Archive for the 'Seattle' Category

The Seattle Public Library system to close Aug. 31 through Sept. 7
The Seattle Public Library system will close Monday, Aug. 31 through Sunday, Sept. 6 due to citywide budget cuts. Please note Monday, Sept. 7 is the Labor Day holiday and all libraries will be closed. Regular Library operations will resume Tuesday, Sept. 8
. press release here

While I don’t know all the deepest details here, I usually advocate for very thoughtful, strong, quick, dramatic action when forced into situations like this. And I believe that closing the web site is a great idea! That might not be a very popular stance to take, but it does makes good sense if handled properly.

There is no getting around that fact that the reality of these situations makes us feel a bit queasy, but this really is a rare and (hopefully) unique teaching opportunity. As budgets get trimmed all over the world, libraries are chipped at bit by bit. It has almost become a sad tradition of sorts for many library systems. And in these systems we work ourselves silly with fewer resources and less money while trying to not show how thinly stretched we are. We keep doing more with less until…one day we wake up to find that we don’t have things like effective methods of distributing the most popular electronic content available on the web through the library(see Netflix, Amazon and iTunes) or that we aren’t the platform considered most seriously as new display technologies become closer to ubiquitous (see iPhone and Kindle). And we can afford smaller budgets? Well, ok, but there is a cost…and we shouldn’t try to hide that cost from the communities we serve.

So when the SPL site is down I’d advise them to have their page go black expect for a one sentence (linked to the press release) “The SPL and all its branches are closed from **-** due to budget cuts.” Under that sentence I’d have a link that says something like: “When a library is open it returns $$$ value for every $ spent. Click here to read the facts.” and link to solid/scientific examples and proof of the value/ROI of the library being open.

I know its is easy for me to say this since I don’t work for SPL, but I think this is the right way to go. If you get cut, make sure people can see how it hurts them. WE don’t do ourselves any favors by glossing things over and if people clearly understood the costs they might just prevent things like this from happening to libraries in the first place.

But what do you think?

PS-Some library ROI links for ya’. And another doozy!


Dear Seattle, I Have To Move. Yipes!

A quick update for friends and a plea to fellow Seatllites:

Don’t you just hate moving? I just found out tonight that I have to find a new place to live in the next week (or two max). That means I am in aggressive hunt mode for a nice, quiet, clean 12-24 month rental situation in Seattle (first choice is Ballard but Queen Anne, Magnolia, Fremont or Westlake work very nicely as well). I ‘m a reliable tenant and a good neighbor. If any Seattle peeps know of anything exceptional (or just plain good) and available please drop me a line. I hate large complexes, long commutes and don’t want to live near a campus. A view is a huge plus as well. Ha, ha! Fussy much? :)

It’s a bit of a sad situation because the the upstairs resident and property owner’s health has taken a turn for the worse and he needs my separate unit/ half of the house for his live in health care provider. Poor guy. Also sad though because this is a truly beautiful location with view that regularly brings me to my knees, full of gratitude and appreciation for the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Oh well, those of you that visited knew it was just too good to last, right?

This ends my personal, non library related post. Sorry ’bout that. I try to keep ‘em to a minimum, but you never know where that helping hand might come from. Thanks! Back to your regularly scheduled….


More Sweet, Delicious alamw2007

ALA Midwinter is over, but continues to age gracefully, opening the full bouquet of library bounty as the dust settles. Library peeps from around the globe now are returned home and have begun reassuming their real and on-line (still real) identies. What did that last sentence mean? I don’t know for sure, but I think it was something like: Cool stuff from Midwinter is still showing up on-line!

For one thing, (though it may not qualify as “cool” to everyone), you can find this presentation on flickr. Me is meant as a good thing here, more of an outward reaching concept for sharing and libraries than a selfish individualistic worldview. Click the pic below for linkage:
Gimme Gimme Gimme Set & Summary

Also, lots and lots of conference photos are showing up on flickr with the tag alamw2007. That’s the tag that the collective decided on, right? Check out the most “interesting” here.

Also today, David Lee King posted a video of he and I doing some booty shakin’ with the video game Dance Dance Revolution at the ALA TechSource booth. Alright, it may not technically be booty shaking, more stomping really, but you can tell we were havin’ us some fun! I hope they have Karaoke Revolution next year. :)

If you’ve left something cool on-line from alamw2007 and want to share it here, I’d love to see it. Stick a link in the comments, baby!


