Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Just a tad overdue....

Nice incentiveImage by crazytales562 via Flickr

How long is long overdue?

Try 100 YEARS!!!!
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Happy Holidays!

Hung for the Holidays album coverImage via Wikipedia

Wow, the holidays are already upon us and they, as well as the various painting jobs around the house, have taken me away from you all for a bit :(

Anywho, I promise to post more of my musings of life in the so called information age.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Project Information Literacy Report

CoETaIL Course 1: Day 1Image by superkimbo in BKK via Flickr

The new Project Information Literacy Report just came out yesterday and it sheds some light on where students turn for information when it comes to class assignments.

Take a gander, ingest and see what you think and how you can best reach your students. I know I'll take some time to mull this over and maybe rethink the way I come at some things.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The 'C' Word Rears its Head Again! No not *that* 'C' word.

Dangerous books are in this library.Image by Manchester Library via Flickr


This is the story that won't go away about the library staff, not librarians, that wouldn't check out a book that they deemed to be obscene, even though the book in question violates no obscenity law.

Read the article and judge for yourself. I happen to agree with the library director on this one (big shock) and his decision to fire these women. Read up and what they did and why and you decide for yourself.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

World's Ugliest Buildings

Longaberger Company Headquarters, Newark, OhioImage by michaelgoodin via Flickr

Surprised there are a few libraries on the list?

Not me.


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Monday, November 9, 2009

Library (not Depeche Mode) 101 - My Take

Library 101 T Shirt (on a binary rainbow at that!)Image by libraryman via Flickr

Ok, I've seen the video, been on the webpage and read a lot of the scuttlebutt, pro and con. Now to my two cents about the whole thing.

What's the big deal, either way?

A few librarians got together and came up with this idea on what they think are important ideas, notions, skills, whatever you want to call it, on librarianship. They make a video, goofy I'll admit but it seems like they are having fun. They shamelessly over promote it, this is the internet so this is to be expected. Get the word out on it and all that. Good job on that front. But what about the substance? The importance of the '101'?

That seems to be what's getting peoples knickers in a twist, pro and con. There are some that are gushing about it and that's fine, if they dig it they dig it and see its use and merit. But there is also a segment that just bash it like it's some sort of unholy abomination, a blight upon the face of librarianship. Dudes and dudettes, chill out.

I think what this whole deal had brought out is that there are a lot of areas of librarianship, some of which will find the Library 101 tools worthwhile and some that don't, plain and simple. I remember back when I was entering library school, I had this very narrow view of librarianship and what it meant to be a librarian. Low and behold, I was a ninny because while I was there, I saw all sorts of areas and fields of librarianship that I had no idea about or never thought fell under the umbrella of librarianship. That's what, I think, is at the crux of why there are some that think Library 101 is useless, it may just be useless to them because of the area of librarianship that they are in. For others, it may be a godsend but for others, not so much.

So lay off, if its not your bag then its not your bag. No need to run someone else because of it.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

My Dead Body

Charlie Huston's new book, My Dead Body, the last of the Joe Pitt casebooks is out now!

If you haven't read any of Charlie Huston's work, go do so forthwith. If you haven't read any of the Joe Pitt casebooks, then do so forth-soon. Stephen King raves about Huston's work and I do too, though people may take Stephen King's word for it more than mine.
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Monday, October 26, 2009

Otaku Rejoice!

Manga Entertainment, LLCImage via Wikipedia

Finally being take seriously, a Manga Library will be opened by Meiji University in Japan. Check out this great quote “Manga has been taken lightly in the past, and there has been no solid archive for serious study,” Susumi Shibao, a library official, told Agence France-Presse.

Cool, huh?

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Back Where They Belong

Yankees LogoImage via Wikipedia

Ok, unabashed Yankee fan here and I just wanted to drop in and give a hearty congrats to the Yankees on winning their 40th American League pennant. That's right, 40, which is a mind boggling number when you really think about it. Forty trips to the world series, simply astonishing.

