People N Patrons

Patron Expectations vs. Librarian Expectations in Library Service

I work with the public. You know, those people who are the first to say that they pay my salary even though they haven't paid taxes in years. But even though I serve the non-taxpaying public, they still represent the taxpayer. And more than representing figuratively, they stand in for the taxpayer in the real way that allows the taxpayer to live the carefree lifestyle that comes from knowing that most of the rest of the public is safely inside the library and not out on the streets. But enough about my bosses...

I think the general public are satisfied with library services. But I think the librarians are convinced that services suck. To read what librarians are saying about libraries is to get an image of libraries continually at the center of failure. The librarians say that libraries need new or more everything: more social networking features, more e-services, more e-books, e-readers, 2.0, 1.0, open source software, koha (whatever-tee-eff that is), iPhones, iPads, IM, SMS, Wii, virtual reality, real reality, Facebook, face punch, sustainability, sustainability???, advocacy, political action, fundraising, programming, css, drupal, SEO,... it doesn't matter how much librarians know or do, there always seem to be other librarians who demand that we know and do more. Like it's a personal offense to them when we aren't up on the latest, ... whatever, whether it's a new author or a subject or a device or a philosophy. -- Read More

Books Gather Dust Without Librarian for Teens

What do inner-city teens want and need in a public library? Boston.com's Lawrence Harmon talks about how teens are using the new Mattapan Branch Library and how he thinks they will remember it when they look back at their childhood.

Not a single teen at the Mattapan library so much as touched a book on the shelves during a recent hour-long visit. Granted it’s the digital age, and several kids were using the computers constructively for homework projects. But there is still something off here: a city builds a $16 million library, designs it in such a brilliant way that kids come streaming through the door, yet can’t staff it adequately to introduce the young people to the full range of library materials.

Less is known in the world of library science about how best to serve teenagers than adults or young children. The teens in Mattapan appeared happy just to spend unstructured time with friends in the comfortable, well-lit space. But how does that experience differ from a clubhouse or community center? Teen librarians make the difference, provided they have adequate time to do their jobs.

The library, a $16.7 million modern building with an airy mixture of wood, glass, and attention-grabbing color, opened last year, despite a budget crisis that has imperiled many city projects, programs, and services.

Google Person Finder Helping Haiti's Survivors

Since librarians are good at finding things (and people), you might want to consider adding Google Person Finder to your database.

Here's info on the API, which is now available via open source.

Google has a crisis response group that quickly went into action after the quake in Haiti in January, coordinating with groups internally and externally, including governmental and non-governmental authorities. A crisis response page was soon posted at here.

It was realized there would be a need for a way to find out the status of family and friends who may have been impacted by the quake. As groups began to coalesce around this need, it was discovered that a Person Finder application had been created in the aftermath of the WTC attacks in 2001. Another was created in response to hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately, a quick survey showed these applications could not be revived in a short time.

However, they have since worked out the kinks and created a viable program. Google now cordially invites you to work with them in a coordinated effort to help the crisis relief efforts for the people of Haiti.

Bookmark Collectors...Mark Your Calendars

On February 20 and 21, 2010 the first convention for bookmark collectors will take place online. For 24 hours, bookmark collectors from all over the world will meet to give and attend seminars, view galleries, shop, swap, and socialize with other collectors and enthusiasts. For many collectors, this will be the first time they will have the opportunity to meet and discuss their passion with other enthusiasts, live.

If you collect bookmarks, make bookmarks, or are curious about bookmarks; if you are interested in ephemera, biblio-paraphernalia, craft samplers, book history, small art, or collectibles; or if you are interested in seeing the first virtual convention for collectors of any sort, then stop by the website and register for the Bookmark Collectors Virtual convention.

Convention Websites are BMCVC and Bookmark Convention. Organizers are Alan Irwin, info@bmcvc.com and Lauren Roberts, lauren@bmcvc.com, who also runs the website Bibliobuffet. In My Book® will participate in the convention as a vendor.

Three Dollars a Month Is...Too Much

It's the classic story...the community wants the library and all it has to offer, but it doesn't want to pay .

When a technology lab bus from the OH state library system parked itself at the Amherst Public Library for a week to offer a variety of computer classes, library officials knew they had struck the right nerve.

“We had over 20 classes and they all had waiting lists,” library director Robin Woods said. “We had over 250 people taking classes in Excel, Facebook for adults, genealogy and resume-writing.”

Since the bus visit was a response to community surveys and feedback that told library officials that residents wanted this kind of service and others, Tuesday’s rejection of an $11 million bond issue to finance a 24,000-square-foot addition to the library is more than a bit puzzling.

The 1.17-mill, 28-year issue, which would have cost $3 a month for owners of homes valued at $100,000, was defeated by 933 to 809, according to unofficial election results. Chronicle Telegram.

Rules of Circulation #09 (RoC)

"There is No Such thing as Patron - Circ Desk Confidentiality."

I don't know what it is about the circ desk, but it seems like patrons seem to frequently throw the general sense of self disclosure out the window. It's quite similar to someone telling their whole life story to a bartender at the bar.

Tonight I was part of one of the most awkward discussions I have had at the circ desk.

A mother came up to me at the circ desk and told me that her two children had been out of the country for the past year and that they needed new cards. Sure thing, easy transaction.
When I was looking up her children's accounts by searching with her last name, she saw the PC screen and said to her children, "Wow there are a lot of people with our last name, I mean, my ex-husband's last name." Her son looked up at her and asked, "You and dad got a divorce???" She quickly changed the subject by having him sign his name on his new card. I tried not to react at all, but I may have winced when he asked. -- Read More

Extending a Helping Hand to the Jobless

Today marks the opening of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library's Job Help Center. NC State Librarian Mary Boone, county commissioner Jennifer Roberts and library director Charles Brown were on hand for the occasion.

Here's the webpage for the Job Center, which allows you to reserve a PC, register for courses in Excel and other computer skills, create a resume and even try out interview techniques. Funding for the Job Help Center at Main Library has been provided by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Mecklenburg County ABC Board, Phillip L. Van Every Foundation, and The Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation

R.I.P. Robert B Parker

Robert B Parker, the American crime novelist, who has died aged 77, helped revive and modernise the hard-boiled private eye genre through his Spenser series of novels. Robert B Parker's wife, Joan, found him dead at his desk on Monday. She and their two sons survive him.

Man gets six years in library child porn case

Man gets six years in library child porn case
A state district judge sentenced a man who downloaded child pornography at the Brownsville Public Library to six years in prison.

Book Review: The Man Who Loved Books Too Much

Is it possible to love books too much? Writer Allison Hoover Bartlett thinks so, given the reaction she often gets to her new book, The Man Who Loved Books Too Much.

"I can't tell you how many people have picked up the book and read the title and said, 'Huh! That's me,' " Bartlett says.

"Some people care so deeply about books," she adds, "they're willing to do just about anything to get their hands on the books that they love."
The book tells the story of the light-fingered bibliophile John Gilkey, and how antiquarian bookseller, Ken Sanders tracked, identified and exposed the thief. Story from NPR.

Syndicate content