Friday, July 25, 2008

Last Weekend in July

Cheer up, companions! It's almost the weekend!

And a new (to the US, anyway) episode of "Doctor Who" is on tonight on Sci-Fi!

"The Director"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Weed 'em and reap!

Good bumper sticker for a library shelving cart, eh?

Anyway we have undertaken an ambitious undertaking -- weeding and shifting the collection! What fun! What excitement! (or should that be a "?" instead of a "!"?)

An excellent site for the interested weeder:

Sunlink Weed of the Month Archive

It's geared for School Media Specialists, but I find it quite helpful for Public Librarians as well.

Anyway, I've taken on the REFERENCE collection, and am pulling such treasures as 'used book prices index 1994', World Almanac 2000, Water Use survey 1992, etc. Our encyclopedia sets: 1997 and 2003 (or at least that's the date of the last "yearbook" for Britianica).

I'm finding college guides for the 1990's; Social Security handbooks from the same decade (never mind that the rules all changed two years ago). So far, I've pulled a full cart from three shelf units (five shelves to each unit).

This is not good. We don't have the money to replace these things right now, but I'd rather have an empty shelf rather than faulty information (or at least that's what they taught us to think in "Library School", right?).

Anyway, more on this later! Back to the fun!

"The Director" Sunlink Weed of the Month

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New Week

Tuesday is our Monday!

Of course it is acting like a Monday. The main circ station is acting like the TARDIS, that is, acting up, so we are having to write down every patron and all the barcodes they check out. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Unfortunately I have to restrain myself from taking a hammer to it! (These computers are not as sturdy as the TARDIS console.)

Of course that means we had TONS of people coming in -- all to check out. Plus we had the children's storytime (with parents who want to check out easy books by the ton) and the computer class (which closes the lab to the public, which means everyone who wants to use a computer has to wait in line for the FIVE Public Access computers in the main library).

The one good thing -- we got a new cleaning service to take over from a less-than-professional service before. The bad news: they won't start until August 1. So we get to continue cleaning the bathrooms until then.

And that's all before lunch.

Can't wait to see what the rest of the day brings!

"The Director"

Friday, July 18, 2008

Some days you want to run screaming

Friday's are usually sedate, serene, quiet days, as people get ready for the weekend.

So when two of my regular Friday staff asked for the day off today, I said, "sure, why not?" That leaves three of us here.

Why not? Because today half of the county decided to slam the library right at lunch time. And of course, most of them brought their and every neighbor's children as well!

As I was in a meeting, my two staff had to handle it until I got in, then there will only be two of us until around 2:30.

Some days you want to close the place and have a good scream until they all go away!

"The Director"

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Library Decorating

I don't suppose the Powers That Be would agree to my re-decorating the Library in a classic Tardis motif, would they? Nice clean lines, high-tech but low key computer tables, etc.

Just a thought.

I mean, a few computers built into the console would make a nice six-sided e-mail checking station or computer catalog center,

the Tardis Doors would be my office entrance, a mini-tardis or Dalek as a drop box, etc.

"The Director"

UPDATE "Murder in the Stacks" Located!

Just an update:

By using LibraryDirector tricks and methods (IOW, phone calls and e-mails! My Sonic Screwdriver was of no use in this case), I was able to find a copy of "Murder in the Stacks" at the University. They still had the copy in the Media Center where I worked for about a year, and through a friend I was able to get it for a staff training session this morning. Sheesh, this thing was harder to find than the "key to time".

I thought it went well, and most of my staff even laughed a couple of times -- in the right places!

(And, predictably, in one area "Holmes" states that oversized books need to be shelved SPINE DOWN to prevent the pages from pulling away from the binding. In every session I've attended where the video is presented, the same question gets asked that they asked:


Anyone have an answer for THAT one? I don't!)

Which led me to presenting my new Shelf-reading with 'Weed as you go' policy -- with everyone signing up for an area of responsiblity. THAT wasn't as well received, but it needs to be done.

