Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Daily Thoughts 3/31/2009

Edouard Manet, The Reader, 1861, Oil on canvas

Daily Thoughts 3/31/2009

Today, I had to explain part of the ordering process for new books for one of our new librarians. She is ordering for religion, philosophy, and psychology. It was mainly some of the things she needed to do before starting to order. I reminded her that she should spend a half hour a day looking through her sections for ordering to familiarize herself with her part of the collection. She also will be placed on the routing slips for magazines, Kirkus Reviews, Choice, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist. We have a fairly extensive periodical section so she probably will also be reading the Christian Science Monitor, Psychology Today, and a few other magazines for reviews.

I have a sheet which breaks down call numbers by circulation. She went a bit further and started looking up the exact subjects attached to each call number in her section. My basic philosophy is that we should be ordering two types of books, very popular titles, and high quality titles. We seem to have a lot of the middling books which not many people read in our collection.

I am rather fond of the idea of the "core collection" concept. It basically states that in a library or bookstore, most use comes from a small percentage of the books 10-20% of titles. These titles are usually very popular titles or essential titles, classics in their fields. My goal is to increase the presence of a mix of very high quality titles and classics mixed with high circulation items. This is a fairly popular idea. It is a kind of polemic. I don't see it as being exclusive, however. Having a massive collection often obscures what people want to read. Keeping books by Harvard University Press is as important as keeping Stephen King. In my mind, I think it is possible to expand the core material in a library to 20-40% of the library.

The second thing which goes with expanding the core collection is increasing the purchase of more practical material like computer books, career books, how to books, professional and technical books, and financial literacy books which have been missing from so many libraries for so long.

Web Bits

The New York Times now has a graphic novels bestseller list. I went through and ordered most of the graphic novels on the list today. http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/05/introducing-the-new-york-times-graphic-books-best-seller-lists/

Monday, March 30, 2009

Daily Thoughts 3/30/2009

Photo Credit : NASA

Daily Thoughts 3/30/2009

I've started reading How The Way We Talk Can Change The Way We Work by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey. This book is a workbook which focuses on a method of changing your goals and dealing specifically in ways to committ to change by acting on complaints.

Today was another day, nothing special today. I was shadowed by one of the new librarians. I decided to go over active listening and knowledge elicitation techniques. Things like scenarios where you have more than one place to find what you are looking for (usually there are at least three places to find a common piece of information). Quid pro quo; having information ready to give a patron like flyers, small facts, bookmarks and similar things to get them to better tell you what they want. I think that quid pro quo (something for something) is actually a Roman strategy where when Roman soldiers would enter a new territory, they would send out a person with bits of information about themselves to give to the locals in exchange for local information.

Also, systematically clarifying a patrons questions, asking for support materials like homework assignments or magazine articles finding alternative search terms for what a person is looking for. This would include definitions, spellings, plural forms of words, alternate spellings of words and names, searching by publisher, mixing and matching pieces of titles, and other strategies.

I called the local YMCA director and the Friends of the Library to get them to agree to be part of the block cleanup and planting for Earth Day. I'll probably call the neighborhood associations tomorrow and visit two churches that are near us. I am supposed to have a bunch of people who want to be part of the event by the end of the week for the mayors office. The Friends of the Library head suggested I might want to get some younger people to help.

I wrote my portion of the monthly report as well as what I plan to do this week. Libraries are big on paper. We have lots of it.

I checked on the shelving in the main library. They ordered a whole new set of metal bookends which was nice to see. The library aides did a nice job of putting the books in order-- edged ( the books being one half inch in from the edge of the bookshelves with all spine labels visible) and having three to five inches free at the end of each shelf of books with a bookend placed.

It is funny how sometimes when you think you have done nothing is when you have done the most sometimes. Things just fall into place.

Safari Books Online sent me a thank you letter through the mail for trying out their online service. I was rather surprised by this. It looks like excellent marketing.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Up the Organization by Robert Townsend

Up The Organization by Robert Townsend (2007 Commemorative Edition).

This is a classic business book by Robert Townsend who was an executive for American Express and turned around the Avis rental car business. He was also a successful consultant and speaker. This book was a New York Times Bestseller when it first came out in 1971.

This book is very much a book focused on how to make organizations flatter, more responsive and more equitable. The author believes in eliminating most executive perks, removing nepotism, and paying 15% of profits into a profit sharing arrangement.

The writing is clear and straightforward. The book is arranged with alphabetical A to Z headings with one to two pages under each heading. Some of the headings I liked were: Big Wheels In Little Companies, P.R. Department, Abolition of, and Stock Options and Democracy.

The author speaks against bureaucracy arguing against complex organizational charts, job descriptions, complex legal agreements, and secretaries. At the same time he makes statements against oversize companies, ineffective boards of directors, and big government.

The writing can be blunt at times. There is a little bit of swearing. He seems to say that it is a managers job to give people who work with them the tools to get the job done in a a very hands on way. This includes creating a comfortable, discrimination free work environment where people want to get the job done.

This is a book worth reading. In this edition, there is an introduction by Warren Bennis, and three other short introductory essays to the book.

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. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/mar/22/saving-british-libraries

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Putting Service Into Library Staff Training A Patron Centered Guide by Joanne M. Bessler

Putting Service Into Library Staff Training A Patron Centered Guide by Joanne M. Lesser is a very short book. It is 72 pages long with an index. The book was written in 1994, but much of what is being said is still relevant.

The reason I read this book was to find out the meaning of the term patron centered library. It starts with finding out what the three main groups which a library serves want, the (FAP) funders, administrators, and patrons. Then turning these wants into ways to serve them.

After finding out wants, the services needed are included in job descriptions, training and staff development, and rules and policies for interacting with patrons. Every level of staff throughout a library is to be made aware of the different services and promote them for the library. It is a philosophy of every staff member serving the patron at some level, very similar to the idea of every person in a company selling the company.

Some of the training suggested is listening and customer service training. I would imagine this might include active listening, knowledge elicitation techniques, patron problem solving, and dealing with complaints.

The next level of the document explains that service is a long term committment and has to be written into the mission statement of the organization as well as given staff rewards and recognition. In the end even things like convenient hours, appropriate material, adequate study space, and friendly staff are part of a service ethic.

There is a strong appeal to this book, Many people go into the library field to help people. It is a helping profession. This book brings together a kind of complete philosophy to bring the patron front and center. It also addreses many problems that are still quite relevant in libraries.

