some library anecdotes


I went down to my dad’s for ten days to look after the place while he went and got some sun in Mexico. It was a pretty good time. Jim came down and we walked on the winter beach. My sister and boyfriend came down and we all had a big dinner with Jim’s son Milo. I got a PS2 and played some video games on my own system for the first time since I had an Atari 2600. I read the page proofs of my book and managed some tech-support-ish issues with the damned thing. If all goes well it will be sent to the printer in the next week or two. I wrote a long article about the process that will be published on Monday. I’ll be sure to toss up a link to it.

I also visited a bunch of libraries including the Westport Public Library and the New Bedford Public Library (a new favorite of mine) but neither of those were what I was going to mention. This week a photo of mine, a picture of the Somesville Library in Maine, got published, in print in AAA’s Northern New England Magazine. Someone had found the photo on Flickr, and dropped me a note offering me some money if I’d let them print it. I said sure. I’m surprised how many people have mentioned to me that they’ve seen it.

The other library is the nascent Digital Public Library of America, a new project from the Berkman Center and some other folks. I was invited to a big all-day meeting yesterday down at Harvard to talk about what this project might look like. It was an impressive group, I met a lot of wonderful people and made a few pitches for people to pay attention to usability and scalability but mostly listened. I talked about the digital divide over mealtimes. David Weinberger was there too and he wrote down some of his thoughts. I’m still a little out of it after nine hours of meetings and three hours of driving and eleven hours of sleeping all on the tail end of a long away-from-home-ness. The meeting took place with Chatham House Rules so that people could speak freely, so I had a hard time figuring out what was okay to say and not say. I took a lot of notes, both written and typed and hope to sum things up here or at in the next few days. It’s a fascinating time to be a librarian.