It’s ok to ask for help

10396270_10152099290792711_2599338314054000022_nOverheard a couple arguing this week in front of me. The guy was saying that they could just use Google and didn’t need to swing by the Reference Desk; the woman disagreed. I told him that it’s true if you’re looking up a phone number or some basic information. If he’s doing research, I reminded him that anyone can publish something online and that my job is to help evaluate the good from the BS.

The man signed onto a computer to search while the woman let me look up information on a medical procedure. Guess who found reliable, relevant information while someone else was still browsing around the .coms?

Yes, accessibility to information has become more widespread, and yes, we’re in a do-it-yourself culture. But at what point will this attitude start to dismantle our ability to form a community?



But what most p…

But what most people don’t know is how much time and effort goes into curating these accounts, writing tweets, and filling your news feed with content people actually want to see. For instance, it can take a team of 13 social media and advertising specialists up to 45 days to plan, create, and get approval for one corporate social media post.

Read more:

Really interesting article about the time it takes to develop an effective social media campaign. I think libraries are still struggling with how to use the online world to their advantage. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. accounts are used without much strategy behind them.

The following link provides some industry-specific statistics based on Facebook engagement data:

I plan to share with our virtual services librarian and the librarian who handles our postings. While we fall under the “nonprofit” industry label, public libraries involve many other industries when it comes to programming and resources. It might be interesting to develop a strategy that takes into account where each post falls in terms of subject, i.e. maybe our financial literacy programming should be timed to coincide with the best times determined for the financial industry.

Anyway, enjoy!


Stop the seat filling please

A meeting this week got me more peeved than impressed. Frankly, some librarians spend too much time talking about their degree and congratulating themselves on the hard work it took to get. While I think it’s noble that we have masters degrees, sometimes I find myself screaming in my head: ENOUGH ALREADY!

It’s as if a lot of librarians stop at the degree like that’s the apex of what they’re trying to achieve. It reminds me of how folks joke that a newly tenured professor doesn’t have to work anymore and can just be a seat filler. The MLS/MLIS is such a minor step in a long career. Plus, masters are given out like candy these days. I went to a top ten MLIS program and was amazed at how many of my peers struggled with basic assignments.

I would rather hear librarians discuss recently accomplishments or their goals for the year. It’s also better to encourage growth in the profession by enthusiastically talking about improvements and actually demonstrating your devotion to librarianship. Otherwise, we’re just inaugurating the next class of passive professionals.

As I always say, the minute I’m no longer open to changes or neglecting to research something new for my patrons, give me the boot. It’s time to go the minute things become stale in your career. I vote to encourage dynamic employees and not stereotypical public library workers.


“Hotspot at Home” Program

“Hotspot at Home” Program

Chicago PL is trying to get a grant to fund a program whereby patrons in low-income communities can loan out an internet hotspot.

I can’t imagine how they’ll be able to coordinate such an effort. I also wonder if they’ll have some sort of income contingency, or a “hold list” with a limit to how many times a family can check it out each year. But what a terrific way to really reach out to serve information needs. Makes my outreach efforts pale in comparison.


Why the Smart Reading Device of the Future May Be … Paper

Why the Smart Reading Device of the Future May Be … Paper

Excerpt: “Maybe it’s time to start thinking of paper and screens another way: not as an old technology and its inevitable replacement, but as different and complementary interfaces, each stimulating particular modes of thinking. Maybe paper is a technology uniquely suited for imbibing novels and essays and complex narratives, just as screens are for browsing and scanning.


I think this article goes hand in hand with all the concern over modern societies losing their ability to communicate despite the multitude of communication vehicles. We may have faster access by reading books virtually just like we have faster ways to communicate using phones and email, but neither of these methods are more relevant than traditional ways.

It’s about time people started standing up for print! There’s no reason print and digital materials can’t coincide peacefully. They each have their place.