Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie of the Library World

Ok, so I've been slacking on this blog. I was doing so well with keeping up with everything, but things have been super busy at work and home, so I haven't been playing on the Internet as much as normal. I also haven't been following the news or keeping up on pop culture, which is one of my very favorite things to do. I need to get back to my old self!

I stopped at the post office on my way home from work today to FINALLY mail the state reports I have been working on for the last month. It was such a relief to hand them over to the friendly postal worker. (That wasn't sarcasm -- she really is the friendliest postal worker I've ever met! I actually don't go to the post office in "the city" -- I usually stop at a small town on my way home from work that offers a parking lot, no lines and a smiling face.)

As the reports were finished this morning, I used my afternoon at work to catch up on some exciting professional journal reading. (Now that was sarcasm!) I read the following in no particular order: American Libraries (2 issues), Library Journal, Public Libraries, OCLC Newsletter, Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom (2 issues) and Library Administrator's Digest. See why this blog post was so long in coming? My life is just that exciting! They have been piling up on my desk over the last month and I just haven't been able to get to them... I still have a few more, but maybe I'll save those for next week!

The most interesting thing I learned from all of this reading is that according to Stephen Abram, 6 times more people have library cards than driver's licenses. 1.1 billion people visit public libraries yearly, which is 9 times the number of US attendees at major sporting events; and for every $1 invested in libraries, users receive $6.50 in return.

I've heard Mr. Abram speak at several conferences and I've always found him interesting and very much on the cutting edge of library technology and service. (Can cutting edge and library actually be used in the same sentence? ) However, this may be a generational opinion, because I've heard some of my senior colleagues quip that all of his 'innovation' is taking away from the original mission of public libraries. I don't see it that way at all... and after conducting a quick and dirty Google search, (Marian the Librarian is most likely rolling over in her grave over that!) most of the library bloggers seem to agree with me that Stephen is a library prophet to be followed. Stephen Abram and Nancy Pearl are the Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie of the library world! Nancy Pearl even has her own action figure -- which I actually own! Maybe someday I will have my own action figure -- I only hope that I will be wearing something more fashionable than a frumpy navy blue business suit and sensible shoes. The action figure does nothing to help the librarian image -- and if I didn't have a sense of humor, I might actually find it offensive. It's quite a popular gift for librarians to receive though and even has a flickr group dedicated to it.
Here is my Nancy Pearl Librarian Action Figure, completed with my Librarians Against Bush pin. (The actual website seems to be gone now -- I wonder why?) By the way, I don't know if Nancy Pearl supports Bush, but not many librarians do!

Anyway, this has turned into quite the long and most likely boring post. I always knew I was a nerd, but I think this may have just confirmed it. Hallelujah, the weekend is coming and maybe I will take some time to catch up on the things that truly make me happy like vacation planning, really bad reality TV and eating baked Tostitos and salsa right out of the jar. Anyone care to join me?

1 comment:

lu said...

Isn't it great to be a librarian? You get to read at work, and nobody says anything. I read bestsellers, though, not journals. Ewww.