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Showing posts from September, 2010

Why Nobody Knows the Library is Suffering...and Why It's All Our Fault

Several conversations both online and in person) with fellow librarians has me thinking about how very hard we work to make sure our services are not impacted by the significant budget cuts we've experienced over the past few years. And I find myself aggravated to the point of a blog post.
If you haven't already, you need to mosey on over and read the"Netflix in Libraries and Hypocrisy post by Meredith Farkas. In a nutshell, due to inability to buy media they need, libraries are using Netflix as a media ILL service. Which its terms of service explicitly prohibit. And yea, so libraries, Bastions of Fair Use and Copyright Banshees, are distributing content they neither own nor have the rights to, in a very teenager-like "Well, I haven't gotten in trouble yet" attitude. Because heck, if libraries can't afford it, our users still need it, and we promise to get it to them. Even if it goes against our professional ethics. Because our users need it. And so the f…

Ladder to the Cloud: WMS Update

The Cloud is puffy and waiting for us...but the ladder to get there is a bit more rickety than expected.
Our go-live date of August 20th proved a bit ambitious. While certain parts of the WMS system are up and running, there are important connections and functionality that we are still working with OCLC to get just right before we can jump ship from our current ILS.
If you're keeping track of us, you'll have read Jason Griffey's "Are We Live?" post from August 30. From there, we were hoping for a mid-September date, now we'll be pushed back a bit beyond that.
Circ is not ready yet to go live - while the check-in and check-out functionality is up and running, there are a few more things that make circ-side "go," and some of those things (like our billing practices and reports) have to be approved by folks like our auditors. The OCLC folks are shucking their buns to get us what we need, and we're currently having cross-departmental meetings declaring…

On Book Burning and Responses

Burning any book whatsoever goes against the very core of my personal and professional values. I joked once in college about having a grand end-of-semester barbecuing of our econometrics textbook, and couldn't bring myself to actually participate. I don't even joke about it anymore, mostly because I don't find it funny.
If you've been anywhere near FriendFeed (or the rest of the internet) lately, you'll have heard about the "International Burn a Koran Day" planned by U.S. pastor Terry Jones for September 11, 2010. If you're anything like any of the folks who have commented on the story, you're probably offended, appalled, or ashamed. To me, it's a despicable practice, to hold a whole group responsible for the actions of a few.
I am concerned, though, that the sentiment that "Christians the world over would be in danger over the Koran-burning stunt" paints Islam as a bloodthirsty religion. With Interpol, the U.S. Government, and even Pr…

On the Great Myth of the Librarian Grays

Lately, there's been a lot of discussion (and bitching) about the promised graying/retirement within the library profession that was supposed to open up endless job opportunities for new librarians. The LITA-L email list, a recent American Libraries article, and a post by Peter Brantley calling for an overthrow by the young'uns have all been pretty popular topics of late.
January 15, 2004, Rachel Singer Gordon published a piece in Library Journal titled "NextGen: Get Over the "Graying" Profession Hype". I say again: this was 2004.
It would appear no one took the advice, given that today - despite very obvious evidence to the contrary, American Libraries just printed an ill-advised article on recruiting undergrads to the profession, citing the graying of the profession as a reason for folks to sign up for library work. Jessamyn West, in her recent post "show us the numbers re: new librarian jobs", calls for more than the ever-present empty anecdata …