Friday, November 30, 2007

Long live ILL

Or Resource sharing, as I am wont to call it by my brand-hat-wearing self.

One of my colleagues sent me a college student's post The Interlibrary Loan Blues this morning about the agony of waiting for his ILL-requested book. The suspense of it basically takes over his mental life--that's how important ILL can be for people.

So just when you start to think that everything is electronic and who actually uses monographs anymore, anyway? (Much less is willing to wait for them?) Just read Mr. Plexiglass to yourself and be reassured.

And a completely nonrelated, gratuitous photo taken 9 weeks ago...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

"Local Government Managers and Public Libraries"

For all you public librarians out there:

The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) sent a mailing to its members yesterday called "Local Government Managers and Public Libraries: Partners for a Better Community." The paper was also shared this morning on the state librarians' listserv, courtesy of my own state librarian, Jo Budler.

The report details ways in which city or county managers can work more effectively with public library directors and staff to achieve their community priorities. The research and writing of the paper was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and is part of the Foundation's ongoing work to strengthen public library advocacy.

This paper would be a great spark for opening new lines of communication with local government managers. There are several other good papers on library-local government cooperation available from ICMA, so check it out!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What I've Been Doing

So what, you might ask, have I been doing?

I will spare you the litany of boring diapers, wipes, goo-goo, ga-ga mumbo-jumbo.

But I have seen how the other half lives. The other half being the men and women in our (this is geared for public libraries) communities who descend upon our stacks, our computers, our DVD piles...during normal business hours.

I have always wondered what the rest of the world does, while we all go to work and stare at screens, sit in meetings and talk on phones. Now I know! They go on walks(!), they volunteer for political campaigns (!), they take naps (!), they do laundry mid-week (!), and they scoff at the idea of needing Microsoft Outlook to help them organize their day(!!!)

Okay, maybe some of them use Outlook. But I seriously unplugged and mysteriously feel no worse the wear for it. I happily admit to having a very large GAP in my blog, news and magazine reading. But I have a very large STASH of photos with family members on beaches, at sunsets, around dining room tables and yes, even in Jackson Square, New Orleans.

Now obviously I am not recommending a wholesale mass exodus of the workforce OR of technology. Otherwise who would be around to read my pontifications? But as a temporary realignment, a small re-engagement with some of the people we's a great mini-sabbatical I can encourage, to help one remember that the world does not end with deadlines, agendas and achievements.

Sunshine can bring happiness. As can warm cookies from the oven, or to notice the tomato plant that has valiantly hung on past a frost. These fleeting pleasures, born of leisure, were mine for a time.

So indulge those seeming vagabonds among you. They may be building memories.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Alice is back!

Hello IAGers!

I am back, after 10 (count them, TEN) glorious weeks of maternity leave.

I loved (almost) every minute of it. There were a few diapers, crying moments, etc. I could probably stand to delete from the archive...

But I am officially back today and so far, so good.

Lots of stories to tell! None of them particularly interesting to anyone other than parents of young children. I tell you, I am in a whole new demographic but strangely--I am lovin it.

That said, it's also good to be back at work. It's all good.

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Little More on MLA

I mentioned in my last post that I'd been at the Medical Library Association's Southern Chapter Conference this week. I gave a keynote, and my talk was followed by remarks and comments from two excellent responders, Michele Kraft and Gabe Rios.

Michele coined a term on the spot. Reacting to my comments about "disaggregation" and "re-aggregation" of information, she came up with the phrase "information fission" to describe the way multiple atoms of information from many sources slam together to release all sorts of new energy. I told her that I planned to steal this phrase; I'm kind of surprised she didn't use it in her terrific blog entry about the program!

Gabe quoted a terrific maxim that we should all have tattooed in a prominent location: "Information that is hard to find is information that will remain hardly found."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tongue Tied

Yesterday, I was in Charleston for the Medical Library Association's Southern Chapter conference. I used the church analogy there, as I have done in a couple of dozen speeches over the last year. When I got to the part where I say you can smell the "incense of the old books deteriorating on the shelf..." I accidentally said, "...the incest of the....INCENSE of..." Of course, if I had just elided over it, it may have gone unnoticed. But the moment I corrected myself, the audience erupted in laughter. After stammering for a few seconds, I resumed the speech. Three sentences later, when I usually say, "We aren't there to save their immortal souls..." it came out, "We aren't there to save their immoral souls..." More laughter, and then, as the room quieted, a voice from the back of the room announced, "Paging Doctor Freud!"

The worst of it was, at the end of the program, in the schmoozing afterwards, no one believed it was just a couple of slips of the tongue. They all thought I'd rehearsed this! What kind of reputation am I developing?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Did you nominate an LJ "Mover and Shaker"?

I received the following e-mail this afternoon from Marylaine Block, and she has had one of those disasters that could befall any of us. Read on:

Hi, George,

I'm writing the Movers and Shakers profiles again this year, and I'd appreciate your help getting the word out, especially in view of the calamity that befell the server that was supposed to be keeping track of the nominations. Could you post this on It's All Good, and on any lists you're involved with?

It's time once again for nominations for Library Journal's Movers and Shakers issue. This supplement to the March 15, 2008 issue will profile "50-plus up-and-coming individuals from across the United States and Canada - librarians, vendors, consultants, etc. - who are innovative, creative, and making a difference" in the profession.

If you already nominated people for Library Journal's Movers and Shakers, before November 5, we need you to go back and RENOMINATE those people, because due to a computer glitch, those nominations were not captured and stored on LJ's server. We are assured that the electronic nomination form is working, but if you prefer, you can supply all the information requested on the form and either fax it to 646-746-6734, or send it in an e-mail to Francine Fialkoff. The deadline has been extended to November 28.



Marylaine Block
Writer and Internet Librarian
336 375 2195