2012-10-03T13:15:57.266-04:00It's my favorite week of the year as a librarian. Welcome to the 30th anniversary of the American Library Association's Banned Books Week, presided over by the Office of Intellectual Freedom. Libraries are at the forefront of many censorship battles, not solely because we are a provider of many banned and censored works, but because our code of professional ethics requires us to stand up for peoples' right to read without judgement or censorship. Does this mean that we agree with all viewpoints for which we argue a voice be heard? Not at all. However, we will defend its right to exist, because it may be the right work for somebody and that person deserves access to that work. You don't have to agree with the sentiment to disagree with its censorship."I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." - Beatrice Hall, The Friends of Voltaire, 1906In celebration of Banned Books Week, myself and another library will share this week with our patrons on the library's Facebook page, some of our favorite banned books. The following is my share for today: In 2011, the popular Hunger Games made the list of challenged books kept by the Office of Intellectual Freedom. Some people claimed it was anti-ethnic, anti-family, insensitive, satanic, and contained offensive language and violence. Celebrate Banned Books Week by reading a banned or challenged book. Read the book or watch the movie - the Library has both.http://uncclc.coast.uncwil.edu/record=b2104353~S3More information:BBW 2012: Most Challenged Books of 2011http://wp.me/piNYx-1HU It's Banned Books Week Sept.30-Oct.6th: follow#BannedBooksWeek hashtag & see http://bannedbooksweek.org/ for more info.PS - Band practice outside the library? Why? PPS - I updated contract spending spreadsheets, worked on student worker paperwork, dealt with reserves issues back and forth all day, and still am behind on everything. Hate being so productive yet feeling that I am not accomplishing anything.[...]
2012-10-02T17:01:55.163-04:00Always excited every year to get my banned books week display done. My thanks this year to my student Brittany, who helped assemble the display.
2012-10-03T12:32:54.260-04:00More reference - mostly spent it preparing for book club. This was followed by a quick breeze through the library liaison luncheon, held every year. This is a chance for the department liaisons from the academic areas on campus to meet their library liaison, learn about their materials budget, and ask other general information questions.
2012-10-03T13:11:53.861-04:00Still working on my Banned Books Week display for this year, my student assistant Brittany is going to help me assemble the display this year. I gave her a list of books to choose from to highlight in the display, can't wait to see which she will pick. Should have it up soon and will post pictures.
2012-10-03T12:51:06.229-04:00After my morning at reference and working on assessment statistics and reports, today I hosted the monthly meeting of the library Goodreads Book Club. For any not familiar with Goodreads.com - it's a reader's dream. A way to record books you have read and want to read, see what your friends are reading, find online book clubs, and oh so much more. Our first book club was being held in Second Life, a virtual world, and we had a number of requests from people interested in a face to face book club. However, as anyone that has run a book club can tell you, getting everyone to read the same book and show up to book club ready to discuss said book is often much more difficult than one would think. Instead, we modeled ours on the Goodreads web site, and set up a corresponding Goodreads group in order to facilitate sharing among group members.
2012-10-03T12:20:43.247-04:00Reference, reference, and more reference. It's my night at the desk again, so after rushing through student time approval I made my way to desk duty.
2012-10-03T12:10:44.294-04:00Busy day today. I finished yesterday with student mediation, sometimes because I am a campus safe zone students will drop by to discuss problems. I don't do official counseling, but i do recommend to many that they seek it. Mostly though I just provide a friendly ear and a place to vent.
2012-10-03T10:54:09.466-04:00Days when we are short staff both at circulation and reference are incredibly long, as I work in both areas. As the Access Services Librarian, I have to cover any staff shortages at the circulation desk when those I supervise are out. It is nice thought to work on the front lines, though I wish it was less laptops and TV series, and more interesting works. I love to see what others are reading and watching when it is something interesting. Also worked on book club planning, reserves issues, time sheets, student group paperwork, and updating spreadsheets for contract spending. Had the additional fun of having a student call and berate me for his irresponsibility regarding his very minor library fine. He called me unprofessional and said if it was so minor a charge I could pay it. Being sick I was less patient than I usually am and let him know he was free to take it up with the dean, but that he would have to pay the fine. End of conversation.
2012-10-02T16:34:01.889-04:00More observations from my weekend at the reference desk.
2012-10-02T16:25:01.197-04:00Every couple of months I have to work reference on the weekend. It's not that frequent, and the Saturdays at least are usually fairly quiet. I can usually be fairly productive. This weekend I worked on that pile of papers that seemingly multiplies like gremlins when I'm not looking, and managed to get 2/3 of the way through it today. Other than that had my usual random stream of thoughts while assisting patrons today.Helping UNCP faculty member at FSU library with Proquest Dissertations My Research having never used it before over the phone. #likeaboss Finally figured it out, but it is always weird assisting with a resource you are unfamiliar with.Me: Please mute your sound unless you intend on using headphones. Patron: Huh? Me: Thought that was pretty self-explanatory.Sometimes I wonder how much easier I can make this for them and still be surprised that they don't get it.Now watching two desks for the price of one...there are only two of us on Saturdays instead of three like on Sundays, so when the staff person takes a break the reference person covers both desks. However, being in the library all by myself with just patrons and no other staff is freaky.Oh research assistant - I will show you how, but I won't do for you. You are being paid to learn how to search yourself.Ohhhh just helped someone find books by one of my favorite authors Jean Auel. #librariansqueeField trip to the stacks successful!If I have to tell those three boys to be quiet one more time - I might not be my usual pleasant self. #whyidonotworkinapubliclibrary[...]
