Manitoba Libraries Conference Recap

Moving to Open-Source: Agility, Automation, Collaboration

Great talk, but I get the funny feeling I was the wrong audience.  While I work around technology, I am not in programming or IT.  Half of my job is translating some of the jargon into an explanation for why someone’s document didn’t print.  However, the session did outline how the University of Alberta had to adapt in an age of tight budgets. I have to tip my metaphorical hat to U of A Discovery Systems Librarian Sam Popowich, as the point was made both sides, open source and proprietary software, does have their own propaganda to sway audiences.  I like a good dose of truth no matter the topic.

Together At Last: An Academic and Public Library Leisure Reading Partnership

When I wrote my post for the library blog about the Recreational Reading Exchange Program, I did notice a number of colleges and universities began to carry novels and more popular non-fiction.  Believe it or not, and Librarian Me-Linh Le mentioned this in her presentation, academic libraries did carry leisure reading collections up until the 40’s. Red River did the book donation route, while Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library entered into a partnership with Winnipeg Public Library.

While Winnipeg Public selects and processes the books, the books themselves are subject to the following procedures at NJM:

  • No holds or requests
  • No renewals
  • 3 week  loan period
  • Fines of $0.40/day if overdue
  • Items must be returned to the NJM Health Sciences Library on the Bannatyne Campus
  • Relax ‘n Read titles are only available at the NJM Health Sciences Library on the Bannatyne Campus
  • Any patron of the NJM Library is entitled to a Consumer Health Library card that allows them to take out RnR books (You do not have to be affiliated with the University of Manitoba to take out these books)

-Taken from Relax ‘n Read: Leisure Reading Collection Library Guide

 If anyone still scoffs at the idea, and an idea like this will run into scoffers, take a look at Emory University’s recent article about the way stories change the human brain. Better yet find the nearest database and get this article:

BernsGregory S., BlaineKristina, PrietulaMichael J., and PyeBrandon E.. Brain Connectivity. 2013, 3(6): 590-600. doi:10.1089/brain.2013.0166.

As leisure reading collections continue to emerge in academic libraries, hopefully more data will emerge about the benefits of having such books along side the ‘needed’ materials in a collection.  Yes, benefits.  Why?  We forget what looks unrelated in one instance will have huge benefits down the line.  Like the typefaces on your computer?  Remember Steve Jobs took ‘useless’ calligraphy  course along the way to building Apple.  Here’s hoping for continued success for the ‘RnR’ Leisure Reading Collection.

2 thoughts on “Manitoba Libraries Conference Recap

  1. Hey Fatima! I attended the What to do with you L.T Diploma seminar, and was listening with both ears wide open. It was great to get a better perspective on the available jobs out there. I attended two apps sessions, my first book blitz, as well as listened to how the Selkirk Library was developed – very interesting. I also attended the session on the current state of rural libraries – interesting topic, great discussion with the attendees, but the speaker wasn’t very informative, and went off on a few tangents. One of my favourites was one of the last ones- on Librarians as social activists. I think you would have liked it! Thanks for filling me in on some of the sessions I missed.

    The whole conference was such a great experience, and it was cool to see you there.:-)


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