December 19, 2007
January: Happy New Year, everyone!
March: The Call for Speakers has been sent out for Internet Librarian.
April: Or, not...
May: OK, late off the block but I just have to share this: Librarian, by HauntedLove. (Still one of my faves!)
June: So, I'm in Denver now...
July: So, American Libraries also wrote me up in the June 20th issue of AL Direct, in the "Actions & Answers" section.
August: ...buried, inundated, overwhelmed...
September: Found via the ever-reliable LISNews, this article over on "Mere Comments" (a blog for Touchstone magazine) titled "The Librarian as 'Professional'" had me alternating between annoyance and agreement.
October: Hat tip to the 3BT blog...
November: (Catching up on my last few posts!)
It seems that I have a habit of starting off my posts rather... shortly. Hmm. Also, so, so, so, ok, and SO. Ha!
A small bit o'info: The centerpiece of my door art is "Why you should fall to your knees and worship a librarian". I get comments on it all the time... and if they're snarky, I kick the crap out of them.
60° and sunny... I'm such a wimp I'm wearing wool slippers, a long-sleeved T, a long-sleeved woolen shirt, and have a blanket on my lap. It's almost embarrassing.
December 11, 2007
So (sigh) I'm putting Drupal on the back burner until the new year. It's fascinating and I'm getting a total kick out of it, but it's not mission-critical the way getting the staff back into the EDMS is. So a few days ago I started spending all my time working on the EDMS, with some good and some bad moments.
The biggest bad moment - and I guess all things considered it's not "bad", just "really really annoying" - is that there's a bug in the export system. So when I exported the workflow, user and group lists, cards, etc etc, it turns out that none of the passwords, permissions, notifications, etc were captured and brought over. Which means - yes, boys and girls, what fun! - that I have to do it ALL OVER AGAIN. So far I'm a day and a half into it and only a third through the workflow. (A bit of history: this is a setup that took over a year to get worked out and in place, so having to recreate all the "who gets notified when what happens" and "who has to approve what for the next step" all at once is not a fun task.)
After I get all this sorted out, then it's client install time, and then the next fun part that's gonna take a lot of time: migrating all the files out of our shared file server and back into the EDMS. On the up side, almost all the staff starts their holiday vacations next week, so if I can get through most of this this week, next week there'll be hardly anyone to inconvenience with file moves - fingers crossed.
All this is a rather long-winded explanation (whine?) about why you won't be seeing any Drupal entries here for a little while. I'll post any librarian image things I come across, but everyone seems to be being rather quiet these days - I haven't seen anything come across in a while now! (If you've seen something, please forward it on to me... thanks)!
It's been raining for five days now, on and off, and it's been make-me-whine cold. ('Course, that doesn't take much, as I pull out sweaters if it drops below 70°...) But the rain is good, and needed, and it's a soft rain that hasn't caused too much flooding, which is a nice change from the summer monsoons. And hey, it's not an ice storm, so yay for that.
December 4, 2007
What I did wrong in the IMCE settings is this: I missed that it's all relative to the main directory "files". By setting "files" again as a shared directory for authenticated users, with subdirectories of blah blah blah, the system was going "Oh, you want that for each authenticated user". Turns out if you put "/" into the shared directory setting and leave all the rest blank, voila, now the proper directories are visible, navigable, and the files in them are linkable, to all authenticated users. Hurrah!
Sadly, I must restrict myself now - half a day on Drupal, half a day on reimplementing our EDMS. I wanna keep cranking on the Drupal pages - linking in documents is a good half of what's left to do, and I'd love to be able to mark those pages as finished! But, all in good time...
It's a lovely sunny 70°. Wish I could send some of this to either coast - have family on both sides that're getting smashed by Mother Nature right now.
December 3, 2007
I did successfully install the nodeaccess module, and think it'll be very handy for managing access to various bits and pieces of the site - but it still requires some work in the roles arena (such as, properly defining roles and then access permissions for those roles) that, again like the time-zones, I just can't get my head around. Then again, a new staff userID I created successfully blocked access to the selected page, so again, a small positive. (It didn't ask for a login, though.) Sigh.
The poor Drupal Dude is set up for a webcon with me tomorrow morning, to try and work me through these problems I keep having. I hope I don't blow all my remaining contract time with him just on these - I have so many more things to wrestle with. SIGH.
When I finally get a grip on all this stuff (because DAMMIT I will argh grrr) it'll totally be worth it. But, dang, some days I wish we'd just hired someone to do this all for me...! (The PM would never have gone for it but I can dream.)
The sun is setting (yes, really!) and it's 64°. Glad I kept my coat at lunch!
November 30, 2007
Currently 65°, grey and gloomy, with a 100% chance of precipitation in the forecast. w00t!
November 29, 2007
November 27, 2007
Give "Addy Will Know" a listen! "Serving as a musical tribute to the modern librarian, it is about a real librarian who leads a lost patron to the four books he is looking for." (Long overdue thanks to Kris!)
More on the Australian TV show "The Librarians": read an article from The Daily Telegraph about the comedy, and you can watch the episodes in full on the ABC website! (I need to do this.)
Check out this very cool commercial from the University of Buffalo library! "Save Time... Ask a Librarian!" Love it! (Thanks to Liz for sending this to me, and congrats to Jill on doing it!)
