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Things the library should give out

    Things the library should give out as needed:
  • staples
  • golf pencils
  • scrap paper
  • breath mints

Man, did I have a patron today with bad oral hygiene.

PR newsletter and more firepower (I hope)

Because I have been out, there hasn't been a newsletter from the library to the staff since May of 2003. What really got me motivated was my principal's comment during a staff meeting (long story) that he was going to visit and he didn't know what went on in the library. Sigh. So, I type a rough draft idea because I am going to let the newspaper staff send one out for me. That way some students will know what is going on as well.

Book Lust

Whatever you do, don't read this book unless you've got a notebook handy and a lot of time free to read other books. My "To Read" booklist doubled when I skimmed through this.

Interestingly enough, while I recognized a few authors, Nancy seems to delight it talking about authors that you've never heard of in almost all the categories. Which is a Good Thing, of course

decidely non-library post

I drove by a library today, but alas, there was a super-white (as opposed to plain-old-white) Prius in Bennington, VT with our name on it, so we stopped not.

We hit the road at five-thirty five in a green Saturn this morning, and returned this evening at seven in our Prius. We got 52.6 MPG in less than optimal conditions (it was cold as hell as we passed over the mountains in central Massachusetts) and reached 0-60 without a hitch in less than ten seconds.

Friday Rambling Thoughts

The "Must Read Stories" topic has bugged me since the day I made it. I can't remember what I was thinking exactly (though I probably could figure it out by looking to see what the very first story was in the old LISNews Db), but it must've seemed like a good idea at the time. It's not used much, and seeing it on the homepage today kind of surprised me.

It's not that I'm against other authors calling something "Must Read," it's just that I can never seem to find a story important enough to apply such an honor. There've been some good stories over the years, Sony Barari, the Questia marketing thing, the interview with Pat Schroeder, and a few others, that I think everyone should've read at the time, but I just never feel that confident. I hate to "cry wolf" and use it too often, though never using it makes it equally useless I suppose.

Usually I think most of what I post should be read by everyone. Taking a quick peak at today's stories, yes, I'll stand by that statement. It was an eclectic mix of loosely library related stories that I think many people could learn something from. I know I took a bit away from everything I posted. The non-Blake stories were even better. Grades=driving, a nice google piece, a pro-filtering, book banning… all over the map, and that's just why I love reading LISNews, I never know what to expect next (Yes, obviously this can go too far). That's why it's not just my site, it's ours, it's not a meblog, it's a weblog. The past few weeks have seen a huge jump in the number of authors, or at least a huge jump in the number of people with the potential to be an author. I've added close to 30 new author accounts, though few have posted yet. In the 4+ years we've been around a lot of people have come and gone, very few have stayed on for more than a year or 2. The collaboration between all us authors, and all the other LISNewsterz is what makes the site so much fun, often the comments are often as interesting as the story itself.

I've been criticized in the past for not taking a more active role in editing LISNews. People have told me I should think of myself as a journalist, an editor, and act like it by forcing the LISNews authors to fall in line and focus the site. I have always waved my paw and said "bah" to those suggestions. It's all about collaboration, and I don't think we need more control at this point. I do think of LISNews as being journalisticISH, but I've never felt it fits the traditional definition of journalism. It's darn close, but we're not there yet, we're missing the originality that I would expect from a true gang of journalists (a gang of journalists come together and form some form of media outlet, which generally sells ads, and therefore becomes an advertising company). As the site matures I hope we do start to do our own original reporting, interviews, and whatever else we can come up with. Weblogs have not yet revolutionized journalism, but they may be causing some small amount of change, and that could lead to something. The day my mom tells me she read something on a blog is the day I think blogs have really caused a shift.

Weblog: You soaking in it
Meblog: One person's weblog
Post: Add a new story to the site; a story on the site
LISNewsterz: People who participate @LISNews
LISNews authors: People who have secret powers to post stories
Stories: Things that appear on the index page
Thread: The resulting discussion that sometimes ensues
Journal: Something every LISNewster has to write in/on/with
El-Eye-Ess-News-Dot-Com: LISNews.com

Yet more snow - looks like New York

Ha, looks like New York around here. I may even give up grits. Just joking. We have had about eight inches of snow. WOW.

So, my son is still stuffed up, but I did find my kitchen counter. If I work some more, I may even have something to wear. Then, tomorrow, I can work on finding the floor. They have invented a robot vacuum cleaner that you can just let loose to do the rugs. Why haven't they invented a robot to do laundry and pick up clutter?

