“You don’t have to be a print book person or an e-book person. It’s not an either/or proposition. You can choose to have your text delivered on paper with a pretty cover, or you can choose to have it delivered over the air to your sleek little device. You can even play it way loose and read in both formats! Crazy, right? To have choice. Neither is better or worse — for you, for the economy, for the sake of “responsible self-government.” We should worry less about how people get their books and — say it with me now! — just be glad that people are reading.”—
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We want to feature some crushworthy librarians on LW for Valentine’s Day. We want to leave who is crushworthy up to you, though, so we need your nominations. This doesn’t have to be a romantic-crush, it could just be someone you admire professionally or fashionably, too. Someone who is doing really exciting things, or someone you wouldn’t mind reading some Byron with. Either way.
Rules: Anyone nominated has to be in the library profession, and all nominations must come from others in LIS. You *must* explain why you are crushing on this person or your nomination will be ignored. Please only nominate a person once, but you can make multiple nominations for different individuals. All nominations are anonymous (unless you want to include your name, but you do not have to), so don’t hold back!
After all nominations have been collected and reviewed, we will contact the winners to coordinate an interview. If there is an overwhelming amount of nominations and lots of ties, we will open up voting.
Let the lovefest commence! **This form will close on February 6th, 1am CST.
Nominate your favorite crushworthy librarians! There are so many awesome guys and gals worthy of nomination, who to chose?
Wherein I am shocked that bad information is going around the internet
There was a recent piece posted by the Atlantic about the cost cycle and paywall of academic articles. It’s a big issue and access to scholarly journals is a topic that merits real discussion and hopefully change. However, the article itself was so poorly researched and inaccurate it does a disservice to the conversation.
The article supposes that the villain is JSTOR. It’s not.
The author of the Atlantic piece is bemoaning his inability to access the latest research in autism and blames JSTOR, even though the vast majority of JSTOR content (aside from their small and new “Current Scholarship” program) is 3 years old or older. JSTOR is designed to be the alternative to print journal storage for back issues; if you’re looking for current articles and the latest research, JSTOR is not where you should go. JSTOR is a not-for-profit that has done tremendous work digitizing and saving thousands of historic scholarly journals, dating back over a century of content, that libraries are throwing away. They are providing access to a treasure trove of valuable content that libraries cannot afford to maintain or store.
Actual current research is packaged and sold by for-profit companies like Elsevier, Wiley, and Taylor & Francis — if you have a problem with the model for academic publishing, those are the publishers you should take it up with.
Because of that poorly written article, I’m seeing “fuck JSTOR” going around on Tumblr as if JSTOR has anything to do with the problem. And therefore the internet is pissing me off.
The blog Lists of Note has published an 1895 list of “don’ts” for women bicyclists. The list was appended to a news account of two women riders who attempted to wear immodest short skirts over their bloomers during a ride with the Unique Cycling Club of Chicago; when told to take off the apparently provocative (and very likely practical for riding) attire, the women responded “Indeed we won’t.”
In most cases, the list of “don’ts” for women riders could easily be reconfigured for 2012 by merely switching “don’t” for “do” (such as, do ride a century). There is one rule from 1895 I’d keep, though, for men and women alike: don’t contest the right of way with cable cars.
I’ve seen this quote going around before, and it’s cute enough I suppose, but if you really think it about it it is exactly what we don’t want to be promoting about libraries. Libraries are very much of the real world; they are real places where real people go!
People go to libraries to get access to information and resources, be they a college student writing a research paper, a retired person researching their family lineage, a stay-at-home parent connecting with other people in the community…libraries are busy, active hubs of activity, education, entertainment, not some sort of secular temple to be worshipped and revered in silence. Yes, libraries should have quiet areas for reading and studying for those library users looking for that experience; however, that is far from the limit of a library’s usefulness. It is more than a study hall.
Promoting the library as a pure sanctuary is one step away from creating a mausoleum for dust-coated books, and it is what people who don’t use libraries think libraries are. Librarians — and real-world, real-life library users — know better than that.
