Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hello, Reference desk?

I came across this article and it made me laugh because it was a reminder of what I would do every morning when opening up the library. I think that understanding what librarians do is often difficult but working the reference desk never changes. You are constantly doing several things at once all the while answering vague questions. I still wonder how we can manage sanity in those circumstances.

From the Library: A morning in the life of a librarian
By: Beth Goldman
The Daily News Transcript (Norwood, MA)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sacrifice of Technology

I read the opinion article from the July 17 edition of the CSMonitor feeling several things. I too have wondered where all this sudden desire to grasp technology and stuff it into our libraries is taking us. And I wonder where are all the librarians in this process going? What is with this race to technology I've been witnessing? Is there some sort of HUGE prize I'm not aware of that the winner will get? What point or purpose does it make to lose sight of our past successes? Libraries have been places of education and that seems to be something many libraries are desperately trying to stop being. Sure, we'll be places where information can be stored and found but let us not go any further. We're too busy looking for the next new technology. Or are we? I know there are many of you with the rote answers here: over worked, underpaid, no budget, no time, etc. I too have heard them from my own managers and directors. Yet something bothersome (lack of silence) and creepy (TV in children's section, kids queuing up to play games) is going on in libraryland and I'm afraid it will be too late to correct once it becomes ingrained. Giving in to the trends is dangerous and so is trying to be everything to everyone.

Article: Restore the Noble Purpose of Libraries: Focusing so much on their technology actually dumbs them down
By: William H. Wisner
Christian Science Monitor July 17, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Job searching

Finding a job in the library profession has always been tricky. Now it's difficult. With so many libraries cutting budgets and the economy going in a direction where many are hurting it's tough for everyone. Michael Stephens of Tame the Web has posted useful information for those of us out there looking for jobs. Perhaps his tips can help you or someone you know find a job or at the very least hope for a job. Good luck to you.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Social Networking and how to be safer

With all the social networking options out there to keep us occupied and connected there is something also dangerous about that information being available to strangers. I've begun to think about this quite a bit. I have been using some of these media products and it is slightly disturbing to think that there are malicious people out there looking for ways to steal your identity. It is almost far too easy to have your life stolen by another. I encourage you to read this post, Social Networking Identity Theft Scams on Bruce Schneier's blog. It will make you pause a moment. Think about the information you are posting and always be on guard. Often we are eager to become friendly with people but the lack of personal contact can complicate the ability to build trust in a network friend. We can hide so easily from afar and as we become more willing to share we are also becoming more likely to be targets of identity theft.

Monday, April 6, 2009


This is a fantastic parody of the Twitter trend. Check out this clip on Flutter the New Twitter.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Twitter loves Sharks?

Twitter has been all over the news lately. Has it become so over popularized that it has gone out of trend? As in has it jumped the shark? Author Mark McKinnon wrote Twitter Jumped the Shark This Week where he thinks Twitter has become a thing of the past. He makes valid points which encourages me to stop posting so many foolish thoughts.

Some may agree Twitter is on its way out and then again it may just have reached its peak of discovery. Prior to all this media attention Twitter was used by very few, most of which were tech lovers and library professionals, and now it's getting crowded. For some this social media has indeed become useless because it has lost its elitism. Come on now, think about it, think some more. We like elitism especially in DC the land of never ending politics. We like using something few have heard about and even fewer use. Once that shiny feeling fades the next new product is sought. I'm not bothered by this sudden surge of users nor the nay-sayers moving on. Yes it is a distraction yet far less of a distraction than Facebook, MySpace, or even the water cooler gossip. Twitter still remains what it was: a way to communicate briefly. I'm still going to use Twitter. It is my IM connection and there are several others who have done the same. I find it less bothersome than those IM products out there because I am able to chat with folks but not feel like I'm being overwhelmed with the messages. For others it has replaced the chat rooms of the past which to me felt so confined and strange. There are several reasons why this will continue to fascinate people and several reasons to repel people. I am wondering what are your thoughts?

If you use Twitter:

Do you use it often?
What do you like about Twitter?
Why do you use it?

If you have used Twitter and do not anymore, why? What did you dislike about it?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Image finder search engine

I'm behind the times on this but it's still a very useful tool especially for those in the medical professions. The Yale Image Finder search engine is a great way to locate biomedical images. The Bioinformatics article: Yale Image Finder (YIF): a new search engine for retrieving biomedical images explains the reason for its development. David Rothman gives a great brief review of this that you might find interesting.