Well, at least the woodstove is going, and I am toasty warm.

From the snowy South ...

A Statement

A thought I have had recently:Library science graduate work does not involve sitting around all day eating bon-bons, tearing up ILL forms, blowing off colleagues, torturing undergraduates, having a social life and doing such like that. There is work to be done like learning cataloging!

filters

I got to play with the filter today. Or that is, I got to play with the last obstacle in getting the Linux terminal out. It's on the floor, it's ready to go. It's beautiful. But I can't get the filter to work with it. It shouldn't matter what browser I use, but it's not blocking a thing. I've been testing it. Now everyone thinks I'm a pervert.

No, they don't. They know why I'm doing it. I'm not liking it much though. It's sort of embarrassing. I always forget about the filter... I put the whole computer out on the floor and set it up for public consumption, and wham! I thought, "Shoot, the filter..."

So if anyone knows how to alter the Opera.ini file to get the proxy settings working send me the bit of code. The nice folks on the Opera board tried, but I'm still getting some nasty stuff when I type in "full frontal nudity". Our filter software is housed in Boston, in front of the firewall. I'm beginning to wonder about how well it all works anyway.

Oh my god, my head is going to explode! Too much to take in.

Today a woman accused a man of staring at her while she typed her email. She's right, he was. Like everyone there stares at each other on the computers. He was keeping his distance, though, so I didn't say anything. Well, keeping his distance more than most patrons. Then she got in a tussel with him, and I went over. She said that it was so loud in the library she couldn't think and that for the last twenty minutes (at the ten minute email terminal, I might add) she was getting stared at. She told me how uncomfortable that made her...

...then she touched my arm. Okay, I have this thing about being touched. You don't do it. That makes me uncomfortable. So whereas I could relate to her discomfort, and I can relate to her lamenting that people were staring, somehow I lost some sympathy. I told her I understood, and when I came over the guy backed off.

Being new, not only to this job but to the library field in general, I have little to go on as to where to draw the line at behavior. I don't want to stop kids from talking in the library if they are legitimately studying as well.... I don't want them to be loud, and I don't want to turn them off libraries forever. I do taking being stared at and being touched or any unwelcome approaches seriously. I do. It bugs the bejeebies out of me. But I also realize it's a public place, and people do have the right to sit there and... well... look at things. Preferably books, but if someone wants to look at the scenery and they aren't bothering anyone, then I'm not going to say anything. But I haven't gotten enough experience to really know where to draw the line.

Moreso, it's a relatively close public space. You're never really far from someone else. And people don't seem to realize that internet terminals are like ATMs... there's a code of conduct as to how close you stand. There is one particular chronic offender, who got mad at us yesterday and left in a huff. .

I am the systems librarian. I like technology. I like to share technology. I like people to benefit from technology. But boy, do I dislike people fighting over computers. For whatever reason. It's just silly.

There will be rioting when the access is card only. But that's the way it's going to be.

One day, I'd like to see two patrons get in a fist fight over who gets to take out War and Peace next. Sigh.

GUESS WHAT???? Tomorrow... we get a Prius! We found one in Vermont and will be there at nine tomorrow to pick it up. It's a white one, AI package. Almost exactly what we wanted. We wanted that particular package, in silver. White was our third color choice, but hey. Time to see if I can put Linux on it.

New Species of Fruit Discovered!

Think berries. Ummmmm...... What comes to mind? We’ve all heard of strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, boysenberries, mulberries, etc.

What then is a LIE – BERRY?

Yes, I now work in a middle to upper class suburban school district, but before that, I was a public librarian – wait – or is that liberrian? Since things are absolutely dead serious at work with budget cuts and other crazy things going on, I think I will share some of my public library adventures. Humor keeps me sane. Well, that is a matter of opinion.

my birthday!!!

Use this to wish me a happy birthday! Yes, it's true. I'm 44 today. Man, do I feel old.

Unfathomably Horrid Day, with Budget Implications

I snapped. Went of the deep end. Had a cow. Flipped out. Suffice to say, that tears that have not graced my cheeks in nearly eight years (love those SSRIs) fell in abundance yesterday morning.

Due to an uncanny confluence of boring personal events, I arrived 30 minutes late to work. I phoned the school secretary, and arranged the details with her, and went about getting a ride to school.

Snow

So, it is snowing. Very pretty. I'm torn between being thrilled because I can put stuff up and find the house (I think I have a house - I'm not sure - I can't see it) and being irate because I will have to make this day up at work. They really need to build more snow days into the calendar.

