Friday, May 31, 2013

Online group to discuss ‘The New Jim Crow’

The librarian may leave the library, but the library doesn’t leave the librarian. An open Facebook group, UUA Common Read Lab, is sure to interest readers of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s “Common Read.”

Book cover: "The New Jim Crow" by Michelle Alexander
The 2012-2013 UUA Common Read selection is The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.

As recently as three months ago, I administered a lending library for a UU congregation in Lake County, Calif. When developing a collection or recommending books, one area I paid strong attention to was the “common read.”

(This interest extended beyond administration of the lending library; my own most recent common reads are Michael Malone’s The Four Corners of the Sky and Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s The Language of Flowers).

It seemed only natural to pass this resource along, given the importance I placed on the Common Read when building a collection for the library.

The UUA invites group participants to “Post information about a discussion group being held in your congregation or community, extend in-person conversations beyond your group, and connect with others taking part in the Common Read.”

Monday, May 27, 2013

Monsanto marches: Not really ignored by media

Montage of images from marches against Monsanto with grammatically and factually inaccurate claim: "Meanwhile the mainstream media completely ignores [sic] the global March Against Monsanto in over 400 cities."
A grammatically and factually wrong meme
A Facebook user named Jason Aaron Wood has a fantastic “Monsanto” meme. “Hate Monsanto? Want to make an effective viral meme?” it reads. “Try facts.”

Facts are too often absent from social media memes.

Case in point: a montage of images from the international protest against Genetically Modified Organisms that took place on Saturday. It reads: “Meanwhile the mainstream media completely ignores [sic] the global march against Monsanto in over 400 cities.”

As a former journalist and aspiring librarian, a claim like this matters to me. I have a doubly-vested interest in setting the record straight. Indeed, a search on Google disproved the claim with links to coverage by the Washington Post, USA Today and regional and local network affiliates.

Newswatch 12, an ABC affiliate, covered the protest march in Medford, Oregon. It reported a turnout of 800 people who joined their marching counterparts in more than 250 cities in 36 countries around the world.

A more accurate caption would read: “Meanwhile, March Against Monsanto organizers ignore coverage of their marches because they belie the marchers’ portraying themselves as ‘ignored’ by mainstream media.”

Hack Library School: ‘Start reading job ads now’

At Hack Library School, author Nicole Helregel recommends that library and information science students start reading job ads now:
“[L]ooking at job ads is a great way to discover a lot of things about yourself, your library school, your career goals, the job market, and the field that you have entered.”
It’s good advice, particularly given economic reality.

How many students can afford to carry full-time course loads? Surely more and more students have to combine work and school because life’s expenses have to be met.

But in addition to an increased likelihood that students need work right now: Reading job ads, according to Helregel, can help develop long-term goals, shape a degree, gain valuable experience and envision your dream job.

At Public Libraries Online, Victoria Collie recommends I Need A Library Job, created by Naomi House, ALA Joblist, LibGig, Library Journal’s JobZone and Indeed.

Memorial Day gratitude


This post is by guest author Jonathan Donihue.

I would like to thank everyone who has fought for this country: the soldiers, the educators, the peace activists, the writers and film makers, the librarians, the spiritualists. To everyone who has lost property, fame, freedom, or life in an attempt to make America a greater country: Thank You.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Troll on Craigslist: Confident Staffing CEO offers wonderful response

At Craigslist Medford, the CEO of Confident Staffing offers a wonderful response to online criticism. “I am sincerely sorry that your impression of our company was not positive,” it reads in part.“I always welcome feedback about our company and staff, so please do feel free to reply to this posting about your experience.” And its author is identified.

The email-scramble feature of Craigslist makes it easy to “troll,” to leave comments with anonymity. I’m unfamiliar with the complaints made by this individual (I can’t rule out their validity) but am impressed by the dignity, compassion and the invitation for dialogue exhibited by CEO Rebecca H. Morrison-Stoney.

‘Man of Steel’: T-shirt cosplay for Superman film

Jonathan Donihue in appliqued Superman-logo T-shirt
A quest to create special shirts for the new “Superman” movie, “Man of Steel,” brought us to Goodwill Industries of Southern Oregon, where we bought T-shirts to serve as base garments and form the layered “S” crest.

The film opens June 14 and my inspiration was guided by Megan Nicolay’s books, “Generation T” and “Generation T: Beyond Fashion.”

