Tuesday, February 27, 2007
So if you're interested in discussions of MARC coding, convoluted copyright violations and Canadian music reference sources (and who ISN'T?) then please visit me at Special Librarian.
If however you would rather see adorable pictures of my cat and hear me bitch about people that walk too slowly at chinese buffets, than read on my friend.
So last night I signed up at 7:30.
At 7:45 Erin posted a message to my "wall" and welcomed me to Procrastination Central.
At 10:30 I realized what she meant.
Amazing how much of a time-suckage that thing can be. And how gratifiying it is for someone that is completely useless at keeping or making friends in real life to be able to just click a button and *bing* a visual confirmation that I do indeed have peeps in the world.
Friday, February 23, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
she was notorious for the following reasons:
- she never took her shoes off in the house - insisting that they were clean
- she had a terrible habit of sniffing, as if her nose was always running
- she was the master of all things passive aggressive - stress on the aggressive
- upon arrival, she would immediately begin cleaning everything in sight - a clear judgment on my mother's housewifing skills.
and now, as i get long in the tooth i see that old germanic influence seeping it's way into my daily life. and lately its been getting worse. the kitchen sink, the shower, my sock drawer, my books...they've all been recently exposed to bleaching, scrubbing, tossing and weeding.
my new office is the latest victim. luckily, being the new girl has given me the ability to weed with a critical eye. this week i've been in the process of cleaning out the four bookcases and huge file drawers that have been crammed with all things library for the last fifteen years.
one day i may regret throwing out that office supplies receipt from 1992, but today i dropped it like it was hot.
Friday, February 16, 2007
2 Bedroom Annex Location. Ground floor of 3 level heritage building. Hardwood through-out. All inclusive, heat and hydro. Must love loud music and all night partying.
Upper suite rented by two sleazy, bleach-blond exotic dancers and lower suite rented by aspiring death-core and called 'Rotted Remnants'. Super heavy riffs and double kick drums.
Some minor wall damage from previous tenants and the toilet backs up from time-to-time but you wont even notice because the tiles in the washroom are new.
There is a strange smell in the kitchen as a preivious tenants cat climbed into the wall and died. No worries though, the thick reefer smell from the Jamaican neighbours will mask it.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
1. the fattest squirrel with a huge beard of snow stopped outside to spy on me. i laughed out loud.
2. a storm of sparkley snow came rapping at the window.
Little things, like the fact that it's already noon and I've only received one email (I'm sure that will soon change). Or that I spent two hours chatting with my boss this morning and not once did she disrupt our discussion to answer an email, clean her office or make a phone call.
I absolutely love that fresh coffee is constantly brewing in the building - not only is the aroma keeping me alert but I'm also saving a ton of cash. And for the first time in five years I have actual library stacks to wander through!
I have to say though that one of the most noticeable changes for me is the wardrobe. At least four people in the building today are wearing jeans. Yesterday one of the guys here spent all day wearing a toque. Don't get me wrong though, the building definitely has its fashionista's and an artsy kind of style. So I feel myself needing to funk it up a little bit more. More of that "funky librarian" as opposed to "all-business-all-the-time manager".
It's gonna take me some time to ease into that one.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Patron: Ummm, I'm looking for a book.
Librarian: Okay, well, do you know what it's called?
Librarian: Do you know who wrote it?
Librarian: Are you just hoping that we have some sort of book?
Librarian: You know you're in a fuckin' library, right?
-Austin Public Library
Monday, February 12, 2007
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Today was my last team meeting. And I went in all charged up and ready to inspire and awe with the words of wisdom that I gleaned from the many interesting sessions at OLA. I went in there with the goal of making them see just how powerful the library can be, how intriguing and multi-faceted librarians are, how our patrons can make use of all the technology and tools of the future.
And what did I get?
I freaking hate "yah buts".
"Yah but our population isn't savvy enough to use that technology"
"Yah but does our librarian really have time to be answering IMs"
"Yah but I don't have time"
The worst part of it all is that I have no time or rebuttals for yah buts. I find myself unable to defend my profession and lacking the words to inspire them to different way of thinking. It's not that I want them all to roll over and blindly follow, but I'd appreciate a little bit of enthusiasm! A little bit of innovation! At least a smidge of "hmmm that sounds interesting"!!
