Monday, October 28, 2013

From the Beerbrarian

from BuyOlympia
Oh man, this is upsetting...!

Dear Aspiring Librarians: an open letter from the Beerbrarian

So many statistics posted in here are just unhappy.  I hope that it is not truly reflecting the situation of my fellow librarians.  Maybe most at least have part-time jobs?

Great post to read through, though.  I especially wish I'd had something like this to refer to when I was entering library school...although, then again, I'm glad I did not.  Might have turned me off to the profession completely, and I am truly happy in it right now, even when it has its ups & downs regarding work.

Friday, September 21, 2012

LC Authority

The other day, my boss asked me and my coworker to stitch items for the silent auction she is helping organize for the expansion of her town library.  I am largely a knitter, and my friend is largely a crocheter, so she asked us to do pieces in our respective mediums.  Immediately, I jumped onto the stitchers' bible site, Ravelry, to see what a pattern search for "library" would yield me.  I was in luck: one of the first results was a gorgeous hat pattern based on the fountain outside the Library of Congress!  The hat knit up super quickly, and turned out quite nicely, if I do say so myself:

Library of Congress Hat
in Caron Simply Soft Heather

The pattern comes from the book Capitol Knits by Tanis Gray (I love her name almost as much as I love my own!).  A copy can be acquired here (or of course located here!); the rest of the book looks just as good, although of course I'm partial to the LC pattern.

I plan to include an informational card detailing how the hat is based on the library fountain, and of course including the fiber content, and one of my awesome Sweet Potato Knits business cards (designed by my sister Bethany).  I hope it helps the library!  Even just a little bit.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


(Borrowed from
Great library day for me today. I can’t even REMEMBER all the exciting things that happened. But here are some highlights:
  • I am thisclose to finishing the update on our mobile catalog site. I am trying to get the map function to work so that when you choose to map where a material is, you will see a highlighted area indicating the area where the item is located on the floor! It will be awesome. I just have to make a few tweaks, and then maybe next week we can go live! (I should point out that right now I am still just updating the mobile site to “match” the behavior of our mobile apps. All of the code for the mobile site & apps were written by the super awesome guy who came before me! I’m just scurrying to learn how he did everything.)
  • We discussed starting a “stitch ‘n’ bitch” of sorts with our boss, as my coworker crochets and I knit. We hope to begin a group on Thursdays from 1-2, when people could take a break from studying and maybe from finals stress (when that rolls around). Ideally we’d like to offer support but not necessarily classes – I think we’re both experts in our respective crafts, but we don’t want to spend all of our time teaching people how to do them. That would be a different sort of group, which perhaps we could discuss if enough people attended wanting lessons. Anyway – the point is that our director okayed the SNB (we’re going to think of a better name for it, and open it to ANY crafters), so we’re going to move ahead with it!
  • Some of us watched (the library maven) R. David Lankes’ talk on Transforming Libraries this afternoon. It was, as always, inspiring and invigorating! I always come away from his talks wanting to implement all of these great, new things. And now I’m dying to read his book, The Atlas of New Librarianship (I know it’s not new, I just hadn’t heard of it before now!).
  • Right after he finished, I brought up how he had mentioned one library which brought dogs in to visit students during stressful finals weeks! And a coworker is already pursuing it! I’m super excited – I asked to be notified if I could be involved or of help in ANY way. (Yay! Puppies!)
  • Oh, and this was also mentioned: I’d heard of other implementations of it before, but I hadn’t seen this website before.
  • And, a great marketing tool to keep in mind ( was also mentioned. (P.S. RUSA also offers a marketing class, for those who weren’t aware – like me!)
All right, now that I’ve jotted down all of these wonderful, exhilarating notes, it’s back to work on that mobile site! Have a wonderful day, everyone.

Monday, December 5, 2011

a great look at the value of libraries

I know I'm late in the game here, but Brian over at Swiss Army Librarian did a very interesting calculation of library-vs-retail costs to the community. The results are very heartening, and something any library might want to prepare with their own numbers, in order to prove to their boards and communities the notably significant value of their worth!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

electronic catalogs

There is something deeply, deeply flawed with an ILS where I can type in "The Sound and the Fury" (in quotes!) and the book copy of the work is #10 on the results page (at least the first result was related to Faulkner; I cannot seem to reproduce the input, but I swear I looked up either the author or title at one point where the first result to come up was a book titled "Onassis"...of course, if I try to look up that work, it's impossible to find). I was so frustrated having to scroll down to find the results for things I'd typed in perfectly. I cannot understand what sort of search algorithm this software is performing on its database, but it seems as if there is something seriously off. I don't know if it's SirsiDynix itself (the ILS software creator), or if it's just that Connect (one of CT's library consortiums) hasn't upgraded its software to the latest & greatest, but I intend to find out. Somehow. Sometime. And do something about it.

I am so tempted to apply for one of the developer jobs in Utah, but...1. it's Utah, and 2. I vowed I'd never go back to being a code monkey again. That's why I moved to librarianship - I wanted to get out of the mire of endless lines of C++ (or Java, or etc.). But at the same time, I have this feeling that I've got a great stradding-the-fence skill set which would be awesome to use to improve electronic catalogs. I love databases. I just don't know if I want to code them for the rest of my life. But I know we can make them do what we need them to do...which to me includes returning the appropriate search results. Hrm.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Wow, it certainly is really interesting working on such an "alive" memorial: we're archiving something that is still in the process of being created, and therefore is in constant flux. Even a memorial which I had worked on only a month ago has had a complete overhaul; it must be because the victim's loved ones had had their meeting with the VOICES offices in the interim. It was actually really fantastic to see: what caught my eye first was the changed profile picture (the new one is much better!), but what truly made me feel a warm glow was how much more information had been added about this person: more tributes, and so much more information in general. It's so nice to see the effect of having one's loved ones get to share their memories. I wish I could see such changes happen for all the victims, but alas, that would be difficult to track. I feel lucky enough to have been able to notice this one. What a truly interesting project this is turning out to be, on so many levels.