Thursday, August 27, 2009

But what about calling the electronic highway “Data Zoomy Land”?

The other day BusinessWeek created a list of 12 outdated tech terms deemed to get you a workplace paddling if used or at least give cause to have the nearest teenager roll their eyes. I feel a little guilty that the other day when explaining what our computer tutor does to an inquiring patron, I mentioned that “learning how to surf the web” was part of the instruction session. However, I do think that specifying long distance versus local calls is still somewhat relevant since we occasionally have sneaky patrons trying to make out of state calls from our desk phone.

This post was brought to you by my 1200 baud modem.
Beep boop.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Libraries ARE punk

A blog I follow, Swiss Army Librarian, had an entry discussing a LJ article and follow up post that compare libraries to punk rock. The original entry pointed out a few of these similarities and common stereotypes. Though I never really thought of it before, perhaps this is part of what drew me to working in libraries in the first place: libraries are punk!
As a little punk teen (pre-mallification of punk with the ease of Hot Topic) my core values centered around equality, freedom, knowledge – values similarily shared by most librarians. As a teen I cared deeply about changing the world and was disappointed by my generation’s lack of activism. After completing my undergraduate degree I was disappointed by how little difference my office cubicle jobs made in the world and I often felt lost and a like a phony. When I first started working in libraries in 2004, for the first time in my career I felt like I belonged and that I could give back. While it’s not always about fighting censorship or promoting banned or controversial books, I feel pretty good when I can connect someone with the information they are seeking. Getting my graduate degree made me more aware of the library’s importance in a democratic society and the outside forces that are constantly attempting to impede the access of information.
My only issue: the books mentioned in the LJ bibliography aren’t just for dudes! Chicks are rebels too!

Friday, August 21, 2009

That’s not my interweb!

An elderly gentleman approached the reference desk upset because he couldn’t get on the internet. I followed him back to the terminal he was working on and was surprised when we passed the card catalogue stations (my first assumption was that he was trying to use one of the card catalogue computers because at least once a day someone complains about the “internet not working” while sitting at an OPAC station which has giant signs around it saying “Card Catalogue and Databases Only"). When we got to the station he was working at I was a bit confused because the library’s homepage was clearly up and running and he was in fact on the internet.
“It looks like things are working fine to me.” I said.
He shook his head, “That’s not the real internet.”
I asked if he could explain what the real internet was.
“How come it doesn’t look like my internet at home?” he asked.
When I asked him to further elaborate he was at a loss for words. Then I had a hunch: “Who is your internet service provider?” I asked.
He stared blankly at me.
I tried again. “Where do you log on to get your email? Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, AOL?”
“AOL!” he exclaimed.
I entered in in the address bar and all was right with the world when AOL’s homepage came to give this gentleman access to the “real internet.”

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

what you say?

So I signed up for Twitter awhile back, but it is barely functioning because I can't think of any headline worthy microblog posts to make that aren't the typical lame "Just had my second cup of coffee!" I am verbose by nature and usually if I have anything to say I want at least a few sentences to speak my mind (Twitter brags that "Its 140-character limit also precludes users from the long-winded navel-gazing that makes most personal blogs insufferable" -- I might admit to navel-gazing, but am I insufferable?). However, I must be really out of it because I just came across Tumblr, another social networking site that I am not on. It looks like it's more about posting media, but also has the whole microblogging thingy and lets people "follow" you like Twitter.
Since I barely have a toe on the platform of Twitter, I highly doubt I'll be jumping on the Tumblr wagon anytime soon, but with this increasingly "gimmie info now" society that can hardly stand to wait for me to look up the author of "that book with the woman where her son dies in the car accident with a blue cover," I wonder if regular blogging will soon become obsolete.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Almost like bad mad libs

A couple months back I confessed that I had jumped on that bandwagon that helped fund the "and Zombies/with Vampires" explosion with my purchase of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (my review was a solid "meh"). And now it appears that there is much more on the horizon with the upcoming Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, Mr Darcy, Vampyre, and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim. Is this good that we are getting people to take a look at the classics they would normally ignore just because of some promised gore and violence? How long do you think this literary trend will last? Oh yeah, and before I forget, what about this?
My sibbling is urging me to get to work on our own version of a literary classic with monsters, but I feel so ridiculous even thinking about it. The possible interest in publishers and a check are the only motivating factors.