Archive for May, 2004

Library Juice Slams Librarians Who Blog

Friday, May 28th, 2004

Two of my blog readers e-mailed me about this issue of Library Juice’s “Please stop being excited about the Web – especially ‘blogs” because they found it so disturbing. This paragraph in particular seems to be raising hackles: “As an example I would like to cite the blogging craze – and it is a craze […]

BusinessWeek on Wikis in Business

Friday, May 28th, 2004

“Something Wiki This Way Comes” reports on the benefits of using wikis, Web sites anyone can easily edit in a Web browser, in corporate environments. Of course, it mentions sj’s fave, Wikipedia. “Wikis’ Winning Ways” goes into more detail about Wikipedia and gives a brief introduction to wikis and their history. It says the name […]

Journalists Released from Captivity in Iraq

Friday, May 28th, 2004

The Associated Press reports three NBC journalists and an Iraqi freelancer have been released. Iraqis captured them in Fallujah on Tuesday.

Resources for and about News Librarianship

Friday, May 28th, 2004

A new news librarian asked me for some professional development resources about the profession. Here’s what I shared with him, in case any of you out there are curious and don’t already know about these resources. I’ve mentioned most of these before, so please pardon the repetition. The Special Libraries Association News Division Web site […]

D-Day Pathfinder: Government Views of D-Day 1944

Friday, May 28th, 2004

I like World War II history and the 60th anniversary of D-Day is just days away, so you might have to tolerate me posting some resources about the war, especially since I’m seeing a lot of chatter among news librarians looking for information about the invasion. The Librarians Index to the Internet New This Week […]

RSS Resources

Thursday, May 27th, 2004

Gary Price pointed me to these two resources: He went to a presentation about metadata, which he blogged, and suggested I take a look at the PowerPoint presentation RSS: Really Simple Syndication – A Publisher’s Perspective by Howard Ratner of Nature Publishing Group. (Though it talks about the history and creation of RSS, it does […]

ALA’s Ahead to 2010 Survey

Thursday, May 27th, 2004

American Library Association members are probably receiving postcards and e-mails about the ALAhead to 2010 survey and strategic planning. The survey consists of 35 association activities and services that ALA members rank based on their importance and how well ALA is doing in that area. It took me less than 10 minutes to complete it. […]

A New Duty: Running the ISDN Booth

Thursday, May 27th, 2004

Because of some recent staff changes in my office, I’ve been learning how to run our ISDN booth for radio interviews. A very traditional news librarian thing to do, echt? Friday is the first time I’ll be running it without the expert around. Wish me luck. Addendum 5/28: The ISDN interview went well today. Whew!

NewsliBlog Gets a Makeover and Comments

Thursday, May 27th, 2004

Liz Donovan gave NewsliBlog, the official blog of the Special Libraries Association News Division, a makeover and enabled comments on it. Two very big improvements. Thanks, Liz! It looks great!

Al-Jazeera Journalist Died

Wednesday, May 26th, 2004

On Friday, May 21, I learned U.S. fire killed a member of a television news crew working for Al-Jazeera. Later, I learned his name: Rashid Hamid Wali, known as Abu Nur. My break from computers was going well until then. If I could have easily gotten to a computer, I would have blogged it. If […]

More Library Cats

Wednesday, May 26th, 2004

Rumor has it the Austrian National Library (Österreichische Nationalbibliothek), housed in a former palace, used to have cats to combat a mouse problem.

SLA Annual Conference News Division Webcast Test (.rm, will work only during Webcast)

Wednesday, May 26th, 2004

Addendum: This Webcast is now in progress. Tune in to hear Carolyn Edds talk about IRE and some great music from the 1980s. I just learned about a test this afternoon (Wednesday, May 26) for the Webcast of a News Division session during the Special Libraries Association Annual Conference in about two weeks. The test […]

Boston Herald Reports John Cronin’s Kwapil

Wednesday, May 26th, 2004

Wednesday’s Boston Herald printed an article about the Special Libraries Association News Division awarding their chief librarian, John Cronin, the Joseph F. Kwapil Memorial Award, the SLA News Division’s highest honor.

