Monday, November 30, 2009

Peter & Max, A Fables Novel by Bill Willingham, Illustrated by Steve Leilahola

Peter & Max, A Fables Novel by Bill Willingham, Illustrated by Steve Leilahola

Peter Piper uses the flute Frost and his brother Max Piper, the flute Fire in this story of fairytales, love and magic. It is a tale of light and dark. One brother is a thief and trickster, the other a murderer and dark magician.

Max Piper is the representation of the Pied Piper who piped the children out of Hamelin. Hamelin plays a part both in our world and the world of fairy. There are many magical places including the house of the witch of the Black Forest, and the dark woods. Max Piper represents the dark fairytale in this novel. The part which kills the father, ensorcels people against their will, and spreads disease and strife. The juxtaposition is very well done.

Peter Piper is the lighter side of fairytales, you can represent where passages of the novel come right out of childrens nursery rhymes. Peter, Peter pumpkin eater had a wife and couldn't keep her and Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers so where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked. Peter Piper even gets marred to Bo Peep. Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep, And can't tell where to find them, Leave them alone, And They'll come home, Wagging their tales behind them.

Somehow, through a magic all his own, Bill Willingham creates a complete story weaving the growth and rivalry of Peter Piper and Max Piper until their final confrontation. Thrown into this are various archetypical myths and legends; the man finding themselves in the dark woods and the boy becoming the master thief. Although, there are no footnotes, you can read many famous fairytales into this book.

The setting for the novel is before the graphic novel series starts called Fables. It is a prequel which stands on its own. The illustrator, Steve Leilaloha does a marvelous job with his black and white illustrations. The drawings remind me a bit of Charles Vess with a mix of Jack Kirby. There is final comic book piece at the end of the novel which provides a nice segway into what the Fables graphic novels look like. The Fables graphic novels have won numerous awards in the comics industry.

This novel resonates well with me. It has a comic book feel to it. The descriptions are very visually oriented. The author is painting pictures of things that have never been with words. Some of the images like Puss playing his fiddle, or goblin soldiers, or arrogant knights are quite colorful. Read it for the descriptions, the fairytales, the myths, and the intricately woven plot which makes a complete story.

Daily Thoughts 11/30/2009

Illustration of Peter Piper from the 1838 US edition of Peter Piper's Practical Principles of Plain and Perfect Pronunciation

Daily Thoughts 11/30/2009

Today was spent dealing with spyware and malware mostly. My computer is clean now. It took quite a bit of time to convince people that I would not pay for security. Sometimes, you have to back date your software. I ended up reinstalling internet explorer 7 because some websites don't function well with the latest version of internet explorer 8, I also backdated my Java because some programs don't run well with the latest java. It is not always smart to update to the latest programs. I also have Firefox. This way, I can have more than one browser in case things don't work with one of the other browsers.

My internet explorer went out, then I switched to using Firefox, until the problems were fixed. I also have Opera.

I rested a lot also. It was a nice slow day.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

This is a fun novel to read. It is a steampunk novel set in Seattle during the 1860s. Seattle Washington has not yet become a part of the United States. The city has fallen apart because of a mysterious gas that turns people into zombies.

I enjoyed the technology described in this novel. It is very dark. People wear filter masks to protect themselves from the zombie gas and have to purify all the water they drink. There are airships, giant drilling machines, and underground sealed living spaces.

There is a grim feeling to this novel. The feeling of an industrial wasteland. This is combined with a kind of western frontier spirit. The characters are stark and flawed. They are also driven by very human passions. Ezekiel Wilkes who is sixteen wants to find the true story of his father. Briar Wilkes want to find her son, Ezekiel who has descended into a wasteland.

The minor characters are just as good as the main characters, the evil Dr. Minnericht, his henchman Yaozhu, and the tough old woman Angeline are very aptly named. The descriptions are colorful and full of pathos.

This novel would be a good read for both teenagers and adults. There is lots of action, history, and very convincing descriptions.

Daily Thoughts 11/29/2009

Desk at the library of Zutphen. Source: Libraries in the Medieval and Renaissance Periods The Rede Lecture Delivered June 13, 1894 Author: J. W. Clark
Available from Published: 1894

Daily Thoughts 11/29/2009

Google Books has a review page function much like Shelfari, Librarything, or BookConnect.

I tried to read I Drink For A Reason by David Cross. I did not like it at all. The sarcastic atheistic humor did not match my own. I found the strong language not to my taste as well. The writing was not the problem. The problem was that the content was not agreeable to me and I did not find it humorous. This book is not something I can recommend. I read the first two chapters then had to put it down.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/28/2009

Expedition 17 crew members pose for a portrait inside the Jules Verne ATV with original manuscript and XIX century book by Jules Verne. ATV is another name for a type of space ship. This picture is from NASA. It is public domain.

Daily Thoughts 11/28/2009

New York is Book Country is being revived on May 16, 2010 in Union Square Park in Manhattan. The location is very interesting. I think it will be nicer than the usual uptown location where they closed off the streets. This makes it much more walkable than it was before. I have been to this event many times.

I have been reading through Mashable a bit lately. There is quite a bit on the concept of "social publishing", where social media and publishing intersect. It is a new concept.

