Thursday, June 28, 2007


Even though the whole world uses delicious, and even though I posted a list of some of the popular bookmarking sites out there some time ago (on the Social Software page), I have remained faithful to my beloved Spurl. And now, sadly, Spurl has been "abandoned," and I must find some sort of replacement(s). Sniff.

I know that many of you have probably never heard of Spurl, so great is the hold of delicious on most long-time techies. I discovered both at the same time, and chose Spurl because of one important thing - it did EVERYTHING I wanted it to. It organized my stuff into a FOLDER TREE dammit, and I don't care how lame that makes me, I LIKE my folders. Spurl ALSO tagged, searched, shared, had a cool "Spurl bar," and it allowed me to post directly and simultaneously to delicious - it was my favorite tool.

Spurl has been abandoned for a while now, and it's only a matter of time before it's just not there anymore. So, I have been trying to find a replacement - and let me tell you, it hasn't been easy. Most of the social bookmark sites do not have a folder tree, or any other way to arrange things in a more visual or hierarchical manner. Most simple bookmarking sites do not have a good social aspect to them. I have, naturally, tried to rely solely on delicious, but, sorry folks, I just simply do not like it. It's ugly. I can never find anything I want fast enough. It's ugly. The social part rocks, but....

Now, Magnolia - there's a visually-pleasing site. Perhaps it's because I am female, perhaps it is because I was raised by artists, but this is important to me. Naturally, it doesn't have the folders I'd like, nor does it have delicious' social reach, but it does have a nice "group" feature, and I do think it's poised to be one of the top social bookmark sites behind delicious. But right now, delicious is still the best, in social terms. What to do?

Enter Linkwalla, a nify little AJAX app created by a librarian, of all people! Using this will allow me to easily, and seamlessly, save my links to Linkwalla (for easy blog-listing, if I so desired), delicious, AND Magnolia. All at once. Yay. Linkwalla's "mini-blog for links" positioning is interesting in itself - check it out.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Well, that worked nicely.

Because I have been happy with Firefox, I have not checked out (extensively) many of the other browsers that are out there. The other day, however, I finally removed IE 6 from my computer - completely forgetting that this is the browser my mom uses when she comes over to play on the computer. Firefox, with the zillion tabs that I have set to open automatically, proved to be a little "much" for her (and she kept closing out all my tabs by accident), so I looked around for an alternative (since I simply refuse to load IE 7 on my machine).

I decided to try FlashPeak's Slim Browser, and it's proven to be a perfect browser for Mom, and my computer. It's light, has tabs (if you want them), skins, pop-up killer, search, etc., etc. Did I mention that it's light? It's not a resource hog, and I think it would make a great alternative browser on library machines that are getting old or are simply a little light on RAM. I love Firefox, but it's a killer on old or slow machines. You may also be able to get Slim Browser on Gates library computers - and, according to my IT person, it's a bitch, if not impossible, to get Firefox to run on a Gates machine (go figure) (and, funny, but IE7 is also not fully functional on our Gates computers).

It's a Windows app, so I'll be bummed to lose it when I finally jump to Linux on the desktop. But for now, it's doing a great job for Mom.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Let's give it up for Maine!

Maine has become the first state to pass legislation on net neutrality. And people are pretty happy about it:
“Maine is the first state in the nation to stand up for its citizens’ rights to a nondiscriminatory internet,” said Senator Ethan Strimling, the original sponsor of LD 1675. “The rest of the nation should follow suit and study what can be done to protect net neutrality.”

Shenna Bellows, Executive Director of the Maine Civil Liberties Union said, “Maine is once again leading the way in protecting the rights of its citizens. This resolution will help re-establish the internet as the free and open arena of democracy it was always intended to be.”

Tony Vigue of the Community Television Association of Maine said, “This important legislation puts Maine first in affirming that Internet providers should not be allowed to discriminate by speeding up or slowing down Web content based on its source, ownership or destination.”

For more info on net neutrality and to grab a badge for your blog/site, visit Save the Internet.

I really could have used this!

Still in school? Research librarian? Writer? Teaching bibliographic instruction? Then you may want to check out Zotero, a nifty download that works with Firefox (and Netscape Navigator 9 and some versions of Flock) to keep track of your research sources. Zotero captures citation information, allows tagging, saves searches, exports formatted citations, saves and searches, allows note taking, and more. It's free and open-source, so expect changes, additions, and updates along the way.

I remember giving myself a crash-course in EndNote for a huge bio-bibliography I did on Kate Chopin - I think this project would have been easier with a tool like Zotero. Very cool.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I Made You a Sign

Last week, I had my very first library wanker - always a special time in a girl's life. Now, after reading some blog posts on this very topic, it seems customary to either call the police, or call security (if you have it). But what do you do when the offending patron is a kid?

As for me, I ran to the back room to poke out my mind's eye. After I stopped chanting, "Ewwww! Ewww! Ewww!," I went out to say something to him (something like, "You're going to go blind!" I guess), and, thankfully, he was gone.

I warned my co-workers, and now we just make it VERY obvious that we are keeping tabs on him - that seems to be doing the trick.

Do you have a wanker? Please feel free to post this sign.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Thanks, but no.

Well, the latest job I interviewed for was yet another no-go. Sigh.

I don't think I mentioned it here (or maybe I did) - it was for a YA and Reference position at one of the small local libraries. Close to home, full-time, decent pay, nice facility. I'm not sure what happened here, but I was not overly optimistic; the interview was short, and I didn't feel like I "connected," though I tried. Interviewing has never been a problem for me, but there wasn't any spark in this one. Guess I wasn't the fit they were looking for.

