2009 in libraries

daytum

I’m a nerdy list-maker. This should come as a surprise to no one. In addition to all the other reasons I enjoy the end of the year, it’s also when I make my year-end summaries. I did a guestroom wrap-up on my personal blog. I have two bookish wrap-ups to put here. This first one is about library visits. 2009 was the first year I kept track of all my library visits in an orderly fashion. Longtime readers of this blog may remember I did library reviews in 2003. I found I had a difficult time with constructive criticism if I knew the people who worked at a library, so I stopped doing this.

This year I made 67 library visits, about one every five days. A lot of these were for work [either local work or giving talks] and the rest were either fun or curiosity. I used a website called Daytum to track my visits which was really easy. So, here’s a short annotated list of what I was doing in libraries last year.

  • Aldrich/Barre (1) – killing time before dinner with friends in town. The first library in Vermont I did any work for.
  • Austin (1) – LBJ library, sort of a flyby right beore it closed for the day.
  • Belfast, ME (1) – a small pretty library we stopped at while on vacation
  • Belmont, MA (5) – my boyfriend’s local library
  • Boxboro, MA (1) – my mom and sister’s library
  • Cambridge, MA (1) – got to see it after the renovations were done. It’s nice!
  • Camden, ME (1) – another fancy little Maine library
  • Chelmsford, MA (1) – home of the Swiss Army Librarian
  • Concord, NH (1) – stopped in here during a rainstorm
  • Des Moines, IA (1) – I helped change their photo policy!
  • Elko, NV (1) – A small library with a great mining collection
  • Hartness/Randolph VT (7) – my local college library
  • Houghton Library, Harvard University (1) – special tour and Samuel Johnson exhibit
  • Howe/Hanover, NH (4) – one of my favorite all-time libraries
  • JFK Library, MA (1) – mostly a museum and a general disappointment
  • Kimball/Randolph VT (6) – my town library, a great place
  • Library of Congress (1) – thanks Dan Chudnov for the tour.
  • Long Branch, NJ (1) – fun to poke around in while I was at NJLA
  • Montreal, QC (1) – ducked in here during a subway bomb scare
  • McGill/Montreal, QC (1) – gave a talk, saw the library
  • NYPL (2) – hiding out with good wifi in the periodicals room, highly recommended
  • NYPL/SIBL (1) – fancy library, right downtown
  • Portland, ME (1) – another hideout from the rain
  • Portsmouth, NH (1) – gave a talk and stuck around
  • Rochester, VT (1) – classic small-town library in a funky old building
  • Toronto, ON (1) – no wifi, sort of surprising
  • Tunbridge, VT (21) – where I work most of the time
  • Westport, MA (1) – my Dad’s library.

Happy New Year! Some 2009 Goals.

Happy New Year to everyone. I actually took the holiday season pretty well off this year, for possibly the first time in the last decade. I still did a little work for MetaFilter and kept up with email, but my posting frequency went down to almost nothing which is okay by me. So, I hope you had a good holidaytime.

I have a few personal resolution-type things over on jessamyn.com but I’ve also got a few work-related ones. Last year all my assiduous recordkeeping was interrupted by a hard drive crash, so I was doing great on keeping receipts and tracking invoices until about August and it fell apart. This year I’ve already got a weekly backup system in place so I’m anticipating no similar three month setbacks. A non-librarian mailing list that I’m on has been talking about 2009 plans and one of the main bits of wisdom that came down the wire in the last month was this

Resolution: Don’t be good at things you hate.

For me, what this means is just because I’m good at solving technical problems, it doesn’t mean I need to always do it as a job (or hobby), or do it for people who aren’t decent about it (whether that means decently polite, decently paying or decently convenient). I did a good job last year limiting the amount I was teaching — I love teaching but working within the chaos of a school environment was difficult and frustrating for me — and I think that really added to the ease of the other things I did in my life that I loved.

So, for 2009 I have some work related goals

- Automate the Tunbridge Library
- Maintain the VLA site to a degree that people are happy with
- Give interesting well thought out talks to interested people in neat places
- Keep teaching classes and drop-in time at a level that’s not exhausting
- Be a better “social” and real life networker and library friend to people new in the profession
- Keep writing for Computers in Libraries and try to get them to call what I write a column and not a department.
- Maintain this blog and launch fun new project blog (details forthcoming, sorry to be a cryptic jerk)
- Share as much of my personal work content as possible (see next post)
- Make a little movie about my many jobs

What are you thinking about doing?