Goodwill sponsored an upcycled fashion contest at the Rogue Valley Earth Day celebration. If the competition next year has a “Community” division, maybe you’ll see us displaying our splendor as members of the “House of Jor-El.” Or maybe you’ll see my “Sharrow” shirt.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Petition seeks blocking ability on LinkedIn

Screencapture: December 2012 LinkedIn "HackDay" entry by LinkedIn engineers. "LinkedIn is the only big social network left where you cannot completely block a member from looking at your profile. Having a stalker is a real thing, and we have no ability to allow members to block their stalkers. It’s unnerving to see in your email or profile sidebar: “[Your stalker] has viewed your profile.” Or maybe you have a headhunter that won’t leave you alone and is really adamant that you’re ruining your career by not responding to him. This hack fixes this problem, and lets you block members who are being unprofessional in a professional social network."
Screen capture via SocialTimes.com: LinkedIn engineers propose member blocking
A Change.org petition asks that the LinkedIn professional social network offer what other social networks provide: the ability to block an abusive user. As related by Social Times, Anna Rihtar created the petition in response to stalking on social media by her boss:
“Rihtar could use her privacy settings to stop her stalker from reaching her on Twitter and Facebook, but she found that LinkedIn’s policies were different from those of the other networks. ‘Having written to LinkedIn customer service about blocking a user,’ she explained in her petition, ‘I was told I was only able to block a member if that member is prohibited from having a LinkedIn account by virtue of a court order.’”
Aligning LinkedIn with these other policies seems only common sense.

I was whomperjawed viewing a post on Rihtar’s privacy/blocking petition group on LinkedIn, suggesting that the dissatisfied user “send [a] message” by not using LinkedIn.

When I signed the petition today, I included the following statement:
“As a consequence of speaking out about being bullied in school, I’ve been subject to ‘victim-blaming,’ holding the victim responsible for somehow failing to prevent the abuse. With this petition, I see an attempt to redress a similar injustice. Requiring the target of harassment or stalking to curtail professional networking activities adds an unfair additional burden to the trauma of being abused.”
As Rihtar told Social Times regarding posts similar to the one I viewed: “The most important thing to anybody in the working world is networking and making connections with people. LinkedIn is the best avenue for that right now.”

There may be a positive outcome on the horizon; Social Times reproduced a LinkedIn “HackDay” entry from December 2012: “Having a stalker is a real thing, and we have no ability to allow members to block their stalkers. ... This hack fixes this problem, and lets you block members who are being unprofessional in a professional social network.”

Partnership to hire people on autism spectrum

Embodying the characteristics of the autism stories I like -- an emphasis on possibilities and talents related to autism -- German software giant SAP is partnering with Specialisterne -- Danish for “The Specialists” -- to hire people on the autism spectrum.

As reported by Katie Moisse for ABC:

“‘By concentrating on the abilities that every talent brings to the table, we can redefine the way we manage diverse talents,’ SAP executive board member Luisa Delgado said in a statement. ‘With Specialisterne, we share a common belief that innovation comes from the ‘edges.’ Only by employing people who think differently and spark innovation will SAP be prepared to handle the challenges of the 21st century.’”

Friday, May 24, 2013

Volunteering at SOU’s Hannon Library

I volunteered for an hour this morning in the government publications department at Southern Oregon University’s Hannon Library. Volunteering at an academic library is an invaluable opportunity, sure to broaden my experience.

Logo: Federal Depository Library
Logo: Federal
Depository Library
Hannon Library is enrolled in the Federal Depository Library Program of the U.S. Government Printing Office. Hannon’s federal publications collection is available to constituents in Oregon’s Second Congressional District.

The department maintains a digital archive specializing in Southern Oregon history, the Southern Oregon bioregion and a First Nations/ Tribal Collection.

The department offers training in the use of government mobile sites and apps on iPads available through Hannon Library to SOU students, faculty and staff. The department plays an important role: putting government information in the hands of constituents.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Jackson County Library Services: Video highlights online offerings

A video produced by KOBI-TV 5 in Medford, Oregon highlights online offerings available through Jackson County Library Services. Repeated references to people’s assumed misperceptions aside (“Books, books and more books, that’s probably the general image of Jackson County Libraries” reads the description assigned to the video) it’s a pretty good video highlighting eBooks, audio books, music downloads, language tutoring programs and more. Access online services from the Jackson County Library Services website at www.jcls.org/.

