Back at the end of March, I wrote about something I was calling "community reference." The idea was as radical as it is obvious: people with questions may not think to ask a librarian, so the library needs to send the librarians to the people.
Sometimes, those questions are big -- so big that whole neighborhoods or municipalities wrestle with them. Here's an example: how do you build and sustain a vibrant "downtown?"
Not long ago, one of our patrons registered a complaint about a children's picture book called "Princess Buttercup."
The book was about a party being planned by a group of fairies -- diminutive beings, all female. Princess Buttercup set out to gather honey for the party, then got distracted, then got lost. Eventually, she flagged down a butterfly, and found her way back.
That's pretty much the whole story: a slice of the whimsical social life of mythical creatures.
by Demetria Heath
[Ms. Heath is a library patron who recently challenged a children's book, "Princess Buttercup."]
I appreciate Douglas County Libraries' Director James LaRue for offering me this forum and I will provide a list of the reference material used in this writing to anyone requesting it. I ask that you read Princess Buttercup before making the request.
A researcher studying race relations in Chicago records the following quote from a five-year old girl. I have removed the name of the ethnic group that she refers to.
We did it. We weren't the first library in the state -- La Junta and Windsor were ahead of us, and more power to these small town pioneers! But we're the first Colorado library with more than one branch to do it.
What did we do? We put a new system in place to manage a big part of our work. We touched every one of our over 650,000 items to put an RFID (Radio Frequency ID) tag on them.