Cold, grey, gloomy, and only 64°! Brr! (Yes, I'm a weather wimp.)
November 20, 2007
November 13, 2007
"Secret librarian handshake revealed!" - Brad Barker at the Modesto Bee shares our secret handshake with the world, along with breakfast preferences and pickup lines. Gave me a grin!
"Upon reflection, being a librarian is never boring" - Julie Winkelstein at the Contra Costa Times reminisces about her library columns over the years.
76° and sunny; maybe fall has come to stay this time!
November 12, 2007
November 6, 2007
1. Watching a little boy and his grandmother dancing to Gemini Soul's music at the arts & crafts festival on Sunday.
2. Spending some time just watching the ocean, listening to the sea lions.
3. Meeting up with new friends and catching up with old ones.
November 5, 2007
November 2, 2007
You can see a copy of the poster that was presented, and read the abstract for the summary paper in the proceedings, if you so desire.
Anyway, I'm going to learn how to use SlideShare and post my slides later today; in the meantime, thanks to ellbeecee for the action photos!
Tom Reamy, KAPS Group (Knowledge Architecture Professional Services)
Libraries & the Hive Mind
Essentials of, Improving the quality of, and In libraries
advantages: simple, lower cost of categorization, open ended, higher relevance (to the user), support serendipitous browsing, can tag anything, and it's always better than nothing at all! (what if it's bad or incorrect tags?)
disadvantages: quality. Hard to find with unstructured tags; no structure, no conceptual relationships. Issues of scale, limited applicability. Errors keep cropping up, makes it even less useful.
Dangers of Folksonomies: The Unwisdom of Crowds
Popularity can drown out quality
KAPS did a multi-year study to see if social networking has improved folksonomies; result is, not so far.
faceted navigation: combines strength of having structure with the ability to support personal perspectives - big advantages of a folksonomy
flickr: over 90% of the tags cover 6 basic facets; less than 1% cover subject matter.
del.icio.us: topics, not facets. findability a big problem here.
improving the quality: cluster tags, add broad general taxonomy (natural categorization), evolve the quality of tags.
librarything: turns out book people aren't any better at tagging! (Ha!)
Doesn't think traditional library strategies are going to work, nor will social networking efforts (good for socializing, not tagging).
What might work: semantic infrastructure and evolution, integrated evolving solution, new relationships
October 31, 2007
slides online at stevenmcohen.pbwiki.com/IL2007
Hot on Google Reader... also Tumblr.
page2rss - very handy tool to create feeds for any web page
ScreenGrab again - must definitely check this tool out -
The eyes only see what the mind comprehends
Mashups are no longer in the realm of the techno-elite
most mashups are map-related
lots of tools out there now that make visualization of data easy. Web site structures, population densities, etc. Newsmap is pretty cool!
Elastic Lists - demo - kind of nifty!!
October 30, 2007
I've seen postings from Jenny at Shifted Librarian and Michael at Tame the Web about these guys before but didn't really have an idea about what they were doing - but dang, it's great! Keep an eye on their tour and documentary - we saw some great things being said and done in libraries today.
Very cool! (Plus, they sounded like home to me...)
And it made us 30 minutes late to the Tuesday night session! Arrgh!
Review of AeroCorp... turns 47 this year. Concerns about the greying of the staff and loss of historical perspective. They're still working to specs from decades ago, but new hires work in new ways and need new ways to access information.
Corp motto: "From Anywhere to Anywhere"
Comparison of historical role and role today. Now they are key players in document management, LiveLink, communities of practice etc; large part of funding comes from KM office, not library office.
Librarians are integral players in the Communities of Practice - facilitators, organizers, coordinators, etc. Reference staff are embedded into the communities as in-place technical experts.
KM training processes.
Sarah Palmer, American Bar Association
Finding that trying to get to 2.0 apps problematic, users still don't see a computer as a multi-tool, but as a typewriter or fax machine. They also think that if it's something their kids use, it can't be a business application.
Another issue is terminology - users think the names are weird - don't understand RSS but do understand newspaper, don't understand wiki but do understand web site. Did many training sessions, including one on just a technology glossary...learned to keep it discrete (don't teach too many topics at once).
Don't forget: it may not be new to you, but it's new to them.
David Alsmeyer, British Telecom
Had no idea BT was so widespread!
What's the best thing you've done to reach your customers? And what have you always wanted to try but been afraid to? (F2F explanation, and letting them take action/responsibility for their own sections of the web site)
Tour of the BT library personalized web options and info spaces - very cool!
Had a hypothesis that academics would be more aware of 2.0 apps than working group; replicated a SPIRE survey at BT and discovered the opposite was true!
October 29, 2007
Tomorrow, hopefully the computer will behave better; at least today I was able to scout out where some of the power connections are!
Sketchcast - basically whiteboard on the web, with audio - could be a useful way to illustrate a concept, similar to a webconference -
JingProject - instant screen capture tool, can share via IM (good for showing how to change a setting, for example) - can also be used with video and audio - use for the How To pages!!
Piknik - very cool image editor, works within IE and FireFox... hmm... heard good things about this before this session, will have to go check it out. ***Can capture full page with this no matter how many screens it takes!!!
