Saturday, July 31, 2010
Central Stair Hall, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C. (1900-1902) Detroit Publishing Postcards Series 5000.
Daily Thoughts 7/31/2010
I walked up to my local branch library and picked up a copy of Webster's New World Grant Writing Handbook by Sara Deming Wason. It is a basic overview of the grant writing process. I found this article from Oxfam kind of interesting. http://www.mrss.com/oxfam-eoy-2008-fundraising.pdf It shows a fairly common web application called a lightbox combined with a web video that is used as part of a fundraising campaign.
It is kind of interesting reading about the different types of foundations and trusts from community trusts to family foundations to corporate foundations. It is mostly new to me. I am reading it in the context of getting new technology like MP3 players, Ipads, Nooks, digital cameras, and software into the library.
I have been going through all my old emails for the last couple of years where I came across examples of people, corporations, and foundations giving money to libraries in our county and compiling them into a single document. It is mainly a mix of news articles and biographical profiles.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Daily Thoughts 7/30/2010
Article-- Will the Book Survive? by David "Skip" Prichard http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-07-28/the-future-of-books-ceo-ingram-skip-prichard-feels-confident/?cid=topic:mainpromo1
"eBook Feasibility Study for Public Libraries," http://www.cosla.org/documents/COSLA2270_Report_Final1.pdf
Checked the displays this morning and started doing my orders for August. I also put out flyers for a public service announcement by Dwayne Wade about library cards and did my first shelf talkers for the authors Danielle Steel and Stephen King. I am going to be doing more as time passes.
I am reading more of Kraken by China Mieville. There is a neat section on Simon a Star Trek obsessed mage which is darkly funny. It is an appropriate comment on fandom.
The new copy of the Overstreet Comic Book Guide 40th Edition came in. I will take a little time to see if there are any interesting ground level comics which I have not seen. It has become a standard guide for pricing comics. Some stores often sell the easier to get comics at half the price guide price and the harder to find titles at full price.
Overdrive sent me some marketing material which I can print up as well as some staff training material. I think I might print up some of the 11" x 17" posters.
The recent Kirkus Reviews has a graphic novel section with a few interesting titles in it; Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon, and Siege by Brian Michael Bendis, Illustrated by Joe Quesada really stood out. Siege should be an excellent superhero comic both the writer and illustrator are top notch. Also there is an autobiographical comic by Sergio Aragones called Mad's Greatest Artist, Sergio Aragones.
Roald Dahl has an authorized biography coming out called Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl by Daniel Surrack.
On the way home, I finished reading Kraken by China Mieville. One of the way you know a novel is good is that the main character at the end of a novel is often very different than how the character is at the beginning of the novel. At the beginning of the novel, Billy Harrow is a curator at a museum, by the end of the novel he is a warrior adept at saving the world and fighting magic.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Daily Thoughts 7/29/2010
I put in some comments for my Readers Advisory 101 class on Enders Game by Orson Scott Card. I also read the section on library marketing for readers advisory. I may create some shelf talkers for the shelves. These are cards which say if you like a specific author, then you might like these other authors. Usually they are lists of three to five other authors. Some libraries also sometimes maintain a cart for books that are always popular reads. It is something to think about. A lot of people use the Novelist database to create the shelf talkers.
I did not get as much as I wanted done today. I am thinking about a couple of things to do. We are planning on doing a library card registration drive. We need to get more people through the front door. As part of this, we will probably try to get more Friends of the Library to register.
There are also a few minor things that need doing like updating some bibliographies and creating some shelf talkers. I also need to speak to someone from the Mount Vernon Public Library Foundation.
The book the Fuller Memorandum by Charles Stross came in for me to read. It is a mix of espionage, horror and weird tale.
I read some more of Kraken by China Mieville. I am finding a subplot in the book to be quite entertaining about a labor union of wizards familiars and other magical constructs. It is wonderfully quirky.
Guess the book by its cover game http://www.sporcle.com/games/bookcovers.php
Creative Surplus Creativity and Generosity In A Connected Age by Clay Shirky
The central idea of this book is that because of social media people are able to pool resources in their free time to create unique digital projects. These projects can range from free encyclopedias like Wikipedia to lolcats which is a collection of funny pictures of cats. Social media in this book expands beyond computers to include smartphones and cell phones.
Clay Shirky is arguing people are moving away from passive forms of entertainment like television to more interactive forms of entertainment like the internet. He compares television to gin which is a bit far fetched but entertaining. This change represents a shift in values which should create a more interactive future.
I found the book to be very positive and a bit evangelistic about the benefits of social media. He dismisses the disruption caused by deprofessionalization when amateurs volunteer to do many jobs that were professional in nature. Clay Shirky touches only briefly on the concept of digital sharecropping where writers and other creative professionals work for free or very little money on blogs and other digital projects.
The description of the benefits of social media is the best part of this book. We learn how cell phone use makes government more transparent, how people created open source software, and how computers are making us more connected. He points out that services like http://www.meetup.com/ extend social networks into the real world and allow people who had only met on computers to meet in person.
This book had a conversational tone that spoke directly to the reader. It tried to connect with peoples every day experience of using the internet. I found it to be easy to read. It was also well researched with extensive notes and an index.
Clay Shirky also wrote Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. He is considered an internet guru and is a professor at New York University.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Daily Thoughts 7/28/2010
I am looking at an IMLS Institute of Museums and Library Services grant and trying to figure it out. It is the first time I am looking at this material. It makes reference to a document called 21st Century Skills, http://www.imls.gov/pdf/21stCenturySkills.pdf I find it kind of interesting. It is a bit different. There is also reference to a course called Shaping Outcomes which is about Outcome Based Planning and Evaluation for librarians. http://www.shapingoutcomes.org/
Link to information on save libraries widget. I just added it to the sidebar in this blog. http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/cro/getinvolved/saveyourlibraries.cfm
Jeremy Love's comic Bayou, Issue #1 is now free on the web. It is quite interesting. https://comics.comixology.com/#/issue/2584/Bayou-1
I put Smart Startups How Entrepreneurs and Corporations Can Profit by Starting Online Communites by David Silver, Wiley, c2007 on interlibrary loan. I am requesting it from another library system than my own. This process can take several weeks.
I also requested another book as a hold, Made Possibly By Succeeding With Corporate Sponsorship by Patricia Martin.
