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May 7, 2006

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I ♥ Librarians

Still chugging along under the steam of EPIC, I gave a talk to a big group of librarians in Denver on Friday. Had Matt been there too, there would have been singing; as it was, I just did a slideshow.

Here’s Jennifer Lang’s run-down on her blog called “Z666.7.L365.” Z is the Library of Congress classification space for information about libraries. That’s so rad.

Jennifer also rounded up some examples of a trend I heard about in Denver: libraries creating MySpace pages. The logic, of course, is that MySpace is where all their patrons are hanging out… so they should connect with them there. The Brooklyn College Library has 1673 friends, and some comments that are totally worth reading. For instance: “it is THE strangest experience when you get a Friend Request from your SCHOOL’S LIBRARY. who the hell came up with this idea? BRILLIANT I TELL U….abso-freakin-lutely brilliant!!!!”

And so much sweeter and legit-seeming from a library than from, say, some stupid deodorant.

One of the really magical things about libraries, after all, is that they are all about service. They don’t want anything from you; they don’t want to sell you anything. Today, that is almost a radical proposition. Like serious journalism, librarianship is worth preserving and extending in the era of Google’s cold genius; in both cases there is something valuable at the core.

Posted May 7, 2006 at 6:46 | Comments (7) | Permasnark
File under: Briefly Noted, Media Galaxy


I found these buttons a little ways back, and thought they were so hot I immediately ordered a few. Then I realized I don't know any librarians to gift them to, so I named myself a deputy librarian and sport them on occasion in their honor. If only I had known there was a librarian convention going on I would have sent buttons.

Posted by: dan on May 7, 2006 at 11:17 PM

Thank you, on behalf of all librarians... Our professional mantra is -- and always will be -- SHARE.

Seriously. I was using the rare book collection at the SF Main last month and as soon as I explained to the librarian what I was looking for he just kept bringing me more and more books while I sat comfortably and looked through the accumulating pile. It really seemed remarkably weird that this man's job was just to help me and that he did this job without being rude or incompetent (quite the opposite). Even when people are trying to sell me something they don't seem to manage it.

For SF peeps, the rare collection is definitely worth checking out. For example, you can get a look at the Kelmscott Chaucer, one of the most beautiful books ever printed. And you can take digital photos!

I got a sneak peek of the Minneapolis Central Library this weekend (connections, baby), and it is HOTT. (I'm second from the left.)

SO. COOL. (in re: both Peter's comment & Matt's)

Lovers of libraries and librarians -- let me put in a plug. At the request of my s.o. (the sexiest librarian around) I recently put together a mix CD of songs about books which I am anxious to share with the world. Go to Short Schrift (the link should show up as my name) and scroll to "Mix CD #1: The Book I Read." Follow the link to the Rapid Share site, unzip and enjoy. And please let me know what you think.

Librarians should be aware of a bill just introduced to Congress, called Deleting Internet Predators Act (DOPA) H.R. 5319 for 109th congress.

From LibraryPlanet

The anti-DOPA wiki

Doug Johnson's letter from Nancy Willard

"Below is a longish posting made to LM_Net and WWWedu by cybersafety guru, Nancy Willard. She's given me permission to reprint it here. Well worth reaading. - Doug

In my personal opinion, the biggest problem about this proposed legislation is that it will do absolutely nothing to protect teens from seduction by -- or seeking out connections with -- predators." -- more on the political ramifications of DOPA, and why it will be hard to defeat.

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