Volunteering has been a great way to get to know some other librarians and to learn some hands on skills, from teaching people to use the automated check out machine to mending and covering books. I helped Ilene Sheng at the Oxford Elementary School Library for the fall semester and helped several Oakland School libraries to reopen – entering books into the computer catalog, shelving, cleaning, mending and covering books, and the like. My regulars are the El Cerrito Library http://ccclib.org/locations/elcerrito.html and the Berkeley Main Library http://www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org/ . The El Cerrito Library was nice enough to let a team of us from SJSU’s LIS program do an evaluation of the library and propose a course of action. I was pleased to see that they took one of my recommendations to expand the amount of shelving for the Spanish language collection.
Berkeley gave me an interesting task. I work off of microfilm to extract death notices and articles on people who died in and around Berkeley in 1913. This will go into a computer data base for people interested in our local history and geneology. I chose 1913 as that is when my dad’s family moved to Palo Alto from Montana. It is also of note for the small pox epidemic, with similar news articles and editorials to what we had with the H1N1 flu this year. Some things do not change much. It was also the beginning of a world war, Sarah Bernhard performed in Berkeley, and San Francisco was still rebuilding from the earthquake of 1906. I haven’t had as much time for the Obit. project lately as I was so busy with classes last semester. Berkeley Main has given me some amazing images. I wished I had my camera the day a tibetan Buddhist monk in his saffron and crimson robes was working away on the computer.