Greening libraries

I’m very happy to see that ACRL is continuing to work on making its conferences more sustainable…in part by making virtual meetings better and more accessible.  ACRL committee members should take a look at Tip Sheet #7 on this list, which offers tips on managing virtual meetings–and 7a and 7b, on using DimDim, a free web conferencing tool, to meet over the Internet.  I’ve never used DimDim, and I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has.

Featured librarian: Miriam Rigby

[This post mirrors content I’ve posted to Re:Generations, a blog for new and emerging academic librarians.]

This is the second in a series of posts featuring librarians taking an interesting approach to the profession, or using their degrees in interesting ways. If you missed the first post (featuring Heather Ward, UN Librarian and certified mahout) you can see it here. If you know of someone else you’d like to see interviewed, please let me know in the comments.

Miriam Rigby is the Social Sciences Librarian at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon. She’s been a librarian for about a year, and she was selected as one of ALA’s Emerging Leaders for 2009-2010. Above, she engages in hula-hoop outreach with UO faculty.

Miriam says: “Don’t sell yourself short, join and apply for things, and make connections.”

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Colorado’s greenest library

I’m not sure why The Denver Post is calling it “carbon-positive,” when in fact the point seems to be to make it carbon-neutral (or better), but the Anythink Brighton library (Adams County CO) seems pretty amazing.  It has a geothermal HVAC system under its parking lot, a whack of solar panels–and it hopes to be selling energy back to the grid within a year.  Substantial amounts of energy, according to Pam Sandlian Smith, the library’s director.

To which I say: very cool.

Flickr photosets here and here and here.

In praise of the public library

I’m an academic librarian, and I spend a lot of time thinking about higher education, research, and related topics.  But I’m also a reader of novels, a watcher of movies, a listener-to of music, and a General Member of the Community.  (Which community?  Oh, well…lots of them, I guess.)

As such, I just have to spend a minute singing the praises of my local public library system, which recently won a national award for its services.  The Multnomah County Library is awesome.  I’ve somehow managed to read fifty books this year, and I can’t even begin to tell you how many of those I got from the library.  (Most.)  Not to mention the movies and TV series I’ve borrowed, and the music I’ve found, and the zines I’ve read (they collect zines!) and the fact that recently I got to visit their Special Collections division, and saw Charles Dickens’s signature.

Just last night a friend told me about their electronic books and on-demand videos (they use Library2Go and NetLibrary, among other products I probably haven’t even discovered yet.)  Right this minute, I could be watching a free showing of Declining by Degrees, or The Persuaders, or listening to a Michael Moorcock book or a Shakespeare play on my iPod.  (Well right now I’m at work, but you know…) All I have to have is a library card, a little time on my hands, and interest.

Libraries are pretty incredible institutions.  Communities that understand and values libraries are, to my way of thinking, healthy and inspiring places to live.  I’m so glad and grateful to part of this community, and to have access to this mild, modest, totally kick-ass library system.

Featured Librarian: Heather Ward

[This post mirrors content I’ve posted to Re:Generations, a blog for new and emerging academic librarians.]

This is the first of (I hope) a small series of posts profiling librarians doing unusual, unexpected, and interesting things with their careers. I’m starting out with my own network of friends and colleagues, but if you know of someone you’d like to see interviewed here, please let me know in the comments.

Heather Ward is the Librarian for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland. Previously, she has worked as the Humanities Librarian at the University of Oregon and in several positions with USAID in Afghanistan and Thailand. She’s been a librarian for about twelve years, and a certified mahout for…a little less than that. She blogs about libraries and life at Lisons et Dansons.

Heather says: “Be patient. Be persistent. Figure out what you have control over and concentrate on that. (Let the other stuff go.)”

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