Trying to reach younger clients of a library…

A library can be an exciting and fun place, even though one has to obey certain rules. However, there are some younger clients who do not see the importance of the library and use the library as  a means for escaping their parents’ scrutiny and to spend time with their friends. Such reasons may create an almost hostile and loud environment that some librarians would be afraid  to venture into.

In some instances their behaviour could simply be a cry for help or a lack of direction in their lives.Yet, as librarians we must not see those younger clients as unresolvable problems but seek the means to open up their minds to their potential and the possibilities around them.

One such method would be to have poetry reading or short story competitions to give them a chance to express themselves and in some instances resolve the issues that they may be experiencing such as a low self esteem. By choosing this avenue or any similar endeavor librarians could be the mentors to future professionals, innovators and even authors in the various communities.

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More on Wikis

In Alexa’s blog, see link  http://alexaslodge.wordpress.com/page/2/ she relates her feeling on Library Success:a best practices wiki and its use by librarians to diseminate information.  However, I am sure that many persons may have wanted to know more about the advantages and disadvatages of a wiki as much as I did. In doing research I sourced some advantages and disadvatages based on a study done at the University of Minnesota.

If any of you are interested in seeing more information on the assessment of various technologies including blogs, podcasting and others click on the link below:

Presentation to Classrooms of the Future: Crictical Reflections on Technology by Helen Mongan-Rallis and Terri Shannon

Advantages of wikis

1.Very easy to create and edit with no understanding of html or web page design

2.Efficient method of students sharing and organizing information

3.In addition to the text on the page, any type of digital file can be uploaded to and shared by linking to them from the wiki page

4.Can be open to the public for viewing and editing, or limited to specific individuals for viewing only or viewing and editing

5.Students can collaborate on assignments without having to meet synchronously

Disadvantages of wikis

1.The simple design of the wiki and the need to keep formatting simple limits the complexity of the documents that can be created in a wiki

2. Even though nothing can be destroyed in a wiki, the original formatting is lost, meaning that it can be time consuming to recreate what was deleted

3.It is not always obvious what has been altered (unless users each agree to use a different color font, but this requires coordination of effort that can stifle the ease of use of the wiki

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Technology in libraries… some points on how it can be done

In viewing the class blog, see link: http://trinidadlibraries.wordpress.com/   I noticed that there were a few comments about the appropriateness of using technology in the library especially in terms of having to train clients. Indeed technology should not be used simply because it is something new and interesting. However, in some instances by taking risks and exploring other options(such as online catalogs) libraries may find out that using a particular type of technology can improve their productivity and the number of clients visiting the library or using their services. (Which in most cases is a good thing)

Of course libraries may have to train some of their staff as well as some of their clients when employing new technological aspects within the library, since not everyone may be aware of them, but that is expected as part of the territory. One must not assume that persons are unable to learn anything new, simply because of their age, educational background etc., but if it is so libraries/librarians should be willing to lend a willing hand, since as disseminators of information, there are times when we are required to serve. Even if it is a difficult task to train users and staff, sometimes it is by overcoming difficulties we realize our strength.

I recently found an interesting video, that highlighted  changing trends in libraries, and how the use of technology should be approached particularly in academic libraries. However, if one applies what is said to their particular library situation in truth one may find a bit of inspiration…(See link below)

Building Academic Library 2.0 by Meredith Farkas

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Return materials to the library…or else

It was very interesting and funny to view a post on Alexa’s blog see link : http://alexaslodge.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/new-aggressive-book-return-policy/ about an agressive approach taken by a librarian (in a comic strip) to have a client return a book (she kidnapped her son!).

Although, such an idea may pop into our heads in a comical sense it is serious to note that in various libraries around the world many materials are lost (amounting to huge sums) due to persons not returning them. Thus, many libraries have been forced to take drastic actions such as issuing citations and warrants for arrests which may leave some clients dazzled and some library staff feeling apologetic. (See link below)

What Could Happen If You Break A Library’s Rules

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What it takes to be a paraprofessional/librarian in the library…

In reading the qualities of a paraprofessional from Joy’s blog, see the link: http://joy4evr.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/paraprofessionals-qualities/  it is good to note that she highlighted the fact that one should love their job.  By being passionate it may be easier to face some of the difficulties experienced on the job.

I have always noted the comments that people make when asked their reason for choosing to be  a librarian  or a paraprofessional. In most instances it is either because they love to read books, they are changing their career or they are looking for a retirement job. These are all good reasons but in truth being a paraprofessional in a library or even a librarian could be a highly unappreciated job.