On the train home, I read some of Kraken by China Mieville. It is an urban fantasy novel. Somehow, it maintains more believability than most fantasy novels I have read. It is in that eerie space where things are real but not quite real. The place where horrible things happen for not quite explained reasons. There is an almost fortean feel to the novel.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Daily Thoughts 7/27/2010
This is a link to the presentations from the Library Workers Skillshare. I did not get to go to it because I was working that night http://sites.google.com/site/libraryworkersskillshare/ Some of it is quite interesting. I created a Google Profile for example. http://www.google.com/profiles . It is very basic. I am still shy of putting up images of my face on the web. Maybe it is a personal thing.
On the train to work, I finished reading Design and Launch an Online Social Networking Business In A Week. It provides an outline of what you would need to do to start a social media business. I would say it is a very bare bones outline and there is still a lot missing from the book. It is a starting point for someone interested in making a social media business. I found it to be a little bit too simple.
Publishers Weekly has an excellent article on Scribd and HTML 5 http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/print/20100726/43942-betting-the-house-on-html5.html
I put together a display of books on New Media this morning with a banner and some flyers for our Digital Media Catalog. Hopefully people will take the books. The display that seems to be going most quickly is books on cooking and drinks.
I have been reading up on the National Broadband Plan. They are going to have a number of grants that go with this plan aimed at libraries. Their specific purpose is to introduce digital technology into libraries. This means there may be a chance to get devices like the Ipad, Kindle, MP3 players, digital cameras, as well as training for digital technology.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Daily Thoughts 7/26/2010
It is clear that advocacy is becoming a central fact with libraries in the United States these days. If you are not willing to speak up for your library you may not have one in your community. Also, if you work in a library and do not speak up for your library, you might even get laid off. Being quiet is not really an option. It may make some people uncomfortable, but it is necessary.
To Close Budget Gap, Queens Library To Lay Off 46
With Library Campaign Materials Libraries Must Navigate Between Education and Advocacy
I checked out a book called Design And Launch An Online Social Networking Business In A Week by Entrepreneur Press and Julien Sharp. It provides an outline of the process of creating a social network from scratch.
I am looking at the Fostering Digitally Inclusive Communities Grant offered by the National Broadband Plan. To even begin applying to the grant we would have to put some social media into effect in order to get it. The grant mentions blogs, email, and other digital tools as being part of communicating with the public. I have already been looking at MP3 players and ebooks because of our recent promotion of Overdrive Digital Media Catalog at our library. It should be very interesting.
This morning, I went through and updated most of the displays as well as set up meetings to understand the invoicing process for electronic data interchange. I also emailed Poets House about their Poetry In The Branches Program and talked to BWI about electronic data interchange. Posters for the Library Express database also came in as promotional material.
On the train home, I finished reading Cognitive Surplus by Clay Shirky. I like the descriptions of how people donating time to social media adds to real life connections through groups like Wikimedia and Meetup. He does an excellent job of describing the intrinsic value of giving time to social platforms that can reach into the real world. A very real example of this for me is my going to places with the New York Librarians Meetup group.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Daily Thoughts 7/25/2010
This morning, I finished The Turning The Page online course for library advocacy. It was a challenge at some points mainly in navigating the class to make sure that I saw all the options. This would be a good free course to take if you want to clarify your message about why you should support the library and give funds to the library. I have a printout that acknowledges my taking the course. http://www.sustaininglibrariesonline.org/pla/index.asp
I read some more of Clay Shirky's Cognitive Surplus. The author is describing how many people who are using the web are intrinsically motivated. They are doing things because they enjoy them not necessarily for rewards. They are also doing intrinsically motivated projects that scale communally like Wikipedia and other things. This can range from the silly to the extremely relevant. There is no reward for posting videos on Youtube or making a Facebook page. People do it for social reasons. I certainly am not being paid to write this blog. Yet, I am learning how to use social media, improving my writing skills, and creating a sense of both open communication and self mastery. The ideas in this book reflect many of the actions which I am taking personally. They are relevant to how people use the web and changes in communication and interaction caused by social media.
The Reanimation Library one of the odder library websites I have seen. http://www.reanimationlibrary.org/pages/about.htm
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Daily Thoughts 7/24/2010
September is National Library Card month. http://www.ala.org/ala/conferencesevents/calendarofevents/otherinitiatives/card/librarycard.cfm
Long Overdue A Fresh Look at Public and Leadership Attitudes about LIBRARIES in the 21st Century http://www.publicagenda.org/files/pdf/Long_Overdue.pdf
I took a little bit of time to look at the Booklife Now blogroll http://www.booklifenow.com . It had a site which I find very useful and entertaining if you are in the publishing world, Shelf Awareness. I read it every day in my email. http://www.shelf-awareness.com I added it to my own blogroll.
I walked up to the library this morning and I spent some time looking at Consumer Reports, both the buying guide for 2010 and the September 2009 issues on Digital Cameras. Then I went to Amazon and cross referenced the highest rated digital cameras. From what I see, the Samsung SL102 is getting the best ratings. The Samsung TL110 is also getting excellent ratings. It looks like they are selling out of the TL110 in the stores and not discounting it which is a good sign that something has good quality. The TL110 has digital video, so it would be possible to do both videos and pictures which would be very nice.I have been reading more of Digital Photography for Dummies, 6th Edition. I think I will be prepared to buy a digital camera pretty soon. I just have to look around. J and R Computer World in Manhattan has an excellent reputation. I sometimes go there. I also might just buy it from Amazon and spend a little extra money to get a better warranty.
Of course, I have a little bit of trepidation because I am not sure what will happen in six months if the library I am working at manages to either not raise additional funds or manages to lose its central library status causing a considerable loss of funds. This means it makes me wonder if I should not be holding onto my cash as much as possible.
