Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Daily Thoughts 11/30/2010 (Lynd Ward, Publishers Weekly)

Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy resting in the forest. Oil on canvas. 60 × 50 cm. The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. 1891

Daily Thoughts 11/30/2010

This morning, on the train, I started reading First Break All The Rules What The World's Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman.
It is about what makes a great manager.

Today has been relatively quiet, I checked the displays to see that they were in order, read the latest copy of booklist, and handed in the monthly schedule.  It has been one of those days where you do what is necessary because that is what makes you professional.  I am thinking about how to rearrange the ordering schedule and possibly get the Elite Street ordering system for bestsellers from BWI.

I read some more issues of Publishers Weekly.  It is a solid distraction while two more new people are let go.  I also took a few minutes to look at Lynd Ward volume II, Prelude to a Million Years, Song Without Words, and Vertigo.  This is a collection of wordless woodct novels.  They were done in the 1930s.  Art Spiegelman is the editor. These are considered by many to be the precursors to the modern graphic novel.

I am feeling quite tired right now.  For me coming in and doing my everyday work helps me face up to the changes occurring around me.  One of the things that determines professionalism is the ability to work under pressure.

On the way home, I looked through the wordless novels of Lynd Ward, it is a beautiful book, the woodcuts have a very stark Germanic feel to them with strong dark lines. They remind of the art from the Works Project Administration.  I learned that the books were made in a printing cooperative based on democratic principles which was interesting.  Most of the drawings are set in the great depression.  People are living their lives in a very stark time.  There is a sense of the poetic and the biblical in the art.  This is a link to a review from NPR.  It is a very beautiful set of books. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130915507

Monday, November 29, 2010

Daily Thoughts 11/29/2010 (Advocacy, Reduction In Force)

A logo of the United States Library of Congress following with the theme of using the outline of the Thomas Jefferson Building as an identifier.

Daily Thoughts 11/29/2010

I got a request from NYLA -- the New York Library Association to fill out a form letter to support bills that could support libraries.  I often send letters to the local politicians and the politicians around the area where my job is.  Unfortunately, libraries have become an easy target for cuts and legislation.  It is partially due to self preservation and partially due to wanting to keep my profession alive that I am active in contacting local politicians. http://www.nyla.org/index.php?page_id=925http://www.nyla.org/index.php?page_id=925

During voting time, I got eight reminders from door to door canvassers reminding me to vote as well as a dozen phone calls and tons of junk mail.  It was kind of annoying.  I think it is the result of writing about two form letters a month to politicians. Most people do little or nothing.  It does not take a lot of time to write one letter a month or simply fill out a form for a cause and add your information.

Today, I got the notice of demotion as part of a reduction in force.  The two librarian IIIs above me were reduced to Librarian IIs, all of the Librarian IIs were reduced to Librarian 1s.  Two librarians were laid off.  There was also a senior clerk that was reduced to a clerk, and a clerk who was laid off.  That means three people were laid off.  Earlier three people had taken retirement.  I have a letter which describes this as being purely budgetary.  It is supposed to go into effect on December 1st in two days.  Today is November 29, 2010.  This has effected about a third of our building.  The last attempt at layoffs and demotions affected half of our building.  It was on July 11, 2010.   Each library in our county has a separate budget.  If I read the articles about our budget with the differences between the comptroller and the mayor, there could be a several million dollar budget gap in about six months.

 I finished reading Writing That Works on the train to the job.  I had the day off, but went in to get my paperwork. Sometimes, patience is what is needed.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Daily Thoughts 11/28/2010 (Get Glue, Writing Tools)

First page of a miniature of Cicero's De oratore, 1400s, Northern Italy, now at the British Museum.

Daily Thoughts 11/28/2010

I've been reading more of Writing Tools this weekend. There are a lot of ideas about writing that I had not thought about before.  The author describes when to use unusual words as well as how patterns of words on the page effect stories. I learned quite a bit about things like sentence length, length of of words in series, patterns in writing, and other mechanies.  I learned about how important it is to look for unique names and find the names of even the most unimportant characters in your writing.  So far, this is an excellent book that has introduced me to many new concepts about writing.

I am still playing around with Get Glue http://getglue.com/BookCalendar/books.  It is very easy to get drawn into sites like this because they appear that you are doing something important when it is really more for frivolous enjoyment.  However, it does make you more visible if that is what you are seeking.

I went in and added a few more links to my selected links page from the last month. It is slowly growing.  I also pulled out a few more books and topics to add to Get Glue.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Daily Thoughts 11/27/2010 (Get Glue, LinkedIn, Social Media, Budget)

Interior view of the Astor Lib... Digital ID: 805990. New York Public Library
Interior View of the Astor Library, 1854

Daily Thoughts 11/27/2010 

Using Social Networks To Select Material.

I have two books that I placed on hold after reading Linked In; What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelley and Letting Go Of Words, Writing Web Content That Works.  Librarians often talk about the books they like on Linked In.  It is often career oriented material.  While I was on a thread in Linked In on LISCareers, they had a number of career books they were discussing.  The thread is called Best Books For Career Professional/Personal Development http://linkd.in/f0VYYT%20  Two books that caught my attention were First Break All The Rules: What TheWorlds Greatest Managers Do by Marcus Buckingham and Creating A Life Worth Living: A Practical Course In Career Design For Aspiring Writers, Artists, Filmmakers, Musicians, and Others Who Want to Make A Living From Their Creative Work by Carol Lloyd.

I also spent some time on Get Glue looking at different book lists.  I ended up picking out three books Rules For Revolutionaries by Guy Kawasaki who also is on Twitter, Dust of Dreams by Steven Erikson, and Paper Cities an Anthology Urban Fantasy, Edited by Ekaterina Sedia.  This is my list on Get Glue of books http://getglue.com/BookCalendar/books

I find looking through lists of books on social networks sometimes very interesting and useful.  There are a lot of people with computer backgrounds who have lists of new computer books which are often not available from standard review sources.  People also recommend a lot of book that are never reviewed in the standard review sources like Library Journal or Publishers Weekly.  I think only 1% of published books are reviewed professionally.  This leaves a vast array of books with little or no coverage.  They are often things like computer books, books on construction, textbooks, and other materials.

Also many social networks have lists where people give what they are currently reading.  These are sometimes curious to look at because they tend to have a wide cross section of books.

Budget and Politics

It is almost the end of the year.  I learned we have enough money to make it until the end of the year without layoffs.  This is a relief in a way.  I am waiting to hear about the finalization of people retiring.  On November 29, 2010 we are having a union meeting to discuss the budget with union representatives from the state. The mayor announced there would be no layoffs in the city.  However, our library is moving away from being part of the city, we are in the process of becoming a school district library at the request of the Board of Regents of the New York State Library.  This would put our budget up to vote in 2011.  It also means that the board of trustees would have to be elected as well.  It is very political.

I now know that there will not be any furloughs, it goes against the CSEA statewide union policy.  It is something I would have liked to consider.  It requires a lot of patience to think about these things.

In the city itself, there is some dissension, the city comptroller has announced that she is against the mayors budget.  This makes things even more complicated.  Right now in Westchester County, they are having budget hearings.  Funding for libraries in Westchester County are being considered.  The Westchester Library System which does some of our services is being cut.  They already have cut the bookmobile.  In our city, it went to the homes for the aged and the local armory.

