Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's Thanksgiving!

It's almost Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is definitely one of my favorite holidays. All the wonderful aspects of getting together as friends and family without all the pressure of giving gifts. But Thanksgiving is also wonderful because you get to really think about what you are thankful for. This year my list is numerous. I am thankful for...

  • My parents for all they do for me and for generously allowing me to come home after graduation since I don't have a job.
  • My amazing friends for not giving up on me whenever I disappear or whine about not having a job.
  • The opportunities I've had this semester to gain valuable library experience.
  • A career path that will provide me with lots of personal and job satisfaction (once I actually get a job :) )
  • My professors for being so willing to write recommendations for me and to give me advice whenever I ask for it.
  • My readers! Those of you who are out there (lurkers or not), I'm grateful that you find me interesting enough to read!
I am also thankful for the little things, like the fact that I have some place to live, something to eat, and people to love. I know this year, especially with as bad as the economy has been, there are a lot of people who don't have that. I'm very fortunate, I think.

What are you thankful for this year?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Internship: Week 13

Big news this week! I've finished the physics LibGuide! Want to see it? Click here. I'm excited because I think I have created a good template to continue working with. I think the guides are engaging and interesting. I have a little more time left here at Rodgers, so I'm hoping to get another completed, if I work really hard. I only have 5 more days left at Rodgers after today. With the holiday next week, I'll only be working Monday and Tuesday, and after that, it's just one more week. I'm actually ahead of schedule on my hours because I've working extra to make up, but I plan on coming in extra so that I can (hopefully) get another guide done.

Besides finishing the guide, I've attended the public presentation portion of an University Libraries interview. The presentation lasted about 20 minutes and questions took about 15; I thought the candidate did very well and I definitely picked up on some good tips for my own job search and interviews (if I ever get one!) Today, University Libraries is sponsoring Capstone International Coffee Hour and I'm helping out and representing Rodgers. It should be a nice outreach opportunity and a chance to interact with some of my colleagues.

Things are really starting to wrap up around here; I've learned so much this semester (more on that and a final evaluation of my time at Rodgers to come in a few weeks). I think my confidence on the reference desk has increased and I am so much more aware of what goes on in an academic library.
I'm starting to get really excited/anxious for graduation!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Does the Public Library Have the Right?

Today I came across a story about a book challenge in a public library in Kentucky. The scary part? It was a library staffer challenging the book. The situation is this: A library staffer in a county public library in Kentucky came across the graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume IV: The Black Dossier in children's/YA section of the library. She felt that it had way too many sexual situations and was not suitable for children, so she took it to her director who disagreed and put the book back into circulation. Her next step to stop children from checking out the book was to check it out herself, and keep renewing it. This was working fine for almost a year until she went to renew it on September day and discovered that an 11 year old girl had requested the book. The library employee was so distressed that a child would want to read what she considered inappropriate material that she asked a colleague to override the hold (can we say invasion of privacy?!?!). The director found out about this and both women were fired from the library. You can read more about the story here.

I obviously find a number of things were distressing about this story. But the worst thing (to me) is that this woman took it upon herself to decide what is appropriate or inappropriate for children. Who gave her this right? No one, that's who. It is not up to the library, or the school, or the teacher, or the general public to decide what is or what is not okay for your child to read. The only person who can make that decision is the parent of the child in question. Another thing: the book in question had been purchased for the library, which means that it was reviewed and someone made a decision to buy it knowing that it was going in the children's/YA section. It also survived the first removal attempt by the library worker when the director had it put back on the shelf. If there had been a real concern, the book would have not survived this process.

Do you think this library worker crossed the line? She and another colleague were fired for accesses records and removing a hold request on the book. Do you agree with the library board that firing these women was the right thing to do? I do, but I want to hear your opinion!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Overdue Books Find Their Way Home

I was driving to work this morning, listening to the radio (gotta love Christmas music in November!) and low and behold, there was a story about libraries! You can also read it here.

In 1959, a student at a Phoenix, AZ high school checked out two books from the school's library. His family moved to another state before he could turn them in and the books were packed along with the rest of his stuff. 50 years later, they have been returned to the library with a check for $1,000.00. The former student, who wanted to remain anonymous, sent the check to cover overdue fines at $0.02 a day, which adds up to over $700.00 for both books. The extra money is in case the fines have increased over the years.

The librarian said that the money would go to buy more books for the library and the two returned books would go back on the shelf.

I thought this was such a cute story. Not sure why the books are being returned after all these years, but this former student could have done a lot less than send the books back with such a large check. With the holiday season fast approaching and more news every day about the tough economic situation for libraries, doesn't it make you feel good to know that there are nice people out there?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Why I've Fallen Off the Face of the Earth

If you are a regular reader of my blog (I know there are so many of you out there! :) ), you've probably been wondering why I haven't been blogging lately. Not to sound like a whiner, but it mostly has to do with me being super tired all the time. My crazy schedule of 2 grad classes, 1 undergrad French class (that's everyday!!), my internship, my GTA, and my job in the reading room is finally catching up with me. I leave my house before 8 and only get to come home before 9 one day a week. So naturally, I'm exhausted. Not to mention the fact that I have a twenty to twenty-five page research paper due the Monday after Thanksgiving hanging over my head...but that's another story.

The other big thing in my life is trying to find a job. I'm applying to 2-3 jobs a week, but have yet to get more than a "thanks for your application, we'll let you know something some time soon" letter/email. I've started having trouble sleeping and often find myself panicking in the middle of the day about being unemployed. My mother lovingly added to that stress by informing me that my insurance expires January 1, when I'm out of the country. How fantastic is that?

So school and job hunting are overwhelming my life right now. Graduation is officially 29 days from today (yay!! and glup!!), and turning in this paper is my last school project (maybe forever? scary thought), so hopefully, things will flow fairly smoothly over the next few weeks and I'll actually get stuff done. Highly doubtful as I do love to procrastinate; however, I have high hopes on being productive.

I'm going to a grant writing workshop next week, and planning on posting something about that. I also have completed a project for my public libraries class that I would love to share. So look for those two things in the near future. Have a great day!

Internship: Weeks 11 and 12

The push towards the end of the semester has begun. Exams will finish in less than a month, and I need to have my internship hours completed by the end of dead week (December 4). Technically, I'm behind, but I've made a strict schedule and I'm sticking to it, so I can get my hours completed and get my course credit.

