Archive for December, 2003

Almanacs and Terrorism

Wednesday, December 31st, 2003

The buzz on many blogs about librarianship surrounds a recent report by the FBI that terrorists might be using almanacs to get information to plot their next terrorist attack. Therefore, we should all be on the lookout for people with almanacs and report any suspicious activity. As much as we should take these reports (ahem) […]

All Ye Producers Who Fear RSS Feeds

Wednesday, December 31st, 2003

this is your future: Je’ hit 1001 sources in his aggregator. He probably isn’t stopping there. Why be left out?

Harvard Magazine’s Article about Blogging at Harvard

Monday, December 29th, 2003

came out in their January-February issue. It mentions some Thursday regulars, like Thinking While Typing and the Redhead, and, of course, Dave Winer, who is one of the key forces behind the initiative to bring blogging to Harvard. Addendum 12/31: The Redhead writes of an inaccuracy in the article.

Smallpox Scabs Found in Library Book

Monday, December 29th, 2003

Many librarians have stories about weird objects found in library books, whether it’s material inserted by a patron or something meant to be included in the book.  Here’s a report of a librarian finding smallpox scabs from the 1800s and turning them over to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read on LIS News

Articles about Braille Transcription Program at Prison

Monday, December 29th, 2003

Here’s an article about a man in a Wisconsin prison who transcribes books into braille as part of a program there. A follow-up article about him getting his certification from the Library of Congress appeared recently. from Library Link of the Day

Interesting Thoughts on Illegally Downloading Literature

Friday, December 26th, 2003

from the Dowbrigade. If any of the rest of you want to illegally download books in order to bypass or protest the American publishing system, I recommend that you follow the librarian’s advice and borrow your books for free from a library. Yes, indirectly you’re still supporting the publishers, but you’re also not participating in illegal […]

Congratulations, Sergeant!

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2003

for being named Time’s Person of the Year (along with all the other servicewomen and men)! (So congratulations to you, too, Paul, Pete, J., J’s girl (whose name I always forget, but a good friend reminds me it’s D.), and Philip. Critt, you must be very proud of your son! )

Added Another Blog to My Collection

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2003

I’m now set up to blog on the Thursday Meetings at Berkman Blog, the blog for the group of bloggers that meets at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society on Thursdays at 7 pm. The blog will be about our meetings. Jay McCarthy invites Thursday night bloggers to contact him to get privileges to […]

The Power of Reading

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2003

Bucky learns the power of reading when Rob gives him a book about Garfield the cat for a holiday present in the December 22 Get Fuzzy. Bucky is a siamese cat who lives with a human, Rob, and Satchel, a dog. Garfield is also a cat who lives with a human, Jon, and a dog, […]

Is It the Format or the Information

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2003

Here’s a nice, sensitive topic that has nothing to do with politics. What’s important: the format or the information? What’s key about a book? Is it that it is an object created out of paper or a similar substance with a binding and leaves that contains information? Is it the book as an object that’s […]

The Joys of Being Politically Neutral on a Blog

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2003

Political digression: I’ve got Wesley Clark supporters all excited because of my coverage of one of his New Hampshire events this weekend. They think I’m supporting him. Now, I’ve got a Howard Dean supporter claiming I’m a Dean supporter and giving me something that looks like an electronic kiss or whistle (I’m not good at […]

Free RSS Conference

Monday, December 22nd, 2003

RSS Winterfest is a free, Webcast conference on January 21 and 22, 2004, about RSS and the future of syndicating Internet content. Speakers include industry experts like Scott Johnson of the RSS search engine Feedster, Robert Scoble of Microsoft, software engineer Dave Winer, and Jon Udell of InfoWorld. The schedule indicates events last from about […]

Clarkbot Hit My Blog Last Night

Monday, December 22nd, 2003

Dave Winer points to the Clarkbot, a Perl script Rick Heller wrote to search Feedster, a search engine that works with RSS feeds, to find blog posts about Wesley Clark. Yesterday, I had more than 60 hits in my referer log related to the Clarkbot and the resulting blog post on Heller’s blog about Clark […]

Dean and Lieberman in New Hampshire, 12/21/03

Monday, December 22nd, 2003

Big diversion: Michael Feldman, Dave Winer, and I attended campaign events for Democratic presidential candidates Howard Dean and Joseph Lieberman on Sunday, December 21, 2003. To learn more about these events, read my notes, Dave’s comments on Scripting News, or Michael’s thoughts about Dean or his conversation with Lieberman on Dowbrigade. Addendum 12/31: SJ has […]

Clark and Gephardt in New Hampshire, 12/20/03

Saturday, December 20th, 2003

Big diversion: I went with some bloggers to listen to Wesley Clark and Dick Gephardt campaigning (separately) in New Hampshire on Saturday, December 20, 2003. I posted my notes from their appearances in case anyone wants to learn more about these two candidates from someone who is not a member of the mainstream media. (Although […]

