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MLIS student's first ever entry.

Since this is my first post, I'm going to declare this journal an experiment. The journal is going to be used to help me decide which career/interest path to take as a librarian once I graduate with my MLIS. I'll discuss my current (and ever-changing) interests in library science and librarianship, and I'll try to focus over the next 2 years (and one summer?) on what kind of librarian I'll be when I grow up.

If anyone happens to read this journal, please free to offer advice and suggestions if you have any!

Boring meeting game

Thought you all might enjoy this-- Steffers

Do you keep falling asleep in meetings and seminars?
What about those long and boring conference calls?

Here's a way to change all of that.

1. Before (or during) your next meeting, seminar, or conference call,prepare yourself by drawing a square. I find that 5"x 5" is a good size.

Divide the card into columns-five across and five down.

That will give you 25 one-inch blocks.

2. Write one of the following words/phrases in each
block:


* synergy

* strategic fit

* core competencies

* best practice

* bottom line

* revisit

* take that off-line

* 24/7

* out of the loop

* benchmark

* value-added

* proactive

* win-win

* think outside the box

* fast track

* result-driven

* empower (or empowerment)

* knowledge base

* at the end of the day

* touch base

* mindset

* client focus(ed)

* paradigm

* game plan

* leverage

3. Check off the appropriate block when you hear one of those words/phrase .

4. When you get five blocks horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, stand up and shout "BULLSHIT!"

Testimonials from satisfied "Bullshit Bingo" players:*

> "I had been in the meeting for only five minutes when I won."- Jack W., Boston

> * "My attention span at meetings has improved dramatically."- David D.,Florida

> * "The atmosphere was tense in the last process meeting as 14 of us waited for the fifth box." - Ben G., Denver

> * "The speaker was stunned as eight of us screamed 'BULLSHIT!' for the third time in two hours."- Kathleen L., Atlanta

I like coffee. In much the same way that I like air

Today's User Friendly pretty much sums it up.

Where's the expert when you need her

So I spent two hours this morning in a Web OPAC working group meeting talking about the gory bits of MARC 21, and this all happens just when my MARC 21 expert contact isn't available, so I've got to figure it all out for myself. Fortunately, MARC's no worse that IEEE standards, so I should be able to manage.

Finding Balance

Here's my problem.
I want to know Linux, CSS, PERL, PHP, and Slsahcode inside and out. I want to be an expert at those things, write about them, and use them. I'm pretty good at most, if not all currently. The trouble is, I can't write about them if I am using them, I can't tell others how to use them, because I spend too much time actually using them. I want to write more, in this case write = writing journal articles, print stuff. I see people doing wonderful things in print, and on the web, and I think to myself, "how the hell do they have any time to do that?" and myself answers "well, maybe they don't sleep?"
Then again, maybe they don't run LISNews/LISHost.
I figure I actually have the freedom to choose what I do most of the time, and I choose to keep LISNews & LISHost going at this point in my life. If I want to spend time doing other things, reading, writing, and such, then whatever it is that takes up most of my 16 hours of awake time needs to be re-prioritized. If I am posting 16 stories a day to LISNews I am not writing elsewhere, if I am killing bugs in slashcode, or helping someone set up MT on LISHost, I am unable to read a new book I boght.
Work, my day job, takes up no small percentage of my awake time, and then there's all the other things, lately it's been the wedding, but things like that will always come up. I am beginning to feel like I need to find a different balance point, less of something, more of others. I don’t want to lose my chops, but at the same time, I'd like to get other things done.

Are those who teach/write about all this unable to actually use most of what they write/teach? I don't see how one can have time to be an expert, and do other things as well.

Off to Chicago and Louisville

Okay, so I get all jazzed about LISNews, now I'm off to Chicago and Louisville for a week or so. Part vacation, part family time. It'll be fun, but I dislike being off the net for so long.

Review: Hopeless Savages : Ground Zero

Hopeless Savages : Ground Zero is an excellent graphic novel. Born to two rockers, and lead singer in her own band, Zero falls for Ginger, a smart guy destined to go to MIT. Their romance has a bumpy start, as Zero's mum is reminded of her own youth. Making matters worse is the television crew, taping the story of the story of Zero's parents careers.

Not a great review, but it's an awesome book. Suitable for teens, no traditional profanity or sex. Highly reccommended for a YA graphic novel collection.

My goal is to write at least one review a week. I intend to use this journal as record of the books I've read. Feedback is welcome.

Oasis Morning

Deadlines. Deadlines. I could use that 'non-word' pro**astinate, but I'll hold it back. It's not that, just that the topic I have due before the end of the day is huge. I'm up to 4500 words, and growing by the minute. Probably 5500 by the end, with 6-8 images. It may be too big, but that's why the Creator (or whatever you prefer) made editors. Oasis/Massive Attack/Smashing Pumpkins is keeping me sane and typing.

Music to search by....