Harvard Employee Fired for Content of Blog

Wednesday, May 26th, 2004

“A social studies office worker said she was fired this week after administrators discovered provocative posts in her online journal, including threats to fellow workers and superiors.” This messy situation illustrates why it’s a good idea not to name specific people when writing negative and threatening things about them if you’re also advertising your blog […]

I’m Back

Wednesday, May 26th, 2004

sort of. The problems that have been preventing me from blogging have not been resolved yet, so I will be blogging sporadically during the next few weeks. Consider it a vacation. For those of you who think ahead, which is what I need to be doing now or I’ll get lost, I will try to […]

The Next Time We Have a Fire Drill

Wednesday, May 26th, 2004

and you laugh at me because I run down the stairs with two of the computers from my office, think about it. Disaster plan. Disaster plan. Disaster plan. SERIOUSLY.

A Plug for ASIST

Tuesday, May 25th, 2004

A great organization and our annual conference is in Providence this year (in November) — there will be a session on libraries and blogging with some well-known bloggers — Christina, Garrett, and j herself. Hope you can make it….

What do action figures do when they’re not working?

Thursday, May 20th, 2004

Why yoga of course! I’ve never listened to the audio or video clips on this site but I can tell you that George Bush can do a mean Virabhadrasna III…. I don’t think Nancy Pearl, the Librarian Action Figure, is quite this agile.

Happy Birthday Pete Townshend!

Wednesday, May 19th, 2004

Pete is 59 today. I’ve been listening to the new Who compilation, Then and Now, and I can’t get Magic Bus out of my head. Too much, Magic Bus! by k

What do action figures do on the job?

Tuesday, May 18th, 2004

I know that j is very fond of the Nancy Pearl Librarian Action Figure so I couldn’t resist this. Thank you Vernica for blogging this first.

Blogs and Knowledge Management

Sunday, May 16th, 2004

I’m not only interested in librarians who blog but also in how librarians are going to use blogs to capture relevant information (dare I say knowledge) within organizations. Christina Pikas turned me on to Lilia Efimova’s blog where Lilia talks about blogging and KM as one of her topics.

Recruiting the Next Generation of News Librarians (.pdf)

Saturday, May 15th, 2004

I wrote that I’d blog Amy Disch’s article Recruiting the Next Generation of News Librarians (.pdf) on pages 9 and 17 of the Spring 2004 issue of News Library News, so here it is. … … First of all, I think anyone who’s a news librarian who wants to spread the word about our profession […]

NewsliBlog’s Permalinks?

Friday, May 14th, 2004

Today, I blogged on NewsliBlog, the blog for the Special Libraries Association News Division that’s on Blogger. (If you’re paying attention, you know that means I have indeed blogged on all four blogs today.) Like many blogs, it automatically generates its own permalinks. I was a little surprised, though, when I followed the one for […]

Spring Issue of News Library News (.pdf)

Friday, May 14th, 2004

The Spring 2004 News Library News, the newsletter for the Special Libraries Association News Division, is now available on the News Division Web site. It includes features on Nashville, the division’s award winners (Liz Donovan and Gary Price, who sometimes read this blog, and John Cronin, who helped me get my job), and a profile […]

What Young Librarians Do in the Stacks

Friday, May 14th, 2004

(Warning: Do not follow the above link if you don’t like anything related to pornography or don’t have a sense of humor about sexy librarians or librarians having sex.) It seems like I was talking with someone recently about libraries and how easy it is to find a quiet, out of the way place in […]

Good Luck on Monday, Lincoln.