Daily Thoughts 3/28/2009

Reading Statue

Daily Thoughts 3/28/2009

I spent some time this morning clearing off my desk, adding some files to my filing cabinet, and transferring numbers into my phone book from notes left on my desk. I have a nice pile of things to do in my inbox now. It is a bit more organized. I have a tendency to do things immediately and not wait until they go in the inbox. I check my mailbox first thing in the morning and then check my email after that.

I have a pile of books to read on the subway, two science fiction books; Shambling Towards Hiroshima by James Morrow and Claws That Catch by John Ringo and Travis S. Taylor; two business books; Up the Organization by Robert Townsend and How The Way We Talk Can Change The Way We Work by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey; and one book on libraries, Putting Service Into Library Staff Training A Patron Centered Guide by Joanne M. Bessler. The last book is supposed to focus on the patron centered library concept.

We have a program called Professor Teaches for self paced instruction for Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Publisher. I am hoping that I can get in a half hour each day to improve my Microsoft Office skills. I started with Word today.

I finished reading the Everything Managing People Book on the train home. It was rather boring. It is not something that I can recommend to read except for its practicality. The writing is rather lackluster and the examples are not that interesting. There are two sections which I found kind of interesting, how to handle layoffs if you are a manager, and how to handle holiday parties. Other than that there was very little to recommend reading this book.

I also watched the ending of Slam Nation which is about the National Poetry Slam of 1996. The producer Paul Devlin has won five emmy awards for his work. There is a website for the movie, http://www.slamnation.com This movie is very enjoyable. Taylor Mali is really interesting to watch. I can understand why people like Marc Smith more than they like Bob Holman. It makes sense to me. I learned a lot about poetry watching this movie. The most interesting aspect to me in the film was how the poets rehearsed and projected emotion. You do not get to see poets emotion on the page.

I have been reading a lot of professional literature recently, not as much fiction. I think I am going to read Up The Organization by Robert Townsend next. I talso think I might pick out a few graphic novels to break up what I am reading and change the focus for a bit. I think people like my science fiction and fiction reviews better.

Web Bits

I took a few minutes to look at http://www.thedailyme.com/ which is supposed to be a personalized news service. I think the site needs a little bit of work. It allows you to set keywords for news articles so you can personalize the service. It is an interesting, but not fully developed idea.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Daily Thoughts 3/27/2009

Love Among The Chickens, P.G. Wodehouse. I just liked the title and cover design. It is quite appealing.

Daily Thoughts 3/27/2009

I am working on the Automatically Yours, a program with Baker and Taylor which allows a library to place standing orders by author for fiction. I have the selection list of authors ready. Hopefully, I will be able to have the process done next week. http://www.btol.com/promo_details.cfm?id=32 I am also going to ask Baker & Taylor if they have a standing order program for award winning titles , Hugo, Nebula, Edgar Award, Pulitzer Prize, Mann Booker Prize, RITA Award (romance) , Bram Stoker Award (horror), Fiction American Library Association Notable Books, Pen Faulkner Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and a few others.

I placed a small order of fiction books to fill in gaps for books which we missed ordering for popular authors as well. A short list of thirty seven books.

I am going to another meeting for Earth Day this afternoon in the mayors office. We have a few things ready. There is a small display put together for books on Earth Day. The local high school special education department is doing a display with us on alternative energy, we plan on doing a cleanup day for around the library and a planting for the side of the library.

I am about half way through reading The Everything Managing People Book by Gary McClain, Ph.D. and Deborah S. Romaine. This is a very plain written, easy to understand book. There are no citations of major companies, just examples of every day things which may happen in day to day management of a company. This book does not promise to turn you into a gung ho super manager.

I watched a little bit of Slam Nation The Sport of Spoken Word filmed by Paul Devlin. This is a documentary about the poets in a national poetry slam in the United States. I rather liked it because it interviewed Bob Holman who is a major figure in contemporary performance poetry and Marc Smith from Chicago who created the concept of the poetry slam. There were some very interesting things that I learned. A lot of performance poetry is about how you use your lips and face to create stage presence and sound for an audience. Taylor Mali in the film was really excellent at doing this. Another poet who I really enjoyed was Saul Williams who is also an actor. He tells you that stage presence is really important in performing.

This is a fairly sexually charged film with some strong language. Both Beau Sia, an asian poet and Jessica Care More, an African American poet express a lot of sexually charged themes in their poems. Beau Sia also showed the pictures he likes to draw which are quite good. Jessica Care Moore won 5 Apollo Amateur Nights with her poetry. The movie so far is very interesting to watch. It is not what I expected. The group poetry pieces that are shown are very different.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time (Paperback)

Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time (Paperback)by Brian Tracy (Author)

The video of this book very much reflects the feeling of reading this book. The book is compilation of 21 self help techniques to improve your productivity in your career. These techniques seem to be drawn from a variety of different sources.

The key thought in the book, "Eating the Frog" is about ending procrastination and figuring out what are the most important things to do in your job to be productive. Face the most important thing you have to do in the morning and start working on it. This book is not just about working yourself to death. It is about figuring out what to delegate, what to stop doing, and how to make your tasks more manageable by breaking them down into manageable pieces.

The ideas seemed to me to have a lot of common sense. Get enough sleep, eat right, exercise, don't let technology take over your life, write your goals down and then start working on them immediately.

I thought the book seemed a bit busy at times, work constantly and never stop. This is my main contention with the book. Sometimes, it seems to forget the mental process of preparing for things and jump right in.

At the same time, the book helped me a bit on focusing on some of my career goals better. One of the exercises was to write down ten of your most important goals. I now have some idea of how I might better delegate some tasks and identify what the most important things I should be doing are. It also reminded me to clear my desk and focus on one thing at a time.

This is one of the better motivational books that I have read. It is a good book to read if you are having problems with procrastination or prioritizing what you need to do.

Daily Thoughts 3/26/2009

Soviet propaganda poster by Elizaveta Kruglikova advocating female literacy. The top section reads: "Woman! Learn to read and write!" The bottom (meant to be said by the daughter): "Oh, mommy! If you were literate, you could help me!" c1923

Daily Thoughts 3/26/2009


This story brings out a central problem with books. When I buy a hardcover book, I can give the physical object to whoever I want to give it to. With ebooks, I am the only one who is supposed to be able to use it. There are supposed to be no used ebooks. Digital Rights Management limits use of books. It should also limit price of the material. This is a major reason I prefere hardcopy books because I can use them over and over.

Although this article does not say it, many bestselling books are readily available as pirated copies on bittorrent. This is a wonderful article by Paulo Coelho, a brazilian author who collected all the books he wrote that were pirated and put them on a single site to promote his writing. http://torrentfreak.com/alchemist-author-pirates-own-books-080124/ This is a very clear example of how giving away the free copy online drives the sales of the hardcopy in print.

