Monday, April 30, 2012

Johnstown PA

I arrived today in this lovely region. Tomorrow I give a talk to area trustees. The day after that, to trustees and directors closer to Altoona.

I was met by Cambria County Library Director Lyn Meek, Mary Lou Repsher, and Linda Young. In addition to taking me to a fine dinner leavened by fine conversation, they also took me to the high, wooded hills above the river valley. Two pictures:

First, the "incline" - a device to haul up a cage large enough for two cars along steep rails. Think an enormous cable.

Then, the amazing view of the town from atop the selfsame hill. Below, the Stoneycreek River.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Library use and buying behavior in Douglas County

[Click on the image to expand.]

The above is from a series of surveys, conducted by JVA Consulting, LLC, at the end of 2011, and during the first part of 2012. JVA questioned more than 3959 community and staff members (the results are still being tallied) about a host of library issues. The key takeaway from the above slide was this: "Borrowing patterns vary greatly by subgroup. However, purchasing and obtaining books elsewhere remains equal among groups."

Note: in this case, "non-user" means "uses once a month or less." "Non-supporter" means "would be unlikely to vote for a library funding increase."

Does using the library mean that you buy more books? In Douglas County, apparently not. Regular readers are no more likely to buy books than non-library users. On the other hand, they are no less likely. Using the library doesn't steal anybody's sales. The library probably does have an effect on which books they buy, though.

And note a third point: while we didn't stop anybody from buying books, the library bought a heck of a lot of them on top of those sales. P.S. Now that we have added a "click to buy" button in our catalog, as well as a recommendation engine for new titles, I would anticipate that library users would buy MORE than others. But we'll see.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Occupy Anthem

The Occupy Movement interests me. It gives me hope. So yesterday I wrote some lyrics, and sometime this week, I hope to work out the banjo chords. But here are the words:

You don't own the building
but you pay the rent
you're the 99
not the 1 percent

You don't drive the limo
though you paid for the road
you don't get to keep
the crop that you sowed

A respected worker
at the local plant
your daddy never
felt like an ant

He made good things
took home a good wage
he contributed
in a different age

Now it's your job
to make the rich richer
if that makes you poorer
well don't be a bitcher

So occupy the park my friend
occupy the street
occupy downtown my friend
post on Facebook and re-tweet

Let them see your face my friend
the face they would deny
Remind them that you share this world
and when they ask you why

Tell them that you're on to them
Tell them that you're wise
Tell them that you're not so blind
Tell them you have eyes

Tell them that it's your world, too
Tell them you have rights
Tell them that it's not your job
to give away your life

If the social contract
is what you choose
pay unto Caesar
for what you use

But when you help others
you don't have to cave
you're a proud citizen
not an eager slave

Copyright 3 April 2012, James LaRue, Creative Commons - feel free to use it, but attribute it.

Wood creatures

I do a lot of walking around. And sometimes, I find living spirits, then snap a photo of them with my cell phone.

For instance, while walking in a park in Littleton, I found this wood serpent, the Park Ness Monster, rising from a fallen branch:

Walking home one day, I found this in a front yard in Castle Rock, a wood lion, Simba of the Rockies:

Pretty cool, huh? - Welcome

In November of 2018, I left my position at ALA in Chicago to return to my Colorado-based writing, speaking, and consulting career. So I'...