Posts filed under ‘Librarians’
Thank you for coming–we love to share our space and are happy to have you here. As in many libraries (and I suspect in yours), we have a policy here that states: No Food or Drink in the Library. We hate to tell our patrons no, but have no choice—this is a sensible policy as food and drink stain furniture and carpets and destroys library materials. In this age of the ubiquitous Starbucks cup, coffee cop is one of the worst parts of our jobs.
We try to enforce the rules fairly, but sometimes we do not see the offense. However, when you approach the public desk with a steaming cup of coffee in your hands, you should expect to be told about the policy. Please do not roll your eyes, sigh, or scowl—as you know, we are on the front-lines and just doing our job. When you follow-up with “I am here for the [Insert meeting name here]“, please understand that is the library equivalent of a celebrity exclaiming ‘Do you know who I am’. It does not change the rule which we are duty bound to enforce fairly.
Please keep this in mind when visiting another library—we understand your desire to have coffee while at your meeting. We understand you are careful and are unlikely to spill. We do not want to tell you no. However, we can not make an exception for you. It is unfair. It makes our job harder. Please do not ask. You see, the other patrons do not know who you are.
About a month ago I posted a simple poll using Doodle to get a quick snapshot of the email habits of librarians and those who work in libraries. I am finally finding a few moments to summarize the results. This is not a very scientific study at all, but it does give an indication that many of us in libraryland seem to feel compelled to check our work email even on weekends and holidays. I wonder if this is the same in other industries or are we just a hyper-connected profession of overachievers that must know at all times what is happening in our libraries even when we are not there?
As of August 15th 2008 there were 160 responses (many more than I expected) and the most popular option chosen was “Yes on weekends” with 119 people (74%) indicating that they needed to know what was going even when they were not at work.
Even though we seem to have a burning desire to check our work email on weekends, there is some indication that at least a small portion of the profession knows the meaning of the word vacation — 51 people (32%) indicated that they do not check work email while on vacation. Conversely, though, that means that more than two-thirds check work email when they should be sipping margaritas or relaxing on the beach.
Here is a quick summary of all the responses (results do not equal 100 as it was multiple choice):
Comment by Eileen. (Monday, July 14, 2008 3:11:27 PM CEST) Less so at night but definitely on weekends and vacation. I’d rather spend a few minutes a day keeping up with it than deal with it when I get back. When I’m on vacations I will hit the delete key more quickly — especially with list mail. Anytime I’m at home or on vacation I tend to respond to only what I need to. I almost never check work-related blogs though.
Comment by Patty. (Monday, July 14, 2008 3:48:31 PM CEST)I’ll check it occasionally at night through the week and usually every weekend at least once or twice, but I rarely act on anything unless it is dire. It can usually wait until I get to work but I am curious to see what is going on.
And, perhaps most wise of all:
Comment by Becky. (Tuesday, July 29, 2008 11:57:32 PM CEST) follow up – I have a friend who says no one ever died of a Library emergency, and I try to remember that, even as I’m checking.
I have been trying to check my email less frequently when I am not at the library with some measure of success and I think my life is better for it. Still, I mostly fall in the camp of wanting to know what is going on (even if I don’t respond to the message) and being able to delete anything unimportant over the weekend to make re-entry on Monday easier. It seems as if curiosity is a trait of many who are constant email checkers.
I used to check less frequently from home on weeknights, but since I took over as PPL’s program coordinator I find that it often puts my mind at ease to check email quickly after 9 pm to get the update on how the evening went at the library. We have programs almost nightly and when someone else is covering the program I want to know if things went smoothly. I know that I can do nothing about it from home if things went wrong, but still I seem to need to know.
Perhaps library workers need to follow the popular trend of having a Technology Sabbath – ditching email, all online communication and our cell phones for one day each weekend. It would be tough for many, myself included, but it is something worth considering.
Please take a few moments to scroll way down and read the rest of the comments left on the poll. Also feel free to leave comments on this post about your email habits — and if you plan to change them in the future based upon this unscientific research.
I was out with friends last night for an MNO (Mom’s Night Out) and we ended up talking about email and how much it overwhelmed us at times. I told them that although I was technically on vacation this week I still checked my email once or twice day and, except for one friend, they all thought I was nuts.
One of my friends, who is senior management at a large insurance company, shared that she checked work email daily and at home in the evenings no matter what — vacations or sickness, etc. The others are all mothers who work outside the home (just like me) but they indicated that they leave work email at work and never check from home — they are two teachers, a nurse, therapist, and a manager in a small company.
So here it is Saturday and I just logged in to check my work email and while I was reading my messages I started to wonder, how many other librarians and library workers check their email from home and when?
I used Doodle, one of my favorite “fantastic freebies“, to create a quick poll that will give us a quick snapshot type answer to the questions “Do You Check Email From Home?”. Just go to this doodle poll and check off all that apply. You can check more than one answer and you can be anonymous if you want. Also, you can leave comments and further explain your email habits. I will leave the poll up for a week or so and then summarize on the blog later this month.
File under, “Tootling one’s own horn” In this case mine. Hey look everyone, I’ve learned to talk good!
Yes, I am now an official Toastmasters Competent Communicator (aka CTM).
Yes, posts about ALA coming soon (for now here are the pix.) And more on public speaking, doing improv, library futures.
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.
… 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.