Friday morning it was lovely – sun shining, most of the snow melted, and a crisp feel in the air. When I went to work I noticed that part of the ice on the retention pond behind the library had melted, too, and there were ducks hanging out at the pond.

ducks in the pond behind the library

Some of them were hanging out on the ice, stretching their wings in the sun. Others were bobbing in the water, no doubt looking for treats that have been hidden under the ice for months. This picture really doesn’t do it justice.


on display

One of the librarians in the adult department at my library asked me recently if she could borrow some of my knitted items for a display she wanted to create. I was totally flattered that she asked me, and I have to say that the display turned out beautifully! My KOs look so much more elegant displayed so nicely.

Deb made an awesome display out of things I've knitted

Deb made an awesome display out of things I've knitted

Deb made an awesome display out of things I've knitted

I’m just so pleased to have my knitting featured like this. Thanks, Deb!

More photos at Flickr.


the future of BBYA

When I arrived at ALA Annual this year, I had no idea that there would be such controversy about one of the time-honored traditions most valued by many of my closest colleagues: Best Books for Young Adults.

The YALSA Board had on their agenda an action item (later changed to a discussion item) proposal to sunset the BBYA committee. There was a lot of talk about what was happening, and a lot of misinformation by word of mouth and online (see this YALSA post and comments for more information). The YALSA Board rearranged their agenda so that most people would be free to come to the meeting at which they would have this discussion, and allowed for concerned YALSA members to make public comment. I live-tweeted it for a few folks who had asked me to let them know what was happening since they could not attend (read this from bottom to top for chronological order):

  • Debraski thanks all for comments and respectful discussion #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:55 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • ALAN uses bbya a lot! #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:54 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Member Walter Mayes: ducation of members is key – all other factors will fall into place #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:53 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Member Kim Paone (sp?): keep the teens in mind when deciding #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:51 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Member Cindy Dobrez: hope members can be part of process of figuring thisout #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:50 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Member Mik (sp?): want to hear more comments from teens #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:49 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Member Rolley (sp?): problem is reading load, lots of specific ideas #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:48 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Observation: few ppl are offering solutions #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:47 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Member Lynn Rutan: lots of solutions, need 2 figure out wht the problem rlly is. Wrong ppl 4 committee? 2 many books? #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:46 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Member Joni Bodart: divide list between teens and tweens #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:44 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Comments limited to 1 minute due to time constraints #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:43 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Member Judy Nelson: question of process not authenticity #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:42 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Silverman: if we can cut number of. Books, other issues may disappear #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:41 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Silverman: require observation of bbya before coming on committee #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:41 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Member Karyn Silverman: most critical issue is education of bbya members #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:40 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Debraski: Readers Choice List totally separate from this discussion #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:39 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Member Lisa Von Drasek: if we rely on someone else, we lose authority #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:38 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Member Patti Campbell: nf to Seibert, adult to Alex #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:35 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Saxton: complicate nomination process to reduce# of books #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:35 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Member Beth Saxton: use bbya for training tool for teen libns, to educate teachers, to reassure parents #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:33 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Hayes: bbya provides support for challenges #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:32 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Hayes, current chair of bbya: need to broaden field comments, 3 committees too much for any 1 yalsa member #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:31 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Little Brown publisher: pubs look to the list for the little book that could, to advocate for books #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:29 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Member idea: send task force to all selection committees to educate #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:28 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Member Nick Buron – tweak and keep #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:27 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Observers limited to 2 minutes here, wiki comments welcome #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:25 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Observers lining up to comment #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:24 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Sense of frustration in the room that some observers didn’t read publically available board docs #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:23 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Gorman: board is looking for member ideas for solutions, not just love for bbya #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:22 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Board has heard concerns about bbya for years #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:20 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Debraski: has bbya become so beloved that we’re missing opportunity to improve? #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:20 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Braun: how do we balance what ppl love with what new members want? #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:19 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Braun urges thought about moving forward, how yalsa sees ourselves vs how external world sees it #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:18 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Hastler looking for way to respond to concerns about workload, conference attendance #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:16 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Rutherford and Schofer both leaning toward retaining bbya with changes #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:15 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Rutherford looks for how to keep bbya fandom while keeping it lithe useful tool #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:14 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Board member Rutherford notes importance of bbya’s fandom – no other committees have that as yet #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:14 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Board member Welch thanks members observing, notes board is here as conduit #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:12 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Battisti also notes that yalsa is known for bbya #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:11 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Battisti also notes that discussion is also training ground and developmental benefit for comm members #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:10 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Battisti concerned about some statements in rationale, esp re: usefulness #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:09 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Board member Michele Gorman notes importance of education aspect #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:06 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Board members taking turns stating opinions first #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:05 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • #bbya changed to discussion item on agenda (was action item) #ala2009 #yalsa #bbya12:05 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • Discussion starting by #yalsa board on #bbya #ala200912:03 PM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • The #yalsa board is waiting until 11 to discuss #bbya so you have <10 minutes to get here. Room to sit on the floor or stand #ala200911:54 AM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • People trickling in to #yalsa board meeting. Not discussing #bbya yet #ala200911:43 AM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • At the #yalsa board meeting to find out the real story on #bbya controversy #ala200911:26 AM Jul 13th from UberTwitter
  • (my apologies to those folks whose names I misspelled or got wrong)

