Category: Libraries

Experiencing different realities

I’ve been alerted that the December 2013/January 2014 edition of Against The Grain will include a rebuttal of my keynote address at the November 2013 Charleston Conference, and a kind soul who will remain anonymous provided me with a copy of that rebuttal. When it is published online, if you have ATG access, it will be here. The article also provides a link to a video of the speech I gave, which is here. (Note: These links are not currently working, as of 10:20 on 2/6. They are not the official links, so they were bound to be unreliable. There’s […] keep reading…

What if?

Today we’re hosting our once-each-semester liaisons’ luncheon, in which we invite the faculty liaisons to the libraries to come and have a catered lunch discussion with us. We often have a multi-bullet agenda, but this spring we have one item: What to do with our collections budget? Just as I have been adamant that publishers need to change their models, I think libraries need to respond as well. We need to find our own flexibility, find ways to prioritize our own goals and needs, and be our own best allies in this struggle. So today, for an hour, I’m posing […] keep reading…

Director’s Day in the Life: working from home

I used to do these regularly, when Library Day In The Life was a thing. I sort of liked it; it’s interesting to see, in a really clear way, what I do all day. Yesterday I worked from home for most of the day, for personal reasons related to tired-pregnant-joint-problems. It also happens that I hear from a variety of librarians that they work for library administrators who don’t “like” or “approve” or “support” working from locations other than the libraries. To which I say, “Why not?” In my experience, offering library staff the freedom to intermittently do their work […] keep reading…

Attempting Positivity

As part of our ongoing discussions with SAGE, I closed a recent email with a list of suggestions (rather than simply complaints or concerns) about how publishers might better approach libraries. This list is shaped, clearly, by the kind of institution that we are, and the kind of pressures and needs we juggle, but it’s a starting point for a discussion. The librarians here at SUNY Potsdam were adamant that while we are deeply troubled by how this vendor-library interaction has proceeded, we’re also committed to trying to be good partners from our end. So, to that end, here are […] keep reading…

Conversational boundaries

Any phone call from a sales rep that includes more than one of the following: A) Overt whining from the sales rep, B) Repeated insistence that “I’ve been doing this for 40 years” as justification for something I’m arguing with, C) Refusal to end the conversation when I express, for the fifth time that I am not the right person to talk to, that I have provided you with the correct contact information, and that I don’t want to talk to you, D) Me responding to your disclosure that my employee is not calling you back with “”So, are you […] keep reading…

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