***SlideShare (presentation from this session will be posted there, too) - can also add audio to a slide show!
Other PPT sharing tools: Scribd, SplashCast, ZohoShow, SlideAware
thumbalizr - quick thumbnail of screen or entire page, in a URL grab
DiffDaff - tool to compare files, folders, or web pages (Unix diff command for Windows) - handy to compare, say, the folder on a desktop with a folder on a thumb drive and see differences.
SOAP Sonar - tests and analyzes web services
For Perl (on windows): check out perl express - same type of syntax highlighting
Photo Slideshow - Create a photo slideshow Flash animation out of static pictures on your machine. Similarly, Flashgallery Generator, which is XML.
Google Sitemap Builder
Google Coop CSE (can now integrate into site much more cleanly)
Flog Blog - Facebook app - also BlogFriends
KeePass - store all pwds in one database, locked with a master key - w00t!
Check out Undelete, Unstoppable Copier, Simple File Shredder as well - small but useful utilities, can carry around on a thumb drive
- Use the several decades worth of research into usability and design to shortcut current design discussions as much as possible
- can narrow down to 'what is best practice"?
Simplicity rules... but... many library sites are multi-function ones with many different types of information, so finding a balance between too little and too much is important
"the time of simplicity, if it ever existed, is over"
design matters A LOT: first impressions, etc! Design for what your users are doing (this is important!).
Rule of 7 (not so much a rule as a guideline)
- well organized
- well labeled
3-click rule... is DEAD. users will click as long as they feel they're getting where they need to be.
Design for multi-platforms and don't design for a restricted 800x600 screen - be more fluid and use flexible design (CSS media types)
RIP web-safe colors? "most computers today have the ability to display millions of different colors"
For redesign of your site, look at other libraries BUT ALSO look outside library land! see what other sites are providing.
How often to redesign? Constantly - iterative, evolutionary change is good. Revolutionary change is hard on the users (and boy, haven't we all seen that!)
A/B testing (post one design for a little while, then a slightly different design, and compare user inputs)
Follow your own naming conventions! (Whatever makes most sense to your users)
...But - follow established standards and conventions.
Don't assume all users have speedy connections, and watch download/display times.
Must support all browsers for basic content! Accessibility GOOD. (Watch the added content.)
"graded browser support" - can tweak CSS to display different levels of content based on browser in use -
The time has truly come to ditch table-based layout!
Popups still bad - blocked by default by most browsers today.
Mouseover menus... raise many usability considerations. Not scannable so could impact that first impression.
Is scrolling still bad? Users scroll if there's a clue that there's something "below the fold" - not as much as an issue these days.
Identified pictures of people increase trust and credibility
RIA - Rich Internet Application
Part I: how to set up an intranet using a wiki
previously used a shared network drive
Why a wiki instead of a 1.0 website?
- really want staff to participate
- easier to use and find info
- Picking a wiki: what did they need?
- easy to set up, easy to learn, easy to teach
they went with Jotspot but there are issues since its acquisition by Google
wiki farm options
- screenshots of different pages
- implementors needed to really slow down to teach the novice users
Training now in process
- Showing off wiki to all staff, give tours
- Train supervisors
- Overcome technophobia in staff
- Let them play!
Future phase: implementation
- Define go-to folks
- Keep reminding and training staff
- Ongoing process
Issues & Troubleshooting
- Bugs in free wiki software
- Fear of change
- Staff interest
Cool tools to try
- Spice up the wiki a bit - widgets, slideshows, etc
Part II: Examples of how they're using it and the impacts of implementing a site-wide intranet
goofresh - G-searches for new content within a specified time range
check out ResearchBuzz newsletter
doubletrust.net - compares Google and yahoo results, choose a preference of results
yahoo's mindset feature - are you researching or shopping?
MSN's synonym suggestion tool - will also show common misspellings
MSN's misspelling correction engine
live.com's "prefer" option
live.com's academic search
don't forget: there is life after the first 10 search results!
Ask's map features - driving *and* walking directions, takes local topography into account
exalead - check it out, there are so many cool features (it's MEBates' fave engine) - try the "near" operator and their wild-card truncation
Try the quick-answer features sometime - most SE's have them now - Ask's is most featured
Gigablast - limit to multiple sites; has powerful query syntax options
SnapSearch - can interact with a retrieved site before visiting it
PageBull - entirely visual, good for right-brained searchers
Squidoo - hybrid site; possible way to share with colleagues?
factbites - quick, small factual bits of information - will give sentences instead of words for search results - BUT max 30 results
TextRunner - looks for assertions - experimental site
NationMaster - source for national stats in graphical format
TouchGraph - visual clustering engine, IE only
OneLook - a reverse dictionary! like data=mining a dictionary
Kosmix - nice clustering search engine - lets you filter by criteria
Lee Rainie from Pew - slides will be online, find and link
bit of blogger ego-boost :-) quite amusing; he began using blogger and IRC feedback to justify internet research to the higher management
8 hallmarks of new digital eco-system
1) media gadgets a part of daily life now
2) internet is at the center of the revolution (73% penetration into american adult section; 93% teenagers)
3) new gadgets allow communication everywhere (mobile wireless use is rising dramatically) college students living in the future now
4) ordinary citizens can be content creators; blogs, facebook, etc - but it's all so integrated now it's hard to tell how many kids are "blogging" when they think of it as just posting to their facebook site (for example)
5) all those content creators have an audience
6) many are sharing to build conversations and communities... share what they know, what they feel, etc - info evaluation, tagging, comments on posts, etc.
