Daniel's blog

Help me find free stuff!

Next month I'm doing a workshop on public domain/Creative Commons/royalty free materials.

I've started a wiki-page for resources. Could I get you all to have a look and suggest other items? I think I've got photos covered unless there is some TERRIFIC site that I've missed. But I could use suggestions for audio and video beyond the Internet Archive and the Podsafe Music Network.

Thanks in advance for anything you can send my way!

Feedback requested on Church Library Site

I used Blogger to create a quick web site for the parish library I operate on and off.

The site is http://juneaucathedrallibrary.blogspot.com/ and I'd appreciate feedback on making it better.

One problem I know I have but can't seem to do much about is that my on-site catalog search cuts off the right hand side of the results. I provided a link to the LibraryThing catalog and I think that people can see enough of the site-based results to tell whether their item has been found.

Book Review: Carved in Sand

Carved in Sand by Cathryn Jakobson Ramin. ISBN 978-0-06-059869-3.

Feel like you're losing your mind? You're not alone and help (within reason) is available. That is the core message of Ms. Ramin's book and one that should be shared with anyone you know over 40. Drawing on surveys and interviews from hundreds of successful yet memory challeged midlifers and many memory researchers, Ms. Ramin documents the reality of midlife memory loss and discussions available interventions. Bottom line is while one cannot recover the full cognitive abilities one had at 20, there are many things you can do to keep sharp. Top item on the list - GET SOME SLEEP! There is a companion website available.

Changes! I've been promoted

Hi all,

I have a new job in the same place. I'm too lazy to copy and paste, so please visit my entry at Alaskan Librarian.

And if you are a branch or library manager, please send me any tips you might have for a newbie manager/leader. While I've been a section supervisor for seven years, I don't have the well-rounded perspective of a whole library I will need for my new work.

Book Review: Made to Stick: Librarian Must Read

I feel fortunate that my library participates in a downloadable audiobook project called Listen Alaska through Overdrive, inc. It's given me the chance to do try out books on my mp3 player that I might not have picked up to read but turned out to be great books.

Such is the case with Made to stick : why some ideas some ideas survive and others die by Chip and Dan Heath. I downloaded the audiobook version from Listen Alaska, and was so impressed I ordered the paper copy for my library. If you're a librarian, you should too. Then read it. You can read the introduction right now by going to the companion web site at http://www.madetostick.com/.

Why do I think this book should be read by every librarian? Because the authors carefully lay out the elements needed to convey a compelling message and provide many examples of messages that work. Many well-intentioned people tell us librarians to "tell our stories." The Heath brothers show us HOW to tell our stories. Consultants tell libraries it is important to have a mission statement, but the Heath brothers demonstrate how to generate a "core value" that can actually guide decision making.

The authors start the book with a common and unforgettable urban legend and dissect the "stickiness" aspects that keep the legend in circulation. They suggest that every successful message has characteristics that spell out SUCES:

Simple
Unexpected
Credible
Emotions
Stories

The rest of the book examines how to make messages simple, unexpected, creditable, have emotional content and how to tell stories. This is both simpler and more complex than it sounds. The books messages are made clearer by frequent "message clinics" where the brothers provide several ways of getting a message across and let the choose the one that seems most compelling.

Authors Chip and Dan Heath are the first to tell you that this isn't a cookbook. It's not a matter of following SUCES and having success every time. But they and I say that if you do put these elements into your messages, they'll have a fighting chance of being heard and remembered.

One of the things I regret about Library school is that there were no courses in communication or public relations. This is a particularly glaring deficiency because as a group librarians tend to be introverted and self-effacing. We don't have much experience in getting our stories out and tend to lapse into jargon and statistics, two things guaranteed to lose our audience. Made to Stick could help turn that around and make us effective advocates for our libraries and other causes in our lives.

Book Review: Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett

A friend lent me the book Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett. Since this book is also available at my local library and many others, I figured I'd write a quick review.

