Sunday, April 30, 2006

Interesting in Sunday's Washington Post:

The Web's Million-Dollar Typos, about why you might see adds if you mistype your destination in your web browser's address box. Is it trademark infringement, good business, or just tacky? You make the call.

One of the things I do at work is decide if I should add gift books to our collection or put them out for the Friends' Book Sale. Just this week, I decided to give a couple of Harlequins from a series called something like "inspirational suspense." No kidding, cliff-hangers for Christians was the gist of the series name. More on that type of specialization, here.

Night Out

Most of my Richmond girlfriends remain proud of the fact that they don't like to or have time to read blogs. That's all good. Here's a shout out to any that drift over, anyway: Great campfire party for Elaine Friday! The Hostess has one of those big metal bowls for making wood fires on a patio or back lawn that I always though were a little dopey. Actually, it's quite awesome to sit in the yard with comfy chairs, adult food and drink and good friends (and access to Hostess's pretty bathroom).

Friday, April 21, 2006

Second Hand

At a Goodwill in the West End: that odd feeling that there was something else there with my name on it; I left with only a copy of Hoot, for work. The clerk was very perky for a rainy morning.

At Chop Suey Books: a Library patron who recognized me and said he remembered how helpful I was; a tempting mid-century Peterson's birdbook, the one with the plates annoyingly separate from the text; the black-and-white editions of Bone; a gift for my sweetie; and the 4-in-1 Hitchhikers series so I can toss my dissolving paperbacks (and, it turns out, gain about .75 inch space on the bookshelf!). The owner rang me up.

At the Fan Thrift: As I listened to two shoppers complain about how They are marking everything at twice what they used to, I spotted the yellow and green Pyrex mixing bowls, marked with ridiculously low prices. Also, I chatted with my hairdresser. The clerk was not especially perky, but she was very, very efficient.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Media Scanning

This month's American Libraries has some good articles:

A report on an ALA-funded survey on library service came up with heartwarming numbers such as:
* 85% people surveyed agreed that public libraries need more funding
* 92% believe libraries will be needed in the future

It's the issue with award-winning new and renovated libraries. I hear that our new branch (due to open in October?) has some vibrant colors, as do many of this year'?s winners . . . will we see ourselves on the list next year??

There's a great sidebar on merchandising, which we do well at my branch. One technique that we haven't tried, but could, is to have a display table front and center, a few feet from the door. I don't like the crowded feeling of Barnes & Nobel where you do walk right into such tables, but they do seem to make money. Another perennial hint is to stop labeling the ends of shelves "000 - 152" and put instead "Computers" and "Philosophy." Our ranges are pretty long, so lots of topics fit on one row of bookshelves. Our labels have the numbers, then the words. Probably, the words could be in boldface to make them stand out better. As ever, the world is made of sign readers and non-sign readers, though, and one must remember that. At the B&N a couple of weeks ago, I studied the way Literature was signed: the sign perched on top of each range said "Literature / Fiction" and each shelf had a discrete sticker that said something like "alphabetical by author." Just as I was noting this and thinking, Great job, I overheard two fashionable young women one row over. One said to the other, "I don't get what order these are in? By, like, author?" She had a point: Blockbuster arranges by title (that's how we arrange our children's videos and DVD's at my branch).

And finally, I enjoyed an article that moves us from that oh-so-last-century question of "?What if your library looked like a bookstore?"? (Steve Coffman, American Libraries, March 1998) to "What can your library learn from a health club?"? After all, people pay their gym 50 bucks or so because they do want someplace to go, someplace with some equipment that's better than theirs, and someplace with friendly people who will help. So I guess we can reinvent ourselves as Personal Information Trainers. . . . Or, we could install a locker room and solve the problem of patrons who don'?t have much access to showers. . . .

Muzake Muzac at Ukrop's: "Dancing with Myself"; "Don't Be Cruel"
Capital City weather: flippin freezing and rainy yesterday (I packed away my winter clothing on Saturday); sunny this morning and a promise of 60s
On the Boulevard: no more 1970s art museum addition

Monday, April 17, 2006

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Good link: Graphic Novels for Librarians.

Good read: Gregory Maguire, Wicked.

Good weather: sunny, upper 70s

Monday, April 10, 2006

What's That Smell?

Did I ever tell you about the body spray incident at B Middle School? As my days subbing dwindled, I got a gig filling in for a 6th grade art teacher. One block, we had a bout of 21st century highjinx. (Recall for a moment the highjinx of yore: "Let's all drop our textbooks on the floor at 10:25!" or "Every 5 minutes, someone get up to sharpen your pencil!") At B.M.S., some boys sprayed into the air one of those body sprays they're selling these days to boys aged 13 to 16, the ones with ads that promise the boys they will attract hot 20-year old women with this product. This had happened to me ar R Middle before, so I went with the Ignore It strategy. But one creative little SOB at B added to it, "Augh! That stink has triggered my asthma! Ugh! Ugh! Send me to the clinic!"

This item (thanks, CNB) on student fragrances from the Boston Globe focuses on the popularity of such products, and the fact that scents do genuinely make some people ill. All good stuff, but what of fragrance as a tool of distraction?? C reports that the young men at her D.C. high school are drenched in the stuff.

For those of you into photography, art, or odd things, I offer CNB's pal and the camera truck. Gee, C, maybe it's time you got your own blog!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Happy National Library Week! Celebrate in my library system by taking our How Well Do you Know Your Library quiz. You'll get free books from our Friends of the Library book sale, and you'll be entered in a drawing for a Barnes & Noble gift certificate.

Or, go to the Big Book Sale at Capital City's Main Library. You can go Friday, Saturday or Monday; hours, here.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Happy National Poetry Month!

This poem called Marginalia makes me smile because it reminds me of the way I read and made notes in the margins in my college days.

The Writer's Almanac is a good source for a week-daily poem, if you need a quick fix.

Capital City weather
: sunny and 80s on the back porch : )
Read: The Dragon's Pearl by Julie Lawson, and so thinking about the difference between dragons in the East and West