Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Conference in Alberta

I was at Netspeed in Calgary, Alberta last week. This was my first time to Netspeed. Unfortunately I forgot my camera and didn't get any pictures.

The focus was on technology in libraries. I learnt some new lingo like "Vook" which means video book and "digi-novels" which means digitized books. Came back with interesting thoughts and ideas to try and implement here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

In Light of Swine Flu or H1N1

Everyone here is a bit anxious about this cold season because of this flu. Our City is going to great lenghts to create pandemic alerts, install hand sensitizers in all the popular places, offering advise on washing hands often, creating pamphlets on the subject, etc. They also said there should be a six-feet distance between someone who is sick and coughing and sneezing.

All weekend I worked, we had this guy in the library with a hacking cough, lots of sneezing, sniffling, and was overall unclean as well. Almost all of us had to help him at one time or another and we absolutely had no way of staying six feet away from him. He was using computers and prints which we also had to touch at one point or another. By the end of the weekend there were 3 of us feeling unwell but atleast two of us are here back at work on Monday.

All this rambling has a question. What are other libraries doing in these situations? Has anyone refused service to patrons due to their illness symptoms? I uphold the laws of good customer services at my library but am worried I am going to be sick soon.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ten Commandments for Librarians - not in any particular order

I was thinking of listing Ten Commandments for librarians. I had to pause for a while but thanks to comments from friends and fellow bloggers I am upto 10 now.

  1. Acquire: as in collect for your library
  2. Weed: can't stress how important this is if you want to acquire new items
  3. Read: Of course you are supposed to have read every book in the world - but kidding aside read, read, read... it can be anything.
  4. Lead: be a leader and come up with innovative ideas - have a vision
  5. Manage: Know when to pull the reigns - budgeting, staffing, etc
  6. Update or be up to date: in terms of what is happening in the technology world, library world or just world in general
  7. Learn: learn how users learn, learn new technology, so you can be a better teacher
  8. Teach: as in teach computer classes, catalog search, database search, etc
  9. Synthesize: anything you read, learn or update yourself with - use it. Example: if you learn of a new computer program or social networking site, see how you can use it to your library's advantage
  10. Listen: this is a very important skill. Without listening we don't understand the question and we cannot have a reference interview.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

More personal favours

Twice last night I was asked by patrons if I would let them use my computer or my email. There are about 25 computers they can use in the library.

The first case was a lady who wanted to send something to her email from the web and then print it (don't ask me why). Alas, she forgot her mail password. So she wanted me to sit with her, send this stuff to my email and allow her to print it from there. Common! I should mention I printed it off the web for her.

The second case was a young man who couldn't download Skype on our computers. We don't allow downloads. So he wanted me to download it on my computer so he could quickly talk to someone!

Would you walk into an office building (say you are in the building for a reason) and ask the staff there to use their computer? Given we are a public service and not just some office building - still, isn't there a limit as to what can be expected of us.

If you are new here you should read my other entries on what people ask at the library.