This book is a quick and enjoyable read. It weaves together at least three stories -- the story of Death, who goes on holiday after being given walking papers; the story of a dead wizard whose spirit is forced to return to his body when Death isn't available to collect his spirit; and the story of the dead wizard's former colleagues who do their level best to ensure their recently deceased colleague leaves them and the mortal world alone.

Death winds up working on a farm, which is the product of much amusement. Especially when he insists on cutting the grass a single blade at a time with his scythe.

One flaw of this book for me is that author's abundant use of footnotes. I'm personally against footnotes in works of fiction. If the author has additional clever things to say, just work them into the text. But this could be a personal prejudice of mine since I love footnotes in nonfiction and expect them to document sources.

This book is set in the Discworld universe, but I think first time readers should find it accessible. This was my first venture into Discworld and while I shrugged my shoulders at some of the descriptions that appeared to reference other books, it didn't detract from my enjoyment.

Overall, this is a good choice for people who like their fantasy spiced with humor.

Book Review: Digital Crime and Digital Terrorism

After a few weeks on public transportation, I have finished the book:
Digital crime and digital terrorism by Robert W Taylor Publisher: Upper Saddle River, N.J. : Pearson/Prentice Hall, ©2006.
Additional authors: Troy J. Caeti, D. Kall Loper, Eric J. Fritsch, John Liederbach
http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/57186389
,

Aside from two minor flaws, I highly recommend this book to all libraries and to people who are interested in computer crime, hacking, or law enforcement. This book is written in plain English and is quite accessible and well documented. They have endnotes for every chapter and a good index at the back. In addition, it carries a number of illustrations and charts that supplement the text. Finally each chapter has a number of case studies in sidebars, mostly taken from DOJ's Cybercrime.gov site that provide concrete examples of the crime theories the authors set out.

In the introduction the authors set as their task a book that would be a primer on computer science for law enforcement personnel and a primer on basic investigative procedures and prosecutions for computer scientists. I am neither a law enforcement officer or a computer scientist, but I believe I gained insight into both disciplines. As a result, I think the authors have achieved their purpose.

While the book as a whole is mostly well written, I found the chapters explaining hacker subcultures (ch 4) and how search warrants worked ( ch 11 ) to be the most engaging. Other chapters on theories of criminality and the different classes of computer crime also made for engaging reading.

I mentioned two minor flaws. These are flaws in my opinion which you might not agree with, but I felt I should share with you anyway. First, you can easily tell this is a book with multiple authors. The tone of the book, particularly when dealing with either terrorism or the magnitude of economic losses to computer crime can shift very quickly and become alarmist. Often one sees some estimate of economic loss, a paragraph that indicates that such estimates are little more than random guesswork, and then nearly a full page on how while the problem cannot be meaningfully measured, it is far worse than we can imagine and immediate action is required to fix it. Or the book goes from stating that there are no firmly documented instances of terrorist cyberattacks and then asserts with no solid examples that al-Qaeda and the Chinese government have repeatedly attacked US government and military web servers. At these times, this reader feels like one is listening to two or three authors argue over the seriousness of the problem. But most of the book doesn't read this way.

The other minor flaw in the book is that it fails to put economic losses in the context of the US economy. Several times in the book they quote estimates that losses due to computer crime in this country total roughly $10 Billion/year (see page 354, for example). Because of this fact, "Dogmatism and traditional beliefs that "this is not a problem" must be set aside and replaced with an aggressive policy to address these trends. " Throughout the book the "aggressive policy" is set in terms of yet more new laws and closer monitoring of the Internet. But let's take the $10 Billion/year at their word. While this sounds like a lot, it pales beside the US Gross Domestic Product, which was estimated to be $13,755.9 billion in second quarter 2007, according to the Bureau of Economic Statistics. The $10 Billion a year that is seen as a *huge* problem is $0.07% of 2007 GDP. To put it another way, the rough estimate of computer crime in this is country is nine billion dollars less than what Americans spent on coffee in 2004. I'm not trying to excuse computer crime, but I am making the case that making it a priority might be misguided, especially in light of all of the crimes against life and health that take place in this country every year.

