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When they go low, we go high

January 23, 2017 Leave a comment

Someone quite beautiful said that, and I add “and don’t repeat the lie”.

Ever watch the movie “Good night and Good luck“? It’s a 2005 film based on Edward R Murrow and McCarthyism.

Way back in late 1940s to early 1950s, the USA was battling the Red Menace. The Red Scare. The Reds. Heck, there are plenty of other movies about this as well as books (and here is my library link).  Basically it was the USA versus the Soviet Union (kids, that was what we used to call Russia). See, the Soviet Union was communist and USA was not. More than just ‘not’, the USA was vehemently anti-communist.  So much that fear of the “reds” was everywhere – really, fear of a nuclear war with another super power (Soviet Union).

Amongst that fear rose the junior senator from Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy built his career on exposing and persecuting alleged communists in the USA. He had “lists” of these people and threatened many.  At first, most folk were quite happy that he was crusading and exposing this threat. As time marched on, many saw this pursuit as a witch hunt. People had to watch what they said, who they said it to, and who they associated with. The threat was real. Many people lost their homes, their jobs and sometimes, their lives.

Along came Edward R. Murrow (and others). He went on to expose this in a very interesting and intelligent way. Instead of attacking McCarthy (a very powerful man), he instead showed it. Instead of saying “he is lying”, he showed the lie. He replayed the previous words of McCarthy that contradicted and countered the current words. He demonstrated by film clip how the junior senator was misleading everyone – he did not repeat the lie, he showed the facts.

So perhaps, if instead of repeating the lies, perhaps it is better to replay the facts. Show the truth. Replay the video clip. Again and again until all have seen. Don’t let the lie over rule the fact.

“When they go low, we go high” and we do not repeat the lie.

Categories: Uncategorized

Handwriting on the wall

June 10, 2016 Leave a comment

and everywhere else!

I knew it! I knew handwritten was important! this lovely article explains the link between handwriting notes and typing away on your machine.

Of course, it does not explain how to read my writing but that is another story…

Conference food

April 5, 2012 3 comments

Show of hands – how many others come out of a conference GAINING weight?

I just attended a great conference, not just great because of the wonderful program (more later after I digest it all) but also because of the neverending, fantastic tasting FOOD. Everywhere. Great food. And drink (I drank enough great coffee and tea to float the hotel).

Free food is calorie free – so go ahead and indulge! Vendor dinner? Have that rich dessert! Break time? Cookies AND brownies thankyouverymuch! Buffet breakfast? Bacon for everyone!

Sigh. If only. This particular conference recognized the need for healthy options (break time is not just for cookies anymore). They also had yoga. Yes – YOGA at a librarian conference. FREE yoga! I was so pleased to try this out (really yoga? sore after a relaxation? guess I’m stiffer than I knew). The organizers kept us moving, room to room and up and down stairs.

I totally deserved the  cup o’gummy worms after that workout!

RB: Cataloging, a career of fun!

October 20, 2010 6 comments

I’m not really RT (Re-Tweeting) but I guess I’m RB (Re-Blogging)? 

Cataloging is an awesome career choice!  Christine Schwartz of Cataloging Futures posted “Cataloging, the cool job” linking to two great posts about being a cataloger. Smithsonian Special Collections Cataloger Diane Shaw’s “What It’s Like to Be a Cataloger” is fantastic. The comments add to the discussion and expand into library school information. Christine also points out an article by Richard A. Murray, The Whimsy of Cataloging – which made me want to go work at Duke (I can already sing all the parts to “The Lonely Goatherd”!).

And to help you in interviews to obtain this cool career, Laurel Tarulli of The Cataloguing Librarian posted “Interviewing for a Cataloguing Position: The Two-way Street”“. Brilliant information and don’t neglect the comments – even if I did post something that reads as patronizing, I didn’t mean it to be! I meant more along the lines of even when you think you have researched everything before you go for the interview, be sure to look at these and have some good, targeted questions on hand to ask your interviewers.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

cyber-stalking, a true story of luggage

October 11, 2010 3 comments

(note, this post is really not cataloging oriented but don’t we need a break from RDA for a bit? Hmm?)

