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wmtc: on a language adventure with mango languages

We are going to Egypt!

We’re super excited about it. It’s someplace we’ve always wanted to go. In fact, it’s the only country that Allan has always wanted to see. (We went to my number one spot — Peru — in 2006.) Just after New Year’s, we celebrate our anniversary, and we always go away . . . → Read More: wmtc: on a language adventure with mango languages

wmtc: labour day readers’ advisory: books and movies that celebrate labour

I spoke to a customer yesterday who was visiting from Denmark. He described himself as a trade-unionist, and he came to the library, looking for me, to learn about our strike!He also said he had read a book he loved, and was looking for more like it. H… . . . → Read More: wmtc: labour day readers’ advisory: books and movies that celebrate labour

wmtc: things i heard at the library: an occasional series: #22

“Can you help me find some mystery books?””Yes, I’d be happy to. What kind of mysteries are you looking for?””The kind where someone is killed, and then they figure out who did it.”Okay…In the mystery fiction section, I tried this. “There are differe… . . . → Read More: wmtc: things i heard at the library: an occasional series: #22

wmtc: things i heard at the library: an occasional series: #22

“Can you help me find some mystery books?””Yes, I’d be happy to. What kind of mysteries are you looking for?””The kind where someone is killed, and then they figure out who did it.”Okay…In the mystery fiction section, I tried this. “There are differe… . . . → Read More: wmtc: things i heard at the library: an occasional series: #22

wmtc: mississauga library workers vote overwhelmingly to strike

Yesterday, the members of CUPE Local 1989, Mississauga Library Workers Union, voted overwhelmingly to strike. Amid massive turnout in three separate meetings, 96% of the members in attendance said they are willing to take strike action in order to win … . . . → Read More: wmtc: mississauga library workers vote overwhelmingly to strike

wmtc: things i heard at the library: an occasional series: #21

Visibly anxious and upset customer: Can you please help me? Something is wrong with this computer!I go over to take a look. The public computer is still starting up, and Internet Explorer (sadly, the default browser) is slowly opening.Me (pointing to t… . . . → Read More: wmtc: things i heard at the library: an occasional series: #21

wmtc: awful library books and why we remove them from our shelves

A while back, I blogged about weeding, every library’s not-so-dirty little not-so-secret. Daniel Gross, writing in The New Yorker, looks at weeding, too – from a library-users’ revolt in Berkeley, California to the hilarious Awful Library Books blog: W… . . . → Read More: wmtc: awful library books and why we remove them from our shelves

wmtc: library workers are precarious workers

Local 4948, Toronto Public Library Workers Union, a/k/a the most kickass library workers’ union in North America, produced two videos about the state of library work today. Here’s the short, humourous version.And here’s the longer documentary version; … . . . → Read More: wmtc: library workers are precarious workers

wmtc: vancouver, day four

Our last day in Vancouver was a full one. It included a library, great art, a meet-up with an activist-friend… and noodles!I didn’t want another breakfast at the hotel, so we poked around a bit online and found something nearby. This place didn’t ope… . . . → Read More: wmtc: vancouver, day four

wmtc: dispatches from ola 2016, part 2: libraries and prisons

I’ve had a longstanding interest in prison libraries, and was happy to meet another librarian-friend who shares this. But I was very pleasantly surprised at the large turnout for the talk Prisons and Libraries: A Relationship Worth Incubating at t… . . . → Read More: wmtc: dispatches from ola 2016, part 2: libraries and prisons

wmtc: dispatches from ola 2016, part 1: choosing to walk a path

I attended OLA* for only one day this year, partly because I’m already missing so much work for bargaining and other union business, and partly because one day is often enough. There’s a huge lineup of presentations, poster sessions, book signings, ven… . . . → Read More: wmtc: dispatches from ola 2016, part 1: choosing to walk a path

wmtc: in which i continue to hate christmas even though i can’t be bothered right now

Right now I’m so busy, between work and union, that I barely have time to hate Christmas. As I’ve found in recent years, a combination of circumstances – getting out of the office worker environment, streaming-only TV and movies (ad-free!), discovering… . . . → Read More: wmtc: in which i continue to hate christmas even though i can’t be bothered right now

wmtc: things i heard at the library: digital divide edition (#20)

In library school we talked a lot about the digital divide, the ever-increasing gap between those who have access to information and communication technology, and those who do not. Public libraries are one of the very few institutions that exist to bri… . . . → Read More: wmtc: things i heard at the library: digital divide edition (#20)

wmtc: blue jays vs. royals, library style

Library smackdown? Toronto Public Library vs. Kansas City Library, via Twitter.

wmtc: things i heard at the library: an occasional series: #19

A mother and her young son enter the library, returning a big stack of books for beginning readers. A conversation is already in progress. Imagine this in a voice – no, a whine – of pure sadness.

