Category Archives: library

Misery

Monett downtown

View of Monett downtown-Courtesy of the Missouri State Archives.

This weekend the fam and I are heading over to Missouri to visit my family. I’m from a wee little town in Southwest Mo that noone’s ever heard of. except when they see a sign on the interstate on the way to St. Louis or Springfield. It was a fine little town to me  (not that I would ever EVER go back to live there) and I look forward to occasional visits. In honor of my trip I attempted to find Monett digitally archived. I succeeded rather quickly once I found the Missouri Digital Heritage Initiative website. It’s a Missouri history buff’s dream come true! There are many collections of documents, photos, lesson plans, maps, etc. grouped together by general topic. Some collections are linked from other sites around the state but,from what I can tell, most actually reside at the Digital Heritage site. There’s a postcard exhibit where I searched and found pictures of my little hometown. Take a look at my town; seriously, it looks the same now. Not the high school, but everything else. The picture above is Broadway which is still the main town. Unless I am looking at it from the wrong perspective. I am pretty sure that the building on the left is now a pawn shop. I used to buy paperbacks from there when I was in middle school. I had a sickness for cheap books even then.

That’s all I really have to say about Monett. Wait, I will say one more thing…I’m happy that they’re getting a new library! Granted, I don’t agree with where they are putting it (edge of town, away from present location right in middle of town. lots of people walk there, how will they now?) but it’s good they are getting a new building. I see that they are having a booksale on Friday and Saturday to benefit the new library fund. Perhaps I will go and support them. or maybe I’ll just go pay off my old fines. I’m sure I have some.

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Because everybody loves blogs, right?

Think what you may about blogging, I know people who have never read one!, but I’m all for libraries maintaining blogs or  myspace or facebook (are libraries on facebook?). Not everyone picks up fliers but many many are connected to the internet in some way. However, many many are not but this is not a discussion of the digital divide, is it? Ok, so if I think that library blogs are great, what do I think of special/digital collection blogs? Why, I think that they are a brilliant idea! Like a regular old library blog, it’s a great way for people to know what the heck is going on with their library. And unlike a regular library, I’m guessing that digital collection librarians might not put out as many fliers about what they are digitizing as non-digital librarians would for what *voter registration*/book sales/heritage festivals they are putting on that month. ***By the way, tomorrow is the last day in Oklahoma to make sure you are registered to vote or change your registration. more information here.*** Here is an example of a digital collection blog at the Birmingham Public Library. great idea. as long as people are reading. The Digital Collections blog isn’t linked on the library’s main page (although the library blog is) but is on their Virtual Library page as well as the Digital Collections page. It’s findable and useful (if people subscribe).

Just ideas for the future. my future. not the future of libraries. I can’t even begin to imagine that. although I hope the future = chik-fil-a in the lobby. kidding.

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Filed under library, web 2.0

Angela, Webmaster

I’m really liking this maintaining a website project. I linked to it the other day but I think I will again. I’m getting lots of hits and it’s so exciting! I’m even a top Google result! Go me.

I don’t have a lot more to say besides that. I’m working on a pathfinder for my reference class that’s due next week. It’s going pretty well except I had to be pretty creative when looking for reference materials pertaining to buying a house. I managed to find an online encyclopedia of legal terms that had a little bit of information. I also found one other legal book but that’s about all. This pathfinder will be meager in the reference section but ok everywhere else.

Later Gators.

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Filed under 5433, books, library, reference

Observed Reference Interview

Today I observed a shoddy reference interview. Well, not observed in the traditional sense. TV Land has been showing Beaches this weekend and I’ve caught parts of it a couple times. Last night I watched the end (I could not believe that my husband had never seen it before!) and today I watched the middle. Hillary (Barbara Hershey) goes into the library and tells the librarian (or paraprofessional, whatever) that she needs all their information on viral cardiomyopathy. The librarian didn’t even ask any questions! Instead they pulled the old without “speaking she began to type“move I’ve been learning about in 5513. Because Hillary is later shown surrounded by books and learning of her fate, I’m guessing the librarian provided her with the proper information. Apparently in movie land you don’t need a proper reference interview (or they don’t need to show it) in order to the right answer. Unfortunately in real life you do. In reference class last week I had to initiate three reference interviews with the question of my choice. I chose a really vague question so that the librarians would have to ask a few questions in order to get to my real inquiry. To clarify, I asked for information about children when I really wanted to know the symptoms of hay fever in kids. Out of three librarians (two face to face and one virtual) none got to my real query. The most I got to clarify was telling them “health” when they asked “What about children?” It happened in all three instances. I ended up with an appropriate book in one instance only because I looked on the shelf myself after the librarian led me to the area of stacks where parenting books were located. In my chat session I got a book only because the librarian was lucky and happened to suggest this book. I ended up absolutely nothing in the third case. My query was not even difficult; how long would it have taken them to ask me one more question?

