Monday, January 29, 2007

Because I've been watching too much TV

My favorite TV show currently playing is Grey's Anatomy, which combines good writing, smart women characters, and some delicious soap-opera-y moments. However, I keep seeing the interns and doctors in the hospital library, pouring through books, and I keep wondering, where's the medical librarian? Surely a teaching hospital is a great place to find a McSmarty, search-savvy, helpful, and time-saving medical librarian character. Give him/her whatever personality quirks you like. I'd even settle for a guest appearance by Ms. Dewey.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Quiet Night

It's relatively slow and quiet tonight, but with interspersed interesting questions. I get a good adrenaline buzz from a busy reference shift, but it's nice to look out at available computers, to feel comfortable spending extra time with patrons who welcome extra help, and to try to reflect on some of what's fresh in my mind from this past weekend's conference - approachability, patron-librarian collaboration, not pushing the instruction while working reference but sneaking it into the conversation in small bytes.

Also nice to think of going home to a dinner cooked by a much appreciated significant other and an episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Contemporary Technologies: A Proposal

Upon revisiting my conference notes, and wanting to keep conversations going about technology in libraries while not wanting my profession to seem slow, or any more un-cool than necessary, I have a proposal. It will need some fleshing out, and some more thought behind it, but what if we call blogs, Wikies, IM, and Chat "Contemporary Technologies" rather than "new" or "emerging" ones? This acknowledges their currency while also acknowleging that the world moves really fast and that these things aren't really new any more.

Here's my starter list of contemporary technologies.
Chat reference
Classroom software such as Blackboard and WebCT
MP3 players and files

Monday, January 22, 2007

How to supplement your music section

Win a giant basket of music books from Perseus! Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Johnny Dorsey & Ray Charles are coming home to the Holland and Terrell Libraries. Thanks, Perseus!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

More Midwinter

Here's my brief report from yesterday afternoon and today (so far).

AquaBrowser is very fun to look at, and I've been comparing it (wistfully, I'm afraid) to WSU Libraries' OPAC, which is, don't get me wrong, still better than our old one.

Today was going to be my busiest day, but I was too worn out to do all that I'd planned. I think that this happens to lots of people at large gatherings like these. Even comfortable shoes don't keep feet from getting sore after running from hotel to hotel all day.

I'm starting to think that all discussions about Web 2.0, new technology, and new media are essentially the same. I still appreciate hearing the different viewpoints, and getting feedback from people experimenting with new (and not so new) tech, but I'm looking forward to the day where we have more measurable results and are no longer thinking of social software as "new," but as another avenue for reaching patrons and making them comfortable in their information searches. This morning I attended the LIRT discussion on Instruction and Millennials. I've posted on Millennials before, and still find the ways that different generations are so predictably different to be fascinating, and still worry about whether or not terms like "Millennials" cloak fear and resentment and lead to more generalization than is good for us, but this was a good discussion, with people from public and academic libraries, from systems, and with varying interests and skill levels when it comes to the "new tech" we associate with Generation M.

This afternoon I took minutes for the first time at an ALA committee meeting, and it was a great learning experience. If you are new and want to make yourself learn names fast, I'd recommend taking minutes. Just make sure, if you do it on a laptop, that you can also type fast. Ten minutes into the meeting, I found myself overcome with a wave of gratitude for my high school typing teacher.

I'm glad to be a librarian, to get to work with people who are in it for more than money (luckily for us, 'cause generally the money's not especially big). I'm glad to have cool colleagues in the WSU Libraries, and to have chances to hang out with them away from our regular library setting.

But I still wish I could sleep in!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

From Seattle

This is my first full day of ALA Midwinter, and so far it is off to a good start. I had an interesting and (hopefully) productive discussion this morning about the particular challenges of providing instruction at the reference desk, and am enjoying my first meeting as a committee member. My only wistful comment so far is that I wish some of the sections would provide a bit more in the way of new member orientations than "here's how you sign up for committees." I realize it's Midwinter, not Annual, and that there may be fewer new members about, and that we're supposed to be outgoing and curious and just talk to committees anyway, but a little more hand-holding would be appreciated (and might help bulk up some section memberships).

Last night I attended the exhibit opening and realized that there is something irresistable about free advance reader copies. I worked at a bookstore for several years and never felt so inclined to pick up galleys as I did last night. The rush to get the "Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?" tote bags, the registration for free stuff, the food that more savvy colleagues ate while I ran around like a madwoman collecting swag - all very dizzying and exhausting. I followed the opening with some good Thai food (thanks, Thai Ginger) and an early bedtime, a good idea considering what's on for today and tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Moving house

or, rather, URLs. On the off-chance that getting out into the wider world of blogging might result in more readers, or at least more passing glances from google-ers, I've moved my blog over to Blogger. For anyone who hasn't read me before, this is my professional blog, the one linked to my work in libraries. This year, in the spirit of January resolutions, I'll be putting out a new bi-weekly feature called "In Reference," which will highlight some of the works in the reference section of my library.