January 25th, 2011 Brian Herzog
There's a situation at my library that doesn't seem to have a good solution, and a recent conversation with a friend prompted me to just ask other librarians how you handle it: who empties your book drop box on long weekends?
I work in a busy library, and on regular days, we empty the book return box (the one in our parking lot) about
twice three times a day. We aren't open on Sundays* but the book box we have is generally big enough to accommodate any materials that get dropped off. Monday morning there's a lot of stuff to check in, but the box isn't overflowing.
However, on long weekends when we're closed on Monday, someone needs to come in to empty the book box - otherwise, it would overflow and patrons would just have to leave items sitting in the parking lot.
And by someone, I mean me. I inherited this duty when a former Assistant Director left the library, because:
- Historically, it's always been a guy that wheeled the box in. It's always full and heavy, and although we got a new book box that is much easier to roll, it still can be a lot of work. I know this sounds sexist, and I know some of my female coworkers do occasionally bring it in during their shifts, and I absolutely welcome them to do it
- Of all the guys on our staff, I'm the only one that isn't one of the maintenance guys - which means I'm the only guy who can also check in all of the items in the box. If the items aren't checked in, then the Tuesday morning desk staff has a two-day mound of items to check in, plus the crush of patrons who haven't been able to get into the library for two days - plus, or course, all their normal work
- As a department head, I have keys to the building to let myself in on the weekends
- I live relatively close to the library, so it's not that big a deal for me to come in - except that I can never go anywhere on three-day weekends
I don't mean to sound like a martyr, and certainly don't want to be one - which is why I'm posting this. What do other libraries do on long weekends? Do you not make any special arrangements? Do you just let everything build up and deal with it on Tuesday?
This seems like a common problem for libraries, so I'm hoping the wisdom of the crowd can help free up my weekends. Thanks for any suggestions - please put them in the comments below.
*Not being open on Sundays is a whole separate issue for me, so don't even get me started.
Tags: book, box, drop, empty, emptying, holiday, libraries, Library, long, parking lot, public, return, three-day, weekend
December 9th, 2010 Brian Herzog
Do you know what I enjoy more than telling people where the bathroom is? Shopping.
In case anyone is pestering you for gift ideas, they could read How To Get Good Gifts for Librarians, or use the links below to find something for the librarian in their life.
- Typographic Note Cards from my cousin Tom's collections at studiotwentysix2
- One of my favorite t-shirts
- PLA's online shop, including the cookery apron
- Make a year-end donation to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and help fight for freedom
- Help out Cory Doctorow's self-publishing experiment, With a Little Help
- Support a library school student's effort to raise money for his graduation with a Tattooed Librarians of the Pacific Northwest calendar. Other calendars: Librarian: The Original Search Engine and Library due date calendar
- Unshelved's online store - I wear my Library Raid jacket all the time (thanks Tim)
- Assorted book- and librarian-themed items at Etsy, CafePress, Zazzle, BookLoverTshirts.com, GiftsForAGeek.com
- As seen on Swiss Army Librarian: Kate Spade book bags, Seuss Army Knife shirt, Swiss Army Librarian sticker (still available for free!)
- For more tech-oriented ideas, BoingBoing's Holiday Gift Guide has some fun and unusual suggestions
- Update: Barbarian Librarian's Booty Shop - gifts for book people with attitude
- Update 2: More awesomeness from Boing Boing - their Charitable Giving Guide, the 2010 edition, with donation ideas such as Creative Commons, The Internet Archive, and The Gutenberg Project. And don't forget Wikipedia
- Update 3: Librarian Lump of Coal Gift Guide 2010 from 100 Scope Notes - these are great, but my favorite is the squashed rat bookmark
- Update 4: I'm sorry I forgot this one: give someone a gift membership to LibraryThing.com - 1-year or lifetime
And finally, the Washington Post's fiction critic picks special gifts for the book lover (via LISNews):
Tags: book, Books, christmas, gift, gifts, holiday, idea, ideas, librarian, libraries, Library, present, presents
November 11th, 2010 Brian Herzog
No post today in honor of Veterans Day. Read about the history of Veterans Day from the Army and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
December 18th, 2008 Brian Herzog
In addition to this blog, I also write a weekly post for my library's blog. I don't feel like I'm spreading myself too thin, but sometimes I have to wonder if there is any connection between my online and real-life activities.
Last week's post for the library was a Holiday Book Guide. It contained a list of kids books suggested by our Youth Services Librarians, and also links to other websites with end-of-the-year book recommendations. The list of other websites is short, but I tried to find a good mix. However, apparently, I wasn't reading them very closely.
A couple days ago, I was going through a cart of new books with a coworker. He held up three books and said "hey, I saw all of these on that Boing Boing list of books." It was then that I realized that, although I had read all of the lists I linked to, apparently I had retained nothing because none of the books he was holding looked familiar.
This must have been a case of me working faster than I was thinking, trying to get a useful blog post up by the (self-imposed) deadline. But it's also a reminder that websites aren't just something to link to as information for other people - I need to read them, too.
I guess I need to remember to stop and smell the roses - or in this case, stop and read the blogs.
Tags: blog, blogs, Books, guide, holiday, libraries, Library, post, posting, public, reading