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Showing posts from June, 2013

I Am a Librarian. I Am a Woman. And I Am Afraid.

I did it again. I forgot. I forgot I was less-than. Texas Republicans reminded me.I don't consider myself disadvantaged. I'm white, which insulates me from all manner of discrimination and prejudice. My parents didn't divorce until I was in my early 20s, giving me and my siblings a stable home, where we were queried on the status of our homework nightly, fed three squares a day, and generally grew up healthy. We weren't rich (though many think that those of us who lived on Long Island must be Hamptons kids - not so) - Dad often had to travel out of state for work, leaving Mom to deal with three relatively well-behaved but still energetic kidlets. Though my parents never went to college, my siblings and I all hold graduate degrees and, considering the state of the economy, are doing well for ourselves. My brother is an accountant, my sister is a sponsored and internationally-competitive triathlete, I'm a faculty librarian. I have been lucky in many, many ways. My li…

Ask an Expert! Or, How Statistics, Facebook and Polychoric Correlation Matrices Made Me My Own Library User

Frustrated with some data and fed up with my own inability to locate an appropriate statistical technique, I finally posted to Facebook in the hopes that a friend would commiserate with me:"Bending my brain around ILL stats and thinking about exploratory factor analysis with categorical variables, despite the issues with it. Desperately missing [my old group of Emory PoliSci nerdbuddies and profs who were excellent at stats] and brainstorming these sorts of things."Five seconds later, the prof I had tagged in the post replied, "Three words: polychoric correlation matrix." And I had four distinct reactions in rapid succession. They were as follows:First reaction: sarcasm. Well OF COURSE polychoric correlation matrix, duh. Who WOULDN'T know that? Certainly not I. Pshaw.Second reaction: confirmatory exploration. A quick Google search of that conglomeration of words, a quick scan of the Wikipedia description, and yep, this is much closer to what I need for what I w…