I was left sad, upset and deflated.
My work here is done. The question "do we even need a librarian?" was enough to make my head explode.
Fourteen hours, six meetings, one goodbye lunch, one goodbye tea and approximately 200 emails away from the end.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Monday, February 05, 2007
With the assistance of Doctor Tim I have nearly 200 photo's from the event which helps to supplement any part of my memory which may have been blacked out.
I only wish that the night could have gone on longer. Alas, the karaoke ran dry and being 30 years old means getting to bed by 4am. Thanks to my Bf and Todie for their excellent party planning skills :)
And to all my friends for showing up and subjecting themselves to my mad karaoke skills. I hope you're all still speaking to me. More pics on Flickr if you're interested.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Solutions for a New Generation
Max Valiquette from Youthopia lead this talk and waxed poetically about today's youth culture. Talking about "kids today" makes me want to throw up and slit my wrists (in that order). Don't get me wrong, I find it fascinating to hear about the various forms of technology that kids are throwing themselves at, and the ways and reasons why they are growing up so damn fast and causing adults to hang on to their every word and trend. It's the thought of one day employing these tiny monsters that puts the dread in my soul. Max spoke about their sense of entitlement, expectations of grandeur of lack of respect for all forms of authority. Awesome. He explained that occassionally these tendencies lead to great things. ie Craig Killborn - a young man who was so completely convinced that he could affect child poverty and labour...that he in fact has. He's done far more than any form of government or any agency led by old white guys.
It didn't hurt that Max is totally adorable and the audience was putty in his hands.
I live for this session. I sit front and centre and madly scribble notes as each of the panel members speak. I've attended this session ever since I was a library student and back then I was so green that I didn't understand a single word coming out of the speakers. Nowadays I'm a tiny bit more savvy and my rabid blog consumption has kept me closer to the trends they were discussing. A brilliant edition to this years blog panel was John Blyberg from the infamous Ann Arbour Library! Mecca itself. Here's my summary from each speaker:
1. RSS - recognizable iconography making leaps and bounds in adoption
2. Library web sites - no longer possible to sit back and leave it for one person to work on once a week.
3. Mindful application of social software - be available in spaces that are useful to our users.
1. What is success in the age of 2.0?
1. Conversation - people want to talk, use social tools to encourage this!
2. Convergence - old and new media are converging and so are devices
3. Content - librarians have opportunities to facilitate creation of content.
4. Redefining LIS jobs - new positions at Mac and Kingston leading the way
5. Citizen journalism
6. Openness and sharing - open source LIS (Koha)
8. Experience and Play
One of the audience members asked "If we're supposed to be adding these elements what should we be dropping?" John Blyberg had a fabulous response that I'd like to frame or tattoo somewhere visible:
"You are getting paid! Your job is to do these things and learn! There are no more excuses for complacency."
I love it.
We had the standard lunch of chicken and veg and the welcome surprise of carrot cake for dessert. Sean Cullen had a family emergency so our last minute replacement was the chick from Royal Canadian Air Farce. We left when our cake was done.
Another excellent OLA Superconference. I'm always a little sad when it's all done. But now it's time to clean up my conference bag and sort through my goodies.
Friday, February 02, 2007
A Culture of Perpetual Innovation
On the theme of food my opening session was lead by a VP at Loblaw's. I assumed based on the title and abstract that the focus would be on encouraging and facilitating a culture that supports innovation at all levels of staff. I was hoping for some tips on how to level the management/admin structures and get everyone to share their bright ideas without feeling intimidated. Alas, this was not to be. The focus was on how Loblaw's surveyed the landscape and the schedule they used to pitch new products and ideas. He spoke about the different products launched by President's Choice and the new fabulous Blue Line and demo'd some of their recent marketing endeavors. All of this was fascinating, even though it didn't have alot to do with the library.