It gets even more complicated, because the civil service has to work with the library if there are layoffs or a reduction in force.  They already did a reduction in force for our library on July 11, 2010 which was rescinded.  This makes them very careful.

In the surrounding area in the five boroughs of New York City, Mayor Bloomberg has suggested a $16.5 million dollar budget cut.  This would eliminate 404 librarians leaving a lot of librarians out of work with a limited amount of open positions.  Many of the open positions are for technically oriented positions, systems librarians, metadata specialists, digital image specialists, information architects, content specialists, and web technology specialists.

The whole profession is in a shift, much like the publishing industry is shifting to new technologies, libraries are slowly starting to do it as well.  It is a very disruptive time period.

It also is a very important time to learn how to advocate for your library and find advocates in the community.  Choices which are made now, will affect how or whether libraries will exist in the future.  In my personal opinion, reform is necessary, not elimination.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Writing That Works How To Communicate Effectively in Business, 3rd Edition by Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson

Writing That Works How To Communicate Effectively in Business, 3rd Edition by Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson

Writing That Works is an updated book on business writing that includes sections on email, presentation decks (bullet pointed lists often in powerpoint), and a reminder that computers are only as good as what you put into them.

The writers describe when it is appropriate to use paper memos and letters to add a personal touch or appear official. They also talk about how to give presentations to sell your product or idea in person.

The book covers written documents, presentations, and the internet. The chapters are short, clear, and present clear business objectives; getting a job with a resume, getting money for your ideas, saving time by managing email properly, and selling yourself in writing.

Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson open the book with a statement that the point of business writing is to get things done, not just to be clear.

There is a reminder to edit your work, be understandable, and write for a specific objective. Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson do this with ease. They make excellent use of bullet pointed lists, indented italicized text, and bold headings which catch your attention.

Kenneth Roman retired from being CEO of Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide and Joel Raphaelson retired from being Creative Executive Director of Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide. This makes them very qualified to write about business. This book is well worth reading.

Daily Thoughts 11/26/2010 (Get Glue, The Copia

Paul Cesar Helleu, Woman Reading, Circa 1895, Drypoint on Paper

Daily Thoughts 11/26/2010

I have been reading a little more of Writing Tools and trying out Get Glue. It is quite interesting.  I learned it has some qualities that are not so great.  Synching it with twitter will fill your twitter messages full of Get Glue which can appear spammy.  It is very easy to create a very large list of books you have read.

I spent some time going through The Copia, http://www.thecopia.com  It is a social network for books. I started out by downloading the seven free books which they are offering on their network.  I first had to get a license from Adobe to do this and create an account with Adobe.  I think they are mainly using the Adobe Epub format.  Once I was logged on, I had the choice of either downloading an application for Mac or PC that would synch with the website.  There was also an Ipad application.  This was fairly easy to do.

Once I had the application downloaded, I decided to do a little free riding which is the nice word for looking for free things.  I searched the catalog for free downloads and downloaded Walden or Life In The Woods by Henry David Thoreau, The Novels of Jane Austen, and An Account of Egypt.   This left me with ten books.  I then looked through the community list of books.  Many were also downloading free items.  Computer books from O'reilly publishing and public domain history texts were also downloaded. I downloaded Vikram and The Vampire by Sir Richard Burton which is another public domain classic.  I now have eleven books to try out and read on the system.  The downloads were fast and easy to do.

I also went through and looked at the groups and joined a few under my name to see how they worked as well as made a few comments to check on how that worked.  It was an interesting experience.

I also updated my profile with a thumbnail for this blog.  There was only one thing which did not work that well.  I tried to search people for librarians, publishers, authors, writers, editors, and other book people.  I was not able to find any in the people search.

There are supposed to be some features which are not available in other social networks for books.  You should be able to annotate books with notes by the book, the page number, and highlighted text.  This all should be shareable.  I am looking forward to trying it out tomorrow.  I like to spread out these kind of things over time.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Daily Thoughts 11/25/2010 (Get Glue, Writing Tools, Thanksgiving)

Lithograph, Home To Thanksgiving, published by Currier and Ives., 1867

Daily Thoughts 11/25/2010

Happy Thanksgiving, hope all is well with you.  I am home today which feels very well.  Anyways, today is a day to relax.

I read some more of Writing Tools.  I spent some time going through the New York Post  crossing out words that ended with ing in them.  It was a writing exercise.  There were not a lot of them. The Post, despite its tabloid reputation, has very tight writing with very few errors in structure or grammar.  I may think there may be errors of opinion, but there are few technical errors.

I also registered with Wikipedia as a user.  I am not sure why, but there is a BookCalendar account on both Wikimedia and Wikipedia.  I have never attempted to provide any input into their database, but I have used them quite often.

In addition, I now have an account on Get Glue http://getglue.com/BookCalendar%20

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Daily Thoughts 11/24/2010 (Writing That Works, Writing Tools, Layoffs)

Thanksgiving day. Digital ID: 1588336. New York Public Library
Thanksgiving Day. Happy Thanksgiving if you are in the United States.

Daily Thoughts 11/24/2010

I had the day off today. I relaxed mainly. I finished reading Writing That Works How To Communicate Effectively In Business by Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson, Third Edition.  Both authors were executives at Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide.  The book is very concise and useful for business writing.  It gave me a better understanding of how to write to ask for money as well as to write a resume.

Reading , Writing Tools 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark.  Roy Peter Clak makes  words interesting.  I liked the statement it is as important to talk about books as it is to write and read. In one of the exercises he asks me to read the Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln and "I Have A Dream" by Martin Luther King, Jr.  It is the first time that I have read "I Have A Dream."  Roy Peter Clark also recommends the esssy, "Politics of the English Language" by George Orwell which is excellent http://www.george-orwell.org/Politics_and_the_English_Language/0.html

Web Bits

New York City library systems suffer $16.5 million 'adjustment' Bloomberg makes a mid-year trim.  I don't particularly like this because it helps justify trims in other library systems.  There is a kind of follow me effect.  Our budget has not been announced yet to the public.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Daily Thoughts 11/23/2010 (electronic devices, books)

The bookman. A literary illust... Digital ID: 1543502. New York Public Library
The Bookman A Literary Journal

Daily Thoughts 11/23/2010

I put the book, The Little Prince Graphic Novel by Antoine Saint-Exupery, and Illustrated by Joann Sfar on hold.  I really like Joann Sfar's illustrations.

I spent some time today looking at MP3 players for audiobooks.  The one most used in libraries is the Sansa Sandisk player.  I have seen a number of libraries which lend MP3 players out.  They generally contain a set of preloaded audiobooks on them.  An MP3 player is a little less expensive than a video game.  We lend out video games for the Xbox, PS2, and Wii.  We also lend out Transparent Language http://www.transparent.com  flash drives. 

I also spent some time looking at shelving for oversize books and creating next months schedule.  There were a few other minor things which I did like email reference and some weeding of the oversize books.

One of the books which I put on hold came in, Writing Tools 50 Essential Strategies For Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark.  I also checked out An Essential Guide to Public Speaking Serving Your Audience With Faith, Skill, and Virtue by Quentin Schultze.