Even though exams and final projects are approaching, Rodgers has been really quiet. I've sat at the reference desk 5 times over the last two weeks and have maybe answered 2 real reference questions and only a few directional questions. Of course, no library is hopping at 10 in the morning, so that could be why. I think I'm becoming more comfortable with answering questions and thinking through the question and my response carefully, which is definitely an improvement. I just wish I had more questions.

LibGuides is progressing nicely. I expect to have the physics guide completed next week. With some hard work, I could have the mathematics guide done before the semester ends. During a status meeting this week, we discussed the possibility of me staying on for few weeks in December and some time in January. I don't have a job yet (yikes!) and my lease isn't up until January 31, so some extra money and some experience would go a long way in helping me. I hope that we can get something together to make this a reality. I really like it here at Rodgers so I hope that this works out. I've learned a lot, and hopefully, I can continue to do so.

That's about it. It's been pretty quiet around here; I'm sure that will change as we get closer to exams!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Internship: Weeks 9 and 10

This has been an exciting two weeks because I finished the Nursing LibGuide! I was very excited to complete it and launch it. I'm still toying with the idea of conducting a usability test for it and will be bringing that up at the next status meeting next week.

I'm still enjoying my work at the reference desk, especially with my extended hours. I've had several really good question and spent a good deal of time last week on the phone with a biology professor about the availability of a certain journal. I found it difficult to articulate just how contracts work with databases and the journals (and their availability) to a non-librarian; and now that I've had some time to think about it, I think that I could more satisfactorily explain the situation to the patron. I was able to suggest he ILL the particular article, but he didn't care for that idea since he needed the article "yesterday". Why he waited so long to try to access it is beyond me. This is just another example of how people need to realize that the internet, as wonderful and advanced as it is, doesn't always have all the answers.

In other news, UA Libraries have brought in Kindles and they will be available for check-out starting next week. I'm really excited about this; it's a pilot program and we aren't really sure what to expect, but I'm hoping that it will bring more interest to the library and students will take advantage of something new and different. The Rodgers staff met this week to discuss the policies and procedures relating to the use of of the Kindle. We have six regular Kindles and six Kindle DXs available. I'm curious to see which one is going to be more popular or if it even matters. I really like the idea of using e-readers in libraries, but I haven't given much thought as far as academic libraries are concerned. Coming at it from a student prospective, I'm not sure if this is going to be well suited for research purposes; it may be better used as pleasure reading and simply as something cool to do some book browsing through. Look for more information about our success with the Kindle as it happens!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I'm Joining the Debate

This month's issue of American Libraries features an article about the fabulousness that is an online MLIS. Distance Education (DE) is a touchy subject with me; I have mixed feelings about the program and its ability to truly educate students, but that's another discussion for another time. DE is incredibly popular in the library world because the majority of the library schools are located in the eastern portion of the U.S. For many, there isn't a library school nearby, so the options are either to move to where there is a program, or get an online degree. For many, moving isn't an option for a variety of reasons, so getting a degree online isn't just practical, it's financially smart. For the most part, DE programs offer the exact same degree online as they do in person. At UA, we have a large DE program. Students going through the program get exactly the same education, taught by the same teachers. The only difference is that it takes a little more time. Students enrolled in the DE program usually take between 2-3 classes at a time versus the on-campus students who often take 3 or four courses at a time.

So if these DE students are getting the exact same education, what's the problem? According to our favorite library argument starter, The Annoyed Librarian, a lot. She seems to the think the online MLS is useless. Check out her posts on the topic here, here, and here. Her problems with the online program are plentiful, but it mostly boils down to the quality of students being accepted to online programs are sub par. I can sort of see that. These online programs are fairly new, and in order to meet admissions numbers, programs are having to accept students that might not be up to the same academic level as they would like. But the point still remains that in order to be accepted to a library school, students must meet some minimal requirements. I know for a fact that very few students are accepted who do not meet these minimum requirements. Therefore, I don't think that we should be arguing that the students are the problem, perhaps the problem is the standards for admission are to low. That makes it the problem of the schools not the students.

Another problem the Annoyed Librarian sees is that library school is boring. When students take the classes online, they have full access to the world around them and no one to tell them to pay attention. Yes, library school is boring. I hate sitting in class for 3 hours learning about research methods, out-of-date technologies, or something obscure that I'm never going to use. But that's a fact of life in graduate school. I have friends in a lot of different programs around the country and they are all bored most of the time. It's just the way school works.

The Annoyed Librarian touches on other topics, but those two stand out the most to me. While I wouldn't personally choose a DE program for myself (I've learned by taking an online class that it's not for me), I can understand why people would choose (or be forced) to obtain their degree that way. Does that mean that their degree has less value than mine? Absolutely not. Does it mean that the MLS is without value? Again, that's another discussion for another day, but in this library school student's opinion, the degree does have value. If not for other things, at least for the sole purpose of qualifying me for a number of library jobs.

Friday, October 23, 2009

How Useful Is Library Instruction?

I'm a huge of fan of library instruction. No, take that back. I'm not a huge fan of library instruction; I actually think library instruction is kind of pointless. Case in point: I was in the elevator at Gorgas the other day and two students got in holding worksheets. They were joking around about being on a scavenger hunt and I happened to notice that one of the instruction librarian's name was on the sheet. They were doing something for a library instruction session. Those library students in the elevator with me started to giggle and when asked we told the students that we were librarians. As the doors opened, we wished the students good luck and one of them said, "I don't need it. This is pointless because I'm a senior".

That took me by surprise because what is a senior doing in a library instruction class? I could see if it was an advanced course that involved some research, but it was clear that this was a very easy instruction session aimed at new users to the library. So what was a senior doing in that session? And more importantly, what was he going to learn?

A lot of librarians think that instruction is pointless. The students don't listen; they're too busy playing on the computers. But I think that, when do well and correctly, instruction can be very beneficial. I'm a huge fan of teaching information literacy. What that means is teaching students how to search so no matter which database or catalog they end up in, they can find what they need. Information literacy also teaches how to evaluate sources to determine how credible they are. This is especially important when looking at web resources. But plain old library instruction? Teaching students about call numbers and where books are in the library? That's what is pointless. In this day of fast access to peer-reviewed journal articles at any time, students need to know about databases and searching in all types of formats. There are very few students who are going hunting through the library for a book when they can find something else just as good online.

