hi – 23nov

Hi. I’m away for the holidays visiting familly in Massachusetts. I’m having lunch today with one of my favorite local librarians who is leaving her job. I’ve been working on a 3500 word essay for CounterPoise about the digital divide, so I’ve been scarce around here but I have been sneaking peeks at the Librarian Trading Cards pool as it grows over at Flickr. Fun, and not just the usual library blogger suspects. Invite your friends and librarians

hi – 09sep

Hi. The mailto form which was now broken is now fixed. Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks to the folks who let me know. Since I never email myself, I pretty much never go to that page.

hi – 28jul

Hi. I haven’t written one of these chatty updates in a while. There’s nothing like a sunny 80 degree day and a beckoning pool to keep you away from the keyboard. I’ve gotten three library cards in the last three months. That’s three in addition to the two I already have at local libraries and the two that I have at the LoC and the NLM. In any case, here’s a short blurb about them:

  • the most recent card I got from the Vermont Technical College which is part of Vermont’s Community College system and in fact maintains the central library for all of them. Any Vermonter can get a card there. They have free wifi in and outside the library and a good collection of books, magazines, journals, videos and even software.
  • I got a card at the Chelsea Public Library. Actually you don’t so much as get a card as register with the library. They write your name down and hand you a little slip with the hours of the library on it. Then you come in and say your number when you check out books. I am number 861. They have a great collection of history books, two computers with Internet access and a pretty good new book selection. I am hoping to teach comptuer classes there in the Fall.
  • I got a card at the Kimball Library in Randolph whose web site I have been working on this week. Usually a card there costs around $20 for non-residents but I got one because I’ve been working there as an AmeriCorps volunteer. They have four internet computers, two catalog-only computers and one of the loveliest libraries that I’ve seen in this state. I have a key to the front door and they let me use the comptuers to teach classes before the library opens. My students are in their 70′s and 80′s and are using mice for the first time ever.

There’s definitely a schism in the state between libraries that don’t charge at all and libraries that try to get out-of-town users to pitch in what the taxpayers pitch in at town meeting time. Rutland, where I used to work, charges $28/year for theirs. They let me keep my card there after I stopped working there until it expires in September. The good news is that the Department of Libraries has done some bulk purchasing of databases subscriptions so even the smallest libraries can have access to online information. They even have some pretty hot cross-searchable database interfaces if you know where to look for them. At my job I’m mainly teaching people the difference between right and left clicking, and trying to explain why buying something online requires clicking through 5-6 pages of data entry, but it’s good to know that as people learn more about this crazy online world that many people inhabit, there are tools waiting for them that, if we’re doing our jobs right, will only get easier to use.

hi – 04apr

Hi. I always lose that hour when I am sure that I need it the most. I have done some things on the site here: added the links page to the new format and linked it on the sidebar; same goes for the technically legal library signs; the 404 page is up and working and I’m still trying to get a contact form working in php instead of the outmoded one that I do have which I am aware can be flakey. At work I’m putting together a manual about how to update the web site which I hope will be clear and helpful. I’m damned proud of that site and I hope it continues to be a good and useful site even when I’m not there to mess with it.