Posted tagged ‘meeting’

Silly Questions Updated (now with 50% more grammar!)

August 28, 2008

There were some good ones today so I thought I’d share.  Starting with one in regards to a meeting I’m organizing.  “Would you like refreshments?”  Given the option, who would say no.

#2 is a paraphrase of a long e-mail, what should libraries do with weeded books?  There are really only three options; sell, dump or donate.  Granted there are probably some creative means of disposal you could come up with, and you occasionally have to be sneaky.  At the first library I worked out there was an issue with patrons protesting dumping books that were paid for with tax dollars.  Thus one of my duties was to run trash bags full of books across the street, under cover of darkness, and dump them in the bins behind the neighboring school (yes really).

On to number 3, which is courtesy of Elleander, “how permanent is temporary?”  This one regards the ongoing issue within the library consortia I belong to with temporary bibliographic records.  There are plenty of reasons for creating these, although the main one is when something slipped through the system and a patron is standing at the desk wanting to check it out.

These sorts of records are supposed to last the length of one circulation.  But they tend to stick around due to the nature of having a shared catalog.  If anything is attached to one of these it stays, and that includes patron requests.  Deterrents have been tried, many of these records are nothing more than a title, and ISBN and a long message entirely in caps saying not to use it.  Needless to say people still do.

Hence good cataloging matters all the time.  Everything is done collaboratively these days and no matter how much you may think others will never see your records, they can and will be found and will be used.  It’s amazing really.

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What is Technical Services?

August 20, 2008

I just got back from the most well attended tech services meeting I’ve ever been to, and it was a really good one.  But I think what I found most fascinating this time around was discovering the huge variety in job descriptions that the various attendees had (a few of us are planning to swap them over e-mail now actually).  At the meeting were librarians responsible for:

cataloging

mending

collection development

acquistions

administration

IT

serials

archiving

and actually two library directors, who also dabble in tech services work.

Granted I do or have done nearly everything on that list at some point, but it’s really amazing to me when you hear that the work done by your entire department (and a few people elsewhere in the library) is done by a single person at another library (who has my sympathy).  I don’t think I’m going to complain about being overworked ever again.