Hoarding is not collection development
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Making a Collection Count

Librarian’s Choice

This is Mary and Holly’s catch-all category. Here we feature posts about librarians and libraries as well as just some cool stuff we find.

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Librarians Ruin Everything!

As Holly and I prepare for ALB’s “best of” list for 2016, I have decided to tell everyone just how powerful a librarian I am.  Holly is too.  Evidently, I have the power to ruin all sorts of things in our daily lives and wreak havoc everywhere.  Here are some of the wonderful /evil things I have perpetrated among during my reign of terror in library service.

EVIL Disclaimer

Although I may have appeared to have abused my powerful library skills, I am in fact, really not that bad. I really don’t want to RUIN everything.  I have really tried to keep my evil powers in check.

  • I have been told it is my fault because the Farmer’s Almanac did not say it would rain on their precious daughter’s wedding day.
  • I have also been requested to predict the weather over a year in advance more times than I can count. In one instance, it was implied that I would be “reported” to a local Detroit TV weatherman.
  • I have ruined a family event as a meeting room was not available on a particular date. According to the patron, this disappointment will kill all the elderly relatives that were attending.
  • I have been accused of corrupting the youth by offering programming that celebrated a satanic holiday (aka Halloween), accused of hating America because I didn’t have a 4th of July event, and discriminating against gifted kids because our Summer Reading program didn’t have a special, separate program for gifted toddlers.
  • Evidently, I am also responsible for breaking Google and the Internet. Evidently our library is “too cheap to pay for the good Google and Internet.”
  • I have also ruined the reading experience:  because our library chose to use receipts instead of stamping the books.
  • I have ruined the entire library: because we have too much “liberal clap trap” and/or too much “conservative crap”
  • I also ruined a used book sale at the library because I insisted that the volunteers take down a sign that said “Black People Books”.
  • Ruining summer reading by not having a competitive reading contest, because how will we know who the “best” reader is?
  • Ruining a vacation, because I should have told them that it might snow. In January. In Michigan.

I know that everyone out there in library land is also pretty good at ruining everyone’s life and/or day as we all continue to fight the good fight in service and literacy. We are with you!

Peace, Love, and Stable Library Funding in 2017


Mary and Holly

Making Children Count

Output Measures for Public Library Service to Children: A Manual of Standardized Procedures

I love me some output measures! Mary and I wrote the book on making stuff count. (Feel free to pony up $80 and buy a copy. The second edition is still available. It’ll change your life.)

But I digress.

This was a really useful book in its day! It suggests all kinds of things to count, but more importantly why you would want to count them and what kinds of decisions can be made with the data. There are blank forms in the back to set you on your way toward counting things.  Be still my heart, it’s like library p0rn! Picture book fill rates? Tabulating, interpreting, and using the results? Summer reading program surveys? Yes, yes, and YES!!

And yet, it has really dated photography and not nearly enough (if any??) mention of the use of technology in gathering data and reporting statistics. (Excel, anyone?) An update is sorely needed. Oooh, maybe Mary and I should seize the opportunity and expand our data-counting empire!

Happy National Library Week everyone!


More Library Measures:

Setting Up a Library

Manage That Small Library

Planning and Role Setting for Public Libraries

Blinded by Library Science

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The Book Finder

The Book Finder: A Guide to Children’s Literature about the Needs and Problems of Youth Aged 2-15

It’s National Library Week! 

Time to consider weeding those professional collections.

Submitter: My library is doing away with its reference collection; items will be re-integrated into the circulating collection or weeded. I found this particular book in the juvenile reference section, on a very dusty shelf that never gets touched. While I like the idea of being able to find a book on a particular topic when a child is asking for it, there are many, many other sources I would use before I would pick up this particular volume. It’s ridiculously dated, and most of the titles in this book aren’t even in our collection anymore. I could see it being a useful addition to a SLIS library or archive, but in a public library it’s just taking up valuable shelf space.

Holly:  We have a new “book finder” these days. It’s called the online catalog.

More Book Finders:

Setting Up a Library

For Sex Ed, See Librarian

Films Kids Like

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