The degree will not be official until May, but I’ve just completed my very last school assignment. This means… I. AM. DONE. Done!!!!! My apologies to everyone who already saw this at Facebook, but such momentous news must be posted on wmtc!
I am honestly unable to express my joy and relief at finishing school. I sometimes wonder if I’m making a big fuss over something quite common, something people do every day. Then again, if people do return to school after nearly 30 years and pilot through a complete career change in their early 50s, every day, then good
. . . → Read More: wmtc: i am a master of information
Page no more! I’m not a librarian yet, but I’ve managed to get out of the page level. I’ve landed a part-time position as a circulation clerk, doing circ and customer service at the front desk in a branch about 20 minutes from home.
I’m thrilled. My hourly pay rate just doubled, and it will be a huge relief to my middle-aged back and knees.
Another reason this is very important is it guarantees I will not be a page again. If I get a librarian position that is temporary, such as covering a maternity leave (a not-uncommon way to
. . . → Read More: wmtc: in which my library career moves forward
January 26, 2013 was the first Human Library Day, but the Human Library, also known as the Living Library, has been around for several years.
The idea is to assemble a diverse group of people to be “books”, then invite an audience to “borrow” the books by engaging them in conversation about themselves. The “book” person talks to the “reader” about her or his life, giving people an opportunity to interact with a greater range of human diversity than they might normally encounter. Human books might be called, for example, activist, musician, lesbian, Muslim, doctor, cancer survivor, wheelchair-user,
. . . → Read More: wmtc: three library issues, part 3: the human library
Increasing numbers of public libraries are moving towards a self-checkout system, based on radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. This is not the slow and often painful process you encounter in Ikea or Home Depot, where customers are forced to supply free labour by doing the work of cashiers, while corporations pocket the savings. (I’ve been planning to write about that for a while; future post.)
RFID in libraries is a simple process: you can view an example here. Customers can check out a big stack of items by placing the entire stack on the sensor and inserting their library card
. . . → Read More: wmtc: three library issues, part 2: rfid self-checkout
An enormous number of library-related stories cross my path, either through school or this blog. A few have stayed on my mind and seem worth fleshing out.
A San Antonio, Texas public library will become the first in the US (and possibly in the world) to go completely bookless – that is, its collection will have no paper books, only digital books.
Much has been written about the pros and cons of digital books, and without recapping all that here, I think it’s important to realize that there are both positives and negatives. The digital book, like all technology, is
. . . → Read More: wmtc: three library issues, part 1: the all-digital library
At the branch library where I’m currently working as a page, the magazine section is along a back wall forming an L shape – the long part full of magazines, the short part with teen magazines and comic books. This isn’t the graphic novel section; it’s Archie, Amazing Spider-Man, and such. Around another corner from that short wall is a cozy reading area arranged among the youth novels.
The other day, as I was beginning to file a big pile of magazines, I came upon a girl, maybe tweens or early teens, wearing a hijab (not unusual), standing in the
. . . → Read More: wmtc: things i heard at the library: an occasional series: # 8
I must preface this post with a statement. If you aren’t a regular wmtc reader, if you’ve stumbled on this post without knowing anything about my views: I am a fierce proponent of free speech, and I am passionately committed to intellectual freedom.
Once, discussing my opposition to capital punishment, someone asked me, “Even for George Bush?” And I thought, you don’t know me very well, do you? I’d give my eye teeth to see a POTUS – former or sitting – stand trial for war crimes. I’d dance in the streets as he were sentenced to life behind
. . . → Read More: wmtc: things i heard at the library: an occasional series: # 6
Today I begin my last term of grad school. There are thirteen weeks to a term, so as of today I am counting down weeks to the finish line.
My courses may be interesting this term: graphic novels and comic books in the library, which I’m excited about, and issues in children’s and youth services, which is at least relevant to my career.
The term itself will be difficult, because both classes are at night, plus I will be working at least one night a week, possibly two. Working at night is fine, and standard for the public library, but
. . . → Read More: wmtc: my magic number is 13
Of all the aspects of librarianship that I know about, the piece I’m most excited about is readers’ advisory.
Readers’ advisory is the library term for answering that important question… “What to read next?” Questions like, “Do you have any more books like this one?”, “I’m tired of reading mysteries, I need something different,” and “I loved this book, I want another just like it,” are all about readers’ advisory.
I was surprised to learn that adult readers ask library staff for book recommendations all the time. In my own reading, I am guided by almost exclusively by
. . . → Read More: wmtc: trials of a student librarian: readers’ advisory, the library thing i love best
This is my first unhappy “things i heard at the library” post. Today I saw a child being abused.
It happened so fast, it was over and the parent gone before I had could clearly register what had happened. I was sitting on the edge of our lighthouse, the play space in the centre of our children’s library, collecting books left inside.
A child was crying. He couldn’t have been more than three years old. His mother was yelling at him in a language I don’t understand.
