It’s that time again!

I can’t believe it’s here (and I’m tired already, just thinking about it!), but ALA 2011 starts on Friday!  I’ll be heading out Friday morning, with a mid-afternoon arrival in New Orleans.   As usual, my calendar is entirely impossible! Send me a message if you’d like to meet up.  I’ll hopefully be tweeting and such a bit more than usual while I’m at the conference.

And this year, I resolve to actually post a conference wrap-up instead of just thinking a lot about posting one 🙂

NOLA Attending

I'm Attending ALA 2011


Another poem

So, I just realized that apparently Marge Piercy speaks to me….Another of her poems is one of my Facebook profile quotes.  I’ll put it here in it’s entirety.  Again, I have a work colleague to thank for this one, and it continues to speak to me.


To Be Of Use


The people I love the best

jump into work head first

without dallying in the shallows

and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.

They seem to become natives of that element,

the black sleek heads of seals

bouncing like half-submerged balls.


I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,

who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,

who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,

who do what has to be done, again and again.


I want to be with people who submerge

in the task, who go into the fields to harvest

and work in a row and pass the bags along,

who are not parlor generals and field deserters

but move in a common rhythm

when the food must come in or the fire be put out.


The work of the world is common as mud.

Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.

But the thing worth doing well done

has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.

Greek amphoras for wine or oil,

Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums

but you know they were made to be used.

The pitcher cries for water to carry

and a person for work that is real.


–Marge Piercy


A poem

Despite knowing several poets personally, and even writing some (terrible) poetry myself, I’ve never been a big poetry reader.  Sometimes it speaks to me, though, and this poem is one of those that did.  And still does.   I first heard part of it from a colleague on Twitter.  I asked for the whole poem, and she obliged.  I could talk about what it means to me, and why I keep rereading it, but I won’t.  I’ll let it stand on its own.

Here it is:


The Low Road


What can they do

to you? Whatever they want.

They can set you up, they can

bust you, they can break

your fingers, they can

burn your brain with electricity,

blur you with drugs till you

can’t walk, can’t remember, they can

take your child, wall up

your lover.  They can do anything

you can’t stop them

from doing.  How can you stop

them? Alone, you can fight,

you can refuse, you can

take what revenge you can

but they roll over you.


But two people fighting

back to back can cut through

a mob, a snake-dancing file

can break a cordon, an army

can meet an army.


Two people can keep each other

sane, can give support, conviction,

love, massage, hope, sex.

Three people are a delegation,

a committee, a wedge.  With four

you can play bridge and start

an organization. With six

you can rent a whole house,

eat pie for dinner with no

seconds, and hold a fund raising party.

A dozen make a demonstration.

A hundred fill a hall.

A thousand have solidarity and your own newsletter;

ten thousand, power and your own paper;

a hundred thousand, your own media;

ten million, your own country.


It goes on one at a time,

it starts when you care

to act; it starts when you do

it again after they said no,

it starts when you say We

and know who you mean, and each

day you mean one more.


–Marge Piercy

Copyright 2006, Middlemarsh, Inc

ER&L 2011 Wrapup

SO it’s back to the daily grind today for me.  I had an excellent time (as usual) at Electronic Resources & Libraries this year.  It’s always an interesting conference for me, on many different levels.  One one hand, I consider it one of my most valuable conferences that I attend.  On the other hand, I wear so many hats at my institution that I come back from ER&L with more ideas than I could possibly implement.  This leaves me feeling more torn than usual.

See, as the electronic and educational resources librarian, my primary responsibilities are automatically divided.  ER&L always leaves me feeling somewhat inadequate simply because I feel like I never have enough time or support to do all that I would love to do.  In some ways, this is my fault for not making time for things, but in other ways, it’s simply a result of my varied job responsibilities.

As far as wrapping up the conference sessions one by one, I’ll leave that sort of thing to my good friend Anna at the Eclectic Librarian and to the #erl11 hashtag on Twitter.   I have 30 pages of handwritten notes that I’ll be going through this afternoon, so there may be another post later, but don’t count on it. 🙂  Also, you can check out the various websites mentioned (that I caught, anyway) in my delicious account.

