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?

some ALA resolution information

Rory includes the full text of the Iraq resolution that passed through ALA Council this past session. He’s also included the Resolution on Disinformation & Media Manipulation and the Destruction of Public Information and the Resolution on Threats to Library Materials Related to Sex, Gender Identity, or Sexual Orientation. Remember, ALA isn’t a legislative body and so these resolutions are, at best, statements of good intentions, position papers if you will. If any of these resolutions [and I'll be trying to find the text of the rest of them this week] are applicable to your library situation, feel free to print them out and tell whoever needs to know “The largest library association in the world thinks this is important” James Casey who serves with me on Council and always distributed his post-Council reports widely, had this to say about the importance of wide-ranging resolutions.

Discussions were intense and substantive (most of the time), but there was a surprising tendency in this session for the Councilors not to worry about straying from “Library Issues”. In fact, I don’t recall hearing that term : “This is not a Library issue.” even once from the floor of Council during the whole of this Conference. There was a clearer connection in the minds of Councilors — at least in my own mind — how the manipulation, destruction and spinning of information can result in wars, ecological disasters and other calamities that were previously thought best to be left to the “experts” who supposedly run our government on our behalf. Librarians who believe in the value and importance of access to accurate and truthful information may come to view government actions predicated upon an endless tapestry of lies and misinformation, to be a matter relevant to their professional concerns. Instead of a “leftward tilt” on Council evident, I detected more of a realization that what you don’t know — or aren’t allowed to know — can literally kill you and a lot of other folks as well.

a few ALA wrap-ups

I finally made it back to my house after an extended trip home [extra time in airports, extra time in Boston, extra time on the bus] and it’s great to be here. I felt that this was one of my most productive conferences yet, even though it was a bit lacking in the “seeing all the friends I don’t see often enough” scale. I’m still putting together a wrap up, but in the meantime, feel free to read the ones I’ve found online:

  • Pink Sneakers blog
  • Karen’s LITA Councilors report
  • Rochelle’s Council wrap-up from which I will pull this list of notable resolutions and add one that was important to me at the end
    • Resolution in Suport of Immigrants Rights to Free Public Library Access
    • Resolution on Disinformation, Media Manipulation & the Destruction of Public Information
    • Resolution on the Connection between the Iraq War and Libraries
    • Resolution on Threats to Library Materials Related to Sex, Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation
    • Resolution on Support for Community Broadband Initiatives [paraphrased for now]
  • Some official numbers from ALA, record-breaking attendance.