Books are my drug of choice

Herriman» Last Thursday, I attended an open house. There were no refreshments, no wine or cheese. Not even root beer and Fritos for that matter. It was in the Herriman City Library.

The Herriman library is actually only a library in the sense that it has books, a few shelves, and is run by women who seem nice enough but are probably capable of violence if you make too much noise. .

Currently, our book repository is just a couple of rooms in a strip mall behind a Jiffy Lube. It’s not bad as small libraries go, but frankly I have more books in my basement. We deserve a better one. Not only has Herriman grown, plenty of us can even read.

The good news is that a new bigger and better library is on the way. The open house was to show off the artist’s renderings and give the public a chance to talk to the architects, county officials and workers without having to whisper.

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If I live to be 100

Assuming you die at age 100, what will be the biggest differences between the world you were born into and the world you leave?

Phil Bowermaster, a futurist from Denver, developed this video on the topic, with one of my friends in it, Peggy Cadigan of the New Jersey State Library.

Here’s how I hope the world will change:

Racism will cease to exist. And all the other isms as well. The reason why I think it could be so: we’re all getting so jumbled up in America already. Unknown generations after settlers came to America, we have many nationalities all mixed into Heinz 57.  And that’s better than plain old ketchup any old day. We’re stronger, more diverse, more flexible.

People will value the big idea. The reason why I think it could be so: we live in an information economy.  Wikinomics rule and big ideas that change lives can be used for the betterment of society.  We need to work collaboratively using the big ideas of the world to solve problems like world hunger, our dependence on the dinosaur, and global warming.

We will find cures for outrageous diseases and birth defects. The reason why I think it could be so: Physicians like Paul Farmer  and John Opitz and many more who work in the trenches day in and day out.

Here’s how I doubt it will change:

There are idiots everywhere and no one really knows the right buttons to push to make that better. Sometimes we just have to enjoy the journey.

Volunteers have been synonymous with libraries – but have things changed?

Volunteers in libraries have been a long standing tradition but recently my review of our policies and practices in this area, as well as a review of state law, have caused me to wonder if we are not balancing on the edge of a dangerous precipice.

State statute 67-20-1 deals with volunteers in government.  It seems to indicate that treating volunteers as a fun, casual opportunity that benefits the library is a thing of the past.  Volunteers have to be treated like employees.  The obligations and responsibilities are significant.  Here is the text of this statute for your consideration.

Continue reading Volunteers have been synonymous with libraries – but have things changed?