January 31, 2007

Enter the InfoTubeys!

You Can Enter Information Today's 2007 InfoTubey Awards!

My company (Information Today) is starting a new contest this year to award interesting library promotional work. We're calling it the InfoTubey Awards! ;-)

We’re looking for videos that librarians have created and posted to YouTube. Each production must demonstrate creativity, humor, and sincerity in marketing a library, promoting library services, or enhancing a library's value. Videos cannot be more than 5 minutes long.

The deadline is Feb. 14. All submissions will be judged by a panel of distinguished information professionals, who will contact winners in March.

Five InfoTubey Award winners will each receive one free 3-day conference pass to the Computers in Libraries 2007 conference (a $449 value). Awards will be presented at a gala event during the CIL conference on April 17 near Washington, D.C.

The entry form is available online. You can direct your questions to InfoTubies@infotoday.com.

C'mon, show us what you've done!

Sent to me by Kathy Dempsey of Information Today - thanks for the announcement!

Welcome to the Library

The UTNE Reader is introducing a new column, "Shelf Life", with the Jan/Feb issue. The UTNE librarian, Danielle Maestretti, writes a great introduction, titled "Welcome to the Library":

"My job does not include shushing. [...] The weathered image of the librarian as a grandmotherly, finger-waving bookworm has been defunct for quite some time. Librarians are more likely to be protecting civil liberties, promoting literacy, and guarding people's access to information than pursing their lips."

Yes! As a fan of not only libraries and librarians but also independent press and activism, I'll be eagerly watching this space for future columns from Ms. Maestretti.

found via MagicMommy

Gender Bias in Libraries?

I really enjoy reading things from the minority in our profession, the male librarian. In the January 15 issue of Library Journal, Adam Holland writes a Backtalk article titled Gender Bias in Libraries? He has some interesting things to say, but I also found the comments to be illuminating, especially Charles Carr's. (I'm a bit floored by his situation, to be honest.) Go forth and give it a read.

Are you a male librarian who's faced the sardonic smile? If you have a story to share, please do so in the comments.

January 30, 2007

and wacky hijinks ensued...

so, I converted over to the new Blogger templates and promptly lost half my stuff *sigh* so I've rebuilt everything, and the blog should - if all really did go well - be back to what I wanted. Apologies for any strangeness if you were trying to view the blog this morning.

Have made no progress on the CMS installation because mySQL keeps yelling at me... I believe I've missed a simple step somewhere (it's always that random comma or semicolon that trips you up!) and I'm just not seeing it. I can't stare at it any more this morning, I'm ready to put a shoe through the monitor. Arrgh.

It's cold, and grey, and drizzly. Precipitation is good.

MacWorld Gets It

Macs & libraries together! In the January 22 issue of MacWorld, in an article titled "Find the good stuff fast", one of Sarah Milstein's recommendations is... us!

Use your local library
"A lot of the great stuff that lives on the Web is kept in places that normal search engines can’t find easily or at all. For specialized databases of newspaper and magazine articles (often including the articles’ full text), academic abstracts, and much more, try your local library’s Web site."

Read the whole article here.

January 29, 2007

ILI Calls Out for Speakers

(For this one moment in time, I'm actually caught up on blogs! I know it'll only last for a minute or two, but it's a kinda nice feeling.)

Internet Librarian International has put out their Call for Speakers. Two of the suggested topics are web design and content management, so I'm tempted to put in an abstract for this conference and try for London instead of Monterey! Hmm...

With that in mind, I'm now off to install the first CMS on the webdev platform...

January 26, 2007

Friday Fun

No real library-related posting here, folks, just some Friday afternoon fun with character generators:

South Park Ruth
South Park Me, via South Park Studio

M&M Ruth
M&M Me, via Become an M&M

Skype Ruth

WeeMee, via Skype Weeworld

Have a good weekend, everyone!

January 24, 2007

When Libraries and Warcraft Collide

Richard Akerman, over at Science Library Pad, has photodocumented his World of Warcraft library quest. Being married to a huge WoW addict has brought with it a lot of appreciation for online games, and a deep conviction that I should never, ever, ever try out WoW - I know myself and I know it would just suck me right in! I'll continue to appreciate it through my hubby and great posts like Richard's. (The new expansion has some truly beautiful, if somewhat creepy, scenery!)

