Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Missing Bloggers!

And then I found two more bloggers on the Connecticut case: the Librarian in Black and Kathleen de la Pena McCook's Librarian blog which has a great set of links to the actual statements at the press conference.

Friends on the Front Page

The Librarians were on the top of the front page of the Connecticut Post. I have camped with George, and chatted with him about many library issues over the years.

The New York Times has a great story with a photo of all the players in the online edition. (Thanks Don Wood for the link.)

Library Link of the Day pointed me to the Boston Globe.

Kudos to my other blogger friends (Jessamyn, Karen, Bill Drew, and from one of my newer subscriptions to "The 'M' Word."

Disclaimer: I don't know how long those links will be either free or active!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Web 2.0 - No one owns it

Web 2.0 - No one owns it
Originally uploaded by Paul Watson.

Membership Initiative Group

So what are the rules about a Membership Initiative Group? The Chair of ALA's Committee on Organization (COO) emailed me notes from the ALA staff liaison (my friend, Lois Ann Gregory Wood). Here is what Lois Ann said the rules in the ALA files are. [At the end is an interpretive statement from Lois Ann.]

A membership initiative group is a short-term organizational vehicle, which provides for prompt, organized membership activity on topical issues in librarianship of mutual interest. While possibly overlapping with other ALA units for brief times, a MIG may not assume any of the delegated responsibilities of said units, which are currently being carried out by said units, not may a MIG speak for the Association.

A group of members, having identified their common concern for some aspect of librarianship, would register the following with the Committee on Organization:
1. A statement of purpose.
2. At least 100 signatures of ALA members in good standing.
3. The names and addresses of designated organizers.

The COO chairperson will acknowledge receipt of the required documentation, with a copy to the ALA Conference Arrangements Office, and this registration will be reported to Council in the Committee report at the next conference. The ALA Conference Arrangements Office will acknowledge receipt of notification and make every effort to accommodate the space/time/place needs of the group.

The unit may function in ALA for a maximum of two years (changed to 3 years in 1985) having meetings and programs. During this time, the Association will provide meeting space, a listing in the Handbook of Organization, inclusion in conference schedules, and a contact person at Headquarters designated by the Executive Director to provide parliamentary counseling. In addition, the MIG may request small support items, either from Headquarters or as budgetary requests to COPES. (now BARC) All other MIG activities will be handled by the group.

Extension: (This section was eliminated in 1985, along with the shift from a 2-year to a 3-year life. At the end of the three years, the MIG must "apply for a place within the ALA structure" - as I read the background material.)

So, establishing a Bloggers MIG, is a way to get organized, but still get conference space to meet while we get our act together.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Apologies for the confusion...two posts now gone

Friday afternoon, I was trying to post, and for some reason, the post would not appear. I tried with a new luck. Then I did a test. Nothing.

I gave up and went home. I had a scouting event that evening, and immediately proceeded to nortwestern CT where I spent the night and all day Saturday. Imagine my surprise to find them all there today!

The test post is now gone (you haven't gone crazy), and the duplicate post with a slightly different name is also now gone.

Onward and upward.

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.

Friday, May 26, 2006

A Home for Bloggers in ALA

I floated the idea of creating a Blogging Round Table within ALA on April 11, and revised it on April 13. My friend Mary Ghikas of ALA has been in touch with me about the organizational possibilities, and talked about something that is rare in ALA: Membership Initiative Groups (MIG).

So I have been thinking about what to do. Both require 100 members, but the MIGs are much more informal, require no dues, and only need to be approved by Council upon recommendation by the Committee on Organization (COO). [Side note: I have often wondered why COO gets to be one of the few parts of ALA which has not only a preposition capitalized, but the word "committee" as part of its acronym.]

If you want to see an MIG in action, the one I know about is holding a program in New Orleans.

