An effort to maintain links to my librarian-lives past, present, and future (you know, "current awareness") ... the digital trails (travails?) of a librarian without a library.

|| My non-info-stuff blog ||
|| Some images of librarians gathered from the Web ||

Past posts|June |May |April |March

Book jacket of Revolting Librarians

research, reference, & current awareness resources for librarians

Internet Resources Newsletter
The Researching Librarian
Librarian's Resource Centre
Librarians' Index to the Internet
The Internet Public Library
Library Web Manager's Reference Center (DL SunSITE)
Rutgers Research Guides
Library-related Electronic Journal Collection
The Virtual Chase: Legal Research on the Internet
Internet Library for Librarians
Digital Librarian
StartSpot Network
O'Keefe Library
Library Resource List
Libweb - Library WWW Servers
Best of BUSLIB-L
Scout Report
Acronym Finder
The Internet Archive
Information Today
Portals to the World from the Library of Congress
NAICS : North American Industry Classification System
Argus Clearinghouse
LibrarySpot Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP)
International Newspapers
The Source Online (ALA TechSource)


Search Engine Watch
Search Engine Guide
Search Engine Showdown
Literature about search services
The Matrix
Complete Planet : Bright Planet Invisible Web search
Phil Bradley
ProFusion Invisible Web search

ia | ui

IA News
Usable Web
boxes and arrows
elegant hack
Bad Human Factors Designs
Noise Between Stations
brightly colored food
Common Industry Format Usability Testing
Mersault* Thinking
HCIRN : Human-Computer Interaction
Human Factors International
Adaptive Path
Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture (AIfIA)


Weblogs Compendium
Doc Searls
evhead | Evan Williams
nyc bloggers
Blog Chalking
Blogdex: The Weblog Diffusion Index
Weblog Awards
Scripting News
Breaking Blogs
Microdocs News
Root Blog

instructional design, e-learning, ed tech

Internet Education Project
e-learning post
Learning Circuits (ASTD)
e-Learning Centre
Instructional design for e-learning
e-learning post
eLearn Magazine (ACM)
e-Learning Guru
EduCause effective practices database
eLearning Guild (corporate)
How Learning Happens: Instructional Design
Lecture Object Architecture (CERN)

digital libraries

The Internet Archive
International Children's Digital Library
Open Archives Initiative
DLI2 : Digital Libraries Initiative
BUBL Link : Digital Libraries
Digital Library Federation
Canadian Initiative for Digital Libraries
Berkeley Digital Library SunSITE
NYPL Digital Library Collections
National Library of Canada

indexing & abstracting

American Society of Indexers
Classification Society
Indexing & Abstracting Sociaty of Canada
Australian Society of Indexers

archives & records management

Society of American Archivists
UNESCO Archives Portal
NY Archivists Round Table

conservation, preservation, & the book arts

Book Arts Web
CBBAG Book Arts Links
Center for the Book Arts
Book Arts Web

Wednesday, August 13, 2003
The indefatigable Chris Pirillo, a.k.a. Lockergnome, has launched a topnotch RSS Resource. This will be my go-to site for RSS info. The guy's really gearing up content production since he left TechTV's "Call For Help". TechTV is a super overall source for tech info, where I find out about lots of useful free downloads.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003
My favourite library catalogue of all is University of California's Melvyl. It boasts over 15 million records for materials in the libraries of the nine UC campuses, the Center for Research Libraries and others, and serials records of more than 550 California libraries, including the Getty Center and Stanford. I've been using it for years, and have found it to be the most accessible and comprehensive catalogue online, with the most accurate, detailed, and current records. And it saves and automates my searches!

Melvyl launched a new Ex Libris system on August 1. Though most of the features remain the same, there are some improvements, a major one being the combination of the book and periodicals databases. Non-U.C. users can take advantage of many of Melvyl's added-value functions. Users who create a user ID and password have access to "My Workspace", which supports the ability to save personalized information for use in the current and future sessions. Profiled information can include preferred display options, the user's e-mail address, timeout settings, etc. The Melvyl system can save one or more records from different searches in multiple (named) save lists that can be displayed or output using print, e-mail, or download.

