My first Public Libraries feature article with Emily Le May! 2016 has been a busy, productive year. Perhaps I’ll take 2017 off.
The Imitation Game: Applying For-Profit Strategies in the Nonprofit World
An incredible thing happened tonight. One of my favorite library trustees and patrons told me that I’m known as “our Chelsea” around the building where she lives.
For someone with a goal to be known as “your librarian” in town, it was magical to hear. I’ve only worked for this community for a little over two years. I still have a long way to go when you consider how many residents have yet to be infected with my doctrine. (Side note: Peter Shankman’s Zombie Loyalists is a must read for anyone with the same goal.)
I want to believe that most public librarians are driven to this profession due to a personal urgency to be of value to a community. But I rarely see it. Yes, we have to deal with unfortunate situations – mental illness, porn on computers, surprise poop on the floor (not a joke) – on a daily basis. Sometimes you have to turn to wine or you’ll surrender to the dark side. If we make it our personal missions to effect the lives of our patrons, however, the end result provides the perfect balance that will steel us for the frustrating episodes of serving the public.
So it may seem insignificant, but a minor comment like this makes a librarian feel that much more connected to the provided services. And thank you chocolates. We love those.
After teaming up with some great local organizations, the library’s crowdfunding campaign to get a bookbike (along with free WiFi for two years) is off and running!
We have 24 days left to raise $6,000. Check it out here, and please share!: montclairlibrary.org/bookbike
I’m getting ready to kick off a few of my new outreach projects this Spring, including roving business reference and a book bike. The one common thread with all of these projects is the WiFi issue. I want to be able to do reference and borrowing services on site no matter where in town I am.
Currently, the library uses Comcast for internet services. While Comcast has some hotspots throughout town (train stations), I’ve found that it’s not always reliable. It seems to go in and out often, and I wonder if this has to do with the volume of use. Some local businesses offer WiFi, too, but I’d prefer to use both of these free services as backups to a personally controlled device.
It took a few searches to come up with the appropriate keywords. It appears that what I’m looking for is a “MiFi,” and Novatel’s device was “Editor’s Choice” a few years back: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2385018,00.asp
According to some articles published in 2011, Comcast only charges $25 for the device. Naturally, a search of their site doesn’t show any pages with purchase details. When I chatted with a rep, she said that Comcast still has the MiFi. I can find it by looking on “comcast.net.” Ha. I didn’t have time to ask for a direct webpage and signed off. I plan to look more into the costs, etc. after the holidays.
Here’s to 2015 being the year of fun, busy, effective outreach!