Tag Archives: Michigan

Worried About HAL? Make it your avatar…

Sometimes I do things on a whim and then after the fact am not quite sure if I did the right thing or not.  I did that today and I’m still deciding if this is a good thing or not…

I’ve created an avatar that you can add to your Facebook, Google Chat or other social network sites to raise awareness of the elimination of HAL.  The graphic can be copied below.  I posted mine as my Facebook image, and paired it with the following blurb:

The State of Michigan is eliminating the Department of Humanities, Arts and Libraries (HAL). This change could heavily impact services such as interlibrary loan, special library services to the handicapped, and Michigan’s vast geneaological resources – plus many other library services you may take for granted. We know that everyone is struggling during these economic times, but it is important to remember that libraries are providing computers, job seeking resources and educational resources to those Michiganians seeking work at this time. Please contact your representative and ask them to reconsider the elimination of HAL.

I don’t like to be an alarmist, so I hope that the above isn’t too much, but from everything I’ve read, the above is pretty accurate in regards to the potential impact of the eliminiation of HAL.  I’m pretty distraught over the elimination of the position of State Librarian.  I think that in this type of message, we need to hit the “What’s In It For Me” center of peoples’ minds. 

Now we need to drum up a letter that can be made available to the public so that they can send it to their representatives.  Anyone want to write that up??? AVATAR

Baseball Shirts Are Finally Here!

You thought I forgot didn’t you?  No, I didn’t.  Without further ado – baseball shirts!


Why didn’t I put “Library Day at Comerica Park”?  Well, I figure if there are a whole bunch of us walking about, hopefully people will see our shirts and say “Hey, there’s baseball stuff at the library!”

I made a sexy one with the design on the back, but it’s not terribly user friendly to collect money from a group and get the shirts to everyone prior to the game.  But, here is is for you to see – good concept for next year’s game!

Look for other info on game day events in the coming days.  ALA Annual Conference ruled my life for the last few weeks, but now that’s it done…it’s baseball time!

28 Days of Library Advocacy and Tweeting Service

Hi All..

Check out 28 Days of Advocacy on the YALSA blog – http://yalsa.ala.org/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: http://www.mla.lib.mi.us/

Ridiculously sick…and thoughts on Kansas

So, I was ridiculously sick last week and didn’t even feel like touching my computer.  But while laying in a cough syrup induced semi-coma, I began to think of some of the major differences I’ve noticed about Kansas and Michigan.  Some library related (well, only one), others not-so-much.  Though I miss Michigan and my friends, I’m enjoying Kansas and the life I’ve got here.  It’s fun to see something different and it’s kind of a different culture in some ways.  Keep in mind, I’m in a slightly more rural area of Kansas…so I’m not talking about Kansas City or Topeka or Wichita in my notes.  Need to go do more city safaris.

– No coney islands.  That’s the saddest thing about Kansas to me.  Those staples of metro Detroit life…the coney island restaurant, do not seem to be in existence here.  I’m going to start looking harder.  It appears that once you drive west of Chicago, people no longer need mousaka, chili dogs, or lemon rice soup available to them 24 hours a day.  Breakfast is only served in the mornings in Kansas restaurants.  These people have no idea what they’re missing!

– Now that said, the most positive thing?  The pace of life is so much nicer here.  People don’t honk much when driving down the road.  And for the post part, folks are very, very nice.  I have been in the grocery store and been asked by the employees there if I need help finding anything.  IF I NEED HELP FINDING ANYTHING!  As if it is their job to help me find the groceries I need if I am wandering through the aisles looking lost!  And then I realize…it is there job to help me find something if I can’t find it!  It’s just that in Michigan most grocery store employees try to avoid eye contact.  (I worked in grocery stores for many years…don’t tell me I’m wrong…I’ll kick your…)

– I do, in fact, have an accent.  And apparently it’s obvious.  And people find it humorous.  I uttered the phrase “out and about” (oot and a-boot) a couple weeks ago to the guy behind the desk at the post office and he just about turned his face inside out trying not to laugh. 

– Growing up in a small town in Michigan, I’m used to not having a big food selection at the grocery store.  But I gotta tell ya, the selection in most of the grocery stores in Kansas is lacking.  (I need Middle Eastern food…I was raised by a Middle Eastern dad and a girl needs tabbouleh sometimes).  But the barbeque?  It’s orgasmic.  (Read again…I said orgasmic…).  It’s incredible.  What’s that Japanese term…umame?  Kinda like savory, but better?  I think that’s what makes KC BBQ so good…umame. 

– There is a library system in Missouri that shall remain nameless, but I think they are privatized.  And from everything I’ve observed, it’s not pretty.  One professional librarian at every branch, all the other employees are paraprofessionals.  All cataloging and purchasing done at a main office.  It’s bad for two reasons…non-librarians without a decent amount of training are answering reference questions…but are they doing it well?  (I think there are a lot of paraprofessionals who do a lot of great work at the ref desk, but I’m admittedly a fan of librarians being on desk…it’s a whole other post).  And how can one office purchase for all branches?  You’d hope that a branch would be a reflection of it’s community.  I hope they at least look at circ stats before purchasing from that one main office.

As you can see, I’m feeling a bit fiesty again.  It’s good to be back.  I’m almost fully decongested!  Then I’ll be unstoppable!

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!

Going Green ’08

A green event in metro Detroit sponsored by AIA Detroit Emerging Professionals Committee:

http://remodelgreen.org/ – it’s at Eastern Michigan University and runs October 31 and November 1, so it’s coming up fast.

Think that green isn’t for your library?  Check it out – the Hastings Public Library is in the process of installing solar panels.  Fantastic!