Friday, May 14th, 2004

I’m sorry I’m not going to be around to blog something special for you. I’m excited for you and wish you all the best in your new venture. Welcome to the world of news librarianship! = )

Taking a Break from Blogging

Friday, May 14th, 2004

Starting in a few days, I will be taking a break from blogging for a while. Please don’t go away, though. k will be guest blogging in my absence, so there will be new content here and perhaps even some witty tag lines. (Uh … no pressure, k …)

Furl Picked Up My Post About It

Friday, May 14th, 2004

I noticed some referer hits from Furl this evening and found it’s pointing to what I wrote about it a few days ago as well as many other blog posts and news items about it.

Tour of the Sporting News Research Center

Thursday, May 13th, 2004

A few weeks ago, I had an unexpected tour of the Sporting News Research Center in St. Louis, Missouri, courtesy of Jim Meier. …

The Evolution of Chicago Libraries

Wednesday, May 12th, 2004

This Chicago Tribune article talks about how libraries in the Chicago area are evolving. “Books are still the primary way that libraries offer information. But the libraries in these communities are leading patrons down other roads by offering myriad classes and having the latest in technology that increases access to the world of information. The […]

Press Credentials for Bloggers Covering the Democratic National Convention

Wednesday, May 12th, 2004

I followed a link in an eclectic librarian post to the application for press credentials for the Democratic National Convention and saw that “blog” is on their list of news sources on the appplication.

Have Archaeologists Found the Library of Alexandria?

Wednesday, May 12th, 2004

A team of Polish and Egyptian archaeologists claim to have found the site of the Library of Alexandria in the Bruchion region of Alexandria, according to this BBC article. From LIS News

Gadgets Designed for the Outdoors

Wednesday, May 12th, 2004

“Sand, Salt, Sun & Other Hazards” in the current Law Technology News explores a few electronic gadgets that are made for people who like to work outside, like on the beach, and some items to protect the gadgets we might already have. Timely since I spent the afternoon working on my laptop outside.

Merriam-Webster Features Real Time Words

Wednesday, May 12th, 2004

A little while ago, I wrote about an article about Merriam-Webster that mentioned a board in the company’s headquarters that flashed real time word lookups. Now it’s enabled on their Web site. Unfortunately, it doesn’t flash the words with live links so you can easily click on them to get a definition. Of course, with […]

CSM News Researchers Get Credit for Iraq Casualties Article

Wednesday, May 12th, 2004

Two members of the Christian Science Monitor’s library staff received credit for their work on an article about casualties in the conflict with Iraq. Their credit is at the bottom of page 2. News librarians usually don’t get credit for the work they do. Some publications have policies to give researchers credit for certain kinds […]

Quest for Answers About a Removed Article

Wednesday, May 12th, 2004

This recent Library Journal article traces one person’s quest to learn why a 1998 Time magazine article that did not make the current President Bush’s invasion of Iraq look good disappeared from some archives and Time’s Web site. The removed article explains that the other President Bush chose not to invade Iraq because of how […]

Repercussions from Sun Employee Blogging

Wednesday, May 12th, 2004

Upon seeing my post about Sun’s president’s blog, one of my readers sent me the links to these two articles in The Register. The first one reports news found on a blog hosted by Sun that several people in a group were laid off. The second one present’s Sun’s version of what happened and even […]

Webcam for Hawks in Cambridge, Mass. (.ram)

Wednesday, May 12th, 2004

Pardon this orthogonal post: A blog reader sent me the URL for this Webcam showing a nest of hawks in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A blog post elsewhere says the eyases should fledge in about two or three weeks. When I told a coworker about it, she suggested I share the link with the avid hawk watchers […]

Responsibilities of an Orkut Community Creator

Wednesday, May 12th, 2004

Before I created a community on Orkut, I went through the FAQs to learn what the responsibilities of a community creator were. I didn’t find anything that really answered my question, so I contacted Orkut to see if I could get a better answer. Their response was to ask me to make sure there wasn’t […]