You can also customize how search results are displayed, including long, custom, tagged, or MARC. (In 1996 I used Melvyl to import free MARC records for my library.) You may access the Update service, a current awareness service that automatically performs user-defined searches on a regular basis and e-mails you the results, also saving them in your Profile. Other features: Limit search to electronic resources only; phrase and proximity searching; call number searching; combine books and periodicals (CAT & PE) in one database; browsing (heading searches); optional command line interface; and downloading to citation management software like ProCite and EndNote.

Monday, August 11, 2003
I'll be presenting at InfoToday's conference in California this November, about tools for managing and publishing content to intranets and the internet, and the difficulties relating to copyright, format, and multiple content suppliers and vendors ... there's never a shortage of problems. My copresenters will be Sandra Sandroval, who heads up content management at Microsoft, and Catherine Candee, Director of the California Digital Library.

Sunday, August 10, 2003
NPR's "All Things Considered" did a feature on the Rare Book School at University of Virginia today. The NPR site includes the audio and a number of photos. This is the school, headed by Terry Belanger, that was at Columbia before that library school was closed in 1992. I'd planned to attend the Columbia program; if the program were still in NYC I'd have been through the whole thing by now, without the added cost of travel and accommodation.

This piece followed another on the book rescue at Johns Hopkins' Peabody Library followed esxtensive water damage. It was a reminder of disaster preparedness plans I've had in place, but have thankfully not had to test. The Peabody's vendor for the rescue, freezing and drying process seemed to perform excellently, and I'm making note for future reference. Two pieces on a national radio show about books and libraries!

Wednesday, July 23, 2003
Whether or not our job titles indicate it, we're all project managers these days. A few years back when project management became a primary function of my position I came across gantthead, a site that's loaded with useful info and tools. A free sign-up gets you access to oodles of articles and advice on achieving the processes and deliverables you desire. Downloads include plans, checklists, and presentations to help you get through the most difficult of projects. Most helpful.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003
I plan to contribute to the new site out of the Computing Culture group of the MIT Media Lab, named Government Information Awareness, or GIA. I heard about it on NPR a couple of weeks back and its been getting lots of press, generating so much traffic that certain features, and often the site itself, are inaccessible. The site was inspired by the creation of the government's Terrorist Information Awareness program (TIA), which will try to monitor everything from our credit card purchases to our library records. But GIA will be maintained by citizens rather than by the government. Information will be collected from the public as well as from numerous online sources. Those of us who have access to proprietary databases, Lexis-Nexis, Dialog, and public records sources should do our part by contributing to this brilliant effort. Fight the power. See this Wired News story for more.

George Carlin on the Comedy Central show "Tough Crowd", one of my favourite shows: "If you ever took a look at a librarian, you'd see why we need pornography in libraries." Jeez, and I really liked George Carlin.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003
I'm loving this new meta-search engine, Vivisimo, that I read about in today's Search Day. I tried a test version of this a while back but don't remember being so wowed. What separates Vivisimo from all the rest is its use of clustering algorithms that allow the user to zero in on the particular category of results being sought. If you don't really know what you're looking for it can be just as useful by presenting a list sorted by concept, allowing you to select from subcategories. And it gets better ... No endless viewing and clicking back to the results list: Your selections open in a built-in browser on the right of the screen, and you can preview multiple selections in small windows within that browser. Cool! Boolean and other advanced search syntax are supported, and you can choose from various search engines, news sources, and resources such as FirstGov and PubMed. The clustering actually works, and this tool offers a fantastic way to search more efficiently. There's a great article about the project in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Monday, June 23, 2003
The Canadian edition of the the new Harry Potter book, 935,000 copies, is printed by Canadian publisher Raincoast Books on 100-percent recycled, endangered forest free paper. A story at reports that the printing will save 30, 000 trees, and states that if Scholastic had done the same in the U.S. "it would conserve an area of trees some 13 times the size of New York's Central Park and some 24 million pounds of greenhouse gases." There is much more to the article, a real eye-opener.

