Blog

Retirement

By Marlene Bosak, Youth Services, Mary Esther Public Library

Merriam-Webster defines ‘mixed emotions’ as: conflicting feelings or emotions. Not that they’ve asked me lately or anything…but I concur with that definition. Hence, it is with mixed emotions to say that the time has come for me to retire from my job in Youth Services at the Mary Esther Public Library.

The library and the children have been an important part of my life for almost 20 years. I have been privileged to have consistent groups of children who have literally grown up in the programs before my eyes. They’ve been happy when graduating from the preschoolers to the older age group and sad when they’ve “aged out”. I’ve worked with children from families across the income spectrum; “only child” kids, and kids from large families. There have been children who didn’t speak English, but came anyway to listen to books they didn’t understand. I have been exposed to many nationalities, different cultures and skin colors of all shades in this job. And through it all, in spite of the perceived differences we have in our society, I have found children to be basically the same…they want to feel secure, to be loved, and to have a friend. I tried to be that friend to all the children who came to the library. I hope I succeeded.

Oh, there were some mishaps along the way. Some funny, some sad, but all memorable. There was a particular Saturday that we still refer to as “The Day of the Blue Glitter.” Then there was the day I accidently told one group that the Tooth Fairy was a myth. I learned the hard way to be sensitive toward groups of children on certain holidays…Father’s Day, in particular. It goes without saying that storytime presenters read through and practice the books before a program…one NEVER reads a book cold to a group of children! That said, there have been books that struck me as particularly funny during a presentation in spite of pre-reading it and I ended up in tears from laughing so hard. (Try Bee-wigged by Cece Bell, if you ever need a laugh.) On the flip side, I became severely emotional during a presentation of Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot by Margot Raven. For the craft that day, we made parachutes out of plastic bags and strings with a mini Hershey bar attached to it… a room full of children all testing out their parachutes made me want to cry again, but for an entirely different reason.

Life without the library and program planning is going to take some getting used to. What will I do in November without planning “The Nose Game” or February’s “Shadow Game?” Who will carve apple heads in September while we pretend it is autumn in Florida? Will I ever be able to walk through Michael’s without thinking of a bulk-purchase craft? And the summer! Seriously, what does one do in the summer if one is not responsible for a six-week SLP? Do people still take summer vacations? (Pandemics, notwithstanding.) When I took this job so many years ago I never dreamed it would become a career filled with so much joy and so many special memories. Maybe I’ve stayed too long…whenever I think about someone else standing in front of MY library kids with a book in one hand and a craft ready to roll, I can hardly bear it. But, life is ever-changing. There are now situations in my family that will require more attention and travel in the near future than I can give while also working a full-time job. Sometimes the right decisions are not necessarily the easy ones. Actually, I suppose they seldom are.

So, I begin a new chapter in my life. I am not sure how it will all pan out, but it will. When the program withdrawal symptoms hit me (as they surely will) I will be calling on my grandchildren to gather round and listen to library books and do a craft. I guess I should stock up on some blue glitter….

PLAN wishes Marlene a happy and wonderful retirement!

Increasing Accessibility of Audiovisual Materials in the Institutional Repository at FSU by guest blogger Camille Thomas

As recipients of a 2020 PLAN Innovation Grant, Florida State University’s Office of Digital Research and Scholarship sought to increase the level of accessibility in the university’s institutional repository (IR), Diginole, by creating closed-captions and written transcriptions for audiovisual collection materials. This blog post will outline the processes of identifying materials for captioning/transcription, selecting a vendor, and provide general, practical information related to the projects that other institutions can hopefully leverage for their own improvements to their IRs.

Outside the Office of Digital Research and Scholarship, two important collaborators at FSU were Krystal Thomas, Digital Archivist for Special Collections & Archives, and Kimboo York, Assistive Technology Coordinator at the Office of Accessibility Services. Krystal’s overall knowledge of the collections in Diginole were incredibly valuable early in the process and helped hone in our project to the Research Repository side of Diginole. Kimboo also provided a helpful overview of accessibility initiatives and services across campus, insight into federal and University regulations, and connected us with the vendor we ultimately worked with on this project–The Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation (CIDI) at Georgia Tech.

