On a happy note, a friend of mine has recently started a blog in an area of librarianship that doesn’t get enough discussion in the blogosphere: access services. Mary Chimato is the head of access and delivery services at NCSU, and started Circ and Serve because she saw a gaping hole in its representation on blogs. As someone who works at the circ desk probably twelve hours per year (at most), I find her observations about this area really interesting and totally new. In her blog post, Bringing Sexy Back (or Our Collective Self-Esteem Problem), Mary talks about the important work those in access services do in spite of the fact that what they might do is not as “glamorous” as what folks do in reference and instruction. In an earlier post, she talks about how Library 2.0 ideas can extend into this area of service. I know at my library, the folks who get the most appreciation from patrons are the ILL staff, so I can attest that their job is not only important, but it can really make a difference for patrons. And I’m glad there’s finally a blog out there for this general area of library service.
Mary and I were on a panel at Wikimania last August and I found her to be an innovative and incredibly level-headed person when it came to implementing new technologies. I was really impressed with how, when she implemented wikis at her former institution, she not only focused on the technology, but put a lot into staff training and really made it fun. That’s something I had to learn the hard way at my library. I look forward to hearing more of her insights on bringing technology and improved services to this area. When Mary talks (or writes), I definitely listen.