Posts tagged libraries
Posts tagged libraries
Henry Rollins (via zibazehdar)
Good news, Henry: there are 16,724 public library buildings in America, and, according to Hoover’s, only 10,967 Starbucks. YOUR WORLD IS NOW. HOORAY!
There are a few things in this article that I disagree with, but it’s these three paragraphs that are at the crux of it. There’s an abrupt segue here where collection development is suddenly equated to readers’ advisory, and I am not okay with that, because that assumption forms the basis for much of the rest of the article. Buying a lot of copies of something can be a way to suggest a book—but that does not mean that it does.
I’d argue that, when it comes to the finite book budgets of libraries across the nation, good collection development is occasionally at loggerheads with good readers’ advisory, and this is one of those times. Good collection development involves being responsive to the requests of the community, whatever you or any other interested observer thinks of the legitimacy of those requests. Good readers’ advisory involves being well-read, keeping recommended books in the library, and, incidentally, answering the question “what should I read next?” not just with a book handed across the counter, but with a conversation and a list of titles that very probably are not related to the librarian’s personal reading habits.
When a situation like this leads to a tie, in the sense that you’ve got X dollars and you have to figure out the best way to spend it, my feeling is that the tie should go to the patron. It’s not our money. It’s their money, and we are the stewards of it. When I see people say, “Well, I wouldn’t spend $23k that way,” I feel they’re missing the point. Personally, if I had $23k to spend on books, I’d buy 23,000 copies of Stoner by John Williams and use them to construct a small hut in the middle of the Library, where I would take power naps throughout the day, and occasionally throw a dance party. But I don’t have that money; the Library does, and it was given to us by our patrons, who as a result ought to have some say in how it is spent.
We are trusted to spend that money on books that we have professionally evaluated and decided should be in the collection, but we are also trusted to provide items that people are asking for. If demand is high enough for a book that in a system of over half a million cardholders, 300 ebooks are needed to meet it, then that’s where the rubber meets the road in the library business, as my boss would say.
I appreciate that this attitude resonates with Greenfield, but it does more than resonate with me—it is my attitude, and it is how I do my job. (Not just because I actually believe it, by the way, though I do—but also because the collection development policy of my workplace requires it.) Ebooks being accessible in public libraries is a complex issue. There are many ways to improve it, and I agree that libraries will need to change a few things in the process, but it’s beyond the reach of very simple advice.
I’m packing for VLA in Williamsburg and look what I’m bringing with me… 45 more of these are in my purse waiting for new owners, so say hi to me tomorrow!
Tumblrarians, what a great idea. Can you take your state motto or logo and turn it into a library campaign slogan?
Oh heck yeah:
Our libraries we prize and our rights we will maintain! (Go Iowa!)
By her own libraries she flies! (Okay, Oregon’s not so much)
love this so much.
NJ, Libraries & You: Perfect together!
Illinois “Library Sovereignty, Library Unity.”
Colorado “Nothing without the Library.”
New York’s state motto is Excelsior or Ever Upward, so: Ever Libraries!
Or we could just say Excelsior, which is the sort of thing your average librarian dreams of having an excuse to drop in conversation, I think.
As for my home state of PA: Libraries, liberty, and independence.
Marketing trick I want to steal: my vet took this picture of my kitty at his last visit. (He doesn’t normally look this sad, he just really hates the vet.) They made it into a postcard and the back is a reminder that he is due for a checkup, which they are pretending he wrote. Obviously he could not have written it because he only knows how to write in Russian, but it is basically a cat lady’s dream to get a postcard signed with love from her cat.
Anyway, joke’s on them, because instead of making a vet appointment I am brainstorming how I can use this technique for library marketing! So there, vet!
A father and his daughter came in today for the second time; she was shy. They had a question. It turned out the school librarian had assigned extra credit.
"She needs to take a picture with a librarian at a public library," he said. And then what, I asked.
"I get two cookies!" she said.
TWO! I vaulted the desk. This must be what it feels like to be famous.