Locks of Love: Another braid harvested

Cynthia Parkhill holding sheared braid of hair
I harvested a second braid for Locks of Love today at Salon Vivid in Medford, Oregon. The stylist, Alicia, gave me a style that was flattering and easy to care for. A new chapter for my hair for our fresh start in Ashland.

Locks of Love provides hairpieces to children in the United States and Canada who suffer from long-term medical hair loss. Ten inches of hair, measured tip to tip, is the minimum length needed for a hairpiece. For more information, visit www.locksoflove.org/ donate.html.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hannon Library at SOU: Federal Depository Library

Logo: Federal Depository Library program
Logo: Federal
Depository Library
I had an informative conversation yesterday with Dorothy “Dotty” Ormes, government information librarian at Southern Oregon University (SOU)’s Hannon Library.

Hannon Library is enrolled in the Federal Depository Library Program of the Government Printing Office (GPO). Hannon’s federal publications collection is available to all constituents in Oregon’s Second Congressional District.

From the GPO website: “The Federal Depository Library Program was established by Congress to ensure that the American public has access to its Government’s information.” Hannon Library has been a selective depository for federal publications since 1953. Ormes said it accepts about 30 percent of reports offered by the GPO.

Characteristics unique to Hannon Library’s government publications collection include its Southern Oregon Digital Archives, federal, state, and county publications pertaining to the Southern Oregon Bioregion and the First Nations/ Tribal Collection.

Hannon Library is also enrolled in the Oregon State Documents Depository Program. As of 2006, its Oregon state documents collection contained more than 11,400 cataloged titles.

Ormes has curated a guide to finding federal government information in Hannon Library’s Federal Depository collection. Similar guides are available for Oregon government resources and international government publications.

Current efforts include training students to access free federal government mobile sites and apps. Hannon Library offers students, faculty and staff an iPad check-out program and since fall of 2012, instruction sessions teach students to use the iPads for immediate research among paper and electronic resources.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Librarian cosplay: Civilian hire in Starfleet sciences

Tunic with Star Trek original-series sciences emblem attached to it
Civilian hire in Starfleet sciences -- Library sciences, that is
I used T-shirt fabric to create a pin-on back for my Star Trek: The Original Series sciences emblem. Attached here to a tunic, the wearer becomes a civilian hire in the sciences -- library sciences that is.

My cosplay persona is a Starfleet librarian -- but not aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. Rather, I envisioned the Constitution-class N.C.C. 1707, the U.S.S. Armstrong.

Created in response to a 2011 promotion by “Being a Geek” on Facebook, the U.S.S. Armstrong is named for Karen Armstrong, progenitor in the early 21st Century of the Charter for Compassion.

I envisioned a future that viewed the Charter for Compassion as a pivotal moment in history when Humanity put an end to poverty and war and took compassion to the stars and beyond.

Constitution class starship: N.C.C. 1701, the U.S.S. Armstrong
Constitution class starship: N.C.C. 1707, the U.S.S. Armstrong
Original schematics from “Star Trek Scrapbook” on Facebook
with modifications in Adobe CS2 Photoshop and InDesign

Autism book list: Frequent library classifications

My list of recommended books for people on the autism spectrum now displays the most frequent classifications (Dewey system and Library of Congress) among Online Computer Library Center, Inc. member libraries. Determinations were made using OCLC Classify.

‘Diversity in Youth Literature,’ released by ALA

Book cover; "Diversity in Youth Literature: Opening Doors Through Reading"
Diversity in Youth Literature: Opening Doors Through Reading, edited by Jamie Campbell Naidoo and Sarah Park Dahlen, has been added to my wish list for professional investment.

Newly released by ALA Editions, Diversity in Youth Literature surveys representations of common and lesser-known culture groups in literature for teens.

Of particular relevance for me is the inclusion of cognitive disabilities among examined youth cultures in this book. Young adult fiction is prominent on my list of recommended books for people on the autism spectrum.

Because we experience high rates of bullying, this informs my interest as well. I regularly survey the treatment of bullying in books and audio resources.

Diversity in Youth Literature interests me as a resource for library collection development. I see value in materials that speak directly to the experience of under-represented groups and this book offers both context and guidelines to select “the best in diversity literature.”