Today, I am thinking about another new librarian who came in to shadow me at the reference desk. I have two shadows now. It is an unusual feeling. Most people only have one. I think I may have to work on my people, delegating, and planning skills. It is a learning experience.

I also took a walk up the hill to my local library. I looked around for a bit and picked up a book, The Everything Managing People Book by Gary McClain, Ph.D. and Deborah S. Romaine. This is a series title much like the Complete Idiots series, the For Dummies series, or the Missing Manual series. The place was very busy. They had a petition at the checkout desk to support your local library and keep our funding. I signed it. I also looked at a few books for a meeting ordering adult fiction for the collection tomorrow.

Today is the day I do my taxes. I think I have everything I need. I will be taking them to the same person I take them to every year. I hope I get some money back this year.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Daily Thoughts 3/25/2009

Camille Monet at Work, Claude Monet, 1875

Daily Thoughts 3/25/2009

I started reading Eat That Frog. It is already turning out to be a fantastic book. It is a distillation of many key points on how to not procrastinate, prioritize and get things done quickly. I think it may be the best book I have ever read on this subject. I put the book down during the day, misplacing it.

I also had a very interesting conversation about the Iphone with a patron at the library. He has had an Iphone for quite a bit. He tells me that the main advantage to having an Iphone is that there are so many applications that people can have on it. I told him about the free Stanza ebook reader and he downloaded it. He also took a look at the mobile reader platform for Google Books which was also interesting. I am still trying to convince myself to buy an Iphone. It is disruptive technology. At least I keep telling myself that.

When I got home, I thought about it for a while and realized that the book was available online through http://www.safaribooksonline.com/Corporate/Index/ . They have a free trial for 10 books for 10 days. So, right now, I am trying out the Safari Ebook library. The first book I am reading is Eat That Frog. It is an online subscription service to technical books.

I am also working on putting together a display for Earth Day which is on April 22, 2009. I will include some books on the environment, alternative energy, gardening, and recycling. I think it will be a first step in setting up things for the city.

On Friday, I will be working on ordering new fiction. I am going to try and fill in the gaps on buying books by the most popular authors by circulation. I am going to look at the last four years for each author and whether or not we have the books.

Tomorrow is tax day which is a challenge. I think I have all my paperwork ready.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Daily Thoughts 3/24/2009

Leo Tolstoi on a Soviet stamp from 1978.

Daily Thoughts 3/24/2009

Today has been another quiet day to take care of the small details around the building. File some law looseleafs, check the shelves for out of order books, order some law books on tenants rights, put the current events display in order, discard a few old desktop publishing manuals and other miscellaneous tasks. Sometimes, the small things have big results. I asked to have the printer setup changed for the law computer and have training software put in place for microsoft office on two of the computers in the technical service area.

I finished reading The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey. The book was extremely idealistic to the point of being fantastic. The numbers which were given did not seem real. The goals seemed to be made up to appeal to peoples wish fulfillment. It was an enjoyable fantasy for business men and women. The kind of thing that is perfect for perking up and motivating your salesforce. You would give this to the same person who loved Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman in the World. Not my kind of book, but perfect for those who need motivation to sell or manage in the competitive world of business. It is not something which I will review in full.

I am going to start reading Eat That Frog tomorrow.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Daily Thoughts 3/23/2009

Heyman Dullaert. A trompe l'oeil with plumes in an ink bottle, a letter, a seal stamp, a delft pot and a bottle, arranged upon a wooden shelf. Oil on Panel

Daily Thoughts 3/23/2009

Today was a day for two major projects. The first was picking out the shelving for our slat walls. We are getting a mix of clear acrylic displays and wire mesh displays. I was being very conservative in the amount of display shelving we are going to get initially. We have a little more than 250 books which we have to display now. I am guessing this will increase to 300 books to display fairly soon. I spent time looking through the Demco and Gaylord catalog for furniture.

I also talked about my time on last weeks meeting for Earth Day, April 22, 2009 at City Hall. We were thinking of things which we could do with the cities request. There is the local neighborhood association, the Friends of the the Library, and the Library Foundation which might be able to help a little bit.

Two books came in for me to read today Eat That Frog, 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done In Less Time by Brian Tracy and The Innovators Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen. I also placed another item on hold, Putting service into library staff training : a patron-centered guide by Bessler, Joanne M. I have never really understood the real meaning of the words "patron centerd library," it seems to be a nebulous buzzword like "core collection" or "lean manufacturing" which can mean a lot of different things to different people.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Daily Thoughts 3/22/2009

Charles Dickens in 1868. From The Leisure Hour 1904.

Daily Thoughts 3/22/2009

I am looking at the 52 books, 52 weeks program where you give people book logs at the beginning of the year and they write down what they read each week. The goal is to get people to read 52 books in 52 weeks. It is a circulation booster and a challenge for people. This is a website with an example for a library with book reviews. Ideallly this starts at the beginning of the year. http://52books.wordpress.com/

I put two books on hold, The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen and Up The Organization by Robert Townsend. Up The Organization is considered a classic in business writing. It has been in print for over thirty years. Right now, I am reading The Speed of Trust The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey with Rebecca R. Merrill. I was looking Joe Wikert's Publishing 2020 blog and there was a book recommendation, Eat that frog! : 21 great ways to stop procrastinating and get more done in less time / by Brian Tracy. We have two copies at our library; I think it will be something I will add to my reading pile.

I took some time to add https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/dashboard the Google Webmasters Tool to my blog. This allowed me to look at thousands of inbound and outbound links. Great Books Audio has been sending me a lot of people. http://www.greatbooksaudio.com . Even though I have stopped subscribing to Technorati, I am still getting a lot of traffic from that site. Blogcatalog is giving me lots of traffic as well.

Sometimes when you are looking through long lists of links, you find unusual things. Yahoo has a new search service called http://glue.yahoo.com It looks a combination of a clustering search engine and a topical page. I find this kind of interesting. Apparently, my blog is appearing in their beta product repeatedly.

I am also adding Tobias Buckell to my writers section because I have appeared several times in his page as well as Biblios Book Reviews for blogs that I read.

Words In Your Face A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz

Words In Your Face A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz

This book chronicles the history of a literary movement and performance scene. Slamming started in Chicago, Illinois and then spread all over the country. One of the most prominent scenes is in Manhttan, New York. There is not a whole lot of poetry in this book. There are a few poems from immediately after the 9/11 World Trade Center terror attack. This book focuses on the people, performance spaces, politics, and competition around slams.

