Friday, August 31, 2007

It's Blog Day 2007

Library Garden had a post today reminding readers today is the Third Annual Blog Day. What is Blog Day; I missed it last year, but do remember reading about it and possibly posting late? The Blog Day 2007 website defines the event:

BlogDay was created with the belief that bloggers should have one day dedicated to getting to know other bloggers from other countries and areas of interest. On that day Bloggers will recommend other blogs to their blog visitors. With the goal in mind, on this day every blogger will post a recommendation of 5 new blogs. This way, all blog readers will find themselves leaping around and discovering new, previously unknown blogs.

I am not a fan of playing blog tag and realize that is the basic point of having Blog Day. I will, however, post the five newest library and technology themed blogs I have added to my Bloglines account this summer. So in no particular order:

  • Lifehacker, Tips and Downloads for Getting Things Done
    "Lifehacker points out software downloads, web sites, do-it-yourself projects, how-to's, tutorials, shortcuts and tips for going beyond the default settings and getting things done in the most clever, unexpected and efficient ways. Think of Lifehacker as self-help for geeks."

  • YALSA Blog
    ALA's Young Adult Library Services Association Blog

  • Cranky Geeks
    "John C. Dvorak, whose crankiness knows no bounds, is a contributing editor of PC Magazine, for which he has been writing two columns, including the popular Inside Track, since 1986. "

  • Compiler - Monkey Bites
    "'s Compiler blog is everything you need to know about software that makes the web tick — and how you can put it to use on your own website and digital media projects. By Wired News Senior Editor Michael Calore and Wired News blogger Scott Gilbertson."

With the campus change to MS Office 2007 this summer, the new blogs on my list are more heavily technology oriented than library. I also admit to letting my Bloglines account stagnate somewhat instead of adding interesting new reading. I will tag this post with the requisite Blog Day 2007 Technorati tag and look to see what others are reading.

Anything to recommend?

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Librarian laughter

From Brad Barker, at the Modesto Bee, via Michael Rogers at LJ Insider, (just following the path for blogging provenance) comes this article: Mr. Library Man Wants You To Speak Up and Ask Questions.

"You know the stereotype. Librarians are portrayed as stern, old-fashioned ladies with cat's-eye glasses whose only jollies come from shushing the giggles of children. As an antidote to narrow- minded caricatures, and to perhaps demystify my profession, I offer this (potentially recurring) column -- Ask Mr. Library Man." (Brad Barker, 8/29/07)

One of my favorites? It fits in with, "but you don't look like a librarian."

"Q: Answer me this, Library Man: Do you wear your hair in a bun?"
"A: I used to, but I'm searching for a new image."

And alas, as an academic librarian we generally speak in code about LC. But I can't divulge any secrets for fear of being expelled from the society.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

ALAO: 33rd Annual Conference

Registration for ALAO's 33rd Annual Conference, Innovation Generation: Tools, Techniques, Transformations, is now open! This year's conference is a two day event at the Greater Columbus Convention Center on October 25th and 26th. Featured speaker for the President's Program on Friday, October 26th is Joe Janes, Associate Dean for Academics at the Information School, Univerisy of Washington.

For more information regarding Featured Speakers and a Preliminary Conference Program schedule, visit the official ALAO conference web site.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Rain, Rain, Go Away

The amount of rain that Ohio has experienced this past week served to remind me that while I was craving some relief from the drought in the past, I am now more than ready for the rain to go away. The flooding has wreaked havoc on many of my surrounding communities, and many school beginnings have been delayed. I have a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows in my office and I got to witness the fury of Mother Nature in full view. What an awsome sight! My library was fortunate to only get two or three leaks. It is a regular duty to patrol the library in search of leaks when it rains heavily. We have had several serious ones in the past. We have some persistent places that just won't go away. So the local roofing company knows the library very well. Storms like the ones we have experienced in the last two weeks reinforce the critical importance of a library having a disaster response plan in place. Whether you have a faulty lighting system or a serious flooding problem, administrators need to work closely with their maintenance and public safety departments to ensure that patrons as well as the collections are protected as much as possible. Yesterday, someone asked me the elevation of the library above the flood plain of the creek that runs near us. I admit, I never considered the creek ever flooding enough to reach the library, but after that last storm, I think I'll go have a talk with the Maintenance Department, just to be sure.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

What's in a name?

What's in a name? Or, for that matter, a password? Well, it can mean getting access to your computer, your bank account, your e-mail or even your own blog. I have more usernames and passwords than I can remember and the older I get, the less I can remember them. If a tool does not require you to have one, then your IT Department certainly will.

Today, increasing security risks mean that you are likely to have to submit to a more complicated sign-in process to gain access to your work computer and your employer's networks. A university network is highly desirable and many are taking steps to better protect them. I do not blame them; it is frustrating and scary when you discover that someone has "invaded" you.

Now I have to admit, I do not always follow suggestions not to use familiar words and numbers to create a password. And yes, I do use the same password more than once and even write them down sometimes. If I didn't, I would constantly be hitting the forgot password link on every system I was trying to access, like this one, since I couldn't remember what I used for a password to post to the blog!

It is unfortunate that there are people who wish to do nothing more than to create electronic havoc wherever they can and as often as they can. As an administrator, I understand the necessary evils of having to log into my various accounts and networks to protect the information they contain. As a librarian, I wish that we could all freely access information without worrying about someone doing unethical things with it. Technology has given libraries incredible ways to share knowledge and librarians are eager to use as many as possible, if only it can be made easier to do so.

But even if it is tedious to always have to "log-in," there is a bright spot to it all-- my vocabulary skills get a rigorous workout as I try to create that perfect username and password combo that I will least likely to forget.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Library Cloud News

Welcome to our new Library Cloud contributor Betsy Blankenship. Betsy is the head librarian/director of Marion Campus Library, Ohio State University at Marion/Marion Technical College.

Betsy has significant experience with library outreach programs for her library and has presented at both state and national library conferences including "Bringing Museum Exhibitions to Libraries: An Innovative Partnership Reaches Communities Nationwide" at the American Association of Museums Annual Meeting and Museum Expo in 2004, "Staff Appreciation on a Shoestring: It's 'Knot' as Hard as You Think!" at the Ohio Two-Year College Library Director's Conference in 2004, and "Upsetting the Applecart: What Happens When Your Lecture Class Goes Online" at last year's ALAO Annual conference in Akron.

Betsy is an active ALAO member and board alumni with experience serving as a Conference Program Committee member, ALAO board member, and Public Relations coordinator.

Welcome Betsy!