Get LISNews via email! Enter Your Email Address:
A little Friday grump here rather than on my main blog...
I've been seeing various posts (and a really pointless video) about Shutdown Day, which is tomorrow.
I use my PC at home for about an hour a day most days. Sometimes less. More on some weekend days. Some days not at all. When I travel--on business or pleasure--I do so without PC, notebook, PDA, smart phone...
Can I do without the PC for a full Saturday? Sure. Since I've just published a book and an issue of C&I, it would be easy.
Will I? Probably not. I don't see any plausible motive to leave the PC off all day. There's nothing on the "movement's" webpage that suggests any social good to doing without computers for a day. Other things take precedence over PC tasks on weekends anyway. Always have unless I'm actually on deadline (which I try to avoid at home).
Here's an idea: Do without electric lights for 24 hours. I've done that, the day of the '89 earthquake if no other. Or let's make it easy: Do without power tools for 24 hours. Do without, oh, I don't know, adjectives for 24 hours. (That might be tough.)
I do see the point behind the annual TV "boycott" move--but, even though we don't watch much TV, I've never participated. PCs? They can be time-wasters, but that's not inherent. Heck, reading mediocre books could be considered time-wasting, and I haven't heard about any "Don't read mediocrity for 24 hours" movements.
PCs are tools (or toolkits). I don't see a "put away your screwdrivers for 24 hours" movement. So I don't see much point in this one either. You can count me out.
Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large volume 7, issue 4 (April 2007) is now available for downloading.
This 24-page issue (PDF as usual, but the essays are available as HTML separates) features the first Cites & Insights book: Balanced Libraries: Thoughts on Continuity and Change.
While I did read this in a blog entry that purported to be a report of a keynote, I'm stating up front that this must be a mistake or a strawman.
Or maybe just a joke that was taken seriously.
Supposedly, someone said that every library should employ a developer.
Every library. Consider the size and staffing of, oh, every small and rural library in America, a few thousand of them.
I won't name the person who supposedly said this because it's so unbelievable.
Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large, volume 7, issue 3, March 2007, is now available for downloading.
The 24-page issue, PDF as always, but HTML separates of some, not all, essays are available from the home page includes:
Update: As of now, the problem seems to be solved, thanks to a combination of Blake's work, Bloglines "resetting the feed," and maybe my attempts to feed everything through Feedburner.
If you have problems, I'd suggest unsubscribing and resubscribing from the top option in the browser address-bar icon (in Firefox2 or IE7), which should definitely pick up the Feedburner feed.
And I now seem to have >400 subscribers. Hmm...
In case you're a Walt at Random reader and wonder whether I've given up blogging, the answer is no.
I wrote a post on Saturday, another on Tuesday, one on Wednesday, and a special test post today. I also updated an old post twice during that time.
If you use Bloglines, you may or may not have seen any of these. I certainly haven't seen the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or updated posts.
The Bloglines forum shows I'm not the only one. Bloglines definitely knows there's a problem--at least with WordPress blogs, maybe with others. They say they're fixing it. I'm not sure.
For W.a.R., the problem's been going on for months, but it's getting worse. Bloglines hasn't visited my primary feeds since Sunday. I'm not ready to give it up, but I'm not thrilled either.
Update 3/27: I was running Google Reader and Bloglines in parallel while this problem was being worked on. I'll admit to being peculiar, but I found that I still liked Bloglines better. Now that the problem appears solved, I've unsubbed all my Google Reader feeds...for now, at least.
Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large volume 7, issue 2 (February 2007) is now available for downloading.
The 22-page issue (PDF as always, but each section is also available as an HTML separate from the C&I home page) includes:
I'm putting this here because it feels a little too grumpy for Walt at Random...
Early last year, I was coaxed into doing an article for Google's fledgling Librarians Newsletter. No pay but presumably lots of publicity and all the resulting wonderful things that would come from being associated with Google.
The article was a little tricky. I had some issues with how Google was handling Google Book Search at the time, and included those issues in what was otherwise a favorable piece. The folks at Google didn't use the article right away. They suggested using it in some other arena; I suggested taking it back and using it as I saw fit. Eventually--several months later--they did use it, and added a comment noting that they were fixing some of the issues I'd raised (which they did).
OK, fine. I got some nice comments about the article. I have no particular indication that there were any other direct or indirect positive results. The piece came out right around the same time as the OCLC-RLG merger, a time of some considerable personal uncertainty (which continues), so maybe I missed them.
More recently, Google gave up on the Newsletter (as far as I can tell) and started a blog (instead?).
The blog has a sidebar with blogs that Google recommends.
It's an interesting list, both for its inclusions and its omissions.
In the future, I will be more mindful about contributing free writing to a commercial organization.
If you've been reading Cites & Insights all along (or at least for the last 18 months), and if you have no curiosity about the miracle of Word XP's AutoSummarize, you can delete this message.
If not--well, as promised, there is not a Midwinter 2007 issue of Cites & Insights. (The next issue should come out shortly after ALA Midwinter, around January 24-26. I'd like to keep to 12 issues this year...)