Things that Don't Happen Here

Apparently we should be on the lookout for flying pigs, because it snowed in Tucson this past Sunday night. If you ever want to see a truly amusing spectacle, watch Tucsonans if it ever snows again - we all become capering fools *grin*

January 19, 2007

LibraryThing is hiring!

LibraryThing is looking for a sysadmin/DBA. Oh, man, this would be SO cool. Pity I'm only a midlevel DBA and nowhere near Maine or I'd give this a try. (I bet they'd be nice in their rejection letter!)

Currently cold, grey, and raining. Yay for rain!

The Sinus Cold of Satan...

...has had me pretty well pinned down for the last week, but I can see the light of humanity at the end of the tunnel, at long last. Expect more musings and babblings next week!

January 11, 2007

OS: The Upgrade

So, as part of the whole "let's install a CMS and see what it can do" process, I realized that my dev server was a bit out of date and needed a whole upgrade. I didn't realize this all at once, but over a couple of days of struggling to upgrade mySQL. Finally, it hit me like a Homer Simpson moment: D'oh! I was running CentOS 3, with the versions of mySQL and php (and everything else) that went with it. CentOS 5 is due out soon, so it was time to upgrade to 4.

As I type, the webdev system is churning away. As my first experience with upgrading an OS in this system, I have to say I'm impressed with the user-friendliness of the process. Of course, knowing which CD image to grab is a good first step *ha* but after that, it's a graphical process with handy little "What's going on now" information panels. (I like knowing what it's doing.) So, by CoB today, I should be (if all goes well, and I didn't just jinx it!) running CentOS 4 along with mySQL 4.1.20 and php 4.3.9. These will allow me to install the selected evaluation CMS applications and get on with it! (Plus, it gives us some needed insights into how the upgrade to the live server will go... although we're going to put that off a bit longer.)

w00t, as the kids say.

January 9, 2007

Next Steps in the CMS Investigation

Well, I have to say, teh intarwebs r0ck! No, seriously, thanks to input from friends, fellow systems librarians, the syslib and web4lib lists, online forums, and the absoutely fabulous OpenSourceCMS site, I've narrowed the "what should we install for testbeds" list down to two web CMS applications and two wikis. The advancing apps are:

* Drupal
* WebGUI
* TWiki
* MediaWiki

My office walls are covered with comparison charts with lines, circles, stars, and arrows all over them, which I point at if someone comes in and asks what I'm up to. I'm also giving a talk Friday to our engineering team called "What's a CMS anyway, and why do we care?", hopefully the first step towards buy-in by my staff. We'll see how it goes.

Now that I've decided what to install and test, I have to upgrade the OS on the webdev server, so that'll be next up this week. Probably won't get to an actual installation before next week, but I'm looking forward to it!

5 Things You Don't Know About Me

As usual, I'm late on the meme, but hey: it's my first meme since starting this blog!

1) I'm a military brat who spent my formative teenage years in the Benelux region of Europe. Until I got to college, I had never met anyone who'd never left the town they grew up in before. (I didn't think people like that were real!)
2) I went to college on an Air Force scholarship to study aerospace engineering.
3) I still have my tonsils.
4) I like disco. (OK, my husband knows - and deplores - this.)
5) I hate vi. (Long live emacs!)

It's currently 75° and sunny; a really beautiful day. However, they're forecasting a strong possibility of SNOW before the end of the week! If such a thing occurs, I will definitely capture an image for posterity.

January 4, 2007

University Place Library Rocks

A big shout-out to Tami and the other great librarians* at the University Place Library (part of the Pierce County Library system). They're doing amazing things in a former auto-parts store, and they're a kick to talk to. If you're in the area, stop in and say hello!

*yes, I mean all of you!

The Cycle Continues

Happy New Year, everyone!

Yes! US News & World Report has released its "Get-Ahead Careers of 2007", and one of the first ones mentioned is: (drum roll, please) Librarian!

Yes, folks, from being on last year's CareerBuilder unpopular jobs list, to this year's best careers. Ah, the sweet smell of success! (And a slight desire to go "neener neener", although at whom, I'm not quite sure.)

It's 70° and sunny. (Neener!)