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What Jane Saw

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A historical art exhibit, rendered in colored drawing, capturing the perspective of a famous writer.  What more could you want?  Source: What Jane Saw

NSA surveillance: how librarians have been on the front line to protect privacy | World news | The Guardian

NSA surveillance: how librarians have been on the front line to protect privacy | World news | The Guardian published on No Comments on NSA surveillance: how librarians have been on the front line to protect privacy | World news | The Guardian

‘Librarians were the original search engine’ and long before Edward Snowden, thousands campaigned against the government violating privacy rights

Source: NSA surveillance: how librarians have been on the front line to protect privacy | World news | The Guardian

Historypin | Mapping emotions in Victorian London

Historypin | Mapping emotions in Victorian London published on No Comments on Historypin | Mapping emotions in Victorian London

Mapping Emotions in Victorian London is a crowdsourcing project designed to expand possibilities for research in the humanities. The project has invited anonymous participants to annotate whether passages drawn from novels, published mainly in the Victorian era, represented London places in a fearful, happy, or unemotional manner.

Source: Historypin | Mapping emotions in Victorian London

Professional Publication

Professional Publication published on No Comments on Professional Publication

Are you hankering for a good read on the resource sharing trends in Latin American libraries?  Well, look no further; I just got one such article published and I’m giving you (at least the first 50 of you) a free copy:

Schmidt, LeEtta M. (2015) Interlibrary Lending in Mexican, Caribbean, Central American, and South American Libraries.  Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserve.  published online first May 21, 2015.

a visit to Neptune

a visit to Neptune published on No Comments on a visit to Neptune


So hey, I went once again to the International ILLiad Conference in Virginia Beach.  I think I have at least two pictures of the giant Neptune statue from every year that I’ve gone.  That equals a lot of pictures.  This is one of the best though.

The Annual Clean Out aka Backup and Control Your Data

The Annual Clean Out aka Backup and Control Your Data published on 1 Comment on The Annual Clean Out aka Backup and Control Your Data

I have one of those jobs that naturally winds down towards the winter holidays and new year.  For some time now, I have taken advantage of this time at work to sort through files and clean out anything that probably should have been recycled before making it in a drawer.

Part of this clean-out includes sorting, organizing, and backing up the countless digital files on my computer.  Sure, we have an IT department that maintains a storage drive for our personal files, but that won’t help me if it fails one day and I am one of hundreds of employees begging to have some data restored.

This tradition is starting to bleed into my personal life as well.  I create a lot of digital files and store them in a lot of places, from web site hosts, and social networks, to document hosting sites.  I’ve also had a recent experience with cleaning and tying up someone else’s digital life.  The information you put out there is important, it might not be clear how now, but you, or someone you love, will probably need it sometime later.  If I safeguard myself at work from being one of hundreds should something go wrong, why wouldn’t I safeguard myself at home from being one of millions that a distant and faceless ‘IT’ may or may not be willing to deal with should something go wrong?

How would you do this?  Never thought to ask?  Well, Hotmail, if you have Microsoft Office on your computer, can be connected to Outlook and archived from there.  Google offers a select data to download option under ‘Data Tools’ in your account profile.  In Facebook, you can download a copy of your Facebook data under ‘General Settings.’ Tech Streak has a post about how to back up your Tumblr, though I have not tried it yet.  And, of course, you can download a full copy of any website you own with an ftp transfer client.  I like FileZilla.

And once you’ve got copies of everything, what do you do with it?  While storage drives are popular back-ups for home computing, what about something like LibraryBox?  Though created for more lofty purposes than home storage, LibraryBox would be a great way to get your data back-up off the grid, though still allow you to link into it via WiFi with any of your devices.

I’m not even going to mention privacy issues, but this is also the time of year when I close out customer and social networking accounts of places that I just don’t maintain anymore.   While I’m at it, I think I should spend some time removing my personal data from places all over the web because I want to consciously control what’s sold to me.


