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.

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.

Faculty politics redux

Just so you know, I hate them. And they're not getting any better

Which version of RSS to use?

Hi, all.

I've got a Web page where I track news articles on a certain subject. I've set up an RSS feed to go with it. All I really need for each item is a headline, link, paper and date (which can go in description), and the date I posted it (pubdate). It looks like RSS 2.0 will do everything I need. But I notice some of the cool kids use RSS 1.0 (which is actually more complicated that 2.0, but that's another whole megilla).

The Hat Thing

Today we're having a staff potluck, and our social committee declared it "Hat Day". Everyone is supposed to wear a hat.

Review: Fables

The members of fairy tales have been evicted from the homes, and now live in New York city. They have their own government, their own powers, and they live among the humans without being noticed. Things go wrong when Rose Red is murdered, and it's up to the Wolf (as in Big, Bad) to determine who did it.

Recommended to older teens and adults. There's one sex scene (a sheet covers the nudity)and some references to sex.

Review: Inside Out by Trueman

Zach can't tell the difference between what's real and what's only in his head because Zach has schizophrenia. While waiting for his mom (and his medications) at the donut shop, two teens with guns try to rob the store. What happens while Zach and the other shoppers are hostages isn't nearly as bad as what's going on inside Zach's head.

Excellent book, told from Zach's point of view.

Sunday Night Research

Taking a time out from research on a Sunday eve (Pete Yorn and Robert Cray setting the pace of searching tonight). Looking up topics for some upcoming writing projects, and still contemplating a book proposal. Why? Who knows, but it sounds like a good idea after this last cup of coffee.

Carrie's Special Day

The wedding went well, and we're off to Hawaii until November 8!

Blake And Carrie And Crew

Thanks again to everyone who found that song for us, and to everyone who wished us well.

Failure to comply. Bernard Margolis. President. Boston PL.

       I have received your petition appealing the lack of response of the
City of Boston Library to your public records request.

Massachusetts General Law provides an aggrieved public record requester
two separate and distinct remedies when a custodian refuses or fails to
comply with a public records request.

       The first remedy is judicial in nature and provides for the requester to
petition the Supreme Judicial Court or the appropriate Superior Court
department for an order commanding compliance with the public record request
and the law.

       The second remedy is administrative in nature and provides for the
requester to petition this office for a determination of the nature of the
record and the appropriateness of any claimed custodial exemption.

       When a custodian has failed to respond to a request within the
statutorily mandated timeframe of ten days or has failed to produce any
records or has failed to claim a valid exemption to the public records law,
this office is unable to evaluate the nature of the record.

       The failure of an individual to obey the laws of the Commonwealth may
subject said person to civil or criminal penalties.

This office is not empowered to prosecute persons on behalf of the
Commonwealth for violations of the law.

       Therefore, without any documents to review and without a custodial
exemption claim, an appeal pursuing the administrative remedy is not

This remedy may become become available in the future is a custodian claims
an exemption AND you believe that such a claim is improper.

Until such time, however, you have a right to proceed with the judicial
remedy described above and as provided by law.

Very truly yours,
Alan N. Cote
Supervisor of Records

pre at

[ Coat of arms ]

Ense petit placidam svb libertate qvietem
By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty. -Algernon Sydney

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
William Francis Galvin Secretary of the Commonwealth
Public Records Division

Alan N. Cote
Supervisor of Records

One Ashburton Place 17th Floor
Boston Massachusetts 02108
Tel 617 727 2832
Fax 617 727 5914

pre at

Bernard Margolis
700 Boylston Sttreet
Boston Massachusetts 02116

Dear Mr. Margolis:

       This office has received a petition appealing the lack of response of
your institution to a public record(s) request, dated September 23, 2003.

       "Public records" is broadly defined to include all documentary
materials or date, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or
received by any officer or employee of any town of the Commonwealth, unless
falling within a statutory exemption.
Massachusetts General Laws chapter 4 section 7(26) 2002 edition
GL c4 s7(26) 2002 ed.

GL c66 s10c 2002 ed.
950CMR 32.08(4)

       A custodian shall, at reasonable times and without unreasonable delay,
permit a public records, or any segregable portion of a record, to be
inspected and examined by any person, and furnish one copy upon payment of a
reasonable fee. See
GL c66 s10a 2002 ed.

       A custodian is required to maintain procedures to avoid unreasonable
delays and to allow inspection and copying by any person during regular
business hours.
Code of Massachusetts Regulations
950CMR 32.05(1)

       A custodian of a public record shall, within ten days following receipt
of a request for inspection or copy of a public records, comply with such
GL c66 s10b 2002 ed.

       In Globe Newspaper Co. v. Commissioner of Education, 439 Mass. 124 (2003),
439 Massachusetts Reports 124 (2003)
the Supreme Judicial Court concluded that the release of public records
within ten days of the receipt of a request to inspect or copy them is
presumptively reasonable.
Ibid at 125

       The failure of a custodian to comply with a public record request by
refusing to allow inspection or by refusing to provide a copy of a public
record may be a violation of law which may subject you to criminal or civil

       The requesting party has been notified of his right to seek an order
from the Supreme Judicial Court or the appropriate Superior Court department,
compelling you to comply with his request.

It is strongly suggested that you contact the requesting parties and make
arrangements for an inspection or release of the records(s) requested.

Very truly yours,
Alan N. Cote
Supervisor of Records

pre at

[ Coat of arms ]

Ense petit placidam svb libertate qvietem
By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty. -Algernon Sydney

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
William Francis Galvin Secretary of the Commonwealth
Public Records Division

Alan N. Cote
Supervisor of Records

One Ashburton Place 17th Floor
Boston Massachusetts 02108
Tel 617 727 2832
Fax 617 727 5914

pre at

The ILL Mystery

I must have been terrifically excited about it; I never ILL items unless there's a good reason to suspect I'll enjoy them. It was a good book, if brief and a little esoteric. It took less than a month to get here from Santa Fe, and that's nice.
It's a complete mystery to me, but if anyone remembers recommending that I read John Crowley's The Great Work of Time, please let me know, so I can stop wondering about it!

The New Yorker on the 15th ed. of the Chicago Manual

This is hilarious, and an accurate rendition, probably, of how most of my student feel about this crap.

If I don't get a copy (or even two, so I can have work and home copies) for Christmas, I'm buying one for myself in the new year.


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