7) we're customizing our online experience with 2.0 tools
8) different people use tech in different ways
last major interview set "what kind of internet user are you":
9 major tech user groups (and 1 non-user group) - this is the survey from a few months ago (I'm a connector)
50% of the population falls into the low-tech crowd
only 8% are omnivores
what does this connectivity do for us? changes our relatioships - to information, and to each other
Action item: Think of yourself as an information conduit!
October 26, 2007
The Librarians, a dark new comedy on Australian TV that delves behind the hard cover of a suburban library, debuts October 31. The Australian Library and Information Association has launched a blog to serve as a professional forum about the show. Check out the trailer and interview. The shows will be downloadable from ABC Television after they are broadcast. [Good news for those of us outside Australia who'd like to see them!]
October 24, 2007
- "The Flower", by John Light. A young boy works in a library in a black and white world. One day he finds a color picture of a flower in the forbidden books. He's so intrigued he starts looking for another such picture. When he finds one he starts something that may change his world...
- "The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians", by Carla Morris. This is the story of a young boy who realizes all the answers are at the library, and his growing up. Kris says, "I loved the three librarians: one would answer every question with a reference book, one would answer with tons of books that could be borrowed, and the third would find lots of answers online."
- "Carlo and the Really Nice Librarian", by Jessica Spanyol. Carlo the giraffe is making his first visit to the new library, but he's a little afraid of the librarian, Mrs. Chinca, with her sharp teeth and claws, until he learns how much she loves books.
- "Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians", by Brandon Sanderson. "A hero with an incredible talent…for breaking things. A life-or-death mission…to rescue a bag of sand. A fearsome threat from a powerful secret network…the evil Librarians." (from the Scholastic blurb.)
Windy and a somewhat toasty 88°. We keep thinking fall has arrived, and then summer goes "Ha! Not yet!" ...
October 23, 2007
- A long, Dewey-guided interview with the series star, "Having a Lend", is online at The Age;
- the.effing.librarian asks if we should cheer about this series or not; and
- The Sunday Telegraph says the "shocks keep coming from ABC".
Currently a lovely, sunny 82°.
Above all, of course, please consider attending session B304, Wednesday afternoon starting at 2:45pm, to hear myself, May Chang and Amy Radermacher talk about content management systems!
October 19, 2007
Found via Folderol
Thankfully with Mr. Man back in school, I've actually been able to work from home (not possible with a child addicted to keyboards. Trust me.) and want to take a moment to say: Yay for VNC. With one little VPN connection into my workplace, I've been able to have multiple windows open on my WinXP desktop, the Windows server, and two different *nix machines.
Sadly, I had to go through three different VNC clients before finding one that worked. My usual VNC workhorse abruptly stopped working Wednesday late morning and afterwards just refused my connection. Chicken of the VNC (and let me just say: I love that name) would open a window for me, but wasn't accepting any cursor input - as in, I could look at it, but I couldn't do anything. It wasn't until a friend sent me RealVNC that I was actually able to work - and it's been solid for me since Wednesday afternoon.
Between VNC, Adium, and my trusty email, it's just like being there. Except for the jammies and louder music, that is...
90° and quite sunny. Welcome to fall in the desert!
October 16, 2007
Being a military brat, having gone to a DoDDs high school and on to college on an AFROTC gig, I know a lot of folks in the military. Most of them have been involved in Iraq and/or Afghanistan. I recently received a wonderful email from my old friend James (he and I went to the Senior Prom together lo, so many years ago) - after 10,000 combat hours (with no casualties!), he, his Chinook helicopter and his unit left Iraq last week. James will be joining his family back home in Hawaii, and hopefully he can stay there for a while.
Welcome home, James, and bless you.
October 10, 2007
I heartily agree with one of her opening remarks, and it's why I keep these sites going:
"As I explain what I am doing now, without fail they take a breath, take a really hard look at me and exclaim, 'Wow. You don’t look like a librarian!'Me too, Rhonda, me too.
It happened again just the other day. And it keeps happening whether I am meeting old friends or new acquaintances. This negative perception of librarians has a solid toehold in the rock cliff of public attitude and frankly, it’s starting to bug me."
October 9, 2007
So I've been buried in engineering documentation manuals and standards (hello, ANSI/ASME Y14.35M!) for the past week or so. Interesting stuff (well, I think so, at least!) - it's good to know that what I've set up for us so far is pretty much within existing standards, although I have a lot of definitions to add to my existing specification document. (I'm learning that whenever possible, include a definition of your "thing" in your specification so that there are fewer questions about what you mean. Doesn't mean there won't be questions, there'll just be fewer of them.) Now that I've been through most of them (although I still have "Engineering Documentation Control Practices and Procedures" to work through) it's time to digest... and come up for air!
I was able to get back on the Drupal work today - spent all afternoon on it - and I feel quite satisfied with the way it's coming together. Yay! (My wrists wish there was a way to autoingest content, but alas, there is not...)
Tomorrow: Configuration Management Joy. Four change requests were finally approved at a meeting today (one of them has taken over a year to work through the process) and now I have to implement the changes across our documentation control processes. Wheee.....
