library re-cap

[written 11/06/05]

hi there ~ it’s already late, my feet are aching, i have to be up at 6 am to go volunteer at the library booth, but i’m determined to write a little bit about today.. it went great. i was all jittery last night, getting nervous for today’s presentation, this morning i just got more blabbery-nervous, then it started and… i loved it. so fun. i could’ve talked about it for hours!

a little background, i presented with three other women, susan rosenblatt, from the bay area, of retrofitted librarian, susan fisher, a jail librarian, of inside, and sarah houghton, from marin county, of librarian in black. none of us had ever met until we presented this afternoon and it was so nice to meet each one, each really fascinating women.

so there i was all nervous, just realizing one of my shoes had this giant stain on it, seeing my name, along with the others, all splashed up on the screen “Andrea Hull – Mellow Trouble”, and it just felt very surreal. happily surreal, but still wow-inducing. susan f. began and then i felt only excitement – could. not. wait. to present. it was just so exciting to be talking about something that i’ve largely studied and learnt about on my own, in my head, and then there i was in a room with three other women who are also crazy bloggers and not only that, we’re facing probably 50-some people who want to know all about blogs too. !

so, yup, it rocked, i loved it, and a big thank you to all three women who presented with me, especially sarah for proposing and organizing the whole panel. after such a great experience, i know i want to do this kind of thing again, and it definitely strengthens the whole tech-librarian leaning in me.

[for those that want to see the actual presentation, here it is.]

it was interesting that the whole private/public, what not to/to blog, etc was brought up during the q&a – again, no answers from me, besides that for now, i’m fairly open about my life, good and bad. no real specifics, but moods are noted, politics are presented, cats and family are photographed ;), and silliness is everywhere. but all that could very well change and i very much understand others’ reluctance about posting personal stuff online.

on a totally random note, one other thing i noticed is the different titles a library can have.. a while back, i wrote about the cerritos library here in southern california, which is calling itself an “experience library”. i’ve also heard “knowledge center” used instead of ‘library’ – as before, i’m not crazy about that term either. what’s so bad about library?

i’m all for expanding terms to indicate new content, but i can’t help feel like it’s some wanna-be-slick attempt at branding and all that other p.r. annoyance. also, the emphasis on libraries as vital community centers and public spaces is great and true, but with these new terms, it’s like they’re trying to say a single entity, the library, can replace the numerous spaces and institutions that used to be publicly available and which helped form a real sense of community… and that’s a problem. for one, that puts too much on libraries, and believe me, they’re already wayyy too busy. i’m a little rambling here, but i guess i’m wary of re-naming things that are fine with the name they already have – on one poster board at the conference, i saw “name-of-town free library”. hm, “free library”. now that’s a term i’d love to hear more of.

[i love the free library of philadelphia’s motto: “Free Books for All”. simple and sweet, awesome.]