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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Digital Library, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 11 of 11
1. Face front, true believers!

Face front, true believers!

I love the way Stan Lee addressed his readers with such an intimate and glorifying phrase. True believers! Sure, you were just reading a Spiderman comic book, but he implied that this act joined you with a like-minded group, and certified your character as loyal and faithful.

I poked around looking for an appropriate “Face front” image, and found this poster in the Soviet Museum‘s digital collections. If you have a bit of time, check out the collection of pro-Lenin fairy tales.  I also found an associated grumpy thread on Metafilter, comparing the ubiquity of this style of propaganda art in Soviet Russia to something like garish ads for fast food and grocery store mailers.

Face front, true believers! Today is beautiful, and we will face it with the resolution to do good.


Related posts:

  1. Klingon Fairy Tales I’m a bit late with this, but here’s one for...
  2. True Romance! I popped in to the Tompkins County Public Library yesterday...
  3. Advantages to dating Librarians The webcomic xkcd has the goods on librarians this week:...

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2. Data munging

Recently I’ve been importing the ancient Librarian Avengers archives to live within WordPress. Because the site goes back to…hrm… 1997, there’s some data munging to do.

Right now I’m concerning myself with the period after Graduate School, when I moved to Ithaca, NY for an ostensibly-cool digital library fellowship. I couldn’t talk about how much I hated it at the time so the entries are mostly tangential to the work I was doing, but there’s still some fun stuff.

Importing ancient blog posts involves a bunch of tagging, titling, category-setting, and general modernization. I’ve been progressively making my way through the old posts, adding images, fixing spelling mistakes, and generally adding a bit of polish.

Part of the reason I’m taking on data scrubbing as my One Designated Personal Thing to Do this evening, is that today has been a study in helplessness. My daughter has a (small) fever. It’s the first time she’s been sick, and I’m trying to direct my need to control something (anything!) in a positive direction.

Also, cleaning data is pretty therapeutic after some of the body fluids I’ve encountered recently.

Related posts:

  1. Shh. “The Library” is the subject of the Freebase Data Mob I’m a librarian by ethnicity, if not profession these days,...
  2. Another Data Mob at Freebase – Ethnicity Wanna enrich some data? Got OCD? Tired of trying to...
  3. Freebase Hack Day II: The Return of Hack Day Librarian? Data junkie? Obsessive compulsive? Come to the Freebase hack...

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3. Freebase Hack Day II: The Return of Hack Day


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 cool data mashups, 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.

Drop me a note if you are going. :)


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4. Bookbinding Tattoo, concept art

Someone 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.

For more on why I didn’t get a tattoo, please see this very special episode of Red vs. Blue.

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5. SXSW Interactive 2009 - Funologists live and in person: Guerilla Game Research

Happy news! I was invited to be a panelist at the South by Southwest Interactive conference next month, as part of their ScreenBurn track. I’m on a panel called “Funologists live and in person: Guerilla Game Research.”

I’ll share my experience starting some low-budget user research cycles for Second Life, and my work translating those frustrating observations into shippable engineering requirements.

There will be pretty pictures, and possibly cake.

The cake is a lie, but you should stop by anyway. There could be cake.

There certainly won’t be cake and not cake. Not at the same time, I can assure you.

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6. Ethnically Librarian

I am a librarian. I am not a librarian.

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.

by Syntopia

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.

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7. Choked on his own vomit…

I love Freebase. Here’s a list of people who died via vomit inhalation. Don’t say I never gave you anything.

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8. On Graduating from School and Getting a Job

I was crawling through my archives this morning and came across this little rant that I wrote years ago, during my first, horrible, post-grad school job at the Cornell University Library. I know several of you Gentle Readers are in school right now, and I thought you might enjoy the sentiment:

First of all, and lets just get this out of the way: a full-time job is actually a pretty shoddy reward for 2.5 years of graduate school stress.

Yes, I’m grateful and all, glad to be here, nice to meet ya, etc. but frankly, I think I was looking for something along the lines of “congratulations on your degree, here’s your houseboat, now get out of here you scamp.”

I suppose having a stable schedule and slightly-more-realistic paychecks is reward enough, but lately I’ve had to face what seems to happen any time you put enormous effort into something. Which is, a rather slow transition into something different that requires enormous effort.

Like learning not to scream when someone suggests you attend the Metadata Working Group Meeting.

1 Comments on On Graduating from School and Getting a Job, last added: 5/14/2008
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9. A sad day in publishing...

Raincoast Books has announced that it's shutting down the Canadian publishing part of the business. Raincoast will still be around, just focusing on other areas such as distribution and wholesaling. Read more at the CBC website.

My heart goes out to local CWILL buddies Cynthia Nugent, Norma Charles, Julie Burtinshaw, and the rest of the CWILL authors and others who will be, as Cynthia says, "cut adrift".

A sad, sad day.

**Please note the CWILL website is temporarily unavailble today as it changes webhosts, so be sure to check it (and Julie's link) again in a few days.

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10. An avalanche of children's books

I drove to Vancouver on Wednesday for the annual Hycroft Event hosted by The Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable and CWILL (Children's Writers and Illustrators of BC). Almost thirty local children's authors and illustrators presented their new books. What a great evening.

Each author and illustrator had just two minutes to wow us, and boy, did they wow. Such style, such variety, such creativity! (I'm still chuckling over the be-scarved Dan Bar-el doing his entire presentation as Libby Gaborchik, heavily-accented fairy extraordinaire from his book Such a Prince. “Laughing is good for your health. Trust me, I’m a fairy. I know these things.” is still running through my head.)

The evening concluded with an inspiring keynote from the Incomparable Nan Gregory (author of How Smudge Came and Pink) followed by high tea in the library and diningroom at Hycroft, an elegant, Edwardian mansion in Vancouver's Shaughnessy area. I can't think of a better venue in which to steep one's self in children's books.

I haven't made it in to the big city for CWILL meetings much in the last year, so it was great to catch up with everyone.

You can see photos of the Hycroft Event on the CWILL blog here and here (including the aforementioned "be-scarved Dan" as Libby).

Only 362 days until the next one!

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11. Holiday Gift Ideas

Like most writers at this time of year, I'm nose to grindstone to meet last minute deadlines---both writing and personal---taking time away from the keyboard to enjoy an interesting mélange of Christmas concerts, friends and family, and chocolate crinkle cookies. Gift giving is also on my mind.

According to my local morning radio personalities, the #1 thing people want for Christmas is. . . Woohoo!. . . BOOKS! (No references on this one, folks. I was driving at the time, so you'll just have to take their word for it. But that's enough for me. I'm running with it.) Books are at the top of my list, for sure, but then, well, we won't go into my "normalness" or lack thereof about that!

I like to give books as gifts. Oooo, [showbiz hand waggle] big surprise. I put a lot of thought and effort into matching books and recipients. Last month, I was delighted to come across a book gift idea for my niece (if said niece's mom is reading this, please do the visual equivalent of putting your fingers in your ears and singing, "La lalalala, I can't heeeeeear you." and skip the link :^). Well, it turns out I'm not the only one who loves to combine books and objects to give as gifts.

Adrienne Mason has compiled a list of clever book pairing gift ideas over at the CWILL blog. Head on over and check out the creative gift ideas around books written and illustrated by my very talented colleagues at CWILL (Children's Writers and Illustrators of BC).

And a big shoutout to my dear writer friend MA who has grabbed a serendipitous nonfiction idea by the ears and is plunging into magazine writing with vigour. You go, girl!

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