National Library Workers Day


I would be remiss in my librarian duties if I didn’t share that today is National Library Workers Day. A day for the entire world (well, U.S. citizens) to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers.

Books behind glass, Jefferson Building, Library of Congress

Books behind glass, Jefferson Building, Library of Congress

Let me just say that I truly enjoy my job/career as a librarian. I enjoy books — reading them, cataloging them, aww hell, just looking at them on the shelves. I use to spend many a day (hours) at the Library of Congress doing research for school and genealogy purposes. Just walking into the various reading rooms at the Library would be a thrill.

Adams Building, Library of Congress

Adams Building, Library of Congress

Although the amount of researchers have decreased, I’m still amazed at the numbers of visitors that come to the Library to see the gorgeous and stunning Jefferson Building.

Jefferson Building, Library of Congress

Jefferson Building, Library of Congress

I hope you take a few minutes out of your busy schedules and visit your local library and thank the librarians for doing such a wonderful job. Or leave a comment on a blog post from a library worker (me!) saying thanks.

National Library Week

With Americans spending more on radios, and TV (musical instruments too, but I don’t think that was bad thing), the American Library Association (ALA) and American Book Publishers formed a committee, National Book Committee in 1954. The committee’s primary goal was to get Americans to spend more time reading books. The first National Library Week was observed with the theme “Wake Up and Read!” In 1959, it became a national celebration. When the National Book Committee disbanded in 1974, ALA assumed full sponsorship, continuing the yearly and national celebrations.

National Library Week is observed each year in April, generally the second full week.


The Long Way Home

airplane-410299_1280 wing-221526_1280

I meant to post this blog entry last week, but, as usual, life gets in the way…school, work, personal life, etc.

So I attended the midwinter conference of the American Libraries Association organization, that took place in Chicago from January 30 – February 2 (Super Bowl weekend ugh!). It was an uneventful conference. I gave a few presentations which I thought went very well. I snagged a few (umm, 12 or 15 or 20) galleys. They just seemed to jump in my hand or in a bag that I was carrying, it was awful all those books and the authors signing them, just attacking me like that. Even watching the Super Bowl in the hotel lobby was fun, as the blizzard raged outside.

Monday, February 2, however, was when all the fun began. As early as 7:30 a.m., my 11:30 a.m. flight was scheduled to be on time. I kept looking and looking at the airlines app making sure. And yet, at 9:30, while I was on the shuttle going to the airport, the airline canceled my direct flight to Regan National (DCA) airport and rebooked me on a flight with a layover in Buffalo to DCA. Ugh! Seriously! I’m already a nervous flyer, especially during take offs and landings. I watch too many movies and documentaries where the plane crashes during the take off or the landing. Yeah, I’m that girl.

I was able to get a hotel room about 2 miles from the airport, at the government hotel per diem (I was reimbursed for the room for the additional night.), thank goodness. Unfortunately, the hotel was in the middle of nowhere, so I could only eat at the hotel’s bistro. It was an early night and my flight was scheduled to leave at 7:45 a.m. Tuesday.

I couldn’t sleep, fearing I would oversleep and miss the shuttle to the airport. I was waking up every hour and finally, I was just awake from about 4:30 Chicago time. I checked out of the hotel, hopped aboard the shuttle, and made it to the airport with time to spare. But as things would happen (again), the pilot for my flight to Buffalo was late arriving to O’Hare. My flight to Buffalo was pushed back 10 minutes and I would still be able to make my connecting flight to DCA at 11:30. Except that the pilot was more than 10 minutes late and when he did arrive, he wanted to get the plane de-iced. Okay, it was pushing it, but I could still make my connecting flight. Only once we got in the air about 9:00, an hour late, a passenger took sick and we had to make a medical emergency landing in Cleveland. I didn’t know Cleveland even had an airport. (No offense to anyone from Cleveland.) Despite the understanding of getting someone the medical care that they need, I was frustrated beyond reason.

Okay…despite the diversion, I will admit to a little relief, my seat was cold as f–k. I was sitting in row 2, a single seat just as you enter the plane. I could see and hear the pilot and the co-pilot when the door to the cockpit was open. I was almost right across from an emergency door and cold air was seeping in. And my feel was so cold and almost numb. So while we were waiting for the pilot to fill out additional paperwork so that we could leave, there was heat and my feet were warm.

So back to the story, needless to say, this emergency landing just pushed all hopes to make my connecting flight into the trash. In fact, we landed in Cleveland at 11:30, just as my flight was leaving Buffalo. So we finally made our way to Buffalo and landed about 12:30. Now let me go back just a bit, the airline took my carry-on luggage as a part of their valet service. And I was suppose to get it back when I got off the plane. Y’all know what happens next, don’t you? That’s right…due to weather conditions in Buffalo, my checked bag would be returned to me at baggage claim. So I had to leave the secured area of the airport to retrieve my carry-on. And go back through security with my carry-on bag. Ugh!