After these consultations, the next phase involved gathering metadata and evaluating eligibility of collection items to be included in this project. The first step of this process fell to Rachel Smart, Repository Specialist, who, searching by content-type in Diginole, pulled a list of the 151 audio and video objects in the repository and organized them into a shared spreadsheet. Next, Rachel, Dave Rodriguez, Resident Media Librarian, and Camille Thomas, Scholarly Communications Librarian, reviewed each item individually to check for spoken dialogue and determine which items would be appropriate for captioning and transcription. In addition to determining what objects were suitable, we also recorded the duration of each object in an effort to estimate costs.

Once we identified the candidate objects to be sent to CIDI, we began the somewhat laborious process of downloading individual audio and video files from Diginole. We managed this work by setting up “sprints” where we dedicated 30-60 minutes to this task as a group. After just a couple of these meetings, all the information was ready to be sent to CIDI.

Working with CIDI

After setting up an institutional account for FSU Libraries, we were sent login credentials to their service portal (see Figure 1) where we would upload audio and video files, track the status of individual submissions, and update or modify requests as needed. Throughout the project, communication with CIDI staff was consistent and cordial, and they were incredibly helpful and timely in resolving any issues and answering questions.

Figure 1: Dashboard view on initial log into CIDI member service portal.

For each AV object we received either a WebVTT caption file, a text file (.docx) containing a transcription and description of the audio material, or both in the case of videos. With many modern online video players, a WebVTT file can be uploaded  along with a video and be toggled on and off. While the underlying Islandora architecture that currently supports Diginole does not have this functionality, FSU’s new IR will be able to support this level of accessibility.

Figure 2: Video still w/ closed captioning from If These Walls Could Talk, a short documentary produced by FSU students. https://diginole.lib.fsu.edu/islandora/object/fsu%3A408189

Next steps and looking ahead

With FSU Libraries working on shifting its IR to a new platform, and one of the many benefits of this is that our new infrastructure will support media playback with captioning via the video.js player. This represents a significant upgrade from our previous system and creates space for even more accessibility features such as audio descriptive tracks and multi-language audio and subtitle content in the future.

With the implementation of a new IR platform, we are excited to explore proactive (as opposed to reactive) approaches to increasing the accessibility of our digital collections. The current COVID crisis has highlighted the importance of these materials to distance education and the necessity of robust remote access in promoting research and the next generation of scholarly outputs. This project represents an important first step in FSU sustaining a more inclusive IR and we hope can provide guidance for organizations interested in doing the same.

The End of the DVD Collection? by Guest Blogger David Russell

By Guest Blogger David Russell, Gulf Coast State College

The 92nd Academy Awards was a notable event in many ways: it was the second year presented without a host (or were there two?), the first year where the top prize went to a non-English-language film, and the first time Eminem performed “Lose Yourself” for elite Hollywood attendees. The 2020 Oscars were also notable in that it was the first year where Netflix earned more nominations than other media companies. With 24 nominations, including 2 for best picture, Netflix has made it clear that the streaming service is serious about making good content. Kudos to them, but if this trend of award-winning electronic media continues, it may have serious implications for collections librarians.

The Streaming Era has finally arrived,” and it may mean the end of the DVD collection in libraries. While Netflix has struck up a deal with The Criterion Collection to release three Oscar-nominated films later in 2020 (The Irishman, Marriage Story, and the documentary American Factory), no plans have been announced for a physical release of The Two Popes, which was nominated for best actor (Jonathan Pryce), best supporting actor (Anthony Hopkins), and best adapted screenplay. If it is the case that Netflix is keeping their award-winning content exclusive to their streaming service then it is highly unlikely that their recent, extremely popular, original television series will make it to a physical release. Stranger Things has a laundry list of award nominations and wins and has been frequently requested by GCSC library patrons to be added to our collection. Unfortunately, if they want to see it, they have to subscribe to Netflix, have access to a device capable of streaming video, and have access to an internet or mobile data service with decent bandwidth. And that’s just Stranger Things: While Hulu has done a good job releasing DVDs of their exclusive content like Handmaid’s Tale, Amazon keeps its original programming like The Boys and Transparent exclusive to Prime subscriptions.

There has been some online discussion from film critics calling for physical releases of streaming-exclusive content, particularly for the sake of high-resolution director’s cut editions with audio commentary and the usual DVD extras. The Criterion Collection releases are good news to cinephiles, however: Amazon has recently released a 4k version of their media device and Disney+ is leading the way by providing all of the bonus features you’d ever want alongside feature films. For the casual consumer more interested in the experience of viewing a film rather than owning and maintaining a collection of discs, these features might just be the icing on the on-demand cake.

