Category Archives: Libraries & Librarians

What to Do When the Network Goes Down

There were a lot of lost souls wandering around the UW Law Library in the last 24 hours. Horror of horrors – the Law School’s computer network was completely down thanks to an accidentally severed fiber optic cable.
It’s truly amazing how reliant we are on technology. Students were forced to use print resources without the Lexis and Westlaw. Reference librarians could only rely on their memories of where things were shelved without access to our online catalog. Many a library staff member cleaned out her desk and caught up on his professional reading.
So if you wondered why you couldn’t access WisBlawg or the UW Law Library or Law School Web sites yesterday, now you know. The workers are out on Bascom Hill right now with their little white van finishing up their repairs, bless their hearts.

Bookmobile Delivery by Camel

When I worked at the Eau Claire Public Library, I was the backup driver for their Bookmobile service to area nursing homes and senior centers. We had a van. But in Kenya, “ships of the desert are the best way to travel.”
From the BBC News comes a photo journal of the Camel Mobile Library.

“A static library would be of no use to nomads and so instead we follow them, wherever they go. . . . We travel within a radius of 11km on a given day. As the camels arrive, the children are actually waiting for us. The day we come is fixed and they are expecting us.”

Thanks to my colleague, Lisa Pfaff for the tip.

People Like “Renting” CDs, DVDs from the Library

There is a forum I monitor from on freebies (’cause who doesn’t like free stuff?). Mostly posts are about free deals at restaurants and other promotional giveaways, but today there was a post from someone recommending Free Rental DVDS from library.
Following the initial post were three pages of comments from people who overwhelmingly loved “renting” movies, music CDs, books on CD, etc. for free (or a minimal charge) from their public libraries. As a librarian, I found this encouraging. And since libraries are always seeking feedback on what patrons thinks about our services, I thought that other librarians might find these comments useful also.

Library Patron “Borrows” Way into Prison

From the Baltimore Sun (free registration required):

If you’re two weeks late in returning a book to the Baltimore County library, you’re likely to get a phone call. If your book is four weeks overdue, you’ll receive a notice in the mail.
And if you’re Philip Akbar Shabazz, you’re sent a letter that begins: “You currently have 402 items overdue from the Baltimore County Public Library. Fees and charges for these items amount to over $8,400.”
Library officials say they suspect that the books were sold. Yesterday, Shabazz, a Randallstown resident, went to court to face a felony theft charge. He was convicted and sentenced to three years behind bars.

Thanks to librarians Nancy and Sara Paul for the tip.