Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Describing the Television Experience

Here's how I described yesterday's TV experience in an email to the Library staff:
Dear Colleagues,
Last Friday at the end of a meeting in Shrewsbury of the Mass. Library Association Legislative Committee, Chairperson Krista McCloud put me in touch with Michael McAlpin of WGBH-TV, Channel 2, Public Television in Boston. He was seeking "a library in trouble" in the context of Question 1 - elimination of the State Income Tax.
A film crew came to Brockton yesterday to film a segment to be aired tonight on their "Greater Boston" show at 7:00 PM on Channel 2. (Repeated at midnight on Channel 44.)
The focus of the show is Brockton Public Library as "the canary in the cage" in the shadow of Question #1, well as the local Proposition 2 1/2 Override question for library funding. Producer Michael McAlpin interviewed Library staff members, Chief Financial Officer John Condon, library patrons and a Question 1 supporter who was leafletting on Main Street.
They came earlier than expected, in time to film me in grubby clothes, with two custodians, offloading from a truck four huge display cases donated by the Fuller Craft Museum. I begged for time to go home and put on a sport coat, slacks, and one of my "library ties" before they interviewed me inside the library. They insisted that I be in the same outfit for both shots, and thought it made the case for "the struggling library director" to show me that way.

CFO Condon gave chilling answers to McAlpin's questions about the impact of Question 1. He said, "Harry won't be worrying about reopening Branches - he'll be shutting down the entire system." His estimate was that the Brockton School Department would lose six percent (6%) of its budget, and the rest of the City, including Police, Fire, Library, DPW etc would lose sixty-five percent (65%) without the funding from the State Income Tax.
I'm almost afraid to watch.
Some of you will be working at the library at the time of the show, and I can't in good conscience recommend staying up til midnight to see it on Channel 44. But some of you might be on TV!

Harry on Public Television

The previous entry had a link to a clip on WGBH-TV, Boston's Public Television station. The station removed the clip, so I am posting this. The quality is not as good as the original because, lacking any video screen capture software, I used my digital camera to film it as it played on my computer screen. In this case (and considering that I am no Hollywood librarian) the content is much more important than the form. Harry

Monday, October 6, 2008

Harry on Public Television

I was featured on the "Greater Boston" show on WGBH Channel 2, Boston's Public Television station. Before they were to arrive, I was scheduled to drive a large truck, with our two custodians as passengers, to pick up four massive display cases donated to the library by the Fuller Craft Museum. I was wearing my grubbiest clothes. The film crew arrived early and caught us unloading the truck. I reminded them they were early, and begged for the opportunity to go home and get into my "Library Director clothes." They said that would ruin the continuity of the spot, and wearing "work clothes" (not the kind I usually wear to work) would add to the theme of the spot: Massachusetts libraries in trouble and facing possible disaster. Many professional colleagues have assured me that it "worked" to appear in my grubbies, in spite of my self-consciousness. Let me know what you think.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Video of Harry At MBLC Hearing

Harry testifies at a hearing of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners about the importance of State funding for both individual libraries and for library networks.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Another Harry the Librarian!

Survey says: Most of us Google ourselves.
I did so to find my way back to my own blog. Sad to confess, since the url is so easy. I was feeling too lazy to look up my own "address."
Imagine my wonder to search "blog 'Harry The Librarian'" and find several entries about another Harry the Librarian.
Seems there's a fellow in Iowa whose myspace identity, now "Good Will Harrying," apparently formerly used "Harry the Librarian." By clicking on a cached earlier version of his page, I saw the identical layout and text, except everywhere that now says "Good Will Harrying," said in the earlier version, on identical labels, "Harry the Librarian."
As you can see from my first post, I have been using "Harry the Librarian" online, and as an email identity, for over a decade.
Strange. I wish this young (half my age) far away (I've never lived farther west than New Jersey) Harry well, but am glad we're no longer sharing the same "handle."
He even quotes some authors I like on his home page.
I send goodwill to Goodwill Harrying.
I'm glad he changed his "name."

Another Librarian's Metamorphosis

I'm noted for saying we've been too quiet about the need for public library funding, and giving speeches at the drop of a hat to shame the powers that be into supporting our noble mission.
I'm not alone.
At yesterday’s meeting of the Massachusetts Library Association’s Legislative Committee, MLA President Kimberly S. Lynn shared a copy of a delightful article that shatters stereotypes while rallying librarians to become political activists.
Today she emailed a link to share it.
It was written as an article by Maureen Ambrosino, Youth Services Consultant for the Central Massachusetts Regional Library System, and was reworked into a comic (if it’s too short to be a graphic novel, can we call it a graphic essay?) for publication in School Library Journal.
Check out (librarians love to say that) “The Metamorphosis.”

Put off by a long lesson that wasn't

I have been enjoying the Simple-ology Blogging course described in my previous post.
I'll even confess that my incentive for starting this blog was the offer of getting the course for free by posting the information about the course in my own blog.
I so enjoyed Mark Joyner's teaching methods that after completing his free Simple-ology 101 course, "The Simple Science of Getting What You Want," that I signed up and paid for course 102, "The Simple Science of Money."
In fact, I already plan to also shell out the necessary money (scientific or not) upon completion, to enroll in his third basic course 103, "The Simple Science of Personal Energy."
So in my post I promised to report on my experience with the blogging course.
It has been great.
I discovered a techno-glitch that is probably not noteworthy except for the effect it had on my participation.
When I logged onto the video file for Lesson 6, the time indicator at the bottom right showed a total time of 13:44. It was late, and I was tired, and decided that this was simply too long to tackle that night.
How could less than 15 minutes be too long?
A signature part of Mark Joyner's methodology is that you view each lesson in a narrated video, then take a multiple choice test on it, then read it in the course book (a free download in PDF format) then read it out loud, then listen to it (another free download) in MP3 format.
I instantly calculated this (I'm old - so I was taught to do simple arithmetic in my head) as needing a time commitment of nearly an hour.
Most lessons are in the 4 to 7 minute range, so even multiplied by four, are easy to complete.
Well, today being Saturday, and hating to lose momentum, I decided to just do the lesson.
When I read the lesson, first silently and then out loud, it didn't feel like it was taking me close to quarter of an hour.
Imaging my surprise when I played the MP3 and the elapsed time was 5:19!
Baffled, I re-opened the video and paid attention to the parade of seconds in the timer - they were counting off at least 2 1/2 per actual second.
Some mis-calibration of the video timer - with no impact on the actual performance - was the reason the video "thought it was" over 13 minutes long.
So now I am ready to do the next lesson tomorrow, no matter how long it "claims" to be.
I've learned a lot more about blogging, and one more thing about myself:
I sure can get hung up of trivial details!
If you read this, please let me know if you think this demonstrates a fatal flaw or just an "interesting" (I hope) idiosyncrasy.
Thank you.