The Elements of Expression by Arthur Plotnik

Arthur Plotnik is writing about using words to express oneself. This includes both writing and giving speeches to an audience. The book aims to expand the readers ability to communicate to an audience. The text is replete with examples of how to use words expressively; slang, similes, figures of speeches, and other word choices are discussed.

The writing is enjoyable, sometimes funny, and often poignant. He demonstrates what he is attempting to teach. I liked many of the pointers which he gave; drink a lot of water the day before you give a speech, take the time to read the language of different groups like doctors, hackers, and lovers, write down memorable quotes not just from books but from people who you talk to, and develop your own voice.

I liked the book enough to continue reading his other works. I plan on reading The Elements of Editing next. He makes what seems dry and technical very entertaining.

I have started reading Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. It is a steampunk novel set in Seattle. So far, there is gas that turns people into zombies, an unlikely heroine, airships, and a wonderfully inventive setting. I am enjoying the science fiction novel very much.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/27/2009

This picture was taken from Les mémoires de Saint-Simon (Memoirs of Saint-Simon), anthology gathered by Le Goffic & Tellier, Paris 1862. Publishers Mark. From

Daily Thoughts 11/27/2009

An article, What it Will Mean When The Ebook Comes First.

This is an inevitability. The way I see it is that you will be able to get the book or other media from a digital kiosk to download onto a device in a variety of formats. If you want a hardcopy, you pay a little extra for the paper and printing. The book will print in two minutes as a trade paperback. If you want it in hardcover, you may have to go into a larger store where there will be a few browsable items and a bigger machine which will make a hardcover in four minutes. This is practically here. It will take a while for it to go into place.

I am glad that the malware on my computer is gone. I think Computer Associates cleaned it out while I was sleeping using a remote login. When I got up in the morning, it was gone and my security suite was updated.

Housing Works Used Book Cafe in Manhattan, New York is having a 30% off sale. It is one of my favorite bookstores. The proceeds go to help homeless people with AIDS stay off the streets. They have a very nice selection of books.

I never did get out to go to any of the Black Friday sales. I did get a chance to finish watching Cowboy Bebop the shows. The collection was six dvd discs. I really like the opening music. It is worth it just listening to the opening. I am going to watch the movie as well. I guess I have become a fan.

I also had a chance to start reading the first few chapters of The Elements of Expression by Arthur Plotnik. I rather like his explantions of descriptive versus prescriptive grammar and english. I like to think of prescriptive english as what you need to know in order to write clearly and with accuracy, and descriptive english as how to choose the right variation of grammar to express yourself. I know it is not the real definition of descriptive english or prescriptive english, but it is how I think of it.

While I was looking around the web, I found an interesting startup called Fast Pencil, it appears to be a self publishing service which includes templates and workflows for creating a variety of different kinds of books.

Makers by Cory Doctorow

Makers by Cory Doctorow

This is the kind of book which will keep you up reading until you are done. It is a story of technology, creativity, and intrigue. The story is focused on digital fabricators and three dimensional printers. It describes many things which are coming very soon.

You could call this near future science fiction, but it includes a lot of things which are normally left out of science fiction stories. There are homless people, street scenes, strong sex scenes, and descriptions of every day life. This makes the story easy to relate to.

The social commentary in this story is biting. We learn what happens to fat Americans and what the future might look like if goth culture becomes mainstream. It also feeds into a diverse setting which spreads from New York to Florida to Russia.

We get a very complete picture of how a future technology revolution might occur. It is not just the story of the inventors, there are also business characters, and reporters to flesh out the story and make it more believable. Cory Doctorow is very much a participant in current issues in technological change.

Makers feels like it took from Down and Out In the Magic Kingdom an earlier book by Cory Doctorow. Disney World plays a prominent role in this book, both as something glorified and vilified. Disney adds to the wildly inventive behavior as well as the themes of exploitation and conflict.

This is a book worth reading. It is a long book, 416 pages long. It is also the kind of book where you might want to block out a couple of days to sit down and read it one sitting. This matches the fast pace of the writing.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars by William Patry

Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars by William Patry

William Patry focuses on the history of copyright as it pertains to innovation. The copyright wars refers to the dispute between the music corporations and other large corporations and individuals who use digital content. It is the continuing controversy over file sharing, digital downloading, and new formats of content which are bringing change to the publishing, film, and recording industries. William Patry includes a lot of history on technology and copyright. This book is very relevant to what is happening now in the publishing world and the library world.

When William Patry talks about moral panics, he often uses the idea of metaphor; ordinary people being labeled as pirates, highwaymen, or robbers for downloading content. Another metaphor which is quite interesting is the idea of authors birthing their works. William Patry claims that the copyright industry is trying to drum up resistance to change and innovation.

In this book there are many arguments put forth about how copyright should function. It is very much an attempt to persuade the reader that copyright should act and be a particular way. The arguments are very interesting. For example, he argues that copyright is a government program used to ensure that intellectual property benefits the public and authors. He further makes another argument that copyright is not like physical property and must be handled differently.

There are sections on DRM (Digital Rights management) and the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act). These are very important because they have created many new issues in copyright like orphan works something that is very convoluted. As part of his going over new legislation, William Patry reminds us that copyright should encourage innovation not prevent it. The United States is falling behind countries like South Korea and Japan. His viewpoint is very much a call for a change in how copyright is currently being done.

