Ye Olde Archive Archived Posts: 2004-2009

31Oct/06Off

I have a blog?

Or is it a website? That's the problem, really, with moving to your own domain thingy. You begin to experience an identity crisis. Granted I never knew what I was doing on blogspot or LJ either, but I was the most prolific when I was just blogging, before I felt like "just blogging" was somehow cliche or trite, or god forbid, completely self-obsessed.

That all said, I've ceased to care, for this very particular instant, what anyone who reads this and doesn't know me might think of me. Because honestly, if people read random blurbs of inane information concerning my personal life, and they know me, they'll have a context, find it interesting maybe, or at the least, feel in the loop. And if they don't know me, and don't have a context, well then I don't know why they're here anyway. At one point I know I was hoping to have a "popular" website. Something topical and interesting and poignant to its field, like an LIS blog or something. I had all these great plans to blog about library school, but honestly it's just not that exciting. Maybe I'm just a crappy storyteller. Who knows. Excuses aside, let the inanity commence.

Today I had my first quiz in a long, long time, and now it feels like my brain wants to explode. I imagine it would help if I went and drank some wine and ate some food, but I guess I'd rather relax and type out these thoughts. Huh.

Jeph released his "She blinded me with library science" tees for preorder, so if you're interested you should swing over to questionablecontent.net and put in your order. They're sexy AND clever. But then that's QC for you.

I spent a week in Olympia, and it was nice to see everyone again, though I admit that the week was a bit more hectic than I might have liked. Now I just have to trudge through six more weeks of school until Christmas break, and three weeks off. Hopefully I can make it seem like I'm NOT trudging, but then that's the trick, isn't it.

So back to my quiz. We had to write correct authority headings for some entries, and then we had to write out cross-reference cards indicated by various authority files. After that we had to create a main entry unit card based off a MARC record, and then create a level 2 ISBD description based off the title page and some listed information of a book. Finally, we got to explain the four uses of uniform titles, using specific examples, and furthermore explain how each use might be effective in different types of libraries. It's been a long time since I ran out of time on a test, and I did finish, but I was rushing a lot near the end, on the essay, and I didn't finish insofar as I could have easily written a lot more to make my essay answer completely satisfactory. But then I didn't much care for the question, as far as something that we have to analyze and think about rather than just regurgitate the rules and uses of uniform titles, so I didn't particularly feel like putting an enormous amount of energy into it anyway.

After the quiz, in a flash of halloween wickedness, we had a manic thirty-minute lecture on LC subject headings, and how to assign them, which was subsequently the topic of our lab. It's been a long day, and I'm tired and hungry, and I'm now one-eighth of the way done with my degree and that, at least, is a little bit exciting.

Happy Halloween! I'm off to eat some food and watch some more of season six of Buffy. I'm almost done! I was thinking about being Giles for Halloween, but then I realized that my accent just plain sucks.

Filed under: personal, school 1 Comment
12Oct/06Off

She blinded me with library science.

Jeph has made promises of shirt availability. Shirts that say, "She blinded me with library science".

Once again, Jeph Jacques is totally my hero.

You can see the shirt in action: here, here, and here.

Aside from the shirt, which is magnificent, what makes me feel ever warmer and fuzzier inside is that Jeph claims he has NEVER had as much demand for a shirt. Hellz yea, librarians represent!

6Oct/06Off

Brief thoughts on the validity of libraries

The controversy over the new library in Lawrence, Kansas has been interesting, and it's certainly been nice to see that, with a few exceptions, opinion has been strongly slanted against Mr. Hirschey's suppositions of library obsolescence. My own thoughts, as I stated in the comments of the op-ed, go something like this:

Technology is changing rapidly, and therefore so are people's needs. But the point of a library is not (in my opinion), to do its "library thing" with no consideration to the needs and desires of the community. The fact is that as the world changes, libraries change too, and strong libraries in strong communities will never become obsolete because they will always grow to meet their users' needs.

That said, if you really feel like the library isn't serving you, why not get involved? A new library is a great opportunity to voice an opinion on what roles and services you would like the library to provide. How about a large meeting room to host community activities? The Princeton Public Library opened its facilities to host the World Cup and became a great place for community to come together and enjoy the sport (via Tame the Web). Computer instruction in libraries often helps those people in the community who would otherwise have no idea what to do with free technology if you did give it to them at their homes.

What about after-school programs? Summer Reading programs? What about families who love to read and bring their kids in once a week to check out literally hundreds of books?

If none of that appeals to you, and you have other ideas of what you'd like to see, then I guarantee you your library would love to hear from you. In the end, that's what libraries do: they serve their communities. And hey, some people don't use libraries, and that's fine, but we should still look at them in a broader context and see how, as educational and community institutions, they provide a great deal of value to our communities.

Finally, a lot of people say how great libraries were to use when they were growing up. Now that they're adults they don't use them anymore. I guarantee though that there are still a lot of kids and families out there that are getting a great deal of value out of the library. Plenty of adults, having grown up and having no children, have no personal need for schools anymore either, but no one questions their roles in the community. Libraries are just as important, because they're schools where anyone can go, at any time, for any reason. And what could possibly be cooler than that?

Aside from comments left by library supporters around the world, people from Lawrence have written in and voiced their opinions. Lots of them.

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2006/oct/05/not_obsolete/ - Sally writes:

Browsing books in the library can open whole new worlds that might never be found on the Internet. The library has much more to offer than computer access.