ALA Midwinter – 10 Things

Libraryman went to this year’s ALA Midwinter Conference and all you got was this lousy “10 Things” blog post.

This was a unique conference for me personally, with exposure to an unusually large number of new people, events and situations. Some events were things that I had *heard* happened, but had never been invited to before. Others were work realated. Many were general events that were simple unmissable. I continue to be deeply grateful for some of the kind invitations and warm welcomes received at this conference. It was exhausting, exciting and invigorating. I should go to bed, but though it best to write these observations down before I turn in. Here goes!

1. Yeah, yeah, you already know this, but it’s still true; the best thing about every library conference is our community. With few exceptions, the opportunity we have to reconnect and catch up with old friends, make new friends and learn from fellow professionals is worth the money, time and effort.
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2. Seattle, I love you. You are pretty and have amazing food. Sure, you’re a bit expensive, but this is a case of getting what you pay for. I really hope most of you enjoyed Seattle and had good experiences with the city.
Seattle: Sound, Ferry, Needle, Mountains, Downtown
3. If you get an invite to a Gates Foundation party, go. These parties have a relaxed yet sophisticated and celebratory air that is difficult to match. Plus their food is the best you’ll find at just about any conference (or restaurant for that matter).

4. If you get invited to any other fancy parties, the kind you knew happened, but hadn’t been invited to in the past, follow your instincts regarding picture taking. I was not an aggressive picture taker at most events and even left the camera at home for a few shin-digs.

5. Most of the people in Libraryland that act like they are your friend really are your friend. Conferences provide on of the best opportunities to see these friendships in action. They will demonstrate this to you over time with things like:
-Uncontrollable smiles.
-Heartfelt group hugs given without any sense of irony.
-Invites to events you didn’t even know were held and certainly weren’t listed in any brochure I’ve ever seen (wait, we already talked about that, didn’t we?).
-Phone calls and text messages at odd hours from old friends and former coworkers attempting to meet up for at least a few minutes during impossibly packed days and nights.
-Knowing glances across the room that say “I know your tired, hang in there” or “We aren’t going to have time to talk, but what I really want to do is have more time and energy so we could talk until we were all caught up”.

5. I’ll bet most people here already know this, but most of the folks that are, have been or are upcoming ALA Presidents have amazing stamina and really, truly care about “our” business. They aren’t superstars, aren’t usually diva’s (or Devo‘s ;) they just are librarians (mostly) like us. They are often somewhat over achieving librarians with amazing political skills, connections, achievements and personality, but they really are just “one of us”.

6. This is easy since we library folks do a good job of this for the most part already. But …always try to be genuine and honor the attention people give you. The people saying nice things to you and trying to talk to you are just exactly as important and special as you are. If a librarian bothers to try to meet you, meet them! I know some folks have felt sad after they were brushed off by people of “importance”. That is SO not cool. Though developing a thicker skin is probably a good idea, respect is the best idea (something I am working on myself, the thick skin especially;).

7. Fred Kilgour was given a tribute that was respectful, appropriately irreverent at times and moving. Many of his quotes inspire me the exact way conversations with some of my closest library friends do. I’d say it even if MPOE (did I get the right, Karen?) wasn’t tied with the org he founded. If you haven’t seen it, look up some of his stuff. Or you could just look up a book in your library catalog. That book info you find there is pretty much there because of his work.

8. Gaming is one of the best things I’ve ever seen happening at a booth. At any conference. Nice work ALA TechSource (and Jenny). 1. David Lee King and I rock out with the “Guitar Hero” video game. 2. Jenny works hard, man. 3. Check out Rosario from MCLS playing DDR! She was good too!
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9. You can sleep some other time. Though it seems that if you’re just going to an early session for free breakfast and don’t care about the session at all, why not just sleep a bit longer? You’ll have more energy later in the evening to put towards talking, dancing, drinking…or all three! *#9 was given to me during a conference conversation. I’m all for free breakfast, don’t get me wrong.*

10. If you are at all nervous about seeing someone from your past, there is a three times greater statistical chance you will run into that person. Seriously, I saw the mathematical formula for this once in college. It’s an ugly formula too. Lots of conversion and carrying of ones. Of course, I’m happy to see everybody all the time, so this couldn’t possibly apply to me personally…

There you have ‘em, ten observations from the 2007 ALA Midwinter Conference in Seattle. Hope to see you this summer at Annual and at next years Midwinter.

PS- Walt was a good sport, but Andrea put me up to it, I assure you. *Taken at the blog salon mentioned in the preceeding post*
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