Monday, January 19, 2009

Candidate for ALA Council

I've decided to run for ALA council again, which means it's time to write my "Statement of Professional Concerns."

I'll admit that I'm a tad ambivalent about the whole thing myself. It's a pain to go to six days of conference twice a year, especially given that it's 70 degrees in San Francisco right now and I don't even have a winter coat to wear in Denver. Council can be frustrating, but I feel like there are more people saying things that make sense these days. The trouble is, their numbers are still small, and they can still use all the help they can get. So, my name goes in the hat once again.

What would you want someone to care about in their statement? How can I say something meaningful about technology, participation, risk, and change in 150 words or less?

Statement of Professional Concerns:

I am optimistic about the future of libraries and librarianship, yet I recognize that ALA must prepare for and anticipate a future that is marked by great changes. ALA members are embracing new modes of communication and participation, and as a result are developing new expectations for involvement in ALA. We as members have a responsibility to address these changing expectations, a responsibility that holds an inherent promise of the opportunity to become a more inclusive, dynamic organization.

As a member of Council, I will continue to advocate for students, recent graduates, early career librarians, and paraprofessionals. Our best chance for success lies in a future where we combine the fresh perspective of new professionals with the knowledge of veterans gained through years of experience.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My library is where all the awesome lives.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

hmm, where are the librarians?

How come the interesting forums always happen while I'm at work? The Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy is holding the first in a series of public forums over in Mountain View, and I'm wondering, why aren't there any librarians on the agenda? I hope there will be a few in the audience.

Sometimes it feels like us library folks aren't making friends with the right people...

Monday, September 01, 2008

Sundays!

Starting this month, my library will be open on Sundays! Super exciting, there's such a demand for it. The OCLC report on library funding was extremely helpful in preparing my presentation to City Council.

Monday, June 23, 2008

ALA Anaheim

Hiya. Hope i'll see you there.

Friday Jun 27
13:30 - oclc symposium at marriott ballroom 1-5

Saturday Jun 28
09:00 - elections task force at HIL laguna A
11:00 - coffee with k
15:30 - membership meeting at ballroom b/c
17:30 - LJ reception for s at tortilla jo's, 1510 Disneyland Drive

Sunday Jun 29
07:00 - brekkie with f
08:00 - council video at cc ballroom b/c
09:00 - council at ballroom b/c
13:00 - planning & budget assembly at CC 201 c
17:30 - president's reception at CC arena plaza
17:30 - blog salon at hilton palisades
19:30 - nmrt social at hyatt grand A

Monday Jun 30
10:15 - council at ballroom b/c
11:30 - membership meeting at ballroom b/c
13:30 - exec board at hilton laguna a
20:00 - council forum at hilton malibu

Tuesday Jul 1
09:15 - council at ballroom b/c
16:30 - council forum at hilton malibu

Wednesday Jul 2
08:00 - council at ballroom b/c

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Read, ride, and go.

Yesterday, I woke up at 4:30am and caught a BART train all the way to the end of the line. My library unveiled something that is kind of a big deal, a book vending machine.



It felt a little bit like a human game of Space Invaders as I tried to give everybody a bookmark. People arrived in waves as a buses dropped folks off at the station, and almost everyone willingly took a bookmark, even the ones running to catch a train. A little surprising, since I probably wouldn't have taken one if I had offered me a bookmark. Even more surprising was hearing people say, "Oh, I saw it on TV," or, "I heard about it on the radio this morning."

It was amazing and entirely unremarkable at the same time. Amazing because I know about all the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes. Unremarkable because, sitting there right next to an automated ticket vending machine, our little (well, actually, rather big) book machine seemed totally integrated into the way people live their lives today. Which is exactly where the library should be, right?

Friday, February 29, 2008

I can't possibly embarrass Steve more...

...than I already did by nominating him for Library Journal's Paraprofessional of the Year award. Oh, and guess what? HE WON.





The best part is, when LJ called him to offer congratulations and announce that he won, he was too busy doing his job to take the call. Poor John Berry had to call three times before he could get through to Steve.

He's the first guy to win, and at a wee 30 years old, definitely the youngest. Rock on.

After I found out (and after the squealing and jumping up and down and running in circles), I totally blew the "keep it under your hat" nudge from LJ and told almost everyone I know. For the non-library folks, it mostly translated into a text message that referred to a "big deal dorkalicious nat'l library award."

You should go get your hands on a hard copy of the magazine. The cover is awesome, but I especially like his smiling face in the picture that goes with the article. My only complaint is that the article is too short. I wanted more Steve stories! I had to make do with reading the same two pages about a dozen times.

Here's a little excerpt from the 365 words that got the whole mess started:

It is in the small details that Steve truly demonstrates his delight in the role that the library plays in people’s lives. He is a constant source of encouraging words and fun ideas...Steve sees the best in other people, and he employs this same sense of visionary optimism in his approach to libraries. He inspired me during the time we worked together, and he continues to challenge me to make my own dreams of an extraordinary library into a reality.


Now, I knew from the start that Steve would win. He's just that fabulous. But a little premeditated persuasion couldn't hurt. When I wrote the nomination, I spent a lot of time thinking about the people that would be reading it and choosing the winner. I knew that, in the end, they'd have to write an article about the winner. So I didn't just tout Steve's accomplishments and sing his praises, I served them up a good story. I'd been planning to nominate him for about a year, so I saved it up until he turned 30 because it has a nice ring to it. I talked about his mom, who also works as a paraprofessional (at the same library!), and I gave one small, understated example of his day-to-day work. I threw in a nice atmospheric comment about the library where he works. I talked a bit about Steve the person, not just Steve the library employee. And I didn't even come close to using the full 500 word allotment.

So, Steve, you've just won LJ's Paraprofessional of the Year award. What are you going to do next?

Well, since the conference and award ceremony are in Anaheim, there's really only one answer. We're gonna go to Disneyland.