How do you convince a reluctant staff to do what they should be doing anyway? Ah, that is the question, and I'm going to have to find the answer to that myself soon.

"The Director"

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Local business supports the Library

One of the local businesses here, Tupelo's, a combination bakery/resturant/antique shop, sends out an e-newsletter every day to promote their daily lunch specials.

Well, yesterday we got a surprise:

(from the newsletter)
Summer reading ... isn't it the best?! Read, read, read... I strongly believe in the power of reading. It's such an inspiring, entertaining activity or escape. I've been engrossed in fiction this summer - the new Russo novel and some light "beach" fiction too.

I encourage you all to take part in the programs offered by our LOCAL LIBRARY. There are a few new staff members and a lot of new energy over there. I'm a big fan of inter-library loan so that I can get all the latest books that might not be in out here in the beautiful country side. Ask Ms. Books
[our Children's Librarian's nickname] about the wonderful summer programs for children too!

I love it when local businesses take the time to recognize other local endeavors publically. We sent them our thanks! (They have excellent wraps, too.)

Monday, July 7, 2008

4 day work-week? No thanks!

I saw an ad this past week for a "Evening Librarian" position. The salary was good ($48,528), plus it was at a community college! (ah, to return to the thrilling days of academic librarianship!)

HOWEVER -- the hours were "Full-Time Monday-Thursday 10:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m".

I don't know about the rest of you, but "The Director" is exhausted after a standard 8:30-5:30 shift. Sure the three-day weekend sounds attractive, but look at all you miss:

dinner with the family (AND you have to eat just before you go to bed! Not good!)
School open house
Parent Teacher meetings
Scout meetings
recitals and band concerts
regular exercise time
NCIS (ok, that's not a biggie -- they show up on DVD eventually!)

Nope, in my balance book, the cons outweigh the pros. (Although some of the young, single, just starting out in the profession folk might like it.)

As for me, I'll stick to the five day workweek, thank you very much!

"The Director"

Back at work

Busy week ahead:

More work on the budget (where to make cuts)

Meetings with Literacy over THEIR budget and grants

Shelf-reading and weeding battles

Tech is coming to install new hard drives in public access computers

and, as the King would say, et-cetera, et-cetera, et-cetera!

"The Director"

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Fourth of July weekend

For those of us on 'this side' of the pond, I hope all of you have a happy and safe fourth of July weekend. Taking a 'directors perogative', our library will be closed Saturday as well as Friday (we are closed Sunday anyway).

Remember this old joke?

Question:Does England have a fourth of July?
Unsuspecting response: no, of course not!
Right Answer: Sure they do, how else do they get from the third to the fifth???

A local couple who immigrated here from England host a "loser's party" every 4th of July, and invite anyone in the area of English descent! Their home is decked out in British flags, photos of the Queen, etc. It's quite a sight. Some friends of mine (from Scotland) usually provide the musical entertainment, playing British and Celtic music.

Me? I'm heading to the local park for a picnic and fireworks! I'll be decked out in American Red, White, and Blue.

Again, a Happy and safe 4th to y'all!

"The Director"

(Pic taken from the series 3 episode "Daleks in Manhattan")

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

e-mail idea for customer service rep.

(Thanks, Christopher!)

'might spark a few complaints, though (from the survivors). Still......

"The Director"

Murder in the Stacks - where to find online

A number of years ago, I saw a short movie as a part of a new staff orientation. It was called "Murder in the Stacks" and featured "Sherlock Holmes" as he and "Watson" went through the library pointing out shelving mistakes and how they led to shortening the life of a book for circulation.

Yes, it was very corny, but strangely, unlike most orientation videos, it had some good ideas, and the acting wasn't bad, either.

Does anyone know if this video is available online somewhere? I'd like to have my staff watch it over. I'm getting ready to go over shelf-reading; weeding; shifting; etc procedures, which quite obviously have not been done for some time here.

Thanks, in advance!

It's produced by Columbia University Libraries Preservation Committee!
No word yet on an online version.

"The Director"