BiblioFair published on No Comments on BiblioFair

Novel idea for putting your home library to work:  BiblioFair | Book trading, exchanging and swapping made easier.

It’s interesting to me that this concept of home library exchange highlights the inadequacies of libraries to meet patron demand.  Before libraries existed in this country home library exchange would have been the only option to borrow something new, at least among those who could afford to have a book collection in the first place.  From the site:

Is the book you are looking for too expensive or always unavailable in your local library? Would you like to save both money and nature and rather buy a used one?

BiblioFair helps you find publications available for sale, donation or lending in home libraries located close to you!

I don’t know if this would work for me, since when I weed a book at home I want it out of the house quick, and the books I want to keep around…I’m not very good at sharing. I just hear my dad over and over again in my head: never lend something you actually want back.

What Causes the Smell of New & Old Books? | Compound Interest

What Causes the Smell of New & Old Books? | Compound Interest published on No Comments on What Causes the Smell of New & Old Books? | Compound Interest

What Causes the Smell of New & Old Books? | Compound Interest is a concise info graphic about the volatile organic compounds that make old and new books smell the way they do.

I still think this is an unexplored marketing angle, especially in a world where print book publishers are terrified that print book consumption is on the decrease.  The food and make-up industries, among others, already use scent to make their products more appealing.  Why not engineer books, through specialized paper and ink, with specific smells designed to attract buyers?

Read my professional publications

Read my professional publications published on No Comments on Read my professional publications

Hey there.  Taylor & Francis has this service for authors called eprints, i.e. free copies for authors to give round of their article.  Since I edit a journal under the T&F umbrella and tend to publish there most often, I have a whole handful of articles with available eprints just sitting around, not getting used.

Do you want to read some professional library literature written by yours truly?  If you do, each of these links will get you to a free article until they are used 50 times.  Have at it.

(2014) From the Editor:  Introducing Reports from the Field.  Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserve.  24(1-2) 1-3.

(2013) From the Editor:  The State of Our Libraries.  Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserve. 23(4-5) 175-178.

with Rebecca Donlan. (2013) From the Editors:  Do Your Part for Resource Sharing — Add to the Knowledge Base Through Writing and Publishing.  Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserve. 23(3) 123-126.

(2013) Planned Flexibility for Course Reserves.  Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserve.  23(2) 47-56.

(2012) When the Pilot is Over:  Picking the Program and Making It Stick, Purchase on Demand at the University of South Florida.  Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserve.  22(1) 59-66.

with Kristine Shrauger and Mary Radnor (2012)  The Case for a 60-Day Interlibrary Loan Lending Period.  Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserve.  22(1) 47-57.

with Dennis Smith (2012) The Florida State Libraries Resource Sharing Initiative:  Unity Among a Disparate Group.  Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserve. 22(1)  9-15.

(2011) ILLiad, CAS, Shibboleth, and PHP:  The Road to Single Sign-On.  Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserve.  21(3) 149-156.

Librarians Against DRM |

Librarians Against DRM | published on No Comments on Librarians Against DRM |


Librarians Against DRM |

dream library

dream library published on No Comments on dream library

library2aI probably wouldn’t paint it muted shades of neon green and pink (I’m sure it didn’t look like that in Corel), but here is an idea I had for drawing up a dream library.

Shelf Life (2005) – IMDb

Shelf Life (2005) – IMDb published on No Comments on Shelf Life (2005) – IMDb

 Shelf Life (2005) arrived in our mailbox a while ago.  I had added it to our queue ages agon and had since forgotten exactly what it was about.  In the meantime, both Richard and I developed the idea that the film was foreign and subtitled.  I specifically developed the idea that the film was Korean.

These aren’t the reasons why we avoided putting the disc in the player and instead chose movie after movie, including plenty of subtitled Korean movies, to watch instead.  Eventually, we decided to get it over with and just watch the thing.