I hope that we will never see the day when libraries become obsolete as suggested by Mr. Hirschey. I would ask when he last read a good book. I know where he can find one.

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2006/oct/05/library_defense/ - Betty writes:

For seniors, libraries offer programs, books and videos. I know people who can no longer afford to buy books and magazines so they depend solely on the library for their reading material.

There are many families who cannot afford computers so the computers are an important part of the library, as are the books, videos, programs, art, meeting rooms, speakers and events.

All of the above are benefits and amenities that one cannot find on the Internet. I am an avid user of my computer and the Internet, but I do love a library. So, Mr. Hirschey, I do think we can have the best of both worlds to enrich our lives.

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2006/oct/05/reliable_source/ - Alison writes:

While the Internet may provide a high degree of convenience, it is not a reliable source of information. Blogs, instant messaging and publicly edited sites such as Wikipedia may be a good place to quickly and casually find information, but these are not acceptable references for serious research purposes.

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2006/oct/04/library_value/ - Charles writes:

Mr. Hirschey is absolutely right that digital information is hugely valuable, but this shouldn’t be an either/or choice. Books have a reassuring permanence not found in cyberspace — and they’re easier to write in (sorry, librarians). And they’re portable, and they don’t need batteries. As Mr. Hirschey recommends, let’s do wire Lawrence for 24/7 high-speed Internet access — but let’s not unplug the library.


http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2006/oct/04/computerbrary/
- John writes:

I could not agree less with Mark Hirschey’s Take a Stand in which he claims that computers have made book libraries obsolete (Journal-World, Oct. 2). I think people, these days, too often confuse information with wisdom. Admittedly, I’m prejudiced because I built my career and supported my family on skills I learned from reading books borrowed from the public library.

That, to me, constitutes overwhelming library support. As librarians part of our job is to promote library awareness. In the face of folks like Mr. Hirschey, that can be daunting. It's nice to know that we're not alone.

Filed under: libraries No Comments
4Oct/06Off

Unconnected ramblings…

pistedusinge

With a title like that, I'm sure you're excited to read on.

My Sony Dream System (tm) arrived, and as I had feared it doesn't have a digital audio connection. Also, it has an integrated dvd-player. WTF!? Okay, so I ordered it and I should have known. But I had thought to myself "NO WAY does a decent receiver in this day and age NOT have an optical port!" Well, I guess you showed me, Sony. FutureShop, for their part, were annoyingly vague in their description of available ports, and had no pictures on the website of the back of the receiver, which you'd think would be the most informative part to show prospective buyers. I thought that true DTS support required a digital audio connection, but somehow mine is still working through my handy red and white connectors. Perhaps my presumptions all this time have been wrong, in which case I blame Theo. Also possible is that the receiver is faking the DTS connection, but I don't know how that would work exactly, either. In any case, my apartment is tiny and it actually sounds pretty good, so I decided to keep the damn thing, though I'll try to sell it before I move for the summer. I'll take a loss, that's fine. No optical as a temporary situation is okay, but in the long term I simply can't exist in such a state of squalor.

Did I mention that FutureShop has listed, as a recommended accessory, an optical cable? That's just tricky, that is. The bastards. Oh yeah, and as a dvd-player it doesn't have an hdmi port, which seems ludicrous what with television going digital and all. Here's a link to the system, if you wanna see.

Some guy in Lawrence, Kansas wrote an op-ed piece essentially positing that libraries are worthless and obsolete. The write-up itself is incredibly annoying, but the responses to it have been really interesting. I forwarded the story on to my classmates, since it's the kind of thing we're going to have to stand up against soon enough, and we may as well start now. To briefly outline my description here, libraries are NOT worthless and are, in fact, AWESOME. These are facts, and therefore undeniable. So there, Mr Hirschey of Lawrence. I wrote a more eloquent proclamation (if you can imagine such a thing), in the comments proper. I encourage everyone to go and have their say. Lawrence could be a masthead for the library advocacy movement, if enough people took notice. Michael Stephens and the Librarian in Black have both posted verbose rebuttals, which is a start, but I think we really need to steamroll this issue. Their posts are worth reading, in any case.

My trip to New Jersey to see Abigail was fantastic. It was a slice of heaven, spread over a little less than two days, and that's even considering the fact that I was suffering from some flu symptoms. Ain't no disease was gonna get me down! The wedding itself was very sweet, and got us talking about how we want to do OUR wedding, which was fun in itself. If you'd told me a year ago that I would be making wedding plans in Jersey, I'd have given you my quizzical eyebrow look. Now it makes all the sense in the world, except for the Jersey part, of course. We're looking at July of 2008, which will be right around our second anniversary, so it seems like a good time. Mark your calendars, etc.

I just finished watching season 4 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which took me all of ... oh, three days to get through. Maybe two. Much to my homework's chagrin. But hey, once you start watching Buffy, it's all over. I was powerless to resist its spell. It's my first time through the series, as well, and a journey I began with Tim back when we were living together in Olympia. I'll get through the rest of the series before the end of the year, and will finally be able to call myself a fulfilled and cultured individual. Until then, I have seasons 1 and 2 of Deadwood to keep me occupied, as well as, oh yeah, schoolwork.

Go figure. On one last note, the Pharmaprix up the street has Orangina for sale for $1.99 CAD per 1.75L, which makes me the happiest and orangest guy in the province, at least until Oct 13th or so, or until they run out. I bought four, which wasn't nearly enough, but a guy only has so many arms. Until later, then: stake em if you got em.