But there is a phantom edition, designed for those who've told me they read C&I on the plane to Midwinter or Annual.
Cites on a Plane 2007 is available for downloading
HTML separates are not available, because there's nothing new here.
The 38-page thing--it's not an issue--will disappear on or about January 23. So far, I haven't figured out how to make printed copies do a Mission:Impossible, but...
Other than three introductory paragraphs under the heading "This Issue Does Not Exist," and a single line above each section saying where it originally appeared, there is no new material in this thing.
There's also no table of contents--after all, it's not an issue.
If you've read all the stuff, but you are interested in how Word AutoSummary handles a long, complicated pair of texts, you could just print out pages 32-38, "Library 2.0 for Short Attention Spans"--an unmodified 10% AutoSummary of "Library 2.0 and 'Library 2.0'" and "Finding a Balance: Libraries and Librarians."
The rest of the issue is essays from the last 18 months that appear to have had relatively low readership, but no more than one essay from any given issue.
A caution about that final section: Word clearly favors the first paragraph under headings, which means that lots of paragraphs aren't indented. It also appears to favor standalone paragraphs--most of the one-sentence quotes appear. Otherwise--well, I swear I didn't change the results at all. Maybe you can come to conclusions about how AutoSummary works.
Cites & Insights vol. 7, number 1 (January 2007) is now available for downloading.
The 26-page issue (PDF as usual, but most essays are also available as HTML separates from the home page) includes:
So far, I've received very little feedback. If you care about any of those sections--or if you particularly dislike them--go to the posts and either leave comments or send email to email@example.com.
I'll probably start making decisions about these areas (and other things) for C&I volume 7 in about a week, when I start working on the January 2007 issue.
In case anyone might get confused: Walt [Crawford] and Walter [Skold, I assume] are not the same person, are not related, do not share political views...
When I comment on blogs, I now normally sign either "Waltc" or "Walt Crawford" to avoid confusion--and I never use my full birth name (that is, with the "er") in any professional activities.
I would note that, to the best of my knowledge, Walter [Skold?] has no intention of confusing anyone as to who's who.
The pointer, for core readers of Cites & Insights: I'm inviting feedback on four specific aspects of Cites & Insights at my blog, Walt at Random. The first question went up yesterday; others will follow tomorrow, Thursday, and Saturday.
The title sheet and indexes for Cites & Insights volume 6, 2006 are now available.
This PDF-only document (title sheet and 20 pages of indexes) completes volume 6.
Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large 6:14 (December 2006) is now available for downloading.
This 28-page issue, PDF as usual (but each essay is available as an HTML separate from the home page includes:
Please note that, while this is the final text issue for 2006, it does not complete the volume. The index (including title sheet, for anyone printing a bound volume) will be out in a week or two. Or three.
I proudly point you to today's coffee-break post, with what's probably the best blog post title I'll ever create.
Too bad I didn't create it. Google language tools are to thank for this masterpiece.
Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large 6:13 (November 2006) is now available for downloading.
The 26-page issue (PDF as always, but major essays are also available as HTML separates from the home page)
Cites & Insights 6:12, October 2006, is now available for downloading.
The 26-page issue (PDF as usual, but you can download HTML separates), which seems to have mostly long essays with long titles, includes:
Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large 6:11 (September 2006) is now available for downloading.
The 22-page issue (PDF as usual, but most essays are also available as HTML separates from the home page) includes:
And for those of you who stayed away for the summer: Don't forget Cites & Insights 6:10, August 2006: "Looking at Liblogs," a 30-page essay looking at 213 blogs from library people.
Cites & Insights 6:10, August 2006 is now available for downloading--from citesandinsights.info, not cites.boisestate.edu.
The 30-page issue consists almost entirely of one big essay:
* Perspective: Looking at Liblogs: The Great Middle - a look at 213 library-person weblogs.
There's also one little piece:
* Bibs & Blather - three brief items.
While each piece is also available as an HTML separate from the Cites & Insights home page, please don't download the big essay if you're planning to print it: You'll use 49 pages instead of 30.
There will be a separate September issue, probably in September.
The special "design and typography" issue of Cites & Insights for August 2006 has been cancelled on account of heat (and other reasons). (If you want more details, check Walt at Random after 5:30 p.m. PST today.)
My expectation had been that most people could and would skip this mini-issue. Now you (we!) all will.
C&I 6:10, August/September 2006, will appear in August, probably late August. It will be a more substantial issue, almost certainly featuring "Looking at Liblogs: A Chunk of the Great Middle" (title not final).
Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large has moved to
or, if you want to save a little typing,
All issues and essays are now available at the new site (which is a LISHost.org site, as you might guess).
Please update your bookmarks and links accordingly. For the foreseeable future, issues and essays will continue to be available at the old site (but not via the home page).
Thanks to Boise State University Libraries for hosting Cites & Insights over the past few years!
Update: There was a typographic problem with the HTML essays--turns out "the same file" offered up from a Windows server (the old C&I site) isn't exactly the same as "the same file" offered up from an Apache server, even though both files are bit-for-bit identical. Thanks to quick advice from a reader, the problem was solved the same day it was spotted...