I remember that I wanted to see this in the same way I am interested in all movies and TV shows about libraries and librarians.  It’s a weird introspective, self mocking, others mocking type of enjoyment I get from depictions of these people and places.  AND BOY DOES THIS MOVIE DELIVER!  Sorry I had to shout.  Shelf Life is not Korean, nor is it subtitled.  It is a stark, yet funny, slow starting, acerbic look at small library hierarchy and personalities.  It reminds me of The Librarians.  It is less big laughs than small furtive, guilty chuckles (at least for me), and it is utterly impossible to stop watching.

It starts like a quite school assignment production with the characters awkwardly exchanging dialog and then it grabs your attention with a fishhook to your face (not literally).  Suddenly you are wrapped up in the mystery of an unfolding story of miscommunication, misconception, quick judgements and terribly questionable human behavior.  This is love, ladies and gentlemen.  Though, I have to admit, not the marrying kind of love. I probably will not want to watch this movie over and over again.  No, this is a summer camp romance kind of love.  The kind that you deny ever happened when you catch each other’s eye in the hallway on your way to class, but secretly you review over and over again in your diary at night.

Getty Open Content Images

Getty Open Content Images published on No Comments on Getty Open Content Images

Another awesome digital archive:  The Getty Museum/Foundation/Research and Conservation Institute has a search gateway were you can find some fabulous images, plenty of which are within the public domain.  Check out GSG: highlights=Open Content Images.

I am fascinated by Daguerreotype and silver prints.  Did you know that Daguerreotypes captured the weave of the cloth and the stitching on the clothes of people who sat for portraits?  That is just fabulous!  It is endlessly enlargeable, what modern camera can say that?

Congressional Copyright Hearings

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Congress is finally reviewing copyright as it stands in the USA.  But, according to the latest news, they are not including creators in the process.  Oh, they’re involving copyright holders, yes.  The ginormous companies that have inherited, bought, or had signed over the copyright to thousands upon thousands of creative works will have their say, but I doubt that these companies and agencies accurately represent the opinions and beliefs of the creators who make the products in the first place.

I’m not examining big business’ dealings with copyright; that is not my rant.  At the risk of stepping into shoes way too big, I’d rather offer myself up as representative of creator and user.  Ever since I started studying copyright to expand my professional skills I have become exponentially more interested in how the initial purpose of copyright has found a home within my urges to create and my drive to consume.

First of all, copyright is all about creation.  It is meant to give creators enough credit and remuneration to encourage continued creativity, and it is meant to provide the public with enough access to copyrighted materials to encourage more widespread creativity.  That is it, just two parties, the creator and the user, and the law.  Third parties are introduced when managing copyright over a work becomes something the creator wants to farm out, and yet third parties are all we ever hear about these days.

I come from an age of pirates and I work in library services that function in very narrowly defined exceptions to copyright.  I know that sharing an mp3 of the “Happy Birthday” song is actually making a copy of the digital file, not lending your CD and then getting it back from your friend (i.e. no copy made).   And that copy, in the traditional print media language of US copyright law, is a violation because it has taken away the right of the creator to make money on the sale of the copy…in theory.

What I see in how I use and offer up creative products is that copyright law is completely inapplicable to a digital world.  More than that, it is inapplicable to a world were easy duplication of a thing is possible for any member of the public.  Copyright law is ill suited to any world with copy machines, scanners, printers, or cameras.  Copyright law was formulated for a world where a town’s three rival printers/publishers fought for authors whose names would sell copy.  It was created to curtail businesses from reproducing and selling work printed by a rival business, and it’s power was placed in the hands of the author.  Somewhere along the line the power was turned over from the author, the creator, to the business.  This is the heart of the whole problem.  When power migrated to the businesses, businesses stepped between creator and user.