For an academic library, these developments pose an additional snafu: how can instructors incorporate these films into their curriculum without requiring that students subscribe to multiple streaming services? In an ideal world, Hulu, Netflix, and HBO will develop academic-use licenses or special educational performance events for films, especially for exclusive documentaries. Or, academic streaming services like SWANK Digital Campus will collaborate with major platforms to provide academic licenses. At Gulf Coast State College, we’ve already begun to incorporate SWANK into our collection development plan: faculty are able to request streaming licenses for films that they’ll use for their curriculum, many of which might be well-suited for their class but would not circulate otherwise. The library doesn’t have to purchase physical copies of films that might only be viewed for one semester, and we can keep our expensive theft-proof cases for more popular titles.

DVDs aren’t going anywhere. Collectors, as mentioned, still exist and are unlikely to convert streaming services, instead upconverting to the latest format. Redbox still exists (!), DVDs rent for $1 a day and they make no suggestion of stopping, although they have thrown their hat into the streaming service ring. DVDs are also the most egalitarian of video formats: any library patron can easily get a DVD player for $30 and watch as many DVDs as they want (local circulation restrictions apply) without having to subscribe to multiple streaming services. This was the case when I wanted to rewatch the Star Wars films in preparation for the latest installments. Before Disney+, the only option for streaming them was to purchase a $19.99 digital copy of each film. Instead, I acquired a cheap DVD player and rented each film from the library. Problem solved!

Maybe the DVD isn’t going anywhere after all. The recent trends are, however, providing a good opportunity to reexamine collection development policies and explore ways of hybridizing a film collection.

Share Ideas & Resources

These are challenging times. I know all libraries are making every effort to continue providing services to their users. I hope we can also look upon this event as an opportunity to demonstrate how valuable libraries are to their communities.

Below are some random ideas that I have gleaned from listserv posts, Facebook, and PLAN Interest Group meetings. I hope this post will assist you in providing some level of service to your users. We encourage you to add your own ideas and resources in the comments.

PLAN website:

Tech-Talk: content available free for students, teachers and patrons for the duration of this crisis. Apply: https://www.tech-talk.com/free-learning.  Also check out their free webinars and recordings for FL library staff.

Interact with patrons/students

  • Zoom: free accounts (limited to 40 minute sessions). You can use to provide short programs to the public
  • Google Classroom – Three kinds of accounts:
    • School or Education account — Known as G Suite for Education. This type of account would be set up by an accredited school or non-profit (like yourname@yourschool.edu).
    • G Suite account — This is actually a paid level that Google offers. It would be set up by your organization’s administrator so that you can use your own domain (like yourname@yourorganization.com).
    • Personal Google Account — This would be the typical free Google account used with a Gmail address that anyone can set up (like yourname@gmail.com).

Chop Chop Cooking Club – Cook with your kids

The Kid Should See This: Smart videos for curious minds of all ages

Homeschooling

Science

Free Language Training

  • Transparent Language – Most PLAN public libraries have access to this Recorded Books product.
  • Busuu

Many vendors are offering free access to their products. Please share any that you know are available.

And don’t forget to daily promote your electronic resources!

It’s Your Night to Shine; Let’s Celebrate Our Differences! with Guest Blogger Rebecca Mills

By Guest Blogger Rebecca Mills, Library Media Specialist, Kingsfield Elementary, Escambia County School District

“EEEEEEEK!” Sierra said over and over as she danced and flitted around all night long. The happiness could be seen all over her face and with everyone she grabbed to come and dance with her. Sierra was my buddy at Night to Shine. This amazing event is Tim Tebow’s sponsored prom for special needs. She never stopped, other than to eat a piece of cake with her newfound friends, those cute Marines! Needless to say, we both danced the night away, and I have a new friend for life.

As a librarian, I am so lucky to be able to work with all 791 of the students at my school. Kingsfield Elementary in Cantonment, Florida is home to a diverse student population. We have 8 full-time ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) classrooms and 13 ESE inclusion classrooms.  Making them feel like they belong is part of my job. So when I was asked to be a buddy for The Night to Shine Special Needs Prom, I jumped at the chance. I couldn’t wait to meet and dance the night away with those who have a love for life!

