Walt's blog

One that won't be in the next C&I

I'm a ways from doing the March Cites & Insights, but I just finished (I hope) writing the first draft of what's likely to be the longest chunk of the issue, a "Library Stuff" set that cites and comments on several separate articles as well as some of the articles in the tenth anniversary issues of D-Lib Magazine and Ariadne.

(Yes, the "four cancellations" post at Walt at Random was procrastination: the first article in Ariadne requiring comment was a 13,000-word landmark by Lorcan Dempsey, and I had to work up to writing about it...)

There was one more article that I'd printed out and that survived an initial winnowing: "Crying wolf: An examination and reconsideration of the perception of crisis in LIS education," by Andrew Dillon and April Norris, which appeared in the Fall 2005 Journal of Education for Library and Information Science. As the title suggests, Dillon (dean at U. Texas Austin's School of Information) and Norris (a master's student in that school) take issue with the cries of Michael Gorman and others regarding a crisis in today's library/information science schools.

I've just reread the article. I'm not going to add it to the "Library Stuff" section (which is 5,900 words already).

Not because it's not well done: It's very well done.

Not because I'm automatically in agreement with Gorman: By now, after "blog people" and several other issues, it should be clear that having coauthored a book with Michael Gorman 11 years ago does not mean I agree with him on any given issue today.

Nope. What finally dissuaded me was the sense that I just don't know enough to comment intelligently on either side of this issue. Not that that always stops me, but this time it did.

I haven't been to library school. I'm increasingly unlikely to do so. If I did, it would probably be a "library school"--the one at San Jose State University, which still does include the L-word and is, I believe, well respected for educating would-be librarians. And, frankly, I don't read so much of the formal refereed library literature that I have a strong opinion as to its strengths and weaknesses.

Thanks to blogs, I'm aware of a lot more newly-graduated and not-yet-graduated library school/information school students than I was, say, a decade ago. Among that group, I don't see some blind allegiance to technology at the expense of library values and the traditional aspects of librarianship--at least not very often. I see a lot of thoughtful and interesting people.

I think Dillon and Norris do a pretty good job of undermining some claims of crisis. So maybe this is a sub-citation: Not quite part of C&I, but a mild comment on what seems to be a good article, from one who's really not in a position to make coherent judgments in the area.

Hardware affection (not quite love)...and a web service too

I'm one of those touch typists (80wpm adjusting for errors: Thank you, junior high school) who loves the Microsoft Natural Keyboard, and will swear that it's saved me from RSI. I've used the same one at home for maybe five years now (I'm not sure how long); it's a little grungy, but what the hey. And my "new" (now 38 month old) home PC came with a Logitech-built optical mouse, back when that was still a $20 upgrade, and of course I've loved that. Even if the mouse wire can be somewhat of a hassle.

I looked at wireless keyboards and mice, if only to cut back on the rat's nest of wires. With my sleek new Sony LCD display (good industrial design is always a pleasure, particularly when combined with first-rate engineering), cleaning up the desk seems even more worthwhile.

But the mice were expensive on their own--and the mouse/keyboard wireless combos, relatively economical by comparison, had one fatal drawback. There's no way I'd go back to a standard keyboard unless a very sizable bribe was involved. Very sizable.

Times change, and special situations provide special incentives. Thanks to a recent visit to Redmond, I'm typing this on a sleek black Microsoft Natural Multimedia keyboard, black and silver to match my old/new Gateway and the Sony, and wireless. It's the newer "elite" Natural, a little narrower than the original. And moving the cursor with a Wireless IntelliMouse, which seemed like it might be blocky (it's taller than my old mouse) but turns out to be a perfect hand-fit. The two extra buttons are OK too (well, three if you include the scroll wheel); I kept the "magnify" feature assigned by default to one (a fairly slick 5x-magnification window I didn't know Windows XP had),and assigned double-click to one that's hard to hit accidentally.

