Archive for March, 2007
First off, I have to thank Pete for inviting me to join Library Garden; it has been an honor and I hope my contributions have been for the better Second, thanks to all my other fellow biblio-green thumbs, I have learned a tremendous amount from your posts.
With spring in the air and the rejuvenating feelings of a first anniversary (did anyone bring cake?), I thought it might be take a look at what we hope might happen/change in the library profession over the next year or so. Personally, I am going to break this down into three categories; 1-What should’ve been done last year, 2- the change I am going to push for and 3- my pie in the sky wishful thinking. I will finish up with a Nostradamus-esque prediction… Why? Eh, it’s nice out, I’m inside and it seems like the right time to do so.
What we need to do already!- Allow our computers to accept memory sticks/flash drives. Some PCs don’t even come with a floppy drive anymore, it’s time for us to quit worrying about security issues with these devices and let our patrons use the information they have.
What I am pushing for- I am going to continue my push to get video games into libraries. We can no longer hide behind the fear that teens will not return games when we already lost thousands of dollars a year to adults not returning books, CDs and movies.
My Pie in the sky dream- I would love for our library system to get their own library card maker so patrons could make custom library cards! We could still have the standard card but, for a small fee, grandparents could get their grandkids pictures on their cards, people could put their pets, favorite band or celebrity on it. Heck, let teens put their boyfriend or girlfriend pictures on there… at the rate they go through relationships, you would pay for the machine before midterms let out!
Nostradummy Prediction- A Book will be banned somewhere and there will be much discourse about it. In time, people will learn that one of the protesters did not read the book. This will be their downfall; for how can you protest what you do not know? It might be found out that a defender did not read the book either but it wont matter; as it turns out, the protest is not about the book itself, but an person’s choice to read it.
Today you’re invited to join us in celebrating two milestones at the Garden: It’s our one year anniversary, and by coincidence, this is our 200th post. I guess it’s appropriate that the Library Garden sprouted up during the first week of Spring!
First, It’s been an honor and a pleasure blogging with the other regular bloggers here at LG, Janie, Robert, Marie, Amy and Ty. Old friendships have deepened, while new ones have been formed. The idea for Library Garden sprung into my head about 15 months ago, and was largely inspired by the wonderful group-blogging that was going on over at It’s All Good. A special thanks to Alice, Alane, George and Eric for showing us how it could be done. (Chrystie came along later, and a fine addition she’s made. Congrats on the LJ M&S!)
A special note of thanks also to Janie and Robert, for immediately agreeing to do the blog and encouraging me to get off my duff and actually start it. I could not imagine two more spirited partners!
I’d also like to thank Michael Stephens, Jenny Levine and Karen Schneider , three generous souls, for their early and continuing support. Thanks so very much for the link love, the encouragement, the comments, and the advice. If IAG inspired me to get going, you three inspired me to keep going.
Finally, I want to thank everyone (oh my god, this kinda sound like an Oscar speech…’my mom, sniff, my dad, snuffle…’) who actually ever reads this blog. I’m always kind of surprised when I realize that anybody is reading it. So thanks for sweeping your peepers across our page.
Looking back over the last year I see that the Garden, while not sticking 100% to our original vision, has nevertheless found it’s niche in the biblioblogosphere. My goals for the next year are to post a little more frequently and a little more personally, to do more interviews, to encourage more guest posting, and to add a new voice or two to the regular roster.
With much gratitude and appreciation in my sleepy little heart,
Nancy Dowd tagged me for the five-non-library-blogs-that-I-read-meme.
I’m going to skip a few favorites since they’ve gotten a lot of mentions already. (If you’re not already reading Creating Passionate Users, do yourself a favor and start.) So here are the non-library blogs that I read that I haven’t seen mentioned too often:
- Work Matters, by Bob Sutton. I came for the Weird Ideas That Work, I stayed for the No Asshole Rule. You may have heard of Bob Sutton recently as the author of the #14 Amazon ranked book,”The No Asshole Rule“. It’s unbeleviable to me that the New York Times won’t print the title of this book. (I mean, hey, they had no trouble printing the word scrotum again, and again, and again…)
- Horse Pig Cow: A marketing blog from Tara Hunt. Oink. Moo. Yup.