This book is published by Oxford University Press. There are extensive notes and an in depth index. He includes many quotes from prominent people in the copyright industry. William Patry is a senior copyright counsel for Google, a practicing attorney, and a professor. This book combines the scholarly with the persuasive quite well.

Daily Thoughts 11/26/2009

"A Thanksgiving Tour". 1907 editorial cartoon for Thanksgiving holiday from the Daily Picayune newspaper of New Orleans. A turkey is depicted driving an automobile through a fence labeled "Financial Flurry"; a road sign says "To Prosperity". Reference is to the Panic of 1907, with hopes that prosperity is ahead.

Daily Thoughts 11/26/2009

I finished reading Makers by Cory Doctorow. It is the kind of book which you don't want to put down. I'll probably review it tomorrow. Today is Thanksgiving.

I'm having some problems with malware, so I can't spend too much time on the computer. I spent some time this morning speaking to my internet service provider.

I started reading The Elements of Expression by Arthur Plotnik. I am also watching some more of Cowboy Bebop. It is a quiet day.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/25/2009

Vincent Van Gogh, The Night Cafe, 1888

Daily Thoughts 11/25/2009

I am almost done reading Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars. Right now, I am reading about the history of technology and copyright. It starts with movies, then moves to videos starting with betamax, then dvds, and finally I am reading about the internet and movies. This of course touches on the subject of DRM (Digital Rights Management) and the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act). It is quite interesting and very relevant. It speaks directly to the issue of innovation and copyright.

I just finished the book. The last chapter is on innovation in relation to copyright. William Patry makes an argument that copyright often prevents innovation and limits the adoption of new technologies. I found his observations about how Japan and South Korea have become the world leaders in broadband adaptation to be enlightening. This is a very good book.

I received another suggestion for conferences that crossover between librarianship and publishing. The International Conference of the Book is another one:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/24/2009

Book talks, 12:15 to 12:45 : noon hour, every Thursday Nov. thru Apr.
Work Projects Administration Poster Collection (Library of Congress).

Daily Thoughts 11/24/2009

I am still reading Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars by William Patry. Currently, the book is focused on copyright as a form of property. It describes the issue of whether copyright is a natural right or is a created social phenomenon that is governed as a commodity. There is quite a bit on the congers or early book trade groups in England. This is an entry from Wikipedia. I am not saying that it is 100% correct, it is interesting though.

I also watched some more of Cowboy Bebop, the anime series which is turning out to be quite entertaining. I like the data dog, a Welsh Corgi named Ein, it is my favorite character.

I took a short break from reading Moral Panics and The Copyright Wars and started reading Makers by Cory Doctorow. This is a science fiction novel about the near future. It hits the dot com and high tech world like a nail on the head. It is about a new technology revolution that is coming in the near future, fabbers, or three dimensional printers capable of working with metals, plastics, composites, and other materials combined with robotics and microchips in machine shop settings. The ability to custom make almost anything up to the size of a refrigerator in a small factory.

I found this on linked in. It is two more conferences focusing on the space between libraries and publishers. Timothy Dickey mentioned it in the ALA group. There is a very fine annual conference of librarians, publishers, and vendors in Charleston, SC (just completed for this year):

Also, OCLC has begun to host an annual symposium to explore metadata needs between librarians and publishers:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/23/2009

The library in the Kirby Hall of Civil Rights building at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, United States.. April 1, 2005. Benjamin D. Esham for the Wikimedia Commons.

Daily Thoughts 11/23/2009

I am reading more of Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars by William Patry. The last section I was reading was about metaphors and copyright. There are quite a few different metaphors described; people being pirates, birthing intellectual property, lawyers being sharks, copying works being thievery, and many others. The language is very charged, entertaining, and pointed.

You sometimes have to wonder about certain aspects of copyright. From what I have seen a typical book lasts about a month or so in the bookstore where it sells for a while, then the older copies are sent back to the publisher to be remaindered and sold at a discount. In a library, the library keeps the book for about a year or two, then checks the amount of time which the book has been circulated. If it has literary merit, they might keep if it has low circulation, otherwise it is likely to be deaccessioned. Not a whole lot of books make it past three or four years let alone seventy.

In Moral Panics and the Copyright wars, the author, William Patry says approximately 1.7% of books are still in print after 70 years. This is not a huge amount of books. In my mind, most of them go to that imaginary place, the library where all the forgotten books are in endless rows to be never found again. You also have to question this, with print on demand, as well as book scanning technology, it is not that hard to get a book printed again. Out of print is a fuzzy term these days.

Maybe, things will change, and many of the books in the libray of forgotten books will fade away and enter Google Books search to be found as digital ghosts that slowly make it back into existence as people look at them on the internet. They may even rematerialize completely through the magic of print on demand. The Espresso Book Machine has partnered with Google Books to make its content easily available. I can imagine whole isles of books disappearing from that imaginary underground repository as I write.

