Disaster Relief for Libraries

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Hurricane Fran

In light of recent hurricanes (Harvey, Irma, and Maria) and the earthquake in Mexico, I’ve been wondering about the community libraries in the affected areas. While libraries are often places for information and resources, I can’t help but think that so many of the libraries in Houston (Texas), Florida, and the Caribbean have suffered damage, and their staff members are taking care of their own needs. as well. (Poignantly, here’s an article from Library Journal about how Puerto Rico libraries reached out to Florida libraries after Hurricane Irma.)

In looking for ways to help libraries affected by natural disasters, I came across a link to the ALA Disaster Relief Fund, with additional links for support of Florida and Texas libraries here.

Please leave a note in the comments if you know of other ways to help!

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Redecorating My Workspace

I’ve been thinking about how to spruce up both my work cubicle and my home office. I’d like for my work space to be an organized and inviting place, and my home office to be my sanctuary–well organized, more personal, more plants, more mementos. I’m striving to be more organized overall, and enjoyed a trip to the local Container Store before I started my new position in January.

In searching the internet, I came across the article, “7 Ways to Make Your Office a Sanctuary.” There are some good overarching ideas there. Pinterest has some good ideas, too, like this.

Progress will probably be slow, as worklife is busy, and I’m usually ready to head for home at the end of the day. Inspiration always helps, though. Ideas are welcome!

ALA Annual Conference 2017

I’m back from the ALA Annual Conference, which was held in Chicago this year! I had a great time, and am so glad I went!

Here are some of my highlights:

Several of my meeting slots were taken up by NMRT (New Members Round Table) meetings and events. I’ve been Treasurer-elect/Assistant Treasurer this past year, and now I’m transitioning into the Treasurer position. So I attended the NMRT Board Meeting, as well as the ALA Budget and Planning Assembly. I also got to meet the outgoing Treasurer, Easter, for the first time, and that was fun! Easter and I have been emailing and talking on the phone for the past year, so it was super to meet her in person and talk NMRT budget stuff.

I also attended the annual NMRT Social and Awards Reception, held at Ditka’s. It turned out to be a very nice location for our soirĂ©e, and a fun time was had by all! (Hats off to Rachael for organizing this fun NMRT event!)

I also attended a session called “Redesigning Technical Services for the 21st Century: A Case Study from the University of Alabama Libraries.” It was an interesting presentation to a standing-room-only crowd. I enjoyed hearing their stories, since the Tech Services Division where I work is going through a reorganization of well.

While I rarely visit the Exhibit Hall during conferences, I went this time to meet one of my favorite mystery writers, Susan M. Boyer! She was scheduled to sign books at the Sisters in Crime booth at a specific time, so I stopped by to say hello! It was so much fun meeting her!

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Donna Herula at Buddy Guy’s Legends

On the non-conference side of things, I enjoyed a couple of dinners out. One was at a place called Buddy Guy’s Legends, a blues club that happened to be near my hotel. I got to hear live blues music (Donna Herula on guitar this time) over a plate of yummy shrimp creole!

Another evening, I met up with a group for Chicago-style deep dish pizza. I organized the group in a Facebook group of librarians coming to ALA Annual, and we met up at Lou Malnati’s. The pizza was yummy, and the group had a fun time! It was a nice opportunity to meet some Facebook friends, to boot!

All in all, I had a super time at ALA Annual and in Chicago! My NMRT treasurer duties will take me to Denver in January, and I can’t wait!

 

 

 

Creating a Place Where Retirees Visit

k7534860We had a retirement lunch today for a colleague who’s retiring soon after 45 years of service. 45 years with one employer is just amazing. Something else amazing is that quite a few retirees came back for the luncheon. It was great to see them, and to have the chance to catch up a little bit. It has me thinking about how a workplace becomes a place where retirees enjoy coming back to visit.I don’t think every workplace is like that.

I think part if is the sense of community that has been created at work. Another factor is that a lot of our retirees stay local after retirement.

What do you think?

 

Library Obsessions

I read a blog post on Hack Library School this morning that asked the question, “What’s your library obsession?” It’s a great question, and one I’ve been thinking about for a while. I’ve recently switched positions within Tech Services at my current employer, so I’ve been busy learning new things on the job, which is great! I’ve been thinking about other areas of librarianship to explore outside my job, as professional and personal development. I’d been working to expand my knowledge of ebooks, since they were a growing part of my last position, but with the new position (and our Tech Services reorganization), ebooks have shifted away from my job.

So what’s next? I’ve been thinking about learning more about data science as it relates to libraries, but there’s a pretty big (but not impossible) learning curve there. I’ve also been working on my foreign language skills on Duolingo. Still, I’ve been keeping my eyes open to other ideas and opportunities.

What is YOUR library obsession?

 

ALA Midwinter 2017

I’m back from ALA Midwinter 2017 in Atlanta, where I had a really good conference experience! Atlanta was a busy place this past weekend, with Midwinter, the local Women’s March, and an NFL Playoff game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Green Bay Packers in the Georgia Dome, right next door to our convention center! I enjoyed the extra buzz and energy in the city!

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Small Aquarium in Georgia Aquarium

Most of my meetings and activities were related to NMRT (the ALA New Members Round Table), but I also enjoyed the Elsevier Networking Reception Sunday night at the Georgia Aquarium. As part of the reception, we got to walk around on a self-guided tour, where I saw several people I know and met a fellow Duke alum who works for Elsevier now. One of my favorite parts of the Aquarium was watching the beluga whales, though my photos of them didn’t turn out well.

I also had lunch with a couple of colleagues, which was fun! On Sunday, I ate with a former library school classmate, and we hit the food court at the CNN Center, just before the pre-game influx of Falcon and Packer fans!

This conference experience was a little different for me, as I took my walker with me for assistance with my healing foot sprain. Having a walker for the conference gave me a different perspective on how things (like public restrooms and hotel rooms) are laid out for people with mobility issues. I also had to build in some extra rest time, so I missed some programs I would’ve enjoyed going to. I’m looking forward to the ALA Annual Conference this summer in Chicago!