Saturday, June 30, 2012

May and June at Carlingwood Branch

I know I've neglected you, but it's been an emotional roller-coaster of a few weeks, with wild and crazy things happening at work and home. Not to mention, you know, Canada Day plans!

Anyway, here's what has been going on at work, in a nutshell.
  • We welcomed Caroline Adderson for an author visit on May 7.
  • Our Books and Fun book club read Catwings by Ursula LeGuin, the Page Turners read Magic or Not by Edward Eager and the Homeschoolers’ Bookclub read Moon over Manifest by Clare VanderPool. In our teen book club, 4 teens came to discuss Numbers by Rachel Ward, and chose Kendare Blake's Anna Dressed in Blood for next month.
  • We had three successful teen events in June: the Teen CafĂ© program (with Chillers donated by Second Cup in the Carlingwood Mall), a Wii program, and a "Get a job" workshop.
  • A teen volunteer designed a banner wishing teens good luck on their exams. The banner was displayed overhanging the 3rd floor mezzanine. Our teen librarian also handed out 48 granola bars to teens studying (in one day!) We have seen lots of teens in the teen zone studying recently.
  • Our wonderful Children's librarian visited several local schools to promote Summer Reading Club, and I visited the Gold Club at Dovercourt, two local seniors' residences, and set up an info kiosk at the Carlington Community Health Centre, to promote Carlingwood adult and senior programs. I also brought a colleague to visit the Council on Aging in Ottawa, where we delivered a PowerPoint presentation to 8 employees about library programs and services.
  • We had two Digital Media workshops (two more coming up!). We helped people download library e-books with Kobo, Sony and Libre eReaders, as well as with iPads and iPhones.
  • We launched our “Coffee with the Community” programs with Coffee with a city councillor, Mark Taylor, and Coffee with a police officer, Lori Fahey. As you probably know, these are programs close to my heart. In both cases, we partnered with Second Cup in the Carlingwood Mall to provide refreshments for free. We hope to run more of these programs in the Fall 2012 season. Feedback included: “Great idea! Very convenient, too. Heard about it from my neighbours,” “This is the type of councillor we voted for. A person who goes out to meet the residents, one-on-one,” and “I wish many parents can come out and listen to the police officer, because we have to work together to keep our community safe and healthy. Please keep it up and we would love to hear from officers more often.”
  • We screened an NFB film, “The Hole Story,” about mining in Canada.
  • We gave two groups from a LINC class of newcomers a tour of the library, and a brief presentation about services and collections.
  • Our team, as well as the Bookmobile (my old friends) celebrated Canada Day 2 days early with the Michelle Heights Community House.
  • I attended the June quarterly OPLA RA Committee meeting in Toronto. We are planning the RA in a Day conference in October, and special guests will include someone from Good Reads, a panel about online book clubs including and the Globe and Mail, and lunchtime author Deborah Harkness. You heard it here first!
  • We had our first “Librarians’ meeting” at the branch, to discuss shared concerns. There are only three librarians at Carlingwood, and it's good to share ideas and support each other's work.
  • We have a great new gardening volunteer, who has solicited donations from the community, which are being incorporated into our space. Most notably, we received a lovely rose bush and two trees, including a cherry tree and a bamboo tree. Here they are, getting ready to make their way in the world:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

LANCR AGM presentation

It was a lot of fun presenting last night at the LANCR AGM. For those of you interested in clicking through the presentation, here it is!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Heard at CLA 2012

Here are some snippets from other sessions I attended at the recent CLA Conference.

From Tina Thomas's session, "Making a Lasting Impression: Building our Brand in our Branches" (Tina is the Director, Marketing and Fund Development, Edmonton Public Library)
  • Clutter is an ergonomic issue for the mind
  • Do your dislays make it look like professionals work there?
  • Can anyone run a program or do circ? Then why can everyone and anyone make a sign?
  • Do you have a signage problem?
From the Great Debate:
  • Why did Occupy make their own libraries? Maybe bc ours close at 5
  • Slacktivism! Petitions are what the powerless people do....
  • Access is not equal to, in one province, a fee. In one national library, an appointment.
  • Put your meat on the table. If you are a professional, show your face.
From the Book Awards's acceptance speech by Matthew Forsythe
  • "Illustrators and freelance artists have to spend one or two days a week at libraries to nourish what we do!"
During Battle Decks, from the lovely Robyn Stockand:
  • "Librarians are innovators in some of the best and all of the worst ways."

