Archive for March, 2004

April is the cruellest month

Wednesday, March 31st, 2004

I. The Burial of the Dead April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. … Please allow me this diversion of the first few lines of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. Oh. I understand your disappointment now. You expected an April […]

2 Academics Cause Errors in Newspapers

Wednesday, March 31st, 2004

It can be enough work checking for plagiarism among a newspaper’s own staff. The subscribers-only Chronicle of Higher Education recently published articles about two academics who plagariazied pieces they wrote for newspapers. The president of Central Connecticut State University plagiarized portions of an opinion piece The Hartford Courant published. He recently announced his retirement in […]

Six Academic Publishers and NetPacks Settle Over Illegal Electronic Distribution

Wednesday, March 31st, 2004

A Texas copy shop owner created and distributed digital course packs without proper copyright clearance to University of Texas at Austin students. Six academic publishers sued him in January. The parties recently settled out of court. The action could be the first dealing with electronic distribution of unauthorized course packs. from The Chronicle of Higher […]

“Blogging Is Cool – But It Could Be Even Cooler”

Wednesday, March 31st, 2004

according to Hewlett-Packard’s Semantic Blogging Demonstrator, an HP Laboratories experiment supporting the European “Semantic Web – Advanced Development” project. It uses semantics to improve views, searching, and navigation on blogs. spotted on shimonolog

Lecture: Digitizing the News: Innovation in Online Newspapers

Wednesday, March 31st, 2004

I attended the lecture Pablo Boczkowski gave at MIT about his dissertation: Digitizing the News: Innovation in Online Newspapers. It’s based on observations he made at three news organizations between 1997 and 1999. Read my notes.

Librarianesque Session Description

Monday, March 29th, 2004

A version of this description of the Librarianesque Session at BloggerCon II is now on the BloggerCon blog. I’m posting it here, too, to market the session. j Baumgart, moderator Plans for the session are still being developed. Please comment below, as I am interested in feedback about this session. The main goal of the […]

Dallas Fort-Worth Star-Telegram Corrections Policy

Monday, March 29th, 2004

This article announces the Dallas Fort-Worth Star-Telegram’s efforts to monitor their staff’s writing for plagiarism and fabrication. “The Star-Telegram is responding, effective immediately, with a permanent fact-checking policy designed to help keep staffers alert to the dangers of plagiarism and fabrication. The policy also aims to assure readers that this newspaper’s constant goal is to […]

Department of Interior Web Sites Back Up

Saturday, March 27th, 2004

Reuters and several other news sources report Web sites for parts of the Department of Interior are back online. I wrote about them being offline about ten days ago. An appeals court decided the department Web sites could come back online “… while the court considers whether payments owed to American Indians are vulnerable to […]

Public Librarian Responds to Shimon and Me

Thursday, March 25th, 2004

I shared the discussion Shimon and I are having about libraries with Kevin, a public librarian. He allowed me to post his comments on my blog.

Microsoft’s NewsJunkie

Wednesday, March 24th, 2004

According to this brief San Jose Mercury News article, Microsoft’s NewsJunkie moves new news stories to the top of the list and news stories with repetitive content to the bottom so the user doesn’t keep sorting through the same material. Seen on ResourceShelf

Photo Project to Counter the Librarian Stereotype

Wednesday, March 24th, 2004

Library student Cynthia Wilson is looking for all kinds of librarians to photograph to show the variety of people working in our profession as a way to counter the stereotypes. Her contact information is on the site I am a librarian. Spotted on LIS News

More on Blog on Your Own Blog vs. Comments on Another Blog

Wednesday, March 24th, 2004

Back in early February, I wrote about Shimon’s scheme of commenting on a Frassle blog starting a new blog in Frassle. Well, he has rethought how Frassle does comments and plans to revamp the system. I think his new plan for the system is probably a good idea. I wouldn’t say I was disappointed to […]

Using RSS and EFS for Shareable Calendars

Wednesday, March 24th, 2004

Shimon builds on Cesar Brea’s post about shareable calendars and RSS feeds. Though they both focus on the social application of calendars, using RSS and Event Share Framework (EFS), it has applications in other areas, too. Journalists, for example, often have to deal with calendars. Imagine a government reporter getting the mayor’s calendar of public […]

Overheard: Description of a Librarian

Wednesday, March 24th, 2004

“That librarian looks like she just walked out of a Norman Rockwell painting showing a librarian.” While some of you would gasp at this description in horror, I can only wonder what American painter Norman Rockwell’s concept of a librarian would be. I can’t remember any artwork I’ve seen attributed to him specifically depicting a […]