I pretty consistently preach about the importance of visiting other libraries. When I visited Darien Library in Connecticut, I picked up a few really wonderful ideas but this might be the best - the Librarian Favorite bookmark. Patrons LOVE them. L.O.V.E. Library workers also love them because it’s a fun way to personalize displays. It’s a win-win.
You can see Darien’s version in a copy of The Love Song of Jonny Valentine and our version at the Northbrook Public Library, in a copy of Matterhorn. (that’s right…that book is AMAZING!!)
This is one of the smallest things we’ve done at Darien but it has had a huge impact. Very easy to make, even easier to use. If I might offer a word of advice: make them on perforated bookmark paper! Ours have been so popular that I recently invested in a few reams of it on which to print them out, because we were wasting a crazy amount of time cutting them out and it was giving everyone hand cramps. I mean, it was a good reason for hand cramps, but still.
I usually keep away from the profanity on here, but this is too important, team. The Chunklet Fucks-to-Shits ratio is my new everything.
In a nutshell, it’s like this: the giving-a-shit scale reflects on your commitment to doing a Good Job. You show up, you do what you’re told, you create a pleasant experience for everyone. Give too much of a shit, of course, to the point where things devolve into micromanagement and tantrums when things fail to go Just Right. Give too little, and people can tell you’re obviously just collecting a paycheck - if you bother to show up at all.
Giving a fuck, naturally, is tied into pulling off what you want to do regardless of what others think. Give too many, and you’re sunk at the first sign of criticism. Give too little, and you’re actively working to piss people off at the expense of everything else.
What does this have to do with our noble profession, you ask? Here goes:
Libraries are great at giving a shit. But we need to work on giving less of a fuck.
OK, gauntlet thrown. Discuss.
I agree with this, and also I like how it just saved me a year or two of therapy bills.
Guys! We’re hiring! Sort of!
We’re looking for an intern in our Readers’ Advisory Department. Could this be you? Working at Darien Library is like playing and working at the same time.
Darien Library – one of the busiest and highest-ranked public libraries of its size in the country – seeks a service-focused, curious and enthusiastic student to become a member of the Readers’ Advisory department for the fall semester. The successful candidate will be a strong reader who is comfortable with social media and mobile technology.
This internship is designed to give the student experience and exposure to all aspects of our unique service department providing reader services to the community. The intern will learn about the inner workings of the Library’s Welcome Desk, providing readers’ advisory and promoting Library collections through physical and virtual spaces. The intern will also be expected to develop and execute a project that enhances readers’ advisory services for Darien Library.
The internship is for one day a week for one semester, with flexibility based on the student’s schedule. Darien Library will provide meals and Metro-North train passes for the duration of the internship.
Apply by sending a cover letter and resume, no later than August 19, to Stephanie Anderson, Head of Reader Services (email@example.com).
Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won’t you be my intern?
(I am secretly hoping my intern will want to experiment with RA and tumblr, so now you know how to ace the interview.)
I finally read my first ebook from beginning to end, out of desperation, and it went okay! You heard me right: I have no strong feelings about the ereading experience! What! The only way I could read The Cuckoo’s Calling by
Robert Galbraith J. K. Rowling was to borrow it electronically from the library, so I went for it. I like to be in the know, you know.
It was pretty good, I guess. And by that I mean both the content and the reading experience. The book was not the best crime fiction I’ve read this year, but it shows promise; if I didn’t know who the author was, I’d definitely be looking for the second one to see if that promise was fulfilled. Ditto for ebooks—not my favorite reading experience, but I expect they’ll grow on me.
Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two.
So, obviously, I loved this book as much as the first two. In fact, possibly more—while the first two are delightful modern classics, this one starts to tread into adult territory oh-so-delicately and with perfect pitch. With this addition to the Fairyland series, Valente has joined the firmament of stellar fantasists alongside Tamora Pierce, Diane Duane, and Monica Furlong. And I’m not just saying that because she gets Libraries and what we’re about. The only thing that I don’t like about these books is that they weren’t around when I was a little girl and young enough to dress up as September for Halloween. I often hug them when I am finished reading them.
(Remember Monica Furlong, by the way? Isn’t it just about time for her to get new book covers and a new audience? Can we make that happen??)