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.