Thursday, September 27, 2007

Everything is Miscellaneous

Having finished reading Everything is Miscellaneous some time ago, I have had the book sitting around with some passages marked for a blog post. My personal and work life has been careening along the road at such a rapid pace that I have not had the time to sit and write. Today, I am carving out that time.

One part which caught my attention was in the chapter "Messiness as a Virtue." (pages 173 - 198) He talks about the issue which so many of us face with our digital photos. He uses the analogy of a shoe box of physical photos as a "first-order mess." If you create an index of the photos, you have a "second-order mess" because you can only find photos if you look under a term which has been assigned. Digital photos (with or without metadata attached) are a "third-order mess" only because there is no physical item which can be in only one place. It is an interesting concept.

As we digitize more and more, I think that we may be creating a "third-order mess" -- which is not a bad thing. Having just had the newspapers for Eau Claire digitized up until 1923 (copyright rules, you know), we are taking our "first-order" mess of microfilm, and skipping the "second-order mess" of an index and gone straight to a "third-order mess" (well, if I understand David Weinberger correctly). It is an interesting concept to ponder.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Library 2.0: A list of sources

Jennifer Macauly over at her blog, Life as I know it, has a great list of blog posts and other information on Library 2.0. She notes that it is a work in progress, but it looks pretty good to me! Thanks Jennifer!

Meanwhile, I can't see my blog because Google is giving me a "403 Forbidden" message with the text:

We're sorry...

... but your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application. To protect our users, we can't process your request right now.

We'll restore your access as quickly as possible, so try again soon. In the meantime, if you suspect that your computer or network has been infected, you might want to run a virus checker or spyware remover to make sure that your systems are free of viruses and other spurious software.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope we'll see you again on Google.

It is happening for every Blogspot/Blogger blog I try to get to. I did go through the Google page to get to Blogger, and then here. Am I going crazy? Not only that, but is doesn't seem like you can talk to anyone (or email and get a response) to a problem like this. I know it is not just my PC since others in my building (i.e. on my network) cannot get to these blogs also. Curious!

Fixed as of 2:30 pm CDT. MAG

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Avast, mateys! Today is the day. One of my staff has been pushing this, and has sent two sites:

International Talk Like a Pirate Day


Pirate Treasure (a place to buy "stuff).

Have fun!

Additional info!

The wonderful Wikipedia article!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What exactly does "Library 2.0" mean?

My friend Karen Schneider posted a comment on my recent ramblings on this topic. In it she says "I've commented on my blog, but basically I've concluded, well, you're wrong and I'm right. ;-)" Well, I went off to look at what she said, because Karen is not only a friend, but a great writer, and often makes me think enough to sometimes change my mind.

First, let me note that she only really comments on the second half of my post, the part about the Annoyed Librarian. I posted to her blog that I think we actually agree. Her comments about the "us/them" language are very compelling, and is a perspective about which I had not thought. She is correct in that using that kind of inflammatory language sets up the kind of false dichotomy that makes it harder to build any kind of team.

She also includes a great quote from a mutual friend, Sara Weissman [Sara and Karen are the co-moderators of the long running PUBLIB electronic discussion list]:
If you want an enterprise-wide initiative, if you want everyone to be involved, at some point, as leader, you have to accept a certain bumpy, uneven quality of work and just lead them through it to comfort and consistency.
I sure have thought about Sara's words, and even acted in that way at times without having had the ability to put the thought into words.

I still maintain, that while some focus the Library 2.0 discussion on "only" the technology aspects, libraries that are genuinely "2.0" libraries will address all of the customer service/user-centered issues. That is among the places where I think that Karen and I agree.

Back in the Saddle

I am back to work. What an adventure: six different beds in seven nights; drove 8 different cars registered in 5 different states mostly in two towns!

When I first got the phone call, the hospital staff said "We're trying to keep her alive until everyone gets here." She went home from the hospital a week ago today, and by last weekend, several of us were itching to leave since she was back to her feisty self. I'm now thinking that there was a possible mis-diagnosis. My mother has had a blood disease for a number of years. She wound up in the hospital dehydrated and almost in septic shock. But after a couple of days of treatment which included IV antibiotics and some blood transfusions, she pulled out of it.

I am happy to be home, and able to sleep in my own bed. (I think we all underestimate the importance of that.) The experience of pretty much living with my brothers and sisters as adults was very different than when we were younger. While we often see each other, we are usually also surrounded by spouses and kids. This time, for most of the time, it was just us. That created a different dynamic. The age difference of 12 years from eldest to youngest is also no longer as significant as it used to be. In group dynamic we became a "high functioning team" as we wrestled with some pretty important issues. It was really good.

While it was incredibly disruptive to each of our lives, I think we all also walked away with better connections to each other.

Stay tuned for some posts on the reading I completed while traveling and while there. Those posts will be very different than this.

Finally, I want to thank those who sent me personal notes. The level of support I received from my staff, board, and electronic friends was heartwarming. Thanks.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Away for a bit

I've been in Connecticut since Monday afternoon. On Saturday, I was by a lake in Wisconsin, blissfully without my cell phone. Sunday when I got service, I checked, and there was a voice mail from a sister and a son, and a text from that son. I started calling and found out that my mother was in the hospital and was in serious shape. So, the calls to the airlines started, and I was on a mid-day flight on Monday.

Since then, I have seen all my siblings (there are seven), numerous nieces, nephews, and spouse-in-laws, and vast numbers of my mother's friends. My mother is now at her home with hospice care and a schedule of her kids and their spouses who will be with her.

I have limited Internet access, and will certainly not post again for at least a week, unless the truly dire happens. I am now scheduled to be back here in late September/early October for my turn on the care/watch schedule we have developed.

This is an adventure, but one I do not want.