It's 94° and the sun is headed for the horizon... aah, Fall.
October 4, 2007
1) Having a pain-free morning. (They're rare.)
2) My husband telling me how much he loves his job.
3) A tech support call that actually solves the problem.
And my fourth beautiful thing today: I finally get to order my new web server (we'll be going the Linux route), along with a new computer cabinet for the other servers (which have to move) and a UPS to charge 'em all... yay for hardware!
It's a lovely 86° with rain in the forecast... fingers crossed!
September 25, 2007
* I've spent most of the day evaluating various file management tools for Drupal and still haven't found one I like. Sigh. And until I figure out a figure caption solution, my users won't create or manage content - it has become the bottleneck issue for the new web site (for some obscure reason that noone can explain to me). Double sigh.
* I've just discovered the largest issue we've been wrestling with for our EDMS is a known bug and has been for over a year... yet my vendor technical support people haven't mentioned it to me at all, either the situation or the workaround; I found out from another user. On the one hand it's good to know it wasn't just us, that others have run into the same problem; on the other hand it would have been nice to know there was a workaround in place a year ago - it would have seriously helped head off the ugly situation I'm in now. Arrgh.
It's a blissful, sunny 90° right now; at least one thing's been nice today. And I had good coffee this morning...
September 24, 2007
* I'm not sure how I feel about Askville. I loves me some Amazon, but wonder why they felt they had to get into the answer market...
* More on The Hollywood Librarian: as we approach the national release of the movie (next week during Banned Books Week), pre-reviews and interviews are starting to pop up again. Yesterday, Frank Gray wrote "Film slams book on silly librarian stereotypes" for the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. I'm sure more will come. No word yet as to whether my local library system will be showing the film, but I'm keeping my eyes open! via LISNews
* I'm taking a break from my electronic document management system wrestling and getting back to Drupal this week - whee!
Currently a beeee-yeautiful 79° and sunny.
September 21, 2007
* Yes, there's another Mummy movie in the works, with a new actress playing Evelyn Carnahan: "Maria Bello, from book club to badass librarian". Look for The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor next summer!
* Check out the Wyoming Libraries Campaign. I think it's brilliant, myself - get 'em where they're looking, so to speak - but the mudflap bumper sticker is causing a lot of chat on the listservs! (I particularly like the billboard ads myself!)
* Can you escape the library? (I, rather pathetically, got stuck in a cardboard box the first time through, then in the basement. Sigh.) Found via Folderol
Have a good weekend, everyone!
September 18, 2007
- The first night sleeping without AC, all the windows thrown open.
- The first sip of a good cup of hot coffee.
- The unusual quiet of the hallways at work today.
September 13, 2007
Hot 'n sunny today.
September 11, 2007
I've been able to spend just about all my time for the last couple of days working on my Drupal installation. Each time I think I've found something to solve one of my outstanding issues, I then discover that it doesn't quite do what I had in mind. Some of the modules - like Image - make me quite happy; while there are still some bugs to sort out, and it would be nice to get an error message when it doesn't like the file size instead of just a blank page, I think it's gonna be good. I was disappointed in WebFM, though - was all excited, set it up, imported all our PDF documents... and then discovered that it does not actually provide you with a way to link to the document from the document title, instead it provides a subsection on the page called "Attachments" and then lists the files you've selected. Ain't what I had in mind, at all... So I've kludged something that works for now while I keep looking. It kind of defeats the purpose of a web CMS, but I gotta have some way to link to the docs. Maybe I just read the WebFM instructions wrong, because it really reads like the perfect solution...
I still don't know how to set up figure captions to stay attached to a figure and have text flow around it. I know I can tweak the CSS to define a div to do that, but how do I then get the node editing pages to see that? So much still to do.... so much to learn. At least I'm enjoying it! (So far, at least.)
Think the monsoon's coming to an end... back to sunny and warm for the daily forecast. Ah well, we had some good storms this summer!
September 7, 2007
It's cool for us - we haven't cleared 90° - and overcast. No rain, though.
September 6, 2007
It's only 73°, and raining :-)
September 5, 2007
(Updated at 4pm, same day: I figured it out! Next time I'm wrestling with something, I'll blog about it... seems whenever I blog a problem, shortly after I hit "publish post" I figure it out! Sheesh.)
Data ingestion is slow but going, and I'm pleased with that, and most of my staff has at least logged in and played around with creating pages, so that's going well. At least I'm getting input!
96° and the radar shows storms to the south, moving this way - Henrietta's beating on Sonora right now (hopefully somewhat lightly as she loses steam) and is headed our way. Wheee...
Updated Thursday: See the comments for links to the NZLIB pictures!
September 4, 2007
92° and 23%Rh. Henrietta is headed our way (kinda) - no rain today but rain tomorrow, I'm sure!
Read the whole thing - and be sure to read through the comments, as well, where the discussion continues. I'm still alternating between annoyance and agreement. It's an odd place to be.
August 31, 2007
Here's my five (not necessarily library-related) blog recommendations; I'm violating some of the rules of BlogDay by not notifying the bloggers, but I suspect they'll live; also, these are not new, because the few new blogs I'm following are all humor-related (and not necessarily safe for work!).
- Lifehacker. Geek to live, baby - and get it done!