After reading this, I've decided to order all of my copies for gifts from Chapters books in Canada. With the exchange rate the price will be about the same, and I'll drop a note to Scholastic stating my reason for doing so. I know that libraries were pushing for publishers to make greater use of recycled, non-polluting paper, with some success ... I'll have to check what's up with that. Libraries have the power to influence this.

It was in the mid-eighties in Canada that all government agencies and most businesses began using recycled paper and envelopes. Living in the States, I'm bewildered that all government and business-issued mail continues to be on non-recycled, bleached white paper.

I will be getting to further comments on the SLA and InfoToday conferences, this week for sure.

Monday, June 09, 2003
After a brief vacation, I'm spending a few days at SLA here in New York. The conference has been a disappointment, unfortunately. There are so few presentations or workshops, many are cancelled, and many are fee-based that should be part of the regular program. More to come later in the week.

Friday, May 16, 2003
InfoToday 2003 || The marvelous Marylaine Block's presentation was titled "Net Effects: How Librarians Can Manage the Unintended Consequences of the Internet," also the title of her forthcoming book due out in August. Marylaine may be best known as the author of Ex Libris: an E-Zine for Librarians and Information Junkies, but I and others remember her as probably the first to do a "Best of the 'Net'" site, and she continues to be incredibly prolific.

Marylaine's key message to librarians was to stand up and claim your rightful place in the digital space: Reclaim the right to select; build our own search engines and digital libraries; train for change; use and become expert in the users' tools of choice; preserve digital data; always be current in your knowledge of copyright and privacy; continue working to bridge the digital divide; and, of course, continuously retrain so as not to be blind-sided by the next new technology. She spoke of the book chapter she wished she'd included, "The Library as Place," about the importance of the library as a multi-use focal point of communities, and how the changing nature of the book need not mean a diminishing role for the library. In emphasising the importance of marketing all that one's library or information business has to offer, Marylaine said something that I really liked in reference to her own success: "If you're first, you don't have to be best." When Marylaine has ideas she acts on them and sees them through to completion; she doesn't wait around to see what others think: She does it.

Always remember, the best is the enemy of the good. (That's from my own mentor and former boss, Elaine Bruce. I'm still trying.)

To come, on "Digital Rights Issues," presenters Christopher Kenneally of the Copyright Clearance Center and George Pike, Assistant Professor of Law and Director, Barco Law Library, University of Pittsburgh School of Law. And Tom Reamy of the KAPS Group on "Knowledge Architecture: People, Skills, Roles, Services, and Tools."

Wednesday, May 14, 2003
I attended the InfoToday conference here in NYC last week, taking in 14 sessions across the six subject-focus tracks. Each of the sessions was informative and well presented; most of the presentations are posted at the conference web site. The majority of the presentations weren't submitted to organizers in time to make it into the hard-copy conference proceedings, which would have made it easier to take notes and to concentrate on the presenters. It's also disappointing to see the now common practice of conference 'papers' in the form of Powerpoint slides, which are of little use out of context and if one wasn't present at the live presentation. In any case, over the years I've gotten much better at choosing which sessions to attend, and at how to 'do' a conference. Also, living in the city helps, not feeling pressure or temptation to get out and see the sights where the conference is being held.

The conference was definitely worthwhile, however, and I've seen improvement each year since I first attended in 1996. There are now few vendors among the primary presenters, which can present problems in terms of bias, unintended or not. The biggest problem this year was the severe drop in the number of exhibitors; I'd estimate that there were 75% fewer than there were a few years ago, which can only reflect the drastic cutbacks in corporate budgets and the high number of bankruptcies among smaller vendors. And shame on you, Lexis-Nexis, for not being there! And you, too, Factiva! Both Nexis and Factiva have hundreds of staff in NYC, and to not set up at least a small booth is a disservice to the profession that makes them consistently profitable. Congratulations, Dialog, for being there. I'm sure the fact that SLA is in NYC next month is a reason for some vendors blowing off InfoToday, but for the attendee, InfoToday has much more to offer in terms of the variety and quality of the sessions and workshops. I was told that attendance was down, though I didn't find it to be noticable. More to come about InfoToday 2003.

