crow's blog

Irony (public libraries trying to be like bookstores)

The Houston Chronicle did a cute little puff piece singing the praises of the local library here in Clear Lake, and I support this as a way to encourage more people to get into the library and see what is there.

That being said, the new library may be 4 times bigger than the old one, but ever since the move, I have found very little of interest to actually check out and read on the shelves. Actual new books would be there at the old library, now the very small new book shelf features things that have been around a year or more sometimes and are usually not anything I find appealing.

The new library has in fact, driven me to go to Barnes and Noble to read anything new and interesting -- which I suppose is ironic, given all the big improvements were an attempt to lure people away from the bookstores. Which apparently works just fine for non-readers.

I mostly get out DVDs from the library and the occasional book, all of which I need to request on line and wait until some other branch's copy finds its way down to Freeman. I spend way less time in the public library than I ever used to now that they've "improved" it.

Anyone in Baltimore willing to scan/e-mail/fax something?

My grandmother died and I can't afford to come back for the funeral. My mother said her obituary was supposed to be in the Baltimore Sun, but I'm guessing they didn't pay to have it put on-line if it costs more or something got screwed up. Is there someone willing to see if there is an obituary in today's paper (or yesterday's, though I suspect it will be today's) for COONS, and send it to me if it is? Thanks!

Gmail invites

Anyone need a gmail invite at this point? I've got six at the moment though they keep giving me more as soon as I use them, I've noticed.

*woohoo* they finally posted our 2 open positions!

Go to if you are looking for a job in the Houston area (the badly pasted form info below can be found there and that is the place to apply at):

More than one (1) position may be filled from this posting.
Job Requisition Number 000307
Internal Posting Only No - open to all internal and external applicants
Job Title Librarian (Public Services)
Job Type Full-Time
Job Category Faculty
Faculty Contract Length (i.e. number of paid working months for position) 12 Months
College Northeast
Department Name Northeast: Learning Resource Center; IRA
Location Northeast College
Job Open Date 07-29-2004
Job Close Date 08-19-2004
Salary Plan Academic Faculty
Starting Salary Range $3,960 to $4,620
FLSA Status Exempt
Reports To
(Title of individual) Chair of Northeast College Libraries

Responsibilities Provide public services assistance in the areas of reference, collection development, library use instruction and overall Learning Resources operations. Performs all other relevant duties as assigned.
Supervisory Responsibilities Supervise Library Assistance
Education Requirements Master's degree or higher in Library Science from an ALA accredited graduate program required.

All APPLICANTS (including current employees of HCCS) are required to submit copies of all relevant transcripts to be considered for the position.
Applicants who do not submit these documents on or before the posting close date WILL NOT be considered for the position. For more information and detailed instructions regarding transcript requirements, please go to the Home page of the career site BEFORE applying to a position.

Experience Requirements Minimum of two (2) years library experience in a public services capacity; one (1) year should be on a professional level. Must have a broad background in library skills to include collection development and library use instruction.
Note that part-time experience will be counted as half of full-time experience; for example, two (2) years of part-time experience will equal one (1) year of full-time experience
Computer Skills Requirements Knowledge of personal computer and MS Windows programs.
Knowledge of on-line library catalogs and databases, plus Internet research skills.
Physical Ability Requirements N/A
Special Instructions for Applying All APPLICANTS (including current employees of HCCS) are required to submit copies of all relevant transcripts to be considered for the position.
Applicants who do not submit these documents on or before the posting close date WILL NOT be considered for the position. For more information and detailed instructions regarding transcript requirements, please go to the Home page of the career site BEFORE applying to a position.
Additional Credentialing Process Requirements If the educational transcript is from a foreign institution, a professional agency evaluation from the approved agency list is required to verify United States' educational equivalence.

Acceptable international evaluation services include:

Global Credential Evaluators (

Span Tran Educational Services (

SDR Educational Consultants (

Educational Credential Evaluators (

World Education Services (

Josef silny & Associates (

International Education Research Foundation (

Supplemental Documentation Required
Preferences Prefer experience in an academic setting.