A while back I listened to another fantastic podcast of NPR’s Fresh Air. This one was the August 19, 2010 “Tracking The Companies That Track You Online“. You really should listen to it.

It fascinated me and it made me think and it made me more aware. These are often good things, especially in combination.  In this case, the report is about how websites track your visits and how some companies “purchase” your surfing history.  The reporter, Julia Angwin,  discussed how it works and what happens. She also told a story about how some shoes “followed” her for several weeks. That is, she looked at some $$$ shoes on a website then for the next few weeks she noticed those very same shoes were in the advertisements of other pages she visited.

I thought “huh? probably not the exact same shoes – she is probably exaggerating for affect” (or is it effect? I always confuse the two). Then it happened to me.

On a recent trip my luggage suffered from a lost wheel. Wait, that isn’t exactly accurate – the wheel was not missing, it was nicely placed on the turnstile next to my luggage by the baggage handlers. The wheel just wasn’t attached to my luggage anymore. I surfed a bit to find a luggage repair shop (only $20 to fix!) but also looking at new luggage in a longing way.  I found a great set that I liked the look of but had no intention of buying (again, only $20 to repair my favorite suitcase).  Since that time, however, almost every site I go to that contains adverts also contains an image of that exact set of luggage with suggestive pricing.

I’m being cyberstalked by luggage.

It made me think about the public access computers. How confused the advertisers must be by the results gathered off public library computers!  Literally 10 or more people a day could be on the exact same machine doing completely different searches. I wonder what the “consumer profile” for such a machine might be. Does it skew the statistics or does it confirm some twisted taste? And it made me want to do some really oddball searching, just to see what happens. Could I get myself cyberstalked by a big pink bunny? Or an exercise machine? Maybe I should investigate purchasing a Maserati and bump up my cyber-profile!

Categories: Uncategorized

336, 337, 338

September 28, 2010 2 comments

Or, the RDA types Content, Media and Carrier.

In my last post, Systems and Cataloging, Céline and Jason had some quite wonderful and thought provoking things to say. Go on, go read it and don’t neglect the comments this time!

Céline says what I have heard previously (she also says new stuff and states all quite beautifully), that is RDA is geared to separate the rules from the format. MARC is the format whereas AACR2/RDA are the rules. AACR2 bleeds into MARC (or vice-versa) quite a bit and part of the purpose of RDA is to separate the rules from the format.

Except, of course, that it doesn’t. Did you see the title of this post? Are you a cataloger? Your mind went immediately to MARC and the new fields.  Except these are really RDA elements (attributes?) shoved into new MARC fields. Guess what? Many already refer to them as 336, 337, and 338 instead of  “Content, Media, and Carrier types” . This will continue to happen so long as we have MARC. It is the nomenclature of cataloging and has been for quite some time. Vocabulary is quite a powerful thing.

It’s easier to say “245” than “title and statement of responsibility”.  We (that is, catalogers) tend to use the tags to describe whatever rule OR field we’re working in. Jason did it in his comment – he talked about the Desc which is what OCLC calls the 000 (or ‘leader’) position 18. He didn’t say “the descriptive rules utilized to create the cataloging record.” I do the very same thing.

I know we want to separate the rules from the format but it ain’t gonna happen whilst we still talk about it all using MARC tags or OCLC labels instead of the actual name of the type, attribute or element.

And please know, I am not dissin’ MARC. I rather like MARC. I like that I know MARC, I like that is it easy for me as a cataloger to determine what MARC field has what information and where to record the information I gather about the item I am cataloging. But I do recognize MARC has outlived it’s usefulness. When the majority of libraries stopped using cards, MARC was fairly outdated and continued to be so. I know there are better ways to record the information we currently record in MARC – heck I can look at ANY database program and see so much more is available because of the way the data is recorded.

However, I think that until the ILS, Systems folk and catalogers all get on board and all together we create a new place to put the information … well, I just don’t see the change a’comin.  I hope I’m wrong (and I probably am, I’m truly not that bright).

