Makes Adsense to Me!

I've been stealthily running Google Ads on the old LISNews pages (e.g. here or Here for about a month now, just to see what happens.
I'm suprised at the results, and so far I think it may let me run LISNews on a server alone. I only need to make $6 a day to have it pay for a decent server, and by just running the ads that may happen. I feel like less of a sell out running those ads for some reason. I guess because I don't actually sell the ads, I just make a few cents every time some does a clickity-click through.
With the number of pages we server, and the same click through percentage, LISNews could be a free service for me for the first time! Getting LISNews off of LISHost would make life much easier for me.

Anyone have any problems with Google Ads on LISNews?

11-12-03 7am: To answer tangognat & mcbrides questions below, yes, I've thought about Text ads ala Mefi or K5, my experiment started by reading Matt's Blogging for Dollars. I've often thought about selling text ads, but opted not to for one reason or another so far. Seems like alot of extra work?

Anybody got a stamp?--counting our blessings

I just returned from a training session for an ALA/National Video Resources grant program in Oakland, CA where 25 librarians and their 25 partner/scholars got tips and support for a new video/discusssion program on the Sixties. It's always good to get out of the home office and see what's going on in the larger world, but it was pretty stunning to talk to folks in different situations.

I'm a pretty experienced programmer and talked to a couple folks who were new to programming. I offered what I thought was pretty good advice about our standard practices for publicizing any sort of programs or services. But what my library considers basic PR is next to impossible for some (many?) libraries out there. I spoke with a librarian who said "we don't have a postage budget," after I told her about our mailing lists. When I gave her ideas for shagging flyers around town she said, "we don't have a paper budget." There were similar stories, all of which shouldn't have, but absolutely blew my mind.

I read, and even post the horror stories on It was only after talking to people who live these stories that I made a connection to what's really happening. The training itself was fine and useful (and just plain fun). But I also left with a sense of sheepishness over any bitching I may have done about what happens (or doesn't happen) in my library. Like many libraries, we've been scrambling for funding, cutting corners and worrying about future budget cycles. It's damn sad that any librarian feels the need to offer a prayer of thanks for being able to print a flyer and having a stamp to mail it out with.

A LISNews success story

Hey journal readers!

I have great news, last month I accepted a full time position as a librarian for a library vendor. When it came time to give a presentation as part of the interview process, I decided to use my LIS article I had authored on Library Advocacy! The feedback from the topic and presentation was great. The audience found the topic unique and interesting, a welcomed break from the the usual fare of search strategies for the world wide web.

Thanks LIS News and LIS news readers for being a great sounding board!

Yes! We are Having no Wires!

The techs are here testing our wireless hub. I'm not sure when it's supposed to be installed, but when it does, the whole building should be a hotspot, and they'll be installing ethernet ports in the study rooms with wireless boxes behind them. This should be very exciting!

Dissatisfied with your search results? Help us improve.

Am I the only one that uses that "Dissatisfied with your search results? Help us improve." link on the first page of Google search results? I find myself strangely motivated to tell them what's wrong with the really bad search results. I also find myself being disappointed more often than not lately. I wonder how many of those they read?

Back In The Saddle

I just lost 5 hours and about 60 degrees going from Hawaii to Buffalo. So I'm back, the pain in my wrists is gone, my skin is tan, and I seem to be able to remember all my important passwords, so I should be back up to speed in no time.

LISNews/LISHost held up pretty well thanks to Joe, Aaron, and everyone who let them know it was down.

Thanks to all the authors, the stories kept flowing. I've always dreamed of the day LISNews ran itself, it seems we've reached that point!

Man, I so want some gear.

In fact, I would almost kill for a Cluelessness
poster. Of course, it would have to be for home. It's not exactly appropriate for work, even if that's the way I feel some days.

RedHat update

RedHat seems to be performing pretty well. Had to do some funky reconfiguration, as the system kept mis-identifying my network card. All's happy now. I just need to get some addtional software to make it complete, although you would be amazed at all the software that comes with the basic install, all open-source. If anyone has an extra PC lying around, it would be worth your time to try out one of the linux flavors. It's a nice change of pace from Windows.

The Myth of Patron Confidentiality

Actually, it's not a myth, mostly. Unless you actually work in a library.

The other day, I requested a book transfered from another library in the university system to my library. The usual sort of thing. Now, this means that everybody in the circulation area (which for us is the whole library) knows that I want this book. Of course, it was Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things, which looks at classification, and the creation of categories from a cognitive science basis, so it's not very concerning.

