Blogs

New York Diaries: 1609 to 2009

New York Diaries: 1609 to 2009
See: http://libwire.blogspot.com/2012/01/new-york-diaries-1609-to-2009.html

The Craft of Research

The Craft of Research, Third Edition (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)

Book description: With more than 400,000 copies now in print, The Craft of Research is the unrivaled resource for researchers at every level, from first-year undergraduates to research reporters at corporations and government offices.

Seasoned researchers and educators Gregory G. Colomb and Joseph M. Williams present an updated third edition of their classic handbook, whose first and second editions were written in collaboration with the late Wayne C. Booth. The Craft of Research explains how to build an argument that motivates readers to accept a claim; how to anticipate the reservations of readers and to respond to them appropriately; and how to create introductions and conclusions that answer that most demanding question, “So what?” -- Read More

The Billionaire Who Wasn't

Book: The Billionaire Who Wasn't: How Chuck Feeney Secretly Made and Gave Away a Fortune

Chuck Feeney was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to a blue-collar Irish-American family during the Depression. After service in the Korean War, he made a fortune as founder of Duty Free Shoppers, the world’s largest duty-free retail chain. By 1988, he was hailed by Forbes Magazine as the twenty-fourth richest American alive. But secretly Feeney had already transferred all his wealth to his foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies. Only in 1997 when he sold his duty free interests, was he “outed” as one of the greatest and most mysterious American philanthropists in modern times. After going “underground” again, he emerged in 2005 to cooperate on a biography promoting giving while living. Now in his mid-seventies, Feeney is determined his foundation should spend down the remaining $4 billion in his lifetime.

Mr. Feeney is currently in the news for donating $350 million to build a science school in New York City.

Article: Cornell Alumnus Is Behind $350 Million Gift to Build Science School in City

If I were a poor, out-of-work librarian

Holy Crap. Some guy at Forbes wrote an article called, "If I Were A Poor Black Kid." Why a poor, black kid? Why didn't he just say, "If I were a kid"? If you remove "poor black" from his essay, it still makes grammatical sense AND it doesn't sound like some WHITE guy just got total amnesia about our history. So if you read the article, just try to ignore that it's completely misplaced advice, but try to focus on the details. Otherwise, damn, he sounds stupid.

With that in mind, I'm going to attempt to solve all the problems of the out-of-work librarian. And it will probably sound just as stupid.

IF I WERE A POOR OUT-OF-WORK LIBRARIAN.

If you're a librarian and unemployed, I don't need to tell you that there are lots of other librarians out there looking for a job.

If I were a poor, out-of-work librarian, I would read "If I Were A Poor Black Kid." And I would do what the author says to do about "getting technical." Most of this stuff can be learned through your local library. I hope you knew that.

If possible, I would learn another language. As much as I could. I would give up my free time and devote every second to making myself the most attractive candidate for the job. But for now, I'll assume you've made it past the application stage and have been called for an interview. -- Read More

How Can We Harness This?

"I read an interesting, if depressing article the other day about how many people are now going to bookstores to browse the shelves, making a note of what they see and then buying that book from an online retailer for a cheaper price. It’s become such a ubiquitous practice that it’s got its own name: showcasing, and booksellers (rightly) hate it. Admittedly, I’ve done a similar thing, but it’s so that I could then go to the library and check it out for free."

Full Post at Closedstacks.com: http://www.closedstacks.com/?p=3356

Bad Library Board Members

I had an interesting conversation with a colleague (who is, coincidentally, my manager as well) the other day. We were discussing the differences in how the generations view “need vs. want” and how “going without” now is a rather different concept compared to what it was a few decades ago. If you really compare the idea of “going without” to how people lived during the Depression Era, you will see a stark contrast in views about material goods vs. what we need to sustain ourselves on a day – to – day basis. She had commented to me that her mother, who grew up during the Depression, once lived in a home with twelve other people (family and renters) in order to scrape enough money together so everyone could eat. Imagine doing that now, she said…most people can’t.

Full posting at Closed Stacks: http://www.closedstacks.com/?p=3352

Cites & Insights special issue now available

A special issue of Cites & Insights is now available for downloading (or reading in your browser) at http://citesandinsights.info/hiatus.pdf

This two-page unnumbered issue consists of one brief essay:
Not With a Bang ... (pp. 1-2)

Going on hiatus.

There will be no more issues in Volume 11. If and when there is an index, it will only be part of the annual volume available at Lulu, if and when that volume is available.

Demographic Rambling

Four years of podcasting with LISNews.org has been interesting. The statistics make things even more interesting. Sadly, I do not have a complete set of data points. Those that I do have worry me.

Location is key. When it comes to covering the Library & Information Science world, our main focus is not geography but instead topical matters. Based upon what data I can derive from FeedBurner's limited statistics, we may cover the right topical matters but hit all the wrong areas of geographical coverage.

From the limited geographical data I have, the bulk of listeners to LISTen: An LISNews.org Program happen to be located in places like the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Canada. US listenership actually comes in a bit lower than would be expected. This may also reflect regional preferences in how you subscribe to podcast content since the FeedBurner link is but one way to subscribe. We simply lack data for some means of subscribing to the podcast.

What can I do with having primarily a foreign audience while the content is primarily produced with a domestic US focus? Some changes in content focus may be necessary perhaps. The big problem with that is that we have virtually no budget and are tethered to the south shores of Lake Erie in a township called Ashtabula. We really do not have the assets in place to cover stories in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Canada. Expansion of assets would otherwise be necessary and we do not have a way to do so quite just yet.