- Presentation Zen: Garr Reynolds on presentation design. I’ll take all the help I can get Check out Ira Glass’ Tips on Storytelling. Good stuff!
- How To Change the World by Guy Kawasaki. I love the ideas, the interviews, and Guy’s playful, generous spirit that shines through all his posts.
- Service Untitled by… hmmmm, I have no idea who writes it. No matter! I love this blog for it’s very practical writing on customer service, like this article on what to do when a customer is cursing at you. (Funny, they forgot to mention the never-fail strategy, “I’m the rubber you’re the glue…”
Back in the early days of 2007 when the “5 things you probably don’t know about me” meme was circulating I got tagged 3+ times and intended to play along. I actually composed most of the post, but then lost it when my laptop froze and never found time to write it again. Now I have been tagged by Meredith for the new meme about 5 non-library blogs we read, so I am mashing the memes together into one big post. How efficient is that?
First, 5 things that you may or may not know about me:
Even though I have lived stateside for over 10 years now, I remain a Canadian citizen. My first 7 years of working in the States was accomplished via a series of TN NAFTA visas, but I now have a green card and will likely get American citizenship eventually (when I find some spare time, so maybe not too soon).
I have lived above the Arctic Circle and also in Bermuda and have moved 27 times in my life. My stint at PPL (close to 9 years and counting) is the longest time I have ever worked in a single place. It really feels weird to me that I will have soon lived in my current home 5 years as I have never called an apartment or house “home” for longer than 2 years since I started college. Needless to say, I am an expert at packing and moving.
It shocks people when they visit as I own relatively few books, especially for a librarian — partly due to the 27 moves and partly due to the fact that I am a minimalist. My son, however, has overflowing bookshelves. I love children’s literature and especially picture books. One of my cooperative work terms while at library school was working in the Children’s Literature Service of the National Library of Canada (a truly wonderful experience).
Downhill skiing is one of the few athletic pursuits that I have ever achieved any sort of higher level abilities (other than highland dancing). I met my husband in a ski club and, when given my choice of things to do on vacation, I will choose a ski trip almost every time.
My musical tastes are eclectic (pop to hard rock to opera) and I have a special fondness for world music and in particular Celtic music, which stems from my undergraduate days of as a dancer in the Queen’s Bands.
Now, for the five non library blogs ( the first 3 directly related to the 5 things above)
CBC Radio 3: Helps me to stay current with Canadian culture and news. I also love Rick Mercer’s blog (but wish he would post more frequently) and frequently read Political Notebook as well as a few other Canadian blogs that help me stay connected to all things “north of the border”.
Book Buds: Even though one might argue that a site reviewing picture books is not really a non-library blog, I am including it since it is not related to my job duties and I read it more for the love of pictures books than anything else. In a similar category is Reading Moms, a blog that meets both my personal and parenting reading needs.
Gizmodo: The Gadget Guide: The tag line says it all “… So much in love with shiny new toys, it’s unnatural.”
In the fall, I blogged here at Library Garden about Google Book Search finally including library locator information in their results when you conduct a book search. My favorite addition was when they included under the “Advanced Book Search” the limit option of “Library Catalogs,” which would help locate nearby libraries owning the item, libraries in World Cat (learn more here).
“partnered with OCLC to leverage the OpenURL Gateway and WorldCat to provide users with a link from ERIC records to library resources. [This] feature dramatically streamlines the process of obtaining full text” from many ERIC documents. I tried it today with an education student, and it worked great.
“The Find in a Library feature offers two linking paths: OpenURL and WorldCat. For users associated with one of the 1,100 libraries registered with the OCLC OpenURL Gateway, selecting Find in a Library will lead to a search of the library’s electronic holdings and seamless access to available full text. If no full text is available users may choose to link to WorldCat.”