So in this library student's opinion, classic library instruction is outdated. But teaching students the mechanisms for search is a skill they can use throughout their education and throughout life.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Internship: Weeks 7 and 8

It's been pretty quiet around here despite midterms. I'm loving working at the reference desk and am going to be increasing my time on Mondays from 1 hour to 2. I think working 3 hours a week on the reference desk is really good. I like working out there with the students and patrons. It gives me a chance to interact. I was going crazy; feeling like I was trapped in my office.

Other than working at the desk and trying to be as helpful as possible, I've been working on the LibGuides project. It's very time-consuming and I'm having some problems, but I'm going to a meeting about it next week, so hopefully I can get some of the kinks ironed out.

While I don't particularly enjoy working on this project, I do think it's a useful skill. It's given me something to put on my resume and it will be an interesting point to bring up during interviews. LibGuides is a nice product, and I love that I have been entrusted with such a large responsibility.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fighting Budget Problems

It seems like ever day we are bombarded by more news about libraries struggling in these tough economic times. Libraries have slashed their budgets, are ordering less books, cutting hours, are laying off people, enforcing unpaid furloughs, even closing completely. What we haven't heard much about, though, is the patrons' reactions to these changes. At the University of California, Berkeley, where they are facing one of the worst budget crisis yet, students are voicing their concerns about the library's troubled budget. Berkeley has over 20 small subject libraries on their campus, and in order to save money, all but two of the libraries are closing on Saturdays. This past weekend, nearly 300 students, faculty, and library staff staged a library "sit-in" on Saturday night to protest the libraries being closed. Students camped out, bring pillows, blankets, and food, as well as study materials and spent the night in the library. So far there hasn't be a response from the Berkeley administration, other than to say that they understand the students' frustrations.

More details about the sit-in can be found here.

What do you think about this? Are the students right to protest something like this? Or should they wait until the libraries are closed more than one day out of the week? Was this a good way for students to demonstrate their frustration? I want to hear what you think!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Motivation (Or Lack Thereof)

So I realized last night that I haven't blogged in over a week. There are a few things to blame for that. Thursday and Friday I went home for fall break; Saturday I spent all day watching football with my dad (Roll Tide!); I've been working on a paper; I don't have anything to say; the excuses go on and on. The truth is I'm not blogging that frequently because I seem to being living a life that lacks motivation.

I get up in the morning full of energy and plans for the day, but by the time I've driven around campus for 15 minutes looking for a parking space, most of that energy has been wasted on frustration and that inability of UA to provide students with adequate parking. And my plans for the day? Suddenly my to-do list that seemed so exciting looks like the longest, most terrible list in the world. I'm filled with dread just thinking about it.

Work is piling up as my procrastination stretches on. I'm way behind on the LibGuides project for Rodgers, the things I need to be doing for my GTA keep getting bumped aside for other, probably not as important, things, and school work just seems like such a chore. Maybe I've got "senioritis" or maybe I'm just stuck in a bad place right now, but either way, I need some encouragement in all aspects of my life.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Blogging About Banned Books Week

I'm obviously not the only person blogging about Banned Books Week this week. In case you don't read some of these other blogs, I've listed a few posts that are related to BBW.

This interesting post from Booklist's reference blog is about banned reference books. I'm really interested in book challenges in academic libraries, so if you know of any please share!

Heart to Heart is Barnes and Noble's romance blog. I love romance, so of course I love this blog, but I found this post particularly interesting due to BBW. Romance novels are pretty well known for their sexual content, so I was intrigued by those who actually challenged them!

Librarians are a pretty liberal group, even here in the south. We sort of have to be, when we believe that banning books or removing controversial titles is wrong and that everyone, no matter age, gender, religion, sexuality, etc, has the right to read whatever they want. However, I like to keep up with what the other side is saying. During a quick Google search, I came across this article from beliefnet.com that seems to be in protest, or at least annoyed by BBW.

Of course the Annoyed Librarian had to put her two cents in. Check out her humorous post on "band" books and one on "banned books"

This blog is totally devoted to writing about and celebrating banned books.

This post and this one are a few others of a vast number of blog posts and news articles out there about Banned Books Week.

Have you found anything awesome? Leave a comment!!

Internship: Weeks 5 and 6

I've been working at this internship for 6 weeks now and I've learned a ton about the way academic libraries function. Everything works pretty much the way I always thought it did and it matches up with my experience in the reading room for the most part, just on a larger scale. Something I never really realized, though, is how very little library-related work librarians actually do. Or at least what I consider library-related work.

These past two weeks my time at Rodgers has been dedicated to working on the LibGuides project. I've began my work on it, and it's incredibly time consuming; much more than I ever would have imagined. While it is something I'm doing for the library, to me, it doesn't feel like it. I never thought that a librarian's job would be filled with meetings and planning more than collection development, working with students, teach instruction sessions, etc. I think some of has to do with the fact that Rodgers only has 3 full time librarians, but I also think this is an important lesson for me to learn before I get out in the real world. Librarianship is not always about working in the library. Sometimes external issues have to be dealt with so the library can function the way we need it to.

In other news, I've started working on the reference desk! I will be working 2 hours a week, on Mondays and Tuesdays. I'm very excited about this opportunity and looking forward to improving my skills.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Celebrating Banned Books Week

Reading banned books is one of the best ways to prevent them from being challenged or banned. The more you read controversial books and understand their concepts, themes, and what it is about it that makes it controversial, the more you grow to realize that there is no need to censor it. Most challenges come from people who haven't actually read the book in question. They don't know that Harry Potter is actually fighting evil and just happens to be a wizard. They forget that Atticus Finch is the one standing up for the African Americans or that when Madeleine L'Engle wrote A Wrinkle in Time, it really was just a fantasy story. So pick up a banned book today, read it, and try to see why it would be challenged. Now that you know the story, would you want to ban the book?

