Canaanlibrarian’s Weblog

{March 22, 2009}   Onsite Visit Review

Northfield is a lovely town, and though its population is around five times more than my hometown in NH or the community I work in in VT, I see how similiar we are. My technical budget is similar and we both rely on other entities (they the local University-me the local SAU) for a huge part of our technical power. We both are housed in older buildings and space for computers is limited. We both want a new(er) web site and easy automation system.

I have visited this library for several workshops over the past six years and always enjoy my visit their. Between the actual library and the Northfield Historical Society is a building connecting them that is home to a good size community room with kitchen. Great for programs and meetings. While I adore my registered historical building that houses my library-I do feel envious when I see the room some libraries have.


{March 22, 2009}   Onsite Visit Blog 4

Actual Interview: Sorry-I have no actual photos. It was a very busy long day.

URL of the Library:

Their network is wireless and they have two high speed Internet connections-both of which are free through local company advertisement.

The library is automated with Voyager in an agreement with the local Norwich University. This automation system is designed for a large University, something that can be overwhelming for the smaller public library. This is a web based system and patrons can access it at home for features such as book renewal. The server for this automation system is located outside of Vermont.  We then had a brief discussion about my current “do I update our Follett, combine with the school on Follett Destiny, or try something like Koha” dilemma.

The library has 5 computers for staff (1 is a laptop) and 8 for patrons. Patrons may use their own laptops on the wireless setup. 5 of the patron computers are provided by a contract with Norwich University, 2 are from the Gates Foundation and 1 is a patron gift-a very new computer.  The contract or tech budget with the University includes an upgrade of the computers every two years and service.

Brown’s Director Sue MacMartin did express an interest in updating their website, something she said was created sometime ago by a previous Director family member. I stated that I wished that I just had a website-that it is on my huge to do list.  A look at the libraries website reveals that they do have a subscription to Vermont’s Online Library database.

Sue gave me a copy of the library’s “Computer & Internet Use Policy” that was recently reviewed and re-approved in October 2008. The policy states the library mission, Internet Access, Responsibilities of library staff and users, disclaimers and unacceptable uses of computers, confidentiality of library records, procedures, response to violations and wireless internet. Public Internet Access Procedures are separate. She also gave me a copy of the form used to sign in and out of computers.

We then did a quick review of the space and furniture used for patron computers. Like most libraries, especially ones in older buildings, space is somewhat limited. Most of the computers are located directly in front of the circulation desk. Sue did point one computer out in another room that is not in the view of staff and she admits that patrons have abused this location in the past. She also stated that wireless access is pretty good in the building but that some laptops do some to do better than others.

I appreciate Sue staying at the library to meet with me though she was feeling rather poorly.

{March 22, 2009}   Onsite Visit Blog 3

It is a three hour drive to Northfield Vermont-I leave my home at 6 a.m. When I arrive at the library I have just enough time to settle in for the beginning of the workshop. The workshop is set to be over at 3:30 and I have arranged to meet with Sue then. I will not be home until late.

We break for lunch early. I actually brought my lunch (I usually walk downtown to Subway) and enjoy it in the company of some librarian friends I have not visited with for awhile. I finish my lunch early and decide to go upstairs from the community room where we are meeting to touch base with Sue early.

I am glad I did just this, because Sue has the flu and as I begin to visit with her, a nice volunteer arrives to take over for her so she may go home.  I then quiz her quickly so she may go home and I may return to one of the best workshops of the year.

{March 22, 2009}   Onsite Visit Blog 2

I reviewed the questions listed in the assignment and took a good look at Brown’s website:

{March 22, 2009}   Onsite Visit Appointment

Considering I reside where New Hampshire, Vermont and Quebec meet, libraries are few and far between. I am the Director at a wonderful library in Canaan, VT. I reside in Colebrook, NH that is home to a very nice library,but they are not automated and I felt I needed to look elsewhere for my onsite technical visit. I was scheduled to visit the Brown Public Library in Northfield, Vermont (about 10 miles south of Montpelier) for the 2009 summer program workshop. I emailed the Director Sue Mac Martin asking if on the day I was visiting (Wednesday, March 18th) would be a good time for me to speak with her about Brown’s technical abilities. She promptly replied she would be glad to speak with me, but perhaps I would prefer to interview another library since they were automated/connected with nearby Norwich University. Considering my local options and schedule, I felt this would be my best option for this project and asked again if she would see me and I arranged to meet with her on the 18th.

{September 25, 2008}   Hello world!

Here I am blogging. Here’s to VT’s 23 Things


et cetera