Saturday, November 29, 2003

So, I mentioned the little differences between the setup of libraries vs. bookstores, right? Let's examine the public's perception of libraries vs. bookstores.

Does the public expect libraries to have coffee bars since they are buildings that house books? Possibly. We're sticking them in the architectural plans, aren't we? The public certainly expects bookstores to have public copying machines to use when they only need one page out of a book. I swear that I got this question today when I was at work. They warned me about it in training, but hearing is believing.

Is this an example of the dumbing down of our culture? I don't think so. Maybe. I think that the public just doesn't get the difference between bookstores and libraries anymore. The perception has so narrowed down to the fact that both edifices house books so therefore, what is available in one must be available at the other.

I know, gross generalization, but it sadly has its basis in fact.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Not much to report today. We've been discussing the Meyers-Briggs test on one of my lists. Here's a link to take an online version of a similar test and see how you rate:

Temperment Sorter

I'm not planning on being online tomorrow, so for all in the US, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

My training for the new job is "complete." Introductory training anyway. The biggest difference that hit me about bookstores and libraries is how they categorize things. Actually it's the fine details of categorization that's the difference. Gross categorization remains the same as far as I can see (genre fiction, periodicals, non-fiction, etc.). This struck me as I was shelving and shifting. I came across a copy of Stephen King's "On Writing" in the Horror section of the genre fiction area. Those of you who know the book (inspirational for writers attempting publication for the most part) will probably react the exact same way I did, "this is in the wrong section!!!" Especially since the store does have a section for writers attempting publication. The guys in charge of making sure the books are put where they belong were very clear that the store's computer says it's in horror, it needs to sit in horror. I realized later that night, as I was falling asleep, that the reason why this book was shelved in horror was probably because it would have more sales when placed in that section. You have a lot of Stephen King fans out there, they'll buy almost anything with his name on it. Including a book about writing for publication even if they never have and never will think about writing for publication.

I've seen a lot recently about the library vs. bookstore debate recently. Something that has been happening in some places is the library is trying to directly compete with an area bookstore for business. Libraries experiencing renovation, remodelling, and rebuilding are often putting in little cafes to evoke the large bookstore ambiance. Just this little introduction to the bookselling world has proven to me that there are fundamental differences in the way these two institutions operate. What we, as librarians, need to do is find ways to celebrate and promote what we do differently from bookstores. It is then that we'll be able to rebuild or just plain build up our patron bases.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Okay, poll results have been posted along with a new poll.

As a side note, if anyone has suggestions for future polls, PLEASE contact me.

ACK!! I just realized that it's Monday night and I haven't updated the poll! Blame it on:

1. I had training for the new job starting at 6am both yesterday and today. Considering that normally, the only reason I see the clock switch from 5:59 to 6:00 in the a.m. is because I've been up the entire night before, my brain has been mush.


2. Family has started gathering for Thanksgiving season, so when I haven't been recovering from being up at 6am, I've been cleaning.

Therefore, this is the first chance I've had to actually remember and do something about it. Give me about 10-15 minutes and I'll have a new poll and the results for you guys.

Recruiting and Educating Librarians for the 21st Century Grants announced. Yes, I know these were announced almost a month ago, but I haven't seen much discussion about the individual grants. If you're interested in attending library school, check out the IMLS grant list to see if there is a specific program that interests you.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Interesting article from Gary Price. For those of us coming into the LIS profession now, we must deal with a duality of perception, if I'm phrasing that right. And I'm not sure that I am :) The duality is that we are expected to be more technologically capable than our predecessors, but we deal with a public that is by and large also highly technologically capable. Of course this is gross generalization on many levels, however there is great public perception that with the advent of the Internet Age, libraries are no longer needed. "Everything's on the Internet, isn't it?" Check out Price's "Eight Starting Points" on how to build a rapport with your patrons. They should work in any setting :)


~Thanks to

Pretty funny as I got this from commons-blog where Frederick was hoping to get TP.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Don't know what "Information Literacy" is? Check this website out. Especially if you're considering going the Academic route. It's from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Division of ALA.

ALA | Information Literacy

~Thanks to the Suburban Library System (IL) weblog

So, I was subbing yesterday. In my last class, freshmen, it came up that I was a librarian. One of the girls said, "Oh, I can see that, the whole glasses thing." I was stupefied. I did not know how to answer. This was because her tone was in no way derogatory, heck she pulled out her own glasses to show me, but matter of fact. The other thing that kind of made me unsure how to react was that this girl, along with a few of the others, when they realized that I was their sub at the beginning of class went, "Oh, you're the cool sub!" So, this girl saw me as being "cool" and stereotypical at the same time. I still haven't figured out how I feel about this.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

HOT DAMN!! I've got some breathing room. I've just been hired for a seasonal position by my local large chain bookstore. I'm really happy about this because it's regular employment, is tangentially related to my field, and I really needed the ego boost it gave me. There is only so long that you can go without some kind of positive response in a job search.

