AshtabulaGuy's blog

Getting back in the saddle

Interview Monday morning for a library job followed by getting set up with the local schools to be a substitute teacher. This is a slow easing back into the saddle. I do think it is a needed step, though.

Adventures in producing a video podcast

So I have embarked on an adventure in video podcasting. Is it LIS-related? ex-cataloger produces it and the host is a school media specialist. The podcast is more about the school media specialist's ranch than anything else.

The subject? Alpacas. Yes, alpacas.

After a few more episodes I might be brave enough to podcast the link to stick into iTunes to subscribes. I'm just not ready for that yet. The thing still is not listed in the iTunes podcast directory but that is because I am still working with the systems administrator to iron out a few kinks in the RSS feed's structure so that it will be compliant. I vaguely remember seeing an ad for CiL that mentions using podcasting in perhaps this is good having a chance to experiment out on the bleeding edge of tech, at least for a little while.

As to finding a new position...such is not a pressing priority at the moment. At least I made some smart financial moves before things went south. Until I am am truly ready, perhaps doing some non-LIS marketing work as well as some "creative arts" matters may be for the best. There is some fiction on-hand that I have been meaning to get into print.

Things to think about

I took a stand for intellectual freedom and for it I lost my job. After everything I am still wondering: why do I keep pushing ahead? Why do I keep trying to stay in a profession that within the United States is a house divided? After having taken almost five weeks to recover I just am still at a loss.

I see references to "stands for intellectual freedom" and promoting intellectual diversity. Are those merely pious niceties that never require one to get their hands dirty? Are those the highest ideals of our profession? What can one do when a supervisor is in a position where he can rubbish the Code of Ethics and the Library Bill of Rights? Does one merely point out the fault and move on or does one try to make a difference?

I guess that comes to the root of the problem. I do not deal in pious niceties. Action was taken that resulted in the loss of my job. Such was not a bad thing, though. Massive problems were pointed out to administrators. The potential further damage is being hopefully limited drastically so that that person who otherwise should know better cannot harm the integrity of any other library.

Passing resolutions is one matter. That lets an organization speak in its collective voice. Taking action is different and is something I can barely find in the profession. When faced with something wrong, unethical, or immoral what do we do? Do we just ignore it and move along? Do we tolerate evil things through such ignorance? Or do we try to uphold standards and ideals even though there may be a cost in doing so?

Without ideals and ethics, is librarianship even a profession? If such is treated merely as pious niceties do they actually have any real meaning? Or can such be disregarded as being just words written on scraps of paper?

I am just at a loss. I truly am. Do I try to continue in librarianship? Do I give up and try for a different direction in my life? Being an old millenial/young gen-Xer (such depends upon whose year cutoffs you look at) means that I have possibly quite a number of years ahead of me. Some family already mention that even though I have aptitude for the profession it seems to them like my heart just is not in it any more.

(If any of the editors want to contact me privately via e-mail you might have my address on file. There is more of a story to tell, unfortunately.)

Air Traffic (Lack of) Control?

Eventually the flight details for my new job may be settled. It is not cool that the new employer's e-mail server goes wonky whenever I am supposed to submit hyper-critical replies. The flight is supposed to come up really soon and the nice lady in HR has been waiting all weekend for an e-mail from me that keeps getting bounced with a 550 5.7.1 rejection. Then again, I will be in a position to help promote change perhaps. Maybe being a Mac user might flip people out?CBC Radio 3 has a cool podcast to download. I have been pulling the backfile partially while here at the ranch in northeastern Nevada's Pony Express Territory. It is great to rock out to indy music while helping with the barn-raising project.My presentation is slowly but surely making its way into the Churches of Christ knowledge management infrastructure. Frankly that still scares me. Once the one institution that is a member of NACO gets their hands on it I am going to wind up with an entry in the LC name authority file.........................

Wow, perhaps I should write more!

At the moment I am helping build a barn in northeastern Nevada. The only aspect to this that is library-related is that I have an MLS and my uncle has an M.Ed. in school media.Soon and very soon I am taking up a post in the South Pacific. I will not be leaving the sovereignty of the United States, though. The new post will be very exciting. Part of it involves coordinating the union catalog for a political subdivision.Once I actually make it to the posting and do at least one day of work I can then say where.Oddly enough, I am ceasing to be connected to Ashtabula notwithstanding having the username "AshtabulaGuy". I should converse with the Blakester about this.