I am currently thinking that we should do a Bloggers MIG. All we need is "a statement of purpose" and 100 signatures. I have asked Leslie Burger (the blogging President-Elect) to let me pass the petition at her soiree for bloggers on Saturday night. If you are going to be there, you can sign the petition, and pick up blanks to pass around at the conference.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Importance of Networking

Last night I spent almost five hours at the Bridgeport Education Summit. (For the purposes of this story, the reasons for the Summit are not important.) I served on the planning committee, and worked at the registration desk. I did participate in one of the break out sessions which gathered input for the school systems' new strategic planning process.

As we were walking in for the closing remarks, I walked in with the Mayor, his wife, the legislative liaison, and the Chief of Staff (COS). I have known the COS for several years. He had worked with the previous Mayor, and then had run one of the important cultural organizations in the City before becoming the COS. When I need something from the Mayor, he is my "go to" guy.

As we walked down to our seats, he turned to me and said, "Thanks for being there last night. I take attendance, you know." The last night he referred to was the ceremony swearing in the new Fire Chief. When I went, I told my staff, that it was an important "see and be seen" event. Little did I know.

While at the Fire Chief swearing in, I not only greeted the new chief, but had a chance to touch base with the Police Chief over scheduling a meeting to talk about security issues at the libraries. It pays to get out and network, especially with City officials. At the Summit, I saw more than half of the City Council, the head of the chamber and the head of the parent regional organization, the CEO of the United Way, the president of the regional charitable foundation, and many others (including some of my own Board members). If we are going to have a Librarian at Every Table, ask Kathleen de la Pena McCook advocates, we need to be visible in the community. Folks need to see the library director and think "Oh, the Library is here!"

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Horrors in Hamden ("All politics is local. - Tip O'Neill)

I received an email from a former staff member to alert me to what I am calling "Horrors in Hamden."

I worked in the Town of Hamden, but not for the town, for almost six years. I was the Executive Director of the Southern Connecticut Library Council (SCLC). Hamden Public Library was one of the members of SCLC, and there often were staff members on the Board of SCLC. At one time in its history, the SCLC offices had been located in the Hamden Library, but they moved out prior to my arrival.

I was sent two links to articles in the local papers about what happened. The first tells of the Council's actions on the budget, and the Library Board's reaction. The second is an opinion piece by one of the Council members.

Now, for those who are not familiar with Connecticut Laws, Title 11, Chapter 190 of the Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) governs libraries. The section with the powers of Library Boards is very clear. The municipality can set the budget, but the Library Board is the only one with the power to divide it and spend it for specific purposes. There are not a lot of budget battles I have won lately, but that is one which is clear, even to the politicians in Bridgeport.

I wish Hamden Library Director Bob Gualtieri all the best in this fight.

Mary Jane Anderson -- Ahead of her time

I received an email last night telling me that Mary Jane Anderson had died.

When I first was elected to ALA Council, Mary Jane served as a wonderful and thoughtful mentor. She was very active on the PUBLIB discussion list, and served on the Resolutions Committee of Council. While we did not always agree on a topic, one of the wonderful things that Mary Jane did for me was to make me re-write my resolutions to: be grammatical; be clear about what I wanted to say; be clear about what ALA was to do. She was a great mentor!

I am convinced that I have been successful in ALA politics because of the early lessons I learned from Mary Jane. I've been thinking about her since Midwinter where I heard that her health was not good. I will miss her. I do miss her.

Karen Schneider has a wonderful post about Mary Jane and her response to criticism from John N. Berry III in a Library Journal editorial. Go read either the PUBLIB archive or Karen's post. Look at what Mary Jane says about the changes in how we communicate. I have to believe that if her physical health had not slowed her, she would have been blogging with us!

Rest in peace, my friend.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Mother's Day post -- Belated and more about Grandmothers than my Mother

It has been crazy both at work and in my personal life, so I have not posted for a bit.

Mother's Day was last weekend, and I called my mother, of course (I think I was the last of the seven of us who either called or saw her that day). I also had some time on the ride, driving and thinking. I began thinking about my grandmothers.