The fifth year of the program is now underway. I want to make changes this year. A big one would be to secure funding for shortwave distribution. With the lessons of this year in terms of how fragile the Internet is, having a backup is important. Considering how much of the listenership is located outside North America, such would be a viable backup that would also skirt around national blacklists and firewalls.

Getting the resources to cover foreign stories is an even harder thing than simply buying blocks of airtime with money we don't have. Foreign collaborators would be necessary. Without any way to compensate them it is kinda hard to recruit such people. Indigenous correspondents would allow for better coverage anyhow compared to trying to secure a travel budget and visa clearances for international travel. We could previously handle this sort of thing through judicious use of Skype but with as unreliable as Time Warner Cable has been locally we cannot go with that option.

These speed results help illuminate what we are paying USD$39.95 to get:



The easy part is knowing what you want to do. The hard part is finding the resources to bring such to fruition. The search for resources is the big challenge for year five, it seems.

Creative Commons License
Demographic Rambling by Stephen Michael Kellat is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at erielookingproductions.info. -- Read More

Fire Aside, Other Kindles Also Shine

NYT article by David Pogue: Fire Aside, Other Kindles Also Shine

Anyone here own a Kindle Touch? What do you think about it?

Roger McNamee: Six ways to save the internet

The next big shift is now, and it’s not what you think: Facebook is the new Windows; Google must be sacrificed. At TEDxSantaCruz, tech investor Roger McNamee presents 6 bold ways to prepare for the next internet.

Survey Says Library Users Are Your Best Customers

Survey Says Library Users Are Your Best Customers
Groundbreaking new study shows value of libraries to the book—and the e-book—business

Story at Publisher's Weekly

Redbox rental prices to rise

The new rental rate will be $1.20 per day, instead of the current $1 daily rate. Redbox prices will remained unchanged for Blu-ray discs at $1.50 per day and video games at $2 per day.

See article in USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/story/2011-10-27/redbox-dvd-rental-prices/50970590/1

Announcement at Redbox website:
http://www.redbox.com/pricechange

Capture the Flag: A Political History of American Patriotism

Capture the Flag: A Political History of American Patriotism

Americans honor the flag with a fervor seen in few other countries: The Stars and Stripes decorate American homes and businesses; wave over sports events and funerals; and embellish everything from politicians’ lapels to the surface of the moon.

But what does the flag mean? In Capture the Flag, historian Woden Teachout reveals that it has held vastly different meanings over time. It has been claimed by both the right and left; by racists and revolutionaries; by immigrants and nativists. In tracing the political history of the flag from its origins in the American Revolution through the present day, Teachout demonstrates that the shifting symbolism of the flag reveals a broader shift in the definition of American patriotism.

A story of a nation in search of itself, Capture the Flag offers a probing account of the flag that has become America’s icon.

Pilgrimage

Pilgrimage took Annie Leibovitz to places that she could explore with no agenda. She wasn’t on assignment. She chose the subjects simply because they meant something to her. The first place was Emily Dickinson’s house in Amherst, Massachusetts, which Leibovitz visited with a small digital camera. A few months later, she went with her three young children to Niagara Falls. “That’s when I started making lists,” she says. She added the houses of Virginia Woolf and Charles Darwin in the English countryside and Sigmund Freud’s final home, in London, but most of the places on the lists were American. The work became more ambitious as Leibovitz discovered that she wanted to photograph objects as well as rooms and landscapes. She began to use more sophisticated cameras and a tripod and to travel with an assistant, but the project remained personal. -- Read More

A Carpenter's Life

A Carpenter's Life as Told by Houses

From one of Fine Homebuilding’s best-loved authors, Larry Haun, comes a unique story that looks at American home building from the perspective of twelve houses he has known intimately. Part memoir, part cultural history, A Carpenter’s Life as Told by Houses takes the reader house by house over an arc of 100 years. Along with period photos, the author shows us the sod house in Nebraska where his mother was born, the frame house of his childhood, the production houses he built in the San Fernando Valley, and the Habitat for Humanity homes he devotes his time to now. It’s an engaging read written by a veteran builder with a thoughtful awareness of what was intrinsic to home building in the past and the many ways it has evolved. Builders and history lovers will appreciate his deep connection to the natural world, yearning for simplicity, respect for humanity, and evocative notion of what we mean by “home.”

See: A Carpenter's Life as Told by Houses

New Book Details Steve Jobs’s Fight Against Cancer

A biography says the Apple co-founder’s decision to put off surgery infuriated his family, friends and physicians.

Article here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/21/technology/book-offers-new-details-of-...

The book: Steve Jobs

Amazon lockers

Story about Amazon lockers in NYC. These lockers allow for packages to be delivered to a locker. Buyer is given a code to open the locker. I assume these are for people that do not have a good drop off location at their apartment.

See article at engadget:
http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/17/amazon-lockers-come-to-nyc-no-more-getting-caught-by-ups-...

Kindle Touch

One thing the video shows is Kindle x-ray that is a feature people may not be aware of even if they are generally very knowledgeable about ebook readers.

Kindle Touch, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display - includes Special Offers & Sponsored Screensavers on Amazon

Netflix Abandons Plan to Rent DVDs on Qwikster

The company said it had decided to keep its DVD-by-mail and online streaming services together under one name.

Story in the NYT blog - Media Decoder

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