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Patterns to yarn-bomb a bicycle

Yarnbombed bicycle seat by Emma Wilkinson
Yarn-bombed bicycle seat by Emma Wilkinson on Ravelry
It seemed natural to share a link to six patterns to yarn-bomb a bicycle on The Web-sters Facebook page. The Ashland, Oregon yarn retailer is planning a yarn-bombed bicycle entry in the Fourth-of-July parade.

The patterns were curated by “Ashley” at Lion Brand Yarn. They include a knit bike seat cover in tweed stripes from Lion Brand Yarn, a crochet bike seat cover by Emma Wilkinson, a lace top-tube protector by Christopher Lizama, a knit and crochet bike lock pattern from Tangle Was Here, I ♥ My Bike Lock cozy by The Knit Cafe Toronto and Bicycle U Lock Cover Recipe by Vanessa Tea Designs.

Important dates for the local project include May 22, when yarn bomb kits are available. The participation sign-up deadline is June 17 and a group bike decorating is planned from 4 to 6 p.m. July 2 in Lithia Park.

‘Sharrow’ design: repurposed shirts

"Sharrow" T-shirt assembled from multiple garments

My latest upcycling project has a tie-in to goRogueValley.org’s Go by Bike Week. I found an Ashland Food Co-op sack filled with T-shirts at my apartment complex giveaway box. The shirts have been assembled into one garment with a “Sharrow” shared-roadway design. The beautiful model is Miss Starfire.

Sharrow template
Sharrow template

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Blog updates via MailChimp

I am syndicating my blog with the MailChimp email marketing service.



Recipients will receive an email only when new content is posted to my blog.

Big Library Read: Michael Malone’s The Four Corners of the Sky

In eReader: "The Four Corners of the Sky" by Michael Malone
Image source: OverDrive
More than 7,500 participating libraries have partnered with OverDrive to allow patrons to simultaneously read Michael Malone’s The Four Corners of the Sky (Sourcebooks, 2010).

The eBook can be accessed in OverDrive Read, Kindle and EPUB formats through participating partner libraries.

During the Big Library Read pilot program, May 15 through June 1, the eBook will be available for simultaneous use. After June 1, the eBook will be available through the one copy/one user lending model.

I encourage those readers who prefer the tactile book experience to check their library catalogs. I found four copies of Malone’s book available through Jackson County Library Services (held and checked out as of this writing).

According to OverDrive, the Big Library Read is “a pilot program in which libraries worldwide offer a single eBook to their patrons. In addition to creating a global ‘library book club,’ Big Library Read is designed to demonstrate the positive exposure and sales influence library eBook catalogs provide to authors and publishers. It will spotlight one title for a set time period for library patrons around the world to read simultaneously.”

This library supporter appreciates the shared experience of reading a book in common; my most recent “common read” was Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s The Language of Flowers, the 2013 selection of Cuesta College where I take distance-ed classes.

During the Big Library Read campaign, OverDrive will post discussion questions on Facebook and Twitter. “In addition, there will be a worldwide conversation using the hashtag #BigLibraryRead.”

Announcing the rollout of the Big Library Read on its Digital Library Blog, OverDrive encouraged libraries that have not yet signed up to contact their account specialist.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday cat blogging: amigurumi Starfire

Crocheted black-cat doorstop from Lion Brand Yarn
Lion Brand Yarn
Modify one detail (the white tip on its tail) and this amigurumi cat doorstop could be my beautiful black cat Starfire. I bookmarked it this week among my favorite patterns on the Lion Brand Yarns website.

The free crochet pattern has a skill level rated Easy. It requires a size G-6 (4 mm) crochet hook and one skein each of two colors of worsted-weight yarn plus additional materials. The sample project was created with Vanna’s Choice acrylic yarn.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Consumer choices carry environmental weight

The message of two videos viewed this week for my women’s health class is that consumer decisions carry weight. The resulting impacts are entirely up to us.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Infographic: Value of Internet access at libraries


This infographic illustrates why Internet access in libraries is worth critical funding. According to Hyperakt.com, more than 99 percent of U.S. libraries offer free internet, “a service so popular that nearly one in every three Americans take advantage of it.”

This relates to my own experience on the wrong side of the digital divide: my earliest access to the Internet was through terminals at Sonoma State University library.