Then there's the scroll wheel itself. I don't use scrolling that much, partly because the wheels have been a little clunky. This one is...smooth is the word that comes to mind. I can see using it a lot more. As an extra whistle, it's a sideways wheel as well, for apps where that makes sense: you can noodge the wheel left or right.

Color me happy. As to the web service? See my W.a.r. post about Pandora. This just might sucker me into listening to more music and a broader range of music. Which might or might not be a good thing.

Cites & Insights 6:3 available

Cites & Insights 6:3, February 2006, is now available for downloading.

The PDF issue is 22 pages long. Each section except "My Back Pages" is also available in HTML, with links on the C&I home page.

This issue includes the following essays:

This post does not exist

OK, I have to say it somewhere. I wrote it as a comment on a blog posting, then deleted it. I included it as an offtopic paragraph in the final pre-Midwinter post at Walt at Random--then deleted it.

I was noting a post that said the person making the post welcomed discussion of a particular set of notions and a controversial name for that set of notions, with two exceptions: The person didn't welcome any objections to the controversial name, and the person didn't welcome key doubts about the notions.

Semi-political Tuesday

I love this country. Really I do. On the other hand:

The Chilean election makes me wonder when someone like that would ever be elected President or even Vice President in the U.S.--or, for that matter, even to the Senate.

By "like that" I don't mean a woman (both of "my" senators have that distinction, and I think we'll see a female U.S. president before I die).

I don't even mean a free-market socialist, although that's wildly unlikely.

Nope. What I mean is: She's an avowed agnostic.

The joys of obsession

Can you imagine? Here I spent more than two weeks assembling, editing, revising, re-revising, re-editing, and finally preparing an oversize C&I about Library 2.0 and "Library 2.0"--and never once thought about Teleread.

Which, of course, didn't stop the inimitable David Rothman from assuming that my remark about national public library systems (based on Talis' white paper) must be an attack on Teleread, and proceeding to lambaste me not only on Teleread's blog but here as well--and somehow have me attacking ebooks, audiobooks, assistive technology, and who knows what else?

Cites & Insights 6:2 - a special issue

Cites & Insights 6:2, Midwinter 2006 is now available for downloading.

This is a special issue, 32 pages long in PDF form, consisting of one essay:

Library 2.0 and "Library 2.0"

Included are quotes and comments from some three dozen sources, some of them new to the discussion.

100?

I just noticed that last night's announcement of the new C&I was the 100th entry in this journal.

And my followup on a C&I get-together at ALA Midwinter was the 200th entry at Walt at Random.

Although that might not be quite accurate: There may have been one or two posts that never got posted, and they'd still get numbers.

Cosmic significance? None...except that, given my goal of "two posts a week" at W.a.R., I could stop posting altogether for the next 50 weeks or so. Not that it'll happen...

Cites & Insights 6:1 available

Cites & Insights 6:1, January 2006, is now available for downloading.

The 24-page issue is PDF as usual. Except for "My Back Pages"--a new section that's exclusively part of the complete issue--all sections are also available as HTML separates from the home page.

This issue includes:

Cites & Insights 5:13 available (special issue)

A special Mid-Fall 2005 issue of Cites & Insights (5:13) is now available. (Well, Fall begins September 22 and ends December 20; November 1 is about as "mid" as you can get.)

This 20-page issue consists of two Perspectives:

Nineteen, maybe

By now you've heard about the Time 100 Novels list and probably seen lots of blog entries noting which novels the blogger has read.

I can swear to 16. I think I've read 19, but there are three cases where it was so long ago that I might have just seen the movie...

No list. Surprisingly, my list doesn't include all of the (few) SF novels...e.g., I should get around to Snowcrash in about 10 years at the rate I'm catching up with SF novels.

Cites & Insights 5:12 (November 2005) available

Cites & Insights 5:12, November 2005 is now available for downloading.

This 22-page issue (PDF, but HTML versions of each essay are available from the home page) includes:

Me too

I noticed something odd in my Bloglines scan this morning: Seems like one out of three updated library blogs had updates consisting of either:

"I'm giving up on blogging for awhile, until real life settles down a bit"

or

"I'm out of here for X days; blogging will return upon my return."

