Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Need to get rid of a few books?

I've decided that I need to get rid of some of the books that I've bought, but should get rid of. You notice I said SHOULD....because as you all is difficult to part with books! I was frustrated because I like to donate the books, but want to give them to people that actually will read them. Many of my books are mysteries. I use to get these from the Library I worked at in the States, so I didn't have to buy them. But to keep reading them now, I have to purchase them. I tried to get a few friends interested in them, but that didn't really work. Then I tried to give them to my fav second hand shop, but they just didn't go very well. I guess they are just too American. So then I joined a couple online book exchanges. That has been a really good way to give them to people that actually want to read them. I keep thinking I'm going to join Bookcrossing, but I'm not sure about some of my mysteries that way. I will do that soon though.

So what exchanges do I do? Well the most successful has been Bookmooch. It is an international exchange, but you can decide not to send outside of your country if you wish. I've given away two books now and have been sent two books. There are a few I have missed and a few that wouldn't be sent to me because I'm out of the US. But that is ok. They also have a very active forum, to talk about books that are being offered or looked for. The things I like about it:
  • They use a point system. You get 1/10 of a point for listing a book and full points for both mooching and for being mooched from.
  • You can put your wishlist on the site. As people but books in their inventory, it will flag that you have it on your wishlist.
  • You are emailed and you can say whether you want to give the book, how long it might take you to send it, and you can email the person to find out if they are willing to send etc.
The other I do is UK only...Green Metropolis. I've not had quite as much luck with this one for books for myself, but of course I've not used the wishlist like I have for that is my fault. I have given lots of books away though. With this one:
  • They use a money system, where you can keep a balance as you sell books so that you can then "purchase" them without actually spending any money! Love that!
  • The person you send the book to does not get your address. The return address is to Green Metropolis.
  • 5p from all books recycled they donate to the Woodland Trust. You can also chose to spend some of the money you get for your books to them also.
  • Their focus is on the recycling.
  • They are strict on when you send the item and how it is sent, but they give you three days...which is usually doable. You can tell the system when you will be on holiday so t hat you aren't notified during those times.
So try these two out if you want. Please leave me comments about any others that you know about. It doesn't hurt to have the books on a couple, as long as you remember to take them off when you have given them away!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Libraries need Librarians....

the clue is in the name....

I attended something very meaningful yesterday. My first protest. I was a very young person during all the protests of the 60's. I always envisioned myself protesting against the Vietnam war, or against human rights violations. My first protest shouldn't, couldn't have been imagined to be for people that I feel so strongly are so important to this information age. Over the last three years, I've struggled with my calling...and I've always considered being a Librarian my calling. As soon as I stepped into a library, I wanted to work there. When I finally got my chance I proved to myself and overs over and over again that I was good at the work. I was interested in helping others. Interested in the process of finding information, and that only grew when we came into the internet age...not to long ago.......

The Hampshire County Council, (my local government) however, feels the Librarians are not needed. Why pay people who have been trained and have an interest in the field do a job for "all this money".........sorry....I just had to pick myself up off the floor laughing about that one...who has heard of a well paid library staff member????? When we can put library assistants who have no experience and who in most cases (not all cases) are only there to have the job, not because they have a love of information and helping people and pay them less! I was there. I've seen it. Library assistants asked questions that they have not been trained to answer and put on the spot by patrons that have no idea they AREN'T talking to a trained Librarian! It isn't fair to the assistants, the patrons, nor the Librarians! Three years ago when I worked for Hampshire, they had just been through a restructuring where they had replaced almost all of the Library managers with non-library degree staff. All staff member then were trained to manage libraries....I mean really....lets pay a bunch of money to train people...LIBRARIANS COME TO THE JOB TRAINED! Management is a course you take to get your degree!!!! You then would only need to learn the management software and forms that need to be filled out. The management course I took covers human resource, project and money management!

Ok, I'm off the pedestal....but it makes me soooo angry. So I've decided that the best way to fight back, is to get the degree and then market the heck out of Librarians. We are needed. I see that everyday. Students need us to help them with online journals searches. Who else would the go to that has sat down and learned the ins and out of searching on this torturous things? How do you know the information you are pulling off the internet is correct??? Ask a Librarian! What book should I read if I like so and so.....ask a Librarian! Want to have a educational experience for your child during the summer? Ask your children's librarian! Is the stereotype changing? Yes!!! Do we need to change and grow as Librarians? Yes!!! But every job has to do that! The problem is, we are changing...but now one is taking the time to notice!!!

If you would like to read more there are online articles here and here

I promise that I am reading, but I've been trying to study and get things like that done. We are having an early spring, and it is hard to sit here at the computer. I have to admit, that I've hit a bit of a slump. I've picked up several books I couldn't get into, no matter how I tried...and that has been a problem. But I will have another review soon!