Now to thump the Phils and make it 27 World Series titles!
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Information Literacy Month

Information Commons ClassroomImage by DickinsonLibrary via Flickr

The President has declared October in Information Literacy Month


What is Information Literacy you ask?

Well, it's the ability to identify when/what information is needed and then to locate, evaluate and use that information effectively.

Now you may say you can do that, just hop on the Google and viola. But it's more than that mon frere. When you do a Google search for even something mundane like searching for bathroom tile, you are gong to get like 17,000 pages of results. How can you do that search more efficiently? How can you determine which is good information from bad information? What if you were doing a presentation on bathroom tiles and wanted to make sure you used the information ethically (i.i. not plagiarize)? Well, that my friend, all goes into information literacy and that's what I do for a living, teach college students information literacy skill.

Got any questions? Ask away.
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Oh, the misguided youth of today....

Pretty scary that one in three UK kids think the top search ranking is the most 'truthful'.


Did He Really Just Say That?

Senator Proposes an End to Federal Support for Political Science Funding

I mean, honestly, do our politicians have any idea what they're talking about?
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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Paranormal Activity

Anyone heard of it? No, silly, I mean the movie. If you haven't, it's this little indy flick that's trying to get noticed by hitting up the interwebs in various forms like social networking sites and such. This is the new word of mouth for the so-called information age so get used to it.

Check out Paranormal Activity here.
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Friday, October 2, 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Best Reference 2009

Just dropping in to post this link on the Best Reference Sites of 2009.

Best Reference of 2009

Ethics in the Information Age: An Ongoing Topic

My ComputerImage by aLii_ via Flickr

Hello again and I know it's been a long time since my last post but I was on break here at the library but now I am back and ready to go.

While I was off, I caught wind of something that got me thinking about Ethics and Information. We now live in a world where information is at our fingertips, ready and accessible in a flash. Works well for someone like me in the Information Science business (yes, my degree even says 'Information Science' on it) as we can find the answers, or at least where to find the answers, to all sorts of questions that our patrons are looking for.

The problem that routinely arises is that the quick and ease of the spread of information can also lead the rapid spread of disinformation. What got me thinking of this was Glenn Beck 1990 and if you don't know what that is, Google it.

What are the ethical boundaries in this new information age? Who sets those boundaries? Who teaches our young about ethics and what is and isn't ethical in the rapid world of informational transmission that we now find ourselves?

TV, radio, the interwebs, we have it all at our disposal. Do we use it the right way or do we let it lead us down a dark road (and who determines 'the right way' anyway). I don't have the answer just yet but I'm working on it. But hey, what did you expect, I am just a rookie librarian.
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Book/Movie Reviews

9.16.09 - Day 258Image by katieharbath via Flickr

One of the things that I planned for the blog is the occasional book/movie review. Now, I've been busy the last two weeks with this inter-filing/shifting thing so not only haven't I written any new posts, but I also haven't gone to the movies either. Now as many of you know, September is one of the black hole months for movie releases, the other is January. I say this because those are the two months, right after big movie seasons, the summer and holiday seasons, where movie studios dump their garbage flicks. The end result is there aren't too many movies worth seeing during those months. Once the good movies start being released again, be sure that I will post some movie reviews.

The other type of review that I'll post are book reviews. I'll start off with The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown that was just released this past Tuesday. For those that don't know, this is the third book featuring the character of Dr. Robert Langdon of Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code fame. Yeah I know it's pulp literature, food for the masses, blahblahblah and all that jazz but I enjoyed the first two books for what they were so we'll see where this takes us.

A little word though on how I read books. I tend to read rather slowly and being a huge film fan, I play scenes out in my mind, as I am reading, cinematically (if that is a real word) full of cheesy pauses in dialogue and the like. So truth be told, who knows when I'll get the book done. Plus I read like four books at a time and pick what book to read depending on my mood. Right now I have, along with The Lost Symbol, Blink by Malcolm Gladwell and Thunder & Ashes by R.A. Zecht on my plate though I think I'll finish off Blink then focus on The Lost Symbol since I've teased the review enough.