Tired on Lake Erie's south shore

Well, what can I say? I had a temporary contract for a single semester as an academic librarian. I cataloged and cataloged. I did well and got good reviews.And, now what? I am back to where I was before January 7th. I am substitute teaching again. Subbing is as hard as ever but being at the end of the school year that is kinda supposed to be expected.I am still waiting to hear back from AnalogSF if my first science fiction piece (rooted in information science) submitted for publication was accepted or not. I really hope it was. Alas, when would I even know?I am tired. I am slipping back into being a SWL lately. What is a SWL? A SWL is a shortwave listener. WWCR is as interesting as ever although I am enjoying foreign broadcasts greatly. I listen to the WWCR to laugh at some of the moonbat insanity coming out of frothy mouths of those who wear not only tinfoil hats but tinfoil body armor. It can be totally hilarious at times.For what it is's first academic conference to present a paper at is coming up. The paper is not necessarily totally library-related but does talk about a librarian being an "open source intelligence" officer for a church's elders in the midst of a disaster.That will be a scary experience. Walt and Blake are earnestly requested to give advice to this young dude.Enough for now!

Coming up to periscope depth...

As Blake noted in a thread I came up from very deep lurking recently. I kinda have been busy. Presently I work as an academic cataloger on a temporary basis outside Pittsburgh. The Australia project as librarian-on-mission alas did not happen due to funding problems (specifically three named Katrina, Rita, and Wilma). My temporary job is great and I love the community. The students can be disconcerting at times but I realize intellectually that they are not all monks and nuns. My temporary gig runs out in May and after that I have no clue where things go from here. Dive, dive, dive........


So today is my 24th birthday. I am way too busy with everything else right now (getting Australia ready, selling electronics, delivering newspapers, churchwork, etc.). More contributions may come...some day...

Trying To Aggregate "Campbellite" Katrina Updates

Churches of Christ, a stream of the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement sometimes called "campbellites", lack a hierarchy (the buck stops with the local conregation's elders and goes nowhere else but to God). In a case like Katrina it makes it hard to follow up on how badly churches are flattened. I know Bobby Ross from The Christian Chronicle is on-site in the area to investigate for the paper...but still. What about blog posts? What about other things Mr. Ross does not catch?In an effort started for my local congregation, I havee tried to aggregate what I can that is related to how my Christian tradition is dealing with the aftermath. Such can be found at Presumably my boss the preaching minister will notice the new category and start adding updates there too.That kinda explains my absence. Work for RadioShack has been taking up plenty of time too. Of course, since I am a co-blogger with Christine Borne on something, I have been contributing to that certain site too.Busy, busy, busy, busy...

Katrina and Being a Associate Minister/Librarian

Oh brother. Bobby Ross at The Christian Chronicle has had plenty of breaking news about Katrina from my Christian tradition's perspective. I have to teach Wednesday night class tonight at church (finishing my series for August). I have a feeling that although I was going to be working from Acts 2:36-42 I will instead be putting all those cool librarian research skills to use to come up with something better before I have to teach at 1900 EDT.What a mess down south. Believe it or not, I was supposed to have been in Alabama for an interview today...before I backed out on it due to too many things not sounding right at that particular academic library...

Podcasting Questions

What would a proper subject heading be that would address podcasting? Are there any monographic book forms on the topic? Are there any appropriate journals discussing the matter that are contained within aggregators that could be accessed through OPLIN (Ohio Public Library Information Network)?Now why do I ask? My church's elders want me to prepare a report for them about podcasting. Even though we have our own institutional blog they want to leap into podcasting. I was banging my head into the wall yesterday thinking where such books and/or articles could be found in my Northeast Ohio resources available. Regrettably I got nowhere.Granted, it is a Saturday. Could I put in some serious search time today? Nope. I just got back from camp Sunday. Today I go back to selling batteries and other stuff.If you've got questions, I hope and pray I have answers...Any suggestions as to subject headings or sources to leap off from utilizing "pearl-growing" would be greatly appreciated.

Winding Down Outside DC

The AshtabulaGuy is soon to be back in action...a little under a week till I am done being a camp staffer...more commentaries to come!