News Division Award Winners

Wednesday, March 24th, 2004

Congratulations to the four amazing people who won the Special Libraries Association News Division awards this year. John Cronin of the Boston Herald will get kwapilled at the Awards Banquet in June. The Kwapil Award is the division’s highest honor, recognizing someone who has made outstanding contributions to the News Division and the field during […]

The Future of Reference Services Presentation

Wednesday, March 24th, 2004

The ResourceShelf points to this video presentation about rethinking reference services hosted by OCLC. It sounds interesting, especially since someone from 24/7 Reference, a type of virtual reference service, is on the panel, but I can’t get it to work on my computer. I’m not sure what kind of software it requires that I don’t […]

My Response to Shimon’s Thoughts on Improving Libraries

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2004

A week ago, Shimon shared some thoughts on what qualities his ideal library might have. I finished a response to his post last night. … Addendum 3/24: I hope Shimon doesn’t think he’s getting off this easily. Hey Shimon, what do you think about my response? Anyone else want to chime in–>make this a discussion/conversation […]

Yeah, the Google Article Is Nice, But How about those Start-ups?

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2004

Yeah, yeah, yeah Google’s great, whatever. I think some of the things their competitors are doing are much more interesting, more key to the future of search. How about being able to search the content of your e-mails and other files, not just file names (like the new Lycos toolbar described on the ResourceShelf)? A […]

A Biotech Librarian Will Run the Boston Marathon

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2004

Sandra, a biotech librarian, is part of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s team running the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 19. Go, Sandra, go! (Who says librarians can’t be athletic?)

Jessamyn West’s Google Answers Experience

Monday, March 22nd, 2004

One of my blog readers asked about Jessamyn West’s experience with Google Answers after reading she will probably be at the BloggerCon session I’m helping to organize. She wrote about it in Searcher magazine’s January 2003 and October 2002 issues. (I’ve gotten into a few conversations about Google Answers in this space.) She, of course, […]

ASI Salary Survey

Monday, March 22nd, 2004

The American Society of Indexers is taking a survey of members’ salaries until Friday, April 9th. (Unfortunately, it still reflects ASI’s emphasis on back-of-the-book indexes because many of the multiple choice answers do not include selections for indexing for the Web or on the Web, indexing in formats or arrangements that are not like a […]

Taps for the Redhead’s Lost Blog Post

Sunday, March 21st, 2004

I was in the woods at the time, so the server problems had nothing to do with me being online this time.

The Librarianesque Session at BloggerCon II Is on the Schedule

Sunday, March 21st, 2004

I was almost not going to blog tonight ’cause I just got back from a hike and I’m heading to a very long movie, but I’m really glad I decided to blog, otherwise, I wouldn’t have seen that Dave Winer posted a draft BloggerCon II schedule and the librarians/libraries/information professionals/archivists/interested parties session is on it! […]

How to Make Money by Blogging

Sunday, March 21st, 2004

This comic strip fits too well with a number of conversations I’ve heard about how people can make money from their blogs. (Thanks for sharing, SR.)

What Good Is Metadata Anyway?

Sunday, March 21st, 2004

Some Web people and I discussed the purpose and utility of assigning metadata to the pages of a Web site that’s currently being developed. We’ve been looking at using the Dublin Core. The more I lobbied for the importance of its inclusion, the more their skepticism leaked into my head. A few years back, it […]

Yahoo! News

Sunday, March 21st, 2004

Gary Price reports Yahoo! News’ new search engine is out of beta testing. More details about it are on ResourceShelf. (Just so there’s absolutely no confusion, I am not the J.B. he credits with the info.)

Librarian of Congress Names New Recordings to the National Registry

Sunday, March 21st, 2004

“Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has announced the second annual selection of 50 sound recordings to the National Recording Registry. Under the terms of the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, the Librarian is responsible for annually selecting recordings that are ‘culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.’ Registry recordings must be at least 10 years […]

A Blog About What Libraries Are Doing With Blogs

Sunday, March 21st, 2004

What a great use of a blog! The blogroll includes a number of blogs for libraries.

Job Shadowing Season

Thursday, March 18th, 2004

It’s that time of year when a professional association I belong to, the Special Libraries Association Boston Chapter, organizes a day-on-the-job event for local library and information science students. I’ve hosted students ever since I’ve had this job and have made arrangements for three students to visit me so far this month. The first one […]

My Business Cards Are Strictly for Networking Purposes. Honest.