Overall though, this book is a solid explanation of computer crime, computer criminals and how computer crime is detected and prosecuted. If your patrons have an interest in computer crime or how law enforcement treats it, this book is for you.

New FGI Discussions: July 9, 2007

For a hyperlinked version of the notice below, please see the Alaskan Librarian version.

===============================
Know other people who work with federal government information? Get the FGI browser toolbar (http://fgi.ourtoolbar.com) for IE and Firefox. 290 people already have!
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Free Government Information now podcasts it's own programs! Subscribe at http://feeds.feedburner.com/FGIPodcast or check out the show archive at http://freegovinfo.info/podcasts.

================================

The Free Government Information (http://freegovinfo.info) volunteers posted the following stories this week:

Volunteer Posts:

* FGI Podcast 3 - Sunlight Foundation, LOCKSS, Bats & Broadband - Daniel
* Big Privacy Problems of Facebook? - James A
* Facebook is unfriendly to library search applications - James A.
* Big News! NARA says no to DRM software! - James A.
* Lunchtime Listen: Social Networking in plain English - James A.
* Strategy to Thwart Movie Copying Could Frustrate Innocent Users - James A.
* Corpus Christi Caller Times Supports FOIA Reform - Daniel
* Reading the Declaration of Independence - James R.
* Knight Open Government Survey - Deborah A. Liptak
* OSTI using Archive-It for E-Prints - James A.

We're always looking for audio/video spots promoting depositories, government information or the Federal Depository Library Program. Please send a link to your video/radio clip and we'll add it to http://freegovinfo.info/video.

If you use Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com ) or some other RSS reader, consider subscribing to the FGI Feed at http://freegovinfo.info/blog/feed to get FGI stories as they are posted. Over 170 people already have.

Book Review - Anchorage:From its humble origins...

I have just finished the book Anchorage: From its humble origins as a railroad construction camp by Dr. Elizabeth Tower and wish to recommend it to all relative Alaskan newcomers like myself. I think it would be of value to anyone wanting to understand Alaska and Anchorage a bit more.

The best feature of this book is its use of short biographical stories at the end of each chapter. These chapters are mostly about Alaska pioneers (i.e. non-Native Alaskans who came to Alaska prior to 1959), but not always. In every case, the person being profiled helps to personify the theme of the chapter. For example, strip mall developer Peter Zamarello is profiled after the chapter on Alaska's boom and bust 1980s.

The stories following each chapter also provide a good resource for teachers and others looking for strong female role models. I'd especially recommend the stories of Irene Ryan, Evangeline Atwood (contained in a joint profile with publisher Robert Atwood), and Nancy Davis (under Skyjacking, Alaskan Style).

The chapters themselves are short and informative, making this an excellent break or lunchtime read over three or four days. I have lived in Alaska for eight and half years, worked at the State Library and still learned a lot of new information from this book. Like how equipment used to build the Panama Canal was shipped up to Anchorage to help build the railroad camp and harbor. Or how Senator Ted Stevens flew unescorted supply missions for the Flying Tigers and earned a Distinguished Flying Cross for flying behind enemy lines. Or how the idea of using icebreakers to ship North Slope oil was considered and discarded in favor of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System. The list goes on and on.

For a history book, Dr. Tower does a good job of making her readers ask "Then what happened?" at the end of each chapter. For this reason, I'd recommend this book to someone who might be reluctant to read history of any kind. Especially if they have any interest in Alaska and/or adventure.

As a librarian and Alaska researcher, I'm especially happy with the fact this book contains both a bibliography and an index. Indexes aren't as automatic as they used to be as many publishers have decided they are too expensive to prepare. In some cases authors who care about their readers will pay to have an index done. It is my hope that Dr. Tower did not have to do this.

