Archive for January, 2004

Nice Praise for Librarians

Saturday, January 31st, 2004

I sat at the right end of the table at dinner the other night. The three guys across from me are all programmers. They all volunteered very nice thoughts about librarians and talked about how librarians could help them with their work. One guy recognized that librarians could help a lot with project documentation and […]

Frassle by Shimon

Saturday, January 31st, 2004

At Thursday’s blog group, Shimon demoed Frassle, the new blog program he wrote. The categorization and hierarchical terms are quite impressive. He and I talked about his categorization ideas a while ago, problems with cataloging the Internet, and coming up with a common vocabulary for doing so. Seeing him program his ideas into this is […]

Maybe It’s a Librarian Thing …

Friday, January 30th, 2004

v does something I’ve contemplated doing many times: she responded to something in her referer log to point the person in the correct direction. It’s difficult for me not to respond sometimes, especially when I think I know the answer or know what someone might be looking for and I know it isn’t on my […]

U. Mich Advertises School of Information Students in Alumni Magazine

Friday, January 30th, 2004

A colleague told me that the University of Michigan’s alumni magazine is advertising the skills of the School of Information students: “Need the best employees or interns? Find them at the School of Information and see their projects …” The ad links to an exposition by SI students of their projects in e-commerce, interface design, […]

Reporter Uses GeoURL to Find People to Interview

Friday, January 30th, 2004

Blogger Marc Nozell writes about how a reporter located him through GeoURL, a service that can find blogs and Web sites near specific geographic locations. Click on the map on the site to see how it works.

Hoarding Information

Friday, January 30th, 2004

I often find myself convincing people about the benefits of releasing information they have. Most of the time, the information isn’t confidential, blocked from release by the law, or anything like that. The person just doesn’t want to share. Sometimes people don’t understand the benefits of sharing information. It irks me when someone says, “No […]

BBC’s Director General & Chairman Resign Over Report of Errors

Thursday, January 29th, 2004

An inquiry into the BBC’s report that the British government exaggerated claims of Iraqi weapons found errors in the way the report was constructed and how the management handled the situation. Director General Greg Dyke and Chairman Gavyn Davies have resigned in the wake of the report. Addendum 1/30: Garrett sent me an article about […]

BOP 04 in LII’s New This Week

Thursday, January 29th, 2004

The Librarians’ Index to the Internet includes The Blogging of the President: 2004 in their New This Week list. Several bloggers who are regulars at the Berkman Center’s Thurday night meetings work on this excellent political resource. LII is a project to catalog useful Web sites with a searchable database of their selected sites. They’re […]

Disseminating Information

Thursday, January 29th, 2004

I’ve been pondering sj’s thoughts on improving the dissemination of information. A good example of poor dissemination happened in Somerville the other night. . . .

Guest Speaking at a Journalism Class

Wednesday, January 28th, 2004

In two weeks, I’ll be a guest speaker in a journalism class taught by a coworker. The presentation I gave last year is still on my Web site. (Please don’t laugh too hard.) I introduce the budding journalists to a variety of sources they can use for their articles, like people, archives, business sources, public […]

RSS Feed Article Turned In

Wednesday, January 28th, 2004

I sent the News Library News editor my RSS feed article today. Hopefully, someone will learn something useful from it when it is published in a few weeks. I’ll post something here when it is available because I think at least one of my blog readers might want to read it. Thanks to those of […]

Gone East Noticed the New Wording of My Byline

Wednesday, January 28th, 2004

Addendum 6/29/04: which used to read I’m j Baumgart and I approved this message in honor of the campaign commercials on television.

Library Cat Attacks Assistance Dog; Dog Owner Sues City

Wednesday, January 28th, 2004

Library Cat, or L. C., attacked a man’s assistance dog, Kimba, in 2000. The man is now suing the city for disability discrimination because he thinks the city “interfered with his admittance to and enjoyment of the library” and took steps to deny his right to bring Kimba into the library. L. C. had attacked […]

Jessamyn Writes About Reading Sites in Her Aggregator

Wednesday, January 28th, 2004

Jessamyn focuses on the design of sites and how they appear in her aggregator. She can read some sites easier in her aggregator, but she knows she’s missing important design elements on some sites, too. She thinks there’s a shift happening as people decide to design their site for better syndication instead of site visitors. […]

Another Reason Why Librarians Everywhere Should Love Jay McCarthy

Tuesday, January 27th, 2004

He’s developed a funky annotation system for what he’s reading so that he doesn’t write in books. (And all this time, I just figured he took notes on his blog.)

