Ring Violently for Service

Ring Violently for Service by valiszebra
Ring Violently for Service, a photo by valiszebra on Flickr.

While this is funny, I am unsure if this is the best way to convey an atmosphere of responsive customer service. I have been in more than one library that had a bell on the circulation counter for patrons to use when the clerk was otherwise occupied. I understand the need, but at the same time I question the impression this might leave when some much rides on smooth customer service. Oh by the way, this particular bell was not a at library but at a local restaurant.

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So Many Books, So Little Time

So Many Books, So Little Time – Books – The Boston Globe.

A quick little read by Anthony Doerr about the literate life and the number of books you may be able to read in your lifetime. Kind of scary to quantify it. I guess I’ll never get through everything I want to. Even if you believe in reincarnation, you probably wouldn’t catch up with all the new reading that springs up. But I guess it is the journey not the destination, right? Or maybe the lesson is to choose wisely… or would it be widely? Hmm…

Anthony Doerr will be reading at Williamette University tomorrow. I am excited to go hear him read.

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Tags: authors, books, reading

Irony and J.G. Ballard


I have been itching to re-read J.G. Ballard’s novella Running Wild for some time. Unfortunately, my local public  library consortia did not have the title within any of its member libraries. I was a little disappointed and put it in the back of my mind to see about purchasing a copy then next time I was at Powell’s or some other suitable bookstore. Last weekend, I managed to find a copy at a thrift store just one county over from where I live.  The irony is that the thrift store’s purpose was to help fund their local library. It makes me fearful that if I tried to donate this title to my local library it would end up in their annual book sale instead just like the thrift store. I guess I will have to keep it and pass it on to another reader. We do as much collection development for ourselves and friends, as we do as librarians for our libraries. There is more than one way for each reader to get their book.

*I think the first book cover is pretty cool. Strangely I couldn’t readily locate a picture of my version of Running Wild… not that I was trying that hard.

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Cool Phone Booth Library

I love the design aspect of this. There is a lot of empty space around the phone booth, why not take advantage of it. The phone can remain operational too.

Phone Booth Library


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Slides from my lightning talk: Thoughts on the the “Middle Class” Digital Divide

Here are the slides from the lightning talk I gave at Online Northwest 2012. The talk was inspired by Jessamyn C. West who was the keynote at a conference I attended last year. She gave an insightful talk/session about libraries, technology, and the digital divide. She also wrote this great book, Without a Net: Librarians Bridging the Digital Divide,  about how librarians can help address the digital divide. My talk was about what I was calling the “middle class” digital divide. It is kind of lazy title but it was what I came up with to meet the conference deadline. What I am really talking about is the secondary digital divide involving the gaps between people actually being able to use or be empowered by technology and information access. The digital divide (and secondary divide) is a complex topic and it was hard to sum up in five minutes… but I tried.
If you have ever given a lightning talk, you know that it kind of goes by super fast. I really can’t recall what I said exactly. From what people told me, it went great. I even got some cheers from the back of the room. I had more than a few people come up and tell me they liked what I said. I even had someone find my personal phone number (not sure how) and call me today to ask for information on the topic.
If you have questions about the slides, let me know.
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