I teach several of our autistic classes weekly. It has been a challenge, and I have learned a tremendous amount about the disorder and how amazing all children with disabilities really are. At Kingsfield, we have tried to create an atmosphere that is open and celebrates all children.  Our autistic and inclusion population is mainstreamed as much as possible into all academic areas. We are building a community that celebrates all children. Every child is a gift, and they should be celebrated in every possible way. Tim Tebow’s Foundation does amazing things, and I was blessed to be a small part of it.

Librarians create an atmosphere that becomes the heart of the school. Getting to know your population is one of the hardest but best parts of our job. I love talking to students about what they like to read, what their interests are, and what they want to see new and exciting in the library. Keeping the lines of communication open, celebrating our differences, and allowing our students to have ownership in the library program is essential. I learn something new every day, and am so thankful my students love to come to the library!

I am also so grateful to have met Sierra. She has Angelman Syndrome which is a rare congenital disorder characterized by mental disability and a tendency toward jerky movements. It is caused by the absence of certain genes normally present on the copy of chromosome 15. I had never heard of it before. It is very rare. One in 12,000-20,000 are diagnosed with Angelman’s Syndrome.

As an educator, librarian, and mother, I always jump at opportunities to help, love and spend time with those who need a little extra helping hand. I can’t wait to do it again next year!

Why OERs Make “Cents” with Guest Blogger Becky Nation

By Guest Blogger Becky Nation, Avalon Middle School (Santa Rosa County)

Due to limited funding and lack of supplemental resources, classroom teachers and teacher librarians increasingly turn to online sources such as Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT) and Pinterest for lesson ideas. I’ve both fallen down the Pinterest rabbit hole and paid for lessons from TPT many times, so I’m certainly not saying these sites are bad. Quality materials can be gleaned from both sites; however, many vetted Open Educational Resources (OER) exist that can be used for free. In fact, the list can be quite overwhelming once one begins to explore everything available.

So what exactly is an OER anyway? An OER is any teaching, learning, or research source that is either in the public domain or is available through an open license. Being familiar with copyright laws and public domain materials, I will admit that hearing the first part of this definition was a bit of a turnoff for me since I felt like a lot of public domain materials harbor a few cobwebs that my middle school students struggle to disentangle. The second part of the definition sparked my interest and prompted further investigation. Open license materials differ from public domain materials, because the creator still holds the copyright. Typically, these are newer products that the creator has granted permission for no cost usage, adaptation, and redistribution. A creator can grant an open license for any type of created product:  online courses, textbooks, lessons, simulations, videos, images… The list is endless.

Although many individual websites exist, I have found that the best place to start is at OERCommons.org. Curated by digital librarians, the site has become a hub for vetted OER resources, making the search for quality materials an easier, less daunting task. Video tutorials introduce resources and functions such as setting up profiles, searching the website, creating groups for sharing resources, and becoming a resource contributing author. Through the creation of groups, professionals have the power to collaborate to create curriculum, discuss resources, and harness the creativity of others at no cost.

While on the OERcommons website one day, one of my students asked me what I was doing. In explaining to her the concept of open educational resources and the idea that they are vetted, she got this “Aha!” look on her face. She then told me it was just like when I taught them to use the databases instead of just searching Google when doing research, because someone had already done the evaluation for them.  That’s why this tool is so incredibly valuable. It’s a free resource that saves times, offers quality teaching materials, and just makes “Cents.”

Digitization of Cultural Heritage Materials with Guest Blogger Matthew Hunter

By Guest Blogger Matthew Hunter, Digital Scholarship Librarian, Florida State University Libraries

White 3D scans of human figures on a 3D printer bed

Over the past several years, the Office of Digital Research and Scholarship (DRS) in the Florida State University Libraries has explored applications of exciting new technologies and how they can be used for teaching, learning, and research. One branch of DRS’s exploration focuses on the application of these technologies in 3D printing and Virtual Reality. We are interested in exploring the development of library services that cater to a field commonly described as “digital cultural heritage.” As part of my work as Digital Scholarship Librarian, I am interested in this field as a form of scholarly research output, but beyond that I am just as interested in the opportunities this technology allows in terms of educational opportunities for a wide variety of audiences.

