Monthly Archives: May 2008


Alex at graduation from Basic and Infantry Training Today I am not going to write about exciting developments in the library world, despite the fact that I spent the morning at NOBLE (North of Boston Library Exchange) participating in a round table discussion on the future of the library catalog. This topic is one in which I am deeply interested. However, today I am writing not as a library director, but as a proud mother.

My son, Alex, who is pictured here,  called last night at the conclusion of two weeks of Special Forces “Selection” with the news that he had completed the exercise, and been selected to train as a member of the US Army Special Forces. he will be assigned to Delta company, and will receive training as a medic.

His selection, as part of a very elite group of soldiers, was not entirely surprising to me, but then, I am not impartial. I am very happy that he achieved his goal, and that he was assigned to the specialty of his choice, and that he will have to do so much additional training as a member of the special forces that he will not be available for deployment for more than a year.


The essence of the OWHL in 50 words

was recently asked by one of the staff members working on the Academy’s web redesign project to submit a 50 word statement that captured the “essence” of the OWHL.  Thinking about responding to this request I was variously indignant (Don’t they understand how complicated we are?) cynical (How about “Got books”?) and philosophical.  While I do believe that we can’t be “captured” in 50 words in a marketing brochure (which is honestly what the web site has become) I took up the challenge to try to explain to a general public that is woefully uninformed about the role(s) and purposes of 21st century academic libraries who we are.

Here is what I came up with:

“Helping improve your questions” isn’t just the OWHL’s slogan—it accurately describes the intensive, one-on-one teaching that the librarians do every day. The OWHL serves as the crossroads for the intellectual life of the community and is committed to assuring that every PA graduate has the “information literacy” skills needed for academic and personal success in the 21st century.

It reminded me that “Helping improve your questions” is a pretty succinct description of what instructional librarians do.