“Librarianship has traditionally been seen as women’s work, along with nursing and teaching school. Thus, lots of men probably avoid the profession entirely, even today, rightly thinking that answering the question “What do you do for a living?” at a cocktail party with “I’m a librarian” isn’t going to impress the ladies, or for that matter the men.”—
I’m calling shenanigans on this for a few different reasons, chief among them that, were I single and at a cocktail party where I met a male librarian, I would find that hot as hell. But maybe I’m weird - I am married to a male librarian, after all.
Definitely shenanigans on this quote from the Annoying Librarian. I happily tell people I’m a librarian, and I get an almost universally enthusiastic response, particularly from women at cocktail parties (or the equivalent). I’m married, so that’s not getting me anywhere, but it does seem to generate an immediate positive impression of me.
As to the AL’s larger question of whether it’s easier for male librarians to get a job, I have no idea. I was hired into a permanent position six months after graduating from my SLIS, which is pretty good, but I know plenty of women grads who were hired in about the same time frame. The next librarian my institution hired after me was a woman, that despite the fact there were plenty of applications from men.
Without any sort of large scale survey, anecdotal musings are essentially worthless. My experience isn’t anyone else’s, and vice versa.
Get ready for your Facebook past to come back with a vengeance; the social network is now rolling out its new profile layout, Timeline, to all users worldwide. Timeline is basically an online scrapbook that displays your Facebook activity in reverse chronological order going back to when you first joined the social network.
This means you and your Facebook friends will be able to peruse your social networking history with just a few clicks. Previously, there was no practical way to view your older activity on Facebook.
If Timeline’s debut has you wondering whether you can hide the embarrassing bits of your Facebook life before your new profile goes live, the good news is you can. But you’ll only have seven days to make any changes to your Timeline before it becomes your default profile.
“Why it is that Mao’s army destroyed Tibetan libraries? Why did the Germans target the medieval library in Louvain, Belgium and follow that with the sweeping destruction and confiscation of libraries throughout central Europe? Why did the Serbs burn the great multi-cultural Bosnian National Library? And here at home, why were nine people arrested in 1961 during the first “read-in” at a segregated public library in Jackson, Mississippi? And why did the Patriot Act seek to obtain the personal borrowing records of library patrons? Not only because libraries are important symbols of a civilized society, but because they are, in a sense, tabernacles of personal freedom: freedom of thought, freedom of expression, freedom of opportunity and the true test of liberty - freedom to dissent.”—Caroline Kennedy, in a speech to this year’s winners of the ‘I Love my Librarian’ award. (via whereipostthings)
My friend John (@octopushat) wrote this article for Lifehacker. It covers the various digital digest apps in detail (think Flipboard — stylish aggregators of twitter and facebook feeds combined with news sites and RSS). Check it out!
Sarah Houghton, the “Librarian in Black,” reveals that Overdrive makes different book titles available to purchase to different library systems based on their lending policies — but doesn’t tell them that.
Two years ago, Google Books was becoming the world’s largest digital library and, with an effective monopoly, seemed “almost certain to be the last one.” The tragedy for scholars was that Google Books’ metadata – which allow users to search the catalog – were “a mishmash wrapped in a muddle wrapped in a mess.”
Such was the argument made in 2009 by Geoffrey Nunberg, adjunct full professor in the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley. He went on to have a good deal of fun with the many strange anomalies: 115 hits for Greta Garbo and 325 for Woody Allen in books said to date from before they were born; editions of Jane Eyre classified under history or antiques and collectibles; Sigmund Freud listed as an author of a guide to an Internet interface. There was even a case of an 1890 guidebook assigned to 1774 because it happened to open with an advertisement for a shirt manufacturer founded in that year.
All this made Google Books’ search facility a very dangerous tool for serious researchers looking to track, for example, the way a particular word has changed its meaning over time.
In response to Nunberg’s critique, Google offered to correct any errors that were brought to its attention. But while this process has ironed out specific glitches in the intervening years, Nunberg does not believe it has made a fundamental difference. “The changes are a drop in a greatly enlarged ocean,” he said, adding that the flaws in Google’s metadata remain “a big systematic structural problem.”