Anyways, I started reading Cognitive Surplus Creativity And Generosity In a Connected Age by Clay Shirky. Cognitive surplus is that eight hours of free time where we either are not working or sleeping. It used to be that this was filled with television, a passive medium. Now, people are starting to use it for more interactive media in interesting ways. Clay Shirky talks about shared activities on a large scale like Wikipedia, Facebook, and other online social activities. People are no longer passive in the media landscape. Everyone in effect becomes a producer of content who wants to. I am not a huge fan of television, I find the internet and social media to be personally entertaining and rewarding even if I am not paid to use it.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Daily Thoughts 7/23/2010
Link to Ebooks In Libraries on Facebook. You have to be logged into Facebook to view this. http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/group.php?gid=14473239090
Today has been a quiet steady day. I went and made sure the displays were in order and printed a few more flyers for the adult summer reading program. I also made a few suggestions about ebooks. I finished reading the OCLC report on fundraising. It was quite interesting. It gave me a few ideas. I also am continuting to take the free American Library Association class on advocacy. This also is turning out to be useful. I placed an order for Winning Grants: A How-To-Do-It Manual For Librarians With Multimedia Tutorials And Grant Development Tools
By Pamela H. MacKellar and Stephanie K. Gerding. The authors run the Library Grants Blog http://librarygrants.blogspot.com/2010/07/winning-grants-is-published.html
Link to national library symbol of the United States http://www.ala.org/ala/professionalresources/libfactsheets/large-librarysymbol.jpg
I took a little break from reading and watched Black Sky Winning The X Prize which is a dvd produced by the Discovery Channel. It is about Spaceship One which is the first commercial spaceship to reach the edge of space made by Scaled Composites. I find it to be an inspirational story that I enjoyed watching. It is about pushing past limits.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Daily Thoughts 7/22/2010I am taking the online Advocacy class from the Public Library Association. It is very generic and designed to fit with most people. It feels like a good way to clarify my thoughts more than anything else so far.
I put in my orders this morning. I also have taken some time to look at devices which are compatible with the Overdrive Digital Media Catalog which our library is a member of. There are quite a few nice ebooks, audiobooks, and a selection of MP3 music. I found out that the three main ebooks which are used with this system are the Nook, the Kobo Reader, and the Sony Reader. The Overdrive blog has a little bit on the Kobo reader http://blogs.overdrive.com/library/post/2010/07/09/Kobo-eReader-review-A-simple-eBook-reader.aspx . I also learned that Overdrive sells Sansa MP3 players in batches of 10 which is kind of interesting.
This is an article about Library 2.0 and Readers Advisory. It is part of my class reading. http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6495211.html?q=neal+wyatt+redefining+ra+annotations Reflecting on the article, I use Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/ to track the books I am reading which I want to fully review. I am not sure that I want to use the full style of annotation which goes with readers advisory work.
I also changed the books in two displays. I put in books from storage on civil rights, and also did a small display of comics lit books. One of my favorite comics lit books is Remembrance of Things Past Combray by Marcel Proust, drawn by Stephane Heuet.
I also am checking out two books, Blonde Bombshell a Comedy of Intergalactic Proportions by Tom Holt and Clay Shirky, Cognitive Surplus Creativity and Generosity In a Connected Age.
OCLC report on fundraising and libraries. http://www.oclc.org/reports/funding/fullreport.pdf
http://csea860.org/laid-mt-vernon-workers-reinstated This is the unions side of the story about the reinstatement of the workers at the Mount Vernon Public Library
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
by Julie Adair King and Serge Timacheff. It is a practical book. There is a brief mention of Picasa which is a web editor for photographs created by Google. There is a Picasa album for this blog which shows all the photographs on this blog.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Booklife Strategies and Survival Tips for the 21st Century Writer by Jeff Vandermeer
Booklife is about the process of becoming a better writer. It is not as focused on how to write, although there is an essay called How To Write A Novel In Two Months. The author suggests
you should have a blog, be part of social media, and participate in online activities.
The language is very clear and concise. We learn about what an agent does, the process of how a book goes from a submitted manuscript to a published book, how book public relations and marketing are done, and many other skills a writer needs to understand to succeed.
The book is not just about the public aspects of writing. It is also how about how to manage your time as a writer, keep healthy and focused, and have good relations with other writing professionals like librarians, booksellers, editors, and agents.
I enjoyed reading the book. For those interested in learning what a writer does, or who are seeking a better understanding of how social media and new media changes a writing career this book would be a useful tool.
In order to get the full benefit of the book, I think it is necessary to take a little time to look at the blog as well, Booklife Now, http://www.booklifenow.com . Jeff Vandermeer includes many useful tools which are not in the book in the associated blog including a blogroll and numerous additional essays on writing.
The main complaint I have about the book is that there is no index in the book. This made it hard to backtrack to find certain subjects. The layout of the book was excellent. It had wide paragraph breaks, bolded headings, and many bullet pointed suggestion lists.
Jeff Vandermeer invited a variety of guest writers for the appendices. The two essays which I liked were Marketing Versus Publicity by Colleen Lindsay and Additional Notes on New Media by Matt Stagg.
This is well worth reading. Jeff Vandermere has a blog at http://www.jeffvandermeer.com . He has written many fantasy novels including Finch and edited a variety of anthologies including Steampunk which he co-edited with his wife, Ann Vandermeer.
Daily Thoughts 7/20/2010
Joann Sfar is doing a rendition of The Little Prince in graphic novel form. It is being released in France as well in October. Her graphic novel, The Rabbi's Cat was excellent. She also did the children's graphic novel, Little Vampire. I am looking forward to this.
The story of the layoffs and the rescinding of the layoff is in Library Journal online. http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/home/885960-264/mount_vernon_pl_ny_loses.html.csp
It is hard to read this kind of material. It is giving me butterflies in my stomach.
I had a chance to work on ordering today. We are doing our ordering meeting tomorrow. It is the first time we are using books from the patron recommendation form from our website which is kind of interesting. Some people have requested us to buy self published books through the recommendation form.
We also have a new donation button on our library website which I hope has some effect.
I also picked out some more graphic novels for the Graphic Novels Club tomorrow. One of our patrons recommended an original english language by Svetlana Chmakova called Nightschool which should be interesting. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nightschool . We also are picking out some books for a raffle for a literary tea for the Adult Summer Reading program. This is the second year we have done an adult summer reading program.
I read The Sons of Liberty written by Alexander Lagos and Joseph Lagos on the train home from work. It is a graphic novel set during the American revolution. Two young African boys escape slavery eluding their pursuer. They gain super powers and study the ancient art of Dambe (Nigerian boxing). They are part of the fight to end slavery as well as active in the American revolution. The story is very entertaining. The artwork is in muted earthtones. It is an interesting mix of facts and fantasy. http://www.thesonsoflibertybook.com/
PLA is offering a free online advocacy training course for libraries http://www.americanlibrariesmagazine.org/news/ala/pla-offers-free-online-library-advocacy-training
Monday, July 19, 2010
Photo credit: Dennis Adams, National Scenic Byways Online
Daily Thoughts 7/19/2010Today was another busy day. I met with BWI today to discuss our ordering. It was quite interesting. We did a tour of the building where I showed them the different sections of the library: the Job Information Center, foreign language collection, law collection, dvds, cds, video games, playaways, fiction, nonfiction, scores, reference, digital media catalog, large print, and other material.