    My personal feeling about what will happen is this: I think that BBYA will continue to exist but with some changes. The suggestions I heard that make most sense to me:

    • Limit the potential nominations by leaving adult books to Alex, graphic novels to Great Graphic Novels, and non-fiction to the new YALSA Non-fiction Award.
    • Increase the education/awareness of commitment for BBYA committee members. I support the concept of requiring a potential committee member to attend a year’s worth of meetings as an observer before even being put on the list of potential appointees (e.g. make 1 year of observation a pre-requisite to volunteering for the committee).

    Stay tuned for more updates on what happens next!


    ALA 2009 – Millennials Rising: Programming and Collections for the Next Generation of Library Users

    Millennials Rising was one of the most valuable sessions I attended at this year’s ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Presented by Mandy McGee, Monica Harris, and Jennifer Czajka of the Oak Park Public Library, this program started with a presentation that included a ton of really helpful statistics, none of which I was quick enough to get down (perhaps they’ll post the presentation online?).

    These three standout librarians are doing truly innovative and interesting programming that has caught the eye of their intended audience and has become hugely successful in their community. They talked about how we think about what we do in libraries – creating relevant programs doesn’t have to be difficult. You need to have an open mind and think creatively. For instance, public libraries are almost entirely desktop-PC-based. If people become more comfortable with laptops, how will our libraries respond? We’re starting to respond to people”s love of and reliance on mobile phones, but just starting.  (What does your library catalog look like on your mobile device?)

    Libraries have created solid programming and space for teens – why just as they start to vote in our referendums do we stop providing them preogramming or provide a space that suits them? The most important thing to the folks OPPL serves is to continue to build relationships with each other and with the library staff they’ve come to know and trust.

    The successful programming for twenties and thirties at OPPL started with a book group called Genre X, a play on the Gen X generation, but even before that, the staff did research and a lot of pre-planning. They first identified a demographic. When they looked at the distribution of residents’ ages (using census data), they saw a big audience they weren’t serving in terms of programming or space. They identified a need and then brainstormed to figure out what that audience might want from the library.

    Their first step was to create Genre X: an unusual take on the traditional library book discussion. Their second step was to develop online presence to promote Genre X and start to build a community. When they thought about what this demographic wanted, they decided to bring the book club to them – at the bar. By meeting them where they are already, the library took an uncommon leap which helped participants automatically feel more comfortable (many often go to the bar after coming home from work anyway, the bar is louder and has drinks, etc). This demographic is busy, with lots of other social obligations. Meeting at the bar means they can make time for the library, and it also carries library exposure to where this demographic already spends time. The group started small and built a following.