I am lucky. I had all four grandparents alive to see me graduate from college and to get married. Three of the four lived to see their first great-grandchild, my eldest son.

Some of my reflection is because I spent a part of the weekend cooking spaghetti/tomato sauce for a cast of thousands (just 120 +/-). I made the sauce from scratch, and to do that I do not use a recipe. I do it the way I used to see my grandmother Fitzgerald do it. I start by sweating onions and garlic in olive oil. Then I add basil, oregano, and some bay leaves. Then I add plum tomatoes and cook for a bit. After an hour or so, I add tomato paste (to thicken), and then add spice to taste. I usually add more oregano and more basil, along with some salt, pepper, a little sugar, and some secret ingredients.

So how does the "prettiest Irish girl in Pawtucket" learn how to make a mean sauce (or gravy, if you are from certain parts of Italy)? Well, when they were first married, and when my mother was growing up, my grandparents lived on Riverside Drive in New York just above what is now the George Washington Bridge. At that time the neighborhood was predominately Italian. My mother started her high school career at Mother Cabrini High School (and was taught by nuns who actually knew Mother Cabrini). So she learned from the neighbors.

That got me to thinking about how different my grandmothers were. Grandma Fitz was from a large working/middle class family in Pawtucket. She had several (4?) sisters and a brother, and her father worked hard. My Grandma Golrick grew up as the eldest daughter (4 sisters) of a physician who had a very successful practice on Elmwood Avenue in Providence. She grew up in relative affluence. My grandmother Fitzgerald had some health issues, and never worked outside the home. My grandmother Golrick was an elementary school teacher ever since I could remember. She taught in the Trenton NJ public schools from sometime in the 1950s into the 1970s when she retired.

When I think about my grandparents as couples/parents, I reflect that in each couple there was a disciplinarian, and a "softie." In each case, it was the grandparent who grew up in relative affluence who was the disciplinarian, and the one whose circumstances were more modest was the "softie."

From my grandmother Golrick, I get my love of reading and of grammar. You could call it my appreciation for language. From my grandmother Fitzgerald I get my love of cooking and food as well as my positive outlook. I am grateful to both of them.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

CLA Conference

The Connecticut Library Association Conference was Tuesday and Wednesday this past week. I was only able to attend on Tuesday.

One of my staff received the Faith Hektoen Award. Pictures are on the CLA Conference Blog. Bina Williams is featured.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

ALA Legislative Day 2006

I took some photos and have put them on my Flickr pages.

The trip down was uneventful, even though the car began to overheat some while I was on the Cross Bronx. As long as I kept moving, it was fine. I took a couple of photos at the Vince Lombardi Rest Area on the New Jersey Turnpike, including one of the top of the Empire State Building on its 75th "birthday."

I spent the night in Maryland with my son and his fiancee, at their new (to them) town house.

Tuesday morning I got up bright and early, and drove to the Greenbelt station for the Metro ride into DC. I got to Union Station in plenty of time, grabbed some breakfast and walked over to the Capitol where the morning briefing was. There are shots from Union Station and of the outside of the Capitol. It was a gorgeous day! 70's and sunny, with clear skies.

I've got a few photos of the morning briefing which Miriam Nisbet (ALA - WO) did. I then headed to the ALA Washington Office. There are a bunch of photos of the new offices. I was there for a meeting with REFORMA and MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund). There is one photo there of the group.

Late morning was a meeting of OITP staff and those of us from the E-Rate Task Force who were going to visit the FCC in the afternoon. We prepped, we went over, and we met. There is one photo of Commissioner Adelstiein, in his wonderful office; and there are a couple of photos in and from Commissioner Copps' meeting room.

Later I was a the reception in Rayburn Building. There are photos of ALA President Michael Gorman, FOLUSA Executive Director Sally Reed, and those who presented and received the legislative awards. I'll be updating the Flickr page with details once I figure them out!