Sense of Community in our Changing Landscape
This plenary was lead by Glen Murray, former mayor of Winnipeg. It was fantastic. He spoke about libraries being a major part of the cultural centres of cities and how they encouraged not only the creative culture but also economic growth.
"Culture as a place is dwindling due to the corporate global revolution of blanding, dumbing and taking away from the cultural focus of cities."
"If you plan and map the creative culture of burgeoning centre in advance you will kickstart the economic base of the neighborhood."
The entire talk was riveting and was made even more so when just before concluding Glen recounted the story of being a young, gay man living in an extremely hostile environment. He spoke about not understanding what was happening to him and how he thought being gay was an illness. He went to his local librarian, told her that he was sick and needed a book about his illness. The librarian discreetly took him to the stacks and gave him a well thumbed book that helped him not only to understand the normalcy of his situation but gave him hope for a future that he had not been able to foresee.
I had goosebumps.
Best Practices for Social Software
Michael Stephens lead this talk discussing the social tools that our users are experiencing and the important aspects we needed to know about each of them. He spoke of blogs, RSS, Instant Messaging reference, Wikis and gaming.
*He encouraged librarians to consider giving all real time services a virtual space.
*Be mindful of technolust - remember that we are just talking about tools and not to forget the importance of the users.
*Throw out the culture of perfect. Don't be afraid of comments, typos or making mistakes. It's all about being human and allowing users to see that.
*Get admin buy in , it's priceless. But staff buy in makes it happen.
*Adopt a 2.0 philosophy - communication should flow up and down, not one way.
Michael also showed us his Second Life profile and the characters and spaces that he's visited there. He encourages us all to create a character and try it out - not necessarily to live our lives there but just to understand where our users are going and what they do there.
I love Michael Stephens talks. He's brilliant and isn't afraid to get to the meat of the matter.
The night ended with a conference reception. It was made better by the fact that a fellow attendee gave us four extra drink tickets - we downed them in 20 minutes, ate some springrolls and hit the road.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
I went to the following sessions:
*some pretty cool examples of new tools being built with the google maps api - including mashing with Flickr to add geographic tags to photo's.
*another cool site that mapped out addresses of places mentioned in books. the example cited was manhattan, it was pretty amazing to see the number of flagpoints.
*for the first time ever i heard about the Grey Album created by DJ Danger Mouse. sounds fantastic and i'm embarrased to be learning about it two years later.
I've looked at life from both sides now:
*dumb name - good presentation
*three sub-twenties led the panel discussing the youngsters view of MySpace, Facebook and some other site.
*the room was packed and the panel looked like it was pretty entertaining
*totally cool idea on OLAs part to include the very audience that we're always trying to figure out
*also thought it was pretty cool that Stephen Abrams son was on the panel - how advantageous to have Super Librarian as your dad.
Plenary: Future of Search
*overall i liked this presentation by Tomi from Yahoo, i thought he had alot of fun toys to show and a few good quotes to prove his points
*HOWEVER i start to feel a bit defensive when the speaker fails to realize how many librarians are already using the toys that he's pitching
ie. "How many of you use delicious for your bookmarks? .... really?.....THAT many?....wow....you guys are great!"
*well, yah. duh.
Digital Collection Management
*fantastic presentation, i was only planning to stay for half but ended up staying and asking questions (that almost never happens)
*shocking to discover the resources that were put into a national image archiving project and then completely dismantled and abandoned three months ago. good work ottawa.
*some really cool projects happening at MUN (which is now apparently just MU, they dropped the N) and at Simon Fraser that make me excited to be embarking upon this whole digital journey.
Most of the day consisted of running into many old friends and colleagues that I only get to see once a year, along with dodging others that I dread seeing once a year. Thankfully the former outweigh the latter. I found myself in the very surreal experience of drinking with my former associate dean at the faculty reunion event. Before this day the most I had ever spoken with this woman was at my exit interview right before graduation. Very, very strange situation. But at least I got a free cosmo and a few chicken wings out of the deal - pure class.
Let's hope that the haze of gin martini's and hardcover books continues into tomorrow...