Many of you no doubt already know Andrew Finegan of Librarian Idol fame. I can however say “I knew him before he was famous” or words to that effect. So while I wouldn’t usually be spruiking the competition (librarians who want to be comedians aren’t exactly highly called for) none the less I loved this piece in The Age about his Melbourne shows.
While it is ostensibly about his cabaret style performance, as someone who has recently moved out of the Public Library system (but still feels passionately about its raison d'etre) his quotes really ring true and it is very nice to know that Andrew has managed to present these thoughts to a wider audience.
"There's a big difference between academia and the real world. In theory, you're the repository of all this important professional knowledge, and a major aspect of librarianship is information literacy. Then you get into a library and realise that people just want to argue about their fines and internet access."
"Also, libraries attract a lot of people who can't read. It's actually a credit to public libraries that even the homeless and loonies feel comfortable. They aren't moved on but it makes you question your existence sometimes."
Grand Theft Childhood, a new book (out soon), "promise(s) to cut through the 'myths and hysteria' about the affects of violent video games on children."
Co-author Dr. Cheryl K. Olson was kind enough to answer some questions about the book.
Grand Theft Childhood, Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl Olson. Due April 2008.
I can already sense the gamer librarians getting all fidgety with the clinical validation of their lives.
Many people ask the.effing.librarian questions for advice, help or just to share his wealth of knowledge. This is his response:
I understand that you view me as an expert in most areas, but frankly, why should I share my expertise with you? I see no benefit to me. I'd love to help, but you see my dilemma.
So to head off some of those questions, I've created this Frequently Asked Questions section. I sincerely hope these answers help with what you were searching for, so that you will go away and leave me alone.
1. Are you really a librarian? I can't believe any school would give you a degree.
They didn't give it so much as I beat the Dean with my shoe until he loosed his grip enough for me to take it.
2. Who's your favorite author?
I devour everything I can find written by Gerald McVeney. Listen to this:
Set iron at recommended fabric setting.
Point arrow on spray button to red dot on can.
Shake well, before and during use.
That's for a can of spray starch, one of his early works. Gerald writes product label directions. Right now I'm in the middle of reading his directions for a can of Scrubbing Bubbles:
Won't scratch surfaces...leaves a brilliant shine!
Has a fresh, clean lemon scent.
-- Read More
An article wasreleased today on young adults vs. the not so young and "tehcnological turf." More young adults are finding not only their friends on Facebook and Myspace, but their parents and grandparents. Gone are the days where they had to walk their parents through how to use a computer, now they want to be "friends" on Facebook or IM. This has raised some issues for young people interviewed in the article, as they try to find a space that adults can't see every move they make.
The library programming site OPAL recently initiated a series called Casual Conversations. So far, moderator Tom Peters has talked with Aaron Schmidt and Meredith Farkas. The series lives up to its name going from big picture library issues, to nuts-and-bolts tech tips to tatoos within minutes. I've found them very enjoyable so far and hope the series has a long life. I couldn't find a way to subscribe just to the casual conversation series, but you can subscribe to all OPAL produced podcasts at their podcast blog: http://opalpodcast.blogspot.com/.
Thanks Tom for putting together such an informative and fun interview series!
"Here, from the list archives and co-moderator Sara Weissman, who shares list duties with Karen G. Schneider, is an overview of the first fifteen years of the Public Library listserv, PubLib. From all of us here at www.lisnews.org, Happy Birthday and many happy returns (whatever that means as it applies to a listserv).
As you most likely know, PubLib is a discussion list for public librarians here in North America. It was established in 1992 and this year is it's fifteenth anniversary. On this momentous occasion, I (birdie) took the opportunity to interview Sara Weissman (SW) and find out a bit more about the discussion list. Here are my 24 questions and her answers.
1) Who started Pub-Lib? What inspired it? Who were the moderators? How were librarians advised of its existence? A bit of history if you please.
SW - Jean Armour Polly and John Iliff and the folks at NYSERNET (NY state educational server.) started it.
From the Public February 18 1997 digest: A Message From Publib's Co-Moderators, (Jean Armour Polly and John Iliff): "O.K., folks, it's been four-plus years, and your PUBLIB co-moderators are taking our leave. We are passing the torch to a very capable duo- Karen Schneider and Sara Weissman. In addition, the list is moving to a new site- the University of California at Berkeley. At the time it moves Karen and Sara, who already have a ton of good ideas, will take over. We'll keep you posted on the when and how of these developments, but for now things will continue as always. As our official swan song, we decided to interview ourselves in the PUBLIB Interview format. We haven't done one of these in a long time (the list has been too busy,) but we thought this might be a good way to say an early bye."
Here's a message from the Feb. 18, 1997 digest and founders Jean and John tell us how Pub-Lib came about in 1992:
John: "It started in Jean's fertile imagination. Prior to her starting at NYSERNet in 1992 she contacted me about working with her on a listserv for public librarians (we "met" virtually at The Well the previous year.) She envisioned everything, and the amazing thing is everything worked exactly as she thought. In all these years Jean and I had three brief face-to-face contacts, much to her benefit because I'm a heck of a lot easier to look at in ascii than in person! This whole collaboration has been almost daily, and it's been a great working relationship."
Jean: "There were several academic library lists circa 1992 but there was not one on public libraries. There really were not that many PL's on the Net at that time. In those days you needed heavy duty Unix or equivalent to run a listserv, and it was one of my first priorities to get my new employer to run a list for public librarians. Happily, NYSERNet agreed, we began the list in early December, 1992. It steadily grew."
This is what Jean is currently doing, NetMom: From the website: Jean Armour Polly is Net-mom and the author of six editions of Net-mom's Internet Kids & Family Yellow Pages (Osborne McGraw-Hill), a family-friendly directory to 3,500 of the best children's resources the Internet has to offer. She is also a professional librarian, employed by the Liverpool (NY) Public Library as Assistant Director and Administrator of Systems and Technology. Author, librarian, and mom, Jean has tinkered with Internet accounts since 1991 and has participated in and facilitated online telecommunities for more than 20 years. -- Read More
Steve Johnson writes "An interview with Aaron Swartz, creator of the "basic framework" of the new Open Library Project now sponsored by Internet Archive. His comment on existing bibliographic tools: "I can search an academic library or WorldCat, but the quality of data is pretty weak - you can get basic bibliographic info, but no reviews and weak search and a painful interface and most require a subscription."
Joe Hodnicki writes "Meet Julie M. Jones, a member of the Cornell Law Library public services staff at http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/law_librarian_blo g/2007/07/spotlight-on-la.html"