the beginning of school

I’m adding another microjob to all the microjobs I have. Starting next week I will be the super-part-time IT lady at the vocational high school that I work at. This means that I’ll be the triage lady between the IT troubles at the school and the expensive tech consultants that do the networking and account management and mail server for the school. This is good news for me. I’ll even, sort of, have a classroom because there’s an empty one. I’m going to dial back my adult ed teaching in the evenings for a semester so that I can be around at night. So, for anyone curious or keeping track at home, here is my “what I do for work” list at the moment.

  • I run MetaFilter – I am one of two full-time moderators. In addition to the guy who owns the site and the coder who builts a lot of it, we’re it. Running Ask MetaFilter has taught me a lot about how people look for information and how they do or do not find it.
  • I give talks – as other people have observed, public speaking opportunities seem to be dropping off somewhat. I was turning down offers last year because I was overbooked, now I’m doing maybe one a month? Works out well for me, but it’s hardly a reliable income stream.
  • I am still automating the Tunbridge Library using Koha. It’s slow going. Some of that slowness is me, some is not. I work a few hours a week on it. We’re at the point where everything’s got a sticker and now we’re linking records to items. Exciting.
  • I’m writing a book for Libraries Unlimited about teaching people to use computers over on this side of the digital divide. Due in March and I’m doing my own index. Wish me luck!
  • I’m still doing drop-in time at the local vocational high school which is a different job from the IT job though also just a few hours a week.
  • I got a royalties check from Mcfarland for about $20 so I guess that’s sort of like a job.

I’m sure there are other things I’m forgetting. As usual, librarian.net is just a hobby blog and not something that brings in any money which is AOK by me. This is post #3001 after 10+ years of doing this.

librarians and roller derby

I went to a roller derby match this weekend, my first, and this morning this article crosses my desk. Coincidence? I think not.

By day, she’s Beth Hollis, a 53-year-old reference librarian in Akron, Ohio. By night, she’s MegaBeth, an ageless dynamo on the roller derby rink. “All my life, when I tell people I’m a librarian, they say, ‘You don’t look like a librarian,’ ” Hollis said. “And now that I’m a roller derby girl, they say, ‘You don’t look like a roller derby girl, either.’ So I don’t know where I fit in.”

update: please head on over to FM Daisy’s blog to see more Derbrarians.

a few late summer links

I’ve been scooting around a little bit lately and here are some things that have been crossing my virtual desk. I’ve also dealt with two wordpress issues [a hack! and an outdated sidebar navigation element] and I’ve upgraded to the latest version of WordPress. If you’re on a Summer schedule, I’d suggest upgrading before things get hectic.

sony reader works with ebooks and libraries, sort of

The new Sony Reader, the biggest competition to the Kindle, is supposedly going to be able to check out digital books from libraries that use the Overdrive service. I guess this begs the obvious question: why go to the library for this service at all? I guess that Overdrive just bulk offers the checkoutability service to libraries (hello restrictive DRM!) which is something but man I just wish their service were better and easier to use.

please help me get more library content into SXSW

I have proposed two presentations for the SXSW conference in Austin Texas next March. There is a complicated series of steps to determining which of the proposals will actually get picked. Part of this determination (30%) is a very basic voting thing where you can thumbs-up or thumbs-down a particular presentation. Voting is now open. We are encouraged to use our powers of persuasion to get you to vote for our ideas. I would like you to vote for my ideas. Here is a link to all of the proposals. There are over 2000 of them and 300 or so will get chosen.

My two proposals are linked here

How The Other 1/2 Lives – Touring The Digital Divide
Curating Cultural Content – Libraries Save Your Ass & Etchings

Voting involved signing up on the website and then clicking the thumbs up. I’d appreciate it if you’d consider doing this. I’m pretty into both topics but the first one is nearer and dearer to my heart, while the second one seems to fit in more nicely with the SXSW gestalt. A few other library-themed things you shoudl check out

– David Lee King presenting on Designing Your Customers Digital Experience
– Heath Rezabek’s Connected Youth: Austin Public Library Teens Get Mobile
– Cecily Walker’s Can I Reserve This Book With My iPhone?
– Jason Schultz’s Reading ReInvented: Can You Steal this Book?
– Tiffini Travis’s Librarian Glasses or Stripper Heels about information fluency.
– Brian Rowe’s Digital Accessibility on Ebooks and Phones : #$@^ Kindle
– Bill Simmon is also proposing a panel which I may be on: Hyperlocal Focus: Growing A Vibrant Community Media Ecosystem

And a few presentations about books more generally…

– Allen Weiner’s Publishers Look To E-Reading to Reach Digital Consumers (curious about this one)
– Travis Alber’s The Future of Reading: Books and the Web
– Dharmishta Rood’s Networked Reading: Viewing as an Act of Participation
– Aaron Miller’s Books and the Twenty-First Century – The New Realm of Reading
– Bradley Inman’s Too Busy To Read? The Future Of Books
– Two related seeming panels: Kindle 2020 and The Book in 2050

Please vote early and often and for as many ideas as you like. There are a lot of great ideas in there on related topics like gaming and accessibility and web standards. Even if you’re not even considering going to SXSW, please take some time to vote up ideas you think should be getting exposure at a web geeks conference. Thanks.