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Data junkie? Obsessive compulsive? Come to the Freebase hack day on July 11, 2009 here in SF. There’s food, drinks, an excellent network, plenty of powercords, and a nice room full of geeks to chat with.
It’s a fun way to dive a bit deeper into making cooldatamashups, relationally documenting your brain contents, and getting your questions answered by actually standing in front of Metaweb developers and staring at them until they make go.
The raven is a Common Raven, who was hanging out in one of the San Francisco parks that I walk through on my way to work. Common Ravens are more common out here than they are back east.
They are about the size of a small dog, and live shoulder to shoulder with their smaller corvid friends the Crow and the Western Scrub Jay. All three species enjoy Rawking, poking at things with their substantial bills, and Making Trouble.
h hello Library of Congress. I didn’t see you there. Nice running into you like this!
You know, I’ve always admired your electronic resources and open-minded collections policies. My undergraduate university and career have both profited from your generous grantmaking, and your reading room sure is fun to visit when I’m in town!
Being a big organization sucks, doesn’t it? You do your best but, well, you can’t keep track of everything. Sometimes you just end up with people in charge of the Congressional Research Service, who for whatever reason, act like complete dumbfucks.
You must be very embarrassed. I mean, rescinding a job offer because you thought the candidate’s upcoming gender reassignment was…what? Icky?
You had better be fucking embarrassed. The federal court recently fined you $500,000 for your treatment of former Army Special Forces Commander Diane Schroer, who, I suspect, has better things to do than get jerked around by library staff.
I mean, career damage and humiliation aside, it seems like an anti-terrorism analyst’s time might be better spent out of court FIGHTING TERRORISM. A subject you DC dwellers seem to get pretty excited about under normal circumstances.
What’s going on here Library of Congress? Couldn’t think of anything better to do with 500 grand?
What’s going on here Library of Congress? Couldn’t think of anything better to do with 500 grand? I wonder how many smaller libraries out there could say the same.
Are there really adults in this world who have never met a transwoman and are ALL AFLUTTER by the idea?
So tell me, is it really easier to house decisionmakers capable of grossly immoral and illegal actions than it is to cull employees who show these traits? Are Library jobs really so stable that a hiring manager feels comfortable acting on overt prejudice?
And who is this legacy codger you’ve been harboring anyway? A political appointee from the 1880s? Are there really adults in this world who have never met a transwoman and are ALL AFLUTTER by the idea?
If so, perhaps it might help to read a book or two on the subject. You might enjoy this one from your own extensive archives:
Anyway Library of Congress, It’s a brand new administration and I’m sure you’ve learned your lesson. I expect your excellent reference staff will happily direct anyone who has experienced this kind of hiring discrimination to the ACLU.
Most of what’s listed right now is in video production, graphics design, museum curation, and technology development. I’m pretty sure we will also be looking for event managers over the next few months. We just had some big university functions folded into our operations (distance learning and conferences), and I’m guessing there will be more hiring in those areas soon.
As I’ve probably mentioned, this is a fabulous place to work — the higher-ups have somehow managed to make a really supportive space for creative work and being a self-starter.
The museum/graphics department in particular has recently been doing a lot of fascinating work with our archives — for a recent show we unearthed a bunch of lantern slides and are still trying to figure out what to do with them :)
We’re also starting an heirloom seeds garden.
omeone asked me where I found the art for my nonexistent biopsy scar-covering tattoo, and I thought you guys might be interested…
This came from a series of 18th Century bookbindings. It’s too elaborate for reality, perhaps, but I liked the idea.
This was intended to cover a scar that I have grown rather fond of. The tattoo plan was scrapped, but the concept was good.
I sampled my skin color from a photo, isolated two different florets from book covers I found in a digital library collection, overlapped them, messed with transparency, did a color mask to match a brown ink, and then chickened out at the last minute.
lovely fellow from The Austin Chronicle wrote to my fellow South by Southwest panelists asking for a definition of our enigmatically titled presentation. He wanted to know what a “Funologist” was, and rather than sadden him with the news that our moderator made it up, we all took a shot at defining it for him.
The full article is available here: How to Speak Geek - SXSW Interactive has landed. Can you talk the talk?
reetings from an ethnic librarian working in the games industry!
I’m posting this review of my experience last year at GDC (the Game Developers Conference) held every year here in San Francisco. It was originally part of a letter to my team here at Linden Lab, but I thought you librarians might be interested/amused, considering the gender ratio at most library conferences.
Hi guys -
I went to the Game Developers Conference last year and found it to be of dubious value.
The best part of the conference for me was the Expo room, which proved to be a valuable source of alternative employment opportunities. I learned that if I want to move to Las Vegas and design slot machine interfaces, I can more than double my salary, which I’m keeping in mind for when I have a stroke and develop an unquenchable desire for polyester and/or chicken wings. I enjoyed scanning the various game interfaces set up to demo motion graphics products, and filed away a few ideas from the Pirates of the Caribbean MMORPG.