I also spent some time writing a bimonthly report which was paperwork. Paperwork is part of every day life. Tomorrow I will be going over ordering mysteries with a colleague. We always include the marketing material we did with the report; flyers, bookmarks, signup sheets, and other material.
I finished reading Jack Campbell, The Lost Fleet Victorious. The book is more than just battles, there is diplomacy and intrigue as well. I found that each book in the series that I read could stand by itself.
Public Libraries Magazine has been running a column about fundraising called Bringing in The Money since 2005. I think I may be looking through the columns to see what they have to say.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Daily Thoughts 7/18/2010
I checked Google Webmaster Tools this morning and found two sites that were interesting with links to mine. The first is More Vikings which uses this title because the author wishes Jane Austen had more vikings. It is a blog about speculative fiction. I like their lists of different genres including Noire, Steampunk, Weird Westerns, and Cyberpunk. http://www.morevikings.com/
Another blog which had me in their blogroll is http://shakespearewroteformoney.wordpress.com/ It reviews many literary titles.
I changed the signature on my personal email to include a link to this blog and added a link to the Mount Vernon Public Library Foundation http://www.mvplfoundation.org/ . In addition I went into my work email and changed it to include a link to the Mount Vernon Public Library Foundation with the words please donate.
There is something called Signature Marketing. This means if you work in a company, all of the signatures should contain the persons name, title, address, phone and extension, a link to the company, and a link to the products for sale. This way if someone sends out a message, they will always be selling the company.
First-ever National Study: Millions of People Rely on Library Computers for Employment, Health, and Education 77 million people used library computers and Internet access in past year
Jeff Vandermeer on a Persons Private Booklife Versus Public Booklife
I read some more of Booklife on the train to work today. While I was reading Publishers Weekly, I came across a starred review for The Third Bear a collection of fantasy short stories by Jeff Vandermeer. I also put Clay Shirky's new book, Cognitive Surplus Creativity and Generosity In A Connected Age on hold. I don't usually work Sundays. This is the first time.
On the way home, I finished reading Booklife on the train. The book is more about the process of being a writer than about how to be a writer. It explains what is being done, not how to do it. I will probably write a review later this week.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Daily Thoughts 7/16/2010 07/13/10 Mt. Vernon, NY Statement from City ComptrollerFunds found to restore lost library positions http://www.mvinquirer.com/ . There was a restoration of $250,000. The debt listed for Mount Vernon Public library was $400,000 in the Westchester Journal News.
This basically says that the Mount Vernon Public library needs to do a better job of raising funds. If any of you are interested, there is a Friends of the Library and a Library Foundation both of which act to help the library raise funds and do publicity. http://www.mvplfoundation.org/ . In addition, people can sign up to be a Friend of the Library. They run the booksale.
This means there is a little bit of shortfall still and the library needs to make a concerted effort to raise funds and cut costs so that this does not happen again. The time period is basically five or six months.
I watched Ivanhoe on dvd today starring Elizabeth Taylor and Robert Taylor. It was a very interesting movie to watch. I have not read Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott which is considered a classic of historical fantasy. Sir Walter Scott is credited with creating the historical fantasy genre with his Waverly novels. We have a lot of Sir Walter Scott's lesser known novels including Rob Roy in our storage area. They are quite interesting to look at. The trailer for the film Scaramouche included in the dvd for Ivanhoe looked quite interesting. Scaramouche is a book by Rafael Sabatini. It is a romantic swashbuckling film set during the French revolution.
I read some more of Booklife by Jeff Vandermeer in the laundromat. Right now, the author is writing about balance in life and how it effects writing. He reminds people to get enough sleep, take time for exercise, and not spend all day in front of a computer. Some writers like Dickens and Thoreau walked a lot to help their thinking process in writing.
I do a half hour of floor exercises every day and try to get enough sleep. I also enjoy walking a lot. I like to take short walks every day as well. It is not always easy. I tend to like food and caffeine a little too much. On average, I drink three cups of coffee a day. I rarely drink alcohol.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Daily Thoughts 7/16/2010Today has been quiet. I went through the gifts this morning for books to add, printed up some flyers for the Overdrive Media Catalog. I also looked at creating a flyer to indicate we take gifts and donations. We are meeting next week for an ordering meeting on Wednesday, and on Monday I am meeting with our Book Wholesalers Incorporated representative. New York Librarians Meetup at the Poets House.
I am leaving early to go to Poets House http://www.poetshouse.org/ for a New York Librarians Meetup. Hopefully, it should be quite interesting. Battery Park City is a very nice area. The Poets House is next to the New York Public Library. There is a small green space in the back. You can walk out front across the street and be on the riverfront. It is quite pretty. The building is brand new, it is a LEED Gold Certified green building. There is lots of natural light, denim insulation in the walls, hardwood floors from sustainable forestry, lead free paint, windows that can be opened on all the floors. It has an expansive feeling to it with lots of clean air and light.
The Poets House was founded by the poet Stanley Kunitz. It is located on 10 River Terrace in Battery Park in Manhattan. Entrance is free and open to the public. The organization is twenty five years old. For twenty years previously it had been on Spring Street in Manhattan. The feel of the place was very genteel and academic. It is the kind of place where William Carlos Williams might have fit perfectly. The collection was housed to be used in the building. None of the material could be checked out. All of the material was donated to the collection. The staff contacted the publishers directly and requested two copies of each book from a publisher. They also took donations from individual poets. Occassionally, they had sales of duplicate materials.
On the first floor for the month of July, they are showcasing poetry collected from publishers that was published in the year of 2009. There are thousands of different books arranged by publisher. Many of these are chapbooks of original poetry, small original artistic works. It is the 18th Annual Showcase of Poetry which Poets House has done. The collection was quite interesting. The space where they are housing the exhibit had many overstuffed chairs and plenty of light. They do poetry readings in there.
Poets House also had a childrens poetry area. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein was on display. There were lots of pictures books with poetry in them that had been donated. I found the idea that picture books as a kind of poetry very interesting.
On the second floor is the library. This is a merchandised collection. A lot of the collection is alphabetically by the poets last name combining both poetry, literary criticism, and biography. The collection is largely focused on American poetry although they are trying to expand outside of the United States. It contains a magazine collection which includes zines as well as a collection of poetry on compact disc and on records. I spotted a few Richard Scarry children's poetry records. All of the poetry that was on cassette has been digitized so it can be downloaded and listened to.
