November 19, 2009

Librarian Meetup

November Meetup
Originally uploaded by desertlibrarian
Thanks to the folks who came to share a nice selection of beer, some really good pizza, and a great wide-ranging discussion about librarianship at Old Chicago tonight. I hope some of the topics discussed lead to greater things, especially a re-energizing of the Arizona Chapter, and I also really hope some of the tips shared help with job searches.

A tip o'the frosty beverage to Robert, Cindy, Jennifer, Lisa and Leslie, and a hoist for Cindy who was sick, Laura who had dental work, and Joe who was just cold (and, you know, lives in Colorado). Cheers!

November 11, 2009

Never Forget

In remembrance of all the veterans in my life, past and present - I thank you.

In honor of today I want to share a memory with you all from a military brat who grew up in the Benelux. I shall never forget the day my brother and I - I was 14, so he was 10ish - made a quick run to the local Delhaize supermarket. A tiny, bent, withered old woman came up to us, hugged us both, and said "Thank you". I asked her what she was thanking us for, and she said "Americans saved my life and my family in the War." Then she hugged us again, and left.

It was so powerful - I mean, of course we learned about the Wars in school, but it was detached, from a textbook - easy to read about and then move on. This woman changed that. After this chance meeting we paid closer attention to the land and structures around us and it was everywhere - we were in a part of the world that had been overrun by armies over and over, where many of the forests still held the dead, and where the old people in our neighborhood had been there since the last time it was battled over. It gave us both new eyes - and new respect - for the rest of the time we lived there.

The veterans of the old World Wars are being replaced by veterans of these new World Wars - never forget what they have done for their country and by extension, for you.

November 5, 2009

Internet Librarian 2009

I'm doing things a bit differently this year - and a bit later, ah well. I'm not going to summarize everything I went to and everything that happened - there are plenty of places to read about the conference. Instead I'm just going to touch on highlights, things that worked well for me or made me groove. Your mileage, of course, may vary.
  • Seafood, every day. 'Nuff said.
  • The hotel I stayed at, where I will definitely be staying again.
  • Meeting with my mentor Stephen for a nice chat about future possibilities.
  • The Digital Library Practices track on Monday, especially the session on visualization and virtualization. (Not the same thing at all, but they got put together into one session.) I'm looking forward to trying out Graphviz, the open-source tool used by the UNReno folks.
  • The book signing event Monday night!
  • I really enjoy Paul Holdengraber's passion and humor, and his keynote interview with Erik Boekesteijn was great. (And thanks SO much to the Shanachies for all the streaming video they did throughout the conference!)
  • Meeting my Drupal guru in person. At last! You rock, Cary.
  • Having lunch - including buffalo artichoke hearts, nom! - with my most awesome book editor Rachel.
  • Surviving my talk... and actually having folks attend it! (Thank you!)
  • Rockin' Battle Decks. I haven't laughed that hard at a conference session in a really, really long time. (and there are too librarians in the desert! Ha!)
  • Bluff the Internet Librarian at the closing keynote. Cracked me up - both the way the speakers presented it (quiz show style) and the amazing-but-real things used as the quiz items. Who knew?!?
  • Last but far, far from least: Library 101. Really, Michael Porter and David Lee King are just amazing in their creativity, and if even a quarter of us can channel some of their energy and enthusiasm for libraries into our own arenas, we will KICK BUTT. (If you haven't seen their earlier video presentation "Hi-Fi Sci-Fi Library", go watch that too.)

Farewell for this year, Monterey and IL. I'll see you again next year.