Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Marian's letter to Roger

Dear Roger:
Well another Rural conference is under our belts. I can't believe taht the first one in 1985 would start me on a journey that would involve meeting so many wonderful people.

This year I worked with Deb Bacon-Ziegler in promoting the conference. I learned to BLOG and wrote an informative column which I think might get sindicated. Deb and i also became friends sharing fashion tips, shoes and nail polish. Now she's gone, gone to Chicago to work for a cooking school library--I've always wondered if virgin oil is really virgin???

Oh well- as to the conference, it was another great experience. I learned a lot, everything from library law to how many librarians it takes to screw in a light bulb.

Speaking of maintaining the library we have redone the library director's office. I contacted Trading Spaces and that good looking carpenter Carter who is a native of Traverse City, came and installed a new desk, shelves, a computer desk for my new Apple IIe computer and anything else that would keep him working in my office..

In the library our new computer lab was installed. Some of the libraries in our coop bough Dell's--we got a better deal from WalMart. We got 10 computers, 10 flat screen monitors but only 5 keyboards. People in Lake Neverwuz are accustomed to sharing so we don't see it as a problem.

Speaking of sharing-Maureen Burns shared some important things for us to remember. We need to smile-even in the face of adversity. I tried that but have had trouble picking the bugs out of my teeth. I met Maureen several years ago, she has changed my life. I was shy and retiring, like you Roger, wearing navy and black--but not anymore. Today it's color, color, color and bling, bling, bling. I've also been working with Ann Holt. Ann's retiring in 2007 and I think I've convinced her that sequins are the secret in retirement. I also hope she will join our "Dancing with the Stars" program at Lake Neverwuz.
Our line up for the May program will include:
* Ann Holt and Brad Pitty doing the Capital Salsa
*Jim Seidl and Mindy Gates doing the Techno Tango
*Sheryl Mase and Lance Werner doing the Legal Sidestep
*Roger and June Mendel doing the Knit one, Pearl one Waltz
and finally
*Gail Powers-Schaub dancing the 50% State Aid Samba (You only need 50% of the dance couple for this one).

The programs at the conference were fantastic.
Lance Werner told us all about the law. As many times as I've heard him I am always surprised to find out something new. This time I learned that a FOIA was not a new energy drink, but was a request for information about things that happen at the library. He said the library minutes could be read by anyone- public information he called it- I think I'll call Judge Judy and verify this!

I also found out what polices we need regarding library cards for minors-with all the disclaimers, exceptions, transfer of identity from a minor to a consenting adult, I have to find a library card supplier that does 3x5 library cards.

Also with the Internet in order to get e-rate discounts, I have to have a CIPA cup, or something like that to protect children. We used bibs years ago.

Sheryl Mase did a fantastic job, especially with the awards. Charlevoix and Beulah libraries swept up many of the awards. I was hop____ing for an award this year, but I guess I'll have to wait another two years. Wait_____ing is half the fun of get___ing an award-Hey

Jo Dereske was our speaker Tuesday after the awards. She's a librarian and an author and has written a number of mystery books about a super sleuth librarian, Ms. Zuka. This reminds me of the time we found a body in the Lake Neverwuz County Village City District Public Library. After a closer look we found it was not a dead body-but was our board chair, Horace Dewey who sat too close to the library paste and the drawer that we store our Magic Markers. A little brandy from Ruth Harrison, reference librarian's drawer and he was as good as new--well as good as 98 years old good. He's been chair of the board since 1947. He's been a great board member. He bought our quanset hut library building from Army Surplus, wrote the grant for our Winnebago children's addition and helped us barcode the collection for our Horizon/Sirci/TripleI/Mercedes/Minicooper Circulation system. It's a little slow, until you go into overdrive /turbo mode.

Food at the Conference- Almost like being on a cruise- Speaking of cruises I just returned from a Holland America cruise. This is the cruise line that has the Dam ships, Westerdam, Oosterdam, Rotterdam- but now it also sales on the Great Lakes and their new ship is called the Beaverdam. The decor is deer heads, antelers, red plaid on formal nights and when say fresh catch of the day, they mean it.

But I digress:
At the conference there were a few rough moments when coop directors and interested parties discussed the cuts. At Lake Neverwuz we have done something to protect against the cuts:
1. We have joined all 13 coops. This way we'll get some service from each one.
2. I took the money I saved from registration for this conference and spent some quality time at the casino. I was losing for a time, ubt in the end I have enough to pay for delivery for the next eleven days.
3. Staff have been alerted that we may be cutting services. Patrons will be issued toilet paper one sheet at a time: additional sheets may be distributed with a written doctor's excuse.
4. Lights will be lite on a need to light basis. Patrons will be issued flashlites to locate books in the stacks and heat will be turned on at 9 a.m., Noon, 3 and 5 p.m. for a 15 minute period of time.

