Hi — I hope you had a nice holidaytime. I’m back in Vermont. I went to two public libraries when I was home for the holidays, one in Boxboro where I grew up and one in Cambridge which is newly renovated. I made a list in 2009 of all my library visits and I’m sure I’ll bore you with it shortly. For now I’m catching up at home. There is a push on MetaFilter [in case you’re someone I know from both places] to help the daughter of a MeFite fund some libraries in China. I just donated in memory of Evan Farber and Judith Krug, two librarians who we lost in 2009 who I miss frequently. I also got a link from my friend Casey to this set of photos on Core77 of a small public library in Surathani, in the south of Thailand. Pretty stories, lovely photos. You can also contact them if you’d like to donate books.
Shorpy is a great source for old photographs. They often get them from sources like the Library of Congress which is where this photo of the New Cannan public library in 1953 came from. You can also see the original set of photos over at the Library of Congress [did not see this one over at their Flickr photostream]. The big add that Shorpy’s has, however, is the community. It’s not just a photo of a library, it’s also people commenting about their memories of the library including where else they’ve seen that certain floor tile [fun fact: it’s also the tile that’s in my bathroom as near as I can tell] [thanks mike]
Things with the Des Moines Public Library worked themselves out more or less amicably. I was also pleased to see Carolyn Wright who does the Photo Attorney blog, mention what the legal issues are surrounding photography in public libraries generally. Thanks Carolyn!
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. Continue reading “leaving des moines”
Some signage amusement from the Howe library in Hanover New Hampshire.