“But why do I have to return it?”

“Because it’s not yours. It belongs to the library.”

“But . . . → Read More: wmtc: things i heard at the library: an occasional series: #19

wmtc: votepopup: voter education at the library

On the long list of anti-democratic policies the majority Harper Government has enacted, the Orwellian-named Fair Elections Act ranks near the top. More properly called a voter suppression law, the Act effectively disenfranchise tens of thousands of Canadians. The Council of Canadians has taken the issue to court, including an ongoing Charter Challenge, but those . . . → Read More: wmtc: votepopup: voter education at the library

wmtc: things i heard at the library: an occasional series: #18

As I’ve mentioned, my current branch is located in a community centre. Here’s an example of why that’s so great.

A customer came to the desk, an older man, speaking heavily accented English, clutching a piece of paper.

It was difficult to figure out what he wanted. He kept repeating, “They said the library . . . → Read More: wmtc: things i heard at the library: an occasional series: #18

wmtc: things i heard at the library: an occasional series: #17

A customer comes to the reference desk to ask about Zinio. I tell him that Zinio allows him to get full access to hundreds of magazines, all at zero cost, through his library account. His eyes light up.

“This is all free?”

“Yes, it’s completely free. Do you use a computer at home?” He does.

. . . → Read More: wmtc: things i heard at the library: an occasional series: #17

wmtc: to ottawa for the 2015 cupe library conference

At this very moment I am on the train from Toronto to Ottawa, en route to the CUPE Library Workers Conference. This will be my first time attending this annual event. I don’t know what to expect, but I’m super excited!

Last week I was off work for a few days for my annual Spring . . . → Read More: wmtc: to ottawa for the 2015 cupe library conference

wmtc: i survive another march break and live to tell the tale

I’m still providing library services to teens, and I’m still loving my job. March Break is one of our big-ticket items. I’m expected to plan and provide a week-long lineup of free programs for teens. I strive for a variety of programming – some tech-y, some crafty, some movement, some just for socializing and fun. . . . → Read More: wmtc: i survive another march break and live to tell the tale

wmtc: follow up: a brighter picture on ebooks and libraries, in some cases

Last summer, I blogged about the very bad arrangement between publishers and public libraries regarding ebooks, and suggested that library users could help their libraries by not borrowing ebooks.

I’ve discovered some additional information that works in favour of libraries. This also answers the question asked in comments here.

The $85-for-26-downloads pricing structure applies to . . . → Read More: wmtc: follow up: a brighter picture on ebooks and libraries, in some cases

wmtc: dispatches from the community of readers’ advisors: r.a. in a day 2014

Last week I attended “R.A. in a Day,” an annual one-day mini-conference on readers’ advisory – that is, finding books for readers.

It happens that the manager of my own “Readers’ Den” department is one of the principal hosts of the conference, and the Mississauga Library was well-represented in the audience. More than 100 . . . → Read More: wmtc: dispatches from the community of readers’ advisors: r.a. in a day 2014

wmtc: coming full circle: my sixth-grade obsession meets my teen book club

Continuing on the young-adult fiction theme, it’s been about six months since I blathered about my absolute favourite part of my job: teen book club. Our monthly gathering is still going strong, a small but dedicated group of young readers who love books, and love to talk about books. My posters for TBC invite teens to . . . → Read More: wmtc: coming full circle: my sixth-grade obsession meets my teen book club

wmtc: the so-called "y.a. debate" rages on, but doesn’t a debate have two sides?

In June of this year, Slate ran a now-infamous piece called “Against YA,” in which Ruth Graham argued that adults shouldn’t read young-adult fiction, and should be embarrassed if they do. A flood of posts and essays were written in response; my own response is here. In the short term, as far as I can tell, not . . . → Read More: wmtc: the so-called "y.a. debate" rages on, but doesn’t a debate have two sides?

wmtc: what i do, what i miss, and what are they thinking: answers to the question, "what do you do?"

When we moved to Canada (nine years plus a few days ago), I wondered what, if anything, I would miss about the US. Who would have guessed it would be watching “Baseball Tonight”? Yup, the only thing I miss about living in that crazy country is watching a baseball-highlights show on ESPN. Not bad!

In . . . → Read More: wmtc: what i do, what i miss, and what are they thinking: answers to the question, "what do you do?"