For me, however, the most memorable moment was riding the escalator of the Moscone center and gazing across a sea of black-clad gamed devs among whom I was the only woman.
As a Person of Estrogen and part of a numeric majority in this world, I’m used to being one of many women developers, operations experts, release managers at work. This isn’t the 1970s. Nerdy women exist and thrive. San Francisco is a welcoming place. Linden Lab is a welcoming place. GDC. Was. Not.
I get the feeling that all is not well with an operation that returns such a limited array.
This scene, riding the escalator, about five years too old but still worried about being mistaken for a boothbabe, has become my personal benchmark for outsider discomfort.
In summary: meh to the GDC.
Borrow someone’s pass and check out the Expo. Cruise the demo games. If you really care about a session, read the person’s book or website instead. And if you really care about making better games, spend the three days watching user observation videos.
I have an information science degree. I’ve been working for fourteen years, my entire adult life. Most of my jobs have been in libraries.
I am a librarian. I am not a librarian.
photo by emdot
As a student at Michigan State University, I learned Library of Congress serials cataloging.
I walked through secluded aisles surrounded by rare books, incunabulum, alternative newspapers, and gay pornography.
I cataloged comic books in the world’s largest archive of comic art, radicalism, and popular culture.
In the course of my work, I learned that Spiderman serials change their volume as often as many Spiderman readers change their underwear. By graduation, I could walk into any comic shop in the country and pick a fight about whether X-Men film adaptations should be considered canon.
When I went to graduate school (Michigan ‘02), my program had recently transitioned from “Library Science” to “Information Science.” In the process, they picked up a bunch of renegade computer science professors and expanded to include information architecture, information economics, archival theory, and a bunch of crazyass dot com bubble refugees like myself.
photo by sh0dan
We discovered that the term Digital Library can be used to describe an entire array of cool shit, including the Internet itself.
One of my professors, Sue Davidson, tells the story of how Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang called to ask about the subject guide to the web she had created for the Michigan Electronic Library. Sue answered: “that’s what librarians do, we organize information.”
Librarianship, defined as the act of organizing information, is a broad and inclusive field. Librarianship as a profession, is not. There are strict professional guidelines determining who is and is not technically a “Librarian,” but there is also a strong case to be made for the authenticity of self-identification.
There are librarians who work in libraries, and there are librarians who just Are.
It’s the difference between being a Jew by Religion, and being a Jew by Ethnicity. Both groups contribute to the cultural whole.
While a Librarian by Profession is inherently a Librarian by Ethnicity, the opposite may not be true. A trained librarian can sport a different job title, but her clarity and understanding will still contribute to her work.
photo by Syntopia
I’m a librarian by ethnicity.
Right now, I work as a user experience designer on a software team. I wrestle with ship dates, dependencies, conflicting user requirements, and engineering constraints. I design interfaces and help identify how the software should behave.
But somewhere, deep in my soul, I am doing the work of the Library.
I’m a librarian by ethnicity, regardless of the job I take. I don’t make my living as an ALA going, patron-helping organizer of resources, but I’ll be damned if I don’t use Librarian skills to battle confusing groupings of information.
Librarians bring order to chaos, and so, with a little luck, do I.
My mother, the real librarian (not a digital muckety muck thingamajig like me), will be visiting me here in San Francisco next week. Since she will be hanging around with non-Midwesterners, I thought it would be good to provide her with an introduction to west coast language. I know, right?
I know, right?
Rumored origin: L.A.
Literal meaning: “Can you believe this thing we are talking about? It goes without saying, and yet we are saying it.”
Connotation: “We are all in agreement here. Also, I have never read Beowulf.”
Rumored origin: NoCal.
Literal meaning: Intensifier. “Their pie is hella good.”
Connotation: “I am twelve.”
Yeah yeah yeah
Rumored origin: Coffee-fueled Berkeley undergraduates
Literal meaning: “I agree so strongly that it can be quickly dismissed with a rapid exclamation.”
Connotation: “We are getting things DONE in this conversation.”
Rumored origin: The 1960s.
Literal meaning: “Good. Calm. Without trouble. Easy.”
Connotation:”I have had lots of therapy and/or drugs.”
he Thursday night Linden Lab whisky tasting has degraded in the traditional way. I’m surrounded by tipy nerds, discussing the glories of JQuery. One of my co-workers is wearing a shirt that reads “The Age of Consent Tour 1997″. Nerdcore rap blares from the QA office.
$40 USD - Handmade in Toronto and sold on etsy.com
Oh yes. Hot indeed. I believe some of us here can confirm that boys and girls DO make passes at folks who wear glasses. Especially if they are well-versed in database design, collections management, or bibliographic instruction.