September 25, 2007

Snarl, Growl, Thrash About

Today is, apparently, "Wrestle with Every Major Software Package You Administer" Day. Only no one told me about it. What a rude surprise!

* 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

Monday's Random Musings

Summer is definitely over now - welcome, Fall! (Here's to the start of the best part of the year; the eight months that make summer totally worth it!)

* 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

A Couple of Things

What a week... Here's a couple of things that caught my eye recently:

* 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

Three Beautiful Things

Inspired by the 3BT blog...
  1. The first night sleeping without AC, all the windows thrown open.
  2. The first sip of a good cup of hot coffee.
  3. The unusual quiet of the hallways at work today.
Forecast this week? All 90° or lower for the highs, and into the 60s at night. Thus begins the most perfect part of the year!

September 13, 2007

Bad Sony, no cookie

So, apparently Sony thinks its new Reader is "sexier than a librarian". Hmm... nope, I don't think so.

Here, There and Everywhere

Thanks, Carolyn!

So, while archiving old files off to DVD I was reading some of the pile of back issues of library periodicals, and one of the ones I got to was the August Information Outlook. Carolyn Sosnowski mentions "You don't look like a librarian!" in her Info Sites column - thanks very much, Carolyn!

Hot 'n sunny today.

September 11, 2007

One step forward, two steps back

It's like dancing, but not nearly as much fun...

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

"Read or Die" in PvP

If you've been here for a while, or heard/read one of my talks, you've probably heard me mention "Read or Die", the anime adventures of Yomiko Readman (aka The Paper, a special operative for The British Library). Well, RoD has made an appearance in the online comic PvP - made me laugh! Thanks to Laurel for the heads-up!

It's cool for us - we haven't cleared 90° - and overcast. No rain, though.

September 6, 2007

Hello, PAM Board

Well, the election results for they Physics-Astronomy-Math division are out, and I'd like to say hearty congrats to Zari Kamarei, who will be our Chair-Elect starting in January. I'd also like to say woo-hoo, I'm now Treasurer-Elect (thanks, everyone!), and will take over from the illustrious Bob Noel come January. I'm looking forward to working with Joe, Parker, Zari and Sally in 2008!

It's only 73°, and raining :-)

September 5, 2007

Pondering Themes

So, the work continues on my Drupal installation... right now I'm fiddling with the display issues and (of course, since I got my subtheme all set up the way I like it) looking for a possible new theme. Seems the staff are used to seeing the page title up in the header area and want it to look like that now, too. (I would kinda like that, too - there's a lot of unused real estate up there.) I suspect that a simple tweak of the PHP template file would do it, but I dunno PHP and haven't a clue where to start... so let the search engines rip! If I can find a theme that already does it, at least I've got my subtheme information handy and can probably change it in much less time than it took me last time. One of the advantages of having already done it once, I suppose.

(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...

Smock It, Baby

The uproar in New Zealand over the style queen offering tips at the national library conference gets louder! "Librarians Smock It to Fashion Designer" is the first step, and apparently librarians at the National Library of New Zealand in Wellington joined in with a modern fashion shoot (I can't find the pics but would love to!) as well. To quote Ms. Ryan, the aforementioned style maven: "There is obviously some sensitivity in the profession about stereotypes." Here's your cluebrick, Paula...

Updated Thursday: See the comments for links to the NZLIB pictures!

September 4, 2007

Pompous Twaddle

So, according to the New Zealand Sunday Star Times, librarians need a makeover and they're unhappy about it! "Bookworms' backs up" says that a "style queen" will be at the LIANZA national library conference to offer attendees tips on how to change their "conservative and dated image". Uproar, as you may guess, has ensued. I'll be interested to read any conference blog entries about this session, if anyone attends, and how it goes... will attendees welcome the style maven with open arms, rotten tomatoes, or something in between?

92° and 23%Rh. Henrietta is headed our way (kinda) - no rain today but rain tomorrow, I'm sure!

Prim and Proper

Over on the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Regis Behe writes about a batch of librarians who are not so prim and proper. It's another in an increasing series of "Look! This librarian also does X! Isn't that cool!" articles, and I find myself starting to be a tad bit annoyed by it all. Where are the articles about, say, nurses who also rollerskate, or attorneys who ride motorcycles, or the astronomer who plays saxophone in a jazz band? Why is it so noteworthy that librarians *gasp* have lives outside our jobs? Sheesh. (Seems Stephen Cohen over at Library Stuff, and his commentors, agree as well.)

The Librarian as “Professional”?

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. Reading the opening paragraph where the author, one S. M. Hutchens, asserts that the answer to the question "Is a librarian a professional?" is "...librarians like to think of themselves that way" without coffee was not the best way to start my day, but Hutchens then goes on to attack the "roaming librarian" concept and poor upper-management skills in a way that had me nodding my head in agreement. (Caveat: if you read this blog at all, you know I don't have a dog in that fight...just opinions!)

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.