policies aren’t really policies if you don’t enforce them

Ed Bilodeau has a few words about food/drink/trash policies. If you feel that you must have them, enforce them.

I am calling on librarians everywhere to pull yourself away from the Internet and take a few minutes every day at different times of the day to take a stroll around your library and ensure that your policies regarding food, drink, and general proper use of the library are being respected.

leaving des moines

Des Moines Public Library

note: new update from Des Moines PL and the architect’s office below the fold. Short form: “it would be appropriate to change the policy”

I had a great time at the Iowa Library Association conference. I gave two talks and actually scheduled my time such that I could actually attend a few presentations as well as give some. My notes for two talks — Tiny Tech and On-the-Fly Tech Support — are online here. I saw a presentation by the new ALA OIF director about privacy in the age of social software as well as a gadgets talk where I learned more about ebooks.

I also had some time to go to the local public library. I’m often surprised that the local libraries don’t do much to acknowledge that there is a huge library conference in town. Most of the time when I go to the local public library when I’m visiting a new city, there isn’t even a “welcome librarians!” sign out. Karen Schneider [who gave a great keynote in the morning and a talk about open source later in the day] and I actually had a sort of weird experience there. We went in to the library, snapping photos as we do, and were met as we walked in by a library worker who basically asked “Are you taking pictures?” When we said that we were, she said that we weren’t allowed to take photos in the library and if we wanted to get permission to take photos we’d have to go talk to the marketing people up on the third floor.

We were just on a fly-by so we (mostly) put our cameras away. However, I was curious about the policy. I had an email exchange with the marketing director that I am reprinting here with permission. I’m not sure what to think about the whole situation. You’ll note I took a photograph or two anyhow, and I appreciated the very nice email, but it was in stark contrast to both a weird-seeming policy and a weird-seeming policy enforcement mechanism. (more…)

SAA’s Equal Opportunity/Non-Discrimination Policy

Just a little “yay team” note, the Society for American Archivists has added language to their non-discrimination policy protecting people in “gender identity/expression,” “religion,” “sexual orientation,” and “veteran status” categories from discrimination. The policy is here with a strong support statement; some bloggish discussion here (and see the previous post linked form that one) and here. [via]

OCLC kerfuffle, summarized in a way I agree with

Stefano Mazzocchi has a summary of the issues in the new OCLC policy dispute. Worth reading, mostly free of handwaving. [thanks peter]

unattended children @ your library

Mary Minow does a great summary of some library policies concerning unattended children over at the Library Law blog.