Winter Driving

Elisa Babel, MLS

With winter soon to be upon us, I’m reposting the driving tips (with a few additions)  from my post in February 2010A winter wonderland is fun to imagine but not so much if you have to drive in it.

♦  Check your local jurisdiction about street parking during snow emergencies.

♦  If you take public transportation, check on service operations when snow is forecasted.

♦  If you have garage parking at your library or at a public garage, park there on days that snow is forecasted.  It will help to keep you and your car clean and dry.

♦  If you are parking outside, invest in a car cover from an auto store and use it when snow is forecasted.  Scraping ice off your windshield is no fun.

♦   Got that windshield scraper?  Full gas tank? Fully charged cell phone?  Emergency numbers if you get stuck?

♦   Tune into your favorite news station (TV or radio) for traffic reports and updates–conditions can change without warning.

♦   If you’ve got a back windshield wiper, use it!  While driving, snowflakes can accumulate on the back windshield too.

♦   Be aware of “disappearing” lanes and odd traffic patterns.

♦  Keep your distance behind road treatment trucks and other equipment.  They don’t go very fast!

♦  Turn on your headlights!   Daytime headlights won’t cut it.

♦   Stick to the main roads. Your favorite back road or short cut may be too dangerous to travel during a snowstorm.

♦   If your library closes early for snow and/or it’s snowing when you leave, take something to drink and a small snack in your car.  You could be in for a longer drive home than usual.  Same goes for public transportation.

♦  Take your time driving.  You will be going slower than posted speed limits. 

♦ Once you’re safely home, don’t go out unless it’s necessary!

Marketing Library Books with Digital Media

I am studying information security and digital forensics  these days at my current University of choice. I browsed QA 76.9 for titles that interested me today and checked out the following books:

Information Security Principles and Practice  – Mark Stamp 2006

Hacking Capitalism The Free and Open Source Software Movement – Johan Soderberg 2008

Dependability Modelling under Uncertainty – Phillipp Limbourg  2008

Hacking – Tim Jordan 2008

Cognitive Technology Essays on the Transformation of Thought and Society – Walker and Herrman Eds.  2005

What did all of these titles have in common?  Nerdiness?  Perhaps.  Computer stuff?  Most certainly! But the most striking aspect of each of these books was that they had *never been checked out* before.

I like being able to be the first person to read a book.  The crackle of the spine and the new book smell. But, they had never been checked out. They had sat there waiting for someone like me for years to check them out. $200+ worth of books and processing unused.

The library was full of students.  Almost none of them were looking at a book.  They were all plugged into the learning commons and sporting smart phones and laptops and netbooks. They were checking their Facebook pages and Blackboard and texting and emailing and engaging in all sorts of social media. The stacks might have just been cubicle walls encircling their virtual activities in the meat space.

Were books being marketed to students?  You could easily find a ref librarian to help you and check your materials.  Stacks were labeled well and the collections were adequate, but the catalog was not prominent.  Maybe books were not being marketed to students.

There were many digital signs in strategic places around the library welcoming students back.  They all could have also been showing book covers of latest editions with call numbers to drive students to the materials.  The catalog could have been marketing books to the students. 

 There are so many opportunities to market books in libraries.  Use your digital sign systems.  Use your catalogs. Use your web sites. Use your words. Use your nerds!

There’s a book for that. Hopefully, books will still be in demand by future learners.

Jackson County Public Library – North Carolina

This story is a great example of a community coming together for the common good to build a new library.  The new Jackson County Library replaces one of the first public libraries I used as a child when my father was the Director of the Western Carolina University Library:  

  Jackson County Public Library 

The original building was my summertime source for science fiction and fantasy.  Western North Carolina was a great place to grow up and mature.

My introduction to Public Libraries came from Sam Molod, the former Deputy State Library Director for Connecticut.  When my father was the Sciences Librarian at Wesleyan University,  they became great friends and Sam gave our family many books.  We discovered reading for pleasure – the myths, the legends, the fables.  We utilized the Middletown Public Library in Connecticut as our local lending library.  I was horrified when I ended up with my first overdue fine.  One of many to follow.

When I became the Director of the Middletown Public Library in Rhode Island, I found that Sam Molod had served as the original building consultant on the renovations made to the facility in the 1970s.  I went on to finish the work that had been started and had fallen through because of lack of funds.   Karma.

Outsourcing in the Ivy League

 The fiscal problems of main street have reached the Ivy League.  At Brown University Libraries, the answer is early retirements and outsourcing to private contractors. Protesters of outsourcing have set up a Facebook Page here:

Brown University Library Matters

They have set up an on-line petition to allow others to voice their disapproval here:

Stand for Justice

Addendum:  April 28, 2010

Brown University Libraries advertised a new job  today.   Will the savings realized from laying off long-term employees help fund it?

Best of PubLib 03.28.10

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This edition of  Best of Publib covers  March 15th through March 28th 2010. This PubLib review and analysis includes questions about naming library rooms, thought-provoking discussions about new media archives , library materials security,  and our new poll on R-rated movie access. Some of the topics we will be reviewing include: 

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Best of PubLib 03.14.10

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This edition of  Best of Publib covers the weeks of March 1st  through March 14th 2010. This edition includes questions about collection development, thought-provoking discussions about  known inaccuracies in ‘non-fiction’ works , circulation manager duties ,  humorous anecdotes regarding blondes ,  and the impact of closing public school libraries: 

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Best of PubLib 02.28.10

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weekly updateThis edition of Best of Publib covers the week of February 22nd through February 28th 2010. This week included questions about advertising and accountability, use and implementation of ebook readers,  and our new poll on charging library fees to support other government departments. Some of the topics we will be reviewing include: 

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