LISNews Features

10 Ways To Make The Internet A Better Place

99% of the stuff on the Internet is trash. Don't help make it 100%. Here's some good ways to make the web a better place for all of us.


Remember that the Internet is permanent. When your motivation goes away or you've changed your mind, that piece you wrote will remain.

Contribute:
The best part of the internet is how it enables collaboration on a scale not known before. You can help by working with many of the collaborative web sites and open source projects.

Maintain:
Patch that computer! Make sure all the computers you control are secure, and make sure you help other people stay updated.

Promote Web Standards:
Using standards helps make your site easy to use and accessible to the largest number of users. It also saves you bandwidth.

Mentor:
Think you know it all? Prove it! Share your knowledge with others.

Support:
It takes time and money to make a quality web site. Don't be afraid to provide some financial support to your favorite sites.

Promote Civility:
There's nothing wrong with being nice. Spend some time focusing on the good.

Be a good neighbor:
There are some basic rules that keep the internet running more efficiently.

Write Right:
Give some thought to what you write.

Add to this list:
We missed something, what is it?

Unplug!
We can all use some time off, the Internet will continue to exist without you for a day. Go outside and play!

Details and ideas below... -- Read More

You Only Need To Know 5 Things To Be A Library Geek

Inspired by that list that had been making the rounds on LISFeeds, I've thrown together 5 areas of focus for librarian geeks. Sure, you could waste your time learning those "20 Technology Skills Every Librarian Should Have," but why spend all that time learning 15 more things than you really need to learn? Save time and money learning just 5 things by using The "LISNews You Only Need To Know 5 Things To Be A Library Geek" list!

  1. Software: Microsoft Office, Web Browsers & Plugins, Windows, Other OSes, Instant Messaging, Relational Database Theory
  2. Hardware: Networking (Wired and Wireless), Handhelds (Cell phones, PDAs, Cameras), Computers (PCs, Servers, Peripherals)
  3. The Internet: The WWW, DNS, Email, Usenet, Search Engines, Wikis, Podcasting, Blogs, Distance Education, Open Source, Open Access, FTP, SSH, XML, HTML, XHTML, and CSS
  4. Everything on the Slashdot Topics Page
  5. At Least One Programming Language

Acquiring knowledge in a subject area as diverse as technology takes experience and work. I can't spend as much time on this list as I'd like to so feel free to chime in and let me know what I overlooked, or maybe over stated. This is just meant to be a quick summary of what I think is important in the world of the library geek. Think of this list as knowledge areas that would make you much more useful to any library. I've expanded on my ideas below. And yes, there are more than 5 things you need to know, but they fit into 5 subject headings. This is meant to be a list for those of us who are employed in the technology/computers/internet side of librarianship. You could also use it as a starting point for moving your career in a new direction.

Taken together all these skills and knowledge should give you the ability to stay current and relevant. It can seem overwhelming if you're just getting started, and it's hard to focus on just one thing most of the time. All I can say is if this is something that interests you just start with something that looks interesting and see where it leads. -- Read More

Foetry Librarian Declares War on Go-Daddy

The Foetry Librarian, Alan Cordle, didn’t want his name known. As we all know, one must pay a hefty extra fee for anonymity when registering a domain nowadays. When he registered the Foetry.com domain with GoDaddy.com in March 2004, they directed him to their associate, Domains by Proxy, where they accepted an additional payment to keep his information out of 'who is.' And now he’s out to "out" them.

His website identified Pulitzer prizewinners, Harvard professors, Macarthur Fellows, and Poet Laureates openly engaged in unethical poetry “competitions� involving millions of dollars (see LISNews story from last month). Doing his investigating anonymously, Foetry.com was featured in such places as the Boston Globe, the New York Times Book Review, and on leading literary websites, like Mobylives.com. For a year, Cordle successfully maintained his privacy until one website visitor complained to Domains by Proxy.

In April 2005, while reading a weblog, Cordle discovered that Domains by Proxy had canceled his anonymity, and his name, address, and phone number were available in the Internet Whois Database, and posted on weblogs throughout the world. Emails from Cordle, and certified letters from his attorney to Domains by Proxy and Go Daddy have not properly answered his questions.

Cordle has launched fauxdaddy.org to spread the word about anonymity and the internet. His site details his story and hints at other problems with privacy breaches at Domains by Proxy.