But, let me tell you, if I hear through the grapevine that they "regret" the decision they made, I'm going to scream. Why do I say that? Because as of last week, I have been told on THREE separate occasions that a library that has passed me over either "regrets" their hire, or in one case, "wishes they had hired me." No joke. And while I appreciate the sentiment, it doesn't really do me any good. And in the case of the academic position I wanted so badly and feel that I would have been a GREAT fit for, that news is nearly heart-breaking.


Library Talk

For those not plugged in to both blogs, there's a new post up at Library Talk, the subject of which may interest you (or not).

For those of you new to Library Talk, PLEASE feel free to comment, and if you'd like to be a "contributing poster," just drop me a line.

I know people are still reading - I'd love to see some more activity on this blog.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

My First Presentation

Well, I gave my first presentation - Blogging 101 - at RILA on Friday morning. I wish it had gone better, but I do think it went OK.

It got off to a rocky start when people had more trouble than I ever could have imagined setting up a Gmail account. I had anticipated that people would need to do this (as the lesson was on Blogger blogging) and I made sure I could lead them through it quickly, and about a quarter of the class had trouble - and then I knew I was in trouble. This whole process sucked up about 15 extra minutes, and I was sorta freaked by the experience. But, we got through it (though not to everyone's satisfaction - but we had to move on) and the rest of the class went pretty smoothly.

Considering that I overestimated the average participant's computer/internet experience (email was about the limit), I think that many people walked away with a decent basic understanding of putting together a blog - and actually did leave the class with a blog set-up and ready to roll. I hope that at least some of the people keep up with it, and perhaps get some use out of the Blogging 101 blog I threw together as an addendum to the class.

Next time I hope to have a short survey in place (I just could not get my act together enough to do that this time) as I would have liked more feedback than I received.

My "fun" Geocaching "presentation" on Thursday went well in spite of the fact that most people thought the concept "weird" and me "crazy." But I could tell that they really did enjoy the informal show-and-tell and a few asked if I presented classes for "real." Cool.

As for the conference turnout in general, well, I couldn't help but notice that it's the same group of people time in and time out. Which, hey, this is RI, and God knows that library jobs do not change hands often here, but.... And, as the profession grows more divided (and as far as I've seen that division increases daily), the conference becomes mostly a gathering of the veterans with a few new/young librarians thrown in in a vain attempt to "network." I graduated three years ago with 100 (?) other people, and I saw three of my former classmates (not counting two who were on the conference committee - yay them!). Three. Huh.

Anyway, I have lots to say about the "divide," but I'm tired from my camping trip and sick with a cold, so I'll leave it for another time.

Monday, June 04, 2007

About Being Stubborn

Yep, the reason I don't have a job is almost entirely my fault - and that's a bitter pill to swallow, believe me.

I simply don't see myself moving to another part of the country, and there is no way I am moving away from the coast. I know that's a tough concept for most people, as most people love to travel, and most people are far more adventurous than I. But the fact of the matter is that I am a New Englander, and I can't imagine living anyplace else (except Hawaii - seriously). And while I HATE the idea of leaving my home, I have started to expand the search a bit (I am looking a bit more to the south than I was before) - but the one thing I cannot compromise on is the ocean; I MUST be near (and by near, I mean withing walking distance) the ocean at all times.

I know how this makes me sound - like a spoiled brat who quite frankly doesn't deserve a full-time job. And this may be absolutely true. But I was raised on the ocean. I could swim before I could walk, and my mom tells me that when we went to the beach when I was little, I would stay in the water until forcibly removed. If you look at my Flickr pics, what you'll see most is water. Being on a shoreline or in the ocean is, without exaggeration, the only time I am truly, completely, happy. No matter how bad I feel, no matter what kind of crappy day I've had, a walk on the beach changes my entire mood.

Put it this way: if offered the choice between a huge, well-appointed home and a high-paying job in Arizona, or a two room Cape Cod beach shack with an outdoor shower and a job that simply allowed me to pay the bills and get the occasional treat, I would choose door number 2 every single time.

I admit that I have made MANY tactical errors in my life that have resulted in my current situation. I should have moved away right after college and started a career elsewhere, while I still had some adventure in me. I shouldn't have decided that I hated the corporate culture - my dedication to non-profit work has definitely put me in the poor house. I should have gotten a computer programming degree and not a library degree. Shoulda, shoulda, shoulda.... I don't want to add, "I should have stayed near the ocean" to my list, as I truly think it would break my heart (and spirit) to be land-locked.

I do so admire anyone who can pick up and move. I envy your courage, your spirit of adventure. I marvel at anyone who can go someplace completely alone (I do not have a mate or children) and just make a whole new set of friends, a whole new life. But, sadly, I am just not that person.

But if you have a job for me on the east COAST, do let me know.


Is anyone out there going to RILA this week? I hear there is going to be a big turnout.

I have been at the computer all morning working on my presentation (blogging 101) which is scheduled for Friday at 9am. I have spent less time working on my geocaching "presentation" for Thursday at 5 (during dessert), which will be more of a show-and-tell than a presentation - feel free to come throw cupcakes at me.

Ooooh, I'm getting excited! About the presentation I mean, not the cupcakes. Ok, the cupcakes, too.

If you're going to be there, please come find me and say hi.