Archive for the 'hi' Category

LACMA launches new collection site with 20k public domain images

The Los Angeles County Museum of art said on their Tumblr on Friday “Dear Tumblr-verse, Merry Christmas: we just gave you 20,000 high-resolution images, for free. Now we have just one question: what are you going to do with them?” This announcement is a next step in LACMA’s ongoing experiment to open up more of their collections to the public, via the public domain. They have more discussion and explanation on their WordPress blog. Do any search on their new collections website and you can limit your search to only those with unrestricted images. And then you can take those images and do… whatever you want. There is still a wordy Terms of Use page that people may want to dig through but the upshot is that folks should go use these photos, for anything. Stick them in Wikipedia, use them on your flyers and blog posts, use them for your album covers, put them on a t-shirt. Thanks for trusting the public, LACMA. Lovely stuff. Here’s the pull quote from their website that sums up why they did this.

Why would a museum give away images of its art? As Michael Govan often says, it’s because our mission is to care for and share those works of art with the broadest possible public. The logical, radical extension of that is to open up our treasure trove of images. When we first launched our early experiment with giving images away online, we heard a resoundingly positive response from many quarters: school teachers, parents, graduate students, journalists and the occasional creative person interested in printing their own Mother’s Day cards. So far, we have yet to hear of a situation where one of our public domain artworks has been misused or abused.

2010 in libraries

Because I am a detail-oriented nerd, I track the libraries that I visit. I usually take pictures if I can. Here is my post about the 2009 visits. I’m still using Daytum to track visits and I learned they just came out with an iphone app last month. I went to twenty-six different libraries for fifty-five visits total, I’m sure I have forgotten some. Here’s the short annotated list of what I was doing in libraries last year. I have a few library photos in this Flickr photoset.

  • Kimball Public library (18) – my hometown library where I often worked this year.
  • Hartness/Randolph (10) – the local academic library, open late, great DVD collection.
  • Howe/Hanover (2) – my favorite bigger town library, so comfy, so lovely.
  • Boxboro MA (2) – my Mom’s library, great for unwinding.
  • Loussac/Anchorage Pl AK(2) – went here twice when I was at AKLA, neat architecture, busy place.
  • Chelmsford MA(1) – came to see Brian, stayed to do work.
  • Surprise AZ (1) – on a tour with my boyfriend’s parents. Neat libraries, so unlike New England libraries.
  • Stowe Free VT(1) – former workplace of my great library pal Stephanie.
  • New Bedford Pl MA(1) – I was on a weird research quest and they helped me out.
  • Montpelier VT(1) – popping in to check email, lovely old wood in here.
  • Burnahm Library, Colchester VT (1) – on a 251 club drive, nifty busy library.
  • Goddard VT(1) – for a WordPress training, home library of my friend Helen.
  • Beatley/Simmons MA (1) – before I gave a public speaking workshop.
  • Cambridge (1) – walking distance from my boyfriend’s place, amazing renovation.
  • Peoria AZ (1) – modern and fancy but sort of empty.
  • Alling/Williston, VT (1) – fun history room and a snazzy bookmobile.
  • Fort Lauderdale Reading Center, FL (1) – a weird non-library in some ways, well-loved clearly.
  • Jericho/Deborah Rawson VT(1) – Fireplace and wifi, a great place.
  • Palm Beach State College, FL (1) – busy place, old-fashioned building but modern collection.
  • N Regional/Broward County Library, FL (1) – big and bustling, a little hectic.
  • Niceville Pl, FL (1) – fun design, nice people, memorable fish tank
  • Waterville NY (1) – doing great things, big lovely windows and light for a small place.
  • Lantana Public Library, FL(1) – old fashioned and full, great location.
  • Warren Branch, Indy (1) – super busy old style library/
  • Nat’l Archives – Waltham MA (1) – friendly staff helped make awkward renovations managable.
  • Maynard MA (1) – last library of the year, bright and busy w/ a great book sale.

secret rooms in libraries

One of the librarians showed me the secret room in the library if I’d write something about it. There is a secret room in the ceiling of VTC’s Hartness Library. Eames in the eaves You turn a key in a keyhole in a brick wall and a staircase descends from the ceiling with a great rumbling. Climing the stairs gets you into a disused room that used to be the bindery area but is now just used for storing shelves and old Eames chairs. It’s an odd and noisy room since it’s right next to the room where all the HVAC equipment is. They don’t use the room anymore because of ADA requirements and because it’s darned complicated to get into and out of when the library is open. I’ll add this freaky little room to my list of library attics and basements that I’ve been compiling. Places that don’t have elevators, places that are inaccessible or otherwise tough to get into. Thanks, Ben, for showing me another one. Here’s the list I can put together off the top of my head so far.

SECRET ROOM

Queens Borough and SirsiDynix settle

Queens Borough Public Library and SirsiDynix settled, nine months after QBPL brought a lawsuit against SirsiDynix. FYI. No details released. Here’s the relevant court document.

links about some good and bad things in libraryland

First off, I’d like to point out this question from Ask MetaFilter which asks the age old question “I am trying to automate my small school/church/club library. What software should I use?” I gave a few answers, as did a few other people, but the short answer is “There’s no good tool for this” as near as I can tell. Please let me know if I’m wrong.

A few more links people sent me over the last week or so.