Psst…if you wandered on this post looking for information on how to use the 336, 337, and 338, go on over to the Library of Congress MARC Standards for the 3xx fields. Honestly you should just go ahead and bookmark the Library of Congress MARC Standards page for reference in the future…

Tweet tweet

September 20, 2010 Leave a comment

The very brilliant Laurel at The Cataloguing Librarian (yes Spell Check, with a “u”- she’s in Canada) went and discovered I have a twitter account.  I don’t tweet myself, I signed up to participant in a webinar (strangely enough I think it was a Canadian webinar).  I’m no good at short & sweet posts. Look around, I’m too verbose by far.  Thanks to those who are tweeting, I am reading – just not tweeting. Please feel free to pop your twitter name in the comments and I’m happy to become a follower!

Categories: Uncategorized

conflicts at conferences

September 17, 2010 Leave a comment

A while back I whined a bit (I know, so unlike me) about conflicting sessions at conferences. Now that I am working towards creating my very first online conference* I understand the conflicts.

In order to manage the projected audience versus the size of the room, conference organizers may have to resort to creating conflicts. By conflict I am not talking about cataloger cage fights but instead I mean two or more ‘popular’ sessions running at the same time in different locations. This is true in both in-person conferences as well as online conferences.

Huh? Why would room size or audience matter in an online conference? That is just silly talk! Everyone knows the internets are free!

Technology and costs of technology affect the online conferences.  When a conference is online all sorts of technological issues erupt and cost is a huge factor. In order to host an online event, you must utilize some sort of meeting or classroom software. Several are available (both free and cost), examples include Cisco’s WebEx, Saba’s Centra, Adobe’s Connect, dim-dim, Blackboard…and the list goes on.  Each one has positives and negatives (I’ve used four of those listed and have some definite opinions).  Cost is often based on room size, that is how many individual logins (or “seats”) are allowed simultaneously per session. This means you can have a 50 seat room or 100 seat room or more but every increase in ‘seat’ increases cost.  There is also the issue of bandwidth – the faster the better.  The more people in the room, the more that hit the bandwidth, the slower the load becomes.  This can be a drag – ever been in an online conference or presentation in which the screen you are viewing in no way resembles whatever the speaker is describing? And that by the time the page being discusses loads to your machine, the presentation has moved on to another page or topic?

Point being I now understand why conference creators build in conflicting sessions.  This is happening to me now. As I build an online conference for my company I know I will have to build in conflict. I know I am going to have to have multiple popular sessions at the very same time in order to manage room size and costs. I am sad about this but resigned.  The one shining light is that online conferences can be recorded.  Participants can go back and listen to the session they could not attend. This makes me very happy since I am planning to listen to every session of the upcoming conference.

*This is an actual work-related event in which my employer has designated me as organizer. I am quite excited. I wrote a list of who I’d love to see in a conference, shuffled the names, and sent inquires out to the first 10 listed. To my utter amazement, almost all said yes. Some even suggested others (names that were not on my list because I never dreamed they’d accept). Before I knew it I had a long list of “dream” presenters. Not ALL my”‘dream” presenters, I still have a long list of  ones I wish I could include. There just isn’t the time to have everyone I want since I have committed myself into making this a balanced conference and including new-to-me presenters (via a call for speakers) to ensure a variety of voices are heard. If only I could make this a three day tour…

Categories: RDA, Uncategorized Tags: ,

semi-anonymous

September 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Christine Schwartz over at Cataloging Futures has mentioned my blog in her blog (a blog within a blog? Call Shakespeare!). Awesome.

I love her blog (see? I even link to it in the list to the right of my posts). She often discusses things that spark me off or make me go hmmm or otherwise edutain (educate/entertain…I’m creating new words).

In her post about my blog (yes, it is all about me today), she says I am “semi-anonymous”.  I like that! I had always wanted to grow up to be mysterious but semi-anonymous is good too.

I’ll try to live up to the hype. Please stick around.

Categories: Uncategorized