Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Five Blogs

I really needed this meme right now - I am feeling upset and scattered, and guilty that I haven't posted any meaningful content in days. Not this is meaningful, or maybe it is. At any rate, I need the diversion. I may or may not have been tagged for this, not sure at this point.

So, here are Five (5) Blogs that I read that aren't library-specific:

- Just like everyone else.

Barbara's Blog - This is Barbara Ehrenreich's blog, and I started reading it after I read Nickel and Dimed. She's not a daily blogger, and her posts tend to be lengthy, and that style works well for her. She blogs about class, politics, gender, socio-economics - all the things I love to read about when I'm not reading about libraries.

Feministing - OK folks, here it is: I am an unrepentant feminist. This comes as no surprise to some, I am sure, but I'm a little more hard-core than I tend to let on in mixed company. Feministing is the young, angry, idealist's feminist blog. Jessica links to many wonderful things, and, like any good extremist, sometimes goes over the edge and makes mountains out of molehills. But, I admire her grit, and I've been around long enough to "pick my battles" without being irrationally overcome by youthful passion.

Red Stapler - I read a whole raft of "personal" blogs. Personal blogs are interesting in that, to vast numbers of people, they are, in fact, uninteresting. I read blogs that have nothing to do with anything other than that blogger's day-to-day life. I also write a blog like that, and it is primarily read by people who don't know me "in real life"(thank God). This blog is one of those blogs. SueBob is smart, funny, and we have some stuff in common, which is probably why her blog appeals to me.

Lobster Squad - A new entry in my blogroll. I have recently starting reading some food/baking/cooking blogs, and I just love this one. It has a little of everything, and the drawings are irresistible. And it has the word "lobster," which is a favorite word as well as being a favorite food, and conjures up my favorite place, the ocean.

So, there ya have it.
Tag, you're it!

Friday, March 23, 2007

No Network, No Patrons

Well, almost no patrons....

Today we shut down the public access computers so that we could do both hardware and software updates on them. We don't have a ton of computers, but we have enough that it just made more sense to shut down the network for the day and try and get them all updated/fixed at once. The fact that we were doing this was well-publicized, so very few people came in to be disappointed by the shut-down - in fact, very few people came in at all.

It was like a ghost town in there, and the people at circ kept saying, "Wow, I can't believe how DEAD it is." I, however, wasn't at all surprised. And I have to say that I was thrilled that the lack of patrons only served to underscore how very important it is that our next Director be someone who is tech savvy and UNDERSTANDS the IMPORTANCE of "library 2.0" issues in OUR library. (Not necessarily me - Chewbacca - anyone - just please "get it.")

Aside from that, there were other interesting aspects to today's shutdown. In spite of the fact that few people came in, I answered a fair number of reference questions - it seemed that most everyone who did come in today asked me for help. I also had several reference phone calls from my "computer regulars," which to me demonstrates that many of the "computer regulars" do not use the library solely for the computer access, but now know that they can get the help they need from the reference desk - whether they enter the building or not. Cool. Also, a couple of other regular patrons came in today - like every other day - and didn't miss the computers one bit because they come in simply to read the newspaper. Also cool.

I found it nice to be able to spend the day doing something a bit different than usual. I spent a lot of time lying on the floor - which is unusual library behavior for me (surprise!). I had fun with the cans of air (those were always my favorite darkroom supply), I cut up my hands while installing the new floppy (eeek) drives, and I blew lots of black stuff out of my nose (the computers had not been cleanned inside in a LONG time) at the end of the day.

Ain't it fun being a librarian?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

It's a Done Deal

Well, today I submitted my resume for the Director's position at my library. What have I done?

I cannot wait to see how this turns out! Naturally, there's much drama surrounding this position (and the fact that I have applied), but the bottom line is that, from all accounts, I am as qualified as the next person for this position. But, you know, that does not mean that I will get the job, certainly.

Because I would actually like a decent shot at the job, I will spare you the gory details. But I will say this - six, yes SIX, people (maybe seven) have applied for this job. Six (seven). In a state that doesn't have many full-time library offerings at all. And at least two of those people are from out-of-state. For a job that actually has one of the better salaries that I have seen. Six. Heh.

Wish me luck. Or something.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Let's Go Surfing Now

I think I am finally feeling a bit more settled in my new digs, so now it's time for me to get to work.

First up is SurfRI. Apparently, RI is one of only two states (and DC) that does NOT have some sort of statewide library database (or virtual library) system. Um, that's really sad (I am finding that RI in general is woefully behind in the tech realm of librarianship, as a whole - but that's a post/rant for another day). Thankfully, the state library system is looking into rectifying that situation, and has set-up a free trial of a statewide database prototype - SurfRI. The free trial extends through April 15, and it seems that anyone is welcome to go in and take a look around - and I hope you do.

I spent a few minutes checking it out, and , wow, there's a lot of stuff here! I played with the online version of Culture Grams (which for some reason is one of my favorite print reference sources), checked out the EBSCO databases that we don't currently have access to, and cruised the Reader's Guide Full Text (a WilsonWeb product). Cool. Lots to look at here.

What really bums me out, however, is that I did not hear one word about this at work. I wonder how that is possible - do my coworkers not know about this? Or did no one find it interesting enough to mention? Sadly, since we do not currently have any actual leadership and no one to update the website, the best I can do is post it on the not-often-read blog. But post it, I will. And bookmarks, I can make bookmarks (which are much more popular that the blog).

And, oh, I am liking the SurfRI name. I think it fits. I just hope that if this does become a reality that they will change the web interface. The one that is up is fine for a trial, but it's pretty unexciting (and yellow).

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

For Shame

This is absolutely heartbreaking - and disgraceful.

Oh my God, I could go on such a crazy rant about this, but I simply don't have the time at the moment. So, some keywords: federal government, right-wing, poverty, rural, shameful, education, collaboration, grass-roots, class, unemployment, hell-in-a-handbasket, new leadership, mismanagement, crazy, help, horrible.

You can amuse yourselves trying to figure out how I would have used the words.

Moving Is Awful

I am in the middle of moving; outside of the fact that I am going to a better apartment, moving just bites. Hence the sound of crickets chirping from over here lately. The final push takes place this weekend, so I plan to be back to "normal" sometime next week. Actually, I hope to be back to better than normal and be bringing you some nifty libraryland resources on a more regular basis.

A few tidbits:

Bill Drew has done what I have been trying to do for, like, ever and created an online librarian community! Thing is, Bill picked the right tool and put together Library 2.0 using Ning (which I blogged about some time ago, it's a bit different now). It's already HOT, so go check it out if you haven't done so! And feel free to send me a friend request - the more people I get to "know," the better.

My librarian blog buddy, Josh Neff, is swimming with the "big fish" in March's American Libraries! Josh, you rock! See his post about it here.

To add to the fun goings on, I just found out that I will be presenting two talks at this year's Rhode Island Library Association conference. TWO! Actually, it's one "serious" (as serious as I can ever be, which ain't very) talk - an interactive presentation where participants will set up a live blog for themselves or their library - and one "entertaining" presentation where I will have poor, hapless librarians outside looking for a geocache. Seriously. I am so excited - this will be my first foray into presenting, and I can't wait!

OK, gotta go pack....