During the conference I talked with a number of lbirarians who read my BLOG and wanted to know more about our WIKI Wedding at the Library Program. For those who don't know this is a fund raiser that has become very popular.

1. We have a collection of wedding dresses; nine of them were donated by Elizabeth Taylor for brides to check out on their library cards.
2. Weddings take place in the library, Len the janitor got his minister's license on the internet, using the Gates Public Access computers.
3. We have a deal with the local funeral director and get all our flowers fresh from him. We do have to remove signs like "Dear Mother" "Great Dad". , but that only takes a minute or two.
4. We cater the reception using Rachel Ray's book "Wedding dinners in 15 minutes".
5. We have our own selection of toule in various colors.
6. Music from our CD collection.

Weddings cost from $150 and up. It's a very popular service. Each bride and groom get a library card, no fines for six months and if things don't work out, we have "Do It Yourself Divorce in 3 Days".

Char Ezell did a program on the look of your library. She showed examples of libraries with clutter, too many signs, too many nicknacks. She recommended having a focal point in the library, something that will make you pause when you enter. Some libraries have aquariums, some have fireplaces. Presently we have a wall painted Mary Kay pink that features our Chick Lit. I think I will propose to the board an 8 person hot tub situated near the entrance. Our board meetings could be held there and when we have visiting legislators they can join us and while we do our presentations on library financies, Len the janitor can turn up the heat.

We will also shelve our books by size and color; this should give the library a Fen Shu__ay feel and make shelving books easier then that Dewey way.

There was a program on Seniors and Technology. With the baby boomers maturing this is an open field for programs. The session at the conference gave me great ideas to serve this population.
Here are the top ten ideas for working with seniors:

1. Plug in your computer.
2. Press the Power Button to turn it on.
3. The mouse is moved on a pad not on the screen
4. Corrections are made using the keyboard, not by applying whiteout to the screen.
5. e-mail does not require stamps.
6. On-line dating works best if you post a picture of yourself when you were 27.
7. Don't contact the guy from Nigeria who needs help securing $11,000,000 from a bank in Pakistan.
8. When filing your income tax on line you can't claim your dog as a dependent.
9. Never give personal information, always lie.
10. When in doubt, go to the library for the answers.

We also recieved from Gates a thumb drive. These are wonderful, some people use them to store computer info. I have some other uses:
1. A whistle for emergencies, however only dogs can hear the whistle.
2. A GPS device to find staff that are not working.
3. Heat seeking devices to find the cold dead coop directors.
4. Press the red button and it becomes a Swiss Army Knife.
5. It also serves as a cell phone; you can talk into it, unfortunately you can't hear the responses.

The bookmobile will get an extreme makeover- The library logo, done in cerise, flamingo and charteruse with a hint of lemon will be painted on three sides. New white wall tires and the addition of a snack bar will enhance service. Our new bookmobile motto is: Food for the Body, Food for the Mind.

A new library staff outfit in the library colors is being designed by Ann Holt.

Male staff: Polka dot shirts in flamingo and white with charteruse shorts.
Female staff: Lemon yellow halters, and cerise mini skirts.
sandals, flipflops and boots for foot ware. Who said library staff were boring.

Oh, I almost forgot the baskets. What a great idea. Everyone that won a basket was thrilled, the one I like the best was the coop director basket it had:
1. A map of Michigan with lines drawn for the new coops.
2. A one page state aid report with two questions: Do you want money? and Who is designated to turn out the light?
3. A pink slip.
4. A bottle of gin and for those who don't inbibe a bottle of sparkling Traverse City Cherry juice
and 5: Resume building or 100 best places to retire.

I actually saw two coop directors fighting over the basket in the parking lot: I thought I heard them saying--No you take it, no you take it. I didn't stick around-thought things might get ugly.

Well I must go, we're getting ready for our seniors field trip to the Lake Neverwuz National Forest. Hopefully we won't lose anyone on this trip.

It's bye for now from Lake Neverwuz, where the men are strong, the kids all go to storyhour and the women have two ladies rooms for every one men's room.


1 comment:

Susie Sandula said...

The bookmobile will get an extreme makeover...

Marian, perhaps you should send the bookmobile to MTV's "Pimp My Ride" for a really hip makeover.