Elsevier Talks About Journal Cuts

Friday, December 19th, 2003

This interview with Elsevier’s global director for corporate communications is almost three weeks old, but I saw it today on LISNews.com and thought it was worth a mention, especially since I haven’t included any coverage of Elsevier’s perspective in my posts about the recent developments regarding libraries’ subscriptions to Elsevier’s journals. The director claims that cuts […]

Two Important Court Decisions Today

Friday, December 19th, 2003

News outlets are reporting that the Dutch Supreme Court ruled today that Kazaa cannot be held liable for copyright infringement for files swapped using its software. Read Reuters and/or the Associated Press The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decided that since Verizon is only “a conduit for communications,” it […]

A Folklore and Mythology Resource

Friday, December 19th, 2003

A retired University of Pittsburgh professor has compiled the texts of numerous tales from folklore and mythology into one Web site, whether they’re his renditions of the tales or links to another Web site hosting a tale. It looks like an incredibly content-rich site. Featured in the December 19 Internet Scout Report

Product Recalls by Government Agencies

Friday, December 19th, 2003

Pardon me while I feature a useful Web site: When I first saw the recalls.gov URL, political recalls came to mind. It’s about time there was an easy way for consumers to learn about products recalled by government agencies. Through this site, the USDA, NHTSA, EPA, FDA, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and United States Coast Guard […]

Observatory of the Information Society

Friday, December 19th, 2003

This Web site from the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) focuses on the international Information Age and the Information Society and includes reports about online governance, libraries, the digital divide, and e-commerce. The site is available in multiple languages and allows users to select material by region and topic. Featured in the […]

Zimbabwe’s Daily News Can Publish Again … Or Can It?

Friday, December 19th, 2003

The Zimbabwe government, which tries to control the media in that country, banned The Daily News a few months ago. A court recently ruled that the newspaper can publish again. Update 5:30 pm: An Associated Press wire story reports that police have shut the newspaper down in defiance of the court order. The Zimbabwe government […]

Cool Stuff in the Boston Chapter Bulletin

Friday, December 19th, 2003

The latest newsletter of the Special Libraries Association-Boston Chapter, the Bulletin, has some great articles. There’s a review of Steven Cohen’s blogging workshop in November, which also plugs the Berkman Center’s Thursday evening meetings. Those who lament that there’s no easy way to learn about candidates for positions on the national level of the organization […]

Webcast, IRC Channel, & Wiki for Tonight’s Blog Group

Thursday, December 18th, 2003

The blog meetings are getting more sophisticated. The last three have been Webcast. Someone set up an IRC channel. And now there’s a Wiki. Oh, ye people in remote locations, please join us.

Keeping Found Things Found

Thursday, December 18th, 2003

The Keeping Found Things Found research project at the University of Washington’s Information School takes the problem of information retrieval one step further by examining how people save, reaccess, and reuse items they’ve already found. Their current focus is on how people do this with regards to information they’ve found on the Web. Some of […]

The Cluttered Internet

Thursday, December 18th, 2003

In London’s technology e-zine The Register, a writer laments the lack of utility he thinks the Internet has after ten years of growth and development and praises librarians because of their abilities to do things technology can’t. “If you’re in doubt, befriend a librarian, and from the resulting dialog, you’ll learn to start asking good […]

Yea. Front Line Voices

Wednesday, December 17th, 2003

A post from Front Line Voices hit my aggregator for the first time today. I subscribed a while ago and hadn’t seen anything, so I was worried about technical issues. Hurry up and read it before it rolls off shortly. It’s at the bottom now. (Hey Sergeant, why don’t you blog? What about your brother?)

Bed Bed Bed

Wednesday, December 17th, 2003

I want it on the record that I supported the librarian stereotype of someone who buys books by going out tonight and buying myself They Might Be Giants’ Bed Bed Bed. I’m also honoring v’s children’s book theme by blogging about it. For you people who are upset that I bought books because bookstores compete […]

Joint Library Very Successful

Wednesday, December 17th, 2003

The December 4th Black Issues in Higher Education reports that the nation’s first library combining public and university libraries is much more successful than planners thought it would be. San Jose State University and the city decided to combine two libraries to make them better than what they could be individually. Visitor and circulation numbers […]

Cornell Announced Its Elsevier Journal Cancellations

Tuesday, December 16th, 2003

Cornell University Library (CUL) administrators decided to subscribe to a smaller number of individual journal titles from Elsevier instead of renewing a bundled journal package. “Cornell is not alone in its decision this year. Harvard recently announced that it is reconsidering its big deal with Elsevier and other research libraries are following suit. Several well-respected […]