Most chapters in this book have in depth interviews. These are complex, informal, and take quite a bit of time to read and think about. Paul Beatty, Beau Sia, Maggie Estep, Stacyanne Chin, Felice Bell, and many other prominent poets are interviewed. In addition, the interviews illustrate the connection between rap and hip hop and poetry slams. Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz interviews Bill Adler a journalist and prominent producer of hip hop records.

Words In Your Face is divided into four sections, the pre-wave, the first wave (1990-1996), the second wave (1996-2001), and the third wave (2001-2007). It also occurs in three primary settings, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, NYC-Urbana, and the Bowery Poetry Club all in Manhattan, New York. I have not been to any of these spaces. I might go some time. All of the spaces are quite famous; the most famous being the Nuyorican Poets Cafe which has become a major tourist destination.

Slam poetry is performance poetry read and judged in front of a live audience. Cristina Aptowicz brings out the performance aspect of the poetry. Many of the black and white photographs throughout the book are of poets performing or of announcements of poetry events. She also mentions television shows like Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam and United States of Poetry. There are films listed as well; Slam, Slam Nation, and Poetry In Motion. I enjoyed watching Poetry In Motion.

In the back of the book, there is a year by year list of New York City Poetry Slam Teams from 1990-2007 which were sent to compete at the National Poetry Slam. This book is poetry as a competitive art. There is quite a bit about politics in the scene. The most famous rivalry between Bob Holman and Miguel Pinero is talked about extensively.

This book took me a couple of weeks to read because of the density of the writing. It has a very informal, conversational tone. Every page is packed with information or personal statements by poets. The people in the book are a very diverse multicultural crowd.

This book would have been better if it had an index. There are a lot of different people mentioned and it is often hard to find the specific mentions without an index. I hope there is one put in for the next printing. I found the book to be unique and not at all like most books written about poetry. It is published in 2008 by Soft Skull Press. Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz is the founder of NYC-Urbana and was on the 2001 NYC-Urbana National Poetry slam team. Her website is http://www.aptowicz.com

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Social Software In Libraries Building Collaboration, Communication, and Community Online by Meredith G. Farkas

Social Software In Libraries Building Collaboration, Communication, and Community Online by Meredith G. Farkas

This book is on using social software in libraries. It covers all the major different types of software; blogs, RSS, Wikis, online communities, social networking, social bookmarking, synchronious online referece (instant messaging and VOIP -- voice over internet protocol), mobile technology, podcasting, screencasting and vodcasting, and gaming.

Every chapter contains numerous examples of how these technologies are used in libraries. At the end of the book, there is a list of all the websites listed in the book organized by chapter. There are many of them and all of them seem to have been thoroughly vetted.

The language in this book is easily understandable and the majority of the tools being described are free or very low cost. Some of them inlude; blogspot, wordpress, meebo, flickr, facebook, and Second Life. There are many computer screen captures printed throughout the text. These usually display a specific website. I found this to be visually satisfying. In addition, there are single page librarian guest spots describing how they use a specific piece of technology in their library.

The most useful website which I found in the book was http://www.librarysuccess.org a best practices wiki. I really had not looked at many wikis before this. I intend to read through it thoroughly.

The book covers most of the basic technologies. Some of the technology seems to be a little advanced for me. I am not sure that we are ready to set up a full scale online community for our library, create a wiki, or do extensive screencasting yet.

The book was written in 2007 so it seems to be fairly up to date. It did not include Twitter in the social networking tools, and did not include music games like Guitar Hero in the gaming section.

At the back of the book, there is an extensive bibliography and index. The last chapters are on choosing the right social software for your library and keeping up with the changing world of social software. The author, Meredith G. Farkas has a companion website, http://sociallibraries.com for the book.

Daily Thoughts 3/21/2009 , Changes in Libraries, Web Bits

G K Chesterton

Daily Thoughts 3/21/2009

ACRL 2009 Strategic Thinking Guide For Academic Librarians In The New Economy


ACRL says we have a choice of "reinvention or extinction." I think this is fundamentally correct. With limited resources libraries will have to modernize and introduce new technology in their working environment. Because of costs, this technology will most likely be open access technology where the cost of the computer programs are free. This is the most economical technology.

Things like blogs and instant messaging reference will become much more prevalent in libraries. There is little cost to create these things except for staff training. Libraries will be forced to cooperate with other agencies to create programs and services that cost little money.

A refocus on the original mission on the library as a center of self-education will become much more likely. The original Carnegie libraries were created for the purpose of building an educated workforce. Once again, there will be a shift to libraries focusing on job books, educational books, financial management, and self improvement. This will become even more prevalent with rising unemployment.

As more technology is introduced there will be a shift from answering peoples questions in reference to explaining to people how to use the different formats of material and general media literacy. This will include teaching a person how to select quality information and make sense of different devices. Books, computers, ereaders, and other things are all devices. The content will always be what is most important.

The library will cease being solely focused on books. Formats have already proliferated into books, periodicals, playaway audiobooks, dvds, scores, internet access, wireless internet access, databases, ebooks, music cds, large print books, and other formats. This is only going to get more complex with the advent of mobile devices like the Iphone, Kindle, and Sony Reader. The library will be one of the few places where all these devices are available in a single place.

Web Bits

http://www.thetechstatic.com/ (library computer book reviews)

http://www.librarygrants.blogspot.com/ library grants blog

Friday, March 20, 2009

Daily Thoughts 3/20/2009

Evert A. Duyckinick, Portrait Gallery of Eminent Men and Women in Europe and America. New York: Johnson, Wilson & Company, 1873.

Daily Thoughts 3/20/2009

This is a nice little article on the first color ebook reader. http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2009/03/worlds-first-co.html

Today had a few unexpected things. I went over shelving with the library aides and the person managing shelving. I reminded them that all the books should be edged; one half inch from edge of the bookshelves and even. There should be no books lying on top of the other books. At the end of each shelf there should be a hands breadth; four to six inches of empty space left at the end of each shelf. When the books are not edged, it is often hard to see the spine labels. When the books are too tightly packed together, it breaks the spine of the book and causes books to split in half.

I also walked around and looked at the shelving to check for repairs and sections of books that were out of order. This is called "walking the shelves". It looks like I am walking back and forth systematically between the aisles and looking over the bookshelves from top to bottom. It is more than doing individual shelf reading where you check to see if individual books are out of order.

I am going to be selecting extra pieces with a colleague for the slat wall displays that are going up for new books. This should be interesting. We also got new book detection systems for the library.