BusinessWeek Writes About Alan Turing

Wednesday, May 12th, 2004

as part of a series on the great innovators of the past 75 years. “… [I]t was a 1936 paper by Cambridge University mathematician Alan M. Turing that laid the foundation for the electronic wonders now crowding into every corner of modern life. In a short and eventful life, Turing also played a vital role […]

Community for News Librarianship on Orkut

Tuesday, May 11th, 2004

for you news librarians and those of you interested in the profession on Orkut. Please join. I’m getting lonely. Hey Thursday nighters, did you know there are communities for Cambridge and Boston bloggers, as well as one for the Berkman Center? (The links may only work for those who have signed into Orkut.) Addendum 5/13: […]

Blogger Makes Front Page of WSJ

Tuesday, May 11th, 2004

Today’s Wall Street Journal features Thomas P.M. Barnett on their front page. The article mentions his Web site, but oddly enough, it doesn’t mention his blog. Thanks for elbowing me in the ribs about this, CJ. (The link to the article may be restricted to subscribers.) Addendum: Thomas’ thoughts

What Could Make Orkut More Powerful

Tuesday, May 11th, 2004

is some way to visualize my social network and the social networks of my “friends.” I have a feeling I probably know more people on Orkut than I can find. The search mechanisms facilitate known-item searching (searching for a specific person by name is an example of known-item searching), but it isn’t very serendipity friendly. […]

Orkut and Copyright

Tuesday, May 11th, 2004

I could have sworn Orkut claimed to own whatever information we provided to the service. I found this statement when I was digging around their FAQs this afternoon: “ does not claim any ownership right in the profile or other information that you submit. When you submit content to, we use it to display the […]

Gmail for Troops

Tuesday, May 11th, 2004

Please pardon this digression: For all you people with extra Gmail invites out there looking for something good to do with them, the site linked above facilitates Gmail invite donations for members of the military stationed overseas. You can even opt to have a service member for a penpal. I think I donated an invite, […]

Books Short Enough for My Attention Span and Schedule

Tuesday, May 11th, 2004

(Yes, I am being a little sarcastic.)

Do People in the Corporate World Have Fire Drills?

Tuesday, May 11th, 2004

I started typing this while sitting in Harvard Yard, since we had another fire drill that meant my office had to evaucate the building. My coworkers laugh at me because I usually grab my desktop computer and at least one other laptop on my way out. My office doesn’t do desktop data backups and we […]

Slate Criticizes E-Newspaper Design

Tuesday, May 11th, 2004

Jack Shafer discusses the limitations of the electronic versions of some popular newspapers: The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. He makes it sound like they cram too much material in the space they have. He does take a moment to discuss the advantages of the downloadable e-versions. Seen on LIS […]

Online Journalism Review on RSS

Monday, May 10th, 2004

Garrett points to this article about RSS that’s great for someone who’s just starting out or for someone who wants to learn a little bit about different aggregators. J.D. Lasica also mentions some features an ideal aggregator would have and includes a list of popular feeds.

Nancy Pearl on NPR’s Morning Edition

Monday, May 10th, 2004

NPR interviewed librarian and action figure model Nancy Pearl to learn about books about politics she thinks people should read. I recently witnessed Nancy’s ability to recommend books. She’s very good at it. From LIS News

Blogging the DNC

Monday, May 10th, 2004

A coworker pointed me to this Boston Globe article about the Democratic National Convention organizers warming up to the idea of allowing bloggers to have press access. The article discusses the intersection between bloggers and big media outlets a little bit. It also mentions that some bloggers, like Joshua Micah Marshall of Talking Points Memo […]

Orkut for Networking for a CIO Position

Monday, May 10th, 2004

A former chief information officer who’s about to go back on the job market wonders whether he could leverage Orkut to get a job as a CIO or other similar position. I can’t advise him in this respect. I’m under the impression most of the people he’d be potentially dealing with aren’t involved in online […]

On Positive Attitudes While Dealing with Customers

Monday, May 10th, 2004

This Unshelved strip made me laugh out loud. I remember reading some studies in grad school about the importance of positive interactions during the reference interview. (That’s library jargon for when someone asks a librarian for assistance and the librarian figures out what the person needs and responds.) Even if a librarian couldn’t help someone […]

Competencies for New News Librarians

Sunday, May 9th, 2004

Looking at this list of competencies for new sci/tech librarians LIS News highlighted makes me wonder what the core competencies of a new news librarian might be and whether we ought to have one for our profession.