The problem is that it came with, for some odd reason, a book on Schizophrenia, also putatively for me. Too bad I didn't ask for it.

While regular patrons have some semblance of confidentiality, in the sense that we'll know the regulars and what they take out, but we would never tell anybody, it's different when it's your coworkers that know what you're reading, for at least some subject areas.

Shall we - blog - (da da dum)?

Shall I or shan't I? I found myself asking my college-aged son about the pros and cons of blogging. When/if he gets back to me (not that I'm waiting for his approval), you may/may not hear from me again! ps - don't hold your breath folks.

A Very Brief RefGrunt

The Internet is down.
I'm sorry. The Internet is down.
Due to the power outage downtown, we don't have Internet access.
As it says on the sign, the Internet is down.
The Internet is still down.
The computers are up, and Internet is available, but spotty, and the catalog is still down.
"Oh, I don't need that. I just need my e-mail."
You've never heard of a RefGrunt?


Things I have learned this week:
I can live quite well without computers.
Everyone wants to sell you something in Hawaii.
People from all over the world say "ya know what I'm sayin?"
12 hours on a tour bus is about 8 hours too many.
I know what a humuhumunukunukuapuaa looks like up close.
12 hours on a plane is about 8 hours too many.
Dail up internet ain't so bad.
I'm broke.

I'll be back in a week. Thanks for a great 4 years, and for a great Blake-Free week.

ERIC is dead

Well, not dead yet; it's got a month or so to go. This just came from the education librarian:

Hi, all - like the sad news of the passing of an old friend, I understand
that the ERIC Clearinghouses have been given a deadline of December 19,
2003, to close all Web sites (including AskERIC) and disconnect all e-mail
addresses that make use of the name "ERIC", and all toll-free phone numbers.

RSS feeds not updated

The RSS feeds don't seem to have been updated since Wednesday. The last new story was the one about West Palm Library. I tried the articles*, index*, and lisnewscom* feeds.

This just in: lisnews.rss seems to be up-to-date.


On Hat Day, nearly everyone wore hats, so I felt confident that I wouldn't be the only one in costume on Halloween. WRONG. Here I am, walking around in full cowboy garb -- I even made myself a sheriff's badge with my nametag on it -- and nobody else dressed up!
Hi! I'm Karl and I'll be your library dork today.

This just in....

I just had a patron call me "babe" and "hon" in the same telephone call. Welcome to Tulsa!

RedHat Linux Install Today

Trying my first install of RedHat on my old desktop today. Verifying the ISO install files now. I've used linux/unix many times, never installed. Cross those fingers.

Another One Bites the Dust

"Preferred Customers" of our largest local bookstore, Novel Idea, received a letter last night inviting us to a special early opportunity to get in on their big clearance sale. They are closing down both locations, selling "to the bare walls" as the saying goes, fixtures and all.
I read the letter last night, and was overcome with a powerful sadness. I talk a lot about buying local when I can, but just a couple of weeks ago Borders had their big educator appreciation sale, and we bought $60 worth of books, CDs, etc. That's probably more than I've spent at Novel Idea in two years.
Sad to say, but my only contribution to the last gasp of a wonderful bookstore may be the purchase of some of their bookshelves for our new home.

obligatory post

well, I used to have an account here, and then it disappeared... I can only imagine because of lack of use. Perhaps if I put some data somewhere, that won't happen again. (pity though; I miss my low user number...)

A Generic Cataloguing Research Paper

I wrote this when I was doing an independent study paper in cataloging for my masters.

  1. Reiterate either the Paris principles or Cutter's objectives of the
    catalogue. Make sure to reference the original publication, even though you've never actually seen a copy of it.
  2. Describe the relationship between the set provided and the other. Again, make sure to reference the primary documents.
  3. Lament the fact that the rules were created for a 5x3-index-card
    world. If you're Canadian, note that the cards were actually metric.
  4. Propose a "radical" revision of the rules that includes at least one

  5. Eliminating the main entry (provide a definition of it)
  6. restructuring the catalogue to focus on "the abstract work" rather than "the manifestation"
  7. linking every record in the catalogue to every other record
  8. creating a shared catalogue that allows the user to discover the perfect book in a rural library in Lesser Mongolia, which library does not participate in the local consortium's ILL service.
  9. discarding MARC bibliographic markup and replacing with a new network-ready, vendor-neutral, tagged, structured data encoding system

  10. Conclude with the statement that "it will take some work" but that the benefits outweigh the costs.

    I then proceeded to write a paper that follows about half of my own suggestions.

  11. Syndicate content