One has to work harder than most would think possible plus in most instances, unless working in an ideal position they would not be highly paid. Also, if one chooses to be the library technician, librarians may regard one with a certain level of disdain due to one’s lack of higher qualifications (Master’s Degree). Yet, being a library paraprofessional or a librarian can indeed be a rewarding job if one truly understands its worth and knows that they could make a difference especially with many of the changes that have occurred through automation.

The link below highlights one library worker’s experience and some of the trends and difficulties noticed while on the job.

A Tale of Two Offices by Elaine Farragher

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What does a library or a librarian look like?

I have recently viewed the blogs of two of my classmates (Vidya and Nathalie) and there seems to be a need to challenge what persons see the library and a librarian as.

Nathalie did this by highlighting an excerpt about library jobs, while Vidya placed a linked to an interesting website called the daring librarian.

Firstly, the excerpt that Nathlie posted,  looked at working in a library as a viable career option and the various possibilities that could exist in the workplace.

The website linked on Vidya’s blog , on the other hand, looked at the appearance of a librarian, asking persons (librarians) to submit pictures of themselves and the way in which they wish to be represented to the world other than the usual stereotype (a very cool endeavor indeed).

Therefore, the fact remains that the majority of the world isn’t really clear on what libraries are like or even the persons who are in charge of them.

In many instances, when I have told perons that I am studying library science they have quipped “Yeah, you look like a librarian”, but just because I tend to wear my hear back and act like a mean school matron (only when necessary) does not mean that I resemble the various librarians across the world.

Thus, it is necessary for future librarians to always challenge persons to :-

  1. Think ouside their stereotypical, outdated box and see the diverse melange of librarians and libraries and
  2. Be wowed by the various possibilities.
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On a Blogroll (On blogs of classmates)

I have viewed a few of the blogs developed by my classmates (Joy, Vidya, Alexa, Nathalie) and I must say that each blog is well done and full of color. Good job! Alexa used one of my favorite colors which makes her blog very inviting. I do look forward to reading their posts.

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Libraries are important too (Case of Orange Public Libraries)

 

Why haven’t some people realised the importance of libraries? Libraries across the world serve a great number of people in terms of allowing them to do research and entertain themselves. It’s quite disheartening when library staff have to beg like dogs for required funds to support the needs of their users.

The Orange Public Libraries (Wheeler Memorial and Moore-Leland Library) presently are suffering just such a predicament since their funding has been cut by more than twenty five percent (25%) over the last two years. Although this may seem like a small amount this would mean that limited library hours and the availability of services.

People who are unable to afford personal computers, movies, books and other resources (for whatever reseaon such as: other priorities /the fact that their hobby might drain their savings/they don’t work) depend on the free services  offered by libraries. Not everyone is in a position to have these privilieges given to them outside of the library. If persons in authority were able to understand that, and at least care for other persons, libraries may be a cherished commodity for future users. Until that happens library professionals would just have to make the best of any situation and continue to plead their case.

The comic below, sourced from http://webhost.bridgew.edu/phayesboh/librarians.htm highlights tthe importance of libraries to provide a service.

In search of free music, novels and internet use Nancy comes face to face with the library 

 
 
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Mission not accomplished for Mission Read?

It would seem that although the staff at Mission Read have stated that one of their New Year’s resolutions is to post more regularly, nothing has been posted since December 27th and its now February 23rd.

Although it would seem that it’s customary for the posts to take some time to be posted, since the last post was in October, I would think that posting more regularly would not mean such a long time. Has nothing meaningful happened since December 27th? f so Mission Read should really evaluate their Mission and whether or not it has been accomplished.

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Changes at Uni

 
The newly purchased Nook side by side with a document from Uni’s library dated 1948
 

While persons were enjoying the festivities of Carnival, the librarian of the Uni library purchased a nook for its users. It would seem that library staff were amazed by the presence of having such a device while still being able to offer hard copy documents. How many times have persons argued that such devices would be the death of books in the print form? I hope other libraries can take a “page out of Uni’s book” and offer their users both the print books and the ebook devices, since persons all have different preferences. Personally, I love a good hard copy book, but who is to say that if someone gave me a nook or some such similar device that I would refuse it. It may so happen that I like it more than the books I own. Who knows only the future will tell. I hope persons enjoy their reading regardless of its format.

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