Monday, December 7, 2009

Book Mending Tip of the Month

This month I will show you a fast and easy way to mend books with ragged edges. You can use this method for the edges of the book or the sides.

The book I have here has both corners and sides needing some touching up.

Lifting the cover up, you will find the board is made up of several layers of paper. Run your thump up as if you are flipping pages in a book. As you do that, take your paint brush with some glue on it and feather it back and forth brushing in between the pages.

Now lay your brush down, working with both hands, pinch the corner ends together also working the cover trying to make the material come together.

With the sides, just brush them lightly with glue and again pinch material together trying to make the cover ends meet, as much as you can.

When the glue is dry, the corner(s) and/or side(s) become hard. This will reinforce these areas.

Give it a try, the more you do it the better you will be.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Are We Ever Not at Work?

It can be hard to find a good balance between your work life and your professional life. It's unrealistic, if not downright silly, to think that we can divide our lives into neat categories that don't overlap, or that we're always just focused on one thing.

For us library folks, though, I think there's an added dimension to the work/other life split. Are we every really not at work? We love libraries, reading, inquiry, and intellectual freedom, and we're always willing to talk about them. That's great. We're ambassadors to the wider world.

My job has an unusual focus. I primarily work with Oregon government documents. Many people think that means dry, technical reports full and statistics, and that's certainly part of it. But government documents are all over the place. I've picked up many at events like the state fair, and even even got a Tourism Commission document from the hotel during our EOLA road trip in October.

I imagine that others have stories about how their library specialties and personal life overlap. So please share!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Support Staff Scholarships Available!

Are you interested in certification, attending a workshop or conference? Would you like financial assistance getting where you want to go? Then visit The OLA Support Staff Division homepage to learn more about SSD scholarships and completing the application process. We are here to help! Feel free to contact anyone on the Executive Committee with questions, comments and concerns. And don’t forget to visit our blog site at to share ideas and learn more about SSD.

Cathy Zgraggen
SSD Past Chair

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Book Mending Hands

Sometimes while mending a book, you need an extra set of hands, try this...

Using 3/4 inch ply, cut 2 boards about 10 1/2 inches high by 15 inches wide. Cut another piece, 2 1/2 to 3 inches high by 15 inches wide. Buy 4, angle brackets about 1 x 1 1/2. Buy 2 eye bolts, (1/4 by 6) and 2 wing nuts.

Drill 1/4 holes on the left and right sides of one of the 10 1/2 by 15 inch piece of board about every 1 1/2 to 2 inches the full length of the board and 1 hole in the middle on each side of the 2 1/2 to 3 by 15 piece. You will use these holes for the eye bolts. Now place and screw the angle bracket at each end of the board and on both sides, creating a support foot. Taking the remaining piece and laying it down flat, place the board with the holes and brackets on top and center it. Now screw the angle brackets to this piece.

Placing the eye bolts thru the large piece and thru the smaller one, (as shown) you can adjust the thickness of the homemade vise and the height. Just unscrew the bolts and place it in the appropriate hole for the height of the book.

Your finished product....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

2010 SSD Conference Committee

This is a call to anyone interested in being a part of the 2010 SSD Conference Committee. The Conference will be held at the Salem Conference Center on Friday, July 23. We need 5-10 people to plan the event, which involves selecting the theme, scheduling sessions, speakers, selecting the menu and PR. Please contact Cathy Zgraggen at or Susan Gilmont at for more information or to volunteer your time. The conference can not take place without a committee to plan the event. It would be so disappointing to not have a conference because a committee could not be formed. It is a rewarding commitment and allows you to meet new people from the library world.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

On the Road with Diane and Susan

The cast:
Susan Gilmont (SSD Chair)
Diane Bolen (SSD Continuing Education Chair)
Me (Jey Wann, SSD past-past Chair)

The mission:
Present information about SSD, and support staff certification, to the Eastern Oregon Library Association (EOLA) at La Grande Public Library; give a book mending workshop at La Grande Public Library.

Our story:
Distance is the theme of this trip. Diane and I both work in Salem, where libraries (and people, for that matter) are fairly thick on the ground. Susan works in Newport, which isn't as urban, but is still close to the populous Willamette Valley.

The first hour or so of our trip, on I5 and 205, was your typical, busy freeway drive. But once we turned east, distances stretched out. It was farther between cars on the road, farther between towns, and the view was dominated by the magnificant Columbia River Gorge. Since Diane was doing the driving, I'd brought a book and my mp3 player to keep from getting bored. Not necessary; we talked pretty much non-stop. Our topics of conversation ranged from library issues to pets, family issues, and where we'd like to go if we could go anywhere, any time.

We arrived at our motel in La Grande around dusk. After dinner, I retired to my room, where I worked on tweaking my presentation for the next day.