Open Access Journals in the Chronicle of Higher Education This Week

Tuesday, January 27th, 2004

Garrett types about some features in this Friday’s Chronicle of Higher Education about open access journals and publishing. There will be an online colloquy on Thursday at 1 pm exploring the issue.

Liberation Technology in the Chronicle of Higher Education

Tuesday, January 27th, 2004

The dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, John M. Unsworth, has a piece in this Friday’s Chronicle of Higher Education about the open source, open access, etc., movement at institutions of higher learning. He gives a history of the Internet, talks about initiatives at […]

Part of USA PATRIOT Act Struck Down

Tuesday, January 27th, 2004

For the first time, a court has declared part of the USA PATRIOT Act unconstitutional. A Los Angeles federal judge decided that the part of the act barring giving “expert advice and assistance” to foreign terrorist groups is too vague.

Harvard College Library Announces Layoffs

Tuesday, January 27th, 2004

On June 30, ten employees of the Harvard College Library system, one of the systems of libraries at Harvard University, will lose their jobs and 8.5 vacant positions will be closed. Workers were notified Monday of the layoffs. “Half of our budget is made up of staff compensation. It was almost impossible for us to […]

How to Get Out of a Bad Conversation in Three Stitches or Fewer

Monday, January 26th, 2004

While I was at a campaign event this weekend, a woman from New Jersey began talking to me. I was knitting in the round with circular needles. The woman, who said she has only knit scarves and a few baby sweaters, began asking me lots of questions about what I was doing. Then, she asked […]

Why I’m Better Than an RSS Feed

Monday, January 26th, 2004

I begin each work day by compiling a set of clips. It’s a task that fell in my lap a few years ago and it’s probably my least favorite daily duty and the task I would most like to hand to someone else. (I love my job. I really do. So I’ll keep doing this […]

Free Books for Mexico City Subway Passengers

Monday, January 26th, 2004

Blog reader Kevin told me about this new initiative in Mexico City aimed at lowering crime on the city’s subways by distributing free books to subway passengers. The article doesn’t say exactly how giving a pickpocket a book will make her not pick someone’s pocket. “We are convinced that when people read, people change,” said […]

John Edwards and Wesley Clark in New Hampshire

Sunday, January 25th, 2004

Diversion: My report of campaign events for John Edwards and Wesley Clark in New Hampshire on January 25, 2004. I hope this will be my last disgression about campaign events for a while (and I’m sure you do, too). Now I’ve seen or heard all of the current candidates in person except Al Sharpton. Addendum: […]

John Kerry, Dennis Kucinich, and Joseph Lieberman, January 24, 2004

Sunday, January 25th, 2004

Political diversion: Here’s a link to my notes from three campaign events in New Hampshire.

Doch! Deutsch: die Sprache der Liebe

Sunday, January 25th, 2004

Schliesslich! Etwas gut, dass von Deutsch handelt!

Report from Somerville’s Caucuses

Saturday, January 24th, 2004

Diversion: So far, I only have a few details from Somerville’s Ward 5 caucus. Katie Wallace (chairwoman of the Somerville Commission for Women and a member of the Progressive Democrats of Somerville) and Denise Provost (alderwoman-at-large for the city) have been elected. I think 5 men and 3 more women were selected, as well as […]

The Order of Feeds in an Aggregator

Saturday, January 24th, 2004

Here’s a post from Canadians are Smug about the way My Yahoo! organizes the feeds in their new beta aggregator. The feeds are grouped by source instead of by time, which is how they appear in many aggregators. This blogger stresses the importance of organization by time: how else will you know what’s new, right? […]

Hunter-gatherer, eh?

Saturday, January 24th, 2004

I’ve never thought about my job like that, but I suppose the reference holds merit.

Apple iTunes Uses RSS Feeds

Friday, January 23rd, 2004

divided by genre with a separate feed for audio books. Thanks, BS!

