Monday, July 28, 2008

Autism: It's all about the fans

Box fans, standing fans, table fans, that is.

My son has always been attracted to fans. In fact, that was one of the most "autistic" things about him in his early years. By the age of 2 1/2, he was always noticing fans in windows from great distances. We'd be driving and he'd say quietly, "there's a fan in the window."

I would have no idea what he was talking about until we'd get closer and sure enough, high up on the 6th floor of some apartment building off Main Street, there would be a box fan sitting in a window.

Well, now he's making videos of fans and uploading them to YouTube.

I have to admit, I'm very impressed. He tells all about a particular fan, shows the parts and speaks very clearly and with obvious understanding of his subject.

Now, he's not the only one with fan videos. There are some videos that are from antique fan collectors, but some are from quirky folks like my son. Not every fan enthusiast is autistic, but we do wonder.

I'm glad my son has found a little community online.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Library management and the economy, silly

I am not a very prolific blogger. I really regret that I do not have a lot of time to come here and write.

I especially wish I had more to say that was "professional" and devoted to librarianship.

I've got very little except to let you all in on my view of public library management: it's hard.
It's a balancing act. You're public, but to keep your sanity there have got to be boundaries and when patrons cross those, we staff get all nervous and tense.

So on one hand, we want to be more accessible. Kiosks, not desks. Roaming librarians with PDAs looking up info for you.
I'm not sure I like that. With the public using the free resources of the library more than ever--because what's inexpensive and free out there is shrinking--we've got more people in the building than ever.

They are signing up for cards and hopping on to our computers. They are tracking stocks with our online tools. They are checking out dvds in droves, I think just because they're free. Why go rent when the library is free?

So I think with more people coming in to use the library, we need our boundaries more than ever. I do want to make things easier and more welcoming for our patrons, but I really want my boundaries.