This Week at South Sioux City Public Library

The following was published this week in the Dakota County (Nebraska) Star and online at

Special Movie Presentation in Memory of Audrey Murphy
The library will host a Special Movie on Wednesday February 1st at 6:30 p.m. We visit the lawless frontier village of Shinbone, a town plagued by a larger-than-life nemesis, Liberty Valance. The town lawyer and a local rancher share the same desire to rid the town of Liberty Valance and winning the hand of the same woman. The movie stars Lee Marvin, James Stewart and John Wayne. The movie is shown in memorial to Audrey Murphy, who was both a supporter of the library and a great John Wayne fan.

Technology Classes
Mon. Jan 30, 10am Word 2: We will add to our knowledge from Word 1 and expand a little bit more. We will discuss the ruler, insert/overtype, cut and paste, using the clipboard, and paragraph styles.

Mon. Jan 30, 2pm Using Reference Sources: By using reference tools, we will cover how to find information on Wilson Web, eLibrary and HeritageQuest.

Mon. Jan 30, 6pm Your Library Web Page: Learn everything that you have available on the library web page. How to renew books, how to search for jobs, find out important information, what books your favorite author has written. All this information will be revealed and more.

Tues. Jan 31, 6pm Excel 3: If you need to insert a chart into an Excel worksheet, this class will teach you how. We will also talk about page breaks and printing your document.

Privacy, Technology And Law

Opinion piece in the NYT

Excerpt: EVERY day, those of us who live in the digital world give little bits of ourselves away. On Facebook and LinkedIn. To servers that store our e-mail, Google searches, online banking and shopping records. Does the fact that so many of us live our lives online mean we have given the government wide-open access to all that information?

George Washington's America

George Washington's America: A Biography Through His Maps From his teens until his death, the maps George Washington drew and purchased were always central to his work. After his death, many of the most important maps he had acquired were bound into an atlas. The atlas remained in his family for almost a century before it was sold and eventually ended up at Yale University's Sterling Memorial Library.
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Cites & Insights 12:1 (January-February 2012) available

I won't say Cites & Insights is really back from hiatus, but for now let's say "irregularly published."

Cites & Insights Volume 12, Issue 1 (January-February 2012) is now available for downloading at

The 20-page issue, PDF as usual, contains three sections, each separately available in HTML form (the subheadings are links):
Bibs & Blather pp. 1-7

Announcing The Librarian's Guide to Micropublishing and why (almost) every public library and (many) academic libraries need it--and some notes on the virtues of professional editing. Also announcing the availability of Cites & Insights 11 (2011) in book form and offering some numbers for Cites & Insights readership in 2011, some not-very-meaningful notes about most-read posts in Walt at Random (which increasingly seems to be "read" mostly by spiders and spammers), and repeating my Prospectus: An Ongoing Public Library Social Network Scan.

Making it Work: It's Academic (or Not) pp. 7-12

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The Information Diet

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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?”

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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 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.

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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

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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.

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Cites & Insights special issue now available

A special issue of Cites & Insights is now available for downloading (or reading in your browser) at

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

Going on hiatus.

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Demographic Rambling

Four years of podcasting with 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 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

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?

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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.
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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

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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

Announcement at Redbox website:

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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.
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