In the weeds

I went to an excellent Connecticut State Library workshop yesterday. Weeding in the Garden of Good and Evil was presented by Mary Engels (from the Middletown Library Service Center) and Linda Williams (from the Willimantic Library Service Center).  These two ladies have presented this workshop many times before, but this was the first chance I’ve had to attend (well, that I could actually justify).

 “Our approach to weeding is that it isn’t the irresponsible disposal of the library’s property, but rather a part of the public service to borrowers, that of maintaining the best possible collection for the community.”

We are facing the daunting task of weeding our non-fiction collection, starting this year, and with all three librarians and four out of five staff members being new in the last twelve months or so, I was a little apprehensive about weeding in a collection that most of us really don’t know well.

I feel I learned some very good strategies from the workshop and will be able to make the case for a comprehensive collection development policy which also spells out our weeding policy.  Armed with my new CREW Method booklet, I think we’ll be able to work together to decide on criteria and a procedure for getting the job done.

It’s almost always colder up in the stacks on the second floor, so I’m swatching for “In the Weeds”:
Pattern: Goodale
By: Cecily Glowik MacDonald
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Tonos Pima Silk (cotton silk blend)
Colourway: 25 Truffle

This should be a nice, lightweight but warm cotton cardigan to wear in the fall and the spring.  The colour is a fabulous muted blend of browns & grays veering almost to full black in places so it should be versatile enough to go with most things.  The yarn is as soft as butter and knits up beautifully.

better than sliced bread

Email received today:

From: University of Alabama ILL office

Subject: Your requested Interlibrary Loan material has been mailed

Body:  Dear Katherine Popadin (DE),  A loan that you had requested:  Title: An annotated bibliography on hand knitting with an historical introduction.  Author: Gifford, Virginia Snodgrass.  has been received and per your instructions regarding delivery is now in transit to you at the following address …

This is beyond the usual ILL magic.  This (self-published book), according to WorldCat, is owned by five libraries in the U.S.  (Oh, and UA is not one of them).  And it’s in the mail to me!

Why?  Well, I have to design and develop a Web site for a final project for my Intermediate Web Development class through Mizzou.  I’m going to create a knitting pathfinder.  :)

the Ravelry factor

Ravelry … it’s a knitting cataloguer’s dream.

Or should that be a cataloguing knitter’s dream?  Whichever.

I enjoy knitting immensely, and rely upon it as a stress-reliever, a time-filler, an ice-breaker – I would be bereft without a project (or three or four) to focus on and to revel in.

However, it occurred to me today that a distinct part of my current enjoyment in knitting (and I have had a couple of periods when I didn’t knit much, particularly when the kids were little) is the pleasure I get from tracking, sorting, and documenting stash, projects, etc. on Ravelry.  There are probably days when I spend more time futzing around in Ravelry than I do actually knitting.  Obviously, the sense of community is a big draw – but that’s also what draws me to librarianship in general, and certainly to cataloguing.  You only have to scan the daily postings from the AUTOCAT listserv to appreciate the collegial and supportive nature of those who practise the art of cataloguing (ignore the spelling, if you can — in my worldview, blogging is an international phenomenon, so I spell as I was taught as a child.  I’m a pretty good multi-cultural speller when I need to be. ;)).

Ravelry has the most extraordinary sense of community … people who’ve never met in person (and who really don’t know much about each other) agree to meet up “in real life” at conferences, knit-in-public events, stitch and bitch nights, on college campuses ….  They help each other with problems knitting-related and not.  Ravelry groups such as the Ravelibrarians offer support for job-hunting, bad days at work, procedural and philosophical dilemmas … there is no limit to what can be addressed and supported via the site.

I find the parallels between the two fascinating, and I’m so grateful to be a member of both communities.


Conversation with the architect:

Me: We have an extension on our literature review for the Research Methods class – several people are at the ALA annual conference in Chicago, so the professor decided that everyone should have the same opportunity for the extension.

The architect: What’s the ALA – the American Lesbians Association?

Me: No, idiot, it’s the American Library Association.  It’s one of the big events in the library world each year.

The architect: We could have driven there – why didn’t you tell me?

Me: We could have gone?  To Chicago? To Annual?  I could have met up with people I know?  I could have gone to workshops? Why didn’t you tell me? Rats.

The architect: Hurry up, get in the shower and we’ll go.