVs is an effective way to share information with minimal cost.