On the train home, I read some more of Writing That Works.   The authors were writing about email and presentation decks.  They reminded the reader to keep your emails short and to the point.  A "Deck" is a term for bulleted presentation slides like you would make in Powerpoint or Slideshare. 

Web Bits

Going Green On Paper

Read Library EBooks On Your Ipad with the Bluefire Reader App

How Publishers Are Tackling The Apps Question http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/content-and-e-books/article/45173-how-publishers-are-tackling-the-app-question.html

Monday, November 22, 2010

Daily Thoughts 11/22/2010 (Writing That Works, Ebooks, Shelving)

Thomas Sully, Portrait of a Young Girl, circa 1824, Oil on Canvas

Daily Thoughts 11/22/2010

I spent a little bit of time straightening out the displays.  I also called a a number of different people about ebooks.  I am applying for the Sony Library Program for ebooks.  It is a free program.  I also called Apple about Ipads and learned that they offer Ipads to libraries in New York through their Government Program with 3% discount.  I also learned about that Nook can sink and share books with up to six nooks through a single account.  This is good to know for libraries.

I received a quote for the cost of Freegal, a download service for libraries for music MP3s.  I like the way the service works.  You can listen to a minute sample of each song, but not the full song. Then you can choose to download the song based on the patrons available quota of downloads each week or month.  We are paying based on our circulation and community size.  This can be found on the IMLS library statistics search engine.  http://harvester.census.gov/imls/search/index.asp

I am also looking at the Elite Street service from BWI.

We may also be looking at new shelving for the oversize books.  These books are often quite heavy and regular shelving won't hold them very well.  We may be looking at steel shelving.  I have to look through the Highsmith, Gaylord, and Demco catalogs tomorrow.

I am reading Writing That Works How To Communicate Effectively In Business by Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson. It is a very practical work.  It reminds you to use plain language, eliminate jargon, and write things that get work done. Writing that gets work done is even more important perfect clarity.  There is also a reminder that what you do with a computer is more important than having the latest model.

Partly because I had a computer virus yesterday and had to have my machine cleaned and clear out the registry, I did not get a chance to write any reviews yesterday.  I now have a variety of new software on my machine, Hitman Pro antivirus, Hijack This, Malware Bytes antimalware software, a new firewall, a new registry cleaner-- Ccleaner, Google Chrome, and other software.

I decided not to review The Referral Engine or Content Strategy for the Web.  I guess I was a bit computered out.  There is a lot of new media language and jargon in these books.  When you have been trying for six hours to get everything working on your computer, it can be a little much. I am probably going to review Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk soon. It is a bit lighter and more humorous.

Web Bits

Library cuts are not just happening in the United States, there is a lot of reporting of cuts in England.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Daily Thoughts 11/21/2010 (Ebooks)

: The second of four designs for the reverse of the 2009 Lincoln cent in celebration of the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth

Daily Thoughts 11/21/2010

I had some computer maintenance issues today so did not get a whole lot of time to post.  I joined the Ebooks Meetup Group http://www.meetup.com/ebooks

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Inflatable Space and Near Space: A Thought Experiment

Unlike many other early space station concepts, this design actually made it out of the concept phase and into production, though no models were ever flown. This particular station was 30-feet and expandable. It was designed to be taken to outer space in a small package and then inflate in orbit. The station could, in theory, have been big enough for 1 to 2 people to use for a long period of time. A similar 24 foot station was built by the Goodyear Aircraft Corporation for NASA test use. The concept of space inflatables was revived in the 1990s.

Inflatable Space and Near Space: A Thought Experiment

I am in a whimsical mood today. 

This is another thought experiment like my earlier post on A Turbine Powered Future

Imagine if more inflatables were used in the space program. Imagine if the Transhab inflatable space station module was built. http://en.wikipedia.org/TransHab . Bigelow Aerospace is trying to do this right now for commercial space. http://www.bigelowaerospace.com/

The Goodyear Aerospace Corporation built an inflatable module for space in 1961.  There is even a description of a spaceship from NASA with inflatables as part of its structure.

I learned something new, NASA's early inflatable spacecrafts were called Satelloons.  There is something intriguing about this.  It only adds to the idea that balloons were successfully launched into space.

Space X which recently launched a rocket for NASA has teamed up with Bigelow Aerospace to create a partnership.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alejandro-rojas/spacex-plans-flights-to-p_b_1534663.html

Something to note about building the Bigelow facility for the commercial space station.  It is projected to cost $500 million to build by 2015.  The International Space Station according to the GAO General Accounting Office of the United States cost $100 billion to build. That is 200x more expensive. Inflatables are far less expensive.

Now imagine if they used a rockoon to launch the transhab module into space. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockoon  . It might be far cheaper to use rockoons to launch payloads into space. Arca is developing a manned rocket attached to a balloon. http://www.googlelunarxprize.org/lunar/teams/arca/about

There is another option which is not quite an inflatable, but is interesting.  There is a plan to launch Atlas rockets from a high altitude airplanes.  The name of the company specifically is Stratolaunch.  http://www.stratolaunch.com/

How about imagining if you could get rid of the rocket completely and just let a blimp lift cargo directly into orbit. JP Aerospace is working on a concept craft which would take an airship all the way to orbit. There is even a book called Floating to Space: The Airship to Orbit Program (Apogee Books Space Series) by John M. Powell.

Both rockoons and the airship to orbit make getting to space potentially much cheaper. http://www.jpaerospace.com/

How about if you didn't use an airship to get to full orbit, but to near space. Maybe, the airship concept won't work. You could possibly build a stratostation http://www.jpaerospace.com/dssoverview.html

A stratostation might even be useful for automated high altitude airships used for communications and radar. Sanswire is an example of this. http://www.sanswiretao.com/

You might even attempt to tether cables to the stratostation and then haul cables through the upper atmosphere to make a two stage space elevator. I have no idea if this would work, I am not an engineer. It is an idea. That is what a thought experiment is about.  This is kind of an idea that probably won't work because of the physics involved.

Now you have inflatable modules for living in space. Link them together and you have an inflatable space station. This is a launching point for the moon. Why not build yourself an inflatable habitat on the moon. They are testing one in the antarctic. http://earthsky.org/space/nasa-tests-inflatable-lunar-habitat-in-antarctica

Of course you can't forget power. How about an inflatable solar power satellite for near space.  http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6111190.html

There is also the idea of high altitude wind power which is supposed to collect more wind energy than ground based wind.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-altitude_wind_power

There are now designs for near space solar power platforms which makes near space even more interesting.

What is your next step? Build yourself an inflatable mars ship. Link together several transhab modules in a row, build a truss system around it, add an engine in the back, and a command module in the front. Again, it is just a thought.

You can land your spaceship, inflate your mars habitat, then send your inflatable mars rover to explore http://www.popsci.com/military-aviation-amp-space/article/2008-09/inflatable-surveillance-balls-mars

You can even use an airship to explore mars.

Thus you have inflatable space. It all sounds far fetched in a way. It is a thought experiment which I have sometimes pondered.  It is a short break from reading.

