Posted tagged ‘WMRLS’

Legislative Breakfast

March 6, 2009

Today my library hosted one of a number of statewide legislative breakfasts, this one was very well attended both by concerned members of the library community and by members of the state’s Berkshires delegation.  It was informative, it was a wonderful experience, it was depressing as hell.  The state of the state is clearly awful.  

Two of my favorite people in the library community had to speak of our current hardships.  Janet Schraeder from C/WMars told the story of the Fitchburg library, one of my favorite cautionary tales.  A library that suffered an over 60% budget cut, and which was briefly reduced to serving as a pet shelter.  And Jan Resnick from my consortia, WMRLS, used the opportunity to announce their first (and hopefully [but unlikely] only) round of layoffs.

Afterwards the legislators themselves spoke, quite frankly of the state’s current economic climate.  These are not good times.  We’re looking at record deficits, some cuts have to be made and there is not any fat left to trim.  Libraries are likely going to be in a lot of pain in the next year, but everyone else will be too.

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Notes from a Meeting

February 3, 2009

Today was the latest technical services roundtable, and it was my turn to run the meeting this time.  This was a great meeting, despite the weather.  The Westfield Athenaeum were incredible hosts.  They have an amazing library, a simply gorgeous building, and an amazingly active and dedicated staff.

And the meeting was one of the more rewarding ones I’ve been a part of.  We managed to draw little more diverse crowd this time, 1 library that was much further afield than our regulars, and for once I was not the youngest person in the room (course that might just be because I’m getting old).  So a few random notes to help me process things:

We can replace our dot-matrix with a thermal printer!  Man do I feel dumb now.

We need a “get a life” item type for dvd sets that cannot reasonably be finished in a single week.

Comics, man do I love them, but God are they a pain to create records for!  Marvel, listen up and stop resetting the volume number for your collected editions!

On the OCLC record use policy, we’ve been here before and we’ll be here again.

Network!  Learn what other librarians in your area you can go to for advice.  I’ve never encountered another group of people so willing to go out of their way to help their peers, take advantage of that.

The Aftermath

December 4, 2008

Wow!  This was a good day.  My workshop went amazingly well and the responses I received for it were more than I possibly could have hoped for.  Huge thanks must go out to Janet Eckert and WMRLS who organized everything and served as the most gracious hosts imaginable.  And the attendees were just as wonderful, everyone seemed engaged, there was a good amount of participation (that I hope will continue online), and they let me rant a bit on copyright, RDA, and the new OCLC records policy.  

And I even got to show off my favorite website of the week, which had nothing to do with anything, goingtorain.com (Thanks Jason).  Sadly the answer we got from it was yes, and that prediction proved accurate.  But even the rain (ok snow while driving back over the mountain), couldn’t bum me out today.  Because I have a handfull of feedback forms that almost uniformly say the one improvement that could be made to the workshop, was to add more time to it.  And in the positive column I got some of the best praise possible, that it was actually practical and useful.

And to top it all off, lunch at the Black Sheep, home of the greatest cookie I know, the Repulican National Convention cookie (full of fruit and nuts).  They started making these back in ’04, they’re basically giant macaroons filled with whatever nuts, fruit, and bits of chocolate they had left over in the kitchen from all their other baked goods.  If you’re ever in Amherst you must stop in, the baguettes are amazing too.

Must See Sites for Technical Services

November 10, 2008

On December 4th I’m going to be leading my very first workshop, entitled Must See Sites for Technical Services (a little long for my tastes but whatever).  Thus I’ve been spending a lot of time surveying relevent sites recently in preparation.  I have the beginins of my list up on delicious and I plan to have the list up as a permanent page here soon, I’m hoping to spend my day off tomorrow working on it.

The idea for the workshop and foundation for my list are the work of the great Dodie Gaudet, whose link page can be found here.  Given Dodie’s amazingly comprehensive list I’ve been a bit desperate to find new things to add, and so I’m resorting to my usual tactic of pulling in information from outside the field.  Some of which has obvious relevance (LibraryThing), but a lot that’s a bit outside the box (One Across can be a great help for deciphering handwriting).

I am of course open to any and all further suggestions and welcome additions to my list on delicious.

Digitization Part 2

November 1, 2008

 

Library Scientist

Library Scientist

I’m a little late posting this due to an epic fail by my Internet connection yesterday.  Anyway, yesterday was the WMRLS Digital Barn Raising, on behalf of the Digital Treasure project.  I was there doing my best John Hodgman impression as a resident expert (albeit on cataloging and copyright issues instead of hobos and spam).  

It being Halloween and all I opted to resurrect my library scientist get up.  Really I just don’t get enough excuses to wear the lab coat.  The workshop went very well and it made a nice counterpoint to the larger digitization event on Tuesday.  Plus I managed to get through my whole portion with only one look at my note cards.  So I think I’m getting better (but I can handle criticism).  Besides my bit on copyright there was also a nice overview of what Digital Treasures has to offer, their success to date and how to use Dublin Core (not to mention the correct subject heading for cupolas).  The whole made for another great WMRLS workshop and a very nice finish to one of my more hectic weeks.

Public Appearances

October 27, 2008

I’m going to be incredibly busy this week.  For starters today is the Grand Reopening of the Athenaeum.  If you’re in the area please stop by for the Festivities.

Tomorrow is the MLA Tech Services Section Introduction of Library Digitization event at the Worcester Public Library.  We’ve got some great speakers, I’m particularly looking forward to the copyright talk on digital copyright in the 21st century.  I’m hoping I’ll be able to hear some of it in the midst of running around doing tech support for the event.

And then on Friday is the WMRLS Digital Barn Raising, where I’ll be doing my best John Hodgman impression as one of a few resident experts for the workshop.  I’ll also be giving a short talk on copyright there, so I’ll be taking a lot of notes on Tuesday in preparation.  I promise to try my best not to be too snarky during my talk.  Oh and I’ll probably be in costume.

Trip Up North

October 7, 2008

Back from a roundtable held at the North Adams library, which is easily in contention for the title of nicest looking library in the Northeast.  The building is completely green, solar and geothermal powered, spacious, open, and somehow completely at peace with the historic home that was adapted to form it.  I’m very jealous, and that’s despite the fact that one of their tech services people is responsible for maintaining their power and heating systems.

The meeting itself was great as usual, and I finally had a chance to make my LibraryThing pitch (albeit with my backup slides instead of a live demo due to a temporarily downed server).  I always go into these meetings afraid of having a sparse agenda, and then we always run out of time.  And besides the opportunity to discuss workflows and spend some time in other libraries these meetings have been a great way to network.  The tech services librarians in my region are starting to form a fairly strong community.

The next one will be this February at the Westfield Athenaeum, exact day T.B.D.  If you’re in the area please come.