Thursday, August 27, 2009

Jo's Chicken Soup

I was going through my old emails this morning looking for something (must learn how to manage my inbox sometime...) and came across this addition to my inner list of motivational writings:
"How do I stay optimistic? I realize first the issues I face are miniscule to the good I can do. How do I get inspired to face intransigence, or laziness, or ineptitude? I look right past them at the real goal, and those who really need me:

Block me, and I will go around you. Build a wall, and I will build a door. Lock the door and I will break a window. And if I don’t have have a leader to inspire me, I will lead. If I don’t have a team that will support me, I will recruit a team from beyond the organizational boundaries - every policy has a loophole, every system has a hidden reward.”
The last bit is from Shakespeare - Henry V’s St. Crispen’s Day Speech - and it must have really struck a cord with me at some point in recent months when we were defending the Library funding in the LTCCP process. I don't know who I'm quoting in the top bit - it wafted through my blog aggregator, but it links back to a terrific site I'd forgotten about: The Participatory Librarianship Starter Kit (which on reflection, may have been the real reason I saved the quote ..) anyway, great site worth looking at.

Back to me ... The Desiderata is an oldie but a goodie:
"Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit".
And yes I know its corny but its not bad. I picked up a new one on Twitter a few weeks ago:
"If you are right you don't need a defence, if you are wrong their is no defence".
And they all kind of hearken back to George Eliot's concept of a "Creed of Humanity" explored so beautifully in Silas Marner (must reread that too).

And to finish, a motivational warning from Olive Shrieiner's The Story of an African farm:
"He mounted the grey mare and rode off. The dog watched his retreat with cynical satisfaction; but his master lay on the ground with his head on his arms in the sand, and the little wheels and chips of wood lay on the ground around him. The dog jumped on to his back and snapped at the black curls, till, finding that no notice was taken, he walked off to play with a black beetle. The beetle was hard at work trying to roll home a great ball of dung it had been collecting all the morning: but Doss broke the ball, and ate the beetle's hind legs, and then bit off its head. And it was all play, and no one could tell what it had lived and worked for. A striving, and a striving, and an ending in nothing."
I have never forgotten the 'striving, striving and an ending in nothing bit' and think its about recognizing when you are pushing shit uphill, or as our guest speaker in the INFO560 class on Saturday more eloquently phrased it: Is it worth doing?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Marketing Libraries

Alison Wallbutton writes a great blog called Market Intelligence : news and views about marketing, consumers and trends relevant to libraries and librarians.

Her most recent post features the research project by Melissa Clarkson about special libraries and marketing, but is of relevance to public libraries to.

I'm not going to write anything here - coz I have nothing perceptive to add - but do check out Alison's blog. She writes about an aspect of librarianship that we are increasingly involved in and there aint much around!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Making a difference: try smiling :)

This is a lovely video clip - with a great message.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The September Project

I came across this project some months ago and while I quite like the idea of 'connecting the world 1 library at a time' I have never felt inspired enough to see if we wanted to do anything. Until now that is, when I found this video on the project site.

Since 2004, libraries across the world have organized events about freedom and issues that matter to their communities during the month of September. This grassroots project favors free over fee, public over private, and voices over silence.

Looking at the map of past and planned events, the project is definitely Americentric, and the September 11 date is not subtle. I thought at first it really wasn't for us... until I saw the video and I've been thinking that maybe it is.

September Project events explore and exercise freedom, justice, democracy, and community and include book displays, community book readings, childrens’ art projects, film screenings, theatrical performances, civic deliberations, voter registrations, gardens, murals, panel discussions, and puppet shows. September Project events are free and open to the public.

A couple of possibilities of themes which we could promote here in Horowhenua are:
  • celebrate individuals and groups who foster and support community spirit and wellbeing,
  • celebrate Kete, our community built library of local digital content,
  • Celebrate Kete and Koha, as tangible results of our believe and commitment to open source and open standards.
  • promote the role of libraries in an open society in terms of equity of access to information.

Planned September projects can be found on the project website and are incredibly diverse, including:

  • Customer appreciation day where library staff bake cookies and brownies for library users,
  • a live review and discussion of the book Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, one of the first novels relating to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks,
  • a storyteller will present tales of peace, justice, and humor from the Islamic World,
  • celebrating local or ordinary heroes,
  • "What I'd like the world to read" where patrons submit a short video, audio or Power Point presentation on any book they choose,
  • defend anti-censorship in libraries principles by promoting previously banned books.
This post considers what makes an interesting September Project event. While there are no set templates, some of the most interesting past projects capture the surrounding culture and history of the region.