Thursday, March 18th, 2004

There was a library/information science Ph.D. student at tonight’s blog meeting. Because of how far apart we sat at dinner, I didn’t get a chance to talk to him until we were leaving the restaurant. His thesis about e-mail and related issues, like why people use multiple e-mail addresses, interests me. He asked for my […]

Archive of Jayson Blair’s Work

Thursday, March 18th, 2004

Jayson Blair is a former New York Times and Boston Globe reporter who lost his job because editors determined he plagiarized and fabricated some of his work. The New York Times has released some kind of archive of his work. Unfortunately, it crashes both of the browsers I use, so I can’t get to it […]

Great Quote

Thursday, March 18th, 2004

Dave Winer just said he heard about this quote at a librarian’s conference about librarians: “We’re a bunch of Lisas in a world full of Barts.” For those who are clueless, that’s an analogy based on the American cartoon The Simpsons. Lisa is an incredibly intelligent, witty little girl. Bart is her older brother who […]

Nice Public Library Parking Garage Decorations

Wednesday, March 17th, 2004

The Kansas City Public Library in Missouri uses giant painted books to decorate their parking garage. The Kansass City Star article discusses how the books featured on the parking garage were chosen, lists them, and has a photo of Journal of the Expedition by Lewis and Clark on the parking garage. It really looks like […]

Department of the Interior Web Sites Shutdown

Wednesday, March 17th, 2004

One of my news librarian colleagues pointed this Web site shutdown out to me. Talk about disappearing information on the Internet! She’s trying to verify something for a news article and can’t get to the Web site with the information she needs because a federal judge has ordered a number of Department of Interior Web […]

A Hawk Visits Briefly

Wednesday, March 17th, 2004

My balcony has a nice dusting of snow, as does the railing. A hawk just flew up and sat there facing me. She was incredible against the pale gray of the sky behind her and the white snow around her. She made loud noises like a dog whimpering. When am I going to learn to […]

Civil Liberties and National Security: Is There Common Ground? (video file: .rm)

Wednesday, March 17th, 2004

One of my blog readers persuaded me to go to this John F. Kennedy, Jr., Forum at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government on Tuesday, March 16, 2004. It was an informal debate between Viet Dinh, who helped draft the USA PATRIOT Act as assistant attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice, and Carol Rose, […]

What’s the Most Important Thing a News Librarian Can Contribute to Her Workplace?

Tuesday, March 16th, 2004

A colleague at the Los Angeles Times asked this question a long time ago. I’ve been pondering different answers, but I keep coming back to flexibility, so that’s what I’m going to say. Flexibility is the most important thing I can contribute to my office. Flexibility in the sense that I can drop everything I’m […]

Jenny Has Some Good Posts on RSS

Tuesday, March 16th, 2004

Is it a push or pull technology? Feeds for the Internet Archive and Andrew Grumet’s BitTorrent project An anecdote reminding us that not everyone knows what RSS is: After a conference presentation about RSS, someone in the audience stood up and asked what RSS is. The people in the room applauded because they all wanted […]

The Importance of Evaluating Information on the Web

Tuesday, March 16th, 2004

The San Jose Mercury News published an article about how research by a paralegal almost resulted in a city banning foam cups after she learned that dihydrogen monoxide, aka water, can be deadly when inhaled. She found information about the, uh, dangerous chemical on a site by a prankster. This example is why when I […]

Themed Reference Question Days

Tuesday, March 16th, 2004

I don’t know how common this is, but every now and then, the reference questions on a particular day seem to have common themes. Sometimes everyone asks for a particular statistic or requests biographical information for cancer researchers. Sometimes, the questions are related to something happening in the news or another event–a radio talk show […]

News from Camp Lancer, Iraq

Sunday, March 14th, 2004

Critt set his son, Philip, stationed in Iraq with the 1st Division, up with a blog again. I was shocked to read the news on it today: “My Company Commander, CPT John F. Kurth, was killed at 0500 hours. SPC Wood, a recent rehabilitative transfer from C Company was also killed. 3 other soldiers were […]

The Many Roles of Libraries

Sunday, March 14th, 2004

(Ever feel like you’re being baited? Shimon, I already blogged something for you once today … ) Shimon writes about what good a library is. He writes some reasons why he goes to a library, what improvements he would like to see in his ideal library (yea! food! Some libraries are already doing this, by […]

Library Cats

Sunday, March 14th, 2004

Here’s a Web site with information about library cats around the world. There’s also a documentary about library cats: “Puss in Books: Adventures of the Library Cat” (scroll down).