Daily Thoughts 11/20/2010 (Wordle, Circulation, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk)

Virgil Reading the Aeneid to Augustus, Octavia, and Livia, Painting in the Chicago Art Institute  Jean-Baptiste Wicar, Unknown Date

Daily Thoughts 11/20/2010

I checked the displays this morning and read some more review material.  I am reading the Baker and Taylor Fast Facts and the Ingram Title Alerts.  I also thought a little bit about creating a separate business collection.  It has been a very quiet day.

I put the new version of  The Autobiography of Mark Twain on hold.

I also brought some material down to weed on Monday.

I have been thinking a little bit about our circulation.  We started the on order status for our books in the SIRSI catalog in September.  I think it has significantly affected our circulation.  Now, a lot of our items go out as soon as they are finished being processed.  I think our circulation has been going up.

I finished reading The Referral Engine on the way home from work. The last portion was about how to get people to give you referrals.  It also covered how to built referral networks between businesses.

I also read David Sedaris Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk.  It was quite funny in a grotesque, sardonic way.  This is definitely for adults.  The illustrations were a nice touch.   They were gross in a fascinating way.  The stories were talking animal stories with very human overtones.  They revealed some of the worst aspects of human nature.  I could not put the book down.  The book is on the New York Times Bestseller List.  It makes me want to read other books by David Sedaris.

Web Bits

This is a Wordle word cloud for my blog from http://www.wordle.net/

Wordle: Book Calendar

Friday, November 19, 2010

Daily Thoughts 11/19/2010 (econtent)

Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Daily Thoughts 11/19/2010 I have been listening to the Freegal Music catalog to get a sense of how it works.  I have a trial account.  It consists of the Sony Music catalog.  Some of the artists that I have listened to are Bob Dylan, Billie Holiday, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Bruce Springsteen.  The sound quality is very good. http://www.freegalmusic.com/users/login

I also signed up for The Copia beta to see how it works http://betaprod.thecopia.com/home/index.html  They recently decided to go device agnostic in a story in Publishers Weekly. The Copia is a social network tied in with ebooks and sharing ebooks which people buy.  In other words it is a commercial social network. http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/retailing/article/45214-copia-s-book-retail-social-network-goes-live-devices-cancelled.html

I took some time to clean up my desk and organize my files today.

I feel like I have to consider all the different options that are out there.  There are a number of white label services that have caught my interest like Overdrive Midas and Medianet Digital.  I have also looked at Ingram EDI services which would require a committment to set up their service of at least $15,000 in annual sales.

I got some of my orders ready today.  One graphic novel that caught my attention is The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele-Blanc, Volume1, Terror Over Paris/The Eiffel Tower by Jacques Tardi.  Jacques Tardi is a French comic artist.  This story involves a pterodactyl in the Eiffel Tower.  It is set in 1910.

On the train home, I read some more of The Referral Engine. John Jantsch is describing how to combine various social media services; Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn, podcasting, and other services to create a complete customer experience that will generate referrals.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Daily Thoughts 11/18/2010 The Referral Engine (Downloadable Music)

Ex libris for Louis Bosch, Tamise naar Antwerp; motto: „In tali numquam lassat venatio sylva“(„A hunt in such a forest wearies never“)

Daily Thoughts 11/17/2010

I spent some time this morning checking the displays.  I also did a little bit more weeding.

At the last collection development meeting, I was asked about electronic devices.  I called Naxos and Alexander Street Music to have them give us a trial period for their streaming services for music. I am going to be talking to http://www.freegal.com tomorrow about their download service for libraries.  I believe there may be a strong interest in downloadable or streaming music at our library.

I also called Barnes and Noble about their Nook color device.  The advantage of the Nook color is that it would be good for childrens books which are in color.

There is a separate program by Sony specific for libraries.   This is a complete package with marketing materials and training.  http://ebookstore.sony.com/library-program/

The gentleman from SCORE counselors to America's small business came today.  We set up times for December.  It is going well.  I also took some time and printed up some more flyers for SCORE and the graphic novels club for next month.

Last night, I had a colleague look over my resume.  I also took some time to update my linked in profile; both my educational information and my job description. I also went back and updated my resume with more action verbs and a greater focus on being proactive.  I also learned that the ideal number of Linked In contacts was over 200.

There is going to be a union meeting discussing the budget on November 29, 2010.  It is bringing in the Statewide Vice President, the Westchester Local President, and other officials from the union.  This adds to the apprehension about the budget which is going to be announced today for the city.

On the way home, I read some more of The Referral Engine.  It has gotten more bearable.  The author is describing a very customer centric strategy.  He is focusing on how you create a unique value proposition where your business has something to offer that other businesses do not have.  The objective is to make your company stand out so people will refer your company as their first choice to others.  It deemphasizes advertising in favor of word of mouth.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Daily Thoughts 11/17/2010 (The Referral Engine)

Harper’s February Digital ID: 1131252. New York Public Library

Harper's February 1895

Daily Thoughts 11/17/2010

I have started reading The Referral Engine Teach Your Business to Market Itself by John Jantsch.  It is a mix of sales guru type writing like you might see in Og Mandino's The Greatest Salesman in the World or The Go-Giver: A Little Story About A Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg and John David Mann and social media evangelism you might see in one of Chris Brogan's or Seth Godin's books.  At points it can be a little too sticky and sweet and almost unbrearable.  At other points, it gives some decent ideas.

Today, I spent some time going over my orders and checking the purchase alerts list.  We had our order meeting today.  It went well and I put in my orders today.  I also talked a little bit about the streaming service for music from Naxos and Alexander Street.

I also spent some time checking on the displays to make sure they were in and adding a few finishing touches to the monthly report.

The book Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris came in for me to read.  It should be entertaining.

I also put the book, The Wonderful Future That Never Was by Bruce Sterling on hold to read later.  I like imagining how the future could have been very different based on turning points in history.

I like the feel of new books and checking on them when they come in.  It is very different than reading about them in the review magazines.

I read some more of The Referral Engine this evening on the train.  The author is writing about the convergence between the digital and the physical world.  He is describing how it is possible to mix high technology with high quality customer service in both the online world and the physical world.  I can see how this works with companies like http://www.meetup.com and  http://www.linkedin.com where people often meet for events in person.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Daily Thoughts 11/16/2010 (Content Strategy)

Portrait of Brazilian writer Jorge Amado, 1997, Gilberto Gomes, Creative Commons Attribution, Share-Alike 1.0

Daily Thoughts 11/16/2010

Today has been another quiet day.  I went through and looked over my ordering for tomorrows meeting.  I also did a bit more weeding in the oversize books and checked the displays to see that they were in order.
I am writing the monthly report.  Part of this is collecting flyers and marketing material which we made.

I also got my certificate of completion for the Fundamentals of Acquisitions course which I took on line.  It is quite interesting.  I am thinking of taking the Marketing For Libraries course.

I plan on reading Life by Keith Richards.  I am looking at the November 14, 2010 issue of the New York Times Book Review.  I have not read it yet, but there is a quote on the words in the cover from him, " For many years, I slept on average, twice a week.  This means that I have been conscious for at least three lifetimes."

