Monday, June 29, 2015

A Day In the Life... of a Library Assistant

Today we welcome Holly Freewynn, MLS, as our guest blogger from the Midland Branch of the Multnomah County Library to talk about what she does in a typical day as a Library Assistant. She says: "Library Assistants are responsible for customer service, reference/reader's advisory, collection development, content creation, programming, outreach, and professional development. We get a HUGE variety of questions, and connecting our patrons to their information needs is primary. We have A LOT of resources, in a wide array of media, for our patrons."

"Angel" walks in - she's in 5th grade, and VERY excited to be heading to 6th grade. Her family is from central Africa, and we get to see her often. Her big interest is READING, and lots of it. She is engaged, funny, whip smart, and very motivated. Her questions are always interesting - "How do I find a book about Rosa Parks, but not just a kid book?"; "Do you have anything new that is like the Kane Chronicles?"; "How do I find primary sources for my research project?" etc. I had looked in to being a medical or academic while I was in library school (Emporia MLS '12). Helping "Angel" discern trusted information and be media savvy is one way we make a difference every day.

I am a Librarian Assistant, providing reference services, reader's advisory, and technical assistance to patrons. We have a lot of leeway to offer programming ideas for the branch, highlighting our collections in novel ways. Our leadership is focused on how libraries are growing and changing into the future - it is a great time to be in LIBRARIES.

I LOVE my Midland Branch of Multnomah County Library (MCL). As a transplant from investigating abuse against the elderly, I feel my skill set works very well for our patrons' needs.

I LOVE being able to spend time with our patrons to help them with research, job applications, readers advisory, and navigating government websites.

I LOVE that my branch offers four target languages, along with staff who speak them - Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian and Chinese. We have multiple story times each week that are held in these languages.

I LOVE our attempts to keep our patrons able to use our services - we THINK YES, and have a lot of support to work around barriers for patrons.

Thanks, Holly! Want to hear more about what other library support staff do in their jobs around Oregon?  "A Day In the Life..." is also an annual breakout session topic at our conference each year.  It's taking place on Friday, July 17 in Newport, OR this year and you can register here. More information can also be found at our 2015 Conference page.And if you have our own story to tell, you can comment below, or fill out our survey.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Book Repair Roadshow: Port Orford, Oregon

"Basic Book Repair for Libraries" took the show on the road last week from Portland State University Library to the Port Orford Public Library. It's been a few years since Kris Kern and I roamed the state with a car full of mending tools, polyvinyl acetate, acid-free paper, and Kennett bookcloth. The workshop has been going steady at both the OLA pre-conference in the spring and the Support Staff Division conference in the summer, and both Kris and I have been teaching in different library education programs. But it had been a while since the book repair caravan rolled out of the Willamette Valley!

Librarians and staff from Curry and Coos Counties, from Brookings to Coos Bay, from Gold Beach to Agness, met in Port Orford on June 19 for a day of book conservation, starting with the basics of bookbinding adhesive and the properties of paper, and working our way up to a full spine repair and the wonderful "one on, two off" hollow tube that rejoins text blocks to their cases.

I always learn something about book care myself in every class. Coming from a library that does not generally preserve dust jackets for hardcovers, I'll mention the great difference dust jackets, protected by mylar covers, can make to the life of a well-read hardcover. While my big job at the repair table is spine replacement of hardcovers, most of the books folks brought along were still intact on the outside, thanks to their dust jackets. The trouble was split bindings and pages falling out! Most of the time, bindings of adhesive-bound hardcovers bust because the adhesive holding them together just wasn't so good in the first place, but some strain is also placed on bindings from dust jackets that are attached very tightly to their covers. A little "ease" is recommended when taping jackets on, to ease stress on the spine!

Many thanks to all who came out to spend the day with me fixing books on the southern coast! And especial thanks to the directors of the Curry and the Port Orford Public Libraries who invited me to travel south, made my journey possible, and gave the workshop a perfect space, and to Rea Andrew with the Support Staff Division who put together our toolkits.

Happy Summer Solstice, and I look forward to seeing everyone at the workshop at the SSD Conference at Newport in about a month. More time by the sea? Yes please!

Coquille Point, Bandon, Oregon. June 19, 2015

Thursday, June 18, 2015

OLA SSD Conference Rideshare

Are you planning to attend the OLA SSD 2015 conference in Newport, OR but not sure how you’re getting there?

OR are you attending, but don’t want to make the drive alone in your big, empty car and are hoping for a co-pilot to join you?

If either of these sound like you, great! The OLA SSD conference committee has set up a document where those interested in getting or providing transportation to the conference can communicate.

Please note OLA SSD isn't responsible for scheduling, coordinating, or details beyond providing this document as a forum to attendees.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

OLA SSD 2015- Early Bird Registration ends June 12!

Thinking about attending OLA SSD 2015, July 17 in beautiful Newport, OR? Don’t wait too long to decide- Early Bird registration ends soon! Register between now and *June 12* to save $10 off the conference registration fee.

This year’s conference theme is "Many Roles, One Goal: Meeting the Needs of our Communities" so no matter what kind of a library you work in, there’s something for everyone here! The conference will be Friday July 17 from 8:00am-4:00pm at the Best Western Agate Beach Inn in Newport, OR

Registration, hotel information, and information on all the sessions can be found here.

If you have any questions regarding registration, please contact Rea Andrew, OLA-SSD Treasurer.
If you need special accommodations, please notify Shanel Parette, SSD Conference Committee Chair, by July 1, 2015 by email or call her at 503.370.6673

Friday, June 5, 2015

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Since Fridays are #followfriday on Twitter, we thought we should let you all know that OLA SSD has a Facebook and Twitter! We would love for you to comment on posts and follow us there as well.

If you're attending OLA SSD 2015 (have we mentioned it's July 17 in Newport, OR?) then you can use the hashtag #OLA_SSD15 to live tweet sessions you're attending, talk to other attendees, and generally let us know what a great time you're having! Even if you don't have a Twitter account, check out the hashtag on Twitter to see what's happening at OLA SSD 2015. If you aren't sure what a hashtag is, or why they're useful, you can read more here.

Happy Friday!