- Whatever. John Scalzi is awesome.
- A List Apart. A great resource on the neverending CSS hamsterwheel of learning.
- Stephen's Lighthouse. Always interesting insights on libraries, technology, and neverending worldwide travel.
- Because I Said So. Often-hilarious commentary from a mom of six. Not for the faint of heart.
(99° and no rain. Sigh.)
August 24, 2007
I remember helping my mom alphabetize cards for the card catalog at the base library at Incirlik (I was 6 or 7) using one of those long flippy metal and plastic alphabetizing doohickeys - you know, the ones that were really long and narrow, with the letters of the alphabet on each of the pieces of plastic, and you could slide the cards behind the right letter and sort 'em all out? Those were brilliant. When I was in high school, my mom was the librarian for the base's elementary school, and the library was the only classroom with a computer; I will never forget the horrible voice of the spelling game program that the kids always wanted to play with! And she would always bring home new books to read to us over dinner. (Bear in mind this was to a family of two adults and two teenagers - didn't matter, we had children's books read to us at dinnertime!)
My mother has forgotten more about librarianship than I will ever know. Growing up, I'd always assumed I'd follow in my father's footsteps, but when that path was closed to me, discovering that my mother's was open was serendipitous. She was a great help to me in grad school, a soothing balm through some of the rougher patches of my professional life, and a cheerleader through it all.
Thanks, Mama, and happy retirement... Now the fun can begin!
First (well, second, after the coffee brews) I have to rename a SQL database, which turns out to be nontrivial. And this is in SQL Server 2005, which I have just about 0.0001% experience in, so I'm just a tad nervous about it all. At least at this point if I screw it up it'll only take two or three hours to rebuild it and some shrugs from the few test users, instead of being faced with a lynch mob (as in, better now than later). Yes, this is related to the EDMS from Hell, although in all fairness this is because of my own mistake in not thinking a naming convention through. So, my mistake, my pain in fixing it.
Then I have a major software upgrade (on a package I don't actually use, I just provide admin support) to perform. The thing about this one is, since we installed this package over a year ago it's worked beautifully and has required no support. Which means I have zero familiarity with it. Hopefully, the upgrade will work as beautifully as the product has so far... fingers crossed.
Ah, the coffee's done. Now I can face SQL with caffeine-induced courage. Plus, I have a bonus donut... that always helps.
Chance of rain today! Yay!
August 23, 2007
I've sent my formal help request to the support line, and I'm going to go play with Drupal for a while. At least there I'm making progress and having some fun, dang it!
99°, 28%Rh, lovely clouds over the mountains, but I dunno about rain today...
August 22, 2007
92° and time for bed.
August 21, 2007
* Still having fun with Drupal. The joys of the last couple of days: URL aliasing, the glossary and swfupload modules, and figure captions. (OK, that last one isn't quite so joyful, but it will be soon.)
* I recently subscribed to the Journal of Web Librarianship (starting with Volume 1, Number 1, which I just finished reading today, just in time for Number 2 to arrive) and I luuuuurve it. I now aspire to publish in it someday.
* Also recently subscribed to, but I'm two issues behind on reading: Library Hi Tech. I fell in love with it just for their recent issue on content management systems.
* I've only just this instant realized I missed the deadline (it was Monday) for getting my slides in for the proceedings for Internet Librarian! AAUGH! Drat, drat, drat... AND I forgot to vote in the rain game today!
It's an even 100° and I'm going home now, dang it.
August 16, 2007
If I didn't have to use this particular company's site to request an upgrade for their product for work purposes (no, you can't do it via email, nor via the program itself), I'd refuse to, and send a nasty email to the company. Arrgh.
August 14, 2007
I wanted to share some of the things I've learned, though, because they weren't very intuitive (at least, not to me!), the help files were not always that helpful, and why not do what I can to keep other folks from beating their heads against the wall, too? This all applies to the NoProb theme (and my subtheme off of it).
YMMV with all this, of course -
* If you're using the TinyMCE editor and the IMCE image tool, you have to either globally set, or allow your users to set, their input format to full HTML. Filtered HTML won't cut it. I was going nuts trying to figure out why just a simple hard return wasn't giving me a visible paragraph break on a piece of text - it was marked as filtered HTML. Changed it to full, and poof, there was my paragraph break. Images were also displaying in the editing blocks, but not in the preview panels, for the same reason.
* Breadcrumbing locations are not controlled from the administrative settings, nor from the style sheet definitions; you have to tweak the template's php page for that. (Thanks to Cary for the info on the right way to tweak it!)
* To allow users to change the weighting of their book pages (as in, the order in which the book pages appear in the book) you have to grant permissions to administer nodes to the appropriate user role. <rant>On a related note: So far the only thing I've found that I really dislike about Drupal is the whole weighting thing. Don't get me wrong - I love the book content type and we're going to be using it quite heavily - but I quite snarl at the weighting process. If'n you don't use it, you end up with your book pages in alphabetical order, which is not what is always wanted. It's very nonintuitive - I thought it was just me but so far every one of my users who's signed up for an account has gone "Uh, what the heck is this?", and there seem to be a hefty number of postings about it on the forums as well. And where did a weighting of -15 to 5 come from? Can't we just go, say, 0 to 20 or something? Or even more - I can very easily see where there might be more than 20 "chunks" in a set. Sheesh!</rant>
* When creating profile pages (which we will be using for staff contact pages), if you choose to use a freeform list as one of your fields, you cannot use HTML (therefore you can't, say, link to a given talk or published paper). Go with the multi-line textfield. While you're at it, if you want a picture to be added to the profile page (but nowhere else), you have to enable picture support in the user settings, but do not toggle the user picture display in the theme controls. (I thought you needed both and ended up with photos all over the site!)
