Friday, March 16, 2007

Feeling the same way all over again

Its always fun to break in new library users in by talking about all the amazing things your library can do. There is never enough time to mention everything, but I always love the wows. Its like feeling the excitement of the first time you step into the library and you imagine the possiblities.

It also makes me feel like "the man" (not like I'm cool "the man", but I am the authority). I always like the ad from the Samuel L. Jackson movie, He walks the walk, the man just talks and talks. Explaining all the complexities of how a library is run can make anyone's eyes glaze over. I usually try to make it exciting by just talking about the end result.

I do find all that stuff exciting. I love a challenge and finding grant money. Some of the intracacies I find interesting will bore even a librarian to tears. I just have to be careful to tell the difference between tears of joy and tears of boredom.

The library can get $100,000 by applying to e-rate, wow. That works. E-rate money is from the federal government (eyes glaze). You pay a fee on your phone bill to the universal service fund in which funds library and schools telecommunication needs (starting to drift off). It can also....snore. Talking about the details on how that is done will make you want to drop off a cliff.

Then you get into acronyms, the kiss of death. What is LSTA again? I always make the mental note of stating the full name before using acronym(as if I am writing a paper). Otherwise you get, "This LSTA grant will....snore. "

Its all about results. This saves you money (enter exact dollar amount). This expands computer acccess (every third computer user is a teen, making the library a "third place" for them in the community.) This database helps our literacy efforts (you can learn to speak Spanish online for free through the library's website). We are exploring ways to provide programming online for our users(you can see last week's program online through our website). And on and on.

I think that is why ALA and PLA went towards performance based results rather than just stats, it tells a better story. I certainly like to tell stories. I get excited about our services, I hope I can do the same for others.

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