Dr. Tower sounds like her life would make an interesting book in itself. According to the About the Author section, Dr. Tower moved with her husband to Alaska in the 1950s. After spending 25 years with the Alaska Division of Health, Dr. Tower became a historian, writing several books and being named Alaska's Historian of the Year in 1996.

If you decide to buy this book rather than (or after) check it out from a library, know that Dr. Tower intends to donate her book royalties to the Cook Inlet Historical Society for use in developing the Alaska Gallery at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art.

What's worse? No comments or not linking?

Although I agree that librarians who don't allow comments on their blog/journal call their commitment to dialog into question; I also don't care for librarians who make vauge negative statements about material they won't link to.

If you've got something to say, let people react. If you don't like something somebody says so strongly that you blog about it, then link to the offending page and explain WHY you think that "It was some crap."

That's my two cents. Given mostly because I missed my bus home and had a few extra minutes.

Uncontrolled Vocabulary Rocks!

Crossposted from Alaskan Librarian:

If you're a librarian and you haven't yet listened to Greg Schwartz's new podcast Uncontrolled Vocabulary, zip on over to the site (see below) and listen to the first episode. Then sign up for the podcast.

Uncontrolled Vocabulary (UV) #1 featured Greg and several other librarians having a live discussion on various library issues from patron bathroom abuse to ALA reform. It reminded me of really fun and informative discussions I had back in my library school days and I appreciate the practioner perspective it provided. It's working librarians talking about issues that touch most of them personally.

At this point in time, UV is open to anyone who wants to join in the conversation if they are willing to register for a TalkShoe account. Greg admits this isn't an ideal solution, but the best one so far.

The show is intended to take place every Thursday at 10pm Eastern, 7pm Alaska Time. I'm going to try and make time to sign up with TalkShoe and at least listen live this Thursday if nothing else. I hope you'll be listening, too. And talking, if you feel up to it.

This is another posting via Blogger's "BlogThis." I've decided that when I use this feature, I'll put the link at the bottom with the words "source reference." This is easier for me than trying to incorporate the link into a regular sentence, which causes weird underlining after the link.

Source Reference: Uncontrolled Vocabulary

New FGI Discussions: July 2, 2007

A hyperlinked version of this post can be found on my Alaskan Librarian blog.

===============================
Know other people who work with federal government information? Get the FGI browser toolbar (http://fgi.ourtoolbar.com) for IE and Firefox. 280 people already have!
-------------------
Free Government Information now podcasts it's own programs! Subscribe at http://feeds.feedburner.com/FGIPodcast or check out the show archive at http://freegovinfo.info/podcasts.

================================

The Free Government Information (http://freegovinfo.info) volunteers and our Berkeley Six BOTM's posted the following stories this week:

Berkeley Six:

* Teaching Government Information with Web2.0 - Tim Dennis

Volunteer Posts:

* ALA GODORT Wants YOU to help build 50-State Database Registry - Daniel
* Insanely Useful Websites - James A.
* Poliltics 2.0? or "meet the new boss, same as the old boss"? - James A.
* NASA 2.0: blogs, Facebook, Twitter, games, Second Life, APIs - James A.
* Show us your CRS reports! - James R.
* Two locations for CIA "family jewels" documents - James A.
* Authority 3.0 - James A.
* Not so fast: US broadband lags behind world - Daniel
* New Poll: We want your podcast feedback! - Daniel
* WorldWideScience.org - James A.
* Nebraska Library Commission has clear purpose in Second Life - Daniel

We're always looking for audio/video spots promoting depositories, government information or the Federal Depository Library Program. Please send a link to your video/radio clip and we'll add it to http://freegovinfo.info/video.

If you use Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com ) or some other RSS reader, consider subscribing to the FGI Feed at http://freegovinfo.info/blog/feed to get FGI stories as they are posted. Over 170 people already have.