In celebration of banned books, I thought I would list all the banned books I've read. I picked from the titles listed on the ALA website. Find the lists here and here.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
, by Mark Twain
Of Mice and Men
, by John Steinbeck
, by Judy Blume
Bridge to Terabithia
, by Katherine Paterson
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
The Giver, by Lois Lowry
Alice (Series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
The Witches, by Roald Dahl
A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle
Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss
The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein
Harry Potter (Series), by J.K. Rowling
James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl
A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstein
Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline Cooney
Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Greene
Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Terrorist, by Caroline Cooney
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred D. Taylor
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad
Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
The Call of the Wild, by Jack London

I'm sure you're surprised to see some of these books on this list. Brings up a lot of questions about why books are banned doesn't it? So read banned books and think about all the silly things people do. Remember that the only person who has the right to judge what is acceptable for you or your children to read is you. Banning books prevents other people from reading amazing stories and learning valuable things. Celebrate the freedom to read by reading one of these amazing books that someone tried to stop you from reading. Revel in the idea that you live in a country where the courts, libraries, and members of the community view censorship, especially of books, as harmful to the public. Rejoice in your freedom to read.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What Is Intellectual Freedom?

"Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings." ~Heinrich Heine, Almansor, 1823

I've spoken of intellectual freedom several times over the course of writing this blog, but I don't think I've explained it properly. Intellectual freedom is a core value for librarians. As defined by the American Library Association, intellectual freedom advocates "the rights of library users to read, seek information, and speak freely as guaranteed by the First Amendment". Intellectual freedom encompasses things like censorship, internet rights, and privacy in the library. ALA asserts that any publicly funded library, including public, academic, special, and school libraries, should uphold the values of intellectual freedom.

But exactly does that mean? It means that when you walk into a library you can expect to find materials collected without regard to race, gender, sexuality, age, etc. You can expect to able to use the internet for your own purposes (as long as it isn't hurting or violating anyone as per the Children's Internet Protection Act). You can expect the library staff not to reveal any information about you or the materials you checked out without a signed search warrant. Intellectual freedom means that when you step into a library, there are no judgments. No one is going to stop you from reading, watching, listening, or checking out materials. Your privacy will be protected to the best the librarian's ability.

Librarians are on your side; they are on the front lines protecting your rights every day. So celebrate banned books week by reading banned books. Share how distasteful you find censorship with everyone around you. Advocate for the library, librarians, and for banned books. But most of all, don't ban books!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in 2008

In celebration of Banned Books Week, I want to share with you then 10 most challenged books of 2008 and why they were challenged. Note: There is a difference between a challenged book and a banned book. For more info on that, check back tomorrow!
  1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
    Reasons: anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group
  2. His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman
    Reasons: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, and violence
  3. TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  4. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: occult/satanism, religious viewpoint, and violence
  5. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
    Reasons: occult/satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, and violence
  6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, suicide, and unsuited to age group
  7. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  8. Uncle Bobby's Wedding, by Sarah S. Brannen
    Reasons: homosexuality and unsuited to age group
  9. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  10. Flashcards of My Life, by Charise Mericle Harper
    Reasons: sexually explicit and unsuited to age group
Now just for fun, let's compare this list to the 10 most challenged books from 1990-1999. If I can find it, I've included the reasons for the challenges.
  1. Scary Stories (Series), by Alvin Schwartz Reasons: scary, violent, occult
  2. Daddy’s Roommate, by Michael Willhoite Reasons: promotes homosexuality, age inappropriate
  3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou Reasons: sexually explicit, specifically graphic depictions of molestation and rape
  4. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain Reasons: vulgar language; offensive to African Americans
  6. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck Reasons: "profanity and using God's name in vain"; vulgar and offensive; contains terminology offensive to blacks
  7. Forever, by Judy Blume Reasons: sexually explicit, profanity, morality (pre-marital sex)
  8. Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson Reasons: offensive language, fantasy (references to witchcraft)
  9. Heather Has Two Mommies, by Leslea Newman Reasons: promotes homosexuality, age inappropriate
  10. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger Reasons: anti white" and "obscene"; language and content of the book
Looking at these two lists, the thing that stands out to me most is that most books are challenged for being "inappropriate to age group". However, the difference in the two lists is that 8 out of the 10 books in 2008 were challenged for having something to do with sexuality where only 5 books from 1990-1999 were cited for being "sexually explicit" or "promoting homosexuality".

This makes me wonder, are more books being published for young adults today that are more sexually explicit? Looking at the Gossip Girl series and Lauren Myracle's series that are both on the list and marketed for teenage girls, an argument can be made that yes, more sexually explicit books are being published. It's also obvious that parents have an objection to these books.

Every day books are challenged. Concerned citizens protest classrooms, school districts, and libraries to have books removed from shelves and reading lists. The American Library Association maintains that everyone, no matter age, race, religion, economic background, or sexual orientation, can be barred from reading whatever they want. This Freedom to Read is fundamental to librarians. However, maintaining this freedom isn't easy. Sometimes books do appear to be inappropriate; games too violent; movies too sexual. Sometimes our own morals and ideals get in the way of intellectual freedom. But as librarians, it is our job to make sure that everyone has equal access to information. That includes everything from the latest Gossip Girl book to nude photography books to rated "R" movies.

While it may be hard to stay strong against overwhelming opposition, think of it this way: if you allow one book to be removed from your shelves today, who's going to stand up for the freedom to read when all are the books are banned tomorrow?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Next Week is Banned Books Week!

September 26-October 3 is the annual Banned Books Week. Banned Books Week (BBW) is a week-long celebration of the fact that we have the freedom to read whatever we want! It also puts an emphasis on the importance of the First Amendment. "Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States." (ALA)

Next week I will be spotlighting what librarians and library students can do to celebrate banned books and intellectual freedom. Banned Books Week is on the biggest events a librarian (especially public and school librarians) take part in every year. Get excited for Banned Books Week and don't forget, READ BANNED BOOKS!!

For more information on Banned Books Week, check out http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/ and http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/bannedbooksweek/index.cfm

Monday, September 21, 2009

Academic Library = Student Center?

Not a day goes by where I don't read (or hear) about how the academic library is outdated. No matter how many coffee shops, group study rooms, and laptop computers you put in, it's still a library, and apparently that's outdated. That's certainly how the president of Goucher College in Baltimore, MD saw it. When the old library was due for renovation, he scratched that and set up plans to build a multi-million dollar student center, with a library in it. The Athenaeum, named for the ancient Greek central gathering point where people came for a variety of purposes—serious, frivolous, cultural, artistic, and social, houses a restaurant, workout room, bathroom complete with shower, commuter lounge with a full kitchen, an art gallery, classrooms, a forum, and a library. All classic library features including circulation and reference desks, open stacks, and quiet study areas are included; however, the president felt that students needed a student center more than they needed a serious separate library.