On the way home, I finished reading Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson.  It is a framework for managing the content which goes into a website.  This includes text, pictures, videos, and all the different content inside a website.  This includes a process of auditing all the different pages, analysing what is in a website to see that you have the right content, and creating an overall strategy for what should go into a website or other medium on the internet.  I found it useful as a set of ideas.  It is the kind of book where you can pick and choose what you find useful and let the other pieces go.

One of the things I have noticed is that people are starting to talk about the idea of "content curation:" which sounds very much like librarianship except for in a web setting.  The central idea is that the web needs people to make information usable and findable.  It sounds a bit questionable, but it does have its interesting points.  This fits with the increasing demand for taxonomists, metadata specialists, and managers of digital images. The most obvious place which I can think of where this fits is internet sites like the Library of Congress American Memory Archive, and the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.  Also the big websites like Google hire a cross between programmers and librarians to manage their indexing and metadata.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Al Jaffee's Mad Life A Biography by Mary-Lou Weisman Illustrated by Al Jaffee

Al Jaffee's Mad Life A Biography by Mary-Lou Weisman Illustrated by Al Jaffee

Al Jaffee is a cartoonist for Mad magazine.  He also has over sixty cartoon books he has written.  He is best known for the fold-ins at the back of Mad Magazine.  He illustrated this biography with a mix of slice of life comics about his own life and light humor comics.  I like the slightly exaggerated style of the cartoons.  They remind me a bit of a kind of slightly guilty pleasure.  This book covers his whole life.

The story starts with his childhood which is quite poignant and hard.  It starts with him moving from Savannah Georgia to live with his mother in a Lithuanian shtetl (small jewish town).  Then it covers his return to live in New York city.  The story is one of hardship and suffering.  He ends up leaving his mother behind as the Jewish holocaust starts.

This biography has quite a bit of mature themes in it; his brother going mad, another brother having extreme disabilities, and being separated from his mother.  He often describes himself as a cut up and a bit out of control.  This is illustrated by a variety of escapades throughout his life which can be both ridiculous and shocking

The thing which ultimately saves him is humor.  He describes reading comics his father sends him as a child and deciding that there is a career for him in comics when he sees advertisements by Dr. Seuss.  There are quite a few cartoons from Al Jaffee's early career in this book including many from Mad magazine.  The juxtaposition between everyday life and silly humor fits well with the writing.

In what I consider the second half of the book, he gets his break when he is accepted for the New York High School for Music and Art as it is first opening.  There he meets Harvey Kurtzman and some of the early figures in comics.  This biography describes his work for many important people in the comics industry.

The second half of the book touches on the history of comic books.  It is quite entertaining.  I rather liked a few of the wordless comics on page 180.  I also like the inventiveness in this book. Al Jaffe attributes this to having very little when he was a child.  He had to make his own toys.  There are interesting cartoons of home made fishing poles, rafts, a toy truck and other toys.

This book is not in the least bit academic in style.  It is full of anecdotes, humor, and sad stories. There is no index and no lists of recommended titles.  There are some photographs from the authors life, many cartoons in full color from both the auhor's life and Mad magazine.  The book is printed on heavy stock paper.  It is published by Harper Collins under the itbooks imprint.  This is a story that makes you think.

Daily Thoughts 11/15/2010 (Content Strategy)

Electricity for everybody. Digital ID: 1543314. New York Public Library
Electricity For Everybody. American Book Poster.

Daily Thoughts 11/15/2010

I've been relaxing a little bit. I read some more of Content Strategy for the Web which is turning out to be a framework for what should go into a website, how to determine who is responsible for the content inside a website, and how the content should be managed. The information architect provides the framework, the content strategist puts the information inside the framework. At least, that is the way the book is describing it.

One of the ideas from this book that caught my attention is that we are all publishers the moment we put words up on the web.  We need to pay attention to the words which we put up on websites.  They need to be chosen with care.

Web Bits

Digital Underclass? Only If We Allow It.

Ebook Market Surges to $1 billion dollars from Mashable

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Daily Thoughts 11/14/2010 (Content Strategy For The Web)

Page detail from Medieval Book of Hours (1533)

Daily Thoughts 11/14/2010

During the last couple days, I have been reading through the board meeting minutes for my library as well as the board meeting minutes for the system.  It has given me a very clear picture of why we are having budgetary problems.  It has been very hard reading and understanding this material.  I wish people had been more conservative with their spending.  I can see at least four areas which could use improvement.

I also saw news about the cities budget where I work. The city is $11 million dollars in debt.  There is going to be a tax increase in the city.  Under these conditions, I can see how the library can be cut.  It is a matter of seeing how to make things still functional.  This kind of news is often hard to see or accept.  The budget is supposed to be officially released on Thursday.

I decided to stop reading The Master Switch by TimWu.  I found his thesis that communication technologies by necessity become controlled by benevolent monopolies slightly distasteful.  I also do not see the necessity of having monopolies on communications.  There are other options.  The central thesis of the book was not convincing. I put the book down after 46 pages.

Right now, I am reading Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson.  I already like the first chapter which says that you should have a single person in charge of your overall strategy for content and the web and you should not just use web tools because they are there.  Always ask why you are doing things on the web.  There is too much available.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Metro Career Transition SIG on Friday, November 12, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., U R What You Tweet Social Media 4 Career Advancement

Metro Career Transition SIG on Friday, November 12, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., U R What You Tweet Social Media 4 Career Advancement

I went to the Metro Career Transition SIG on Friday, November 12, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Metro has a number of excellent classes and networking events. They even have an individual membership now for
$100. It is worth considering if you go to their classes regularly.

The Metropolitan New York Library Council http://www.metro.org/  is on 57 East 11th street, Fourth floor, New York City, between Broadway and University Place. The location is easy to get to by subway. This event was open to nonmembers. Suasna Gormley, the chapter chair, introduced the speakers. I saw one person from New York Librarians Meetup and I saw Tom Nielsen who is the member services chair for Metro. I remember meeting him once when he was working at an engineering library many years ago.

Metro New York is very clean and well laid out. The meeting room is comfortable, the projector is large, and at every meeting or class I have been there, they have decent coffee.

As always, I try to present what I thought was important that I heard at the presentation. There was a lot of very relevant information in this presentation.

One of the presenters was Bonnie McEwan President of Make Waves. Her blog is called Ripples and Wipeouts, http://www.makewavesnotnoise.com/blog . Make Waves is a marketing and communication consultancy for nonprfits. Tbe other presenter was Donna Severino, Vice President, Records Management at the New York City Economic Development Corporation. She is also the Chair of the SLA Employment Task Force. I found a recommended book title which looks interesting on her Linked In profile, If Only We Knew What We Know: The Transfer of Internal Knowledge and Best Pracitce by Carol O'Dell and C. Jackson Grayson, Jr. The title of the preseentaion was UR What U Tweet Social Media and Your Career. Having seen lots of different presentations, this was one of the more practical, better presentations that I have seen. It is part of Bonnie McEwan's slideshre presentations. http://www.slideshare.net/BonnieMcEwan/social-media4careeradvancement

Having the url for the presentation freed me to listen to what was being said and take notes on what was not in the slideshow. Slideshare is wonderful because it eliminates the need for copious notes. I could think about what she meant by transparency. In a way, I am not very transparent. I don't necessarily agree that being transparent is the most wonderful thing. A certain amount of being enigmatic can have its usefulness. I would rather represent myself as an image of what I work with; book related pictures, book related art, or book posters are some of the imagery I like being associated with. It generates some controversy which is not always a bad thing.

