Bier de Stone ( wrote,
Bier de Stone

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Put me in, coach--center field

Yes, I submitted my app. to volunteer/participate in… the web redesign committee. The last time I took part in a committee was when the library was looking for ideas to promote their online catalog system. My nice boss, back in those days, actually went ahead and nominated me as a volunteer for the promo committee. It was great! although I pretty much just sat there like a wallflower and listened to the ideas of others. This time should be different if I am chosen to participate.

Here's the direction I plan to take during the "white paper" stage. Just as libraries are no longer a hush-hush kind of place (at least in L.A.), they've taken new form with added media such as computers, DVDs and CDs, etc. Because of these changes, the only way to relate with the people who use the library is to accommodate them in the areas that they feel they're being estranged by regulators. My concept of libraries navigates to the lowest common denominator, loans.

While it's free to borrow reading material, it should be free to borrow DVDs and CD equally so. I'll put it bluntly. Have you ever visited the library to check out their vast collection of music CD's? Perhaps you went one step further and tried to borrow as many CDs as you could to build a decent music collection to play on your iPod. If you have, you've probably experienced quality issues including scratches, blemishes and grime while converting a CD to MP3 format. Well, it seems the only sure way of preventing that sort of thing would be if you could be one of the first persons to borrow a CD from the point it is unwrapped and placed on your local library's display shelves. And to do that, one would have to be very up to date on the new releases and/or be able to request items thru the online catalog much the same way that books can be requested using the online catalog system.

A library system needs to stand up for itself in times like these which interrogate everyone who ever owned a digital music player. It isn't as though the library is saying, "Hey folks, screw the government's idea about infringement and sign up for a library card so you can download all the music you ever wanted." Although, that would be making a statement that could put the library back in the arena of public interest. I get e-mail at the salt mines where I work and, from time to time, somebody might request such and such CD to be delivered to so and so library for watchama who's library account. Not all libraries treat e-mail inquiries the same, however, and it's unfortunate that the only way patrons have to request a music CD is by phone. You see, DVDs and music CDs simply aren't allowed to be requested thru the same channels which books can be requested. But, get this, try to call a library and speak to a librarian to request a book that they do not have as part of their collection and, if you seem obnoxious enough, they'll practically jump down your throat. Some librarians may indeed inform a caller that the book they are interested in can be obtained from a different branch, but if one's follow-up question is whether he/she can request that that particular [book] be delivered to the location of convenience, namely the library the caller is querying, one runs the risk of getting attitude. Multiply that by five or ten, just as a patron might do if he creates himself a personal list of items he may be interested in placing holds on while he continues browsing online, and one might find themselves repeatedly calling the same library and speaking to the same librarian for the purpose of searching the catalog system for them and requesting any interesting items to be forwarded from a different branch. My point is that peeps want their tunes. Their parental advisory, heavy metal, derogatory lyrical tunes. If peeps don't get what they want, they'll find other stuff to fill their time. People can get mighty creative when reduced to a limited source of stuff to play with.

Tags: office politics, url

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