Sunday afternoons are meant for football (American) and rest. But the other parts of the week are meant to search. Give me a good telnet client, a complex search strategy, and some solid music to search by. Somedays, when Laura and I are searching next to each other, we prefer Groove Salad on Soma FM, othertimes we listen to our collection of MP3s: Oasis, Beth Orton, Cold Play, Roxy Music. Maybe LISNews needs a music to-search-by poll?

Sunday morning coffee

Hmmm...need coffee, didn't get it, so then I commented on an article about magic and witches. Hope I don't get flamed on it, but the lack of caffeine should be a legitimate excuse.

Oooh....first entry

Well, just got onto LISNews after reading for a while. I plan on adding a few things here, although I will be posting most of my thoughts on a 'to-be-implemented' movable type website on my server in a few weeks.

Dickson County Library

Yup, I applied to be the Director there. Went through the interviews and was offered the job. Thought about it, looked hard at the pros and cons, and in the end; thanks to a couple of friends, opted not to take the job. Gave the reason of the pay not being enough. THANK YOU to the friends that warned me off of that fiasco. I truly wish I could have taken that job, had there been more incentive for me to take it I would have gladly; but a low salary, a looming budget crisis, and a couple of personal reasons thrown in, I am glad I didn't. When I did turn it down, I was offered, almost immediately, a promotion in the system I work for now. Made me even gladder I stayed. A lot of old boys networking and small town politics in this one. VERY ugly.

Thanks!

First off, thanks to all who responded to my last journal entry. There were some great stories in there from people who've been through the same thing. :-)

I still haven't gotten a straight answer about it all but I have made an appointment to talk to the head of Branch Services. So, he should have some insight into the whole thing (I hope). If he doesn't then I am back to the HR director. Anyways, thanks to all who wrote me. I'll let you know what (if anything) I hear.

LISNews Happenings - Mail and some Stats

The import script seems to be ready to roll. It’s going to suck all the email addresses out of the old ezmlm mailing list, and turn them into brand new accounts, with the daily newsletter option turned on. The “daily� newsletter is now going to run only on Monday Wednesday and Friday. This still leaves the weekly list to deal with. I think I’m going to have to kill that, and roll it into the regular list. I simply don’t have the time to make a weekly option for the slashcode at this point, nor do I have the time to worry about that list floating around out there, should I leave the weekly list live. If all goes well I’ll make the magic happen next week. I want this all worked our before I leave for Hawaii.
So that’s that…

In other LISNews news, the journals have been so much fun to watch. I’m quite happy with how much they are being used, I had rather low expectations, and have been proven wrong. There’s even been some discussion on some of the journals.

Moderation participation is about what I expected, there’s a few people doing a lot of moderation, a few other people doing it once in a while, and most people not at all, or maybe just once. The # of comments seems to be about the same on the new code as it was on the old. Over all, visits, hits, page views, and all that jazz are slowly trending up.
Last month we had about 3,500 visitors a day, served about 12,450 pages a day, all that from around 61,000 hits a day. Those are the number from last month, and the stats were down for a few days in there, so the real numbers are a bit higher.

Some more interesting findings in the logs…

Referrals:
1. (no referral) 68,694 66.67%
2. www.google.com/search 12,261 11.90%
3. search.yahoo.com/search 4,225 4.10%
4. radio.userland.com/newsAggregator 3,908 3.79%
5. frontier.userland.com/xmlAggregator 1,111 1.08%
6. www.google.ca/search 982 0.95%
7. aolsearch.aol.com/aol/search 754 0.73%
8. mail.yahoo.com/ym/ShowLetter 476 0.46%
9. www.steakandcheese.com/content/browse.asp 446 0.43%
10. google.com.au/search 416 0.40%

As you can see it’s almost entirely a google world for us. LISJobs, librarian.net and BetweenTheStacks are the only 3 “real� sites that made it into the top 25 referrers, and none of them sent in more than .11% of total sessions. I’m never quite sure what to make of those numbers. I guess with 66% of people coming in with no referral it means most people who read LISNews already know we’re here.

Top Keywords from those:
1. (no referral) 81,162 78.77%
2. harry potter book six 790 0.77%
3. pick up lines 662 0.64%
4. welchia virus 659 0.64%
5. librarian action figure 442 0.43%
6. pickup lines 241 0.23%
7. sixth harry potter book 237 0.23%
8. harry potter sixth book 230 0.22%
9. bush demonstrating genuine leadership 220 0.21%
10. pick-up lines 183 0.18%

The top keywords lead me to believe that not everyone is happy finding LISNews.

Most popular pages:
1. /lisnews.rss 57,906 16.04%
2. /article.pl 54,175 15.00%
3. /index.pl 34,286 9.50%
4. /article.php3 32,366 8.96%
5. /search.pl 20,483 5.67%
6. /comments.pl 19,535 5.41%
7. /relocate.pl 12,300 3.41%
8. /rss/descriptions.rss 8,889 2.46%
9. /robots.txt 4,898 1.36%
10. /users.pl 4,292 1.19%
11. /index.rss 4,076 1.13%
12. /wireless_descriptions.rss 3,499 0.97%
13. /submit.pl 3,134 0.87%
14. /articles.rss 2,646 0.73%
15. /favicon.ico 2,596 0.72%

Our feeds our crazy popular now. It’s been fun watching the incredible growth in popularity of RSS. Having an RSS feed was one thing LISNews was way ahead of the curve on.

