westward ho!

The appropriate pieces of paper have arrived, the Is dotted and Ts crossed, and thus I can now announce my big and very exciting news:

Starting March 6, I will be the Branch Manager of the Meeteetse Library in the Park County Library System in Wyoming.

I was out west the weekend before last for an interview, and I fell in love with the place. There are a few low-quality pictures from the trip over on Flickr, which give you only a dim idea of how beautiful it is out there. Meeteetse is a town of about 350 people about half an hour south of Cody (a metropolis by Wyoming standards with around 9000 residents) and an hour and a half east of Yellowstone. The library serves both the town and the local K-12 school, so I’ll get to do a little bit of everything, which is just what I like.
Dominican is going to start offering online classes this summer, so I’ll be finishing up my degree (I’m 3/4 of the way through now) remotely over the next few terms. It’s a bit odd to be starting my first “real” job before I’ve finished school, and I may have more to say on that and on the whole job hunting process in the near future, but for now, I’m just celebrating–and, of course, working on the details of packing, finding housing, renting a truck, and heading out west. Visitors will be welcome and encouraged just as soon as I get settled. Stay tuned.

Unfortunately, this means I won’t be going to PLA or to the Library Education Forum in NYC, but I’m still planning to make it to ALA in New Orleans.

In the meantime, yippeeeeee!!!

Library Education Forum: of, by, and for the people

You have probably read about this elsewhere, but if not, let me announce (and if so, let me reiterate) the Library Education Forum, which will be held on March 11 in New York City. The good folks from the NYC collective of Radical Reference are organizing the shindig, and library students, prospective library students, recent and unrecent graduates, professors, and regular old librarians are all welcome to attend. I hope Michael Gorman is listening.

organization: or why I am not a cataloger

This is a post I wrote by hand when my computer was off getting fixed. I didn’t get around to transcribing it until now.

Once my grandmother asked my father and her cousin how she ought to organize her books. One said “Size!” and the other said “Color!” and, well, it went downhill from there. Despite my talk of growing up in a house with a card catalog, I’m not so great at organization myself. I’m amazed by Lindsay’s habits; I’m totally bowled over by Joy’s.

In fact, I sort neither by size nor by color. I have a folder on my computer called “Library School.” It has some subfolders for different classes, but I usually don’t create those until the semester’s over. (And it gets worse–the versions on my computer aren’t usually final–those are mostly saved on my end drive at school, and they’re in no order). I have a single notebook in which I take notes,
and a 3-ring binder with some dividers that holds syllabi, readings, assignments, etc. I keep my calendar in the student handbook that they give out for free at the beginning of the year.

Actually, this all works for me. I generally have what I need; I always have enough to get by. What I’m really having problems with is my del.icio.us account.

I’m seriously mystified by some of the tags I’ve come up wiht. What for instance, does web mean? Surely in some respect everything that I tag could be called web–things tagged on del.icio.us are of the web just by their very nature, though of course they are not necessarily about the web. Perhaps that’s the difference. Tech seems a little more straightforward–at least it did until I started thinking about it. Does it mean actual bits of technology or just stuff related to technology? Is it of or about? And honestly–I have 40 or so things currently tagged tech–how am I supposed to find the one I’m looking for among them? I could go on–what is the difference between tools and tricks? And what about hacks (or rather hack, which is apparently the tag I actually used)? Do I bookmark the blog post in which I read about a new resource (handy because it generally includes a review of the resource) or do I just bookmark the resource itself (more direct, fewer clicks)? You get the idea.

As you’ll see, the problem extends as well to the categorizing of posts on this blog. I was all excited initially at the thought of figuring out what all I was writing about. I’m still interested, but I’m nowhere near finished. I’ve categorized about half the posts, I think, but I’m not totally happy with the ones I’ve chosen. The people who are Technorati-tagging their posts have the added disadvantage of trying either to pick one tag or to come up with all its possible variants–l2, library2.0, library20, etc.
Don’t get me wrong–I love del.icio.us, I love tagging, I love the wisdom of the crowds–but I also have a newfound respect for the catalogers and ontologists of the world. They’ve got their work cut out for them.

Now really–size or color?

on the move: lis.dom, carnivals, and possibly me

Lots of things are happening, and these are just a few of them:

First (though not exactly foremost), I’m happy to announce that lis.dom is bidding farewell to Blogger and moving to my web site and to WordPress! With some much-appreciated help from my friend Mitchell, lis.dom will henceforth be residing at http://www.newrambler.net/lisdom. [Feeds: RSS, atom] There are still a few bugs in the system–I’m working on categorizing all the old posts (and at some point I may even do the Technorati-meme, CW!) and at picking out, modifying as necessary, and installling a new theme–but, in the meantime, in the spirit of living in beta, I’m just going to move the main posting over there. I will leave these Blogger posts up, though, so old permalinks will still go somewhere.

The Carnival of the Infosciences has made a couple of stops in the past two weeks. Check them out (if you haven’t already): Carnival #20 at TangognaT and Carnival #21 at Infomancy.