Friday, April 25, 2003
I've been putting this new international map website, Maporama, through the torture test and it passes with flying colours, leaving Mapquest (the best of the rest) in the dust. I tested addresses in Israel, Canada, and the U.S. that the other map sources choke on, but no problem here. Maporama has all the added features too, like e-mailing your map, Avant-Go, driving directions. And how about detailed, street-level maps for Bombay, Bejing, Buenos Aires, Afghanistan? They're all here! And you can customise by colours, size, style (English, English traditional, French, Dutch, American ...); you can choose whether the map is for driving or walking, and if it's for walking points of interest and historic monuments may be added.

For those of you with web sites, offers great FREE services, including MapoMap service, which allows your website users direct access to specific maps that you've saved on the website. If you've saved several maps on the website, you're able to offer your users a direct link to your saved maps from your own site pages. MapoView lets you just press the "Insert Map" button and have the html code generated for you to copy and paste to your site. There's even more, give it a try.

Thursday, April 24, 2003
I've been using News is Free, but will be doing a review of popular news aggregators. I wrote a blog post in baby topic about infant optics dxr8 - link

Tuesday, April 22, 2003
How disappointing it was to read the mean-spirited comments of Rory Litwin, editor of Library Juice. What an incredibly narrow and uninformed viewpoint for someone who calls himself a Leftist and a librarian. (Do I have the order right, and the capitalization of the "L's"?) And how astonishingly naive as to what comprises not only the profession of librarianship, but also what defines non-profit and capitalism in the U.S. today. Litwin's comments are analagous to a building engineer saying that an electrical engineer isn't a 'real' engineer, or a surgeon saying that a dermatologist isn't a real doctor:

"So, leave us free, SLA, to preserve culture and protect democracy and rational discourse without our intentions being confused by your oxymoronic "corporate libraries." (Rory Litwin, Library Juice 6:8 - April 3, 2003)

I'm a librarian who's worked in academic and public libraries, as well as a range of special libraries including law, finance, foundation and other non-profits. My own preconceptions fell away quickly as I gained experience in various special libraries. I had many of the misconceptions that Litwin seems to hold, and a special library was the last place that I wanted to work. Living in NYC, however, I did want to pay my rent, and I also became aware that the corporate libraries in the city could provide me with invaluable experience to take back to an academic library environment.

I can say confidently that the range of skills, breadth of learning, and daily demands required of most special librarian positions goes far beyond that of most public librarian positions, and many academic positions. Here in New York City, in fact, MLS recruiters will confirm that public libraries are where many otherwise unhirable librarians end up; I have had staff, temps and interns who couldn't handle the numerous demands of a special library, and they are all now doing well in NYC Metro area public libraries. In my almost ten years in special library positions, I could never have been so thoroughly challenged had I stayed in what remains my "dream" job, as an academic arts& humanities librarian. In special libraries, I have had titles including Director of Information Resources, Information Services Director, Senior Information Specialist, Research Analyst, Research Librarian, Researcher, Archivist, and yes, Librarian. My commitment to the educational, ethical, and political aspects of librarianship have never flagged, and it has been difficult and rewarding to realise my commitment to these values in a corporate environment.

There is clearly some bile behind Litwin's inappropriate remarks; it is not uncommon for non-special librarians to be envious or bitter about the considerably higher salaries we earn. But do they realize that most special librarians would consider a 45-hour work week a luxury, let alone the 35-38-hour week enjoyed by most public and academic librarians? I rarely worked fewer than 55-60 hours/wk before my current position. That said, I look forward to returning to my academic library roots for the final 10-15 years of my working years, and I'd jump at the opportunity to return to a university library.

I could go on and on, because this Library Juice piece sure does have me angry.