I headed home late (starting on the Metro after 7 pm) and getting on the road in Maryland by about 8:30. There was really bad traffic at the Delaware Memorial Bridge. The idiots advertised that two left lanes as closed when it really was three lanes. And they do a lousy job of helping vehicles merge, so it took an hour to go about 2 miles. Frustrating! The rest of the trip was fine, but I stopped a couple of times to nap. I got home late (or, technically, early).

It was a good trip, all in all.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Elected! Thanks

First of all, this post is from the living room of my son's house in Elkridge MD. I'm en route to ALA Legislative Day, and am spending the night here. He writes computer code for an un-named defense contractor. He has wi-fi, but only for the TiVo! The really high speed computers are hard wired.

The ALA Election results are in, and thanks to all who voted for me, I was elected to ALA Council as an "at Large" member.

I took the email I received and pasted it into Excel (eventually) so that I could sort from highest to lowest on the vote count. (The ALA list is alphabetical so you can find your favorite candidate.) I'm going to try pasting it below. The difference in the number of votes from the #1 vote getter this year to the last person elected was 1,553. The difference on the bubble was 11.

A quick analysis shows that I have little influence since I recommended folks on both the top and the bottom of the list.

Dora T. Ho 4769 Elected
Nancy P. Zimmerman 4757 Elected
Virginia (Ginny) B. Moore 4739 Elected
Ellen Riordan 4428 Elected
Carolyn Brodie 4086 Elected
Gail Schlachter 3839 Elected
David Easterbrook 3823 Elected
Amy Gonzalez Ferguson 3771 Elected
Margie Thomas 3721 Elected
Heidi Dolamore 3687 Elected
Bob Diaz 3661 Elected
Patricia Hogan 3655 Elected
Larry Romans 3618 Elected
Nancy Fredericks 3600 Elected
Michael Golrick 3569 Elected
Rochelle Hartman 3560 Elected
Cassandra Barnett 3554 Elected
Elizabeth (Beth) E. Bingham 3548 Elected
Jo Ann Pinder 3545 Elected
Carolyn Giambra 3524 Elected
Kate Corby 3519 Elected
Mark Rosenzweig 3506 Elected
Ria Newhouse 3459 Elected
Rosie Albritton 3454 Elected
Michael Gutierrez 3425 Elected
Shixing Wen 3413 Elected
Dennis LeLoup 3371 Elected
Barbara Silverman 3318 Elected
Frances Roscello 3305 Elected
Beth Hill 3287 Elected
Ann Ewbank 3274 Elected
Nancy C. Pack 3228 Elected
Andrea M. Morrison 3216 Elected
Samantha Schmehl Hines 3205
Brenda Pruitt-Annisette 3195
M. A. (Peg) Oettinger 3160
Patricia Wand 3122
Sally Decker Smith 3117
Eva Efron 3101
Michelle Baildon 3089
Ann Campion Riley 3081
Tiffani Conner 3065
Charles Forrest 3063
LuAnn Cogliser 3059
Arthur L. Friedman 3058
David Barton 3015
Trevor A. Dawes 3014
Sandra Olson 3014
Clara L. Sitter 2988
Herbert Biblo 2964
Shelby Harken 2948
Barbara Pickell 2945
Arlene Bielefield 2928
Avril N. Haughton 2920
Carolyn Lowe Garnes 2914
Dorothy Morgan 2908
Tammy Sugarman 2907
Aaron W. Dobbs 2901
Cheryl Bernero 2881
Felicia Smith 2855
William Paullin 2808
Frank Bruno 2764
Carol Ritzen Kem 2640
Dale Poulter 2628
Robert Hubsher 2599
Donald Roalkvam 2539
M. Michele Brown Kriske 2521
Norman J. Eriksen 2508
Jane Sessa 2299
Lainey Westbrooks 2278
Gregory McClay 2034