Monthly Archives: February 2009

Amelia Earhart needs a READ poster

My family came to visit me recently.  For those of you who have been so uncool as to not read my blog recently, I moved from Michigan to Kansas.  It was nice to have them come and see my new town and such.

We went to Atchison, KS – the childhood home of Amelia Earhart.  She was a pretty incredible woman.  As a child I always admired her and was completely fascinated with the idea that she had just disappeared into the air…or so it seems.  I often wonder if she lived the last years (or months or days) of her life on a stranded island, shoes in her hand, sleeves rolled up, walking along beaches scanning the sky for planes to save her and her navigator.  It’s a sad thought, really.

But in addition to being an aviatrix (not kidding, that’s the real term they use) she also made incredible guesses about the future of travel that were highly accurate, especially about plane flights and ground transportation.  And as a child, she was a voracious reader.


“Like many horrid children, I loved school, though I never qualified as teacher’s pet.  Perhaps the fact that I was exceedingly fond of reading made me endurable.” – she is quoted on a placard at the Atchison County Historical Society Museum.

And in another placard, are her views on reading, yet again…


“Books have meant much to me.  Not only did I myself read considerably, but Mother read aloud to my sister and me, early and late.  So fundamental became that habit that on occasions when we girls had to do housework, instead of both pitching in and doing it, one was selected to read aloud and the other to work.”

And to wrap it up, we went to her childhood home…a tidy two-story in a historic and both formally and currently wealthy neighborhood overlooking the Missouri River.


It was a cool trip and makes me think that maybe ALA needs to do a series of cool vintage type READ posters.  Amelia would be proud to do it…even if it was posthumous.

One more random fact I learned on that trip…do you know that there was guy who served as President of the United States for only ONE DAY???   Weird political fluke…his name was David Rice Atchison (do you see the connection?) and you can read the story here.

Great News Resource

Found this great news resource online today:

Newseum features the front page headlines of hundreds of newspapers across the country!

Solidarity, friends. Solidarity.

It seems contrary to the way in which librarians want to think…but I’m going to say it…

Team up with local booksellers – the small guys with the corner shops.  Have them send traffic to you, send traffic to them.   See if you can buy from them to build your library collection.  Develop events with them. 

Why do I say this?  Because I’ve posted about it in the past around the time of the American Bookseller Association annual conference – trends with booksellers eventually become library trends.  And then I got this:

from the Wayne State University listserv.  The Shaman Drum Bookstore is struggling.  It is an institution in Ann Arbor and in Michigan.  The sun will shine, the snow will fall, the Shaman Drum will sell useful, unique, hip and countercultural media.  And the letter is a call for help and sounds very familiar to the ears of librarian.

It’s worth reading…

Just. Too. Much. Data.

I’ve been swamped recently. Two presentation proposals – one on green libraries and one on rethinking library budget usage and creating new income streams for libraries.

In addition to it all, I’m trying to reign in all of my social networking tools.  Here’s the thing about social networking.  People often say “well, just don’t use all those tools!  Pick just one or two!”  But it’s not that simple.  I’ve been delaying using delicious, but I now I have to use it for two big projects.  I’ve got three Twitter feeds (my own, one for work, one for an unconference).  I’m monitoring three Facebook pages, creating Squidoo pages, building a wiki for a friend, blogging…uh, there’s more but I forget.

So, I’m trying to coordinate it all.  I tried Friend Feed today.  I need to play with it – I almost went into cardiac arrest from the information overload.

I have to ask…if you happen upon this post while surfing your three million RSS feeds, while trying to coordinate your Ning, Facebook and MySpace (ewwww, dirty) pages and posting a video on YouTube (or vimeo or viddler or whichever one is the newest one now…)

, if after all doing that you read this blog post…tell me…how the hell do you manage all this STUFF?!?!

Millions of librarians want to know!

Last time I checked, my vote counted too…

While I was at ALA Midwinter, I was at a meeting sitting between two fellow librarians.  Across the  conference table from us was a presidential candidate for PLA.

As the candidate got up to leave, he/she scanned the nametags that the three of us were wearing.  Then proceeded to hand my colleagues  business cards and say “I’m running for PLA President – please consider voting for me”.  And completely disregarded me.

Now there’s a couple things here.  One, I am not a member of PLA, but am going to be signing up shortly.  Two, he/she didn’t ask if any of us were PLA members, he/she just assumed they were and I wasn’t.  Three, by encouraging them to vote for him/her and disregarding me, he/she lost my vote.  And the votes of my peers to whom I have relayed the story with name and gender. 

I’m a librarian.  I’m a vendor.  I am active in the library community (and not because of sales but because I care) and my vote is just as valid as any other. 

Let’s not be hasty and make assumptions.

Don’t be rude or I’ll flash my librarian badge.

alternate title:  Why Didn’t I fly Southwest like I always do?

I had to fly an airline I normally wouldn’t take.  Starts with a U.  Ends in a D.  #$&*@ in the middle.

