Not whimsical, but necessary

While not a story about technology, I thought it was worth sharing an article I heard about on the ARSL (Association of Rural and Small Libraries) list. It's about a labor of love, a bookmobile.

Many of you know I'm a big fan of bookmobiles, but this one is different. It's a story about a burro and books. A biblioburro. I was especially inspired by the librarian, Luis Soriano, who understands the power of meeting potential patrons where they are: dining at his restaurant.

Green bookmobile

I'm a big fan of bookmobiles. I'm also a big fan of paper--books, magazines, newspapers. One way to put a smile on my face is to send me a letter, and when a letter has a newspaper clipping hidden inside, even better.

another form of librarianship

When I was traveling around Northern California on the Internet Archive bookmobile, I had the opportunity to sit down with Eric Brooks, the lone technical support person at the Placer County Library. One of the many conversations we shared was around how he felt technical support personnel should either be mandated to work at a computer lab while in school, or they should pick up hours working a customer service job, like retail.

Not fame, but 15 minutes of exploration...

I've been thinking a lot about time. And when I think about time, I hear Mick Jagger singing in my head, "tiiiiiime is on our side..."
But how does Mick's promise work in libraries? Finding time to complete daily tasks, help patrons, react to the myriad of unscheduled issues tossed your way, and then, keep up with technology? Really? Are you sure time is on your side?
Lately, a few people have shared their views on this topic, and all are connected by their desire to learn, and their creative solutions. Read on...

A commitment to patron training

Whether formal or informal, planned or unplanned, most libraries offer some variety of patron training. Call it what you may, when a librarian bends over a public computer and offers help to a puzzled patron, that’s training, too.

100 dollar laptop: quite a draw on the road!

Early in our trip, I was amazed by the technology the three of us brought on the road. We were a veritable computer and video production lab on wheels. I even took a photo to prove it.

You didn't happen to bring your ID, did you?

She peered over at me, eyebrow raised, and asked, "how old are you?"

Unprepared to answer such a personal question, I stumbled and paused, mouth opened.

two loooong days (part one)

Yesterday we visited two libraries in two sweet towns and topped it off with the fundraiser for the Humboldt County Library. Today is much the same--we're traveling to Mendocino county to visit two libraries, and then we head back to San Francisco. The phone just woke us all up before our alarm, and I tumbled around, trying to find a way to make it stop. It was the front desk at our hotel, telling us the bookmobile was about to be towed, due to the farmer's market setting up in the square. What a rude awakening, and what kind of person would tow a bookmobile???


top ten lessons learned on the bookmobile (so far)

As Brewster Kahle cautioned, practice, practice, and more practice is required to perfect the setup, the bookmaking, and the break down of the bookmobile. He spoke the truth, and as we embark upon our last days of the tour, I thought I'd list some of the hard lessons of the road. :)

the bookmobile: caught on film at Orland Free Library

We spent a lovely day at the Orland Free Library, and we're lucky ShinJoung caught it on film. After much editing and producing, ShinJoung's filmic masterpiece is now ready for the public!

WATCH the bookmobile crew on ShinJoung's blog.