Archive for the 'librarians' Category

National Library Week starts now

meme generator image of Game of Thrones for NLW

Happy National Library Week. This is the week that encompasses a few more days worth celebrating including National Library Workers Day on Tuesday, National Bookmobile Day on Wednesday and Support Teen Literature Day on Thursday. Oxford University Press is giving away free access to the OED for folks in North and South America through Saturday. That’s sort of neat. I just got back from a very fun time giving a keynote speech at NETSL (more on that later) which was the first talk I’ve given all year. This was after Flavorwire’s “Coolest librarians alive” list which made me go “Who is Flavorwire again?” and then “Oh, neat” But my favorite thing about that accolade was what happened afterwards. A bunch of people instead of being normal crabby internet people in the comments section, actually started naming other librarians who they thought were cool, or great, or excellent, or important. And people talked about it online in the usual places, a lot. The article (more of a listicle really) was so popular they added a second set of librarians a Readers Choice with 10 more cool librarians.

And that, in a nutshell, is why I become a big goofball during National Library week and bug all my friends to get cards and take themselves to the library and why I stopped at the Somerville Library to check out their Awesome Box yesterday when I was nearby. Because I get to work with and around a lot of neat people and in many ways we’re a team. Sure there are some showboats and various rockstars in various areas and niches, but it’s great to see people being not just happy for whoever some website thinks is cool but also to talk about the other cool librarians that they know and why they’re people you should know. It’s a great group of people.

Should it be okay to sue librarians for saying your books are bad?

Learned about this story two days ago and by the time I could put something together it has zipped around the internet already. Long story short: blogging academic librarian (and favorite Dale Askey) makes negative probably-factual statements about a publisher. Publisher sues librarian and his current employer (who was not his employer at the time of the blog post) for millions of dollars for libel. Not okay, right? While the suit will probably prove groundless, it’s a waste of people’s time and money and an assault on the idea of academic and intellectual freedom. Please inform yourself and spread the word about Edwin Mellen Press’ wrongheaded decision to sue a librarian for writing about his negative impressions of their products.

  1. I first read about this here. Additional links including the “notice of action” are here.
  2. Specifics at Inside Higher Ed here
  3. Read the deleted-but-archived blog post in question here.
  4. McMaster’s public statement is here.
  5. A very nice “What can be done” assessment. In short: consider removing any automatic purchases from Mellen Press
  6. Dale’s blog and his twitter feed
  7. BoingBoing and Gawker have taken notice.
  8. If you are the petition signing type, please sign this petition.

storytime: hunting a time capsule at NYPL and elsewhere

Thomas Lannon occasionally posts on NYPLs blog. He is the assistant curator of their manuscripts and archives department. He also figures into this Fast Company story about a time capsule created by a group called the Modern Historic Records Association. The time capsule was never found, not exactly, but this story, an early example of the LOCKSS (lots of copies keeps stuff safe) phenomenon does have a happy ending, thanks to some sleuthing and some librarians.

Men of the Stacks: why this isn’t just another wall calendar

I was happy that I caught the tweet early when the Men of the Stacks calendar came out because it’s been fascinating to watch this project grow and blosson. If for some reason you haven’t heard of it, the website is here and they have a facebook page here. Thanks to some nice photography, some cute librarians and a good message, this project has taken off, been mentioned in international news outlets, hit boingboing, Oprah and the Village Voice. The calendars cost $5 to produce through MagCloud and are sold for $20 which means for every calendar that gets purchased $15 goes to the It Gets Better Project. There’s a thoughtful post by the MotS administrator Megan about bullying and jerks online and why this sort of thing is so important. My favorite thing is probably close to what Will Manley says, this is “an image buster with a sense of humor.” My second favorite thing about this is, hey, I know those guys! A lot of the fellas in the photos are librarians we’ve known online for years and years–Brett and Trevor and Von and Gabe are people I know, and the others seem like people I’d like to know–and so we can smile along with them and say “Way to go guys!” Can’t wait to see how this evolves.

Meet Meg, our new coworking librarian

Last month, Meg approached us with a brilliant idea: could she try to create a coworking librarian position at CoCo?

There was only one possible answer: “How soon can you start?”

You may know Meg as DotMeg or even as Meg Canada. She’s got a new mini-gig which she’s blogging about thanks, in part, to the support (though not financial) of her employer Hennepin County Library. Read more about her in her Mover and Shaker profile. Also check out this beautiful space (the St. Paul location is just as lovely but not as classic). [thanks joe!]

Brenda Elizabeth Moon – chief librarian, University of Edinburgh, RIP

I’ve paid particular attention to obituaries since finishing Marilyn Johnson’s excellent book Dead Beat. There are some great librarian obituaries; a life of pulbic service seems to lend itself to this. A local librarian pal pointed this one out to me and I thought it was worth sharing: Brenda Moon: University librarian who had a clear vision of the transformative effects of digitisation, here is a personal rememberance of Ms. Moon at The Guardian. [thanks Barbara!]

two slightly random-seeming UW libgrad spottings

Some of you may know that I went to the University of Washington at a point where it was “between deans” and well before it was an ischool. I thought I got a good education there. Every now and again I run into a former classmate doing something nifty. This weekend I tripped over two of them and I thought you might find this as interesting as I did.

  1. Christopher Platt who spent some time at NYPL and then at Baker and Taylor and is now back at NYPL as director of collections and circulation and is quoted [along with perrennial favorite Eli Neiburger] in this NPR story about the future of libraries and ebooks. Notable quote: The HarperCollins limit isn’t going to stick. I agree.
  2. My friend and volleyball buddy Diana Inch, now a high school librarian in Salem Oregon, won $5,000 from Yahoo for being the only one of three million entrants to correctly pick the Final Four teams in the NCAA basketball tournament. Here’s a photo of her and here’s a short interview.

Australian librarians and their copyright dance – puttin’ on the writs

Video of staff from the National Library of Australia performing at their 2010 Christmas party. Fun! [thanks iain!]

Morris Cohen – spitfire legal librarian, RIP

I first became aware of Morris Cohen because he has the same name as my grandfather only spelled slightly differently. We exchanged emails a few times and I finally met him at Yale when I was in town for the Reblaw conference. He went out of his way to find a time we could have coffee and chitchat about quasi-radical librarianship and he made an impression on me as both a deeply principled and interesting person as well as someone who cared about mentoring and passing on his legacy. I was saddened to learn of his passing this week. There are good obituaries available at the New York Times and Library Journal.

She Was A Booklegger: Remembering Celeste West at Bitch Magazine

Bitch magazine has a lending library in Portland Oregon. The library has a blog and they would like your zine donations. They make posts about books in their collection and today’s post is about Celeste West and a new book out on Library Juice Press celebrating her life. [via]

She Was A Booklegger: Remembering Celeste West is a collection of essays, excerpts, and photos that attempt to capture the spirit of Celeste West, a woman whose influence on feminist librarianship, publishing, journalism, and activism was monumental. After West passed away in 2008, a few friends and admirers (Toni Samek, Moyra Lang, and K.R. Roberto) decided to embark on a project that would honor West’s work and life. This book, which acts as a comprehensive and compassionate obituary, was the result.