effinglibrarian's blog

Library sued for violating gamer privacy

(from the Associated Press,... not!)

Philip Landisberg, 14, participated in the Colbert County Library's Video Game Hot Licks Showdown on July 2, and scored a "dismal" 60% on "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" during the first round of the Guitar Hero Axe Attack.

"Sixty percent on that song, and on 'easy' is truly embarrassing," explained young adult librarian Sarah Brand. "That song is meant as a warm-up, to relax the kids and get them to feel good about the game and themselves. I could understand if the kid was wearing mittens because of some OCD problem, or if he was obsessively touching himself while he played, as so many boys at that age seem to do, or even if he was born with lobster claws for hands like on Nip/Tuck, but damn, that kid sucked. Is Nip/Tuck coming back? I love Christian so much. But really, this kid just sucked. Oh, wait, that's my phone."

For the record, Sean's son on Nip/Tuck was born with Ectrodactyly, or "lobster claw hands," a deformity which may seem really cool to have because you get to have claws, but unfortunately, makes touching yourself truly dangerous. And to clarify, you should actually have a love/hate relationship with Christian.

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$1 Million to study video games

From LISWire:
School of Information Awarded $1.2 Million from IMLS for The Study of Digital Librarianship, Video Game Industry

"The School of Information at The University of Texas at Austin has received $1.2 million from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS) to prepare students for librarianship in a digital world..."

Aren't library schools supposed to prepare students for librarianship in whatever world exists at the time? So up to the point of awarding this grant, library schools have only been preparing students for librarianship in the Bronze age world? the Stone world? the strange World of Sid and Marty Krofft?

"The project will focus on providing doctoral students with a deep understanding of digital librarianship..." Oh, they have money for the new nerds. Nerd 2.0.

"Assistant Professor Megan Winget was awarded $255,040 to advance her research in the video game industry's methods, behaviors and attitudes for the purpose of building more meaningful models of collection and preservation of complex, community-built digital creations."

Preservation of video games? Yeah, they're called Ziploc bags. I think the one-gallon size will hold a Sony PlayStation. Buy some kitchen garbage bags for a PS3. For $250,000, you should be able to stock up.

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To Serve Us.

I finally understand the mystery that is Google. It can be found by understanding the meaning behind their philosophy of Don't be evil.

When Google space aliens came to Earth to conquer us, they made the same mistake so many space aliens had made before; they based their understanding of human society on transmissions they'd received from deep in space.

When Google space aliens arrived on Earth, they had no intention of not doing evil. The concepts of good or evil did not exist in their realm. Because they existed millions, even billions, of miles away in space, the Google space aliens didn't come to Earth specifically to cause harm. They came in response to a message:

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How not to steal library books.

Let this be a lesson to criminals everywhere: if you steal $35,000 worth of library materials, you'll probably get caught. Maybe.

Some guy in the Denver area was convicted of stealing library materials, a reported 1,400 items. One library system estimates his overdues at $11,000.

See, this is why people steal from libraries. You can run up huge fines for unreturned items, which could go to a collection agency, but more often just gets added to your account. And the idea that he could have out 300 items on each of of his seven library cards is amazing. "'One day when he tried to check out a 100 (items) or so, we said: 'That's probably enough.''"

AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!! That's probably enough? No, that freaking is enough! Now that the asshole is convicted, did you go back and deduct those circulation statistics from last year's totals? No, of course not. All you care about are the numbers.

These libraries are just begging people to steal from them. So many libraries don't require any ID for a library card. Or they allow unlimited borrowing privileges. You have people who wonder how our profession is crapped-upon by the public and our elected officials; it's because we devalue ourselves!

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Who else got "Colleen" drawn in their Unshelved book?

at least, I think it's Colleen. it's sort of a cloud or lake landscape with the twin setting suns of Tatooine... no, wait, it's Colleen.

Did anyone else order Frequently Asked Questions to get the bonus drawing and autographs (it looks like a "G-something" and "B-something-with-a-dot")?

Just wondering if Bill varied what he drew and what the distribution might be and how rare each drawing is and how collectible and which mylar bag should I use and how much will it be worth in five years and does anyone ever read my blog?

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The Associated Press still sucks, but so do we.

Usually I make a bad joke, or several, about an issue and then forget about it. But I found my way back to this issue through Angel Rivera and I have some extra thoughts.

Some bloggers want you to boycott the Associate Press because the AP want to limit fair use. They want to guarantee that they get some financial compensation from our using their property. Whether it's an ad or actual money, they feel that whatever they publish, they should control, completely. And then "fair use" will get a new definition created by them which will be completely one-sided and totally unfair. So for that, the AP sucks. If you agree with that, then click the link and join the boycott.

boycott the AP?