I've also applied for another position that's in my ideal geographic region. We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

I'm going to keep this short and sweet. I'm getting depressed about this whole job search process. You sit and wait to hear nothing. Absolutely nothing. The only thing that is helping to keep my spirits up somewhat is that I've been called in 4 times in the past week to sub. This has definitely been an enjoyable experience and I hope that it continues until I don't need it to. I just wish that I didn't need it to.

Okay, maudlin whining over. I've been told to expect a submission for the "A Day in the Life of a (insert job title here)" series in the near future. I'm hoping that a lot of you out there feel like bragging about what you do, too <G> Please submit!

Monday, November 17, 2003

Tech troubles? I've had a report that pages that I can get to (and that I have stats saying other people have also) are being reported by Yahoo! as not exisiting. Same report also said that the links are not being read as links, just as regular old text. If anyone else is having these problems, PLEASE e-mail me at young_librarian{at} or leave a comment saying so, and what browser you are using. Thanks!

Just a reminder to the job seekers out there that the ALA Placement Services website is now open for the 2004 Midwinter Conference session. You do not have to be attending the conference to register for the placement services.

ALA | Instructions for Job Seekers Using ALA Placement Services

Tip of the day:

If you come across something and like the way that it works, whether it's a book club or a webpage, ask the person who is running it how they do it. There is a reason why that particular thing is working, so find out what it is. Ask yourself: why do you like this? Do you like the whole thing, or just a small part of it? How can you take this element and make it work for you/make it your own?

Always give credit where credit is due.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Poll results posted, so therefore a new poll in progress:

"What is your favorite brand of shoes to wear when working?"

Thursday, November 13, 2003

This will probably be most useful to public librarians who have little to no experience in Readers' Advisory. It's a great brush up on techniques for the general reference interview too though. Ms. Chelton is a great speaker if you ever get the chance, by the way.

Library Journal - Readers' Advisory 101

Okay, I *think* I have the website correctly loaded. The redesign is in place, so that means, let me know if you come across any broken links. Also, let me know what you think of the new site.

A new article is also posted.

The Librarian as Hero by Catherine Voutier

My brain is mush. I have almost completed the redesign of the website. This involved actually implementing some kind of information architecture so I had to create a lot of new pages. I only have one page left to convert, and that's a new article contributed by Catherine Voutier. I'm hoping to have everything done and uploaded by tomorrow evening, um, this evening. If you experience any difficulties, I'm probably uploading and such. For the existing pages whose file paths will have changed due to the IA scheme, I will be putting in redirects, so hopefully no one besides myself will become hopelessly confused.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Pay attention to the last paragraph of this article. If you're interested in getting a step ahead in the profession, this may be the way to go. At the very least, doing a weblog would show that you do have written communication skills.

Library Stuff: The "New Breed" of Library Weblogs

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

HEY! Monetary award for new librarians!

Thanks to Chrissie Peters on the NMRT-L list for pointing to this. $5,000 national award for advancing the field into the 21st century and $1,000 award for librarians within their first 5 years of post-MLS experience.

2004 21st Century Librarian Award

I just wanted to highlight an article series that I'm looking for submissions for. It's the "A Day in the Life of a (insert job title here)" series. I've drawn up specific guidelines for this series, so if you're interested in writing about what you do, all you have to do is answer the questions. If you wanted to interview, say a coworker or supervisor, with these guidelines, I wouldn't be opposed to that either :D I will have a separate page on the website for these guidelines once I implement the redesign later this week.

"A Day in the Life of a (insert job title here)" Series Guidelines:
1. Title of position
2. What that title really means
3. Type of institution (ie. academic, public, special and if there are any subject specializations)
4. Size of institution (eg. small, medium, large, etc.)
5. Describe what a normal day for you/interviewee might include. No Refgrunting allowed for this section :D
6. Are there any special projects (ie. new building, purchase of OPAC, etc.) that you/interviewee have been a part of? Describe what that was like.
7. What classes, listservs, associations, etc. do you/interviewee think people interested in doing what you/interviewee do should take or be a part of?

Monday, November 10, 2003

Well, this is kind of cool. I'm still waiting to hear on full-time positions that I've applied for, but I do have an interview on Wednesday for a position with one of my local large chain bookstores. I threw an application in for part-time/seasonal work, so we'll see what happens. That would be very cool to do because it is tangentially related to libraries (reading) and will hopefully put to use my readers advisory skills. Plus, it's work!!

I've also got the new design for the website almost nailed down, so I should hopefully be unveiling that by the end of the week.