The library is designed to be very comfortable. People are allowed to eat in the library. There is also wireless access. There were several people in the library area reading books or sitting and useing laptops. They told us that they took all the old furniture from their last building and had it refurbished and brought to the new building. Their opinion was that library furniture was way too expensive. Much of the furniture looked like it was reupholstered or neatly repainted.
I had a few minutes to look at the collection. It had Charles Bukowski, Theodore Roethke, Diane Ackerman, Allen Ginsberg, W.S. Merwin, and many of my favorite poets. I think that I may come back later to look over the collection at a later date. There was a poster of one of Rita Dove's poems on one of the walls.
In addition to poetry, there was also artwork. James Walton Fox had a number of oil paintings that were hung throughout the building. http://www.jameswaltonfox.com/www.jameswaltonfox.com/Recent_Works.html
There was also a small space to display rare books. Currently Letter Press books are on display. I did not get a chance to look at it. The whole experience was very relaxed. There were a lot of volunteers in the building. Many of the people who worked in the building had started as volunteers.
The place did not seem to be a space for performance poetry. It was very seminar focused. When I looked at their brochure, they seem to be more focused on teaching, poetics, writing and discussing poetry as well as having formal poetry readings. This does not look like a working class style place for poetry slams. They even told us that they had done a couple of weddings during the last year. It also does not feel particularly avant garde. Although they are starting to collect online poetry.
Carlin Wragg, The Community Relations Manager led the tour. We also got to talk to Mike Romano's who showed us the Childrens Area as well as Maggie Balistreri who is the librarian.
Poets House does Poetry In The Branches which is a program focused on doing workshops and hving poetry classes in library branches. I went to one of their sessions almost a year ago held for the Westchester Library System.
Poets House atmosphere felt a little bit like The Center For Fiction which the New York Librarians Meetup had gone to earlier. They are both special libraries with merchandised collections. It was an excellent experience.
After we went to the Poets House, we went to Kaffe 1668 for a breakout session. Many of the librarians were looking for work. Some had previously been to the Librarians Skill Share at Brooklyn Public Library on July 13, 2010 which was a job search workshop for laid off librarians and those seeking new employment. It was very sad in a way. People had been laid off from a variety of places; Columbia School For Journalism, Brooklyn Public Library, and other libraries. There were a few who had found a few new jobs. Some were trying to figure out what they could do with their degree.
A few were just finishing their degree. Others were talking about all the different listservs they had joined to find jobs, Metro, Nylink, Nyline, Libjobs, and other places. A few people had just got jobs and could not make it. Because the group is from Meetup, quite a few people are quite tech savvy. It is Social Networking for New York Librarians and Library Students. http://www.meetup.com/NYLibrarians/
There was a bit of discussion on hwo to use LinkedIn and Facebook because of fear of loss of privacy. I sometimes think privacy has disappeared a while ago. I try to limit some of the things which I will talk about on the internet.
Kaffe 1668 was very hip. It had the classic chalkboard with all the prices for the different teas and coffees on it above the register. It reminded me of a cafe you might see in Berkeley California or Santa Cruz California transplanted to New York. The artwork was very interesting. This is a comic from their website, it captures the feel of the place very well. http://www.kaffe1668.com/about_kaffe.html I got a pot of fresh black currant tea.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Daily Thoughts 7/15/2010
The Bookcase You'll Want to Live In from the Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2010/jul/13/the-ark-bookcase
State Cuts Library Aide and NYLA reacts. This article has a bit on Mount Vernon Public Library and mentions one good thing, there now will be cooperative bidding for services which might reduce some of our costs. http://books.lohudblogs.com/2010/07/13/state-cuts-library-aid-nyla-reacts/
There is something else happening here with the message that the internet can provide all we need. The problem is that it comes at a price. Netflix is not free, it is a lending model for videos where people can send the videos back by mail. Another service like Netflix, except for books is Bookswim which sends 3 books a month in the mail for $23.95 which get sent back in packages sent in the mail, much like Netflix. http://netted.net/2010/07/15/shelf-space/?id=Today#toggled The emerging models on the internet cost money, in most cases more than a library does. In an increasingly competitive business world, many publishing companies see libraries as indirect competitors for their revenue.
Today, we did a Brown Bag Book Talk where people sat with us from 12:15-1:45 p.m. and discussed the books they were reading during the summer. A lot of the patrons were reading books on spiritual subjects like feng shui, dreaming, and buddhism. One patron mentioned the book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho who is a Brazilian writer. It was interesting talking to patrons about what they were interested in reading. In a way, this was directly tied in with my Readers Advisory 101 class which helped me focus on what was being said.
I also took some time to collect some of the new graphic novels for my Graphic Novels Club next week on Wednesday. I like talking about books and graphic novels with patrons.
On a more serious note, I spent some time looking at Buy a Book forms which many libraries use to get donations. These usually involve someone making a donation to purchase books. The books purchased then get a bookplate with the persons name on it on the inside. We try and pick out the nicer, more literary quality books, illustrated books, and art books when we put bookplates tied in with donations inside books.
All of my colleagues are back which is a tremendous relief. I am happy that we got the money to keep going. However, it is far from over. We still have to figure out how to get more allies, raise funds, improve library services, get more people through the front door, and improve our public relations. Government budgets do not look like they will improve in the near term.
I am going to Poets House tomorrow http://www.poetshouse.org as part of the New York Library Meetup. Hopefully, I will get to talk to some people there and have a very nice tour of a poetry library. Maybe, it will help me do a better poetry program in the future.
On the train home, I read some more of Booklife which is turning out to be quite interesting. I am reading about online booktrailers, public relations for authors, blog tours, and many other surprising subjects. The book is better than Jeff Vandermeer's fiction which is saying a lot. I very much enjoyed his fantasy novel, Finch.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Daily Thoughts 7/14/2010
An article from the Journal News about the Mount Vernon Public Library coming back to work. http://www.lohud.com/article/20100714/NEWS02/7140314/Mount-Vernon-Public-Library-rehires-laid-off-staff
I spent some time looking through a Library Journal online review of Kraken by China Mieville. I was looking for words that would appeal to readers in the review if I had to tell a library patron about the book. It is part of readers advisory.
We printed up a lot of our marketing material. There is a city council meeting tonight where they may discuss the library. Having some marketing material might help us out and get some support.