No road trip is complete without getting lost at least once. Although the library was only supposed to be a 4-minute drive from our motel, we ended up traveling 3 miles before we found it. Now Diane and Susan know never to ask me to navigate. I think I was reading the directions backwards.

We were initially a bit disappointed at the fairly low turn out at the meeting. Again, distances, plus staffing demands, had probably kept some from attending. However, the smaller group made for more informal presentation, and more discussion. I hope my case for encouraging support staff to become involved in OLA was taken to heart. There was genuine interest, but perhaps a little skepticism, in Susan's excellent presentation about support staff certification. As Susan says, skepticism is natural now, when the program hasn't started yet, and no one knows what benefits (besides learning) support staff may gain from being certified.

After lunch, I took off my SSD hat, put on my state documents hat, and visited the Pierce Library at Eastern Oregon University. I'd never visited EOU before. Although the campus is easy walking distance from downtown La Grande, its hilltop location emphasizes eastern Oregon's wide-open landscape. The document staff at EOU can be proud of their well managed and easily accessibly state and federal documents collection.

After walking back from the university (and being disciplined enough to avoid an excellent bakery), I watched Diane's book mending workshop. Again, attendance was low, but everyone participated actively, Diane did a great job, and there were lots of books to be repaired!

Distance is relative. Many of the folks we talked to were surprised that we weren't driving straight back to Salem after the book mending workshop was over. After all, they said, they drive those kinds of distances at the end of the day all the time. We'd decided to stay the night in Hermiston, despite the local opinion that it's "just down the road".

The weather in La Grande had been cloudy most of the afternoon. As we drove down the notorious Cabbage Hill, though, the view to the west was full of bright sun, illuminating the vast, rolling landscape, and emphasizing distance.

For me, the trip was a great experience. I've know Susan and Diane for years, but definitely had the opportunity to get to know them better. (Diane's got great stories about motorcycle vacations, and Susan is the only person I know who can come up with a poetic Tudor quotation about kidney stones). I'd hoped to be able to meet for east-side support staff, but the opportunity to talk informally with librarians about SSD and OLA was rewarding. Under Susan's leadership, SSD will explore providing remote networking and continuing education opportunities.

I accepted the position of chair of SSD was a little reluctance two years ago, worrying that the fact that we were "recycling" officers meant that we were losing momentum. Since then, SSD has moved ahead. There are new people with new ideas (including this blog)on the Exec Committee, and SSD continues to support library support staff. We're all working together to make Oregon libraries better, and I'm proud to have been part of the journey.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Book Repair Workshop at La Grand Public Library

SSD is sponsoring a book repair workshop at the La Grand Public Library in conjunction with the Eastern Oregon Library Association Fall meeting. The event is Friday, October 2. For more information and to register visit: or contact me at

We will also have an SSD discussion and Q&A with Susan Gilmont, SSD Chair, and Jey Wann from 10:45-11:30. This is a free event.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New SSD Certification Scholarships

Oregon Library Support Staff Certification Scholarship

An anonymous donor has given $1,000 to help five (5) Oregon library support staff members apply for national certification in 2010. Certification scholarships apply $200 towards the $350 application fee to enter the ALA-APA Library Support Staff Certification Program.

• The scholarship is open to any SSD member having a high school diploma, at least one year of library experience, and who has been employed within the last three years in an Oregon library.

• Applicants will be responsible for the remaining cost of the registration fee.

For more information on the LSSCP, see:

Monday, August 3, 2009

SSD 2009 Gateways Conference: On-Line Evaluation Form

Thank you for a great conference and your feedback that will help us plan future SSD conferences.

If you did not fill out an evaluation form at the conference, please take a moment and fill out the survey online:

Thank you for your input!

If you have any questions, contact Conference Chair: Lori Davidson at / 503-838-8884

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

SSD Election

It's time to elect our officers for the 2009-2010 OLA year. The ballot is online at The election runs through Friday, August 7. You must be an SSD member to vote.

Kudos to our candidates for stepping up and offering their skills, commitment, and leadership. And remember, there are other ways to become involved in SSD than elected offices. If you're interested, contact me, or any member of the Executive Committee.

The ballot contains background information about the candidates, and they may add additional information to this blog post. Feel free to comment if you have any questions for the candidates.

Monday, July 20, 2009

2009 SSD Conference Musings

I certainly had a good time at the conference. Well, okay, after I blew out everyone's ears! Bob Welch's opening speach was very inspiring. I know I need that little reminder every now and again as to why I work for a public library. It really is to help people get the information they need or gain knowledge. I even put a hold on American Nightingale between sessions.

