Tuesday, February 21, 2012

About books and libraries

I love to read. I am a regular at the main branch of the Yinzlandia public library. Many of my friends from library school work at Yinzlandia Public Library (YLP) and I've become friends with others both through the people I already knew and by spending so much time there.

I grew up within walking distance of a library and spent many an hour there. Punishment was not letting me go to the library that week. Seriously. When I went to college I worked in the library for two years (edited the college paper the other two). Then something happened. I'm not sure what it was, but all of a sudden I stopped going to the library. I lived in a state with a great public library system, yet I never went. I still read a lot, but mostly I bought books. It was the dawn of Amazon.com and we lived quite near a Borders Books Outlet so that was part of it. After I got married, we moved to Yinzlandia and I once again got a library card.

Jackpot. The book nerd in me could not be happier.

In the 9 years I've lived here, I've checked out thousands of books. I've run into friends there. I've attended programs there. I just now put nine books on my request list. When I think of the money I just saved, I can't believe how lucky I am to live in a place with such an awesome library system.

Just this past fall, a "library tax" was on the ballot to keep the branches of YPL open. Coming from a state where library levies are the norm, I couldn't get over the idea that people weren't willing to fund libraries. Yinzlanders came together and the tax passed, but it was kind of scary for a moment. I can't imagine a world without libraries. Take away my TV, my cable, my DVDs, but you'll pry books out of my cold dead hands.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


One thing I've learned about Yinzlanders is they are incredibly nice people. And it rubs off! I think I've become a friendlier person since moving here.  I've always been nice, it's one of my flaws. But I can come off as standoff-ish and that has changed. I've been known to talk to strangers for no reason. Shocking!

Anyway, back to networking. My boss has allowed me to spend some money to make changes to our Patient & Family Education Center in my smaller hospital library. We talked to some of the caseworkers and nurses and asked what they think would be good in there and the overwhelming theme was stuff for kids. Smaller hospital is changing its focus to Women and Infants Health and there's really no place for new big brothers or big sisters to go for a "break." I have no kids and have not had much experience with kids, so I asked a friend who is a children's librarian for video suggestions. She in turn talked to one of her friends who is going to provide a list that her child's teacher put together. Woo hoo!

Several job openings have also come my way via networking. A friend from undergrad told me about an opening at her hospital's library (she's in a different department but thought of me when she heard of the opening), and a former professor (and current friend) from graduate school told me about an opening at yet another hospital. I've been pretty fortunate in that I love my job, but the system I work for is very shakey financially. It's been very fortuante that I've had people looking out for me, so to speak. Makes me pround to live in Yinzlandia.