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Book Reviews with NetGalley

August 21, 2014

Today I joined NetGalley in order to read advanced copies (galleys, apparently, when they’re e-books) of books.  I’m also taking advantage of the Giveaways on GoodReads, so I’ll be posting reviews here.  Because it’s a Librarian-Thing-To-Do! And also I think it will be fun.


Awesome Box!

August 5, 2014

It’s happening, people.

So our new website has space for a “new/hot/whatever titles” feed, and after finding out we couldn’t port in the canned searches we’re configuring for our Enterprise overlay, I suggested AwesomeBox.  So now I’m writing a presentation to the VS committee.

And I found this on NerdApproved:

Library Awesome TARDIS!



Virtual Services Librarian!

August 4, 2014

I came back from maternity leave today and stepped into a shiny new position at my library – Virtual Services Librarian. I’m incredibly excited, and I’m looking forward to my new duties.

  • all the awesome Adult Services reference and collection development stuff I already did;
  • designing and contributing to the library’s web presence through social media outlets;
  • creating and monitoring of the library gateway/portal page inside our library software platform;
  • monitoring and providing usage statistics for library website, social media outlets, subscription databases and eBooks;
  • communicating with appropriate staff at the library and consortium level;
  • contributing to the library’s marketing plan regarding online services and electronic media;
  • providing select programming and classes in social media, online resources, library databases and eBooks (and a Games for Grownups program starting in September); and
  • participation in collection development in the areas of eBooks, databases and online resources.

There’s a lot of cool stuff – like a brand new website that will hopefully go live to the public later this month, the gaming program, social media management, and all the glorious statistics.  I’m making the personal/professional resolution to write here more, as well, to not only showcase what I’m working on but also to develop my professional voice. Because I have one of those now.


Preparing for my First ALA (2013)

June 28, 2013

I’ve been to professional conferences before – Library Technology Conference 2010 at Macalester University, and more Handheld Librarians than I can remember – and I’ve been to conventions, both large and small.

But something about ALA has me more than a little nervous.

It’s big, yes, but it’s a different kind of big than what I’m used to. At the biggest conventions I’ve attended, I’ve always had a group of people I could come back to.  I had a home base.  I won’t really have that at ALA.  The classes, talks, and poster sessions don’t worry me – those are pretty standard fare. The difference at ALA is that it’s a professional conference.  That means networking.

Networking isn’t something that comes easily to me in a face-to-face setting.  Networking online is totally different. I can have a circle of Library-Folk on Google+, for example, and share neat things with them and see the neat things they share, and we can talk about it in threaded comments.  This is comfortable.  This is something I’m used to.

For all my years in public services, both in circulation and at the reference desk, initiating a conversation with someone I don’t know is still a little awkward.  At the desk, there’s always the transaction to serve as a vehicle for conversation.  I don’t know if there is an ALA conference equivalent.

Part of me is a little overwhelmed that this is “me” now. I take my last class (my portfolio) in the fall.  I graduate in December. I’ll have my official “librarian” stamp, signed, sealed, and accredited before Christmas*.  This is a Big Step In Adulthood for me, which I know sounds silly, but we don’t all sprout fully seasoned and experienced Librarians and Library Professionals from the frontal cortex of Ranagathan**.

We all start somewhere.  ALA 2013 will be my first ALA conference, and I’m sure it won’t be my last.  I am using the newbie tools to keep a schedule and generally plan my two days.

As the good Doctor says, allon-sy!

*Assuming that all goes well, knock on wood, yadda yadda. Cross your fingers!

Or the Library Leader of your choice. Just not Dewey. People shouldn’t spring from his head. It’d swell his ego beyond even Reasonable For Dewey proportions.

Awesome Things!

April 8, 2013

Let me start off by saying that I love Pinterest as a way to share ideas, inspirations, and resources.  I find the use of collaborative boards for programming (which turn in the boards for services in general, at times) is especially useful.  These great ideas/finds show up like shiny gems in the deluge of recipes, home décor, and outfits.

