Category Archives: Libraries

Public Service Announcement

Hello fair readers,

According to Wikipedia, a Public Service Announcement (also known as the PSA in certain circles) is typically made on radio or television and meant to inform the people and raise awareness about specific issues.


I feel like the concept applies to our situation. 🙂

I thought I would ask you take time for your busy holiday schedules to take a peak at the lastest post on the Young Librarian Series, announcing the creation of a Young Librarian’s Book Club for chicagoland library workers!

Click here:

And think about participating! Not only will this provide us with some great networking opportunities but more importantly, it’s fun! The author of the post Carrie Straka has come up with some great guidelines and a really neat idea. So I had to share it with the community, a la PSA

oh noes!

So have a lovely, wintery day fair readers! And I took forward to seeing some of you at the book club!


Fair readers,

This is amazing.

Thank you so much Illinois Synergy participants.  This rocks.

A fine way to start the week

Just read this:

Over and out fair readers.

Belated Happy Things!

Hello fair readers,

This is kinda late-ish to be posting but now that we are officially in the throws of a most glorious Autumn

Image from pntphotos flickr page

Image from pntphoto's flickr page

there is more time to cozy up inside, grab a cup of coffee and keep my blogs up to date.  Am I right?

Anyways the happy thing that I would like to thank the Chicago Tribune for posting a great article about libraries and guess who was in it?

Changing Face of Library Science

Changing Face of Library Science

Yay!  The is the first time I have managed to get my picture in the paper since my theater days circa 1995 and also that was the tiny Kalamazoo Gazette…not the Tribune…so needless to say I’m super excited.  The interview was fun.  It didn’t feel like a “death of the book” type piece, which has become so common these days.  And I’m so excited that I actually didn’t get cut from the article! Woo hoo!

The link to the article is here but because its a supplement, its a little strange and pdf-ish. Just to warn you.

So hurray for newspapers and long live print! (that’s right I said it)  Have a lovely Autumn day fair readers! 🙂

Introducing the Young Librarian Series.

My fellow young librarians and library workers:

I am now accepting submissions for an idea that I have been bouncing around for some time now. The Young Librarian Series is is a multimedia project. The basis is going to be a series of video interviews and guest posts on a blog graciously being hosted at tametheweb blogs. (ty Michael!!) Our themes will be generations in the library and being a Gen Y and young Gen X librarian; our experiences, our triumphs, struggles, cool projects that you might want to highlight and so on.

Items the you might want to consider submitting: generational based posts, library inspired art projects, new media projects, such as videos, podcasts, or a created resource. Really the sky is the limit here and I’m very excited to see what people have to contribute.

The goal of The Young Librarian Series is to provide a sense of community for young librarians. A place for us to collaborate, to center ourselves in the field. To brainstorm. To think. To discuss and empower.

My guidelines are basic: you must be a part of Generation Y or young-ish Gen X, so 40 and under. If you just want to bounce ideas off me and send a proposal, that is more than welcome. I don’t care what font you use. I don’t care if there are one inch margins. I want to hear about your ideas, your experiences. And your fellow young librarians want to hear from you as well.

Please note: If I have spoken to you about doing an interview or contributing, its time to start formulating some ideas. Send me an email with any and all questions.

The email: younglibrarianseries[at]gmail[dot]com

I so look forward to hearing from you and please, lets spread the word.

leah the librarian!

Do you need anybody?

Hello fair readers,

Apparently Louisville KY was completely slammed yesterday with an absurd amount of rain.  And of course, we know what this does to libraries…

i assume, the remains of a bookmobile room

i assume, the remains of a bookmobile room

If you go to their website you can also see that their server is pretty much destroyed.

The blog See Also is taking up a collection of donations to help restore the library.  He writes “The initial estimate is $1 million in damage, but they must just be guessing at this point”.   You can also donate directly at:

The Library Foundation, 301 York St., Louisville, KY 40203, Attn: Flood.

Or call, 574-1709 for information.

If you have any spare change or even if you live in the Louisville area and can volunteer to help out, this is now a library in need.