I also went through the gift books today as well as checked the new books and displays to make sure they were in order.
There was another session on Readers Advisory 101 today where I spent time watching people chat online about places to find suggestions for reading material. I learned about http://www.monsterlibrarian.com/ which reviews horror literature. Some other review sources I learned about were http://www.allreaders.com/ and http://www.bookmarksmagazine.com/ People had a lot of ideas about how to review and advise books for patrons to read.
I checked out The Sons of Liberty written by Alexander Lagos and Joseph Lagos. It is a superhero novel set during the American revolution. The two main characters are African American. The art is interesting.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs Division under the digital ID ppmsca.18842
Daily Thoughts 7/13/2010Seeing Stars: How I ignored my inner librarian and got kids excited about books again! This is an entertaining comic. http://www.slj.com/slj/home/885428-312/seeing_stars_how_i_ignored.html.csp
The city found emergency funds to restore the laid off people as well as prevent the demotions. It makes me quite happy to say this. Sometimes things change for the better. Now, it is on to the next step that deals with advocacy, trying to make sure this does not happen again. This means playing closer attention to fundraising.
I picked up a copy of Booklife Strategies and Survival Tips For the 21st Century Writer by Jeff Vandermeer. It is about how to have a writing career in the modern publishing world. Jeff Vandermeer has done many anthologies, has a blog, facebook account which I follow, and is very up to date with the latest technology. He writes weird tales and fantasy.
I had a little bit of time today to read Publishers Weekly and the New York Times Book Review, check the donations for items to add, and look through the new books. I had a chance to pick out some of the new graphic novels which I ordered recently for the Graphic Novels club which is tomorrow. As always, I checked the displays to make sure they are up to date.
Tomorrow, my colleagues come back and it should even be busier than usual. I have a lot to do. There is also a Brown Bag Book Chat from 12:15-1:45 p.m. in addition to the Graphic Novels Club which is later in the afternoon. I have been reading more for my Readers Advisory 101 course and learning more about reviews. I know most of the review sources, Library Journal, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and the New York Times Book Review. I just learned that the Washington Post Books is also a standard for reviews. I guess I might have to start reading it. I have an assignment to do tomorrow for the class which compares review database that looks interesting.
There were a few new sources for reviews which I saw, NPR Book Reviews http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1032, Overbooked, http://www.overbooked.org and the Amazon New York Times Bestseller Page http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/browse/-/549028/ref=b_tn_bh_ny/002-7565199-2545635
I started reading Jeff Vandermeers' book Booklife. Jeff Vandermere has a blog called http://www.jeffvandermeer.com which is entertaining. He also runs a site with his wife Ann Vandermeer called http://www.booklifenow.com which is about being a writer. I follow Jeff Vandermeer on Facebook as well. It is rather entertaining to follow writers on Facebook.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Daily Thoughts 7/12/2010My favorite bookstore when I was a teenager was Green Apple Books. I used to go upstairs to the science fiction section and read the Frank Frazetta art books as well as Lone Sloan and other books. http://www.greenapplebooks.com/
I am looking at two books, Cast Member Confidential A Disneyfied Memoir by Chris Mitchell which is supposed to be an expose on Disney , and China Mieville Kraken which is an urban fantasy. There were also two more books waiting for me Digital Video for Beginners by Colin Barnett and From Hell With Love by Simon R. Green which is a fantasy book.
During the last few days, I have been speaking to more people about the library. It is not an easy thing to do. I can't really go into all the details. I think we might get a reprieve.
I tried reading Cast Member Confidential, but did not find it to my liking. It just did not quite ring true to me. It has a too real feeling to it. It follows too rationally in some ways. I was hoping for something truly salacious.
I am getting some very positive statements about my new blog on Wordpress. People are saying it is useful. I might work on it a little more later.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Daily Thoughts 7/11/2010
Life continues. I am practicing on Wordpress. This is a set of links to newspaper articles and web articles related to the layoffs and demotions at Mount Vernon Public Library. http://mvpldownsizing.wordpress.com/?p=4&preview=true
I am going to suggest a book called We The Media by Dan Gillmor. It is about how the web allows every day people to report on just about anything. It is fundamentally about the end of the division between ordinary people and journalists. Even though the book was written in 2004, it has become even more applicable today than it was before. Citizen journalism is becoming easier and easier to do. I have found the concepts very useful in writing about the layoffs I experienced. It explains the general concepts, not necessarily the tools to use social media as a way to report events. http://oreilly.com/catalog/wemedia/book/index.csp
Saturday, July 10, 2010
the zen of social media marketing An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue by Shama Hyder Kabani.
This is very much a motivational book combined with a social media book. It is designed to convince you to go out and join social sites. The first part very much feels like a motivational speech. After the initial pep talk, when the writing starts to describe social media sites, it becomes quite practical. The book focuses on three main sites, Twitter, Linked In, and Facebook. The writing convinced me to update my Facebook profile as well as my Linked In profile. It has clear steps on what to do and what to avoid without any pie in the sky promises. It does not just cover pure social media sites. It also reminds you that if you are in social media you should take the time to learn how to include digital photography and digital video. Podcasting and pictures are very important to build an online social presence. The pep talk was convincing enough for me to consider getting a digital camera as a first step. Shama Hyder Kabani includes a lot of screen captures of pages from Twitter, Facebook, and Linked In to show you what she is doing with the social sites. The descriptions are extremely easy to follow. They also lead to a very clean, professional look. Because this book is very much a business book, she also discusses policies for using social media inside companies as well as gives a number of two page case studies of how people successfully improved their business with social media. The motivation to convince me to update my site was useful. The description of how to use the tools was at a beginners level. This would be useful for someone starting out in social media. I recommend this as an introduction to using social media for business. The author clearly has a fairly large online presence.
Shama Hyder Kabani is using her book to sell her social media business. The motivational style with a strong sense of sweetness might not be for everyone. I found it interesting and very convincing. http://zenofsocialmedia.com/
Daily Thoughts 7/10/2010
I am being asked to look over Digg and Reddit by a friend to see if I can come up with suggestions for a business. He is looking to create several niche sites. I am thinking about how to do niche media oriented sites. I have a number of ideas which should be interesting. I suggested a book called Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter, How Today's Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves by Adam L. Penenberg (Hardcover - Oct. 13, 2009). I also mentioned two human powered directories for him to look at Mahalo http://www.mahalo.com/ and Finding Dulcinea http://www.findingdulcinea.com/home.html .