Today when going through my feed, I discovered the Awesome Box implemented by the Somerville Public Library.  This lead me to a rabbit-trail of information seeking about Harvard University Library’s Awesomebox project, including their resources for libraries to offer this service.

I think this is a great idea to get patrons promoting the items they like. We can blog about titles in the form of book reviews, we can post new/exciting releases on Facebook or Twitter, but the Awesomebox puts the patrons in control of that content – THEIR content.  The library becomes the social networking site, in a way.  Staff can also get a sense of what content

I’m no wizard when it comes to coding, and PHP is still pretty foreign to me, but the way the folks at HUL have outlined it, it seems pretty simple to follow.

Another awesome library innovation I’ve seen recently is an idea my good friend and colleague, Becca, implemented at the Rapid City Public Library.  Overdrive blogged about the Sacramento Public Library’s initiative to create physical space on the shelves for their digital content, through the use of stickers on print editions and shelf cards (think horizontal bookmarks for shelves).  I think this is a great idea to merge the physical collection with the digital offerings, especially when coupled with staff able to walk patrons through the process of getting these titles downloaded to their device of choice.

Urban Librarians Unite Plants Mini Libraries, Plans Conference

February 14, 2013

Urban Librarians Unite Plants Mini Libraries, Plans Conference

I saw this article yesterday and had another “Ee! Tiny libraries!” moment.  I’m still bummed that my homeowner’s association would frown on me erecting my own tiny library outside my house.  Someday, folks. Someday.

What really stood out in this article for me were the ideas to make the tiny library more than just a box with books in it.  Marilyn Johnson talks about extreme roaming reference librarians in This Books is Overdue who lurk around protests and conventions providing all sorts of directional and reference services using mobile technology, but stationing a librarian at a tiny library?  It could either work really well or be kind of creepy.  I think part of the appeal of the tiny library is that you get materials (albeit what happens to be there) without being under the direct gaze of someone looking official.

Before I read this, I had never heard of a LibraryBox.  I think this – along with some sort of counter to see how many times the library door is opened – would make the mini library so much cooler. Internet access! Access to information/materials!

Maybe this is the way to make “circulating” airport libraries work, but I bet the airport’s contract with whatever “pay for access” wireless provider they have would prevent a LibraryBox from being installed.

…Have I ever talked about airport libraries here?  That’ll be a post for a different day – a day where I don’t have Drupal homework.  But trust me – airport libraries would be incredibly cool.

(This post was written using WordPress’s “quick post” option. It feels Tumblr-y.)

Spring 2013 Classes – So far, So good!

February 7, 2013

I’m less than a month into my final semester of coursework at SJSU, and I’m loving it so far.  Juggling three classes and three part-time jobs is difficult, yes, but each class is incredibly interesting and (thankfully) has its own day of the week when assignments are due.

I was intimidated by the Drupal course at first, since I wasn’t sure how it would be taught.  Our first, mandatory Collaborate session was basically a walk-through on how to set up a domain, hosting, and install Drupal.  This was awesome.  Each lecture is like this – a walk-through on how to accomplish the tasks given in the homework.  Given, the walk-through is basic, lacking any bells and whistles students may wish to play with, but that’s okay!  It’s like having the anchoring rope when you go rock climbing.

Next week in Services for Young Adults, we’ll be evaluating programs to see how they line up with the developmental needs of teens – and I’m psyched about this!  Talk about the nitty-gritty of library services.  In History of Books and Libraries, we’re using for our weekly assignments, which serve as study guides (of a sort) for our various assigned pieces of the weekly content.  We’re in the middle of Middle Age Manuscripts, which I’m totally stoked about.  I still need to pick a manuscript for my larger project.  There are so many nifty ones out there, and there’s always Northwestern’s Special Collections a short drive away.

In short, there’s a lot to keep me busy.


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