I spent some time during the last few days cleaning up and consolidating my keywords for my blog. I still have to do it again to eliminate even more phrases, but I have made an initial pass for spelling, duplicate style entries like professional books and professional literature, extra punctuation, and other mistakes. Google limits the total number of keywords allowed.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/22/2009

Various antiquarian books, including Francis Grose’s Antiquities. From the site,

Daily Thoughts 11/22/2009

I have started reading Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars. Right now, I am reading about the fight between the record labels and the online downloading services. It is very much a story about legalistic control versus innovative new products. The story is quite interesting. It describes two different models of content distribution push versus pull. A push model tries to push out what a company thinks people should get. A pull model is based on pulling in what customers want and including them in the process. The story of Copyright Wars is also a reminder that it is easy enough to go to forms of entertainment that are more flexible about copyright than traditional print media like video games for entertainment.

I watched some of Cowboy Bebop Remix, The Complete Collection on dvd. This is supposed to be one of the best anime series ever done. The soundtrack which is a mix of jazz, bebop, and light rock is fantastic. The story is also excellent. It is the story of two bounty hunters, Spike and Jet and their travels through space to catch various people wanted by the law. I liked the first few episodes. It is something to watch while I am on vacation.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/21/1009

Jan Baptist Weenix, Portrait of Rene Descartes, 1647, Oil on Canvas

Daily Thoughts 11/21/2009

Sometimes you find interesting things then learn you are not quite a match. This is a grant available from the Women's National Book Association for attending a publishing class if you are a librarian. It is an interesting idea.

I found this while reading What's the Alternative Career Options For Librarians and Info Pros by Rachel Singer Gordon. So far, the book is quite interesting. It covers all the other options than traditional library work; indexing, publishing, government work, associations, editing, writing, teaching, training, information technology, archives, museums, competitive intelligence, knowledge management, metadata, and information architects.

This is a bit on my profile from the library roots project. A bit on my beginnings as a librarian from Bookcalendar:

What's The Alternative Career Options For Librarians and Info Pros by Rachel Singer Gordon.

This was a very interesting book to read. It brought up a variety of thoughts. I was rather surprised that bookstore worker was mentioned. An owner of a small independent bookstore makes about $40,000-$50,000 a year around New York, New York if they are quite good. The same is true of a comic book store owner. It is a labor of love with many extra hours each day.

Publishing does not pay much better as well. An editor makes about the same amount of money in New York, New York. It is not that different from a librarian. An editors job is very different though, there is a lot of writing and of course editing. If you really like writing it is the right for you. Of course if you are an editor, you are expected to write as well, maybe novels or nonfiction books. It tends to extend beyond the job with many extra hours.

Rachel Singer Gordon describes many similar institutions to libraries; genealogical societies, museums, record centers, schools, bookstores, and other sundry places full of paper. Also the traditional paper oriented abstracters, indexers, information brokers, catalogers, and knowledge managers are described.

My favorite job description is for an army orchestral librarian. Imagine having to mark all the scores for the musicians you ordered. Another job description I liked was the emerging technologies librarian. I have a soft spot for technical toys.

This book seeks to redefine the job of librarian as one of an "information worker." This opens the career field to include library webmasters, Google content specialists, prospect researchers, and many other knowledge economy positions. It brings in job boards like Craigslist, Mediabistro, and Idealist. This seems quite diffuse and a bit fanciful.

The different professional associations are also covered including the American Publishers Association, the Society of American Archivists, the Society of Indexers and many ohters. Also how to create your own business is suggested.

This book is a nice overview of a path of career change for librarians. It has many examples of people who followed a different career path with short two page stories. There is a survey on nontraditional library careers, a list of suggested websites, a bibliography of books, and an index. It is a very complete and deeply researched book.

But, what if what you are seeking really does not fit into the "traditional" alternative job descriptions. Publishing and librarianship are dealing with many fast emerging technologies that are introducing rapid change. The positions these technologies engender are not fully understood. What if you are interested in content portals, social media book sites, or other things that defy categories like print on demand kiosks. How can a job board or an association help? Where does it lead?

I've started reading Moral Panics and Copyright Wars by William Patry. William Patry is the senior copyright counsel for Google. He even includes a disclaimer that his opinions are not necessarily the same as those of Google.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/20/2009

This picture was taken from Contes populaires de Basse-Bretagne (Popular tales of Lower Britanny), by F-M. Luzel, Paris, 1887. This came from which hosts a variety of public domain images from old books.

Daily Thoughts 11/20/2009

I am almost done reading Smart Networking by Liz Lynch. I'll probably finish reading it on the train home. I also have quite a few books which I have checked out for my vacation; Peter and Max A Fables Novel by Bill Willingham, The Elements of Expression by Arthur Plotnik, Makers by Cory Doctorow ( Cory Doctorow is one of my favorite authors), Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars by William Patry ( William Patry is the Senior Copyright Counsel at Google, Inc.), I Drink For A Reason by David Cross (I saw this in Forbidden Planet on the way to my Twitter for Libraries class.), and The Toon Treasury of Classic Children's Comics, selected and edited by Art Spiegelman & Francis Mouly, with an Introduction by Jon Scieszka (Art Spiegelman is superb, he is the author of Maus, and Jon Sciesczka is a most excellent childrens author. Sciesczka is best known for his fractured fairytales like The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales.)

I also took out a dvd, Monsters vs Aliens which is a Dreamworks film.

Last night, I finished watching Pinocchio. It was very enjoyable and very dark. I was already familiar with the story because I read the Little Golden Book version of Pinocchio which is very true to the Disney film. I have never read the original book by Collodi. Disney considersthis a masterpiece. I liked it a huge amount. It is much darker than many of the previous disney films I have seen.

