Friday Reads – Pollen Edition

Hand print in pollen

Two things on a pollen related note:

  1. We learned that my oldest daughter has basic pollen and mold allergies this week.
  2. Pollen levels have been pretty high in the Richmond area lately.

That makes for an unhappy little girl. I guess we’ll help the good people at Claritin put their kids through college now…

In professional news, my friend Phil and I submitted two proposals to speak at this year’s Virginia Library Association conference this week.

  • Proposal #1: We want to have a discussion with other attendees about the future of libraries, what they think about them and how we can make it better. The plan is to have a brief presentation about changes libraries have managed already, show some things other libraries are doing now to manage change then open up for discussion. Will it get selected? Don’t know. It’s worth a shot though. We are calling it “Library Crystal Ball” (cheesy…or clever?)
  • Proposal #2: Technology Petting Zoo. We’re bringing the library’s gadgets and are encouraging other conference attendees to bring theirs to this session. Instead of standing in front of a room and telling them about what the gadgets will do we will encourage them to play with them and ask questions. We are calling it “Bring Your Own Gadget…or not”

We’ll find out in June if either of our proposals are accepted. I’ve never presented at a conference before so if they pick one or both it will be my rookie presentation. Should be fun though.

The links this week are all over the place. Municipal broadband, a library ‘love’ letter, more eBook frustration, a library prediction and a great discussion about a popular service.

Since we recently began offering Freegal, I found this post very interesting. As you can tell from the title, Sarah doesn’t like Freegal. Her reasons are solid and she makes a good argument. The comments are where the real action is though. Wow! That’s a fantastic discussion.

I don’t share her opinion. My experience with the people at Library Ideas has been pretty positive. I do worry about the sustainability of the service though. It’s not cheap and it is not a core service. We may not renew our service if things don’t improve financially.

Oh wow! Where to start? This is a very interesting piece. Mike Shatzkin is a pretty smart guy and he discusses the future of libraries here. It’s a thought provoking piece. Here’s a quote:

The core purpose — the founding purpose — of a library, around which other things have grown, is to deliver access to printed words. Even the smallest local library almost certainly had more content housed within it than any individual had in their home and, in most cases, far more content than would be available at any local store. It was the books in the library that initially defined the library and attracted a core of patrons to it. When all of us have access to more books on our screens than are in the library, what’s the point to the library?

But not all is lost. He finishes up with this:

…librarianship will be needed by people long after buildings full of books are not. That’s going to require an entirely new business model that hasn’t been invented yet.

A frustrated eBook reader proposes a novel idea. Buy a hardback get a digital copy too! I like it.
A great piece where the author rediscovers the joys of her local public library. Always nice to see some good things being written about us. Not everything is doom and gloom.
This is an interesting development in my home state. The State Assembly passed a bill “that severely restricts communities’ ability to choose their own best broadband solutions.” It basically says that municipal governments won’t have the ability to create their own broadband networks, making them essentially a utility, like water. This may not pass the state Senate. If passed, it could reduce options for people in areas that don’t have any broadband service. Municipal broadband isn’t something I’m familiar with but it doesn’t seem like a bad idea.

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