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...with BookMooch and PaperbackSwap (and some nice shout-outs to Flux and Orca, too) at Maine Crime Writers:
I’m still operating on the same material budget I had when I took on the job as Hartland Public librarian in 2006. I don’t need to tell anyone what inflation has done to book prices, etc. since then. One of the first things I discovered when looking for better ways to build a collection was online swapping sites.
I love it.
..."A whole camp full of soldiers"?
What do you mean, no? Haven't you, like me, watched it 346 times? What IS IT that you do with your time, exactly?
Anyway, it was this hilarious dreamy, sighing delivery, like she was thinking of the most wonderful, amazing, delightful thing in the entire world.
That's pretty much the tone I'm using now:
The largest library comic book collection in the world.
if only to see the picture of the guy in charge of it: he's become Josh's new hero. (Well, for today at least. I'm sure that he'll go back to worshipping Vin Diesel tomorrow.)
Over at BookRiot, they've recommended a few books about libraries:
I wasn’t after historically accurate, non-fictional fare. Instead, I looked for books that embodied the emotional resonance of the library, work that conjured the same aesthetic of literary appreciation and devotional reverence to the classics that I had always hoped to garnish by reading about them in the first place.
Which, of course, made me think back to some of the books I've liked that have dealt with libraries. And while I'm a sucker for pretty much any book in which a library plays a significant role (see Being Henry David or The Madness Underneath or Hattie Ever After), it's the SECRET LIBRARIES that kill me every time. I know I wouldn't have enjoyed Beautiful Creatures nearly as much without that secret library, and the discovery of the one in This Dark Endeavour was so fabulously creepy that it still gives me shivers.
My FAVORITE one, though, is Ursula K. Le Guin's Voices, which is the middle book in the Annals of the Western Shore sequence, which begins with Gifts and ends with Powers:
Ansul is a city once known for its great university, for its scholars, and for its books. You caught that, right? A city once known for its books. Because, you see, seventeen years ago, the Alds invaded and conquered Ansul, and the Alds believe that reading and writing are evil -- that they lead the way to demons.
I find it interesting, looking back at that old review, that I was so conflicted about the book: looking back on it now, I only feel affection. I'll have to re-read the series and see how it stands up!
What about you? What's your favorite library book, secret or not?
At the NCAC:
This week the ACLU of Rhode Island released a report, “Access Denied,” showing that the use of internet filtering software is pervasive in R.I. schools and is hindering the educational environment. Filtering software paints with a broad and uneven brush and while the intention may be to block pornography and pornography only, it winds up blocking tons of useful, important and educational information.
...but I am suddenly DYING to read this academic paper on Information Seeking Behavior.
It's quite possible that the title has something to do with my interest (though the subject is actually pretty relevant to my job!):
“New shit has come to light”: Information seeking behavior in The Big Lebowski.
New enough that my jaw dropped so far and fast that I think I may have INJURED MYSELF.
From the Riverfront Times:
A federal district court has ordered the public library in Salem, Missouri to stop blocking patrons' access to websites relating to minority religions, which web filters had at times apparently classified as "occult" or "criminal," the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri announced today. As we reported last year, this censorship was brought to light when a Salem resident complained that she couldn't get onto websites about Native American religions and Wiccan faith.
AN AWESOME BOX:
When a patron particularly enjoys an item, he or she will return the book into the “Awesome Box,” which will be clearly labeled with appropriate signage. Then, a library staff member will scan the book twice – once, checking the book in as usual, then another time to list that item on the “awesome” page.
I love this display idea. (In the unlikely event that you're unfamiliar with it, it's very simple: wrap books up (covering any identifying marks!) and attach descriptive personal ads to them.
Here are a few examples:
- Lauren the Librarian: "Basically, patrons can choose any book they’d like to check out based on the book’s dating profile. (Yes, we created individual Match.com-type dating profiles for each book)."
- The Savvy Reader has a whole bunch of book profiles listed, like: "It's the age of the geek, baby. I've turned my gaming into a career of sorts, if you can call trying to win WWIII a career. I'm a super-human war machine…of love. Do you think you have what it takes?" Ahahahahaha!
- I like the design that Wrapped Up in Books chose for her wrapping, and LOVED that she noted: "It doesn’t even have to be a February display, it would work for any time of year."
- This library includes 'Rate Your Date' slips and completed slips are entered into a drawing for chocolate-covered strawberries.
Anyway, you get the idea, I'm sure!
Apologies for the radio silence: the new semester has begun, the students are back, and my last couple of days have been all about paper jams and showing new patrons the joys of Overdrive, Stat!Ref, Noodlebib, and every other online resource with a compound word for a name.
