Category Archives: Librarians, Libraries & the Profession

Techie Circulation Job at SJCPL

I’ve been at SJCPL almost 14 years and I’ve seen a lot of changes. We just posted the Head of Circulation job and it really strikes me how much this particular job has “shifted.”

The Job description is here.

Lok at these excerpted techie duties:

4. Develop and maintain circulation training materials for system-wide use and oversee training procedures of all new Circulation staff.

5. Manage Innovative/Millennium circulation products systemwide, including recommending new products, working to implement software and hardware changes, helping to develop training and communicating changes to library staff.

9. Evaluate trends in circulation services and recommend policy changes as needed.

10. Evaluate technology and electronic resources in the department, making recommendations as needed such as RFID technology to the SJCPL system.

In 1994, stuff like training staff on circulation modules wasn’t really included in descriptions — I’m sure it was done but training was more catch as catch can and “Hey, Trudy, can you spend 20 minutes training the new person before lunch on the catalog?”

Now we write jobs to reflect training duties, “keeping current” duties and define positions as playing a key role in technology planning. How many job descriptions have you all written that seem so DIFFERENT than just a few years ago!

Having Fun (VIA Weblogg-ed)

This resonates with me this morning while I pack to go to Texas and await a snowstorm:

Will Richardson writes:

Sometimes I really marvel at how fun this all is. It’s fun to:
be almost constantly learning, not only by pushing my limited envelope with the tools but reading and thinking about intruiging ideas from really smart people.
watch the tools evolve in ways that teachers and students can put them to good use without spending hours and hours to master them.
be a part of a really amazing community of educators who are constantly challenging me.
have an audience.
see the ways in which other teachers and students are kicking their own tires with these concepts.
fail, try again, fail, try again, and finally get it right. (Add more failures as necessary.)
watch society and the world change from technology in important ways.
have big ideas.
have relevant information come to me.
know some things a whole bunch of people don’t know, at least for now.
think about what the future might hold.

Every now and then I feel the need to bow down and thank whatever is out there for my good fortune, especially when world events rightly remind me just how lucky I am.

Change the “teachers” and “educators” to librarians and this little post fits me to a “T”. I am so lucky to work in a progressive public library, to study with a neat group of folks at UNT and to get to present and write about libraries. WOW.

Proofreading and Correcting: Librarian Style

Oh Lipstick librarian – your insight slays me this am concerning librarians and their need

Okay; it’s one thing to be corrected when giving a paper or a speech, or even in a blog entry, but in a casual e-mail?? That little incident crystallized what exactly irks me about socializing with librarians: our incessant–nay, obsessive need to correct others. No matter what the situation or who’s involved, we can never let pass the opportunity to be right, no matter how picayune the mistake or perceived mistake (in this instance it was a grammatical controversy of the actor/actress ilk). No wonder we have an image problem.

I hope in the world of our work a typo or grammatical error would be overlooked. For the over-worked, stressed librarian there may be a typo or sentence that’s not perfect. The world will not end because of this. My dear mentor of years gone by used to say “It’s the library, we are not doing brain surgery here.”

I would classify a lot of this “correcting” behaviour as missing the forest for the trees. One of the most frustrating things I hear from librarians I’ve worked with is too much time is spent perfecting a few sentences that may be read once and then filed. UGH!

With writing for school – every detail counts..every cite ..every reference. But dashing off an e-mail or a brief paragraph about some work-related something to be consumed internally does not have to be picked over. Materials for the public – yes! Intranet posts – oh yeah. Blog posts on the SJCPL Weblog – Yes indeed. A two paragraph summary of a meeting? Spell check and send it on folks…life is too short!

edited :12/16/04