Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Whereabouts of ricklibrarian

The late hours of a Saturday night seem like a good time to briefly resurface. For the last several months, I have been focused on the writing of Real Lives Revealed for Libraries Unlimited, which will be a readers' advisory guide to biography. As a result, I have said very little here. It is not that I have not had anything to say, and I am sure that once the project is done, there will be a flood of postings, so stay tuned.

I attended a very interesting meeting of reference librarians at the Grande Prairie Public Library in Hazel Crest, Illinois a few weeks ago. Katherine Ingram of the Elmhurst Public Library and I demonstrated ENCORE, a catalog overlay for Innovative library catalogs. Actually, ENCORE might work for other vendor catalogs, too, but I do not remember. I was actually more interested in the general discussion afterwards in which reference librarians talked about putting more of their traditional reference materials into circulation, loaning their new magazines, and organizing collections without Dewey decimals. The librarians in the south suburbs of Chicago are trying hard to meet the needs of their clients.

At Thomas Ford we are rearranging to give our teens more area in a better space. To do that, we have heavily weeded our magazine and reference collections, moved some reference books to circulating, and moved the rest of the reference books into our tall shelving units instead of the low one that take prime library real estate. We are still committed to reference, and I think the books might actually get better use closer to the circulating books on shelves at eye level instead of below. We might move our desk, too. Stay tuned.

Another issue at my library is what to do about our microfilm. It is just sitting, again in valuable space. Also, our service representative has informed us that the supplies for our reader printer have been discontinued. He is urging us to buy a new unit, but I think it might just sit unused. We have enough supplies to last several years at current usage. He is right that we will have to do something sometime, but I think we can wait and see if new options appear.

I am surrounded by a lively group of librarians at Thomas Ford and it is fun going to work everyday right now, as we are changing our newsletter, our marketing, our programming, and our collections. I promise to comment more at a latter date.

In the meantime, I am learning more everyday about the fascinating genre of biography. I have written the second drafts of six of twelve chapters at this point. There are currently 605 book profiles that recommend three to seven other books in the guide. They began looking like the entries in Sarah Cords' Real Story, but she has expanded her book profiles for her upcoming guide to investigative narrative nonfiction, and I am trying to keep up. Anyone who enjoys reading should be able to find something new to read. I am eager to finish and see the book in print. So, very little blogging for awhile.

I will resurface soon.

P. S. I have a new Toyota Corolla which shows what gas mileage I am getting as I drive. I have been using it as biofeedback to control my speed and acceleration. I have improved from 29.5 mpg to 33.4 mpg. Watch out if you see me. I might be going slightly slower but I'm getting where I want to go.

1 comment:

Heather Summerhayes Cariou said...

Rick - I would love to submit my book to you for review. "Sixtyfive Roses: A Sister's Memoir" was a Globe and Mail Best 100 Books choice of 2006 when it was published in Canada. Now availalbe in the U.S., it's a Target Stores Recommended Read. Celine Dion has written the foreword. It's a story of love, loss and survival. Best to visit my website at for more information. Let me know if you're interested and I'll have my publisher send you a copy. Many thanks for your kind consideration.