I went to a meeting at city hall for Earth Day which is April 22, 2009. The main focus of the discussion seemed to be neighborhood cleanup and recycling. They wanted civic organizations to adopt blocks for neighborhood cleanup. The largest church had agreed to do some pickup of trash and light painting around our neighborhood. We do need it. They are also asking us to do something for Arbor Day. I am planning a display of environmental books for Earth Day. Also, it is about the time for planting flowers.

I read some more of Social Software In Libraries. The author was going into areas which we have not done yet, PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants), VOIP (Internet Telephony), screen capture software, instant messaging reference, vodcasting, podcasting, and a wide assortment of technology. There is a tremendous amount to think about in this book.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Daily Thoughts 3/19/2009

Mary Wollstonecraft Tate author of The Vindication of the Rights of Women

Daily Thoughts 3/19/2009

This morning, I read some more of Social Software In Libraries. It was kind of interesting. They had a link to http://www.librarysuccess.org/ a best practices wiki for libraries. While I was glancing through it, I noticed that they had something called an unconference. I am not quite sure what this is yet. Apparently, Brooklyn College and the Metro New York Library is doing an unconference on June 3, 2009. I am going to see if I can go. http://libcampnyc.pbwiki.com/

I also read a bit more coming home. The book focused on sites like Facebook and Myspace for libraries. In my experience most librarians who use Myspace in a library setting are young adult librarians. I am not that fond of Facebook, but I have seen a number of libraries on Facebook. Linked In was another social network that was mentioned. Linked In is very much a professional network, more than Facebook. I don't use Linked In here because it really does seem to require an open identity to work properly.

Google just made 500,000 of its books that were on its server that were in the public domain available to Sony Ereaders. In a way, this does not surprise. Amazon has scanned 1 1/2 million pieces of books for look inside the book. This makes Amazon a direct competitor with Google in scanning books. It is a move designed to make the Sony Ereader more competitive with the Kindle 2. I find the idea very interesting. http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20090319/ap_on_hi_te/tec_google_sony_reader

Today, I spent quite a bit of time on the reference desk. I also made a rough draft of a user survey. I am hoping that it is something worthwhile.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Daily Thoughts 3/18/2009

Adelaide Hanscom and Blanche Cumming Earth Could Not Answer Omar Khayyam, tr. Edward Fitzgerald: “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam” (1905, 1912)

Earth could not answer; nor the Seas that mourn
In flowing Purple, of their Lord forlorn;
Nor rolling Heaven, with all his Signs reveal’d
And hidden by the sleeve of Night and Morn

Daily Thoughts 3/18/2009

Today started out well, I have been transferred from reference to collection development. This is a nice first step towards my goals. This means, I will be doing more ordering and working more closely with the material in the collection. It also moves me closer to the publishing side of librarianship. This puts me in a really good mood.

I read some magazines this morning. I found a very nice title in Publishers Weekly, March 9, 2009 issue. Sometimes, you notice that people write titles that grab your attention immediately. There is a magic in having the right title to a book. In The Land of Invented Language: Esperanto Rockstars, Klingon Poets, Logian Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build a Perfect Language by Arika Okrent. Notice how land and language match nicely. Also, the use of two word descriptors is evocative. We are ordering the book.

This afternoon I spent some time putting paper slips with descriptions for books for a cataloger who is supposed to visit on Friday. We have a decent amount of uncataloged books in our processing area. On Monday, a representative from Baker and Taylor is visiting with us to discuss our back orders.

I spent some time looking up pdfs of library surveys on google. I am looking at possibly creating a short, simple user survey of two to three pages for ourlibrary. Something with checkboxes that is easy to fill in. I used the search string: "public library" AND "user survey" OR "community survey "AND filetype:pdf in google to pull out examples of surveys. Then I eliminated a few of them. I am looking at five of them right now.

On the way home, I read some of Social Software in Libraries. I rather liked the site http://www.libworm.com which is a rss search engine for library blogs.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Open Access and Libraries Columbia University March 17, 2009

Open Access and Libraries Columbia University March 17, 2009

This morning I took the train out to Columbia University to hear a one day conference. It was a rather pleasant ride. I walked by the big stone edifices that are Columbia's buildings. Everything seems larger than life when you are walking past the buildings. I got there at around 9:00 a.m. and picked up my badge and sat down.

The crowd was very mixed. It was an ILIAC conference. About a third of the audience was from other countries than the United States. Quite a bit of the audience was Russian.

There are a number of reasons why I am not going to give everything word for word in this short report. Columbia University is known for its law school which focuses on copyright. Plus, Mitch Friedman who ran the conference asked to have the exact transcripts of what was said put up on his website for people to peruse. http://www.unabashedlibrarian.com/open-access-2009

In other words, I am going to write what I thought I heard in an interpretative manner. Everyone has different experiences and hears things differently, so what I think I heard may not be what other people experience.

The host and introducer of the conference was James G. Neal, Vice President of Information Services and University Librarian at Columbia University. He made some statements about how we had to have better organization of information repositories. The cost of periodicals has skyrocketed to the point where it is no longer just a library issue, but a general academic issue. There is a question of how to make information more usable and affordable in academic settings.

This reflects in just about every library. We have had to reduce the amount of periodicals which we are purchasing as well. Library cuts are coming very soon in budgets in New York libraries. We can expect up to a 20% reduction in state funding.

The organizer, Mitch Freedman, past president of the American Library Association, introduced each of the speakers in turn. The first speaker was Yakov Shrayberg, Director General of the Russian National Public Library of Science and Technology and president of president of http://www.iliac.org/

Mr. Shrayberg spoke about open access in Russian libraries. Most of the libraries he talked about were scientific and technical libraries. He hoped the conference would bring more open access into Russian libraries. Right now, it is "Scientists supporting other scientists."

He gave a number of sites in Russina with open access. A few of them are: http://socionet.ru/ (social science), http://www.usu.ru/ Urals State University, and The Archive of the Russian State Federation. This contains the history of Russia. http://www.rgantd.ru/ . One site which I found rather interesting was news on Iran in Russian, http://news.iran.ru/

There was clearly a russian delegation at the conference. He invited all of the attendees to a conference in the Crimea. http://www.iliac.org/crimea2009/

We took a short break and had coffee. I ended up drinking two cups of coffee during the conference.