On one level, I find that this makes a lot of sense. From what I can gather, Goucher College is a small school with a large chunk of commuting students. Commuting students often have trouble fitting in to a campus community and creating a more student-friendly space where they can hang out as well as study does make sense. Goucher College is also very small and it is doubtful that much major research takes place there. However, I feel like lumping a library in with a student center lessens the library's importance. Academic libraries have been undergoing major transformations over the last decade from traditional book warehouses to more technology-friendly "information centers", but this is the first time I've ever heard of adding work-out equipment and a restaurant to a library. It appears to me that the president of Goucher College does not appreciate nor understand what truly happens in an academic library. Yes, the library should be a central gathering place on campus for students, so it should have amenities to make spending large quantities of time there better, but it's main focus should be academic not social.

Is Goucher College taking the concept of a comfortable library a little too far? Should the academic library and the student center be merged? And when does the library cease being a library and just become a mere room in the student center?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Internship: Weeks 3 and 4

I didn't blog about my internship last week, because it's been pretty slow. I've spending a lot of time working on the LibGuides project that I posted about a few weeks ago. It's going well; today I presented my research to the other librarians and we talked about what we liked about the various institutions that use LibGuides. Over the next few weeks, we will probably begin to piece together what we want in our version.

The only other thing of interest I did was last week I had a crash course on working the circulation desk. I enjoyed that and I really need to work up the courage to ask if I can work the desk regularly. I'm sure it's not any different than working the desk in the Reading Room, but it would nice to practice using Voyager since the only circulation system I'm really comfortable with is Athena (which they don't update anymore, so no one uses it).

Because this was accreditation week, my schedule has been completely thrown off. I'm ready for things to get back to normal and so I can get some more hours, because I feel like I'm falling behind.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Day in the Life of a Library Student

This summer I blogged about the trend of blogging about your day. I even posted one of my mornings in the reading room. I'm not sure if it's still a trend, but I thought I would bring back the concept here and share with y'all what my Tuesdays are like. Note: Because this was accreditation week, my day was not as typical as some.

6:15 - wake up to the construction crews outside my building making way too much noise for 6:15 in the morning.
6:50 - actually get out of bed and get ready for the day.
8:00 - arrive at Rogers after a battle to find a decent parking spot. I won, at least for today.
8:05-9:00 - check email, facebook, twitter, TFLN, MLIA, and my blogs. Gchat with some friends.
9:00-9:40 - look at various schools' use of the LibGuides system and take notes. Contemplate the best way to present it and play around with a PowerPoint.
9:45 - walk to Gorgas for a meeting.
10:00-10:40 - meet with the accreditation team about being a student leader. Meeting goes well, but not as many student leaders showed up as I had hoped.
10:45 - quick stop for tea on my way back to Rogers.
11:00-12:30 - continue working on the LibGuides project and decide to scratch the PowerPoint idea; decide that a word document is fine. Make a decision to create my own template after looking at too many different features that I like.
12:30-12:50 - eat lunch at my desk while surfing the internet.
1:00-1:50 - French class, better known as the hour where I'm completely bored out of my mind.
2:00 - make an executive decision that getting a second masters/Ph.D. in history is not what I want to do right now, instead I really want to get a job and have a real life. This also results in me not going to the history class I was auditing.
2:15-3:15 - leave campus (yay!) and head to the drug store to pick up some things I desperately needed and run them home.
3:30-7:00 - work in the Reading Room. And by work I mean sit at my station and play on the internet, do homework, and occasionally refill the copier, or solve a technical problem. It was a very quiet evening.
7:30 - head to a friend's house for girls night!

Tuesday is my short day, which is kind of scary, but it is. And now that I'm not going to history anymore, I get a chance to leave campus and go home or go run some errands for an hour or so. Thursdays are even better because I have 3 hours of free time. I'm learning to value these little bits of time; they are my saving grace right now.

This is definitely been my busiest semester ever. Some days I get to campus at 8:00 and don't leave until after 9:00. I'm sure it will only get worse when I start having major assignments due. But this is also my last semester, so I'm just thrilled that I get to graduate and move on with life.

So how was your day? Was it as busy as mine? Please share!

Monday, September 14, 2009

It's Accreditation Week!!

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but UA's MLIS program is undergoing continuing accreditation this week (I've been told this is the proper way to phrase the process). Accreditation is a huge deal mainly because it affects students' ability to get a job. 99.9% of the job postings I've read in the last few weeks (which is a lot) have required "a masters degree from an ALA accredited program". Thus, it's important that these three days go well. It also means that my life is officially crazy. I'm currently serving as the acting president of the Student Advisory Committee (SAC) because the old president graduated so I have to meet with the External Review Panel (ERP) today and tomorrow. Yesterday, we had a very nice reception to welcome the committee and I spend the time running around introducing myself to the panel and making sure they felt welcomed by the student body. Yesterday's reception went nicely as did the breakout sessions that followed. Members of the panel met with students, alumni, employers, and adjunct faculty and we talked about what did and didn't like about SLIS. I was pleased to hear that most people are very satisfied with the education they are getting. I know I've been very pleased.

I had the privilege of walking the panel over from the hotel this morning (all part of my duties as a GTA apparently) and I felt that they were satisfied with how things are going so far and they didn't have a lot of probing questions for me, which I took to mean they think our program is doing okay. Really hope I interpreted that correctly, fingers crossed. I certainly don't think that SLIS is in danger of losing its accreditation, but I think our program is on the rise, and I would like it to stay that way. Today, I'm meeting with several members about SAC's involvement which makes me nervous because I haven't prepared for this at all, so I'm hoping they don't ask me anything I don't know the answer too. Tomorrow all the student leaders, including the remaining SAC members, and the officers of the various student groups are meeting with the panel to discuss student leadership. After that, my duties are over.

