If you are one of those librarians who likes crafty stuff, you may appreciate the Etsy blog’s library themed offerings. All the stuff I clicked through to investigate seemed to be selling fast, but some nice ideas in there for purchase or imitation. [thanks @jjtaylor]
I don’t know why this cracked me up so much. More amusing book club shenanigans over at Aunt Femininia’s website.
There’s an interesting little article in the New York Times today about whether the prison reading list of a prisoner can be used against them in a trial. The case involves a 2007 home invasion and murder in Connecticut. The defense has indicated that the books that one of the accused men had checked out of the prison library prior to the crime were “criminally malevolent in the extreme.”
In a motion last month, the defense lawyers referred to â€œDepartment of Correction library books.â€ They noted that Mr. Hayes, who spent much of his life in Connecticut jails, had borrowed â€œone or more books of fiction whose plots can fairly be described as salacious and criminally malevolent in the extreme.â€ The lawyers were trying to block any reference to Mr. Hayesâ€™s prison reading before the Cheshire crime at his trial. They said a mention of the books would be â€œhighly inflammatory and very prejudicial to the defendant.â€
In a strange twist, there have been two books already published about the murders that residents are trying to have banned from the local library. More on this from Library Journal recounting a program from ALA Annual.
I’m indoors refusing to move more than about four feet from the box fan. I am also attending to the last few emails in my inbox from people who sent me links or things they thought I’d like. Also I got caught up with my RSS feeds fairly quickly and now I feel like I’m reunited with a bunch of people. Not bad. Hi! Here are a few things that are worth passing on.
- BC Library’s AskAway program has gone away as of June 30th after four years and 130,000 questions.
- Neat [and long] YouTube video about how the National Library of Australia’s Newspaper Digitisation Program has used volunteers to help them proofread and tag digital content. Here’s a short blurb if you don’t have much time.
- Have I already linked to the History of Reading website at Harvard? I don’t think I have. I also strongly suggest reading Gutenberg 2.0 an article from the Harvard Alumni magazine, talking about the role of academic libraries in a wired age. Many fewer platitudes than you’d expect, and a lot of real innovation going on there.
- Bookmobile porn: International Harvester, First American Bookmobile.
- I may not have linked to this before but I went to speak at the Library 2.0 Symposium at Yale last April. I gave a talk that I mostly forgot about, but just found it again ego-surfing. I make the same points I always make about rural access but I think it’s a good talk. Companion slides (all five of them) here.
- Karen Schneider makes a thinky pre-ALA post about Open Source. Money quote: [E]very librarian who engages in tool creation to any degree improves the state of librarianship for all of us.
- Five ways rural public libraries can position themselves to help revitalize and engage rural communities.
I mentioned it on my personal blog, but I’ve finished writing my book and submitted the draft to my editor, Barbara Ittner from ABC-CLIO/Libraries Unlimited. Assuming everything goes well, it will be available at the end of January. This is the first time since April of last year that I have not in some way been writing this book, though most of the actual writing took place in the last six months. I lenjoyed writing and I am enjoying not-writing. Here’s a little bit of reflection on the book writing thing.
1. The book’s title is Without a Net: Librarians Bridging the Digital Divide. The book is already for sale on Amazon. This is sort of weird, watching its sales rank soar and plummet six months before its even available. I set up an author page there, but I’m not sure what to do with it. I’m aware that the book is expensive. I’m aware that I could sell it more cheaply if it were self-published. I know I don’t really need any of the statusing that comes along with publishing with an established publisher. I’ll probably grouse that I could have made a better cover. However, I don’t think I would have written this book without an external deadline, even though I think in many ways this is the book I’ve been “meant to write” for some time now. So, thank you to Barbara for suggesting it and helping make it a reality.
2. I really cocooned while I was writing. I stopped reading my RSS feeds for about the first time ever. I kept my IM client off. I’d peek at Twitter and try to remember to keep adding things to my blog. I sort of checked out from my online and offline communities except for work and occasional Twitter updates. It was an odd thing to do.
3. I woke up every morning determined to write at least 1000 words and would tell myself “I chose this.” but it was still really difficult. Some days the words just flowed. Some days 1000 words would take eight hours. I type about 90 words a minute, when I’m on a roll this would all go fast. I had to keep reminding myself that in many ways I am the expert on this topic and so it was okay to speak from a position of authority and not have to cite statistics all the time.
4. I felt like I was becoming a total dullard. “How’s it going Jessamyn?” “Pretty good, I’m writing a book.” “Still?” This became easy because after a while I just didn’t feel that I had the free time to go out. I’m working on re-entry, it’s going okay.
5. The book has my voice which means I say that some things work and some don’t. I’m sure people will have strong opinions about some of it and I mentally prepared myself for a lot of pushback, more than I will likely get. I make a lot of assertions about how I see the digital divide and what I think is working and not working to mitigate it. I hope people don’t get bogged down in nitpicking. I hope no one that I mention feels that I was uncharitable.
6. I asked for and received a lot of help from people–editing help, requests for pullquotes, some open Twitter requests for information, proofreading–and it’s weird to me that only my name will be on it. I have an extensive “thanks” section. I’m sure I’ve forgotten as many people as I’ve included. It’s odd, in a lot of ways the path I’ve chosen has room for a lot of showboating, doing public presentations, talking on my blog about what I’ve been doing or thinking about, and yet I get timid when there’s actually a situation where it’s useful to be all BUY MY BOOK.
That is the report about the book. You can buy it or not. I think it will be good.