now this is how you do a save the library campaign

The right to read of blind and partially sighted Canadians is in jeopardy.” More information about the Canadian National Institute for the Blind’s financial crisis in this CBC article. Stay up to date on what’s happening on their facebook page. If you are Canadian, please consider sending a letter expressing your concerns.

I am going to Canada tomorrow and would like to see you there

I’ll be giving a talk at the Library Camp pre-conference thingie that the Emerging Technology Interest Group is putting on the day before CLA up in Montreal. If you’ve got $40 and are in the area, I’d suggest stopping by, there are going to be a lot of cool people there. John Fink and Jason Hammond will also be giving talks in the morning.

a few things I would have emailed you about…

Hi there, I spent a chunk of my weekend selecting images from the NYPL digital valentine gallery and sending them around. Hope you had a decent weekend. I’m heading to San Francisco this week for the MaintainIT steering committee meeting. Should be an interesting time, the MaintainIT project has been an interesting one and they’ve produced some great information, but the funding cycle is ending and the big question is “What now?”

With that in mind, here are a few things I’ve been reading online over the past few days that didn’t hit escape velocity enough to merit their own post but that I thought you’d like.

  • The Future of Reading – a NYTimes article about a school librarian that doesn’t resort to the usual cliches and drives home the point that I like to make – in the age of information overload, being able to separate good information from bad is more important than ever and librarians can help you do that.
  • YANAL stands for You are Not a Lawyer – one of my favorite blogs, Freedom to Tinker talks about the difference between technology being able to introduce doubt into a legal proceeding (hey you have no idea if *I* was the one who downloaded that movie illegally) and what would happen to you if you’re even suspected (i.e. a world of hurt) so why you should understand the laws.
  • CRS Reports to the People – part 1, part 2. The Congressional Research Service writes white paper style reports for Congresspeople. These are generally not made available to the public despite being paid for with tax dollars and being incredibly useful and well-researched documents. FreeGovInfo has been agitating for them to be made publicly available as a general principle, not just continually leaked via Wikileaks or Open CRS
  • A portrait of Spencer Shaw, the first black librarian in Connecticut, who received a lifetime achievement award from the Black Caucus of ALA in 2005.
  • Freedom to Read week is next week in Canada. I like this idea of a readers’ holiday better than Banned Books Week.
  • TicTOCs a table of contents service. I was reading about this in Computers in Libraries and it’s great. RSS feeds of Tables of contents for many many journals. A great project.
  • Library phobia – my goal in my professional life is never to be the sort of librarian people are afraid of.

I’ll try to write some actual longer posts this week but I wanted you to know what I’d been reading

library lockout in Victoria

The libraries in Victoria BC, the subject of an ongoing (166 days as of today) strike, are being closed and employees are being locked out. Here is the statement from the library

Due to the ongoing strike by CUPE 410, the Greater Victoria Public Library today announced that it will serve 72-hour lock-out notice on the union. It is anticipated that the 72-hour lock-out notice will take effect on Sunday, February 17 2008 at 5:01pm.

Here is the web site statement of the union.

In the 165 days since we started taking strike actions, the employer’s bargaining agent has made no attempt to restart negotiations. Since early in 2007, they have simply refused to discuss the major outstanding issues. Library workers experience this as a contempt for their needs, and for their contributions to the quality of life in the Capital area.

Here is a short article from the Vancouver Sun on the subject and a longer one from the Globe & Mail. Here is an column from the Victoria Times Columnist with some details about the actual money they’re talking about wagewise. One of the interesting parts of the ongoing saga is that some library workers, as part of their protests regarding promised but not delivered pay equity with other municipal workers, were waiving overdue fines for all patrons, costing the library between $40,000 and $50,000 per month. This likely endeared them to some of their patrons but was a interesting form of civil disobedience on the job. A few blogs posts on the subject here, and here. [updated because I had the title/location wrong and needed to republish]

Web 2.me – a talk in Montreal

I’ve been getting pretty bad at doing advance notice for some of the public speaking that I’ve been doing and have a resolution of sorts to get better about it. So, this is a few days advance notice that I’ll be in Montreal at the end of the week — have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE Canada lately? I am so lucky it’s close by — to do two things.

  1. Chitchat with McGill students on the evening of the 14th. Yes, I have a date with the McGill School of Information Studies (quick, Google still shows the L word in the school’s name) on Valentine’s Day and think it will be great. McGill is home to The Marginal Librarian which I linked in librarian.net when most of this current group of students would just have been entering high school. How hot is it that their URL still works? Answer: very hot.
  2. The next day I’ll be giving a talk at a “Workshop for Information Professionals” called Web 2.you. There are a bunch of nifty people speaking on topics ranging from the predicted death of Boolean to libraries in Second Life. I’m speaking late in the day about the Library 2.0 idea and social software and their place in libraries generally. If you’re in the Montreal area, it’s a cheap and fun day of talks you might want to check out.

Going to Access 2007?

Hi. I have an odd request. I’m going to be speaking at the Access 2007 conference in Victoria BC on October 11th. I’m really looking forward to it. However, travelling there involves going from Tinytown USA to Tinytown Canada which means two small airports which means two long (or expensive, or both) trips. If anyone is driving to Access and heading either through Vancouver BC or Seattle WA on their way there and wouldn’t mind giving me a ride to the conference — I speak on the morning of the 11th, pretty flexible otherwise — I’d be happy to chip in for gas, share my hotel room if it’s logistically possible, or otherwise make it a non-sucky experience for you in the interests of saving the conference promoters money and me some time. Drop a note in the comments or find me in the usual places. I’ll be buying tickets sometime this week. Thanks.