Oh, and maybe a movie review in the meantime.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Inter-filing Reference

Libraries almost invariably contain long aisle...Image via Wikipedia

Hello there and how ya be? Hope you had a good holiday weekend and that's the reason for lack of posting for the last week.

What I'd like to opine about today is inter-filing reference with the circulating collection. We've been mulling this about for some time and have asked around and read a bunch of articles about it. As a matter of fact, Library Journal had an article about it not too long ago.

Since that article pretty much sums it all up, I just wanted to touch on (and vent) about my experiences while inter-filing.

Be ready for dust!
Ok, this probably shouldn't be the first thing on the list but it is for me as I am in the middle of shifting now and the dust is unbearable. Just a heads up for you all out there. Fine. I got it out of my system.

One of the great things about inter-filing is the weeding you get to do. Now, you can weed before, like we did, or you can weed as you go, as I have heard other people do. We weeded ahead of time so we can get an idea of shelf space and what we had and what we would need. Which leads me to my next point.....

Another great thing about inter-filing is it lets you take a long term look at what you want your library to be/look like. Since you are inter-filing and shifting, you can make some decisions on how much space you want on each shelf, do you want to leave shelves empty to add material as the years go on or if you want to change the look/feel of the collection from an aesthetic point of view.

So those are my major thoughts on inter-filing as I am in the process of doing the deed. When this is all done, I envision the major perk of inter-filing will be the collection being all in one place as opposed to looking in two places to find materials for the students. We addressed the idea that the students will try to borrow non-circulating reference books by adding red labels to the reference books and putting stickers on them that say 'For in Library use only', though I am sure you thought of something like that already.

So, wish me luck. It's back to the dusty shelves for me....cough....cough.
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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Academic Library Job Hunting

Business MeetingsImage by thinkpanama via Flickr

Been ruminating on this topic for a while as I am on the search committee for new librarian hires. Interesting thing here is that I actually like being on the committee and that is not a suck up line in case my superiors find this blog sometime in the near future. Originally I was picked to be on the committee then I volunteered and now, I think, it's just assumed that I would volunteer. No matter to me, like I said before, I dig it.

Now, first things first, I work in an academic library so our interviews have an instructional component to them. So let's go over some do's and don'ts shall we?

1. This really goes for any job interview but, be on time. You'd be surprised at how many people, all with at least one Masters degree too, show up late. Late getting to the interview is a quick way to make sure you don't get the job. If there are extenuating circumstances like a car accident or something, at least call.

2. Another general one but, be prepared. Don't show up and wing it. Do some research about the institution and the position you are applying for and if your answers seem canned, so be it, it at least shows preparation (and not H).

3. Make eye contact, especially when doing a demo lesson. We had this one applicant who knew his stuff but he never looked at anyone. It was rather distracting as it was as if he was making a point not to make eye contact. The end result was that his presentation was not engaging and it would be easy to see how college students would take away little from his presentation.

4. Know what it expected of you. If you are asked to do a demo, ask if they want it on a particular topic or in a particular format. If you are interviewing at a place that uses a certain piece of software or technology, ask them if they do so you can prepare something that is right up their ally. For instance, if school likes to use PowerPoint, then prepare something in PowerPoint. The only way you will find out is to ask. Don't put yourself in a position where you seem a bit underwhelming on your demo because you use something that they don't use or fins outdated.

5. Last one as I will limit this to only five, be engaging. I suppose this can go for any interview but especially one in which you deal with people on a regular basis and one where you have a teaching component to it. Show your personality, win us over, smile and be yourself. I've seen way to many people who come in and are like robots, too afraid to do something or say something that would knock them out of contention for the job and come off like stiffs. Remember, if you are interviewing for a reference job (and I'll get to this later) then you are essentially interviewing for a customer service job. Show that you can be that customer service guru and sell us on you as you would sell a student on a particular source.