More recently, we used public computers at the Ashland Library to download and print the rental application for our apartment. Our relocation to Ashland can directly be credited to Jackson County Library Services offering public access to the Internet.

Social sharing credit goes to Sonoma County Library

Oregonians for better or worse

There is nothing to return to in California now. Surrendering title to our car and our California driver’s licenses was essentially renouncing citizenship. For better or worse, we can only rely on what we make for ourselves in Oregon.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Nancy Dowd analyzes libraries’ social media success

Screen-capture of Facebook post by Lawrence Public Library, a cat reaching for shelves of books, The caption reads: "This guy is way excited about the library book sale! (Happy Caturday!)
Successful at engagement:
“Happy Caturday” post
from Lawrence Public Library
For Library Journal, Nancy Dowd writes an informative piece about libraries’ use of social media.

The successful library, according to Dowd, sets goals and creates strategies to communicate its brand, connect to services and drive people to the library and its website. The strategies include mechanisms to measure the library’s success.

“If you don’t know where you’re going or what you want to achieve, it’s a pretty good assumption that you won’t know when you get there.”

Dowd showcases approaches taken by libraries that use social media successfully.

Winning strategies include hyper-local focus, posts with visual appeal, “fun stuff” mixed with “real” content and issuing challenges to followers. And these strategies seem readily applicable for a variety of industries.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

‘Captive portals’ for filter-free Internet

Book cover: "Without a Net: Librarians Bridging the Digital Divide" by Jessamyn C. West
To filter or otherwise when allowing access to the Internet on library-owned computers?

During an assignment last semester for my Internet ethics class, I suggested ID barcode “flagging” that would require booking a juvenile whose parents had requested it only at those computers with filtered access to the Internet.

Libraries that accept federal funding are required to install filters under terms of the Children’s Internet Protection Act. In posting my class response, I was trying to envision a scenario in which only those children whose parents wanted restrictions placed on their access to the Internet would be affected by computer filtering.

Adult patrons and children whose parents saw no need for such restrictions could use full-access computers.

Jessamyn C. West suggests, in Librarians Without a Net (Libraries Unlimited, 2011), a similar and simpler concept for navigating library filters: the “captive portal” that Internet users click through before getting online:
“Larger libraries such as Boston Public Library use this method to allow patrons to choose whether they would like their Internet access filtered or unfiltered. When a patron first connects to the BPL’s wireless network, they arrive at a page that asks them if they want filtered access, which is available to anyone, or unfiltered access which is available to authenticated adult card holders. This sort of thing can be set up using freely available software and is worth building in to any library system that offers free wireless.”
The beauty of her solution, like that of account flagging, is that verified adult users would be spared the inconvenience of what I believe is an ineffective strategy.

From our course reading in Cyberethics: Morality and Law in Cyberspace by Richard Spinello (July 2010) we learned that filters often block legitimate information and manufacturers fail to disclose which sites their filters will block.

A company could impose a political ideology through the application of its filters, negating the ability to build library collections based on objective national standards. If libraries must have filters, then let their impact be limited to those children whose parents want restrictions placed on their Internet use.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sharrow needlework grid via Microrevolt.org


In honor of Go by Bike Week, via the knitPro web app from Microrevolt.org, here is the Sharrow, the shared-roadway bicycle marking, in a grid suitable for needlepoint, knitting or crochet. Credit for the original image goes to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Autism reporting needs better sources

Shannon Des Roches Rosa, writing at BlogHer.com about autism in the media, urges journalists to “work harder, find better sources, seek out fairer messages, and help the rest of society learn to better accept and understand autistic people.”

As she aptly states,
“Would you want someone patronizing you in front of the entire world, or writing headlines about how awful your life is and how much you suck? Well, autistic people don’t want that either, and neither do autism families -- yet those are the autism stories most frequently in the news.”
This former journalist, diagnosed in adulthood, appreciates Rosa’s stance. When I worked for a California newspaper, I placed personal emphasis upon accurate, respectful portrayals of people with disabilities. I continue to advocate greater representation by people with disabilities in the field of journalism.

What I appreciate most about Rosa’s essay is that she goes beyond merely complaining about bad sources and misinformation in the media. Instead she has curated an impressive list of authoritative, credible sources.

Adult autistics, autistic parents and neurotypical parents of autistic children, autism professionals, autism science, research and pseudoscience debunking; journalists and autism communities are included in her list.