Dan Clancy talked about the Google Book Settlement and Google Book Search Technology. He stated that Google wanted to make books as easy to find as web pages; as well as improve users ability to discover and access books. This is a link to the agreement: http://books.google.com/googlebooks/agreement/

Google divides its Google books into three sections; its partner program, Google Book Search, and its library project which works with 28 libraries and has scanned 30 million books. Books are further divided into three areas; public domain (books before 1923) 15% -20% of its scans, out of print and orphan books 75% of its scans, and new books which account for 5% or less of books in print. It also displays its books in three ways, full display for public domain, limited preview for its partners, and snippets for copyrighted material.

I found it interesting that the majority of books are not in print according to google. This is questionable to me with the availability of print on demand, Lightning Source and other companies which can print up a book very quickly. A book kiosk can turn out a new book in four minutes. How do you define something as being in print?

The search engine itself uses topicalization which means it breaks down searches by topics not clustering which most average users find confusing. Page rank accounts for a very small portion of google book search, maybe 5%. This is because books when they searched for by content are often very similar and it is often hard to put a single book at the absolute top of a listing which a person is looking for.

There are three API's for Google Book Search (read widget) available here for Google. http://code.google.com/apis/books/

Google uses more than one strategy to scan in books. Sometimes they scan in books more than once. They also use a progressively improvable jpeg image. This means they are constantly creating new algorithms to make the image easier to view.

I found it interesting that Dan Clancy said that if a book is in a library it is worth it for Google to scan it. This is a really interesting idea. He also said that people should get rid of duplicates but should try and keep the original books, "A book is a cultural object."

This reminds me of the idea of a book as a device. If a book is a device, then you can say that there are higher and lower quality devices or ways to read things. The higher quality devices should be preserved if you view the experience of reading as more than the physical words on the page. In a similar manner, a computer is also a device, and an outmoded computer should be discarded.

In the agreement, 67% of money earned would go to the rights holder of a copyrighted book; 33% would go to Google. He further described how Google planned to sell the rights to its database as a terminal without remote access. It will also not be downloadable because of problems with DRM (digitial rights management). Public and academic libraries would be entitled to having one free terminal. This is an interesting idea, maybe we could get a free terminal for our library when more details are hammered out.

This portion of the presentation was very interesting. I am really not quite sure what to think about it in some ways. It reminds me of the idea of a "rights economy", or an economy based on contracts of use over ownership.

I went out and had some chicken with rice and a water. It was a very nice day outside.

The next speaker was Heather Joseph Executive Director of SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources) http://www.arl.org/sparc She started with an introduction of what they did and the number of members. She was clearly evangelizing the notion of open access of information for libraries.

A large portion of her talk was that journal articles have been going up in price at an astronomical rate. In ten years most journals have gone up 100% or more in price in Academia. This is unmaintainable. Even Harvard and MIT which have lots of money cannot afford this.

SPARC was founded to expand scholarship, utilize new network technology, and reduce costs using open access. There are four current goals according to her, publish more open access journals, create repositoris of open access material, increase awareness of author rights, and create open access policies for campuses.

She mentioned a number of different resources for open acccess, http://www.doaj.org/ which has over 3000 open access journals, http://maps.repository66.org/ a list of 1300 repositories for open access material, and the PLOS (public library of science) http://www.plos.org/ .

The last speaker was Maura Marx who works for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Universal Access to Knowledge Group. The goal is to provide access to knowledge for the greatest common good. She spent quite a bit of time going over the recent Google Books settlement.

The main point was that the old copyright protections are no longer working in the properly in the digital environment. Libraries worked in a printed environment. Google Books might create a virtual monopoly on older books. Google is the company which has digitized the most books. Under the recently settled google books agreement it seems like a privately legislated solution for one company without public input.

I personally don't think this will happen. If you look at Stanza the reader for Iphones, 99% of the downloads for books are for public domain material, there are currently over a million downloads for the Stanza reader software.

A central idea now is that free ebooks drive the market for new ebooks. This was a mantra at the O'Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference I went to in February. This is what I see publishers doing now. The idea of having free libraries like the Baen free library is catching in the publishing world like a fire http://www.baen.com/library/ . People are often not paying for ebooks. There is a tremendous amount of material which is being made free in the ebook format.

The cost is minimal for an author to convert a document to a PDF and sell it on a website is less than a $100. This will happen more and more often. Ebooks are going to get much cheaper.

I think increasingly the backlist of older books will given away as incentives to sell newer books. Google may end up with a database that the publishers slowly turn into a giant public domain database by releasing the copyrights. Part of the reason I think this is because of the experience which Cory Doctorow has had with ebooks. This article by him is well worth reading.

Another subject which she touched on was the First Sale doctrine, (pay once) then lend out to as many people as possible with physical books. This would not apply in a subscription model where you would pay continuously for a database.

I find Project Gutenberg http://www.gutenberg.org/ or the Internet Archive http://www.archive.org/ to be adequate for what I need. I think that it will be a very hard sell for Google to sell their database to people for a fee. Maura Marx mentioned these two sites as well as the Million Book Project http://www.ulib.org/ The Boston Library Consortium has also digitized 500,000 books.

There were other issues which she brought up as well; libraries are free for all, we scrub our data to insure privacy, and copyright is physical. There is still no law that makes it easy to download, share, and annotate books. Books have not become "digital wine." The concept of "digital wine" is a new idea to add to my repertoire like "the book as device."

The conference was very enjoyable to go to. It made me think. I am very glad that I went.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Daily Thoughts 3/16/2009

English: The National Diet Library that exists in the present-day State Guest-House (former Akasaka Detached Palace) Occupied Japan (post World War II). United States government picture (public domain).

Daily Thoughts 3/16/2009

Today we have a collection development meeting in the afternoon to discuss various issues with ordering and assignments for people ordering books. It should be very interesting. This month I ordered computer books and law books. I focused mainly on the Nutshell series from Westlaw which is popular with lawyers and lay people as well.

I am going to the Open Access and Libraries Conference Tomorrow at Columbia University.http://unabashedlibrarian.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=47&Itemid=69 . The information on electronic books looks very interesting. It is the second year that the conference has been held. The first year was enjoyable.

I was at the collection development meeting this afternoon. Mostly it was going over policies and ideas about how the book ordering is being managed. The meeting focused on nonfiction books. I am doing an order of law books and an order of Job Information Center books this month. We are going to do a fiction order later this month.

I finished reading Words In Your Face A Guided Tour of Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam By Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz. Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz has participated in numerous poetry slams. She has a website at http://www.aptowicz.com This was a long hard read. Every chapter had interviews in it. It was reading lots of complex dialogue followed by commentary on the dialogue. Mixed in with the dialogue were brief historical statements about the poetry slam. This was a surprisingly intellectual and deeply thoughtful book.

