May 9, 2011

Situation Change

Hello dear readers (what is left of you)

I am now Senior Librarian at the Ferry Avenue Branch of the Camden County Library System.  Ferry Ave is located in the Centerville section of Camden City.  I've been with the system since February and am taking on a lot more responsibility and new challenges.  It is super exciting - and no, I have a feeling what you're thinking... it doesn't make me crazy to be excited about Camden!  It's a good neighborhood and we've really been making a lot of positive changes as the branch was just welcomed into the Camden County System a week before I started.

I hope to post some pictures of our branch soon.

Detroit Public Library asks community what they can't live without

After spotting an article about Detroit, I got a little curious about the state of their public library.

Take a look at what I found on their website:

The Detroit Public Library (DPL) hosted two (2) community forums last week to inform the community about its current funding crisis and to get ideas about how best to serve the citizens of Detroit.  The presentation focused on DPL's property taxes and its current challenge to provide services with less resources.
And following this message - a brief but very specific survey.

1. The Library considers the following before making recommendations for branch closures:
* Budget
* Size, age and condition of building
* Population of immediate community
* Distance from other library locations
* Usage

Are there other factors the library should consider?

2. The library's basic functions (from DPL's Mission Statement) are to:

* Provide access to information

* Provide access to technology
* Provide cultural & educational programs

Based on these functions, please suggest what DPL should:

A. Stop doing:

Budget cuts are terrible, but they're a reality.  Looks like Detroit is doing a very smart thing in inviting crowd-sourcing.  They'll get a good idea of what branches and services must stay - and the library, despite the cuts, reaffirms to the public that it is they who libraries exist to serve.

November 9, 2010

Scholastic's Video Booktalks

You many not have heard that Scholastic posts booktalks for a good deal of their YA/Teen books on their website.  Awesome!!!!   The list of booktalks unfortunately is not all-inclusive.  If you search for a particular book, like Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg, you can find additional booktalks.  Not sure why they wouldn't add all of them to the big list, but if you look for 'em, you can find more.

They also have video booktalks!  Posting one of these videos is a great way to get attention on your monthly book discussion, an author visit, or simply some of your new purchases.  They're also totally free for you to use when booktalking yourself!  Even if you can't see yourself saying word-for-word what's been posted, it's a great starting-off point.

How do I know?  I've been freelancing for Scholastic, writing some of these booktalks! Just to be mysterious, (because really....when does anyone every get a chance to be mysterious...) I won't tell you which ones I wrote.

Has anyone had a chance to formerly do booktalks?  I've only done it a couple of times.  Now that I write them, I want to perform them more!

Fun Break - Reblog of Beautiful Book-ish Illustrations

The gorgeous design blog Where the Lovely Things Are has posted some wonderful book-themed illustrations.  Go check them all out!

Kris Atomic

Greg Pizzoli 

March 19, 2010

Catching Up - Cuts to Libraries

Like I said yesterday, apologies for the extended absence. Have I lost all my followers? If not, how has everyone been holding up, especially with budget issues?

NJ's new governor revealed some massive cuts all around in his budget proposal yesterday. State aid to my library's town of West Orange is proposed to be $996,887 less than last year, or 17.5%. (Star Ledger). The Board of Education is expecting an even bigger hit.

In West Orange, the cuts mean a loss of $6 million in state aid, a nearly 64 percent cut.
"It means our educational program is going to be devastated," Superintendent Anthony Cavanna said. "It has the potential to drive taxes up. It may not; we can raise taxes or cut services. We have some pretty tough decisions to make."
(Star Ledger)

NJLA has informed its constituents that the proposed budget is cutting millions of dollars for their services - money that goes to interlibrary loan, databases, program funding, and other critical library services.

I knew something was coming, and I guess we still don't really know what that something is. There's a facebook group, Save NJ Libraries that should keep everyone posted on what's going on and ways to get involved.

Let's hope for the best.

Comment Moderation

Just noticed some bizarre anonymous spam posting in the comments. I'm going to delete them and I've switched the comment setting to registered users - so you'll need to sign in with your google or openid account to comment.


March 17, 2010

It's been a long time...

Hello! It's been a long time!

I apologize for my complete lack of posting. It's taken time adjusting to working in such a busy library. After finishing up my degree, my brain is happy taking on topics unrelated to library science in my spare time.

Anyway, I wanted to make a brief post regarding library events/programming.

WOPL's High School Book Discussion Group, "Talk It Up!" is meeting later this month to discuss Walter Dean Myers' book Sunrise Over Fallujah. I'm not planning on using twitter, facebook, youtube, flickr, or video games to enhance the discussion. In fact, we've never veered too far off the track of what one thinks of when they think book discussion. And guess what? The teens show up! We've had a steady group of about 10 high schoolers that show up every month, book read, ready to speak.