She grabbed his arm roughly, jerking him backwards. His head hit the lighthouse,
. . . → Read More: wmtc: things i heard at the library: an occasional series: # 6
Another semester is behind me! I’ve now completed seven of eight terms, 14 of 16 courses. The expression “can’t wait” doesn’t begin to describe how eager I am to finish my degree next spring.Quitting my oppressive law-firm job continues to pay dividend… . . . → Read More: wmtc: i’m back and i’m done
I was planning on spending the final few weeks of my summer reading, and blogging the remainder of my notes from Marxism 2012. That all changed when the Rivera family was ordered to leave Canada by September 20.
While Kim and lawyer Alyssa Manning pursue all avenues to challenge this injustice in court, the War Resisters Support Campaign is trying to make visible the widespread support for Kim, and for allowing all US war resisters to remain in Canada. If you’re in Canada, check this page for local actions you can participate in – or call a friend and organize
. . . → Read More: wmtc: where i’ve been
“Where can I find book number 285?”
The boy’s face was so earnest and so excited.
“What book are you looking for?” I asked.
“Book number 285.”
“Is that the title of the book?”
“No, it’s the book’s number. The title is ‘Quick and Easy Cooking’”.
“You want a book about cooking?”
“Ok, I’ll show you where those are.”
I walked him over to the kids’ cooking section. “These are all the cooking books for kids. You can look through these books, or if you want a specific book, we can ask
. . . → Read More: wmtc: things i heard at the library: an occasional series: # 5
I did this once before – turns out it was about a year ago – and although not many people participated, it made for good conversation and helped me get caught up with some friends. So why not? I still prefer posting about my life here as opposed to Facebook. From last year’s post: This list will answer the burning question: What’s up? What’s happening in your life? Doing anything interesting? Enjoying doing something mundane? Reading a good book? Working in your garden? Suffering from the heat? Tell us! Elaborate as much or little as you’d like.
We’ll limit this
. . . → Read More: wmtc: we like lists: list # 16: five things going on with me
Assuming I am not the last person on earth to find this site, you might share my enjoyment of Humans of New York, a photo project by Brandon Stanton, documenting a “photographic census of New York City”.
The Humans of New York website says that updates happen most frequently on Facebook, but I prefer the web version. HONY is also on Tumblr. And it’s gotten quite a bit of media coverage.
The site was brought to my attention by S, who thought I would appreciate this: “I’m a librarian.”“What’s your favorite part about being a librarian?”“…the books.”
From Beth Buczynski at Shareable.net: In recent years, there’s been something of a grassroots backlash against Wal-Mart Inc., as people have started to realize the damage a single Walmart can do to the small businesses that make up a local economy. In a few cases, there’s even been news of Walmart stores closing, effectively run out of town by citizens strongly opposed to its economic, environmental, and social practices.
While this represents a win for the citizens who organized the ouster, it creates an equally big challenge. Namely, what does one do with the cavernous commercial space left
. . . → Read More: wmtc: best recycling ever: abandoned walmart converted to public library
Jean Craighead George, author of some classics of children’s literature, died a few days ago.
In one of those eerie coincidences that seem to happen so often, I was just talking about George. At the library, I noticed that one of my favourite childhood books, My Side of the Mountain, was written by author of Julie of the Wolves, a book I loved when I was slightly older. I wondered if I knew that as a child, or if my love of My Side of the Mountain pre-dated my interest in authors. (That seems unlikely, as I worshipped
. . . → Read More: wmtc: jean craighead george, 1919 – 2012
Red Sox! Baseball! Today!
The beginning of a new baseball season is a harbinger of spring, bringing hope, renewal, and… the end of school! In a few days, I’ll be done with another term and can turn my attention back to the rest of the world, including wmtc.
Also in a few days – Tuesday at noon, but who’s counting – I’ll be finished with 75% of my degree, three of four years. I’m extremely restless and eager to finish. Since starting work as a library page, I’m working hours equivalent to a full-time job, plus school, and I’m really
. . . → Read More: wmtc: happy opening day
“Oh man, you gotta read these books! These books are the best! They’re not even really books. There are pictures! And jokes! And they’re really, really funny! And they’re super easy to read! These are the best! You gotta read these books!”
The books that are “not even really books”? Archie comics. The young man didn’t know the word for comic books.
An open letter from my friend and comrade Jonathon Hodge. See below for picket schedule.
Many of you are library users, or know someone who is, and so many of you are affected by the current work stoppage at the Toronto Public Library. Those of us who work in the library system do not take this step lightly.
The Toronto Public Library Board is pursuing a course that will severely undermine the library services that Torontonians hold dear. Already, budgets cuts have resulted in the loss of over 100 full-time equivalent positions, including the entire office for services
. . . → Read More: wmtc: how you can support striking tpl workers
One more question, folks! Do you use directories to find information online?
If you ask, “What’s a directory?”, it’s safe to say you don’t use one.
Thank you very much! I really appreciate it. I will share the results of both surveys when I’m done with my research.
Thank you very much to everyone who answered my social bookmarking survey. If you have not already done so, could you please answer two questions? It’s research for a paper I’m writing.
The survey is here. Thanks!