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Monday, September 12, 2016

La Bonne Cuisine*

This post is strictly advertising for my Facebook page, "De Kok is in De Kitchen". I'm not a chef or a chef's son, just a person who believes in the power of home cooking to transform lives and meals. Enjoy!

*Leonard Bernstein, composer, 1947. Full title: "La Bonne Cuisine: Four Recipes for Voice and Piano".

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Turn, Turn, Turn*

I've accepted a position at the Free Library of Philadelphia. Yay for me!!!

Effective October 3rd, I'll be working at the FLP's flagship, Parkway Central, in the area of Business, Science, and Industry, specifically as a reference librarian for the Business Resources and Innovation Center (BRIC).  In addition to regular patrons in the above areas, I'll be working to assist members of one of the five constituent patron groups named in the most recent FLP strategic plan--entrepreneurs.

You may well ask--what a musician can do for entrepreneurs?


  • We have to be self-starters, self-motivated and self-reliant.
  • We have to be fearless and creative in seeking solutions, finding experts in all walks of life, not just ours.
  • We have to temper our responses in both victory and defeat, learning what we can from both.
  • We have to be knowledgeable but always willing to learn more.
  • We have to be able to admit that we don't always have the answer.
  • We have to be willing to lead but equally willing to serve others.
  • We can never settle for anything less than our best.
  • We need to acknowledge the God-given talents in those with whom we associate, and love and cherish and treat them equitably.
  • We need to know when it is time for work and time for cutting loose.
  • (This is getting Ecclesiastical, isn't it?)
  • We know it's hard to be humble (thanks Mac Davis) but it's essential to complete success.
  • We need to know when to render unto Caesar and when to render unto God 

More to come. Onward.

*--Pete Seeger, The Bitter and the Sweet, 1962.  I'm as surprised as you are.  Everyone of my generation relates this tune to the Roger McGuinn-led The Byrds, but even Judy Collins covered it too.

Video Killed the Radio Star*

Welcome to country #50--the tiny island nation of St. Lucia! Welcome, and feel free to comment on and/or dissent from these blog posts!

I have a dear friend from my Glee Club days by the name of Joel Colman.  He's the cantor at the Reform Jewish synagogue in New Orleans.  Besides his faith, his music, and motorcycles, one of his great passions is amateur ("ham") radio, which he has participated in since at least his undergraduate days (and probably earlier).

He would tell interesting stories about the worldwide contests he'd enter with his ham radio buddies to see how many contacts they could make in a 24-hour period.  They had interesting and busy lives outside of ham radio, so they'd never win, but they always enjoyed hearing the responses they'd get from other collegiate teams around the world.  U-M's team was one of the first such clubs, and they were numbered by their entrance/acceptance into their association. The U-M team would give their ID, which included their number, and the responding team would always be astonished at the low number for the U-M team.

Why am I saying all this?

I think it's really cool that people from 50 countries out of the nearly 300 in the world have made contact with my blog. I only wish that more folks responded.  Either I'm always right (which is decidedly NOT the case) or I'm astoundingly boring (more likely true ROFL). On this occasion of the 50th country signing in, I would humbly ask that you enter your comments on any of the posts you find interesting.  If you don't find ANY of it interesting, post on THIS one, and I'll try to respond and do better.

Onward.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sokol Fanfare*

Welcome to my readers in Thailand and in Saudi Arabia! Please stay a while, and read some of the other posts. Feel free to comment, good, bad or indifferent.

I've decided I'm going to post some musical things this year, most notably program notes for all the orchestra concerts in which I perform.

October 22, 2016
8pm
William Tennent HS, Warminster PA

Williams: Liberty Fanfare
Janacek: Sinfonietta
Shostakovich: Festive Overture, op. 96
Faure: Masques et Bergamasques
Other selections TBA

The Warminster Symphony Orchestra
Joseph Lovecchio, Music Director and Conductor
with
The US Army Herald Trumpets, Washington DC

More to come...

Monday, August 15, 2016

Day by Day*

So I interviewed with the University of Virginia and with the Free Library of Philadelphia in the last week. I have to say I like my chances better with the latter than the former. Between the heat and the monumental frustration I've had, I just have to take it one day at a time. Only way to survive.

*--Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak, Godspell, 1971.

PS: How would you feel if I posted a link to the song title at the top of each post? Like this one:
Day By Day
PPS: Welcome to my reader in Croatia! 48 countries heard from.  Hope you enjoy the posts. Be sure to make some comments for yourself and your countrymen!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Arirang*

Welcome to my readers in South Korea! Forty-six countries in all have passed through this blog.  Once again, you're always welcome to converse, argue, agree, all in a spirit of scholarly pursuits.

*Traditional Korean folk song, used in John Barnes Chance's Variations on a Korean Folk Song for wind ensemble, 1967.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Pleasant Valley Sunday*: What constitutes an entry-level position to the American Library Association?

Wow. Just Wow.

I'm spending my Monday morning catching up on email, and applying for jobs (yes, still in the library field). I checked my usual places--I Need a Library Job, state library associations near me (and not near me), and the old stalwart, the American Library Association.  I've had my beefs with them in the past, mostly about the exhorbitant cost of membership and attending conferences--not to mention the folly that is their "Emerging Leaders" program--but nothing prepared me for this morning.

I was on their JobList page, searching possibilities near me (I'm in SE Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia).  I've been applying for jobs that required experience for the most part because most ads want it in some form--"professional", "library", sometimes "customer service", or my personal favorite, "progressive responsibility", whatever the hell that means. For some reason I decided to take a different path.  Since I'm relatively new to the field, I searched using the terms "entry level" and "academic library", letting the chips fall where they may in terms of location.

I was amazed to discover that there was one opening in the entire ALA world, a social sciences/education librarian post at the University of Oregon. An outstanding institution of higher learning, in a wonderful area of the United States, but a little too far to move the family on short notice.

Undaunted, I changed the search to "Public Library" and "entry level".

Nothing.

"Government Library" and "entry level"

Nothing.

"School Library" and "entry level"

Nothing.

"Library Cooperative/System" and "Entry Level"

Nothing.

"Museums" and "Entry Level"

Nothing.

"Special Library/Corporate" and "Entry Level"

Nothing.

Are you getting the picture yet?

Are you getting the picture, ALA?

What does "Entry Level" mean in the ALA? Anything at all? When more and more job postings ask for professional experience, meaning they won't count paraprofessional or volunteer work towards that number of years, where does one ACQUIRE "professional" experience?  Does a candidate have to rely on an HR person or library director slipping up and giving the professional title to someone not yet qualified? Why doesn't the ALA make such specifications?

The term "25 years old with 30 years experience" never rang so true as it does in the rarefied world of Library and Information Science. What do you say in your defense, ALA?

*--Carole King, Gerry Goffin for The Monkees. First released as a single with Last Train to Clarksville, 1967.
Pleasant Valley Sunday
Current CV for Daniel John De Kok Sr.