My MLS will come in handy here, somehow. I know it.

I know, my absence of late has left a giant gaping hole in your hearts somewhere right below the left ventricle or something. It's hard to visualize on the ultrasound, because no one in the clinic knows really how to work one of these things...

We'll hold the medical stuff at the moment, at least, as it pertains to me, except to say that we've got a loose name of what has been keeping me from living a normal life for -- well, it's been at least 20 years, but it only got particularly nasty in the last eight, and horribly blood-curdling nasty in the last five. It's a sleep disorder, they can not cure it, and if the case proves to be beyond a moderate sort of manifestation, they really can't treat it terribly effectively. A lot of non-sleep/neurological doctors will tell you that they can... There's this new drug... Uh. No.

Long and the short is, the sleep-neuro-guy says that I function at about 20% capacity on a good day. It isn't going to get better than that at this point, or even in the mid-range future.

So I've come to terms with the fact I am not going back to work in a normal environment. I've come to terms that I will never be able to see a movie in a theater again. I'm trying to deal with the idea that if I can come home and mentally function (or at least not walk into solid objects) after a twenty minute trip to the grocery store, I am having a pretty damn good day.

I hate not doing stuff. You know that, right?

Ithaka's 2006 Studies of Key Stakeholders in the Digital Transformation in Higher Education

Ithaka has recently released the full findings from our 2006 surveys of the behavior and attitudes of faculty members and academic librarians.

Bit of a programming heads-up

As we've gotten over the middle of a busy holiday week in the United States, it is best to give a little hint about what is coming in LISTen #28. The next episode of LISTen is going to have interviews with two fiction writers who have large fan bases. One of them referred to a "porn" text he wrote as being merely a "dirty book" and was surprised that public libraries actually owned copies. The other who is known for his "honor" brought up his speculative views on the future of libraries.

Wondering who the authors may be? Find out Monday after 0400 UTC by downloading the new episode of LISTen.

Book Groups Wiki

With the goal of building bridges between book group organizers (including librarians who run book groups or book clubs) and writers, I've created the Book Groups Wiki: The wiki allows book group organizers and authors to enter information about themselves using simple templates. Feel free to add your library's book group, your own book group, or your name as an author, as appropriate! Also, feel free to forward information about the wiki to anyone else you think might be interested.

"To The Eaves" A Poetry Book By A Librarian

Here's The webpage for "To The Eaves", By Lisa Forrest a Senior Assistant Librarian for SUNY College at Buffalo and the founding member of the school's Rooftop Poetry Club. (The Rooftop Poetry Club was established in June 2005 to provide a creative venue for writers of the Buffalo State College community.) The publisher has also published links to download MP3s of the poems set to music. To the Eaves is Lisa's first collection of published poetry.

Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday...

It appears I am appearing on Digital Home episode #17. Oddly enough, I actually come up first in the podcast episode I believe. Such depends upon how editing turned out.

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

To explain something from the podcast further: podcasters-in-residence

I imagine that the opening to this week's podcast was a little jarring. All I can say is that that was necessary. I will try to explain such further. What was in the script was:
The production team for Listen is looking for a new home. Due to workplace uncertainties we want to move the show soon. Any library, whatever the type, willing to host the production team that might have related tasks the team could work on is asked to think about it. Provided that work visas are possible, we are willing to consider moving to locations in the Commonwealth of Nations. Our main preference is to stay away from Lake Erie Lake Effect Snow areas within the United States. With a former federal contractor computer technician on the production team, we have knowledge and skills that could bring value to your institution. To talk about this, hit us at the contact form on LISNews but please make sure you complete ALL options shown so Blake is not flooded. You can also send us faxes and e-mails by following the instructions found at
Perhaps I might have been too delicate in writing that. Unless we hear otherwise my father is out of a job on April 28th. To use a slang word popular in local television ads, we do not need a blamestorming session for that. Efforts are underway to keep him in place but due to the budget at work being in deficit for the second fiscal year running his departure may be unavoidable. In my own workplace environment things have become unstable due to circumstances beyond my control and the likelihood of a RIF is increasing. Can the team find new work locally? Right now the mix of available jobs is not pretty in Las Vegas. I do not see either of us able to pull off being waiters all that well. Beyond that, there is not a whole lot out there. For the purpose of having it on-hand, I put together a budget showing hold-in costs to keep us in place in Nevada until the end of the calendar year. The budget would assume that we would handle the podcast full-time with other production duties mixed in. The total budget including payroll, fixed costs like rent and utilities, and other such expenses came out to a little under sixty thousand dollars. The budget assumed nothing for benefits as frankly nobody here has that at the moment. So, what was the pitch about at the beginning of the podcast? A potential way around that hold-in scenario would be to have the production team relocated. If there happened to be a library that could host us we would be happy to join your team on a visiting basis. The podcast audio engineer has a few years experience as a computer technician making all sorts of things work ranging from old boxes running CP/M to Sun SPARCStations to SGI Indy and beyond. I have limited experience in electronics and have been a serving cataloger. The notion would be that a library, preferably academic or public, would host the production team on a visiting basis. The team would have normal and appropriate day to day duties but also have podcast production included in the mix. In terms of relocating, we will be free pretty soon to do such I fear. Some areas we would consider relocating to include:
  • Pacific Northwest
  • Areas of the southern United States not prone to hurricanes and otherwise not California
  • West Virginia
  • Mid-Atlantic states except for Lake Effect Snow areas
  • Canada
  • England
  • Guam
  • Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
I am trying to be prudent in bringing this up. If anything I want to throw the notion out there for folks to consider. There are several ways to reach me. You can find those at with telephone numbers in standardized format. If anybody has interest in exploring this seemingly radical notion that is somewhat old-fashioned outside librarianship, please let me know. Life sometimes throws curveballs. Living is not always a matter of determining how one might act. All too often this modern life requires more attention to how to react.

Stop By Booth #113 If You're Heading To PLA

LISNews author "birdie" (aka Robin K. Blum) has a booth at PLA this year. Stop in and have a look at Her IN MY BOOK cards. The cards have been acclaimed in the press (Publishers Weekly calls them "sentimental greetings that make endearing gift enclosures") and you can get one for free, just say "Birdie sent me!"


Insanity @ My Library: A Photo Contest

Scott Douglas has released full details of a book give away contest <a href="">here</a>: <blockquote>Do you have a picture that perfectly illustrates the insanity that takes place at a library? Maybe it's the book drop that was destroyed by a firecracker, the librarian who never matches his socks, or the library that is completely falling apart and has structural damage to prove it!

TalkShoe Errors Delay Uncontrolled Vocabulary Until Thursday

As noted at the show's blog, the thirty-first episode of Uncontrolled Vocabulary is delayed until Thursday at 10:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (3:00 AM GMT Friday, 7:00 PM Pacific Standard Time Thursday). Details on how to participate can be found at the show blog. Technical issues with TalkShoe prevented recording an episode at the appointed hour on the regular day.

Folks with stories as well as fun things happening in their library or other sort of knowledge management organization can also contact the LISTen team. Interviews are possible still this week. By calling any of the four telephone numbers posted based around the planet, a voicemail can be left for the team to consider.


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