Just a reminder that I am always looking for articles/essays/etc. to publish on the website, so contact me if you're interested.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

A friend of mine was talking to me about a program sponsored by the Illinois State Library to develop leaders within the Illinois Library community. I've posted the FAQ and announcement for applications for the current class below, though they are kind of sparse on details. If you are in Illinois and interested in this, keep an eye on the Illinois State Library's homepage for details, if they are able to continue the program next year. It looks like they post the information in December.

If you don't live in Illinois, check with your local library association to see if there are similar opportunities available to you.

SYNERGY Announcement

Sorry for the late update. Poll results from last week, along with the poll for this week have been posted.

Last night, I got inducted to Beta Phi Mu, the LIS honorary society, last night. I had a great time meeting up with friends and former professors/instructors.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Man, this sounds like a good time. The Australian Library and Information Association's (ALIA) New Graduates Group is sponsoring a one-day workshop. Now, I'm sure all of my readers in Australia, New Zealand, and the surrounding areas have probably already heard about this, but I'd love to see something like this happen here in the US and/or Canada. Though I would LOVE to afford to go to Australia and New Zealand for a trip.

New Librarian's Symposium

Where I've been...

Well, first check this out:

Katie meets Ty Pennington of Trading Spaces

Otherwise, my dad has been keeping me busy doing grunt work at his office to help get him and his staff more up to speed. Since I'm doing this, I'm unable to troll the Internet as much as I had been to find interesting little tidbits. I will do my best to let my lapses go for no more than a day though.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Something we should all be aware of:

Just the other day, a friend of mine who works in a public library had to deal with a very disturbing situation. A young woman approached her asking to speak with my friend in private. The young woman told my friend that she had been in the somewhat secluded group study room and she noticed a male patron near to her. He had shorts on and his penis was sticking out the bottom of one of the legs. The woman left the room and called her boyfriend. She went back into the study room for whatever reason (possibly to retrieve her belongings) and saw that the male patron had not bothered to correct the situation.

The young woman told my friend that she felt uncomfortable approaching my friend's coworkers on the desk at the time (a man and an older woman) after the first incident. When she went back to the room and it happened again, she knew that it wasn't an accident like she first had hoped (like the guy had been scratching his leg or something). By this time my friend had come back to the desk, and the young woman approached her. While they were talking, my friend saw the guy come out of the group study room and start walking away. My friend confirmed that this had been the guy and left the young woman to intercept him. With my friend's library currently being under construction, the main set of stairs had been removed and my friend intercepted the offender while he was looking for these stairs. The guy asked my friend where the stairs were. She took the time while directing him out of the building to study what he looked like for future reference.

By now, I know you're screaming, "where's security?!?!" Well, this incident happened at a shift change, there are probably only two guards on duty at once and neither of them were on the floor.

After making sure that the young woman was safely escorted to her car, my friend did speak with the police about this incident, reported it and gave a description of the guy. So far, she has not heard anything further, but it has been only a couple of days since this happened.

The reason I'm writing this is because while we all think, would like to think anyway, that libraries are safe havens, crimes do happen in libraries. We need to be aware of what procedures are in place at the libraries we work at in case things like this happen. Talk with your supervisors, your local police department, any special agencies that deal with victims of crimes. Find out what the recommended practices are for situations and educate your coworkers. This girl may not have reported this crime at all if she hadn't seen my friend working the desk. My friend is not particularly young, but apparently looked approachable enough for this girl to speak with. Educate your patrons to immediately report things like this and other crimes so that your institution can deal with the problems. If you don't know that it's happening, you can't make it safer for patrons and employees alike.

Monday, November 03, 2003

For those who may be jonesing for a read to expand your knowledge of the field, but don't want to go back to school, try out the Librarian's Book Club. It looks like they pick 1-2 books to discuss for the month. | Librarian's Book Club selects November Book

~Thanks to for the lead.


As to what's happening with the job hunt: not much right now. I'm hoping to hear back from this one place sometime around the end of this week or the beginning of next week as they closed the submission part of the process last Friday and it's for a public library position. My mom actually caught the posting for this one and passed it on to me. It sounds pretty cool (they're specifically looking for entry-level, yay!), and the energy that went into writing the ad seemed really positive. We'll see what happens. That's about all you can do when you've reached the point I have in the job search process unfortunately.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Results of last week's poll are now available!

Check out this week's poll.

Saturday, November 01, 2003

As a follow up to the "Get Involved" pep-talk, here's a reminder for those of you considering going to ALA's Midwinter Meeting in lovely, though currently very hot, San Diego. Early registration (and therefore reduced fees) ends on December 1, 2003. So sign up as soon as you can!

ALA | Registration

For those of you not in the US, be sure to check with your national organization to see when your next conference is.

Don't have a national organization? Why don't you start one? A friend of mine did.