Mostly, I'm just hoping this visit goes well and that the panel leaves with a good vision of SLIS and its students. The weeks leading up to this visit have been incredibly stressful, so I'm definitely looking forward things calming down and life getting back to normal.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Future of Libraries: A Library Student's Response

I figure I better jump on the bandwagon and blog about this because the rest of the library world sure is buzzing about it. I've read multiple blogs on the subject, talked about it in class, and been bombarded by it in my inbox through the various list-serves I subscribe to. What is it? It's an article that CNN posted on September 4th. Find the article here. Now I usually like CNN; it's the only cable news I watch and when I want up-to-date, happening now information it's where I go on the web. But I never thought that CNN would be behind the times.

Their story is an old one. The old library is out; the new library, or information center, is in. So? We know that. In fact, I've blogged about it in a variety of ways before. It was a huge aspect of this year's ALA conference. We discuss it at school. It's on the minds of librarians everywhere. So why is CNN just now realizing this? I can only speculate that it's because of the press libraries have received over the past few months. Library business (although not budgets) are booming. More and more people are turning to libraries in this time of need for free information and entertainment. Go here and here to watch news stories about the subject. With all of this press, I can only assume that reporters are more interested in looking at what goes in libraries and how they are changing. Old news, right?

CNN talks about the introduction of gaming centers, the increased reliance on the internet as opposed to print sources for reference help, and librarians blogging and tweeting. None of this is new; in fact, I've blogged about all of this, and I'm certainly not at the forefront of major change. The article also talks about librarians referring to themselves as "information professionals" or "information specialists". Now I don't know about you, but in my intro to LIS as a graduate student we talked about this concept. How librarians are information professionals because we access and provide information; but not all information professionals are librarians. The term is not interchangeable and I think any librarian worth her salt knows that difference.

So CNN is not breaking any new ground by publishing this story. It's old news, something librarians have known for quite sometime. Change isn't particularly groundbreaking in the library; as librarians we face that change everyday and deal with it as it comes. We're moving the books out to make room for more computers, adding the coffee shops to help students study better, creating gaming centers to attract teens. But what we're not doing is changing our principals. The library will always be a place where information can be found for free and without bias. No new technology or "hipster" librarian, or "information scientist" is going to change that. Now that's news worth reporting.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Internship: Week 2

It's been a pretty interesting week at Rodgers. I'm still getting acquainted with the way everything works, but I'm hoping that next week I can really take off running. Probably the most exciting thing I did this week was sit in on an interview. We are currently in the process of hiring a temporary, full-time paraprofessional position, and a part-time (non-temporary) staff position. I had never been part of the group that actually does the interviewing, so I was thrilled when they allowed me to observe an interview for the full-time temporary position. I learned a great deal about the kinds of questions that are important to ask, and the qualities that make for a good paraprofessional. I was also really pleased when my opinion was taken seriously. I'm really enjoying working here because they treat me like an adult and a professional, not like a student.

Rodgers is exploring the idea of implementing LibGuides as a way for students to have better access to information needed for research. If you are unfamiliar with LibGuides, it's a content manager software system. Basically it allows you to create a web page with a series of tabs such as "databases", "books", "websites", etc so you can gain access to information on one subject easily. These are similar to subject guides in that they offer content releated to one subject, but the information is presented in a much better fashion. They also present the opportunity to provide library education and information literacy without looking messy or junking up a simple webpage. The university has just purchased access to them, and we've been working out the logistics of using the software. The best part of all of this, is that this is going to be my project! I will be heading up the attempt to create and upload these LibGuides to the Rodgers website and slowly begin filtering out the paper subject guides. I'm hoping I won't have too much trouble and that this will be a success.

Next week, I start meeting with various staff members to explore their job and duties. I'm excited about the prospect of learning more about the way Rodgers is run. I'm also hoping to spend more time on the reference desk. I would love the chance to "fly solo" by the end of the semester. Since reference is where I would like to eventually wind up, I would love to use this internship as an opportunity to gain some experience.

So far things are going really well. I'm excited about the opportunity to work with the LibGuides and I hope that they turn out to be successful. I think this is definitely turning out to be an excellent place for me to gain some valuable academic library experience.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rethinking the Reference Collection...On a Budget

Budgets are tight. Nothing can be done about it. Funding sources are being cut off; grant committees are being stingy with their money; trustees want each and every thing itemized; money from the state/university/federal government/city/whatever is decreasing; donors are limited; endowments cut completely. Less money is coming into the library no matter your funding source(s). Yet the price of books and e-resources continues to increase. How is a librarian supposed to create a fabulous reference collection on such a limited budget?

Points of Reference, Booklist's reference blog, posted this same question yesterday. But how are we supposed to handle the problem? I'm not a librarian yet, but I do have some idea of how to keep up collection development in such poor economic times. Something we are doing at Rogers is looking through our print reference sources (big encyclopedias, directories, indexes, etc) and comparing them to what is available in the databases. Sometimes there is overlap without us really noticing it. So now we are going through it way more carefully.

A lot of libraries are concerned with whether or not they are going to be able to afford new databases or ebook packages. A good solution might be to participate in a consortium with other libraries so you can share the cost and the use of the resources. Contact colleagues and try to work out a solution and budget that works for everyone. This is also an excellent time to reevaluate what is really being used. Cancel subscriptions to databases that aren't getting used enough to justify the costs. Stop ordering that print source that no one really uses. Work with your staff/students/volunteers to improve usage of available resources. Maybe no one uses a certain database because they don't know how to use it. Educate your staff and your patrons on the available resources (especially the ones you pay for!!) of your library.

Lastly, utilize the free resources. Advertise via Twitter, Facebook, and blogs; all free advertising. This could cut down on paper advertising, thus increasing your budget in other areas. Discover what free databases are out there (I find new ones everyday!) with excellent information. Teach staff and patrons how to use Google and all its free services (books, images, scholar, etc) to improve the quality of your reference service without spending any money.

What are you doing to rethink the reference collection on a budget? Did I miss anything? What else could librarians be doing to save money?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Internship: Week 1

Monday I started my internship at Rogers Science and Engineering Library. It looks like it's going to be a great opportunity for me to learn a ton about life as an academic librarian. My internship host is fabulous and I know she is going to be an incredible mentor. This week was rather calm since it was my first week, but there are few things I wanted to share.

