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.

Posted in hi

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.