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putting the rarin back in librarian since 1999

Last Build Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2017 01:37:05 +0000


Twice a decade whether it needs it or not

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 21:51:42 +0000

This is a theme update. I was looking for a way to sort of merge this blog and my newsletter. I have not managed that, but I did get this site looking fairly decent for now and maybe like it…

Ask a Librarian: the relationship of library work to social justice

Sat, 25 Nov 2017 19:08:14 +0000

Email from a library worker, paraphrased: I am deeply committed to social justice and anti-oppression principles. I am radical in my politics. I am interested in literacy as a feminist issue. I am also interested in knowledge, access, critical thinking,…

Sensible talk about HTTPS

Sun, 22 Oct 2017 19:27:41 +0000

(this is a slightly amended reprint of an article I wrote for Computers in Libraries magazine in 2016 and I’m putting it here because it’s timely. Original title: Practical Technology – Digital Privacy is Important Too. If something seems inaccurate,…

Ask A Librarian: How does library presenting work? Who pays and when?

Wed, 27 Sep 2017 18:23:12 +0000

Email from someone asking about how to merge librarianship and public speaking. I may not be the right person for this question… Does your employer (if you’re employed at a Library) pay (travel, salary and credited work time) for you…

Ask A Librarian: Options for Remote Librarianship

Thu, 31 Aug 2017 00:48:03 +0000

A portion of an email I received: “It seems you’ve been able to piece together disparate threads to form an unusual career. That’s exciting to me. I see the economy shifting toward a new model i.e. multiple income streams/work when…

Ask a Librarian: When do you touch a patron’s computer?

Sat, 01 Jul 2017 00:34:13 +0000

Conversation with my friend Peter (in italics) about teaching technology and when it’s okay or even helpful to touch a patron’s device. Slightly edited. I run a drop-in time weekly during the school year where people can come and ask…

Ask a Librarian: New Library Director Advice?

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 16:51:46 +0000

An old one from the inbox about starting as a new, youngish library director in an established library. Here are some quick links and things to think about: 1. How to manage smart people. If your staff is smart,…

Ask a Librarian: How do smaller libraries work together to get economies of scale?

Sun, 18 Jun 2017 17:32:34 +0000

Someone I work with at Harvard’s Library Innovation Lab asked me for examples of smaller rural libraries working together to “combine forces” to get more done. I realized that for someone outside the library world, the breakdown of state libraries,…

Ask a librarian: My library is requiring proof of citizenship to get a library card. How do I fight back?

Thu, 11 May 2017 15:46:12 +0000

Question from an author who recently learned that her library is requiring proof of citizenship for patrons to get library cards. She wanted to know what she could do about that. I’m sorry the library where you’re from is doing…

Ask a librarian: How do I learn tech skills in a fun and interesting way?

Thu, 11 May 2017 15:39:46 +0000

One of the things I do a lot lately is write email to people who ask me librarian-type questions. Sometimes the answers are more widely applicable and I figured I should note them somewhere. This was a reply to a…

the system, sort of working

Sat, 15 Apr 2017 17:35:23 +0000

I’ve been doing a lot of writing in my newsletter lately. You might like to read it but I do still post here from time to time and I keep my talks list and my booklist updated. This week I…

librarian diplomacy

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 16:28:29 +0000

I am, like many librarians, sort of a crabby nitpicker about some things. I think there are optimal ways to do things, particularly with technology. I have, over the past 20+ years of helping people, gotten better at working with…

a talk of mine, in comic form

Sun, 12 Feb 2017 22:07:02 +0000 Never had one of these done for a talk I’ve given before. I did more of a write-up on my experiences giving three talks in a week (every specific thing was great but the overall busyness was a little…

2016 in work and money

Wed, 04 Jan 2017 16:03:18 +0000

This post leaves me dissatisfied with pie chart makers and is as much a note to myself as anyone else who will read it. Last year was a weird year for work. I picked up a bunch of odd consulting…

2016 reading list and commentary

Fri, 30 Dec 2016 23:44:45 +0000

I started 71 books this year and finished 68. I feel good about not finishing those three. I should really not-finish more books to be honest. I try to read most evenings and most mornings with varying success. I also…