Thursday, January 18, 2007

We are all part of the Reading Rainbow

from The Onion: Nation's Gays Demand Right To Library Cards
"No one's preventing gays from using libraries—they're fully welcome to walk into them, browse all they want, and sit down and flip through any book they choose, even in the reference section...But to issue them the same library cards as a regular American citizen would demean what our nation's library cards stand for."

Saturday, January 13, 2007


First things first. Here are the places I want to eat while I'm in Seattle:
  • Glo's. Brunch. Veeeery slow. Get the bennie.

  • Collin's Pub. Tasty food, tasty beer. 2nd & Yesler.

  • Pike's market. There's a little Russian place I like in one of the alleys, all sorts of good bakeries, humbao, and tasty fish sandwiches in the market proper.

  • Cafe Bengodi/Denunzio's. Italian. Yum.

  • Maybe Bonzai, just for nostalgia. Sushi. Used to eat very hurried lunches here because it's close to the train station.

Hopefully I'll have time to check out the new Sculpture Park, have dinner with my mom, and see Faye, Maria, Michael, Bryan, and Anna.

Public transit from the airport is super easy. Catch the 194, it's an express. Even if the 174 comes first, wait for the 194. Make sure you get the one that says Downtown Seattle. $1.25 or $1.50, depening on whether it's peak fare or not, about 30 minutes, runs pretty often. The only tricky bit: riding toward downtown Seattle, pay when you get on the bus; riding away from downtown, pay when you leave. Downtown the bus is free.

WARNING: Seattle streets make no freakin' sense. Back in the day, there were two guys who disagreed as to how the city should be laid out. They each went on their merry way, and eventually one of them died and the other one connected the grids. Pay very close attention to whether something is Street or Way, S or W. I once got lost at the corner of 47th and 47th.

If you want to run for Council as a petition candidate, let me know and I'll help you collect signatures.

My schedule so far:

Friday, January 19
OCLC Symposium. 1:30pm-4:30pm

Saturday, January 20
Council Orientation, 8:00-10:00am
NMRT Midwinter Social, 6-8:30pm, Elephant and Castle
Blogger Salon 7:30-?, Sheraton Hotel Blue Suite
Council Reception, 9-10pm

Sunday, January 21
ALA Council/Executive Board/Membership Information Session, 9:00-10am
ALA-APA Council Information Session, 10:00-10:30am
ALA Council I, 10:45 a.m.-12:15pm
ALA President's Program, 3:30-5:30pm

Monday, January 22
ALA-APA Council, 10:15-11:15am
ALA Executive Board Candidates Forum, 11:30 am-12:30pm
Council Forum, 8-9:30pm

Tuesday, January 23
ALA Council II, 9:15am-12:45pm
Council Forum, 4:30-6pm

Wednesday, January 24
ALA Council III, 8:00am-12:30pm

I'm staying at the Mayflower Park Hotel, 4th & Olive. Best to reach me by cell phone.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Tinfoil tandem

(For a companion piece to this, please go visit Rochelle. She and I spent some time earlier today talking about the plague of politeness in library work environments. The discussion really starts with her post, so go read that first.)

Last month, I went to a fun class on leading teams. It reminded me of my management class in library school...lots of talk about the forming-storming-norming-performing model of team development. Politeness is definitely one of the stages of forming a team, but it's an EARLY stage and you need to move beyond it to get things done. Teams may return to that stage periodically, but generally the goal is to move beyond it. And moving away from politeness doesn't necessarily mean moving towards conflict. It can also mean moving towards trust. (That's an important bit, in my opinion, so i'll say it again.) It means moving towards trust, where you feel comfortable enough to tell people what you really think, and to know that in doing so your team will give genuine consideration to your remarks.

I recall reading this article on teamwork in liberry school. The class was on social collaboration and technology...very cool class, but unfortunately it wasn't in the liberry school. It was electrical and computer engineering. This one really stuck with me...I underlined stuff and I didn't recycle it when I graduated. The article mentioned that teams that always agree with one another produce mediocre work, lowest common denominator stuff. (from one case study: "...desire for harmony in the team had interfered with scrutiny of business ideas...The whole team was never in conflict. Everyone was very polite." p362) If nobody offers criticism, if nobody says "hey, what if we changed this or did that," then nothing improves. Or worse, you get a wishy washy environment where your ability to choose between different options is limited, because once somebody's offered up an option for consideration, everyone just agrees instead of offering alternatives. When people disagree, you get qualitative debate about which idea might be better. And if you're lucky, you just might end up choosing the better idea. Of course this will lead to situations where people don't get their first choice, but hopefully the choice that is implemented is the strongest of all available options. And because you've engaged in debate, everybody understands why a particular decision was made.

So, are we all in agreement on this?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Stuff you didn't know about me

Okay Sarah, the guilt trip worked. I've been meaning to blog more often. Really. Honest. I've just been kinda busy, and then I was sick, and then the dog ate my homework...

I'm not calling this a New Year's Resolution or anything, but here's a new post for a new year.

  1. I was a mailman for a brief while. As such, I know that the proper title is letter carrier, but I prefer mailman. I have the ear flap hat and everything.

  2. I don't know how tall I am. Somewhere years back I got sick of people asking me how tall I am and I just quit measuring. Suffice it to say that I am rather tall, probably taller than you. I do have a best guess that I use for things like my driver's license. And when I'm at the doctor's office and they measure me, I tend to sing la-la-la-I'm-not-listening...

  3. I can never remember the melody for Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes. I use it in story time constantly, and I always just start and hope that someone else will carry the tune. It usually comes to me around the eyes and ears bit.

  4. I have a vast collection of refrigerator magnets. (Which mostly started out as gifts for my mother, but I prefer to give them to her in person, and sometimes I would forget to take them when I would visit, and then they started to pile up...)

  5. I don't own any furniture that I can't lift all by myself. Yes, even the sofa bed.

Let's try Meg, Andrea, Esteban, my neighbor, and my pen pal. I'm late to this party, so if anybody out there is still reading my blog, consider yourself tagged, too.