In the past, digitization of cultural heritage materials (such as architecture, artwork, or archaeological finds) was achieved through the documentation of the objects in question through photography. However, this method renders the rich physical information some objects exhibit as flat, owing to the 2-dimensional nature of photography. With certain technologies, software, and modern techniques, we can move beyond this flat representation and provide a new way of engaging with cultural heritage, allowing for a wider appreciation of the physical aspects of our shared history. More complex examples of this technology include efforts to portray the world, or even preserve it, through 3D printing and Virtual Reality. These tools allow those engaged with digital cultural heritage to convey the sense of scale of a large building through Virtual or Augmented Reality, or allow for users to “hold” and more closely inspect the fine detail of fragile pottery, coins, or similar objects through 3D printed recreations. The applications of this technology are therefore ideal for public institutions such as libraries and museums, since they already serve as gateways to learning through their collections.

Woman using an Oculus Rift

For our part in DRS, we are exploring ways of engaging with current endeavors that try to document objects in new ways, to capture the rich 3D data of physically complex objects. For our work, we are attempting to more faithfully recreate objects with a sense of scale, embodied experience, or detail, so that we can share the objects through 3D printing and virtual reality. These efforts are intended to help students at FSU better understand the aspects of material culture they are studying in their humanities classes – particularly in the context of art and archaeology. At FSU, we are part of a larger group of researchers that have begun to experiment with this idea, producing digital recreations of materials from ancient Etruscan pottery, to the recreation of colonial Puerto Rican architecture. These projects have involved processes of 3D shape recreation using high-tech scanning equipment, or using a process called photogrammetry wherein a computer interprets the shape of an object from a series of photographs depicting different angles. The digital surrogates created through these processes are displayed via virtual reality experiences and through the reproduction of objects with 3D printers.

In 2018, I had the opportunity to exhibit the initial results of some 3D prints we had been working on at the “Backstage Pass” event hosted by The Women for Florida State University, a celebration of innovative research projects currently being undertaken by faculty members that exhibit the creativity and world-class research happening on campus. In partnership with Classics department Assistant Professor Andrea De Giorgi and Ph.D. candidate Allison Smith, I had the opportunity to work with 3D files generated from the excavation of the Roman bath complex at Cosa, a project led by Dr. De Giorgi. Digital recreations generated at the site of the dig in Italy, and crafted in DRS, allowed attendees to the event to interact with the excavations in both Virtual Reality and 3D printed capacities. This project has been one of the first truly comprehensive examples of the development of DRS’s services in the realm of digital cultural heritage, and taught us an enormous amount about working at the intersection of technology and humanities research.

Woman using a 3D scanner on an object

Over the course of 2019, DRS branched out to explore other avenues of digital cultural heritage in partnership with other interested researchers across campus. Particularly, several faculty members in the Art History department, who coordinated a symposium based on 3D data, virtual reality, and the research possibilities they enable. The other group was the talented members of the FSU Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives team. For these projects, we began exploring how to use some new 3D scanning equipment and photogrammetry software that would allow us to begin digitizing physical materials for wider dissemination to interested audiences.

This project is still in the exploratory phases, while we determine the best way to digitize and share our physical special collections. So far, the results have been promising! As we gain experience and better understand the complicated technology required to generate faithful 3D models, we are excited to begin sharing the materials held at FSU to wide audiences. However, we also understand that it is vital to share  these models to our patrons in a way that is contextually appropriate, and intellectually stimulating. We are excited to continue developing our processes further, and sharing our results with other institutions. This project ties into many other broader digitization efforts going on around the world, and we will be sure to learn from some of the top producers of digital cultural heritage objects.

Finally! Relationships Where You Get More Than You Give! with Guest Blogger Laura Hobbs

By Guest Blogger Laura Hobbs, Media Specialist at Lincoln Park Elementary in Pensacola

If you are like many librarians today, you find the number of duties you are required to perform multiplying each year. Cutbacks in funding have many of us writing grants to cover the renewal of our current collections, as well as the inclusion of new materials that reflect our changing society and schools. In addition, you may find yourself doing the work of two people or more, lugging books home to process, writing grants on vacation, and using your off days to explore and learn about new technology or makerspaces for patrons. Some days it may seem like you are alone.

As much as we would all like to be wise to the new policies adopted by our state legislature, the current trends coming down the line in collection development, available grants, software, and so on, there is not enough time in the world to keep up with it all. It seems like removing something from our to-do list would be helpful; however, sometimes adding the right thing can save time and effort.

What we all need are some like-minded people to share the load: to help advocate for libraries in your district or city, to share ideas and knowledge of current trends, to share lessons that work, and experiences with companies, vendors, or technology that you may be planning to incorporate. Your local or district Library Association can be that support for you.