First, the most exciting thing for me is that I get my own office! I know that seems silly and immature, but I've never had a job that requires me to have an office and I never (in my wildest dreams) imagined that the staff at Rogers would be so incredible as to give me my own office. I've brought in a few things to make it homey and I feel so much more professional! I don't really feel like a student sitting in there, but a librarian with lots of important work to do. :)

Second, Rogers offers a digital tour via a Sony Walkman. The tour can also be accessed online here if you are curious about where I work. I took the tour on Monday and learned a lot about the library, but what it really made me do was think. Mostly about how I wished the main library on campus had something like this and that students would take advantage of it. Look for a feature blog post on my ideas about tours, both digital and in-person.

Third, I spent some quality time learning the various databases used by science, engineering, nursing, and math students. I knew very little about them, so I made myself a cheat sheet so I can quickly learn how to access and search them when I'm sitting on the reference desk. I explored the databases through the subject guides available near the reference desk. I've seen subject guides around libraries before, but never used them. I found it to be extremely helpful, and started thinking about makings some for the reading room and the communication databases/books/websites.

Fourth, today I went to a meeting about the new collection development software UA Libraries is using. Blackwell is the company and Collection Manager is the software; they have been using the system for a while, but it has been recently upgraded and someone was there to explain how to use the new features. It was amazing to get to sit in on something like this, and I'm really looking forward to being able to do it again. I learned a lot of collection development in a class I took and it was interesting to see how it gets applied outside the classroom.

So far, I'm enjoying my internship, and I'm looking forward to participating in some projects and learning more about what goes on in a branch library.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Changes Coming...

Now that school has started my life is suddenly a million times busier. I'm still working in the reading room, but only 10 hours a week. I'm a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) for an online DE class and I help out a few professors a few times a week. I'm taking two SLIS classes, Public Libraries and History of Libraries, as well as a French class to help me prepare just in case I decide to go after my Ph.D. I'm also auditing a history class just for fun. Wow, I sound busy, don't I? While being this busy is definitely a change, the biggest change is that I've also started an internship. I work 10 hours a week at Rogers Science and Engineering Library. It's mainly a reference internship, but I'm hoping to learn a lot about working in a branch library on a major university campus. At UA, Rogers houses all the science and engineering texts, as well as books on nursing, mathematics, and computer science. Its a good size space and has lots of nifty features.

With life changes, come changes to the blog. I've been posting pretty frequently, and I hope to try and blog at least twice a week. However, due to my ridiculous schedule, I might blog less (or I might even blog more! We'll see...). My internship requires me to keep a log of my daily activities at my internship site, so I've decided to do that here. I will have a weekly feature, probably posted on Fridays, about what I've done during the past week. If you would like to only read posts about my internship, click the "internship" tag at the bottom of this post and that will bring up everything I've written about working at Rogers.

Other changes...I've noticed that all the good blogs (or at least the blogs I read) have pictures, so I'm thinking of adding pictures (like I did today!) to try and spice things up. Let me know if you like the pictures and/or there is anything you would like to see more/less of.

If you've started back to school, I hope things are going well for you. If you're not in school, I hope life is treating you well!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Little Things Here and There

School starts back today and I'm feeling the same thing I always do; a little sad that summer is ending and real work has to begin, but excited about all the things the fall brings, new classes, meeting new people, and of course football season. This semester I'm also feeling a little nostalgic because it's my last semester of school. (That is if I don't get my Ph.D. or a second masters.) I've been in school for 18 years straight and I'm not entirely certain what to do without it. It's one of the most constant things in my life. But maybe it's time to move on and grow up.

I haven't been blogging regularly because there hasn't been all that much going on, but I did come across two interesting postings on other blogs that I wanted to share.

I follow Library Journal on Twitter to stay up-to-date on library news and I came across this interesting article on the importance of academic libraries. Several quotes really stood out to me.

Talking about students' use of the library, "They may not want to be there, they may not have any real curiosity about the topic they are researching, but the library is a gateway to the kinds of sources they need, and for at least some students the librarians are "saviors" who help them take an assignment and locate sources that will match."

"...libraries embody principles that go beyond collections and beyond local needs. We stand for the importance of knowledge: not just information, but what we do with information. We stand for access: not just getting stuff conveniently, but making sure that information isn't censored or suppressed or distributed selectively so that only the elite have it."

"We stand for the individual's right to ask their own questions, no matter how dangerous or disruptive they may seem. And we stand for the idea that pursuing questions is a valuable human endeavor...Fortunately for academic libraries, they tend to be entirely consistent with the academic enterprise and its core beliefs."

These quotes really stuck out to me and helped remind me that academic libraries do matter. It's not just the books that are important, or our digital collections, or even the new coffee shop and "meeting area" that matter; it's the students and their ability to find and access the information they need. We are not here to judge or to question, but to provide information to enhance the learning opportunities of students enrolled in higher education. I'm glad to see that there are librarians out there who remember their students and just how important they are to the library and how important the library is to the students.

I've talked a good deal about Twitter, but I've never really discussed it as a type of mini-blog. It seems that plenty of librarians are using Twitter not just to give news bites but to share valuable information to other librarians. This article lists the 100 Best Twitter Feeds for Librarians of the Future. If you use Twitter, check out some of these librarians. Also listed are job listings, library news, and librarian resources, all good sources for the library student or the librarian looking to stay connected in today's rapidly changing digital world.

Do you have any library news you would like to see featured? Leave me a comment or send me an email!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

E-Readers and Libraries

E-Readers are rapidly becoming the hottest new way to read a book (you know without actually holding a book). I've actually used Amazon's Kindle and really liked it (I was shocked too). It's light, but not too light, and can be held with one hand, but seems to be more comfortable if you hold it with two, just like a book. The regular font is a good size and "turning the page" by clicking a button didn't bother me as much as I thought it would. If I had $299 I might consider buying one, mostly because books are a good deal cheaper (especially new hardcover releases) and are delivered immediately to your device. So no waiting around for books to come in the mail (and no pesky shipping charges). Sounds pretty fantastic, right?

Maybe not. The more I started thinking about starting to save up for one, I realized that I had really cut back on the number of books I buy new. I'm a big fan of used bookstores, especially the ones that offer credit for books I turn in, PaperBackSwap.com, and of course, my local public library. The only time I've bought new books recently has been for a new release that I knew I was going to want to keep. So in the past 3 months or so, I've bought 2 brand new books. Everything else has been from the used bookstore, found used online (through Amazon Marketplace or Ebay's Half.com), traded in on PBS, or checked out from the library. So why should I buy a Kindle? Seems like it would be a waste of money.