Smart Networking Attract A Following In Person and Online by Liz Lynch

This book is an overview of the networking process. It integrates old fashioned one to one in person networking with more modern social networking tools. It is about how to use both based on your needs.

The opener of the book is an attempt to help you get over your fear of asking other people for help as well as how to offer help in a networking context. There is a very nice description on how to not push too hard.

I liked the ideas in this book, especially on how to create a pitch, and create a one page plan.

For social networking tools, linkedin is described as a must. They also describe how to use an ezine or email letter to create contacts and build a following. This is not something I had seen other networking books do.

The book is short and to point being 192 pages long including the index and bibliography of popular business titles. There are lists of things to do as well as success stories in each chapter. The writing is very upbeat, easy to read, and is aimed at motivating people to go out and make contacts.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/19/2009

Gregg Arlington, Works Project Administration, 1940

Daily Thoughts 11/19/2009

Working With Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman was not what I expected. There was very little on how to improve your emotional intelligence. There were many examples of how emotional intelligence affected the workplace.

I was hoping when I picked up this book, it would give me exercises on how to think and act about emotions in the workplace. It did not do this at all. I found a single suggestion that was practical; write down how you feel things are happening at work. There was nothing else.

If you want a book on how teamwork, leadership, self-mastery, and self-regulation are more important at the managerial level than specific technical skills, this book is for you. Daniel Goleman gives many specifics on why someone who is more outgoing and socially capable will advance quicker than someone with exceptional technical skills but little social ability.

I found the argument persuasive, but would have liked some better details on how to address this issue in the work environment.

The writing was very heavy and was slow to read. It felt very intellectual. There are extensive notes and an index. I do not think that it met my purpose, but other people may find it useful.

I finished up reading the Wiki from Essential Twitter for Libraries Workshop run by Jaon Kucsma and Kathryn Shaughnessy. It gave me enough to have an idea on how to properly set up a twitter account for a public library:
1) Include your library name. 2) Include a logo or picture. 3) Include a link to your libraries homepage. 4) Use your logo or picture as the background for your page on twitter. 5) Include a statement about what you can do for people. 6) Announce new materials. 7) Announce events. 8) Announce important local news. 9) Provide links to interesting subjects. 10) Interact with your patrons. 11) Add relevant research sources like the Library of Congress and CQ Researcher. 12) Add local contacts like the city and county government.

I have been reading more of Smart Networking by Liz Lynch. It is asking me to stretch a little bit and try a few new things. Right now, I am a member of American Library Association and the Westchester Library Association. I am thinking about joining New York Library Association. I have never really done anything with these groups other than go to the conferences. Recently, I joined the American Library Association Connect social networking site which is interesting. I also am on Linked In. Facebook for some reason does not hold my attention that well. There is also my Alma Mater, University of Pittsburgh, but I am not sure that I want to spend money to join the Alumni Association. All of these places want a bit from you.

I always found conferences that deal directly with books like Book Expo America and Tools For Change In Publishing more interesting than library specific conferences. These are more industry conferences than professional conferences though. I am looking forward to the 2010 Day of Dialog between Libraries and Publishers. Again this is where libraries meet publishing, not purely a professional association conference.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/18/2009

The Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan where I am going today for Web 2.0 with my free Expo Hall pass. This is also where Book Expo America is held. The building is immense inside. The image is from Wikimedia.

Daily Thoughts 11/18/2009

If you want to see what sites are following a particular website, Yahoo Site Explorer is an excellent tool. I occassionally check this to see who is following my site.

I looked today and I want to mention two sites that had a nice feel to them. and

On the way to Metro I stopped off at Forbidden Planet and looked at some titles. My favorite was Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, the new Mashup book based on Jane Austen. I also liked Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded a set of essays by John Scalzi. A link to Twitter In Plain English a video shown in the class from Common Craft.

The class on Twitter for Libraries was quite interesting. It was very different than a personal twitter account. They want everything to be very focused and very clean. Library accounts should not have any excess spam: people who are there for only their personal goals.

I learned how to use hash tags, something which I always had a little bit of problem with before. Two of the hashtags they suggested were #followfridays and #followalibrarian as well as Internet Librarian 2009 #IL2009 . It was very educational. One of the websites which allows you to search for tags is

They are going to send us a link with all the resources that were mentioned in the class. The class ran for three hours at the Metro Library Consortium in New York. The speakers were both excellent. They covered a lot of different material including retweeting, hash tags, searching twitter, setting up twitter accounts for libraries, url shorteners, 140 character novels, and other subjects.

After I went to Twitter for Libraries, I stopped by Time Machine Memorabilia, Comics, and Collectibles and asked if they could order a copy of Bryan Talbot, Grantville. I think this will be something which I want to own.

After I was done having lunch, I went to the Web 2.0 Conference at the Jacob Javits Center. It was mostly internet companies with a lot of internet service providers. There was not much that was especially focused on libraries. Still, I learned a few things.

O'Reilly Media is increasing the number of galleys they plan on putting up on . I like the O'Reilly computer books. I think they are very high quality.

I was surprised at the number of Australian companies that were at the Web 2.0 Conference. They had a lot of people there.

