season wind-down

I’ve been doing a lot of winding down in preparation for getting ready for holidaytime and all the rest. Here are some things that I found very useful that can not be explained in 140 characters. Sorry it’s taken a while.

- Want to read Overdrive books on your iPad? A combination of the Bluefire Reader (free) and a handy bookmarklet (also free) let you download books straight from Overdrive to read right on your iPad.
- Sunday Sunday Sunday! I’ve been meaning to mention this for a while but one of my almost-local libraries just made a major hours change and got funding to stay open on Sundays. This is a huge rarity where I am and much appreciated. It even got a nice write-up in the paper.
- Enjoyed a recent blog post by one of my perennial favorites, Molly Kleinman, talking about going to an Open Education conference and being dismayed at the perception of librarians that seemed to be held by the education community there. There was the perception of librarians as risk-averse, hung up on metadata at the expense of content and concerned about copyright to the point of letting copyright concerns outweigh digitization efforts. Molly writes up her thoughts and some approaches she thinks might help in her post When librarians are obstacles.
- Bullying, while perhaps assisted by technology, is not happening because of technology. Former YALSA President Linda Braun explains why.

library joke

Some signage amusement from the Howe library in Hanover New Hampshire.

Library joke

The Howe library in Hanover New Hampshire

Howe Library - bookplate

Yesterday I got on the highway and went for a trip out to the Howe Library in Hanover New Hampshire. I took some photos. Mary White who was my gracious host when I spoke at Marlboro College a few years ago is now the director there. She had been in touch with a former Marlboro student who is now fresh out of library school and looking for work in the area — please hire Tyler (old blog, new blog, twitter), he is a smart, engaging involved person — and was having an informal chat with him and invited me out to see her library and meet Tyler. Apparently Tyler was partially inspired to his professional path by my talk/presence at Marlboro. Neat.

This is one of the things I think we don’t so much talk about in the blog-twitter-facebook world of librarianship — how important mentoring and personal connections are to getting, finding, and keeping work. Mary and I both had some identical pieces of advice for Tyler: join a professional association and try to go to the NHLA conference in May. I remember when I was first in library school and joining WLA and ALA, there were more experienced librarians who took me under their wing and sort of showed me how it was done.

The other thing I took away from my quickie visit was how much of what’s wonderful about the Howe — a library I’ve enjoyed going to since I first moved to the Upper Valley but haven’t been back to in a while — is the attention to detail that Mary and others bring to the place. Sure, the library has a great website that they hired a local company to create. There are TONS of signs in the library, many little nook-like places to sit, nice spaces for people to work in (tech services has windows), many interesting ways to say “thank you” to people for donating money or efforts, a year-round booksale and even a free hour of parking if you need to use the parking garage because the lot is full. Anyone in the area who wants to see a loved and loving library should wander down to the Howe and say hello to Mary.