Posted by: cyndera | January 5, 2011

Tax Time is Around the Corner

It’s that time of the year again: The IRS wants our money, or, if we are lucky, will send us a check to give back some of those hard-earned dollars. But let’s be honest: Tax time can be stressful, and tax forms can be quite confusing.

That’s why the library offers free instruction booklets for your 2010 Federal Income Taxes as well as the Form 1040EZ.

Don’t procrastinate: Stop by the law library to pick up your copy today and be done with your taxes in the blink of an eye. The librarians are also able to print a copy of the form that you need to complete your paperwork for 2010.

Please keep in mind that library staff (including the law libarian) cannot answer any questions about your taxes (such as which form to use and how to fill it out). We are, however, happy to help you find resources that will answer those questions.

See the CRRL Law Blog for more information and helpful links.

I wish you a Happy New Year and a stress-free tax time.

Posted by: cyndera | October 23, 2010

Please Support Library Funding!

Click the picture to support this campaign

Libraries are important! Surprised? Some people are. Why would libraries be important? They have books and … well, that’s it, right? Wrong! We have so much more than books. We are your one-stop-shop place for pretty much everything you need in life. Okay, we can’t give you money, but we have all the information you need (and movies, too!). But why, you might ask, should I go there. There is Redbox, Netflix, and Google. And the internet has all I need. Well, think again. The internet is like an iceberg, and Google only sees the tip. The stuff that’s under water, yep, you don’t get to see. Plus, do you know that the web site you get your information from is legit and up-to-date?

And what about learning new things? Libraries offer awesome classes on computer software, how to look for a job, how to write a resume, and so much more.

Face it: Libraries are important, especially when money is short. People flock to libraries even more when times are tough. Support your library, speak up!

Posted by: cyndera | October 22, 2010

A Fable (and some news from Myrtle Beach)

Okay, before I share a really cute fable with you I wanted to say that my poster won 3rd place in the student poster competition. YAY! Now I gotta figure out what to do with the monster (36×48). Anyone have a wall I can rent? Hehe. Maybe my library would consider exhibiting it for a while … we’ll see. Anyway, here is the fable:

Fable of the porcupine

It was the coldest winter ever. –  Many animals died because of the cold. The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together.  This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions even though they gave off heat to each other. After awhile, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth. Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. This way they learned to live with the little wounds that were caused by the close relationship with their companion, but the most important part of it, was the heat that came from the others. This way they were able to survive.

Moral of the story: The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but the best is when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person’s good qualities … or: LEARN TO LOVE THE PRICKS IN YOUR LIFE 😉

And if you need something else to laugh about, check out the video (well, more audio since it was dark) I recorded on my way here to Myrtle Beach.

Yours truly, Aileen … heading to bed.


Posted by: cyndera | October 21, 2010

Poster Presentation at SCLA 2010

For those who are interested, here is the poster I will be presenting at the South Carolina Library Association Conference 2010:

SCLA Poster

SCLA Handout


Posted by: cyndera | October 18, 2010

Halloween Fun at the Library

Halloween Read-Aloud for Kids 6-11
Saturday, October 30, 1-3pm
Library Headquarters, Caroline Street

Posted by: cyndera | October 7, 2010

Survey for VLA members

If you are a member of the Virginia Library Association (VLA), please consider taking our brief survey at


Aileen (for the VLA Cont. Education Committee)

Posted by: cyndera | September 24, 2010

Libraries Will Survive – Week 2

In the second week since “Libraries Will Survive” was posted online we’ve continued to attract great feedback and supportive comments on the CRRL’s YouTube account. The following list includes this week’s new publicity and links, many of which also have encouraging comments and editorials. Currently we have over 64,000 total views!

As a reminder, the full video is:
And the shorter version with just the music is:   


(same story)  

Free Lance-Star:  

We’ve been nominated for a Best Library Video Award in the Musical category:  

A librarian with the Cité Library of the Geneva Municipal Library Network in Switzerland showed his support for our advocacy by joining our Friends of the Library.  

CNN iReport:  

AOL Video: (

news coverage)  

Librarians and Writers: 

Spanish –
Lithuanian –
Portuguese –
Indian –
Italian – French –
German –
Chinese – Russian –



According to this site, we’re being shared by 920 Facebook users:  


Posted by: cyndera | September 21, 2010

Today at the Reference Desk

Woman approaching the ref desk.
Me: Can I help you?
Woman: I am looking for a kid.
Me (after a second of processing): Oh okay, sorry I can’t help you with this, we do not catalog kids … (DUH me)

Posted by: cyndera | September 20, 2010

Internship at LoC : A Final Perspective

This summer I interned with the Library of Congress, more specifically with the Business Reference Section, located in the Adams building right on Capitol Hill. It was an amazing experience.In this article I would like to share some of the things that stood out the most.
The (incredibly knowledgeable) business librarians receive a variety of questions every day, in person, via phone or QuestionPoint. I did not realize that many of the QP questions come from other countries. Answering those is tricky at times, especially when the patron is not a native speaker. In a case like this, the business librarians usually do not try to simply answer the question. They provide sources that leads the patron “into the neighborhood of what they want to know”. As we all know, reference interviews often reveal that the initial question does not describe the actual information need. I learned a lot from this hands-on experience, and it illustrated that librarians do not necessarily know everything … they just know where to find it. Having a broad general knowledge is probably the most important thing we can strive for.
Many patrons are interested in the history of a business. LoC is a great place for doing that kind of research, given the incredible amount of old documents and publications that are stored not only on-site but also off-site at Ft. Meade. The latter  has been designed to preserve fragile materials, using cold storage and even freezers to fight deterioration. I was not able to visit Ft. Meade; however, I spend a considerable amount of time in the LoC stacks, marvelling at collectionsHistoric yellow pages for example. Did you know that back in the day yellow pages would not only list the phone number and address for a company but also the name of the president, vice-president, secretary and other important figures, including their home phone numbers and addresses? What a great resource for people conducting historic research!
Only a fraction of the collection is accessible to the public. Most items have to be retrieved from the stacks. And you have to think BIG here … the stacks are located on 12 floors, many of the underground. If you do not know where an item is located, you will probably never find it. Did you know that the floors at LoC are not only divided into North and South, but are also reversed? Like on a submarine, the first floor is all the way on top, and the twelfth floor is on the bottom.
Aside from working at the reference desk and answering questions on QP I also revised a business guide for Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners, which will be online at in the near future. I hope I will be able to share it with you in the next newsletter, and that you will find it useful in one way or another.

Posted by: cyndera | September 17, 2010

Libraries Will Survive -Part 2

It’s been one week since “Libraries Will Survive” was posted to the CRRL’s YouTube account and we’ve gotten some great feedback on it. Thanks to everyone who has helped spread the word! Viewers have left enthusiastic and appreciative comments on our YouTube pages and on many websites. At this point, we have over 14,000 combined views for both videos.

As a reminder, the full video is:
And the shorter version with just the music is:

Perhaps most excitingly, we were featured on an NBC Chicago news program this morning. The anchors missed the point a bit, but it’s still great exposure:

The list below includes many of the sites that have posted our video.

WIRED magazine:

Libraries and librarians: (under More Videos)
and this very well-designed library website:

South African –
Estonian –
Swedish –
French –
French –
Polish –
Hungarian –
Portuguese –

(Vote for us!)


According to this analysis, we’re being shared by over 200 Facebook users:

Lots of great support from these Tweets:

Older Posts »