Sunday, March 29, 2009

Daily Thoughts 3/29/2009

A woman looking at books on shelves in a library.Source: Foster, Ellsworth D. The American Educator (Chicago: Ralph Durham Company, 1921) L is for Library.

Daily Thoughts 3/29/2009

Right now, I am reading Up The Organization by Robert Townsend. I am finding a lot in common with the ideas in this book. It is making me more aware of some of the activities which are going on in my own job. I rather like the ideas about organization charts and job descriptions being counterproductive in many cases. Robert Townsend recommends two books to read in this book, The Human Side of Enterprise by Douglas McGregor and Managing For Results by Peter F. Drucker. I put The Human Side of Enterprise on hold.

Web Bits

I am rather surprised at the number of sites from a variety of different countries that have links to my site. There are blogs from India, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Malaysia, Brazil, the United States, and many other places. There are two blogs in Portuguese and one in Indonesian (at least I think this is what it is) that are very interesting looking. I can't read them, but they are still fascinating.

Here they are:

While I was wandering through blog land, I found this link on the Genteel Arsenal who was recently added to my sidebar list of blogs which I read. I think this is quite relevant. It is an article on the state of British libraries. It mirrors what is happening in the United States.


Book Calendar said...

Hmm. Much better than the other spam. I can handle tea spam. I even like tea sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Book Calendar. You certainly have an interesting following.
With the libraries I think we are experiencing a time of great change everywhere. Here in Australia the government recently announced a huge funding grant for schools to build "21st century" libraries, I just hope they don't stop at the bricks and mortar, but give us the means to create true
21st century libraries and provide the technology and resources. We are hoping to transform our new library into a community resource rather than just a school resource. I have learnt to be a bit cynical about grand governmet handouts, though. Meanwhile our public libraries are considering charging for some services due to lack of funding. These libraries are constantly utilised and I suspect that usage will only increase and yet they are not provided with the means to meet their clientele's needs. Equity and social justice again, I know I am starting to sound like a broken record. Happy blogging

Book Calendar said...

Libraries are true media centers, there is a real opportunity to create a unique environment which integrates all the different media in a single location, print, audio, visual, electronic and other formats. A library is a media center now more than just a house for books. The changes are going to be hard for everyone, patrons, staff, administrators and funders because people have lost a good definition of what a library is.

I have always thought we should become a media center focused on self education for the community, less fiction and entertainment and more practical things like how to build things, get a job, use a computer and every day life skills. We can't afford to entertain everyone all the time.

Jane Turley said...

I found Rachel Cooke's article very interesting -Thanks for the link.

My childhood revolved around my weekly trip - roughly a 5/10 min walk to our mobile library which came once a week - we never would have had the money to spend frivously on books and certainly not in the quantity I read, so the mobile library was my salvation.

You can imagine how thrilled I was when 10 years ago we moved to a little village and I discovered a mobile library stopped virtually outside my door at about 3.40pm - I walked my children straight out of school into the library! It was great to encourage my boys to read just as I had started out.

Then of course they changed the mobile library times so now it comes before school finishes and it's gone by the time the kids come out of school....

And they wonder why things are going wrong?!

I admit I use the local library less now - the fictional book selections are pretty poor on the whole. I tend to use it for factual research and occasionally I will still order a book from the reserve stocks if it's something I really want. But Rachel is right it's not just about books now and it's all so terribly PC - a doctrine that has unfortunately spirralled out of control.

I've nothing against libraries being used for other media/events but I don't really want to see it at the expense of the good old ways (ie books & lending!) especially as it seems these days things are done to create a sort of "buzz" environment. In my youth libraries were very important - I couldn't get my info elsewhere to do my homework but now you can get it at a touch of a button. Consequently, I think chcildren read much less and have less concentration.

Lack of nuturing children with a love of books is, in my opinion, one of the contributory factors in the decline of literacy standards in the UK. So yes, libraries need to draw in members somehow but when they get there they need to deliver - and that means having what a library should have - lots of books!