The Shifted Librarian -

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* Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Good News and Bad News

A few things I want to briefly mention, in the hope that I’ll be able to talk about them in more depth soon.

  • We (MLS) got the ListenIllinois grant, so we’ll be implementing the “One State, One Listen” program and adding OverDrive and Recorded Books titles to the group purchase starting January 1. If you’re an interested Illinois library, contact me!
     
  • We (Thomas Ford Memorial Library and MLS) didn’t get the gaming grant. I’m uncomfortable discussing online the reasons why we didn’t get it, but I did hear that it was the most controversial grant submitted and that it engendered a lot of debate. I guess that’s a good thing, but it illustrates the uphill battle we face to get librarians to recognize the value and relevancy of gaming and gamers. However, I hope to help rectify this situation with an announcement this week. Until I can say more, let me just hint that if you’re interested in gaming and gamers in academic, public, or school libraries, save December 5–6 on your calendar.
     
  • While I hope to get back to more regular blogging here, you’ll also find me posting my thoughts over on the ALA TechSource blog. I’m honored to be doing so in the company of Tom Peters, Karen G. Schneider, and Michael Stephens, along with Teresa Koltzenburg, ALA TS Editor. Unlike other biblioblogosphere blogs LIS News and the LJ Tech Blog, this one won’t be a running current awareness service. Instead, we’ll be writing about topics above the announcement level of new events, news, and technologies. Not that there’s anything wrong with that (I love both of those sites), but they already do a great job of this so we don’t need another one. I think you’ll find a bit more context, brainstorming, and thinking-out-loud from us, although we’ll definitely be discussing current events, too. Personally, I’m really looking forward to the conversations we’ll be having on the TechSource blog, hopefully building on each others’ thoughts.

    I also want to note up front that I’ll be using the first paycheck from this collaborative effort to join ALA and LITA. I’ve been on the fence about this for a while now because on the one hand, I think ALA can be mired in bureaucracy and I didn’t think the “@ your library” campaign was the best meme (I wanted a more quotable “just do it” kind of slogan). However, ALA has really stepped up to fight the PATRIOT Act and take on the copyright lobby, and I was impressed by their decision to start over with the web site (the hardest part of success is failure, especially public failure). These days I’m more impressed than not by what they’re doing. I had pretty much talked myself into joining, but then GormanGate happened and I just couldn’t bring myself to be a positive statistic under such a tactless spokesperson. However, now I simply can’t resist the delicious irony of joining using the money ALA is paying me for blogging on its site. It’s too perfect. So an ALA member I will become, and maybe I’ll even modify my site badge to say “ALA Blog Person.”  ;-)

On a side note, I want to remind Illinois librarians that Stephen Abram is keynoting the Illinois Library Association conference tomorrow morning. Don't. Miss. It. You'll regret it if you do, because everyone will be talking about his presentation. You never want to pass up an opportunity to hear Stephen speak, especially when he's in our own backyard!

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