Thursday, May 26, 2005

What a week!

First off, we had a big day at the library on Monday. It was the big tour day, when we, as a psuedo-state library, try to get librarians from across the state to come and check out all the wonderful stuff we have and what we can do for them. So I got to do a program with another librarian about young adults and occupational information. It went okay. I wasn't very thrilled with it, but I feel that I am pretty tough on myself. Also, my co-presenter, who had done it a couple of times before, didn't do such a great job with his side of things. And I have a feeling that I don't feel it went so well because I wasn't as involved with getting it together -- I was busy with my other programs!! So, whatever. I got a catered lunch out of it too. Yippee.

So then Tuesday I left to go to Pittsburgh with NY Librarian. We were going to visit the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, which is quite lovely. Seriously. They have branded themselves -- with the website and their buildings. And this library has been undergoing renovations for the past couple of years and it looks wicked cool. Information architecture is really interesting and very modern. There are signs every where and they are consistent and it's pretty and bright! Although, I have to say, I don't know if I would want to work there. (The fact that they get most of their staff from the University of Pittsburgh may also not work in my favor.) They have gone from having subject departments down to just plain reference. And while I think that's a good thing in some aspects, there is something that is lost by not having people who know specific collections and are able to really work within a specific subject area.

Anyway, they were very nice and welcoming and Pittsburgh was lovely. Very much a small town feeling. And it was so great to just not work for two days. I mean, it was work, driving to Pittsburgh and talking to the librarians and everything, but definitely not in the same sense as serving the public in Baltimore.

Also, it got me thinking about the whole branding aspect of their library. It's just so nice. I don't really understand why we haven't done that, but apparently, as NY Librarian has told me, librarians often think of business oriented strategies (such as branding) to be a bad thing. And me, I'm all like, dude, why would you not want to present a consistent image to your customers? So I guess I do enjoy the marketing stuff. I just see stuff like that and think, man, I want to do library consulting when I get older and help libraries become great places for people -- so they can be what people think of first before saying, heck, I could get that at Barnes and Noble! Well, I'll get off my library soapbox.

I have today off from work, so that gave me an extra day to recooperate from the quick trip west. That also means I get to work Friday and Saturday of the Memorial Day weekend, but I don't have plans and my roommate is also not around, so I probably won't do anything for Memorial Day. Kind of sad, but whatever!! The kitty has been very cuddly with me today. It was a weird morning -- I woke up insanely early (like 5:30) and couldn't really fall back asleep. So I went out for McGriddles at McDonalds -- although in retrospect, I should've gotten the biscuit instead. And I have finally watched Fargo. It was actually pretty sweet. I mean, the accents are totally over the top in all things Minnesotan/North Dakotan, but I thought they really did an interesting job of contrasting the innocence of accents like that and the snow with the dark murders that happen. And I felt like they did capture the essence of winter in the upper Midwest. Yah. So I tried to sleep on the couch, but also managed to finish watching The Trouble with Harry (one of my favorite underrated Hitchcock films), It Happened One Night, and The Major and the Minor. Yup, and I'm still in my pajamas!! Not working rocks! Although, I do have stuff to do today, so I should probably get offline and get moving. Eh, we'll see.

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