My most interesting conversation was with Richard Chan, a Product Manager from Microsoft's Bing. They have a new real time Twitter search function which is part of Bing, . It has a number of interesting features including the ability to search photographs which are related to Twitter as well as aggregate links about a certain subject.

Richard Chan showed me the aggregated links for The Web 2.0 Conference. It was updating every couple of minutes. No other search engine that he knows of does this. He also showed me the Bing Visual Search which was interesting, but not quite as interesting as the Twitter search engine.

I walked around and picked up some literature as well. I have not had a chance to read through all of it and fully look at it yet.

On the way home, I read some of Smart Networking Attract A Following In Person and Online by Liz Lynch. There is a url associated with the book.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/17/2009

Work Projects Administration Poster Collection (Library of Congress). 1940Poster for WPA Statewide Library Project, showing a boy holding a book in his raised hand.

Daily Thoughts 11/17/2009

I'm editing my keywords on this blog. Google limits the number of keywords which you can have for a blog, so I am going back through to eliminate and consolidate some of the keywords. I am in the letter b right now.

Today was a quiet steady day. I checked the displays, made sure the shifting projects were moving, checked the mezzanine books to see which books needed to be kept, and did lots of detail work.

There was not a lot which happened today. I spent some time looking through older issues of Library Journal, Computers In Libraries, and Publishers Weekly. It was particularly predictable.

We also confirmed that people were coming to the Westlaw Patron Access workshop on Thursday.

On the train home, I read a little bit on networking and emotional intelligence in the workplace. It was pretty mundane.

I spent some time getting my pack ready for the free Expo Pass for Web 2.0 Conference at the Jacob Javits Center as well as the Twitter and Libraries class. I think that I am ready. The Web 2.0 Conference is an O'Reilly conference. I am rather like O'Reilly Media.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/16/2009

Alexandre Dumas in his Library.

Daily Thoughts 11/16/2009

Today has been a quiet steady day. I checked on the displays and made sure more new books were put out. I also checked on the progress of the shifting projects.

This morning I did some ordering of books and read Library Journal online. While I was ordering I noticed Bryan Talbot has a new graphic novel called Grantville. It got a starred review in Publishers Weekly. Bryan Talbot's art is truly fantastic. He is best known for his ground level comic, The Adventures of Luther Arkwright which is a kind of alternate history adventure which mixes spying, conspiracy, psychic powers, and very interesting alternative artwork.

I have a book which came in for me to read, Smart Networking Attract A Following In Person And Online by Liz Lynch. Also, I picked out another book which is nonfiction, Dear Undercover Economist Priceless Advice on Money, Work, Sex, Kids, and Life's Other Challenges by Time Harford. Tim Harford writes for the Financial Times. It seems to be in the same vein as Freakonomics which was a bestselling economics title.

In April 2010, Tobias Buckell is releasing a short story collection, Tides From New Worlds. It should be quite interesting. Tobias Buckell uses Caribbean themes in his science fiction writing.

Tonight, I watched a bit of Pinocchio on video tape. It is the first time I have seen it. I rather liked the When You Wish Upon A Star Sequence. Some people consider it to be the best animated film ever made. This is probably true for childrens films. I am not so sure for more teenage or adult oriented animation. It was quite hard to find this. I could not get it on dvd. Disney tends to release their films irregularly. It is often hard to predict when a particular Disney film will become available.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/15/2009

For the love of books. Digital ID: 1103855. New York Public Library

For the love of books; the adventures of an impecunious collector. 1934

Daily Thoughts 11/15/2009

Today has been a quite steady day. I have taken some time to write down some thoughts so I can clear my head. I sometimes take the time to write my daily thoughts down so I can sort through what I am thinking about. It helps me organize things before I speak to people.

I also will take the time on certain days to write down everything I plan to do in the coming days and sometimes week to clarify what I plan on doing. It is not just enough to write down what you plan on doing, but also how you feel about the things which you plan to do. Intuition is very important before taking action. It is easy to act in haste without thinking.

I watched a bit of Dangerous Days: Making of Blade Runner. This dvd is about how the movie Blade Runner was created. The title of the movie comes from a William S. Burroughs novel, Blade Runner A Movie . The screenplay is based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick. If you look closely you can see the influence of Moebius the comic book artist and Heavy Metal the magazine. The documentary is very interesting. It is part of 2 disc set, Blade Runner The Final Cut which was released in 2007.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/14/2009

Frank Leslie’s Digital ID: 1258930. New York Public Library

Hugh M. Eaton, Woman in red striped shirt and black cape stands under tree reading as trail spans out in front of her Poster. New York Public Library Digital Image Gallery.

Daily Thoughts 11/14/2009

I have been reading some more of Working With Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. It describes how emotional self mastery is more important than pure technical skills among engineers and executives. It is easy to find people who can do the job. It is harder to find people who can lead and work in teams.

I took a few minutes to look through Kirtas Books which offers digitization services for books at a cost of around $30 per book. They have an excellent and wide variety of older titles which they are selling as downloads, many for around $1.95 each for the digital part. They also offer trade paperback and hardcover versions of titles.

Chris Brogan has a new book out Trust agents : using the web to build influence, improve reputation, and earn trust. It has quite a few ideas on how to use the web to build influence.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/13/2009

The Judgement of Salomon, codex binding. Ivory, end of the 10th century–11th century.