Since this journal is reduced to pitiful leftovers anyway, neither such message would make any sense--and I haven't given up on blogging (at Walt at Random), since the frequency there has always been unpredictable.

Cites & Insights 5:11 available

Cites & Insights 5:11, October 2005 is now available for downloading.

I like to think of this as a nice short 20-page issue accompanied by feedback and followups on "Investigating the Biblioblogosphere," but that brings the actual issue up to 26 pages.

Here's what's there--and those who detest PDF can reach each essay separately, in HTML form, from the C&I home page.

Another post unposted

I wrote a whole entry here about why I just unsubbed from one of the many excess Bloglines subs I've had recently--mostly because the blogger claimed a societal bias against religion, and used as evidence an article that said not one word about religion, but did discuss efforts to fight homophobia. Given the seeming equation of religion and homophobia (and the absurd idea that America is somehow anti-religious, I guess because non-believers still aren't burned at the stake or "deported" immediately), I just gave up on the blog.

Political Wednesday?

My response to NBruce's response to my comment on her journal posting, here,
[quick time out to catch breath over that chain], should probably have been posted here instead.

Anyone who thinks all liberals are on a single "team" hasn't paid much attention to the Democratic Party. Anyone who puts me on that "team" is doing a black-and-white, fur-us-or-agin-us that I've come to accept is regarded by, oh, GregS* and NBruce and some others here as the Only Proper Way.

I'm not buying it. It's as ludicrous (in my not at all humble opinion) as asserting that anyone who disagrees with Bush's policies is a "Bush hater." (At this point, on one policy, that even includes Dr. Frist--but Repubs. don't get called "Bush haters.")

I've tried to stay reasonably apolitical here and at Walt at Random and even more so at Cites & Insights. Of course, my idea of apolitical isn't that of some readers. Clearly, for example, believing there should be some balance within copyright, based on the U.S. Constitution, is regarded as extremely political to some (on both ends of the political spectrum, in this case).

I don't expect to post a series of political posts here, on Wednesdays or any other day. Not that I don't care about politics; I just prefer not to let it control every aspect of my life, and there are too many people writing too many things about politics already.

I suspect I won't respond to any further responses on NBruce's journal, both because it's her podium, not mine, and because I don't see anyone's mind being changed or anyone being usefully informed by the discussion. Although I certainly found it informative to see that NBruce believes that David Duke and Timothy McVeigh can be equated with Ted Kennedy and Sen. Wellstone! (I'm not making this up--I don't think I could make that up: follow the link at the top of this post and look at the comments.)

I keep being reminded of why satire is so hard to write these days...

Cites & Insights 5:10 (September 2005) available

Cites & Insights 5:10, September 2005 is now available for downloading--or you can reach individual essays in HTML form from the Cites & Insights home page.

A light & fluffy summer issue would be perfect right about now--but this 24-page issue, with a total of four essays, probably isn't it. (I address that issue in "Bibs & Blather.")

What's here:

Making a fool of myself

Nothing new about that. And I should know that weblogs offer wonderful opportunities to do stupid things.

Still, I think it's worth noting this screwup--which I will leave up, albeit with the explanation embedded, because my Good Librarian instincts say you shouldn't delete something once it's published, even if it's a little humiliating.

Oh, and the joys of conversational blogs: Two readers caught the hoax within an hour or two of my post. I get great comments--for which I'm eternally thankful.

New website

For both of you who were wondering, my personal website has moved to
waltcrawford.name, hosted by Lishost.org.

Thanks to Blake Carver for helping me get going on Lishost.

My old website is now nothing more than a "Moved!" announcement and pointer to the new site, and it will disappear in a couple of months (since it's the only reason I'm retaining my at&t dialup account).

D.F.T.T.

Arggh.

Sometimes it's not easy to remember that key saying.

Sometimes you get hit with another slam from the "if you're not 100% with us, you're 100% against us" school of non-thought, and you really want to respond.

Until you remember that:

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