    Genre X also uses a GoodReads book group for marketing, program notification, discussion, and so on. Lots of people from elsewhere participate through GoodReads.

    After the book group was established, they expanded Genre X programming beyond the book club with such programs as Hi-Lo Tech (board games in one room, Wii open play in another, DJs in the middle), a Scrabble tournament, and Hop On Pop (pub quiz style trivia – NOTE: the staff solicited old trophies from coworkers and re-purposed them into some mega fabulous prizes).

    So what have they learned? Themes or gimmicks for the book discussion were not successful or appealing to their audience. The initial investment in staff time for many of these programs is significant, but subsequent instances don’t require nearly as much. Other staff (other than those regularly assigned to do programming) have talents you may be able to use (the DJs at Hi-Lo Tech were staff members who volunteered their time).

    Concluding this session was a list of 40 ideas for programs that might appeal to twenties and thirties (of course, talk to people in your community! Interests vary):

    • Resume help
    • Entry-level job fair
    • Mock interview workshop
    • Financial literacy wksp
    • Health care support and info
    • Intro to wedding planning
    • Buying your first home wksp
    • Photoshop class
    • Podcasting class
    • E-business classes
    • Building a blog
    • Be your own boss
    • DIY business
    • Interior design for small spaces
    • Sustainability
    • Organic gardening
    • Exploring ink: history of tattoo
    • Getting to know graffiti
    • Cooking classes
    • Nutrition
    • Menu planning
    • Smart shopping
    • Get crafty
    • Book swap
    • NaNoWriMo meetup
    • Real life/secondlife meetup
    • Grqphic design show’n’tell
    • Home cure/conquer clutter meetup
    • Bring in an author they love
    • Movie and TV screenings
    • Spoken word
    • Diary reading
    • Speed dating in the stacks
    • Board game night
    • Prom/dance party in the stacks
    • Live band karaoke
    • Sponsor a scavenger hunt
    • Host a walking tour of your community
    • Rock Band/Guitar Hero world tour tourney
    • Poker/texas hold ’em tourney
    • Wimbeldon toruney
    • Bingo – bad movie bingo (get online)
    • Spelling Bee
    • Project Runway style sewing competition
    • Top chef competition
    • Poster design competition
    • Bibs/playlist contest

    As I said, this program was awesome. I am so inspired to create some really cool programs for an audience we don’t typically see library events (outside of those attending children’s programs with their kids). Ever since we moved to Canton, I’ve been wishing for more things where I myself can connect with other people my age, and I think the library could be the catalyst to make that happen.

    You can read more about this program on the PLA Blog.


    library users/consumers – Nate Hill

    Make Your Own Book Bag at the Woodside Library

    From the brilliant mind of Nate Hill comes another clever big-picture connection: as we continue to transition to a digital (rather than physical) world, libraries must change how we measure success. It’s no longer enough to think just of circulation statistics. Instead, we need to determine a hybrid, “a combination of circulations stats, door count, wireless usage stats, web traffic stats, and presence in the social graph.” This will give us a better idea of how we’re truly serving our communities.

    I think the concept of libraries being the connection between people and creativity is absolutely exciting. I realize that we’ve done this for years by making books available, but the opportunities social media offer put libraries in a unique place to provide access to the tools people need to participate. Awesomeness!

    image: Make Your Own Book Bag at the Woodside Library by San Mateo County Library

    Dewey Me

    Anne Heathen’s Dewey Decimal Section:

    891 East Indo-European & Celtic literatures

    Anne Heathen = 14458510854 = 144+585+108+54 = 891

    800 Literature

    Literature, criticism, analysis of classic writing and mythology.

    What it says about you:
    You’re a global, worldly person who wants to make a big impact with your actions. You have a lot to tell people and you’re good at making unique observations about everyday experiences. You can notice and remember details that other people think aren’t important.

    Find your Dewey Decimal Section at