Saturday, November 27, 2010

Daily Thoughts 11/27/2010 (Get Glue, LinkedIn, Social Media, Budget)

Interior view of the Astor Lib... Digital ID: 805990. New York Public Library
Interior View of the Astor Library, 1854

Daily Thoughts 11/27/2010 

Using Social Networks To Select Material.

I have two books that I placed on hold after reading Linked In; What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelley and Letting Go Of Words, Writing Web Content That Works.  Librarians often talk about the books they like on Linked In.  It is often career oriented material.  While I was on a thread in Linked In on LISCareers, they had a number of career books they were discussing.  The thread is called Best Books For Career Professional/Personal Development  Two books that caught my attention were First Break All The Rules: What TheWorlds Greatest Managers Do by Marcus Buckingham and Creating A Life Worth Living: A Practical Course In Career Design For Aspiring Writers, Artists, Filmmakers, Musicians, and Others Who Want to Make A Living From Their Creative Work by Carol Lloyd.

I also spent some time on Get Glue looking at different book lists.  I ended up picking out three books Rules For Revolutionaries by Guy Kawasaki who also is on Twitter, Dust of Dreams by Steven Erikson, and Paper Cities an Anthology Urban Fantasy, Edited by Ekaterina Sedia.  This is my list on Get Glue of books

I find looking through lists of books on social networks sometimes very interesting and useful.  There are a lot of people with computer backgrounds who have lists of new computer books which are often not available from standard review sources.  People also recommend a lot of book that are never reviewed in the standard review sources like Library Journal or Publishers Weekly.  I think only 1% of published books are reviewed professionally.  This leaves a vast array of books with little or no coverage.  They are often things like computer books, books on construction, textbooks, and other materials.

Also many social networks have lists where people give what they are currently reading.  These are sometimes curious to look at because they tend to have a wide cross section of books.

Budget and Politics

It is almost the end of the year.  I learned we have enough money to make it until the end of the year without layoffs.  This is a relief in a way.  I am waiting to hear about the finalization of people retiring.  On November 29, 2010 we are having a union meeting to discuss the budget with union representatives from the state. The mayor announced there would be no layoffs in the city.  However, our library is moving away from being part of the city, we are in the process of becoming a school district library at the request of the Board of Regents of the New York State Library.  This would put our budget up to vote in 2011.  It also means that the board of trustees would have to be elected as well.  It is very political.

I now know that there will not be any furloughs, it goes against the CSEA statewide union policy.  It is something I would have liked to consider.  It requires a lot of patience to think about these things.

In the city itself, there is some dissension, the city comptroller has announced that she is against the mayors budget.  This makes things even more complicated.  Right now in Westchester County, they are having budget hearings.  Funding for libraries in Westchester County are being considered.  The Westchester Library System which does some of our services is being cut.  They already have cut the bookmobile.  In our city, it went to the homes for the aged and the local armory.

It gets even more complicated, because the civil service has to work with the library if there are layoffs or a reduction in force.  They already did a reduction in force for our library on July 11, 2010 which was rescinded.  This makes them very careful.

In the surrounding area in the five boroughs of New York City, Mayor Bloomberg has suggested a $16.5 million dollar budget cut.  This would eliminate 404 librarians leaving a lot of librarians out of work with a limited amount of open positions.  Many of the open positions are for technically oriented positions, systems librarians, metadata specialists, digital image specialists, information architects, content specialists, and web technology specialists.

The whole profession is in a shift, much like the publishing industry is shifting to new technologies, libraries are slowly starting to do it as well.  It is a very disruptive time period.

It also is a very important time to learn how to advocate for your library and find advocates in the community.  Choices which are made now, will affect how or whether libraries will exist in the future.  In my personal opinion, reform is necessary, not elimination.

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