Thursday, August 31, 2006

Subscribe via E-mail

For those of you who prefer to get your blog updates via e-mail, I have added a Feedblitz link to the subscribe section - about time, huh?

That's Nice

So, just now, one of my co-workers came over to the desk and said that an out-of-town patron who has been visiting the area this summer, and using our library frequently, asked if she could have copies of my posters/flyers about the Teen Spot Reviews program, the Homework Drop-In program, and the What Do You Want books lists. The patron said she thought they were "wonderful," and that she would like to see her local library work harder to promote teens using their library.

Wow, that makes me feel great! And slowly but surely, the kids are signing up for the programs, which makes me feel even better. Comments like this make leaving the area for another job pretty tough - I love it here, and perhaps I am doing some good.

Now If I could just figure out why funding a fully-functional YA program here is not on the Town's, or Board of Directors', list of things to do.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Bye, Bye, RI?

Well, the second "made for me" job has been posted - in CT. The jobs are great, the pay is great, and I think I would have an excellent shot at getting either job. But, they're in CT - nowhere near water. I know that people don't understand, believe me, I've been told many times that it's a STUPID reason not to move (especially for a job), but, I grew up on the ocean, and have never lived more than a quarter mile from WATER. Never. I chose my college based on this (my dorm was 200 feet from the water). My apartment now is ON A PIER. Seriously. I don't know if I could take it.

What about Cape Cod, huh!? Why are there no jobs in RI or SE MAss!?


Providence Public Library Branches

When I started library school, I was offered a Prism Fellowship - I am probably the only person to ever turn it down. My main reason for doing so, at the time, was that it would have forced me to take only 2 classes per semester, and I didn't want it to take me 3+ years to finish my degree. Also, at the time, I wasn't overly sure that I wanted to work for Providence Public. Don't ask me why - that should have been my dream job. But some weirded out feeling told me to stay away from there.

That was the first, and only, time in history that my intuition would serve me well.

If you are not in/from Rhode Island, you may not be aware of the problems Providence Public has had in the past 2-3 years; in a nutshell, jobs have been drastically cut, branches closed, and leadership questioned. The "media coverage" link on this site will help you fill in the blanks...

Today I received a link to a great site that talks about the condition and perhaps fate of the Branch Libraries of PPL - Not About The Buildings. Take a look - there's some moving, and important, stuff here.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Library "Talk"

I think I am going to pull the Library Talk forum. In spite of my best efforts, no one uses it - ever. Oh, yeah, except spammers.

So, does anyone out there have a Library 2.0 alternative to a bulletin board, and especially to listservs? Because, I'm sorry, no offense librarian pals, but listservs are so NOT 2.0. They are more like .5...

I really wanted to create a slightly more social place to have a "conversation" with other librarians about the professional and the not-so-professional stuff we are interested in. My board was a bust. And while listservs are useful for question and answer stuff, I find the conversational element of them completely lacking.

Am I missing something? Anyone have a better idea? I have bandwidth to burn, so if you would like to see something else, please let me know.


Less than a week ago I did a little weeding in the YA section. I have a decent book budget, and I am not a librarian who can't stand to pull things from the collection, so I regularly go through and pull old/outdated books, and books (especiall paperbacks) that look just plain crappy. If it's a popular or classic title, I buy a new one. If not, out it goes - I want the section to have the latest and "best" (way a matter of opinion!) titles, AND I want it to LOOK inviting.

Anyway, I decided that rather than throw the books out, I'd make a FREE BOOKS box and put it in the "teen sitting area." A side note about this area: we don't have a teen room, so we put three chairs near the YA shelves and used a large, long table to create a little "nook." The table also serves as additional YA display space. I named it the "Teen Spot." Um, I have no money, so it only has some pretty LAME posters and a bulletin board. And, what I've noticed is that all the older folks like to sit there - I have taken to calling it the Age Spot (but not out loud). Sigh.

So, I was psyched to come in yesterday and find several girls sitting on the floor, FREE BOOKS box between them, digging around in it and excitedly choosing something to take. Wheee! Then I had a family come in from out of state. The girl (about 13) was looking at the shelves longingly. I asked her what she liked to read, and she said, "Oh, we're on the road, so I can't take anything out. But I've read all the books I brought with me." I pointed to the FREE BOOKS box and she said, "Really, I can just take one? Cool!" A little while later her mom came over to me and asked if the Teen Reviewers program was just for local kids. "Hella no!" I said (OK, again not out loud). I explained that it was all done via e-mail, so anyone could join. Her daughter signed up and said we were "cool."

And a good day was had by all.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Back to School

Well, I am gearing up for Back to School - let's see if I get any more cooperation from the high school this year (I somehow doubt it).

I am in the throes of putting together my homework drop-in program. Both Salve and Roger Williams (my alma mater) are encouraging their students to participate, and I am psyched. I also have one high school honor student who's interested, and I have decided to open the volunteering up to high school kids who want to help middle schoolers. There's a target date of the first week of October for the program's start, so the coming weeks will be spent recruiting and training tutors and setting up some sort of schedule. Then, we'll see if anyone comes in for help... I am really excited about this.

There's also been a little more interest in the Teen Spot Reviews program, so I think I will push that right from the start this school year. I've been told that my biggest "tactical error" with the program was that I started too late in the school year last year, and the kids were already too swamped with school work. I need to get out there and do some begging for prizes - as much as it bums me out that kids need to be bribed to participate in things, I'm am certainly not above it. Hey, whatever it takes!

Speaking of bribery, I have decided to exploit MySapce - not for the kids, but for the hordes of YA authors that have coming-a-courtin' my profile. So far I have been able to wheedle some advanced reader's copies and even a few free published books out of the authors and publishers in exchange for a teen review. I have been hording them and plan to use them as bait (Free book for you to keep! Be the FIRST one to read this book!) to attract some new reviewers.

I am also preparing for my school visit again. This year, I am going to combine the parent's night visit and the "hang out in the hallway" visit in one day. Last year, I went to parent's night one day and hung out in the hallway a few weeks later - it's a lot of crap to schlep. The school librarian really wanted me to hang out in the school library all day, but I felt that I wanted to be more visible than that - the only kids that would have seen me were kids whose class was having a library period that day. So, instead, I set up in the hall, and bribed the kids to come over to me with FREE bracelets. It's a lot like taming a feral cat. This year, I begged for an additional 50 bucks for the trip and I have braclets AND carabiner highliters AND pencils! wOOt!

These activities make me strangely happy - I never in a million years pictured myself doing this stuff. I'm also frustrated - and not just because it's so hard to get the kids to get involved. I've kinda screwed myself here; 15 hours is not nearly enough time to do the YA stuff and the other things I am supposed to be doing (like weeding and shifting books). But, since I just pretty much "created" this YA "position," (meaning that the position doesn't actually exist and weeding and shifting should take priority), I just need to be quiet and do what I can. Ha.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


If you'd like to read the reviews, which are pretty funny themselves, click on that fabulous hunk of manhood (oh, I am so kidding...).

Thanks, Melanie, for the heads up.