My Yahoo! Is Experimenting with an Aggregator

Friday, January 23rd, 2004

for their personalized portal. To add it, go to: I just installed it in my Yahoo! portal. You can specify whether you want the feeds to show a headline only or a summary, too; how many items from each source you want on the screen at a time (1-10); and specify the time frame […]

Library Fines

Friday, January 23rd, 2004

I recently learned that the fines collected by a local public library go back to the city government and not to the library. That motivates me to return my library materials on time so I don’t pay fine money that doesn’t go to the library. The comic strip Unshelved, about a public library, has been […]

Tour of makeoutcity

Thursday, January 22nd, 2004

Here are some notes from Jay’s tour of his blog makeoutcity and how he writes it. Addendum 1/23: I was going to be sooooo hurt if Je’ didn’t link to this post ’cause blogging is wicked cool and learning how other people who have unusual methods or do neat things with their blogs (or both […]

PR Newswire has an RSS Feed

Thursday, January 22nd, 2004

Their feed has metadata at the top–something I haven’t seen very frequently in RSS feeds–including some elements from the Dublin Core, which was “the thing” when I was in library school. This isn’t necessarily a new feed. I just saw it today. I’m keeping an eye out for public relations/communications organizations using RSS and resources […]

Opposition to the USA PATRIOT Act in Massachusetts

Wednesday, January 21st, 2004

Tuesday’s Boston Globe ran an article about movements against the USA PATRIOT Act in Massachusetts. It includes information about community measures as well as steps libraries are taking to protect patron records. “If the backlash continues to grow, oppo nents of the Patriot Act believe, their momentum will force Congress and the White House to […]

Notes from Dave Winer’s RSS Winterfest Talk

Wednesday, January 21st, 2004

If you’re interested in RSS and you ever get the chance to hear Dave speak about it, go. He has some interesting ideas about its utility and where it’s headed. Addendum 1/22: Transcripts and other information about other RSS Winterfest sessions are being posted. Links are on the right side of the RSS Winterfest homepage.

Is RSS Like a Librarian?

Wednesday, January 21st, 2004

I’m participating in RSS Winterfest today, an RSS conference that’s a conference call and a Webcast. I’m in a room with Dave Winer (who was one of the speakers), Jim Moore, and Rick Heller as we’re “at” this conference. A few minutes ago, someone said that “RSS is a smart librarian.” Dave, Jim, and I […]

The Baltimore Sun Uses RSS

Tuesday, January 20th, 2004

Their feeds are broken down by sections of the paper, geographical areas, and more.

Librarians’ Index to the Internet Gets an RSS Feed

Monday, January 19th, 2004

The Librarians’ Index to the Internet, a project cataloging the Internet, now distributes it’s New This Week list, which usually comes out on Thursdays, via an RSS feed. LII also explains what RSS is and how to get the feed using a Bloglines aggregator on that page. For more about RSS, they have a tutorial. […]

Getting Librarians Excited About Blogging and RSS

Monday, January 19th, 2004

v discusses the state of blogging and RSS feeds among archivists, then she types: “Librarians, in general, it seems, are adopting RSS and weblog technology, slowly but surely. Yet, I would argue that many of the weblog workshops for librarians are “preaching to the choir” of tech and reference librarians. There is little in either […]

What Aggregator Do You Use?

Saturday, January 17th, 2004

For the RSS article I should hand over on Monday the 26th, I’d like to have a sidebar with a list of aggregators for Macs and PCs and desktop and Web-based aggregators and one or two short sentences about each. I figure asking you what aggregators you use might give me a better list than […]

Home Computer Won’t Boot

Saturday, January 17th, 2004

Eeks! I can’t get my home computer to boot. I think it’s definitely a signal that I can’t procrastinate about buying a new machine any longer (darn it). I’m hoping to get it to boot, reinstall the OS (since I haven’t done that yet this month), and at least do another backup (since I haven’t […]

New Features in Aggregator

Saturday, January 17th, 2004

Dave upgraded the code used by Harvard’s blogs for the aggregators. Now there are really handy features, like links to the source of the feed and links to the XML code for the feed for others who might want to subscribe to the feed (must make life easier for Jay, who likes to subscribe to […]

PC World’s Best of the Web: Blogs and Aggregators

Friday, January 16th, 2004

Blog reader Garrett pointed me to PC World’s Web Stars: Best of the Web because it includes aggregators and a few tools for finding blogs. The article is from their February 2004 issue.

