Mistress of the Libraries Moves On…

When she came to The Seattle Public Library almost eleven years ago, one of her key commitments was to help improve the library materials budget and the ability of Technical Services to streamline its work and get materials ordered and ready for the public more quickly. They even had an internal campaign they called: “The Year of the Book.”

Through years of budget increases, reductions, and increases, as well as the generosity of private donors to The Seattle Public Library Foundation, they managed to bring the materials budget closer to what has been identified as “the ideal materials budget.” Through the excellent work of staff materials got into readers’ hands more quickly. Due to sharp negotiations the SPL staff got larger discounts from vendors.

Recently a staff committee studied the holds and delivery processes and through careful implementation of its recommendations have been able to move materials through the system quicker and more efficiently. As staff continue to work on this the public will notice even more improvements.

The SPL has created an amazing virtual library. In fact, this blog is just one of the many new ways the SPL is communicating with patrons and providing readers’ advisory services. But – it’s important that the community not stop here – but check out the on-line databases, downloadable materials, and all the other resources to be found on the SPL Web site.

Deborah Jacobs’ parting thoughts:

I have been asked to comment on books that influenced me or alternately books I might be reading during my transition between my position here as City Librarian and my new position leading the Global Libraries Initiative for The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The first question is too hard; like many readers I find something important in every book I read. Something that touches my heart, teaches me, makes me laugh, and on and on. Even my favorite book would be hard to name but when forced to do so I often say – OUR MUTUAL FRIEND, ANGLE OF REPOSE, A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY, HUNTING MR. HEARTBREAK – but yikes… this is just too hard!~

I do know the books I’m planning to read during my month of no job. I’ve been physically gathering, putting on reserve at the library, listing on my iPhone “notes” section the books I intend to read. They reflect the yin-yang of my reading tastes.

Iliad: Robert Fagles

When Fagles died recently I knew it was important to take time to re-read this.

Means of Ascent (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, volume 2): Robert Caro

I am a political animal and Caro gets to the essence of Johnson and political savvy.

Girls Like Us: Sheila Weller

I know it isn’t supposed to be very good, but I am 56 years old and am of the exact era she is writing on.

Old Glory: Jonathan Raban

I started re-reading this before the recent Mississippi flooding because my book group had just read (or re-read in most of our cases) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. How very relevant and remarkable it is to be reading this right now.

Netherland: Joseph O’Neill

It seems to be the hot book of the season; I’m #55 on the library’s reserve list so might not get it until after I start my new job.

Lush Life: Richard Price

I actually – gulp – bought this! I am such a library user that I own almost NO books!

If YOU are ever at a loss for what to read, talk to our wonderful librarians. They are chock full of great ideas and have sure helped me when I’ve been in a reading slump.

And, because the world is changing and so is our remarkable library, I plan to stay modern by buying myself a going away present of a Kindle!

I will miss you all but will continue to be an avid library user, supporter, and reader!

Deborah Jacobs

Oh, and:

….favorite word/s: Jacob, passion, libraries
….on her desk right now: Eleven years worth of file folders, sorting and organizing for the new city librarian. Also – magic rocks, cards, chocolate, pictures and gifts.

One thought on “Mistress of the Libraries Moves On…

  1. Pingback: Mistress of the Libraries Moves On… | Online Secure Shopping

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