Monday, April 06, 2009

A Manifesto for the Library

Last week John Blyberg, Kathryn Greenhill, and Cindi Trainor spent some time together thinking about what the library is for and what its future might hold. The result of that deep thinking has now been published on John's blog under the title "The Darien Statements on the Library and Librarians."

Opening with the ringing statement that

The purpose of the Library is to preserve the integrity of civilization

they then provide their own gloss on what this means for individual libraries, and for librarians.

There is a lively discussion going on in the comments on John's blog, as well as less thoughtful sniping going on in more "annoying" blogs. I think that this is something that will engender quite a bit of conversation in the month's to come.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

I'm a Shover and Maker!

Since only a few people can be named "Movers and Shakers" by Library Journal, Joshua Neff and Steven Lawson created the "Shovers and Makers" awards "for the rest of us," under the auspices of the not entirely serious Library Society of the World. I'm very pleased to report that I have been named a 2009 Shover and Maker (by myself, as are all the winners).

The Shovers and Makers awards are a fun way to share what we've done over the past year or two and they're definitely a lot simpler than writing the annual performance review that HR wants. Think of this as practice for writing the speaker's bio for the conference keynote you dream of being invited to give.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

LITA Tears Down the Walls

At ALA Midwinter 2009, Jason Griffey and the LITA folks took advantage of the conference center's wireless network to provide quick and easy access to the Top Tech Trends panel for those of us that couldn't be there in person. The low-bandwidth option was a CoverItLive live-blogging feed of comments from attending that also included photos by Cindi Trainor, and a feed of twitters from attendees. The high-bandwidth option was a live (and recorded) video stream of the event that Jason captured using the webcam built into his laptop.

Aside from the LITA planned events, the fact that we could all sit in meant that there were lots of virtual conversations in chat rooms and other forums that sprung up as people joined in from afar. Unfortunately, because my Sunday morning is filled with laundry and other domestic pleasures, I wasn't able to join in on the "live" chatter going on in parallel with the video or livebloggin.

Owing to funding constraints and my own priorities, my participation at ALA is limited. I've been to LITA Forum once, and might go again, but I focus more on the OLA other regional events. This virtual option from LITA let me get a peek at what's going on and hear what the "big thinkers" at LITA have to say. I hope they can keep it up, and will definitely be talking to local folks about how we might be able to emulate LITA in our own events.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

A (Half) Year in Books

According to my reading log, I read twenty-five books this year, and nothing since I started All Families are Psychotic in July. I certainly didn't read very much in the fall but, as I predicted, my commitment to recording my reading fell off dramatically. There are at least two or three more books that didn't make it onto the journal.

This year I also tried to participate in the Book a Month Challenge, initiated by Katie Dunneback. My participation in the challenge tapered off in July, at about the same time that my reading journal did. The hard part about the challenge wasn't usually reading the book or writing the review, but selecting a title. I had the same problem when I was asked to write a blurb for a new book for the library newsletter at MPOW.

But by August, work of various sorts had consumed all my time, leaving little time for recreational reading, beyond my weekly reading of the Economist.