Some of the ideas that were particularly useful were that you should frame yourself in the social media environment or other people or employers will do it for you. This means checking how people are talking about you and branding yourself. Sometimes it is good to Google yourself. Bonnie McEwan described Linked In as being a fairly safe environment to brand yourself to start with. Facebook is more about relationship building and twitter is one of the best communication channels. Part of branding yourself is keeping your communications consistent with your image. I found these ideas something to ponder. Bonnie McEwan talked about a little bit about how to keep your Facebook profile clean of arguments and present a good face to the world. Employers are looking at your Facebook account. I agree that facebook is a way to share ideas and build relationships.

There were of course some tools that were mentioned. One of them was http://www.tineye.com/  which allows people to upload an image and search for it. I have heard about this application at other meetings which I have attended. The other application that seemed interesting was an application called wordle which generates word clouds http://www.wordle.net/

The main focus was on Tiwtter, LinkedIn, and Facebook which are the three largest social networks. Bonnie McEwan also talked about Foursquare http://www.foursquare.com/  which is a location based social network.

There was a small amount of discussion on the topic of copyright. Creative commons was brought up. There are so many different kinds of licenses available for content. It can get confusing. There is copyright, copyleft, creative commons, gnu free documentation license, and other agreements. There are also trademarks and personality rights which are just as important to pay attention to.

There was also a discussion of the concept of librarian by Donna Severino . For some people, the word librarian summons up old fashioned connotations. I found this interesting. I am finding that some of the newer information jobs are spread into other fields like information science, records management, computer programming, web design, and content management. Librarians are one of the groups of people that can fill these positions.

Donna Severino also talked about wording in resumes and other places. She said it was very important to pay attention to how you used words in resumes. It was enlightening and makes me think that I need to have someone review my resume.  She suggested Laura Hill of Careers In Motion http://www.cimllc.com/ .

Bonnie McEwan reviewed books with the purpose of being viewed as an expert book reviewer. She focused on professional books with a mix of serious mysteries like Elizabeth Peters. Elizabeth Peters is an excellent writer. This showed a little bit of her personality along with the different styles of music she likes on her Facebook profile. Social media encourages a certain amount of mixing between professional and personal interests.

There was also some discussion of putting your resume on the web. Eportfolio is the term for a website with samples of all the different work you have done on the internet. I think a Linked In profile in many ways is superior to a resume. It would be nice if we could just send our linked in profile instead of a piece of paper to employers. I liked how Bonnie McEwan described how she no longer uses much letterhead paper or envelopes for her company anymore. At the same time, a person showed a very detailed business card which used both the back and front of the card. The back was a bullet pointed list with skills. Bonnie McEwan's business card is in color with printing on both sides.

This was a very well rounded presentation. It was worth going to. Depending on how things are going, I may go to another one of the Career Sigs at Metro in December.

There was only one element missing from the description of social media for careers. This was the meetup where people meet in person to discuss a specific activitiy like ebooks, libraries, social media, or technology. I have been to a lot of these lately and write about them. The social in social media ultimately in many cases is face to face. I found out about this meeting through http://www.meetup.com/NYLibrarians/  which led me to the Metro website.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Daily Thoughts 11/12/2010 (Libraries, philosophy)

Woman with a Child in a Boat, Berthe Morisot, Oil On Canvas,
Between 1880 and 1890

Daily Thoughts 11/12/2010

This morning, I started reading The Master Switch by Tim Wu.

The book, Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson came in for me to read.  Hopefully it will be insightful.

I spent some time checking the displays and started reading a few book reviews to get ready for my order meeting next week on November 17, 2010.

I also did some more weeding in the oversize books.  I also spent some time talking about philosophy and religion books for the library.  We are probably going to get Conversations of Socrates by Xenophon and The Enchiridion by Epictetus. 

Web Bits
Less Ink, More Words-- American Libraries is going to be publishing fewer print issues and more online issues.  This is a trend I am seeing with many magazines and periodicals. http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/columns/editors-letter/less-ink-more-words

Libraries reinvent themselves as they struggle to remain relevant in the digital age

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Daily Thoughts 11/11/2010 (Al Jaffee's Mad Life, Find That File)

Cartoonist Al Jaffee at the New York Comic Convention in Manhattan, October 9, 2010, Photograph by Luigi Novi, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported, Found on Wikimedia
Daily Thoughts 11/11/2010

I finished reading Al Jaffee's Mad Life last night.  I was reading about his career as a cartoonist. It is quite interesting because he both writes, draws, and colors his cartoons.  I liked the wordless panels which he had in the book as well as a few of the fold-ins which he did for Mad Magazine.  The book was very entertaining.

Web Bits

Voters Say Yes to Libraries, Elected Officials Say No http://blog.libraryjournal.com/ljinsider/2010/11/11/voters-say-yes-to-libraries-elected-officials-say-no/

Find That File is a new file search engine on the web http://www.findthatfile.com 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Daily Thoughts 11/10/2010 (Al Jaffee's Mad Life, The Works of Dean Swift)

Gustav Adolph Hennig, Lesendes Mädchen, 1828

Daily Thoughts 11/10/2010

Today has been another quiet day.  I checked the displays to make sure things were in order.  I also made sure that everything was reading for SCORE.  We are having another session today.  I am doing the graphic novels club today as well.  The SCORE sessions went well today.  I am happy with the results.  I did not have that many people for the graphic novels club specifically.  There were eight people from the trading card club who were there already, some of them took a few graphic novels.  Plus we had a couple people come in to look.  Several graphic novels from the Sandman series went out written by Neil Gaiman.

I am still thinking about doing a poetry program in January if it works out.  The book, The Referral Engine Teaching Your Business To Market Itself  by John Jantsch has come in for me to read.

I am going to have to pass on the Content Strategy meeting tonight.  I will be doing my regular activities.  I did a little bit of work for the gala tomorrow with the displays in the rotunda.  We were putting up pictures from the library in the glass display cases.  Much of it is local history.  There are pictures all the way back to the building of our current building which started construction in 1896.  The first library in our city was in a school house, it was in 1854.  We have eight books from 1854 that I can find so far.  One that especially caught my attention was The Works of Dean Swift Embracing Gullivers Travels, Tale of A Tub, Battle of the Books, Etc. With A Life of the Author by Reverend John Mitford And Copious Notes  by W.C. Taylor LL.D., New York, Leavitt  & Allen, c1854  This is a link to the book on Google Books http://bit.ly/a60y2H

On the train home, I read some more of Al Jaffee's Mad Life.  The biography is one of incredible difficulty with lots of humor and hardship.  He describes his mother staying behind in Lithuania just before the start of World War II in the the shtetls.  He also describes his fathers troubles with keeping and holding jobs.  He moves from place to place, relatives house to relatives house, alternating between New York and Lithuania. The one constant throughout the story is humor, inventiveness, and the absurdity of life. The other constant is light hearted mischief and cartoons.  Al Jaffee does many full color cartoons throughout the book about incidents in his life and people from his family.  He is best known for his work for Mad magazine.