New FGI Discussions: June 25, 2007

For live links to the stories below, please see my entry at Alaskan Librarian because I *hate* the way Google Docs provides HTML, but it's way more efficient for every site besides this one.

===============================
Know other people who work with federal government information? Get the FGI browser toolbar (http://fgi.ourtoolbar.com) for IE and Firefox. Over 280 people already have!
-------------------
Free Government Information now podcasts it's own programs! Subscribe at http://feeds.feedburner.com/FGIPodcast or check out the show archive at http://freegovinfo.info/podcasts.

================================

The Free Government Information (http://freegovinfo.info) volunteers and our Berkeley Six BOTM's posted the following stories this week:

Berkeley Six:

+C.I.A to Declassify Documents Detailing Illegal Abuses
+Sunlight Foundation Mashup Contest Winners

Volunteer Posts:

+Get the Starr Report on Digital Natives, Library 2.0 Uses, Gov Info Access - Daniel
+Best. Titles. Ever. Now on WorldCat - Daniel
+Lunchtime Listen: LOCKSS in Six Minutes, with Cat - Daniel
+Patrice McDermott notes politics of putting information online - James A.
+GPO Brief Bib Record Proposal Flawed, Ignores Partnership - Daniel
+New Campaign Finance Tools from FEC - James A.
+400 Years of NARA War Records Now Online at Commercial Site - James A.
+Release of CIA documents - James A.
+Feds are blogging, are they listening? - Daniel
+EPA halts library closures - 1st Amendment Center - Chris
+House Rules limit members' use of the web - James A.
+GAO: Some federal scientists feel hemmed in by policies - James A.
+When one copy is not enough... - James A.
+Who controls content on government web sites? - James A.

We're always looking for audio/video spots promoting depositories, government information or the Federal Depository Library Program. Please send a link to your video/radio clip and we'll add it to http://freegovinfo.info/video.

If you use Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com ) or some other RSS reader, consider subscribing to the FGI Feed at http://freegovinfo.info/blog/feed to get FGI stories as they are posted. Over 170 people already have.

New FGI Discussions: June 17, 2007

===============================
Know other people who work with federal government information? Get the FGI browser toolbar (http://fgi.ourtoolbar.com) for IE and Firefox. 270 people already have!
-------------------
Free Government Information now podcasts it's own programs! Subscribe at http://feeds.feedburner.com/FGIPodcast or check out the show archive at http://freegovinfo.info/podcasts.

================================

The Free Government Information (http://freegovinfo.info) volunteers posted the following stories this week:

Volunteer Posts:

* FGI Podcast #2 - FGI Roundtable, LOCKSS, Profile America, Scary Guy - Daniel
* Lunchtime Listen: Meredith Farkas on Open Source and other trends - Daniel
* LOUIS Shines Light on Congress, Executive - Daniel
* Good Luck, Mr. Weiss! - Daniel
* Open WorldCat Lists - What are implications? - Daniel
* What some documents librarians are tagging - Daniel
* Google mashup: books and maps - James R.
* David Rosenthal says "Do it for Preservation!" - Daniel
* Iowa Publications Online - Thanks SDLTF! - Daniel
* OpenHouse Project Op-Ed on Databases - James A.
* Google vs. Microsoft and the the role of the DOJ - James A.
* Big Brother in New Jersey - James A.

We're always looking for audio/video spots promoting depositories, government information or the Federal Depository Library Program. Please send a link to your video/radio clip and we'll add it to http://freegovinfo.info/video.

If you use Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com ) or some other RSS reader, consider subscribing to the FGI Feed at http://freegovinfo.info/blog/feed to get FGI stories as they are posted. Over 170 people already have.

Open WorldCat Lists - Any implications, uses?