The eBook User’s Bill of Rights

The eBook User’s Bill of Rights is a statement of the basic freedoms that should be granted to all eBook users.

The eBook User’s Bill of Rights

Every eBook user should have the following rights:

  • the right to use eBooks under guidelines that favor access over proprietary limitations
  • the right to access eBooks on any technological platform, including the hardware and software the user chooses
  • the right to annotate, quote passages, print, and share eBook content within the spirit of fair use and copyright
  • the right of the first-sale doctrine extended to digital content, allowing the eBook owner the right to retain, archive, share, and re-sell purchased eBooks

I believe in the free market of information and ideas.

I believe that authors, writers, and publishers can flourish when their works are readily available on the widest range of media. I believe that authors, writers, and publishers can thrive when readers are given the maximum amount of freedom to access, annotate, and share with other readers, helping this content find new audiences and markets. I believe that eBook purchasers should enjoy the rights of the first-sale doctrine because eBooks are part of the greater cultural cornerstone of literacy, education, and information access.

Digital Rights Management (DRM), like a tariff, acts as a mechanism to inhibit this free exchange of ideas, literature, and information. Likewise, the current licensing arrangements mean that readers never possess ultimate control over their own personal reading material. These are not acceptable conditions for eBooks.

I am a reader. As a customer, I am entitled to be treated with respect and not as a potential criminal. As a consumer, I am entitled to make my own decisions about the eBooks that I buy or borrow.

I am concerned about the future of access to literature and information in eBooks.  I ask readers, authors, publishers, retailers, librarians, software developers, and device manufacturers to support these eBook users’ rights.

These rights are yours.  Now it is your turn to take a stand.  To help spread the word, copy this entire post, add your own comments, remix it, and distribute it to others.  Blog it, Tweet it (#ebookrights), Facebook it, email it, and post it on a telephone pole.

To the extent possible under law, the person who associated CC0 with this work has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work


Electronic Resources & Libraries

In a few weeks, I’ll be heading to Austin for the excellent Electronic Resources & Libraries conference.  It’s one of my favorite conferences because it’s small and friendly and eminently useful to my day to day job.  I enjoy ALA Annual, mostly because I get to see people I rarely ever see in person and because I get to talk about and hear about some of the larger issues facing libraries.  Electronic Resources & Libraries, though, is focused in a way that I haven’t seen in any other conference.  Nearly everything is useful, and there are lots of wonderful conversations that happen with other librarians and vendors.

If you’d like to see my schedule, it should be embedded below.  If not, here’s the PDF version.

ER&L 2011 Schedule

ER&L 2011 Schedule

Day in the Life (round 6)

I am the Electronic and Educational Resources Librarian at Belmont University in Nashville, TN and I’m participating in the Library Day in the Life #6.  Here’s today’s summary…

8-9am – arrive at work, check in on Friendfeed, Twitter and with my coworkers.  Also, checking email and responding to requests for help from the weekend.  Today’s plan is to work on the Education department’s order and continue prepping for two healthcare and social media sessions I’ll be teaching later this month.

9-10am – answered question about the number of seats for a database and contacted that database about opening more seats for training this week.  Googled for news articles about medical professionals and social media

10-11am – attended a webinar on the Tennessee Electronic Library TEL’em Toolkit; continued searching for resources and examples of social media and healthcare; discussed adding free resources to our databases available in Serials Solutions

11am-noon – hot tea to soothe my scratchy throat and still more resources for social media and pharmacists.  It’s interesting to see the 2.0 discussion in another field 🙂  A quick round of checks on Friendfeed/Facebook/Twitter and some chatting with coworkers round out this hour.

Noon-1pm – lunch!  I try to take my lunch away from my desk most days, if I can.  I find it helps improve my mood and motivation for that afternoon stretch.

1-2pm – post lunch email & social media check; worked on Education book order; answered content coverage question for a database, which led to the discovery of an issue with coverage dates for a library-managed holdings collection in Serials Solutions…ugh.  Add that to the to-do list.  Schedule an instruction session for our Montessori education students.

