vermont libraries consider their role

One Vermont library is considering their role in the community and asking residents how they see the library fitting in. The VT Department of Libraries [just look at that web site, will you] is playing a shrinking role as a provider of regional library services, yet many towns in Vermont [including mine] still have no library. When there is a library it is generally funded by foundations and town allotments, which can make funding erratic at best and non-existent at worst.

community analyses using census data

Short article about using the census data to help plan services for your library. I was really sort of astounded when I did our community analysis that there were almost no people in our service area who don’t speak English. I sort of assumed that as a default, you should pay attetnion to diferent cultural and language groups when plannign services. The sad fact about Vermont, or at least where I live, is that it can be pretty ethnically homogenous, even if there are still wide cultural and class differences. [thanks mac]

tv in the library, are cheeseburgers next?

In the “do you want fries with that?” model, a library with a TV on in the lobby for the Internet users who “don’t like to read.” I have mixed feelings about this, the columnist seems to think that using the Internet is the same as [or similar to] reading, this is not always the case. Of course, if you are someone waiting for your ‘net fix at the public library, I would think you could perhaps pretend to be interested in books, or maybe the newspaper, just to humor us. I have seen people shuffle in place and stare off into space for upwards of half an hour because they couldn’t find anything else to do in the library until it was their turn. One of the Sisyphean tasks I have given myself is to try to find something else that these peope are interested in. [thanks dsdlc]

vagina collage — and SAFE FOR WORK, i swear it

You can probably tell whose blogs I am reading by the order my links are in, so I’m mixing it up just to cover my tracks. You know, there’s a really fine line between just dishing on patrons and making dishing on patrons a sublime comedy experience. The well-dressed librarian has it going on, in this respect. Please see Vagina Collage and Serving the Masses.

The public library is fabulous. Don’t get me wrong…. Even if a homeless guy is repairing small electronic devices with a sottering gun plugged into a study cubicle, it would still be great. Even if a crazy volunteer we had to fire comes into the library everyday 4 minutes before close to check her email, it would still be great.