Death by Doodle

Scheduling is generally acknowledged to be a messy process. It is what we developer/geek types refer to as a “Hard Problem.” (I’m pretty sure it’s actually an “np hard problem,” but why risk overstating it?) But I find myself really irritated by the current “solution” that I and most of the library world seem to utilize: Doodle. Don’t get me wrong; Doodle’s great. It converts time zones automatically, and if you sign up for a free account, it gives you the option to add “I can meet at this time if we really need to, but please don’t make me” … Continue reading

Don’t Buy Dairy Products This Week – Please!

Look, people. I’m not heavily into using my library blog for non-library (or -craft :)) things. But I’m angry, and I’d like to ask you for help with a little project of mine. The California Milk Processor Board–the people behind “Got Milk?”–have released a new ad campaign (via copyranter). It’s horribly sexist and offensive to both men and women. There’s a lot wrong with our culture, and I feel like one of our very biggest problems is this view that women are irrational monsters, especially during that time of the month, and men are basically overgrown children, always bumbling about … Continue reading

Public Libraries Should Continue to Exist

A non-librarian friend of mine (ooh, name drop much? :)) shared an article, “A Country Without Libraries,” from the New York Review of Books, in her Google Reader feed. I started to write my long comment there, but then I thought “Why else do I have a blog?” While I agree with the author that public libraries are a necessity for democracy, I sort of hated the second half of his article. I would argue that wandering from subject to subject, learning, is far easier on Wikipedia than in library stacks, and to put forth “There are lots of books!” … Continue reading

Going to Midwinter? Flying? Bad news.

I admit, this post is only tangentially related to librarianship. But I’m writing it because of a message that came out over the AkLA listserv, mentioning that San Diego’s airport has those awful backscatter machines and describing some of the implications of that. And because one of our medical librarians sent out a bibliography of research on the health effects of terahertz radiation (also called “millimeter wave radiation”)—I linked to the articles she sent out, below. And also because, if librarians aren’t fighting for civil liberties, what’s the point of us? The blog post linked from the AkLA message is … Continue reading

Please, Take a Moment to Write an E-mail

(I drafted an email for you, available here. Add or remove content as you see fit. Send it to Rep. Dwight Evans, devans@hacd.net, Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations by May 26, 2009.) The House Committee on Appropriations is currently holding public hearings in Harrisburg, and they want written testimony from taxpayers. In addition to writing to Rep. Evans, please contact your other state representatives. If you don’t know who else to contact, look here for that information, and if you feel there’s more you should say, visit CLP’s advocacy page for information and talking points. Libraries have never … Continue reading

Pennsylvania libraries need our help!

The PA Senate is talking about cutting library budgets drastically. Really, really drastically. You can find more information (including extra talking points!) here. If you live in PA, you can find your Senators’ names and e-mail addresses here. To get you started–because I know I hate composing letters from scratch–here’s the e-mail I sent. Please, I know this isn’t the best-worded piece of literature ever, so reword it at will. But do take a couple of minutes and send something, because these cuts will completely cripple Pennsylvania’s public libraries, if they’re allowed to stand. Dear Senator —-, First, I want … Continue reading

A little essay I cooked up

I’ve been pretty bad about posting my class essays up here, for a number of reasons. One of the big ones is that they are so specific to the questions, and I make kind of lazy references to books that I don’t expect everyone on my blogroll to have read. (Let’s be honest–I haven’t read all of them. Four books in a week? Really? With a full course schedule and a part-time job? Hah, right.) In this case, I just use articles, most of which are worth your time to check out, and for good measure [and because I refer … Continue reading

Oh noes!

I’ve discovered a real problem, folks: most of the people I really want to work with–whose books, ideas, blogs, and podcasts have most influenced my thinking over this semester and who I think have the greatest chance of effecting real change in technology policies and practices (if anybody would just listen to them)–are pretty much all lawyers. (Why are lawyers the ones writing all of these books? Why isn’t it librarians? I think this is something worth discussing and would love to hear from some library-related folk why they think we’re falling so short on this stuff!) I just don’t … Continue reading

Stopping the OCLC Power Grab

I found out about this by way of librarian.net and want to pass it along to anyone who might be interested. By way of explanation: OCLC, the not-for-profit that provides library services around the world, has gone too far. Originally, it was a library collaborative — one library could catalog a book, upload it to OCLC, and then other libraries could save time by reusing the catalog information. But as the price of such technology has fallen, its prices have risen. It charges membership fees, record retrieval fees, user support fees, and fees for all sorts of additional services. But … Continue reading

Hope

I know we’re all just about ready to stop talking about the election (for various reasons), but history was made in more than one way last night, and I’m glad to know that for every African American child who now knows that the highest office in the US could one day be his (the post that’s linked there is beautiful), there is also a little girl who is that much closer to serving as a Senator or Representative. That’s right, a the new US Senate and House of Representatives will both have record-breaking numbers of women serving (link goes to … Continue reading