I’m Not the Only Blogger Losing Blog Posts and Traffic

Sunday, March 14th, 2004

I learned this afternoon that several others who blog on this server have also had posts magically disappear recently. One of them also observed a decline in his hits from other people’s aggregators. Another blogger thinks it could be related to the blog server being down and then slow for a long period of time […]

Blog Name Changes

Sunday, March 14th, 2004

Don’t worry: this blog’s real name is j’s scratchpad. It might masquerade as another blog on occasion, but it’s sure to return to it’s real name eventually. I play with my name as jokes for some of my readers and to keep some of you on your toes. My recent change, to j’s pluff mud, […]

Linking Corrections on a News Web Site

Friday, March 12th, 2004

Bob Stepno has some thoughts about how news Web sites can improve informing their readers of corrections. He found several articles related to a journalism error that were not linked together. The initial article that started the reporting of the errors had no correction notes on it. He reports this particular lack of links seems […]

the deadman poems

Friday, March 12th, 2004

A long time ago, I attended a workshop Michael Delp taught about writing. I bought a copy of his chapbook the deadman poems. It quickly became one of my favorite books of poetry. Unfortunately, I shared it with many people in my life and eventually the book never came back to me. (If you have […]

Librarianesque Session at BloggerCon II

Thursday, March 11th, 2004

That clever sj scooped me by writing about the BloggerCon II session a few of us librarians/information professionals are trying to organize. We’re still figuring out the content and what we want to accomplish with it. Given Dave Winer’s parameters about having no panels and only a room with people and moderator to facilitate the […]

Article about University Campuses and Internet Piracy

Thursday, March 11th, 2004

The March 11 issue of Black Issues in Higher Education discusses the state of Internet piracy on university campuses by focusing on initiatives by the administration to curb illegal downloading by students. It examines why some downloading services, like Napster, want to partner with universities. A sidebar based on several surveys by the Pew Internet […]

Unsolicited E-mail from BloggerCon Attendee

Wednesday, March 10th, 2004

Another blogger reported getting the same unsolicited e-mail I received the other day from some guy trying to promote his blawg among BloggerCon attendees: “Some of you are getting this occasional, periodic email of [the blawg’s name] for the first time. That’s because you, too, signed up for BloggerCon, and I wanted to introduce myself […]

An Article About Whether RSS Can Relieve Information Overload

Wednesday, March 10th, 2004

Ron Miller thinks RSS helps people with information overload in two main ways. It’s more efficient because content comes to the person instead of someone going out looking for it. Aggregators usually have some kind of mechanism by which someone can organize feeds to make managing them easier. What he doesn’t discuss is how people […]

Irony: Blogged Earlier, Server Still Ate Post

Tuesday, March 9th, 2004

I tried blogging earlier tonight to try to break the spell of the server consuming blog posts while I blog, but it didn’t work. The server stopped responding and ate a blog post. This time, the post does show up in another aggregator (as does something I posted last week and haven’t touched since), so […]

Case Study: Did Bloggers Contribute to the Downfall of Trent Lott? (.pdf)

Tuesday, March 9th, 2004

A long time ago, someone asked me to look into whether bloggers actually contributed to the downfall of Mississippi Senator Trent Lott or whether that was just an Internet rumor. Here’s a case study from Harvard’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy about the situation. The premise of the study is […]

AP Reports Encyclopedia Use Is Down

Tuesday, March 9th, 2004

The Associated Press circulated a wire story today claiming fewer people are using encyclopedias, favoring sources like the Internet instead. Fewer people are even using encyclopedias on CD-ROM. (Seems like I already had this conversation. And yes, there was interaction with other bloggers, so it was a conversation.) ” … With so much free online […]

Four Reasons Why Telelvision Stations Benefit When They Hire a Researcher

Tuesday, March 9th, 2004

WTSP-TV news researcher Theresa Collington Moore in St. Petersburg, Florida, explains four important ways television stations benefit when they hire a researcher: she can track people down quickly for news stories–a key task during breaking news, background people and subjects, find facts, and develop story ideas based on speculation and rumor (“I read …,” “I […]

Writing for University Publications

Tuesday, March 9th, 2004

An alumni magazine editor discusses some problems surrounding university commnications. Many times, he feels like he’s publishing stories to make a donor happy, to please a faculty member, or because of institutional politics. He writes: “…just once, I’d like to hear someone say we ought to do a story because the readers will like it—because […]

Crunch! The Blog Server Ate Another Blog Post

Monday, March 8th, 2004

Oh, aggravation! I posted some news about Harvard’s libraries before I posted about blogrolls. I encountered the usual server errors during the editing process. When I went to post the blogroll piece to the front page, suddenly the piece about Harvard’s libraries was back on the editing list. I thought maybe my browser was using […]