2009 in libraries

daytum

I’m a nerdy list-maker. This should come as a surprise to no one. In addition to all the other reasons I enjoy the end of the year, it’s also when I make my year-end summaries. I did a guestroom wrap-up on my personal blog. I have two bookish wrap-ups to put here. This first one is about library visits. 2009 was the first year I kept track of all my library visits in an orderly fashion. Longtime readers of this blog may remember I did library reviews in 2003. I found I had a difficult time with constructive criticism if I knew the people who worked at a library, so I stopped doing this.

This year I made 67 library visits, about one every five days. A lot of these were for work [either local work or giving talks] and the rest were either fun or curiosity. I used a website called Daytum to track my visits which was really easy. So, here’s a short annotated list of what I was doing in libraries last year.

  • Aldrich/Barre (1) – killing time before dinner with friends in town. The first library in Vermont I did any work for.
  • Austin (1) – LBJ library, sort of a flyby right beore it closed for the day.
  • Belfast, ME (1) – a small pretty library we stopped at while on vacation
  • Belmont, MA (5) – my boyfriend’s local library
  • Boxboro, MA (1) – my mom and sister’s library
  • Cambridge, MA (1) – got to see it after the renovations were done. It’s nice!
  • Camden, ME (1) – another fancy little Maine library
  • Chelmsford, MA (1) – home of the Swiss Army Librarian
  • Concord, NH (1) – stopped in here during a rainstorm
  • Des Moines, IA (1) – I helped change their photo policy!
  • Elko, NV (1) – A small library with a great mining collection
  • Hartness/Randolph VT (7) – my local college library
  • Houghton Library, Harvard University (1) – special tour and Samuel Johnson exhibit
  • Howe/Hanover, NH (4) – one of my favorite all-time libraries
  • JFK Library, MA (1) – mostly a museum and a general disappointment
  • Kimball/Randolph VT (6) – my town library, a great place
  • Library of Congress (1) – thanks Dan Chudnov for the tour.
  • Long Branch, NJ (1) – fun to poke around in while I was at NJLA
  • Montreal, QC (1) – ducked in here during a subway bomb scare
  • McGill/Montreal, QC (1) – gave a talk, saw the library
  • NYPL (2) – hiding out with good wifi in the periodicals room, highly recommended
  • NYPL/SIBL (1) – fancy library, right downtown
  • Portland, ME (1) – another hideout from the rain
  • Portsmouth, NH (1) – gave a talk and stuck around
  • Rochester, VT (1) – classic small-town library in a funky old building
  • Toronto, ON (1) – no wifi, sort of surprising
  • Tunbridge, VT (21) – where I work most of the time
  • Westport, MA (1) – my Dad’s library.

Desk Set – from the NYTimes fashion pages to your library….

Remember that puff piece in the NY Times about the librarians that got together to drink in Brooklyn and how wacky it all was “A Hipper Crowd of Shushers”? I hadn’t followed it much since then, but apaprently this crew, The Desk Set, has been doing all sorts of fabulously fun things and it’s worth seeing how to do librarian chic right. Check out their event posters. Plus, they’ve having a holiday party, the BiblioBall, to benefit Literacy for Incarcerated Teens this Friday. If you’re in the NY area, I’d suggest checking it out.

DIY Book Scanner, details

I’ve mentioned Daniel Reetz’s DIY portable book scanner here before. It’s a great combination of an interesting thing to look at, an interesting project to contemplate and a bit of a gauntlet tossed down as far as bigger questions of why we leave scanning up to the big companies, etc. At the end of my Tiny Tech talks I usually mention it as something in the realm of the possible, even if in a Dream Big way. Daniel was at D is for Digitize last month — a conference I missed because I was in Nevada — and I noticed some interesting back and forth about his scanner project show up in the Library Law blog.

SirsiDynix Corp lobby paper against Open Source technologies

Interesting thing in my inbox today from WikiLeaks. Read it and see what you think about it. Any SirsiDynix customers actually receive this and want to go on the record about it? From the WikiLeaks page:

This document was released only to a select number of existing customers of the company SirsiDynix, a proprietary library automation software vendor. It has not been released more broadly specifically because of the misinformation about open source software and possible libel per se against certain competitors contained therein.

SirsiDynix is currently embroiled in a lawsuit with one of the largest public libraries in the U.S. (Queens Borough, NY) and this document does illustrate the less-than-ethical nature of this company.

The source states that the document should be leaked so that everyone can see to what extent SirsiDynix will attempt to spread falsehoods and smear open source and the proponents of open source.

why I don’t accept guest posts from spammers, or link to them

I get an email maybe once a week from someone with a human-sounding name saying they read my blog and think they have something my readers might be interested in. Or they offer to do a guest post on my blog. The link is usually some sort of vaguely useful list of something library-related but the URL of the website is not library-related. In fact the URL of the website is usually something like onlinenursepractitionerschools.com, searchenginecollege.com or collegedegree.com (which if you’ll notice is the top hit on google for a search for college degree). I sometimes see other libloggers linking to sites like these and I have a word of advice: don’t. When we link to low-content sites from our high-content sites, we are telling Google and everyone that we think that the site we are linking to is in some way authoritative, even if we’re saying they’re dirty scammers. We’re helping their page rank and we’re slowly, infinitesimally almost, decreasing the value of Google and polluting the Internet pool in which we frequently swim. Don’t link to spammers.

This is a linkless post, for obvious reasons.