Web Bit

Something provocative for you librarians out there. http://www.zdnet.com/blog/perlow/digital-underclass-what-happens-when-the-libraries-die/14554 Reminds me a bit of the Fox news episode on libraries. Silos anyone, giant bricks full of books. Are we as librarians going to be user experience designers, metadata taxonomists, digital image repositiry specialists, information architects, or content strategists in this brave new world.  Maybe we can also become emerging technology advocates, providers of data to the underclass as preventers of the digital divide.  Think on this one. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Daily Thoughts 11/09/2010 (3D Printing, Al Jaffee)

"Buchturm" (Book Tower) - Hof van Tilly, Maastricht, The Netherlands. By Anna Kubach-Willemsen & Wolfgang Kubach, 2005, Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Maastricht_-_Hof_van_Tilly_-_Buchturm_-_2005_Kubach_20100821.jpg 

Daily Thoughts 11/09/2010

Publishers Weekly  Books of 2010 http://bit.ly/doVAkr

 World's First 3D Printed Car.  Look at the future.  Able to made locally, possibly printed on demand.  This is possibly the next manufacturing revolution.  Build it in America. http://designapplause.com/2010/urbee-worlds-first-3d-printed-car/11350/

This is very much a reminder about how close the world is to a new manufacturing revolution that will be much more efficient with materials, more locally produced, and be based on advanced design principals.  Think of print on demand for objects, where you go to the store and they manufacture what you are asking for to exact specifications very quickly.  This is just one example of what is coming very soon.  http://www.shapeways.com/  Shapeways is another example.

I finished reading Djibouti by Elmore Leonard today. I am reading Al Jaffee's Mad Life A Biography.  It is quite interesting it starts out by describing his childhood moving between Jewish New York and a shtetl in Lithuania.  There is quite a bit of light humor in the book.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Functional Library Titles With Job Listings In New York

Functional Library Titles With Job Listings In New York.

I went through Lisjobs today and looked up job titles from many of the different job boards and created an alphabetical list of the titles http://www.lisjobs.com/ .  Then I took the job titles which had job listings on lisjobs and fed them into Indeed which is a job scraper, http://www.indeed.com/ and added the limiter New York for location.  This is the list of titles with jobs attached if you search Indeed.  Some may not appear to be librarian jobs, but employers were using these specific titles on information science and library science job boards looking for librarians. The job titles should be relevant and current.  They may not come up with the exact same title, but should be relevant.

Academic Librarian

Access Services Librarian

Acquisitions Librarian

Adjunct Librarian

Adult Services Librarian

Archives Manager

Archivist/Digital Archivist

Arts Librarian

Assistant Director For Customer Services

Assistant Librarian Adjunct Faculty

Assistant School and Library Marketing

Associate Dean for Public Services


Bilingual Librarian

Bookmobile Librarian

Business Analyst

Business Information Manager

Business Librarian

Business Process Analyst

Business Researcher

Caribbean Basin Librarian

Catalog Librarian


Chemical Reference Librarian

Chemicals Librarian

Chief Information Officer

Childrens Librarian

Clinical Reference Librarian

Clinical Servies Librarian

Collection Development Librarian

Collection Management and Preservation Strategist

Collection Services Librarian

Community Librarian

Competitive Analysis

Competitive Intelligence Analyst

Consumer Response Analyst

Content Development/Acquistion

Content Strategist

Coordinator and Librarian for Humanities Collections

Corporate Librarian


Curator of the Dorot Jewish Division

Curator of the Harvard Theater Collection

Curator, Photographic Archives

Data Archivist

Data Librarian

Database Analyst

Database Manager

Digital Archivist

Digital Asset Librarian

Digital Asset Manager

Digital Images Manager

Digital Law Librarian

Digital Media Librarian

Digital Repository Manager

Digital Resources Support Specialist

Digital Services Librarian

Document Delivery Librarian

Education Librarian

Electronic Resources Librarian

Emerging Technologies Librarian

Enterprise Content Manager

Escience Librarian

Executive Director

Film Librarian

Financial Services Researcher

Foreign and International Law Librarian

Government Document Librarian

Head of Arts & Archives

Head of Electronic Services

Head of Music Library

Head of Public Services

Head of Reader Services

Head, Specialized Contents and Services

Head of Cataloging and Metadata Creation

Head of Technologies and Digital Assets

Health and Human Services Librarian

Imaging Project Supervisor

Information Architect/Specialist

Information Literacy Librarian

Information Services Librarian

Instructional Design Librarian

Instructional Technologies Librarian

Interface Specialist

Interlibrary Loan Librarian

Internet Researcher

Junior Research Analyst

Knowledge Manager

Law Librarian

Lead Researcher

Learning Commons Coordinator

Liaison Services Librarian

Librarian/Media Specialist

Librarian II, Electronic Resources

Library Manager

Library Marketing Manager

Library Media Specialist

Library Director

Librarian/Library Consultant

Library Services Manager

Library Systems Administrator

Library Systems Specialist

Library Technology Specialist

Life Sciences Librarian

Marketing Analysis

Medical Librarian

Mellon Conservator for Special Collections

Metadata Specialist

Multimedia Site Manager

Music Librarian

Music Subject Specialist/Music Catalog Librarian

New Media Marketing Specialist

News Librarian

Orchestra Librarian

Outreach Librarian

Patent Searcher

Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Bibliographer for Latin America

Processing Archivist

Prospect Development Analyst

Prospect Researcher

Public Health Librarian

Records Analyst

Records Manager

Recruiting Researcher

Recruiting Sourcer

Reference and Emerging Technologies Librarian

Reference Archivist

Reference Librarian

Research Analyst

Research Librarian

School and Library Marketing Coordinator

Science Librarian

Senior Data Quality and Standards Analyst

SEO Manager

Serials and Electronic Resources Librarian

Social Sciences Librarian

Social Media Researcher

Social Sciences Librarian

Special Collections Librarian

Systems Librarian

Taxonomy Specialist

Technical Information Specialist

Technology Development Librarian

Trademark Researcher

Usability Consultant

User Experience Designer

User Services Librarian

Vendor Management – Sales and Service

Video Librarian

Visual Designer

Visual Resources Curator

Web Content Manager

Web Services Librarian

Daily Thoughts 11/8/2010 (Content Strategy)

19th Century Business Day Book, 20 May 2008, EraserGirl, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Business_Day_Book.jpg

I put Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson on hold. I am also going to Content Strategy--New York Meetup on Wednesday featuring Joe Pulizzi who is the author of Get Content, Get Customers. http://www.meetup.com/cs-nyc/calendar/15216300/   This is an indirect result of looking up information on the information architect career.  The content strategy is about how to choose content in websites for marketing and sales.   I saw this along with social media researcher while I was looking at careers.  I am becoming more interested in where publishing meets librarianship meets the internet at an intersection.  It is places like Earlyword, Shelfari, Goodreads, Red Room, and similar sites which fascinate me.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Daily Thoughts 11/7/2010 (djibouti)

Reproduction of a Charles Mills painting by the Detroit Publishing Company. Depicts W:Benjamin Franklin at work on a printing press. 1914

Daily Thoughts 11/07/2010

I read a little bit more of Djibouti by Elmore Leonard.