I read some more of the Zen of Social Media Marketing. It convinced me to go back and update my Linked In profile. I am working on making it better. It also convinced that to improve my blog I have to learn a little bit about digital photography and web video. This means, I might have to invest in a digital camera and learn how to use it. There is a little bit of money which is from Amazon affiliates. I think I might use that to buy a cheap digital camera so I can learn to shoot and upload photos and learn to use flickr. This would be a first step before learning how to use digital video.
I have decided to not review Dean Koontz Frankenstein Lost Souls. It had a kind of blase quality to it which was neither good or bad. It was designed to be popular and was written in a vernacular that I found rather boring, not bad, just boring. It is hard for me to think it was terrible, just not the book for me. Other people may like it, but it did nothing good or bad for my reading experience.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Daily Thoughts 7/9/2010
I wonder sometimes if there were other options than a layoff and demotions like furloughs, one day reduced hours without loss of title. The loss of title is very hard because it limits future motion. It would have been nice to hear about other options.
If you are in Mount Vernon, New York please go to the upcoming City Council meeting this Wednesday, July 14th at 7:00pm to show support to the library.
Today, I looked for books for the books mobile and placed reserves for the bookmobile. I had a list sent in to us from the senior center. I have been using this list as an additional way to look at what we need to order. Three popular books which people wanted more than one copy were Pops A Life Of Louis Armstrong by Terry Teachout, High Society: The Life of Grace Kelly by Donald Spoto, and The Worst Case by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge.
I am also compiling a list of all the things which I do as a collection development librarian. This of course makes me a little nervous in a layoff situation. I am going through my email and my files to create something extremely comprehensive. This is a good reason to save your emails and old file folders, they keep a track of record of actually work done, not just what you think you are doing. Sometimes it is good to go through your files and email to get an exact sense of how you spend your time.
Most of my time was spent at the reference desk today answering peoples questions. I may have to ask some advice to get a better sense of what I am doing from other collection development librarians.
There was a small amount of donations I had a chance to look at also. There were a few Harry Potter books which looked like they could be added.
I have to thank my lucky stars I am not in California right now. Things are getting scary. http://money.cnn.com/2010/07/08/news/economy/california_pay_cuts/index.htm
Read some more of The Zen of Social Media Marketing. Once it gets into specific social media sites it gets better. It motivated me to update my Facebook page with a few things. The section on Twitter is not bad at all. She seems to be less fluffy once she gets to more specific information.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
In the time of the Ptolemies : The Alexandrian Library. (1908), Harpers Magazine, J. Andre Castaigne
Daily Thoughts 7/8/2010
There is an article up on Mount Vernon Public Library on the http://www.savelibraries.org/ website. It is the quietest it has been in a long time. I am spending a lot of time at the reference desk because our first job is to serve the patrons who come in. Providing the material and research which they need is what matters.
I had a little time to check the displays to make sure they were in order, look at the new books to see what was coming in, and take some time to do a little organizing of my desk. I also checked out The Zen of Social Media Marketing, An Easier Way To Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue by Shama Hyder Kabani.
The latest issue from Library Resources & Technical Services was sent to me as part of my membership to ALCTS. There is an article called Challenges and Responsibilities for Collection Management In a Digital Age by Tony Horava.
The library is very much down to a skeleton staff. Depending on what happens in the next week will determine a lot of what we are going to do in the coming year. I cannot imagine that it will be any easier next year.
I tired to read more of Fitzpatrick's War by Theodore Judson, but eventually lost interest in the story. I didn't find the historical reasoning for reverting to a steam age to be that convincing. I am going to return it tomorrow.
I have started reading the Zen of Social Media Marketing which is very much a kind of pep talk mixed with marketing and social media. Shama Hyder Kabali has the whole book online for free. It seems to be a way to sell her company. I am hoping I can find a few tips and tricks. So far, I really haven't found anything at all. It is happy fluff. A nice mental break from more serious reading.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Daily Thoughts 7/7/2010This is a link to an article and video from News 12 on the layoffs at Mount Vernon Public Library http://www.news12.com/articleDetail.jsp?articleId=255625&position=1&news_type=news I also posted it on Twitter which feeds into my linked in account now. I want to have maximum linkage and exposure for what I am saying. Part of that process is creating links between social networks
It felt odd coming in today. I was reading the New York Times Book Review and looked at the routing list. It had my initials only, with four other initials crossed out. It reminded me of how many people were affected. I also took some time to read Publishers Weekly. One book which caught my eye was The Vertical Farm The World Grows Up by Dickson Despommier. It is about urban agriculture. Vertical farms, are hydroponics and aeroponic farms inside skyscrapers. They are often designed to be mimic ecology. I find them to be fascinating. Part of this concept originates in The New Alchemy Institute which developed the bioshelter concept. It is radical science at its most interesting. http://www.thegreencenter.net/
I also had a chance to log in to my first online chat session of The Readers Advisory 101 Class. I learned quite a few interesting ideas. Joyce G. Saricks suggested The Adult Reading Roundtable as a resource for readers advisory www.arrtreads.org/ which is in Illinois.
There were a number of suggestions on how to pick books for patrons.
1) Check on the last book they read. 2) Check on the last book they returned to the library. 3) Suggest they read the jacket blurb, and read two pages at random to see if they like what they are reading. The librarians also use Goodreads a lot to pick out books to read. They think of it as an excellent social network for readers advisory. http://www.goodreads.com/ It is also important to make displays of books which you can recommend. Many also used Novelist which is a database about books and book reviews to find read alikes, or similar titles between authors. Some librarians used Fiction Connection which is a readers advisory tool created by Bowker. http://www.bowker.com/index.php/bowker-brands/fiction-connection
There is a difference between a book which you can recommend. A book which you can recommend is a book or author you have read and like. A suggestion is something you think a person may like based on other peoples reading habits or literary reviews. This is the general idea.
We were talking about appeal what makes a person interested in a book. This is different than whether it has quality. It is about what people like to read no what matter what it is. Joyce G. Saricks, the instructor has a quote, "Never Apologize for Your Reading Tastes." A lot of the discussion was about popular genre fiction. A lot of appeal is about how a book affects us.
We discussed how people track their books. They often keep a log of their reading in a binder. I don't. I use this blog and Goodreads right now. This is a good enough way to track my reading.