Why? Because good books are good books. Because people like to share in real life just like they like to online. Because everyone is given a chance to speak. And maybe a little because I serve cookies!

What we will be doing, besides discussing the book, is discussing the Iraq "operation" itself. I've gathered info on Military and Civilian casualties, as well as information on the 200+ mass graves discovered throughout the country.

Book Discussions are pretty much as straight-forward as you can get as far as library programming. A book, a group, opinions, and if applicable, facts...and you have yourself a dynamic hour long program that encourages literacy, provides for the informational and recreational needs of patrons, and allows for consideration and debate on important topics. Definitely a staple of library services!

August 21, 2009

A Library's Approach to Books that Offend

In case you haven't seen it already, NYTimes wrote an article about BPL's locked vault containing TinTin au Congo.

I have nothing new to say about this, except to share my favorite comment that has been posted thus far:

I am Czech. The citizens of my country, and many more people in nearby countries, have suffered for generations under various dictatorships and autocracies that, among other things, enjoyed telling them what they could or could not think, say, read, or listen to.

The sight of a locked vault full of banned books has problematic associations with the years of occupation. It makes me very uncomfortable. Therefore, I submit to you that the vault is racially and culturally offensive to Czechs and the entire room should be locked up inside yet another bulletproof vault.
— Marenka

August 18, 2009

Courses Complete!

I am proud to announce that I have completed all my requirements for my Masters of Library and Information Science at Pratt Institute. Although I don't get my physical diploma until October, I am done! Yay!

It's been a crazy year and a half juggling work and school (and fun) all together. I started at Pratt in January 2008 while working as a part time circulation clerk at my childhood library. When we had a Pratt Grad come to visit my Information Professions class in February to speak about working at Brooklyn Public Library, I decided to apply.

I became a Young Adult Librarian Trainee and now understand what the phrase 'trial by fire' is all about. My first summer at BPL, I took a Young Adult Lit class with Jack Martin which introduced me to so many wonderful YA authors (some in real life) and got me revved up for working with this never-a-dull-moment age demographic. I was able to instantly implement theory into my work.

A little over three months ago, I took my current position at West Orange Library as their Teen Services Librarian. It's an incredibly busy library with a lot of town support. Now that I don't have to leave early to attend class, I am working 3 late night shifts (1-9) so I can be here when the teens will be here as well.

It's great to be done, but there is a little worry in the back of my mind that without Pratt's academic atmosphere of sharing and questioning elements of libraryland, I'm slowly going to become removed from the beat of modern libraries. I know this is not going to happen, because I don't want it to happen.

My plan:

- Keep up with this blog (haven't been so good as of late)
- Keep up with other library blogs.
Although many seem to exist in order to get free materials and some even to propel the bloggers into the center stage, there a bunch that always hit up their users with sage advice, important news, and big questions. Library Garden and In the Library With the Lead Pipe are the two that come to mind immediately.
- Get involved with NJLA
I'm most looking forward to meeting once every two months to help decide the Garden State Book Awards for 2010. Meeting with librarians in different situations will no doubt keep me current with what's happening elsewhere
-Keep doing my job.
Especially the part where I listen to what the teens in my community need and want their library to do for them.

July 13, 2009

Self Googling

I google myself fairly frequently. While one of my reasons for doing this is high self esteem (ok, I guess we could call it vanity), I also want to keep tabs on my online footprint. It's pretty easy since to my knowledge, I am the only Emily Chornomaz in the english-writing online world. I recently had to get in contact with an old friend from high school - the webmaster of a site where a group of friends posted poetry.

During a selfgoogle, I discovered that one of my poems on this website was pretty risque (in fact, entitled Risque) and send a message for him to remove it. (The poem wondered if certain letters got upset that they were used together to form the mother of all curse words). He was happy to help and I'm glad it won't be available on a live internet search. But let's face it, it's likely still available on internet archive. I think I'm pretty lucky though, if this is the 'worst' of me on the web.

So imagine my surprise when just minutes ago, I found a half-naked picture of myself online. haha! Don't freak out just yet, it's a baby picture my parents submitted to a Ukrainian newsletter. But really, that's a little jarring. Before the internet, I assumed the Ukrainian Weekly had a pretty tiny (but commited) community of readers. With its digitization, any content published is just a google search away from anyone with internet access.

This is obvious, and I know that I've talked about this before...but people! The internet is changing our world in so many ways on so many levels. There are a lot of potential awful information that can become available online incredibly easily. Librarians are such perfect candidates to inform users about these risks and how to attck a problem when it comes about. Does your library offer any internet safety/privacy workshops or materials?