2012-10-02T16:28:28.174-04:00Another day of random referencey thoughts. Has been a monotonous week. But it was busy today at the refdesk - had students researching the enlightenment, criminal justice, and theology.And while I enjoy helping people, and it's part of my job, I don't see that as any reason that common courtesy should go out the window. Really nice student to hang up on me when I finished helping you rather than say thanks or bye or anything.OMG - A student I helped came back from upstairs just to thank me for the help. Maybe manners do exist after all. Someone's mama did good. It's so nice to be appreciated from time to time for what I do.Not all students are annoying - some are funny. Student was complaining about a 5 page paper she had due this semester. Student - one 5 page paper for the semester is nothing! My Reunification of Germany class - 5 page paper due 3 times a week. And that was an easy class. When not complaining about assignments, I get fine complaints. Ummmm no I haven't reviewed your appeal yet. You kind of have to submit the form first like we told you yesterday. And now a fun library fact from @omgfacts: Wearing headphones for just an hour will increase the bacteria in your ear by 700 times. Eww! Library headsets must be worse! Ours are used by everybody and never get cleaned.[...]
2012-10-03T11:32:12.751-04:00Today another reference librarian was out sick and two others had a lot of beginning of the year information literacy classes to pick up, so I had to cover some extra reference time. Since I worked reference through my lunch break and only had a short time before and after being on reference to work on anything else, it was a less productive day than I had hoped. Here are a few of the inner thoughts I had today while working the desk:
2012-10-02T15:05:56.576-04:00Well the library is down not only a reference assistant now, but we are also down a reference librarian position. (Not to mention several in technical services, but the reference positions affect me more.) This means lots of extra time for me at the reference desk. Today was a fairly quiet day. Other than the usual looking up of items (call number locations, media on critical care, full text articles), I had the other usual queries for which there is little I can do. Yes we do have study rooms. No there are none available. Check back when we get a new building. They are almost always full and are first come first serve. Also, I can tell you how to search the database, but I can't tell you if the results are relevant to your topic. You have to determine that on your own, especially when the subject is business, about which I know less than nothing.
2012-10-02T14:54:38.010-04:00Beginning of the month always means reports. Running statistical reports, writing and submitting my monthly report, eating lunch while I work on reports, the usual. Today also got to add assessment reporting to the mix, but at least a very kind colleague brought me a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks, which made it far more enjoyable to work on.
2012-09-05T11:04:30.360-04:00Monthly ReportAugust 2012Access Services ActivitiesAugust was an extremely busy month, as the first few weeks of the academic year always are. Just prior to the beginning of the semester, our Ares server received a major update as did all the client machines in the Library. Rob Wolf and Jess Karpel helped with the upgrading of staff machines. In other reserves news I have been paying close attention to the judge’s rulings in the GA reserves case, as it has implications for all university e-reserves systems. Sam has been working diligently to process all the reserves that came in at the beginning of the semester and has done a wonderful job of getting things done in a timely manner and communicating with faculty regarding their reserves. I assisted with some reserves issue for faculty, namely fixing any connections between Blackboard and Ares lost due to course cross-listings or a faculty member cloning the same class more than once. I also assisted in finding a few obscure ILL items for Sharon Matilla. Penny and Tela have been excellent about assisting at the Circulation Desk in the absence of Julious and in light of Sam’s need to focus on course reserves. The staff have been excellent in helping the student assistants get settled into the semester as well, setting them up on the biometric time clock, getting them started in training, and supervising them on a day to day basis. Eric also supervises their stacks activities and makes their stacks maintenance assignments. Student assistant administration took up the bulk of my month. I had several meetings with library staff regarding student worker needs for their areas and available students. I posted all the library jobs in the Career Center’s Brave Opportunities program, and responded to all job queries – both in the system and by e-mail. I completed contracts for those students hired, conducted interviews, scheduled students, updated Blackboard, and approved time sheets for the first two weeks. Other than one Hawk Assistantship and the always available work study option, all student library positions have been filled as of the last week of August. In addition, since Melanie is leaving, I am taking over the supervision of the Hawk Assistant for which she applied for reference/instruction. In order to stay true to the application, this student will not work circulation but will assist with making video tutorials for reference/instruction, and is available to the other librarians providing instruction on Wednesday and Friday afternoons if needed.Fee appeals and account queries made up the other main part of my work this month. When the last time to add/drop classes comes, students come in large numbers to clear their accounts. Often these fees are not recent and take some time to resolve – talking with staff, checking Millennium, searching the stacks – making each query very time consuming. This necessitating diffusing a few vociferous situations with students who wanted immediate action, though most I feel were satisfied with the resolution of their fees issues and all were handled as timely as possible in light of the need to expedite their ability to register.In the rest of my available time I completed the Circulation desk schedule for fall, worked on SACS assessment reports, and met with both of the new circulation weekend assistants. Dan’elle an[...]
2012-09-05T01:35:14.580-04:00Coffee, student assistant contracts, time sheets for staff, monthly report for Access Services, refdesk, staff members out, and who knows what else - and that is just what was waiting when I walked in the door.
2012-09-05T01:27:26.851-04:00PAYDAY!!! It comes but once a month - and is highly welcomed. And this one is followed by a long holiday weekend and a much needed unplugging.Went to Walmart, took kiddo to school, working on student contracts, then off to a planning committee and a librarians' meeting after-phew! The librarians' meeting - always interesting when you have to pause the meeting to wait for the trainFrom Facebook, a great picture of the Access Services staff and student worker looking great on school colors day!Also said farewell today to a colleague at the library who when I came here was a student worker, and has served now on the staff for a number of years. She will be greatly missed, though her reason for going can't be beat. This cake speaks volumes in how I feel about her departure: Funny of the day:RT @fakelibstats: There is no workplace as well labeled as a library[...]