According to j’s scratchpad, Massachusetts libraries are seeing their consortial system go from six regional consortia to one statewide system. If this were a move being planned for reasons other than “we don’t have any money” I’d be cautiously optimistic that maybe this would get the state some economies of scale and improvement of some services. As it is they’re going from 45 FTEs to 22 and I can only imagine how much ILL in the state of Massachusetts is going to suck [as opposed to some other programs that will just be halted altogether. Good luck Massachusetts!
In the habit I seem to be in of writing posts about topics I deeply care about, here is a late Friday post about Open Source library catalogs. I was at an in-service day at the Howe Library in Hanover on Monday talking about Open Source. I gave a version of a talk I gave in Athens GA at the Evergreen conference, back when my OS project was still looking all shiny and before the LibLime implosion (and Nicole’s departure) and before Karen took a cool job on the West Coast. The talk was fun, well-received and then we had lunch together and talked some.
In the course of talking to various librarians, it became clear that there are a lot of separate OS projects going on in New England. There’s the VOKAL project which I’m loosely involved with — and I get to work with Nicole because Bywater has the support contract! — and the VT state librarian has been talking about a statewide catalog. New Hampshire is looking at a similar thing, though I’m not sure how far along they are. And I’ve been talking back and forth with Brian Herzog about the MA Open Source Project. Looks like they’re hiring a coordinator! I only wish I could go to either one of these presentations but I’m off following my own different drummer to the Iowa Library Conference and then to BitNorth in Montreal the following weekend. If anyone goes, please do let me know how it goes. Exciting times.
In New England, in Autumn, there is a lot that is beautiful. Here is a neat article about small town libraries in Western MA with an attractive slide show to go along with it. I’ve made a Flickr set of the libraries I’ve been to with one photo per library. They’re not all small town libraries, but they’re good for looking at as well. [thanks rob!]