2-3pm – sent email for the faculty senate committee I’m chairing, requesting awards nominees for university-wide awards to be given this spring; emailed vendor to request updated title list (with correct coverage end dates) for issue in SerSol; sorted the *enormous* stack of e-resource Choice cards on my desk

3-4:30pm – distribute Choice cards to appropriate liaisons; check lingering off-campus access issue for database; talk with ILL person about scanner issues she’s been having over the past week; check to ensure all files needed will be available in case bad weather means I need to work from home later this week (major snow is possibly in the forecast)

Library Day in the Life #6

I’m participating in the Library Day in the Life project again this year!  Started in 2008, the Library Day in the Life has really taken off…It’s grown from a single day snapshot of what librarians are doing all day to a week long look.  Librarians from all over the world have participated, and from all variations on the librarian job.  It’s a fascinating project, and I’m happy to participate.  I’ll probably be posting at least twice this week, because this week actually includes our state’s “Library Legislative Day”, so I’d like to talk about that this week as well.

For my past “Day in the Life” posts, you can check out my “Day in the Life” category.

New Year’s Resolution(s)

I’ve made a variety of New Year’s resolutions in my life….some of them successful (taking better care of my mental health) and some not very (see various failed exercising attempts).   The most successful “resolutions” I made weren’t even New Year’s resolutions, but goals I set for myself.  Since it’s that time of year, I thought I’d take a look and see how things were going.

In March of 2006, I set the following goals:

1. Figure out Library 2.0
2. Get involved in local and maybe national associations
3. Find out about the Alumni Board
4. Learn about web/electronic services librarian positions


  1. Well, I’m not sure anyone can really “figure out Library 2.0”, but I’d say I’ve done about as well as most of the librarians I know.  I’ve helped quite a few librarians around the state figure out this “Web 2.0” thing as well.
  2. I’d say I’ve pretty much blown this one out of the water…I’ve been incredibly active in several state library associations, and I’ve been pretty involved in NMRT (ALA) stuff as well.  I’ve learned that I enjoy the state level stuff much more than the national level, so I’ll be focusing more on that for a while.  I’m not dropping my ALA membership, but I’ll be exploring more options there to find a better fit for me.
  3. Since these goals were the result of an Alumni Day at my library school, this made sense at the time.  I’ve since learned some things about the Alumni Board that have made me change my mind.  I also haven’t really had time to pursue this, since #2 went so well.
  4. Again, hit this one out of the park.  I’m now an Electronic Resources librarian.  Is it all I thought it would be?  Maybe not, but it’s where I am, and I’ve made the decision to stay here for a few years longer.  I’ve enjoyed it, and it’s certainly been a challenge (and still is).  I’m just not sure it’s where I want to be forever.

It’s now been over four years since I set those goals.  I’d say it’s time for some new ones!

  1. Get a second master’s in instructional technology or non-profit leadership.
  2. Find a better fit for me in ALA, if there is one.
  3. Continue to be active in statewide library activities.
  4. Find more opportunities to teach or train.

I’m not going to say that I’ll be a better, more consistent blogger in the new year.  That’s just not me.  At least not right now.  It’s just not the most comfortable way for me to interact online.  I much prefer FriendFeed (and Twitter), so if you’d like to hang out virtually, you can find me there.

ALA 2010

I'm Attending

I'm attending!

I’m headed to Washington, DC on Friday for ALA 2010.  I’ll be around until Monday night, so let me know if you want to meet up!  I’ve put together my usual Gcal schedule, which is way too full (also as usual).

There are some great conference tips on Bobbi Newman’s blog – Librarian by Day.  These are good for both new conference goers and veterans.  I know I picked up a couple things I hadn’t thought about.  Also, of course, WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES is the number one conference tip.  This year, I think DRINK YOUR WATER will run a close second, since the weather forecast is looking a little….hot and humid.

ALA 2010 Forecast

Hope to see you there!