The meme thing

1. Owns a cat(s)? - One adorable 16-year-old cat named Kali, who hopefully is getting good test results at the vet's right now (I need to go bail her out after work).

2. Drives small sensible, economical car? - 1995 Mitsubishi Galant, which desperately needs its air conditioning fixed. So not sensible, but not a gas-guzzling intimidator either.

3. Wears comfortable, sensible shoes? - Sandals, and flat boots mostly, though I've found some nice 2" heel but sturdy ankle boots that I've been having a lot of fun with. Since my ankles turn out easily, comfortable and sensible does tend to be my thing.

4. Reads constantly? - Guilty as charged. I read a lot faster than other people as well, so I've been known to weird people out who see me reading several books while taking up space at the coffee shop.

5. Never goes out? - I go out at least weekly, hanging out with the local pagan group for Chinese food and drumming. I hit the English pub for Celtic music a lot as well (I've never understood why an English-themed pub usually has groups singing rowdy anti-English Irish and Scottish songs but it's a fun place to hang out.)

6. Sexually inexperienced? - *snicker* not hardly

7. Friends are all librarians? - Very few are actually -- got some NASA engineers, and a lot of artists, old hippies and EMTs in the crowd though.

8. Could care less about fashion? - True, though I do have my own weird style.

9. Leans to the left when it comes to politics? -More like tilting heavily, which isn't easy in a state like TX

10. Was a nerd in high school? - More of a school scapegoat because I not only read books, I actually read books for fun and not just those for classes. Being trapped in rural hell for highschool wasn't a highlight of my life. I'm too old for computers to have had any influence on my high school years.

11. Wears hair in a bun? - Usually only for job interviews or when it is so miserably hot an humid out that even a ponytail hanging down the back of my neck is too much. I do use funky hand-crocheted bun covers though.

12. Is constantly covered in dust? - Only when out camping with 700 of my closest pagan friends (had a great time at Beltane!) I'm thinking of travelling and hitting some festivals outside of TX as well.

13. Librarian by day/Bacardi by night? - Mead, hard cider, and Guinness usually, though I won't sneer at rum either. :)

14. Do you wear glasses? - Yep.

15. Are you female? - Last I checked.

16. Abilities in the yarn arts? - Guilty here too: crochet, shuttle and needle-tatting, needleweaving, weaving, needlelace, macrame, chinese get the idea. I still can't knit well, but I have almost got it figured out. I tend to keep my work quite tight as a general rule and it doesn't make learning knitting any easier.


1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

"Sad tunes", I tell him.

From Charles De Lint's Moonlight & Vines ( he is SO one of my favorite authors -- I'm bummed I didn't get a cooler line on the page to put up)

Distance Learning and Libraries

My former boss managed to squirrel away some professional development funds for us this year (some of the librarians in other colleges in our system weren't as lucky) and I decided to go to the state distance learning association conference instead of a strictly library-related one. I've always been interested in distance learning and think libraries and librarians are an important aspect of the learning experience and need to be better integrated into online courses.

I'm not particularly happy with what my college has been doing to this point, though it is better than nothing. We have virtual librarians enrolled in the WebCT classes where instructors have asked for this, but the canned messages we post each week are rather unexciting. I worry about what information the students in the classes where the instructor didn't want a librarian assigned are getting and I think we need more interesting stuff online to appeal to both campus and distance learners.

This led me to wonder what other folks who dwell here on LISnews have been doing to work with distance educators in their colleges and universities, so I thought I'd post a journal entry and see if I get any response.

What should I do for my faculty fellowship?

Well the powers that be decided that since no one from my particular college had applied for a faculty fellowship, I should do so. I filled out the application 5 minutes before closing one day and had it the next day. I am glad to have this, it should be fun--it involves working with some of the IT folks to "develop" my skills to work on a project. It looks like I'm doing some kind of library tutorial, unless I come up with something else better soon. My mentor is a web graphics designer. I already know HTML, and have been playing around with graphics.

Any suggestions on great ideas to learn and do would be appreciated--it would be nice to come up with something that is at least a bit unique and not just the standard basic "here are the library resources" presentation.

Syndicate content