Which Periodicals Do I Read?

Sunday, May 9th, 2004

A friend wondered which periodicals I read regularly. The answer I gave him was rather incomplete because I didn’t explain that most of the reading I do is issue/topic-based, not based on specific publications. I really only read one niche publication everyday right now and it’s for my job. Also, I subscribe to a number […]

A Benefit of Blogging: Meeting People

Sunday, May 9th, 2004

While I was reflecting on my life for the last year as I’ve been blogging, I realized I’ve met a lot of really cool people through the activity and a related support group for bloggers. Some of those people are a lot of fun to be around, really intelligent people interested in a variety of […]

How Memes Spread in the Blogosphere

Saturday, May 8th, 2004

Wired reports on the Memespread Project and its attempt to track the flow of information in the blogosphere. Spotted on LIS News

Why Use Digital Rights Management If It Doesn’t Work

Friday, May 7th, 2004

Some bloggers are having an interesting discussion about digital rights management and why it doesn’t work–at least not now. from Josh’s Inspiration and Humor [j Baumgart: I’m doing this post as a demo for someone who’s going to guest blog for me in a few days.]

White Space on My To Do List Looks Funny

Friday, May 7th, 2004

A few of you who have been to my office know I have a big white board on one of the walls where I keep my to do list. It often has four columns covering the entire board. Some of you have been kind enough to sign or doodle on its available space during a […]

The Redhead’s New Blog

Friday, May 7th, 2004

Don’t get too excited; this isn’t like The Emporer’s New Clothes. The Redhead started a new blog on Blogware. You bloggers on Harvard’s server: the feed is on that long list of subscriptions.

Does My Librarian Action Figure Need a Library?

Thursday, May 6th, 2004

That’s something I hadn’t considered until reading Vernica’s blog tonight. Since I don’t work in a library, I guess it never occurred to me that my librarian action figure might be unhappy just standing on top of the computer on my desk near her books.

Reuters Is Now Doing RSS

Thursday, May 6th, 2004

Reuters now has RSS feeds for many of their news wires.

Google vs. Other Sources

Thursday, May 6th, 2004

This Guardian article was initially described to me as another “Google versus the librarian” piece, but it’s actually Google versus other sources and library sources. The author lists several quests for information and how Google fared against library resources and sources outside of libraries. It appears that part of finding the answer properly was to […]

Semantic Blogging Resources

Wednesday, May 5th, 2004

Gary Price points to a number of resources about semantic blogging from Hewlett-Packard. I think I’ve seen some of them on shimonolog, who asked where he could find more info about it.

This Blog on Frassle

Wednesday, May 5th, 2004

I was playing around on Frassle today and rediscovered the manifestation of this blog over there. It’s based on the RSS feed, so it doesn’t include things like comments from this Manila blog or addenda. However, I learned that people can comment on it in Frassle, which I suppose means I now have to figure […]

More About “Naughty Librarian” Glasses

Wednesday, May 5th, 2004

One of my blog readers sent me the URL for this article and told me to look for the “naughty librarian” bits. It’s about Tina Fey’s glasses, which are similar to the ones Liv Tyler wore at the Oscars that caused, ahem, a small stir.

News Site Violates Copyright Law

Wednesday, May 5th, 2004

A colleague sent some information about Liberty Post to a discussion group. The site reposts news articles from many different news sources presumably without proper permission. If you work for a content creator, you might want to dig through their archives looking for your material. It looks like they’re pulling content from quite a few […]

Unshelved Mirrors the Server Problems in My Life

Wednesday, May 5th, 2004

The comic strip Unshelved has been doing a series about the online card catalog in the library being down. It’s timely for me since several servers I work on have been having problems and lots of down time lately.