From Christina Neigel, Instructor, University of the Fraser Valley, during her session, "Inclusiveness and Hypocrisy: How Do Libraries Really Measure Up?"
  • What about instituting a minor in library studies? Think: if people knew more about our profession, wouldn't that benefit us?
  • "We need to be more outspoken about what it takes to work in this field: you have to want to engage in conflict."
  • "Libraries do not do a good job of supporting lifelong learning within their own walls"
From Evan Solomon at the closing keynote:
  • "The only way around the political philosophy is to be a political strategist."

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Big Society and UK Libraries: Lessons for Canadian Libraries with CILIP president Phil Bradley

I had the great pleasure of introducing CILIP President and avid blogger Phil Bradley for his session at the recent CLA Conference in Ottawa. His talk focused on the current political situation in the UK, as it affects public library service, but I also learned a few random fun facts (such as
Edinburgh is the first library to develop an app!

As you likely know from reading this blog, the current horrifying state of UK libraries is a topic very close to my heart. Much of what is happening over the pond should serve as a warning to Canadians, especially Canadians who love their public libraries. Phil's passion for them was evident in his speech, and his final words were quite moving. Here are some of Phil's quotes and facts.
  • At the moment, 600 libraries in the UK are under threat, of which 262 have been threatened or closed since April 1st 2012 alone. This is out of a total of 4612 libraries in the UK. This is round 1 of the government cuts. Check out the map.
  • "We are very closely associated with one of the artefacts with which we work (the book) and that is causing us problems as that artefact becomes less important over time. Thus the librarian becomes less important as the library becomes less important." We need to distance ourselves from the artefacts. "No one sees a brain surgeon and says, "Oh, of course, scalpels! They say, "Oh, you make people feel better."
  • The UK has a variety of associations serving library workers. CILIP alone has over 16, 000 members, and views itself as a charity and not a trade union. "There are therefore limitations on what we can do and say."
    Sidebar: this issue of the role of a professional association in a time of government cuts ran through a few sessions at the conference, and unofficially spoke to the situation at the opening keynote speech.
  • There are 150 public authorities in England responsible for public library service.
  • All professions are under attack in the current British government's "Big Society:" Police officers are to be replaced by community police (with limited powers, resources, or training). Doctors will have more control over budgets and deciding where to send people (therefore spending more time administrating than doctoring). There will be a higher tax on the teaching profession: more and more are leaving the profession because they find themselves in difficult financial positions and will get more $ elsewhere.
  • There are 44 local campaigns to save libraries. Check out the main page for these campaigns here.
  • Phil's advice to those seeking to advocate or work within the political machine: "You have to be crystal clear about what comprehensive and efficient means or what any of your terms mean. Or what "open" means." For instance, in Essex, the government statement was that "we're not closing anything." The local library's opening hours, however, were cut drastically.
  • "Previous success makes you less likely to change in the future. If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've already got."
  • "The idea that libraries are a good thing is worth nothing."
  • One of the recent developments in high-level advocacy includes a Libraries All Party Parliamentary Group. The Libraries APPG "provides MPs and Lords with information and opportunities for debate about the role that libraries play in society and their future," and has a Conservative MP as its Chair.
  • "Signing petitions shows how powerless you are"
  • "The more strident we become, the less we are able to advocate on the highest levels and discuss libraries instead of library closures."
  • We have to ask ourselves the difficult questions. Here are some of the difficult questions on the table right now for CILIP and UK libraries: Campaigning or advocacy work? What should be our relationship with Friends groups and their campaigns? What is the role of volunteers and what is a volunteer? (Is volunteering really job substitution?) Hospitals or libraries? (Or is this a false analogy?) Do we retrench and do the same things we've always done, or do we do it better, or do we look at new options for libraries? Are fewer bigger libraries better than more small community libraries? What is the role of eBooks and social media for UK public libraries?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Library design eye candy