Daily Thoughts 11/13/2009

Today was a quiet day. I rested mostly today. I watched a bit of Little Lulu, Potato Kids on video tape. It was pleasant.

Link to an article on Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary, a new giant book.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/12/2009

The Artists Wife, Barthelme, 1883

Daily Thoughts 11/12/2009

I put Peter and Max by Bill Willingham on hold today. I also put a steampunk novel, Boneshaker by Cherie Priest on hold as well. I also spent some time looking through the New York Times Bestseller list for Graphic Novels as well as the current Broadway shows.

There were a few plays which we did not have. A lot of the newer shows on Broadway don't have books out yet. They won't come out until February or May of 2010. I am guessing that this is not that different between the time a movie is released in the theater and the time it is released on dvd.

I also spent some time updating the current events display as well as ordering a few new books. We are also looking at changing some of our ordering process so it goes a little smoother.

On the train home, I read some of Working With Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. It is about the soft side of leadership; cooperation, teamwork, leadership, negotiating, emotions, influence, and achievement. Things which quite frankly I should spend some time looking at more closely. Arthur Plotnik visited my site recently. I was looking at his site and saw a book which looks like it wouldbe worth reading, The Elements of Expression, Putting Thoughts Into Words. I read Spunk & Bite earlier; it was practical and readable.

I was looking at Twitter and noticed that next week is the Web 2.0 conference in New York. I might take the other half of the day I am going to the Twitter for Libraries workshop and go to Web 2.0 in the afternoon. I was looking at Web 2.0 and I came across Wolfram Alpha which is an interesting program.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/11/2009

The prison library at the Tombs, New York City, established by Miss Linda Gilbert. (1874)

Daily Thoughts 11/11/2009

I am thinking about participating in the December 8 and 9, ALCTS Opening Doors to Hidden Collections.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/10/2009

British Library Gate. Colin Gregory Palmer's Photography.Creative commons Attribution, 2005.

Daily Thoughts 11/10/2009

Today was another quiet day. I renewed my membership to the American Library Association and joined the ALCTS group-- American Library Collection and Technical Services group. I alsow switched my focus from Intellectual Freedom Roundtable to Exhibits. I am hoping it will be more useful.

Right now, I am reading Working With Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. I also been going through and doing my orders for November. I went through the purchase alerts and the patron requests to add to my list. I'll probably also order some large print biographies. The bookmobile has been requesting these.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/9/2009

Anselm Feuerbach, Paolo e Francesca, 1864, Schack-Galerie, Monaco

Daily Thoughts 11/9/2009

I am going to the Twitter in Libraries training at Metro New York on November 18, 2009.

I walked up to my local library today and spent a bit of time on the computer.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/8/2009

Tramping with tramps. Digital ID: 1543461. New York Public Library

An image from the New York Public Library Digital Gallery of a book poster. I rather liked it.

Daily Thoughts 11/8/2009

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/7/2009

A postcard with the public domain "me worry?" face that later inspired Mad magazine's Alfred E. Neuman. From Wikimedia.

I finished reading Charles Bukowski, The Continual Condition last night. It was Bukowski's usual mix of women, sex, drinking, bars, and the race track. There were some more reflective poems as well about writing poetry, school, art, and music which are a bit different than his usual works. This makes the posthumous collection of poetry a little more interesting than many of his books. He comes across as older and more introverted in this work. It reads like he is spending more time at home, using a little less cursing, and thinking about his younger and wilder days.

The poetry is a little smoother and easier to read than works like Love Is A Dog From Hell and You Get So Alone Sometimes That It Just Makes Sense. There is less of a firebrand emotional feeling. The work is mature. The book is also fairly short only 126 pages long. It draws in many of his previous poems from a variety of sources.

It was an enjoyable distraction from every day life. This book has lots of mature content and situations in it. It is not always easy to read. Bukowski is considered a counter culture figure and a wild man of the literary world. This is even more so than Allen Ginsberg or Jack Kerouac.

I was reading through and found this review; Read Me: A Century of Classic American Book Advertisements

The Peter Principle Why Things Always Go Wrong

The Peter Principle Why Things Always Go Wrong by Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull.

This book is a business management classic. It is an acerbic explanation of why people raise to their level of incompetence.

There are a lot of silly terms which are in a glossary at the back of the book. Some of the terms include: hierarchiology, copelessness, papyromania, and staticmanship. These of course reflect the philosophy of people extending themselves beyond what they are capable of doing.

I especially like the chapter on how to avoid "final placement". The author suggests people find their proper place and stay there permanently. He writes refutations of psychological preparedness and training as placebos for advancement.

There are even descriptions on how to avoid being bumped up if you don't want to be. Some of the examples are most creative; park in the bosses space, wear inappropriate clothing, lose receipts, and maintain a messy desk.

The edition of this book is c2009. It has a new introductions by both Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull. There is clearly new material added since the 1969 edition. I would think computerized incompetence is an entirely new endeavor. The book includes an index, a glossary, and no bibliography.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/6/2009

Portrait of Gertrude Stein, with American flag as backdrop (1935 January 4) Carl Van Vechten, Library of Congress, Public Domain.

