Sunday, November 14, 2010

The civility of a library to it's employees can be measured by one standard: is the library willing to offer replacement blades for the staff tape dispensers. I was extremely happy to find a rubber banded stack of replacement blades at my current place of employment. My former place of employment would only allow staff to order office supplies from a very short list, claimed they never heard of replacement blades for tape dispensers and always turned down requests for anything sharp like new scissors.

Once upon a time I worked at a library that hired a scissor sharpener to come in for a week every few years. You could put your dull scissors in an envelope and have them returned lethally sharp a week later. They had replacement blades too, so I could mend books for hours without the annoyance of trying to drag a piece of tape back and forth over a dull bent blade to get it to cut.

I feel like this is a sadness reserved for public employees. We need 2" tape to do our job. Since the tape dispenser won't cut it, we gunk up scissors. If we're lucky there is Goo Gone and we can waste our time cleaning scissors because we don't have the proper tape dispenser. With neither tape dispensers or Goo Gone, I've got to shut up and stop trying to help.

On the other hand, with the tape dispenser problem solved, I'm still going to be frustrated that there is a housefly in November that won't leave me alone.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Blog Clean Up

I'm culling my library blog RSS feeds. I'm not going to write for academic library journals nor am I interested in your blah blah blah research you're going to self publish and analyze your sales for the next six months.

So I need suggestions, fun library stuff, book reviews, website reviews, working with urban populations, working with teens, creative outreach, arts and crafts, computer training etc.

What should I read?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Goodbye Brooklyn Public Library

Hello San Francisco. No job yet, but i will fix that soon.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Kick Start (er....)

I tried watching some of Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars on the Disney Channel the other night but just couldn't do it. I was too stuck on making sure she was wearing the right shoes (the Uggs in one scene almost made me cry, but she did switch to Chuck Taylors later). How could they do this? How dated must Ms. Harriet seem to today's kids?

As for dee library. Wells. Yah. I work at a library. It is full of interesting people. I went on vacation and met more interesting people. I'm looking forward to MOVING TO CALIFORNIA and meeting more interesting people. The catch is:

*I am a really good public librarian
*I have worked in public libraries for twelve years and have gotten a degree I wanted to take me out of public services and into tech services
*I still love writing, event planning, technology, new media, the music industry, intellectual property law and copyright law

Now loop this all together. Force me to apply for some cool jobs. Tell me where they're at, in the SF Bay Area of course.

I titled this post after a really cool website that is allowing all sorts of people to get funding for their projects. Kickstarter allows you to post your proposal and then seek funding with all starts of rewards for your patrons. My friend Jed recently got money to make a new album for his band My Teenage Stride and I'm getting a copy. Which is awesome because I would buy it anyway, so I just pre-ordered it and there it is.

More rambling then, I noticed the slogan for his MySpace is "I Can't Go On I'll Go On" which was the name of the band in BandSlam. Now, before I saw it I thought it would be the teen rock movie to end all teen rock movies (one problem there, Scott Pilgrim vs the World is coming out this year). I flipped through Bandslam: Will's Guide to Rock and was hecka impressed at the band names he drops (Stars? Neutral Milk Hotel?). Now I'm getting to far away from the library focus and back to obsessing about bands, sorta....but teen pop culture, comics, new media funding etc. is something librarians should be more aware of.

We're doing a library funding campaign again...Support Our Shelves/ Proud to be Shelf-ish. Donate, or tell me what YOU think of the campaign.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How the Referece Survey Should Be Tallied

Yes the LibCamp NYC 2009 unconference was a long time ago. What always strikes me is what I'm still talking about a year later. People are generally too cryptic in their immediate tweets (even though I presented about Twitter) and I don't like to mess up my Twitter account with too much non-personal stuff.

Yes, I'm one of those Twitterers who thinks it should NOT be used for personal branding. In fact, people who believe in marketing themselves sorta fall in the same likeability as evangelists and QVC hosts in my book. I'm very very suspicious of you, because I see your motivation.

However, what I wanted to talk about was an idea that was buzzing in my head since the unconference session "How Should We Handle the Dinosaur Known as the Reference Desk?" The answer by the way, was give more options to university students because they don't like it, but public library patrons freak out and still depend on it so don't rush to take it away.

Someone (stranger in the audience, if you ever stumble across my blog I will give you full credit) brought up their super smart library doesn't just tally the number of reference questions and call it a reference survey, but actually breaks it down by type:





Wow! Four columns (or boxes, or whatever you use for your reference survey) and you learn SOOOO much. Like how bad your signage is, what time of day you might want to offer computer classes, and if your patrons understand your borrowing policies.

On a whole I'm pretty disgusted with library statistics. I think the way funding is tied into statistics makes us focus on all the wrong things (ie number of books checked out versus having the right books for the right reader) and competition between branches and library systems (instead of focusing on local needs). Taking more complete statistics would also help with correctly staffing the building. Right now I'm in the dark as to what the use of a "one mark for every reference question" is except apparently for funding and to write articles about the rise and fall of reference.

Folks, it's not about the fun of being a reference librarian. Or the frustration. It's about the patrons. Why do so many libraries neglect to take this opportunity to get some useful data?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Overdrive for Droid

The Librarian in Black got all excited that the Ovedrive software is available for Droid. In beta, so you have to go into settings and allow it download apps not available in the app marketplace. Well, I played with it for a few minutes and gave up. You still need to instal software onto you computer and THEN transfer your audio book to your Droid. Boo. I wanted to just download audiobooks when I felt like it directly to my phone. Like you can with music! See, it's not that hard of a concept. So la la la, no listening to audiobooks for me until they figure this out. I'm not going back to the old annoying thing trying to put audio books in with my mp3s because even though i know there is a tagging solution, it always just got mixed up when i wanted to listen to things on shuffle.