Preservation grunt Feb. 26

- A nice recording of the Montreal Symphony from the mid-seventies. This fine 1/4 inch audio tape is encoded with Dolby noise reduction.

- Argh, no it's not. Re-jig dubbing equipment.

- Wait! The label and documentation say it is Dolby encoded! Argh! Throw out CD-R. Start again tomorrow.

[next day]

- Re-jig dubbing equipment to decode Dolby.

- Wait! That timpani doesn't sound right! (No CD-Rs harmed this time) Argh^3

- "Audio engineer, is this encoded with Dolby?"

An Icky Day

Snow, cold, wet...it must be library school in the Allegheny foothills!Now just to figure out how to apply AACR2r 2002 (with annotations to bring it up to the 2003 revisions) as to electronic integrating resources...

children's room

Somehow I ended up in the children's room last night to cover while there was a book group. I don't mind once in awhile, but let's go on record that I'm not fond of kids. I choose to be kid free. That being said, I appreciate that parents and teachers (and school librarians) have probably the most difficult jobs in the world. Although it was a bit of a refreshing change to unite kids with Clifford rather than throw out adults for having spent the last five hours hogging the internet.

I looked at our internet sign up sheet, which seemed to have the same six or seven names all over it. That worries me some. When the time management software is implemented, it really is going to be an hour a day. I mean, I know damn well people are going into chat rooms and that's what's sucking up the time. I don't know what to do though -- it's kind of a fine balance between, "Hi, I'm looking at your screen to check up on you" and patron privacy. Some chat rooms look a lot like email boards.

Today I am going to spend time tweaking the Linux box, to hopefully be put out the beginning of next week. The iMac will then be moved either back to Internet terminal #2 or I'll take the second one downstairs to put OS X Panther on it in peace. Linux is getting a warm reception from the staff as I kind of explained what I am trying to achieve with it.

Reference books are mighty expensive. I found we had one version of a series on standing order, when we really need both it and it's companion series on standing order. What a racket. After putting another series on standing order last month, I'm a little worried that this is decimating the budget.

So how late are your public libraries open? Last night I had a patron complain we were only open till nine (computers shut off at eight thirty, or we'd never get out of there). I think that's pretty late for a public library, many of which in the state have limited hours. I also explained we were open Saturdays, which isn't necessarily always the case as well. I don't know... the public library at midnight could be a dangerous place. Things people don't realize.

EBooks, EGads, Not Me

I love the concept. I want the reference ones because they could automatically be updated, and I could clean some shelves.

So, why don't I buy some?

Visit my school library. Heck, visit the school. Every teacher has one archaic barely squeeking into the Pentium age computer. They might as well be on dial-up. Visit the computer lab. Twenty-five of the same old computers. My library sports four brand new computers and four old models. One of the new ones has been broken since December. One since January. I serve 650 students. You do the math.

Toner

I have called, weekly, for the past several weeks trying to get toner for our print station. We're not out yet, but I suspect that we soon will be. It gets used a lot. This particular toner cartridge has alledgedly been ordered a billion times, and we have yet to see it.

Today, between local history, reference, and info, I need to devote some time to weeding reference, as a fellow LISnewser reminded me. I hadn't forgotten, actually, I'm just kind of avoiding it. With a passion.

Tix for The Passion

Churches and bible societies all over are buying up jillions of tickets to Mel Gibson's move to donate to the public. Too bad they can't spend the money on canned food for the hungry or winter coats for the homeless. Meanwhile, I haven't decided if I'm going to see the flick...I did like "Maverick" ...and I don't mind subtitles...but if I see it, I'm spending my own ten bucks!

On Moderation

The LISNews Moderation Reasons are unchanged from the stock Slashcode reasons:
Normal
Offtopic
Flamebait
Troll
Redundant
Insightful
Interesting
Informatice
Funny
Overrated
Underrated.

Normal really isn't a reason, it's just a nothing, Over & Underrated can both be applied to any comment previously moderated as something you disagree with. Offtopic & Flamebait both seem useful, and are usually well used.
But what about Troll, is there really a big difference between a Troll and Flamebait?

some internet, mostly cop

Librarianism is much like policework. Did anyone notice the word librarianism sounds a lot like a disease? I spent much of my time on information and reference doing crowd control, which went better today than it did yesterday.

Speaking of police, they called this morning, looking for a patron. No Patriot Act. They found his wallet, and in it his library card. They called us so we could look up his number, call him, and tell him to call them. Of course, his number was out of service. And he owed us thirty cents.

The moral of the story: keep your library records up to date.

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