I'm likely the last to know, but in case I'm not:

Open WorldCat lets registered users build lists that can be shared with anyone on the Internet. The lists can have notes. See an example I created at http://www.worldcat.org/profiles/dcornwall/lists/204 on tidal power in Alaska.

This looks like a great way to build bibliographies intended to be shared with wide audiences from many institutions. I could see it being helpful in government documents or state depository programs.

Do you see any use for it? If so, what?

FGI Alert: No privacy in 1958

===============================
Know other people who work with federal government information? Get the FGI
browser toolbar
(http://fgi.ourtoolbar.com)
for IE and Firefox. 270 people already have!
-------------------
Free Government Information now podcasts it's own programs! Subscribe at
http://feeds.feedburner.com/FGIPodcast
or check out the show archive at
http://freegovinfo.info/podcasts.

================================

The Berkeley Six and the Free Government Information
(http://freegovinfo.info)
volunteers posted the following stories this week:

Posts of the Berkeley Six:

Volunteer Posts:

We're always looking for audio/video spots promoting depositories, government
information or the Federal Depository Library Program. Please send a link to
your video/radio clip and we'll add it to
http://freegovinfo.info/video.

If you use Bloglines
(http://www.bloglines.com
) or some other RSS reader, consider subscribing to the FGI Feed at
http://freegovinfo.info/blog/feed
to get FGI stories as they are posted. Over 170 people already have.

We're nothing! The others are really sick!

This is a reflection on Mdoneil's recent thread on Venezuela that had a subthread on who are the worst torturers.

From Washington to Northern Ireland to Gaza the same depressing cry is heard:

We are completely innocent. We have never abandoned our values or our cherished faith. Anything we MIGHT have done PALES in comparison to the utter and complete barbarism of our enemies!

Everything we do is to protect our people, our homeland and our faith!

President Bush says this.
Ian Paisley says this.
Gerry Adams and Mahmoud Abass say this.

The world needs more than a blood dripping game of "You did it! You started it!" that extends back decades if not centuries.

How librarians can use social psychology (or at least try)

I've been doing some reading and reflecting on how librarians and other activists can use social psychology to influence attitudes. See my FGI blog entry at http://freegovinfo.info/node/1223 for details.

Think I'm on to something? Or crazy? Comment here or there!

New FGI Discussions: May 29, 2007

===============================
Know other people who work with federal government information? Get the FGI
browser toolbar
(http://fgi.ourtoolbar.com)
for IE and Firefox. Over 260 people already have!
-------------------
Free Government Information now podcasts it's own programs! Subscribe at
http://feeds.feedburner.com/FGIPodcast
or check out the show archive at
http://freegovinfo.info/podcasts.

================================

The Angie and the Free Government Information
(http://freegovinfo.info)
volunteers posted the following stories this week:

Angie's Posts:

Volunteer Posts:

We're always looking for audio/video spots promoting depositories, government
information or the Federal Depository Library Program. Please send a link to
your video/radio clip and we'll add it to
http://freegovinfo.info/video.

If you use Bloglines
(http://www.bloglines.com
) or some other RSS reader, consider subscribing to the FGI Feed at
http://freegovinfo.info/blog/feed
to get FGI stories as they are posted. Over 170 people already have.

Historical Photos: A Souvenir of Alaska

My library produces a number of really interesting and nice historical resources. Among these resources are a number of photograph collections that have been input into the Alaska Digital Archive. The electronic versions of these collections are now being put into OCLC WorldCat and our catalog, and I'd like to start highlighting these treasures.

So, here's the first one:

A Souvenir of Alaska and Tribute to the Man M. J. Heney, 1898-1900. ASL-PCA-340
http://vilda.alaska.edu/cdm4/results.php?CISOOP1=all&CISOBOX1=p340&CISOFIELD1=CISOSEARCHALL&CISOROOT=all

Some additional information about this collection can be found at its record on Open WorldCat.

This is something I'm doing as an individual and not as a part of my regular duties. But these collections are just too good not to share.

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