Despite my misgivings about the whole process, due to a new security flaw I upgraded to WordPress today. My links to individual entries stopped working at first, which nearly gave me a heart attack. But it seems to be ok now.

As much as I love using WordPress, deep down inside me somewhere I’m convinced that the whole site is balanced like a house of cards, and the slightest wind will topple it all.

Let me know if something doesn’t behave as expected.


I need to add a number eleven to my list of ten things I learned at ALA:

I am truly excited about being a librarian.

I can say without hyperbole that going into this field is the best decision I’ve ever made. I won’t make as much money as I would in the IT sector, but I get to actually meet and help real human beings – on a minute to minute basis. I get to make their lives just a little bit easier. And I get to love what I’ll do!

I haven’t always been quite so excited. But once I started blogging, once I started making connections outside the classroom I quickly reached critical mass.

So thank you Mom and Dad, and Dr. Birmingham, and the whole staff at the Fairport Public Library. Thank you to everyone who ever encouraged me towards signing up for my MLS, and didn’t respond with a blank look and “You need a degree to do that?”

OK, so maybe I didn’t learn this just at ALA. But it sure was reaffirmed. I met and re-met so many wonderful people, and I can’t wait to join you all as a full colleague.

Better late than never

I’ve finally added the Feel Good Librarian to my aggregator. I have no idea why it took me so long.

Despite being a necessarily anonymous blog, it somehow feels more ‘real’ to me than any other librarian blogs out there. There’s genuine emotion and truth in each post. Even if you’re not a librarian, FGL is worth a read. Today’s post especially spoke to me, as I’m in the position (just starting out) that FGL is adressing.

Circulating video games – reporting in

Back in March, I mentioned John Scalzo’s effort to begin a video game collection in his library. Now thanks to LISnews, I have a chance to follow up.

In the new article, I find some pleasant surprises. For one thing, not a single game has come back damaged! I’m astonished. Very pleased, but also surprised. That damageless fact alone could do wonders to convince other libraries to begin collections.

I especially appreciate Scalzo’s attention to “Balancing games the public wants, games that are critically acclaimed and family-friendly titles…”

Things I learned at ALA 2005

By no means complete, and in no particular order.

1. I need luggage with wheels. Lugging my duffel bag around Chicago was not fun.

2. Most vendors are very friendly people, even when talking to students with no purchasing power

3. Don’t try to do everything. You’ll fail.

4. Decent public transportation in a city is a Godsend

5. Limit your swag acquisitions. There’s only so much you can carry.

6. Vendors who give out bags for carrying other vendors’ swag are the most popular.

7. Librarians are very friendly, personable people (OK so that one isn’t new). I had great conversations with random people on the shuttle buses.

8. Citizens of Chicago are very friendly and easygoing. Even towards obvious tourists.

9. My ideal job would pay for me to go to Internet Librarian 2005.

10. Shuttles to special events need clear markings.

11. A conference center with free wi-fi would be worth its weight in gold.

ALA 2005 – Job Search

When: Saturday, June 25 2005
Where: McCormick Place, Chicago IL
My Role: Attendee
There were two main reasons I went to ALA this year – the Library Journal Blogger’s Roundtable, and the job search prospects. Both were amazingly successful!

The ALA Placement Services section opened Friday morning at 9. I was there, along with Lori, Emily and Melissa from Pitt. We made up a substantial part of the line waiting to get in!

ALA has an internet messaging system set up, wherein you post your resume. Employers can browse/search it and get in touch with you, or you can pick out interesting employers and contact them. Alternately, job hunters can wander the booths talking to the 20 or so “official” recruiters there.

I went in with one interview scheduled. By the time I left I had a number of informal chats, 3 interviews, one request for a second interview, and most notably a job offer! The system works! I had a number of other employers who weren’t present at the conference contact me as well, so I’ve sent out e-mails and am waiting to hear back.

I suppose I should talk about the job offer. I don’t want to identify who it is (or the others I interviewed with) publicly until my mind is made up. But the offer is very tempting, and I’m thrilled to have any offer at all – its a wonderful feeling to know that my skills actually fill a need and someone is interested.

Especially since graduation is a mere five weeks away now. Man, time has gone fast!

So watch this space for more news.

ALA 2005 – 6/25 – Opening Session

When: Saturday, June 25 2005 06:00 PM
Where: McCormick Place, Chicago IL
My Role: Attendee
Anybody know how many attendees there were to the opening session Saturday evening? The room was pretty cavernous and pretty full.

Soon to be ex-president of the ALA, Carol Brey-Casiano, opened the session. She soon handed things off to Chicago’s Mayor Daley. While I know virtually nothing about his career or politics, based solely on last night’s speech I’m inclined to like the man. He seems genuinely supportive of libraries, the public kind in particular. 7 more branches are opening in Chicago just in the remainder of this year! Daley also denounced the Patriot Act, and captivated the audience the whole way through.

Later, Senator Barack Obama came out on stage as the keynote speaker of the session. While I thought Mayor Daley had stage presence, Senator Obama blew him away! His speech focused on a call for basic literacy education and promoted libraries as a major source of this education.


Some quotes:

[after walking on stage to thunderous applause] “Whoa, that was a lot of librarians.”

“In the beginning, there was The Word.” I thought Senator Obama made an interesting choice, tying in Scripture to his speech in a mostly non-religious way. It went over well with the crowd.

“Truth isn’t about who yells the loudest, but who has the right information.” (this one I may have paraphrased a bit, I was writing in a hurry)

Senator Obama also noted that by reading to his kids, he has now just about memorized “Goodnight Moon”.

As a side note, the ALA really needs to revamp whatever system or person they use to create closed captions on the video feed of speakers. There were major typos galore, including “Libraryes” every time the word was used.

ALA 2005 – 6/26 – Book Cart Drill Teams

When: Sunday, June 26 2005 01:00 PM
Where: McCormick Place, Chicago IL
My Role: Bystander
I was at the first ever Book Cart Drill Team World Championship!


I couldn’t stay for the whole event, but did catch a number of teams. Most were excellent, and all were a lot of fun to watch. The Pitt Crew, my home team, was great! While they weren’t quite in the lead when I left, they totally should have been.

I really hope this becomes a regular event at ALA and elsewhere. I took part in a team at the Fairport Public Library two years ago in a 4th of July Parade. It was great! The public thought it was hilarious (in a good way), and the whole thing made great promotion for the library. Local TV news coverage and everything.

Someone who stayed the whole time, please let me know how it turned out!


I just ran into Lori and Sarah from the team at the airport (where I’m writing this deluge of entries for later posting). Unfortunately, they didn’t place in the final results. But spirits are high and fun was had by all.