But I feel it is also we who suck. We right-click and paste content and links without giving proper attribution. If I wrote a formal paper and didn't credit my sources, you'd call me a plagiarist. So why doesn't anyone care when bloggers omit that source credit? If you intend to have your opinions taken seriously, you should be expected to cite your sources.

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the iPod throws us back to 1970!

so I'm griping about how I never get to use my mp3 player because I don't ever sit around with nothing to do. when I had a walkman 30 years ago, I walked, so I had lots of time to listen.

so I mention this and someone says, "use one earbud and then you can listen and do other stuff at the same time."

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Blog Angels protect my blog: who's protecting yours?

I have good news for visitors of the.effing.librarian: I've recently contracted with Blog Angels.

Blog Angels provides blog guard services for major corporations around the world. Many web sites are continually and constantly monitored by corporate staff, but small blogs like mine are often left unoccupied for hours at a time (Blake assures me that this is not the case with LISNews as he hires day-laborers of questionable legal status to monitor and guard this site). But I can't be everywhere at once; I need to eat and work and poop. Okay, yes I do all those things at my desk, but you know what I mean.

So who is there to guard your blog when you are away? Who's going to keep out the riff-raff? Have you ever seen a blog that's been overtaken by hoodlums and thugs? I've seen plenty of blogs, innocent oases for vacation photos, kitties wearing feather boas, breastfeeding tips, and diet diaries suddenly get tagged with graffitos, their banners pulled down, posts disassembled, and feeds choked without that watchful eye or sturdy boot around to keep order.

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Nope, Francine, I don't think so.

This is not an anti-abortion post. And this is not an anti-anti-Bush post. This is an anti-bullshit post. I hate to be manipulated. Don't lie to me and don't try to feed me bullshit. So because I just read something that did these things, I'm going to write something that might piss you off.

In the May edition of LJ, Francine Fialkoff has this editorial that begins with these words:

A stealth attack on U.S. freedoms—intellectual, academic, and personal—came to a halt in early April,...

I don't use POPLINE, and from what I can see, as an international database, I don't see how any changes could affect any American's freedoms, so yes, my bullshit meter went on alert. If she meant a "stealth attack" in that POPLINE is a database she'd never heard of before this story, then yeah, I'll agree with her.

And she finishes with:

"...until this administration and its abhorrent politics are long gone. It’s not about abortion, it’s about freedom."

You can applaud her if you want. And I certainly could because I'm no fan of the current President, but the level of bullshit from that line of overstatement about two completely unrelated events has my anger targeting Francine and not Dubya.

According to the POPLINE pages, this service began in 1973, the same year that Roe v. Wade made abortion legal (or reversed any laws against abortion). And a search on POPLINE returns over 25,000 articles with "abortion" as a keyword.

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Biesterfeld still in the news; Gollum still dead.

Yes, it angers me when a librarian (even when she is a "not a librarian") is fired from her job, especially when it seems like she was doing everything right.

But as a supervisor, I also value the probationary period that allows me to terminate an employment for any reason. I've been lucky so far to hire good people, so I don't have the rules memorized, but I went through probation for my job and I've known several librarians who also survived the probationary period.

Even though I was doing good work, I was still never sure that I would be allowed to remain; that final day came with the expected relief, but up till then I knew that my job wasn't guaranteed.

It's difficult to separate these events because I believe that I should be able to terminate someone on probation without scrutiny. It can takes months to get approval to re-advertise a position, and often it's the best decision for the department to keep an average employee for as long as possible before terminating her.

But I also believe supervisors and library boards should back up their employees' decisions, as long as they conform with policy.

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Love Twitter? Try Fartter.

You've heard of Twitter, but have you heard of Fartter?

Fartter.com is the new social networking site for people who really want to stay connected.
Let's say you have a blog. Well, some things you want to tell people aren't suitable for a full blog post, but you want them to know anyway, so you use twitter. But what about if you just fart? Maybe there are times when you've just farted, but you don't want to log into twitter to tell everyone.

That's where fartter comes in. Add the fartter icon to your Internet Explorer or Firefox toolbar and every time you fart, give it a click. Your personal fartter page will update with the news.

Fartter also lets you comment on your fartts. And fartter works with your mobile device to travel anywhere you do.

Here's how it works: Carla signs up for fartter and searches for her friends. After clicking "sniff," she gets updates on all her fartter friends. For example, she didn't know that fried rice gives Jim farts. And she didn't know that Louise disguises her farts by coughing.

So if you don't have time for twitter, try fartter. And if you haven't heard of fartter, someone's probably coughing loud enough to cover it up.

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the.effing.librarian: My Confession

Inspired by the confession of Misha Defonseca for admitting that her book, "Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years" was a fabrication , that she never lived with wolves nor played guard for the 1973 Boston Celtics, the.effing.librarian (the "corporation") has a few bits of reality we would like admit to being outright lies:

I never "Borat wrestled" Gerald Ford to win the affections of Valerie Bertinelli.

