Monday, June 17, 2013

The End of an Era

For those of you who have followed our blog over the last few years, you may have wondered where we have been recently. Did ALC eat us alive? Did we all decide that we needed an extended vacation? Obviously not. But we have collectively been finding the blog a bit hard to write lately and, glancing around the blogosphere, we are not the only ones. In late May, thewikiman published a post entitled “Is it the end of an era of librarian blogging?” His piece encompasses a lot of what we have been feeling lately, which has resulted in our decision to end the blog.

Before we go though, we would like to say that it has been wonderful thinking, composing, and writing about the things that we have felt may be affecting you and your work in libraries. In the spirit of the ever changing online world, we have created a Pinterest page upon which we will continue to share program ideas, resources, and exciting new library initiatives: We hope that you will follow our boards on Pinterest and join us in our continuing efforts to support and champion libraries in southwestern Alberta and beyond!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Choose Privacy Week

Choose Privacy Week is a program of the American Library Association that brings attention to privacy concerns and rights in a digital age.  The event takes place May 1-7, 2013 throughout the US, and ALA provides libraries the tools they need to educate and engage users in this issue. The campaign is meant to encourage library users to think critically about their privacy and to make more informed choices in this age of digital information.

As usual, the ALA has some great resources for libraries and library patrons to use to bring attention to this issue on the website at:  Although much of the information is US-specific, the overarching issues are global.

The website provides a variety of resources including:
  • A privacy video, along with an accompanying video study guide
  • Resources for convening a public forum on privacy issues
  • Programming and event ideas
  • A one-page privacy handout - a template for libraries to use to communicate to their patrons how important protecting their privacy is to the library
  • A Privacy myth buster document

The site also includes background information and resources on privacy rights, to help you and your patrons gain a better understanding of the issues.

I encourage every library to look at some of the resources on the site to help gain an understanding of the role we play, as library workers, in protecting patron privacy. You may also want to consider engaging your patrons in the conversation using the resources on the site. What a great way to let your patrons know that you are concerned about protecting their privacy!

Friday, April 5, 2013

New Mom Excited About Library!

I’m having a baby!  My due date is in May 2013, and I’m eager about my little guy’s arrival and creating a happy, exciting environment for him.  Part of what I envision for our adventures together is fully utilizing the resources of our local public library system here in Lethbridge.  What am I looking forward to as a library user?

  • Visits to LPL for baby programs!  We’ll start in September with “Babes in the Library,” “Rhyme Time,” and “small & TALL” at LPL’s main branch downtown once they resume after summer break.  I have friends with babies on the west side, so I might arrange play dates with them at the Crossings branch for their programs!

  • Toy Library!  What a great way to try new toys and save money. We don’t have a lot of space to store toys in our house, so I love the idea of bringing in a few items temporarily...and having my floor clean...temporarily!
  • DVDs!  I love movie nights at home, and as a new [tired!] mom, I think I’ll enjoy them all the more.  If baby fusses, no leaving the theatre or missing the story.
  • Zinio!  I’ve already downloaded a couple parenting magazines on my iPad (Parenting Early Years and Today’s Parent).  Consumer Reports magazine has been helpful in providing reviews of baby products, too.  Now my husband & I are checking reviews on used cars that will safely and economically accommodate a growing family!  If we couldn’t access these magazines via Zinio, we’d probably still sign out the print versions at the library, but being able to download them at home sure is convenient!  (Hopefully Zinio will be more widely available system-wide later this year—it’s being looked into!)
  • TumbleBooks!  This resource features online books and games for kids…my favorite book right now is 50 Below Zero by Robert Munsch. (It sounds like it’s read by Munsch himself!).  Click on the picture below to visit TumbleBooks online.

  • Bookmobile!  The bookmobile comes to our neighborhood once a week, and what a great excuse to go for a walk with baby.  We live too far away from the library to walk there, so to have the library come to us is an offer we can’t refuse!  (I believe new moms in any community will REALLY appreciate any effort a library makes to bring library services to them…)
  • Books for Babies!  All new parents get a free book bag kit from Alberta Health Services as a result of this program made possible by Chinook Arch and its member libraries, AHS, participating community literacy organizations in the region, and the Alberta Gaming & Liquor Commission.  The idea – to get parents reading to their babies.  The benefits are life-long!
  • Books! And last—but never least—there are the beloved books available to all of us via our libraries.  I’ve already checked out a number of print books and ebooks to help me prep for parenthood.  Here’s a list of some I’ve really enjoyed (click on the pictures to view the books in BiblioCommons):

Our libraries have lots to offer moms and dads and their children.  I'm lucky to know about all that's available to me through Chinook Arch because I've worked with libraries in the area for 5 years, but we should ENSURE that parents in our communities know all that we have to offer them at their local library.  Your best advocates are users like me!  Get us bragging about you and bringing new converts to the library.