Technology and our New Central Library

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before but my library system is slated to be getting a new main central library. Right now everything is in the planning stages, we don’t even know where it will be. But everyone is very interested in what will go into the new library. A couple of years back one of our branch libraries got a new building. The community input for that was great but minimal. We’ve held several public meetings and they were well attended. In the last couple of months the question of what kind technology should be included in the new library. Word has filtered back, via the commissioners, to the library that some people are wondering why we need to build a new building. After all do people really use the library anymore? If we build a new one we should just stuff it full of computers, that’s why people use the library if they do use the library, right?

For some weird reason I am always surprised when I hear people actually think like this. I mean really? For all libraries, academic to public to special, they all seem to have at least one thing in common. Letting people know what they do and how valuable they are to their community. I find it that every time our new building comes up in conversation, what the library does comes up as well.

About a month ago my director asked one of my old professors from library school, Dr. Anthony Chow, to come to our library and do a presentation about libraries and future technology. It was a great presentation, it was well received among those who were in attendance. Our deputy county manager asked some great questions and was really engaged.

This presentation led to a committee being created of local members of our city chambers. The point of the committee I am told is to give us and the commissioners recommendation on what technology should be included in the new central. This past Monday we met with them to do a presentation on where the library was now. I presented on our virtual library, which isn’t exactly part of the technology but is just as important.

We kind of went into the meeting trying to prove that as a library unit we are actively aware of current technology and all. Not that we don’t welcome community opinion, because we do. But at the end of the day like every other library it comes down to funding. Sure we would love to provided both pc and mac computers but those trusty dells are so much cheaper to obtain and maintain.

I think we got our point across but I will be interested to see what the committee comes up with. We will not meet with them again while they come up with recommendations. Truthfully after our presentation the conversation became more about partnering with these community companies as suppose to what technology was in the library or needed.

ALA Conference Day Two

Welcome to ALA 2010

Saturday started off quite nicely. My friend and I received a lift to the convention center where we sat in on one session about audiobooks and boys. The point was to show how by using audiobooks as a reading tool one can entice teen boys to read, or at the very least get interested in the written word.  After that we made our way to another session across the street at the Renaissance Hotel.

There we sat in on a session about PH.D programs in LIS. While I’m not thinking about doing a PH.D after I graduate, I would like to get one sometime in the future. Honestly I just need a break from school and I am ready to get in the professional world. After going back to the hotel to rest for a while, I got ready for the poster session I was co-presenting.

The poster session went really well. More people came to it then I thought, we were all the way in the back of the exhibit hall. One librarian even talked about a possible partnership with her system on the west coast.

ALA Diversity and Outreach Fair Meeting

Today was a busy day, I found my self in the reference department of Jackson trying to finish up some homework questions for both my catalog and reference classes. Then I met with fellow scholars so we could start working on the poster proposal for the diversity and outreach fair.

We opted to submit under the People of Color section and focus on diversity within the staff.

So far the working title is: The Benefits of Hiring a Ethnically and Culturally Diverse Library Staff.

Our thoughts behind this was that libraries user groups are growing and diversifying themselves and patrons have an innate need to see something of themselves reflected in the library staff in order to feel more comfortable.

We plan on doing some mini surveys and observations. I hope we get it.

ALA Diversity and Outreach Fair

Tonight I was sitting in class when a fellow Ace Schalor approached me about helping him present a poster this summer at ALA. The poster would be for the Diversity and Outreach fair being held this summer at the ALA conference in Washington. They were now asking for proposals for posters to include in the fair.  I was really excited and asked who else he had asked to help. He said, “No one yet, you were my first choice.”

I must admit I was floored and it was a little ego boost. I’m sure it’s like that for anyone when they hear they were some one’s first choice. I’m excited to work on this.

The deadline for a proposal is for this Friday by 5pm. I hope we can get something together in time.

Sundays are Lazy Days

So this morning I got up and quickly did my powerpoint for LIS 650. Powerpoints aren’t really that hard for me, I’ve done tons of them when I was in Interior Architecture. I can crank out a good one in about an hour. I mean if you already wrote the paper you’re just pulling out certain facts, and plus it’s only a five minute presentation. I’ve had to do presentations were you aren’t there to present, you couldn’t have but so many words in total presentation, the rest was done in pictures.

I also went out to the public library today, I just returned some books. I also go a free art book, Manga for the Beginner: Everything You Need to Start Drawing Right Away! by Christopher Hart. Slowly but surely I’m getting a collection of art instruction books.