From the Director’s Pocket: July 2015

As many of you who have taken my computer classes know, I’m an Excel junkie. Some days are just not complete without learning a new advanced or even basic Excel skill, so recently, I’ve been visiting, and I love it. There are lots of free tips and tricks, and you can subscribe to their email newsletter to get frequent updates. Give it a look.lynda_logo1Y-P_1x1

But don’t forget to explore the library’s new service which has outstanding video tutorials on all kinds of Excel skills, all of which are free with your library card. Here’s a link directly to those courses! Once you get there, log in with your library card number and get learning!

fisher2Next from my Pocket is a personal item. Recently, NPR did a story about the Fisher Building in Detroit, Michigan going up for auction. I was sad to hear this because my great grandfather Albert Kahn was the architect of this gem of a building, built in the 1920s. I visited it once and was overwhelmed by its art deco style and beauty. I’m hoping that the new owner will be willing to invest the money necessary to keep the fisher-outsidebuilding intact.

You can read more about Albert Kahn’s career many places online. He is still considered by many America’s preeminent industrial architect of the twentieth century. Together with his younger brother, he developed a new style of construction where reinforced concrete replaced wood in factory walls, roofs, and supports. He utilized this style when designing many of the Ford Motor Company’s first manufacturing plants.

Lastly, as you may know, the library now hosts twice-a-week meditation sessions, and I think that’s great. I benefit from any meditation I make time for, and I really should create a practice for myself. It relaxes me and opens my mind to new thoughts and perspectives. At the same time, I’m also very visually inclined person. I love all kinds of art and architecture, and find beauty to be quite moving.

father son 1 - larger and color

With that in mind, I thought I’d share this webpage with you that I came across on Twitter somehow: 29 Of The Most Thought Provoking Pictures Ever Seen, from Expanded Consciousness. I confess I am not well versed with the website in general, but I found the photographs striking. I hope you do too!

SteveFrom the Director’s Pocket is a blog series curated by Steve Butzel, Portsmouth Public Library director, dog lover, Phish (the band) aficionado, nonfiction reader, and natural resource, sustainable energy and international affairs enthusiast. If you have suggestions for something that should be included in a future blog post, email him at


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