Lori Davidson and her team did a wonderful job planning and presenting the conference. Jackson Stalley, Karen Head, Karen Wilkinson, Kate Schwab, Margaret Harmon-Myers, Sean O'Neill, Sheila McAlexander, Stacey Fiegi, Sue Robinson, Susan Bacina - you guys rock! It is time consuming however the rewards are worthwhile when the day comes to an end. I've already heard some very wonderful comments.

Now onto 2010 at the Salem Conference Center. I hope that 5-10 people will feel inspired to be a part of this planning committee. Please take some time to think about it. Ask questions of past committee members. Add them to this post. I promise to get back to you!

Thanks for being a Support Staff Member - Cathy Zgraggen

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Conference Session: Introduction to CD and DVD cataloging

Presenter: Richard Sapon-White
Coordinator: Susan Bacina
This workshop will cover the basics of cataloging CD’s and DVD’s. Using a combination of slide presentation and exercises, participants will learn the MARC fields that distinguish these popular resources. Emphasis will be placed on selecting appropriate records and correcting bibliographic data. If time permits, processing issues will also be discussed.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ms. Wann's wardrobe by SSD

Last weekend, I was wearing an old LSSRT t-shirt (SSD's predecessor) while I took my laundry off the clothes line. As usual in warm weather, my laundry included a couple of LSSRT or SSD t-shirts. That night, I slept in one of my collection 3x-size SSD t-shirts.

From the very first one (green, with a beautiful golden design by Maresa Kirk) to the most recent one (dark blue with the SSD logo in white), SSD t-shirts make up a surprisingly large percentage of my casual wardrobe. Since I've been in LSSRT/SSD from the beginning, it's fun to think about where the organization was when the t-shirt I'm wearing was produced, and how much we've accomplished since then. (The picture above shows the 1996 conference t-shirt; the picture below is the new book bag, which will premier at the 2009 conference)

We won't have a new t-shirt at the conference next month, but we will have a new book bag for sale. We'll be using the profits to establish an accessibility fund, so that we can make sure SSD events are available and accessible to all who would benefit from them.

So a new book bag will join my collection (2 SSD book bags so far), and I know the money will be going to a good cause.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bob Welch, award winning Oregon author, Keynote at SSD Conference

Pebble in the water: How libraries matter more than they might know

Based on his Oregon Book Award – finalist book, American Nightingale, Welch discusses his four-year journey to research, write, promote it – and how integral libraries were to the process.

Welch is the general columnist at The Register-Guard in Eugene and twice has won top honors in the National Society of Newspaper Columnist contest. He has written 12 books, had stories of his published in numerous collections and been published in such magazines as Reader’s Digest, Sports Illustrated and Los Angeles Times. Additionally, he is an adjunct professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and found of the Beachside Writers Workshop in Yachats, Oregon.

For more information visit Bob’s website at

Thursday, June 4, 2009

SSD Conference Registration Now Open!!

Click here to Register!

Breakout sessions available:

Book Repair for Libraries
Note: This is an all day session and all breakout sessions must be selected for Book Repair and there is a $30.00 supply fee. The class is limited to 12 people, though there will be a waiting list for those interested.

Presenter: Carolee Harrison, Conservation Technician with Portland State University; Kris Kern, Fine and Performing Arts Librarian with Portland State University, assisted by Diane Bolen, Willamette University & SSD Continuing Education Chair. This is the first part of an all day session. Book repair for libraries: a hands-on introduction to book structure, the basics of book mending for circulating collections, and the materials used for long-lasting repairs. Techniques covered will include hinge repair, tipping in pages, spine replacement and recasing. Participants are encouraged to bring their own books to work on; however, please note that work performed in this session is not intended for rare, valuable, or extremely fragile material. The session will also include a discussion on collection maintenance and how to prevent damage to books.

Time & Space Management & Organization
Presenter: Cindy Culpovich, owner of Organizing Your Space Organizing Your Space is here to bring order to your life. Living in an organized environment enables you to be productive, successful and creative. We can help you declutter and organize your space. Our mission is to help you become more efficient, allowing you time to do the things you love and follow your dreams. Organizing is my passion. It's challenging, fun, and immensely rewarding. The best part is helping people go from a chaotic environment to a calm environment and to see the benefits in their lives!

LSSCP: Library Support Staff Certification
Presenter: Karen Strege, co-director of LSSCP. ALA may establish a certificate program for library support staff (LSS) in January 2010. This program will cover the background, current developments and requirements and leave plenty of time for questions. Karen is a co-director of the LSSCP and a private consultant with an interest in planning and evolution. Previously, Karen was the state librarian in Montana and held other positions in public and community college libraries.

