Monthly Archives: November 2008

Digital TV? Are you kidding me?

Okay, I admit it.  I don’t get this whole digital TV thing.  I know, I know.  I’m a librarian and I’m supposed to be up-to-date on these sorts of things. But when it comes to TV, I can barely figure out how to put the batteries in the remote.

My TV is a 13″ screen with wood paneling and the control panel console door broken off.  It gets me by!  But now with digital, out go my bunny ears!  Oh poor bunny ears – obsolete after so many years of service.  Well, I’m keeping mine and willing them to the Smithsonian or The Henry Ford Museum in 150 years or something.

Maybe now would be a good time to do a special book display of old-time TV shows…

Sigh, okay, well, I must get researching…I can’t imagine a life without The Big Bang Theory!

Is your library transparent?

Corporate transarency is the buzz thing in the business world right now.  Well, it really was the buzz like three years ago, but it’s one of those things that’s a persistent topic since it was started and will continually become a common method of conducting business.  (Especially now, when Americans have a vested interest in what corporations are doing, now that their government dollars are supporting past mistakes.)

Anyways, it shouldn’t be all that hard for libraries to be transparent organizations.  We are already embracing the appropriate trends when we say we LOVE Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 and all that.  The next step in all that lovin’ is appropriateness and timing.  Here are a few links to get you started on the topic of transparency…

Radical Trust – a great social networking in business site by a corporate transparency expert

Get Naked! – Wired Magazine had a great issue a few years ago that was all about transparency in the corporate world.  It’s appropriate for libraries too though.

Don’t Friend Me! – David Lee King writes about the right way to garner your library’s Facebook friends. (Friends don’t let friends ho themselves out on Facebook – my words, not his…)

Librarians and a fish with ick…

I went to visit my hometown library yesterday.  Working there was what made me decide to become a librarian.  The whole staff is amazing.  My friends M and H were on desk and closely examining their fish, Dewey, when I walked up to say hi.

Apparently Dewey has “the ick” and is floating weirdly in his bowl.  (Insert juvenile comment of your choice here…)

Being sarcastic librarians and complete nerds, M and H have decided to start a prayer chain on Facebook for Dewey…let’s all hope no one takes them seriously.  But you know someone will.

I’ll keep you posted.

“This is the librarian call-in hour…”

Here in metro Detroit, everyone is on the very edge of their seat waiting to hear what will happen if the government does not grant a bailout to the Big Three.  It’s not just Detroit that is affected, but everywhere, I know.  However, to give you an idea of how car-centric Michigan is: In the summer people set up lawn chairs on the sides of big roads (Woodward Avenue) and car watch for vintage cars.  By the hundreds.  On any given day.  It’s a car crazy state.

Okay, on with my point…so radio stations are going nuts here.  I mean nuts.  Every morning it’s all you hear about…discussion of the bailout, discussion of how people will manage financially if they lose their jobs, lots and lots of fear and stress on the radio.

Librarians – WE NEED A RADIO SPOT.  Now, I know a lot of libraries have a radio show or a cable show.  But that’s not what I’m talking about.  If you are listening to your local radio over the next week or so and they are talking about economic slowdown and what solutions should be, CALL IN.  And don’t just call into public radio because that’s comfortable.  Calling public radio is like preaching to the choir…still a good idea, but they already know the message.  Call your area’s morning disc jockey show with a quick message.

– your name
– your library’s name
– name three resources your library offers (we offer free classes, resume writing books, and computer classes)
– and then as a “bonus” mention a cool resource (oh DJ Sammy Sam, I want to let listeners know that the Census is hiring this month, and you can visit their website at for more info)
– then close by saying something along the lines of “the librarians in our state are happy to help people out…we won’t even shush you, we promise” (this reinforces the state-wide element of libraries and humor is memorable…)

Don’t feel comfortable calling?  Then email your local DJs.  I just sent an email to a DJ this morning with a link to my article:  and am going to listen in to a different show tomorrow morning to see if they are still on the topic.

C’mon guys and gals…let’s do it!

P.S. – Try to call the morning shows and the afternoon/drive home shows…those have the largest listenership and the audience is most captive…stuck in their cars, usually.

