So you want to learn to code?

Image courtesy of @nails_by_nette

A friend asked me how one might learn to code, if they’ve never coded before. I rattled off some of the resources I knew about, but promised to send links. And then I realized that, of course, this friend isn’t the only person with this question… So I figured I’d share with the world. I would suggest that, if you want to learn to code, you should sit back and think about your preferred learning style and your goals. Do you like to go totally self-paced? Do you need the structure of a class? Can you learn online, or do … Continue reading

Keep on MOOCing?

My writing is normally neater, but my thumb's out of commission.

I’ve enjoyed the Coursera Python MOOC so far, though I didn’t end up with a local—or even a distance—cohort of people taking it with me. Things have been kind of hectic, both at work and with outside projects and medical stuff, and I ended up doing the homework on Saturday, last week. (Homework is due on Saturday evenings.) I mean, I implemented Pong in three hours or so, and I feel good about that. But last-minute is not how I like to roll. Now we’re fast approaching another Saturday, and I haven’t watched the week’s lectures (again) or thought about … Continue reading

A Much Happier Post


My last post was a serious downer, and I apologize for that. I debated skipping the medical stuff, but I really felt like I needed to justify my decision to back out of ALA—if not to everyone else, then at least to myself. (And enough people have asked “What did you do to yourself, Coral?” that it seemed worth getting it all written down somewhere I could share it, anyway.) Deciding not to do ALA was a hard call. People have been super supportive, though! I am really grateful for the amazing folks in the library world, and I’m glad … Continue reading

Intro to Python – Week 0 – Musings

I’m taking An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python through Coursera, and I’m blogging my thoughts about it, when I have them. If anyone wants to chat about the class online, I’m happy to do so! (I didn’t end up with much of a local cohort—just a couple of people, and they don’t want to meet regularly.) I watched the Week 0 lectures and did the quiz and homework, and I have to say, I had forgotten how “mathy” CS people were. (I’m differentiating “CS people” from “programmers,” because they aren’t necessarily the same thing. There’s a Venn diagram deal … Continue reading

Learn Python with me!


I’m taking An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python through Coursera, and I’m hoping other folks in Anchorage will be interested in taking the course with me! I want to plan a weekly meetup, where people can bring their questions and any problems they’re having. The course requires no previous programming experience. (And that’s precisely why I think I can help; I don’t know Python, but I do have programming experience. And experience teaching programming, too, for that matter.) It starts April 15th and goes for 9 weeks. We’ll probably meet on Saturday or Sunday afternoons, though that isn’t set … Continue reading

“When you stick your neck out, sometimes you get your head chopped off.”

There's Jonas and more happy crafting librarians

Or something like that. (It’s a possible mis-quote of my department head. He was trying to make me feel better with this statement, and it was surprisingly effective.) This is the story of Librarians Build Communities (LBC) in Alaska. To jog your memory: LBC is an advocacy program, where librarians do a few hours of volunteering, using library skills outside of libraries, to showcase how valuable our skillsets can be to our communities. I was on last year’s ALA Emerging Leaders group, working on the LBC project, and one of the to-do items on our project was “Host LBC in … Continue reading

Projects – Learning stuff!

I just signed up for Tabatha Farney’s and Nina McHale’s day-long Midwinter pre-conference, “Developing a Web Analytics Strategy for Your Library: Using Data to Measure Success.” I’m pretty psyched, since 1) I respect both of the presenters, and 2) my use of Google Analytics thus far has been somewhat lackadaisical. I haven’t taken the time to create an website analytics strategy, beyond “see if a page is ever used before I suggest removing it,” and the Google Analytics book I have lying around just keeps getting more and more out of date, as Google adds and changes features. (I know … Continue reading

2012 is over, time for 2013!

2012 was an incredibly hectic year. I have been especially tired, this winter, even beyond the normal sleepiness that comes from short days—enough so that I took the three workdays between Christmas and New Years off, which I never do. (It’s so quiet! You can get so much work done!) I tried really hard not to think about work, or much of anything else, during the time off, with moderate success. As a result, I feel almost (but not quite) ready to go back to work, now. But you know what? Looking back, I kind of feel justified in my … Continue reading

Quick News Post

I have so many real posts queued up—some of them are even started! But I’m on what I hope is the tail end of a super hectic, um, year. I’ll share some quick news, though (bolded for quick scanning), because I want to tell folks about the things that are going on, and I don’t want to seem to have fallen off the face of the earth. Probably my biggest news is that I’m running for ALA Council—the link goes to ALA’s press release with the list of nominated candidates, not to any kind of Facebook page or other campaigning … Continue reading

Bird TLC

I am starting a new project, and I am super excited about it! So excited, in fact, that I’m writing all about it in my blog before I’ve even gone anywhere with it. :) There’s an organization in Anchorage that serves as a free veterinarian for wild birds. Part of their mission is also to educate people and to advocate for these birds, as well. It’s called “Bird Treatment & Learning Center,” or “Bird TLC.” As part of Bird TLC’s education efforts, volunteers can sign up to bring live birds to places (examples I’ve seen: libraries and schools, First Friday … Continue reading