“If the user is not affiliated with a library registered in the OpenURL Gateway, Find in a Library will connect to WorldCat to find the nearest library with a print or electronic version of the material. WorldCat is the world’s largest network of library content and services and catalogs a billion items in more than 10,000 libraries worldwide.”
A hearty congratulations to Library Garden’s own Janie Hermann on her much deserved selection as an LJ Mover and Shaker:
Hermann enjoys being actively engaged with a world beyond her own library, through the blog Library Garden, the staff training and patron service communities at WebJunction, and numerous conference presentations. She says these kinds of contributions keep her “enthusiastic and excited about our profession” and help her stay ahead on new trends and technology.
Every personality inventory she’s ever taken says that Hermann is “an extroverted risk-taker.” Uprooting herself from her Canadian homeland and moving from teaching to librarianship, she’s remade her life and her library.
I’d also like to give a shout-out to a few other Garden State librarians being honored:
- Linda Devlin: Friend, former co-worker, Camden County Library’s new director, and, I hope, future LG blogger! (hint, hint… OK, your doing three jobs right now…maybe a guest piece on what it’s like to be a young new library director??)
- Trevor Dawes: Circulation Supervisor at Princeton University. Among his many accomplishments Trevor’s done a great job reviving NJLA’s mentoring program.
- Nicole Cooke: Reference Librarian, Montclair State University. In addition to starting and heading up the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (with Trevor), Nicole writes, presents and (dear to my heart) coordinates New Jersey’s Train-The-Trainer program.
Congratulations to you, and to all of the librarians honored as LJ Movers and Shakers for 2007!
… When You’ve Got a Library Card!
This is the second time in a week that I have heard this song — really quite odd considering I have never heard it ever before. The first time was on Tuesday while my toddler was watching Arthur on PBS and the second time was this morning while I was browsing YouTube for a few good examples to use in a new class I am putting together.
The lyrics (which really are quite catchy) can be found in Arthur’s Songbook and a quick search reveals that this song by Arthur and Friends first got airplay as an episode in February 1999 — and has since been used by various libraries as a promotional song to encourage children to get a library card.
My second encounter with this song was in a recently posted video called A YouTube Salute to Librarians. The description reads:
Five minutes of your life you’ll wish you had back, this includes a mintage of sceens from classic TV as well as random uploads to youtube, all about Librarians.
The music is purevolume.com’s salute to librarians.
I really have to disagree. I found those 5 minutes to be quite entertaining — enough so, that I watched it a second time (thus giving up 10 minutes of my life) and I am also posting the link here for others to spend 5 minutes enjoying on a Friday afternoon as they wind down the work week.
All the songs in the salute come from purevolume.com — a site that had missed my radar until now. It is amazing how many library-related songs can be found by searching purevolume (but I still like the list of library songs posted by Fiona better).
A little bit of digging reveals that this salute was created by Devin Singley, a 23 year old who states in his bio that he is “currently in the process of working towards a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. With this degree, I plan on finding a career as a school Media Librarian”. Welcome to the profession Devin, and what a great way to mark your entrance!
ETA: I have to say that my favorite section is where the “advanced drawer pull” is demonstrated about half way through. Not sure why, but it makes me laugh — I am easily amused some days. Oh, and the Library Card song in the video is not the original Arthur version, it is a cover done by a garage band called the Pink Fuzzies and it seems unclear to me if it was ever released beyond being online.
Karen G. Schneider yet again comes up with a “Must Read” post that is sure to become to a classic in the blogosphere. So much food for thought in this post that I think I will have to read it twice. And her conclusion is spot on:
But in the end, after we conclude that the user is not broken, and that the tools we design must reflect this fact, and before the train pulls away forever… can we also agree that the first commitment to ease of access needs to include the right—forever, and always—to read?