Still to come (amongst much more, I'm sure): Figuring out how to limit the content list shown to the logged-in user to their own content (as in, don't show my content to Bob, or Bob's content to Sam), and trying to get figure captions to appear under the figure on the web page instead of just as a floating title (which doesn't work on all browsers, it seems).
No rain. Just heat.
August 9, 2007
When will scents come to the Internet? (I'm suddenly having a flashback to Bloom County's Scratch-n-Sniff Bill... aack!) Then again, maybe I don't want random smells wafting out of tiny scent generators whenever I visit a web site... *shudder*
Sunny and 87°. Aaahhhh.
August 8, 2007
Read and answer email.
Check status of user with new swap space definition (so far, so good).
Send copyright question for posting old hardware manuals to listservs.
Discuss problematic webcam with IT.
Send SLA meetup info to chapter webmaster.
Read and answer email.
Research some of the listserv suggestions on copyright issues.
Troubleshoot CAD crash issue with user.
Browser/mailer crash. Sigh..
More coffee, read Monday's and Tuesday's LISNews.
Tweak data archive request form.
Procure chocolate for IT guy who fixed webcam.
Blog posting: PCA Call for Papers.
Summarize copyright findings on blog, send to listservs with thanks.
Update billing info for Experts Exchange; renew membership.
Read and answer email.
Answer reference question about the "Eye of God" nebula, aka the Helix Nebula.
Rummage around for lunch.
Adjust settings for directory monitoring program on server after forcing an end-process to kill stuttering notifications.
Post report into archives, database, and web site.
Post new instrument information to web site.
Discuss future (if any) of long-ignored indexing project.
Burn archive DVD of document set.
Return indexed papers to originating scientist; vow to finish unindexed stack sometime this year.
Listen to user complain (at length) about application.
Start work on unindexed papers. Index, index, index.
Read and answer email.
96° and 27%Rh. No rain today.
So, I turned to my colleagues and posted an inquiry to some division listservs. Here's a summary of my responses:
* Information Outlook has a regular column on copyright, "Info Rights", by Lesley Ellen Harris - they aren't available online right now but had a lot of good suggestions and resources for frequent copyright questions and uses. (I'll be sure not to skip over that section anymore, that's for sure!)
* (Amended to include this item) CFHT's Liz Bryson maintains a rather complete list of copyright resources that's got a lot of good information.
* If you're affiliated with a university or college, chances are very high that they subscribe to a copyright clearinghouse like the Copyright Clearance Center - check with them, they might have the answer. Or, if you have a legal department, ask them. (Lots of folks suggested these.)
* Also, be sure to check the CCC and LOC copyright sites directly. I actually found the answer I was looking for on the CCC web site; according to the "What is Copyright" page, in the "Public Domain" section:
I called CCC directly, briefly explained my situation, and asked for confirmation that they would, in fact, fall under #3 above. (In this arena, I don't trust my own first interpretation.) The very kind rep verified that yes indeedy, they would, and that it would not be a copyright violation to link a PDF of the manual (in its entirety, including the cover page) to our online observer's manual.
Public domain materials generally fall into one of four categories:
- Generic information, such as facts, numbers and ideas.
- Works whose copyrights have lapsed due to the passage of time or the failure of the copyright holder to renew a registration (a requirement that applies to works created before 1978).
- Works created prior to March 1989 that failed to include a proper notice of copyright.
- Works created by the U.S. federal government.
So. This has been a good lesson for me on copyright resources and information - thanks so much to everyone who replied to me with suggestions! dPAM and dSOLO rock :-)
Call for Papers: Popular Culture Association 2008
Libraries, Archives and Museums Area
The Popular Culture Association will be holding its annual joint meeting with the American Culture Association March 19 – 22, 2008, at the San Francisco Marriott in San Francisco, California. Scholars from numerous disciplines will meet to share their Popular Culture research and interests.
The Libraries, Archives, and Museums Area is soliciting papers dealing with any aspect of Popular Culture as it pertains to libraries, archives, museums, or research. In the past this has included descriptions of research collections, studies of popular images of libraries or librarians, analyses of web resources such as Wikipedia and YouTube, and reports on developments in technical services for collecting popular culture materials. Papers from graduate students are welcome.
Prospective presenters should send a one-page abstract (with full contact information) by November 1 2007, to Allen Ellis, Professor of Library Services, W. Frank Steely Library, Northern Kentucky University (firstname.lastname@example.org).
August 7, 2007
My plan for the coming weeks is to spend half the day on the EDMS (today I managed to create a batch file that actually works [after a couple of tries; gotta have those quotes in the right place!] to do all the "mkdir" commands to recreate the new, collapsed structure) and half on Drupal (see above). So far so good! Well, except for yesterday - my plan to work on Drupal in the afternoon was sidelined by a not-very-enjoyable vasovagal reaction to the hyalgen injections. (Yes, I passed out. A short-lived but exciting time was had by my husband and the orthopedist.) If it weren't for the fact that the last round worked so well for me... dang it. Ah well; it's the price you pay for having knees forty years older than you are.