I learned quite a bit about poetry, not because there was a lot of poetry in this book. There was very little poetry in this book. There was a lot of terminology and a lot of talk about the backgrounds of the slam poets. Many had theatrical backgrounds in addition to being poets. I learned two things at the end of the book, Spoken Word is a commercial term for any recording that has to do with voice, poetry, readings, and interviews.

The other term which caught my eyes when reading was the term beatboxing or making percussive sounds and musical instrument sounds to rhythm with your voice. The other idea is poetry boxing where two poets face off against each other to see who can get audience favor. Somehow, I find it interesting that there is a strong competitive element to some types of poetry, kind of like a sport of words.

Because the book had so much depth, it might take me a little bit of time to write a proper review of the book.

I started reading more Social Software In Libraries Building Collaboration, Communication, and Community Online by Meredith G. Farkas.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Daily Thoughts 3/15/2009

Lawrence Alma Tedema Favorite Poet 1888

Daily Thoughts 3/15/2009

I posted a request on Twitter to find out about where people liked to read book reviews.

CarinBerger on Twitter Suggested:School Library Journal

leoraw suggested
http://www.jewwishes.com/ -- Jewish Books

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Daily Thoughts 3/14/2009

Sir Roger Newdigate in the Library at Arbury Arthur Devis (1712-1787) Oil on canvas.

Daily Thoughts

Today is a quiet day. I filed some law looseleafs and updates for the law collection. I also switched out a few reference books. I updated the current events display a bit as well. The new carpet is down right now. It makes the flooring look much nicer in the reference room.

I am working on a list of websites for collection development; places to find good reviews of books. If you can think of any with lots of depth please let me know. I also updated Some Excellent Places for Book Reviews And Reading in my sidebar with a few more links today.

Right now, there is a copy of Social Software In Libraries, Building Collaboration, Communication and Community Online by Meredith G. Farkas on my desk. It is something that I have wanted to read for a while. I hope that it offers me some more insight into social media for libraries.

I am also looking at reading The Speed of Trust The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey with Rebecca R. Merrill.

I finished watching Poetry In Motion, a Ron Mann film. It was a series of performances by poets. These were not staid performances. John Giorno was frenetic drunk and intense reading his poetry in front of his audience. Allen Ginsberg read his poetry in accompaniment to electric guitars. One of Allen Ginsberg's poems was a political poem, another was an ode to meditation.

Amiri Baraka read his poetry to Jazz accompaniment. Diane Di Prima had a real presence reading her poetry. My favorite poet was Helen Adam, she had spunk, bite, and character. This is a film well worth watching. Allen Ginsberg reminds us that the poet can tell the truth.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Daily Thoughts 3/13/2009

John White Alexander: The Printing Press [showing Johannes Gutenberg] (from the cycle "The Evolution of the Book")Library of Congress (Jefferson Building), Washington, D.C.

Daily Thoughts 3/13/2009

This morning I read some more of Words In Your Face. This is taking a very long time to read. Also, in poetry mode, I watched a bit of Poetry In Motion. I really enjoyed seeing Charles Bukowski telling us that poetry needs more moxie. Also, hearing Amiri Baraka recite a poem to jazz music was quite entertaining. So far, this is a really good art film worth watching.

I am trying to arrange for the Sunday Matinee films committee to pick out films for May and June. Also, I have been trying to make sure all the flyers are ready for upcoming programs. Things have been extremely busy.

This afternoon, the new librarian shadowed me doing reference. They are putting in new carpeting in the reference room, so I spent most of the afternoon at the circulation desk. I also gave a brief tour of our storage area and showed her some of our rare books, government documents collection, fiction storage and nonfiction storage. We are a repository for the last copies in our county, so we have a lot of unique old books.

Web Bits

While reading through Library Journal, I noticed that there were four librarians listed as top twitterers, Jessamyn West, David Lee King, Michael Stephens, Karen Schneider, and Stephen Abraham. I also found out that the Ann Arbor District Library in Michigan has an Iphone interface for their library catalog.

Harlequin Romance books is giving away a set of 16 free ebooks on http://www.harlequincelebrates.com It is an interesting sign. I have been seeing a lot of publishers giving away free ebooks lately.

I registered on RedRoom which is supposed to be a site for authors. It is billed as Facebook for authors. I sincerely hope that it is not Facebook. I first heard about this group during the O'Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing conference. http://www.redroom.com

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Daily Thoughts 3/12/2009

Pablo Neruda reading at the Library of Congress, United States, June 20, 1966, government photograph, public domain.

Daily Thoughts 3/12/2009

I am off today. I walked around the neighborhood and walked up to my local library. All of the computers were full with people. The building was full as well. I did not pick up anything to read today at the library.

I am still listening to the cd that came with the book, I Can Make You Thin, and doing the exercises from Yoga RX. I have lost a pant size and have had to rummage through my closet to get my old clothes that did not fit before. I am going to have to have my pants taken in. My doctor asked me to do aerobic exercise every day to increase my heart rate. I am trying to compromise on this by doing lots of walking. I don't particularly like to move quickly.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Sword, The Ring, and The Chalice by Deborah Chester

The Sword, The Ring, and The Chalice by Deborah Chester

This is a three book high fantasy series. High fantasy concerns kings and nobles in a fantasy setting. The book is in the older tradition of writing. There are no gaming references in the book and the author tries to use older names for different groups like elddin for elves. The book has a classic formula which has been used many different times.

The rightful king is driven from his realm by his usurping brother. He must hide the three keys to the kingdom, the sword, the ring, and the chalice so that they later can be reclaimed. He also hides his son, Dain from prying eyes.

Dain does not know who he is and must through various trials reclaim his birthright and his kingdom. This is the story of how he becomes a squire, then a baron, then reclaims his kingdom. There are all the elements of a good fantasy series, poison, intrigue, kidnapping, swordplay, court politics, evil magic, and a reformed church that no longer follows the old ways. On the good side there are the humans, eld, and dwarves, on the bad side, there are the bad humans, nonkind and soul eaters, and evil sorcery.

Each book is about the process of reacquiring the three keys to the kingdom. First Faldain must become knighted and have a sword, then he must become royalty and have a ring, and then he must seek out the chalice and get a kingdom. Each book is a self contained quest.

The writing is solid, predictable, and enjoyable. There is very little that is new. It is a nice escape to read these books. They have a nice mix of heady battles and courtly intrigue and romance. The reading is light and quick. The kind of book where you can read it on the train without missing anything. I could only find images for The Sword and The Ring on Amazon, but not the chalice.