The good thing about the Buffalo airport is that it isn’t big. And the trip to retrieve my luggage and back through security wasn’t too bad. I even was able to stop at the ticket counter to get my board pass to DCA, no one in line much to my surprise.

The airline booked me on the next flight to DCA at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. I camped out in the airport’s food court for 3 1/2 of the 4 1/2 hours that I had to wait. I was a little nervous, though, when I was the first to arrive at the boarding gate. But slowly airline staff and other passengers started to trickle to the gate. But my concern returned when a couple with a crying toddler in tow stopped at my gate. OMG!! I was getting ready to be stuck on a plane for 1 1/2 hours with a f–king crying toddler. But when we boarded the plane, the flight attendant gave the little crying girl some potato chips. Thank goodness for that!

After the resolution of the crying toddler, the last leg of my journey home was pleasant. I even had a nice view of the sunset…although the guy sitting across the aisle thought I was looking at him as looked out his window. And even though I hate landing at DCA from the side of the 14th Street Bridge (does anyone remember the January 13, 1982 plane crash? obviously I do even though it was over 30 years ago.), it was a smooth landing.

It’s taken me two weeks to get that extra day back in Chicago. Between work and school and personal commitments, that extra day caused so much trouble. And yet, I’m going to continue to travel in the winter, just hope and pray for better travels.

It’s taken me just about two weeks to recuperate from that extra day in Chicago, between work and school and personal commitments. I feel a lot better and rested now. It was an adventure getting home, but I’m going to continue to travel in the winter and just hope for better travels.

Musing Monday: a brief ALA midwinter recap

Musing Mondays is a weekly event where MizB will ask a book/reading-related question, and you answer with your own thoughts on the topic. Musing Mondays is hosted by Should be Reading.

I attended American Library Association (ALA), midwinter conference this past weekend in Philadelphia, at the Philadelphia Convention Center.  Despite having to work (and unusual frigid weather conditions), I always enjoy the ALA conferences. I usually just attend the annual conference near the end of June so this was unexpected surprise to be able to attend the midwinter.

It’s wonderful to see so many librarians, book readers/bloggers, and library workers all in one place to support the library system. Of course, the Exhibit Hall is a sight to see. There are so many publishers showcasing debut authors with mass publicity campaigns, distributing numerous advanced reader copies, known to folks in the industry as ARCs. Every year, I vow not to collect so many ARCs that I can’t read before the next ALA conference that I attend. And every year, I vow to donate my unread ARCs to a local charity or find other readers who may be interested in reading them. And the very next conference, I’m back with my bag full of books and posters, groaning loudly at myself at the Post Office (conveniently located in the convention center) packing my box full of ARCs. This year, I even used my 3 year old daughter as an excuse to collect children’s books. Really?! I was almost ashamed of myself, until I scored an autographed copy of  Nora’s Ark by Eileen Spinelli. Of course, that just makes up for all the books that I packed up and shipped home. But I did manage to hold myself to only one box. And believe me, that was not easy.

In addition to publishers, there are vendors, many vendors. Some vendors want to update your library’s bibliographic records to the latest cataloging rules, Resource Description and Access (RDA). These rules are suppose to be more user friendly and easier for catalogers to create bibliographic records. However, let me tell you by experience, it doesn’t seem to be easier. There are rules that seem to create more work for the catalogers (me). Of course, there is a certain amount of getting used to new cataloging rules when I’ve using the old cataloging rules for almost 10 years.  These vendors usually supply with the bags that I use to carry my bookload, or give me the pens I use to address the box that I ship the books. One vendor even take pictures.

Most publishers or vendors require that they scan your conference badge. Your badge contains all sorts of pertinent information to the businesses: your name, email address, work address, employer, etc., all to send you additional information on their new, and previous, products. But deleting extra emails and discarding junk mail seems to be a small price to pay for assortment of freebies these businesses offer over a long four-day weekend. What better way to reach thousands of potential customers?

Aside from the Exhibit Hall, I “forced” myself to do some networking. I handed almost all of my business cards, asked publishers to “shoot me an email,” talked to fellow librarians, attended some committee meetings. I pushed myself outside of my introverted box and talked to people I didn’t know, which is a feat by itself. I don’t know what it is but I can get up in front of a group of people and give a talk without batting an eye. But ask me to start a conversation with a total stranger and I get all tongue-tied, without a clue as what to say. Ugh!

The 2014 ALA annual conference is held from June 26-July 1 in Las Vegas, baby!! “Transforming Our Libraries, Ourselves!”

I brought the following books home with me on the train. I have one box full of ARCs  and posters that should be arriving this week.

Fat Boy vs the Cheerleaders

The Road to TestamentSex & Violence

The Soul of the Rose

Kerman Derman and the Relic of Perilous Falls

A Matter of Souls