Currently 92° and cloudy; it feels cooler than that, but the mugginess is not pleasant. How do folks on the East Coast live with this year-round?
August 6, 2007
In other news, we'll be testing a proposed SolidWorks assembly transfer process this week (if you rename a path in the filename of a SW assembly, it breaks the references and, thus, breaks your model - makes it very hard to transfer assemblies into a new directory structure). Keep your fingers crossed. And while that is going on, I plan to continue my assault on Drupal themes and modules - maybe I'll actually get somewhere this week (which would be nice). These two tasks will be my main focus for the month of August - we lose the test server on 1 September, and that's also my deadline for having a working web-CMS to present to the staff. More whee...
Time to jet to the orthopedists' office. It's still lightly sprinkling and a lovely, cool 74°.
August 3, 2007
"I was wearing my favorite T-shirt, the one that said 'U*N*A*B*A*S*H*E*D* LIBRARIAN' on it, when I had the hang gliding accident that smashed my wrist. (Now THERE’S an opening sentence you wouldn’t expect to see in a column written by a slightly-over-middle-aged librarian.)"Nice musings!
"So you're saying men can be librarians?" Check out "The Couch Dialogues", today's Penny Arcade comic (today being 2007/08/03 if you have to go back through the archives).
What do you think, guys, do you like "librarianman" any better than "guybrarian"? (How about Libratorr?)
No rain last night, very sad. Currently 86° and 50% chance of rain today.
August 2, 2007
August 1, 2007
* We survived the last round of reviews. Yay, us!
* The Time Traveler's Wife is an awesome book. Go forth and read it now. (Thanks for the loan, David!)
* Check out the storm that walloped Tucson yesterday. (Links to MPG)
* I think we're going to be able to buy our own web server, which is good since one of our main ones went down again today - arrgh.
* Collapsing hundreds of directory structures for a new file structure is eye-strain-inducing. Bleah.
Currently a gloomy 90° with 48%Rh. I hope it rains again today!
July 26, 2007
2008 Annual Conference
Hyatt Regency Albuquerque - Albuquerque, New Mexico
February 13-16, 2008
The Libraries, Archives, Museums and Popular Culture area solicits paper proposals from librarians, archivists, curators, graduate students, faculty, collectors, writers, and other aficionados (yes! including people who use libraries, archives, and museums!) of popular culture and information settings of all types. We encourage proposals for slide shows, video presentations, workshop formats, and panels organized around common themes. Among recent presentations were a slide show on petroglyphs, a history of a museum of bad art, and a comparison of Holocaust memorials.
Some suggested topics:
* Histories and profiles of museums, archives, libraries, and other popular culture resources
* Intellectual freedom or cultural sensitivity issues related to popular culture resources
* Book clubs and reading groups, city- or campus-wide reading programs
* Marketing popular culture materials to library, archives, or museum users
* Collection building and popular culture resources
* Organization and description of popular culture resources
* New media formats and popular culture in libraries, archives, or museums
* Wikipedia, YouTube, social networking, EBay, and their impact on popular culture collections
* The Harry Potter phenomenon in library and museum programming
Other topics welcome!!!
Send a 200-word abstract to the Area Co-Chairs by November 16, 2007. Include your complete mailing address, school or other affiliation, e-mail address, telephone number, and fax number. Graduate students are encouraged to present, and to apply for the graduate paper prizes listed on the web site.
* This awesome library poster posted by Flickr user Felicia... I'm seriously thinking of printing out one and posting it on my office door! (thanks Amy!)
* An interesting article about "Library Law: Library Dress Codes: Keeping Up Appearances" that includes court rulings and suggestions for library dress policies (via LISNews)
* Greg Schwartz's Uncontrolled Vocabulary blog and podcast is a great live (every Thursday night) discussion about hot topics in the library world today. One of these days - if I can stay up that late - I might even join in! (via multiple bloggers)
It's currently a lovely (well, for us at least) 85° with an active flood advisory in effect. Whee...
July 23, 2007
In the meantime, it is pouring here - yay for rain!
Currently, well, raining - and an amazingly cool 79°.
July 20, 2007
July 18, 2007
It's currently a lovely 86° and we got 0.03" of rain today! Too bad I voted for no rain in our office pool... ah well, would rather have the actual rain than the points!
July 17, 2007
It's 104° with a 40% chance of rain. Yes!
July 12, 2007
I still have a long way to go but I feel better now than I did a week ago... each time I install or configure something I learn a few more things. Way cool.
102.5° and plenty happening on the radar. Now if it would just head our way...
July 11, 2007
It rained last night! And it's gonna rain today, I'm sure of it. Even if it's only 20%Rh right now. (And a temp of 102°.)
July 10, 2007
What does this mean in the short term, other than muggy days and awesome lightning shows? Well, we here at MPOW actually start a contest to see who can predict rain the best. We vote every day by noon, you get 2 points for a correct yes, 1 for a correct no, and none for an incorrect guess. Competition runs high and hallway hassling is not unheard of. It's the highlight of our summers (sad, but true!).