While you're holding your breath and waiting for my return to regular posting, feel free to peruse this NYT article about 'attack reviews' in the Amazon review system. (Or not. I mean, really, the only surprising thing about the article is that the topic hasn't been covered before. Or maybe it has. I don't know. Oh, look, a paper jam. Gotta go!)
From my library director's FB:
Me to older man at computer: Are you a student here?
Man: Um...erm... I'm *going* to be.
Me: Ah. Well. I've had a complaint that you're viewing pornography on the computer. That's against our policy. I need to ask you to not do that.
Man: Oh. Don't do that?
Me: Yah, don't do that.
Man: OK. [leaves]
I'm almost hoping that he'll turn out to be one of the Usual Suspects from the public library (because it would be hilarious and make for good storytelling).
Now, I'm a pretty personable... erm... person.
I mean, I'm somewhat cranky, sure. But I'm usually cheerfully cranky, in a delightful (<--my opinion, Josh's may differ) and friendly way.
I'm not all that hard to get along with.
But there's this one patron. We'll call him Chet*.
CHET IS MY NEMESIS.
Less because of any easily-describable interaction, and more because just the sight of him makes me want to start punching things.
Last night, I dreamt about him. HE FOLLOWED ME HOME AND INTO MY DREAMS, THAT BASTARD.
So, I'm at my in-laws' house, standing in the kitchen, peacefully drinking a glass of milk. I set it down for a moment, taking a brief break from my enjoyable milk-drinking.
When I turn back to pick up my glass and finish my frothy cold beverage, I see that Chet—who is now in my in-laws' house for some inexplicable reason—HAS PICKED UP MY GLASS AND FINISHED MY MILK.
I ASK YOU: WHO DOES THAT?
There was more—with Chet joining my mother-in-law at the dining room table, but not sitting in one of the free chairs, oh no, but JAMMING HIMSELF INTO MY MOTHER-IN-LAW'S SEAT WITH HER, and another bit, in which he attempted to fake his way through a conversation about basketball with my father-in-law, but my father-in-law TOTALLY CALLED HIM ON IT, so the dream actually ended on a satisfying note—but I won't bore you with the gory details. Or, well, I won't bore you with them any more than I already have.
Suffice to say: CHET IS THE WORST.
More bulletins as events warrant.
*Obviously not his** real name.
Yeah, I assumed it was from the Onion, too.
So, on the one hand, I sympathize with the kid, because A) these things happen, and B) I, myself, am the Queen of Overdue Library Books.
But on the other, it sounds like the school has a clear policy, and that the student violated that policy. An argument to which she eloquently responded, "They're pathetic."
Which, you know, lost her some points in my eyes.
Finally, though, there's the intriguing comment from the district spokesman: "Suffice it to say that there is more to this story than was inaccurately reported."
WAS THERE A COVER-UP? WHAT ARE THEY KEEPING UNDER WRAPS?
HAS THIS HIGH SCHOOL FRESHMAN LEFT A SWATH OF OVERDUE LIBRARY BOOKS BEHIND HER??
ENQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW.
So, the semester is in full swing, and the library has been MONDO busy (hence the severe lack of posting!), but this day has been so full of fun that I felt the need to share:
- An ultra-polite student came in looking for a specific edition of Dante's Paradiso, bless his literature-loving heart, and was adorably delighted when I offered to ask the director to buy it for the library.
- Another student came in looking for Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty trilogy because she'd heard it was a good one for fans of Fifty Shades of Grey. As she had some time to spare, I had her sit down with me at the Reference Desk, and we ended up putting in ILL requests for that and two more books... and, as I realized that my personal knowledge base is Seriously Lacking when it comes to Teh Erotica, I'm now reading up on that in order to put together a decent list of recommendations.
- And third, a student who I helped out last week came in with a present for me: a teeny, tiny, perfect vole skull.
Anyway. It's been one of those bursting with happy sorts of days, so I felt the need to share.
I'll be back to regular posting and reviewing soon, hopefully!
Oh! Also. I added some Star Trek pins to my Etsy shop, and I adore them.
La la la la la.
Hope all is just as fabbity-fab in your neck of the woods.
Her scheme includes categories such as “Pony History” and “Classics.” It’s unclear whether this is her own classification scheme or one standard throughout libraries in Equestria. But it is, at least, a good start on making information resources accessible to patrons.
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...Forbes' ranking of the MLS/MLIS degree:
While it is true that for some individuals these factors are the principal focus, for librarians the primary motivation is job satisfaction derived from the opportunity to make a significant difference in the lives of others.