Have a good week fair readers. And the best of luck to Louisville Free Public Library, you are in my thoughts and my prayers.

ALA 2009: A Perspective

Hello fair readers!

As promised, I wanted to go over a bit of what my experience at the American Library Association 2009 was like to endure. And yes, I used the word endure.  It actually did remind me somewhat of going to a outdoor festival.  But with less of this

from Pitchfork 2009

from Pitchfork 2009

And more of this…

From ALA 2009...see the difference?

From ALA 2009...similar right?

This being my very first ALA I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect.  I had several goals, being:

1) meet folks

2) learn stuff

3) have fun

Seems simple right?  Lets go over these starting with my most successful endeavor…1) meet folks.

here be folks!

here be folks!

This is generally what I’m good at…meeting people. I actually enjoy running around a room and introducing myself to people…hopefully not totally weirding them out in the process.  And I can say, 100%, that networking was hands down the best thing I came away from ALA with.  I figured out how to get my card to people, how to start talking about potential future projects with people and most importantly I meet some really amazing peers that make me proud to be a librarian…

this pic is a link to some really rad librarians that you be emulating!

this pic is a link to some really rad librarians that you should be emulating!

So for this, ALA, I will thank you.  I met many people I probably never would have encountered on my own.  And I thank you for that.

So lets get to pesky #2, as this is where my reality check came in.  My goal to “learn stuff” was modest but in reality I wanted to learn a lot.  But when it came to sitting down in a session and listening to people try to teach me?

Well, lets put it this way…..seriously librarians?

I had sessions where the “presenter” didn’t even bother to freaking show up.  There was a powerpoint presentation with an audio recording over it.  And quite frankly, research methods aren’t going to be too enthralling in the first place.  But if you remove that human interaction, I will almost guarantee a zero learning factor.  I went to one insanely brilliant session with The Shanachies (click on the pic above) and really…that was about it.  I did hear that the Neil Gaiman & Craig Thompson session was amazing.  So I will be fair to that.  And I am sure there were some really amazing sessions that I just didn’t go to…

but I learned the following things at what I stupidly chose to attend:  you can publish the same thing over and over again as long as you change it a little; you can publish research that others have already done, just change it a little; you don’t even need to research things you are genuinely interested in…as long as you get published.

As boring as Circle Cats...

As boring as Circle Cats...

Excuse my language but f*ck that.  My reality check was that I saw the librarian I never want to become.  And quite frankly, it scared the hell out of me.  Next ALA I will have to pay special attention to what sessions I go to because I left on Saturday feeling like I was in the wrong profession.

Thankfully my #3 goal came to rescue at just the right time…

Sunday was the day.  It was the day that I remembered why I wanted to become a librarian in the first place.  I met with like-minded people, heard about brave exciting new services and policies, and interacted with people who get the mind going!! Who are doing new and amazingly beautiful things in the library world.  And this, my fair readers, is insanely fun.

Overall ALA was totally worth it.  Even with the reality check.  In fact I would go so far as to say especially with the reality check.  At several points during the conference I had people tell me that I look like a children’s librarian.  And I never really knew how to respond to this…but now I think I do.  Children’s librarians go at things with spunk, energy and a child like positivity that is not to be matched in the profession.  If I can continue on my path in libraries and stay this way…then I am doing something right.  I am happy I went to ALA.  I am happy I came off as a children’s librarian instead of an academic one.  And I am so blessed and pleased to have met with all of you.

It was a lifechanger.



Have a lovely week fair readers.  And stay tuned 🙂

Sensible Shoes

Hello fair readers,

Oh its that time.  It is.  Do you know what time it is???



Oh yeah it’s annual conference time! Woot!

So for reals, this is the time when apparently hordes of librarians in sensible shoes and a driving thrist for galleys decend upon an innocent city doing nothing but minding its own business.

And then look what the library cat dragged in…

You are just another stat to us...

You are just another stat to us...

So actually this is my first conference.  I’m not entirely sure what to expect although the one thing seriously every librarian has told me is to wear sensible shoes.

Leave your manolos at home kids.