And finally, as for the “possibly me”–well, that’s just one of those awful blogging teasers. More will be revealed, soon.

Read Roger!

Did you know that Roger Sutton (editor of The Horn Book) has a blog?

We children’s lit people are not so far behind the times after all. (And if you like children’s literature–as I hope you do–and are a reader of blogs–as I assume you are if you are reading this–I hope you’re reading Your Fairy Bookmother. Thanks to Rochelle for pointing that one out to me.)

Sutton (I just don’t quite feel right calling him Roger, even if he does use it in his blog’s name) points out a nifty little article in the most recent issue, complete with a very cool demonstration of what a digital picture book could be. And he points to a little bit of flawed logic coming out of ALA (you’re shocked, I’m sure):

ALA has inserted itself into Audible.com’s “Don’t Read” ad campaign. For the wrong reasons, I think: “trademark violation,” which is a bit obnoxious given that the ad is a parody and the ALA is allegedly in the business of protecting intellectual freedom.

Good stuff, and worth reading, if you’re so inclined.

communities, suburban and virtual, then and now

Rick, my blogosphere friend and neighboring librarian (I live one suburb over from the Thomas Ford Memorial Library) has a wonderful post about reading through old local newspapers on microfilm.

I sometimes hear that people today feel a little threatened by the amount of personal information on the Internet. In 1956 there was a tremendous amount of such information in the weekly newspaper. Of course, there were announcements of births, engagements, marriages, and deaths, as you might find in today’s paper, but to a greater degree. One wedding story listed everyone who came. . . .

How did the Citizen get so much news? Did it have a large team of reporters? I think the answer to the last question is “no” and “yes.” No, the newspaper did not have many reporters on its payroll. Yes, many people in the community called the newspaper with every bit of news they had. They participated in the making of the newspaper. It really belonged spiritually to the community.

It sounds kind of like the blogosphere, does it not? Or like a suburban Wikipedia–if you can imagine subversive gardening in the suburbs.

carnival #19

Hear ye, hear ye (how I love to use archaic language in a digital environment): the first Carnival of the Infosciences (#19!) of 2006 is up and running over at Wanderings of a Student Librarian.

Among its many gems are some obvious to some but good nonetheless interview tips from Grumpator. Heidi Dolamore, who writes the wonderfully named quiddle (and is running for ALA Council!) has also been posting on the topic of the great librarian job hunt. If you’re looking for a job yourself, definitely check out her blog–she’s been giving great run-downs on different kinds of interviews and what kinds of questions they ask.

I have, in fact, embarked upon the Great Job Hunt myself and may have more to say about it in the coming weeks and months–although it’s also entirely possible that I’ll be extremely busy with said job hunt plus the usual jobs and school and thus not posting much at all.

In the meantime, enjoy the Carnival and consider signing up to host one yourself!

low tech library 2.0

Michael Stephens reiterates that library 2.0 is more than technology, to which, I imagine, some of us are saying, “Well, thank goodness!” Not all of us have us have huge budgets to send people to conferences or the space/time/staff support/equipment to hold DDR nights or coworkers who are hip to (or interested in being hip to) the latest hot tags on del.icio.us. Many of us are still operating in .98 beta.

But does that mean we can’t use any of the principles of library 2.0? (Which, as many others have pointed out, are not so different from the principles of Ranganathan). No. This, then, is my inaugural post for a series on low tech library 2.0. I’ve been trying to come up with more ways for YA patrons to contact me. Since we don’t have a YA space in the library–just some bookshelves and a bulletin board–and since I work in the children’s room, out of sight from the YA shelves, I don’t see them very often. Since my library doesn’t allow IM, they can’t IM me. Since many of our patrons don’t have home internet access, IM and e-mail wouldn’t be an option for them anyway. So I went with a very old-fashioned idea. Pictured above (at least if the Blogger photo upload worked) are some of the most recent suggestions that have come into the suggestion envelope I put on an empty slot near the YA magazines as another way for the YA patrons to communicate with me. How is this L2.0?

  • It’s where the patrons are–literally. There is a suggestion box up near the front of the library, and there’s an electronic one buried in the library catalog (which I can’t link to directly, since the catalog runs on sessions). Neither of these are very user-friendly, nor are they where teens congregate.
  • It’s as anonymous or as open as the user wants.
  • It’s interactive–I post responses to the requests (e.g., “Okay, the first few volumes of Ceres Celestial Legend are in my next book order. The latest in the Alice series is Alice On Her Way, which we own, and there’s a new one called Alice in the Know coming out in a few months, which I’ll definitely get.”)
  • It’s my attempt to connect in some way with patrons and to make them feel that they have some connection with the library and with “their” librarian.

What other low tech library 2.0 (or whatever you want to call it) is out there? Feel free to comment below, write about it on your own blog, e-mail me at lauracrossett at hailmail dot net, or IM me (at home) at theblackmolly on AIM.