Fighting The 'Creepy Crud'

Oy. When one is at a summer camp as an education director one cannot easily take "sick leave". I almost collapsed twice today and feel like utter garbage. All I have to do is get through this week and next which would then see me getting on an aeroplane to head home. I have termed the virus going around camp all summer thusly: "The Creepy Crud" how do I translate experience as an educator and educational supervisor here at camp into things the LIS world can accept? I have not had any mutinies and the kids seem to understand what they are being taught...we have had a couple baptisms of seekers!

Looking for Whips, Chains, and TASER Guns

Alrighty, that that should have gotten a wee bit of attention. Life in Virginia has been great as my camp's education director. I have had no mutinies on the parts of teachers and campers yet. This is a good thing. I am also very much so off-camp for my day off this week so I can unwind a wee bit.I had another set back pop up that is making me seriously consider leaving the profession. I have 91 rejection letters now after almost 12 months of search since graduation (a little over 30 days until that anniversary). Honestly I have just been so aggravated with job searching I have wanted to just destroy some inanimate object to vent, such as a bundtcake. Yes, a bundtcake. Those suckers are pains to bake depending upon the recipe but they do make a quite wonderful mess when you have at 'em.Enough...I have time off today at my off-site location in Virginia...time to go watch some more of the best of Stargate: Atlantis...

Coming to Periscope Depth...

Camp is going well here in Virginia. Staff week has been interesting as my job is the least defined. I serve as "education director" and have no curriculum in front of me to work with yet!Regrettably somebody called home to offer me a job last night. I am already commited out here in Virginia so running home is not doable. What was the job?Back to being a beat reporter again!Submerging to normal cruising depth...

Running Deep, Running Silent...

Bibliofuture wrote offering Gulag Archipelago recently. I sent a request for such this morning. After having been on standby for so long with my grandfather in the hospital, I am still trying to adapt. I still do not know why I switched "Gualg" for "Gulag". Oh well. I feel bad about making such a stupid typo.In the very early hours of Monday morning I end up getting to board the AMTRAK Capitol Limited. I will be heading off to Camp WaMaVa as its Education Director. I really cannot have much of any technology there and would not have any Internet access at all. As such my participation here as well as on AUTOCAT is kinda going to disappear until the end of the first week in August.Thankfully the "AshtabulaGuy" gets to leave the madness of Ashtabula County for a few weeks...


Hmm. Apparently it looks like I will be dually a missionary and a librarian for a year coming up. Where to? AUSTRALIA! I would be working at a theological college of my religious tradition out there as a sabbatical replacement while working on a grad degree in theology. Preaching will erupt at various points as a requirement, of course.At least, that is the plan. Funding still has to be secured to back the mission. Although I can serve as "Brother Librarian" money has to be found to back this. I get to hunker down with the elders at church now to figure that mess out, I guess...

Three Things...

1. Wow. Over 37 stories accepted? Wow.2. Apparently my congregation's elders have something cooking where I may end up taking a year-long deployment as a missionary-librarian (scary thought) to an AACR country that is represented in the JSC. I do know that such would not include the USA, Canada, or the UK. To the best of my knowledge that only leaves two Commonwealth of Nations dominions left...3. I must finish paperwork to be re-licensed for the coming academic year in Ohio as a substitute teacher by Friday. I blew the deadlines to go back and complete the coursework for full teacher licensure, alas. Then again, if the missionary-librarian thing comes through licensure concerns become vitiated...

So Why Has AshtabulaGuy Been Quiet?

I must admit I have been playing with kids substitute teaching. I had a first grade class last Friday, a dreadfully broad-spectrum special education unit yesterday, and today I get to play with fourth graders. Working with my special ed kids yesterday wore me out as effectively I had groups of kids with conflicting disorders not to mention conflicting personalities.Hopefully my kids in fourth grade today will be not as exhausting as the very broad spectrum of special ed students I had yesterday. After today I am running away to Oakland County north of Detroit for a conference for the rest of the week. Out of necessity I will be worrying about the conference and will have no connectivity to live-blog it, alas.

How Do We Stand On Moderating "Anonymous Patron"?

I know this is the wrong time of the month to ask since Blake does not have month-in-review stats reports (I get the same way when the church elders want "meaningful stats" about my congregation's website at this time of the month), but where do we stand in the moderations of "Anonymous Patron" (hereafter referred to as "AP")? Has AP been heavily praised or severely smacked around? Is the experiment working? Do we need to fine tune things?

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