(Aspiring library professional that I am, I salute effective curating. I also advocate greater diversity among library professionals.)

 With their position of power, journalists have a responsibility to portray autistic people accurately. My thanks to Rosa for her efforts toward advancing this aim.

Oregon reps get Storify transcript of Butte County library ‘likes’

My elected representatives in Oregon (or at least the administrators of their Twitter accounts) now know what I like about libraries, using the library system in Butte County, Calif. as an example.

I curated the list in response to a question posed on social media by Butte County journalist Roger Aylworth. Because he was asking about Butte County government, I used Butte County links to illustrate my points.

But everything on the list is equally applicable at libraries across Oregon and the United States. And it seemed worthwhile to share the Storify transcript for National Library Legislative Day.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Authors’ books get ‘Coverflip’ treatment

Gender-flipped book cover: "Freedom" by "Jane" Franzen
Image credit: Book Revels
Similar to the Hawkeye Initiative’s commentary upon women in superhero comics: A Huffington Post slideshow features book covers with the author’s gender and the target audience’s gender flipped.

The idea originated with author Maureen Johnson who stated on Twitter, “I do wish I had a dime for every email I get that says, ‘Please put a non-girly cover on your book so I can read it. - signed, A Guy’”

As  Johnson elaborated at Huffington Post:
“This idea that there are ‘girl books’ and ‘boy books’ and ‘chick lit’ and ‘whatever is the guy equivalent of chick lit’ gives credit to absolutely no one, especially not the boys who will happily read stories by women, about women. As a lover of books and someone who supports readers and writers of both sexes, I would love a world in which books are freed from some of these constraints. ...
“Which is why yesterday, I proposed a little experiment on Twitter. I asked people to take a well-known book, then to imagine the author of that book was of the opposite gender, or was genderqueer, and imagine what that cover might look like.”
Johnson said she received “hundreds of replies within 24 hours.”

Social sharing credit goes to Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

NPR writer: Superheroes are too popular

Writing for NPR.org, commentator Adam Frank resents the “dominance of comic books in mainstream movie culture;” for him, science-fiction or fantasy fandom has become too easy:
“Part of the joy of being a dork used to be the determined loneliness of one’s science fiction/comic/fantasy compulsions. Back in the day there were only a few other dorks who knew, really knew, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy. You could drop a Hari Seldon reference and get a few sly smiles from your fellow denizen’s of the sci-fi bookstore. 
“You had to work for your dorky cred, poring over back issues of The X-Men and Captain America to get the whole story. Now all it takes is one Google search and the history of Emma Frost rolls out for you like a bunch of oranges from a broken shopping bag.”
My reaction is one of appalled fascination at seeing the embodiment of “microagression” as dissected by Dr. Andrea Letamendi on MarySue.com.

Microagressions reinforce stereotypes about who belongs and who does not. Letamendi discussed microagression against women in fandom and here’s Frank directing microagression against, well, everyone who doesn’t meet his standards.

I argued earlier in this blog that Letamendi’s essay is a worthwhile read for its thoughtful perspective. And for what it’s worth, Frank demonstrates through his writing that microagression exists: he is making a pretty clear statement about who belongs in fandom and who does not.

As before, I believe there is too much exclusion in the world; real geeks shouldn’t practice it. Fandom should be an inclusive haven; it should not be an exclusive club.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Virtual Library Legislative Day: Call, email or tweet

Banner logo for Virtual Library Legislative Day

For library advocates who are unable to travel to Washington, D.C. United for Libraries is hosting “Virtual Library Legislative Day.” Library supporters can call or email their elected officials on May 8 or any time during the week of May 6 to 10. Supporters can also send a message through Twitter to advocate libraries’ role in teen education.

Social media in event planning: Infographic


Via the Nonprofit Quarterly, here is an infographic about social media’s impact on event planning. Compiled by Eventility, the infographic offers suggestions about using social media within four key stages of an event.

Elizabeth Laukea, a trend research specialist at WorkForce Central, shared this infographic in the WebJunction subgroup, Social Media in Libraries, on LinkedIn.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Courtney Young elected 2014-2015 ALA president

Mug shot: Courtney Louise Young
Courtney Louise Young
I’m glad to learn the results of the election for 2014-2015 American Library Association president.

