Thursday, May 20, 2010

Booklist Webinar - Trends in Literature

On May 18 I viewed the Booklist webinar with the speakers Andrew Wooldridge, publisher of Orca Books, Rick Wilks and Susan Siptoe of Annick Press and Firefly Books, and the wonderful Michael Cart of Booklist and YALSA president. Each of them discussed current Teen/YA books, specific titles, and the changing scene with authors and publishers and most of all - the interests of young people. Much of this discussion sumarized what we already know about from our reading and awareness of the teen requests but the views from them were quite informative and interesting. I trust that the webinars will be an on-going activity for us.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Assess, Prioritize and Manage

I recently attended the National Archives and Records Administration Preservation Conference in DC entitled Plan for Preservation: Assess, Prioritize and Manage. A pretty daunting title, and an impressive list of speakers, including the head of Collection Care at the UK archives, as well as the Archivist of the US, who was formerly the chief executive of the research libraries at The New York Public Library, Duke University's librarian and had worked for 31 years before that in the Massachusetts Institute of Technologies libraries. This bio in itself was interesting - former Archivists had been historians.

Topics that raised interest:
Do you perform mass deacidification to reduce the ongoing decay of organic matter, or do you fix the younger items first so you will have fewer problems in the future - along the lines of a stitch in time saves nine
Do you just deal with the paper and other artifacts you have, or should archivists also be concerned climate change, fossil fuel reduction, and the need to reduce CO2 emissions? (This raised issues that I believe WCFL should address for the Western Maryland Room in the new library, as well as the history room in George's Creek).
Should the Archives/history rooms be a cataloging agency or is their role to consider vulnerability of objects?

Useful to know organizations
EGOR - Environmental Guidelines, Opportunities and Risk
The Centre for Sustainable Heritage
Heritage Health Index

Besides issues like these, some statistics put me in my place -
Only 2% of government records are selected for permanent preservation at the National Archives.
The UK National Archives has 80 million documents on line
The Library of Congress has 12 million photographs and 4 photograph conservators

Monday, May 3, 2010

LOEX: Library Orientation Exchange

I'm going to hazard a guess that many of you have never heard of LOEX, the Library Orientation Exchange primarily made up of instruction librarians at academic institutions.

Now you can say that you've heard of LOEX and that you know someone who attended and presented at the 2010 annual conference: me, Julie Z.

You might be asking yourself, why did she attend such a conference when she's no longer affiliated with an academic library and does not do as much instruction? That's a good question, and the answer is two-fold. Firstly, I attended the conference in order to deliver a co-presentation with 4 colleagues of mine on the topic of non-traditional methods of instruction. Secondly, I attended the conference because although few public librarians attend LOEX, there is still much that can be applied to the public library world--especially from a staff development point of view. For example, one session I attended was on the learning cycle (how to make learning stick) and this is a very real concern regardless of whether your workshop participants are first year college students or twentieth year library employee veterans!

So, if you teach in a public setting, you might want to look into some of the materials LOEX makes available online to help you freshen up your instruction skills. Eventually, the proceedings of this conference, complete with reports and slides of each presentation, will be available online. Until then, you're welcome to look at the clearinghouse materials and past-conference materials.

Of course, if you have any questions, I'd be happy to talk with you!