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A group blog about anything and everything related to public libraries in New York City. Posting rights are open to library workers at one of the three area public libraries. Commenting is open to all.

Fun with the Digital Gallery

East Broadway, across the street from the Chatham Sq. Branch, taken from the NYPL Digital Gallery

I spent an hour the other day showing a ten-year-old girl, one of our regulars, old photos of the library.  She had asked me how old the library was, and didn't believe me when I said more than a century.  She thought it should have fallen apart in that time.  I've wasted a lot of my own time looking through those pictures, looking for traces of the old in what's still here.  But it was really fun doing the same with a girl who has pretty strong negative opinions of anything she finds to be unmodern (including mountains, she hates the idea of them) and for her to really appreciate how long this building has been here and how long it's been serving recent immigrants and Chinese immigrants in particular.  

Emptying My Brain

So far, all things video game related have been going great. Except distribution-type stuff. We still need more games for onsite use, we still need the rest of our Wii controllers, we will ideally get another projector. But the programs are being attended by hordes of kids and the circulating games are coming back on time and undamaged and are going right back out. If I'm not careful, I'm going to turn myself into a gamer, though I swear I will never enjoy first person shooter games.

In other news, the biggest drawback of the holiday season seems to be that all of our friendly, neighborhood junkies are not taking their optimal cocktail of drugs, legal or not. Men more likely to fall of their chairs than start fights are doing both these days.

And I guess it's all taking its toll on the staff, because we're all tired and grumpy from doing five or more hours of desk a day. I am neither as nice nor as thorough as I should be when I'm on the desk that often, and beyond that it means I'm bringing stacks of work with me, which makes me seem busy and less approachable. I am trying to become better at what I will call the "roam and return" where I walk out into the stacks often and for short periods while keeping my eye on the desk, since it's still where the majority of people go when they need help and where I usually have to bring them back to for many questions. And I do tend to walk fast and that isn't approachable, so I'm consciously trying to slow myself down.

And in the interest of adding some color to this post, here's a graphic I made of my 16 favorite books read this year:

short reviews behind the cutCollapse )

Game On

I am currently sitting in our third floor conference room watching a bunch of preteen boys play racing games on our two video game systems. Maybe our coming Wii will break the death grip that racing games currently have on this program. Even though the Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero sit unused in the corner. We are one of a handful of branches getting a Wii and a bunch of games and some that will circulate. A requirement of this is that we have to hold two programs a month, and with staff levels being what they are it won't be easy. I'm excited, but not being any kind of gamer myself I'm a bit nervous as to how this is going to go.

But seriously, I hate driving games.

Raison d'être

Up until a few days ago, I had a blog on the NYPL servers. Then it got eaten when I was trying to activate plugins and while it may reappear sometime in the future, it's dead now. One of my biggest frustrations with their system was that it was closed to the public. While that makes a certain amount of sense, it also doesn't make any sense at all. Because of this barrier to access, I couldn't read other employee's blogs easily, couldn't read them in Google Reader, and the aggregated list they created to help with this was imperfect. There was also no notification of comments being posted or replied to. So I decided to take the plunge and jump into the open waters of public, non-pseudonymous blogging. I will frequently be critical, but do not intend for this to resemble Library Mofo. I will be personal, but will try not to name names.

I will eventually publicize, but until there's some content here it'll be a soft launch. I hate when people advertise a community that has no content yet, how can you know whether or not you're interested?