Leave your manolos at home kids.

And to pace myself.  And still, I have managed to find 3 things during every time slot that I would like to do.  Here are some of things I am most interested in:

Open Gaming Night 2009

Friday, July 10th, 7-10pm, Hilton in International South ( i have no idea where that is)

Did you doubt for a second that I would miss a chance to meet with fellow librarians *and* gaming nerds? Pssh.  I will ownz the microphone on Rock Band 2.   Dibs on Maps!!

Librarian/Scholar: from reasearch question to results

Saturday, July 11th, 1:30-3pm, Hyatt Regency McCormick in Conf. Ctr. 10 c/d (again, where?)

Since my first article was somewhat of an opinion piece I would really like to get into some concrete research.  I have an idea.  I have some resources.  I have no idea what I’m doing now.  Seriously this session couldn’t be better timed.

Emerald Pimm’s & Canapés Reception

Saturday, July 11, from 5 – 7pm, at the Blackstone, invite only (psst click on that link!)

A really awesome woman I would like to meet will be here.  Nuff said.


Sunday, July 12th, 8pm-2am, Clark St. Ale House

I’m not presenting.  My poster session wasn’t accepted. (cry) But I can still plan a drink-a-thon with some fellow librarians!  Its networking, with beer!

Listening to the Customer: Using Assessment Results to Make a Difference

Monday, July 13th, 8am-10am, McCormick Place West in W-179

But of course I planned for a night of drinking and then promptly at 8am the next morning there is a session I *really* want to attend. No problem…none.

I can handle it all….

hi ya!

hi ya!

So those are just a few of the things I plan on doing…which doesn’t include other dinners, the exhibits and the friends crashing at my place and the 5 other sessions during each of these that I would like to go to….

sensible shoes, sensible shoes, sensible shoes….

taken from CVerwaals flickr page

taken from CVerwaal's flickr page

I can do this.

Have a lovely week fair readers! And enjoy ALA 2009!

This is just to say…

Hello fair readers!

Just a little note to say that I love love love this post:

Getting deeply local at our libraries

And I definitely think you should read it.  I love it when articles/postings can relate not just to the public arena but to academic and special libraries as well.  Her points are well made, pertinent and extremely useful.  Fodder for your local cannon.

pew pew pew!

pew pew pew!

Enjoy and have a lovely Wednesday!

Open forum on technology in libraries.

Hello fair readers!

Over there in the wide world of Facebook, a pretty grand discussion about the influence of technology in libraries has been going.  It was suggested that we move it over to a more user-friendly format that doesn’t restritct you in terms of how long you can rant!

Yes, I mean you Facebook.

Whats with the comment cutoffs guys?

What's with the comment cutoffs guys?

So here is a little background info and then you are more than welcome to go at it in the comments.

I placed a link to this article:

Not-So-Splendid Isolation

An opinion piece written for Library Journal in 2007 about the melding of library services with technology.  It sparked a wonderful conversation/debate on the role of libraries.  I referred to it as “A disturbing article by the guy who wrote a particularly nasty letter to the ed. about my article. He is obviously not a fan of technology…or even delivery of materials at home for seniors…which is a bizarre thing to be against. I think he needs to head back to library school and refresh himself on the ALA Code of Ethics.”

But there are really good arguments on both sides.  Most put a little more eloquently than mine. 😉 One commenter has noted:

i think technophiles and free-market drones are causing restructuring where educators and librarians would do better. and i think too in a wider sense, the issue is ‘should markets be the core of society, market aesthetics or logic?'”

And then it spread into videogames and literacy and beyond.  One commenter noting:

“Regarding the Wii issue, I just don’t think it’s the job of a librarian to decide that kids shouldn’t be allowed to play video games. I’m not a politician, or a clergyman, or any other role involved in imposing rules on society.”

So do you have anything you would like to add to this debate?  Do you think that technology in the library is about more than just the spread of information?  I welcome this debate onto La de da and as I’m sure we all know, keep it friendly folks.

Taken from Olivanders flickr

Taken from Olivander's flickr