When I was in O’Hare waiting for my flight, I went to double check my departure gate and couldn’t find the flight number on the screen.  So I go up to what I previously knew my gate to be (C1) and I inquired.  The snotty gate agent looked at me and said “Um, it’s right over THERE. (pointing) At C4 – it says that on the BIG SIGN.”  Thanks, sweet cheeks.  Bitchiness duly noted.

And I had had it.  I was tired, I was grumpy.  And I shot back “I guess all those years as a librarian haven’t paid off because I CLEARLY CAN’T READ!  THANKS!”  (oooo…good one Chris.  You really got her.  why don’t you really be nasty and give her a free bookmark too?)  Well, it sounded a lot more bitter in real life.  Don’t make me use my librarian badge, I swear I will.

So, then I went to the store when I got to Indy and bought the Dude a bottle of wine for Valentine’s.  (I don’t dig the holiday myself, but he is very good about such things, and so I’m working on my pro-Valentine Day’s attitude, plus, he’s worth it.  </sappiness>)  I got back to my room and realized that a) I can’t pack it in my carry on (how many ounces are in a wine bottle?) and b) IF I CHECK MY BAG IT’S 15 BUCKS!  I’ve been living in a world of free baggage since I mostly fly Southwest.

Oh cruel world!  How I will get this awesome Cabernet Savignon back home is a mystery.  I might end up mailing it.

Well, that’s all for now, friends.  No startling or amazing library thoughts…my mind is focused on wine and airlines.

28 Days of Library Advocacy and Tweeting Service

Hi All..

Check out 28 Days of Advocacy on the YALSA blog –

And in other news, we’ve begun using Twitter to provide customer service at work.  People are either going to get majorly freaked out, or really dig it.  Not sure which yet.  I guess the rationale for me is that Twitter is micro-blogging.  And it would bum me out if someone said that my company was failing them on a regular blog, so my bosses and I are just as bummed if they mention their unhappy in a microblog!  (Whether is 1000 characters or 140, saying something isn’t working well is a powerful message)

As for the whole Michigan and HAL thing…here’s the info on that from the Michigan Library Association:

Multi-Time Zone Pain

Because I live in Kansas (Central Time Zone) and work for a company in Indianapolis (Eastern Time Zone) and still work on projects in Michigan (also, Eastern Time Zone), I often send out meeting requests and reminders in my Outlook calendar and attempt to adjust the time zone setting appropriately for those involved.

Last week, however, was a stellar time zone moment.  A few days ago I was dutifully going about my work when I got a gChat message at about 11:00 AM Central Time.  It was my friend S who I was supposed to be having a meeting with later that day.

Uh, Hi Chris.  E and I are in the webinar room and you’re not here.
Hey!  Well, our meeting is at 3:30 today right?
That’s what we agreed on, yup.  Thing is, you send the meeting notice out in New Zealand time.  The best we could exchange that to was about 11:00 AM.
Oh.  Hm.  Yes, sorry about that.  Is 3:30 still okay?
Eastern time right?  Not New Zealand time?  

So, there’s a lesson there!  Watch your time zones! 

Gov. Granholm to Eliminate HAL

seal_mi1Fear!  Panic!  Dismay!  Or, maybe not…I have no idea what this all means!

See below for an announcement passed on by my pal Liberal Lucy.  After chatting with an anonymous buddy with connections to HAL, I was told there is little idea of what this really means for libraries in Michigan.  It could be meaningless…just a change of who reports to whom.  (Who, whom…uh, whatever).  I guess we will have to watch and see.

If you know what this really means for Michigan Libraries and HAL, please post and let me know!

Right, yes, well on with the report:

Gov To Close Book On HAL
As part of an administration-wide attempt to scale down the size of government, Gov. Jennifer GRANHOLM is poised to propose the elimination of the Department of History, Arts and Libraries (HAL) as soon as Tuesday’s State of the State address. Former Gov. John ENGLER created the department in 2001.

Under the Governor’s proposal, the units of HAL would be scattered throughout state government. Before Engler signed the legislation creating the new department, the Michigan Library was in the Legislative Council, the state archives and Historical Commission was in the Department of State, and the Mackinac Island State Park Commission was in the Department of Natural Resources.

Engler signed a 19-bill package completing the creation of the new department in 2001 (See “20th Department Created In Library Ceremony Today,” 7/23/01).

Granholm Press Secretary Liz BOYD declined to discuss if the new arrangement would be similar to the old arrangement. She neither confirmed nor denied the news of the elimination of HAL.

“Clearly, the Governor will be giving a no-frills message on Tuesday,” Boyd said. “The Governor will be focusing on the challenges we face and she will not be sugarcoating those challenges. The focus of the Governor’s address will be creating jobs, while training and educating citizens for those jobs.”

HAL’s elimination comes more than a month after the department’s only director Bill ANDERSON retired (See “Founding HAL Chief To Retire,” 12/15/08).

HAL will be the third state department Granholm has morphed into other parts of the state bureaucracy since taking office in 2003. The former Department of Career Development was combined with the former Department of Consumer & Industry Services (CIS) to form the Department of Labor and Economic Growth shortly after Granholm took office.

More recently, the Department of Civil Service was made an arm of the Department of Management and Budget.