There are a couple things that I hope to always remember when I am a librarian:

1. Always conduct a reference interview! Catherine Sheldrick Ross, a pretty reliable authority on reference interviews, says that an interview (one or more questions) should be conducted in every transaction. It saves t the time of the user and library staff because there should be less unnecessary searching and ILLing done.

2. Tell the patron what you are doing. There’s nothing more annoying than being left in the dark about what’s going on. The one good thing I had to say about my reference transaction that yielded nothing was that she told me what was going on. Even though her searching was pretty bad, she told me what she was doing the whole time and I appreciated that. It almost made me say that I was willing to return to her. That bring me to..

3. Always show interest and approachability. Reasons for these are copious and explained quite well in the article I linked to above.

Basically, I aspire to be decent person to those who need help. I think making that my mantra will automatically make my willingness to return factor pretty good.

While I was Googling the articles I linked to in this post, I found this video on YouTube. Definitely watch it because it’s very cute.

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Filed under library, movies, reference

It’s like I run a book rescue

 bookshelf

We moved to a new house last weekend and unpacking is going pretty slowly. The other day I unpacked a box of my books that I haven’t seen since we moved from Arkansas 8 months ago and realized how thrifty I am.  My book collection looks like a bad paperback sale. Which is exactly where I bought most of them, I believe. It’s almost embarrassing, not just because of the condition of some of them (what do you expect for 10 cents?) but because of the quality of books (I swear I haven’t read some!). Let’s take a closer look.
trashy book shelfBeaches II? Mommie Dearest? VC Andrews? The sequel to Love Story (I’ve also got that)?  I’ve actually read all those too. I can’t resist a book for a quarter. It’s my weakness. The only problem with not being very picky and being VERY cheap is that you end up with collections like this.

a little better shelf

This shelf is a little better. It’s at least got some better titles. Look that the book on the far left. It’s my battered copy of The World According to Garp. Yeah, it looked like that when I got it. The best quarter I ever spent. In another box somewhere is a gross copy of The Cider House Rules. Also a fantastic find. Oh, see the red book near the middle of the shelf? One of my favorite books ever. Awful awful topic though. It’s Small Sacrifices, the story of Diane Downs. I also have (probably with Cider House Rules) The Stranger Beside Me, another favorite of mine. I’m not even a huge fan of true crime, besides In Cold Blood, but I highly recommend these two. especially if you find them at a library book sale. Well, I guess I’m lying a little. For a while I was a little hooked on serial killers, namely Ted Bundy. But that phase passed when I read Helter Skelter and couldn’t finish it. Too gruesome even for me.

Where was I? Oh, my love of a cheap book. I guess I’m in it for the story and not for looks. Plus, why let a perfectly good book get thrown away? Not on my watch.

Old books make me wonder about who used to own them. Why did someone buy Beaches II? Were they just a big Bette Midler fan or did they like the original book? Why did someone get rid of their copy of Garp? Was it too ugly? Did they replace it? Why would you get rid of Cujo (so much better than the movie, by the way, but oh my goodness Stephen King was on something when he wrote it)? Who knows but I’m glad they did. Book sales have introduced me to lots of authors I’d never read before. I’m forever thankful that I saw Naked at a bookstore for 3.50 because I now love David Sedaris more than I can express. Cider House Rules introduced me to John Irving and he’s taught me lots about wrestling and New England boarding schools. Patty Duke taught me all about manic depression in Call Me Anna. That last one wasn’t a book sale though, it was just swiped from my mom a long long time ago.

Embarrassing collection or not, I’ve learned to love my nasty paperbacks. You can bet I’ll pass them along if I ever feel the need to declutter.

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Filed under books, library, memories, reading

Grab a cup of coffee while you wait

How fun is this?! For those of you too lazy to click, it’s a machine available to retailers and libraries that prints and binds entire books in just a few minutes.  It made its library debut earlier this year in the New York Public Library’s Science, Industry, and Business Library. From what I’ve gathered via Google, the New Orleans Public Library currently has the prototype machine.  This machine really does sound like the coolest thing ever. It has access to over 200,000 public domain titles in almost any language and you get your book in ten minutes or less. How exciting for libraries, book sellers, and bibliophiles!

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Listen up, boys! Reading is cool!

A few days ago on Library Stuff there was a link to an article about the gender gap in reading. Apparently boys have fallen behind in the last few years. The best way to combat this, according to David Cole, is having boys see their relatives and heroes read as well. The article goes on to give some resources that either address the issue of boys and reading or are simply good books for boys to read. Good stuff to file away. I have a two year old son and I would be crushed if he said he didn’t like to read. Right now he lets me read to him occasionally without slamming the book shut (apparently very fun to do). Today, in fact, he wanted me to read Thelonius Monster’s Sky-High Fly-Pie twice. I hope he’s always interested in reading but I’m definitely read to pull out the big guns if he decides otherwise. I am not above decorating my house in these posters.
HSM read poster

 This website looks like a pretty good resource for finding boy books. I’ll definitely be adding it to my delicious account. yay readers’ advisory!

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Filed under books, boys, library, reading