Usually Library Association meetings are after hours, and monthly, so there is a minimal time requirement. Association dues may also be a consideration. The minutes from meetings are a valuable resource for planning and executing your program. More experienced librarians can become unofficial mentors to new librarians. In addition, participation in a professional organization can be documented as part of your professional evaluation. Benefits can be diverse, both professionally and personally.

As a bonus you will meet some incredible people who have the same goals. Differences in experience from one library to another help us all to see and develop solutions to issues in practice, advocacy, and resources. Other librarian’s experiences can save a lot of effort and stress. Along the way, you may even pick up a few good friends.

Fall Into Art at the Library with Guest Blogger Tabitha Washington

Fall Into Art at the Library with Guest Blogger Tabitha Washington of the Gadsden County Public Library

Painting with a Twist has been a popular adult activity for several years. It’s a fun and creative activity to do with friends and family for celebrations, birthdays, or when you’re just looking for something to help you unwind.

This fall the staff of the Gadsden County Public Library hosted our own edition of painting with a twist, Fall Into Art. We are blessed to have an artist on staff to assist with the project as far as recommending supplies, drawing the canvases, and assisting patrons with painting.

We started our planning phase for the program back in June of 2019 during our fall brainstorming session. Staff wanted to do an activity for adults that was relaxing, engaging, and creative. Being in a rural part of Florida, there are not a lot of extracurricular activities for adults; our library is one of the main sources of entertainment. Staff also wanted an activity that was either low cost or free for patrons.

Over the next couple of months, staff members on the Fall Into Art committee collected donations for paint brushes, paint, aprons, and canvases to help supply the class. Our local Friends of the Library group supplied the refreshments for the event. Fall Into Art was advertised on the library’s website, Facebook, and in the local newspapers. Patrons needed to register for the class so staff could ensure we had enough supplies.

The class was held on October 29, 2019, at the William A. “Bill” McGill Library in Quincy, FL. There were 10 participants in the class. Each student was provided with an apron, a palette of paint, a set of brushes, water, and a canvas. Refreshments and mocktails were provided for the students, as well as music to lighten the mood. The class duration was about an hour and fifteen minutes, and library assistant Tonisha Harper was there to assist.

Overall, everyone had a wonderful time, and we are looking to expand the program to our branch libraries. We are already planning a special Valentine’s Day painting event for next year.

I Am Not Rapunzel: Breaking Out of Your Library Ivory Tower

It is time to escape! Librarians need to realize that you can’t be a librarian all the time. What do I mean? How I can talk about the profession in that way? Librarianship is a calling and all of those other statements that we are guilty of when talking about our work. Yet, the longer I have been a library director the more I have realized that being “the librarian” can be isolating and dangerous to not only your survival but your library’s survival. Too often we think of ourselves as librarians first. Why wouldn’t we? After all, it is the reason that we went to graduate school. However, it is not how our employers necessarily see us. I work for a county government. While I run their library system, a librarian is not what they think of when they look at me. To them I am just another county department head. One of many that should be taking care of my department and contributing to the county’s forward progress.

I didn’t suddenly, magically figure out that I was supposed to be a department head first, then a library director. It evolved over the years. I work for a small, rural county. There are not a lot of department heads but there is plenty of work that has to be done. I was green as Kermit the Frog when I became a library director for the county. I didn’t have a lot of experience working for a government entity and the way I have always combated my ignorance on subjects was to dive into as much information that I could get my hands on. This led to a lot of saying yes to things that even Jim Carrey in that movie we all have seen (but wouldn’t admit to) would have turned down. As a result, I ended up on committees and workgroups that I had no clue about. I was definitely not the most knowledgeable at those tables but I learned a lot. As time passed, I continued on my way attempting to educate myself on how the county operated.

Then one random board of county commission workshop (meetings are for voting, the real action is always at the workshop!) as I was sitting in the audience listening to my commissioners discuss the latest county business, I had an epiphany! In actuality, it was really just a question by a commissioner. I was asked about the status of a grant construction project. I answered the question, the workshop continued, and then 3 days later the lightbulb came on. That question had nothing to do with libraries and everything to do with being a county department head that wasn’t living in a library ivory tower. So today, I challenge you to break out and be more than just “the librarian.” After all this isn’t a fairy tale and I am not Rapunzel!