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Posts Tagged ‘Library Week’


So it’s library week.

We like everywhere else will be holding a number of events to mark the occasion.

Despite being a little skeptical at first, I think I sort of like the “was surprised” theme for this week. 🙂

so in keeping with the theme I had a question.

As librarians, what question/request has most surprised you?

There are so many, but one that sticks in my mind was recently being asked to write an update on Facebook for someone. It was the strangest conversation trying to explain that I couldn’t write their update for them as it was meant to be their thoughts….

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Every Sunday night now I have what is developing into a little ritual. I hop onto the computer after tea, skip around the websites I like to read, power up Word, write my post for The Room Of Infinite Diligence and then schedule it to appear first thing Monday morning. Usually during the previous week a number of topics have floated in and out of my consciousness and I have settled on one, developed what I want to write, and it flows onto the screen. Other weeks I know not what I want to write until I sit down and start. Tonight I had a couple of ideas that had drifted around, but nothing concrete, and I am struggling to remember what I wanted to say. So sitting down to write I tapped at the keyboard, but nothing came out.

The problem this week has been distractibility. One of the wonders of Libraries and the Internet, which is why I think librarians are such strong advocates of the Web, is that both are centres of serendipity and time wasting. There can be no greater joy for the bibliophile, or infophile, than of wondering down shelves, or diving down virtual rabbit holes, and seeing what you can find. Libraries, and the Internet, allow people like myself to indulge our distractible natures, in pursuing completely random bits of information, that have little relevance to what we should be doing, but are just really interesting.

This week, despite actually getting a lot done, hosting the LIANZA Ikaroa regions AGM, being inspired by Rosalie Blake, and formulating some concrete plans for the future, has been a week where I have kept getting lost, either in a book being catalogued or by making that so typical error of clicking on a link, and then another, and then another, as I was sucked down one path then another.

So in the end I have decided to celebrate this part of my nature, and the nature of libraries and the Internet. A nature so aptly coined in the phrase for Library week “Escape, Explore, Discover”.  I hope you too fall down many holes and when you emerge, are revitalised and inspired. Don’t listen to the robot with his warnings of Danger Will Robinson, but join me at the Mad Hatters Tea Party!

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NZ Library Week 2009 escape explore discover your library

During this Library Week I’ve been updating my Library’s online customers on the things that they can find in the library.  The theme “Escape, explore, discover” has lent itself to a wide variety of promotional opportunities.  I’ve tweeted about books and databases and free internet and renewals and the events calendar and then crossposted that via Facebook.  The Library has so much to offer it’s no wonder people can be overwhelmed when they come into the library for the first time.

Are public libraries the department store of the information world? Department stores are “… a retail establishment which specializes in satisfying a wide range of the consumer’s personal and residential durable goods product needs; and at the same time offering the consumer a choice multiple merchandise lines, at variable price points, in all product categories. ”  There is the obvious difference in that you’re supposed to return anything you borrow from the library but otherwise it seems to me to be a pretty good definition of the library.

Public libraries aim to satisfy a wide range of personal information/entertainment needs while at the same time offering customers a choice as to how that need is filled.  You want information?  Sure – in a book or magazine or online in a database?  You want to read a story?  Sure – in a book or on your PDA or would you prefer to listen to it?  If it’s popular story – do you want to reserve it or pay to have it immediately?  You want to hang out with your friends?  Sure – have a seat or come to one of the events or wander around the library.

Just as a department store can be overwhelming (especially if you’re not really sure what you’re after) staff can really make a difference to your browsing or shopping experience. (I should have included “Discover your library team who will work with you so you get the best from your library”.)  So to all the librarians working in their library on the weekend – Happy Library Week!

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