Harvard Libraries Aid Iraq; Houghton Library Acquires Samuel Johnson Works

Monday, March 8th, 2004

Here are two items about Harvard’s libraries: Gary reminded me that I still hadn’t posted about a joint initiative by some of Harvard’s libraries and Simmons College’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science to provide training to Iraq’s librarians and archivists to help with that country’s shortage of information professionals. The Harvard University Gazette […]

Blogrolls

Monday, March 8th, 2004

Critt types: “How simple is that? My blogroll tells you with whom I’m having a conversation.” I use the aggregator on this blog as a blogroll. For a while, I thought about adding a traditional blogroll to the sidebar, but I decided against it. A blogroll, especially one done in the style of sj, doesn’t […]

The Beatles Just Don’t Sound the Same without a Hip-Hop Beat and Lyrics

Sunday, March 7th, 2004

National Public Radio aired a WHYY piece recently about The Grey Album, which is, according to DJ Danger Mouse’s Web site, “… an art project/experiment that uses the full vocal content of Jay-Z’s Black Album recorded over new beats and production made using the Beatles White Album as the sole source material.” The label owning […]

Report: Dr. Seuss’ 100th Birthday Celebration

Saturday, March 6th, 2004

On Saturday, March 6, 2004, I went to the Springfield Museums and Library complex in Springfield, Massachusetts, for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ted Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss. Read about it. Addendum: The Dowbrigade has caught the Dr. Seuss fever.

More on Dr. Seuss

Thursday, March 4th, 2004

I know some of you are sick of me writing about Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) and what would have been his 100th birthday on Tuesday, but there was a really nifty discussion on one of the e-mail lists I’m on that began with a few people writing about Dr. Seuss and then turned into a […]

The ResourceShelf Feed Has Changed Again

Thursday, March 4th, 2004

The ResourceShelf’s feed is now an Atom feed. Since some aggregators don’t like Atom feeds, Gary Price has set up a temporary RSS feed. The URL is available through the above linked post title.

The Finches Are Back!

Thursday, March 4th, 2004

A male finch of the species that nested on some of the balconies around the building housing my office last spring was just on the railing of my balcony singing and looking around. He watched me through the glass or looked at his reflection for a moment, then flew away. I think a female companion […]

BBC Interviews Archive, Blogs as Teaching/Learning Tools, & More from ResourceShelf

Thursday, March 4th, 2004

As I skimmed the ResourceShelf weekly e-mail reminder today, I realized that I haven’t seen the feed in my aggregator for a few days and I’ve missed a lot of content I probably would have blogged. Here are some highlights: The BBC has released an archive of interviews they’ve done spanning back many years, which […]

Librarian Finds and Returns Rare, Stolen Coin

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2004

Proof that some librarians do good deeds: A man gave an unidentified librarian a box of coins as collateral for a loan. After seeing an advertisement for an auction with a similar coin last year, the librarian realized one of the coins in the box was an extremely rare 1866 silver dollar minted without the […]

Sexy Librarian Allusions in Photo Caption

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2004

A solo librarian posted this photo caption to an e-mail discussion list today, which started a very brief conversation about men’s librarian fantasies: “Liv Tyler’s librarian glasses were a big hit among men celebrating at the ‘Lord of the Rings’ post-Oscar party.” The small, black, ovular frames are kinda snazzy. Speaking of glasses, I went […]

The Failings of Search Engines and Why Calendars on Blogs Are Handy

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2004

For Je’, since we talked about whether blogs should have calendars quite a while ago. I had an experience today highlighting why search engines aren’t always the best route to take when looking for something on the Web. While updating some links on my blog, I noticed that one link didn’t go to the correct […]

Sony Music Uses RSS

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2004

to spread the word about their musicians’ activities. The wording of their site is interesting because it targets fan sites, not a fan with her own aggregator. I wonder what the number personal subscribers versus fan site subscribers is. I think it’s silly for feed generators not to acknowledge that individuals might also be interested […]

Do Election Night Media Predictions Influence the Election?

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2004

As I listened to the radio this morning while I tried to drag myself out of bed, the radio announcer said John Kerry is expected to win today’s primary in Massachusetts. Hearing this prediction before polls may have even been open reminded me of a research article in the latest update to Research Matters, one […]

NPR Celebrates Dr. Seuss’ Birthday

Monday, March 1st, 2004

National Public Radio celebrated the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel) with a seussian-styled poem by Hart Seely, a reporter with the Syracuse Post-Standard.