The Chronicle of Higher Education Has RSS Feeds

Wednesday, May 5th, 2004

eeeeeeYyyyyeeeeeesssssssss! This is great. The Chronicle is one of the news sources I have to monitor every day. The feeds transmit more than just the article headlines. There’s a little bit about each article, too. I’ve been following the announcements of commencement speakers. The feed includes the names of the institutions announcing speakers instead of […]

SLA Boston Chapter Membership Survey

Tuesday, May 4th, 2004

Today must be survey day here at the scratchpad. The Special Libraries Association Boston Chapter is taking a survey of their membership to help them develop their future programs and services. If you are a chapter member, even if you aren’t active, please take a few moments to complete the survey. It’s shorter and easier […]

Time to Answer SLA’s Salary Survey

Tuesday, May 4th, 2004

The Special Libraries Association e-mailed their members this week to invite them to take their salary survey. If you are an association member, please take a few moments to complete the survey because the data helps all of us. It asks for demographic information as well as information about pay. I always get a little […]

Anonymous Blogger: Invisible Adjunct

Monday, May 3rd, 2004

During the Librarianesque Session at BloggerCon, several people talked about blogging anonymously. Here’s an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education about an adjunct professor who’s been blogging anonymously, but recently decided to give up her blog and her job because she hasn’t been able to land a tenure-track position. The blog, Invisible Adjunct, is […]


Monday, May 3rd, 2004

One of my clients asked me to review Furl, a service that archives Web pages at the request of its users. I took a quick look at it tonight using its demo mode. Some of the useful features include the ability to add comments and categories to the pages, a search engine, and the option […]

Library Card Number as the Answer to a Secret Question

Sunday, May 2nd, 2004

When I signed up for a new e-mail account tonight (I now have 8 or 9), I noticed one of the security questions to verify a user’s identity is “What is your library card number?” Addendum 5/5: I only have 8 e-mail addresses. The ninth one isn’t valid and I’m not sure I’m going to […]

Profile of Nashville

Sunday, May 2nd, 2004

The March 2004 Sky magazine explores Nashville, site of the Special Libraries Association 2004 Annual Conference. About Belle Meade Plantation, location for the SLA News Division Awards Banquet, it says, “The ornate Victorian interiors at Belle Meade, once a renowned thoroughbred stud farm, are filled with memorabilia dedicated to its most famous resident, Iroquois, who […]

Article about Merriam-Webster Online

Sunday, May 2nd, 2004

This April 2004 Sky magazine article about the online Merriam-Webster dictionary discusses how the executives use the data gathered from online searches to revise the dictionary and its Web site. The Springfield, Massachusetts, company scrolls the search terms across a screen like an Internet search company does and compiles rankings and stats from a day’s […]

Blog Server Keeps Going Down

Sunday, May 2nd, 2004

I feel like I’m playing basketball this weekend with the blog server. I was hoping to catch up on some blogging I’ve been meaning to do, but the instability of the server is preventing me from getting to the blog and discouraging me from posting anything for fear that the new post will disappear with […]

Webfeed: A Better Name for RSS?

Saturday, May 1st, 2004

Amy Gahran held a contest to pick a better name for RSS: “The point of this contest was not about pleasing the technogeeks of the world, but rather about finding a term suitable for the majority of online users, who are fairly nontechnical.” Her judges selected “webfeed.” Steve Outing of Poynter, one of the judges, […]

Wired Wonders If the Internet Can Handle Aggregator Traffic

Saturday, May 1st, 2004

Apparently news readers going out and skimming the Web could cause congestion. “News aggregators may be the best new tools to appear on the Web since the browser, but as the programs and the underlying RSS standard grow more popular, some question whether the Internet will be able to handle the traffic.” Seen on Garrett’s […]