The State Historical Society of Wisconsin Uses RSS Feeds

Thursday, January 15th, 2004

SHSW, or the State Historical Society of Wisconsin for you non-Badgers, uses RSS feeds to syndicate content from sections of their Web site, including their news, according to The Shifted Librarian. This might be the first news office I know of that is using RSS to syndicate their content. Are other state historical societies using […]

Springfield (Mass.) City Library in Trouble

Thursday, January 15th, 2004

“…the Springfield Library and Museums Association wants to throw the library out of its stately building. In an action critics say is like a bank robbery in broad daylight, the SLMA is threatening to turn the building into a museum, which would force the city to pay millions of dollars for a new library.” a […]

Finding “Librarian” Feeds

Thursday, January 15th, 2004

Andrew Grumet built an application on Dave’s “Share Your OPML.” It searches feed titles. The link above goes to a page showing all the feeds people have subscribed to that have “librarian” somewhere in the title. Other blogs with scratchpad in their titles. hee hee hee

The Shifted Librarian on Shared Subscription Lists

Wednesday, January 14th, 2004

The Shifted Librarian points to two services that rank blog posts and things aggregator users subscribe to based on different criteria. She requests that librarians participate in Dave Winer’s Share Your OPML project so that we can get a critical mass of feeds librarians subscribe to. It got me wondering about the utility of a […]

NewsliBlog Has an RSS Feed and Blogroll Now!

Tuesday, January 13th, 2004

Liz set up an RSS feed for NewsliBlog, the active blog for the News Division of the Special Libraries Association, and added a blogroll of news librarian blogs. Awesome! It’s already in my aggregator. THANKS, Liz! The direct link (Ask and ye shall receive sometimes.) Addendum 1/14: Liz is also working on adding a search […]

Bookstores Could Use Better Organization

Monday, January 12th, 2004

As I was wandering around a sizeable bookstore tonight, not finding what I was looking for or anything really related to it, I analyzed my thought process trying to figure out why I couldn’t find it. . . .

2004 News Division Student Stipend for SLA Annual Conference

Monday, January 12th, 2004

Applications are now being accepted for the Special Libraries Association News Division’s Vormelker-Thomas Student Award, the stipend given to a graduate student or December 2003 graduate interested in news librarianship to help defray the cost of attending his/her first Special Libraries Association Annual Conference. Applying may sound like a lot of work, but the pool […]

Desktop Book Binder

Monday, January 12th, 2004

National Public Radio’s Morning Edition talked about a book binder a man invented that’s about the size of a desktop printer. The show focused on its utility for out-of-print books and on-demand printing, complete with the scenario of someone going to a local bookstore and paying for the clerk to print a specific title right […]

Children’s Book Awards Announced Today

Monday, January 12th, 2004

The 2004 winner of the John Newbery medal is Kate DiCamillo, author of “The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread.” Mordicai Gerstein, illustrator and author of “The Man Who Walked Between the Towers,” won the Randolph Caldecott Medal for illustration. Several honor books […]

Park Library News

Sunday, January 11th, 2004

Somehow, I completely missed this blog by one of news librarianships’ shining stars until now. The “news” Barbara reports is often helpful to journalists and news librarians everywhere, not just the UNC journalism students who use the Park Library. Recent entries include information on election statistics, aviation facts, almanacs, articles of note, and library news. […]

Call for Papers About Blogging and Librarianship

Sunday, January 11th, 2004

Blake wants proposals for a chapter about blogging as it relates to all aspects of librarianship for an upcoming issue of the journal “The Reference Librarian.” From LIS News

Planning Ahead: 100th Anniversary of Ted Geisel’s (Dr. Seuss) Birth

Sunday, January 11th, 2004

LIS News links to some great information and resources for celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of America’s greatest children’s books authors: Theodor “Ted” Geisel, who wrote under the name Dr. Seuss. The important date is March 2. The main event seems to be “Read Across America,” a program encouraging children to […]

Bloggers and Self-Censorship

Sunday, January 11th, 2004

Michael responds to reactions to a controversial photo with some thoughts on bloggers and self-censorship. My thoughts: Sometimes it is difficult to know when to “protect” readers from something that might offend them and when to write something without caring whether it’ll offend someone or not. There’s a balance between the attitude “If you find […]

Bloggers Meet for Dim Sum, Chau Chow City, 1/11, 11 am

Saturday, January 10th, 2004

Some of the Berkman bloggers are gathering for dim sum on Sunday, January 11, at 11 am at Chau Chow City, 83 Essex Street in Chinatown. More details and a report are on the Thursday Meetings blog.