But wouldn't it be great if I could check out e-books at the library? I can have my e-reader, buy books for it when I want to, but still check out others. I didn't think this had happened yet until I discovered Sony's E-Reader and their partnership with Overdrive, which is a global distributor of digital media (audiobooks, ebooks, music, videos, etc) to libraries and schools. According to this press release, its a quiet deal, but a fabulous one. Patrons can download ebooks onto their Sony device from the library's webpage and then the books are "returned" (they disappear) after a set amount of time. Hopefully with some good marketing, this will expand beyond major city libraries (NYPL has already jumped on board) and be available to everyone who has an e-reader no matter the library. While this seems to just apply to those in possession of a Sony device, hopefully all e-readers will participate so everyone can have equal access.

Do you have an e-reader? If you knew you could "check out" ebooks from the library and download them onto your device, would you do it? Does that make you more likely to want to purchase an e-reader? Tell me what you think!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

More About Social Networking

I know I talk about social networking all the time, but it's literally everywhere I turn. More and more people are turning to Twitter for news, Facebook for weekend plans, and blogs for commentary that used to only be available in the newspaper. I spend a huge chunk of my first hour at work checking all of my social networking sites and catching up on my blogs that I subscribe to in my Google Reader. The more I use these new types of media, the more comfortable I am with the idea of sharing personal details and I find that I am actually more aware of what is going on around me. For example, I follow CNN on Twitter. CNN is always on in the reading room for those who like to stay abreast of current events; however, the past few days the only thing that has been reported in any kind of substantial form is healthcare reform. I'm just as interested in healthcare reform as the next person, but if I hadn't checked my Twitter this morning, I wouldn't have known that a plane is missing, that Michael Schumacher isn't going to return to Formula 1 racing (yes I care, don't judge me), or that Eunice Kenndey Shriver died. I enjoying being able to find out all of these things very quickly without turning on the t.v. or going to their webpage. Without blogs I would have missed an entire trend of frugality that is going on around me. If I didn't read The Frugal Girl or The Non-Consumer Advocate every day, I would probably be wasting money on using the dryer and would not have started making my own bread. By browsing blogs that I find interesting I'm learning how many people out there have similar interests and I'm able to connect with them on a whole other level.

It's really fun, keeping up with all this new stuff. I've found that it's become a huge part of my life and when I can't check facebook or read my blogs, I feel deprived! Do you think social networking and this new media outlet is good for society?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Blogs and Listserves and Wikis, Oh My!

Thanks to my subscriptions to various library-related blogs and listserves, I am never at a loss for something to blog about. Today I wanted to point you in the direction of two sites that were pointed out to me. The first is 100 Best Blogs for Librarians of the Future on Learn-gasm, the blog for Bachelor's Degree Online. Yours truly isn't featured (sigh), but some of the blogs I've mention before are. Others are ones that have appeared on other lists and some aren't updated very frequently. It's a good list with some blogs I was unfamiliar with, especially those concerning green libraries and more blogs dedicated to the future of libraries. Take a minute to poke around and see if you can't find something that interests you. I was especially glad to see some book-related blogs as well. Even though we are such a web-based culture, it's important to remember that libraries have books too!

Blogging about your day is rapidly becoming a huge trend. I do it, the Annoyed Librarian does it, apparently way more people do it than I thought. I got an email about Library Day in the Life, a wiki that lists people who blog about their days at least once a week. It's free to join if you want to add your name to the list of bloggers, but it would be a great place to look for some new blogs and find out what other people are doing in their libraries. This was another instance of me being shocked to find out just how many librarian/bloggers there are!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

How Yummy!!

I subscribe to a lot of food blogs and this morning I came across this wonderful blog post about library-themed ice cream from Ben&Jerry's. I would love to see one of these flavors in the freezer section next time I buy ice cream. I think this is another great way for libraries to remind people of their availability and gain new patrons. Especially with the economy not being so great at the moment, libraries are an excellent resource for those job hunting or just looking to save a little money by checking out books, movies, and video games rather than buying. Hopefully by reminding people about the library through ice cream we can continue to preserve the existence of the public library.

I know this seems a little silly, but it's fun! What are your thoughts on library-themed food?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Update on Summer Reading

My summer reading is going very slowly. I keep finding new books (i.e. new romance novels!) to read which is distracting me from reading what's on my list. I have managed to read three books. Well, really I read one, and skimmed the others because I really couldn't get into them. One of the things I'm really bad about is starting books, but if they don't hold my attention, I give up. With 1000 Splendid Suns and The Space Between Us, I just skimmed through them, reading bits and pieces. I liked the stories, but both of them are heavy books that make you think. And where I am at the moment, thinking isn't something I really want to do. I also found them to be sad and slightly depressing, not what I wanted either. I also read My Sister's Keeper and even though it was incredibly sad (I cried buckets) I was addicted to the story and read it in two days; I couldn't put it down. I've heard the movie is quite different, but still excellent so I think I'm going to go see it with my mother sometime soon.

The Time Traveler's Wife came in at the library the other day and I'm trying to finish an old Jennifer Cruise romance before I start that one. It also looks heavy, so it may not go well. Obviously, with school starting in two weeks I'm not going to be finishing my list. I do think I've made a big dent in it and I will continue to pick books off the list in conjunction with all the new romances I got at the used bookstore the other day. Hopefully, I will be able to finish the list, plus the ones I've added since I wrote it by the New Year. If not, I know what my New Year's Resolution is going to be!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Day in the Life of a Librarian

It seems I actually have something in common with the Annoyed Librarian (I know, I'm shocked too). We both picked up on the trend about blogging about daily lives and we both wrote a blog about it. Check out mine here and hers here. While her day (and everyone else's) is infinitely more interesting than mine, it's still nice to know that people find sharing the mundane so fascinating.

I haven't blogged in a few days because my job has been very mundane over the past few weeks. I'm still working on that barcoding project, but expect to finish today or tomorrow. I imagine I will have another project dealing with the Media Archives as soon as a finish this one. It's been pretty quiet around here; in fact the library world has been really quiet. I guess now that ALA is over, things have calmed down or a lot of people are on vacation. (I'm going to go with the latter.) So I have very little to share.

Know anything new in the library world? Have something to share? Post a comment below or email me!