Reasonable time between interview and job notification?

Hi all.

I need to pick the collective brain. What do you consider a reasonable length of time between an interview and notification of filling the position?

I interviewed for a public service position around 3 months ago and I heard this week that they still have not made a decision. (This would be a promotional position for me) It boggles my mind that they would treat staff this way, and I wonder whether outside applicants have gotten the same treatment. I should add that this interview was to fill 2 positions, one of which has been filled. When that position was filled, they notified other applicant but not me, even though I interviewed to be eligible for BOTH positions. I am irritated by this and wondered if anyone out there could give me advice on how to tactfully express my indignance over this. TIA

The Mailing Lists

So I’m about halfway to having the old mailing list moved over to the new slashcode. For those of you on the mailing list (The headlines that come out Mon Wed and Fri) hopefully my messages made some sense. If not, let me try again.
The way I see it, LISNews is made up of 2 parts at the moment. The web site, and the mailing lists. The lists (there’s 2, one 3 times a week, and one weekly) have been around for a few years. Originally I hacked some code together, and lately they’ve been running on a program called ezmlm (it’s like Listserv, but free). There’s still about 1800 people on the 2 lists. The problem is those lists still take up no small amount of time for me. So I need to move those names into the slashcode, and then change the slashcode daily mailer code to just go out on Monday Wednesday and Friday. I won’t even pretend I could make a weekly option at this point.
So far I’m able to create a new user account from a file, and I’ve almost got it emailing the password and user name. Once I get that working I need to hack the slashcode mailing function, and then import all the names from the lists into slashcode.

Someone who knows PERL and Slashcode could’ve done this in an hour or 2, but it takes some time for me to do things with Slashcode still, so I hope to have this done some time next week, if I’m lucky. The goal is to have it done before I go to Hawaii. The hidden goal are to make my life easier.

excitement in the basement

Is this some sort of comment on tech services work?

This morning we came in at the butt-crack o'dawn to find the biggest (seriously, it was huge) cockroach I have ever seen sitting on the wall above a desk. We had to call a maintenance man to come "take care" of it, since we're all wussies when it comes to bugs that can take off a finger. I tell you what, a large bug like that will wake you up faster than coffee though.

Pick A Name

Browsing the list of 466 User Accounts we already have at LISNews the names are quite amusing. Here's a few of my favorites:

Fang-Face (he's so scary sounding), bibliothecarius, TechKase, soy_mustang (just cuz it's so funny sounding), Onehander (could mean anything I suppose), madcow, libdir, Zed (Canadian?), drweb, RudeAmy (Understanding is the first step towards the cure), librarybunny (cute), hahahaha, honky, j_at_work (Hardly working I assume), cdnlibrarian (Eh?), swampthing, SpinsterLibrarian, angrythoat (Scary), ChrisTheCat (meow), InfoWhale, pamplemousse, Fez the Barbarian Li (Damn, cut short), bbbbbbb1 (Stutter?), artlibrarian, literarylion (Roar), masterbation, bookworm4321, Jonas (Reminds me of that Weezer song), Original Cyn, surfer rosa (Pixies), Another Aaron (If at first you don't succeed), Biblia, the Warrior , Eclectic Researcher, privacybarbie, lucky, BubblyBookGrrl (Just sounds so friendly), librlord, scary , The Federalist, chattykathy, bookmarm, librarian (It took 300+ people to think of that one?), Esmeralda, maxpower (Strap yourself in and feel the G's!), Mock Turtle, Infoweasel, Gonzo Librarian, andhow, SmartRat, aah, miraclesdaily (Good description of what we all do), SkinnyPimp , hihuhiuhiu, tomeboy , librarymary, themom, map (Keeping it simple), GeekLib, shelfmouse, Meteor, waterdragon (There be Dragons here), and last but not least....infodiva, which is the actual last account at the moment.

With extended shushing action!

I have to admit: I don't care much for the doll.

However, I'm going to go back on my word and buy one. As a gift. To the following:

Attorney General John Ashcroft
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

It's petty, but so am I ...

Catching up

It's been a while, and I'm sorry for it. Work has been busy (whose hasn't?) and we've had company from out-of-town.

So, what's new? I don't have any slice-of-life stories...

I read a good YA book, "The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things" by Carolyn Macker. It's the story of Virginia. She thinks she's the ugly duckling in a perfect family, where everyone else speaks French and is in perfect shape. She's slightly overweight, and has low self-esteem. Virginia's world is shaken when her brother date-rapes his date and is sent home from college.

I enjoyed the book, and the way Virginia relates to her domineering mother. I also liked how Virginia starts to relate better to her body. One thing that made me uncomfortable is that Virginia notices that a classmate may have an eating disorder, but she does nothing about it; not even speaking to the girl. (Virginia's mom is well-known teen psychologist, so Virginia seems well-versed on teen issues.)

Anyway, just my thoughts. Feel free to share any thoughts you may have.

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