Teach Your Children Well

It’s true, some of the high school students that invade the library after school can be disruptive.  They congregate in the Internet room and look at MySpace, or play games, or IM each other, and generally get noisy.  If you are in the Internet room between 2:20 and 3:40 and are expecting solitude and quiet, you’re going to be unpleasntly surprised.   There was talk of creating a teen space with computers for them – nothing ever happened with that.  Instead, we got a new set of rules from our Assistant Director about what we’re going to be doing.  Students must show an unexpired library card AND a picture ID before they are even allowed in the room.  Students and nobody else.  They must be signed in so we have a written record of them using the computer, too.  This is insanity!  In this time of opening up libraries and welcoming all community members, we are going backwards and getting more restrictive.  These teens are the tax payers and library supporters of the future.  What message are we sending?  Could the message be any clearer – WE WANT YOU TO GO AWAY.

Instead of managing the few behavioral problems, we chose to discriminate and punish the many.   I’m ashamed. 


geek squee

I’ve just received the list of movies that will be available for download when we officially sign up for the next level of MyLibraryDV.  It’s a pretty good amount with pretty good content – I think it all goes public at the end of the month.  I’m hopeful that this will give our remote access services a big boost and I can feel proud of offering this service to our patrons.  For many it will be their first taste of downloading movies and it’s exciting to think about that.  We will be part of the way people think about movies, Internet, and libraries.

Print is Dead

Taking a cue from Jeff’s blog, I wanted to scream out those words at a Recorded Books function I went to on Saturday.  I started out the day at Book Expo in NYC with a “breakfast” hosted by Steven Colbert, and featuring Lisa See, Ken Burns, and Khaled Hosseini.  Fun, even though everyone pitched their latest book as if the audience was totally comprised of retailers instead addressing the large group of librarians attending.  Wandering around the huge exhibit hall I saw lots of the symbiotic relationship between the big fat publishers and the big fat sellers like Amazon, but desperation in the eyes of the little guys.  No more shops around the corner.   During her cigarette break a map distributor told me how they were being eaten alive by the Internet and GPS devices.  I finished the day at a small party thrown by Recorded Books, and after some nice hors d’oeuvres they sat us in a freezing auditorium and filmed the speakers: Jane Smiley and Michael Dirda.  At least these guys had the good grace to acknowledge the audience of librarians, and each included a passing reference to audiobooks to be polite to their hosts, I suppose.  It was during Dirda’s presentation that I had the urge to misbehave.  He told us he was a “book guy” and didn’t feel too kindly towards blogs.  I guess he’s feeling the pinch of the Internet too, like my map distributor friend.    I wish I had the energy at the time to ask what he plans to do once newspapers die.  Maybe he needs to get on board with blogs for job security reasons, and realize that books as the medium of all things IMPORTANT is changing.

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another little thing

OMG it’s fanfiction gone legit! Fanlib takes my embarrassing little secret and puts it right out there on the web, complete with a fancy interface and corporate backing. I’m not sure how I feel about it, either. It was kind of fun belonging to this underground literary cult and now it’s all Yahoo’d and outted. I’ll miss the secret handshake.

This from Mashable:
“FanLib announces today their co-promotional partners including HarperCollins, Penguin Books, Showtime Networks, Simon & Schuster and Starz Entertainment. FanLib has also received a reported $3 million in funding from prominent names in Hollywood and Silicon Valley, including Jon Landau, Jon Moonves, and FanLib Chairman Anil Singh, former Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Yahoo!”

Little things

Trolling around the blogosphere and I found two loves:
the new “Street View” from googlemaps
the new search engine Zuula.  Like everyone else, it’s going to be hard to tear myself out of the google habit, so we’ll see.

Mixed feelings about Mahalo.  They’re going to hand-groom every search result?  Why would you do that and how can you possibly keep it current? 

One day old news about the new MS “coffee table” computer and the get together with Apple.  I think it’s all splendid. 

Video Reviews

I’ve been reviewing dvds, and videos before that, for a long time now.  I started with a now defunct magazine for librarians published by ABC-CLIO, then moved on to Library Journal.  For a while I was doing them for Video Librarian, too – reviews with an attitude!  But I got swamped so I had to quit.  Still working for Library Journal, though, and was awarded their Video Reviewer of the Year in 2004.  Here is my latest contribution:

Think of the convenience!

I saw Sony’s new flexible display on BoingBoing and it’s got my geek genes excited.  I can’t wait to carry around my tv crushed up in my purse next to the tissues and Certs.  Of course I’ll have to keep my battery and flexible cable in there, too.   Will this help on shelf space in the library?  I can store movies and ebooks in thin little flip-through rows.  I suspect the security cases will be amazing, too 🙂