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Showing posts from June, 2011

Budget Snips

I work at a public library in Springfield, the third largest city in Massachusetts with a population just over 150,000. In Massachusetts, there is a state minimum for number of unique hours a library must be open to qualify for state aid, as well as a minimum percentage of the budget that must be spent on library materials. In recent years, we've undergone several budget cuts that resulted in the loss of staff and the trimming of our materials budget to the bare minimum, one of which occurred as recently as last week. Considering that approximately 50% of my library's budget (which averages a little less than $6M per year) is spent on salary expenditures for the staff at the central library and nine branches, the materials budget has been stretched incredibly thin.

Let me throw some numbers out there from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners website: In FY07, my library's total operating expenditures were $5,676,307, of which $629,391 (11.08%) was spent on th…

I'm not a prude, but....

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Whenever there is an email, or a voice mail, or a paper letter that starts off this way, it is usually going to downhill. I'm sure that isn't always the case, but 9 times out of 10? Yes. What follows is usually a "Request for Reconsideration" of some item the library has purchased. We have an official form (and process) for this, but sometimes patrons and/or staff don't use the form and just contact us directly with their complaints.

Our process: When people fill out the request for reconsideration form at their local branch, they get forwarded to the Director of Collection Management (henceforth known as: my boss). She responds to them, usually after watching the offensive DVD or listening to the offensive CD. When it is a book, I'm not sure she reads the entire book cover to cover, but she always does call it in to look it over. The form asks people for basic information (title/author) and also for some detail on why they feel the book should be…

NEW at my library: June 10th, 2011

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Is this going to be a weekly thing? Got me. Like everything else, we'll do it until people lose interest. But there were seriously cool things on the new book shelves this week, two that I want to purchase for myself.

Legendary Rock Songs - Nathan Brackett

Not only is this book cool, it is highly addictive. If you're even remotely interested in the "why" behind some of the most popular songs to hit our airwaves, you have to take a look at this book. You may not want to own it for yourselves (hello, library....) but I intend to buy it. It starts off, appropriately, with Bill Haley & the Comets and goes forward from there. I, for instance, had no idea that MJ's Billie Jean was about a stalker who had scaled the walls of his home and was found lounging by the pool in a bikini and claimed he was the father of one of her twins. (who the hell was the father of the OTHER twin?) And I loved this quote from Sting:

"Every Breath You Take is an archetypica…

Click my Link: June 9th, 2011

Great authors take on popular movies (I confess, I want to read these.)

From Glee to print -- Chris Colfer and the book deal.

500 Y/O book for sale -- seriously, this is like my Antiques Roadshow dream come true!

But what about books about golf? Burbank may cut libraries, other services while giving loan to golf course.

Click my Link: June 6th, 2011

NEW at my library: June 3rd, 2011

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Who doesn't love looking at the new book shelf? Yes, we post new things on our webpage, and those are randomly generated and fun. But, I also can't help trolling our shelves of yet to be processed books, music and dvds to see what my colleagues have ordered. It is all so wonderfully random! Some people may still look for new books by broswing the shelves at their local library and/or bookstore, and some have taken to browsing Amazon and other websites for new and interesting things. Some people may not even know what they're looking for until they see it. Once they find something interesting, even at a bookstore, that doesn't mean they want to spend their recession dollars just to satisfy their curiosity. We hear a lot of people say they have two browser windows open, one with Amazon and one with our catalog. Patrons may learn about new items in a variety of ways, but the place where they can (risk free) try new books, movies and music remains the same.

Since I p…

Click my Link: June 2nd, 2011

Click my Link: June 1st, 2011

BEA Survival Diaries: Ebook Soldiers and Book Buying Genius -- good stuff from our friend Heather McCormack (you are following her on twitter at @HuisceBeatha....)

Zombies! (For those of you who like that sort of thing......)

George Clinton to speak at British Library (just because I think that it's cool!)

Who to follow on twitter: Book Marketing & Publicity version

JUNE is Audiobook Month.