I’ve been writing more and travelling more this year in compensation for not doing teeny library work as much. One of my newer gigs has been as a reviewer for Rachel Singer Gordon’s new project The Tech Static, helping librarians do collection development for tech titles. I did a short review of a DVD/manual for people learning Access 2007. There’s already a lot of good content up there. Add it to your feed reader and check the meta category for more background information.
Again, here are a set of things that maybe don’t need their own post but are worth letting people know about.
- Literal videos? Have you seen these? They are remixed videos where instead of the lyrics, you see captions or hear lyrics that describe what is happening instead. Very amusing. The first one I saw was AHa’s “Take On Me” but now they’ve done the Tears for Fears “Head Over Heels” video which is one of the classic videos that takes place in a library. Enjoy. (and of course there’s this)
- Sarah Houghton-Jan and Laura Crossett presented The Broke Library’s Guide to a Better Web Presence at IL2008.
- Dan Chudnov has a great set of slides form a talk he gave at MLC about free software. Many slides, easy to understand.
- Some discussion about Library Journal’s decision to bring eyeballs to their advertisers in the form of hosting the Annoyed Librarian’s blog. Free Range Librarian, David Lee King, Walt Crawford. My feeling is that I wasn’t payign that much attention to LJ anyhow and will probably continue to do so, though I really do like a lot of the people that work there.
- LISJobs has a lovely redesign.
- GODORT — the govdocs people — has a custom search engine that searches 611 government document sites simultaneously.
I’ll be doing another post on blogs added to my feed reader lately. I had organized and culled and plumped up my feed reading list a few months back [down time on an airplane] and was all pleased but then the hurricane that was my HD crash set me back to the beginning. I’ve been reading some neat stuff that I’ll be sharing with you.
Via AL Direct comes this good news press release from ALA.
“Opening up American Libraries’ searchable PDFs at www.ala.org/alonline/ is just the first step toward making all future features and columns available on the site in HTML format in 2009,” said Leonard Kniffel, editor in chief. The current issue of the print magazine will be open to all, as will back issues through 2003; they were all formerly accessible only with a member log-in. The revamped AL website will link content to the AL online forum [hot link http://al.ala.org/forum/] where readers are encouraged to express their opinions about professional issues, news and controversies.
I always try to read at least a few library student blogs, because I think having a new set of eyes on some of the things we’ve been doing for years is often useful. Graham Lavender just went to an IFLA conference and I found that his experiences mirror my own feelings about my first national ALA conference. Librarians: friendly, love to dance. Really.
I had the opportunity to sit in on a meeting of the Conference of Directors of National Libraries, where the head librarians from over 50 countries sat around a table and each had a tiny little flag at their seat, which is exactly what I imagine the UN must be like. Afterwards, some of them stayed behind to have a glass of wine with the students (there were seven of us, one from each library school in Canada), and it was all very casual and friendly.
I thought this blog post containing a librarian’s response to a challenge to the book Uncle Bobby’s Wedding — an easy reader book that has a gay wedding in it — to be a model of responsiveness and informativeness and, at the same time, upholding the policies and procedurs of the library with politeness and compassion.
Finally, then, I conclude that “Uncle Bobby’s Wedding” is a children’s book, appropriately categorized and shelved in our children’s picture book area. I fully appreciate that you, and some of your friends, strongly disagree with its viewpoint. But if the library is doing its job, there are lots of books in our collection that people won’t agree with; there are certainly many that I object to. Library collections don’t imply endorsement; they imply access to the many different ideas of our culture, which is precisely our purpose in public life.
There’s a lively discussion going on in the comments sections as well as on MetaFilter which is where I first read about it. Nicely done, Jamie Larue.
I’ve been travelling and working more than I’ve been surfing and sharing lately. That will change this Summer, but for now it’s the reality of what seems to be The Conference Season. Here are some nifty links that people have sent me, and ones that I have noticed over the past few weeks. Sort of a random grab bag.
- Some introspection and questions from a special collections blogger. “Why do this anyways?” If you have suggestions or comments I’m sure she’d appreciate them.
- The MaintainIT project has a guest blogger from the Tonganoxie Public Library in rural Kansas. I’ve pointed to their website before as a way that a tiny library can make use of tech tools to really expand their presence and share a lot of information. Library director Sharon Moreland is detailing her library’s move from Sirsi to Koha and it makes for great reading.
- Speaking of library blogs, Seattle Public Library has one called Shelf Talk which falls solidly into the category of “blogs I’d read even if I weren’t reading blogs for work” Right up top there’s an interview with Cory Doctorow talking about his new book Little Brother. Also noted is every librarians favorite category: lists, booklists to be exact. The blog manages to intersperse library information, local lore and trivia and book topics in a lively and attractive package. It’s a great model of what a library blog can be. Yay team!
- Dear New York Public Library, please do not invade the Andrew Heiskell Library Braille Collection (the only browseable collection of books for the blind and visually impaired in NYC) by relocating the Technology Unit there. Thanks. More info on facebook.
- Original Spiderman origin artwork donated to Library of Congress.
- Not exactly library related, but this TED talk with James Howard Kunstler talking about the despair of suburbia and the importance of creating inspired public spaces as “manifestations of the common good” is worth watching. 20 minutes.
I think the Read posters are fine. However, they are also amusing for various reasons, some more than others. Your Neighborhood Librarian takes a few to task in amusing ways.
- BOFH stands for Bastard Operator From Hell. This entry is about vampire librarians, or something.
- Can architects save librarians from the Internet? Slashdot talking about Slate.
- ListenUpVermont, a project to get participating Vermont libraries together to be able to lend digital audiobooks to their patrons is going live this week. I’d love to say this was my doing but mostly I’ve just consulted with a local non-automated library about how they can make this work for them. This is the result of an informal (possibly formalized now) consortium of Vermont libraries from all over the state lending titles via Overdrive. In just browsing the collection I’m sort of surprised at how many titles can be burned to CD (and transferred to ipods) I was expecting less. Big congrats to Stephanie Chase from the Stowe Free Library for getting this project going.
This isn’t specifically about libraries, but I know that many librarians consider Neil Gaiman a member of our tribe, since he’s so bloggeriffic and knowledgeable and appreciative of our profession. So, I thought you’d enjoy this story about how Neil Gamain pitched in to help scifi fan Jason propose to his girlfriend during a book signing event. Here’s Jason’s blog post explaining how it all went down. Neil Gaiman says it was his favourite bit of his visit to the Phillipines. [mefi]