Introduction to CD and DVD Cataloging
Presenter: Richard Sapon-White, Catalog Librarian, Oregon State University Libraries This workshop will cover the basics of cataloging CD s and DVD s. Using a combination of slide presentation and exercises, participants will learn the MARC fields that distinguish these popular resources. Emphasis will be placed on selecting appropriate records and correcting bibliographic data. If time permits, processing issues will also be discussed. Richard Sapon-White is currently head of cataloging at Oregon State University Libraries. He is an active member of the International Relations Round Tables of both the American Library Association and the Oregon Library Association, as well as having served on various committees of the Association of College and Research Libraries and the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services. Mr. Sapon-White has a master s in library science from Southern Connecticut State University, a second master s degree in public health from the University of California at Los Angeles, and a bachelor s degree in zoology from the University of Toronto. In 2005 he received a Fulbright Fellowship to teach cataloging at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic.

A Day in the Life of a Library Assistant
Ever wonder what your peers around the state do all day at work? Well, now you can find out! Hear what motivates or inspires other support staff. Discover the differences between your jobs and theirs and find out which joys and challenges we all share.

Why can t we all just get along? (how to deal with difficult people)
Moderator: Jackson Stalley Have you ever found yourself bracing for a meeting or conversation? Then this session is for you! Participants will learn how to manage conflict resolution, work with emotions while developing healthy, objective work relationships and valuing differences that will help create a more productive work environment.

The Huddle: A round table forum
Moderator: Stacey Fiegi This session will afford the member the opportunity to get assistance and offer solutions for the myriad of real problems facing operations in all aspects of library services. Stacey Fiegi has been with the Klamath County Library for five years. She has worked in the Circulation Department, Reference Department and the Law Library. She has an Associate s degree in Office Systems Technology and a Bachelor s degree in Business Management Marketing. Stacey is also the mother of three children, ages 22, 20, and 18.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

SSD Conference 2009

Gateways 2009
Step up your game: Tools for your job

Keynote Speaker:
· Bob Welch ~ an Oregon author /

· Friday, July 17th, 2009

· Keizer Renaissance Inn (formerly Wittenberg Inn), 5188 Wittenberg Lane, Keizer, OR / (503) 390-4733 /

Registration fee:
· $70.00 for SSD / OLA members (same fee rate since 2007)
· $85.00 for non-members

Scholarships to attend are available:

Registration opening soon.

SSD website:

Contact Lori Davidson:

Friday, May 8, 2009

Musings on old catalog cards

It's been a seriously long time since we closed the card catalog here at the State Library. However, in Tech Services, we still have a box of old catalog cards that we use for scratch paper. (After all, "re-use" is one of the 3 Rs!). I've become a little obsessed with looking at the cards before I scribble my notes on the back. It's partly to see what books the library had way back when. But it also causes me to muse about the people who did the cataloging, typed the cards, etc., in the pre-computer era. For instance, there's one in which the typist almost couldn't fit the title on the one line, so the period at the end of the title isn't all there. Was she relieved that it fit? Frustrated that it almost didn't? Then there are those neatly hand-written notes on the back; cryptic things like "t.c." Actually, I've been around long enough to know that was an instruction from the cataloger to the typist to make a title card. But what in the world, if anything, did "MMM", typed on the back of the card, mean?

I like thinking about the previous staff at my library, and how they worked with different tools, but were still doing what we're all doing today; providing access to information for their patrons.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Congrats to Susan Gilmont for receiving Library Employee of the Year at the OLA conference!! Support staff rock!!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Trouble in River City

How are you other support staffers being affected by budget cuts? I know we all appreciate how fortunate we are to have jobs, along with health and retirement benefits, given the state of the economy.

A colleague sent this out and I thought I would share it:

Notes based loosely on William Bridges Transitions: Making sense of life’s changes

Ending: When you are going through a change, [such as the City’s current budget situation], the shape of the world you are used to is being dismantled. Even if changes turn out to be positive, you need to mourn what you lose in the process. You are losing your identity as it relates to life before the change. If you aren’t that any more, what are you? This is a necessary part of the process of letting go of the past, emptying out what was.

It is unsettling to see the almost daily changes that are occurring. In my library, while the city is committed to no layoffs or demotions, they are not replacing staff as they leave through retirement or resignation; they are also encouraging voluntary furloughs.

So the workload is increasing for those of us who remain and any of us is vulnerable to reassignment. This is already happening, with several in Adult Services where I work being sent to other departments and other branches; some services are being combined or shifted to different departments. I don't mind working even harder; and I suppose I'll adjust if I end up somewhere else in this library system (but I sure won't be turning cartwheels!)

As Washington Irving said: There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse! As I have often found in traveling in a stagecoach, that it is often a comfort to shift one's position, and be bruised in a new place.

What's that you say? I'm lucky to have a job? Yes, yes I am.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Thank you for starting this blog for us SSD staff, we have another "home" to come to.
I look forward to reading my colleagues' posts!

Margaret Harmon-Myers, Eugene Public Library