The Story of Stuff How Our Obsession With Stuff Is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-- And A Vision For Change

The Story of Stuff How Our Obsession With Stuff Is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-- And A Vision For Change by Annie Leonard

This book is an anti-consumerist statement about consuming and wasting too much.  It describes how Americans waste huge amounts of materials.  Annie Leonard asks people to use less, use less toxic materials, buy things more carefully and choose more durable environmentally friendly products.

Annie Leonard is tracking how stuff is made.  It is a description of dangerous, inefficient, and wasteful consumption.  The book starts with extraction of resources, moves to production, then distribution, consumption, and finally disposal of goods.  She describes how the United States creates a society focused on getting more and more goods, planning to make them quickly obsolete, and then driving even more demand with advertising.

I like the idea of having fewer things that are more durable, better quality, and easier to reuse or recycle. I also can identify with the authors wish that people in the United States were more community focused.  I would like to see more recycled goods, green chemistry, and other products in supermarkets and stores.

However, I did find parts of this book to be a bit overbearing.  She is preaching at times against globalization, for fair trade, and often talks about human rights in fairly strong progressive language.  At points it seems unrealistic.  For example, she claims that we can survive on only solar and wind for energy.   Things like distributed hydroelectric, biofuels, and ocean power are not even touched on.

At the end of the book, we get a picture of a kind of agrarian paradise without cars, public gardens, and lots of public transportation.  It has a kind of far out feeling to it.  We are supposed to voluntarily reduce our carbon footprint to next to nothing.  It seemed a bit unrealistic.

The sentiment is easy to relate to.  I read the book as part of the Ecolibris campaign to read a book printed on recycled paper.   Recycling is something which I support.

I also found the book to be very much problem oriented.  Annie Leonard spends quite a bit of time writing against pvc plastics and incinerators which are quite toxic. I would have liked to see a litle bit more on solutions to environmental problems.  She makes some brief mentions of biomimicry technology and clean technology.  She derides clean technology as being impractical because there simply will be too many people.

I found this inteeresting. I am for more urban farming, urban greenhouses, farmers markets, and more local production of goods.  However, I don't have that every house should have a compost bin feeling.  I also like the idea of more car sharing and limiting use of cars to the minimum.  I like the concept of having public rental lots like zipcar.

This was an interesting book about wasteful, excess consumption.  However, it often had a politically correct feel to it.  It is worth reading if you are interested in the environment, a green lifestyle, or have an anti-consumerist world view.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thinking Outside the Library: Nontraditional Careers for Information Professionals

November 5 - Thinking Outside the Library: Non-traditional Careers for Information Professionals

There were three speakers

  • Terence Fitzgerald, Taxonomist and Content Strategist, Markit
  • Sari Harris, User Experience Designer, Scholastic
  •  Daniella Romano, Vice President of Programs, Research and the Archive, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation.

The crowd was very different than the one I am used to. Many were in business libraries, law libraries, and other special libraries. People were dressed more professionally focusing on business casual attire. There were a lot of people in their 20s and 30s and less middle aged people.  A lot of people were just starting their careers so their focus was more career exploration than looking for jobs. The session was presented as a question and answer session.

I learned a little bit from the different people. Both Sari Harris and Terence Fitzgerald were technology oriented librarians. Daniella Romano was an archivist. The presenters were talking about fields on the edge of traditional librarianship.  Most librarian jobs are in businesses, public libraries, or academia.   A lot of the technology was very new.

Sari Harris talked about User Experience Design at Scholastic which is designing web sites and  portals using information architecture. She basically worked in house for Scholastic providing different iterations and documentation for websites.  I learned later, that she worked more on the functional side than the content side of websites.  I am very much interested in the content side, especially econtent.

I found her discussion about her background in library science interesting. She talked a lot about taking information design and usability classes in library school. This was not around when I went to school for my library degree. A lot of her work was focused on design thinking.  Usability is a very interesting subject.  It is about how to make websites easy for people to do what they intended to do on the site.

 She works with people to solve problems. She is involved in how people use information. This includes ipads, ereaders, and mobile devices in addition to computers. Her personal networking is focused on user groups and communities through meetups and conferences that deal with applications and information.  She finds many of the conference she goes to through the New York Times or Google. I can identify with going to meetups.  Tech meetups are in such high demand that it sometimes is hard to get in.

Terence Fitzgerald had a very different focus on technology. His focus was not on design but making things findable through taxonomy and metadata. Taxonomy and metadata are fields that are in very high demand in the information industry. I liked how he described that library science create a framework to view information. It is not so much how to build information and databases, but how to use information and databases. Taxonomy translates what the user wants. He focused his coursework on metadata, information architecture, information policy, and information design. He mentioned that he wished he had taken xml in college. These classses also were not around when I went to library school. How people use information has changed considerably. He did a practicum in taxonomy.

Terence Fitzgerald described how he sold himself as being a person who made sense of information to the engineers and mbas at the  company he works for, Markit which is a financial information company. His job is tie the databases together and make them findable; to index, classify, and structure information. He also said that much of his personal networking came from working with standards bodies for information where other taxonomists worked.

He also described how technology is making taxonomy more relevant, because there is still a need to categorize things and make them findable. I liked what he said. I found it very technology oriented.

There were some things that tied together between Terence Fitzgerald's portion of the talk and Sue Harris's description. They both said that their skills were in very high demand. They got called once a week by recruiters for the technology skills that they offered. There were also some common themes between the two peoples talk; a focus on metadata and design, some understanding of web site design and markup language.

Also both of them worked in an office setting, not so much a library, but a work group.  This reminded me a bit of when I worked as a sourcer for recruiters. The one bit of advice which he gave was to learn budgeting, especially how to understand business numbers.

The third presenter was Daniella Romano from the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. She was developing documentation on the history of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. There are 243  businesses and 5600 employees at the navy yard. She works with the visitors centers and often works with maps and plans from the last 150 years.

Her job was very different. She kept the keys to the histories of the companies in the yard. She was focused on preservation and cataloging When she was in library school, she focused on technical librarianship, archives, and records management. A lot of her work is about administrative planning and grantwriting. Once again, I find many positions when I am looking at listings include requests for grant writing and administrative planning. A lot of senior public library positions now require fundraising experience.

She also does a lot of cataloging and accessing information. The new technology she works with is sustainable construction and environmental technology. She also does a lot of community outreach. This is also something I see which people want.

This is of course my own interpretation of what I heard.  People all see and hear things differently.  It is a kind of summary of what I heard.  I am always open to comments on this.

This was a very different experience. There were three people from the New York Librarians Meetup as well, but the crowd had a much more formal feel to it. A lot of the people were there to find out about a specific type of job, not so much to find a job.  Because it was tied to a school it also had a different feel.  It was at Pratt.  This is the web link. http://mysite.pratt.edu/~sla/ 

I am so used to the job board and go to career fairs kind of mentality.  This was not.  It was quite refreshing.  I am trying to look at doing things differently.  The kind of things which I might be interested in are not going to be part of job boards or career fairs.  I am very interested in large content sites like goodreads, librarything, shelfari, and complex ebook sites.

I may take some time to read up a little bit on the basics of metadata and some more on web design.  Not so much information architecture, but presentation design.  I am interested in content.