Creators want to get their work out there.  You can see this in every art blog and online fiction site.  Artists and writers regularly offer up their creations to search engines, lurkers, and devoted fans online.  Creation is an act of communication between the artist and the world.  Without a waiting world, there could be no communication.  The most common issue I have ever seen raised by a creator on the internet about their work (or digital copies thereof) being linked, shared, transported, used, and copied by others has been in regard to attribution whether or not they have specifically adopted a rights statement that says so.  I share this feeling.  In fact, the only way people can find you, the artist, in the pixel polluted world of the internet is if people share your stuff and talk about you.  And still the reason why I love the internet is because, should I become well known, it is the users who have chosen me.  The only way the same amount of people could find me without the internet is if a publisher or agent took a liking to me and pushed my goods.

As a user, I want to make sure the creators whose stuff I love and use are encouraged to do more.  I want to spread the word about how awesome they are and encourage other people to follow their progress as well.  And when they sell a printed volume of stuff I have seen in excess online I want to buy it, because I am greedy, and because I want them to know that I want more out of them.  I will give them money, directly, just to ensure they complete that next project (which is why we have sites like kickstarter), and I care less whether they are published through a reputable publisher.

There are people out there who abuse the openness of creativity, who take advantage of a creator’s proffered communication to the user.  There always have been.  This is why copyright law was created, not to regulate the interaction between creator and user but to regulate the business who plans to co-opt a creation and sell it, without the creator’s involvement or sanction, in order to compete with its business rival.

How topsy turvy are we then, that the businesses are helping our government decide how we, as creators and users, interact with each other?

Select articles:

EFF’s:  “Real Copyright Reform Starts With Listening to Users, Not Just the Usual Suspects”

Tech Dirt’s:  “Next Two Congressional Hearings On Copyright Reform Show The Exact Wrong Approach”

Paper Mites

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I work in an office with a lot of paper.  I hear complaints that are refuted in the two articles that follow, both of which are generated by higher education.  I leave it at that.

“Myth 3. Paper mites in an office will fly or jump and bite people. False. First, there is no such thing as a paper mite. Second, mites cannot fly or jump. The myth of paper mites probably is related to a phenomena know as cable mite dermatitis. The fictitious “cable mite” term was coined by entomologists asked to investigate “mites” attacking workers in a laboratory. The symptoms started after an electrical cable was installed in the ceiling of the lab. Particulate matter was dislodged from insulation during the installation and got into the ventilating system. The dust or “cable mites” was then circulating throughout the lab, irritating the occupants. When they removed the dust, the dermatitis that the workers experienced, ceased. If you think mites are biting you, collect them, bring them to your county Extension office and have them identified. What you think may be a mite, might not.”

via Pest Myths : College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences : Clemson University : South Carolina.


“Illusory Parasitosis

“A common problem that people encounter is “bites,” itching, or skin irritations that are assumed to be caused by insects but for which no insects or mites can be seen or found. Illusory parasitosis is one of many names used to describe bite-like symptoms caused by non-animal environmental factors. Other names used for the nonexistent arthropods assumed to be the cause of a skin irritation are “paper mite,” “sand flea,” and “cable mite.” There are no such animals as the mythical arthropods just listed.

“There are only a few biting insects that produce skin reactions, and these are all large enough to be seen and readily identified. Common biting pests include fleas, head lice, ticks, bat bugs, bed bugs and mosquitoes. Obscure or microscopic organisms that may bite are possible (the most likely being the skin-infesting scabies mite) but these can be isolated and identified by a dermatologist.

“Our study of unexplained biting sensations has uncovered several published articles on the topic and a long list of potential causes for “biting” sensations or skin irritation. Some of the most common causes are:

“Physical agents

  • dry air
  • static electricity
  • personal and household products; e.g., detergents, cosmetics, jewelry
  • environmental pollutants
  • microscopic fibers; e.g., fiber glass or paper splinters
  • gases or indoor air pollution; “sick or tight building syndrome”

“Physiologic factors

  • allergies
  • diseases and disorders such as diabetes
  • neurological disorder such as shingles

“Psychological state

  • anger, anxiety, stress, nerves”

via Illusory Parasitosis | Iowa Insect Information Notes.


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