Saturday, January 3, 2009

Good Morning, Good Afternoon

Cut out of figure of Everyman from the frontispiece to the first edition of the play, from the 16th century. Author is Anonymous.

Good Morning

This morning on the train I read Ferguson Career Skills Library Teamwork Skills. The book is written for those who are just getting their first job in a corporate setting. The book goes over the most basic skills which a person would need to know to work as a team player. Most of this would be obvious to someone who had been in the workplace for the while. It would be a good book for someone who was just getting out of college and starting their first job. The book was very easy to read and follow. It took me only a couple hours to read. There was not much for a person who already has been working for a while.

I replaced the books on the central display stand with new books. I am currently putting books on immigration, the immigrant experience, and legal and political issues surrounding immigration on display. I hope the display works. There certainly are enough issues with immigration these days.

I also did a little more weeding in the 300s. Right now, I am going through the military history section. I have to pick things up a bit because the director is planning a major shifting of books to other parts of the library. The furniture in the stacks is going to be rearranged.

Sometimes while you are looking through various websites or Twitter, you find little things that are entertaining:

Letter to Beginning Writers From Robert Sawyer

Tea and Mysteries Event (I Just liked the idea).

Good Afternoon

I placed another book on hold, The Shadow of the Scorpion: A Novel of the Polity by Neal Asher. It is printed by NightShade books which is a new publisher of speculative fiction.

I have had a few minutes to look at news around the web. These are two articles that struck my fancy.

Wikipedia meets $6 million fundraising goal (AP) . I think of this as good news. Occassionally, the servers on Wikimedia can be a little slow. I am hoping that they raise a little extra so Wikipedia and all its subsidiaries can become a truly universal free encyclopedia. Sometimes, I think that Wikipedia will eventually become a true "Final Encyclopedia." Gordon R. Dickson wrote a novel about an encyclopedia that contained all mankind's knowledge.

DCPL Tightens Rules on Bags, Sleeping; Seen Aimed at Homeless . This is a really touchy article for librarians. We get a lot of people who might be homeless at our library. It is very hard to know, some of them are just a little odd.

Also the library card is often the first piece of identification that people get immediately after people get out of jail or a psychiatric facility. It is seen as a way for people to be reintroduced to society. We get people reintroducing themselves to the everyday world through libraries. In addition, the library card is a right of passage for many immigrants.

Many people view the library as a safe haven where people can get away from the streets and violence which so often plague homeless people or people who are particularly different. We generally leave people alone unless they are bothering other people, they smell bad, or are involved in offensive behavior. There is less money for shelters and others places for homeless people to go. We do have a no sleeping rule. Most libraries have a no sleeping rule.

This is the first time I have seen a bag limit in a United States public library. I have noticed there are people with very large bags and carts who have been coming into the library lately. I have seen people check their bags in bookstores, Strand Bookstore in Manhattan has a bag check area, and Forbidden Planet in Manhattan has a bag check area. I have heard that you have to check your bags and coats in the main library in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Everyone is welcome in the public library because it is a public space. Public spaces are not supposed to be exclusionary. Many homeless people also read in the library. That is what the library is for. They do not want to stand out for the most part. It is terrible to be homeless.

Still it is one of the reasons why we have security guards and require someone to ask for the bathroom keys. The library is not as safe a place as many people believe.

We have created an initiative as part of the Bridges Out of Poverty program to talk to the local social service agencies to see how we can help them. This may help with some of our own issues with homelessness and poverty. We are going to do this this month.


Andrew Clarke said...

I too love books, so much that I had to write my own. May I suggest it as one to look at? "Outcasts Of
Skagaray" can be previewed by reading the sample chapters and reviews on If you have time and decide to check it out I would value your opinion. Whatever happens, best wishes.

Book Calendar said...

There is one public library in the United States that has Outcasts of Skagaray in North Dakota according to Worldcat. So i'll give a try to see if I can get it through interlibrary loan.