Thursday, April 17, 2003
Found some code to stop e-mail harvesters that crawl web sites for addresses to use for spam. It's a complicated piece of JavaScripted encryption that uses prime numbers; I haven't a clue how it works ...

Can I stay awake tonight for the annual reading of Dante's Inferno, at the Cathedral of St John the Divine? Official description: "New York poets and writers will read "Inferno" by Dante Alighieri during the vigil on Maundy Thursday, the very hours Dante intended the events in this masterpiece to take place. Free admission, from 9 pm to midnight." Would that I still lived but two short blocks from said cathedral! How I miss the old neighborhood ... Speaking of old neighborhoods I miss, Slate's "Well Traveled" series does a piece on Montreal. The author writes about Mordecai Richler, the Plateau, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, where I worked for a year, and many other things that remind me how fortunate I was to live there and how I'd love to go back. Is it a coincidence that the coolest (and coldest) large city in North America also has the worst economy? No jobs mean low rents and cost-of-living, and low rents allow the highest percentage of creatives of any major city, and all those out-of-work people have lots of time to write, make art and music, and theycan stay out all night cuz there's not a lot of 9-5 in MTL. Canada's universal health care and social and cultural programs also make it possible for more people to earn livings as free-lancers. Oh Canada.

librarians' blogs, sites, newsletters

Bibliofuture: Librarian's Book Club
Free Pint
Ex Libris
The Shifted Librarian
Researching Librarian
Library Stuff
Library Juice
Library Underground
Research Buzz
The Resource Shelf

Anarchist Librarians Web
Warrior Librarian Weekly
Street Librarian
Library & Info Science RSS feeds
Best of Buslib-L
Peter Scott's Library Blog
Library Techlog
Library Notes
Library weblogs

Batgirl was a librarian
Batgirl Was a Librarian
The Pernicious Librarian
Hilary Leon's site
Library Techlog
LibTech weblog
The Handheld Librarian
Librarian Avengers
Leather Librarian
Rogue Librarian
Progressive Librarians Guild
Librarian Avengers

Lipstick Librarian
Lipstick Librarian
The Renegade Librarian
The Laughing Librarian
That Librarian
Loopy Librarian
Mad Cataloger

Unshelved, a library comic strip
Unshelved, a library comic strip
The Modified Librarian
Librarians in the Movies
Quotations About Libraries and Librarians
Indie Rock Librarian
Rabid Librarian
Librarians in Comic Books
L.A.C.K. [Librarians Are Corrupting Kids]
Marginal Librarian
Retrofitted Librarian

web design & development
A List Apart
Web Standards Project
Scripting News
Brainstorms & Raves
Web Developer's Virtual Library : Web Design
ITtoolbox : web design
W3 Schools


D-Lib Magazine
Metadata at W3C
Dublin Core Metadata Initiative
Scout Portal Toolkit


OASIS Cover Pages (xml) - from O'Reilly
W3C XML Spec
Tim Bray's

semantic web | rdf | topic maps
Tim Berners-Lee 5/2002 SW article
RDF Primer
Dave Beckett's RDF Resource Guide
Easy Topic Maps
Topic Map Links

drm : digital rights management

Content Wire
CEN/ISSS group for voluntary DRM standards
DRM & XML @ Cover Pages
DRM Watch
Internet Digital Rights Management (IDRM)
Open Digital Rights Language Initiative
W3C Workshop on DRM for the Web
EU Commission's Workshop on DRM
CEN/ISSS, Draft Report on DRM Standards Issues, pp. 29-86 (Feb. 5, 2003) .pdf

knowledge management

KM Resource Center
KM Initiatives at UofT
Column Two
Buckman Labs Knowledge Nurture
Darwin Guide to KM
Sveiby KM toolkit
ITtoolbox - KM
KM online

government info

U.S. Government Ready Reference
LC links to state govs
National Center for Health Statistics
NY State Gov Agencies
The Great American Web Site
U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Consumer Gateway
National Women's Government Resource
Government Guide