Wednesday, April 28, 2010

(Indoor) Running for Reading

Visibility. How to keep reading and librarians visible? One way is to have "visibility" as a goal. For example, here is what I did a few months ago and how it is evolving:

February or so: Noticed a SF Chronicle newspaper article about how a San Francisco librarian kept fit, so I sent a comment to the reporter saying how I liked seeing a fellow-librarian in the news and that I exercised while reading fast-action "page-turners" on the treadmill at my local YMCA. I further explained that I was not alone at the YMCA -- many read or listen to audio books while on the stationary bikes, treadmills, incline machines, and stair master.

Late March: The reporter sent me an email apologizing for getting back to me so late, asked for more details about my reading-while-running, said he'd like to run a story about it, and said to expect a call from the photography department.

April: Photography department called and arranged a date and time for sending a photographer to meet me at the YMCA. I hurried and got permission from the YMCA and had a member of the staff assigned to make sure no other members got in the photos (or if so, to get their permission). A week later -- yesterday afternoon -- the photographer assigned to the job met me at the front desk at the agreed upon time. YMCA staffers loved it. My job was to simply go to my regular exercise machine and read, ignoring the reporter. That was easy. I immediately dove back into my Maisie Dobbs mystery book, which took me back in time to post WWI London. Both the reporter and the photographer asked "which" library I worked in and were at a loss for words when I said I worked for a library association as VP-Communications. Not all librarians actually work "in" a library. The reporter said his daughter was an avid reader and that she now had and loves a Kindle -- Did I have one? Not yet, but I do blog, tweet, and such...

June? The photographer said the story was scheduled to run on June 14, but that might change. After all, it is not a story about a fire, earthquake, or other disaster. Who knows if I'll get any additional opportunities to plug reading, libraries, or running-while-reading, once the story runs. Stay tuned!

Words that I hope will appear in the article: library, librarian, California School Library Association, reading, YMCA.

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