Friday, March 22, 2013

(February and) March madness at Carlingwood Branch

I just realised I haven't given you all a recap of the fun and excitement at Carlingwood since last July - that's crazy!

So, without further ado, here's what's been going on recently:
  • We founded our Carlingwood’s Senior’s Advisory Group, with many enthusiastic participants and lots of fantastic ideas for the library and for each other. They approve of the acronym, SAG, which bodes well for working together: I always appreciate a sense of humour. 
  • Our English Conversation Group on Tuesdays and Saturdays continues to thrive
  • Our eReader workshops continue to be popular: we recently helped people with their Playbooks, a Kobo Touch, an mp3 player, a Kobo Glow, an ancient touch-screen laptop, and some iEverythings (iPad mini, iPad, and iPhone). 
  • My lovely colleagues filled in for me and allowed a local undergraduate student interested in library school to shadow them on a Saturday.
  • I couldn't be there to mentor the student as I was in Montreal, with my lovely colleague Josée Tardif from Collection Management, presenting for the Corporation des bibliothécaires professionnels du Québec (CBPQ) about readers’ advisory (in French). I was really nervous about this for a variety of reasons, but it went really well and people from as far away as Trois-Rivieres and Sorel came to enthusiastically contribute to the session and discuss appeal factors with us! 
  • We did two great inter-generational programs during March Break: Techno Buddies (11 Teen Volunteers worked with 6 older Adults using the following technology: E-mail, Facebook, Powerpoint, Twitter, Linkedin, Microsoft Word, and iPads) and Bridging the Generations (6 Teens highlighted 5 iPads to 17 Adults and 6 children using Rosemount’s outreach iPads). These were really popular, and had many touching moments. One teen whop was helping a newcomer Senior helped him take a picture with the iPad to send to his grand-daughter in Thailand. This patron wept with gratitude, and I wept when I read Courtney's report of this.
  • this little dude from the Museum of Nature
    (a waxy monkey frog)
    is clearly plotting world domination...
  • I attended my last OPLA RA committee meeting on March 8th. Yes, you read that right. My stepping down from the committee was less of a personal choice and more of an organisational shift at OPL, and I have very mixed feelings about it. Part of the hard part of blogging these days is that so much of what happens at work for me now is un-bloggable: coaching and disciplinary work, especially, but a lot of working with employees is hard to generalise without compromising someone's confidentiality, or letting personal biases show. Lest this sound like the text is becoming too Barthesian, here, with the unreadable source etc., let's use the Mark Twain frog analogy that I have been employing with my team to tell them when I'm having a tough day or need some space:
                "If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning.
                And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first."
    Recently, I have been eating some large and crunchy frogs, some I have adopted and some that have just hopped on over into my space uninvited, and let's just leave it at that.
  • The CLA Book of the Year for Children award jury, of which I am chair, chose the winner and honour books for the 2013 award... Stay tuned for the announcement on April 15th, and check out the shortlist in the meantime.
  • I had a bunch of meetings related to our upcoming accessibility upgrades. I'll be blogging for OPL about this soon, but basically we are closed Monday April 29 – Friday May 3, open Saturday and evenings the following week with limited access to certain areas, and resuming regular hours on Saturday, May 11. The work will include a new ramp (re-graded) with new paving stones and handrail, new concrete curbs and stairs, an additional handicapped parking spot and new paint in the lot, a new bus stop pad and bike rack pad, work on the accessible washrooms (new toilets, sinks, etc), improved elevator buttons (don't ask), and a new "green" drinking fountain. Not a ton of stuff, but some wonderful and much-needed improvements. Chaos will ensue when our front entrance and parking lot are both n/a during the work, so I am looking forward to lots of fun and excitement next month.
  • The Teen Tech Commercial was released on March 13th. Lots of glowing comments about Carlingwood’s TAG. Here’s the link for the commercial.
  • Did I mention our TAG is great? Look what they did for the SAG:

Monday, March 4, 2013

Bookmobile news: feel-good story of the day

Saw this, and it deserved its own post (aside from the Bookmobile news round-ups which are few and far between these days):

At A Pakistani Mobile Library, Kids Can Check Out Books, And Hope
""And I felt, in what way can we bring these kids back to the beauty of life, to the beauty of future, to be of value to fellow mankind and to themselves and to the country," he says. "And I started thinking in what way can we help the children." Malik felt books were the way to broaden children's minds, to introduce them to a whole world of subjects, and to help build tolerance for others. But he discovered that virtually none of the public schools in and around Islamabad had libraries [....] So Malik decided to take books to the children."