How to Put TrackBack on a Harvard Blog

Friday, January 9th, 2004

A few people asked me how to do TrackBack last night. I couldn’t find a “how to” on it, so I’m creating my own. There are two main things you need to do in order to add the TrackBack feature to your Harvard blog. 1) Turn the trackback feature on. Go into Prefs (in the […]

SLA 2004 Annual Conference Registration Has Begun

Friday, January 9th, 2004

Registration for the Special Libraries Association 2004 Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, has begun. The registration fee is $275 before May 1. After May 1, it increases to $325. Lots of exciting stuff and SLA News Division activities at the conference, as always! Information about News Division activities is on the News Division Web site.

Disclaimer: Not Responsible for Content in My Aggregator

Friday, January 9th, 2004

Here I was, all set to direct some of my coworkers to my aggregator to look at how a certain weekly publication renders in an external RSS feed generator and there’s this picture someone else posted on a blog that is too risky for me to share with my coworkers. My goodness! He’s posted, well, […]

The New Mayor’s Inaugural Address

Thursday, January 8th, 2004

Diversion: I attended the inaugural ceremony for the new mayor on Monday night. Tonight, several bloggers wanted to know why I didn’t write about it. A friend just happened to send me a notice about its presence online. So here it is on my blog by request. Since the entire speech is online for you […]

Harvard College Library’s Budget Cuts and Layoffs

Thursday, January 8th, 2004

A blog reader forwarded this article from The Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper, about Harvard College Library’s budget cuts and layoffs to me. It talks about a group fighting the layoffs and that the reduction in purchasing material, like cutting journal subscriptions, has saved some jobs.

Harvard Cancels Elsevier Journals

Wednesday, January 7th, 2004

The Harvard Libraries are canceling subscriptions to approximately 100 journals “in an effort to achieve a more economically sustainable environment for research publication generally. By canceling these little-used materials, Harvard funds can be directed to resources from other publishers that are in higher demand by Harvard faculty and students.” The Web page includes the list […]

The Navy Tests Blogging as a Communication Tool

Wednesday, January 7th, 2004

Blog reader and blogger Garrett sent me an article about how the Office of Naval Research and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) are investigating enterprise blogging as a way to speed up and facilitate communication about new defense technologies.

Sharing Subscription Lists

Wednesday, January 7th, 2004

Dave’s been playing with ways for people to share their subscription lists so that we can learn what other people subscribe to, who subscribes to us, and easily learn about and subscribe to other sources. (Visit the Top 100 list he created to learn how this works.) He created guidelines (linked to above) about how […]

Librarian Job Titles (.xls)

Tuesday, January 6th, 2004

Near the bottom of the Career Planning and Competencies page on the Special Libraries Association Web site is an Excel spreadsheet of the titles SLA members have. The data is compiled from registration forms, which means that some titles, like mine, are abbreviated because the form does not allow enough space for the entire title. […]

The Boston Globe on RSS Feeds

Monday, January 5th, 2004

“Because RSS-compatible products are based on open Internet standards, anybody can produce them. So there’ll be no RSS media empire or RSS billionaires. That’s just as well, as it eliminates the hype that exaggerated the merits of push technology, and helped to destroy it. Instead, we can see RSS for what it is — simple, […]

Heresy, Forbidden Thoughts, and Moral Fashion

Monday, January 5th, 2004

I’m not sure why I’m pointing to this piece on Je’s blog. Perhaps it’s because many librarians seem to have been the unpopular people in high school and college. Perhaps it has something to do with the part of our profession that supports, collects, saves, and encourages unpopular viewpoints. Maybe it’s because at some time […]

Je’ on RSS

Sunday, January 4th, 2004

based on some blogs he read in his aggregator. Je’, would you still read 1001(+) blogs if their content wasn’t coming to you via RSS feeds and an aggregator? I probably wouldn’t read most of the blogs (15+ maybe) in my aggregator if I had to go to their sites every day. (I just added […]

Top RSS Feeds

Friday, January 2nd, 2004

Dave Winer has a list of the top (probably meaning “most popular”) 100 RSS feeds based on 25 subscription lists. Sources other than blogs are on the list.