Monday, July 30, 2012

An Amazing Estate Sale

I enjoy going to garage sales, although I rarely go out of my way to attend one.  I'm intrinsically cheap, so I like the idea of picking up some cool kitchen gadget, or attractive bit of decoration, for next to nothing.  I rarely see books I want, though; it's amazing how many copies of The Da Vinci Code there are in the world, for instance.

This past weekend was an exception.  My significant other, Mark, and I happened on an estate sale a few blocks from our house while we were walking to the grocery store.  It was a beautiful, large 4-bedroom house, and evidently had been inhabited by one person alone.  Two of the four bedrooms were libraries.

We were enthralled.  The books were mostly hardbacks, and in beautiful condition.  The collection was eclectic, but tended towards science, history, and economics, and the books were well-organized.  There was even a shelf of books about books and libraries; I bought a copy of The Island of Lost Maps, which I've been planning to read since I heard about it at a session at the OLA conference.  We bought as much as we could fit in our backpacks (mostly science), and had to go home to drop them off before we could haul any groceries.  We ended up going back twice in the next day (when everything was half price), the second time specifically to get a book by Buckminster Fuller that Mark had noticed the day before.

It wasn't until I was going through my haul yesterday evening that I noticed all the books have small labels on the spines.  Yes, they were classified!  Each had the first part of the LC class number (but didn't include the cutter).  I've wondered why there's still Cataloging in Publication in books, since most libraries get their records from OCLC, but here was an example of why CIP can still be useful.

I ended up wishing I'd know the person (who, according to someone who knew him, was a computer programmer, not a librarian).  We definitely had interests in common, and, judging from his library, I'd say he was in the wrong profession.  Whoever he was, I'll think fondly of him as I work my way through this rich bounty of books.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Library takes over Walmart!

Well, not really, but the people in McAllen, Texas certainly have enough space now that an abandoned Walmart has been converted into a library.  What a great idea!

Within the first month following the opening, new user registration increased by 23%.

Have you all seen this outdoor library/art installation by Massimo Bartolini?

Who would like to be responsible for getting the books inside when it rains?  Let's see a show of hands...

Monday, July 23, 2012

A quick "Thank you!"

Thank you to everyone who attended, to all the conference committee members, and everyone involved for making this year's OLA Support Staff Conference such a success!  The theme "Support Staff: Changing Lives Every Day" was definitely prevalent throughout the day, from the opening keynote by Brian Doyle, to A Day in the Life, to Connecting with Youth, and so much more. 

We hope you all had a fantastic time and we'll see you next year in Hood River!

Friday, July 13, 2012

We Want You!

When I took over as archivist almost three years ago I still felt like a newbie to the Support Staff Division.  I wondered how I could step into the previous archivist's shoes in being a steward of the archives and I wondered if I would fit in with the group. I soon learned that acceptance in SSD was automatic when I volunteered to be a part of it; that I had a home among my peers.  Serving on two conference committees and chairing a third was a wonderful introduction to SSD and I encourage anyone new to the organization to give it a try.

Beginning as the Library Support Staff Round Table in 1992, the support staff division is an active, dedicated group of library workers.  Naturally in the past couple of years we have said goodbye to some of our long-time members as they retired, to others who stepped back for a well-deserved rest from active board roles but they continue as members of SSD;  making room for new members to take on those active roles.  This keeps the organization vibrant, vital, alive - we all get excited to have new members join and become active to whatever degree they want.  But, you know, I miss the past members and their memories that go back to the early days.  I want to hear those stories, pick their brains, make sure I'm not missing some important piece of knowledge.  Maybe I just miss something I never really knew personally, that exciting wonderful newness when SSD was born and began to grow.  Because naturally it has evolved and changed these twenty years as have the world and the world of libraries.

As I get ready to step into the role of Chair I am leaving the Archivist position.  We need YOU to jump in and continue the "keeping of the history" for the Support Staff Division!  The Archivist attends the board meetings, either in person or virtually, about 6 times a year (we have a netbook with the setup in place, camera, and mic for this purpose, or you can call in for audio only.)  We offer scholarships for first time membership in the Oregon Library Association if you need financial assistance to meet this requirement.  As a board member you have voting rights and can participate in exciting collaboration with your peers to keep SSD vital and dynamic. 
If you want more information please contact me here