Monday, April 29, 2013

Some things I've done and some things I've got coming up...

That great harbinger of spring, the Alabama Library Association conference was last week. I presented Matt Layne, Mary Martin, and Gloria Repolesk on a panel sponsored by the Young Adult Services Round Table (YASRT):  "Dare to Power Up: Find Your Collection’s Digital Voice."

The conference pretty much rocked...I realized that, at many conferences, I don't hear a lot NEW. Not so at ALLA, where I learned about everything from Microsoft Office Certification (which they are doing at HMCPL, which is no surprise) to the Elazar scheme for classifying Judaica. And I have all sort of ideas for teen-friendly programming and crafts from the YASRT group...

I was also sworn in as the ALLA President-Elect.

Next week, I'm going to be talking about the Common Core State Standards, specifically College and Career Readiness and determining authority in the digital environment, in a School Library Journal/Brittanica webinar May 6. Registration is free.

I've got basically the same presentation topic, Digital Primary Sources with a focus on the Library of Congress and National Archives at our state school library association (ASLA) and state educational technology conferences (AETC) this June. The ASLA session will be hands-on!

I'm going to both ISTE and ALA Annual this summer. I'll be soaking it all up at ISTE, but I'm speaking a couple of times at Annual. I'm presenting a preconference with Deb Logan and Laura Pearle at the "Real Life, Real Tools" precon on Friday and then I have a concurrent session on BYOD on Monday.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Library patronage

Last week was National Library Week... and I was feeling the love for my local PL, the Huntsville-Madison County Library. Overdrive issues aside, I have been so impressed with what I've seen there lately. All sorts of displays -- new books, themed books, recommended books. You never get past the abundance of those pulled out for you to the shelves, frankly. And I continue to be impressed with the creativity of the youth services department. It's colorful and stimulating in there.

I remember the dark old days when you had to pay 50 cents, two shiny quarters, to place a hold. It had to be in person, you couldn't place one against something on the shelf without calling. Now, the policies are more patron-friendly, and the collection there is downright au courant. I can get much of what I want to read there, not too long after publication. I checked out almost all the titles from YALSA's Amazing Audiobook list, and my commute flies by. Frankly, I hope angels sing wherever director Laurel Best goes.

And programming? They have really stepped it up! Adult crafts! All sorts of daytime lectures, a noir movie festival, software workshops. This Discover Tech exhibit and event series, perfect for our geeky community:

Public library work can be thankless. People are crazy out there. But how important are these services for the vibrancy and quality of life in our city? Even if I weren't a library worker, I'd be a library patron. My local public library today? Pretty mind-blowing!

Thursday, April 11, 2013


I was fortunate enough to spend my spring break in London, reading Barbara Pym and going out for tea everyday. I stayed in Marble Arch on the Central Line.

My big excursion was going to Windsor to see Queen Mary's dollhouse. The round tower is the most stereotypically castle-y aspect of the sprawling campus:

The cornerstone goes back to the first Elizabeth:

And there is ice cream made from the royal dairies!

Some other interesting (and appropriately bookish) things: There's a new Agatha Christie monument near Leicester Square:

In Paternoster Square, a plinth commemorates the 20 million books destroyed in The Blitz:

I didn't buy too many books, but I was tickled to find John Lanchester's What We Talk About When We Talk About the Tube, which had just been featured in The Guardian, in the British Library shop.

Now, back to work!