What are the THREE BIGGEST THINGS facing librarianship?

We're having a good discussion over on Daniel's Journal about our little world.
1) What are the three biggest problems facing librarianship today?
2) In a perfect world, how would these issues get resolved?
3) Is there anything we as individual librarians and/or library associations can do in the real world to fix the Big Three problems?

Several good answers already, I'd love to read more.

One Student's Journey To ALA Annual

Rosemarie Maldonado writes: Often said is, "Getting from here to there is the journey and that is more important than the destination." While I am no sage, I will tell you a few of my experiences on my journey with research at UB and at the ALA Annual Conference 2005 last month in Chicago, Illinois in which I co-presented a research paper as a University at Buffalo The State University of New York MLS student. I've included som tips if you are thinking about doing a special project, and some tips if you are thinking about going to a conference. -- Read More

AskLIS: What are the differences between US librarianship and Australian librarianship?

AshtabulaGuy writes "I turn to the collective world-wide-LISNewsterz-Wisdom for some advice. What are the differences between US librarianship and Australian librarianship? That is a burning question. Although Australia utilizes AACR2r, what is different in practice there? If an American was to be on exchange for a year, what would they likely expect? Any pointers as to starting points for seeking knowledge in this case?"

Librarians like to party

emknecht writes "Go to this link for a chuckle (or, adds rochelle, a gross-out or an eye-roll).

Historians Ask Congress To Suspend Nixon Transfer

Kathleen de la Pena McCook writes "Nixon historians have written Congress to request suspension of the transfer of Nixon Presidential library materials from the National Archvies to the Nixon Library & Birthplace in Yorba Linda, California.
The Nixon historians assert, "The unprofessional behavior of the Nixon Library leadership calls into question that institution's fitness to join the Presidential Library system. The Nixon Library evidently feels free to toss aside, at its own convenience, its commitments to Whittier College and to the conference participants. A similarly cavalier attitude toward the commitments that the Library has made to the National Archives and to the Congress, in order to gain public funding for the transfer, would seriously jeopardize public access to and long-term preservation of invaluable historical records."

Ohio Library Funding Notes

AshtabulaGuy writes "It's state budget time in Ohio! The Akron Beacon-Journal reports that the Barberton Public Library is seeking a property tax levy from voters in its district in Summit County. After failing last fall to get a property tax levy passed by voters to shore up its budget, the library is trying again. The article notes that due to state-level funding uncertainty the need for more local funding increases. Meanwhile in Seneca County, county officials made a major attempt to lobby state lawmakers to not cut revenue sharing funds. The article notes that libraries would receive a 5% cut to funds received from the state. It must be noted, though, that the budget briefing by Governor Taft's Office of Budget and Management (Adobe Acrobat document) discusses that funding levels would be frozen at a prior fiscal year's levels. Seneca County Commissioners are attempting to organize a trip of affected officials to Columbus to speak out at a House Finance Committee hearing. Then in Marietta, the Marietta Times notes that Marietta has joined a group of southeastern Ohio municipalities opposing cuts. The article reports that Taft reportedly designed the cuts to reflect reliance by affected entities on state level funds. The article notes that since libraries often rely on state level funds for 95-100% of their operating budgets, libraries were only given a 5% cut. Marietta is already facing budget stresses trying to recover from flooding in recent months. Christine Borne notes that Syracuse University is expanding to Cleveland by creating a program site at Case Western Reserve University even while local public libraries in Cuyahoga County and local governments discuss merging library districts and creating staffing redundancies. Although a consolidation is being initiated by local officials in Cuyahoga County, one state lawmaker is proposing consolidations of various library districts in Warren County with an eye to what other counties have either done or may be planning. American Libraries online provided some background to the matter although such may become dated son. Finally, the Ohio Library Council has started a "Protect Library Funding" effort that notes that a substitute proposal by Ohio House members, which may vary to an unknown extent from Governor Taft's proposal, is expected to be introduced in April. A call to action for Ohioans is posted at the site."

Long Island library does the shuffle ...

Jeanie Straub writes "Wired News reports that South Huntington Public Library on Long Island, New York, has become one of the first public libraries to offer iPod shuffles. 'It's changed the books on tape from a car-only experience to a bring-it-with-you experience,' one library user commented. How can anyone argue that libraries are irrelevant?"

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