Daily Thoughts 3/11/2009

Ambrose Bierce (Painting)

Daily Thoughts 3/11/2009

My review of The Caryatids by Bruce Sterling is up on Biblios Book Review.

This is a direct link to the review:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Daily Thoughts 3/10/2009

Colored engraving created in about the 19th century. Artist unknown.

Daily Thoughts 3/10/2009

I have my poetry program today. I have been working on making sure everything works for the program. I made sure the room was setup, the snacks were bought, asked about the microphone, and got some poetry books to bring in to show. I have the poetry I am going to read ready. Already, one person has shown up to read. I will make the announcement soon.

I feel a tiny bit embarrassed. One person showed up to the poetry open microphone initially. Then there were nine people at the end. I was hoping for more people. We have a new assistant director. She came and listened to a few poems. I have to work on getting more people. She is looking at ways to increase our attendance.

Sometimes I think I am writing anti-poetry, or poetry that defies normal conventions but still has forms, but not the forms that match with tradition. This is a link to a short essay on anti-poetry. http://www.nicanorparra.uchile.cl/english/technique.html Some people might call it non-poetry.

This morning, I read another of Deborah Chester's books, The Ring, on the train to work. This is the second book in the series. I am enjoying it very much.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Daily Thoughts 3/9/2009

Dante by Ilya Repin

Daily Thoughts 3/9/2009

I spent some time this morning finishing up our fiction statistics for circulation. James Patterson is the most popular author in our fiction collection followed by Eric Jerome Dickey. The two most popular categories which people read are African American authors and suspense books. In suspense, court room dramas are the most popular. People read a little bit of romance, chick lit, and horror as well. Science fiction and fantasy are not that popular. In mystery, Harlan Coben, Walter Mosley, and Ruth Rendell are very popular.

I also spent a bit of time weeding the reference books in the mezzanine. I focused mainly on the 100, 200, and 300 dewey categories.

I presented the pattern which I use for programming; a poetry/spoken word program and a Sunday film every month. This does not cost any money for us except for the movie license and the snacks. I also seek out one general program that is offered for free. This month it is a program by a lawyer on living wills. If someone offers to do a program for free, I also accept that. There is a person who offered to do a program on teaching poetry in April. This way, I can generate three to four programs a month most of the time. Other people do programs as well. I am thinking of doing a Reading Challenge in the library and a "senior film" series in the fall.

The last two books of the three part series, The Blade, The Ring, and The Chalice by Deborah Chester have come in, The Ring and The Chalice. The movie, Poetry In Motion, has also come in.

I am trying to convince people to come for my poetry/ spoken word open microphone tomorrow. I have four people coming so far.

I read some more of Words In Your Face. They tell us that there are three spaces for slam that stand out, The Nuyorican, louderArts, and NYC-Urbana. I have been to none of these spaces. I am not sure when I might get a chance to look at them. Maybe, someday, I might take a look. I finished reading Big Bank Take Littlle Bank Poetry by Paul Beatty. The book was published as the prize for winning the first National Poetry Slam. I enjoyed reading it, but reviewing poetry is another story...

How Do You Review Poetry?

Is it spoken word or poetry?

I cannot tell the difference.

Are you grammatically correct?

If so, do you break rules?

Do you know what rhythm is?

My rhythm is different than yours.

Do you rhyme all the time?

I dont find this so sublime.

Are your words very colorful?

Red, yellow, black, brown, white.

Do you keep a smooth tone?

Are you an angry poetic poetic?

Can you count the word stresses?

I count differently than you.

Are you a master of syllabification?

My word breaks do not match

Are you an academic intellectual?

Do your words scream the street?

What is poetry, What is poetry?

Define it for me right now.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Daily Thoughst 3/8/2009

Engraving of a Reader Source Octave Uzanne, Le Livre, Paris, A. Quantin, 1880.
Date 18th Century

Daily Thoughts 3/8/2009

Today was a bit frightening. There is so much political theater on the television going on. All of the pundits are spouting fear. I was at the deli and get a chance to watch Ann Coulter spout her brand of fear. Then later at night, while I was at the laundromat, I was watching 60 Minutes and they were putting out their own special brand of fear, how banks are shut down when they fail by FDIC. It was informative and very scary.

We are in for some very interesting times. Governor Paterson in New York is cutting library budgets. More people are coming in. Things were just going along. Now, I feel, I am going to have to justify everything I do in terms of money. This means lots more statistics and demands for greater results from the community with less money.

I spent some time printing out some of the poetry I had written from this blog. I am going to read it on Tuesday. We are having an open microphone poetry/spoken word event. We decided to add spoken word to our flyers hoping it will get some more people to come. I think I have at least three or four people with original material. One of them got their name in the paper at another poetry reading, he is a boxing poet. Another person has a spoken word cd. The last person has been coming to our library for over twenty years.

I am still reading Words In Your Face.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Daily Thoughts 3/7/2009

Willem van Mieris - An Old Man Reading (1729, Oil on panel, 15 × 13 cm)

Daily Thoughts

Ammon Shea has some interesting commentary on offsite storage in libraries. He is one of my favorite essayists. I also like his writing on dictionaries. http://blog.oup.com/2009/03/librarians/

Cory Doctorow, another of my favorite essayists and writers has a new article on selling books on Locus Magazine. I think it is quite pertinent to anybody who brings writers closer to readers. You might call it a thought on readers advisory. http://www.locusmag.com/Features/2009/03/cory-doctorow-in-praise-of-sales-force.html

Friday, March 6, 2009

Daily Thoughts 3/6/2009

Gustave Courbet, Portrait of Baudelaire 1848-1849.

Daily Thoughts 3/6/2009

Today was another quiet day. I finished writing up the distribution of circulation by dewey decimal call number in an excel spreadsheet and sent it to our director. She was happy with it. It took me a couple of hours to finish it correctly.

I am also considering hosting a "Senior Law Day" which is a day of free programs put together to help seniors with their legal issues put together by our cities Office of the Aging. I would aim for June to do this. I like having plenty of time to plan programs so they get properly advertised.

The new librarian is shadowing me at the reference desk. I have been going over things like interlibrary loan requests, holds requests, in house holds, reference policies and procedures, email reference, and other desk procedures today. Yesterday, we walked around the building and talked about where the different parts of the collection are located; playaway audio, dvds, reference books, mysteries, fiction, urban fiction, nonfiction, cds, computers for internet, computers for typing, job information center, business reference, and all the different functions of the library.

I put the film Slam Nation on hold. It is a film by Paul Devlin mentioned in the book Words In Your Face. I am about half way through the book. It is enjoyable subway reading.