For the past few weeks, I have had a big coffee table style book on my desk at work called Library Architecture + Design. There are some fantastic designs in there, so I thought I would share my favourites (you’re better off checking out the websites, since the copy in the book is really poorly edited) And with points for sheer crazy:
One of only 2 Canadian choices was Bloor/Gladstone Branch, TPL, but I much prefer the reno at St Clair-Dufferin.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Seen reading on OC Transpo

  • Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication: An Exploration of Faculty Values and Needs in Seven Disciplines by Diane Harley, Sophia Krzys Acord, Sarah Earl-Novell, Shannon Lawrence, C. Judson King
  • Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China by Leslie T. Chang
  • The Spontaneous Healing of Belief: Shattering the Paradigm of False Limits by Gregg Braden
  • Something by Sue Grafton
  • In Search of My Self : Signposts along the Way by Basil Arbour
  • A book in Chinese
  • Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy by E L James (you knew it was inevitable!)
  • Just After Sunset by Stephen King
  • Lucid Intervals by Stuart Woods
  • Me: latest issue of LRC!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Husband's reading list #2

In the ongoing saga of perilously-constructed towers, an update....

The last one on the bottom is a Life magazine pub about Bob Dylan.

Hey, Lorie, no library books! For shame, eh? But he has 2 from Ottawa U, if that makes it ok. They are just in the library pile so they don't get lost.

Less colourful than last time, isn't it? Colour choices in nonfiction: debate.

I'll be back soon with longer posts with actual full sentences. I'm just totally swamped and at least two weeks behind (after CLA, being sick, and a great - but tiring - trip to Toronto and Kitchener last weekend).

Monday, June 11, 2012

The CLA Conference in pictures

So many experiences to distill into a bog post! I am working on some notes from a few sessions I was able to attend despite Local Arrangements Committee duties and THE PLAGUE, which descended on me on the day we were stuffing the bags and doing conference prep. Basically, I spent the first half of the conference with a fiery throat and no voice, and the second half hawking up crap and still unable to talk. Good times.

Anyway, I did manage to have a lot of fun, too:

We stuffed bags.

A LOT of bags:

I am so lucky to have the best team in the history of the world, and two of them, Laura and Helena, created this colour-coded master schedule for the volunteers at the conference. Genius.

Opening keynote:

Delegate feedback to opening keynote:

Laura and I getting silly with the room decorations in Local Arrangements Committee office

Screenshot from Tina Thomas from Edmonton Public Library's great presentation entitled Making a Lasting Impression: Building our Brand in our Branches (this slide = "Do you have a signage problem?")

Here is the first thing I learned at the Great Debate: masks kind of totally scare me.

In other news, the debate was awesome. The topic was “Be it resolved that the core values of modern librarianship areantiquated and obsolete,” and Stephen Abram, Robin Thiessen Hepher, Mike Ridley and Andrea Siemens nailed it with an examination of whether we actually live our values. Some choice quotes:
  • "Why did Occupy make their own libraries? Maybe bc ours close at 5."
  • "Slacktivism! Petitions are what the powerless people do."
  • "Access is equal to, in one province, a fee. In one national library, an appointment."

I hung out with my NELI ladiez.

I was star-struck by Kit Pearson. As Megan phrased it so well, it is such an honour and a privilege to grow up reading someone's books, and then be able to give them an award!

Ryerson's Chief Librarian Madeleine Lefebvre kicked it at Battle Decks. Here, she is explaining how a certain gait will make you more flexible, and allow you to, um, innovate.

This was my favourite Battle Decks slide, noting the intersecting area as "Shitty movies."

A more serious post is forthcoming, but I will leave you here with Vin.