Now, disclaimer time. This really applies for people looking for a reference/instruction position. For instance, if you are a cataloger and interview for that type of academic job then you can skip the last three.

Well that's just my 2 cents on the matter but what do I know, I'm just a rookie librarian.
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Monday, August 31, 2009

The Magic of Facebook

Facebook, Inc.Image via Wikipedia

First things first, before all the Facebook talk, I updated the Summer Movies and Summer Readings post since added some before the end of the summer.

Over the weekend, some high school friends and I got together, for some, for the first time in over twenty years (I know I am dating myself now) all due to Facebook. I've talked to some other people and this doesn't seem all that out of the ordinary; it seems that Facebook is having that effect all over the place. It's the new high school reunion. One of the things funny about it is that some of the people gathering at these Facebook reunions, wouldn't even go their high school reunions. Maybe because you can be more selective with Facebook reunions and not have to run into the tools you had to see for four years of high school, though I have heard of massive reunions at like a club or something where all the people that stayed local can meet up. With some of the smaller ones however, they can be more intimate in the sense that you can gather with the people from high school you really liked and then you may attract people to come back 'home' from farther places around the country, which was the case in my little reunion over the weekend.

What's the point of this rant? I'm not 100% sure but I think it's worth noting and mentioning that Facebook is a place that is not just Mafia Wars and marketing, picture posting and Yoville. It can have, what I think are, positive outcomes and lead to something more than just a way to tool away hours at work or school. It can connect us, or re-connect us, in some way that is rather unique which in some way to me seems like a contradiction since all the talk is of computers distancing us from one another and hindering social interaction and growth.

Eh, just my two cents, but what to I know, I am just a rookie librarian.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Summer Movie List

Star Trek 2009 (large)Image by Dallas1200am via Flickr

Summer Movie Ratings (Scale 1-10)

Wolverine - 7
Star Trek - 9
Angels & Demons - 7
Terminator 4 - 6
Night at the Museum 2 - 6
The Hangover - 9
Year One - 3
Public Enemies - 5
Bruno - 6
G.I. Joe - 7
Julie & Julia - 8
District 9 -
Halloween 2 - 4 (added 8/31)

A couple of really good ones and really only one turd.
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Summer Readings

I didn't do as much reading over the Summer as I would have liked but here is a list of what I did read.

Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks (writing as Ian Fleming)
Patient Zero by Jonathan Mayberry
Six Bad Things by Charlie Huston
The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death by Charlie Huston
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

A few graphic novels/trades
Transmetropolitan vol. 4
Scapled vol. 1 & 2
Criminal vol. 4
Fables vol. 5

more if I can remember them....

Just started
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Thunder & Ashes by Z.A. Recht
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Librarian "Meetings"

This past Friday, we had one of our summer librarian meetings, hence my lack of postage before the weekend. Whenever I tell someone that we have system-wide librarian meetings where all the librarians get together, hence she 'system-wide' part of the meeting description, they always ask, 'What do you have to have meetings about?' or 'Does anyone say anything at these meetings or do you just shh each other?'.

Har, har har, I get it. What I also get from it is what I think is the bigger issue or the underlying one or whatever you want to call it, people just have no clue what librarians do on a day-in and day-out basis. They think we just sit around and shh people all day while occasionally showing them where the books are and that we read during the plentiful down time. They think of how libraries were like when they were kids and for some mind-boggling reason, don't think that anythings changed. I encountered the same kind of thinking when I was a teacher in a former life but that is another story.

So, the question is, how do we change perception? How do we show the public that we are more and do more than they think? I think about this every time I see a article about public library closings due to the economy and I scratch my head and wonder, do the politicians really know what goes on in a library and what it's about? I mean, honestly, the library is a place that people need when the economy takes a down turn, whether to do work on finding a job or a place to borrow book and DVD's and just to read the paper or magazines which they may had to have cut from their budget.

