Additions to Personal Reading List…08.29.08

29 08 2008

The latest addition to my personal reading list is “You Can’t Catch Death: A Daughter’s Memoir” by Ianthe Brautigan.  In the 1970’s, I read everything published by Richard Brautigan.  My particular favorites were “A Confederate General at Big Sur,” “In Watermelon Sugar”, and “The Hawkline Monster.”  I think I liked “In Watermelon Sugar” the best–probably my age and frame of mind at the time.

“You Can’t Catch Death: A Daughter’s Memoir” by Brautigan’s daughter supposedly gives insight into the writer’s life before his suicide.   Fortunately, I was able to get a used copy “like new” through Amazon for a ridiculously low cost delivered.

A Daughter's Memoir


I have also added to my list the new title “Reinventing Knowledge: From Alexandria to the Internet” by Ian McNeely with Lisa Wolverton (described below).  Using a gift card I was given this week for Barnes & Nobel, I was able to order it online for only an additional $1.80!!

“…How do we know what we know? A new book takes a long view of knowledge, from ancient oral traditions to the rise of universities and the Internet…”

Cover Image


Dealing With Technostress/Information Overload in Libraryland and Beyond…08.29.08

29 08 2008

Today’s LibGib’s relevant post by Tawney Sverdlin for all librarians and many other busy workers is titled “Mediate in the Library” [ ] and deals with librarian “technostress” and “information overload”

“…By the very nature of our profession, librarians must harness the chaos of information and transform it into manageable, tangible data. Whether it is through a conversation at the reference desk or through the wilderness of metadata, it is part of our job description.

Ameet Doshi writes ‘The fact that librarians, perhaps by nature, constantly seek to create order out of chaos can also lead to feeling of being overwhelmed by a geyser of information that is simply too difficult to keep up with. Sometimes this can lead to frustration and, ultimately, anger.’ The key is maintaining internal focus while multitasking…”

“…Cultivating mindfulness with constant interruptions is the really hard part. It is easy to look at my entire workday as one long series of interruptions as I am constantly pulled from my wandering interior monologue to a student’s question about our catalog. Even if I am not actively waiting for a student to ask me questions I am still splintered between various tasks or distractions online. One friend of mine recently described Facebook as ‘the monkey mind of websites’.

Speaking of Facebook, I am brought to my second point. This is the degree to which technology offers even more distraction than in previous eras and thus more stress. Constantly checking the internet for constant updates is one symptom of how addictive technology can be. Each click of the refresh button brings with it a false sense of security that we are perfectly in control of our lives (false!).

Modern life in general can generate many feelings of isolation in general. We all work long hours away from our loved ones. I often doubt whether or not social networking actually fosters real connection between people or whether or not it just subtracts the amount of focus one has invested in any given interaction. Don’t get me wrong, there are a myriad of ways that these applications are beneficial, especially in the arena of publishing, but social interactions online are certainly less taxing than face-to-face ones…”

Survey Highlights Apparent Disconnect Between Academic Librarians and Faculty…08.29.08

29 08 2008

Albert Albanese reports today in Library Journal []  :

“..In a report measuring faculty the perceptions of libraries and their value on campus, there is a ‘growing ambivalence about the campus library’ in the digital age, according to researchers at Ithaka, an independent not-for-profit organization that aims ‘to accelerate the productive uses of information technologies for the benefit of higher education worldwide.’

Further, the survey, Ithaka’s 2006 Studies of Key Stakeholders in the Digital Transformation in Higher Education, reveals an emerging disconnect between librarians’ perceptions of their roles and the expectations and habits of the faculty they serve. ‘Although the importance of the library’s role as a gateway to faculty is decreasing, rather dramatically in certain fields,’ the report notes, ‘over 90 percent of librarians list this role as very important, and almost as many expect it to remain very important in five years. Obviously there is a mismatch in perception here.’…”

Browse LCSH Database…08.28.08

28 08 2008

Planet Catalog posted [] the following today which is worthy of checking out:

“The Browse LCSH database (6.5m records) now includes the complete file of 266.857 terms that was made available by the project. That means you find links from our database to the record in to view their innovative display. The notes contained in the records have been included too. LC classes are indexed as well and can be browsed, to find LCSH terms. 

LC has improved the findability of authority records recently. They have added a keyword search to the database.”

Although I have the 29th edition of the LCSH, I frequently use “the database” for cataloging work.

“Shock & Awe” Hits the Special Library…08.28.08

28 08 2008

Because it’s my birthday week, my department surprised me this morning with redecorating my office space using a Halo3 theme…with me as Master Chief of the United Space Command!

Sarah Long Interviews Michael Sauers on How to Know If Your Library Blog is Successful..08.27.08

27 08 2008

Find out about successful library blogging from “Sarah Long’s podcast, ‘Longshots,’ explores the world of libraries through interviews with key library figures and commentary on issues that matter to libraries.”  To hear her interview with Michael Sauers’ (Technology Innovation Librarian for the Nebraska Library Commission in Lincoln, Nebraska) on this subject, click on Longshots #114 on this page:

WorldCat Copyright Evidence Registry Beta Test…08.27.08

27 08 2008

Catablog reports today [] on the beta test of WorldCat Copyright Evidence Regsistry:

“OCLC is conducting a beta test of the WorldCat Copyright Evidence Registry.

The WorldCat Copyright Evidence Registry (CER) is a community of people, libraries, and other organizations working together to discover and share information about the copyright status of books.

The Copyright Evidence Registry is based on WorldCat, which contains more than 100 million bibliographic records describing items held in thousands of libraries worldwide. In addition to the WorldCat metadata, the Copyright Evidence Registry uses data contributed by libraries and other organizations.

You can search the Copyright Evidence Registry to find information about a book, learn what others have said about its copyright status, and share what you know.

If your library or organization is a Copyright Evidence Registry subscriber, you can run automated copyright rules that you create in the Copyright Evidence Registry to conform to your standards for determining copyright status. The rules help you analyze the information available in the Copyright Evidence Registry and form your own conclusions about copyright status.”

Also, you can receive an e-mail notification when information about a book changes within the Copyright Evidence Registry.