Little library coffee shops…

A few weeks ago I had one of those days where I wish I had my camera, but of course I didn’t.  I was at a public library and they had a teeny tiny coffee shop.  At the far end of their circulation desk, they had cordoned off a small coffee area with large coffee and hot water dispensers.  They had built a canopy over the area so it stood out, and it was near the cashier area and easily viewable by the clerks to ensure that people paid.  It was a different spin on the coffee shop idea…a self serve style.  I guess if you were particularly hard pressed for time, space, money and/or personnel, you could also install one of those giant coffee vend machines popular at oh so many public highway rest stops across the country.

In recycling news, I got a cup of coffee recently in a cup from EcoProducts.  They have very reasonable prices for compostable food service products.  If you are working towards making your library green, then you might want to check them out for your coffee/snack shop.

The Dangerously Irrelevant Blog

I think I have blogged about the Dangerously Irrelevant blog, before, but I’m going to do it again.

The blogger, Scott McLeod, was co-creater of the Shift Happens presentation, along with the equally awesome Karl Fisch.

If you haven’t checked out Dangerously Irrelevant, you should.  The blog focuses on technology, education, leadership, and how they all come together to create better schools.  The topic dovetails with the needs of libraries worldwide.  What happens in schools (or doesn’t happen in schools) related to technology, very quickly has an effect on libraries. 

Take a moment to check on what Scott McLeod is saying.  I think you’ll find yourself saying “Hey that’s happening at my library!”

That new airport smell…

So this afternoon I’m flying back to metro Detroit after spending a few days at the new job.  The Indianapolis International Airport experienced an overnight reincarnation, and in a span of four hours, all services were switched to a brand new airport.  And it’s sexy.  And it has that new airport smell…and an IPOD VENDING MACHINE!!!!  I had never seen one before.  I took a picture and will post it soon.

I think I was filmed by the local news asking a question about where my gate was.  Of course, I’m having a bad hair day.  Ah well, I can’t always be unbearably gorgeous.  😉

The new job…the last time I wrote I told I had ‘gone private’!  Yes, yes I have.  So, I’m working for Evanced Solutions in Indianapolis, Indiana.  They make a summer reading program management software, a rooms/reservations management software, and an events management/events notification software.  My title?  Coordinator of Customer Experience.  My job is to make sure that the libraries that use the product are happy.  And if they’re not, I fix it until they are happy.  That’s it.  I don’t sell stuff, I don’t try to make them spend more cash (which my company isn’t into either…they are actually not going to do a previously planned price increase because they realize how bad the economy is right now).  My main goal is to make sure libraries get the most value from their investment in the software.  Isn’t that cool?

Now, let me tell why that’s going to be great for my blog.  In the process of making sure that all those libraries are happy, I’m going to be touching base with over 800 libraries all over North America and a few in Australia.  What I get to learn about their innovation or ideas, I’m going to share with you, because, y’know, those are library ideas.  🙂

All right, well, I’m going to go get a hot dog…they’ve got a chili dog shop at the airport!  Yum!

Aaaaand…we’re back!

Where the hell have I been?

Well first, I made a long move from Detroit to Kansas City with two cars, a UHaul trailer, my parents, and a dog.  Lessons Learned: Parents are great (thanks mom and dad!), dogs have an uncanny ability to know when you are ordering ice cream at McDonalds, GPS sometimes lies – especially when you are driving on chaotic interstates through major metropolitan areas.

But then it gets even better, because this week I started my new job in…Indianapolis.  Huh?  Yeah, that’s right.  Through the power of telecommuting, I am going to be working in Indianapolis from Kansas City.  This week I flew to Indy to learn about my new job.

“But Christine…”, you say, “what type of library job allows you to telecommute in such a way?”
To which I respond…
“A job with a neat little company that provides libraries with software…”
and then you say…
“Don’t you mean a vendor?  Have you become a…gasp…vendor?”
and I say…
“Simmer down now!  Yes, I’m working for a vendor, but it’s going to be a learning experience for me, and for you too, my dear readers.  And I promise no sales pitches, because that is not my thing.”
and you respond
“Tell me more!”
And I say…
“Okay, I will tomorrow!”


The only semi-political thing I’ll ever say…

I’m looking through the League of Women voters pamphlet…the part that where university trustees state their opinions.  And here’s something I don’t see in their statements:

We need to create a generation of kids who have broad skill sets that they can fit to their individual academic acumen.  And even more so – in the future, kids will be judged by how they access information, how well they access it, and if they have technological skills that reflect an ability to use technology as a tool for problem solving.

I know…preachin’ to the choir!

I’m no politico, but I know “teach to the test” when I see it!