Hi, everybody! Back in July, our friends at the American Alpine Club asked me to preview their Guidebook Finder before it went public. Well I geeked out, tried it out and told them what I thought. Then they came back to me a couple of weeks ago to ask if I could do a guest post on Inclined, their blog. (Click here to check it out.)
The AAC Guidebook Finder is the latest search engine tool for the American Alpine Club Henry S. Hall, Jr. Library. It’s like a card catalog through a map. Go to your destination and click for the guidebooks for that area. It’s brilliant!
However, I feel a little guilty. Really. If my big idea in the guest post is implemented it will mean a lot more work for the library staff.
Let me tell you about the folks that made the Guidebook Finder the fantastic tool it is: First off, it was made possible by funding from Yvon Chouinard’s own Patagonia, which seems to contribute to a lot of things near and dear to me. Next, the whole library team, lead by Beth Heller with Alex Depta, managed the feedback and processed the requests. (Book checkouts have increased substantially since the Guidebook Finder was launched!) I also have to mention the person that brought the technical knowledge to connect the Library’s database with Google Maps. It was tedious work, but it wasn’t too mundane for Hale Melnick, who was an AAC intern at the time. He’s presently fighting another good battle with our other friends at the Access Fund.
So this should go without saying, but the library needs your help. The programs are funded through a variety of means, primarily membership dues and financial contributions. I made a modest contribution to the Library a short while ago, and I hope you will too. Giving says that you value the collections, the time the staff takes to find your books, log them in and out, pack them up, mailing them and being available to help with your research questions. Even if you have a good climbing library at home, nothing beats the holdings and the knowledgeable staff at the AAC Library. Also, the gifts are tax deductible.
Beth, I’ll write you guys another check soon — as an apology.
On a totally different topic, I’m happy to report that my training routine is becoming a habit! I’ve heard that if you keep something going consistently for over 21 days that it’s easier to keep going much longer. If that’s true I should be on my way of working out through the year, including running in a 10K this spring and participate in that wacky Stowe Derby — the cross country ski race — next winter. I’m sure Mount Mansfield will have snow next year… Right?