Daily Thoughts 11/6/2009

I watched the second half of the Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett. It is a very fun film with trolls, wizards, a magic chest, and lots of silliness. I especially like Cohen the Barbarian the octogenarian barbarian. The acting was fun to watch. The special effects and storyline matched the book very closely which was a nice surprise.

I also finished reading The Peter Principle. It is about how people rise to their level of incompetence. It is a very apt book. There is a nice reminder that computers can create as much incompetence as people. Happiness is knowing when to stop rising according to this book.

I walked up to my local library but there was not a whole lot to look at. It was a chance to drop off my books and look at the manga titles they have for the teenagers. They have a very nice selection, many of which we do not currently have.

I am going to start reading The Continual Condition a posthumous book of Charles Bukowskis poems.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/5/2009

David Laing, 1862, by William Fettes Douglas (1822-1891)

Daily Thoughts 11/5/2009

Today was another solid day. We went over how to rearrange the storage area for a little bit. We also looked at the layout of how the library is arranged. We are going to make a number of changes to the layout. I enjoy working with my colleagues.

We are also looking at how the Baker and Taylor is sending us items automatically. It is funny starting to think of things as we. But, I think I have to. It is a much better way to think of things.

I am reading The Peter Principle Why Things Always Go Wrong by Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull. It is quite funny. It is about how and why people rise to the level of their incompetence. There are lots of made up words and ridiculous examples. It is an unbusiness book much like there are unconferences. This version is c2009, published by Collins Business.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/4/2009

The North Room, Astor Library,... Digital ID: 805586. New York Public Library

The North Room, Astor Library, Lafayette Place, New York. 1876, Print, Leslie's Magazine, Mid-Manhattan Pictures Collection, New York Public Library

Daily Thoughts 11/4/2009

Last night, I went out and voted at the local school near my house. It was not very busy and the process went quickly. I did my civic duty. I hope wherever you are, you take the time to vote in your elections.

We had a collection development meeting today. I put in my orders for books. It went quite well today. I also did a little bit of clean up of the display area.

I picked up two books to read, The Peter Principle Why Things Always Go Wrong by Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull and The Continual Condition by Charles Bukowski. The Continual Condition is a posthumous work which should be interesting. His poetry mellowed a bit in his old age.

I did not read anything on the train home.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/3/2009

The portable manuscript books of "Tsukigase Kisho/Getsurai Kisho (月瀬記勝) written by Saito Setsudo (斎藤拙堂)" in 1884, published by Shikada Seishichi (鹿田静七). Book size (WxHxD): 8.5cm x 12cm x 0.8cm . Another Wikimedia find.

Daily Thoughts 11/3/2009

I am still reading Small Unit Leadership A Commonsense Approach by Colonel Dandridge M. Malone. It is a very interesting book. Everything is very definite. For example the author describes how training in specific skills leads to increased will to do the activity the person is trained in. There is a reminder that in the army, the mission is more important than you are.

This is a truly excellent book. There are a whole bunch of things which he reminds you to do to keep organized; keep a calendar, keep a notebook to write down things all of the time, and in the morning create to do lists and cross out the things which you have finished. The book is very well organized into a variety of lists.

The only parts I don't get completely are about the military aspects of command. The other parts I understand quite well. Some of the book is clearly written solely for squad leaders.

The last chapter on how to ask questions to get the kind of answers you need is very interesting. I think the book is useful in general not just from a military standpoint.

The layout of the book is easy to read, there is an index, and there are many simple black and white illustrations. The book includes lists that are both bullet pointed and numbered. Malone is considered one of the United States armies leading experts on leadership.

I watched some more of The Color of Magic on dvd. It is a fun movie to watch. The film follows the book very closely. It is about fantasy and wish fulfillment. I like Terry Pratchett's original book, The Color of Magic as much as I like the movie. The discworld resting on the back of the giant turtle is the best part.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Daily Thoughts November 2, 2009

Ukrainian Stamp. I am not sure what it says. I found it on Wikimedia and liked it.

Daily Thoughts 11/2/2009

They moved the clocks an hour back today, so I am up too early. I am not sure what to think about this.

Today, I finished weeding the trade paperbacks and the mass market paperbacks. I am also watching the volunteers shift the nonfiction collection. It is moving steadily along. Also, we are working on a new layout for the mezzanine. It should make it much easier to find the fiction books.

This morning, I put together another display, this time for Veterans Day which is on November 11, 2009 in the United States. I picked out both dvds and books on wars of the United States, veterans, and the GI bill.

I'm also working with a colleague to help write the new monthly report. Things are going very steadily.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/1/2009

Quote from Henry David Thoreau on Library Way in New York City. Taken on February 28, 2007. By Kathleen COnklin. From Wikimedia. Creative Commons Attribution 2.5

Daily Thoughts November 1, 2009

I am finding reading Small Unit Leadership A Common Sense Approach to be quite enlightening. It explains the difference between civilian leadership and military leadership. In a military situation the objective is to win without exception. There are also descriptions of the difference between leadership and management. The concept of chain of command in the military is also given a detailed explanation. It is quite interesting.

I have been watching the concert Pulse by Pink Floyd also. I watched it while I was doing my floor exercises. It reminds me of when I was younger. I really do like the lighting effect that is part of the concert.

On Tuesday it is election day so I have to remember to vote. I always go vote. Sometimes, I wish I had better choices.