Monday, November 26, 2007

It's not easy being green

This isn't really a library related post (although I can try to tie it in), but lately I've become more and more interested in being as "green" as I can be. I keep checking out books or putting ones on hold that deal with being environmentally friendly. Some of the advice is too much effort, not applicable, or just silly (take your own towel to the gym and a huge amount of water will be saved? Why? It's not as if we won't wash the towel when we take it home), but there are some great ideas out there:
  • Use canvas bags. Finally! A use for all those dang bags they give out at library conferences (I have at least 4!). Take them to the grocery store, use them when you pick up your library books (see, I can tie it in to the library), and more.
  • Reuse gift bags, ribbon, and even wrapping paper. I've always done this, but now I can claim it's because I'm "green" instead of cheap. :)
  • Buy LED Xmas Lights. They are expensive but LEDs last forever. I've been told that it is likely that the wiring will go bad long before the LEDs die. Plus, they are pretty cool looking. I haven't yet bought these, but am planning to.
I subscribe to two green blogs that are pretty good:

Little Known Librarian Duties

I am a librarian. Most of you think of librarians as book, and perhaps video and CD, dispensers, but I also dispense many other things:
  • Highlighters
  • Scotch Tape
  • Post-it Notes
  • Paper Clips
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • White-out
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Change for $1.00 for laundry
I don't know why I find it so amusing that students ask me for these things. Perhaps because when one shows up at the library with a huge poster board, you'd think that person would also bring stuff with which to stick things onto said poster board. And other items with which to cut out pictures for the poster board. Etc.

But I loan these things out. I have yet to have something not returned (well, minus the items that would naturally not be returned). If, some day, we become known as the cheap way to get as many paper clips as you could possibly need, then I might re-evaluate. But for now, I'll dispense away.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Personalize it!

Show Your Faculty Some Love #2: Individualize and personalize, part 2.

I simply cannot emphasize the whole personalization thing enough. Today I attended the beginning of a meeting in one of the departments to which I am a liaison. I created a handout specific to their discipline detailing library resources for that discipline, and library services available to faculty. I put each of their names on the cover sheet. [This is something we did at my previous institution, so I should give credit to Andrew.]

The first one I handed out was met with "Wow. A woman after my own heart. Personalized!" (okay, I might be slightly off on the exact quote but that was close). I also received several other comments, including that I am very organized.

A little personalization goes a very long way. It can be surprising just how well-received these efforts are.

Also, as a note, I made guides for all the adjuncts. They weren't at the meeting, but I left them in their boxes and will send emails soon. Adjuncts often get missed, so they are great candidates for guides to library resources.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Library + Hotel = Good idea?

I am not sure what to think about this, other than, why not? The NYT ran an article detailing plans of the Donnell branch of the New York Public Library to sell their current space to a hotel company for oodles of money - with the stipulation that the library gets the first floor and two floors below ground.

They need money, their branch needs remodeled desperately, why not take the $59 million? Plus, being in a hotel might increase traffic, although I wonder what sorts of issues will come up with regards to travelers wanting to borrow books. Of course, "The two operations will have separate entrances and be divided by a wall."

Friday, November 02, 2007

It's all about Individualization

Show Your Faculty Some Love #1: Individualize and personalize.

I'm a bit peeved at myself, because I lost my list of ideas for blog posts in the "Show Your Faculty Some Love" series at some point in my recent move (it must be around here somewhere, honestly!). Oh well, I remember most of it.

Today's tip for connecting with faculty deals with the importance of individualization. I can't emphasize this one enough. Just a little extra effort goes a very long way.

For example, I recently sent emails to the faculty members in the areas for which I am the library liaison. Instead of composing one email and sending it to a distribution list, I wrote the email and sent it to each faculty member individually. I personalized each email by using their name in the greeting, and changing the department in the subject of the email, and the body. "I am the new library liaison to ....". It definitely took more time, but it was worth it. Of the approximately 38 emails I sent out, I received responses to about 11. Which is pretty good. The emails didn't need responses, they were simply introductory. I even received a list of books recommendations already from a professor from whom other library staff say they never hear.

Not bad. And it's only the beginning. More tips to come soon! :)