For 3 years, it ran in the Greeley Tribune. Since then, it has run in various subsidiaries of the Douglas County News Press. I still have most of my columns in digital format.
For many years, I only gave myself one rule: try to work the word "library" into every piece. My intent was to think in public about just what librarianship means at the end of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st.
There have been many advantages for me. I found that putting library plans out in front of the public, and getting feedback about them, helped me make better decisions. Sometimes, I found that it was very difficult for me to describe those plans or policies -- the kind of thing that makes me realize that they might not be good ideas after all. The weekly discipline of explaining my profession to the public keeps me more mindful, more honest. It also has provided steady visibility for the library and its issues.
February 6, 2002 - Your Lucky Day!
This week's column is written by Rochelle Logan, the Douglas Public Library District's Associate Director for Support Services.
Can you remember the last time you walked into the library, browsed the new book shelves and happened upon a bestseller you've been wanting to read? If you do, it was likely a happy occurrence. Now you have a better chance of finding that elusive bestselling novel with our new program called Your Lucky Day.
I'm a fiction reader and a 10-year resident of Douglas County. As much as I like to purchase the occasional bestselling novel to share with my friends, I much prefer to get my books from the library. If I want a bestseller, I have to wait on a holds list, sometimes for months. Even though the Douglas Public Library District is most generous in that we buy an additional volume for every four holds on a book, sometimes you just have to wait a while for a book.
Case in point: I want to read Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections. We own 43 copies of the book and 172 people are currently waiting on hold to get it. While I wait for my name to surface on the holds list, I can occasionally go check the new books shelf at my local branch to see if The Corrections might be there, hoping it's my Lucky Day. We are now buying additional bestsellers that are "exempt" from the holds list. These bestsellers have a shamrock label on the spine. When a patron reads a Lucky Day book and returns it to their library, the book goes on the new fiction book shelf for the next lucky patron to happen upon it. It can't be placed on hold.
Another popular novel has been Skipping Christmas by John Grisham. The book has 242 holds and we own 67 copies of it. You might find a Grisham or a Follett with a shamrock on the label sitting on the shelf. The more holds a book has, the more we buy for both the regular holds list and Your Lucky Day.
Please don't call your local DPLD library and ask the staff to check the new fiction shelf for you to set a book aside. One of our objectives of Your Lucky Day is to encourage people to come in to browse the shelves. Who knows, if the bestseller isn't there you've been wishing to read, you might find something just as interesting. Library staff have been advised not to pull any of these books and hold them for patrons. However, you can check the online catalog on our Web site to see if your book is on the shelf. Right now I'm checking for The Corrections. I see that there is a copy on the shelf at Lone Tree waiting for the next lucky patron. Maybe I should jump in the car right now and head over to Lone Tree!
We started Your Lucky Day in December. A woman walked into the Parker branch at the beginning of a two-week vacation. She browsed the shelves for something riveting to read. Low and behold, there were two books she wanted just sitting there with a shamrock on the label. She was on the holds list for one of them. She couldn't believe her good fortune and positively danced to the circulation desk to check them out. Since she found the Lucky Day book, her name was automatically removed from the regular holds list, freeing up the list for the next patron in line.
Who knows, it might just be Your Lucky Day. Check it out!