Librarians Pose for Charity Calendar

Tuesday, December 16th, 2003

“The myth of the prim and proper librarian has been shattered in the latest example of ordinary women baring all for a charity calendar.” A senior librarian says, “Some people think it is a little demeaning to the profession but we think it is tasteful. It shows that librarians have a life outside and that […]

Holiday Letters & My Blog

Monday, December 15th, 2003

I got a verbal kick in the ribs about a month ago from a family member because I haven’t sent a holiday letter in years. For about seven years, I was good about sending the proverbial holiday card with a long letter. I haven’t done that for a few years. With bruised ribs this year, […]

Marketing a Blog to Coworkers

Monday, December 15th, 2003

So I was at a holiday party today and found myself casually telling more of my coworkers that I have a blog. (Really, I was drinking cranberry juice. I swear it was straight cranberry juice.) Two expressed a polite interest in reading it, much to my surprise. I’m so used to talking about blogs with […]

Bill of Rights Day

Monday, December 15th, 2003

is definitely worth a blog entry from me. One of the big reasons why I became a librarian (yeah yeah yeah you’ve heard this from me before) is because of how strongly I feel about people’s access to information. Yea yea yea first amendment and all that. I think librarians have an essential role–maybe even […]

News About Saddam’s Capture

Sunday, December 14th, 2003

(Just so I’m not the only blogger who didn’t write about Saddam’s capture. Appreciate this: it’s taken me almost all day and a few hours cross-country skiing to figure out how to write something about it that would be suitable for my blog.) On Sunday mornings when I wake up, a local National Public Radio […]

Narrative Journalism Conference Blog

Saturday, December 13th, 2003

Notes about the narrative journalism conference that the Poynter Institute and the Nieman Foundation held last weekend are on the blog linked to above.

Audio From Thursday’s Blog Meeting (.rm)

Saturday, December 13th, 2003

The last two blog meetings have been Webcast and it seems that future meetings may be, also. People–within and without the meeting–have also been logging on to the #bloggercon IRC channel to chat during the meeting. If you’re interested in listening to what happened during Thursday’s meeting, the audio file is available. I actually talk […]

British MPs to Look into Academic Publishing

Saturday, December 13th, 2003

Friday’s Guardian reports that the British House of Commons’ science and technology committee plans to look into scientific publishing early next year to explore alternate publishing methods, like open-access journals, in the wake of growing dissatisfaction with academic publisher Elsevier’s business practices.

Blogging on Multiple Blogs at One Time

Friday, December 12th, 2003

Dave demoed something really nifty at last night’s blog meeting. He’s working on a way to enable someone to post on multiple blogs simultanesouly. I think I was drooling. Sometimes, when I post things on this blog, I wonder if I should post it on NewsliBlog instead or as well. That feature has a lot […]

Blogging in Africa

Friday, December 12th, 2003

At last night’s blog meeting, we talked about Ethan Zuckerman’s initiative to get more blogs about Africa. Part of the reason why he’s doing it is because he selected a continent that isn’t covered much by our media. His interest immediately brought some things to my mind: 1) Has he approached any foreign correspondents in […]

A Young Librarian Writes about Ageism in the Profession

Friday, December 12th, 2003

From the American Library Association’s New Members Round Table’s newsletter Footnotes, the author talks about her experiences as a young librarian as well as including stories of others who have experienced ageism from professional colleagues and the public. Librarianship is a profession that is “graying” (as are many other fields as the baby boom generation […]

Article About a Homeless Blogger

Friday, December 12th, 2003

Blog reader Kevin sent me this link to a Village Voice article he thought was interesting. (I haven’t read it yet ’cause I can’t get there from this browser, but he’s good at suggesting interesting things to read, so I trust him.)

Contest to Rename RSS

Tuesday, December 9th, 2003

Someone is sponsoring a contest to get a better name for RSS. Wasn’t it Scott Rosenberg (and I’m sure many others) who recently lamented that RSS wasn’t a name that would catch on? I couldn’t help thinking about other abbreviations that shouldn’t have necessarily caught on, too, like maybe WWW, HTML, or even XML.

Changes to Departments

Tuesday, December 9th, 2003

Check out some of the changes to the Departments (that’s what this software calls categories) page. If you want to only get an RSS feed for items in a category, you can subscribe to that feed specifically. If your aggregator sorts by topics … or is that too new?

The November Cole Papers Is About Blogging and RSS Feeds

Tuesday, December 9th, 2003

Unfortunately, only the first article of this newsletter about journalism, technology, and publishing is available online, unless you’re a subscriber.

