GregS*'s blog

800x600

I've kept a lot of our computers at 800x600 screen resolution. I just felt it was easier for people to see and read. But just about everything is formatted these days for 1024x768 (I keep my own computer set that way). Apparently the new yahoo email beta version asks you to reset your settings if its at 800x600. I have started to leave the newest stations at the higher setting, do I need to reset them all?

A Video Christmas Card

Merry Christmas! from MPOW

Librarian says: Don't knock ebooks

My name in lights:

BOOKS IN the attic -- that's the problem ("A love story," Living/Arts, Nov. 15).

As a librarian and a book lover, I appreciate the value of books, but the electronic Sony Reader helps unclutter an already cluttered life. It's lighter and more portable than an average tome, let alone those "fat books" the Publishers Weekly editor is fond of.

There is also the bonus of thousands of free books, available through Project Gutenberg, once unreadable on a computer . Instead of needing multiple rooms and hundreds of shelves (and many thousands of dollars), anyone can have a classical library with a desktop computer and a Reader. For the human reader and for people who believe reading makes for a better and fuller life, that is a love story.

GREG McCLAY
Lowell

Computer Training

Many libraries offer computer training classes, my library does as well. However there are several good training videos out there now that cover the ground more thoroughly than our classes do. Couple that with the fact that we are having a steady problem with no-shows and I'm wondering if there isn't a more effective way of doing this.

1. We do a series of 5 classes, should we charge $5 to make sure they show up?

2. Should we just offer individual one-shot sessions that involve less prep work and more individual-oriented goals?

3. Should we offer one-shot open house sessions covering a variety of areas and taking on all-comers?

We can't do it all, we don't have the man power. So what would work best?

Copyright Question

In order to bypass some copyright issues I was hoping to use music done by the high school's chorus and band on some future segments our Library Lowdown programs. In talking with the head of the music department I am told I will still have to worry about the copyright of the music arrangements, even if the songs themselves are outside of copyright date. True? If so, now what?

IE 7

I just got the following email:

Please note that the Massachusetts Virtual Catalog will not work with
Internet Explorer 7. The vendor is working on a solution to this problem.

If you have already upgraded to this version please use a different
Internet browser such as Firefox to access the Virtual Catalog.

Never ever trust an upgrade until its 1+ years old.

RUMSFELD MUST STAY

MCCOOK MUST LAY OF MEDS...

Instapundit has a breakdown on the recent anti-Rumsfeld hysteria for those aren't impressed by things TYPED IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS.

Got it: My eReader is in Billerica

October 23, 2006 7:24 PM Sortation Center Arrival EDISON, NJ
October 21, 2006 10:26 AM Sortation Center Departure LOS ANGELES, CA
October 20, 2006 2:52 PM Sortation Center Arrival LOS ANGELES, CA
October 20, 2006 12:00 AM Pickup LONG BEACH, CA

tick tick tick...

[Edit]... Ugh, I can't believe it just left today!

Date Time Description Location
October 26, 2006 6:19 AM Sortation Center Departure EDISON, NJ
October 23, 2006 7:24 PM Sortation Center Arrival EDISON, NJ
October 21, 2006 10:26 AM Sortation Center Departure LOS ANGELES, CA
October 20, 2006 2:52 PM Sortation Center Arrival LOS ANGELES, CA
October 20, 2006 12:00 AM Pickup LONG BEACH, CA

[Edit 2]Yes!

October 26, 2006 11:55 AM Sortation Center Arrival NORTHBOROUGH, MA

[Edit 3] Roll the dice.

I have no idea what this means:
October 27, 2006 12:49 AM Electronic Shipping Info Received BILLERICA, MA *

It is being shipped to MPOW so maybe I'll see it today (really hoping I have it for the weekend) but no guarantees.

[Edit 4] Nope, won't get to it until probably Monday night or Tuesday.

[Edit 5] I'll be posting notes on my site from here on out.

Heroes, the graphic novel

Story here: 'Heroes' launches weekly graphic novel on NBC site

This is a couple weeks old but I wanted to highlight the issue because 1. its cool and 2. its a unique way to get people into reading (and 3. the original content in the online novel has made it a must-read for 'Heroes' fans).

ShiftedL and Hyperbole

Shifted Librarian writes:

I was hesitant to buy the latest issue of U.S. News & World Report because the cover story is about What Parents Need to Know about MySpace: Your Guide to a Kid's World on the Internet, but in the end I figured it would be good fodder for a blog post about hyperbole in the media. My eyes started rolling on page 48 when I read, "To many parents, who may have gotten an eyeful of its sometimes titillating profiles and photos, MySpace seems like Lake Wobegon gone horribly wrong: a place where all the women are fast, the men are hard-drinking, and the children take an above-average interest in imitating them."