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the much needed the.effing.librarian faq

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.

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Library Zero point Zero

We all seem to know what Library 1.0 is/was since we continue to tell everyone how 2.0 we are, and some of us have even begun formulating lies for why we're past that and ready to declare ourselves 3.0.

But what about the past; what about the before time? How would we classify the earliest forms of librarianship? I'm trying to understand how Library 2.0 applies to history. At what point can we say that the ideas for a library existed?

If we define Library 1.0 as the point where a form of the modern library exists and Library 0.0 is when no ideas for libraries exist, then what falls in between?

Recent excavations have revealed the discovery of an ancient stone pendant to support this theory (see image on my page). Speculation is that early librarians were recognized by wearing a symbol of the goddess Tanit; because it was easy to draw and seen as further proof of early librarianship because of its relationship to clip art and Ellison die cuts.

The earliest libraries were called Marypedia, or Maripedia (or pedians). And beginning with Library 0.2 Maripedia, they promoted their services by wearing variations of the pendant. Although the original Mary was obviously a “zero-point-twopian,” the discovered pendant displays “0.3.” The owner of this pendant clearly saw herself as apart from the other Maripedia, and was probably viewed, like today, as an ahole.

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Are you real? (Maybe you're really fake.)

I watched that Growing Up Online thingy last week on PBS and one of the things that bothered me was when the bulimic girl, Sara, says, "I have this one life that's fake. Then I have the real me." And what she means is that her online life is her real life, and her outgoing, fun-having, golfing life, is fake.

So the online me is the real me. The eating, pooping, avoiding work, occasionally showering me is the fake me.

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Calling all Star Trek nerds

I'm "writing" (if you want to be generous) a strip called Black Shirts about two guys who work on a starship that looks like the USS Enterprise, but isn't. (To avoid possible legal problems; who know, IANAL.)
I'll post a few strips once a week on my blogger page, but all the strips will also be on the toondoo page:

you might notice that I use the same image for every panel: yes, I am lazy.

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Why no male librarian stereotypes?

I thought the ALA coerced for diversity?

All I ever hear is how librarians are frumpy and bun-haired. And I'm tired of all the sex discrimination. What about male librarians? Where are the American Library Association's recommendations for diversity when it comes to us? I don't mean in jobs because we get promoted more often and get better pay (hell, we're men!). I mean our image. Where is the image of the male librarian in popular culture? Why all the women stereotypes?

What is the look of the male librarian stereotype?
Is he hobbitish? Homerish? Perpetually confused and embarrassed by his career choice? Freshly tattooed and paroled from a federal prison? Bruce Wayne, Luke Skywalker or Clark Kent, but without the sex-appeal?

I'm a little pissed because I just saw the Librarian Dress-up game online, and I don't see a dude, I see that stereotypical librarian woman; huge boobs, tiny waist, smoochable lips... but no guy, anywhere.

So I had to use all of my non-talent to create the Male Librarian dress-up game. Yes, it's ugly, and a nine year-old could do better. (And sometimes the images don't move, but hit refresh and maybe they will.) But hell, all I had was Paint and Notepad and the script I stole from the original page, so screw you. Why don't you do better.

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"I'm Sorry, that's a video of *What*?"

I just realized why I had to make a video called a cute furry animal recites George Carlin's "seven dirty words" (which is an ADULTS ONLY video with 7 dirty words in it, duh) -- remember what David Lee King said about the library of the future (which is actually from RWW and about the "sexy librarian of the future")?

Imagine a future when you go to the library with a 5 minute video you've just made about last night's Presidential debates and that librarian says to you:
You should upload it to YouTube and tag it with these four tags - two broad and two more specific to existing communities of interest on YouTube and the topic of your video. Then you should embed that video in a blog post along with some text introducing it and linking to some of your favorite posts by other people who have also written today about the Presidential debates. Make sure to send trackbacks to those posts!
Now, I think this is a particularly good video on the topic, so if you're interested I will vote for it on StumbleUpon (as a sexy librarian I have a very powerful account there) and give it a good summary explanation. Any of those are steps you can take that will make your work all the easier for people to discover.

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crap. I forget to post this video here...

forgive the lateness, but the warm feelings are still there. yes, for each and every one of you.

(season's greetings from the holiday rat)

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My Library and Internet Predictions for 2008

  1. Google will invoke the right of primae noctis on anyone who clicks the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button (revealing the true nature of who really gets lucky).
  2. Watch for some social bookmarking sites to merge or clash, often with violent Jet-Shark consequences: Technorati might StumbleUpon Mister-Wong crossing the Bloglines. A Fark ensues with not so del.icio.us results. A nasty Digg incites rivals to Slash(dot) each other and then the whole Kaboodle explodes until the streets run Red(dit).
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