Some Links

Monday, December 8th, 2003

that seemed useful: Glossarist contains numerous links to online topical dictionaries to help you find the meaning of “life.” It even features “glossaries of the month.” How Everyday Things Are Made: “Think of it as your own private online factory tour, or a virtual factory tour, if you wish.” Today in Literature highlights selected events […]

NCSU Considers Dropping Elsevier Subscriptions

Monday, December 8th, 2003

Student senators at NCSU support the libraries’ position not to renew certain Elsevier subscriptions. from the ResourceShelf

Changed Access to Court Records in Florida

Monday, December 8th, 2003

An Administrative Order via the Committee on Privacy and Court Records from the Florida Supreme Court is shutting down electronic access to court records in Florida, according to some news researchers posting to Newslib today. Resources for more information: the court order the press release The First Amendment Foundation in Tallahassee has been lobbying on […]

Michael’s Thoughts on a Redesigned Blog

Sunday, December 7th, 2003

Blogger Michael Feldman (not to be confused with the host of the radio show no longer carried by a local NPR-affiliate, darn it) has some interesting thoughts on and suggestions for Dave Winer’s new direction for Scripting News. What he typed has implications for blogs everywhere. Channel Z makes me think of the evolution of […]

Congrats, v!

Sunday, December 7th, 2003

Our friend at Thinking While Typing earned a James Davis Scholarship for Rare Book School!

Thank Goodness for Reader’s Advisory Librarians!

Sunday, December 7th, 2003

The local librarian who often recommends books I might find interesting has kept me sane this weekend while I’ve been stuck home because of the 18 inches to 2 feet of snow we have outside. Uncharacteristically, I took his advice earlier this week and checked out a book he recently read. I didn’t think I’d […]

Front Line Voices

Friday, December 5th, 2003

Critt has a new project on his blog to get soldiers to write about their experiences.”It has increasingly been the complaint of many troops that the picture painted by the media of the progress in the War on Terror is far from reality. The mission of this site is to get out the fuller story […]

Louisiana College Bans 2 Textbooks, Changes Book Selection Policy

Thursday, December 4th, 2003

This subscriber-restricted article in The Chronicle of Higher Education describes changes at the Baptist institution Louisiana College. A student and a board member complained that language in M. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled and a love scene in A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines did not reflect the Christian values of the college. […]

RSS Feeds in Government

Thursday, December 4th, 2003

Someone sent me the URL for the RSS in Government blog, which has all sorts of info about how local, national, and international governments and their agencies are using RSS Feeds and blogs. A recent post discusses how the Government of Canada is using RSS feeds mixed with metadata to distribute their news. I’m working […]

Hey Tufts, MIT Is Getting Their Weblog Project Off the Ground.

Thursday, December 4th, 2003

They’re running workshops in January to teach students about blogging and they’re starting a hosted service, too.

Directory of Open Access Journals

Thursday, December 4th, 2003

Speaking of journals that use publishing methods circumventing the big publishers, here’s an excellent resource for finding “journals that use a funding model that does not charge readers or their institutions for access.” The database includes basic information about the journal, like its language and publisher, as well as a link to its Web site. […]

Why Librarians Should Care About Blogs

Thursday, December 4th, 2003

I spent some time with a business librarian last night talking about blogs. She doesn’t understand why blogs could be important to librarians, but she also admitted that most of the blogs she’s seen are all online journal types of blogs–the “I hate winter,” “here’s what I think about x,” “while I was looking for […]

Olin College Library Has a Blog

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2003

I learned tonight that the Olin College Library has a blog. It’s integrated in the middle of the library’s homepage. If you have the right browser and can get to the site, it’s difficult to miss. It looks like they use it to communicate news-type items, resources for their users, and library services. It seems […]

Need Some Gift Ideas?

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2003

The Los Angeles Times has a few suggestions for holiday gifts, including boxers with a glow-in-the-dark Spam (as in lunch meat, not e-mail) theme and the librarian action figure.

Diebold Stops Litigation

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2003

The voting-machine company Diebold has stopped its efforts to use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to block students from posting internal company memos about flaws in their machines to the Web. Diebold sent cease-and-desist letters to many of the offenders and/or their educational institutions, including Harvard University. Two Swarthmore College students and the Online […]

What Should Have an RSS Feed?

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2003

What do you think should have an RSS feed? Serious or in jest. Whether it already has one or not. Like I think Jay Leno’s Headlines should have an RSS feed, as well as the news feed on the Harvard Homepage and the updates to Research Matters. National Public Radio? Your oven? My birdfeeder? (To […]

Network with Boston-area Librarians on Wednesday

Monday, December 1st, 2003

The Special Libraries Association Boston Chapter is having a “Holiday Soiree” this Wednesday, December 3, from 6 pm to 8:30 pm at Three Cheers at 290 Congress Street, a few blocks from South Station. $10 at the door gets you some appetizers and the opportunity to network with some really neat information professionals. (No, really, […]