A lot of appeal is being comfortable talking about books and recommending what people may like. I picked ups some ideas that the small group of librarians taking the class have about literature. Character centered books tend to be literary oriented, plot centered books tend to be more action oriented, women tend to read authors by both men and women, and men often only read books by other men. Romance tends to be better when there is an element of suspense. Books that are banned often become even more popular because of censorship. Political views can skew whether or not people will like a book.
It was an entertaining session. I am looking to catch up for my next session. I was really supposed to start last week, but the potential of layoffs before it happened upset me a little bit.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Wood Engraving, Three Muses, Reynold's Miscellany of Romance, General Literature and Art.
Daily Thoughts 7/6/2010
Today, I went in to work and just tried to hold things together with so many people gone. It was very hard. I spent a little bit of time turning on computers which is not something I usually do. I guess, I may be doing some different things than I expect in the coming two weeks. I learned a little bit more about what was happening. I found out a few more things all the part-time people had their hours cut in half in January. It is very sad.
I guess part of this is just being there and getting used to the feeling of a changed place. We got off a little early today. I finished reading Dean Koontz's Frankenstein Lost Souls. It had a lot of interesting characters in it. I will review it later.
Right now, I am reading Fitzpatrick's War by Theodore Judson which is steampunk.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Labor, Mural, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C. from the New York Public Library Digital Image Gallery
Daily Thoughts 7/5/2010
I tried putting my resume up in Linked In, but it did not quite take the Open Office document. I had to modify it a bit. All the information is up, but, Linked In does not show it as having a resume added. I like Open Office because it is free. At one point, my Micrososft 2003 program stopped working. Because of finances, I tried Open Office. Open Office allows you to save documents in the .doc format. http://www.openoffice.org/ Some open source software is quite good, the Firefox web browser is also excellent. I use both Internet Explorer and Firefox.
I went and sent a few emails out from Linked In and a few other social media sites about the layoff today. I wish I could focus on books a little more. I still have that cold feeling inside.
Public Libraries ROI (Return on Investment) http://www.oclc.org/roi/
I put From Hell With Love A Secret Histories Novel by Simon R. Green on hold.
I just downloaded http://www.copernic.com/ and http://www.webferret.com/ , these are both desktop search utilities that are also excellent search engines. I also am looking at Complete Planet which is a Deep Web Search Engine. In addition, I am looking at http://www.indeed.com which is a job scraper, kind of an aggregate search engine for jobs.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Daily Thoughts 7/4/2010
I am doing my patriotic duty to stay employed today. I am contacting my legislators, assemblypersons, congress people, senators, and others involved with my library. It should be quite interesting on Tuesday. I have not read anything today. Happy 4th of July. I can hear the fireworks.
This is a response to Are Libraries Necessary from Fox News. http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/news/library-taxes-closed-commissioner-reaction-letter-mary-dempsey-20100702 I took it from one of the comments. I find Fox news to often be partisanly self interested. Fox is a media empire and sells magazines, newspapers, ebooks, and books. Maybe, they believe that they will get some of the revenue if the library closes. You'll get your information from Fox. Libraries are an indirect competitor.
I put aside the book Managing and decided to read something more light weight, Dean Koontz, Frankenstein Lost Souls.
I am putting up my resume today on Linked In. Did not want to do that, but might as well. Sometimes, there needs to be a little bit of motivation. I have it as a Google Doc. Did not want to buy the Microsoft suite.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Daily Thoughts 7/3/2010
I am talking to a slam poet to do another set of poetry events. We have some patrons who are very determined to have a well done poetry reading series. Most likely we will do it during an evening. You learn from experience when the best time to do events are.
I am also looking at the page for why you should support New York Public Library. What are the good reasons. I think there is more clarity there now after facing deep cuts. http://www.nypl.org/support/why-support-new-york-public-library
I have not been reading that much. I have been focusing on thinking about what I will do next.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Layoffs and Demotions 7/2/2010
There was a reduction in force today where I am working. The proper term is layoffs. These were because of budget issues. 13 people were laid off and 8 People were demoted because of lack of funds out of a staff of 33. In January all the part-time peoples hours were cut in half. The demotions started at the top and worked their way down. Librarian IIIs became Librarian IIs, and Librarian IIs became Librarian Is. I was a Librarian II. Reduction in force is a specific type of layoff associated with civil service in New York. http://www.cs.state.ny.us/pdf/rif_guidelines.pdfApparently, a 10% cut in funding is enough to layoff half of the staff, that is a $400,000 shortfall. I asked if I had the right to ask to be laid off and collect unemployment. Apparently, you cannot ask to be laid off in the civil service system of New York, you must take a reduced job or resign without unemployment. There was something cold about standing in a quiet building where half of the staff were gone, many who had worked more than 25 years in the place. The layoff notice was for several weeks away. Maybe, there is hope in a hard way. It was strange helping people while everyone else was sent home.
Needless to say, I have become much more interested in advocacy. None of this had to do with the performance of the people being let go. At least that was what I was told. It was supposed to be purely budgetary. I feel like being a cypher right now. Sometimes acting is better than feeling. Needless to say, I will be going to job related functions and seeing many of my colleagues at them. There is the ACRL NY Libraries Skill Share on July 13, 2010 listed on New York Lbrarians Meetup. http://www.meetup.com/NYLibrarians/calendar/13874759/ Oddly enough, I feel more tired than afraid. I have been collecting information on advocacy groups. I guess now is the definite time to contact them about this. There certainly are enough organizations. I started contacting my senators and assemblypeople in New York.
Palazzo Vecchio, Firenze, 1550-1555
Daily Thoughts 7/2/2010
A free issue of a magazine on Patron Driven Acquisitions http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~db=all~content=g923176894
This is an article from the Librarians Shout n' Share at BEA where I was watching. It is from the Books For Dudes column of Library Journal. http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/newsletters/newsletterbucketbooksmack/885594-439/books_for_dudes_my_bea.html.csp
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Daily Thoughts 7/1/2010
Today we spent some time with our SIRSI library catalog learning how to do the on order status. It allows us to use EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) to place orders from our different vendors. This will allow us to place orders from BWI, Midwest Tape, and Baker and Taylor through a single system. It will also help us with duplication issues and budgeting.
We also spent some time talking about the summer reading program for adults. Things are moving along very steadily.
My concentration is not as good as usual. Our library is facing budget shortfalls and it may affect me directly. There could be layoffs and other issues. I will know tomorrow. We already circulated a petition for signatures to keep the library open.
I logged into the Readers Advisory 101 course today for the first time. My focus is a little better today.