In her candidate’s statement in the March/April 2013 American Libraries, Courtney Louise Young seemed personable and accessible. I could relate to Young’s early memories from the San Antonio Public Library summer reading program. Like Young, libraries have always been a major part of my life.

The president has a column in each issue of American Libraries and I’m looking forward to reading more of her work.

Young is head librarian at Penn State Greater Allegheny. According to Laurie Borman for American Libraries: Inside Scoop, Young received 5,391 votes in the ALA election. Her competitor, Barbara Froling Immroth, professor at the University Texas at Austin School of Information, received 5,029 votes.

I honor the dedication of both candidates.

Borman noted that Young will become president-elect at the close of the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. She will assume the ALA presidency at the close of the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

Handmade pouches work great for bulk dry goods

Bulk-dry good sacks constructed from bandanas

At the Ashland Food Co-op, my handmade pouches work great for purchasing bulk dry goods. I got the idea from unbleached muslin sacks that are sold at the co-op.

I repurposed these sacks from bandannas and crocheted drawstrings from newspaper-bundling twine. Each pouch has the tare weight embroidered on it.

Combine these handmade dry-goods pouches with handmade grocery sacks and our shopping trips at the co-op are occasions for living the value of sustainability.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

California library images inspire knitted cap in Berlin

Man wearing white-on-gray knitted snowflake pattern hat
Image credit: Calimaq Silex on Wordpress.com
At Yarn Bombing @ Your Library, Honorio Penad├ęs shares the link to a fascinating read by Calimaq Silex about the use of public domain images in serendipitous, artistic ways that bridge a global community: “By the grace of digital, so that’s how snowflakes illustrating a book of 1863 digitized by a library in California found themselves on an Open Source cap made in Berlin with a knitting machine hacked!” (as translated by my web browser from the original French). Could a library’s public source image inspire your next yarn bombing art?

Ashland, Oregon: My resume is on Slideshare


Ashland and Medford employers: You can view my resume at Slideshare.net. You can also view presentations, references and testimonials at www.slideshare.net/cynthiaparkhill.

Author’s note: This resume was updated in January 2015.

‘Weeding: The Basics and Beyond’

An ALA Booklist Webinar, originally transmitted April 16, addresses “Weeding: The Basics and Beyond.”

According to Rebecca Vnuk, reference and collection management editor with ALA Booklist, weeding is a big part of library collection development. Purging outdated materials makes room on the shelves for timely, up-to-date material.

(This volunteer shelver doesn’t take space for granted, having worked with a collection that had outgrown its library.)

Vnuk cites the acronym MUSTIE among criteria for weeding materials. MUSTIE comes from the C.R.E.W. weeding manual available from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. According to MUSTIE criteria, is the book:

  • Misleading (factually inaccurate)?
  • Ugly (beyond mending or rebinding)?
  • Superceded (by new edition or better book)?
  • Trivial (of no discernible literary or scientific merit)?
  • Irrelevant (to needs and interests of library community?)
  • Elsewhere (can the book be easily obtained from another library)?

A key emphasis of the presentation was on CollectionHQ, which offers “Evidence Based Stock Management” of library collections. Brendan Pearce, business development manager for CollectionHQ, presented an overview.

Miriam Tuliao, assistant director, branch development collection, with the New York Public Library; and Mary Cohen, technical services department head with the Palos Verdes Library District; then shared their experiences implementing CollectionHQ: creating action plans to identify items for transfer and removal.

My transcript of the ALA Booklist webinar was curated with Storify.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

National Library Legislative Day: May 7 to 8

From May 7 to 8 in the United States, library supporters will observe the 39th annual National Library Legislative Day. The American Library Association has released briefs on policies, legislation and issues affecting libraries to assist supporters to discuss library issues with their members of Congress.

Advocates can learn about the issues through a series of videos prepared by the ALA Washington Office. Issue briefs are also available for download as PDFs. Those of us who won’t travel to Washington, D.C. can consider reaching out to our elected U.S. officials through social media or calling in-district offices.

Autism research paid for this book

Book cover: Yarn Bombing by Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain
For volunteering as a subject in an online research study of adults on the autism spectrum, I earned an Amazon.com gift card and used it to treat myself to Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti by Mandy Moore and Leann Prain (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2009). I considered the book an essential addition to my collection, as founder and curator of Yarn Bombing @ Your Library. Advancing autism research was definitely a win-win in this case.