However, the further I read, the more my eyebrows arched in surprise, impressed with both the content and the tone of the article. I highly recommend it, and I think every public library director should make sure her board members and staff read it. In fact, I'd love to see a collaboration between ALA , state library associations or libraries, or even just local libraries with U.S. News to distribute the article to parents through libraries. It only mentions the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA) in passing, but it helps illustrate that parents can do far more than this legislation ever would and that online social networking is now a fact of life. It would be like banning email, which you'll notice Congress isn't debating, even though it's a form of online social networking. Hmmmmm...

Simply because MySpace and email are both social software hardly makes them equals. An email address is an anonymous string of numbers and letters, a MySpace profile is an open invitation into your personal life. Levine still has the fodder for an article on hyperbole but I don't see her using it.

Top Five Conservative Books

Blogger Kevin Holtsberry at Rightshelf polls conservative writers for their top five conservative books. Hat tip The Corner.

Digital Collections, non-sub

this is stemming from the New Yorker harddrive...

1. I used to hate online databases because of the annual fee and there was nothing physical to hold on to. If the subscription lapsed the product was gone. But at this point that's all we have, the prices have become reasonable enough and the products cover enough to make them worthwhile.

2. But, there are still digital resources that are not 'growing' at the rate of these database and so are self-contained, like this New Yorker harddrive. Another example would be Marvel Comics is offering DVD collections containing 40 years of titles like Spiderman, X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Avengers.

Q1. What other digital products are out there (I know National Geographic had a botched one a few years a ago)?

Q2. Is anyone using static reference stations for these kind of products? (I did buy the 40 Years of Spiderman and installed them onto our YA stations because I'm a comic geek)

headaches

I mentioned our museum passes in a recent poll. We have an online system to manage them and the one major drawback with them is keeping track of what days they are open. Usually its just tracking what days the holidays fall on but I just learned today that one of them is closed for a couple weeks... starting next week. So now I have to call the people who already booked for times in that slot. Always the little things...

Fallout-Shelter Future

This has to be the Monday article to beat all Monday articles ever. And it is unpleasantly accurate.

lost word?

Should libraries use the word 'intranet' more? It seems a good way of arguing against the 'its all on the internet' mantra and its also a good way to explain to students (and teachers) why some online resources are okay to use. One of our databases has Library Journal on it in full text back to '97. A keyword search for intranet only gets 6 hits. A 'search entire article' search gets 92. A keyword search for internet gets 1616 hits.

Scary Librarian

The Mad Magazine knockoff otherwise known as "CRACKED" is relaunching as a Maxim knockoff. You can read more at www.cracked.com, including their piece on Christpher Walken's attempts at other careers:

Librarian
"I'm going to say this quietly, because I respect you. I respect our arrangement here. Sincerely. I hope that the stapler attached to your genitals has been sufficient in communicating that my associates do not take kindly to overdue materials. Do we have an understanding?"

(the larger photo is on the main page)

ALA: Brainwashing Your Kids

originally posted at SHUSH

     The latest edition of American Libraries has a wrap around advertising promotional
materials for Banned Book Week (coming in Sept.). The theme seems to be the circus with banned books
placed in animal cages. There are a number of different items including posters for different age groups. This
is the one advertised
for children:

     On first blanche there is the obvious King and King issue. When I get into debates
about these materials I always hear (*always*) that "the parent bears the ultimate responsibility for their
children". So much for that. ALA is obviously promoting the book to kids whether parents are for it or not.

     On a second look the whole poster is amusing, especially with the recent
hullabaloo over the children's book on Cuba in the Florida schools. One of the big arguments supporting
the book has been whether its appropriate to get into the various political issues involving Castro and
his dictatorship in a child's book. And yet, here's ALA with a banned books poster directed at children and
even bracelets
for kids showing the covers of the banned books. None of these books are actually banned. Its just an excuse
for ALA to be wading knee-deep into what are very contentious and highly politicized issues and pushing
their own views onto kids.

     Nuts, every liberal one of them.

Word Play

Interesting bit from Jay Nordlinger's Impromtus today:

"Let's have a little language. I was reading a speech by Prof. Harvey Mansfield, titled "A New Feminism." And he speaks these sentences: "Men . . . have a more abstract sense of importance than women that is also more egoistic. Women may be vain, but men are conceited."

Now, Mansfield is a careful user of words - so that sent me scurrying (as scurry I can) to discover the distinction, precisely, between "vain" and "conceited."

For "vain," I find "excessively proud of one's appearance or accomplishments; conceited." For "conceited," I find "holding or characterized by an unduly high opinion of oneself; vain." So, they are presented as synonyms. But I nevertheless sniff a distinction, and suspect that Mansfield knows what he's talking about."

Library TV

Finally started that blog.

Non-techie: "Make it stop! Make it stop!"
BlogPerson: "Submit! damn you!"

Not dead either

And blogging about it at SHUSH

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