Sunday, February 25, 2007

Library Ninjas

I love the short sweetness (and mad styling) of this video - books aren't always better, but really, with questions like this, they are often faster. It's about choosing the right source for the right time - info literacy, yo.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Hillary Clinton in Dover, NH

I'm a YouTuber now - I went to see Hillary speak at a nearby high school and it suddenly occurred to me I could do this with the digital camera I was carrying.

Some disparate thoughts: I think these came out pretty well for a little digital camera, and I suddenly am understanding where a lot of the YouTube videos are coming from. Sorry I was slow on the recording, and I was very sad when the sd card ran out of memory when Hillary was talking about her gay rights stance. Living in NH means I get to be a spoiled voter for the next year (after primaries the two candidates won't come back) and now that I've realized I can do this, I hope to do this more. Not being originally from NH means I appreciate how spoiled I am and how not normal it is to be able to see all of the candidates multiple times. This is blasphemy up here and I may be drawn and quartered for it, but I do think it is ridiculous that this little white NE state has so much say.

And on Hillary: I am excited for her to be running. I think Obama is enormously appealing, but has some experience to put on - like a lot of other people, I'd love to see him as her vp candidate. What impressed me most about her talk yesterday was the way she engaged the audience in complexities. When asked about how she views universal health care coverage actually happening, she talked about several options and talked about needing to decide as a nation. She took several audience polls (informal hand-raising) about what the audience wanted to see - and then, and this was really amazing - pointed out that what the audience said they wanted from one question to the next was contradictory - in other words, she is willing to say that it is going to take dialog, and there are no easy answers. Another questioner asked her why she wouldn't apologize for previously voting for the war in Iraq. To which she responded (paraphrasing here) that she takes responsibility for her vote, and that she voted to the best of her ability and knowledge at the time, and if it was that important to a voter to have someone reneg on their vote, there were other candidates. Other candidates!!! It takes a gutsy politician to basically say, look, if you don't get it, go vote for someone else. I was stunned, and I really respect her for not pandering.

This choppy video was Hillary's response to a question on DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) and might she consider repealing it. Her answer didn't address repealing it, and I have no indication that she would try - she is fairly conservative and middle of the road on gay issues. This at times very much bothers me - but there aren't any viable candidates with better positions on this issue, so I hope people keep asking the question, I hope we can change the mainstream mind.

This was in response to a question about why Hillary is choosing to vote for funding for the war, when she is against the war and other politicians are saying we shouldn't fund it:

Monday, February 12, 2007


I seem to gave gone all YouTube happy, and mad apologies for those who read at work and are blocked from the content

Although this is a joke, the underlying message is very real - all new things, as simple as they seem to ITpeople/the implementers/whomever, require some explanation or training - sometimes they require intensive explanation and intensive training, and that depends more on the user than on the new thing.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Machine is Us/ing Us

This video response to the concept of web2.0 from the Digital Ethnography Center at KSU really hits the nail on the head for me - giving a nice balance of concrete and theoretical. I'd love to hear some responses from people who are just beginning to fool around with social software, or aren't yet - how clear is this? Does the amorphous thing that is 2.0 have more shape for you now? (Because I'd love to gank it for intros to presentations on specific things like rss, blogs, wikis, etc. - might be a nice way to be able to get to the concrete w/o totally skipping the very important theoretical)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

because a bad librarian can ruin a library

Doug Johnson thoughtfully digs through an issue that has been on my mind a lot lately, as I get closer to finishing library school. Going into library school, I had a pretty bad attitude about what I might learn after 4 years working in a high school library.

(I have learned much, probably not as much as many of my classmates, but more than I expected because I never before (nor will again) read much informational behavior theory. And my cataloging class was such an unmitigated disaster that ever since I feel much freer to break all sorts of rules in an effort to make the catalog more accessible - guerrilla tagging, if you will.)

But the thought on my brain of late is that library school didn't turn me into a dynamic librarian who will change the world. I was already that way. And most of my classmates came in with that attitude, too, but others don't have it. It bothers me that the training/education doesn't even attempt to get at/address what is most important to success for our students and profession. As Doug says, and I thank him so much for mentioning it explicitly, these thoughts come from believing in libraries for students, not in our jobs. This isn't about outreach/promotion for the sake of us, but for the sake of the kids who need information literacy now more than ever.

This is also on my mind because a colleague at another school has been struggling. She treats the job as an 8-3 thing, and doesn't go out of her way for anything or anyone. Not in a stingy, mean way, but just because it isn't her personality. There is such a thing as giving too much of yourself without compensation - most of us are guilty of that. This is the opposite of that. I encourage my colleague to do more for her students, but my words are not having much of an effect. If this colleague stays in her job, teachers and students alike will loose out on the learning experiences they need.

Blue Skunk Blog - Librarian-proofing library programs