I got off on this rant because, even though I am at an academic library, we still are asking that question ourselves here at these meetings. We have to figure out how to reach out to, not just the students, but to faculty because even they are stuck in the old ways of thinking of the library, and get them to see what the library is now and think of what it will become with new technologies. Faculty members have to be forward thinking as well and think of innovative ways the library can be used in their courses and get out of the way in which they experienced the library when they were students.

How do we do that effectively, not just as librarians but also as institutions? How can we change perception as a society? Somehow, we have to get the word out, just how is the problem.

Beats me, I am just a rookie librarian.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Library

Ok, not my library per se, just the one I work in (and I know I just ended a sentence with a preposition).

I work in a small college library, which has its advantages. The main one is I get to do a little bit of everything. From cataloging to collection development, from reference to weeding, from overseeing the library aides help plan the layout of the library, we do it all. I like that, I like that a lot. I've seen, and interviewed with early on, bigger libraries in which you do just one thing. This person is the cataloger or that person is in acquisitions. I like getting the full experience of what running a library entails and if I ever decide to move on from my current place of employment, I have a wide range of skills to take with me.

It has its down points as well. Budgeting can be a problem and we have to be very judicious in what we buy though the college supports the library well, though we are on a sort of mandate to justify what we buy as to how it relates to what's being taught. Scheduling can also be an issue as there are only a couple of us here, including the part-timer, so taking days off and someone being out sick is a hassle.

Aside from that, of what comes to mind at this moment of mini-muffin induced clarity, I don't have much in the way of complaints. Out of Library School, I wanted to get a job in some sort of academic library and since I was a teacher in a former life, I was able to get a job right quick pretty much due to the pushing of Information Literacy in higher education.

I teach, I do the library thing. I is the Lanky Librarian (yeah that was cheesy).
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Why do we Blog?

Why do people blog? Is it because we all think we have something important to say? Is it because many of us fancy ourselves as writers? Is it just something to do, to toil away the hours in our mundane lives?

Maybe it's therapeutic in some sort of way. It's an outlet for what bothers us in life. Ever see those blogs where all the writer does is complain about this and that, their life, some other persons life, government, society and blah blah blah? Yeah, I hate those too but that's not the point of this blog here (or I'd be just like those cats).

The point is to throw out there the question at hand, why do it. A fellow librarian here started a blog and that's what got me thinking about it. Why did he do it? Maybe it was to trump up professional cred as it is a library themed blog talking about new search tools and the like. Maybe he was bored and started it on a whim.

Me? I guess I started this thing for all of the reasons above. I think I have something to say, even if it is silly and juvenile, which is most of what I say. I fancied myself as a writer back in the day as my English degree will attest. Sometimes I need to vent, and being in a library is not the primo place to vent on anything, but this blog won't be about venting (or ventis though there may be something down the line about the greatness that is the Venti Ice Frapp on a hot and humid day). I tend to write when I am bored so that may be a bit of a reason and I am doing this on a bit of a whim. Ok, that isn't exactly true, I started thinking about starting a blog after seeing Jule & Julia (I know my man cred just took a hit there but whatev) a couple of weeks ago and I started thinking about it more and more the last day or so. Hey, that movie made it look like so much fun and easy so mashing up all the reasons to do it, I decided to take the plunge (and Amy Adams was just too cute in that movie).

So those are my reasons. I'm sure I'll be duly motivated to keep up with this and will probably talk about all sorts of things like issues in librarianship and stuff that comes up while I am doing the librarian thing but also things that interest me like movies (I go to the movies way too often), funny stuff or at least stuff I think are funny and, oh yeah, BOOKS.

So, why do you blog? If you don't, then why don't you? It's easy to set up and we all have something to say and I'm sure it's more than just 140 characters long.